Friday, February 27, 2009

Recommended Books on Czech Jewelry and Bohemian Glass

Interested in learning more about Czech jewelry? Here are my three favorite books, the first one being my absolute bible! Informative, great photos and lots of details for reference so you can choose wisely and with knowledge when you buy or want to identify your own jewelry. All three are by the same very knowledgable expert, Sibylle Jargstorf. And for more recommendations on books about antique and vintage jewelry for reference or just plain fun reading, see my book list in the left hand column. Enjoy!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Slightly Off Topic...Or Is It? The Family Jewels!

I haven't much to say about this other than have fun with it! We wondered if the announcer was fired for this... or possibly promoted???

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Today I'm A Little Crazed!

I'm sure you all have felt like this, overworked, underpaid and often in over my head. After spending multiple hours and days building my new website and this blog I have finally gotten to where I am feeling crazed and need a day off. I thought I'd share these two photos with you as they are great representations of how I am feeling. The first one makes me laugh and I found it on the web, not sure where. I felt like this last week, just without the nose clips!

And this one is of my beloved Maggie who is really a sweet character, full of piss and vinegar and just her own kinda cat. I've been told if I were a cat I'd look just like this and laughingly, it's just how I feel right now. Enjoy!

Friday, February 20, 2009


Every now and then my mind strays from jewelry...not often, but once or twice a month! I got an email yesterday with some interesting comments by well known people and thought I'd share it with you while I'm cogitating on my next article. Enjoy! Some are quite humorous and others are, well... read on and see for yourself.

My disclaimer: These are not necessarily my opinion but in most cases I really must agree. LOL :-)

1. In my many years I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame, two is a law firm and three or more is a congress. -- John Adams

2. If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed, if you do read the newspaper you are misinformed. -- Mark Twain

3. Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But then I repeat myself. -- Mark Twain

4. I contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle . -- Winston Churchill

5. A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul. -- George Bernard Shaw

6. A liberal is someone who feels a great debt to his fellow man, which debt he proposes to pay off with your money. -- G. Gordon Liddy

7. Democracy must be something more than two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner. -- James Bovard, Civil Libertarian (1994)

8. Foreign aid might be defined as a transfer of money from poor people in rich countries to rich people in poor countries. -- Douglas Casey, Classmate of Bill Clinton at Georgetown University

9. Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys. -- P.J. O'Rourke, Civil Libertarian

10. Government is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else. -- Frederic Bastiat, French Economist (1801-1850)

11. Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it. -- Ronald Reagan (1986)

12. I don't make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts. -- Will Rogers

13. If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it's free! -- P.J. O'Rourke

14. In general, the art of government consists of taking as much money as possible from one party of the citizens to give to the other. -- Voltaire (1764)

15. Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn't mean politics won't take an interest in you! -- Pericles (430 B.C.)

16. No man's life, liberty, or property is safe while the legislature is in session. -- Mark Twain (1866)

17. Talk is cheap...except when Congress does it. -- Anonymous

18. The government is like a baby's alimentary canal, with a happy appetite at one end and no responsibility at the other. -- Ronald Reagan

19. The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of the blessings. The inherent blessing of socialism is the equal sharing of misery. -- Winston Churchill

20. The only difference between a tax man and a taxidermist is that the taxidermist leaves the skin. -- Mark Twain

21. The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools. -- Herbert Spencer, English Philosopher (1820-1903)

22. There is no distinctly native American criminal Congress. -- Mark Twain

23. What this country needs are more unemployed politicians. -- Edward Langley, Artist (1928-1995)

Saturday, February 14, 2009


Ordinarily I prefer to do my loving spontaneously, on days I feel good about, towards those I love at any moment in time and not be directed to a commercial moment to express my love and affection.

I don't like those boxes of 'guess what's in me' chocolates in red hearts or the pressure of having to wonder who will give me a Valentine card or remember me. Or who I have to remember!

Today I have food poisoning for Valentines Day! It was the tainted steak from last night that did me in, so my heart was in my mouth all day to say, and lovin' was not on my mind.

At one point half way between my cuppa tea and the porcelain goddess I remembered it was Valentines Day. I actually stopped throwing up long enough to laugh out loud, envisioning myself and wondering who could possibly love me like this, with hair standing out every which way from my head, sitting there naked as a jail bird with my head crammed in the garbage pail?

And then the door to the bathroom wafted open and in came my beloved, and then a second beloved, and a third and so on so before I knew it I had 9 of my fuzzy boo boos crowding around wondering what the heck I was doing in there!

I have rescued cats and a few dogs, even a praying mantis and above and beyond any day of the year, these are my friends and my lovies. Oh, I know, I have my loving kids, my mom, and once upon a time ago there was my ex and a string of others, ho hum ... and gag, there were those ever present chocolates leaking nougat cream and cheap booze, but no one, nothing, has ever fulfilled that unconditional place in my heart, even if it is in my mouth today, better than my pets.

