Last September our family went on a two week holiday to Malta. Unfortunately I didn't have the best of times, which is what happens when you have an already sensitive stomach and you just happen to drink a litre of undrinkable tap water within the first few hours you arrive (it was midnight, after travelling for a whole day including arriving in the middle of a street Carnival, and in my defence the label on the tap was tiny!). But that didn't stop me from trying to get my annual tan...I know this Olaf doesn't melt in the sunshine!
And while I was praising the sun my family went on an exploration of the island and visited the Ta' Qali Crafts Village, which is located in an old and repurposed RAF station near Mdina, the ancient capital of the island. Each hut is now a store selling little trinkets of either glassware, pottery or jewellery (as well as more touristy stuff). They also have a glass factory where you can walk in and watch them making little glass ornaments (swans at the time...very hot, but fascinating!). And my parents brought me back a filigree Maltese Cross pendant from the Exquisite Jewellery Malta shop. If you didn't know, the Cross is very much the symbol of Malta and is found on nearly everything (including the little box in the photo above), but don't just take my word for it, that's what wikipedia's for!
After seeing this gorgeous filigree artwork - which is made by hand from fine silver wire - I was convinced I needed to go to the shop for myself, and that's when I picked up all the other "exquisite" (indeed!) pieces you see.
First up, the flower earrings (they had a matching ring but I much preferred the earrings). They are quite big (I have to take my second piercings out to be able to wear them) but because of the lacework they look "light" and not at all overbearing. Very reminiscent of The Lord of the Rings Elven jewellery (hands up if you wish the elves had opened a jewellery store after you saw those movies as a kid, I know I did!) I feel like a forest elf frolicking in a flowering meadow when I wear these, and I love it!
But when I saw that they made sea creatures my heart melted! I had to pick up one of their dolphins (they had two different designs), my aquatic spirit animal! You can see in this close-up just how much work and detail goes into these little pieces of artwork. Plus, you could watch the owner, Mario, working on new pieces while wandering around the store.
Which is where this next design comes in. I really liked this bracelet, but as you know from my watch collection post, I have the eternal struggle of the small wrist, it just didn't fit! So the owner kindly offered to take out a section and then spontaneously made a pendant out of the spare piece so that I could have a matching set; so kind and very much appreciated. Thank you Mario!
And finally, we have my all time favourite one of the assortment, the seahorse! It may or may not have something to do with the fact that it reminds me of my favourite Belgian chocolate...Guylian Chocolates which are all shaped in the form of sea related things; seahorses, starfish, seashells etc. (which sadly I can't eat anymore because of gluten, but I don't mind my silvery reminder).
Although this particular pendant is not in fact filigree, there is still an appreciation for the intricacies of a lace influenced design, the metal is just not "pulled" as thinly.
So there you have it, all the jewellery I picked up from the delightful Exquisite Jewellery Malta store in Ta' Qali. If you're not as big of a fan of silver as me, they additionally have yellow and also rose gold coloured jewellery for sale.
What is your favourite coloured metal to wear?
Do you have a spirit animal, if so which one?
What do you pick up as souvenirs from your travels? I've been a collector since I was a kid. What can I say, it's the little mermaid in me..."Look at this stuff, isn't it neat? Wouldn't you think my collection's complete?" - sings the rest of the song as I look at my stuff. If it's now stuck in your head too, you're welcome! :P