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Sunday, October 28, 2007

My friend Stef alerted me to this post by Watchismo with pictures of an elaborate skull watch that was made for Mary Queen of Scots in the 16th century. You must take a look! The site also has great pictures of an 1810 skull pocket watch and a 1610 skull clock.

Stef lives in Los Angeles, so she helpfully sent me L.A. Confidential, which surprised me last week by using my Juana Peekaboo Skull Ring to illustrate an entry for skulls in their “Don’t” column five months after the ring graced the “Do” column. Normally, my reaction to this kind of thing would be, “As long as they spelled my name right…” The catch is, as I previously noted, that both times they failed to mention me at all!

I thought the surprises were over, and then I got the magazine. They made Juana into a LOLring! Seriously, there is speech bubble coming from the ring. Here is a craptastic scan. Click to enlarge:

Can someone tell me what that word is? I can’t even read it!

Stef points out that this column is by Melissa Rivers. To thank Melissa, I made a LOLrivers from a lovely photo of Melissa and her mother, Joan.

If skull-loving Mary Queen of Scots were living in L.A., she would beat a bitch’s ass over this. Okay, that’s a lie. Mary was a crybaby and followed the worst advice. She would run weeping to Maxfield to buy a new watch. In a situation like this, you really want Elizabeth I on your side. She’d beat a bitch’s ass and then cut a bitch’s head off! She cut Mary’s head off and Mary was her cousin!

One of the many things I like about Elizabeth I was that she was secure about her style. That’s what happens when you are personally chosen by God to rule the nation. You can wear whatever you like, whenever you like, for as long as you like, just like the Olsen twins. In The Life of Elizabeth I, Alison Weir writes, “As an unmarried woman, Elizabeth delighted in wearing low-cut necklines, right into old age…” Elizabeth was into jewelry too. Weir quotes a German visitor as saying that everything Elizabeth wore was “‘studded with very large diamonds and other precious stones, and over her breast, which was bare, she wore a long filigree shawl, on which was set a hideous large black spider that looked as if it were natural and alive.'” That spider is so punk rock!

Elizabeth I on casual Friday

One of my all-time favorite Elizabeth stories (also from the Weir book) was an interaction Elizabeth had with the Scottish ambassador, Sir James Melville. Liz liked everyone to acknowledge that she was the fairest of them all. She tried to get Melville to say who was prettier, Liz or Mary? Who danced better and played the lute better? Being a diplomat, Melville told Elizabeth she was the prettiest queen in England and Mary was the prettiest queen in Scotland. That’s not an answer! That’s like when I tried to get my mother to say who her favorite child was, and she said, “You are my favorite older child and Terri Berry is my favorite younger child.” Dang! That woman is cagey! We had that conversation yesterday. Just kidding! It was a long time ago. Yesterday was when she told me she found my sister under a cabbage leaf.

How do you even fit a child under one of these?

Anyway, Elizabeth finally asked about Mary’s height: “Who is the higher?” Melville must have figured that this question was safe to answer. He said Mary was. “Then she is over-high,” Elizabeth sassed back, “for I am neither over-high or over-low.” Then she screamed, “Take that, beyotch!” and snapped her fingers and did that neck thing. Okay, I made up that last part. But all those other quotes are from the Weir book, except for the words “sassed back.”

I named what I think is my prettiest piece of jewelry in Elizabeth’s honor so I could stay on her good side. Elizabeth was portrayed as “Gloriana” in the epic poem The Faerie Queene. Here is Gloriana the necklace.

Gloriana Necklace © Wendy Brandes 2007-2008
Photo by John Muggenborg 

Elizabeth kept Mary prisoner for 17 years after Mary turned up in England uninvited. Plots to overthrow Elizabeth kept forming with Mary playing the star role. Elizabeth’s advisers felt their queen was nurturing a serpent in her bosom. In fact, they called Mary “the bosom serpent,” which was why I named a snake necklace for her.

Queen of Scots Necklace © Wendy Brandes 2007-2008
Photo by John Muggenborg

And here’s a bad scan of Juana‘s “Do” appearance in L.A. Confidential. Ah, those were the good old days. Click to enlarge.

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30 Responses to “Where Be Your Gibes Now?”

  1. Bobble Bee says:

    LOL @ Elizabeth I on casual Friday 😀
    Geeeeez Wendy… you’re GOOOOOOD! 😉

  2. Jen (MahaloFashion.Com) says:

    Joan and melissa rivers…oh I can’t stand them both, they spell t-a-c-k-y

  3. Just a girl says:

    I also love Elizabeth I, and admire her for always sticking to her morals…generally about men…But I love that you’ve named one of your beautiful pieces of jewellery after her! And the serpent after that bitch Mary.

