El Dia de los Muertos

Happy Day of the Dead!

Several years my husband and I were in Oaxaca, Mexico during the Day of the Dead celebration. And Oaxaca celebrated this holiday in a big way!

Dia de los Muertos was originally an Aztec celebration of the lives of those who had died. The Spanish conquerors tried to put an end to the holiday, but were not successful, (thank goodness). Over time el Dia de los Muertos merged with the Catholic All-Saints day and All-Souls day on November 1st and 2nd. The contemporary celebration melds aspects of Aztec ritual with Christian traditions and contemporary life.

Sugar Skulls and Marigolds

Day of the Dead

Sugar Skulls in Oaxaca

We started seeing sugar skulls in the markets about a week or 2 before the Day of the Dead celebration. Apparently the Catholic friars taught the Mexicans how to make decorations from an ingredient that was abundant and affordable: sugar. Sugar Skulls and other items are often used to decorate the ofrendas on Dia de los Muertos. As in the picture below, marigolds also decorate small home altars like this, as well as large public displays. The bright orange marigolds are said to guide the spirits of the deceased, back to their earthly homes, as they visit their loved ones.

Day of the Dead alter

Oferendas with sugar skulls

Day of the Dead Necklace

I wanted to design a Day of the Dead necklace that would  reflect these traditions, with respect and authenticity. So I started with an awesome, bronze clay sugar skull  by my friend Staci Smith.

DOD Necklace Sugar Skull I needed some beads to represent the marigolds and these were perfect!

Day Of the Dead Necklace with Marigold beads.

Day Of the Dead Necklace with Marigold beads.

I wired a “marigold” beneath the chin of the sugar skull and dangled 7 other from a strand of black, gray and silver “peanut beads”.

Sugar Skull Necklace 3I topped the sugar skull with a dark lilac handmade ceramic bead by Mary Hubbard, of White Clover Kiln and then added a strand of purple, recycled sari silk.

Sugar Skull Necklace 4Here’s some additional information of the Day of the Dead, that you might find interesting: http://www.firstpost.com/tag/day-of-the-dead

The Skull Sugar Necklace is available on my website.

I am always delighted to read your comments!   Hope to hear from you.

Linda cursiveLinda Landig Jewelry

What’s Happening

Life has been pretty hectic since we returned from Oaxaca and I haven’t had much time to keep current on this blog.  Only a few days after our return, my father was  hospitalized and then needed some convalescence time. Fortunately he is fine now and celebrated his 88th birthday this week.  I got bronchitis and needed a week or so to recover.  And then my brother and sister-in-law came to visit us for 10 days.

My sister-in-law is very artistic and we had fun playing with clay during her visit.  I blogged about her creations here and here.  If you are curious about the process involved in the creation of ceramic pendants, then you’ll find these 2 posts especially interesting.  Here’s a picture of my sister-in-law forming some of her pendants.

Clay Play 14I also took her to Shipwreck Beads, which claims to have the world’s largest selection of beads.  It only about a 15 minute drive from my house!

Shipwreck 3Shipwreck 5Here’s what she came home with.

And of course, not wanting to be left out ;) I came home with a few goodies too!

The rondells are Cherry Creek jasper and the other 2 stands are very cool glass beads that nest together and create a great texture.

We spent some time in Seattle and I went crazy photographing the gorgeous flowers in Pike Place Market, but I’ll save that for another post.

We’re back to our normal routines now and I’ve had time to resume working with clay.  I’ll have some results soon, which I will share with you here.

So that’s what’s happening  with me.  Hope all is well in your world too.


AJE Component Of The Month Challenge – May 2015

Iris Bracelet

This month’s components are beautiful beaded beads by Sue Kennedy of Sue Beads.  I love her beaded beads and her color choices!

Sue’s beaded beads are an obvious choice for earrings, but this time I decided to switch it up a bit and make a bracelet.

Iris Bouquet Bracelet 1I paired Sue’s bead with a lampwork bead by my friends at Beads and Botanicals. and a pretty matte bead with light blue stripes.

Iris Bouquet Bracelet 2I enjoy making bracelets that go from one strand to multi-strands and that was my approach here.  When I started my Facebook Destash Group several weeks ago, I realized that I’d been neglecting my gemstone collection, so I chose some amethysts and pearls for the for the first two strands.

Iris Bouquet Bracelet 5Although I rarely use Swarovski crystals any more, they were exactly what this bracelet called for in the third strand.

While I like each strand to be different, I try to tie them all together with some repeating components, in this case, I have light purple seed beads and small, blue cubes in every strand.

At this point, I knew that my usual brass or copper clasps were not going to work at all for this bracelet.  Instead I selected a beautiful, hammer textured sterling silver toggle clasp. Ooo, so lovely!

Iris Bouquet Bracelet 3When I was a kid, I had a little garden plot where I grew purple irises.  They made me happy and so does this “Iris Bracelet“.

Check out my new life-sized wrist model!  This is her début!  Does she help you picture how the bracelet would look on you?  I hope so.

Iris Bouquet Bracelet 6The Iris Bracelet is available on my website.

The Component of the Month Challenge is a blog hop. Enjoy all the eye candy by visiting the links below.