Without further ado, and in honor of my heart and theirs, here they are...not all of them ... just a few for today. Oscar is up top and of course he is with the JEWELRY because this is a jewelry blog ...right? It's a very nice old Zuni needlepoint ring in sterling silver set with natural turquoise. And there's Pearle, Oscar's mom. She thinks she's a chicken and loves our oven roaster. She's also Zoe's mom and Daphne's mom and you can see them posing like little show girls on a gray satin blanket. Just imagine the tiaras on their heads and little glasses of mint juleps.

And this is Maggie, my special angel cat, and Pearl's sister ...looking very contemplative. I wanted to do a post for you today about Scottish Agate jewelry but other things got in the way, things of a belly aching kind... It's great to express my love and appreciation for my critters openly because really, on a day like today, they are the ONLY ones who would have me exactly as I am without any complaints or judgements.

Even our Corgi Winston, the herding dog who thinks all the cats are cows and has been running them around for 10 years, sat faithfully by my side while I groaned and moaned bowing down to the to the microbes that siezed my gut. And he, faithful bud that he is, sat by keeping me company all day long without complaint.

My best friends and no chocolate required! The Scottish Agate is coming, so stay tuned!

Beating Recession Depression Symptoms Mends Mental Health

The tsunami of fear washing over Americans compounds exponentially leaving many struggling with recession depression symptoms robbing people of joy and adding to continuing anxiety over burgeoning financial issues. If grappling with life’s ills has made it impossible to see the sunny side, and knowing others are fighting the same battle is not always enough to resolve recession depression symptoms, it’s time to take purposeful command over sadness and anxiety. Crisis centers, help lines and therapists say the explosion of depression has begun to overwhelm the American spirit, but there are always solutions available to reconnect with peace of mind.

So much of life and individual success depends on one’s mental state. Thoughts are things and the fuel with which we create. Making conscious choices to monitor thoughts and choose positive ways of phrasing ideas distracts the mind from being overwhelmed. Mental health experts advise envisioning what you want not what you don’t want. When concentrating on misery, wallowing becomes a self perpetuating habit.

Take baby steps and make a decision to change. Suffering from recession depression symptoms along with hopelessness can be engulfing. Choosing a different mindset about worries is a powerful mood enhancer urging the mind to be in command rather than at the effect of depression. Remember gratitude for small accomplishments. Sometimes we all need a swift kick to recall what matters and how to get back to it.

Even with money unbearably tight, banish depression symptoms by spending a little on something frivolous. During World War II soldiers bought their loved ones chocolate, cigarettes and silk stockings. Treats were hard to come by and although small gestures, helped to uplift spirits and bring hope. Always remember that joy happens suddenly in unexpected crystallized moments of hope!

Sanbu-ichi Yusui Spring water crystal. Image courtesy of Masaru Emoto

Saturday, February 7, 2009


Twenty two years ago today I had my second child, my first son …my only son. He was a feisty little bugger who kicked and battled his way through 9 ½ months of life inside me. And then he took another 25 hours to get the heck outa me. He has not changed much but he is taller and has hair now. Without being too graphic or personal, I’d had a series of terrible disappointments around my pregnancies and several miscarriages. Colin was a miracle baby and my last pregnancy …thank the sweet lord! My body didn’t take well to ligaments stretching from breakfast to Timbuktoo or to spending many months with my head in the nearest trash can. It was finally rebelling and way too fat and cumbersome. I’d spent too many hours in every bathroom I could find and started writing a book called “Bathrooms I have known …How to take the PEE out of pregnancy”. But of course the minute I saw the little beastie I adored him!

Why am I telling you this? Because of course, this is a jewelry story and giving birth to my child was just an excuse for more jewelry!

For nine and a half miserable months I found jewelry at the bottom of boxes of Cheezits, rolled up in a taco filled with ground beef, avocado, salsa and sour cream, in the cookie dough ice cream, even in the heart of an artichoke for heaven’s sake! There were baubles, bangles, sparklies and little friends to help remind me that yes, Virginia, there is glamour after pregnancy. My ex is still my ex, but it wasn’t for his lack of jewelry smarts that he became my ex. I was indulged …it kept me nice and pacified at least some of the time.

And during the birth, jewelry and the face of my now partner, then three year old daughter Bryana, kept me from killing one of the doctors.

