I wish I had looked at my calendar and thought about everything happening this week! =) I got my travel inspiration piece done, but it was part of a mad, crazy week.
My girls started school last week, My Bead Soup Blog post was last Saturday, I started work this week (tutoring 1-3 graders in reading), I started metal-smithing class again, my daughter's 7th birthday was Friday... It's been a good, but CRAZY week.
However, if I had thought about it I might not have signed up, and that would have been VERY sad. I would have missed out on this exciting, cool event. I wouldn't have made a fun piece, and I wouldn't have gotten to meet you, dear reader.
My Country: Ireland
I feel compelled to be honest with you. I chose Ireland for one reason: My favorite color is green. And when I think of green in the context of a country, I think of Ireland. That's kind of a silly reason to have chosen a country, but it's the truth. I like green, and I thought I would make a fun green piece.
And then I started exploring pictures of Ireland- beautiful pictures of Ireland. Luscious, green pictures with rolling hills and cliffs, old castles with green moss, brilliant sunsets over the ocean off green coasts. (Some great web-sites for pictures: Brides without Borders; TrekEarth)
I was entranced with the photos of Ireland- totally in love with the country-side, mood and age of the land. I loved the old crumbled castles, buildings, and graveyards. Since I grew up on the West coast of the U.S., I'm not around old buildings very much. Alaska wasn't even 'civilized' until the 1970's, and most of the old crumbled houses around here look that way because of the melting permafrost not because of true age.
More than the countryside and old buildings, though, I was drawn in by the coastal pictures. I grew up on the Oregon Coast, and the pictures of Coastal Ireland looked like home to me, in a way I can't quite explain.
I LOVED the photos I found, but I didn't have any ideas about how to put them into a piece of jewelry... Until Tuesday of this week, I felt frustrated, stymied and stuck. I spent time looking at more and more landscape and castles... Trying to find something that inspired me to make jewelry.
And then I thought I'd look at Irish stories. So I started looking at the mythology, and the fairy-tales.... And I discovered a treasure trove of magic, mystery and allure. I read about banshees, leprechauns, and selkies.
And finally I read about Irish mermaids, or merrow from the Gaelic murúch. And I had my inspiration.
On the Wikipedia site, I found more information about Irish mermaids:
They appeared, as in other cultures, to be human from the waist up but have the body of a fish from the waist down. They have a gentle, modest, affectionate and benevolent disposition.
There are other names pertaining to them in Gaelic: Muir-gheilt, Samhghubha, Muidhuachán, and Suire. The merrow were capable of attachment to human beings and there are reports of them inter-marrying and living among humans for many years. However, most times they eventually return to their former homes beneath the sea.
Merrow-maidens are reputed to lure young men to follow them beneath the waves where afterwards they live in an enchanted state. Merrows wear a special hat called a cohuleen druith which enables them to dive beneath the waves. If they lose this cap, it is said they have no power to return beneath the water. Sometimes they are said to leave their outer skins behind, to assume others more magical and beautiful. The merrow has soft white webs between her fingers, she is often depicted with a comb parting her long green hair on either side. It is said that Merrow music is often heard coming from beneath the waves.
My piece is not green, which I find very humorous. Instead, my Mermaid's Treasure is in shades of turquoise.
I combined my wire-work with a Green Girls Mermaid pendant, and two Michael's waves. Then I added Sea Opal, Amazonite, Apatite, shell, freshwater pearls, and Swarovski crystals.
I wish my photography captured the luminescence of the shell pendant, but it just doesn't do it justice.
I'm delighted to combine the low-end Michael's waves, with the stunning Green Girls Mermaid.
Thank you, Erin! I feel so lucky to have been able to participate in this Challenge. It wasn't easy, but I had fun, and got to be inspired in a different way.
To continue on with the Blog Hop, go HERE.