Saturday, April 20, 2013

A Very Mery Unbirthday challenge

That's both a mouthful and a strange idea!

What in the peaceful world is an 'Un-birthday'? Well - is Mr. Rabbit's way to celebrate every day that's not one's birthday (if you haven't yet, I hope you'll read Alice in Wonderland, it's one of the loveliest books ever) - and Marlene's and Shelley's way of implementing it with a swap.

This time my partner was the wonderful Ginger Bishop. When Ginger mentioned she's in Japan I recalled her immediately from the first Bead Soup I participated in. I don't remember the jewelry she made, but I still have the memory of the lush vegetation she used as a prop and for some reasons it stayed with me it's somewhere in Japan. We talked about ourselves a little bit and found out many things we had in common (our sons turn 10 almost withing a month from one another, add to that my hubby and her son almost share a birthday too!), down to what we love to wear. She's a 'Diamond' birthday girl, I am an Emerald (I know - precious girls, aren't we?!) so we had to work around the 'specifications' a little bit.

I agonized over what to make her. I actually made 2 different pendants - one was almost a loss (I salvaged it in the end, but I couldn't send it as a gift, even if I still love it and wear it almost daily), the other one I tinkered a bit too long with it (there is something to be said about knowing when to stop; in fairness I knew when - I just couldn't, the glass kept popping out... but it was a great learning experience).

So here I was - learning a lot, but still having nothing to show for it. Now I got into desperation mode: the deadline to mail our gifts passed, the child was being sick again and I had to do something!

One thing has worked for me very well so far: when in doubt, go back to basics and KISS. Seems fit to KISS for a birthday gift, doesn't? Keep it simple (stupid) I did: the argentium wire came out, the jig was put together, swirl, swirl, hammer, hammer, wrap, wrap, attach, attach - yes, everything went into pairs... because... this is what went in the mail the next day:

Kiley (graceful): Argentium, Sterling silver, Swarovski, wire wrapping, ooak earrings :: All Pretty Things
Kiley: graceful (Argentium, Sterling Silver, Swarovski)

I agonized for weeks over what might Ginger reaction be. I love them, but then I love (almost) everything I make, so that's not a good measure. We both received our gifts on the same day - and, happily for me - Ginger loved the Butterfly Earrings!

I won't keep you any longer - I will just show you the beauty Ginger sent me: she created the most elegant and beautifully flowing necklace with the one material I longed for for a long, long time - sea glass. I wanted for so long to use or simply wear some - and now I have been given that opportunity by my lovely partner!

Unbirthday gift from Ginger: sea glass, pearls, brass :: All Pretty Things

It went around my neck the very next day and I just love how it feels: graciously dancing and whispering of some unknown secrets of the deep. The pearls are just the perfect touch and the little sun keep me smiling and hoping I will see it for longer periods than 10 minutes here and there (this winter is brutal). I tried to will the summer into arriving and it actually worked for one day (yesterday we had a whooping 25 Celsius!)

Thank you, Ginger, for the wonderful gift - and thank you, Marlene and Shelley for yet another wonderful challenge.

Please make sure you visit Ginger to hear the story of the sea glass necklace (I am curious of it too!)

Then please visit the other participants - to learn about their own adventures in Unbirthday land!

Our hosts: 

Alicia Marinache <= you are here
Ginger Bishop <= My partner!


  1. Love the swirl earrings you made~keeping it simple with swing and flash always makes for a great earring! The necklace you received is beautiful!!! The sun and pearls are a great addition to gorgeous sea glass. I am going to the shore today to collect some :-) Been planning it for a few weeks now. I cannot wait!!! Enjoy your new gift :-)

  2. Well, you know I love your wirework, so I'm not a good judge either! I know I'd be wearing those everyday! I love the seaglass too, and that soft matte look is so pretty on the green!

  3. I love the earrings you made.. Very pretty.. And that necklace is gorgeous.

  4. Beautiful earrings, you and Ginger were so good to each other.

  5. Very pretty! I know how you feel when a piece just won't come together and you 'over work' the metal! arghhhhh ... then snap! I can't count how many times I've done that! But your earrings are sweet and simple, and just perfect. And I LOVE the seaglass Ginger sent you. I have a special place in my heart for all things from the sea.

  6. The earrings are beautiful, and the necklace you received is just gorgeous! Sea glass is awesome! This is a great party!

  7. I like what you did with the earrings, love the wire!

  8. Hi Alicia,
    I love the earrings you made for Ginger they are beautiful, but then I have not seen anything you make that is not beautiful.
    I also love the sea glass necklace that Ginger gave to you.

  9. Alicia I am so happy to came to the party. AND I love what you are wearing (heehee). That emerald seaglass sets off your eyes beautifully. It looks so comfortable to wear too! I might have to borrow it some time. HAHA
    ~ Shelley

  10. Ohh shoot...I ended too soon, love those crystal earrings, are they butterflies or is it me? PRETTY!

  11. Love the earrings you made. What's not to love about silver?
    Janeen B

  12. Love everything and getting lots of ideas and insperation.
    You do wonderful work.

  13. Pretty and elegant earrings, and reiterate the comments I made to you during our last conversation, Alicia ♥. Ginger's gift to you is lovely as well... there is something intriguing about real sea glass, isn't there? It is very popular here, as I live by the ocean, with many local artisans creating with it.

  14. Love the earrings. They are stunning. :) Your gift was equally awesome.

  15. Who could not LOVE anything you make Alicia, and that sea glass necklace is to die for. Now I know I have to plan a visit just to try and get it off your neck. Don't think I will have any luck though. Hugs

  16. I love the sea glass necklace! Gorgeous! And you earrings are beautiful as well!


Thank you for sharing your thoughts! I appreciate and love to read your comments!