Friday, March 1, 2013

Challenge of Music Reveal

Erin Prais-Hintz of Treasures Found hosted this intriguing challenge.  When I read it I thought "Hmmm, this is a certainly is challenging, interpreting music into a jewelry design, instrumental music no less!"  The rules were that simple, yet it seemed complex to me.  Finding a piece of instrumental music to inspire you to create a corresponding piece of jewelry.

First of course was finding a great instrumental selection.  Mine I image is maybe more main stream than most, but we shall see as we hop to all the other blogs. 

I have always liked jazz and swing, the beats and the dancing. The images of a by gone era they stir in me, a simpler, quieter, less hectic time.  I would love to take swing dance classes.  Hubby?  Uh yeah, not so much, lol.  I did get to go to a class with a friend when we were in NYC a few years back.  I was only going to observe, but one of the instructors was sure I should try it.  I was a tad nervous, but he was right I caught right on and had a blast.  I have to say though, I don't know how you do this type of dancing without sweating,er glistening, yes glistening.  A lady doesn't sweat (those of you who know me will no I'm not always such a lady though, lol)

So I set off to YouTube in search of my music and I came across this Duke Ellington standard, written by Billy Strayhorn in 1939.  Lyrics didn't come until five years later and were sung and recorded by the legendary Ella Fitzgerald.
So what ideas does listening to this type of music stir within me then?  Images of 1940's dance halls, women in dresses from the everyday to the more elegant. Days when women were curvy and weren't afraid to show it. Like these (from ReVamp and Daddy O's)...
So what is this stylish woman to wear with her dress for a night on the town?  A choker seems to fit the bill.  So I scoured my bead bins for colors and sparkle to accessorize one of these lovelies.  Here is what I found and started.  Swarovski bicones I decided were a must, they should shimmer beautifully in soft light.

I strung the focal and core beads on Soft Flex to start.  The focal is some type of Jasper, though I'm not sure which one now.  Then I began the flat spiral, added a longer chain so that it's adjustable.  then added a Swarovski crystal dangle to the chain and made the clasp.

Sorry for the color of this photo, I realized after it got dark that the first was blurry.  I tried to color correct but this is as good as it got.

Flat spiral close up, note the Swarovski bicones are larger closer to the focal.
Close up of Jasper focal.

Here's how the choker lies on the neck. Sorry again for the blurry photo.  Although it's a bit more formal than I normally go, I think I will wear it Saturday to the Berks Bead Bazaar.  The weight of it is very nice, substantial bit not too heavy.

Now get hopping to see what everyone else has chosen and created.  I will be packing and hitting the road today, bit will hop along soon :).

Erin Prais-Hintz
Alenka Obid
Ali McCarthy
Alicia Marinache
Amy Severino
Amy Grass
Carolyn Lawson
Cece Cormier
Cynthia Riggs
Ema Kilroy
Emanda Johnson
Emma Todd
Erin Kenny
Evelyn Shelby
Evie and Beth McCord
Gerd Andersson
Holly Westfall
Jennifer Justman
Jenny Davies-Reazor
Jess Green
Judy Campbell
Karla Morgan
Kay Thomerson
Kristina Johansson
Lola Surwillo
Lynn White
Malin de Koning
Mallory Hoffman
Mary K McGraw
Melissa Meman
Melissa Trudinger
Michelle Escano
Michelle Bourbonniere
Michelle Heim
Molly Alexander
Molly Schaller
Monique Urquhart
Niky Sayers
Pam Farren
Rebecca Anderson
Sally Russick
Sharon Palac
Sharon Driscoll
Susan Kennedy
Tari Kahrs
Tracy Stillman
Veralynne Malone


  1. I love the sepia tones you selected to create your choker.

    Your tightly woven beads in different shapes and sizes makes me think of people neatly seated in a rail car rumbling comfortably down the track heading towards work in the city.

  2. Just PERFECT Ali! I think you hit the feel of the music right on with this necklace. It's fantastic!

  3. Ah, old jazz... It's such an instant mood setter, a time machine of sorts, isn't it? Within a few beats you're transported to another era.

    Your necklace is lovely! Sparkling and elegant. Great job!

  4. Ah, Jazz, good old jazz. Hubby is not fond of it either, but son is - which is quite strange, since he's not even 10 yet; but I'll take it :) Love the piece you chose, and love the chocker (and the idea behind it). It turned out the perfect 'evening on the town' piece - lovely!

  5. Wow, that's a great choice in music and the necklace suits the jazz style perfectly. I remember my mothers old "bling" necklaces she kept around and I think you are spot on with this one. Jazzy but understated. Great work.

  6. Yep, love the music! And your necklace is fantastic!

  7. That's beautiful, Ali! I love that piece of music and was delighted when a friend chose it as part of his audition music when he applied to the UNO Jazz Studies program.

  8. Beautiful necklace and it suits the time era for that classic piece of jazz!

  9. Swing inspiration - what a cool idea. Shame I cant make it to Berks this weekend - I would recognize you via that sweet choker. Love what you did with the increased size bicones to really point the eye to the jasper.

  10. I remember the music and love swing dancing. Hubby and I took Ballroom dance lessons and learned some swing. What a great piece. Love all the beadwork and the style. Really fits.

  11. Your necklace is absolutely gorgeous!!! I love it, and it fits the music!!

  12. LOVE your choice of music, Miss Ali! I am so glad that you participated with me! Your necklace design is stunning. I think that it would be right at home on the graceful neck of any 40s lady! Thank you for sharing your music and your art with the world! Enjoy the day. Erin

  13. Awesome piece of music! Love the colors you used and the necklace is stunning!

  14. Wow - what a beautiful necklace! I think it compliments the music you chose perfectly - well done!

    :) Molly

  15. So elegant! I love the ton on tone and dash of sparkle, this would be just the right finishing touch + red lipstick for the lady of the day

  16. Snazzy, jazzy beautiful piece. Great job!

  17. Ali. your creation is a great accompaniment to the Duke's classic stylings! Wonderful work (I'm no beader but I know what I like)!

  18. The necklace is so 40's, but so modern at the same time. A beautiful interpretation of the music, good job!

  19. That, looks like Kambaba Jasper - one of my favourites! Apparently it is the oldest fossil material in the world. What a lovely elegant piece you have made, it would look just right on the throat of a 1940s lady, swinging the night away :)

  20. Wow! Thank you all so much for you kind compliments :). Miss Erin, it was a pleasure to be a part of the Challenge of Music, special thanks to you for putting it all together for us!

  21. What a fantastic necklace & your beadwork is spectacular! My husband & I took swing dance about 15 years ago, it was great exercise :) & so much FUN! Your necklace blends the swing with the modern very well, elegant! Love the focal too!

  22. A beautiful necklace and I can definitely see it on a dancer in the 40s, a choker would be preferable too, so as not to fly around with that energetic swing dancing (yes one does glow rather a lot when swing dancing!).

  23. Ahhh!!! I LOVE jazz and blues! Ellington definitely one of my favorites to listen to (especially with Ella singing, I'm a sucker for her, she taught me to scat :) ). Your piece is absolutely perfect, love it! Thank you for sharing!


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