Today is the reveal for my Wonder and Whimsy Monthly Challenge for February!
...You might have thought I forgot about it, since I didn't get a chance to introduce this challenge this month. At all. But, I did it--and I'm pretty excited about showing you what I made!
But, first things first... What was my challenge this month?
Well, I'm not a very big sports person, but I have really enjoyed the Winter Olympics this year. It's always amazing to me to see what people can do, and just how connected the Games make us.
|The palaestra of Olympia, a place devoted to the training of wrestlers and other athletes.|
Also, not my photo! From the Wikimedia Commons, found here.
It also amazes me just how old the idea is. While the modern Olympic Games have only been around for a century or so (with the official First Olympics being in the late 1800s), the idea of people coming together for large athletic competitions goes back thousands of years. Honestly, while the Ancient Greeks were the ones who coined the term "Olympics," I wouldn't be surprised if the idea was even older than that.
It is that ancient heritage that I decided to focus on for this challenge--specifically, those games held by the Ancient Greeks, and the symbols associated with them.
Carry the Torch
The Olympic Flame is used in the modern Olympics, but the idea itself was derived from the games in Ancient Greece, where a sacred fire was kept burning on the altar of the sanctuary of Hestia all throughout the celebration of the Games.
In modern times, this is embodied in the idea of the Olympic Torch Relay--where the flame is transported from Olympia, Greece to that year's designated site--and the lighting of the Olympic Cauldron.
So, I wanted to make a pair of earrings that was represented that flame... with bonus points for matching the idea of the Torch, as well!
The earrings are made with a combination of two colors of acrylic flowers, paired with Swarovski crystals and torch-shaped bead caps. I'm honestly really happy how they turned out--with the two colors of flowers really giving the "flame" some dimension and depth.
The second piece that I made for this challenge was inspired by the olive wreaths that served as the rewards for the victors of the Ancient Olympic games. The olive branches themselves grew from sacred trees near the Temple of Zeus. There is an anecdote that says that the Ancient Olympians did not compete for possessions, but for virtue... and, with a prize like an olive wreath, that certainly does make sense.
So, to make something to go with this symbol, I thought it would return to my roots (hah, pun intended) to make this hairstick:
For those who don't know, I actually started my professional jewelry-making career by making hairsticks and selling them on Etsy back in 2008. Nowadays, I don't really make them much at all... but, since the ancient Olympic victors would wear their olive leaves on their heads, I figured a hairstick would be a perfect representation of this symbol.
...And, well, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to use that lovely (and substantial) brass finding!
The green bead is ceramic, and the other metals are all brass as well. My hair has gotten long enough that I can actually wear hair sticks again... and this one looks lovely peaking out of my mass of curls. (I'm not very good at taking pictures of the back of my head, though, so I'm not going to post that here!)
So! There you go... those are the two pieces that I made for this month's unannounced Monthly Challenge.
Here's one last picture of them together:
Thanks so much for stopping by today! I really appreciate your time, and your readership. I hope to be a bit better about communication next month's challenge! :)
Have a lovely day, everyone!