Beads, Blog Hops and Challenges, Books

Inspired by Reading: The Silver Witch

Book cover

This month’s book for the Inspired by Reading Book Club was The Silver Witch by Paula Brackston, a lovely novel which weaves together the stories of Seren, a witch and shaman from Celtic Wales, and ceramic artist Tilda, who has moved to a cottage near a Welsh village after her husband’s death. As Seren and her Prince’s lives are increasingly threatened, Tilda discovers she has powers of her own, and an ancestral connection to Seren and the nearby lake.

The book features a pretty spectacular piece of jewellery, a golden torc engraved with Celtic designs of a hare and a dog. Sadly it’s not something I could easily make, so I looked instead at Tilda, a potter who creates beautiful ceramics. The pieces she creates when she moves to Wales are decorated with Celtic patterns as well, and this is what inspired me.

I chose a pretty ceramic pendant by BluMudd (sadly, Moriah isn’t making beads anymore) featuring a Celtic pattern in pretty shades of aqua greens and blues, reminding me of the lake that features in the book (although as I thought about it, I realized that the lake would probably be more of a deep dark blue, than green, especially in winter, when the book is set). I surrounded the focal with Czech glass beads in shades of blue and green, and added a small length of double chain in brass. It’s a simple piece but I think it captures the cool wintery colours of the book, and certainly the Celtic influences. What do you think?

File 4-09-2016, 12 22 57 PM

I really enjoyed the book and a couple of others I read by the same author. If you like a book that blends history, witchcraft, and yes, even a bit of romance, you’ll probably like them too. I’ll be seeking out a few more of Paula’s books in the near future.

 

Advertisements
Beads, Blog Hops and Challenges

Blue orchid necklace — Art Jewelry Elements July challenge

I was lucky enough to be picked as a guest designer for Art Jewelry Elements‘ Component of the Month challenge. July’s component, a lovely porcelain orchid pendant, came from Diana Ptaszynski of Suburban Girl Studio. It arrived in the mail late last week—just in the nick of time! I received one of the blue pendants—mine was the one on the lower right of this picture.

porcelain orchid pendants
Picture by Diana Ptaszynski, borrowed from artjewelryelements.blogspot.com

I picked through my stash, and found a couple of things to go with the pendant including some lovely Czech crystal rondelles with that same deep blue plus a coppery red highlight and some dyed blue fire agate. Some copper beads, connectors and chain, which complement the blue so nicely. And I went to a big craft show on the weekend and might have bought a strand of blue Czech beads there too. I wanted to make a two-strand necklace, for a change, and I was inspired by a design I saw in a bead company’s email I got during the week.

AJE blue orchid necklace Collage

I love how well the beads complement the lighter and darker blues in the pendant, like they were made to go together. And the copper seems to make the blue more intense.

Thanks again to Diana and the Art Jewelry Elements team for such a fun challenge. Check out the AJE blog for the other participants!