Monday, May 6, 2013

Vintaj Weeping Willow Design Challenge

This month's Vintaj Design Challenge, "Weeping Willow," hit near and dear to my heart.  Trips to Big Spring Park to feed the ducks were a favorite treat when I was a child.  My mother's mom, my Mema, used to take me down there with a big bag of bread to feed the ducks on many a summer day.  (Although, let's be honest, the giant goldfish got quite the snack too!)  We would park ourselves under this giant weeping willow tree to feed and watch the ducks and fish from under that cool, green canopy.  Any of my readers who are familiar with with my hometown of Huntsville, Alabama will probably know exactly what I'm talking about here.

Sadly, neither my Mema nor that majestic tree are still with us but I was able to find the picture above on the website for Huntsville.  I hope that the necklace I made manages to capture a little bit of the magic of spending time with my grandmother  underneath the weeping willow.

I started with some little leaf blanks that I had embossed and painted in shades of green and yellow and then grabbed any and all possible beads to mix into my design.  I actually hadn't originally thought I'd make a necklace... I planned to use both sets of embossed leaves in a pair of earrings but later decided that would be too much.  So enter the idea of a necklace and earrings.  I'm going to keep you in suspense on the earring front... you'll get to see those in the next Art Jewelry Elements Earring Challenge reveal this weekend!

I chose to use the more yellow pair of leaves in the necklace.  I wanted to try wire wrapping the brass branch piece to make a toggle clasp with the filigree ring.  I've had the branches for awhile but have been nervous about my wire skills!  I used some finer, soldered chain so I had to really play with the placement of the dangles before committing to finishing the wire wraps.

The leaves and beads hanging from the lengths of chain are meant to feel like the draping branches and leaves of the willow tree.  All the shades of green are for the colors in the tree and surrounding park.  Anyway, without further ado, here's the finished product.  This one's for you, Mema!  I miss you!

You can see the other entries and vote by clicking HERE.  Mine is number 8!

And as a P.S. to this post, here is the only picture I could find at my house of a tiny me with my Mema.  (Lots of photos of me posing at her house though!)

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