Saturday, May 4, 2013

A karate keepsake

I've mentioned a few times (okay, several times) that I tested for my black belt earlier in April.

I didn't mention that I tested with thirteen others:  four others testing for first black, one testing for second black, four testing for junior black belt, and four testing for black in ju jitsu.

The test was fabulous.  Everyone did a fantastic job.  It was one of my proudest moments and I was grateful to share it with the other testers, many of whom have become great friends.

Before our test, I asked Erin Prais-Hintz, from Treasures Found, to make a custom "simple truth" pendant for me and the two other women testing for first black.  Erin, who is busier than anyone I know, kindly agreed and even carved a custom plate for the pendant.

Our school's logo incorporates the yin yang symbol, so I asked Erin to use the yin yang on the pendant.

I don't know if you can tell by the picture, but the light half and the light dot are raised a bit from the dark pieces.

Erin used a combination of swellegant metal paints to achieve the patinaed effect.

On the back, Erin stamped the date of our test and a quote:  "we are what we repeatedly do."

I let out a little squeal when I saw the pendants for the first time.  I was floored by how amazing  they were.  I would say that Erin outdid herself, but Erin's work is consistently stunning.  Still, though, these pendants are my current favorites and they are perfect keepsakes.

I strung two of the pendants on a small brass rolo chain for my friends.  They *loved* them.

For my necklace, I made a beaded infinity loop.

I've read that a black belt is not the end, but the beginning of advanced learning.  Training is infinite and I've noticed that there is always something to learn.

I didn't have quite enough chain for my necklace, so I used pearls to fill in a few gaps.

I love the way the necklace turned out.

Erin mentioned that she might be adding the yin yang pendant to her line of Simple Truths.  If you want one for yourself, check out Erin's etsy shop.

Even if you don't want the yin yang pendant, check out Erin's shop. She creates amazing pieces of wearable art.

Erin, thank you so much for creating the pendants for my friends and myself.  We all love them.


  1. what a great piece from Erin! and so thoughtful of you to share with your fellow testers!! I love the simplicity in your design ... it let's the pendent and the infinity stand out!

  2. I absolutely love your necklace. It's so perfect in so many ways, to me! I'm glad I got to see it :-)

  3. What a beautiful pendant Erin made for you. I also love the infinity loop. You should do a tutorial.... I would buy it!
    The necklace turned out fabulous and you will enjoy the sentiment forever.

  4. So pretty we have just started this process with my youngest he is about to get his orange belt so I know how hard you hve worked! Congrats!!!

  5. Oh, Miss Tanya! I am so floored by your design. It is simply elegant. What a powerful symbol to incorporate and I love the way you beaded it. It was such an honor to make this for you and your talented friends. A lot of dedication and hard work went into this achievement and I am so glad that I could help you commemorate this event. I wanted to wait until you had the pieces before adding this as a custom made to order item in my shop. Now I will go and do just that! Enjoy the day!

  6. Wow - what a wonderful way to remember that day for you! Erin and you both out did yourselves with that piece! Congrats!!!

  7. Tanya - that is the most thoughtful gift. I love the simple bit of beadwork you added to this gorgeous pendant as well.