26 July 2011

Lucky Cowgirl

"The cowgirl faces life head on, lives by her own lights and makes no excuses." ~ Dale Evans

I am the least cowgirl girl that ever lived.

I am not rough and tumble. I have never ridden a horse. I am not remotely interested in chaps or flannel shirts. I am not a fan of getting my hands dirty. Or calloused.

I do think that I could rock a cowboy hat and boots, though.

But fashion aside, I am the least likeliest person to be found at a rodeo. And I once almost moved to Colorado. If I had I might be a different person today.

While my appearance would be the least cowgirl thing about me, I do believe in that quote above, in facing life head on, living by my own lights and making no excuses. So maybe I am not so opposite from a cowgirl after all.

So when I had the good fortune to meet up with Miss Melanie of Earthenwood Studios at the June Bead and Button show, I was tickled that I got the chance to pick out the piece that I wanted to design with for the Earthenwood Design team. She had either a feather or a horseshoe. I love the feather, but thought that would be too easy. I have designed a lot of things with birds. I decided to challenge myself so I chose the latter.
{With the word 'lucky' stamped on the back!}

"Luck is what you have left over after you give 100 percent."  
~Langston Coleman

It is not that I am a big fan of luck. Or even horseshoes. I believe that luck is what happens when you work hard. But I had come across a booth at Bead & Button that was so fresh and lovely that I just knew that this is the direction I wanted to go in. And that might have been lucky. Or just preparation intersecting with opportunity.

The booth was for The Lipstick Ranch. The lovely owner, Kara Docheff was working there and she is as open as the clear blue sky, fresh as a field of wildflowers and so down home sweet-as-pie that I loved soaking up her story and her fun wares. I even brought back all sorts of people to the booth, including Miss Melanie.

Kara and her family farm rust on their big ol' ranch in Colorado (plus some other traditional ranch farmin' stuff). Leaving big sheets of iron exposed to the elements will impart the most lovely and rich of natural patinas. They then plasma cut them into fun shapes, like pine cones and crosses and letters and stars and moose and butterflies. They seal them and sell these original pieces through their website or at shows like Bead and Button.
{Look at how cute that boot is with Miss Melanie's pendant.. I know? Right!}
I had already picked up a few already (just 10 for $30!), like a star and a skeleton key (squee!), but when I got this pendant with the most lovely sage green glaze on it from Miss Melanie I knew just what I needed to go back and buy: a cowboy boot. 

So here is a little sneak peek of what I created for the Earthenwood Design team

I call it "Lucky Cowgirl." Sorry to be so coy...I am not showing you the whole thing because I am hoping that it might get picked up and published someplace, I like it so much. 

I used an old rusty skeleton key from my prodigious stash, some of the last of my wire mesh green glass beads and wicked cool meshy chain vintage links from AD Adornments (I have a serious big crush on whatever think that Cathy unearths and a tiny bag that cost me quite a bit from the Bead and Button to prove it!), and leather cord. Lots and lots of leather cord. And I just noticed that you cannot even see the kick ass iron cowboy boot charm from the Lipstick Ranch. 

Maybe I am cowgirl lucky after all!

Do be sure to stop by Miss Melanie's blog and send some good vibes her way, she needs them. And check out what the rest of the team is up to

So, now it is your turn...
Do you believe in luck?
What is the luckiest thing that has every happened to you?
Do you feel more like the cowgirl or the rodeo clown? (I bet you can guess which one I feel like most days!)

Do tell!


Alice said...

From what I can tell, this is a gorgeous piece! I just came across the Lipstick Ranch on Lima Beads, but didn't have the extra cash to spend. I'm workin' on that though.

The luckiest thing for me was when my rich sister purchased beads for me when I was just getting set up to make jewelry. She didn't know the first thing about beads, but she chose some beauties.

I'd love to be a cowgirl. Well except for the heat, horseflies, hayfever, etc etc.

Anonymous said...

Amazing piece, the apple green really pops out against the vintage metal.

I wouldn't mind being a cowgirl, but mainly because I would get to live in Colorado where the scenery is amazing! But I doubt I'd be any good at ranching.

steufel said...

Sorry to correct you, but I am the least cowgirl girl that ever lived:-) And your glimpse is so pretty, that I'm sure it will be picked up:-)

Cillaw said...

I love the charm and boot combo.
I lived in Colorado for a summer and it was awesome,but I couldn't be a cowgirl either, just the boots!

Anonymous said...

I am that cowgirl! Love the west, love to ride and yes, I rock the hat and boots! :)

And now I must away to the Lipstick Ranch!

courtney of beads by breul

rosebud101 said...

Do I believe in luck? Yes and no. How's that for a great answer? I love what you did with horseshoe pendant!

Kokopelli said...

It is not the hat or the boots that make the cowgirl, but the heart I think. Not sure about the luck, but there are moments that make me believe in. And I AM the rodeo clown! ;-)

SueBeads said...

So creative Erin! I think luck is just a word we invented to explain serendipity.

Brandi said...

You know what I love? I love that you're always challenging yourself! I think that's so fantastic.

Also, I'm not a cowgirl girl, either, which is hilarious when you taken into account that I live in cowboy country. I do like a fine cowboy, though.... :)

Rebekah said...

I've got the horses for it, but I can't say I'm a cowgirl in the sense of hat and boots. I ride bareback when I ride - no chaps, and whatever shoes I have at the moment. In my heart I'm a cowgirl. I think I always have been. I love that quote - you really don't need a hat or boots, or even a horse to be a cowgirl!

I don't really believe in luck. Amazing things happen everyday, but I've always thought of them as meant-to-be sort of things. Blessing for those who know where to look.

I love your necklace! I do hope you'll share the whole thing with us when you get a chance!

Regina said...

Love what you have put together, can't wait to see it all. Great idea, the barbed wire look.

Michelle Mach said...

I live in Colorado and don't own a cowboy hat or boots. I do want to buy some cowboy boots some day, but the ones I like all seem to be in the "Expensive-OMG" range. :)

I like the glimpse of your necklace. Looks good so far!

Janet said...

Thats just lovely Erin!! The Lipstick Ranch they have wonderful things dont they?! And Melanies horseshoe. Gads you make beauty Erin!! Prey tell woman what will we do with you? lol. xx

Kristen said...

I believe the luckiest thing that ever happened is meeting my husband and all that has come from that chance meeting. Your creation speaks volumes as usual!

Erin S said...

Love this piece (what I can see of it anyway). I am also not a cowgirl, but Richard Salley did convince me to buy this cool western shirt while I was in Santa fe a few months ago. goes great with skinny jeans and a very elderly pair of Fry boots that have been collecting dust in my closet. We all have an inner cowgirl, I think.

I am a big believer that "luck" doesn't just happen upon us--we create our own luck through the choices and decisions we make every day.
Erin S

Holly said...

Oh Erin, Cowgirl is an attitude, it's not just a hat, boots and horses and cows!! ;) It's about being fearless, living down adversity, persevering, and being true to yourself and yours!

And luck? Sure, I believe in luck - but I also believe that we make our own luck.

Your necklace, as always, is gorgeous...is that "barbed wire" I see there? Love that!


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