Friday, August 31, 2012

Challenge of Travel

While I was browsing on Facebook several months ago, I stumbled across a post that mentioned a blog hop that was themed around using countries as inspiration for creating jewelry. 
I knew I had to choose Norway as my inspiration, in part because it is a beautiful country but also because it is part of my heritage.

My grandfather was the first Anderson born in the United States (well, our family of Andersons at least).  Harry and Matilda had two daughters, Emma and Marie, who were born in Norway.  After coming to America, Matilda became pregnant 12 years after Marie was born and gave birth to Henry. 

Fishing is a staple in Norway and my Poppop was true to his roots.  He was working at the oyster docks from the time he was eight years old and fished up until his death at 80. 
This picture is of a coastal town in Norway, via Facebook (Attracting Places). 
The coast of Norway provides a great place to fish.  The most common fish include cod, coalfish, pollack, halibut, catfish, shark, flounder and mackerel.  Poppop loved to fry fresh flounder that he caught in the Deleware Bay, off the Atlantic Ocean.
If you've every watched "Deadliest Catch," you are no doubt familiar with the fishing vessel The Northwestern and it's captain and deckboss, Sig and Edgar Hansen.  Their practical and pragmatic temperment is classic Norwegian.  There was not a problem Poppop couldn't solve with just a few tools and some old-fashioned ingenuity. 
Official photo of  the Northwestern in Dutch Harbor, Alaska.
I think I get my love of snow and winter from my Norwegian heritage.  I get as excited seeing the first snowflakes falling now as I did when I was a child. 
Photo via Facebook (999,999,999 People) 
I love to visit old churches and if I ever was able to travel to Norway, I would definitely visit the Nidaros Cathedral as well as some of the local chapels
Nidaros Cathedral, the largest church in Norway.
An old chapel in Norway, image via Facebook
While Norse mythology is not as well known as Greek or Roman mythology, it is certainly worth getting to know Odin, Thor and Loki.
The scenery is something that photographers are always traveling to Norway to capture.  I think I would love to live in this house!
Photo via Facebook (999,999,999 People)
Photo via Facebook (Attracting Places) 

Do you feel inspired by the beauty of Norway?  I certainly was!
I created three pieces of jewelry for this challenge...I really wanted to teach myself a netting stitch that would resemble a fishing net, but it has taken a little longer than I expected.  But I will figure it out and share it when it is completed.  

The first piece was a brand new stitch for me, a helix stitch.    
I'm working with a new light box and was able to capture the changing color of these amazing czech glass beads.  This was a really fun design and I can't wait to try it with different types of beads!
My aunt decorates her Christmas tree with  traditional Norwegian red and gold ornaments.  I looked through my stash and found some gold glass pearls that were the basis of this necklace.  I haven't made a wire wrapped necklace in a while, so this was a lot of fun to design!   
The round clear glass beads have a spiral ridge detail that adds to the visual interest of this piece.  I used antique bronze wire and antique copper bead caps to complete the monochromatic color palette.
My final piece of jewelry was inspired by the amazing photo of a person sitting on a ledge with all the shades of blue below. 

I used matte aqua blue drop beads and matte white glass seed beads, highlighted with transparent aqua seed beads.  The different shades and textures created a stunning necklace.  I have to find the perfect piece of white sea glass in my stash to create a pendant to go with it. 
Be sure to take a walk around the world and view the other creations inspired by the countries of the world. 

Name Blog Region Chosen Inspiration Nation
Monique Urquhart Africa Burkina Faso
Niky Sayers Africa Egypt
Therese Frank Africa Kenya
Raychelle Heath Africa Lesotho
Joan Williams Africa Mauritania
Sherri Stokey Africa Senegal
Regina Santerre Africa Seychelles
Raida Disbrow Africa Tanzania
Kristi Wodek Africa Zimbabwe
Sally Russick Americas Brazil
Melissa Trudinger Americas Mexico
Tracy Stillman Americas USA
Sandra Wolberg Asia India
Tanya Goodwin Asia Japan
Susan Kennedy Asia Japan
Beth Emery Asia Japan
Lisa Cone Asia Japan
Tanya Boden Asia Japan
Inge von Roos Asia Laos
Erin Prais-Hintz Asia Nepal
Dee Elgie Asia Phillipines
Carolyn Lawson Asia South Korea
Lisa Stukel Asia Sri Lanka
Elly Snare Asia Thailand
Shelley Graham Turner Europe Austria
Mallory Hoffman Europe Bosnia Herzegovina
Paige Maxim Europe France
Jenny Davies-Reazor Europe Germany
Sharyl McMillian-Nelson Europe Greece
Evelyn Shelby Europe Iceland
Holly Westfall Europe Ireland
Rebecca Siervaag Europe Ireland
Toltec Jewels Europe Ireland
Lee Koopman Europe Ireland
Laren Dee Barton Europe Italy
Cindy Wilson Europe Norway
Kathleen Lange Klik Europe Poland
Shaiha Williams Europe Portugal
Jennifer Justman Europe Romania
Elsie Deliz-Fonseca Europe Spain
Lola Surwillo Europe Sweden
Kim Hora Europe Switzerland
Leanne Loftus Europe The Netherlands
Patti Vanderbloemen Europe The Netherlands
Marcie Carroll Europe Turkey
Marlene Cupo Oceania Federated States of Micronesia
Ine Vande Cappelle Oceania Fiji
Tammie Everly Oceania Guam
Alice Peterson Oceania Kiribati
Elisabeth Auld Oceania Nauru
Susan McClelland Oceania New Zealand
D Lynne Bowland Oceania New Zealand
Denielle Hagerman Oceania New Zeland
Rebecca Anderson Oceania Papua New Guinea
Mischelle Fanucchi Oceania Samoa
Kari Asbury Oceania Solomon Islands
Cece Cormier Oceania Tonga
Emma Todd Oceania Tuvalu
Debbie Price Oceania Vanuatu


Monday, August 27, 2012

Storms of Life

I'm looking out my window and there are huge black clouds on the horizon that are racing towards me.  I know it's going to be a bad storm because my back is telling me so.  And while I'm thankful for the protection and safety of my house, there are storm clouds building in here as well.

So I take a deep breath, ask God for help and wisdom and start another day.

And I am reminded that without the clouds and the storms, we would not appreciate the sunshine.  We wouldn't have rainbows that appear out of nowhere and when you least expect it.  And we wouldn't be reminded that while the tough times come into our lives, they don't stay.

A few months ago, we saw this rainbow after our evening service at church.  I've never seen a rainbow at sunset and I've never seen one in all these shades of pink.  It was an amazing sight and I stood for almost 15 minutes watching as the sky changed colors and a second rainbow teased us as it would appear and disappear above the first.  (Unfortunately it was camera shy and I was not able to capture it with my phone.)

I don't know anyone who enjoys going through the tough times, but we all love the beauty that comes afterwards.  So I will stand firm on my foundation and wait to see the rainbows in the clouds.