Quick! Denise Yezbak Moore has a Giveaway - Winners to be announced on Friday, July 2nd

Denise Yezbak Moore is having The Best Bead Give-A-Way Ever! Right NOW!
Look what you could win:



Get over to her site,
Bling it on, here, now.
Denise will announce the Winner or Winners on Friday, July 2nd by random drawing.

Best wishes,

Anna


'X' is for 'X-ray' and 'X marks the spot' - abc-Wednesday, Round 6 - 'X' / Alphabe-Thursday -'X'

Roentgen's photo of Albert von Koelliker's
hand from January 23rd, 1896.




It is Tuesday, June 29th and both Mrs. Denise Nesbitt's abc-Wednesday and Mrs. Jenny Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday have the letter 'X' as this week's assignment. My first X-word is X-ray. Since here is a shortage of X-words, I suspect that many participants will choose this word as a solution to this challenge. I choose the word X-ray with mixed feelings, because it is an area of study for which I have absolutely no prerequisites. I was rotten in school when it came to the subject Physics. It will be interesting to see how others present their X-words!
But thanks to Wikipedia, maybe I will be able to get through this alright.


If I were writing this post in Swedish, the subjects of rays used to make plates showing the insides of our bodies, would not belong to the X-words, but rather the R-words, as the Swedish language follows the German usage of the term 'Roentgen-picture' after Wilhelm Roentgen. Wikipedia explains here:

German physicist Wilhelm Roentgen is usually credited as the discoverer of X-rays because he was the first to systematically study them, though he is not the first to have observed their effects. He is also the one who gave them the name "X-rays", though many referred to these as "Roentgen rays" for several decades after their discovery.

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X-ray pictures are now standard procedure for many medical emergencies such as suspected broken bones, and are also an indispensable tool for dentists, who need to see what the roots of teeth look like.

I usually try to find a personal angle to my alphabet-word-stories, but this one is in many way a very difficult assignment. I have tried to find a small x-ray-picture of my teeth, but cannot locate it here at home. So there will not be any illustration here. My maternal grandfather was a dentist. When I was about eight years old, he told me about the uses and the dangers of X-rays, showing his equipment, the 'X-ray-gun' itself and the lead shields. It was and still is important for dentists to be careful about not being overly exposed to X-rays.

My mother told me this horrible story (that my grandfather deemed unsuitable for an eight-year-old) about a dentist, in the early days of X-ray-pictures, that had held the film plates in place in the mouths of his patients every day and over-exposed himself so much, that his index finger had to be amputated. This is why the X-ray-film-plates are enclosed in a plastic casing with a flap that you can bite down on. No one needs to hold it in place with a finger.

I am not going to explain the technical part of X-rays. I don't know enough about it. But for those who would like to know more about how X-rays work, please read what Wikipedia has on the subject here.
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My other X-word is 'X marks the spot', the X on treasure-maps that the children draw when they are playing pirates. This is a map that six-year-old Elisabet has just drawn for me.




Happy treasure-hunting!!!

Anna

First Commenter:
Alesa Warcan




Jenny      Matlock

For more X-words at Mrs. Nesbitt's abcWednesday please click here.
For more X-words at Mrs. Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday please click here.



Summer stretch-jewellery / This week with Entrecard - June 21st to 27th



Take a look at some easy & elegant stretch bracelets and necklaces:
A bracelet with white & chrystal leaves for an outdoor-wedding or just because white goes with everything at any time of the year?



A turquoise-coloured and clear chrystal bracelet and choker for summer fun?



Here is a teal and light turquoise version of the bracelet and choker:



Here is a green and pink stretch bracelet:



The same green and pink pattern as stretch choker:


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Thank you for advertising with me on my Entrecard-widget this past week,
from June 21st to June 27th. Please visit these fine sites:


Monday, June 21st - The Red Cat Society


Tuesday, June 22nd - Mariuca's Perfume Gallery


Wednesday, June 23rd - My Second Trial


Thursday, June 24th - Buy Tees


Friday, June 25th - Indie Sista's


Saturday June 19th - Antique Button Jewelry and Gifts




Sunday, June 27th - Equine Epiphanies


Best wishes,

Anna

First Commenter:

Ann of Ann's Snap Edit & Scrap


W is for Wire and Wolf - abc-Wednesday, Round 6 - 'W' / Alphabe-Thursday - 'W'

Photo of Wolf from Wikkipedia

The letter 'W' is this week's stop on our journey through the alphabet with two great memes, Mrs. Denise Nesbitt's abc-Wednesday and Mrs. Jenny Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday. I feel that I have strayed far afield from the main theme of my blog, jewellery-making, and really must have at least one word that is jewellery-related. That is why I am starting with my jewellery-word, Wire and will end my post with the more controversial word, Wolf.

