Saturday, September 01, 2012

Challenge of Travel Blog Hop- Ireland

I am so excited to be part of Erin Prais-Hintz's Travel Blog Hop!  When I saw her invitational post about it, I wanted to be part of it immediately.  The idea of finding inspiration from another country excited and fascinated me.  I didn't even think about not joining, I just jumped right in with both feet.



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.

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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.


24 comments:

Leanne said...

Very pretty!!

Kathy said...

Becca, this is absolutely gorgeous!!! It is a stunning creation. And I'm envious that you grew up on the Oregon coast! We just visited there this summer, and it's one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen, right there along with Ireland! I visited the Emerald Isle years ago, and it's true...everything is green!

Nice work!

Cece Cormier said...

Gorgeous wire wrapping.

Tabatha D. said...

I love the necklace. The color of blue you used is most absolute favorite. I love all the twirls in it to. Great Job!

Jennifer said...

That was interesting how your start and your finish were so different. Glad you got to take your own journey during the challenge. Your piece is so elaborate and delicate at the same time!

Patti Van said...

Ahh, such beautiful pictures of a beautiful country. I have always wanted to visit Ireland, and who know, one day I still might. Really enjoyed your story of the mermaids - and your piece perfectly reflects the picture in "my mind" of a mermaid! Beautiful!

Pixiloo said...

Oh goodness, that necklace is breathtaking. I see the ocean and shells and waves -- a mermaid's paradise.

Micheladas said...

I would so wear this piece.. I love it.. This is by far my fav piece out of the whole blog. Beautiful...

Shaiha said...

Your necklace is truly gorgeous and I love how you drew upon the Celtic myths to inspire it.

indigo heart said...

becca, my beloved sister, your necklace is stunning! i just love how you entwined the strands, making a net of gems beneath the waves. so evocative of the mesmerizing merrow! lovely work, sweetie. i loved that shot of the coast of ireland. it does look like the oregon coast! enchanting.

Elisabeth said...

I agree - very pretty - stunning actually!

TesoriTrovati said...

So very happy that you were able to persevere through this very full week! I find it funny that you chose this nation for color and you end result pulled you in a completely new and unexpected direction. That is what happens when we allow our Muse to lead us! This necklace is stunning! Thank you so much for joining me on the journey. Enjoy the day. Erin

beadrecipes said...

Beautiful necklace! And I enjoyed hearing about your path to inspiration!

LisaS said...

A wonderful tour of Ireland. Your necklace is gorgeous ;)

stregajewellry said...

I too, was captivated by the Irish coastal pictures and drawn to Irish legends and myths. Your necklace leaves me breathless and wishing I could see a mermaid, the rolling "waves" of the piece evoke the sound of surf and the shell its beauty. Gorgoeous work!

Jewels By Ine said...

You made an amazing piece! very beautiful!

Zeniswoman said...

Hello! I'm so happy to find both you and your sister. I absolutely adore both of your creations! You've certainly done Cynthia's mermaid proud ;)
Many blessings,
Holly (zeniswoman@yahoo.com)

Alice said...

Beautiful photos. I love that you were inspired by fabled mermaids. Your neckpiece is stunning!

Susanm said...

Your necklace is lovely - lots of texture and movement.

A Polymer Penchant said...

Ha! I love that you outwitte yourself. Ah the best laid plans... But boy, what a beauty you came up with very tempting to take up life under the sea.

A Half-Baked Notion said...

Becca,if only there were more hours in the week... no scratch that, we'd only find more that "needs" doing!

I am amazed at your gorgeous creation... the two pendants are beautiful together, and I can't believe those waves come from a chain craft store... you made them into something special! Must be the magic of Ireland?

Holly said...

Seriously, Becca, I am blown away by this amazing necklace! I can certainly see it gracing the neck of a merrow...

Therese's Treasures said...

Hi Becca,
Thank you for taking me along on your trip to Ireland. I enjoyed learning all the fascinating facts about this country and it's folk lore. I love the mermaid necklace you made it is gorgeous.
Therese

SueBeads said...

It's gorgeous! Really fantastic work! And thanks for the info on the mermaids - fascinating!