If you have read any of my previous blog posts this year, you know that I have been slightly obsessed with cowboys. Maybe it comes from growing up in Kansas, or having the last name Winchester, but I love the Wild West and all it has to offer.
When I saw this picture, I was intrigued. As part of the 12th Non-Blogger / Blogger Challenge. Kelly Hosford Patterson chose the theme "Free Spirits of the Wild West." I didn't make it through two sentences of the following link before I knew that I wanted to create something with this theme.
Part of what I love about the West is the element of simplicity. Cowboys (and cowgirls) didn't need lots of fancy bells and whistles as they weren't practical for their daily life. From what I have read, they didn't wear much jewelry at all unless it was a special occasion. I decided I wanted to make a piece that could have been worn by such a cowgirl.
When I started planning my piece, I knew I wanted to do something fairly simple. I also wanted to invoke the colors of my beloved Kansas--browns and yellows.
In keeping with the theme of simplicity, I wanted to create something that wouldn't require lots of extra effort to wear. It would have to be something that any cowgirl could put on by herself, so I decided to create a memory wire bracelet.
I found a gorgeous mix of seed beads in brown, orange, amber and yellow that perfectly matched my idea. Wanting to add just a little bit of extra pizzazz, I used these gorgeous charms I found as little clusters at each end.
It ended up being a tad more fancy than I think a cowgirl might wear on a daily basis, but I love how the colors and the charms worked together.
Several times a month, I travel to different nursing homes in Lexington to teach jewelry classes. Each class is an unexpected mix of humor, fellowship, and 'on the fly' troubleshooting. I never know how they will turn out, and you probably wouldn't believe half of the stories if I told you :)
I often get asked about why I don't write about my classes. While I do write out some of the experiences for my own records, I am hesitant to write about them publicly. I want to respect my students' privacy and dignity. I never want them to feel like they are fodder for teasing, ridicule or public scorn.
Each woman (and the few men that join us) is a unique treasure that I am happy to have crossed paths with.