01 September 2012

The Challenge of Travel: Nepal

“There are no foreign lands. It is the traveler only who is foreign.” ~ Robert Louis Stevenson

Welcome to the Challenge of Travel!

I asked for volunteers to join me on a journey around the world experiencing cultures and people and traditions and places that we might never see otherwise. I was fortunate to have 59 fellow travelers on this journey around the world.

The Olympics was the impetus for this voyage. It was fascinating to watch all the different nations so proud of their heritage at the London games, wasn't it? It inspired me to seek out more about some of those countries to celebrate their achievements and to learn more about how we are all very much  the same no matter where we live.

I asked my friend Miss Marcie Abney Carroll (hi Marcie!) to join me since I know that travel is something important to her, and she was part of my inspiration for setting up this challenge. I asked Miss Marcie to choose my country for me. She gave it some thought and selected Nepal for me. 

Here is what Miss Marcie said about her choice:

"I thought about it all last night and decided that I definitely wanted to give you Asia so I hunted out a map and picked a small and not-so-well-known Asian country for your challenge. This place is still very steeped in tradition and religion and the country is as much about the climate and topography as it is the culture. I've chosen Nepal for you, and I was sold when I found this picture gallery: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/nepal/images"


Miss Marcie was right. Asia is someplace I would love to visit one day, and Nepal is truly a gorgeous country that has so much history and culture despite its small size. It is on my list of places to visit for sure!

From terraced rice farming in the Pokhara Valley (photo by Richard L'Anson on LonelyPlanet.com)

to a sunrise view over a lake that looks as close to heaven as you can get (photo by Chris Beall on LonelyPlanet.com)
to land that looks barely uninhabitable and completely extreme, like this view of the Himalayas (photo by Richard L'Anson of LonelyPlanet.com)
...Nepal is a place of many contrasts. This land locked nation that resides just below China and north of India is the birthplace of Buddha and is steeped in rich religious history.

There were so many directions that I could go with this, but I kept coming back to pictures of stupas.

{Boudhanath Stupa - one of the holiest places in Nepal. Photo from iNepal}
Stupas are a bell shaped shrine that contain sacred relics. It seems that the most often photographed one is of the Boudhanath Stupa located in Kathmandu, the capitol of Nepal. It is the largest and holiest stupa in all of Nepal.

{Swayambunath Stupa in Kathmandu by Suzan Black courtesy of Fotopedia}

The onion shaped domes of these stupas dominate the skyline. Their spires reach to the heavens and they are built on a geometric sort of mandala. And then there are those prayer flags flying from all corners to the very tip.

Painted on all four sides are giant eyes and as squiggly nose shape. Those eyes are penetrating! They are all knowing and seem to watch you no matter what direction you are. A good reminder to live your life in such a way that those eyes can see all that you do without reservation.

{Faded prayer flags flap in the wind - photo by superkimbo on Flickr courtesy of Fotopedia}

Prayer flags are the second feature that dominates this picture. Each flag promotes peace, harmony, compassion and wisdom. It is believed that the wind blows the energy of the prayers and sacred mantras on the flags and the motion brings Joy, Happiness and Good Health to all who see them. Truly, how can you not be unhappy when you see these lively pennants traversing the sky!

On the base of the stupa are a series of prayer wheels. These ornately carved barrel shaped drums rotate on a stick and the faithful are called to walk clockwise around the base of the stupa spinning the wheels as they go and reciting the sacred mantra.


It is said that anyone who recites this mantra while spinning the wheel is equal in splendor to a thousand Buddhas. From Tibet Prayer Wheels:

The Traditional Prayer Wheel Practice - Is to spin the prayer wheel in a clockwise direction, recite the mantra OM MANI PADME HUM and visualize pure white light rays being emanated out from the spinning prayer wheel, this pure light comes from the millions of mantras inside the prayer wheel and goes out to ourselves and all sentient beings, purifying, healing, completely illuminating everyone, as the light rays spread throughout the whole vast universe we all instantly become awakened and realize the Four Immeasurables of Love, Compassion, Joy and Equanimity.

As I set about making my pieces for this Challenge, I was going in so many directions based on the images that were floating around of Nepal. I started with the prayer flags. I didn't think that I could recreate them, but I wanted that feeling of freedom and a ragged beauty with the colors that I saw.

