Spring has returned. The Earth is like a child that knows poems. ~Rainer Maria Rilke

Monday, April 5, 2010

A Charming Workshop and Frozen Charlottes

I'm leaving in 2 days for the southern coast of California. Sis and I are going to attend a mixed media jewelry workshop in Pismo Beach.
The workshop will be taught by Diana Frey and Riki Schumacher and we will learn many jewelry techniques like using PMC(precious metal clay) embossing metals, molding found objects and making pieces for a bracelet. This well be so much fun. We have been looking forward to this trip for a long time.

I have everything I need and probably more. We will be staying the first night in Cambria, a wonderful little town near San Simeon Castle. Julia Morgan, a renowned architect at the time, designed and built Randolph Hearst a  beautiful mansion in the hills overlooking the Pacific Ocean, that is now open to the public. I had to laugh when I read this...
Hearst first approached American architect Julia Morgan with ideas for a new project in April 1919.  Hearst's original idea was to build a bungalow, according to a draftsman who worked in Morgan's office who recounted Hearst's words from the initial meeting:
"I would like to build something upon the hill at San Simeon. I get tired of going up there and camping in tents. I’m getting a little too old for that. I’d like to get something that would be a little more comfortable."
A LITTLE MORE COMFORTABLE?? If you have ever visited this "Castle" you would understand why I laughed at his idea of a bungalow. It's one of the most over the top, amazingly beautiful, luxurious, enormous "bungalows" you have ever seen.

We hope to meet Julie Whitmore, in Cambria. She is the artist who made my MOKE plate for me. She is a Faience pottery artist who has become a good blogging friend but we have never met face to face.We really hope we can see her.
Then we will head down, on Friday to Pismo Beach and walk the beach all afternoon. The workshop is Saturday and Sunday.
I'm very excited about this workshop because I need some serious skill building for my jewelry making and Diana and Riki are professional jewelry artists. This is such an opportunity.
Sis and I are making this into a mini-vacation so we won't be back until next Tuesday and I won't be home until Wednesday.
The Farm will be in good hands, as usual. The Prospector, Carl and Cutter will hold down the fort until I return. I may have to let my sweet husband take a vacation somewhere soon. He's being so good about all this coming and going, but it's definitely his turn next...

This is a bit off the subject but I do plan to use this little doll ( the one on the left) in a necklace someday soon. These two dolls are called, I think, Frozen Charlottes. The story behind them goes back to Germany and England in the 1800's.and is a big part of early American folklore.
The story is a cautionary tale about a young girl called Charlotte who refused to wrap up warmly to go on a sleigh ride to a New Year's Ball and freezes to death during the journey.
When I started researching them, I found that the really old ones had arms that didn't move and were sold like penny candy to children. They are usually bisque and have been hand painted.
Mine are more from the 1920's or 30's and are made in Japan so they may be "knock offs"..., but I think they are cuter than the old ones. I never liked these dolls because they didn't have arms and I thought they were kind of strange, but these two are rather cute. I got them both at out local craft faire, a few weeks ago, packaged together for $3.00. I love the way they are looking sideways at something and these look like they are clasping their hands behind them..., doesn't look so "dismembered". The holes where the arms should be are perfect for a necklace, almost like a big bead that can be easily strung.
I'm going to take them with me and ask the jewelry experts (Riki and Diana) what they think these little dolls are. I sure can't find any "Charlottes" that were made in Japan and look like they were born in the 20's or 30's. It's kind of a mystery.
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  1. Hi!
    I hope i see you too. My husbands relatives are still here, and will be all week, I'll e mail you with details. I think, and I'm not even holding my breath over this, but the weather should be lovely.

  2. Your workshop sounds fascinating. Metalworking is something I'd love to learn, but probably will never get around to it. So I'll be watching for your feedback and creations!

    My mother kept one of those little dolls in the attic trunk, and my sister has it now. I never asked anything about it, but I will now!

  3. Oh, have a wonderful time on your trip and at your workshop! It all sounds glorious!

  4. I am not too sure about "armless" dolls! Kinda freaky.... I hope you have a great time at your workshop and learn lots of things to help you in your jewelry making. And have fun at the beach, too.
    hugs, Sue

  5. Hi Connie, look forward to seeing you two! Love that you're making it a little vacation, what a lovely spot to do it. We are going to have a big time in class, can't wait. The weather is sketchy at best, so bring layers. Big hug, Riki

  6. I hope you and your sis have a wonderful time interwoven with learning a lot of jewelry making techniques. Safe journey Ellie Mae.


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