21 June 2010

It Says Summer To Me

"Then followed that beautiful season... Summer....
Filled was the air with a dreamy and magical light; and the landscape
Lay as if new created in all the freshness of childhood."
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

How do you know that summer has arrived?

Since today is officially the first day of summer, I thought that it would be fitting to share some summer inspiration.

I was offered an opportunity that I couldn't refuse back in March when summer was little more than a dream to me. Auntie's Beads gave me a mini-shopping spree to order whatever I would like from their site, if I would then make something and tell you about it. I am embarrassed that it took me this long to post my results. But I figure that it is better late than never, right?

I buy from all sorts of online vendors, and although I had seen Auntie's Beads mentioned in ads, I had never ordered from them. Well, that will change now! There is a little bit of everything on their site from glass beads to pearls and pewter findings to copper chain. The website is easy to navigate and I like that the pictures are shot with a white background to make it easy to see all the details of a component or bead. I found their prices reasonable, too. Here are the things that I ordered*:

I used all of the components that were sent to me except for the Miyuki beads. From the picture I thought that they might be a better match for the blue turquoise magnesite round beads, but they weren't. They ended up being a bit too gray in tone. But I will save them for another piece down the line.

Sweet Taste of Summer

I know it is summer when the watermelons are seen heaped in my favorite grocery store. You can get cut watermelon all year round these days, but I know that summer has arrived when I see those giant green orbs. There is a certain mystery to them. You never know if they will be sweet and juicy inside.

I love the color of watermelon. The green wavy stripes. The crisp white rind. The sweet pink flesh. And every 'seedless' watermelon has at least one black seed. But remember when it used to be that they were filled with seeds? Then a spitting contest ensued with the juice running down your arms. When I saw the deep rose turquoise nuggets I thought they looked just like the color of my favorite fruit. So I decided to make something that would remind me of summer.

Sweet Taste of Summer
I alternated the pink turquoise with green prehnite nuggets from my stash laced with black seed beads. The clasp is made from galvanized steel wire wrapped in more seed beads. I think this bracelet looks juicy!

A Landscape Rare

Summer also makes me think of cool blue water, sunlight dappled through the lush leaves on trees and going on adventures. I was most excited by the blue turquoise magnesite beads that I received. I loved the color and the mosaic look. Turquoise happens to be the Pantone color of 2010 and I think that it is a perfect summer color that looks great with copper, which is my favorite metal tone to design with.

I have been making my own resin components for a few years now, and this double sided pendant has vintage maps for journeys and adventures as well as snippets from a French poem (translated into English).

It says, "Few things are perfect: your soul is a landscape rare." And it also has a mustard seed, because from the tiniest inspiration grows the greatest ideas. This is what I call my "Seeds of Inspiration" pendants.

A Landscape Rare

I really liked the heft and solid feel of the square radiant links and toggle. And they are all double-sided, so that worked well with this pendant that can be worn either way.

I added some wood beads from Michaels, a beaded bead scavenged from some old necklace and the most lovely teal colored recycled silk sari ribbon to remind me of the cool water of the river. I threaded the ribbon through the bright copper chain, just to give that some more visual weight, like a babbling brook flowing over stones.

And of course, some earrings to match, using the leaf and loop ear wires, turquoise magnesite rounds, teal seed beads (bringing in the same detail from the necklace) and the cool copper square spacers. Don't those magnesite orbs look like our little planet Earth? Or a map with twists and turns leading to treasures galore?

Summer has definitely arrived around here. But the one thing I won't be inspired by are all the mosquitoes that will be showing up soon!

Question: would you be interested in buying components like my "Seeds of Inspiration" pendants? Layers of paper, resin, poetry, and art? Do tell!

Would you like to win the "Sweet Taste of Summer" bracelet?
You have until
11:59pm CST on Monday, June 21st to comment on this post. Winner will be drawn at random from all comments that complete this sentence...

I know that it is summer when....

Enjoy the day!

*FTC compliance disclosure: the '*' items mentioned in this post credited to Auntie's Beads were provided as a promotional gift.
These items are for review or design purposes.


Christine said...

I know it is summer when the fireflies light up the summer twilight as I sit on the deck and exhale...

Beautiful work, Erin! I love both pieces very much!

Kristen said...