The traditional flag colors are repetitious patterns of five colors, each representing the elements: blue=sky/space, white=water, red=fire, green=air/wind, and then yellow=earth. When all five elements are in balance, then all is in health and harmony. The Tibetan word for prayer flag is Lung ta, which literally means 'wind horse.' As the flags fade in the sun and wind the prayers become a permanent part of the Universe. My colors are not traditional. I chose to use soothing teal, vibrant lime, bold magenta, bright yellow and spice orange. I tried many different wrapping techniques on cord and rope. I wanted to play up the idea of balance and the happiness of the movement.

A gold paisley focal calls attention to the beauty of Nepalese and Tibetan textiles.  I also added some round gold filigree dangles to add to the movement and represent the ornate filigree found on the stupa. The center chain has little leaves and tiny colored beads that would play up the flag movement. But the inner part needed something. I wire wrapped a beautiful onion shaped rainbow mystic smoky quartz briolette mimicking the shape of the dome and dangled that inside a lovely patina-ed hoop from Miss FickleMedia. I finished it off with some chunky gold chain.

This lightweight bohemian chic necklace is many layered and multicolored.

{Wind Horse necklace - $45 - available in my NEW webshop!}

I am greatly influenced by color and textures and Nepalese textiles were an influence for me. 


I have had these lovely paisley components from Heather Powers of Humblebeads in my drawer since I scooped them up from her booth at the Bead & Button show. It worked so well with the paisley clasp (that I used as a pendant in the first necklace) that I decided a little bracelet would be in order.

{look at how those melon balls glow!}
I found some carved lucite balls in a beautiful melon shade, these ornate rhinestone ball beads and some amethyst faceted chaton chain.

{Silk Road bracelet}


My favorite piece by far was influenced by the prayer wheels found in the stupas. I have been making these new sari snapshot pendants in my simple truths style now for a few weeks. I found a lot of interesting shaped bezels to use but this teardrop one, the only one I had, was calling to me. So I set about putting a sari snapshot in there in cheery colors of teal, magenta and lime.

I brought back some really special finds from the Bead & Button show this year and now was my chance to use them.

These rough cut and faceted dyed moonstone are treated with an AB finish that renders them so rich looking. The color is saturated and deep and those flashes of blue really make this special. I have been doing a lot of color-blocking lately and added in some soft green prehnite beads that I had been hoarding spaced by some teal seed beads.

{aren't these beads juicy?}

I paired those moonstone beads with a beaded bead from the booth for The Bead Goes On. I love the texture and the color of these beads. But how to hang the pendant? I got out those seed beads again, this time in a lemony-lime color and made a little beaded perch for that sari snapshot.

{the most perfect prayer wheel bead}

I knew I needed something special for this necklace, demanded it. I went seeking and found just what I needed from LeAnn Weih of Summers Studio: a one of a kind prayer wheel bead. LeAnn said that she only made three of these and {unfortunately} does not expect to make more. One is in a necklace she gave to her daughter, one is in a necklace that she wears herself for strength, and now this one is in my necklace. Thank you, Miss LeAnn. I will wear this with great honor. The prayer wheel is meant to be spun on the outside of the stupa so that the prayers can find their way into the Universe. I left this bead loose so that I could spin it anytime and hopefully bring enlightenment to my soul.

These turquoise inlaid brass beads are paired with some links from a defunct Avon bracelet that I used to wear but wore out! I am not one to throw things away. I love the way they perfectly mimic the shapes on the prayer wheel bead. Serendipity!

{The Four Immeasurables necklace}
I love this necklace so much. I will not be able to part with it. It symbolizes my journey with this Challenge and has some very special pieces and will remind me that there is much Love, Compassion, Joy and Equanimity all around me and within me.

Thank you for taking this journey through Nepal with me! There are so many other countries to visit in this Challenge of Travel, and I hope you will grab a cup of your favorite beverage and hop around the world with me over the next few days seeing what inspired the other intrepid travelers on the list! 

UPDATE: Sandra Wollberg had to bow out graciously at the last minute. But please go and visit her blog and send her some blog love anyway. And I just discovered that we had a last minute addition!

Kashmira Patel of Always in Bloom got so inspired by what we were doing that she wrote a little blog post about her travels right before she was to leave on a trip! She didn't participate in the hop (next time Kashmira!) but I think her travel stories are fun to read.

