Monday, February 28, 2011

It's Bonnie; Ms. Parker if you're nasty

One of my favorite movies of all time is 1967's Bonnie and Clyde, directed by Arthur Penn. For one, it has the BEST tag line ever: "They're young. They're in love. They rob banks." And I also love how the movie is supposed to be set in the 1930's, but Faye Dunaway's hair and makeup scream 1967; right down to the bouffant hair and cat-eye eyeliner. Well, done continuity editor:) But, my hair and makeup criticism aside, it's still a great movie. And an interesting story about quite possibly the most notorious female criminal in U.S. history.  Here's a few facts about Ms. Parker:

  • She was a smarty. Apparently she did really well in school and received very high marks for her short stories and poetry. This would later become apparent when she composed her poem The Ballad of Bonnie and Clyde, which she sent to newspapers during their much publicized crime spree. Well, that's one way to get published.
  • She was a shorty. She was 4' 11" and weighed 90 pounds.
  • She was married. But, not to Clyde. Scandalous! Before she met Clyde Barrow, she was married to her high school sweetheart, Roy Thornton at the age of 16. But, Roy decided to not come home a few times and Bonnie kicked him to the curb. But, she never filed for divorce. She probably didn't want to ruin her clean reputation....
  • Bonnie met Clyde at a Dallas restaurant she was working at. She was smitten with him right away. But, he got picked up on some previous crimes and was thrown in jail within a few weeks of their courtship. Isn't that always the way it goes? But, Bonnie was not ready to see her "prince charming" go, so she smuggled in a hand gun into prison. Clyde escaped from jail with the aid of that hand gun. Ah, true love conquers all.
  • Despite all the scandalous pictures on their bank robbing spree, it's doubtful that Bonnie actually ever shot anyone. But, the pictures of her with a gun and smoking a cigar were media gold. She had a "bad girl" image to uphold and she was going to make it stick. Kind of like Lindsay Lohan. But relevant.
  • On May 23, 1934, the couple was killed in a police ambush on a Louisiana road. The car was struck by over 130 bullets. Their bodies were shipped back to Dallas and were put on display for public viewing. Creepy!
 Here's an only slightly creepy necklace:
http://www.etsy.com/listing/69028984/bonnie-parker-necklace-gangster-1920s

And, use coupon code BLOG15 for 15% off.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Be True to Your Teeth or They'll Be False to You

I"ll admit it. I'm an anti-dentite. You know what the difference is between a dentist and a sadist, don't you? Newer magazines. What do you call a doctor that fails out of med school? A dentist. Yeah, I stole those two jokes from 1990's Seinfeld. But they still hold up, don't they?
While I have my issues with dentists (I've been through 3 in the past 5 years and am currently shopping around for a new one) I do realize the importance of dentistry and keeping your teeth healthy. I mean, I'll be damned if I let my distrust of dentists prevent me from eating corn on the cob.

So, as an olive branch from myself to the dentist community, I offer these interesting facts:

1.73% of Americans would rather go grocery shopping than floss.
2. Dentists recommend keeping your toothbrush at least 6 feet from your toilet to avoid "airborne particles" (read: flying ass-matter) when you flush. Great. One more thing that I have to be paranoid about.
3. Adults with a post-high school degree have an average of 3 more teeth than those without a high school degree.
4. Most popular toothbrush color? Blue. Even in red states. Weird.
5. The average woman smiles 62 times a day. The average man smiles 8 times a day. No, really. We're laughing with you, not at you....
6. The most amount of money ever paid for a tooth? Over $3000 in the 1800's for Sir Isaac Newton's tooth. In today's currency, that's over $35,000. The tooth was set into a ring. Creepy. And kind of cool.
7. According to a 2002 study, people with red hair are more sensitive to pain and require more novocaine. Let's call this phenomenon Ginger-vitis!
8. Only 28% of Americans claim to floss, and researchers suggest that it's actually less than that. Seriously, people. You need to floss. I even floss and I'm pretty much the laziest person ever.
9. Like fingerprints, everyone's tongue print is different.
10. What's a dentist's favorite time? Tooth-hurty. (That's for my husband. I think that's the only joke he knows.)
http://www.etsy.com/listing/68277262/tooth-necklace-steampunk-victorian
Get 15% off by entering coupon code BLOG15 on this or any other item in my shop.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Hey, who are you calling The Big Easy?

