Project 3: Beaded Cabochon Necklace - Part 1

This weekend, there were moments of frustration, despair, and all out rage - each aimed at a small pendent and a pile of beads. Trying to figure out how to lock in a cabochon using a tubular peyote stitch without any instruction is simply infuriating, but I did it. I did it!

It began with an innocent trip to the bead store with the boyfriend on an overcast day. He is a wonderful man who actually enjoys going to store with me, offering insightful opinions on this stone and that, this bead pairing and that - not to say that we always agree. He did find this pendent for me though. Immediately, the beaded settings I had seen in magazines came to mind. Don't they just remind you extravagant old pieces found in days of yore? I have been eagerly awaiting a chance to try it out.

This piece will hang on a multi-strand necklace that I'm still working on, utilizing the same champagne, turquoise and brown beads in addition to a splash of amber. It's all rather exciting, and I'm hoping to finish it in the hotel this week while traveling for work.


Reckless Use of Tarragon

I'm working on editorial regarding herbs for work and have been hunched over my copy of The Complete Herb Book by Jekka McVicar for seemingly days. I just came across a Henry VIII reference that tickled my fancy.
In the reign of Henry VIII, tarragon made its way into English gardens, and the rhyme, "There is certain people, and certain herbs, that good digestions disturbs," could well be associated with tarragon. I love, too, the story that Henry VIII divorced Katherine of Aragon for her reckless use of tarragon.
Ha, ha, ha, ha. Ha, ha, ha. Why haven't I come across that story in my readings? I love this book, tis true.


The Age of Anne Bolyen

Excellent article from Gareth Russel's blog, Confessions of a Ci-Devant. Like much about Anne Boleyn, the year of her birth is veiled in mystery. There has recently (the past twenty years or so) been a historian consensus that Anne Boleyn was born in 1501 based on the year she was sent to become a maid-of-honor in Archduchess Margaret's court in Austria. They dismiss the 1507 date as impossible. Gareth, however, sets forth some very convincing evidence supporting Anne's 1507 birthday, making her 28 at her execution. Read his very intriguing article to find out more!


Project 2: To Be a Tree (Jewelry Stand)

The Tale of a Tree:
The boyfriend and I were walking to the car after dinner this past weekend and came across a lonely branch sticking out of a garbage can. At once, my tree jewelry stand project flashed into my head. Those forked limbs! Those nubby little knobs! It's perfect for hanging necklaces! Into the car it went.

I settled into project mode last night while watching my Season 3 Tudors DVDs and finished my stand in one sitting. One sitting! After sawing it to size, breaking off loose branches, and sanding down a few rough patches, I gave the branch a bit of a white wash (there's still white paint stuck under my cuticles; I'm incredibly fond of hitchhiking paint).

Once the branch was dry, I drilled a hole into the wooden base and screwed it together, careful not to split the wood. I was scared that it would be off-balance, but I was in luck (thank you, Mother Nature) and went on to decorate the limbs with curls of silver wire and crystal and abalone leaf beads.

My favorite detail has to be the bird nest, the perfect size for nestling rings. I'm so pleased with how it turned out. It could easily be the centerpiece to my table and not a jewelry stand at all!

Voila! A tree jewelry stand, just like that. All my bobbles, which were previously organized in teacups, are beautifully displayed in their new home. It reminds me of Spanish moss hanging off trees in the bayou, that haunting image of tangled roots meeting water and a curtain of moss dripping through a cloud of fireflies. I love it.


Rain Boots & Sewing Scissors

Playing in the dirt will never get old.
Easter Sunday brought about an impromptu dig in the garden with my visiting folks: digging here, replanting poppies there. There is nothing like slipping on your rubber boots, donning your sun hat and overalls, and getting deep, dark dirt underneath your nails. Ah, spring.
The season has been getting my project wheels turning; too many ideas are beating each other up to come out on top. Making matters worse, I went to the fabric store last night to purchase a new pair of sewing scissors (Eeeeee!) and, while there, found myself elbow deep in the remnants section. White silk. Oh, is there anything more luxurious? What do I need that's made out of white silk? Everything and anything. This undefined project moves to the top of the list, winning my internal project battle. 
White silk, white silk, white silk...


What's in a name?

Having work-related writer's block lent me the fabulous excuse to turn my thoughts to the name of my blog. The utter lack of creativity followed me however, and I've spent several agonizing days trying to come up with something both fitting and available. Finally, on this very afternoon, as I finished my project, the name too came together.

I present to you Rosewood Buttons.

Ha! I giggle every time my mind says it.

Meanwhile, the photographer at the wedding had an adorable headband with a bouquet of buttons on it. I love buttons (please see title), and it has been added to my project list.