Friday, December 31, 2010

Earrings with a Bubbly Personality

I think these were originally sold as wine charms, but champagne tends to cloud my memory.

Happy Hogmanay! Lang may yer lum reek!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Yes, I've Got the Time

Did you remember to spring forward?

I mix and match these timepieces and wear them as earrings or on a chain as a necklace. They were actually meant to be scrapbooking or wine charms.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

No Two Are Alike

Christmas is over, but these snowflakes are fancy enough to wear at dressy New Year's events, too. Last in the mini collection of snowflake earrings. Yep, I hang out with a lot of flakes.

Kwanzaa Kontinued

Kwanzaa means "first fruit" and is celebrated between Christmas and New Year's. Fortunately, I have all these first fruits from which to choose. Yes, they are Christmas ornaments. Believe me, I've worn worse things in my ears.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Kwanzaa Means "First Fruit"

I have no fruitcake earrings (yet), but I have a veritable cornucopia of fruit earrings.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Not to Poop on Your Nativity Scene...

But have you heard of El Caganer?

El Caganer is a popular figure in Nativity scenes in the Catalonia area of Spain. "Cagar" means "to crap." El Caganer is a figure with his pants down around his ankles having a poo. Generally, he's not placed at the center of the Nativity; he's probably hiding behind a bush somewhere nearby, making it fun for the kiddies to spot him.

You might think I'm full of it, or that this is some sort of modern anti-Christian prank, but El Caganer has been a figure in Nativity scenes since the mid-1600s. He's so popular now, you can get celebrity El Caganer figures, such as President Obama.

Why? Historians and poop psychologists speculate. Is he meant to remind us that Jesus was born human and all that entrails? Is he a cautionary device to warn us that Christ can arrive any time, even when it's least convenient?

These possibilities cannot be eliminated, but it is commonly believed that El Caganer's purpose is to fertilize the earth for the Nativity, to ensure a good harvest and/or general good luck for the coming year. Therefore, it's the LACK of El Caganer's presence in a Nativity scene that often creates a public outcry in Catalonia.

I googled for "El Caganer earrings" and found none. Surely they must exist. If anyone is going to Spain and could bring me back a pair, or even just a real El Caganer figure, it would bring me loads of joy.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Good King What's-his-ass

"Good King Wenceslas looked out
on the Feast of Stephen..."

The Feast of St. Stephen is a public holiday in several countries (Germany, Ireland, Italy, and many more) and is celebrated on December 26 (or 27 by the Eastern Orthodox folks). St. Stephen was the first martyr of the Christian church, having been stoned to death after being charged with blasphemy against Judaism.

December 26 is also known as the more secular Boxing Day in many countries; however, if Christmas or December 26 falls on a weekend, sometimes Boxing Day can officially be observed on the following Monday or Tuesday. Controversy over the origin of the name of Boxing Day is described by

Boxing Day is traditionally when the lord of the manor presented gifts or bonuses to his servants. It may now be observed with the giving of gifts to those who have provided service throughout the year, such as a tip for the paper boy, or by donating items or money to the poor.

The legend of Good King Wenceslas definitely involved giving items to the poor. If you read the lyrics of the Christmas carol, Wenceslas went out into the cold with a servant to deliver meat and fuel to those less fortunate. The servant was about to succumb to the cold but was miraculously warmed by walking in the footsteps of his master. King Wenceslas was actually a duke in his day but was canonized a saint and also posthumously conferred the title of King by a Holy Roman Emperor.

Regarding the earrings in the photo, I got them off eBay and am relying on the honesty of the seller/maker that the art is actually a rendering of St. Stephen. The earrings are made from dominoes. I once had a tiny pair of plastic boxing gloves that I could fashion into earrings for Boxing Day, but I haven't seen them lately. I'd be pleased to wear a pair of Christmas present earrings for Boxing Day, too, or two turtle dove earrings if my true love gave them to me, as today is also, of course, the second day of Christmas.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Happy Birthday, Jesus, Mithras & Invincible Sun!

Despite the different paths our lives took after college, my college roommate and I still exchanged Christmas gifts for several years. She was/is a church-going Lutheran whose Jewish husband converted to Lutheranism before they married. Because they lived in West Palm Beach for a time, and because there are a lot of Jews there, she was able to hook me up with some cool earrings (Sedar plates and menorahs) to augment my holiday earring collection. One year I decided I'd like to have a real menorah and figured she'd be a good person to ask. Our email exchange, though, took a strange turn....