AJE Team
Susan Kennedy – Hostess


Its taken me awhile to transition back to my normal routine here in the states (I just returned from 3 months in Oaxaca, Mexico). I’ve picked up the old routines again, gradually.  I’m now back to doing my adult literacy tutoring on Tuesdays and Thursday afternoons.  Hubs and I have date night on Fridays. We’ve got books checked out from the library etc.  When we returned home, we found that our water heater was leaking, so we’ve gotten that fixed.  We’ve caught up on laundry and I spent some time cleaning up my studio.

The clean studio inspired me to create.  When it is a mess, I feel .paralyzed.  Mind you, the whole room isn’t clean yet, but there is space at my work table to create and so I did.

I’ve joined a group that is participating in a webinar series called “set yo space“.  It will focus on how to create an inviting studio space that inspires us to create, rather than having a space that paralyzes our muse.  I’ll write more about that, once we get going next week.

It’s a beautiful day in the Pacific Northwest.  Flowers are blooming, the sun is shining and I feel happy.  So I decided that a good name for the new earrings would be “Springtime Celebration”.  Its how I feel.

The shield-shaped copper pieces were created by my good friend Kristi Bowman.  She colored them in the most amazing jewel-tones.  Love!  I topped them with some silver lined, turquoise glass beads and wove some hand-dyed ribbon above them.

Kristi shared some her customer’s recent work on her blog today, including these earrings.  You should check her blog post out.  All the jewelry is just yummy!

The Spring Time Celebration Earrings are available on my website now.

Bonus picture, just because I love flowers!  This is an  Akebia bloom from our backyard.

Vine on back deck

I am always delighted to read your comments!   Hope to hear from you.


Linda Landig Jewelry

January 2015 in Review

The first month of 2015 has gone by in a rush.  Our big adventure is that we are living in Oaxaca, Mexico through the end of March.  We celebrated the New Year in Oaxaca by dancing to an awesome marimba band and watching fireworks.

Llano Park, Oaxaca Mexico

Llano Park, Oaxaca Mexico

Skeleton paintings on a building in Oaxaca

Of course I brought beads with me here and I’ve been busy designing new pieces.  Oaxaca has been good for my creative mojo.

New in January –

Azul Bracelet

Azul Bracelet

Caramel Drop Earrings

Caramel Drop Earrings

Night Flight Necklace

Night Flight Necklace

After Midnight Necklace

After Midnight Necklace

Mexican Flor Earrings

Mexican  Flor Earrings

Turquoise Snowflake Necklace

Turquoise Snowflake Necklace

I’ve also been blogging like a crazy woman.

To read more about our Oaxacan adventures –

Mi Casa Es Su Casa  

Peaceful Patio

Birthday Celebration in Oaxaca

Some of my recent jewelry designs –

Snowflake Necklace

Use Your Stash – January AJE Reveal

On Earrings Everyday –

Mexican Flor

Cedar Earrings

On Art Jewelry Elements –

Have Beads, Will Travel

5 Pretty Marsala Color Palettes

I am always delighted to read your comments!   Hope to hear from you.


Linda Landig Jewelry

Snowflake Necklace

AJE Component of the Month Reveal

Once a month Art Jewelry Elements (AJE) hosts a component giveaway and jewelry reveal.  December’s component was made by Diana Ptaszynski of Suburban Girl Studio.  Members of the Art Jewelry Elements team, plus a few  lucky guest artists were given one of these awesome ceramic snowflake pendants to design with.  Today we get to see what everyone created!

Ceramic Snowflake Pendants by Suburban Girl Studio

I received one of the turquoise snowflakes to work with.  I decided to highlight the triangular shaped points of the snowflakes, by using some bicone shaped beads and by creating a triangular shaped clasp.

Diana's COM 3The triangular link is based on a link from Cindy Wimmer‘s book The Missing Link.  I used a bit lighter gauge wire and made it a bit smaller, so it wouldn’t overwhelm Diana’s pendant.  Then I used the same basic idea, but created a hook on one end, so I could use it as a clasp.

Diana's COM 2The beads are strung on walnut colored Irish waxed linen.  The beautiful batiked ribbon wrapped a bead order I got from Karen Totten of Starry Road Studio.  It has some turquoise in it, along with shades of blue, black and green.  So pretty and it was a perfect finishing touch for my necklace.

Diana's COM 1Thank you Diana for sharing your pendants with us! Visit Suburban Girl Studio to see more of Diana’s work!

Diana's COM 5Want to see more gorgeous  jewelry with Diana’s snowflake pendants?  Click on the links below to see what the other participants created.   Have fun!

Guest Artists
AJE Blog Team

I am always delighted to read your comments!   Hope to hear from you.


Linda Landig Jewelry

Autumn Splendor

Fall Photos and New Ceramic

leaf strewn park bench

Autumn Park Bench

Pond with yellow leaves

Autumn Serenity


I love autumn in ways that I can’t even find words for.  The colors stir something deep inside me.  I’m filled with inspiration.

Germany 17 Klein LindenI took this inspiration with me into the studio.  I’ve been unhappy with many of my recent ceramic pieces, which have been tossed into my “Fugly Bin” and have not been posted online.  But this….this I love!  It says fall to me in big, bold, vibrant colors.  I was so happy when this pendant came out of the kiln today!

Autumn Splendor Leaf 1You can find this pendant as well as other fall ceramics and finished jewelry, in my shop:  Linda Landig Jewelry.

I am always delighted to read your comments!   Hope to hear from you.


Linda Landig Jewelry