First the pieces are stunning and your resin is from the heart indeed! It is funny that you posted this today because I was actually thinking of you yesterday! You have further inspired me to "come to my senses" Anyway last night as the heat seemed to ebb my husband and I were finishing up watering and picking up toys and it just happened! (no not that :) ) We both had the same thought to lay on the grass and stare up at our beautiful willow tree swaying in the light breeze. I listened to the sound of birds and leaves in the tree. I felt the soft grass. I smelled the leftover grilling from the day it was awesome. Its not that I don't pay attention to these things it is just more inspiring to take them step by step. Thanks you so much! You don't have to include me in the giveaway I was going to tell you this anyway!

Kristen said...

PS I forgot we did feel like kids however laying on the grass at our age is not so good for the back :D

Jennifer Cameron said...

Yes and yes!

I know it is summer when the fireflies come out and the kids want jars to keep track of how many they catch while the adults sit by a firepit with a glass of chilled wine and chat.

quiltingjewel39 said...

I know it's summer when the farmer's market opens and we can get local grown yummy produce again. I do like the posts about the fireflys also - we sit on our screened porch and watch them flitter around. Absolutely beautiful braclet - than you for the chance to win.

Courtney said...

Your resin pendants are beautiful! To finish the sentence...

when the pace of home life slows down, more ice cream is consumed and my kids have that wonderful summer smell; sunscreen, pool and sunshine!

EmandaJ said...

Hello Erin,

I love your sense of play and your unerring sense of color. Please include me in your giveaway.

You know it is summer when the asphalt on your road home has turned to liquid and you can drive your car with two fingers.

I'm having a birthday giveaway on my blog, check it out!

Libby Leuchtman said...

Love the designs Erin.
I am not a big summer fan. Heat makes me cranky and in St. Louis the temp today is 99 with about 75-80% humidity, like a sauna, ugh.
However when I was growing up we had a house in Lake Geneva WI. The days were 80 and the nights would be around 65 and beautiful. Ahhh heaven.

So I know it's summer when I dream of being in Lake Geneva WI.

Denise Yezbak Moore said...

Hi my friend -
I think you should absolutely sell your pendants. I love your designs but you ready know that! By the way, how is my seed bead necklace?

Michelle Mach said...

I know that it's summer when I think a fruit smoothie makes the perfect lunch!

Craftymoose Crafts said...

I love how the bracelet turned out--I love the colors, too--If you remember watermelon was the color palette I selected when I did your "inspired by wedding flowers" challenge!

I know it is summer when I hear the frogs croaking down by the lake at night.

Arlene Harrison said...

I know it's summer when the blueberries start turning from green to red to deep blue! I have 6 small bushes along my back yard fence and it is just too cool to step out your back door and pick blueberries!

LOVE all the work that you've posted here but the colors in the watermelon bracelet do sing to me!

MoonRae said...

Love the bracelet!! Here in far west Texas summer comes in april hahaha... I know it's "true" summer when I have to fill my hummingbird feeders every 2 days

moonlitfantaseas said...

love the bracelet! I also love watermelon colors and yes they do remind me of summers past.....and silly things my older cousins would tell me......don't swallow the seeds or you will have watermelons growing out of your ears.......and that pregnant ladies had swallowed a watermelon seed, I was always careful to spit them all out.....

Jeannie said...

I know that it is summer when I have to pull weeds every other day.

I would love to win that juicy, chucky, bracelet.

I think most definately you should sell your resin pendants.

Alice said...

Mmmm, watermelon, sweet and juicy! We rarely get good fruit in our little grocery store, so when we get the chance to sample these treats its like heaven! I just love that watermelon inspired bracelet!

Yes I think you should sell your handmade components for people like me who don't have the time to do our own.


HopelesslyAddicted said...

As you already know, I'm crazy in love with that necklace! Would also love to win the beautiful bracelet. I know it's summer when I can wear my favorite old t-shirt and not feel cold, open all the windows, put the top down on the convertible, smell the rain, look at stars, just to name a few!

yogavq said...

Would love to win the bracelet, the colors are wonderful together.


Pearl and Pebble said...

Erin you should definitly sell your pendants, they are sooooo very lovely. And I do love the necklace and bracelet and earrings! The colors are awesome. I know it's summer when we sleep with the windows open, one with a fan in it, and I am on top of the sheets; when it's just getting dark about 9:30, and when the sparrow family is on it's second or third "batch" of babies:)

Jenners said...

Landscape Rare is really beautiful!!!

Diane said...

Beautiful pieces with much thought and inspiration! I loved every one of them Erin =)

hint said...

Those turquoise are so beautiful and love how you paired them with wood and copper! It makes me feel like I'm back in Michigan's UP on the lake. Totally summer landscape for me! Thanks for the journey home :)


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