Friday, December 24, 2010


By contrast to yesterday's earrings, these mini ornaments were not sold as earrings, but it's really easy to slip hooks on them and match them to my outfit.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

I've Got Balls

Sadly, the red glitter on these earrings has scraped off over the years. They really were sold as earrings, I promise.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

O Multiple Ambiguous Winter Holiday Tree

Christmas trees...a misnomer, another custom stolen from pagans by Christianity.

Where did the custom of decorating evergreen trees originate and why? It depends on who you ask.

Protestants may tell you it was all Martin Luther's idea. The story goes that Marty was traipsing through the woods one snowy evening and was overcome with the beauty of the snow and moonlight glistening from the evergreens. So he brought a small tree into the house to replicate the scene for his children, adding candles to simulate snow glistening on the branches, or the starlight at Jesus' birth, or the general beauty of God's creation, or the light of truth or something. It's a nice thought (whichever rationale you prefer), but it has no basis in fact, no evidence at all.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Yule Love the Ashen Faggot

Happy full moon lunar eclipse winter solstice!

Yule is the celebration of the winter solstice. First I read a rumor that the word derives from a word meaning "wheel" (wheels are associated with the sun), but then I read that the word "Yule" is not even of Indo-European origin. It's so old it actually predates the wheel. So as far as anyone knows, the word has always just meant "the winter solstice." In particular, it refers to the old Germanic and Scandinavian celebrations associated with solstice.

The winter solstice (in this hemisphere) is the longest night and shortest day of the year. Numerous civilizations have held festivals in its honor. Some think of it as the sun's birthday or reincarnation, when the sun overcomes death and the days once again begin to get longer. Because of the sun's ability to overcome death, there are sometimes rituals associated with spirits of the deceased. Because the sun was also so vital to agriculture, Yule celebrations often involve fertility rites. For many cultures, the solstice marked the beginning of the new year, so there are also rituals to invoke luck, love, prosperity, fertility, and general wishes for the coming year. Such is the nature of the Yule log.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Snowmen or Doughboys?

Last in the snowmen earring mini collection.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Tree Clippings

I like having clip-on earrings among my collection -- in case I am suddenly asked to act in a soap opera scene in which I must take a phone call. The soap opera divas always wear clip-ons for telephone scenes.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Io, Saturnalia!

Cast off your togas!

Saturnalia was a festival celebrated in Ancient Rome for a few days in late December, beginning on the 17th and sometimes lasting through the 23rd. (Emperors attempted to contain the number of days with varying degrees of success.) Saturn was the Roman god of agriculture. I am not sure why his festival was scheduled on December 17, but there was another festival for his wife, Ops, goddess of sowing, reaping, and fertility, two days later that got incorporated. Another holiday, Consualia, for Consus, the god of stored grains and seeds, was celebrated on December 15, which was the end of the autumn sowing season. The changing calendars (Roman, Julian, Gregorian) further confuse the issue of dates and holidays, and so it should not be surprising that some Saturnalia customs have been merged into our modern Christmas.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

What's Better than Snowflake Earrings?

Snowflakes in 3D!

Second in the mini collection of snowflake earrings.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Snow Trio

Second in the mini collection of snowmen earrings.

When I was three years old, Mom says I fell asleep in the snow. I was doing snow angels, and it was just so comfortable!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

These Earrings Seemed Like a Good Idea

"Do your earrings light up?" they always ask.

"Only when I'm turned on," I always say.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Got the Tree Up

First in my mini collection of Christmas tree earrings.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Gold Flakes

Still trying to work my way into the Christmas earring season subtly with these gold flakes.

Monday, December 6, 2010


I'm ashamed to admit I have no real Belsnickel earrings. Bells will have to do. The angels love it when I wear these.

Happy St. Nicholas Day! I hope you weren't visited by the Krampus last night!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Belsnickel Is Coming!

Don’t forget to put your shoes out!