I wanted Colin’s birth to be au natural and then it started, the excruciating pain that even jewelry couldn’t mask. A few minutes later I wanted an epidural and never mind being an earth mother. They called for the anesthetist and it was at night. Of course all the real doctors were home in bed or watching late night TV so I got the attending resident gynie who I dubbed “The Weanie”. I’d been in labor for 23 hours and I was pissed, pooped and in pain. The guy came in with his sour little face, heavy horn rimmed specs pretending to be a doctor but I knew better. He was a 24 year old intern right out of the school of economics pretending to be a doctor with a practice …and I was his practice subject and my spine was his embroidery cloth. NO %$^&*% WAY was this guy sticking me in the spine. I was worried he’d use his bubble gum to hold the needle in my back.

He told me he didn’t want to give me an epi because I was having back labor and he didn’t feel comfortable administering the anesthesia. Imagine that! He didn’t feel comfortable!! And I was on a train to Miami to sit in the sun and drink Mai Tais. My contractions were coming about 5 minutes apart so I realized that gave me time to kill him in between.

My hands formed claws with long red talons at their tips and up I rose like a reincarnated whale, out of the bed dragging my IV and the fetal heart monitor with me, elbowing the nurse out of the way and chased the little putz down the hall. I got him! My hands around his neck, claws around his throat and at that moment comes a contraction. My uterus thought it was a hand and my fingers closed in around his intern-ish throat and I was screaming “You son of a …female dog… I want a real doctor to kill the pain!!!” and so on and so on, you get the picture. Dragging tubes and boobs it took four male orderlies to pull me off this guy and then my ex appeared, white as a sheet, blue eyes popping out of his head, with the prettiest little antique diamond brooch you have ever seen. Right there in the middle of mayhem and murder in the halls of the hospital I went all soft and gooey eyed. My eyes filled with tears and I kissed him and smiled. “Aw honey, that is the sweetest thing you have done for me in two days of labor.” He said it was my ‘transition’ gift and if I could just get through the next phase of this agony and was a good girl and settled down and stopped trying to kill the doctors, he had something even better planned for after the birth. And then I had another contraction. I left claw marks in The Weanie’s throat.

I’m flashing back in time to my first antique show at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Los Angeles in 1975 or maybe 1976. I had been to the Rosebowl and up and down the California coast at flea markets galore and thought it was about time to step into the big time and do a “show” like a pro. I had my cases and my 1966 vintage light blue VW bug with the new engine in it and a coupla friends and off we went.

The show was an eye opener for sure. I had so much fun, didn’t sell much but who cares! I found my first official piece of Scottish Agate jewelry and I was off on a 30ish year collection binge.

Standing in the back alley behind the hotel like a thief with the other smokers, I was taking a drag on my cigarette when I looked down at the mouse scampering across the back door. It wasn’t really a mouse but do you really want to be completely disgusted if I tell you it was a humongous $&%^$%ing rat at an antique show? And right there to my horror and amazement was a shoe box upturned that he or maybe she ran out of and when I looked closer I saw ….drum roll …. JEWELRY! An entire shoe box of stuff that someone had thrown out. And in the pile was my first Scottish Agate pin. I had no idea what it was then nor did anyone else and it was not very popular in LA or collectible, or so I thought. I loved it even more for that and became obsessed with finding more. For years wherever I went I looked for and bought these fantastic works of art in the form of jewelry. Inlaid with blood stone and jasper and sporting the biggest yellow orange Cairngorm you ever saw, I was in heaven with my new find and years later it is still my favorite piece.

So back in the hospital where all the action was, my hands were being pried off the throat of The Weanie and I was taken back to bed, the evil ones turned up the pitocin drip and then the contractions started in earnest. I no longer had time to kill the doctors in between contractions. A short time later I was yelling that the kid was coming and the “real” doctor (who was a stand in for my nurse midwife who had the flu) was telling me I was imagining it and it was too soon. What the heck! (You KNOW that’s not what I really said, but we’re in public here and I have an image to protect.) It was 25 hours after I had my first rupturing pain and it was too soon?! Rising up out of the bed to attempt to commit murder again was not an option but what a great idea it was. Baby coming out doctor doing a little dance across the room. Baby coming out doctor still dancing and writing in my chart. Baby coming out and fell into the garbage can, mom swearing like a sailor. And then the pin appeared! OMG it was a gorgeous, gorgeous Scottish Agate attached to my little boy’s baby blankie. I looked at him, my brand new, wrinkly baby, thanked god that I would not go to jail for doctorcide and drooled on my beautiful new anchor brooch. Life was good.

Made from one exquisite piece of translucent banded agate, carefully and loving hand carved and wrapped in engraved sterling silver, this is one of my prize anchors. The anchor represents steadfastness, heart felt love and safety, home and security. What a wonderful symbolism for me as the mom of a new baby. I had it then and was able to give it back to my son, all of it, most of the time and there was never a lapse in love for even one second.

So in honor of that day and that beautiful piece of jewelry and of course in honor of my son whose birth was the reason for that seasoning, I dedicate today to him and my unending love for him.

