Saturday, December 1, 2012

Emotional Roller Coaster - Transitions

It was an Emotional Roller Coaster...have you ever said that about a time in your life?  When I consider the term I think of being whipped around by a particular event or time in my life, on a wild ride that was completely out of my control and not knowing when the next freefall would come.  Yet I also think about the fact that a roller coaster has both breathtaking highs and punch-in-the-gut lows.   Marsha from HauteIceBeadwork, internal vote winner of our October 2012 "Misty Winter's Dawn" challenge has chosen that phrase as the theme for the Etsy Beadweavers December 2012 challenge.  Beading is one of the things that best helps me even out those roller coaster moments.  When I saw the theme I thought of one of the most difficult years in my life.

It was 1998 and my grandmother, matriarch to a huge family, had passed away after a long illness. My mother and I bonded as we drove together to Watertown NY for the memorial service. I reconnected with the dozens of cousins I had not seen in decades. While we shared the sadness of losing one of our favorite women, we also shared a treasure trove of memories and lots of laughter. When my mother returned home, she had found that my father had passed away suddenly and unexpectedly. It was like emotional whiplash. Now I made the drive to Atlanta alone and in shock. My brother, sister, mother and I were able to comfort each other and plan a memorial and before long we were sharing memories and laughter through tears, finding strength in our connection to our dad. Later that year my sister married a wonderful man who became a fantastic father to her two kids and the roller coaster ride of emotions finished with a bittersweet yet life-affirming end.

Transitions. Some are harder than others. Some take time and others come upon you with the unexpected shock of a bolt of lightening. They can be full of hope and promise or a loss you never could have imagined.  So I named this piece "Transitions". The bib necklace is made with a freeform peyote technique that creates roads and bridges and connections from all directions using many colors, sizes, shapes and finishes of beads. The bright copper of laughter, the blue of tears and purple for memories join with other colors punctuated with solemn pearls, sparkling crystals and even deep red nuggets of sadness. At the heart of the necklace is a freeform raku pottery spiral like a circle of life captured in a peyote bezel featuring a shower of fringe.

The necklace measures about 19" around the neck. The raku center is about 3.5" across and the drop from the center neck to the tip of the spike fringe is 6" The centerpiece is backed with black felt and the closure is a beaded peyote toggle designed to fit into one of the loops formed by the freeform, so it can be adjusted smaller if needed.

Stop by the Etsy Beadweavers Blog on the 9-15th to vote for your favorite entry, and search Etsy for EBWC to see more fantastic entries.

Featured in this necklace is a beautiful raku spiral by Olivia at

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