Saturday, March 1, 2014

3rd Annual Challenge of Music

For my She Made/She Made entry, click here.

Miss Erin gleans inspiration from many different places: her hometown, music, hunks of rust, literature, and, of course, color.

Many times, she invites her readers to join her on an inspiration blog hop challenge. Some of my favorites creations have stemmed from Erin's challenges.

For this year's challenge of music, Erin asked us to pick a seminal year in our lives or a year that impacted our lives in some way, then pick a song from that year to inspire us.

This year marks my grandparents' 70th anniversary. They were married in February of 1944. I decided to pick a song from 1944 in honor of them.

"My Heart Tells Me," sung by Glen Gray, was top of the charts in February, 1944, but that song didn't seem to capture 70 years of marriage. I opted instead for "Swinging on a Star," sung by Bing Crosby. It was top of the charts in August and September, 1944.

I liked the playfulness of the lyrics:
Would you like to swing on a star
Carry moonbeams home in a jar
And be better off than you are
Or would you rather be a mule?

The part that really struck me was "be better off than you are." The right person makes you be better than you are. My grandparents spent a lifetime making each other -- and all of us -- better every day.

This is one of my favorite photos of my grandparents, taken by Mae-Belle Photography.

To celebrate their 70th, my mom and her brothers and sisters threw a party. I may have mentioned before, but my mom has 12 siblings. There are 32 grandchildren and over 30 great grandchildren.

Not everyone was there, but it was quite a party.

Words can't express how lucky we all are to have my grandparents still in our lives.

But, back to my song.

I wanted to capture the playfulness of the song and, at one point, wanted to bead a swing to hang from a star. Well, you can probably guess how that turned out.

After a few ... several ... too many tries to mention, I settled on this bead from Genea. I love the star on the front and the moon on the back. It was meant to be.

Speaking of Genea, she creates jewelry with a playful style. How she combines colors, textures and her beautiful beads in such a fabulous way is beyond me, but I decided to give it a shot.

I started with a celini spiral.

I added a few copper swirls and mixed some of Genea's wingdings with clay beads from Staci Louise and a glass bead from Sue Beads.

I am pretty enamored with how it came out.

If you haven't already visited these ladies' shops, please do so. You can find Genea here, Staci here and Sue here.

While I was fiddling with the necklace, looking at this focal or that bead, I also made earrings.

I paired small lengths of chain maille with these cute charms from Miss Erin herself.

Copper didn't work so well with Erin's charms, so I used a bit of patina and gilder's paste to give the rings a (hopefully) celestial look.

As a side note, I finally got the hang of the violet patina from Miss Fickle Media. The color is just swoon worthy, though too purple for my earrings. Hence the gilder's paste.

I love the movement of these earrings.

You can find more of Erin's creations here.

Erin, thank you for another wonderful challenge. I love that these challenges push me out of my comfort zone.

Please take some time to visit Erin's blog to see what songs the other participants chose what how those songs inspired them.

Or, you can click the links below.


  1. Fantastic song, one of my favorites, and your necklace is stunning, I love all the beads and what you have done with them!!! My mum is one of 10 so I know how great big familys are! Have a great day.

  2. oh this is fabulous Tanya! The post is so deeply warm, and beautiful and a celebration of a lifetime of love between your grandparents and their family through the years. I clicked on the song, sang along and read your story. Just absolutely wonderful! And you've so captured the joy of traveling through life together with your necklace - LOVE Genea's, Staci and Sue's beads! I was lucky enough to meet them all this year at bead fest, and what a wonderful, fun and talented group they are!

  3. Great song choice and I love the way your designs turned out. I'm particularly partial to the earrings!

  4. Love the song choice. It is a timeless song and has such a message! I did not realize that Crosby did it first! The necklace is a great representation of the song itself!

  5. What a lovely tribute to your sweet grandparents! That picture of them at their wedding is so great. But I do so enjoy seeing their happiness with each other and obvious love in that one on the bench. We should all be so lucky! Your necklace is delightful. So much to look at and touch and revel in. And what a lovely pair of earrings you made! I am honored to play a small part. Thank you for sharing your talent and your personal music playlist with us in the 3rd Annual Challenge of Music. Enjoy the day! Erin

  6. Oh my gosh - I haven't heard that song in ages (now going through my head over and over - but that is a good thing!). I think the necklace is stunning an awfully great tribute for your grandparents!

    Just gorgeous!!!!!

  7. A beautiful tribute to your grandparents. :Your necklace is playful and full of a variety of wonderful beads. I love the spiral rope as well.

  8. What a beautiful tribute to your grandparents! You are lucky to still have them in your life.

  9. there is nothing like Bing, nothing like the love we hold for our family and something amazingly stunning about your pieces, It is that you have put your heart in them and they are beautiful. I am uplifted. jean xox

  10. OMG I love this song - I remember it from my childhood. What a wonderful family you have and such beautiful sentiment behind behind your design. What an incredible life they have lived together to be with each other and find love for 70 years - thank you so much for sharing!

  11. Tanya, what a beautiful tribute to your Grandparents - and thank you for sharing a bit about their history. What an amazing wedding portrait and so nice to see the more recent pictures of the two together as well. Your necklace is stunning! I just love all of the details and the color combination too.

  12. What sweet tribute to your grandparents. The necklace is so pretty and as you say it really goes with the fun of the song, but my favourites are the earrings. Simple, but lovely design -- and I love the patina colour on them!

  13. Lovely necklace and lovely tribute your grandparents! And I think the earrings are fantastic, so simple and wearable!