This is a close up of a pair of earrings that I made out of sterling silver wire
and different kinds of yellow glass beads. I used a simple wire-wraping-technique to put the beads together and hang them on the earwires.


Wire is metal string in different thicknesses/sizes called
gauges. The gauge of a wire is numbered so that the thicker the gauge, the lower the number. Wire that is 24 gauge is thinner that wire that is 16 gauge. This may seem confusing, but wire gauge has a long tradition, based probably upon the number of times the wire is drawn through smaller and smaller holes to make the thinner sizes.



One way of making different kinds of jewellery is to use chain, which is essentially wire that is bent into links, that are put together.



This is a bracelet that I made with this antiqued brass chain, red beads and
olive green pressed glass leaves to make it look like rose hips.



Another use of wire in jewellery-making is 'wire-wraping'. Metal wire, such as brass, copper or sterling silver wire is literally 'wraped' around and/or through holes in stones, pearls or glass beads to be linked together with all parts, decorative and functional, in order to build necklaces, bracelets and earrings.

This is the same pattern earrings, but with green glass beads and red copper leverback earring-findings, instead of the white and shiny silver earwires. The colour of metal is also a design-choice. The red copper is a warm tone together with the emerald green beads.




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My second word, 'Wolf', has almost as many possibities as last week's word 'Viking'. The Wolf, has both friends and enemies, which is why I decided to get my jewellery-making-lesson over with first, before I let the wolf pack loose.

A pack of wolves in Yellowstone National Park, photo: Wikkipedia


The Wolf is a mammal, a carnivore and a predator, that has a long history parallell with humans. The Wolf or related species, is said to be the ancester of all breeds of dogs. The Wolf is genetically so close to dogs, that Wolves can and do actually mate with them. The Wolf has been feared and hated to such an extreme degree, that its numbers have been reduced to near extinction on the Scandinavian Pennisula of today. The lone wolves that wander in the mountains between Norway and Sweden are not in large enough numbers to even be called 'packs of wolves'. It is the wolf's history of not just taking wild prey such as deer in the forest, but also killing non-prey animals such as red foxes, dogs, sheep and raindeer, that have fueled the hatred of many generations of lifestock-owners.

Gray Wolf (Canis lupus), photo: Wikkipedia

Here is a photo of a howling wolf.
If you click here and go to the site on Wikkipedia,
you can click on a link there to hear wolves howl or click here.

To listen to a rallying cry click
here.




As a mother, I am called upon to read fairytales about animals like the Wolf in Little Red Ridinghood. This is the one tale that most people remember as adults. Like all folktales, there are many versions, but two main literary versions. There is Charles Perrault's 17th-century tale that ends with Little Red Riding being murdered by the wolf, and then there is the Grimms brothers' 19th-century version, that allows a hunter to rescue both the grandmother and the child by cutting open the wolf's belly. (See Maria Tatar, The Hard Facts of the Grimms' Fairy Tales, 1987.)

This is an illustration of the Wolf meeting Little Red Ridinghood by Gustave Doré.


And here the artist Svend-Otto S. has depicted the same scene.


If given the choice, which predator would you rather meet up with while wandering in the woods, a wolf or a bear?

(This photo is from the book Rovdjur, by Magnus Elander, Staffan Widstrand and Johan Lewenhaupt, 2002)


Which kind of predator would you be least afraid of ?

(This photo is from the book Rovdjur, by Magnus Elander, Staffan Widstrand and Johan Lewenhaupt, 2002)


Svend-Otto S. illustration of the Wolf in Little Red Ridinghood



Personally, I don't think that I would like to meet a bear. In spite of a world full of children stories, with sweet characters like Winnie-the-Pooh, Bamse and with all of these cute stuffed toy teddy-bears, I think I'd rather take my chances with a wolf rather than with a bear.

