Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Challenge of Music

Take the Challenge

When Erin announced the theme of her newest creative challenge I couldn’t sign up fast enough. The thought of making a piece of jewelry based on a song, album, or music genre was intriguing, and something I've never done before.

I love most genres of music, though some more than others. Growing up we took a family vacation every summer, but because our car radio didn’t work beyond the city, we passed the time on the long stretches of highway by singing Folk songs like Down in the valley, Oh Susanna, Home on the range, Yankee Doodle, and My Bonnie. Truly I miss singing these old Folk songs. In the ‘70’s I enjoyed Rock Bands such as the Eagles, Queen, Lynyrd Skynrd, Rolling Stones and more. I enjoyed some of the pop music of the ‘80’s, and even a bit of the hip-hop of the ‘90’s. It seems every decade has its own unique style of music, and it was not so easy to choose a song for the challenge.

Currently I am enjoying the soulful songs from Adele, though the radio stations tend to play them over and over until they are beat to death. I love her voice, and the raw emotion of her songs. The song I chose was Adele’s ‘Set Fire to the Rain’. I ran a few design ideas in my brain, but as I searched my stash I realized I didn’t have the right beads. And because I have put myself on a bead diet until I use up my stash, (another challenge of its own) I couldn’t make the vision that was floating in my head. Instead, I chose to make a piece that represents the emotion of her latest album ‘21’which came after a heartbreaking ending to her first real relationship.

'Set Free My Heart'

Red is the color of love, but it can also represent pain, both of which Adele experience with her latest relationship. The focal consists of a Swarovski Red Magma Navette Pendant, a vintage rhinestone bead, a red lampwork bead from Lynda’s Lampwork Beads, all of which are connected to a fabulous pewter winged focal from Lynn Davis. A few red crystal beads connect the focal to a dark petite etched chain from Vintaj. The dark chain symbolizes the bleak moments of the broken relationship.

Close-up of the pendant

Please check out what all the participants made for this challenge.

Erin Prais-Hintz
Marcie Abney
Christine Altmiller
Elisabeth Auld
Lori Bowring Michaud
Shannon Chomanczuk
Cece Cormier
Jenny Davies-Reazor
Malin de Koning
Beth Emery
Michelle Escano-Caballero
Erin Fickert-Rowland
Therese Frank
Amy Freeland
Tanya Goodwin
Stephani Gorman
Amy Grass
Beth Hemmila
Kristina Johansson
Jennifer Justman
Tari Kahrs
Susan Kennedy
Ema Kilroy
Kathleen Lange Klik
Kirsi Luostarinen
Paige Maxim
Beth McCord
Natalie McKenna
Alice Peterson
Cat Pruitt
Bobbie Rafferty
Johanna Rhodes
Cynthia Riggs
Sally Russick
Sarah Sequins
Amy Severino
Staci Smith
Kristen Stevens
Lola Surwillo
Sandi Volpe
Lesley Watt
Holly Westfall
Shaiha Williams

Thank you Erin for allowing me to stretch my creative imagination with the Challenge of Color.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

After the 40 Days

Self- Portrait by Wendi Solari via pinterest

Yesterday was Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. According to the gospels, Jesus spent 40 days fasting in the desert before beginning his ministry. Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of our own 40-day period of prayer and fasting.

I love the church season of Lent as it causes us to reflect on our lives and our relationship with Christ. It is 40 days of repentance, 40 days of preparation for Easter, 40 days of fasting and/or moderation. It reminds us that we belong to Christ.

Some observe the season of Lent by giving up something like soda pop or unhealthy food for the 40 days. Others choose to reflect inwardly with more prayer or by doing something good each day.

But what if we didn’t stop after the 40 days? What if after Easter we continued our Lenten journey with Christ with more prayer, continued moderation, more inward reflection. What if we chose to continue being just a little kinder, a little more helpful, a little more understanding even after Easter has passed? What if we made it a habit to do something good each day even after the calendar has been turned to July, or October, or December?

