07 December 2009

Inspired by...Grandma's Jewelry Box

{"An Affair to Remember", featured in Bead Trends October 2009, vintage silver belt buckle links, old sage green grosgrain ribbon, smoky quartz, faceted pearls, swarovski bicones, green sage freshwater pearls, vermeil and sterling spacers}
Sorry for the radio silence this weekend. We moved into our new home this weekend, but my computer is still at the old one {and I am supposed to be cleaning the house right now for the showing tomorrow! Wish me luck! And don't tell my husband that I was blogging!}

First I have to say that YOU have inspired ME with your show of support and playful attitudes toward my first ever Inspired by... challenge. Would you like to do more of these? We still have weeks two and three of this Inspired by... challenge...so stay tuned. But if you would like to continue to be inspired, let me know, comment about it, send me a message in a bottle, or email me and I will come up with more fun with my friends.

Such a great response to the first challenge. Some of you were so inspired to keep on making jewelry. And that is what it is all about. I promised a random winner the Swirly Girl earrings and the one of a kind mixed media painting by Kerry Bogert. And the winner is...............................

Sue Beads!

Congratulations SueBeads! Your name was randomly chosen. Contact me at enjoytheday{at}tesoritrovati{dot}com to tell me where to send your prizes.

But wait................................there's more!

A last minute surprise arrived in the mail over the weekend from my friend and amazing artisan bead maker, Melanie Brooks of Earthenwood Studios. She sent me a goodie package to share with a second winner of my Hardware Store challenge. Talented and generous is a dynamite combination! A selection of her Steamstones and Bits similar to the ones shown below:
(Note: not all of these are in the gift pack, just one little rust colored one like the one on the top row, along with a large round gear, two small cog beads and a skeleton key connector. Yippee!)

Thanks, Melanie for the awesome extra prizes!

And the winner of the bonus prize is...............................


Congratulations KiwiBeads! {By the way, you went above and beyond with this challenge...you were most certainly inspired!} Please contact me at enjoytheday{at}tesoritrovati{dot}com with an adress to send your prize!

Week Two – December 7-13
Inspired by...Grandma’s Jewelry Box

When I was a child, I lived in Minnesota. During the holidays of Christmas and Easter we would travel to my father’s hometown of Stevens Point, WI {smack dab in the middle of the state}. The first place that I always went during my time at Bousha’s house {Polish for “grandma” I would guess} is to her bedroom. In the soft smelling quiet of that room I would gingerly sit on her impeccably made bed and open the cream colored leather box on her bedside table. I loved to touch the powder blue silk lining that box and to run my fingers over the treasures within.

Bousha, like most women of her generation, had a box brimming with sparkly rhinestone pins and clip on earrings. Those sparkly baubles held my attention longer than any other toy in the house, and I always snuck away from the festivities to sneak a peek in her jewelry box. When she died in 1986 I was a freshman in college. It was very hard on me. It was right before Christmas {needless to say, my first semester of finals was a disaster}. When all the cousins and relatives were descending on her house to claim furniture and objects to keep, I made straight for her bedroom. I have her blue silk lined, cream colored leather jewelry box, and even some of the treasures that it originally held.

One of my most favorite places to find inspiration is in the jewelry that was special to a family member. No matter if it is very high end, I like to preserve that memory for my clients. While we might not wear brooches anymore, I think they make wonderful focals for necklaces. The strands of costume jewelry often have some fascinating color combinations
{that you can’t quite see from a black and white photo} and while the style may be outdated, there is some wonderful components there. Some of my favorite things to use are clasps from broken necklaces that have beautiful filigree or rhinestones, strands of vintage Swarovski crystals or imitation pearls, and chains of all sorts.

For Round Two of the Found Object challenge, see what might be lurking in your own jewelry box of outdated jewelry. Never through it out! There’s treasure there! Mix the rhinestones with new crystal colors. Take apart those outdated triple strand necklaces and turn it into a bracelet and earrings. Ask your grandmother
{or mother or aunt or older neighbor…} if you can make something fresh from their jewelry. Use them in unexpected ways. I guarantee that you will never look at an antique store or flea market table of broken jewelry bits the same way again {and you might start going to more garage sales in the process}.

By the way, did I mention a little contest called Bead Star? Put on by Interweave Publishing every spring? Last year I challenged myself to enter 7 of the 9 categories. {I only managed to enter 6 of the categories, so I failed to reach my goal.} Surprisingly, three of my six pieces made it into the top 20 in their categories. I have since found out that there were over 2000 entries. After the 26,000+ votes were cast, one of my entries entitled "Good Advice" took second place in the Heart category. Bead Star is on sale at newsstands everywhere as of December 8th. But I have an extra copy for the random winner of Inspired by... challenge #2!

