Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Horse chestnut scented necklace

It's a lovely, sunny and warm, spring day today, whih made me think of this necklace I made last summer. I'm not 100 % happy with it, but it was a case of using what I had at home, "man tager vad man haver".

The theme for the contest I made the necklace for was "summer memories" and I began thinking about memories. Had many different ideas, but nothing felt "right" -- until I blogged about designing with/for all five senses. It was like a minor epiphany: what is summer about if not a lot of different scents? Asphalt after a warm rain shower, dill and matjes on midsummer's eve, flowers, hay, strawberries, the sea and brine. And nothing quite trigger memories like a scent does.

I selected three natural scents that meant summer to me. First, rose petals from our old-fashioned roses in the garden I grew up with. Then, lemon balm, which we also have in the gardens and which I often picked during the summers as a child (as we did with with peppermint). That scent directly takes me back to the summers of my childhood. Last but not least, I chose hay. Up until my grandparents were forced to give up farming, we would help with the haymaking. As kids we -- me, my sis, and our cousins -- would sometimes sleep in the hayloft over the stable when spending summer break at grandma and grandpa's farm. Sometimes we used the heaps of loose hay and bales as a slide. Growing up on the countryside I've also spent a lot of time playing in haylofts with friends.

These three scents are not only pleasant on their own, but also blend well together. Also, I can "boost" both the scent of roses and lemon balm with natural essential oils as their own scents fade. I didn't want synthetical scents which is the reason I e.g. didn't use strawberry eventhough it evokes many memories.

So, I dried lemon balm leaves, grass and rose petals and stuffed them into beaded beads, one bead for each scent. The beads I made in russian spiral/tubular netting technique, using a czech 11/0 seed beads mix (brown-beige-green Earth Glimmer Mix) and opaque white Miyuki drops. This to make beads reminiscent of all the beautiful white-blossoming bushes and trees I love: our century old pear tree, the lilacs, the bird cherry, the cherry trees, the spirea, the apple trees, the white climbing rose on our stable wall. But above all our magnificent horse chestnut tree (as seen in the photos of the collage above). In other words, the necklace you see is different from the necklace you smell.

Initially I wanted to make a chunky bracelet, but I ran out of drops so I improvised a last-minute necklace (approx. 45 cm long), mixing the beaded beads with small dark brown wooden beads, opaque apple green glass beads and "ruffles" made from opaque white seeds. All thing strung on dark brown waxed linen cord and finished with yet another green beads as part of a button-and-loop closure and a smaller "ruffle" as decorative flower on the end of the cord. I chose colours after what matched the colours of the blossoming tree, which is also the reason I opted for opaque rather than transparent beads.

Making netting using drops was a lot of fun, as was making the "ruffles". Things I will be doing again.

PS! You can find all the entries in the forum contest in this gallery.

1 comment:

  1. Such a great idea! I like your design too.


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