I love working vintage and second hand components into my beadwork. The filigree stars here are from a beadshow, and they are vintage, probably 1960s. The cabochons are acrylic, and they came from a thrift store. Older things hold a lot of interest for me, because the provenance is usually a mystery, but you can be sure there is a story behind it.
I chose to call this piece the Star in the East because I had heard the phrase when reading about 19th century spiritualism, and it just seemed very intriguing and suiting. The Order of the Star in the East is a Theosophical organization. The Star of the East is one name for the star the Magi followed in the Nativity story, and to me this design has a Christmas feel. It also makes me think of Venus, which is at it’s brightest near sunrise and sunset. It’s so bright, it is often mistaken for a UFO.
Zippers are fun, but is anything more frustrating than when a zipper breaks or gets stuck? Ever get had the zipper pull break off your jeans and leave you flying low? Ever get stuck in your winter coat because the zipper wont budge? Yep, I have been there. Only a few weeks ago, until I realized I just had to step out of the jacket! But hey, your mind isn’t very sharp sometimes when you get in panic mode. That’s why the Hitchhicker’s Guide says DON’T PANIC on the back cover.
As a tribute to an embarrassing encounter with a zipper, I made this zipper necklace. I’d been thinking about it for a while, but it took a battle with a zipper to get me to step up. I had seen Ginnifer Goodwin wearing an amazing zipper necklace. I really wanted one, and immediately thought of St. Petersburg stitch when I saw her wearing one. My version is only seed beads, so it’s great to wear with jeans. I’d love to own a Van Cleef & Arpel zip necklace in turquoise, if anyone has a spare one hanging around.
Now that I’ve been beading for about 4 years, I’m at a phase where I expect everything to be perfect. I also have trouble coming up with (or finding) projects that are challenging, yet not exasperating. This is one of those projects I picked out, redid, and just plain trashed a million times. Which is kind of funny, because in the end what I settled on doing was not that complicated. Maybe that’s why it works. It lays nicely, it’s a bit flashy, and it’s very Egyptian.
This is a companion piece to my previous project. I think a scarab is very appropriate for a necklace, because in Ancient Egypt, one would be placed over the heart before the mummy was wrapped. Green scarabs symbolize regeneration, which I really need right now.
When I was a kid, I was obsessed with Ancient Egypt; I was convinced I was going to be an Egyptologist when I grew up. Well, I’m not an Egyptologist, but I still am fascinated with Ancient Egypt. I love anything mysterious and magical. When I think of Egypt, I think about the 19th century Egyptian Revival style, and the magicians who have used Egyptian imagery and symbols. One of the most powerful of these symbols is the Scarab: according to the Egyptian Book of the Dead, a scarab amulet could stand in for one’s heart, which had to weigh lighter than the feather of truth to gain entrance to the afterlife. So, having a few scarabs in your jewellery collection couldn’t hurt! I have a matching necklace in the works.
I have always wanted to own a piece of Labradorite, so I was very pleased to find some tear drop shaped cabs for sale at a local bead show. Feldspars are completely capitivating to me, because they seem interdimensional: when you gaze inside, you see another world. Looking into a feldspar stone like Labradorite, you almost feel like you are scrying. There is certainly something magical about the refraction of light into so many disappearing colours.
Labradorite is a very interesting stone, and it’s appropriate to work with around Canada Day because it was discovered in the province of Labrador. Eskimo legend holds that a warrior freed the northern lights from stone. The light that was not released became labrodorite.