Sunday, July 3, 2016

From Pond to Bay: A Tall Tale of Turtles




T is for Turtle Necklaces 


 Fabulous Felt Sea Turtle Barrette

Dress: Marty's, Ocean City boardwalk
Top: Material Girl, Macy's
Shoes: Christian Siriano for Payless
Bag: Xhilaration, Target
Belt: Wet Seal
Sunglasses: J. C. Penney's

No tribute to 1980s-1990s toys would be complete without a shout-out to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (not that this post is a toy tribute, but when did I ever let such details stop me?).  As a girl (and a girly one at that) growing up during these decades, I was, as I've many times mentioned, a devotee of Rainbow Brite, My Little Ponies, and Strawberry Shortcake.  But there was something about the Turtles too, something dark and gritty and, dare I say, dangerous, that captured my usually cotton candy-clogged imagination.  So, naturally, I watched the cartoon and saw all of the movies, including the originals in the early 1990s and Michael Bay's recent reboots.  Each was enjoyable in its own way, but it wasn't until I caught the 1990 version again on TV (starring Judith Hoag as April O'Neil, more recently known as the departed "Nashville's" Aunt Tandy) that I realized just how much the aesthetic of our heroes in a half shell had changed.  Way back when, they were cute claymantion-like crime-fighters, life-size carbon copies of their cartoon counterparts.  But under Bay's manly tutelage, they've morphed into bona fide warriors, their hulking shells intimidatingly tank-like.  A more subtle difference is the shift in the color of Leonardo's mask; once upon a time it was a cool, cheerful turquoise; now it's dulled to a no-nonsense cobalt.  My first thought was, oh, I'm getting old, recognizing the same righteous indignation I'd felt upon watching Andrew Garfield in The Amazing Spider-Man after years of the aw shucks charm of Tobey Maguire.  Kids -- the audience, I reminded myself pointedly, for whom this face-lift of a franchise was meant -- would pass no such judgments, mesmerized by these anthropomorphized amphibians much as I had been at the age of eight.

Change is never easy, not even in the sheltered world of toy company-aggrandized characters.  That's why I kept my own turtle trinkets simple, using good old-fashioned felt and pony beads instead of the more worldly and weathered bohemian pendants. Just think of me as your keeping-it-real jewelry crafter, a pliers-wielding Splinter dispensing pearls - er, rhinestones - somewhere high above the sewer.   


Martial arts meet masquerade in these iconic turtle masks I embellished.  The guy at the movie theater handed them to me with amusement when I bought two adult tickets.  Little did he know that the husband and I would fight over Leonardo.

One of many turtle crossing signs here in Brigantine.  If only real turtles had super powers.

2 comments:

Jewel Divas Style said...

I had a Michelangelo key ring, but then my nephews were into them back then. Yikes, how old does that make me.

Over the last few years they've resurrected so much stuff, Strawberry shortcake, cabbage Patch and Turtles, there's a new movie after all.

Do you remember Poochie? I've still got my little Poochie stamper set somewhere.

The Tote Trove said...

Yes, I remember Poochie! She had those cute sunglasses and great big pink ears, just like pigtails :)