Birthday Gift

Birthday Necklace

Buried Treasure Pendant

I was grateful to be chosen as a July Design Partner by  Mellisa of Chinook Jewelry.  Melissa makes the most wonderful ceramic pendants, beads and bead caps.  She is known for her awesome glazes and she really outdid herself with the new glaze she developed for her Shipwreck Series.  I received the Shipwreck pendant you see below.  It is made of porcelain clay and is finished  in a rough matte rusty-gold glaze.  I love this rustic look; as though the pendant had just been unearthed from many years below the sea.

Shipwreck pendant from Chinook Jewelry

Heike’s Birthday

My sister-in-law, Heike, had a birthday coming up soon, so I got to work on designing a necklace for her with this pendant. Now Heike is the queen of handmade, so I knew she would appreciate a handmade necklace for her birthday!  She has taught me how to dye silk, create paper-cut wall hangings, paint with acrylics and who knows what else, over the years.

I met my husband-to-be when he was an exchange student from Germany, in my high school.  We were now going to Germany to celebrate Heike’s birthday, our 38th (!) anniversary and, most importantly, we were going to celebrate my mother-in-law’s 85th birthday.  This necklace would come with me.

Ceramic and carnelian necklace

Heike's birthday necklace

I wanted a rustic look for the necklace, in keeping with the pendant.  I found a couple of strands of organically hand-cut golden carnelian that I loved with the pendant.  I made a bail for the pendant with a round of seed beads and then two loops of right angle weave.  I then threaded one strand of the necklace through each of the seed bead loops.

handmade ceramic, brass and carnelian necklace

A year or so ago, I bought a woven bracelet at an import store that had the coolest organic metal cubes.  I then cut the bracelet apart, so I could use the beads!  Some of those brass beads found their way into the front portion of this necklace.  I added a rustic stone, placed off-center and highlighted it with wood and serpentine.  Next came a small accent on the opposite side and an artsy brass colored toggle clasp.

detail from a handmade necklace

We arrived in Germany on the morning of Heike’s birthday.  That evening she opened our gift and was delighted with the necklace.  She wore it several more times during our stay.

Handmade necklace with pendant by Chinook Jewelry

Thank you, Melissa, for inspiring me with your wonderful pendant.  Designing is a joy when you have such a great focal piece to work with.  Please visit Melissa’s website, if you’d like some inspiration, too!  Erin Prais-Hintz was also a Chinook Jewelry Design Partner for July.  I’d encourage you to hop on over to Erin’s blog, so you see the wonderful jewelry that Erin designed with Melissa’s ceramic pieces.  Melissa blogged about both Erin’s and my designs.  You can read about them on Melissa’s blog.

Handmade necklace by Linda Landig