It’s a great laugh for me remembering this moment in my history and my son is still a little bugger but at least he does have hair and he turned out just fine in my opinion!


In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was JEWELRY...and the Word had a name and the name was Jeanne, I mean, no! I mean Etta, my great grandma’s name...and forever after her legacy has been passed on to me and my daughter in the form of an unending love and enjoyment of antique and vintage jewelry. And with that in mind, Posh Adornment was born and the jewelry gods smiled on our new venture.

Welcome to the Posh Adornment blog! I’ve had so many people ask me about me, about how I got into the jewelry business, what it is I love about it, wanting to know who the face is behind the jabber and how and where I find our jewelry that I have decided to blog about it…tell you some about us and our journey, how we think, and show you some fabulous jewelry along the way…mine and others’.

So here the journey begins!

I’m Susan and my daughter is Bryana and we decided to join forces as a team and run this business together. Keeping it all in the family has its pros and cons…mostly pros, and it’s great to be working with the next generation of jewelry addicts in my great grandma Etta’s line. I remember my great grandmother even tho’ I was only two or three years old when she passed away. It was because of her incredible collection of jewelry. She always wore something sparkly or full of lively colors, and even when she was ill at the very end of her life, she wore her beautiful jewelry. I loved the diamond pin, long and graceful encrusted with sparkling stones and always sitting right where I expected it to be at the base of her throat.

I started buying and selling antique jewels thirty four years ago and eventually chose to set up our existing business as a full time entity as a way to feed my addiction and allow me to continue buying and collecting what I love. First I set up my shop Jeweljuggler on eBay where we still run our auctions under the jeweljuggler name. After many years there, I decided to expand developing Posh Adornment which is currently being hosted on Bryana and I are now on the brink of launching our private website which will be coming soon so keep an eye out here for our announcement on February 18th.

Being born in the Chinese year of the Tiger, I have a voracious appetite for almost everything and lots of initiative, imagination and determination. I was the wild child and everything I have done has been done with great vigor and an intensity that has sometimes been off putting, but always interesting and quirky. Eccentric and quirky are great words to describe me and even as a child I was quirky, talking to invisible friends who I knew were real, ardently digging through mom’s jewelry wearing her baubles and good stuff for dress up and fueling my unending curiosity for information and history all the while.

Nowhere was it written that I had to be ‘normal’ and even today I have no idea what that means. When everyone else was out on the playground I was reading books on history, taking art classes, drawing on everything I could find, dreaming of a life in ancient Egypt and talking in my mind to the oracle at Delphi in ancient Greece. I loved the fantasy of being ‘back there’ and adored the costumes of old European times and the jewelry and buttons of the day. Who woulda thunk it, that I would one day pull all these interests together combining them with my insatiable appetite for eclecticism to form the business that I am now enjoying!

That leads me back to the future…well not really the future…but the nearer past. I found MY first score of gorgeous jewelry and what a pleasant surprise it was. It was 1975 and I was in Los Angeles. I went to participate in the controversial Primal Scream Therapy with Arthur Janov and while living there for two years screaming my head off I made great discoveries. I found the flea markets, the antique shows, the many stores of Rodeo Drive and the Rose Bowl. Not for playing football mind you, but for the largest, once a month colossal flea market you have ever seen and it was there I started officially as the jewelry junkie dealer…but it was an accident.

Working in LA was something of a challenge at that time. I’d found a job on Sunset Strip at an infamous bar called Filthy McNasties and I was the front door girl bouncer who took your entrance fees and screened those customers who could and couldn’t come into the club. The owners affectionately called me “Ruth in the Booth” ! Not the most lucrative or safest job in the world but I got to come in late at night and do some scat singing with the band and a gal named Ruby, had all the Tequila I could drink and never had to wear high heels and pantyhose to work. So I learned to live with it and enjoy.

During my days when not sleeping, I crawled the local flea markets for goodies and fresh air and one Sunday I discovered the Rose Bowl flea market. Exhilaration was my emotional state and I was well on my way. I bought an antique gold ring with three little diamonds for $5 and then another, an aquamarine ring in 14K gold for $5 and another and another until I had all ten fingers decked out. I stood in front of someone’s booth and the lady said, “Honey, I love your ring!” I asked her which one and she said “All of them, how much you want for ‘em?” It only took me two minutes to contemplate and I sold them all for $250 and that’s how it all began. An investment of about $50 and one hour later a profit of $200. Wow! That was so easy and in a flash… an epiphany of light and I started the long trail forward bedecked in incredible jewelry deals for the next 34 years! I will tell you tho’, that I kept those very first two rings and here they are, now in the proud ownership of my daughter’s much beloved collection and worth a few pennies more than the $5 each I spent.