Tuesday, June 7, 2011

I'm a Swabian

For those who don't know what that means - Swabia is a German region in the Southwest of Germany. There are lots of clichés about the Swabians and some of them are not that much of a cliché, but very true, especially in the older generations.
We are "Häuslebauer", meaning we like to build and own our own houses and we work hard to achieve that.
We are sometimes called the Scots of Germany who are stingy and do anything not to waste a penny. We don't like to throw stuff away, you never know when you can use it again (I'm not talking about me and my beads!).
We also are very clean. Our households are immaculate (I try to avoid that by pointing out I am in fact only half Swabian) and we have something called "Kehrwoche". People living in flats take turns with cleaning the shared hallway, cellars etc. and of course the pavement. I could tell you stories that would make your hair stand up and crack you up laughing at the same time. I think the obsessive cleaning got somewhat lost in younger generations - starting with me ;-)

Now where is this leading us? Today I want to talk about versatile designs, something a true Swabian would love. One design - different ways of wearing it? Perfect!

First there is the reversible piece, no matter if it is a pendant, earrings, a bracelet. Two pieces in one ... we are off to a good start. The two sides could be differently colored, differently stamped or like in this filigree cross necklace by MC Stoneworks have no patina on one, a verdigris one on the other side.

Earrings with interchangeable beads have always been a favorite of mine, even when I still wore clip-ons as a teenager. I used to wear hoops with the different beads, but I would also have loved this sleek design by Dianne Karg Baron. She recommends this piece with a pearl for a bride, but also offers beads in other colors, like green aventurin, orange carnelian or pink rhodonite.

Lampwork beads make me happy, but still I have a little problem with them sometimes. I never know which side to choose if there are different patterns. I guess the only way is to use them like Fireballbeeds did in her lampwork pendant - put it on a silver pin so you can still see all sides.

One of the most amazing pieces of jewelry when talking about versatile is the lariat. That however will be a story for another post, sorry people. No no, don't even try to beg. Swabians are also very stubborn you know ..... So don't forget to tune back in! ;-)

By Cat's Wire

Featuring artisan handmade creations by the Starving Artists jewelry team. SATeam members create handcrafted jewelry and beads. More information about our team and its current shop owner members can be found at SATEAM.etsy.com and here on ArtFire.


Ava said...

What a cute and interesting post. You Swabian you!

AMDesignsbyAngela said...

Thanks for the lesson in German geography and Swabian heritage...the versatile pieces you featured are all very lovely.

mcstoneworks said...

I'm Scotch Irish German, but obviously some of those genes skipped over me too. :)

Love things that can be worn more than one way.

Entertaining post.

Dianne Karg Baron said...

Being of Swabian descent myself I suppose it shouldn't be a surprise that such practicality would come naturally to me! Ha! Thanks for including my earrings!

BeadSire said...

Gosh - I'd hate to imagine whats in me! LOL - fabulous post.

tjrjewellery said...

Too funny! I was thoroughly entertained by your writings, and enjoyed the selection of jewellery presented!

galadryl said...

Lovely and very entertaining post, thank you. Great choices to go with it.

Ness said...

Great post and lovely choices to illustrate, too!

I'll be back for more Swabian tales :D

DawninCal said...

Not sure if they were Swabian or not, but my German grandparents definitely had some of those traits. I think I inherited a few from them as well.

Great post, Cat, and lovely selections too!

Bonnie said...

Thanks for sharing about the Swabian way. I always enjoy items with multiple purposes.

Jeanne said...

I always love your posts, Cat. You have such an imagination. :) Loved the Swabian theme and the mini-lesson to go with it!