They tell me of a Texas sky…

I first heard my father-in-law talk about a “Texas sky” and being a transplant from the Arkansas/Missouri area, I wasn’t quite familiar with what he meant.  He explained a Texas sky is a pale blue with streaks of soft clouds.  As a former pilot, the sky was his playground, so I trust his explanation.  It also reminds me a bit of him, with his striking snowy hair and piercing sky blue eyes.

This got me thinking about the different “types” of skies and the one that is most special to me is the Arkansas sky that I remember from my childhood.  There are many versions, from the perfectly clear blue, cloudless day, to the deep post-storm sky that is somehow dark and bright at the same time, and sometimes, just sometimes, if you’re really lucky you’ll even see a beautiful rainbow like the one I remember seeing from my porch, the spectrum of colors warming the white steeple of our church in the distance.

Wherever you live now, or have lived in the past, I’m sure there’s a sky you remember.  I hope the memories of those skies stick with you and bring a smile when you see one that reminds you of the past, just like they have with me.

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Birthday Weekend at Canton

With my birthday coming up, my Bestie and I decided it was a good excuse to head to Canton for First Monday Trade Days yesterday.  It was REALLY cold in the morning, but as usual we had a blast.  We spent the entire time “under the trees” – that’s where the good “junk” is.  Needless to say we returned home with a ton of treasures that will someday find new life in our jewelry creations.  The best part of the day though had to be all the interesting people we talked to.

There was a delightful gentleman who seemed to talk non-stop about anything and everything.  He told us he’d once been a history teacher and he had stories and advice on everything from how to get a good deal in a pawn shop (go on a rainy Monday with cash in hand) to how Ulysses Grant paid his son-in-law’s debt to Cornelius Vanderbilt with guns and other historical artifacts.  I bought a delicate pink rosary, a tiny salt shaker, and a huge bag of miscellaneous trinkets (each piece carefully rescued from a table literally covered in piles of jewelry).

Then we met a lovely lady who took us on a trip down fashion memory lane recounting jewelry trends from the 20′s to the 80′s.  The best part was when I retrieved a rhinestone encrusted articulated gold panther from a glass asking “What is he?” as my BFF Nikki exclaimed “He’s fabulous!” and we learned he was in fact a brooch that was to be placed over the shoulder (in the 70′s and 80′s).  He really was fabulous but after discussing the trend for a while I decided I was not the one to “bring it back” and would leave that challenge to someone else.

I have to say the highlight of the day was meeting Patty Burns from “Dirty Pearls”.  I immediately fell in love with her creations and once I sat down to talk with her, I realized she was every bit as captivating as her jewelry.  I learned she too was recently published for the first time (Autumn 2012 issue of Belle Armoire Jewelry here).  I treated myself to a couple of birthday presents from her shop.  One, a long necklace featuring a beautiful crystal accented watch case with pearl dangles, and the other, a pair of gorgeous earrings made from pieces of a silver plated platter and accented with delicate pearls.  You can visit Patty at the Melrose Arts & Crafts Festival in Natchitoches, Louisiana April 13 – 14.

So, even though my birthday isn’t actually until tomorrow, I’ve already received some of the best gifts I could get – fun times with friends and chatting with a fellow artist, not to mention all that great jewelry-making loot!  Oh, and that’s not even including the Breaking Dawn Part 2 DVD and awesome stereo upgrade for my car that my hubby spent part of the day installing.  Now…I wonder if I can really get him to watch all 5 Twilight DVD’s back to back with me.  Stay tuned!

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Canton First Monday Trade Days

Texas doesn’t know it’s December yet…which is a good thing.  What I mean is, we’ve had amazing weather in the high 70’s.  Breezy and warm, it doesn’t feel like Christmas could possibly be just a few weeks away, but it is.

At any rate, this warm weather made for the perfect day at Canton yesterday.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with Canton, it is a world famous open air flea market which begins on the Friday before the first Monday of each month.  It consists of 450 acres of stores, booths, tents, and tables of everything you can imagine.

Due to timing and circumstance yesterday I didn’t visit the “junk” section near the Civic Center which is where I love to scour for mixed media jewelry supplies like keys, watch parts, broken jewelry, etc.  However, I did score some beautiful strands of beads for under $15 total.  If you’ve never been to Canton, Texas for First Monday Trade Days, I encourage you to go.  It’s unlike anything you’ve ever seen!

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