Thursday, August 2, 2012

Home invasion - Life in the Tropics

Photo: jbEbert
It was early yesterday morning. There is a ritual to my morning  and I was following my schedule as normal ... after dressing I sip enough coffee to take my morning pills then grab the hand sprayer to water the orchids. The driftwood orchid display out front, under the pygmy date palms needs sprayed every day to keep the thin moss covering over the roots just dampish. As I finished I noticed the pitcher plant hanging from the palm trunk needed pruning. I try to be a responsible steward of my garden, so I snatched up the hanging pot and brought it in to be cleaned up. The leaves at the top are from newer sprouts and are growing delicate little pitchers on each leaf tip. But, the older cascading branches have started to fade and in some cases grown wrinkled and browned. As I got to work on trimming the spent foliage, out of the middle of the pot flew a large glistening green tree frog ... SPLAT! ... onto the shelf at the end of the upper cabinets. I put down the scissors and stared, wondering how to return my kitchen to its prior frog-free state. I decided I would place a cup over it, slide my hand underneath and convey the intruder back to the wilds of my front garden as I would an errant wasp. The frog, however, didn't get the memo. As I reached to place the cup over him, he leapt backward ... and landed on the side of my neck ... I'm not sure, but I think I heard someone squealing "EEEWWWWW"!!! ... It might have been me ...  Any way, the frog got the hint and jumped off to another cabinet from whence he was encouraged to return to the potted plant. He rode triumphantly on a cluster of leaves down the hall, out the door and into the garden. Before returning to the kitchen with the plant, I saw the frog off to a new leafy home. Neither of us looked the other in the eye, each somewhat embarrassed by our unexpected and unwanted intimacy.
Photo: Rhizae via flickr

Monday, April 9, 2012

della Robbia
 The beautiful wreaths, topiaries and garlands adorned with clusters of seasonal fruits, vegetables, berries, pods, leaves and other natural materials are named after the Della Robbia family of Florence. The family of artists started with Luca della Robbia, born circa 1400, who -- at the urging of his father -- trained as a goldsmith, but later became a sculptor of bronze and marble. For economic reasons he began developing a way to sculpt in terracotta clay that would stand up to exterior climates. The glazing technique was a closely guarded family secret, passed on to Luca’s nephew, Andrea della Robbia (1435-1525). Many of the round pieces that Della Robbia sculpted were neatly bordered with seasonal vegetation -- flowers, leaves, berries, fruits and pods. Andrea’s style included more details, and elaborate, colorful borders frame his sculptures. Andrea’s three sons kept the Della Robbia school in operation until the mid-1600s.

In 1926, an article in House Beautiful featured photographs of holiday wreaths decorated with fruits and stated, “This idea was undoubtedly suggested by the gorgeous Italian carvings and terra cottas of the Renaissance…” Then, the magazine had a more upscale readership of families with servants and country homes, so most of the general population were not aware of this decorating trend; and with the onset of the Great Depression, decorating ... was not a priority.
It wasn’t until the late 1930s that the decorator at Colonial Williamsburg, VA decided to add fruit -- in the Della Robbia style -- to the plain evergreen wreaths and swags that embellished the doors and windows of the houses and shops in the historic site. Visitors to Colonial Williamsburg were quick to copy the new look, requesting information on how to make the decorations; and the wreaths and swags became popular throughout America. Because the design was introduced to mainstream America in Colonial Williamsburg, it is sometimes still known as the “Colonial Williamsburg style.” However, it is more commonly known as the “Della Robbia Wreath” and the Della Robbia family, Italian artists of the Renaissance, are the creators of the design that has transferred so beautifully from terra cotta to evergreen branches.

With the flush of color and early fruits of spring I have reinterpreted this wreath of plenty in a fresh bright feminine necklace packed with gemstones in corals, plums and delicate pinks:

© jbEbert 2012

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Off on a Tangent

© jbEbert 2012
I've been distracted, I'm afraid. 

