Strega Jewellry's Blog

jewelry, beads, stone lore, music, kids and nature

Heritage: Gettin’ Jiggy With It

I’ve joined a beading challenge.   This will be the first time I’ve participated in this type of event and I’m a bit nervous becuase there will be some fantastic jewelry artisans from all over the world.   The challenge is this:   pick a country you would love to visit and research it.   Use travel photos and design a color palette, use maps, whatever and design a piece to be showcased on September 1st.   I’m really excited about this, but there are 60 other women who will be designing also……………so………I hope to come up with something really nice.

Treasures Found :: Inspiration is Everywhere

My choice:   Ireland.   It’s the one place in the world I would love to visit, with the exception of Alaska and New Orleans which are both in the USA.   Why do I want to go there?   I’ve been in love with things Irish since I was a kid.   Like most folks in the states, my people are mixed descent.   My dad’s mom, for instance was part Irish and part Native American.   My grand dad was part English, some Welsh and some Irish.

My love affair with Irish music started when my grandfather came to live with us after Gram died.   We didn’t have a television until I was about 8 or 9 I guess and  I spent a lot of time listening to the radio.   When it rained outside and we could not get out to play, there werent’ any video games of course, and besides, nobody turned on anything electric because we might get struck by lightening.   Don’t laugh now, Grampa got knocked off the milking stool once during a storm when lightening hit the barn, so we didn’t take any chances.

Anyhow, when there was a storm, or when it was really snowy outside or sometimes, just because he felt like it, Grampa would get out his harmonica and play.   We loved these times.   My sister and I would sit on the floor and Grampa would be playing and tapping his feet to the Wilson clog and a dozen other songs but the Irish Washerwoman was our favorite.   We could sing along to that one.  We sometimes would dance jigs till we fell on the floor laughing.  Never heard it?   Here’s a link.   It’s a really lively jig.

gettin jiggy, Irish tradition

I carried this tradition on when my own kids were growing up.   I sang them to sleep with Irish lullabies in Gaelic that I learned when I was little.   I played guitar a little bit, not enough to fast pick the Irish Washerwoman but I sure could chord off the Rattlin’ Bog and we would sing that song till my kids collapsed laughing because they could not keep up.  The more verses you sing, the faster the pace.    Don’t know the Rattlin’ Bog?   Here’s a link to that one.

Here is some modern day jigging.

I have to come up with a color palette for my design.   What’s the first thing that pops into your head when you think of a color scheme for Ireland?  Well, most folks, of course, think green:   The Emerald Isle, a deep green, or the bright green of shamrocks and leprechauns.   SIGH.  Not for me, I don’t think.   I love green, but not those particular shades of green at least not all by themselves.

Let me share a couple of pictures of places in Ireland I’d like to see.   Things I think of when I visualize Ireland.

O’Brien’s tower in Galway

Cliffs along the coast



This challenge has been fun so far.  I’ve immersed myself in things Irish, maps, photos, songs and history.   I’ve learned how to make a color palette at Picmonkey and what fun that was.    Here are two color palettes I made for images of an Irish washerwoman and an Irish peasant.   I love the colors in both.    I do not know the sources for these images.   I think the first is a painting and the second, I know is an old postcard.


an Irish washerwoman













Irish peasant from and old postcard












I’m going to blogging about things Irish all month and on the first of September I’ll be showing the piece/pieces I made inspired by my Irish heritage.




August 13, 2012 - Posted by | Jewelry | , , , , , , , ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: