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Saturday, December 14, 2013

Sam in Wonderland

Thus grew the tale of Wonderland
Thus slowly, one by one,
Its quaint events were hammered out-
And now the tale is done,
And home we steer a merry crew,
Beneath the setting sun."

 The "slowly, one by one" part sounds a lot like beading, no?

Stay with me.  I want to show you a necklace that involves beading, Alice in Wonderland, and a "sleeve."

A sleeve is an armful of tatoo.  The ENTIRE arm, usually from shoulder to wrist.  This must seem like random information but it is pertinent because I have a beautiful niece (Samantha, an animal welfare technician for a humane society) with an Alice in Wonderland sleeve. Here is how it looked after her first session with the needle.  Her bravery is vastly superior to my own!

Do you see Alice, the cards, the catepillar and his hookah, and the edge of the white rabbit?

About this time, when the sleeve was in this stage, I found a cabochon from Sandy Spivey with Alice imagery.  I thought it would be perfect for Samantha, and bought it.

Now unfortunately, this particular imagery is by a different artist than Sam's sleeve.  This is a Arthur Rackham illustration, in my opinion, among his best.  Her sleeve uses the illustrations of Sir John Tenniel.  Lots of different artists have taken on the illustration work, including Salvador Dali, but the Tenniel ones are more popular and familar to most people.  I worried that she might consider this a clash, (of style or maybe values) but finally this fall, decided that I would make it up for her and let her decide if it was wearable.

I wanted to honor the barely colorized, sepia look of the cab, so chose muted colors from the cab itself.

I used a delicate matte gold 24k delica in the bezel and some hints of pink and bronze, with a dab of Miyuki Baroque pearls in the surrounding embellishment and the stringing.  I really enjoyed working with the superduos at the edge, but every effort I made with them in the yoke was very rigid and unpleasantly inflexible, so I finally decided that a strung yoke was the best way to encorporate everything I wanted .

I have to admit, I have lost track of the number of piercings in Samantha's ears, but I felt that two earrings would fill at least some of them, if she wanted to wear them, and bravely wire-wrapped cherry quartz points to suit the purpose.

Now, the sleeve is, I believe, complete and really pretty awesome.  It has super vibrant color, which my work lacks.

I know my feeble effort is quiet by comparison, but Sam seems to be pleased with it, and I was happy to do it for her.

If I get really lucky, some day, perhaps Sam will model the necklace for me and send me a picture!


  1. Tattoos have always captured my attention. They are, however, not for me.

    Her sleeve is beautiful. The cab is wonderful and so is the bezel. It never ceases to amaze me what is available and what serendipity places before us.

    Have a safe and joyous holiday Marsha.

    1. Tats are not my own choice either, (especially knowing what my upper arm looks like at 60. GAH!!!) however Sam's sleeve is a work of art, and I am 100% in favor of wearing artwork. I agree with you. The world provides for us, when we open our eyes to it. A happy holiday to you to Kathy Jo!

  2. Marsha, your design is perfection! Perfect colors too. You are such a talent and honestly, I love this so much I wish it were mine! Also, Thank You for giving me credit on the cabochon. When you super talented artists showcase a cab I have created it always drives a little business my way and I want you to know I truly appreciate it.

    1. Sandy, thank you! I loved working with your cab, and have another in my storage box I look forward to playing with. And I really appreciate your super generous kind words. I hope lots of readers check out your shop and stock up. :)

  3. Oh woooooooow!!! I LOVE her tattoo, and I LOVE your necklace, and it truly is amazing to me what can happen, as KJ said, at the same time in the same place! It works out to something incredible when that happens, I think - and you really captured that cabochon perfectly! I bet she adores it. :) :) :) Sandy's cabs always rock - I have a bunch that are waiting for me, too...

    1. Nancy, thank you! I look forward so seeing what you do with your "Sandy's Treasures."

  4. That tattoo is quite a work of art. I have always been a huge fan of Alice, and Arthur Rackham is my favorite as well (perhaps because I also adore Peter Pan's book).
    I think you made a great work with that cab. I love the superduos and the vintage, victorian feeling of it all. I think it will look awesome on your niece and will make a nice contrast with her sleeve!

  5. I What a shame that I didn't see this post earlier. I love what you did and I am very impressed by your niece's sleeve. The colors are amazing. Did she model it for you?

    1. I was in Helena last fall, but it was cold and I didn't ask her to take off her shirt for me. She's a wonderful girl! Thanks for stopping by and reading!