31 January 2010

Inspired by...Solar System

"Silently, one by one, in the infinite meadows of heaven,
Blossomed the lovely stars, the forget-me-nots of the angels."
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Evangeline

The Solar System project is a 3rd grade right of passage around here. When Sport-o came home with the paper he announced that we needed to buy styrofoam balls. Um...no, son. If that is the example, then every kid in 3rd grade would be buying out the stock of styrofoam balls in a 50 mile radius. You will be different, I said. He railed against that, but ultimately I won{I am the mommy, after all}. We came up with the idea to use polymer clay to make the planets, complete with glow in the dark rings on Saturn and tiny silver beads strung on memory wire to simulate the stars. Now we have this project in a shoe box under his bed forever {I can't wait to bring it out to show his kids someday...or sell it on eBay for a premium!}.

So when Tiny Dancer brought the paper home, she naturally wanted to do the same as her brother. Um...no, daughter. Not only will you not get to use styrofoam balls, but you will not be using clay, either. She thought about and then her eyes lit up. "I know!" she exclaimed. "We'll make jewelry!" {I knew I raised her right *wink*}

This may be the most expensive solar system project ever. We went to Michael's and sought beads and components that were in the colors and relative sizes of the planets. Very surprising that there are all sorts of beads out there that really do mimic the pictures we have of these heavenly bodies. Of course, now I have a strand of large sponge coral Jupiteresque beads that need a home, and a great deal of rings that we didn't end up using for Saturn. But we sure had fun.

Believe it or not, Tiny Dancer did the majority of the work. Dad helped string a bit of Earth and the Sun, and I helped with the finishing,We were inspired to name our Heavenly Body Jewelry Collection by the lines of a song that played repeatedly on Sport-o's Blue's Clues boombox, by the green stripe-clad Steve. Following are the words and our inspired jewelry designs.

The Sun's a hot star

Mercury's hot, too

Venus is th
e brightest planet

Earth's home to me and you

Mars is the red one

Jupiter's most wide

Saturn's got those icy rings

Uranus spins on its side

Neptune's really windy

Pluto's really small

Well, we wanted to name the planets

And now we've named them all

~Blue's Clues boombox as sung by Steve

Since we were Inspired by... the jewels in our skies to create these works of wearable art, I thought this would be the perfect Inspired by... challenge to start out the new year, new decade.

How it works:

  • Create a piece of jewelry (earrings, necklace or bracelet) using the inspiration of the entire Universe {think planets, asteroids, comets, constellations, Milky Way, etc. Be creative!}

  • 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 challenge and post to the Flickr account, but your name will only be entered once. (For extra BONUS ENTRY opportunities, see below). You have until 11:59 pm CST on Sunday, February 28th (revised the date to give you more time!) to post to the Flickr account. {Since the Universe is so large, I thought that I would give you more time to create your heavenly body designs!}

  • Check back on Feburary 15th when I will announce the RANDOM winner of this Inspired by...challenge. Check back later this week for the prize...

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

  • Title of the piece

  • Short description of your inspiration

  • 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 TWO extra entries.

  • 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 ONE extra entry.

  • That's a total of FIVE ENTRIES!

Go and get inspired today!

Enjoy the day!


Unknown said...

These are REALLY cool! I love each one and can see how you got the inspiration! Very neat!

stregata said...

Very inspired Sun System project!!!

Shona Cole said...

what an excellent idea! your solar system jewelry is excellent. I am glad I came here (via OWOH). Will be back to visit.

shona cole

peacockfairy said...

How cool! I bet your daughter had the coolest project yet!

Pearl and Pebble said...

Very cool! She's getting an A for sure!!!

Michelle Mach said...

What a great idea! A+! Can't wait to see the entries!

Anonymous said...

That is a sweet story! And I love all the jewelry she created for that project, it would be really hard to pick out a favourite! If I had to decide, probably Earth. But the colours of Uranus are very nice as well... and Jupiter with its spot.

I'll definitely have to try my hand at that challenge, but I doubt I will be able to come up with anything as nice as this!

Jenners said...

I love how you challenge your children!! It will make them better people for sure. And this is so amazing and cool ... and I think you should somehow feature this in your shop and your daughter should have a cut of every sale!!!

I'm sure the challenge will result in some amazing things!

Mellisa said...

You are an AWESOME mom! Enough said.

Jenn said...

What a wonderful idea! I love the results.

Alice said...

An awesome idea! I'll bet Tiny Dancer was beaming with pride when she showed off her project!

Ok, this time I'm really, really, really going to try and make time to create a piece for the challenge. Sounds like fun!

Jen Judd said...

This inspired idea is so fun! I'll have to think of something good in the solar system. :)

Plus, I just opened up my copy of Bead Trends and your pretty pink piece on the cover is just gorgeous!

christina said...

the kiddos have inspired you is such a gorgeous way. these are just beautiful!

sasha + max studio said...

Wow - what a great project that involved everyone - lovely variety and wonderful interpretation - she is a clever and talented girl just like her Mum by the looks of it - And hey, it's all highly wearable rather than some polystyrene model gathering dust in the back of the garage:) Vicki

farouk said...

wow, its the first time that jewelery attracts me :)

Gardanne said...

Great idea, I will see what I can come up with.

Cindy said...

Erin, this has to be the most out of this world school project I have ever heard of!! You are such a creative and COOL Mom!!! I just know your daughter was so proud. And that Blue's Clues song...I knew it recognized it immediately and had to smile. I had my Blues Clues years too. :-)

lisa said...

Never thought the necklaces on my blog looked like planets in orbit . . .thanks so much for that suggestion. I will mull it over and see what I can come up for your challenge. Lots of fun! Thanks again!


Heather Powers said...

okay, you got the rockin' mom of the year award. how cool is this! I'm seriously impressed with your daughter's design skills, you can pass that along to her. :)

Hmm, the solar system. I may have just the beads...

Anonymous said...

these are "out of this world" if i may say so. you should show these to the astronomy dept at uwsp. nice work!! - Al Musch

Be~Jeweled by Jana said...

Hi, Erin. I've added a necklace to Flickr for the challenge and also blogged about it. Thanks for the inspiration!

Live, Love, Laugh, Write! said...

Wow - I LOVE the pieces you and your daughter made! And I love the challenge :) I've got a few ideas rattling around in my head, we'll see what I come up with :)

Cindy said...

You inspired me! I added my piece to the Flickr group and blogged about it!! Thanks for the inspiration, Erin!

Anonymous said...

Wow, these are fantastic. So much thought put into them. What a great inspirational topic. Its certainly got my head thinking up ideas!!!

Anonymous said...

wow, somehow i missed this post.
glad i'm here now.
what a wonderful idea and perfect pieces!

Lyn Foley said...

Hi Erin;

You inspired me - I'm in on the challenge. Just getting ready to upload my photos to Flickr. Wanted to let you know I'm in on the Solar System game, and published my blog a few minutes ago.



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