Saturday, September 1, 2012




hmmmm what comes to mind. 
 Snow covered Alps with Heidi and her cup of Swiss Miss hot chocolate skipping along a flower covered meadow meeting up with  Maria and the Von Trapps.....


 Did you know that the Von Trapp Family Singers  very calmly boarded a train and actually went to Italy? Sorry no night time trek over the hills and "alps".....    Heidi (one of my all time favorite reads and movie) is one of the best selling books ever written and is among the best known works of Swiss literature.  

There are cliches in many countries that Switzerland is just a big factory for cheese, chocolate and cuckoo clocks,"

No-one knows exactly when or where cheese was invented - although it can be said for certain that it was not in Switzerland.     Swiss cheese was mentioned by the first century Roman historian Pliny the Elder, who called it Caseus Helveticus - the "cheese of the Helvetians", one of the tribes living in Switzerland at the time.                    

 If a 1793 travel guide is to be believed:

"It is rather strange that cheese and butter should be so bad in inns throughout Switzerland. Even in the regions which produce a lot of milk, it is hard to get good cream for your coffee or fresh butter, because the locals find it more profitable to make cheese out of their milk."
Switzerland soon exported not only cheese but cheesemakers too. Many of the  thousands of Swiss who settled in the US in the 19th century were dairymen, some of whose descendents are still making cheese here today. (yeah Wisconsin)

While the 17th century saw the start of chocolate processed in Switzerland Swiss Miss is made by an American company.  In the 1950's  it sold the original hot cocoa product as an on board beverage to airline passengers. Only after the drink became popular did it show up on super market shelves.
François-Louis Cailler established the oldest chocolate factory still in use in Switzerland. It is near Vevey in canton Vaud, and opened in 1819. He opened a second factory in 1825.  Cailler's most important innovation was to develop a smooth chocolate that could be made into  bars.                                                     
                                                             I could marry that man!!!

                                                     Well so much  for my daydreams.....

Cuckoo !!  Cuckoo!!.....

I can't forget to mention the Swiss manufacturing of time pieces.The cuckoo clock is often wrongly viewed a Swiss creation. This is not to say Switzerland has no part in cuckoo clock history. Many of movement inside cuckoo clocks are Swiss produced and of the highest quality. However, the cuckoo clock is and always has been a German creation. Each spring, the farmers would emerge with their completed cuckoo clocks and show them off in the town square. Competition quickly ensued and each farmer would try to out do their neighbor by carving a more elaborate cuckoo clock the next winter. This could account for the fancy and time consuming designs that are part and parcel with the cuckoo clock. That sly cuckoo bird knows how to raise their kids....they sneak into the nest of some unsuspecting bird and leave a deposit behind for them to raise while they fly off to have fun.  

                                                             ....maybe to the beach????


Did you know that Switzerland has Palm Trees? 
 Introduced from China by a Scottish biologist in 1850. 
  The Ticino region  is known as the Tropical Alps Region
 Speaking of sun and fun.....
 In Switzerland, it is illegal to mow your front lawn while you're dressed as Elvis(it's true!)

 Then there is the "witching hour"

 If you are a practicing witch  beware the last legal execution of a witch was in 1782 in Switzerland. 

Getty Images Photo By Harold Cunningham/Getty Images
 Belalp Witches Ski Race 
The race is inspired by a legend dating back to the middle ages of a witch who tormented villagers in the area until she was burnt to death.

You better speak something besides English....The Swiss give you  4 choices...German, French Italian, and
  el e te es  be ea de 
 (lets bead)!!!

I kept it ice stones and hard  cold metal
My Inspiration 

even the houses look like alps!

Kyanite I love this cut!



A spoon bowl lily filled with blue  glass chips 
glass, pearls and a little sparkle...what more does a gal need.....

Thank you Erin and Marcie  for this Callenge of Travel Blog Hop.   It brought back  all those wonderful times spent  in my school years researching projects.  I had a great time finding little known facts and oddities!
I am linking you back to Erin for the whole list....enjoy your travels


  1. Your post brings back wonderful memories for me. When I was about 12 I went to Switzerland with my family. I had a pen pal from there and was even able to meet her in person. The Swiss Alps are gorgeous, the cuckoo clocks fun and whimsical, and there is no better chocolate than Lindt! Your pictures are beautiful and your jewelry, as always, is out of this world.

  2. What an interesting blog. Your necklace is gorgeous. I love, love, love the spoon lily focal.

  3. That has got to be the most beautiful blue ever in that photo of Bern! And I like how you emulated that shade in your necklace.

