Friday, September 29, 2006
Fashionable Friday -- Of Jewelry and Adornment
Just a brief column this week; I've had quite a long day getting everything just right for today's webpage update. The above photo is part of the fruit of my labor. I just love how the earrings look against that little dish! Such pretty colors...
Today, I feel like rambling on a bit about jewelry in general. You surely don't need me to tell you that jewelry is very popular right now. Many people have turned to beading and jewelry-making as their craft of choice. Magazines on the subject abound. Even JoAnn's has realized the popularity of beads, expanding their once-small selection (mainly consisting of those cheap bulk bags) to several aisles of interesting beads, including some very high-quality selections.
On the one hand, it's discouraging to face so much competition in the jewelry market, but on the other hand, it's very nice to see that so many people are learning what I've known since childhood -- beads and jewelry are cool!
Although wide-spread obsession with making jewelry may be a relatively recent thing, a love of jewelry dates way, way back. Archeologists have discovered prehistoric beads of stone and shell. The Bible tells us that the golden calf was made from the gold of melted earrings. The Norse goddess Freya lusted after a particularly beautiful necklace the dwarves had made. Tribal peoples the world around have ancient beading traditions.
Jewelry has a way of making you feel special. Most women, after all, are thrilled to receive a gift of jewelry from their beloved. Western culture uses rings to symbolize marriage. And at times, jewelry is used to commemorate other milestones in life: class rings, pearls for a girl's coming of age, and birthstone-bedecked rings, bracelets, and necklace for mothers.
But beyond that, the simple act of wearing a piece of jewelry merely for its beauty is a wonderful feeling, too. Jewelry, whether it be gold and diamonds or beadwork, adds that special touch to any outfit. Even jeans and a casual blouse can be dressed up with the right accessories. Jewelry draws the eye, adds that little bit of visual interest, that little extra punctuation. Of course, some of the more elaborate jewelry out there does more than that, taking over the entire outfit and shouting "Look at me, I'm HERE!"
We can already see the jewelry-making craze die down a bit, as some people filter off towards the new trends of knitting and quilting, but a love of jewelry will remain behind. Years from now, those who put down their beads to pick up some yarn will come across a beader and smile, thinking "I used to do that" and maybe they'll pick up the beads again.
I, of course, refuse to put them down in the first place!