Saturday, June 29, 2013

Quick Little Post...

Guess who planned on writing a blog entry today but is having a hard time focusing on anything because she may have broken her little toe this morning?

Yeah, that would be me.


Granted, if the toe is broken, it is a very minor break. It might just be bruised and angry. Still, it hurts, and I am doing all sorts of responsible adult-type things to take care of it. Yet, as a result, I am having a horrible time focusing on anything else--especially creating coherent thoughts.


In lieu of a real blog entry, here--have a pretty sunset picture from vacation!

I am going to go back to bed so that I can elevate my foot--and probably nap, too, because naps are lovely.

I hope everyone is having a nice day...  Don't worry about me. I'll be back, once I can focus! :)

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

A Grand Announcement of Ruckus Proportions!

There is information about a giveaway at the end of this post.  Keep reading for more info!!


Before I left on vacation, I found out something pretty spectacular... Namely, that I have been chosen to be a contributing member of Bead Ruckus.


*does a happy happy dance*

I even have a bio page and everything!

Soooo... What is Bead Ruckus? 

For the official background, go here, but here's a summary...

There is a group of five designers.  Every other month, they pick a jewelry component for the Bead Ruckus kit--be it beads, chain, charms, or something else.  All of the components are then put together to make a kit, and each designer has to make an item that uses each component in the kit.  

Simple, right?

Except that no one knows what the others have picked--making it completely random.

And, in my opinion, completely fun!

The challenge comes in using all the different components--components that you might not otherwise put together.  It's a wonderful way to push yourself as a designer, to think outside the box...

And, did I mention have fun?  :D

I am beyond thrilled that they chose me to be a contributing member, and I am so, so, so excited (nervous, too, but mostly excited) for when the kit is announced on July 1st!!


And, as promised...

There is a Giveaway!

On the Bead Ruckus website, that is.  It is running until June 29th--this Saturday--so be sure to hop over soon to check it out.

What are they giving away?  

Well, here's another question...  want to try your hand at taking a Bead Ruckus kit and making something gorgeous?  

You guessed it--enter for a chance to win the kit!!

Go here for more info!  :D

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

I'm back!

Well, here I am! 

After two weeks of being on vacation--in a cabin in the middle of a Maryland State Forest, away from wireless and cell phone signal--I am once more back in the land of technology and internet.

Both of my stores have been re-opened (well, taken out of vacation mode), and I am slowly catching up on things like email and Facebook and other such things.

And, of course, unpacking.

How was my vacation?  It was wonderful.  I had a wonderful, beautiful time with family...  Full of laughter and good food and amazing scenery.

...Yet, now, even though there is work piled up for me to do--dishes that need to be done, and clothes to be put away, and emails that need to be answered--it is wonderful to be sleeping in my own bed again, and surrounded by everyday familiarity.

It is wonderful to be home.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Just Checking In...

Vacation is being lovely!


I haven't time for a longer entry, unfortunately.  I just wanted to check in and say that I'm doing well...  I hope everyone else is doing well, too! 

Friday, June 7, 2013


And on the first day of vacation, what have I been doing?

...Cleaning the kitchen!

Hmmm. Vacationing -- I'm doing it wrong.

But!  I have also been making earrings (very interesting to do with a burned thumb, I might add).

...and tomorrow marks the beginning of the real relaxation, and that will be wonderful.

I will update here as I can.

So, until next time!  Have a wonderful day, everyone!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Songbird Tribute: An Addition!

Recently, I was asked to make a necklace to go along with this set.

I was so happy with how it turned out, that I thought I would share pictures here...

Keeper of the Instruments
Necklace for Alexander, His Grace the Preybird Kite

The listing is here, if you want to look at it.  (It's already on its way to its happy owner,  but the listing is still there.)

And now, back to packing!  Vacation is soooo close, but there is much left to be done!  (Which is even harder to do since I epically burned my thumb last night... ow ow ow.)

Hope everyone is doing well!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Upcoming Vacation

I have one word for you...


Starting this Friday, my store will be on vacation!  In fact, it will be in vacation mode from June 7th to June 25th.

...During this time, I will also not be updating much here.  I'll try to do some, just because I apparently am addicted to blogging... but if you don't see much from me, rest assured that I am alive and well, and probably sitting under a tree somewhere.

I am so, so excited.

Oh, I really, really need this break.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

History Blog Hop!

Guess what time it is!  That's right--it's time for the History Blog Hop!  Yay!

This delightful blog hop is coordinated by the lovely Leah Curtis over at Beady Eyed Bunny, who gave us a list of different cultures to pick from.  (Curious about the rules?  Go here!)

Now, I actually wanted to make pieces for all of the cultures, but for the sake of my sanity, I narrowed it down to Mesopotamia.

Why Mesopotomia?

Here's a teaser of what's to come.  :)

Well, two reasons.  First, I wanted to choose something a bit different (I have already dabbled in making Egyptian and Roman jewelry). Second, I have had the incredible good fortune of seeing some of these items in person at the Penn Museum... And, well, they made quite an impression.


This entry is divided into two parts: a quick history lesson, for those not familiar with Mesopotamian Jewelry, and then pictures of what I created.  It's a bit long, but I will do my best to make it worth your while!  :D

A Summary of Ancient Mesopotamian Jewelry
(If you're in a hurry, feel free to skip to the next part, or just scroll to look at pictures)

Almost everyone has heard of King Tut's Tomb...  How it was magnificent, and untouched by grave robbers.

