22 June 2009

Morsel Monday: Issue 1

More and more I see bloggers beginning to
feature a "themed day" on their blogs.
I have to admit I think it's a lovely idea.

I decided a week or so ago that I would like to do the same thing.
But in my own slightly silly, slightly sentimental kind of way.

So I settled upon the idea of Morsel Monday.
Wherein on Mondays, I will share with you
my sources of inspiration for the week,
or bits of baubles that perhaps have me stuck.
(Feel free to submit in my direction an appetizer of advice.)
It will be a day not of sharing jewelry I've made,
but instead I'll give you snacks of serendipity or misfortune in the studio.
Tidbits of tales and tastes of temptation.
Morsels of myself.

Essentially, the idea of Morsel Monday is to feed both you and me
with an ongoing stream of ideas and inspiration.
As I try to keep developing and evolving my work,
making it more and more my own,
more and more "homemade" as much as "handmade,"
I want you to see where it is I'm pulling my ideas from.
And let a little more light into this world.
This world behind an internet window that we can both only see through from one side.
And being the good southern girl that I am,
I'll share a recipe or two with you as well.

And so we begin.

* * * * *

-Issue 1-
Clara Dale Mason

My love affair with jewelry began like I imagine it does for many little girls.
With the discovery of my Grandmother's jewelry box.

The woman had a chest of vintage jewels that would downright
glow when the lid was lifted.
A feast for the eyes.
Especially when you are an awkward girl in a family full of boys,
seeking a little sparkle,
a gateway to the grace and glamour of womanhood.

These pieces were all hers.
She is still with us but no longer wears such sparkle and weight.
I keep them tucked away in a vintage mirrored armoire,
and pull them out when Keith and I go dancing or
I just need to feel her.
When I need to feel my roots.

You see,
I think a woman can state so much about who she is
with the adornments she chooses to wear.
Without saying a word, the lift of a laden finger or the 
turn of a bedecked neck send signals far clearer than
anything she could or need say.

I look at these pieces and understand that there was a time 
when she was strong.
When she was proud.
When she, too, thought just maybe,
just maybe
she was really beautiful.

And I look at these pieces again,
and understand at least one origin of my love for color,
for shine.
And I see why I maybe want to add that vintage characterization
to my own jewels.
Why that added sparkle or flash of light against the dullness of
aged silver seems to important.
Because in that flash,
exists another time.
Another woman.

It is that juxtaposition I've mentioned before.
That I always seem to find in my completed pieces
without ever really realizing I put them there.
Of old and new.
Soft and strong.
Rock and rhinestone.
She and me.

I am Clara Dale's granddaughter.
I am a jeweler.
A mother.
A wife and friend.
I am all of this, wrapped up in both a shiny and dull exterior.

We take what we love and, as much as we can, 
keep it around us.
Even though sometimes we may not realize we're doing it.
It is perhaps to you an obvious observation that my grandmother
and her jewelry would be such an influence on my work.
And yet it has eluded me until just recently.
Coming to light only as I purposefully and intentionally continue
on this journey of self-awareness 
and self understanding.

I am Clara Dale's granddaughter.

And regardless of what ever else I may be,
this will always shine through.

* * * * *

Raspberry Gem Cookies

1 1/2 cup All purpose flour
1 cup Margarine or butter, softened
1/2 cup Dairy sour cream
1/3 cup Raspberry spreadable fruit
3 tablespoons Sugar
2/3 cup Semisweet chocolate pieces
1 tablespoon Shortening
1/4 cup Finely chopped almonds



Stir together flour, margarine or butter, and sour cream in a large mixing bowl, till thoroughly combined.
Divide dough in half. Cover; chill for 3 hours. 

Roll each half of dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/8 inch thickness. 
Using a 1-3/4 to 2 inch round cookie cutter cut dough. 
Spread about 1/4 tsp. raspberry fruit on top of half of the cookies. Top with remaining cookies. 

Stir together sugar and 1 Tbsp. water. Brush over cookies. 
Place cookies on a lightly greased baking sheet. 
Bake in a 350 oven for 15 to 20 minutes or till done. 
Remove cookies and cool on a wire rack. 

Meanwhile, in a small heavy saucepan melt chocolate pieces and shortening over low heat till melted, stirring constantly. 
Dip one side of each of the cookies into melted chocolate. 
Place on waxed paper; sprinkle with almonds. Cool until set.

My personal suggestion:
Invite the girls over, or share with your child.
Serve with a pitcher of sweet tea or lemonade.
Wear your best jewelry.
Talk, taste, and forget what year it is.


  1. RR, what a splendid idea! You may have gotten the idea from someone else but you have certainly (IMHO) improved upon it. Only months ago my mom showed me some of her jewelry that she wanted me to take, much like the pieces you displayed, and I thought WOW Mom, you wore such beautiful things! My life is too different to wear such shiny things but I sure love them.
    Thanks for the recipe, it will do my waist much harm but my soul will thank you with big smiles.
    What I like in your designs is the combination of shiny with hardened silver, love the shiny crystals gleaming in middles of oxidized silver with other stones. I think this is how we are, we all have little gem-like qualities hiding in the midst of a lot of ...
    Thank you for the delightful post!

  2. Wow, what a great idea! The photos were so lovely and I enjoyed learning about all that influences you.

  3. This was the loveliest post....what a treasure.

  4. Your work is so reminiscent of the "jewels" your grandmother (and mine) used to wear. This was such a nice post & thanks for the recipe. I'm not a fan of raspberries, but I know how to substitute!!