Name Blog Region Chosen Inspiration Nation
Monique Urquhart http://ahalfbakednotion.blogspot.ca/ Africa Burkina Faso
Niky Sayers http://silverniknats.blogspot.co.uk/ Africa Egypt
Therese Frank http://www.theresestreasures59.blogspot.com Africa Kenya
Raychelle Heath http://abeadloveaffair.blogspot.com/ Africa Lesotho
Joan Williams www.lilrubyjewelry.wordpress.com Africa Mauritania
Sherri Stokey http://www.KnotJustMacrame.com Africa Senegal
Regina Santerre http://reginaswritings.blogspot.com Africa Seychelles
Raida Disbrow http://havanabeads.blogspot.com Africa Tanzania
Kristi Wodek http://livedinlife.blogspot.com Africa Zimbabwe
Sally Russick http://www.thestudiosublime.com Americas Brazil
Melissa Trudinger http://beadrecipes.wordpress.com Americas Mexico
Tracy Stillman http://www.tracystillmandesigns.com Americas USA
Sandra Wolberg http://city-of-brass-stories.blogspot.de Asia India
Tanya Goodwin http://pixiloo.blogspot.com Asia Japan
Susan Kennedy http://suebeads.blogspot.com Asia Japan
Beth Emery http://storiesbyindigoheart.blogspot.com Asia Japan
Lisa Cone http://inspiredadornments.blogspot.com/ Asia Japan
Tanya Boden http://fusionmusebangkok.blogspot.com/ Asia Japan
Inge von Roos http://ingetraud.wordpress.com Asia Laos
Erin Prais-Hintz http://treasures-found.blogspot.com Asia Nepal
Dee Elgie http://cherryobsidia.blogspot.com Asia Phillipines
Carolyn Lawson http://carolynscreationswa.blogspot.com Asia South Korea
Lisa Stukel http://carefreejewelrybylisa.blogspot.com Asia Sri Lanka
Elly Snare http://themagicsquarefoundation.wordpress.com Asia Thailand
Shelley Graham Turner http://www.shelleygrahamturner.blogspot.com Europe Austria
Mallory Hoffman http://rosebud101-fortheloveofbeads.blogspot.com/ Europe Bosnia Herzegovina
Paige Maxim http://www.pmaximdesigns.blogspot.com Europe France
Jenny Davies-Reazor http://www.jdaviesreazor.com/blog Europe Germany
Sharyl McMillian-Nelson http://sharylsjewelry.blogspot.com Europe Greece
Evelyn Shelby http://raindropcreationsbyevelyn.blogspot.com/ Europe Iceland
Holly Westfall http://silverrosedesigns.blogspot.com/ Europe Ireland
Rebecca Siervaag http://www.godsartistinresidence.blogspot.com Europe Ireland
Toltec Jewels http://toltecjewels.blogspot.com Europe Ireland
Lee Koopman http://StregaJewellry.wordpress.com Europe Ireland
Laren Dee Barton http://larendeedesigns.blogspot.com

Europe Italy
Cindy Wilson http://www.mommysdreamcreations.blogspot.com Europe Norway
Kathleen Lange Klik http://ModernNatureStudio.blogspot.com Europe Poland
Shaiha Williams http://shaihasramblings.blogspot.com/ Europe Portugal
Jennifer Justman http://soulsfiredesigns.blogspot.com/ Europe Romania
Elsie Deliz-Fonseca http://ladelizchica.blogspot.com Europe Spain
Lola Surwillo http://www.beadlolabead.blogspot.com Europe Sweden
Kim Hora http://www.kimmykats.com Europe Switzerland
Leanne Loftus http://firstimpressiondesign.blogspot.com Europe The Netherlands
Patti Vanderbloemen http://myaddictionshandcrafted.blogspot.com Europe The Netherlands
Marcie Carroll http://labellajoya.blogspot.com Europe Turkey
Marlene Cupo http://amazingdesigns-marlene.blogspot.com Oceania Federated States of Micronesia
Ine Vande Cappelle http://jewelsbyine.blogspot.com Oceania Fiji
Tammie Everly http://ttedesigns.blogspot.com/ Oceania Guam
Alice Peterson http://www.alice-dreaming.blogspot.com Oceania Kiribati
Elisabeth Auld http://www.beadsforbusygals.com Oceania Nauru
Susan McClelland http://mistheword12.wordpress.com/ Oceania New Zealand
D Lynne Bowland http://islandgirlsinsights.blogspot.com Oceania New Zealand
Denielle Hagerman http://somebeadsandotherthings.com Oceania New Zeland
Rebecca Anderson http://songbeads.blogspot.com Oceania Papua New Guinea
Mischelle Fanucchi http://micheladasmusings.blogspot.com/ Oceania Samoa
Kari Asbury http://hippiechickdesign.blogspot.com Oceania Solomon Islands
Cece Cormier http://www.thebeadingyogini.com/ Oceania Tonga
Emma Todd http://www.apolymerpenchant.com Oceania Tuvalu
Debbie Price http://greenshoot.blogspot.com Oceania Vanuatu

Just as you would bring back a souvenir of your travels to share with someone special, I would like to giveaway the paisley bracelet Silk Road (above) and one custom made Sari Snapshot pendant (in winner's choice of color) to two random winners. Winners will be announced on Tuesday, September 4th. Thank you for traveling with us!