Distracted from my daily joy of designing and making jewelry for my friends to find on Etsy. Alas, I have another passion ... oh, truth be told I have many which I must list someday ... but this one is genealogy. To those who have no love for it, it is like reading the metropolitan phone book cover to cover I'm told. But for me it is an addiction that I wrestle to keep under control. If left to my unfettered devices I wouldn't sleep except when it overtook me sitting at my computer hip-deep in Because of this affliction I carefully ration my time to a few weeks a year to catch up on the newest finds. If allowed to escape from my lovely Florida I make my way north to Pennsylvania, New York and New England to search for long-passed family. For over 30 years I've done it and I'm pretty good at it. My father's immigrant family came from Scotland in 1816 and they, along with their relatives are buried in the Henderson Cemetery in Harmarville, just outside of Pittsburgh, PA. I've made such a pest of myself there over the years that they have put me on the Board of Directors for this historic cemetery. I've just returned from such a board meeting and am working on a website to share it with the world. (We even have a facebook page!)  But, don't worry ... I'll get it out of my system in a week or so ...

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Spring Cleaning

Every year about this time my shop on Etsy is reviewed with an eye to freshen, update and renew. This year I've reshot my current pieces on a lighter, more minimalist background with paler reflections. I think it looks modern and focuses attention on the color and texture of the individual item in a new way. What do you think?

In keeping with the new format, I also updated the color of the banner. It's the same banner with a fresh spring colorway. I can almost smell the scent of wisteria ... I hope you like it!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Sale Time!!

Season-End Sale starts today and runs through Valentine's Day, February 14! 
Everything in the Etsy shop is  

WOW! 20% OFF!!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A Party For Your Wrist

photo: jbEbert

The Fiesta Bracelet
This bracelet in vivid hot pink, orange, yellow and blue is created from hand-linked gemstones and decorated with an antique enameled button medallion.

"In the heat of the night we are having a fiesta
We dance until siesta when the sun comes alive"
- lyrics, “Heat of the Night” – Aqua

photo: flickr; llllll1

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Planning a Fiesta!

photo: jbEbert

It is time for more color now that its summer. I remember on our last cruise in the Caribbean we stopped along the Mexican coast at Costa Maya. It was a vendor settlement just for the cruise ships, I'm sure, but the one highlight was the colorful Ballet Folklorico group that provided free entertainment. I'm sure they put on their show several times a day, but they truly seemed to enjoy it! Their dancing was full of joy, and energy and color, and it was delightful. I've pulled a collection of gemstones in fiesta colors, and an antique enameled button from England to create this festive new bracelet. I'll finish it tomorrow and post it in my Etsy shop before the weekend.

photo: flickr; Al_HikesAZ

Thursday, July 28, 2011

1000 Shop Hearts on Etsy!!! Yayyyy!!

jbEbert hit 1000 shop hearts at 7:31pm Thursday evening in the Etsy shop!! Hurray!! In celebration all purchases will be 15% off for the next 24 hours!! At checkout use Coupon Code 1KHEARTS to receive the discount. And Thank You everyone for all your support. I love you all!!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Climbing Rose

photo: jbEbert

Tumbled garnets the color of American Beauty roses are set on pins and hand-linked into a bracelet chain sectioned like parterre between walls of mystic pink quartz on which vermeil roses bloom. The vermeil hook clasp is set with two 19th century enameled blouse buttons that set the theme. Available now in my Etsy shop.

The inspiration for this bracelet was all romance:

“The rose is a flower of love. The world has acclaimed it for centuries. Pink roses are for love hopeful and expectant. White roses are for love dead or forsaken, but the red roses, ah the red roses are for love triumphant.” – anonymous

photo: smilla4


As I was searching for the romantic quote I had remembered I ran across two not-so-romantic quotes that made me laugh, and I just have to share:

“I once had a rose named after me and I was very flattered. But I was not pleased to read the description in the catalogue: no good in a bed, but fine up against a wall. – Eleanor Roosevelt

“Why is it no one ever sent me yet one perfect limousine, do you suppose? Ah no, it's always just my luck to get one perfect rose.” – Dorothy Parker

Ha ha!!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

News Flash!

As of this morning I have 988 shop hearts on my Etsy shop. That is amazing! I am so grateful and thrilled that my work is appreciated by so many people that I have decided to have a 24-hour sale on Etsy when the total reaches 1000 (which might be soon!). Everything in the shop will be 15% off for one day. Keep watching, and don't let the celebration pass you by!

Now I need to get back to work. I sold two pieces yesterday, locally, and my shop is getting awfully bare. The bracelet from the last post is nearly finished. I'll post it shortly.