New Federico Jewelry On The Way

This week the plan was to post a lot of fabulous jewelry by Federico Jimenez as I do not have quite enough Native American jewelry on hand to make a complete grouping. However the plans were derailed because it was a busy night with estate sale work. The two hour time difference makes posting lots challenging as well. Many customers are in the Central time zone (I would say more packages go to Texas than anywhere else) and ideally I like to get lots posted by 8:00 PM Central Time, which is only 6:00 PM Mountain Time. Even though it did not work out, I decided to forge ahead and complete the photos for this grouping and then place everything directly online. I was able to get the necklaces posted, including this beautiful naja cluster necklace with natural Sleeping Beauty turquoise throughout. Next week the rest of the lot will be posted which includes statement earrings and cluster rings.

It was refreshing to use different materials to photograph the jewelry. I was not thrilled with the combination I originally used with Federico's jewelry so I took a look at the Replica Surfaces I kept here. I started by using Soft Sand but I felt it was too washed out. I then switched to Mermaid Tile which is a coordinating Surface and felt it was much more eye catching. Even though I have had this juniper wood trivet for more than a year, this was my first time to use it. I love it as a backdrop! I found it on Etsy and it was handmade in Estonia, which was one of Mother's very favorite countries to visit. Luckily Etsy keeps a record of every purchase so I am going to look them up and see what else they have to offer.

I have been using a black and white cowhide for shooting vintage Native American jewelry photos but found that the pattern is a little busy for showing larger items like necklaces. I turned the hide around to the lighter side and found it boring so I thought I would go to Etsy and see what there was to offer. I came across a shop which took me in a totally different direction - they sell embossed leathers and hides in so many great colors and patterns. It seems that most people use these pieces to make earrings, wallets, fanny packs and other sorts of projects. I thought I would choose six and get them in the 12x12 size which is plenty big to use as a foreground for smaller objects. I selected the pattern above plus this pattern in another colorway, a classic small scale leopard print on cowhide, a jazzy cowhide leopard print with turquoise paint splatters and a couple of beautfiul overall florals which look tooled. I am looking forward to working with everything! My original plan was to use the same materials for each jewelry category but I may decide to customize things a bit depending on the colors of the jewelry. The quality is fantastic and these six leather pieces were the same price as a Replica Surface.

Case in point - I also received this Surface this past week. Since I only purchased one it was with no bundle discount and I had to pay $15 shipping. However I think it will be really handy as a back wall when I get to photographing purses, shoes and decorative items. I have so many wood Surfaces I will be able to create a variety of different vignettes to fit the style of the accessories. So many ideas and unfortunately so little time, this may end up being a project to hold off on until the fall. But I hope to at least test it out before I go!

Kuochun was supposed to have his stress test on Monday. He followed all the rules and waited at the office for 20 minutes only to have the cardiologist come out and say the system was down and he had to reschedule. It was suggested that Kuochun not cancel his June 1 appointment because the doctor is not available until fall. Right now the stress test is scheduled for June 5. Kuochun said no matter what we are going home June 10 but we will see what happens. Kuochun and Mother's health has to come first.

It is kind of hot now to go out anywhere during the day but Kuochun and I ended up going to a new store on Tuesday. We met up with the gentleman who purchased the vintage squash blossom necklace on Etsy at a store called Scottsdale Marketplace. It is 12 minutes away from home and in a shopping center I have been to quite a few times whenever Mother wants to splurge and get some good groceries from AJ's Fine Foods. We have passed this store so many times but I never gave it a thought. It is quite eclectic and has 35 vendors. I would say it is a cross between a high-end gift shop like Peachtree Place in Northfield, the Old Brick House Vintage Market we have been attending every month and an antique mall. I am not really in the market to buy anything but Kuochun actually bought something he and Mother both wanted - a wall clock for the kitchen. It is new but good quality, done in chrome with a brick-like background. I hung it on an existing screw in the office area until I can get a picture hanger to come out and hang several pieces of art. The hands are black so it is a little hard to see the time at night but once it moves to the kitchen it will always be easy to read. There are skylights in the kitchen which leaves it so bright lights are not needed during the day. But at night there are plenty of lights to illuminate the room.

It has become too hot to work in the garage with average highs hovering around 100 degrees on a daily basis. On Wednesday I moved the photo booth upstairs to the office area and have been gradually moving jewelry props etc. up there as well. It will not be a waste of time as I would prefer not to keep everything in the garage over the hot summer. I have a couple of flat storage bins to keep all the props in so things can stay organized.