All you need to do is leave a comment below about anything travel related.... where you would like to travel to, what is the best vacation you ever had, what inspires you most about this lovely planet of ours. Whatever you want to share! But... in order to win, you MUST have your email turned on in your preferences or provide your email in your comment. (If I can't get in touch with you, sorry but you cannot win.)

P.S. The final Challenge of the year will be the 3rd Annual Challenge of Color in November. Watch for the signups the first week for a limited number of spots!


Unknown said...

Thank you to a wonderful tour guide on this incredible blog tour(not a hop). The stories are so very interesting, and make me want to renew my passport tomorrow. Of course, your creations are fantastic, as always.

Sharyl said...

Your work and stories are always interesting and enlightening and such a treat to behold! Thank you for hosting this event! What a wonderful opportunity for us. (I had such a difficult time choosing a country--I wanted to do them all! Maybe if you host this again, I can do some continent hopping!)

Jenni said...

Nepal is just so beguiling..I love the way you interpreted the flags and the cheery colors found in this
country. I LOVE the prayer wheel bead...what a find.There is a house near me that flies the Buddhist prayer flags.. now I understand a little more what they mean. Thankyou, Erin.

Anonymous said...

Erin, what beautiful pieces have resulted from your Nepal inspiration! The prayer bead is fantastic, a very serendipitous find.
I've really enjoyed this challenge, thank you! It's made my feet itch to go travelling again, lucky I have a small vacation booked with the family in a few weeks, we are heading up to the Northern Territory at the top of Australia to see the sights.
(melissa_trudinger at yahoo dot com

Malin de Koning said...

Firstly, what a wonderful challenge you have created Erin! Travelling is something I love too. I am only too sad to not be able to do it as much any more. I'd be all over the world if I only could. I certainly hope you will host another one on this theme again, because I would love to join. So far I have only been around on a few of the blogs who are participating, but oh my, everyone is creating absolutely fantastic pieces. And I get so inspired. Thank you so much for that.

Secondly, your pieces Erin. Your creations. I absolutely love them all. So rich, playful, clever, interesting, exciting and beautiful and ... I love all the different beads and components you have used, and how you have combined them so perfectly so they all both help enhancing each other, but also together create perfect harmonious jewelry pieces where every bead or component within seems like it was meant for just that. Fantastic!

Raida said...

What a beautiful post! The pictures are wonderful and your creations are so unique and inspiring. You used so many different beads and techniques and they all came together beautifully!

Unknown said...

Beautiful post and beautiful jewelry. I love the inspiration and thought that you put into each element of every piece.

Anonymous said...

What a LOVELY translation of Nepal Erin - I can see how you have woven their cultural symbols, colors, terrain together..."The Four Immeasurables" is my favorite :)

AntiquityTravelers said...

So sorry I missed the call to join this one! But I'll have fun touring all the blogs and stories from around the world. Your Nepal adventure looks amazing and so inspiring for your beautiful pieces!

Anonymous said...

Wow! I was struck by all the great color, texture and depth in your pieces!
I've been an admirer of your work for some time, and am thrilled to be a part of this challenge - thanks so much!

p.s. I also love the term "wind horse"!

Linda Younkman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cece Cormier said...

When I saw that you had Nepal, I instantly knew that your designs would be magical. And they are! Enjoy your travels.

Linda Younkman said...

Sorry I missed this challenge. This was the first I've seen of it I'm not sure how I missed it but this was a great idea. Your pieces are beautiful. I love the colors and the design. The prayer wheel piece is my absolute favorite. I'm adding your blog to my reader so that I can keep up.

Gale said...

I love Nepalese textiles--and how you incorporated your own rich colors into your pieces here. I especially like how you used textiles so innovatively in the first necklace; plus, I think you achieved a nice balance with the three layers. The variety of the elements in your second necklace is as vibrant as the colors. Love the prayer bead!

