Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Donkey Bead

   "Just as a candle cannot burn without fire, men cannot live without a spiritual life." ~ Buddha

 I have been asked many times about the bright blue bead I wear, and if I sell them. It is called a Donkey Bead and up until now it was the only one I had.

 I received my donkey bead from a friend many years ago kept it in a drawer, took it out held it, admired the wonderful sea blue color then put it back in the drawer. Recently I took it out and finally made my pendant necklace.

 I have been searching for a long time to find vintage Donkey Beads, so I could add this pendant necklace to the Nostalgic Summer line. I am so happy to say I finally found a few wonderful old Donkey Beads, and will offer this pendent necklace in a limited quantity.

AND.... Because you all know how I love the fun facts and history of an item, here is a bit about the "Donkey Bead":
The Donkey Bead is a faience, the world's oldest 'artificial' substance. It is an ancient, non-clay based ceramic of quartz and sand created 5,500 years ago in ancient Egypt. The bright blue glaze symbolizes the Nile, the Waters of Heaven and the Home of the Gods. Faience was often a substitute for turquoise and lapis lazuli.
The holy city of Qom, Iran is the only place where traditional faience Donkey Beads are still being made.

From the Modern Catholic Dictionary: (My husband will love that I found this!) :-)

"The donkey bead is a superstitious good luck stone in the East. Translated from "Khar Mohreh" (which means "The Mark of the Donkey"), it was placed around a donkey's neck to drive away evil spirits. Over the years it has served as ornaments in jewelry, for decoration and many other purposes. However, it is still considered to bring the owner "good luck" and "long life," and is now worn also by Christians. The Donkey Bead is made from quartz that is crushed, molded, and glazed with cobalt. The traditional color is blue, with very slight variation. The entire process is done by hand, which accounts for the individuality of each piece."

  The donkey beads I am using for my pendants were purchased from the estate of a spiritualist.
 "So I got that going for me....which is nice" (Bill Murray, Caddy Shack)  :-)

They're all handmade and measure about 23 mm in diameter and 15 mm in thickness. Since they're all handmade, each is not a perfect sphere and each has its own individual characteristics.

My pendant necklaces are hand wired with a brass bead and hang from a 34" brass chain. 

I love my donkey bead, and wanted to share these wonderful beads with you, so if you are interested in owning a Donkey Bead Pendant Necklace of your own contact me at
I know you will LOVE them as much as I do!

"Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude." ~Denis Waitley

Monday, August 20, 2012

Picket Fences and Porcelain Hands ~ An Update

"The sky is the limit. You never have the same experience twice. " ~ Frank McCourt

My first experience with an outdoor art fair has come and gone....

When I signed up for this Big Show/Small Town Art Fair I was very excited, but as I thought about the outdoor thing, and visited another outdoor art fair I grew skeptical, the crowds, the weather, the bugs, will anyone look at my booth? You know the usual insecurities.

I am so happy and excited to report I LOVED IT! The crowd was great, the people were fantastic, there were no bugs (maybe a few bees), and the weather was splendid! It didn't hurt to be right next to the Leaf Valley Church Bake Sale Booth....fantastic sugar cookies ladies.

 To sum up my outdoor experience I would say...."Sign me up for more." :-)

Here is a pictorial report on my Vining Watermelon Day 2012 booth:

My booth was 8' X 10' and after a few moves we were able to set up the tent and avoid the large culvert that was the back of my space.

My picket fence table.

                                A close up of the table.

Mannequins, wood shelving and box displays.

                               White frame display.

The necklace lady was the hit of the show!

                                 Round wood box earring display.

I did learned from this show that I could use another large display. Get ready John.....the creative wheels are turning!

Although there are no more outdoor shows on our schedule this year, here are a few of Nostalgic Summer's upcoming fall events:

Saturday, September 22, 10AM to 3PM at Lyndes Nursery and Greenhouse in Maple Grove, MN.

Saturday, October 6, 10AM to 4PM at Second Debut in St Louis Park, MN.

Saturday, October 27, 10AM to 5PM at HandmadeMN in Minneapolis, MN. (Info to come for this show.)

I hope you will be able to checkout one (or all) of Nostalgic Summers Fall shows.....I would LOVE to meet you! :-)

Monday, August 6, 2012

Picket Fences and Porcelain Hands...

"White wooden pickets and porcelain hands,
Paint flakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes,
Silver white dollar store trays painted in chalkboard,
These are a few of my favorite things...."

So sorry Mary Poppins for the bad song parody, but we have been busy at Nostalgic Summer's World Headquarters revamping our art fair booth displays, and I thought I would tease you with a sneak peek.

We are creating a table with vintage picket fence,

Jewelry displays made from old crates and old shelving,

Porcelain and milk glass hands....because everyone needs a few extra hands!

Dollar store metal trays, white paint (LOTS of white paint!), and chalkboard paint,

And of course our vintage frames.....painted white!

I am so excited to "unveil" this new display concept....and on August 18th I will at the 40th annual
Vining, MN Watermelon Day!

If you are not able to make it to Watermelon Day (although it is an event NOT to miss), we will be participating in several fall to come.

 And I will post an after show update with pics.....stay tuned!

"A bee is never as busy as it seems; it's just that it can't buzz any slower." ~ Kin Hubbard

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Happy Birthday.....August!

In August, when the days are hot,
I like to find a shady spot,
And hardly move a single bit--
And sit--
And sit--
And sit--
And sit!
~ Author Unknown

A little birthstone history, fact, lore and legend.

If you were born in August you like to joke, are loving, caring, brave and fearless. You are a dreamer who is talented in art and music.

Your colors are blue and pink.

Augusts flower is the gladiolus. The symbolic meaning of gladiolus flowers is preparedness, strength, splendid beauty and love at first sight. The gladiolus is named for the shape of its leaves, "gladius" or sword. The gladiolus is said to have symbolized the Roman gladiators.

The traditional birthstone for August is the Sardonyx.

Sardonyx is a form of onyx and is recognized by its layers of reddish brown and white banding.  It was popular with the ancient Greeks and Romans who carried into battle talismans of sardonyx engraved with images of heroes such as Mars or Hercules, believing that this would bring courage and victory.  Because of its attractive banding, sardonyx has long been used to fashion cameos (carved raised figures) and intaglios (the reverse of cameos).

                                        Double Strand Cameo Necklace

The Sardonyx is believed to bring happiness to marriage and relationships. The gemstone exudes good fortune, strengthens self-control and brings courage to those who wear it.

Augusts modern birthstone is the Peridot.

A beautiful green to yellow-green in color, the peridot is often mistake for an emerald. In fact, legend has it that Queen Cleopatra preferred Peridot over other gems and that some of her "Emeralds" may have been Peridot. 

                                         Green Teardrop Necklace

A symbol of a pure heart and mind, the Peridot also stands for innocence and faith.

 They say that wearing Peridot helps us open our inner sight to the spiritual Sun, develops inner vision and the ability to look into the future, frees one of jealous thoughts and counteracts negative emotions.
It was once believed that the green peridot crystals found in volcanic ashes were the tears of the volcano goddess, Pele. When set in gold, this gem was said to protect the wearer from nightmares.

Happy Birthday to everyone born in August!
"With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come." ~ William Shakespeare