Monday, March 23, 2009

The Big Brother Harrassment Has Begun.

In an example of sibling rivalry at it's finest our adorable little Freddy J has begun picking on his baby brothers.

We took a long car ride this weekend to visit the Massachusetts branch of the FamiLee.

Dennis was not able to make the trip so I rode with Becky and the 3 little ones while Fred and Melissa drove separately.

3 car seats and all the gear that 3 babies require left no room for carpooling!

The car seats just fit across the back seat of their SUV. Freddy, who is 20 months old, rides front facing in the middle with one of his brothers rear facing on either side of him. Liam and Rory are 3 months old.

The baby boys usually sleep in the car.

Freddy J doesn't usually sleep but is very content to ride and look out the windows.

3 hours it turns out is his limit.

A little more than half way home he began trying to interact with Liam and Rory.

When they wouldn't wake up to his talking he began holding first Liam's right hand and then Rory's left hand.

They ignored him completely.

Moving on to other pursuits to occupy his busy little mind and fingers he worked on taking of his socks and shoes and throwing them on the floor.

The next time I looked in the back seat it was to find Freddy with one foot full of "stinky toes" in each of his brothers faces.

Still they slept!
Some day Liam and Rory will be big enough to gang up on him, but for now "Stinky Toes Rule".

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Artist Bio: Fred

Fred Lee of The FamiLee Jewels is an accomplished carpenter and woodworker.

A bout with a serious illness (Fred is a 6 year colon cancer survivor) pushed him to work on smaller projects.

Fred attended the Annual Showcase for the Northeast Woodworkers Association where he became interested in wood turning. He met product vendors and wood turners both amateur and professional .

He began taking classes and attending meetings of the Wood turners group.

Fred began turning pen and pencil sets, wine bottle stoppers, corkscrews, letter openers, and coffee scoops. He is also experimenting with making decorative bowls and boxes with fitted lids.

Fred uses a variety of hardwoods for his projects, tulip wood, ebony and cocobolo are among his favorites. he has also turned pieces from acrylic, deer antler, and even bowling ball material.
Woodturning also brings out Fred's artistic tendencies. The turning process begins with a single block of wood placed on a 900 rpm lathe. Using etchers, gougers, and scrapers, he shaves and forms the wood, creating a beautiful and functional piece. Each item is then sealed with a protective finish; Fred favors polyurethane, shellac wax, lacquer, and wood oil.

Fred also enjoys building small carpentry projects such as birdhouses and bird feeders.
His work will be featured in our new etsy store Feather the Nest which will be opening April 4Th.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Aquamarine March's Birth Stone

Aquamarine is a beautiful pale green to dark blue gemstone that is valued for it's tough hardness, exquisite color , and inclusion free clarity.

The more intense the color of an aquamarine the higher its value.

It is as popular as ruby or emerald but because it is more common it is also more affordable. Aquamarine is a member of the beryl family which also includes emerald. It has a hardness of 7.5-8 on the Moh's scale and a wonderful shine. Iron is the substance which gives aquamarine it's color.

Aquamarine literally means "water of the sea".
Aquamarine is mined primarily in Brazil, Africa, and Madagascar with lesser sources in Russia, China and The United States. It's lovely blue colors inspires such names as Santa Maria, Espirito Santo, and Martha Rocha to differentiate the sources.

Many aquamarines are greenish or pale blue when mined and cut. Those gemstones are heat treated to provide a purer blue color. Most aquamarines on the market today are heat treated. Heat treatment is permanent so these stones do not require additional care.

Aquamarine is the traditional birth stone for March.
It is associated with the zodiac sign Pisces and the planet Neptune.
It is said to be the best stone for the throat chakra.

Legends claim that Aquamarine is the treasure of mermaids and that it has the power to keep sailors safe at sea.
People in the middle ages believed that aquamarine could overcome the effects of poison.
Aquamarine is said to heightened awareness, enhance creativity, encourage insight and relax your mind. It enhances intellectual abilities.

Because of it's strength aquamarine does not require special care. They may be cleaned with a soft cloth or mild soap and water.

The FamiLee Jewels will be featuring aquamarine jewelry in our weekend storefront At The Warehouse 20 Learned Street Albany NY Weekends 10-3.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Crafted in Paradise

Our recent trip to South Florida gave me the opportunity to find new bead stores.
One that I loved was in Key West called Beads of Distinction.
I spent a lovely hour browsing through the beads and chatting with the proprietor.
There were, of course, must have items. Turquoise and dyed coral stick beads, fossilized coral drops, unusual earring findings, and mother of pearl in a variety of shapes,
My purchases as well as found objects like shells, coral stones, and beach glass allowed me to make jewelry while on vacation. I call those pieces Crafted in Paradise.
Here you can see a necklace made from a piece of frosted white beach glass caged in a net of fine gauge sterling silver wire. It showcases a seahorse in the net. It is presented on thick wrapped cording to represent marine rope.
The earrings are made using the beads found at Beads of Distinction. The black stick coral and fossilized orange coral drops are wrapped in sterling silver to represent the sea grass that they once called home.
The mother of pearl was simply set as nothing can compete with it's translucent glow.
The photographs were taken in the lushly tropical pool garden of our Bed and Breakfast La Pensione.
The concierge and housekeepers were delighted to see what we were doing.