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Artisan jewelry

Stockholm - SOLD

(Turquoise, vintage rhinestone, Swarovski crystal, sterling silver)

 

This pendant's turquoise stone reminded me so much of the sea splashing against the concrete bulkheads of Stockholm.  While making it I imagined a Swedish princess wearing it many centuries ago and the blue matching her eyes.  I have probably been watching too much Acorn TV.

Over a decade ago my husband and I took two cruises back to back for our 15th wedding annivesary that were so amazing that we wish we could recreate it, but the world is different now and those times are gone.  It's not Covid.  It's just progress for good or bad.  We saw a lot of different European cultures from countries in Scandanavia to Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Germany, UK, France, Portugal, and Spain.  Most of our stops were new to both of us and we were mesmerized by the beauty we saw in each.  We got a broader perspective of history and how different countries were super powers for a time as naval navigation took off.  You realize that as a country the U.S. is still so young and its power will diminish as another will gain more power in time.

Our first cruise started in Stockholm.  We didn't know what to expect nor did we know much about Scandanavian countries.  Stockholm is a beautiful city with lots of shoreline lined with boats.  They embrace the sea and it's a part of its transportation.  We enjoyed taking walks each day through the modern and the old city.  We only had one goal while there and that was to have some traditional food.  We did find a restaurant one night that was doing a modern spin on the old, but never found one that we felt gave us a feel for what the locals ate at home. 

One of the most fascinating stories and things we saw was Vasa, a wooden warship built in the early 17th century.

Vasa wooden ship

Vasa - aft

Vasa Wooden ship

 

It was to be the most advanced Naval ship ever built.  It was also gorgeous with wood carvings of figures and the King spared nothing.  "People from a half dozen countries toiled here from sunrise to sunset, six days a week, as carpenters, sawyers, smiths, mastmakers, turners, and a host of other specialized trades."  When it was ready to set sail it was an event.  Unfortunately it foundered shortly after it set sail and went to its watery grave not far from where it was built.  In the early 1950's a Swedish navy and amateur archaelogist started searching for lost ships.  In the mid 1950's a core sample pointed them to the Vasa.  It was quite an operation to raise it, but they did and now you can see it in its full form at the Vasa Museum.  They have a great website that you can read to find out much more about the ship and what it was like for sailors during that time.  The fact that my husband has never forgotten is that each man on board got a ration of a gallon of beer a day.  (Actually he remembered 3 gallons! but in reading it looks like it was "just" one gallon.)  It was supposedly "weak ale."  Since they couldn't store water for the long voyages and keep it safe they had to drink fermented drink.  I am just imagining the aroma these ships must've had as they came into port.

 

Vasa wooden ship

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