Challenge of Travel Blog Hop - Atlanta Edition

This is the second year that Erin of Tesori Trovati Jewelry and the Treasures Found blog is sponsoring her Challenge of Travel blog hop, this time with a unique twist: stay home! Explore the town you call home, share the adventure on your blog, and design something to celebrate the experience.

Although it was one of the first places we visited when we moved to Atlanta 15 years ago, it had been several years since I'd made my way to the High Museum of Art on Peachtree Street in the heart of the city.

The High has fabulous permanent collections of Folk and Modern Art, but this summer there were two traveling exhibits I especially wanted to see - art from the Dutch Golden Age featuring Johannes Vermeer's Girl with a Pearl Earring (the first time it's being displayed in the American Southeast); and the first-ever museum exhibition of Georgia jewelry artist, Gogo Ferguson. She designed the wedding rings for JFK Jr and Caroline Bessette and draws inspiration for her very elegant nature-inspired pieces from barnacles, seaweed, alligator toes and rattlesnake ribs. For a real treat, click on the photo below to see her creations.

Armadillo Scapula Necklace by Georgia artist, Gogo Ferguson

The High Museum is just a short walk from the home of Gone with the Wind author, Margaret Mitchell.

While Atlanta was becoming home to us, I took a year off from work and used that time to immerse myself in books by Southern writers. Mitchell and Harper Lee were already favorites - I had practically committed their books to memory, but that year, I read Flannery O'Connor, Charles Frazier, Anne Rivers Siddons, and everything I could find by Reynolds Price. Jimmy Carter's and Martin Luther King's writings made their way onto my bookshelf as well.

Erin's number one rule for us was to have fun with this challenge, and I certainly did that! Inspired to create something that celebrates both art and literature, I made a sheet of resin paper capturing passages from those great Southern writers. After tearing into small squares, I burned the edges, rubbing oil pastels into them while still warm.

Once my papers were stacked onto handmade eye pins and bookended with glossy rondelles, I combined them with colorful hand-painted, geometric Klimt-style blocks purchased from Artbeads several years ago. They hang from hand formed, rectangular earwires.

Since the materials are paper and mother of pearl, these earrings are super light, with a swing that Southern belle, Scarlett, would adore!

Thanks for stopping by. Now, please click over to Erin's blog and follow the links to see how all the other participants explored and celebrated the places they call home!


You Won't Want to Miss These Links

Beadweaving will always be my first love, but in the past year I've had fun branching out into other mediums, from wire to metal to resin. The more techniques, the more creative possibilities, right? When I learned this week that Cindy Wimmer has written a book on wire links, I couldn't wait for the print version and clicked over to Interweave to download the eBook.

Everything about this book is gorgeous! The first section features 15 links, all fun and fresh components I can't wait to include in my designs. The photography is breathtaking. Great step-by-step photos that had this novice wireworker turning out links in no time. They're followed by a section of inspiration from your favorite designers, using one or more links in their designs.

The wire links are listed by degree of difficulty, so I started with my favorite in the Easy category, the Engagement Ring link. The Projects section includes a bracelet of these links by Lori Anderson that I loved and wanted to try. I worked up a set of 8 in copper wire before allowing myself to cut the first length of sterling silver. I also stirred up my first batch of liver of sulfur - lots of firsts in this project!

Lori's bracelet was exquisite in her signature pinks and purples. I chose one of my favorite combinations from
Pantone's Fall Color report - Mykonos Blue and Linden Green. The dangles include kyanite, vintage glass,
Swarovski pearls and lampwork beads by Atlanta artist Kimberly Branch.

And those practice links in copper? I connected them up, added a focal clasp and a couple of charms. I love them just as they are!

You can pre-order Cindy's book from her website, or if you're as impatient as I was, you can download the eBook direct from Interweave. You're going to want this book in your library!


Fun with Ice Resin

My sister, Janet, sister-in-law, Kathy, and I met up in Augusta to enjoy some creative play time this week with an Ice Resin class at YaYa Beads. Great fun!

Kathy was a natural and created some really fun compositions. We all agreed her lovely dimensional pendant (top) took the Fabulous Award for the day. (Wish I'd snapped more photos of her work!) Janet's pieces (center panel) reflect her love of music and her gift of encouragement. I just love the flecks of torn ribbon in her second piece.

Now that I have my first pours (bottom panel) under my belt, I'm ready to dive into Deryn Mentock's Bezel Bootcamp, an e-course in bezel making, soft soldering and resin. If you're looking for a great way to broaden your jewelry making skills, registration is still open!