Thursday, June 30, 2011

Spring challenge...late

Spring in Ohio can either be a real bust or extremely pleasant. This year, Spring in Ohio has been record rainfall with lots of tornadoes and violent thunderstorms thrown in along with temperatures doing the roller coaster from weeks in the 90s to downward spirals in the 50s. And some of this all in one 7 day period. So really, we haven't had too much of a Spring here, though we did manage to get our tomato and cucumber plants in the ground. Poor things had to be covered so many times from the frost & watered for the withering heat. So for me Spring just slide by without too much fanfare. I think that is why I didn't get my ArtBeads challenge done in the actual Springtime. But here it is. I hope you like my approach to the challenge. Here is a quote from Duchess from Artbeads:

What’s Old is New Again!’ is our new blogging challenge. For this theme we would like you to seek inspiration from the past by incorporating old, vintage or antique items into your designs and combine them with modern elements such as Swarovski crystals, Glass, Resin, etc.

What's Old is New Again! When I was 13 long long ago in Los Angeles, my Father asked all of us what special present we would like to have as he'd come into some money & wanted to get all us children our heart's desire. In the 60s, there were only several things a kid really wanted bad...roller skates or a bike. All my sisters and brother wanted a brand new bike...then it was my turn. What did I want so bad that I could scream...not a bike. I had an old hand me down bike that still worked even though my brother would try to booby trap it so the chain would fall off making me fall, or loosen the screws on the handle bars so they too would fall off. Nope, what I wanted was a big transistor radio so I could sit on the porch in the late Spring evening picking up rock and roll songs to tap my feet too. Living in LA during the 60s was a magical time for music. There were the Beach Boys with their surf music, the Beatles singing melodic songs, and then there was my favorite, the Rolling Stones. I wanted to listen to it all on a radio that was better than the little 6 transistor that I got the previous Christmas and my brother buried the earplugs someplace so I could only listen to it with a pillow over it at night as my Mother just didn't get the new music. Oh she liked the Everly Brothers and Johnny Cash, even Elvis was sometimes listen to in our house, but she never would let that British (or beepbop music as she called it) be played in our house. But eventually, she too was taken in with the new sounds, but I wanted to hear what I wanted to listen to when I wanted to listen. So my Dad bought everyone a new Huffy bike, and I got an Emerson radio that plugged into the wall & had batteries (for outside listening). I locked the ear plugs in my jewelry box so my brother couldn't destroy these. So for me that radio was everything. It opened my senses as I dialed one station to the next. Late at night, I'd turn into mystery theater and listen to the radio shows. I loved that radio. Do I still have it? No, while we were moving from LA to Ohio, we had an accident and had to leave some of the boxes of our belongings along the side of the road because there was no room in our damaged car for two adults, five kids, and one bird. I didn't realize it until we were in Ohio that one of those lost boxes had been mine. There was my radio and along with it, there were the address of all my junior high school friends. All was long lost.

So when Duchess gave me the challenge to take something old and make it new, I thought of my old radio and all the joy it gave me. I'm sure I've mentioned to my followers that my husband likes to refurbish old radios. He buys the junk and then through hard work makes them new again. I begged him for one of the old Emerson table tops that looked like the one I'd lost. After a couple hours of cleaning and waxing, I had the exterior of the radio looking almost new. I found a Raku face bead that I had bought many years ago at a show & to me it looked like a wise old man taking me back through the years to rediscover the music I'd loved. I used an assortment of seed beads along with these beautiful 4mm firepolish red bronze and hematite to cage in the face. Then I glued this down over the speaker. Along the top of the radio, I decided to use the same assortment of seed beads to decorate the top, but I chose these lovely 18 mm glass cabochons in a milky chocolate brown. I loved the colors and the grill on this radio, so I left that portion of the radio in its original plastic loveliness.

I was enchanted with all the memories from this project, but how do I wear a transistor radio on my arm? It is nice & will be great to take outside or to the beach to listen to music on but I needed something else as I also got this great copper coin bead with a vintage bathing beauty on it. I thought to myself what a great companion piece for my radio it would be to use it as an enticement to wear to the beach (or in my case to the pool) as we truly have few beaches here in Central land locked Ohio. I used the same seed bead assortment along with those delicious fire polish. I found in my stash some old sea shells from a project (Fantasy Swim) I'd done back in 2005 for Bead International. I also used some vintage German crystals and a few pewter fish to complete the bracelet.

They worked perfect with the bathing beauty coin bead. This bead is two sided, so I had to sacrifice the image on the other side to turn this into a cuff bracelet that I could wear one one arm while I carry my radio, beach towel, snacks and of course my bag of beads in the other. So though I made these two pieces for the Spring challenge, I think it will do me well now that Summer has come and the pools call to me. Maybe you'll see me out there on a chaise lounge soaking in the sunshine as I dial my radio from one vintage "Oldies" station to another searching for Rolling Stone tunes.

Have a Fabulous Summer!

Disclosure...As a reviewer of products at, I receive the seed beads,cooper coin bead, and fire polish beads above free of charge. I have been asked to review these products and give my honest opinion of the products...positive or negative. I am not being compensated by for my endorsement as it pertains to the products received and reviewed.

1 comment:

Kristen said...

All I can say is WOW~!!!