Friday, October 30, 2015

The Jenny Monthly Challenge - October Reveal

Well, here it is. It's the end of October, and the day for the reveal of my October Monthly Challenge.

And I certainly have a lot to show!

As a refresher, my challenge this month was to make jewelry based off of the works of Edward Gorey--an artist and illustrator known for his unsettling scenes, as well as his drawings of cats. 

Not my photo!
All of these pictures are from the Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats.

In particular, I focused on the illustrations he did for the Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats, a book of poems by T.S. Eliot. Why? Because they're my favorite, and it's my blog and I can do that. 

Now, to be clever, I'm going to post these sets in order of how much time and effort they took. For example, the first set took about 15 minutes, while the last took practically the entire month. 

Oh, and I named each set using one of T.S. Eliot's poems--again, to be clever. ;)

And so, without further ado... here's what I made!

Set 1
Macavity's Not There

...Pawprints, but no trace of the cat himself!

For this set, I actually made the pendant and the earrings using stickers. Yep--stickers. To show you that I'm not making that up, here you can see a before and after:

These stickers are already rigid, so I simply placed them on a firm backing, cut around the shape, and then glued them to the bail/earring studs. I have no idea how durable these are, but they were simple and fun and fit my theme. Black, white, and cat related? Check! 

Set 2
The Rum Tum Tugger is a Curious Cat

...So named, because it incorporates Gorey's illustration of the Rum Tum Tugger. And by that, I mean that it incorporates an actual page of the book that has been cut out, sandwiched between two panes of glass and soldered shut. That's wearable art, right there!

I should also mention that I did not make the pendant... I purchased it from PisforPaper, a lovely Etsy shop that has all sorts of such illustration pendants available. (You can see the packaging above.) There are quite a few others from the same book--it was really hard to choose which one to buy!

Now, I suppose that this could be seen as cheating a little bit... Not just making jewelry that is inspired by an artist, but also including that art in the finished piece. Still, it was too cool not to do. So, cheating or not, it still makes me happy! 

Oh, and for those that are curious... I paired the pendant with black striped agate, lava rock, and glass pearls. Once again, I was trying to keep with the black-and-white coloring so typical of Gorey's pen illustrations. I think it works. :)

Set 3
The Jellicle Ball

...Shades of black and white!

Now, you might be a bit confused--because, yes, the above picture does not show jewelry. Instead, it shows the very beginning of this set. That's right--this set started its life as four sheets of paper.

...And those sheets of paper were cut into strips, rolled, glued, and coated with sealant to become beads!

I made so many beads

Oh, look, pawprints!
Even though you don't see them when the beads are rolled, it's still
a tip-of-the-hat to T.S. Eliot's poems and Gorey's illustrations. 

And those paper beads became this:

I paired those paper beads with zebra stone and silver plated findings to make the final set--again, shades of black and white. I like the way the lines on the beads echo the lines of Gorey's drawings. 

Oh, and I included the cat charm to bring it all together.

All told, this set took three weeks to make. As I said, I made so many beads--even though I only used a fraction of them. Ah well--that just means that I have more left over to play with!

...But, wait, I'm not done! I have one bonus set to share!

Set 4 - bonus!
Old Deuteronomy

...Thus named, because it's old. Very old. You see, the focal bead--as well as many of the other beads--are actually fossils.

So, why is this a bonus set?

Well, I didn't actually make this set specifically for this challenge. I had just been working so much with shades of black and white and grey that I had all sorts of beads in those hues covering my worktable. When I was done with everything else, I wanted to make something pretty with those leftovers--and so I did. 

Once it was done, I realized that it fit the color scheme--and the general feel--of what I was aiming for with this challenge. And so, I figured--why not include it? The more, the merrier!

...And, with that, my reveal draws to a close. 

As I said, I made many things! And all things inspired by Edward Gorey's work--namely, the look, the feel, and the subject of his illustrations. 

Oh, and I am pleased to share that each of the three main sets include something paper-related, be it stickers or paper beads or an actual piece of the source book. I have to admit that it was fun doing jewelry-supply shopping in the papercraft section... Nothing is safe! If I can turn it into jewelry, I will!

Papercraft destined to become jewelry!
...You'll notice that I actually put numbers in the bags of beads,
so that I could keep them straight.

Thanks so much for joining me today for this long-winded and picture-filled reveal. I had a lot of fun making everything, and I appreciate you letting me share it with you.

Have a wonderful Friday, everyone... And enjoy these last days of October! I have just a bit longer to plan out my next month's challenge--and get ready for National Novel Writing Month! Exciting times!


  1. Amazing, amazing, amazing, and FUN! Barb wrote me to not miss your blog--you truly keep doing more and more awesome work!

    1. Thank you!! That means a lot to me, coming from someone I admire so much... I'm really glad that you liked everything. <3


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