Here are some of the children's stuffed Teddy Bears:

I keep thinking about the dammage that a mere swipe of a bear's paw can do. A few years ago, I read a newspaper article about a Swedish bear-hunter who was attacked by a bear that was just about to bite off his arm. He only had a split second to do this. He had the presence of mind to punch the bear hard on the inside of the back of its throat and be able to pull himself free and save his arm.

I think I'd rather meet up with a Wolf!


Gustave Doré shows Little Red getting into bed with the Wolf
who is dressed as Grandma.



Let's be fair to the wolf. Even wolf-cubs can be cute,
and this one looks like a sweet puppy!

(This photo is from the book Rovdjur, by Magnus Elander, Staffan Widstrand and Johan Lewenhaupt, 2002)

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Best wishes,
Anna

First Commenter:
Lin
of Duck and Wheel with String





Jenny      Matlock

For more W-words at Mrs. Nesbitt's abcWednesday please click here.
For more W-words at Mrs. Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday please click
here.
To read an excellent Alphabe-Thursday-post about wolves by Jeff Campbell, please click on Jeff's Wolves
Read an amazing bear-story by Melinda Cornish here.

Some last thoughts about the Vikings - This week with Entrecard - June 14th to 20th

Den sjuringade halskragen från

My son, Erik's drawing of a Viking with a hornless helmet



Some last thoughts about my V-post before it's time to go on to the letter W. I really enjoyed doing this post about the Vikings, even if it turned out to be a somewhat different post than I originally intended.


My first idea was to focus on the gold jewellery that has been found in the ground where it could be documented that it was from the time of the Viking Age. Sounds kind of boring doesn't it? Well, there are some pretty nifty pieces of jewellery on the site of the Museum of Antiquities in Stockholm. Look at these:
But when it was time to sit down and do this V-post, I had both Elisabet, six, and Erik, eight-years-old, at home from pre-school and school (second grade). There was no way I was going to write anything in a serious (dare I say 'scholarly'?) way! There is just too little time. They need help. They need to ask questions and get straight answers from me. They need activities! (They need also a good hot meal and I am the one who has to cook it!)

It was then that I saw what Erik was drawing and also the possibilities. I am such an opportunist. If it doesn't work one way, I try doing it some other way. I asked Erik, very quietly and politely, if he would mind very much if I took some pictures of his drawings.

There are Lego-toys that Erik has on his wish-list, there is a Tinker-Bell-dress at the toy store that Elisabet dearly wants. There are cookies and ice cream they want me to buy at the grocery store. And there are also bills to pay too... First. And my wallet is a bit slim right now.



So I make toys out of paper for Erik so that he doesn't feel too badly about not getting that Lego of that wolf attacking that mini-Viking with the helmet with the horns! Here are some of Erik's other 'paper-tin-soldier':


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The trouble with showing beautiful jewellery from museums is that they make my own jewellery look cheap! Unfortunately, I do not make my jewellery out of gold. It's mostly glass beads. Look at these gold rings found in the same general area as where we have the farm (then forget about them when you visit my Esty-shop!):


Yes, but even the Vikings made glass beaded necklaces too. Here is an example of a necklace made of glass beads that they made themselves out of pieces of broken glass. This necklace is from Denmark (from the book Viking Eyewitness Guide):



Some of them look a little like sea-glass! Wonder what Tara Beaulieu of Scarborough Seashells would say about this!
Let's compare the viking beaded glass necklace with one of my beaded glass bracelets from my Etsy shop parltradet:


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I am glad that there has been so much interest in what the Vikings wore on their heads. We all know now that the the Vikings did not have horns on their helmets, but why are there pictures like this one here? Jen from Epic Farms and Lisa from Alterity wanted to know. I went to Wikkipedia to find out. Read about this misconception here. (Or below.)



Apart from two or three representations of (ritual) helmets – with protrusions that may be either stylized ravens, snakes or horns – no depiction of Viking Age warriors' helmets, and no preserved helmet, has horns. In fact, the formal close-quarters style of Viking combat (either in shield walls or aboard "ship islands") would have made horned helmets cumbersome and hazardous to the warrior's own side.