Most people, however, have not heard of the tomb of Pu'abi--a Semitic Akkadian woman, who is believed to have been a Queen (or a very high ranking priestess).  Her tomb was also untouched by grave robbers--meaning that, when it was opened, the sheer amount of opulence was staggering.

Just look at some of the items they found in her tomb:

The jewelry found on Queen Pu'abi herself
Source: Sumerian Shakespeare

...And that's not including her headdress:

The headdress of Queen Pu'abi
...How cool that her earrings are actually attached to the
headdress, but made to look like they dangle from her ears!
Source: Sumerian Shakespeare

Or the pin that they believe held up her hair:

Sumerian Shakespeare

In fact, Queen Pu'abi's jewelry weighed 14 pounds.  Can you even imagine?

Reconstruction of the Queen's jewelrySource: Sumerian Shakespeare

But, wait, that's not all!  She was buried with 52 attendants--and they all had elaborate jewelry, too!

Attendant's attire
Source: Sumerian Shakespeare

The people of Mesopotamia used many different materials in these amazing works of art, including (but not limited to) carnelian, gold, agate, and lapis lazuli.

In fact, they loved lapis lazuli.  To them, it represented fabulous wealth, literally and figuratively.  It had to be imported over vast distances, therefore making it extremely expensive. (Source: Sumerian Shakespeare)

Pu'abi herself was draped in it.  

Gold and Lapis Lazuli Beads worn by Pu'abi and her attendants
Source: Sumerian Shakespeare

Choker Necklace of Queen Pu'abi, made of gold and lapis lazuliSource: Sumerian Shakespeare

To the people of Mesopotamia, jewelry was a status symbol, a fail-safe wedding gift, a tool for diplomacy.  Indeed, scholars look to their work as the progenitor of modern jewelry:

“Sumerian jewellery fulfilled practically all the functions which were to occur during the course of history. In fact, there were more different types of jewellery than there are today.” – Guido Gregorietti, jewelry historian  (source: Dissecting Mesopotamian Jewelry)
And so, there you go... a brief(ish) introduction to Mesopotamian jewelry.  Now, now on to what I made for this blog hop!  :)

The Jewelry I Made

I have always loved the combination of gold and lapis. In fact, I had actually thought that it was a combination more often seen in ancient Egyptian work... Imagine my surprise, then, when I realized that it is practically everywhere in Mesopotamian art. (Another example: this lyre.) So, I decided to work in those colors.  

When it comes to the form of Mesopotamian jewelry, I was inspired by the choker of Queen Pu'abi herself (seen in that last picture). I decided to use that as a springboard for my creations. 

Oh, and a quick note about materials: I am fresh out of lapis--even in our modern economy, it can be quite pricey, and I do not have the budget that Pu'abi had. 

Instead, I used blue glass and blueberry quartz.  I also used gold-plated metal and vintage hammered brass beads--trying to capture both the brilliant shine of the Mesopotamian pieces, as well as the weathered look that comes from its age.

As per usual, I made three pieces: a necklace, a matching pair of earrings, and a pair of hairsticks (after all, she had a hairpin!).

Now, you've waited long enough: on to the shinies!!

The Necklace

Made in the same manner as the choker of Pu'abi...
Only more prominent, and with a dangle.

The Earrings

These are long and dangly--like the hoops on
Pu'abi's headdress.  Also, they match the necklace.

The Hairsticks

I took the most liberty with these... Using the color
and form of the other two pieces as an inspiration.

And, in a grand finale, here is everything together!

So, there you go!

Thank you so, so much for joining me on this awesome jewelry adventure... allowing me to mix my love for ancient cultures with my love for creating shiny things.  Hurray!

(And, one day, I really really want to make a bead cape like they found in the tomb of Pu'abi... I don't know if I'd ever wear it, or find a market for it, or be able to justify the amount that it would cost in materials alone, but it would be so fun. Maybe one day when I become amazingly wealthy... *wistful sigh*)

Now, I do have other pieces planned for some of the other, different cultures...  Perhaps, one of these days, I'll be able to post them here as well.  (Amongst everything else I have planned, heh.) 

And, of course, thank you, Leah, for hosting such a fun blog hop!!  I had a blast!


Want to know more about Mesopotamian Jewelry?

Look here!

Penn Museum (for Pu'abi herself)
Penn Museum (for the beginning of the Ancient Mesopotamia Exhibit)
Dissecting Mesopotamian Jewelry
Sumerian Shakespeare


Want to see what everyone else made for this blog hop?  

Check out these other participants!  :)

Leah Curtis - Indus Valley - 
Laney Mead - Māori -
Becca - Art Nouveau -
Melissa - English Romanticism and Mourning Jewelry -
Tracy Stillman - Native American -
Gerda - English Romanticism and Mourning Jewelry -
Liz E - Native North American -
Ahowin - Māori (New Zealand)  - 
Jasvanti - Indus Valley -
Lizzie - Art Nouveau - 
Julia Hay - Merovingian -
Dini - Celtic -
Caroline - Art Nouveau - 
Charlie - Moche of Peru - 
Karin - China -
Niky Sayers - Rome - 
Marcia Dunne - Celctic and Mourning Jewelry -
Jenny Kyrlach - Mesopotamia - (You are here!)
Kokopelli - Native American -
Christa - Native American -
Clair - Roman -
Susan Bowie - Native American -
Gloria Allen - English Romanticism -
Sheila Garrett - Early Russia -