Along with Chicago, Austin and San Francisco, New Orleans is one of my favorite cities in the U.S. I've only been there twice but I look forward to returning very soon.  And since Mardi Gras is just around the corner (March 8, 2011), then I figured the Crescent City would be a good topic of discussion today. So, here's a few facts on New Orleans (or N'awlins, if you are my husband and trying to annoy me.)

1. Why is the city called The Big Easy? Don't know for sure, but the theories are: A: That it's notoriety of a jazz haven allowed for many out of work musicians to find a gig, thus it was called The Big Easy; or B: That it was notoriously lax in enforcing prohibition, so it was really easy to drink in The Big Easy; or C: The cost of living was relatively cheap compared to other major cities, so....well you get the idea. It was easy.
2. And how about the Crescent City nickname? Well, that one's easy (or big easy). The city is crescent shaped because it follows the curve of the Mississippi river.
3. The total number of canals in the city exceeds that of Venice, Italy.
4. The Saint Charles streetcar line in New Orleans and the San Francisco, California cable cars are the nation's only mobile national monuments.
5. What do the Mardi Gras colors stand for? Purple represents justice, green stands for faith, and gold signifies power.
6. The first opera house in North America was built in New Orleans.
7. People born there: Reese Whitherspoon, Ellen DeGeneres, Brian Williams, Richard Simmons, Lil' Wayne, Truman Capote, Fats Domino, John Kennedy Toole, to name a few.
8. People who died there: Jayne Mansfield, Johnny Thunders, Shannon Hoon, Marie Laveau, John Kennedy Toole, again to name a few.
9. Most of the buildings in the French Quarter are actually Spanish. The Spanish government rebuilt the majority of the buildings in their style following a fire in 1788 that burned down most of the existing buildings.
10. Voodoo dolls? They are often associated with New Orleans and are part of New Orleans Voodoo, but they actually originated in Europe.
 http://www.etsy.com/listing/65170329/voodoo-doll-necklace-new-orleans-retro


Use coupon code BLOG15 for 15% off your entire purchase:)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Down Mexico Way

Mexico is one of my favorite places in the world. I love the culture, the food, the music, the food, the language, the food, the customs, the food. Did I mention the food? Admittedly, there are a few things going down right now in Mexico that are less than ideal, but violent drug wars aside, here are some pretty cool facts about Mexico:

1. The national flower is the dahlia.
2. The poinsettia is named after a 19th-century ambassador to Mexico, Poinsett, who brought the poinsettia plant to America.
3. The Caesar salad is named after Caesar Cardini who prepared the salad in his Caesar's Palace Restaurant in Tijuana, Mexico.
4. The dog and the turkey were the only 2 domesticated animals in ancient Mexico.
5. Mexico City is the highest city in North America.
6. Mexico City is the largest city in the world.
7. Corn is the main food crop in Mexico.
8. Mexican children are given both their father's last name and their mother's maiden name.
9. The Mexican flag has 3 vertical stripes on it. Green, red and white. The green stands for hope, the white for purity and the red for the blood of the Mexican people.
10. Mexico is responsible for introducing chocolate to the world. Awesome! Gracias, Mexico:)

And here's a nice little necklace inspired by Mexico: http://www.etsy.com/listing/67746545/retro-pin-up-necklace-mexico-rockabilly


Use coupon code BLOG15 for 15% off:)










Monday, February 14, 2011

Squirrely

Do you know why squirrels are always darting back and forth when crossing the street? Apparently, their instinct is to run in a zig zag manner to confuse predators. This includes cars. This defense does not work so well for them....

