Saturday, September 12, 2015

Pine Ridge Treasures' Favorite Things Blog Hop and Challenge

Sponsored by Lisa Lodge

Lisa Lodge of Pine Ridge Treasures lured me into another of her blog hops.  I couldn't pass up on an opportunity to see some of her favorite things and I am not disappointed.  Her kit included lots of beads and a focal that put me in a mood for autumn.

Lodge kit and close up of Thornton Sugar Skull focal

I had to begin this challenge by creating something with the wonderful polymer clay sugar skull by Andrew Thornton.  I did a little research to learn about the sugar skull tradition before I began to bead.  Sugar art was brought to the New World by Italian missionaries in the 17th century. The first Church mention of sugar art was from Palermo at Easter time when little sugar lambs and angels were made to adorn the side altars in the Catholic Church.

Mexico had abundant sugar production but was too poor to buy fancy imported European church decorations.  Mexicans learned quickly from the friars how to make sugar art for their religious festivals.  Sugar skulls represented a departed soul, and had the name written on the forehead and was placed on the home ofrenda or gravestone to honor the return of a particular spirit. Sugar skull art reflects the folk art style of big happy smiles, colorful icing and sparkly tin and glittery adornments.  These wonderful artisans are disappearing as fabricated and imported candy skulls take their place.

Although it is more a cultural than a religious holiday now from  in southern Mexico.. It is a wonderful way to celebrate the memories of  loved ones who are now gone... through art, cooking, music etc..

This Mexican Day of the Dead Sugar Skull necklace began with the polymer clay sugar skull by Andrew Thornton. I wanted the skull and rose design to have warm and earthy colors like the focal. All of the colors that I used are found in the Dia de los Muertos focal. I decided to use the metal copper to bring out the warm colors in the focal. I made the copper component to attach the focal, 2 sets of copper loops for the necklace to attach the beaded section of the necklace to the chain section. I also made the spiral copper clasp that is attached to the chain at the neckline of the necklace. All were hammered and tumbled to harden them. I choose aluminum chain that is a copper color also. The firey sunset biwa freshwater pearls and orange and gray agate were strung on beading wire. I used both types of beads because their vivid oranges colors compliment the sugar skull focal.  This necklace is available for purchase HERE.

Next, I made a big, bold, chunky, bear necklace by using the large brown angular beads that were in the kit.  This bear necklace has a very handsome and strong looking ceramic bear focal by ceramic artist Moriah Betterly. I created a leather and chain necklace using turquoise Irish waxed linen thread to add to the Southwest colors in the bear. I added a bronze leaf clasp to add to the woodsy theme of the animal totem necklace. 

I used two ceramic leaves by Moriah Betterly along with a few dark brown oval beads from Lisa for both of these autumn leaf bracelets.  The first leaf bracelet has a ceramic with grays and brown so I used reddish brown beads, brown seed beads, and gray jasper beads. I made the sterling silver clasp and links.  This casual bracelet that is perfect for fall is available for sale HERE.

The second leaf ceramic is pale green with brown.  Once again I used a few dark brown oval beads from Lisa.  I added green and reddish brown jasper chips and used copper.  I made a copper clasp and link.  I also used tiny copper beads to attach one side of the bracelet to the ceramic.  This green leaf bracelet is available for purchase HERE.

Thank you Lisa for the great beads.  I still have lots left.  I didn't even use any of the pearls yet!  Please stop by the other participants blogs to see what they received and created.  

Hostess: Lisa Lodge, A Grateful Artist

Gloria Allen, Wings and Beads

Kim Dworak, Cianci Blue

Jacqui Kipfer, Seven Oaks Jewellery

Shaiha Williams, Shaiha's Ramblings

Carolyn Lawson,

I think you can see that my thoughts and designs are heading into the fall.  I am also getting ready for a couple of camping trips.  I to get into the woods at this time of the year.  The leaves are starting to turn in the mountains and the air is refreshing.  Are your thoughts drifting into fall also?


  1. Loving all these pieces! I really love the earthy tones and that sugar skull is to die for! Well done.

    1. Thanks for the comment about the sugar skull necklace. I was just second guessing myself. I appreciate the encouragement.

  2. Wow, your jewelry is gorgeous. I can't pick a favorite. Love the leaf focals, the bear and that sugar skull. Beautiful job!

  3. Wonderful designs. I love the bear necklace with the chunky beads. The sugar skull definitely says southwestern and I love the fall look of your bracelets. Great Job.

  4. Beautiful pieces as always Loving the colors of the sugar skull but the leaf bracelets my fav.

    1. I think you are a bracelet person for sure. I am an earring person!

  5. Your jewelry is so beautiful! I'm not even sure that I could pick a favorite! Well done!

  6. You've made so many beautiful pieces from your fabulous kit! I love the sugar skill you got. You picked the perfect colors to complement it and the rest of your focals. You have a real talent for picking the perfect metal and using it well. I love the silver in the first leaf bracelet. Great pieces all!

  7. Great job as usual, Kathy! As I saw each piece, I thought" "This one is my favorite". Then I realized that they all are my favorite! Thanks for being in the hop. I am ready for Autumn now.