This Lenten Season, may your journey toward renewal be filled with hope, promise, thankfulness, discovery, and a deepened commitment to your faith.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

San Antonio - Mission San Jose

Mission San Jose was founded in 1720 and is still an active parish. Known as Queen of the Missions, San Jose was the largest of missions in the area, and considered a major cultural center. The missions served as a refuge for the natives who were continually pressed by encroaching neighboring tribes, and from the spread of European diseases that would eventually decimate their population. The Indians found shelter and food in exchange for labor.

Housing quarters for the native Indians

Below: The Granary which is quite large.

Below, a peek into the Indian Quarters

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A Giveaway at French Larkspur

Tracy at French Larkspur is hosting a giveaway for a $100 gift certificate to Heather's wonderful website: Post Road Vintage. Head on over to French Larkspur to enter! Here are a few of the lovely things in her shop.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

San Antonio - Part One

My husband and I recently took a trip to San Antonio. While he was attending meetings and lectures, I got to tour this beautiful city. As with any old city, there are so many amazing sights to see. I got a little snap happy with my camera, so I decided to post photos in several installments so as not to make your head spin. This first post is about a FEW of the buildings and sights I saw around town.

The Espada aqueduct, completed in 1740 and was used by the indians and missionaries that called Mission San Francisco de la Espada home.

This lovely historical building made of red sandstone is the Bexar County Courthouse. Its so large that I couldn't fit it all in, so I focused on some of the architectural design elements.

Corbells (?) and rafters at one of the missions.

Fabulous details on a lovely building downtown.

One of the gates at the Alamo

The Menger Hotel built in 1859

A beautiful, sunlit stairway at Mission Concepcion

Next up: The Missions of San Antonio

Monday, February 6, 2012

Little Jewels

I haven't had much time to make jewelry but I did manage to make these sweet earrings as a request by a customer. Currently they are my best sellers, and can be easily customized by the color, shape, and style of the bead. They are so easy to make, and my customers love the look and feel of the modern 'ear strings'. Click on the photo for a larger image.

From left to right: 'Overcast', 'Azure Sea', 'Copper Sky', 'Denim Days'

And speaking of earrings, I won these wonderful earrings from Marina Rios quite a while ago. I just love the color and texture! I apologize for not getting a photo of these up earlier. Check out Marina's blog to see more of her fantastic creations. Marina has a fun blog and I'm positive you'll come away with a smile on your face.

And I recently won these earrings from Janet Loomis. They include citrine nuggets, tiny glass beads, and copper. Don't you just love the patina on the copper pieces?! Check out Janet's Blog to see more of her creations. Thank you Janet, for the lovely earrings!

What is new with you? I hope you have a productive week!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Bead Soup Has Arrived

My Bead Soup has arrived! Actually it came Monday but its been a hectic week and I wanted to wait until I had time and proper lighting to photograph the packaging and contents.

My Bead Soup partner, Carol Dillman, put together a gorgeous Bead Soup. Check out the sweet packaging!

Inside were several sterling beads, earwires, clasp, and a sweet starfish charm. She also included a delicate chain and a pile of accent beads. The colors are my favorites; blue and green!

And look at the fabulous lampwork bead she made!

And aren't these wire coils fabulous? I have always wanted to make my own after reading Kerry Bogert's book Totally Twisted, but never found the time.

And here is the bead soup I sent Carol. She works mainly in silver so I thought I would challenge her with Vintaj components. I sent along some chain, jump rings, a filligree piece, headpins, eyepins and my favorite clasp. And there's a lovely vintage limited stock stone from Vintaj as well.

For something different, I sent few vintage beads; lucite, crystals, and buttons, plus a wood bead from Pork Chop Show.

And after I had it almost packaged and ready to go, I decided to challenge Carol even more with some red agates, a peach pit, and ammonite fossil. I hope she still likes me after this....

I'm so excited about participating in my first Bead Soup Blog Hop, and I can't wait to see what everyone else makes! I hope you will come back on March 3rd for the reveal!