What is it? Valentina Cirasola | Designer

A week ago author Teagan Geneviene was talking about beetles and scarabs, the amulets ancient Egyptians used for good luck charms, and to protect them in the next life. Read her here https://teagansbooks.com/2020/06/17/a-delta-pearl-extra/ 
Her novel The Delta Pearl is based on a Victorian Era steampunk riverboat adventures.

Reading the Delta Pearl Extra episode, it reminded me of the beetle on this lariat here in my picture. What is it, a beetle, or a scarab? Is it a necklace or a lariat?

From WikiDiff the “scarab is the species of beetle, sacred to the ancient Egyptians while beetle is any of numerous species of insect in the order Coleoptera characterized by a pair of hard, shell-like front wings which cover and protect a pair of rear wings when at rest”.

My client’s entire home remodeling was coming up in a week’s time, she felt overwhelmed, the house had to be emptied out, the content of all the drawers and closets had to go in boxes with labels, furniture and accessories moved to storage. She was getting depressed by the day, to speed up the process, I decided to give her a hand in doing that chore. I never knew so much treasure was going to come up into the light, so much stuff she didn’t even remember having. She asked me to open a tall and slender dresser. The shape was odd but intriguing, it had drawers and doors, the interior concealed more doors and secret drawers. I opened it up and my eyes bulged out.
I saw the most beautiful custom jewelry, nothing very new, every piece was a work of art, and clearly from a different era.

The piece of jewelry in the photo jumped at me for the strange shape, it looked like a long string of beads and not a necklace. What is it? I asked her. She told me it was a lariat. I had learned a new word that day. A lariat is a long light rope (hemp or leather) used with a running noose to catch livestock, also called lasso.
This lariat dates back circa 1915-20s. It was part of the collection my client owned before she gave it to me. It’s made of chocolate pearls, river pearls, and glass beads. The beetle, on one end of the lariat, at least I think it’s a beetle, functions as a closure.

Beetle Necklace

Beetle Lariat

She gave me a few other pieces and I wear them all. I am asked often what I am wearing on my neck. People who appreciate antiques or vintage will make a lot of comments that will strike a conversation, maybe someone in their family had a piece of scarab jewelry they remember and will talk about it, instead, people who are into trends will turn their nose up. Oh, well, the world is made of colorful people.
My client wanted it back the first time I wore it with my modern clothes. Change the angle, change the perspective, I learned it from actor Robin Wiliams. Something old worn with something new, it appears visually a new thing. She had no chance to get it back. It has been mine for 10 years already.

My client and the boat were the best parts of that project. She lived on a man-made lake. Every household on that lake had a boat docked at their backyard. All the boats looked the same, I think people rented them from the city. The boats really looked like the garden tubs for kids, baby blue on the exterior, painted white in the interior, with wooden bench seats inside, a white canopy over the top, a white boat rudder, and sidelights looking like glass canning jars for night riding. They were nothing fancy, on a hot day it was refreshing to ride over the lake. Often at lunchtime, we left the house project and went to eat at the nearby restaurant docking at their back yards.
It was fun, the client always drove it, the wine effect showed up on the way back and everyone knew about it, the workers smiled and we did too.

My design projects often resembled play and not so much like work. I have been blessed. Ciao,
Amazon Author’s Page 


Valentina Cirasola is a designer, author, TV producer and a storyteller by nature. Stories told through shapes, lines, forms, and colors are very important to her design career to convey ideas that contribute to the making of a personalized home, reflecting the life’s experiences of people living there. As an author, she writes non-fictional books, about practical ideas to apply in the home, fashion, travel, and cooking. Get copies of her books here:
Amazon  and Barnes&Noble





7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. robbiesinspiration
    Jun 25, 2020 @ 05:05:24

    A wonderful post, Valentina. My mother is also a big jewelry fan and would love this. I don’t wear jewelry much because I am always baking and making fondant art works so it doesn’t really work for me. I love looking at it though.



    • Valentina
      Jun 25, 2020 @ 06:59:42

      I love to wear statement jewelry, it is so fun. I wear short jewelry closer to my neck or chokers when I do something in the kitchen, it’s not very safe to wear dangling stuff. Thanks for sharing this post.



  2. Oh, the Places We See
    Jun 25, 2020 @ 01:21:02

    I really like this piece. It’s one that people would take a second glance to really get a good look at it. Thanks for posting.



  3. Teagan R. Geneviene
    Jun 24, 2020 @ 23:50:00

    Thanks for the shout-out, Valentina. I’ve seen lariat style necklaces go in and out of popularity. I really like the adjustability of them. Yours is a stunning example. Hugs!



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