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The collected opinions of an august and aristocratic personage who, despite her body having succumbed to the ravages of time, yet retains the keen intellect, mordant wit and utter want of tact for which she was so universally lauded in her younger days. Being of a generation unequal to the mysterious demands of the computing device, Lady Bracknell relies on the good offices of her Editor for assistance with the technological aspects of her journal.

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Location: Bracknell Towers

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Mea culpa

"If there's one thing you can say for that Lady Bracknell's Editor, it's that she always shares the details of what she's discovered for sale on the interwebnet with her readers, right?"


Well, yes. Usually.

But I've been keeping one particular artisan from you. Because, for once, I wanted to have first dibs on her amazing creations. I would have been gutted if the pieces I had really wanted had been snatched from under my nose by someone else.

Remember this pendant? That was when my love affair with jewellery made from the wings of (ethically-farmed) Blue Morpho butterflies began.

A sensible person would have stopped with just that one, glorious wing. I am not a sensible person. A sensible person wouldn't have coughety-cough pairs of spectacles, now, would she? Er, no.

So I searched Etsy with increased vigour. And I found the Bela Brazilian Designs shop. And I was in Morpho heaven. And I got talking with Nicole, who runs the shop and who creates all the jewellery.

Nicole is from Brazil, but currently living in Germany with her husband and adored small daughter. Nicole taught me that there's more than one species of Blue Morpho butterfly. That the ones whose wings are most often preserved in jewellery are the Morpho Menelaus, but that there are many others, including the Morpho Achilles, the Morpho Catanarius, and the Morpho Sulkowskii.

Nicole visits Brazil to choose the wings herself*. She then subjects them to a laminating process to preserve them. Of course, plastic is much lighter than glass, so that makes it possible to wear earrings made from entire single wings, and huge necklaces made from pairs of wings.

(I have to say at this point that my love for the wing encased in glass and accented with silver hasn't diminished one whit. Glass does have better transparency than plastic film, and that wing glows like nobody's business. But there's just no way my ears would be able to take that sort of weight. And there is more than enough room in my heart for both processes.)

Anyway, back to the lovely Nicole. She doesn't just do butterflies, you know. And she doesn't just sell through Etsy, either. Nope, she's on eBay as well. Here. She applies a similar laminating process to Cattleya Orchids, and strings them on to necklaces made of chunky, polished chains of semi-precious stones.

My very own orchid arrived this morning. It's a bit similar to the one pictured. It rocks. These are seriously dramatic pieces of jewellery. My orchid is huge, and the stones it's been paired with are big and chunky as well, so as to keep to scale. Heavy, though: if you're an ouchy crip whose ouches are in your upper spine, you might not want to be slinging lumps of rock round your neck in a cavalier fashion. And if you're 5 foot tall and slender as a reed, you might find the overall size of the piece a bit overpowering. Absolutely ideal on someone of my size on whom dainty, girly pieces of jewellery lose all their impact but, if you're really petite, this will either be one hell of a statement piece, or you'll look as though you're standing behind it.

All the butterflies in Nicole's Etsy store are currently 15% off. So, if you fancy them at all, now would be a good time to snap them up. There are earrings (a pair of which are shown to the left) and pendants (one of which is shown to the right.) Don't make the mistake of assuming these items are small just because I've used weeny photos. They're not. They're enormous.

At the time of writing - but probably not for very much longer - the lustrous, metallic Morpho Sulkowskii pendant shown below is available in Nicole's eBay store. It would cost you just a smidge over £30, including p&p. Run a chain, or a cord, through the loop and this beastie will sit on your chest and glow. I can't emphasise enough that photographs simply don't do these wings justice: you have to see the light play on them to really appreciate them.

So, that's it. I've come clean at last. If you want butterflies, orchids, semi-precious stones, or just a really sweet and delightful person to correspond with, Nicole's your woman. She'll do you proud.

The Editor

*That sentence originally ended with "to choose her own wings". I changed it in the edit. Nicole is undoubtedly very talented, but I doubt she can actually fly.


Anonymous Sara said...

I'm rather fond of this guy, too. (Please don't hate me for this.)

Hanami: http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=90885

Things like these orchid petal earrings smack me right in my happy place:


2:26 pm  
Blogger Lady Bracknell said...

Hate you, Sara? For finding me hydrangea earrings? I think not...

Must. Wait. Until. Pay day.

6:37 pm  

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