Tammie T Everly said...

Erin~ First let me say I really enjoyed participating in this hop and I look forward to going around the world today and seeing all the inspiration out there. Secondly, your blog and the pieces you create are such an inspiration to me. I am relatively new to being a self promoting handmade artist and people like you set the bar for the rest of us to aspire to. I love the 4 immeasurables necklace you created. It perfectly captures the spirit and flavor of Nepal. Thank you~

Me and My Stitches said...

What a great challenge - and beautiful jewelry that you have created. My favorite trip was to Paris - the Eiffel Tower is so amazing - along with the Louvre and many other sites.

Alice said...

Oh Erin, your pieces are just gorgeous, full of color and representing Nepal so perfectly!

I had so much fun with this challenge and I thank you for taking all of us on this fabulous journey. I love to travel, and since you asked, my favorite place (so far) that I've visited is the Redwoods in Northern California. It's like stepping into another world.

Have a wonderful holiday weekend!

Anonymous said...

Erin, as always, your pieces are an inspiration. I am fascinated with your insight into the country that was chosen for you. I love your use of color and form. Your prayer wheel necklace is an awesome piece that is not just jewelry, but which will bring you closer to the "one ness". Awesome!

This blog tour has been a real eye opener for me and I am so glad I joined. As I reviewed my own post, I realized that I most often stick within my color comfort zone, earthy palettes or sky colors. You and others who dared to voyage to colorful places like Nepal and Africa have inspired me to come up with my own challenge to myself. I have made up my mind that I will choose a place once every two months and virtually travel there for inspiration and to challenge myself to venture( outside my own "box" of colors and styles. Thank you so much. I would love to win the giveaway! Wearing the piece would forever remind me to keep on with the challenges.

lynsey said...

I would have loved to have participated in this hop, especially since I'm off to Barcelona in a couple of weeks, (imagine the inspiration there...Gaudi? oh oh oh). The pieces you've created are gorgeous, and I've loved reading about your inspiration.
I'm off to check out the others

Lori Bowring Michaud said...

Oh, Erin! As always, your jewelry is beautiful and masterfully created. I love the stories you tell and the way you weave them through your pieces. They are all so very lovely, but I do think your final necklace is my favorite!

SueBeads said...

Hi Erin - your pieces are spectacular, as usual! I was in Japan and saw prayer wheels in shrines and to be up close to them is very humbling, when you know the story and meaning. I loved my trip to Asia and hope you get to travel there someday! Thank you for hosting - this was fun!

Jenny said...

Beautiful pieces as always, Erin - but the last piece is exceptional. The concept, paired with your intent and color scheme combines in a truly inspired piece! Thank you for yet another wonderful period of time - from the time in the studio to the time hopping here and sharing! Well spent!

Jewels By Ine said...

Your pieces have a big Nepal "glow"! I really love it! The colors and the style of the pieces really make me think of Nepal.. Thank you again fot the great blog hop!

Leanne said...

Erin, I LOVE your pieces!! The colors are so wonderful - especially the sari pendent. This was my first blog hop and I had so much fun participating. Thank you so much!

Tanya said...

Those are just gorgeous. I love how the leather shows just a bit in the first necklace .. and the colors .. wow! The bracelet is beautiful as well, but that last necklace just blows my mind. The colors are amazing and the beaded bead is perfect. I know you will wear this for a long time.

Michelle Mach said...

What a wonderful hop theme! I would love to travel more, but for now I'm content in shipping my jewelry and cards all around the world. My work is so much better traveled than I am.

Your work is gorgeous as usual. That dyed moonstone is amazing. I'll need to add that to my length bead wish list!

Therese's Treasures said...

Hello Miss Erin,
Thank you so much for taking me along to Nepal I so enjoyed going and learing about the country, it's people, and it's culture. The Stupas are fasinating structures in their bright decoration. I enjoyed learning about the prayer flags and the prayer wheels. I am speachless about the beautiful keepsakes pieces you created to remember your trip to Nepal. The rich colors combined with the golden brass reflects on the country of Nepal so well all three pieces are gorgeous.
Thank you to you and Marcie for bring this wonderful and fun challenge to us and thank you for letting me participate it has been a joy so far.
I love to travel and my next destination is with my Sister to Jamaica.

Susanm said...

Erin - thank you for making it possible for me to participate in my first ever blog hop. I really enjoyed the whole process. I am looking forward to seeing what other participants have created.

