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August 06, 2012

Boston Beads

I'm on the road again.  I had no time to post while I was in Boston, but now that I'm in Cooperstown, NY (and there's nothing to do except for two baseball games a day), I'll be able to add my updates.  Oh yeah - the title is supposed to be a little word play on Boston Beans - but I doubt you would get that, so I figured I'd explain.
Boston was fabulous.  I lived there for 5 years while I went to college (BU), so it was like going home for me.  I'm very encouraged that my daughter loved everything about the city - and will be considering going to college there.  It's also where I fell in love with jewelry and started my journey learning to make it.

I was lucky enough to visit one of my favorite bead stores in Brookline called The Pear Tree.  They used to be a high end handcraft import store focused on jewelry and artifacts 25 years ago, but now they only have beads.  That's a little disappointing since their artwork, tapestries and hand crafts were some of the best around.

I bought a variety of beads that I could never find in California.  They are mostly Tibetan silver and turquoise.  I thought the prices were very reasonable.

I bought two cinnabar focal beads.  These are rather large and very detailed.  I hope they are real cinnabar (not that I'm very sure what that is), but I really like them and have not found anything like this in CA.

Here is a close-up of the Tibetan silver charms.  There are two Ganesh, the elephant headed Hindu diety.   Ganesh is responsible for wisdom, learning, and removing obstacles.  But I bought these because I felt they were unusual and had great patina.  They don't appear to be mass produced, and a lot of the Himalayan silver is headed in that direction.

I also bought some Tibetan turquoise carved fetishes.  Two frogs and a duck.  The duck is my trip souvenir, since as I led my group of 11 tourists around Boston, they called me Mrs. Mallard after the Bronze statue in the Boston Public Garden.

I've always had a thing for frogs too.  I bought the large carved fetishes from another favorite bead and crystal shop in Brookline Village called Horai-San.  Just out of curiousity, I did a quick search on the meaning of Frog Totems.  Interesting.

Brookline is right outside Boston and is a beautiful town (it is where JFK was born).  It used to be very eclectic, but Coolidge Corner (my old stomping grounds) has sold out and is now boring and commercial.  Brookline Village, however, has retained its unique charm and individuality.  Thanks goodness everything has not gone to sh*t.  

One thing that has improved is my old apartment building.  Built in 1898, it was a rent control paradise when I lived there.  The road was gravel and the apartment was big - and cheap.  It has obviously gone condo since rent control went away.  It never looked this nice when I lived there!


  1. These are just to cute. The Turquoise pieces are my favorite. :)

  2. HI,
    I read your chat on the Chat and am planning on doing my annual visit to the family at the end of September. I was born and raised in Lowell, Ma and at 18 moved to Cambridge for college (Harvard & Suffolk) and stayed until my son was a sophomore in college. I left in 1984 and now get lost when "going home". Joy Joslin

  3. Thank you . I can't wait to use them1