    Just a girl

  4. CountryGirl_CityLife says:

    obvi, ouch, I am glad I never even used that slang word.

    I love the ring, its so not “obvi” and here to stay. Hello Capris are managing to still exist on millions of women 10 years later. Those nasty rivers hos need to just go into retirement already and totally become the grey gardens of our generation.

  5. La Belette Rouge says:

    Love Queen E’s casual Friday look. It is not the usual Friday fare of capris and tees. She knew how to dress.

  6. Meg says:

    Joan Rivers makes me laugh because she’s stuck in 80’s. What’s her daughter wearing? Orange? Why?

  7. MOLLY GRAY says:

    now i now when i’m been tacky or not..

  8. In Yr Fshn says:

    Ah the Rivers witches strike again! At first I thought they were making poor Juana speak French, but then I saw it was obvi. Ugh.

  9. WendyB says:

    I thought it was “obvi” at first, but then I thought would they have left the “b” so open? I guess so! But it looks weird! It looked to me like an “L” with something squeezed up to it.

  10. GCA says:

    Isn’t using annoying slang one of Melissa River’s DON’Ts? The reason you can’t read the word is because it ISN’T one!

    Ms Rivers, Jr and Ms Rivers, Crone, should both remember what unabated meanness leads to: the outside will start to look like the inside and no amount of nipping or tucking can disguise it.

  11. Miss Woo says:

    The Lolriver and caption really gets a “lol” out of me. I like Joan Rivers, though sadly that does not extend to her outfit

  12. G.G. says:

    I love the Gloriana necklace – just like the sunbursts on her sleeves in the Armada portrait!

  13. Lady N says:

    whoa – those skulls in that link look pretty creepy

  14. jdbsusanna says:

    I love the Mary Queen of Scots necklace. It’s beautiful.

  15. Vintage Bunny says:

    The good part is that since the article was by Melissa Rivers,its okay….she has crappy taste so it does not count.
    Who uses words like “obvi”????

  16. The Clothes Horse says:

    I’m glad that the greatest use of Elizabeth’s God-given sovreignty was to make daring fashion decisions. Where would we be today with out her?
    Such, an amusing version–if they taught history like this in schools, children would be much better educated.

  17. jungle dream pagoda says:

    I love that peek-a-boo ring!!! …and I love the post all the little Elizabethan tidbits,so yummy!Oh,and great Scot thats an incredible skull watch from Mary Queen of…

  18. Moira says:

    WTF?! Is Paris Hilton in the “Do” column? If so, I think you’re in the right column : )

  19. Heather says:

    That ring is so a Do. Melissa Rivers is just a big, big Don’t. Listen to citizen fashion journalists, we’re not paid to have our opinions!

  20. WendyB says:

    Thank you, Heather!

  21. shoeaddict says:

    Oh good god, I want that necklace… badly.

  22. Shaz says:

    what does obvi mean? is that some sort of slang? To tell you the truth anything coming out of the Rivers bitches is a load of crap, hey im not going to admit paris fressing her dogs up is cute, just because that twat tells me too.

    I personally love your ring, and im sure alot of others would agree!

    its one of those things you just have to snikker at think of the hilarity.

  23. Paul Pincus says:

    The Gloriana necklace is genius.

    “Missy” Rivers is a little tragic!


  24. Dustcakeboy says:

    How apt! Seeing as Elizabeth-The Golden Age is opening today in the UK! *excited*

    Those two pieces are simply splendid. Most definitely fit for a queen.

    Fantastic blogetry as per usual.


  25. Diana @ So Fash'on says:

    you are so funny!!! I personally loved that ring and still do…. I don’t think it’s something that goes out of style that easily.

  26. Diana @ So Fash'on says:

    you are so funny!!! I personally loved that ring and still do…. I don’t think it’s something that goes out of style that easily.

  27. Diana @ So Fash'on says:

    you are so funny!!! I personally loved that ring and still do…. I don’t think it’s something that goes out of style that easily.

  28. Esme says:

    hehe that was funny!

  29. KatieCdot says:

    love this, as I do all things educational and hilarious, a la drunk history

    I just added this new scarf to my etsy shop that I was inspired to make after seeing this same QE painting—the one with the little Ermine sitting on her lap like: ’sup I’m an Ermine, I am royally cute.

  30. déjà pseu says:

    “when you are personally chosen by God to rule the nation. You can wear whatever you like, whenever you like, for as long as you like, just like the Olsen twins.”

    OK, that’s my LOL for the day. Joan and Melissa…feh.