Therefore historians believe that Viking warriors did not use horned helmets, but whether or not such helmets were used in Scandinavian culture for other, ritual purposes remains unproven. The general misconception that Viking warriors wore horned helmets was partly promulgated by the 19th century enthusiasts of Götiska Förbundet, founded in 1811 in Stockholm, Sweden. They promoted the use of Norse mythology as the subject of high art and other ethnological and moral aims.

The Vikings were often depicted with winged helmets and in other clothing taken from Classical antiquity, especially in depictions of Norse gods. This was done in order to legitimize the Vikings and their mythology by associating it with the Classical world which had long been idealized in European culture.

The latter-day mythos created by national romantic ideas blended the Viking Age with aspects of the Nordic Bronze Age some 2,000 years earlier. Horned helmets from the Bronze Age were shown in petroglyphs and appeared in archaeological finds (see Bohuslän and Vikso helmets). They were probably used for ceremonial purposes.[41].

Cartoons like Hägar the Horrible and Vicky the Viking, and sports uniforms such as those of the Minnesota Vikings and Canberra Raiders football teams have perpetuated the mythic cliché of the horned helmet.

Viking helmets were conical, made from hard leather with wood and metallic reinforcement for regular troops. The iron helmet with mask and chain mail was for the chieftains, based on the previous Vendel-age helmets from central Sweden. The only true Viking helmet found is that from Gjermundbu in Norway. This helmet is made of iron and has been dated to the 10th century.

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Who exactly were the Vikings? (Wikkipedia helps us out here.)

In the modern Scandinavian languages, the word viking usually refers specifically to those people who went on Viking expeditions.[5]

The word Viking
was introduced into Modern English during the 18th-century "Viking revival", at which point it acquired romanticized heroic overtones of "barbarian warrior" or noble savage. During the 20th century, the meaning of the term was expanded to refer not only to seaborne raiders from Scandinavia, but secondarily to any Scandinavian who lived during the period from the late eighth to the mid-eleventh centuries, or more loosely from c. 700 to as late as about 1100. As an adjective, the word is used to refer to ideas, phenomena or artifacts connected with Scandinavians and their cultural life in these centuries, producing expressions like "Viking age", "Viking culture", "Viking art", "Viking religion", "Viking ship", and so on. The people of medieval Scandinavia are also referred to as Norse, although this term properly applies only to the Old-Norse-speaking peoples of Scandinavia, and not to the Sami.

The term Varangians made its first appearance in Byzantium where it was introduced to designate a function. In Russia it was extended to apply to Scandinavian warriors journeying to and from Constantinople. In the Byzantine sources Varangians are first mentioned in 1034 as in garrison in the Thracian theme. The Persian geographer Al Biruni has mentioned the Baltic Sea as the Varangian Sea and specifies the Varangians as a people dwelling on its coasts. The first datable use of the word in Norse literature appears by Einarr Skúlason in 1153. According to Icelandic Njalssaga from the 13th century, the institution of Varangian Guard was established by 1000. In the Russian Primary Chronicle, the Varangian is used as a generic term for the Germanic nations on the coasts of the Baltic sea that likewise lived in the west as far as the land of the English and the French.[6]

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The Internet is a great tool. Sometimes, you can make discoveries! Look at this chain here that belongs to the Museum of Antiquities in Stockholm. I am reading the text about it and suddenly I see a name that is familar to me. This chain was found by a farmer while plowing his fields in 1882. He handed it over to a veterinarian who was also a collector of artifacts and who then gave it to the museum. The vet was my great-grandfather, Fredrik A. Nordeman!



And I just saw this now, Saturday, June 19th, 2010!

Happy Weekend!
Anna

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Thank you for advertising with me on my Entrecard-widget this past week, from June 14th to June 20th. Please visit these fine sites:

Monday, June 14th - Funky Town Disco Music


Tuesday, June 15th - Dogs Deserve Freedom


Wednesday, June 16th - Lenox Knits


Thursday, June 17th - Jean's Musings


Friday, June 18th - Spaces in Pictures


Saturday June 19th - Split Rock Ranch




Sunday, June 20th - Sara Cat writes /Sara Katt skriver



Best wishes,

Anna

First Commenter:
Russ of Grampy's World




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