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Interesting Stuff

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You Know You're a Brit When..........

Lise Spence-Parsons

So, as a lot of you already know I'm a Brit, born in London and lived in the Home Counties until I was 35, when I uprooted and came to US.  I suppose I should explain what a "Home County" is:

The home counties are the counties of England that surround London (although several of them do not border it). The counties generally included in the list are Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Kent, Surrey, and Sussex. Other counties more distant from London—such as Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Hampshire and Oxfordshire—are also sometimes regarded as home counties due to their proximity to London and their connection to the London regional economy.
— Wikipedia

To be a Brit, is not easy, we are eccentric, mad as hatters, live a country with some very strange traditions and sayings.  I'm sure I still confuse most of my clients with my conversational tattle and they just nod, mumble a faint "yes" and hope they've not signed their lives away!

So I thought I share some fun, typically Brit things with you all this blog.  If you know me already, these will make some things clearer and some things a little less so.  If we've not met, you really should come and visit me at a show and let's talk!  In the meantime, you need to get some Brit design on your neck, ears and wrists.

  • We can pinpoint someone's exact origin of birth from their Brit accent.  The UK is small, has the geographical landmass of Minnesota and houses 63 million people, primarily in London and three or four other larger cosmopolitan areas, we do still, however, have a lot of rural land. The main accents are as follows, I say main as each one has quirks and differences, in a little as a 5 mile circumfrence.
    • The Geordie accent.
    • The Welsh English accent.
    • The Scottish English accent.
    • The Scouse accent.
    • The Cockney accent.
    • The West Country accent.
    • The Yorkshire accent.
  • Barrister (lawyer) wigs..... A simple why here, or as we prefer why not?
  • We love our tea! Tea is important and how you make it, is doubly important, the water must be boiling, the teapot must be warmed first, the tea must be allowed to steep.  Here are great directions I found online.
  • Our Love to Queue (Stand in Line)
Here’s an old joke from one user that aptly illustrates this point:

One day I was walking through the city streets, when I happened upon a line. I asked what the line was for, and nobody knew, so naturally I stood in it, just in case. I waited for hours but the line didn’t move, so I excused myself and went to the front of the line to see what the matter was. I found that, at the front of the line, there was an elderly gentleman leaning against a wall.

I asked him, “Comrade, what is this line for?”
He answered, “I stopped here to lean against the wall and rest, and these people started lining up behind me.”

I asked him, “Then, comrade, why don’t you simply leave?”

He scoffed. “What, and lose my place in line?”
— Anonymous old joke
  • We apologize all the time!  Even when we know we are not at fault, "I'm so sorry" will spring for your lips. 
  • Strange and Affectionate Missives.
The first text message I received from a British person did not disappoint: ‘Want to pop round mine for tea today? x’, offered my new course-mate Alice. It was delightfully British. Not only was it an invitation for tea, but how quaint to be asked to ‘pop’ over, like a Victorian jack-in-the-box.

One thing did confuse me, though, and that was the lone lowercase x lingering at the end of her message. Nothing I had read prepared me for this little letter. Was it a negation of her statement? A warning about adult content? An unknown variable? I assumed it was a typo. But as these little xs began to populate most of the text messages or emails I received from my British friends, I had to ask. ‘It’s a kiss of course’ said Alice, by now my self-appointed cultural guide. ‘I was beginning to worry that you never kissed me back
— Carrie Plitt, Literary Agent
  • Class is Alive and Kicking!  We are obsessed with accents, what your father does/did, where you live, where you went to school....... 
  • Last but not least! Here is a derivative of a Venn diagram explaining what it is to be a Brit and how we name each grouping of land masses.  Yes, it's confusing!

Any clearer?  I thought not........well just go and shop then! We can all do that ok! Right?

Pantone Color Forecast for Spring 2018

Lise Spence-Parsons

It's time to reveal the colors that will be in vogue in Spring 2018.  It's going to be a riot of color!

Underscoring colors continued influence when it comes to trend, the PANTONE Fashion Color Trend Report London Fashion Week Spring 2018 features the top 12 colors for men’s and women’s fashion. Celebrating exploration, experimentation and the consumers desire to mix, blend and create the unexpected, the Spring 2018 palette showcases the unique nuances of color expression for the London market. The report also includes 4 core classics. Transcending seasons and providing a foundation to any wardrobe, these core shades can be built upon in tonal stories or amplified with contrasting hues to create a new level of energy for the Spring 2018 season.

The desire for colorful self-expression is a key take away for Spring 2018. Similar to observations made by Pantone Color Institute’s Executive Director Leatrice Eiseman in our NY PANTONE Fashion Color Trend Report, designers for the UK market are comparably responding to the consumer’s growing appetite for flexibility in color expression by introducing more unusual colors and color stories in their collections for Spring 2018. Overall there is a feeling of optimism and confidence driving a new vitality into fashion trends.

Unique shades for the London runway convey themes of energy, sophistication and serenity. There are multi-dimensional and grounded hues, while others exude a vibrant breath of fresh air. The color story is wildly divergent and we see a kaleidoscopic bounty of uplifting shades and feel-good tones. That doesn’t mean that we don’t continue to look for more neutral or classic shades. Whether on their own or providing the landscape for complex color mixes, core basics are an essential for any season.

Along with this recognized freedom to explore and experiment with more color, fashion, and the people who interact with it, no longer want to feel limited by traditional color guidelines. Gender and seasonal borders continue to be non-issues when it comes to color. Untypical spring shades that make for complex and original combinations, communicates the consumer’s desire to experiment with color all year round without any restrictions. The color story for Spring 2018 is a perfect reflection of this new sentiment.
— Pantone Color Institute

The Spring 2018 palette encourages a sense of fun and playful release. With an air of complexity and distinctiveness, we find ourselves in a sanctuary of color that is ideal for some more unique and dramatic color mixing.


All text and images are courtesy of Pantone Color Institute

Here are some of my items that reflect these colors and would be great additions to your jewelry collection for 2018.

Meadowlark & Spiced Apple Necklace

Pink Lavender & Nile Green Necklace

How Are Czech Glass Beads Made?

Lise Spence-Parsons

Czech glass is the best glass in the world today. Beads are precision made mainly in smaller factories using time tested methods passed down the generations. Albeit it's mechanized these days, but you can still see the love and care taken in the production of Czech glass beads.

Here is a series of video that you can watch how these beads are made:

This is the first in a series of videos showing how Czech glass is made in the northern mountains of the Czech Republic. Most of the glass beads manufacturing is done in the city of Jablonec nad Nisou, as well as in many of the surrounding towns and villages in this Bohemian region bordering the Jizera mountains.
This video from The Potomac Bead Company was shot during one of our recent visits to factories in the Czech Republic. Tumbling is the second stage of the Czech glass bead making process, During two stages, this both separates the beads from the scrap glass after the pressing process, then polishes, grinds, and shines the beads to a beautiful finish!
This video from The Potomac Bead Company shows the third factory step in the Czech glass bead making process. In this video, you will see how smooth beads are faceted on several different types of machines. Our Website: Buy Online:
This video from The Potomac Bead Company shows the fourth major step in the Czech bead making process, which is fire polishing the faceted glass beads of all types. This fire polishing gives the beads the shiny polish for which they are known! Our Website: Buy Online:
This video from The Potomac Bead Company demonstrates the final technique in the Czech glass bead making process. After beads have been pressed, tumbled, faceted, and fire polished, sometimes they are also coated with different coatings to create unique colors. This video shows that process!

I hope you found that interesting, it made me look at glass in a whole new way!

Here are a few items that I designed using Czech glass.