Here's a few more facts about the those squirrely cutenesses:

1. A squirrel's brain is about the size of walnut.
2. Squirrel babies are called kittens (yay!) and are about an inch long when they are born (depending on the species).
3. Male squirrels make a sneezing noise when they are ready to mate. And you thought pick up lines were annoying...
4. Squirrels can run at a speed of 20 miles per hour.
5. Squirrels store their food in the ground and the memory portion of their brains increases 15% in the fall so that they can recall where they buried their food.
6. The smallest squirrel is the African Pygmy Squirrel which is about 3 inches long. The largest squirrel is the Indian Giant Squirrel which is about 3 feet long.
7. Squirrels are not sexually dimorphic, which means that both males and females are roughly the same size.
8. European Grey and Black squirrels are the most human-friendly squirrels.
9.Squirrels can be found on all continents, except for Australia.
10.. Apparently, some squirrels can water ski:

But, more importantly, they can be immortalized on a necklace:
 http://www.etsy.com/listing/68092005/squirrel-bib-necklace-retro-steampunk

Use coupon code BLOG15 for 15% off your entire purchase:)

Friday, February 11, 2011

Old Hat

I am guilty of using expressions that I have no idea what they mean. Case in point: "Old Hat." As in, "Oh, I know what I'm doing. It's old hat." But, I have that expression wrong. I thought it meant "Hey, I got this." But, apparently it means dull, or boring. I guess the term comes from something being passe or out of fashion, like the changing fashions of a hat. So, I've been using that expression wrong for over 30 years...

Here's some other hat facts:

1. Millinery refers to women's hat making and comes from the word Milan; where the original woman's fashion hat makers reigned. Haberdashery refers to men's hat making. And, it is also one of my favorite words.
2. You lose 20% of your body heat through your head. 40% if you are Minnie Driver.
3. Panama hats...guess what? They came from Ecuador. The hat became popular because workers wore them when building the Panama canal, which is why they were associated with Panama. Ecuador was robbed!
4. After World War II, hat wearing declined. Why? Because of the popularity of the automobile.
5. The Audubon Society was formed in order to protect birds from Edwardian millinery styles. Sometimes a whole bird would be used on a hat.
6.Marie Antoinette's milliner was named Rose Bertin and can be considered the world's first stylist. Take that, Rachel Zoe.
7.. Most people know this, but I'll include it anyway: the term Mad as a Hatter most likely comes from he use of mercury in millinery and haberdasher goods. Prolonged exposure to mercury had drastic neurological effects.
8. Chanel, Halston and Adolfo all started out as milliners.
9. The fist 10 gallon hat was made in Central City, CO by John Batterson Stetson.
10. The pillbox hat was originally a military hat design. The term pillbox refers to a round military defense structure.

Well, this isn't a hat...but it's a necklace with a hat...
http://www.etsy.com/listing/67745702/victorian-lady-retro-steampunk-necklace
Use coupon code BLOG15 for 15% off your entire purchase:)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Cat Fancy

So, yesterday I went home early from work because I was sick. I ended up watching part of the movie Cats and Dogs with my husband who is also sick. I want to clarify that we were both sick so that it justifies the fact that we were watching such a crappy movie.  Anyway, I noticed that Hollywood seems to have a dog bias. More often then not, cats seem to be portrayed as evil, finicky, stand-offish beasts. Think about it: Dr. Evil's cat, Mr. Bigglesworth, Dr. Claw's cat in Inspector Gadget, Cat Woman....
I feel like cats get a bad rap. True, I've met a few douche bag cats. I even had a douche bag cat. But, I've also met a few douche bag dogs too. Don't get me wrong, I love dogs, but c'mon- lay off the cat bashing, Hollywood.
That being said, here are a few interesting things about cats:

1. The cat to human ratio in Austria is 1:1
2. 50% of cat owners buy xmas gifts for their cat
3. Both cats and humans have identical regions of the brain that are responsible for emotion
4. A cat's clavicle is not connected to the rest of his/her bones, which allow him/her to fit through spaces the width of his/her head.
5. Cats can be right pawed or left pawed.
6. Cats lap liquid from the underside of their tongue, not from the top. I did not know that.
7. The Maine Coon is America's only natural breed of cat. I happen to have a Maine Coon cat, which is why I included this fact.
8. Cats respond most readily to names that end in the "ee" sound.
9. You know who loved cats? Winston Churchill, Albert Einstein, and Charles Lindbergh. You know who hated cats? Hitler. I'm just saying. People who like cats are awesome.
10. FACT: Cats dressed up in human clothing is always hilarious, as demonstrated below:

http://www.etsy.com/listing/67746944/retro-victorian-kitties-necklace-cats

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Purgatory!

No, I'm not talking about Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart isn't purgatory. Wal-Mart is hell. I'm talking about the real deal, purgatory. (By the way, do you like how I titled this post Purgatory! with an exclamation point? It looks like it could be on Broadway, like Purgatory! The Musical).

Actually, more specifically, I'm going to talk a little about the concept of Anima Sola.

But, before that, a quick disclaimer: All of the below information is a conglomeration of wikipedia and my faint memories of going to Catholic mass with my grandma. I am in no way an expert on religion and do not intend to belittle or demean anyone's religious beliefs. I'm just trying to blog about a necklace, here.

For those who didn't grow up Catholic, purgatory is the where you go if you aren't quite good enough for heaven, but you didn't quite do enough bad stuff for hell. You know, like Colin Farrell. (Somewhere, Colin Farrell is just happy someone typed his name...twice). Anyway, purgatory represents a place where you can  be purged of your sins. Purgatory is often represented as a firey place, where souls are cleansed of their sins through pain and punishment. So, how long does one remain in purgatory? That depends on how many friends you made on the outside. The length of time served in purgatory depends on the prayers of the living. So, if you were a jerk while living and didn't have very many friends, you will probably stay in purgatory for a while...

So, what is Anima Sola? It directly translates to "lone soul" and it is the visual depiction, usually of a woman, whose soul has been condemned to purgatory. This image is popular in Latin American countries as well as Palermo and Naples.  There is great debate about the image. Is she reverent because she is about to be released from purgatory and welcomed to heaven or did she just realized that she has been sent to hell? Hmmm...
I don't have that answer. But I do have a necklace with the Anima Sola image on it: http://www.etsy.com/listing/67747271/reto-mexico-anima-sola-purgatory
Don't forget to enter BLOG15 for 15% off your total purchase

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Cheese!

So, I actually ended up watching part of the Super Bowl on Sunday...but only because of the promise of eating crappy food. When the question came up of who do we cheer for, we decided on Green Bay. Why. Because we like cheese.
Why do I bring this up? Because cheese had the power to make me actually pick and cheer for a team during an event that I could otherwise care less about. 
So, this blog post is going to be about cheese. Well, sort of. Just go along with me on this one; we've got the power of cheese on our side.

Some facts about cheese:

1. The United States is the biggest producer of cheese (thanks to Wisconsin and California) but France and England are the biggest consumers of cheese.
2. The most popular cheese recipe in the United States is Mac and Cheese.
3. My new favorite cheese quote (of course, that implies that I had an old favorite cheese quote): "The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese."
4. The terms Big Wheel and Big Cheese comes from the fact that originally it was only the wealthy who could afford to purchase a wheel of cheese.
5. A 1000 pound cheese wheel was given to Queen Victoria on her birthday....We're gonna need a bigger boat.
6. The enzyme that causes the Limburger cheese odor is the same enzyme in human skin that causes body odor. Mmmmm. Body odor cheese.
7. My favorite cheese is Havarti.
8. Don't have time to brush your teeth? Chew on a piece of cheese- apparently the texture and enzymes in cheese help clean your teeth. But seriously, try to get a hold of a toothbrush first. Cheese-brushing should be a worst case scenario, you slacker.
9. According to Cheese.com (yes, there's a Cheese.com), cheese has been around since 6000 BC. But more importantly, how did they know what I have in my refrigerator?
10. And, drum roll......The Cheshire Cat is most likely to have got its name from a mold used for cheese in Cheshire, England. The mold was shaped like a cat and you started the cheese at the tail end. As you ate the cheese, you were left with a smiling cat face. Yay! See, I told you we would get there.
http://www.etsy.com/listing/67255537/cheshire-cat-necklace-alice-wonderland
Don't forget to enter BLOG15 at checkout for 15% off!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Nevermore.

