Tuesday, October 8, 2013

A Song From The Acequia

The yellow winged blackbird is a South American species. The male looks just like the redwinged variety you see each spring, but his epaulets are bright yellow. There have been sightings of the yellow winged species claimed in the western US, which experts say are actually immature redwinged types, which don't develop a fully red epaulet until maturity. Right. I could swear I saw one in Oregon ranch country, on a beautiful spring day, flashing his yellow epaulets, singing his territorial announcement from a cattail perch in an irrigation ditch. I think they are moving in on you, redwing boys!

Kim, of Numinosity, surprised me with a gift of her own earrings, and some delicious lampwork headpins, and the headpins were just too sweet to let sit for very long.  Here they are, in these earrings, together with an array of ethnic and vintage wooden holy beads.  I pulled a bit of sari silk through the wooden beads and frayed away the yellow weft, leaving just a splash of color at the top, which got me to thinking about the yellow winged blackbirds I saw one spring on a trip to Oregon's John Day fossil beds.

The wooden holy beads were originally used for a stretch bracelet, with elastic cord strung through the holes at each end. That arrangement makes them a bit of a challenge to re-assemble, but here's my solution:  first a steel half hoop with bent ends that went into the top holes; I drilled a hole in the bottom, just to the crosswise channel, and inserted a little brass eye pin, trimmed to fit and (gasp!glue!) epoxied into place.  Then, a bit of yellow sari silk with a black warp got threaded through the bottom holes.  I cut the silk to a 45-degree point and raveled out the weft, leaving just a peek of the original color up next to the bead. Next came Kim's wonderful headpin with a long long steel wire embedded, just right for stacking on two more beads and coiling closed, to jump to the bottom of the wooden miracle bead.  The tops got finished off with a pair of painted eye beads from India, with splashes of blue that echo the spatters on Kim's lampwork.  And then all except the silk got waxed and dirtied up to add to the look of something old and well traveled.

Just listed in my Etsy shop.

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