Your designs are stunning. I am in awe of your creativity and talent.

Regina said...

I can see a Nepalese woman wearing your jewelry to a religious festival. It is lovely, captures the essence of the joy, the color and the rich culture. Thank you for hosting this wonderful challenge. It is an educational journey around the world! Namaste!

Niky Sayers said...

Wow the pic's are stunning as is the jewelry I love all the big, bright colors, all fantastic but that last necklace is stunning!

Patti Vanderbloemen said...

When I read your blog posts, I feel like I already "know" you, personally, which I hope to someday. Your writing of Nepal, and what inspired you, right down to the LeAnn's prayer bead - the reader is sucked right into the story line! I really do enjoy your posts - you are one of my favorite writers, indeed. So, I first wanted to thank you for sharing this writing (with gorgeous pictures to boot) today. Your jewelry designs are so spot on perfect - absolutely lovely! Thank you so much for hosting this challenge - I have enjoyed every single blog that I visited (it will take me a couple of days, as I don't just look at the pictures - I want to read the story behind the art).

Monique (A Half-Baked Notion) said...

As always, your creations leave me awed. The mysterious land of Nepal, and its wonders, seems to come to life in your wonderful and meaningful "Wind Horse", "Silk Road" and "The Four Immeasurables". I love the mix of old and new (and recycled)! I agree: this land is "as close to heaven as you can get". Thank you for sharing your inspirations, Erin!

LisaS said...

Love your post, so interesting. Thank you so much for doing this blog hop. Your necklaces are glorious!

Chelle said...

Thank you for such a wonderful blog hop. I feel like I should have done more, but now I just want to travel somewhere. anywhere! I love your pieces. Simply beautiful.

Juliette said...

How wonderful, all of it! The challenge, the pieces you came up with, the colors - and one of my favorite places, Nepal. I would LOVE to be part of this challenge if you do it again in the future!
xoxo Juliette

Shai Williams said...

Oh my goodness! All of your pieces are just scrumptious. I love the bright colors and the meaning behind them. Of course it doesn't hurt that I am a sucker for paisley.

I totally understand why you are keeping the last necklace. I wouldn't be able to part with it either.

Shai Williams said...

And I guess that I forgot to remark on travel related. I was just in so much awe of your jewelry.

There are a few places that I would love to go. One of these places is the Nederlands. I lived and worked there for 8 years and would love to take my husband to visit. I also would love to go to Greece, Costa Rica, Brazil and Mexico to see the Mayan ruins.

Lynda said...

If I can't hop on a train, plan, or boat, then this blog hop was the next best thing! Thank you for the opportunity to visit so many fascinating places around the world. And see some amazing jewelry, too.

Loved each piece you created for Nepal, but as I continued to scroll down the post, my heart leaped at the very last photo of the completed necklace with the sari snapshot pendant. "Stunning" can be overused when describing pieces of jewelry, but if it is ever appropriately used, it is for this necklace. Totally understand your feelings about keeping it.

Lynda said...

Please forgive me. When I got so caught up in oooh and aching over your jewelry, I forgot to respond to your giveaway questions.

I've been fortunate to travel quite often in Europe and have to say, the Berner Oberland area of Switzerland is my favorite places. We love to hike and you can't beat this place for stunning views and friendly hiking options. Last time we stayed in a wonderful bed and breakfast in Murren.


Erika said...

How incredibly talented you are! All of your pieces are beautiful & truly capture the spirit.

rosebud101 said...

Erin, I'm not a traveler, but your post made me enjoy this trip to Nepal, and I love the necklalce!!

Here Bead Dragons said...

Your necklace is extraordinary. The colors are scrumptious. Thanks for providing so many places to read about and think about where to go. I am saving to travel to Ireland. I want to travel the back roads and hope to travel in late summer/early fall.


Bobbie said...

The first pieces are beautiful, but that last necklace is really breathtakingly stunning. Jaw dropping, awesome, spectacular!

Moushka said...

The necklace is spectacular; I totally get why you don't want to part with it.
My favorite spot to travel to is France. Paris, of course, but anywhere within the "Hexagon" will do. My eldest daughter was born in Paris when I was living there in the 'seventies so it will always have a special place in my heart. The best thing about travel is how it opens your mind, not only to other places and peoples, but to seeing your own country in a different way.

becca said...