Every spring, my husband Troy and I get some squatters in the eave over our back porch. Its a family of sparrows. And they are some of the coolest little freeloaders:)  I also look like this in the morning:
But, I'm today's post isn't about sparrows, it's about ravens.

Ravens:
1. Are wicked smart, surpassing chimps in some intelligent tests.
2. Are scavengers.
3. Like to trick other animals into doing their dirty work. If they come across a carcass that is too big for them to scavenge, they will let out a call that alerts bigger carnivores to its location. They then let a wolf, coyote, or Sasquatch tear up the carcass, then the raven swoops in to pick up the remains.
4. They have a life span of 30-50 years.
5. Are symbols of storms according to some Chinese, Greek, and Egyptian legends. They are also a symbol of death according to African, Asian and European legends. Quote the raven, "nevermore."

Symbol of death, or not; I think this necklace is pretty nice: http://www.etsy.com/listing/67256121/raven-blue-bird-necklace-steampunk-retro

And, use coupon code BLOG15 to recieve 15% off your entire order.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Save Ferris Wheel

Guess what? I have never broken a bone, had pink eye, gone water-skiing, caught a frog, or learned how to make that arm-pit farting noise. What's the point of this? To illustrate that I never really did all the things that "typical" kids did. Including going to DisneyLand. And I still haven't been. I'm planning a trip in May to see exactly what all the hype is about. But I still don't plan on doing any of those other things that I listed.

Don't get me wrong; I've been to amusement parks all over the country including a Six Flags in New Jersey, Michigan, Illinois, and Wisconsin. I've been to Denver's Elitch Gardens BEFORE the move to LoDo (props). I've also been to Coney Island, which was super cool and the way an amusement park should be. And I've been to the super cheesy, kind of lame North Pole here in Colorado Springs.

 I've just never made it out to Disney. Ok?

But, that doesn't mean that I don't appreciate a good amusement park.

The first amusement parks popped up in the 1500's around Europe and were called "pleasure gardens." Ew. That sounds like a creepy Euro sex club. The world's oldest pleasure garden (please note, that is the last time I will use that phrase; it is strictly amusement park going forward) opened in 1589 and is still in operation outside of Copenhagen. Pretty cool.
In the 1800's, amusement parks started taking hold in the United States. They were generally built at the end of trolley lines, and included dance halls, picnic areas, restaurants, games, a few rides, and sometimes a beer garden (yes!).
It was in 1893, at the Worlds Columbian Exposition in Chicago, that the Ferris Wheel debuted. The ride was invented by George Ferris who was commissioned to come up with a structure that would rival the Eiffel Tower, which was debuted in 1889. Ferris' original design was doodle on a cocktail napkin (my kind of guy). When it was finally constructed it was 250 ft tall and each car or carriage held 60 people. Yowza. The price of admission was a whopping .50 cents. Doesn't seem like much, but considering that the average daily wage at the time was $1, that was a half of a day's pay...just to ride in a box with 59 other yahoos.

