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WELCOME to my colorful corner of the world! I write here about the things I make, in glass, fiber, metals, and whatever else I can find to play with!

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Friday, April 23, 2010

A birthday

Ok, so I turned forty yesterday.....yep, I was born on the original Earth Day, back in 1970. It's a distinction I have always enjoyed, honestly. I've never had a birthday that I can remember that wasn't sunny and gorgeous, which is perfect for getting into the spirit of celebrating the planet AND a birthday. Yesterday was no different. :)

I think I had mentioned a while back about creating a necklace for myself that would be somewhat commemorative of my milestone birthday. As with most projects, I didn't get it done *exactly* on time, but it is finished now, and I love it.

Here is "The Road Less Traveled":

It's a difficult necklace to photograph, because it's long (about 21"). I wanted something that was busy and full of my favorite things....and I wanted to include beads that represented some of the best or most life-altering things that have happened in the last forty years. The overall necklace shape is a Y, or rosary shape, which for me, says much more about devotion and faith than anything else I came up with.

There is a closer look at the pendant portion:
The pendant itself is polymer clay. In making it, I thought of my favorite poem, Robert Frost's "The Road Less Traveled", from which I usually take a quote to sum up some of my approach to my life:

Two roads diverged in the wood, and I, I took the one less traveled by and that has made all the difference.

The beads above the heart pendant represent, from left to right, my middle daughter Wren (she loves pink), my oldest daughter Kira (she loves the beach), my husband Travis (his 'colors' are black, white and green), and my son, Noah (he just loves).

I made the white dove bead at the top to signify the peace in family life -- having a family, knowing your family is complete, having everyone safe and together.

On one side of the necklace, I hung beads that represent achievement of one of my most important things...education:

Here, the blue and white bead is for my undergraduate degree (SUNY-Geneseo!) and the purple and white, for my high school (Go Southwest Eagles!).
It's not a great picture, but the purple and yellow bead is for my graduate degree (James Madison University).

On the other side of the necklace, are the beads representing other life choices, some that worked out and some that...didn't:
My favorites have to be the BIG hollow beads....there are four of them, one for each decade. In the rosary, there are larger beads interspersed at intervals with the smaller beads. these are called 'decade' beads, and while they don't necessarily represent actual decades in years, the larger beads serve that purpose here. In all my favorite colors, of course. :)

I used hammered copper rings and copper links as the metals in this piece, because the copper is warm and takes on a beautiful patina all by itself as the piece is worn. Circles for the cyclical nature of life, and randomly-wrapped copper links because of the messiness and unpredictability of life.

I didn't get the piece done in time to wear it yesterday, and that's okay. I'm planning to wear it some today and maybe this weekend. I'm just happy I finished it, and was able to put it together the way I want. Even if I don't wear it that much, I have it as a labor of love and to remind me of all the good things in my life.

Happy birthday to me. :)



11 comments:

Carol Tannahill said...

What a tremendous birthday gift to yourself! and Happy Birthday! Every time you wear this in years to come you will be reminded of this moment in time. Great idea!

Kevin said...

That is all kinds of cool, Chris. Seriously.

Christine said...

Thanks, Carol and Kevin! I am really happy with how it turned out. :)

Melissa Meman said...

Very cool necklace! So much thought and work. Happy Birthday :)

TesoriTrovati said...

Welcome to the 40s! It is a great place to be. I love that you are commemorating such a wonder-filled life. This is beautiful. Enjoy the day! Erin

Cindy said...

Chrisitne, what a FANTASTIC idea to create a special commemorative necklace for yourself! I would love to tackle a project like that. The beads are beautiful and I love the special thougths behind them - your schools, the kids, and the decades.... This is amazing!
Cindy

EB Bead and Metal Works said...

What a gorgeous necklace! I really like how you used the beads to represent things that have occurred in your life. AWESOME!

Barbara Lewis said...

Happy birthday to you! I'm an April birthday too! This necklace is so wonderful. I love the way Kevin said it, "All kinds of cool!"

About age, you could pass for in your 20's and I'm not kidding!

Pretty Things said...

Awesome necklace!

Janet said...

Hi! I am looking at some peoples Blog thru Loris Bead party and have found your page. What a simply Beautiful necklace! Soooo wonderful! I know everyone has to love it!
Janet ox

Copper Diem said...

What a great idea to celebrate your day!

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