I thoroughly enjoyed this hop, and creating an internationally inspired piece. Thank you!
I am amazed by that little prayer wheel bead- you did it justice, and I'm so glad you were able to keep it spinning!
Love the way you captured the feel of Nepal. My favorite piece is your first. =)

Islandgirl said...

Love the colors in that first neckalce, the really do bring nepal to mind! and the beads in that last necklace are gorgeous colours too! Thanks for the opportunity to travel the world from the comfort of our computer desks!

Toltec Jewels for Jewel School Friends said...

Gracias for your lovely blog, and for the wonderful journeys you have inspired.

Your post on Nepal, the birth place of Buddha, is extraordinary. I'm touched and delighted by the diverse beauty of this magical place, and learning "Lung ta, which literally means 'wind horse.'" is exciting as my sweet 28 year old daughter re-emerged into the non-physical about a month ago, suddenly and unexpectedly, and since then I have had a sense of her as a horse, running, beautiful and free in the wind. Lung ta is what I have been seeing -- she is a powerful prayer, bringing manifestations to the physical; she is that which we desire, an answer to prayers.

I also am touched by the 5 elements , with blue as sky/space and love the prayer wheels.

Your post is healing, inspiring, hopeful and full of light, as is your exquisite and extraordinary jewelry! I will revisit this post to take in the energy, the beauty, the mantra, the poetry of your journey and art.

Your journey gives me messages from the infinite, clarity, comfort and the affirmation: there is great love here for us.

Gracias and namaste,
Rita (TJ)


Zeniswoman said...

Erin, These pieces are beautiful! I love the joyous colors and textures. Over the last few days, I've been blog hopping and rather enjoying all of the creations. Before I leave this world, I hope that I can visit the Orkney Islands and Scotland. My ancestors came from this place... of sea and earth and sky and story. It is a breathtakingly peaceful and wild natural place. My heart and spirit yearns to see my distant home.
Blessings to all,
Holly (zeniswoman@yahoo.com)

EmandaJ said...

Once again, absolutely fantastic! Please include me in your drawing.

DESPINA said...

Your pieces are gorgeous, Erin!!
I was so happy to see one of your dream voyages is to Greece, once you fulfill your dream we can meet in person!!
One of my dream voyages is to visit Latin America and especially Peru, I have actual dreams of me walking among the magnificent ruins of Machu Picchu...

Rebecca said...

I love just how much thought and care has gone into each element here Erin. The colours and shapes are beautiful, elegant and perfect for your Nepalese inspiration! Funny that you say Nepal is not so well known in America. In my neighbourhood, we have three Nepalese curry houses on one street! It is delicious food and I thoroughly recommend it - not quite like other curries you might have had. I think there are strong links with the Gurkhas and the UK, so there is definitely a small but not uncommon Nepalese presence over here. I was also at the wedding last week of one of my school friends, her now-husband is half-Tibetan, and again (because of the Gurkha link) there were guests there from not only Tibet, but Nepal and India as well. It is a beautiful and intriguing culture. On a slight tangent, I do recommend watching 7 Years in Tibet if you haven't seen it already. It's a great film, and how Andy suggested Fiona get to know Tibet's story when they first got together!

Beautiful pieces, and thank you so much for organising another wonderful challenge. I really enjoyed this one in particular I must say!

Kristi Wodek said...

Thank you for organizing this challenge. I have learned a lot and can't wait to participate in another.....and develop my project even more.

I am in awe with your pieces. Everything that inspired you and the connections that you made with your pieces was breath taking and filled with so much meaning. The feeling from the prayer flags is so evident in how you designed your fiber wrapped necklace.

The pray barrel bead is truly unique and what an honor to have the opportunity to use in your design and now to spin.

Thanks again! You are very inspiring and can't wait to go see what others have created.

Kristi Wodek said...

I have had the privilege to travel to Italy. After having earned a bachelors degree in art history it was an enriching opportunity to go and see the land that inspired so many of the artists that I studied. I remember vividly seeing a tree in the ruins of the colosseum and having an ah-ha moment. So many artists had portrayed similar trees in their paintings and then I felt like I had seen the tree. I snapped a photo and to this day I can look at that photo and recall that moment, feel the heat of the sun beating down on me and hushed feeling of "getting it". I look forward to traveling again. I am eager to learn more about other cultures and "see" with new eyes.

SoulsFireDesigns said...

Oh Erin, this challenge was so fun! I look forward to your hops so much because I always try to really challenge myself. You choose the best themes that inspire my soul.

