12/10/12

Pearl Slaghoople Designs

At some point this year, I am pretty sure I have been abducted by aliens.  In fact, I'd go so far as to say that it's been happening annually for about ten years now, and I think they've become emboldened by the fact that I've never said anything about it.  Well, consider your streak over alien bitches, because I'm speaking up this year.  

The reason I say this is because every year it seems like Christmas and the seasons in general just spin by faster and faster and the only rational explanation is that I've been asleep or missing for part of the year.  So this shit ends now.

All the probings aside, I tend to miss absent friends and family more around this time of year. I'm sure I'm not alone in that feeling, but it does make me think back on childhood Christmases past when my mom and grandparents were still alive, and the whole family would gather on Christmas eve and Christmas day to celebrate.  

My mother was always good for a gag gift or two, from "The Elves" most of the time, but sometimes just from her.  Recently, my wife was digging around in a drawer upstairs and found one of my mom's gifts to her when we first got married.

It was a small jewelry box, and when my wife opened it, she saw this note:


Because the image of my mother wearing the contents of this box still makes me laugh to this day, I decided to post pictures of what was inside.  

First, please to enjoy this exquisite piece of modern-art inspired jewelry:


In case it's not entirely clear, this is, in fact, a ring.  It's made from wire and some toxic death-toy called "FormaFilm." You were supposed to bend the wire into flower shapes and dip them in different colored liquid plastic to make delicate, beautiful petals.  Or, as another option, you could simply twist the shit out of the wire until it was an unrecognizable mess, dip it in the goop and call it "making Mom a ring for Christmas."  It's pretty obvious which road I took.   My wife modeled it for me and it's really amazing just how subtle and tasteful it is. 

Also in the box were these fine designer earrings made entirely of rocks and discarded nipple clamps:


As you may have guessed, I was heavily into rock tumbling when I was a kid.  Even now I can hear the horrible, soul-crunching noise of the rocks tumbling in the plastic container.  It sounded like a Megadeth bass solo being played on a broken banjo.  Now picture that solo going on for a month straight, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with the only break of blessed silence occurring when I had to shut off the tumbler in order to empty the can out and prepare to start it up again with a finer grit abrasive.  I'm really surprised my parents didn't go batshit insane listening to that thing.  That reminds me, I have to pick up one of those tumbling kits for my nephew.    

I distinctly remember that the first pair of earrings I made were roughly three times this size, and my father told me that "they might be a little too big." In reality what he was probably thinking was that my mother's neck wouldn't be strong enough to hold them up.  (He actually knew what he was talking about, because he had a very similar-looking pair of cufflinks that could have been used as a lethal weapon.)   I took his advice and made a smaller pair, even though it killed me because the smaller stones weren't as cool looking.  Even so, these are no light-weights.  In fact, if my mother wore these earrings every day for a year as she claimed, she'd probably have looked like this.*   My money is on her removing them the second we left for school.

So all you moms out there, enjoy the Christmas jewelry you're sure to get, and make sure you save it for when your kid is all grown up so that he can mindblast pictures of it to his live 3D headspace stream or whatever it is that will replace the current social media options 30 years from now. 

p.s. -  I'm always available for  one-on-one jewelry design consulting if you want me to create something that really accentuates your personal style and sense of Flintstone fashion. 

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One more thing before I forget:  Normally I'm not a huge country music fan and I don't like many female vocalists, but that being said, I happen to love the voices of Maria Mckee, Patty Griffin and Neko Case.  I'm going to go ahead and add Hannah Bethel to that list.  She's a young, up-and-coming artist managed by my buddy down in Nashville.   Check her out if you get a chance.



*except whiter.


17 comments:

  1. Anonymous3:48 PM

    Surely you have some stories about Christmas ornaments you made as a kid. Ornaments containing cardboard, dry macaroni, gold spray paint, and glitter?

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  2. I too was a rock tumbler kid. I still have some shiny treasures from those days . There was nothing as sad as when you ran out of grit and had to beg your dad to order some more from Montgomery Ward.

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  3. Quartz was like gold, wasn't it?

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    1. I haven't laughed this hard in too long....hilarious. Your poor dad..he wanted to be shuttle about the size. Her lobes would've been ruined...lol!

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  4. I had one of those! And yes, it drove us all crazy! Fortunately, I was more or less ADHD so the "wonder" wore off pretty quickly. I had no patience for things whose results took more than 5 minutes!!!!

    But OK, this line got me: "I have to pick up one of those tumbling kits for my nephew."
    Whenever I couldn't find great educational toys for my nephews and nieces, I went for MAXIMUM NOISE!!!! My siblings still hate me. My nieces and nephews still love me.

    Peace <3
    Jay

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    1. Maximum educational noise! That's the goal.

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  5. I just knew where that heavy earring link was going to take me before I even clicked on it. My parents would not allow for a rock tumbler, even though I wanted one badly. Their thinking was that I was already capable of making more than my share of noise.

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  6. My parents were gluttons for punishment. They let me play the drums, too.

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  7. I don't consider Patty Griffin Country at all, she reminds me of a female Bob Dylan - her music is like poetry.

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    1. Yeah, country music and female vocalists were two separate things. When they overlap, I have even less interest. But Patty did write some great songs that were covered, er, mangled by the Dixie Chicks, so some of her stuff might be considered Country. Maria was cowpunk with lone justice, then her first solo record was sorta-country, but still amazing. So yeah, I agree with you on Patty.

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  8. I love Neko Case. I liked this video of Hannah Bethel too. She is adorable. However, Mumford & Sons is my favorite band right now. They are the best group ever! I rarely listen to any other music...well, except for maybe The Lumineers.

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  9. I love your mom's sense of humor. Glad it lives on in you!

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  10. About that alien ship. Do you recall your seat assignment? I was picked up late and all the good seats were taken so I had stand in the back all the way to Zimtron 13.

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    1. Oh no. Not by the bathroom, I hope. Those zimtronians eat nothing but sausage and beans.

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  11. I wish I had known about the noise before I gave in to Mrs. Smith's desire to get a rock tumbler for our youngest for Christmas. It's already making me crazy.

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  12. Ah yes, maximum noise is key when selecting toys for OTHER children not your own. I certainly followed that paradigm. Unfortunately, I was paid back in spades by relatives hell-bent on visiting the same kind of torture on us that we'd inflicted on them. Can anyone say, little plastic firetruck-themed tricycle/Big Wheel thing with lights and sirens?? And plastic wheels that made a swell racket rumbling over any floor with grooves? Just what you want your toddler enjoying at 7:00 AM on a Sunday.

    Fortunately, we were given an excellent piece of advice from a friend whose kids were a little older than ours. Here's what you do with noisy toys: you take the speakers apart and either permanently disable them or stuff them with cotton. Works a treat. I'm no electrician, but I value my sleep and sanity enough that I was quite happy to spend an couple hours with a tiny screwdriver adapting all of my son's toy firetrucks, Buzz Lightyear spaceships and what have you. Even talking books met with the "cotton treatment." This way, kid still gets a reaction when s/he pushes a button, but Mom and Dad are not driven completely mad.

    Just a little advice to someone who doesn't need it. :-)

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