The novel tells the story of Rachel, a young Jewish girl growing up in the early 1800's on the island of St. Thomas and follows her and those close to her through to her old age. There was much beauty in the story as well as sadness and the frustration of coming up against society's rules and norms which are often so very unfair. Rachel is such a strong, stubborn, and resilient character albeit often prickly to those she cares for the most. This is a story filled with love, loss, and longing that was wonderful to watch unfold. I loved how the stories of the characters ended up being even more entwined than you first thought as the lives of what seem like secondary characters come into view.
Despite a lot of lovely imagery and language in the novel, it took me awhile to decide what themes or images from the book I might use as a jumping off point for my creation this month. I eventually settled on the idea of the Flamboyant Tree whose branches and flowers were repeatedly mentioned. (I honestly wasn't sure if it was actually a real thing until I did a Google search!)
|Flamboyant Tree or Delonix Regia|
I dug into my box of orange beads and found a good number of chunkier carnelian and Czech glass beads that were contenders for the design. In truth, I probably could have gotten away with even bigger beads, but this is what I had on hand! I ended up using carnelian nuggets, faceted rounds in two sizes, and smooth rounds... so many yummy shades of orange, dark red, and peach.
Not being super knowledgeable about plant life, I also wanted to see what the Bougainvillea flower looked like. I found a picture where the blooms were just a wonderful mix of bright colors. Most of what I saw were the pink to purple flowers, but this picture was perfect for the Golem Design Studio bead that I was thinking about using!
One of the other thoughts that had been vying for my attention while I read the books was the mention of moths beating against the windows. This imagery came up several times, and though not in any way really central to the story, it stuck with me. And, hey, a good excuse to pull out my moth beads! It seemed appropriate to grab one of the small moth pendants by Lisa Peters Russ that I bought from Allegory Gallery after seeing them in a Facebook post (or it might have been a video).
I grabbed three of these cuties, but chose to work with the one with touches of palest green and tiny specks of what I would definitely call "haint blue." Because of the diminutive size of the pendant, I tried to give it a little extra punch with some beads dangling from lengths of chain that sit behind the moth. It was fun to pull out some of my tinier gemstones for this design like some AB vessuvianite, prehnite rice beads, faceted smoky quartz, and some Czech glass. I finished the back with a bit of ribbon in shades of green.