Photographs and displays

I have spent the last couple of days getting to grips with better photographs and I think I am finally getting there. There is of course still room for improvement as I am getting the light and other bits and pieces reflected in the stones. I have a lot more to replace but I can do them over the next week.
This is a photo of a piece I made today – a puffed heart of Amethyst strung with Aventurine, Rose Quartz and Opal. The amethyst is very dark and haha it all looks better than my photograph. I prefer it that way to some extent though as when people receive them they are extra pleased. I remember years ago buying some Amethyst earrings off Ebay and being so disappointed when they arrived as they were so tiny. To be fair to the seller they had added the dimensions to the description, but we are all swayed by the visual aren’t we?
I also made this one which is Blue Jade with Quartz Crystal and faceted glass. Blue is one of my favourite colours to wear. Can you remember the old adage blue for boys, pink for girls? It seems to have gone by the way now and it seems anything goes. As I was growing up the division between the sexes was also much more marked than it is today and the expectation of us to be masculine or feminine was much greater too. My brother Mick washed his hair with soap because “shampoo was for sissies” and wearing anything pink would not even have been considered. In his 5os though pink became his favourite colour and he would laugh and say “Hey Chrissy don’t ya just love me pink shirt?” I should add very few people would call me Chrissy – his full pet name for me was Sissy Chrissy – I wish we had smilies on here as I am smiling at the memory. Our shared sense of humour helped us through so many hard times and memories of the crazy things he did helps me to remember him with joy now.
I think because the later part of our childhood was so oppressed and suppressed we would revert back to childish things as adults. I remember when Mark was about 3 he came to visit and we invented a game with a gun which fired ping pong balls. We would aim it at a copper plaque we had on the wall and the aim was to knock it off . I know it sounds easy but because the ping pong balls were so light and the firing mechanism weak there was a definite art in hitting the plaque at the right angle right on the edge in order to make it fall. He would hide the gun behind a cushion and we would be watching a film or something on TV and he would whip out the gun and blast the plaque- we would set off laughing so hard. Mark’s dad didn’t always see the funny side of it haha.
Although life before dad remarried was hard it wasn’t cruel. We would make a game of the jobs we had to do. We had to polish the floors so would tie dusters to our feet and pretend we were ice skaters. And lighting the fire was a big adventure. Now I know this will not be seen as politically correct now but we are talking early 196os and lads of his age were still influenced by the 2ndWorld War, probably because of all the films which came out post war. When he laid the fire he would first of all scrunch up newspaper and then carefully arrange sticks over them, followed by small pieces of coal. He would always build a bridge of sticks and then light the paper . As the flames caught hold he would give a running commentary and we would “watch” as the Japanese soldiers perished as the bridge collapsed in flames. Years later he would laugh about the hot water situation. As dad was a miner then we got a free supply of coal and often the water would boil and we would have to run it off . “How come ” he asked me, “when we had such a plentiful supply of hot water, did you and Julie have to share a bath?” We never understood that but laughed heartily at the irony of it all…..

I thought I would show you a picture of this display stand I use. I bought a wine rack at a Charity Shop for 50p and it had 4 of these to slot bottles into. They easily twisted off the stand and just needed a little bit of filing where they had been attached. They are useful for smaller items like handbag charms, bracelets and key rings .

It is never too late to have a happy childhood

Tom Robbins