Beads, Blog Hops and Challenges

Nina Designs Blog Partner Program

If you are looking for my Bead Soup Blog Party post, it’s right here!

Back in January, I saw a post on Facebook from Nina Designs, one of the jewellery component companies I like, asking for jewellery designers interested in joining their blog partnership program. I shot them an email expressing interest and was put on their list of potential partners. Then in late March, I was sent a package of Nina Designs goodies to make some jewellery and blog about it!

I received a number of components in the company’s natural bronze finish. It’s a beautiful colour, a soft and shiny warm gold. Among my goodies were a big horn sheep skull pendant, feather and lotus petal charms, a small branch textured toggle clasp, and ten small circle links, along with a pair of earwires and a bundle of sage green deerhide leather cord.

IMG_4007 Nina Designs collage

As soon as I saw the contents in the package I knew where my inspiration would come from. My family has a long relationship with the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. When I was 3 we moved to Colorado and lived in the shadow of the Rockies near Denver for 18 months, spending many weekends camping and exploring the beautiful mountains. Then in the early 90s, a couple of years after I moved to California from Australia, my parents moved back to Colorado for about 5 years, this time living just up into the mountains. And although they have now moved back to Australia, the relationship continues, as they bought a cabin above a tiny, almost ghost town called Marble, more or less on the other side of the mountains that surround Aspen. I’ve spent many a holiday up in those mountains. It’s a magical place, soaring mountains surround the valleys, groves of aspen blanket the mountainsides, emerald green lakes and flower-strewn green meadows abound, and then up high, the craggy rocks above the treeline.

Now, I don’t think I have ever seen a big horn sheep, they stick to the highest parts of the Rocky Mountains, and according to Dad, are not commonly seen in the part of Colorado I’m familiar with. In fact, at the end of the nineteenth century, they had almost died out, and over the last 100 years or so, have slowly been re-established in Rocky Mountain National Park and other places. They spend most of their time up in the high alpine tundra, and come down to the alpine meadows in Spring and Summer to feed.

Using the colours of the Rocky Mountains as my guide, I dangled the big horn sheep skull pendant from a lampwork bead from Indian Creek Art Glass, Then I made a necklace for it using some of the circle links, a pair of lampwork beads from local artisan Emma Sweet, of Puddle Glass Art, and some rainforest jasper, finishing it off with the sage deerhide leather and the clasp. A few tiny Czech glass lentils adorn the rings. I mixed the natural bronze with a vintage bronze wire, which I think worked well.


With the remaining 4 bronze links, and the earwires I made some earrings, again dangling the tiny Czech lentils from the circle links. At the bottom I hung the tiny lotus petal charms, which remind me of aspen leaves.


I still have plenty of the deerhide leather and the two feather charms. I’m seriously considering ordering a few more of those circle links, they are great components (and they come in several different sizes too, as well as in linked sets). Thank you again for the opportunity to be part of the Nina Designs Blog Partnership!

vertical Collage

The materials above were provided as part of the Nina Designs blogging program. The author of this blog has not received any payment from above-mentioned company. The post above represents only personal opinion of the blog author.

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