On Thursday it was time to continue Mother's homework for her big appointment next Wednesday. After her blood test, we went to a furniture store called Got Legs which I had read about in Phoenix Home & Garden Magazine. It sounded great but they do not open until noon so we missed out on going a couple of times. This time we were in the area and the timing was right. However we did not love the store. The owners were super nice but the article did not mention that it was a donation store. Unfortunately there was nothing we wanted to buy because it was all quite outdated. But I understand places like this are hit or miss. Because of the limited hours I probably will not seek it out again.

I then ran into a location of The White Dove Thrift Shoppe which was at the opposite end of the shopping center. They had wonderful vintage Native American jewelry but the prices were high-end retail. I did decide to take a gamble on three smaller pieces - a jackrabbit pin which has a Native look but was made in Mexico and two Navajo cuff bracelets. I also found a cool wood vase from New Zealand that I can either use as a jewelry prop or we can use to decorate with.

Mother was hungry so when I Googled restaurants near me I found a highly rated Italian deli called Casella's. Back to the opposite end of the shopping center for us! The deli has been there for 46 years. It is a modest place and they take cash only. I mentioned to the helper behind the counter (possibly she was the owner) that it was my first time and she was so kind to explain the sandwich I was interested in as well as taking me down the way to the case to show off their other offerings. I chose the Pizza Hoagie which was a sub with pizza sauce, provolone and pepperoni. Mother selected the Italian beef. It was a different procedure in that they do not charge you until you pick up the food. When we arrived, I wanted to take a little time to read the menu on the board. A man came in and I told him to go ahead. He was a little insistent that I go but I just repeated in a nice way that it was OK, he could go as I was still deciding. Well when I went to get the food, the lady told me the man had paid for the sandwiches, we only needed to pay for Mother's lemonade. I was so shocked and the lady behind me said "WELL THAT'S NICE!!!" Thinking back on it, I bet she thought I should pay it forward and pay for hers. I was just surprised by the whole thing, I have heard of it happening but it has never happened to me before. I enjoyed my Pizza Hoagie but unfortunately Mother hated hers. I said "don't choose any Chicago specialty items from non-Chicagoans, you're going to be disappointed!" She ate about a quarter of it and we saved the other half for Kuochun. He ate it but did not really like it either. Maybe Kuochun and I can try it again another time.

On Friday I took Mother to the hospital for the last of her tests to prepare for her big appointment, an EKG. I thought it was going to be a quick test like I have seen performed on both Mother and Kuochun at the hospital but this one took several hours. Mother was in the mood to try LoLo's Chicken & Waffles in person and it is very close to the hospital so I took her there. It was hopping for a Friday afternoon! We were seated near a group of about eight beautiful Black women who were all dressed to the nines in skin-tight outfits. Two of them were pregnant and they had the cutest little girl with them. She must have been about two years old and was wearing a bun on top of her head, little gold hoop earrings, a one-shoulder top that tied on the one side and paperbag waist striped pants. What a little fashionista! I really wanted to take her picture but she never stopped moving!

We have been having trouble with the garage door opener so I scheduled to have a company come check it out Saturday morning. Unfortunately upon arrival the technician said his company does not have the right size parts to change the roller on a door setup like mine, with the garage below the second floor. He did give a suggestion on who to call but charged me a trip charge. I think they should have asked what type of door I had before coming out. I mentioned it but did not argue. The other company is closed on weekends so it will have to wait until Monday. In the meantime, the car has to be outside in the hot weather because the opener is inoperable and it is too much of a hassle to use the door manually. Hopefully the other company will be able to come out next week and fix the system.

Sadly we have no estate sales scheduled for Memorial Day weekend. I will have four sale packages to complete next week but I will take any extra time to figure out what I will be able to accomplish jewelry-wise before we head for home. I will definitely get some more jewelry posted online. I was very excited to sell another squash blossom necklace on Etsy for the second week in a row. Normally turquoise is king and I still have two turquoise squash blossoms to choose from but the buyer chose this amazing pink mother of pearl version which has beautiful silverwork. This was one of three project sets I bought and had professionally polished and restrung. It is rewarding to have these historic treasures fixed up and save them from being melted down.

Until next time!