Saturday, March 01, 2014

Challenge Of Music Blog Hop

Hi!  Welcome to my blog and the Challenge of Music blog hop! 

Based on the instructions for the hop, I came up with three years that seemed the most impactful in my life:  1965 (the year I was born), 1983 (the year I graduated high school), and 2003 (the year my son was born.  I pulled the Billboard 100 and the Top 40 lists for each year and reviewed them. 
After going through that process, 2003 eliminated itself almost immediately.  While songs like “Bump, Bump, Bump”, “Shake Ya Tailfeather”, “In Da Club”, and “Right Thurr” may be fun to dance and party along to, they don’t really tell my story or offer much in the way of inspiration.  The one rather surprising exception was the Dixie Chicks’ cover of “Landslide” (originally by Fleetwood Mac) and I came really close to choosing that as the lyrics tell the story of my life from about 2005 to now.  In the end, however, I had to acknowledge that those years have had some pretty dark and challenging stuff in them including divorce and death and I didn’t want a bummer of a blog post nor did I want to re-live those particular memories or incorporate them into a lasting piece of jewelry – I am doing my best to put those years behind me!  Also, if I was going to use that song, it seems like I should really use the original version which definitely was not a song of 2003! 
1965 seemed promising – what fantastic songs!  There was a time when not everything had a club beat or was auto-tuned to death.  People had to actually be able to sing (and harmonize!) and the songs had to have lyrics…that made sense…and that you could understand!  Both the Beatles and the Stones are represented along with classic Motown groups like the Supremes and the Temptations.  Still, I was looking for a song with a little more visual imagery in the lyrics to really spark not only my memories, but my imagination. 
That left me with 1983.  And wow, how the memories came flooding back when I read some of the song titles.  Michael Jackson was taking over the world with “Billie Jean” and “Beat It” – both songs that my dance team and I spent hours choreographing with.  MTV was in its heyday with videos and my friends and I must have gone to see “Flashdance” at the movies about a million times  - we were all dancers so of course we had to see it repeatedly.
And then I saw this title on the list:  “Hungry Like the Wolf” by Duran Duran and I suddenly remembered how crazy all the girls were about this band (seriously, there were a couple of girls on the dance team who I was afraid might need counseling about their DD obsession) and how heavily this video played.  While the song itself doesn’t really describe “my story” it is so representative of the era that included my most formative years (high school and college) and it has such great imagery in it, that I knew this was the right song. 
So, rock your leg warmers and your perm and get ready to smell the hair gel as I present designs inspired by “Hungry Like the Wolf”!
Hungry Like The Wolf Video

I went to iTunes and downloaded the song.  I played it every chance I got (including in the car while driving which annoyed the kid to no end LOL!)  I also went to YouTube and checked out the video…which, I have to admit…has NOT aged well! 
But, after I got past all of that, I found myself really enjoying the trip down memory lane.  I am NOT (let me repeat that…NOT) a sketcher mostly owing to my inability to draw so much as a stick figure, but I did make an attempt this time.

I started by free associating words that came to me when thinking about the song, things associated with wolves, colors, etc.  There’s also some strong imagery of wine in the lyrics so I included that as well.  I started to add a few basic drawings with colored pencils and scribbled a few swatches of possible color combinations. 


The video provided some additional inspiration via the face paint on the lead singer and the woman.
The more I thought about things, the more ideas I had for jewelry, but the one thing that I strongly associate with wolves seemed like it would be the hardest to incorporate:  fur.  I really wanted that textural element and a few strands of cord or ribbon in a necklace just wasn’t going to give me the plushness that fur offers…actual FUR earrings seemed totally crazy, too, although I’m sure someone, somewhere has tried to make them and there’s probably a video on YouTube with directions.

In digging through my fiber and ribbon stash, I found the EXACT color combination that would be perfect to represent wolf’s fur and then I had a flash of inspiration. 

They give the touchable, textural element I wanted, the cones bring in all the pointy aspects of the wolf (teeth, claws, ears, snout and even tail tip) and since, for some reason, I seem to always picturewolves in the snow, I used silver cones and added an icy clear AB rondelle on top.

Since wolves run in packs, I made a bunch more of these and I’ll share the rest of them in a future blog post, but for now, here’s just one more as I couldn’t get the image of a white wolf out of my head.  It has a subtle blush tinge to a few of the strands but is predominantly a winter white.  I used pewter cones in a silver color and added wine-colored Swarovski crystal pearls to the tops.

Initially, I was going to stop there, but it didn’t seem like enough AND I still had some ideas whirling around in my head.

Like this design – inspired by the graphic black, white, and green face paint on Simon Le Bon in the video. 

I also realized these colors were very “wolf-like” in that they remind me of night, snow, and forest leaves or wolf eyes gleaming in the darkness.

This is a color combo I NEVER would have thought of or tried without the inspiration from this challenge. 

Beads used are faceted black onyx rounds, vintage white glass beaded chain, vermeil bead caps and faceted green glass briolettes.

I love the way this design came out, but it seemed a little too prim and proper to be truly “wolfish” (my son contributed the idea that it is meant for a werewolf princess who lives in a castle in the forest LOL) so in my hunt (get it? HUNT…see what I did there? BAM!) for something a little more ferocious, I came across some carved tagua nut pendants and my wolf was definitely ready to get its growl on:
I wanted something darker, more dangerous…a little tribal…a little primitive…and these patinated copper beads from Patricia Healey fit the bill. 

I added in some reddish carved wood beads for a little “blood”, some bright copper spacers and some black/turquoise faceted Czech glass rondelles. 

The clasp is a copper rope toggle and I added a black onyx coin dangle as a detail in the back.

A few leftover beads on the work surface just demanded to be made into earrings so I made a couple of coordinating pairs:

More metal beads from Patricia Healy and then I just added some of the same leftover spacer beads from the necklace.

I may not be able to let go of this pair LOL!  I really love the way they came out!  Once again, this entire set is a color combination that I never would have come up with or considered without going through this exercise.

I hope you enjoyed your trip back to the 80’s with me and thank you to Erin for organizing such a fun and inspiring challenge!


Here are the links to the other hop participants:


Nicole DeMore said...

Those tagua nuts definitely make that necklace what it is. I like all of what you made, especially that last pair of earrings. The leaves just call to me.

Tanya said...

You went to town! I adored Duran Duran as a kid (and still love their music). I had to rewatch the video and I could only ask, "why is John's shirt always open?" I probably loved that back in the day.

Your jewelry is so fabulous, but I love those first earrings. The texture and movement is fabulous. The colors in the last necklace are so yummy as well.

I just keep going back to look at everything. :)

EB Bead and Metal Works, LLC said...

Well - I totally missed the early 80's living in Germany - I don't think I heard of Duran Duran until 1986 or so (one of my friends was massively in love with them).

I think you captured the song perfectly with all of your pieces - and boy howdy did you go to town on creating!

I loved all your pieces - especially the first pair of earrings and the second necklace! Awesome creations!

Shaiha said...

What perfect designs! I am so totally in love with that first pair of earrings even though me with my short little neck would look funny wearing them. Your last necklace so captures the idea and feeling of wolves on the hunt!

Sarajo Wentling said...

Ok, now I'm going to have to go dig up my Rio cd... love that album! I really like the piece you made with Patricia's copper... so cool all of them! I think the ones with the round copper pieces are my faves, I wouldn't be able to give them up!

Caron Michelle said...

Oh this is so very cool! I love those earrings!!! You certainly did bring the 80s back! Fabulous done!

TesoriTrovati said...

BAM! You nailed it, Miss Kelly! I am totally transported to that year. Mmmm....Simon Le Bon. Yummy. And that video... I can still see them crawling around in the woods. Tassels are SO in right now. Those are great. And I love the tribal feel of those last pieces with the almost spear shaped leaf dangles and the claw shaped white beads. But that one in the middle... that one is dynamite. The fact that you were inspired by the FACE PAINT?! Freakin' awesome, is what that is! And totally fit for a werewolf princess! And now I am picturing you in your leg warmers and big mall hair bopping with your dance team! Thanks for that bit o' fun! Thank you for joining me in the 3rd Annual Challenge of Music. Enjoy the day! Erin

Maneki said...

Lovely jewellery! I like the many different pieces you made with one and the same source of inspiration. My faves are the white linked necklace and the last pair of earrings. Well done!