{"Good Advice", second place Heart category, Bead Star competition}

Round Two Found Object Challenge PRIZES:
A copy of the 2009 Bead Star issue featuring my necklace “Good Advice”, winner of 2nd place in the Heart Category and a bracelet using found objects from Grandma’s jewelry box and featuring a
Humblebeads bead {I didn't have time to make it this weekend, but I will soon to share with all of you!}
In keeping with challenge #1, I will also share a BONUS prize {to be determined later...}

How it works:

  • Create a piece of jewelry (earrings, necklace or bracelet) using the inspiration.
  • Post your picture to the Flickr account here.
  • If you are so inspired {and I hope you will be!}, feel free to create as many pieces as you like for each weekly challenge and post to the Flickr account, but your name will only be entered once. (For extra BONUS ENTRY opportunities, see below).
  • Check back on Dec 14 when I will announce the RANDOM winner of the previous week’s challenge.

In the description of your picture be sure to add the following:

  • Title of the piece
  • Found objects incorporated into the piece
  • Short description of your inspiration (optional)
  • Your Name
  • Your email address
  • Your blog or website


  • If you use an art bead in your piece {art bead is defined as a bead or component created by yourself or another artisan}, be sure to point that out in your description {with a link to the appropriate artisan’s website, shop or blog} and you will have an extra entry.
  • If you blog, Facebook, Twitter, sky write or take out a billboard to publicize each week’s challenge, be sure to let me know {leave a comment on that week's challenge} and your name will be in for an extra entry.

Go and get inspired today!

Enjoy the day!


sandi m said...

Congratulations to the lucky winners!

Congratulations on your placing in the Bead Stars contest(luv your piece)!!

And a BIG Congratulations on moving into your new home!!! How exciting for your family and exciting for you to create your dream studio - inspiring indeed!!!!

Mellisa said...

Congratulations on the move into the new house! I hope that it feels like home right away :)

Anonymous said...

congrats to the winners!

stregata said...

Congratulations to the lucky winners!
And congratulations to you, Erin! For coming up with such an inspiring challenge and for moving into your new home. I wish for you and your family that, under this new roof, you will be blessed with happiness, abundance and love. May worries never find their way to your door!

Anonymous said...

Me?! I won those beautiful steamstones? Oh wow, this is so awesome, I can't believe it - thank you, thank you!!!!

Congratulations to the Bead Star, your heart necklace really is cute! I love the way you spelled out that sentence with the beads and pendant, and the way that the seed beads pick up the colours and shape of the dots on the heart.

All the best wishes for your life in your new home!
May you always have walls for the winds,
a roof for the rain,
tea beside the fire,
laughter to cheer you,
those you love near you,
and all your heart might desire.

Oh, and before I forget, I would LOVE more challenges! Inspiration really is everywhere, but sometimes it hides... with this challenge, you helped me find it! Thank you again :)

The Joy of Nesting said...


Congratulations Erin on moving into your new home!! Yaaaa!!

Another huge Congratulations for placeing 2nd!! WAY TO GO!!!!!

Thank you for this grand little challenge it really helps keep the season fun and a smile on my face!!! And that's what it's about!! :)Hmmmm now for this weeks challenge...

Pattie ;)
Mazatlan Mx.

Esther said...

hooooo!! there were prizes?? super surprise!! congrats to the luky winners!! i thought it was a friendly challenge.. well!! super story of your grandma!! i loooooooove vintage and rhinestones as you know.. so i will try to make something for fun!!

Leslie @ Bei Mondi said...

Congrats to Sue and KiwiBeads! Erin, so glad to hear you are in your new home. It is so beautiful and I'd love to see your decorations for the holidays.

Be~Jeweled by Jana said...


I'd like to see more of the challenges. So fun thinking outside the box and seeing what creative things people come up with!

I intended to make something for the first challenge but circumstances beyond my conrol prevented it. I'm going to try get something done for this one!

Silver Parrot said...

What a cool idea for your challenge - I love it! And, the universe willing, I might even have time to play in this round!

Sissy Sparrows said...

Congratulations to the winners! I missed the first week's challenge....but I haven't missed this one! I just uploaded my entry onto the flickr site....fingers crossed!

Sissy Sparrows said...

Hi Erin....just wanted to let you know that I have now blogged about this challenge...pop on over to have a look!


I'm excited to now have two entries!!!! How exciting!

Cindy said...

What a jam-packed post!! You have so much going on in your life yet you have created this wonderful challenge. CONGRATS on placing 2nd in the Bead Star hearts category. Your necklace is colorful, fun and so incredibly creative....I really love it and see why it did so well for sure!
Your story of your Grandmother and her jewelry reminded me so much of my own. What a wonderful challenge...wish I could join in.
And I hope you and your family have enjoyed your first week in your new home. Just in time for Christmas too! Can't wait to see more pictures and how your dream studio develops. :-)

Be~Jeweled by Jana said...

Hi, Erin! I just added a piece to Flickr and blogged about it. Thanks for the challenge! It was fun!

Stories They Tell said...

Hey Erin, so excited that you won in Bead Star! I adore the hearts-- such a unique take on a traditional shape and the sentiment makes it all the better! I just got gifted some beads from my friend's momma so maybe I can turn myself into two (or three!) people and get an entry in to your excellent contest! Happy Snow!

Gaea said...

Beautiful! Love it!~

Zoya Gutina said...

My sincere congrats! :)


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