Happy New Year! I am looking forward to 2014 being a wonderful, creative and productive year; I hope you are as well. I spent the Christmas holidays with my son and his family in Sofia, Bulgaria, the first time I had traveled to that country. I've already fallen in love with Bulgaria despite not having it snow while we were there. Luckily, my son lives almost in the side of Mt. Vitosha and a quick drive did provide some white magic. I fell in love with the food (ummmm, shopska salad and eggs panagyurishte ), the wonderful churches and monasteries, the people, the art. I saw fantastic early Thracian jewelry (Southeastern Bulgaria was part of Thrace at one time), wonderful icons, and ancient sites of worship. I can't wait to go back. Of course, the main attraction was family, but Bulgaria with family is much better than Bulgaria on my own!
Above, the Rila monastery a couple of hours outside Sofia.
The jewelry today includes (above) a ruffled looking necklace made up of tightly strung dark blue chalcedony faceted briolettes; the color is fantastic! Then a chalcedony bracelet that is a so rich looking with faceted rectangles of chartreuse chalcedony and 14 karat gold-filled beads and toggle clasp.
Below, vermeil earrings are graceful and reminiscent of some of the Byzantine jewelry I saw in Bulgaria where the gold is so pure that it shines a deep gold. The dangling tips are sunstones.
Below are bezel-set cabochon emeralds with sterling silver. The earwires are decorated with shiny hearts; below the oval emeralds are round hammered circles. Below the emerald earrings are dangle earrings with faceted bezel-set gemstones of pink chalcedony and garnets, also in sterling silver.
Oh, and I am enjoying tremendously the SNOW that we got on Tuesday. It was a rare delight to witness snow falling from morning until into the night and I was happy all day long! The snow energized me, and I was working hard on fulfilling those New Year's resolutions that I make every year. Meanwhile, work still continues on the new site.