It’s time for the reveal of the “We’re All Ears” March Challenge. This month, our inspiration was monochromatic black and white. We were encouraged to pull together different patterns and textures with pops of color to pay tribute to a classic combination. A couple of thoughts went through my head when read about our prompt for the month: 1) I love black and white patterns and 2) I have very few black beads. I hardly ever, ever use black, especially in jewelry, so this would be a challenge. Nonetheless, I was excited to explore something different than I usually make and something I secretly really like.
Now when I think about black and white, I immediately fixate on Alice in Wonderland. From the black and white tiled floors, to the zany patterns splashed with color, Alice’s adventures in Wonderland are a visual feast for the eye and I am entranced by everything Alice, from the original Tenniel illustrations (black and white, coincidence??) to the recent Disney reimaginings. So I decided that my earrings for this month would be loosely and indirectly based on an Alice theme as well.
I surprised myself by making 4 pairs of earrings (I thought it would be stretching to get 2 pairs done). Turns out that once I started, creative juices started flowing and they just kept coming. In fact, I still have some other ideas, but I needed to get the post written and linked.
First up: Tugley Wood
These earrings are actually fresh off the bead board as of this evening. While digging in my beads for something else, I came across these large black and white wooden beads. “Perfect!” I squealed and then picked up some additional beads and ran back down to make these earrings. Such was the strength of inspiration that I still don’t even recall what I went up to find initially. I guess if it’s important it will come back to me. But I digress, these earrings came together quite quickly with the floral bead accented with shell slivers, silver spacers, and delicate silver feathers. Perhaps from the Jubub bird? Watch out! Tugley Wood can be a beautiful place, full of twisting trees branches, flowers, and mushrooms, but it can also be dangerous! Especially if you’ve shrunk in size!
Next up is a trip to Marmoreal, home to the White Queen.
This pair of earrings is named for the ethereal dwelling of the gentle White Queen. Her home is filled with lightness and lots of white, with the occasional flash of black for contrast. These lucite flowers dangling from silver heart earwires seem to capture the essence of White Queen and her castle gardens.
My third pair is called “Tea on the Lawn”
I’m not sure why, but that phrase stuck in my head as I looked at the earrings and so that’s what they want to be called. These were fun earrings to design – I wanted to include some warm accents to these shell leaves. I layered them with coconut spacers and striated black agate beads. Then I wrapped them with brown waxed linen with tiny green agate spacers tied onto the ends. The fiber dangles give some motion and interest to the earrings. They feel as if they’d be at home on the ears of someone attending a tea party – they are part black and white elegance and part whimsy. Perfect for Alice.
A trip to Wonderland would not be complete without the age-old activity of painting flowers. These earrings are dubbed “Painting the Roses Red”.
This is the first pair I made and the only pair where I incorporated a heavy saturation of color. Deep burgundy lucite flowers are wrapped with brass filigree, which I grunged down with acrylic paints. Teardrop black crystals with a metallic finish glitter underneath the roses and a tiny black Swarovski crystal finishes the design. These delight the little Goth streak that hides deep in my heart. Although they work perfectly for an elegant Alice-in-Wonderland inspired design, I have to confess that their first wearing was last night to Les Miserables. Turns out, they also tie in beautifully to one of my favorite songs “Red and Black”! (Insert happy dance)
Well, I hope you have enjoyed your trip through Wonderland and the creative romp through this month’s earring inspiration. Don’t forget the curious bottle tagged “Drink Me” on the way back through the looking glass.
Blessings to you,