Thursday, June 26, 2008

Ornament Thursday - Independence

This month's Ornament Thursday theme was a little tricky for me. I was pretty stumped. So I was making these poppy beads the other day and a random memory from my childhood jumped out at me.

When I was little girl, the local drug store sold these poppy pins next to the register. They fascinated me for some reason. I knew they had something to do with helping soldiers and I remember being thrilled when my grandma had one on her kitchen counter that I could touch and play with.

So I looked up what they were all about and the poppy pins were made by veterans after World War I and the proceeds went back to help them. They were inspired by a poem called "In Flanders Field," you can read about it here. They are more associated with Memorial Day, but they remind me of my childhood 4th of July celebrations, so that's how they came to be part of this month's Ornament Thursday theme.

Poppy Field Bracelet

Poppy Field Bead (Humblebeads)

Brass Chain (Hobby Lobby)

3 Brass Spacers

5 Copper seed beads (Charlene's Beads)

24mm filigree ring

15mm jump ring

4 8mm jump rings

Bead pod toggle bar

9 brass headpins

3 8mm flower bead caps

8mm aqua glass bead

8mm amazonite rondell

15mm silver foil glass bead

6mm crystal (ernite)

8mm smoky quartz bead

6mm faceted black glass

8mm faceted red glass

6 3-4mm pearls

Tools: Wire cutters, round and flat nose pliers

(Vintaj Brass from Bello Modo, all other beads from local bead shows)


1. Cut off the end of two headpins and make a loop at the end of each one with round nose pliers . On the first one, string on a brass spacer, poppy bead and a brass spacer, make a loop at the other end. On the second headpin string a beadcap, silver foil bead, bead cap, close with a loop. (You can press the bead cap on top of the glass bead to flatten it out to fit a little better.)

2. Cut chain to desired length. (I cut mine at 2".) Attach poppy bead to one side of the chain with an 8mm jump ring. At the end of the chain attach the filigree ring with a 15mm jump ring.

3. On the other side of the poppy bead attach the silver foil component with an 8mm jump ring. On the other end of the component attach the other chain length with an 8mm jump ring. Attach the toggle bar to the end of the chain with an 8mm jump ring.

4. Create the dangles using the rest of the beads and headpins. Attach to the jump rings next to the poppy bead. Add one dangle to the 15mm jump ring.

5. Fill up with toggle bar with pearls, close the pod with your thumb.

Bello Modo will be at the Whole Bead Show in Portland this weekend. Stop by and see their wonderful collection of Vintaj Brass, crystal, art beads from Green Girl Studios, Holly Gage, Marsha Neal, and a very nice selection of Humblebeads, including my birds and new sea urchins!

And now on to the other Ornament Thursday designers to see what inspiration and creativity they are sharing for this month's theme:

Cindy Gimbrone aka Lampwork Diva
Celebrate the Independent Spirit

Hurray for Red, White and Blue
Lisa takes a shot at teeny tiny beads for a change

Linda at BeadStyle Magazine
Childhood memories of Independence Day's past inspired this necklace.

Strands of Beads Melissa sees stars this month while considering the meaning of independence

What is America to Me? Michelle's favorite words on our country...

Alexa Westerfield a.k.a. Swelldesigner Craft some red, white, and blue drink charms from vintage wartime posters. They'll make a big bang at your 4th of July cookout!

Michelle's take on Independence Over at http design, Michelle has sculpted a piece which gives a different perspective on independence.


Lorelei said...

Awesome bracelet Heather! I love that color combination!

Melissa J. Lee said...

I love the symbolism you used to celebrate the theme this month! Beautiful poppies!

LampworkDiva said...


Love where your work is going! The poppies are a lovely addition to your body of work. A real winner!

Thanks for the great project!

Bravo, Heather!

Jean said...


Linda at BeadStyle, Bead&Button, and Art Jewelry magazines said...

Love the feel of this bracelet. Very organic---almost has an ancient vibe!

Cindy Lietz, Polymer Clay Tutor said...

Very beautiful beads as usual Heather! I also love the toggle that you filled with pearls. I've never seen that before!

Lisa said...

I love this, Heather! And the symbolism around it as well.

Alexa said...

love those colors and that brass. Great job!

Michelle McGee said...

Gosh, I love the intricacy of this... this bracelet is mystifying and GORGEOUS!

jeannie said...

I saw this bead on your website and could not get it out of my head. The color just draws you in.
Thank you for sharing the story behind it.