Nevermore - again

That may make no sense at first, but with the backstory it will, believe me.
It's actually rather simple.
Eight years ago I bead loomed an Edgar Allan Poe portrait pendant after my own design and made a small polymer clay raven for it. I called the pendant "Nevermore" and was immensely proud of how my raven had turned out.

I always wanted to make another pendant, but my polymer clay days were over. So I looked for raven charms online every, now, and then, but never found what I wanted or needed.
This year, however, I stumbled upon the cutest lampwork beads by Christiane Imkamp, tiny crows sitting on a pumpkin or a cactus. I asked Christiane if I could have just crows and much to my delight she said those had already been on her list. A few days later she had listed them in her shop.
Of course to me they were not crows, but ravens, and they looked just perfect.

After der Dekan moved in, I decided to give my bead loom a break because I didn't trust the little beast around open bead cups. I still don't and if you had just seen him tear down my clamp rod and curtain from one window and knock over a storage box to get to my lacrosse ball, not for a massage, but to roll it around the wooden floor - great noise in the middle of the night - you would well understand why.
The little master "has spring" as I call it which makes him even crazier than he usually is. And it being night, he can't even watch birds now.

I had underestimated him completely, I have to admit, and now it has been two years that none of my looms has been touched, except for putting them back in their spots on the Stairs to Nowhere after der Dekan has knocked one down once again (no worries, my beloved JaLa is locked away safely).
But once my ravens had arrived, I couldn't ignore the itch in my fingers any longer. So I gave dem Dekan - and of course Gundel - something to eat because that is the best way to get him out of the room and then locked myself in with my loom.

Can you believe that I was nervous at first? It showed in my mistakes on the first few increases and decreases when I went through the wrong warp gap, but I quickly got back into the flow of counting and looming.
Then the pendant was finished and I could get to re-weaving each thread back into the loomwork. It was just as meditative as ever.
At first you have a whole bunch of threads (72 in this case, to be exact) getting in one another's way, and then there are fewer and fewer, the piece looks cleaner and cleaner, so satisfying ... it's hard to explain, but you probably have your own things that make you feel this way.

Finally he was in my hand, Mister Edgar Allan Poe, and it felt so good.
All he needed now was his little Nevermore - again.


The moon hare

Believe it or not, but my life with animals did not begin with cats.
Some of our first companions were bunnies, our own, but also guests from the zoo.
The last one was my crazy boy Buster.

As you can see, the love extended to other bunnies as well, and there are more, in metal, as pictures, or in plush, such as this little old Steiff fellow.

It is not surprising that bunnies also made it into my work before, like the needle felted bunnaroo or these bunny siblings.

I could keep going, but it's time to get to the point.
The current challenge at the Jewelry Artisans Community is "Moon and Stars". Perfect for me as a moon lover.

What a lucky coincidence that my last bead order contained some more "moon" cabs, the faceted kind that I had used before, for example in the Moonlight Ravens, but also a few larger cat eye cabs.

I glued on one of the latter and that's when it hit me that a motif I had been wanting to do for a long time was even more perfect for me than just moon and stars - the Moon Hare.

While I learned about the Man in the Moon here, other cultures from Asia to America see the Hare or Rabbit in the Moon. The legends about the Moon Hare vary from country to country, if you are interested, you can find them here. It's really fascinating to read about similiarities and differences.

Now to some other rabbits that I have been fascinated for decades. The story is wild, kind of traumatizing as well, but the ending is beautiful. I'm talking about "Watership Down". I love both the book and the movie although there are scenes that still break my heart. I never fail to cry at the end when Hazel, the chief rabbit, is taken away by El-ahrairah to find peace after a long life.

El-ahrairah was the first rabbit, and although he upset Lord Frith, the creator of the world, he got the gift of speed, cunning, digging, and good hearing.

This is him after receiving that gift (thank you to Nightpaww for the GIF).

Several rabbits I knew were named after the book by us (unforgotten are Blackie Blackavar, the best rabbit mom ever, and sweet little Hyzenthlay) and the inspiration doesn't end there.

This is my bead embroidered Moon Hare.

As you can tell, El-ahrairah has inspired part of it.
By Frith, who has been on my bead looming list for ages, I got inspired to choose a flowing free form for the pendant.

Again, I used the beautiful dark blue hex beads for the night sky and golden AB ones for the stars.
I just love that magical sparkle when moving the piece, and this will definitely not be the last time for the hex beads to turn up in a design of mine.

There, now you know (almost) the whole story behind my love for rabbits and why I not only had fun making this pendant, but also why it brought up a lot of memories from the last 36 years, some of them bittersweet.
While I miss my bunnies (and the rest of the zoo), two cats are quite enough to keep me on my toes and also I wouldn't trust dem Dekan to leave a rabbit alone. So who knows, maybe I will be reviving more memories through my work instead.


I vill bite you - The earrings

Remember that I said there will be something new from the bead soup?
I have been sorting and sorting - not done yet - and while I haven't got around to start on a re-make of the bracelet and choker yet, I have made two pairs of earrings, one for myself and one for sale.

I had to change the design a little bit for this smaller brick stitch version and I also used a different red to make them glow more.
What do you think?