Well, this will cost you more than .50 cents, but you don't have to share it with 59 other people, unless that's your thing. http://www.etsy.com/listing/67255209/ferris-wheel-necklace-steampunk
And don't forget to use the coupon code BLOG15 to get 15% off your entire purchase:)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Henry the 8th; The Fat Elvis of the Monarchy

When I was about 11 years old, I went to the Wisconsin state fair with my aunt and uncle. I really wanted to see Robert Palmer who was performing there, but his show started at 9pm which would've been way past my bedtime. Instead, we ended up seeing Herman's Hermits, with Henny Youngman opening up for them. Herman's Hermits ended up being my first concert ever. (please note, I have claimed in the past that Debbie Gibson was my first concert, but that technically was my first unaccompanied by an adult concert). TRUE STORY. Anyway, for those of you who don't know, Herman's Hermits was a British invasion band from the sixties who were famous for their song "Henry the 8th." Probably would have been cool to see them in 1965; seeing them in 1988? Not so much.
Wow, it took me a long time to get to the point of this blog...

Henry the 8th was married 6 times. His wives were: Katherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, Anne of Cleves, Catherine Howard, and Katherine Parr. His modis-operandi with his wives: Marry. Accuse of infidelity. Apply for annulment and/or execution.  Repeat.
My advice to women of the 1500's: don't be named Katherine/Catherine, Anne, or Jane because apparently, old Hank will have eyes for you. And if you do end up marrying him, don't have attractive women as your ladies-in-waiting, because he will cruise them, marry them, and you will be headed (or beheaded, get it?) to the Tower of London.
Henry actually started out as a svelte, well-educated, attractive man. Because it was assumed that his older brother Albert would inherit the throne, Henry was being groomed for a life in the church (which is ironic since he would end up feuding with the church). However, Albert died at the age of 15, so the throne was left to Henry. It was liked he then flipped a switch from piety to rockstardom. As a king, he lived lavishly and amassed huge debt. He grew morbidly obese, had gout and was covered in pus-filled boils. Hot. While it was rumored that he had syphilis, it's more likely that he had type II diabetes. I guess marrying, divorcing, executing, and re-marrying will take it's toll on a person.
Well, here's a necklace fit for a rockstar king:
http://www.etsy.com/listing/67256277/king-henry-the-8th-necklace-retro

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Baby, It's Cold Outside...but not in Hawaii

So, right now in Colorado it's 10 degrees...BELOW ZERO. And with the windchill, it's 30 degrees below zero. I didn't even know that could be a thing. And it SHOULDN'T be a thing unless you live above the tundra line. I swear that I saw a polar bear and a penguin on my way to work...or maybe that was just a tall guy in a white furry jacket escorting a nun...

That being said, I think today's blog post should be about someplace warm. So, let's talk about Hawaii.

Hawaii:
1. Is the 50 state in the Union. It became a state in 1959.

2. Is the only state made up entirely of islands.

3. Is the only state that is not geographically connected to mainland United States.

4. Is the only state that can grow coffee. I have had said coffee and it is delicious.

5. Is the only state that has a royal palace.

6. Is the only state that doesn't have a straight line for it's state boundary.

7. There are only 12 letters in the Hawaiian alphabet: Vowels: A, E, I, O, U,  Consonants: H, K, L, M, N, P, W; Which, coincidentally seem to be the only letters I ever get when playing scrabble.

8. It is the most isolated population center on Earth: 2,390 miles from California, 3,850 miles from Japan and 4,900 miles  from China.

9. Is the only state whose land area is increasing, due to volcanic activity

10. Average temperature in February is 74 degrees. *Sigh*

Want to have a little piece of Hawaii? Here's a necklace that could keep you warm...
http://www.etsy.com/listing/67099751/hawaiian-tiki-hula-girl-necklace

And don't forget to use coupon code BLOG15 at checkout to get 15% off.



Oh, and I almost forgot! Two of my jewelry items have made it into a magazine! Yay! Check out the February/March issue of Auxiliary (page 35). www.auxiliarymagazine.com/news/2011/02/februarymarch-2011-issue-out-now