Friday, May 23, 2008

Jewels of the Sea

Sea glass........
beach glass........
mermaid's tears........
Whatever you call them these beautiful little jewels of the sea make beach combing a great deal of fun.

Sea glass begins as litter from shipwrecks, dumps, and pleasure boaters as well as refuse from other sources. Broken pieces of glass and pottery are tumble polished by waves, sand and rocks to a smoothly etched surface. These ocean frosted gems wash up on beaches all over the world.

Sea glass is common in green, brown and clear (think beer bottles).

Less common colors are light blue, yellow and pink.

Rare finds are bright red, black, cobalt blue and lavender.

Lavender or lilac glass is most often clear glass from the years 1880-1915. Manganese in the glass made during that time period slowly turns the glass to shades of purple when exposed to the sun and other elements.

The process of making a smoothly opaque piece of beach glass with rounded edges takes between 15 to 60 years.

The Jewels love the beach and while walking barefoot in the sand Bonnie always keeps her eyes open for pieces of glass to turn into beautiful jewelry.

Our sea glass was collected on the beaches of Rockport Massachusetts, Newport Rhode Island and Key West Florida. Some of our favorite pieces are from a trip to the Rose Island Lighthouse near Newport and from the Dry Tortuga's near Key West. These remote places provide wonderful hunting ground for beach treasures.

Bonnie picked up some great jewelry quality pieces of sea glass in aqua and green on a recent trip to Rockport and Gloucester Massachusetts. Stay tuned to see what she makes of these gems.
The photos show you some of her previous designs made from sea glass from the Rose Island Lighthouse.

Friday, May 16, 2008

New Gems for The FamiLee Jewels

The FamiLee Jewels are a growing familee. We are being blessed with count them 3 new little ones this winter courtesy of Becky and Dennis. Please keep our growing little ones and their big brother Freddy J in your prayers. They are due Christmas eve, and we can't wait to greet them.

Stay tuned for our newest endeavor. We will be launching a new ETSY site in June called Feather The Nest where we will be selling Fred and Bonnie's handcrafted birdhouses made in Malta, NY to benefit the college funds for our 4 little ones.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Cameo Jewelry by The FamiLee Jewels

Cameo's are small intricate sculptures that are meant to be worn as jewelry. A genuine cameo is a carving in relief done on a naturally occurring substance such as conch shell or agate which contains different colored layers.

Carving a cameo requires cutting away the upper layers of the shell or stone surrounding an object such as a face or figure so that the picture stands out in stark relief against the darker lower layers.

Our student quality cameos come from the Italian town of Torre del Greco, where virtually all of the worlds seashell cameos are carved by hand. The cameo carver serves a 6 to 10 year apprenticeship before he is considered a master of his craft.

Using sterling silver and 14K gold filled wire, we wrap our cameos intricately in a sculptured wire setting that shows off their delicate beauty.

Sunday, May 4, 2008


The FamiLee Jewels had an open house here in the Forest on Saturday night. We had snacks, drank a little wine, tried on jewelry, planned Linda's posh wedding guest jewelry and raised $68.00 for the Green Island Relay for Life. That money added to the donations from our friends and family letter campaign, our generous donations from customers and other readers, and raffle ticket sales have put the Fast Walkin Freddy's in 3rd place on the fundraising list.....and we're not stopping yet.