December 6 is St. Nicholas Day, otherwise known among my relatives in western Pennsylvania as "Belsnickel." On the eve of St. Nicholas Day, children should put out their shoes (on the hearth if they have one), and St. Nicholas may come to fill them with candy or little gifts in the night. But only if the children have been good. Otherwise, some quite terrifying things could happen.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Beady Little Snowmen

These earrings help me ease into the Christmas season. They're kinda subtle. Plenty of time for tacky later.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A Goya Can Dream

What would be REALLY awesome is if these menorah earrings actually lit up and I could control how many candles were lighted on a given day. Chappy Chanukah!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Earrings for Coneheads

Unlike retail America, I believe Christmas comes AFTER Thanksgiving, and these pine cone earrings are a good bridge during the transition period.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Earrings I Don't Have

Happy Black Friday. If you are one of the crazy people who are actually out spending money today, here is my wish list of holiday earrings that I don't already have:

Christmas Earrings:
Santa (I know, shocking, right?)
Reindeer (I do have meese, though)
Gift boxes
Abominable Snowmen (I have plenty of the unabominable kind)
Leg lamps

Earrings for Other Holidays:
St. Nicholas Day/Belsnickel (Christmas stockings might work)
April Fool's Day (I suppose I do have some poissons d'avril I could use in a pinch)
Columbus Day (except for these)
Leap Day (I have a single frog)

Miscellaneous Earrings I Want
Lightning bolts (for Harry Potter movies)
Chandeliers that light up (I can dream)
Stop lights that I can control based on my mood (I have a vivid imagination)
Leg lamps that light up (a really vivid imagination)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Earrings Are for the Birds! (Or Cats)

Happy Turkey Day!

I can't leave these earrings sitting out on my dresser or the cats will take them. It would not be the first pair of earrings I've owned to become cat toys. I suppose it's only fair, since I'm sure at some point or other I've turned a cat toy into an earring.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Out on a Limb

How many autumn earrings do I have? The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Silver Wear

These earrings came in a set of six, but I like to wear one of each pair in my three ear piercings. In this way, I feel I'm "set" like the table for Thanksgiving. The fork's always on the left, naturally.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Fork It

It's Monday. These are my "Fork it!" earrings. Also good for Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Axes of Evil

Back in an October blog post, I told you to "Axe Me Later" what a tomahawk was. A tomahawk is a kind of hatchet, a weapon held with one hand, whereas axes are held with two. I guess it's appropriate that I have only one tomahawk earring, then.

Another way to think of it is:

Axe = Halloween
Tomahawk = Thanksgiving

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Travels, Falls & Leaves

I was told these earrings are made from real Aspen leaves. They were a souvenir brought back to me from Colorado.

Our House is a Museum

I was in the middle of a conversation with my husband tonight when I noticed something peculiar about our diningroom chandelier. I kept staring at it and tilting my head. Finally, he stopped talking and said, "What?"

"Our chandelier is not hanging at a 180-degree angle from the earth," I answered, still staring.

"And, in our house, this disturbs you?" he asked wryly.

"No," I smiled. "I'm just trying to figure out how to make it even more crooked."

Friday, November 19, 2010


It's Thanksgiving earring season! I have no idea where these pilgrims came from. The Mayflower, I guess! I hope you can see the tiny wishbone earring that I like to wear with them.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The End of the Tunnel

My husband and I spent the first year of our marriage apart, as he was deployed to Iraq with the Army Reserves. I consider myself lucky, because we seem to have experienced no long-lasting ill effects and because, so far, I have no reason to believe that I'll have to endure another deployment (although things can always change at any time). As a military spouse, I can tell you that deployment is truly hell and I would not wish it on my worst enemy.

For an entire year, I feared every day that two men in uniform would knock on my door to tell me that the most important person in the world to me was dead. I would wonder how it would happen. Would I come home from work to find a strange car in my driveway? Would they show up first thing in the morning when I was in my jammies with nappy hair? Is there something seriously wrong with me because I'm thinking about what I'd look like at a time like this? Would they be people I'd met before or total strangers that I'd break down in front of, and which would I prefer? Who would be the first person I'd call after getting the news?

Friday, November 5, 2010

Earrings for the Guy

Guy Fawkes Day, or Bonfire Night, has been celebrated in Great Britain since the first anniversary of the Gunpowder Plot. In 1605, Fawkes and his co-conspirators were attempting to blow up Parliament with numerous barrels of gunpowder they'd stashed underneath. They wanted to oust the protestant King James and replace him with a Catholic monarch. Fawkes was basically caught red-handed on November 5 and soon ratted out his buds while being tortured at the Tower. The other conspirators were drawn and quartered. Fawkes managed to jump from the scaffold, dying when the fall broke his neck, thus sparing him the agony of drawing and quartering, but his body parts were still sent off to various places and displayed as a deterrent to future treason.