Nepal looks like such a fascinating country, steeped in such a rich tradition of belief. Of prayer. I am in awe of the beautiful traditions they have and the incredibly meaningful way you incorporated your findings into these beautiful pieces.

Thank you, Erin, for sharing Nepal and for hosting this hop. Sweet friend, you inspire me!

A Polymer Penchant said...

Oh how gorgeous Erin, I adore the necklace you are keeping and know those jewel tones will look fabulous on you. What a special treasure of many parts, just like your inspiration. I'm not done hopping yet, but boy oh boy it's nothing but beauty upon beauty. What a treat to take part. I know I have more to feed my muse still. A few blogs in I decided they all must be added to the Pinterest board I started with for quick recall. I'm loving this trip around the world

Unknown said...

beautiful! Your designs are pure joy, the colors, materials and that teardrop pendant are all so lively and lovely, This was really a great challenge Erin!

Unknown said...

Thank you so much for the invite on the tour.it is wonderful.I also want to say I LOVE your necklace and the bracelet is divine.Thank you.Love and hugs tanya

Honey from the Bee said...

This is a fabulous hop!

Your necklaces are really breath taking. The colors are vibrant and I can definitely see Nepal's influence on them. Wonderful!

Unknown said...

Thank you for hosting this challenge Erin, great idea~ I love the bracelet, those melon beads are so beautiful!

Unknown said...

Erin, you blow me away, your pieces are gorgeous. I love the mixes of color that you used, everything looks so perfect together and great pieces to inspire you to dream about traveling.

E B Snare said...

Hi Erin

I have really enjoyed the blog hop - discovering new countries and equally discovering how people perceive them! Your pieces inspired by Nepal are beautiful: I find the concept of prayers that are dynamic (spinning wheels or waving flags) much more enticing than static words. The colours in the final necklace are incredible - so rich and invigorating!

I feel like I'm already travelling around a little as I discover new people who are blogging and taking part in challenges like this, and, like you, the Olympics inspired me to discover more about the world. Living in the UK, which is so small compared to the US, I have realised that the world is a lot bigger than we all think - so why not explore it? I am in the middle of starting to save so I can visit other places, including New Zealand which is somewhere I have always wanted to go. I hope that you get to visit all of the countries you want, too - including Nepal!

Thanks again for hosting the challenge and for your lovely comment on my necklaces.



SummersStudio said...

Erin, I am so honored that you chose the bronze prayer wheel bead in your beautiful necklace. It makes me happy to know you have it. Wonderful challenge. Now that I'm back, I'll spend of bit of time hopping around to see the other amazing pieces created. This is so fun!

aneri_masi said...

Such striking colors! Colors are definitely a big part of the culture in the Indian subcontinent.

I LOVE the last necklace.

Kathleen Lange Klik said...

The pieces that you made are a beautiful representation of Nepal. You really depicted the colorfulness of the land and its' people in a wonderful and unique way. I also really like the diversity of beads and elements used in your design, especially your sari snapshot pendant-beautiful!

I had always wondered what the meaning was behind the colorful flags! Thank you for such an amazing journey to this interesting land!

lunedreams said...

Wow, Erin, you really captured the vibrancy, celebration and quiet cheerfulness of that land and spiritual culture! Your first piece especially strikes me as a celebration of the best humanity has to offer. I love how you wrapped the cording, and the jewel tones are just delicious. That necklace is like a prayer flag! And of course your lovely sari pendant is absolutely perfect for this challenge. That last necklace is a stunner! Rustic and luxurious at the same time. Bravo, as always!

Unknown said...

Dear Erin, Thank you for taking us on your journey to Nepal. I fell in love with your Wind Horse necklace as well as the The Four Immeasurables necklace. I actually met a teacher in Nepal (via e-mail) a few years ago and over the summer, I sent them a care package of school supplies and some of the earrings I make as a gift for their children. You never know whose life you can change with a moment of kindness. Your trip to Nepal through beads is truly inspiring! Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Erin what a fabulous post. Your necklaces were beautiful. The colours are very Nepali and evocative of an incredible place. Other readers may be interested to know that in a pretty remote part of Eastern Nepal, a group of 8 amazing Nepali ladies who were all victims of violence are earning their living making beaufitul polymer clay jewellery. People can read about them here www.acolourfuljourney.com if they are interested. On that website, you can also read about a trip, an actual COLOURFUL JOURNEY to Nepal that would inspire a treasure chest full of beads. Once again, thanks for a fabulous post. Wendy Moore www.afterthemonsoon.com


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