  4. Loved that you debunked the cultural cliches! Your necklace is great! Beautiful ingredients, and so wearable!

  5. I just love your gift with spoons! Gorgeous piece, and lovely travel inspiration

  6. One of my fav pieces by far.. Great job.

  7. The necklace is simply stunning. I love the blue, silver and dark leather. I am just in awe of how you create such lovely focals from spoons.

  8. Hi Kim,
    Thank you for taking me along on your trip to Switzerland. I enjoyed learning about the country and all the little facts about cheese, chocolate mmmm, cuckoo cuckoo clocks, the tropical part of Switzerland, the witching hour, and other little tid bits about the country. The keepsake necklace that you made to remember your trip is very pretty I love the design and the cool blue and silver colors you used.

  9. I have been to Switzerland.. in the Summer.The chocolate certainly lived up to expectation.. and the mountains, while not covered in snow on my trip were beautiful as were the quaint houses and the lakes. Loved your necklace and the inspiration photo. The blue glass chips are perfect.. and go well with the 'cold' colour of your beaten spoon.

  10. Love the cool tones you chose which so closely match your picture inspiration. Another beautiful job Kim as expected. I love blue with Silver and the lily focal - how special is that!

  11. I loved reading your blog post!!! Did not know the von Trapp family actually went to Italy... Your design is simply spectacular...including your description (blue ice stones and hard cold metal - LOVE IT!). BTW, my favorite line in your blog post is "even the houses look like alps"...I could live there based on the pics of the mountains alone...

  12. Thanks for the tour of Switzerland. -Great inspiration for your beautiful necklace ;)

  13. Your necklace is beautiful and really evokes the steely, icy blues in your inspiration picture! Thanks for the trip around Switzerland!

  14. Very nice ! Love the ice blue colors!

  15. Wow! What a great post with lots of information about so many things. I love tidbits of silly things that no one else knows, (like its illegal to mow your lawn while dressed as Elvis! ) What fun! Your inspiration photo......I love it! Your necklace just resonates the same vibrations as the photo! Beautiful work!

  16. What a fun read! Thanks for pulling out the quirky, always interesting. I'm a total sucker for Kyanite and I love how you used it here - what an amazing photo!

  17. Kim, you broke my heart tellin' me "The Sound of Music" was hokey LOL. But that's O.K., the rest of your post more than made up for it! First I'm going to tell you I love that amazing spoon bowl pendant and the way you have designed around it... gorgeous!

    I don't "save" pics often, but that shot of Bern's attached houses all snaking their way up the hillside... sublime; I couldn't resist sneaking it into my own inspiration folder. Your other photos were both entertaining and awe-inspiring.

    It always impressed me that Switzerland has four official languages (but the paperwork must be killer!) Thanks for sharing your exhaustive and reader-friendly research, Kim. Switzerland is a venerable lady indeed!

  18. Oh, and I am SO coming back to check out your kitties!

  19. Your inspiration piece is so everything about the necklace, but especially the "calla lily".

  20. Kim, oh wow, what a lovely lesson you've given us to chew on! And your necklace? I absolutely *lovelove* it! Kyanite is a fave of mine too ;)

  21. Thanks for all the great information on Switzerland! I think it would be a great place to visit.

    Your necklace is gorgeous. I'm glad you kept the design simple to show off each bead and component. Love the Kyanite!

  22. What a beautiful necklace! Simple was definitely the way to go so that each bead could sing.

  23. Thank you for dispelling the myths about this beautiful land! I would have to say that I thought of all those cliches. The land is rugged and seemingly untamed. But palm trees? That just blew me away! I love that shot of the houses with the roofs that look like they are a scaly dragon tail. That is what I thought of when you showed your pendant. That the folds of the metal mimicked that perfectly and the cool blue kyanite was like the granite peaks of the Swiss Alps. You say that is a spoon? Clever! Thank you for joining me on the journey around the world, Miss Kim! Enjoy the day. Erin

  24. WOW! Love your necklace, it's so amazing! And what a wonderful post! Hilarious and informative!

  25. Loved traveling through Switzerland with you! And glad you didn't pick something cliched like the cuckoos or the chocolates for inspiration (although...the witches would have been fun, lol)

    LOVE that necklace, amazing colors!

  26. Wow, a geography lesson, history lesson, and an incredible necklace in one post!! The necklace is superb!

  27. Switzerland is a wonderful country where most of the people love to visit and to enjoy the atmosphere. This time I have planned to visit over there during the winter season. The jewelry looks really gorgeous and antic.


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