November 5 was declared a day of thanksgiving for the plot's failure. Effigies of the Pope and Fawkes were burned in bonfires. The custom continued, and kids would display effigies and sometimes knock on doors asking for a "Penny for the Guy?", ostensibly to buy fireworks, but Wiki says the custom is sometimes now frowned upon because 1) kids aren't supposed to buy fireworks 2) it might seem like begging and who knows what the kids do with the money? and 3) it is sometimes seen as offensive to Catholics. And more recently, the American custom of trick-or-treating at Halloween has been adopted in the UK and sort of replaced the Guy Fawkes ritual - for kids anyway. Bonfires and fireworks still mark the occasion in the UK and some former colonies.

I always find it interesting how holiday customs blend and become distorted. Many believe Fawkes Night fires have as their true origin a pagan fire ritual that cleanses the streets of evil spirits.

I searched online for Guy Fawkes Night earrings, but the closest thing I could find were some V for Vendetta earrings that I didn't like, and some Big Ben charms that I can and will fashion into earrings for next year. I figure, you know, Big Ben... Parliament. I'm not really sure what gunpowder earrings would look like (barrels?), though I have seen some fireworks-inspired earrings. They tend to be all red, white, and blue and American-looking, though. So, for now, I will wear the earrings shown in the photo, which I made by printing out tiny pics of a Guy Fawkes mask and slipping them into the frame earrings I found at Michael's.

I feel that simply printing out a photo and slipping it into the frame earring is a cop-out, but in this case it does have as an advantage that I could, at the end of the night, burn the little pictures if I were feeling particularly festive and then just print out more next year.

But I admit I have some sympathy for the Guy. King James I and VI was not a friend of witches.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Voting Is Such A Gas!

This Election Day, it's nice to remember that whatever our political leanings and despite our differences, we can all still unite in a single, shared truth. Whatever you do there behind the curtain of the voting booth, please join me in proudly stating it to the world!

Just print out these designs on sticky label paper and cut around the ovals. I give permission for personal, not commercial use.

I do hope your voting experience doesn't stink.

Feliz Dia de los Muertos!

I understand that Day of the Dead is November 2, but I gather many celebrations begin November 1 or even Halloween. Fortunately, I have two pairs of skeleton earrings appropriate for the occasion(s). I suppose the coffin earrings I posted yesterday could also work.

This marks the end of my posts about Halloween earrings - until I find some more to add to my collection!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Is Your Earring Sick?

Cuz it sure is a-coffin!

I <3 jewelry with moving parts. When you open these coffins, there's a skeleton inside holding a buried treasure.

This is almost the last post in my series of Halloween earrings. Happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Mortini

The Mortini is the same as the Margini, but it calls for Blavod Black Vodka instead of regular clear vodka. Unfortunately, they aren't selling Blavod in my local ABC stores this year. When will NC privatize liquor stores?!

1 1/2 oz Blavod Black Vodka
1/2 oz Marie Brizard Parfait Amour
1/2 oz fresh-squeezed lime
Splash of cranberry

For extra pizzazz, garnish with a smidge of dry ice. (Just don't let your lips come in contact with it!)

Friday, October 29, 2010

Don't Make Me Get Out My Flying Monkeys!

Did you think my bumper sticker was just a joke?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Halloween Hodgepodge

I often wear these in combination with some of the other Halloweeny earrings in my collection.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Witch Hat Goes Best

New to my collection this year. Thanks, Ottis!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Accessory to Witchcraft

No witch should be without these accessories!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Perfect Wife

Now that I've attended at least one party, I can reveal this year's Halloween costume. I didn't have anything particular planned up to a week before the party. I have at least half a dozen stand-by costumes I can pull together at the last minute, but I always feel just a tinge of guilt if I don't draw on my creativity and concoct something new. Just as I was getting really anxious about it, the Grim Reaper came to my rescue and the news of Barbara Billingsley's death hit the interwebs last Saturday.

Even when I was 15 years old without a single dress in my closet, I loved the style that I called, "Mrs. Cleaver dresses." I'd hated skirts and dresses growing up - I had three older brothers. In the 70s, I wore pantsuits. But in the 80s, when my friends started to drive, we began having little Saturday adventures downtown, where we'd hit the Salvation Army and scavenge the vintage clothing stores. Every once in a while, I'd hit the jackpot and find a little 1950s shirtdress that sort of actually fit.

My love for vintage clothing continued into adulthood, and it served me well during my swingdancing phase. Poodle skirts, saddle shoes, bobby socks - I've got it covered. So when Barbara Billingsley died - Mrs. June Cleaver - I thought, "How can I work that into a costume?"

That night before falling asleep, I had a little nugget of an idea: "June Meat Cleaver." It sounded pretty cool, but I wasn't sure what it meant, what it would really look like.

When I awoke the next morning, I sought my husband's input. "For Halloween, I think I want to be June Meat Cleaver. What does that say to you?"

"That I married the perfect wife?" he answered groggily.

First I was confused that he'd misinterpreted my question. Then I simultaneously blushed and gagged since he'd ambushed me with another sickly sweet smarm-bomb.

Then I marveled that there existed a man in this world who would think "June Meat Cleaver" sounded like the perfect wife. And that I'd had the incredible luck to find him.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Blue Moons

Yet more moon & star earrings! That's three so far, and I have more, but I think I'll leave them to your imagination.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Witch's Brews

What's on tap at my Halloween party?

Big Boss Hell's Belle Belgian Blond
Blue Moon Belgian White
Blackened Voodoo Lager
Black Toad Dark Ale
Ichabod Pumpkin Ale
Magic Hat Not Quite Pale Ale
Pete's Wicked Ale
Rogue Dead Guy Ale
Wychwood Hobgoblin Dark English Ale

I also have a few bottles of wine with spooky names and just about every kind of spirit you'd like to raise, including Strega, a strange and spicy liqueur that means "witch" in Italian. I also have Blavod black vodka, but my supply is running low because the lame-o ABC stores in NC don't seem to carry it.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Another At Bat

It's nice to have a choice of colors.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Charmed, I'm Sure

Yesterday I wandered into one of the seasonal Halloween stores that pop up this time each year. I was looking for a couple of accessories to complete the costume idea that hit me the night before. While I was there, I saw a little witchy broom that was amazingly priced at under $5 (probably the cheapest thing in the store), so I decided to buy it. It wasn't for my costume; it just seemed like something I ought to have.

The clerk at the check-out line was rather "spirited."

"Did you find some goodies?" he greeted me cheerfully.

"Yes," I answered plainly.

He began to ring up my items.

"I like your earrings," he said.

"Thanks," I replied, remembering that they were skeletons.

He started to bag my items. Handling the broom, he said, "Now, you know, if you're going to be flying this thing, you'll need a license."

"Oh, I won't need it," I said without skipping a beat.

"I dunno," he continued to attempt to charm me. "Those Raleigh police are everywhere these days."

I smiled slyly. "They won't even see me."

He laughed. "That's the best answer I've heard so far."

He didn't know who he was dealing with.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Bats in My Belfry

Am I close to running out of Halloween earrings yet? Not with these guys hanging around!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Moon & Stars II

I prefer it when earrings are mirror images of each other instead of identical like these. Oh well. I polished these brass moons a few days ago because I already had the polish out to clean the base of my crystal ball.

I suppose, like most folks, I try to spiffy up the place for the holidays. I just prioritize a different holiday. The cool thing about tidying up in October is that you don't really have to bother clearing off the cob webs or clearing away dead things from the yard. They just add to the ambiance.

Friday, October 15, 2010

These Earrings Are A Hoot!

They are also small and therefore not easy to photograph with the iPhone.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Moon & Star #1

I have several moon and star earrings that I suppose are kinda witchy and may be appropriate for Halloween.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Axe Me Later

What's the difference between an axe and a hatchet? A hatchet and a tomahawk? An axe and an ax? Generally, axes are tools or weapons that are held with two hands, whereas hatchets are held with one. An axe is held like an ax but with greater E's.

Tomahawks are for Thanksgiving - check back to this blog in November.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

"S" Words

These earrings are potentially appropriate for Halloween, Ren Faires, Talk Like a Pirate Day, or Jeopardy matches with Sean Connery.