Strega Jewellry's Blog

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Epic Blog Hop

I love Melissa Trudinger’s idea for an “epic” blog hop.  We all got to choose our favorite television series to design some jewelry.   I had no trouble at all choosing my series.   I love The Tudors.   I started watching the series because I love anything where Jonathan Rhys Myers appears.  But history AND fabulous costumes AND Henry VIII who was such a character?   Hands down my favorite!   Yes, there is a lot of sex but Henry was just that kind of guy.   He changed wives and mistresses like most guys change clothes for gosh sake.

I checked out the IMDb page for the Tudors and the show was nominated for 60 awards between the Emmy awards and ASCAP.   It won over 40 of the 60 nominations!  That’s pretty incredible.


They won a lot of awards for costumes.   The costumes and jewelry were so real for the time period it was amazing!  In fact, some of the awards they won were for costume design.

I decided not try to make designs that copied the originals.   They did this in the movie and the pieces were so  beautiful.   Instead, I wanted to design something modern that fit the personality of the characters who were actual people.   I decided to do one piece for each of Henry’s six wives.


Jonathan Rhys Myers played Henry VIII and did an incredible job of portraying his craziness, his volatile temper, and his aging.   You can see the great costume and awesome jewelry.   I did not design anything for him.   Quite frankly, I’d be happy to see him in nothing but an simple silver earring.

Catherine of Aragon was Henry’s first wife.   This was an arranged marriage to form an alliance between England and Spain.   She was betrothed to Henry’s brother, Arthur first when extremely young.  When Arthur died, Henry’s father still wanted the Spanish alliance so married her to Henry in 1509.   They remained married until 1533.   They had only one child, Mary, no male heirs which probably played a large part in Henry’s decision to divorce her.   Marie Doyle Kennedy played an excellent Catherine, a very pious woman whose religion meant the world to her.  Catherine was very proper and an extremely strong woman who refused to accept divorce and who continued to pray for Henry’s soul after his abominable treatment.


For her, I created this piece.   The bead sections are quatre feuille made of faceted black beads with deep red flowers in the center.  I’ve never done quatre feuille before.   The cross is HUGE, showing the depth of her faith and religion.


When the Pope refused to grant Henry an annulment of his marriage to Catherine, he broke with the Catholic Church and made way for the Protestant Reformation.   He faced excummuniction to marry Anne Boleyn in 1533.   Anne was a young girl who had spent a lot of time in the French court.   Her father’s ambition for his family led to her involvement with the King.   Women were used to further family prospects.   He first ordered her sister to attempt to snare the King and when that relationship went down the tubes, he had Anne try to do better.   Anne passed herself off as virginal, insisting that she would not have relations with Henry until she had a ring on her finger.  Natalie Dormer played this Queen of Tarts.   The marriage lasted 3 years.   After giving birth to one daughter, Elizabeth, Anne had a series of miscarriages.  Henry tired of her anxiety and jealous nature and had found another love interest, a true “virgin” so it was said.   He accused Anne of adultery, which for a queen is treason.   She was beheaded in 1536.


Anne wore a lot of pearls, a symbol of chastity and loyalty.   Her most famous piece of jewelry was a pearl and diamond B necklace.  For her, I made these pearl and copper earrings.


Jane Seymour was in service to Queen Anne when she first caught Henry’s eye.  She did not reject the advances of a married man and accepted gifts from him.   Also pushed by her family to further their ambitions she was presented by herself and by them as young and inexperienced.   She left the court and retired to her father’s estate when Henry was in the process of trying Anne for treason.   She and Henry were married in 1536, the day after Anne was beheaded, literally dragging her wedding dress through the spilled blood.  Their marriage was short lived.  She died in 1537 just days after the birth of their son.


For Jane, I made this “dark angel wing” necklace because she was no angel though her supporters and those of her family certainly presented her in that way.


After Jane’s death, Henry’s advisors insisted he needed to find a bride who would be good for military alliance as he was having problems with both France and Spain.   Cromwell and others persuaded him to marry Anne of Cleves (played by Joss Stone in the series).  The marriage took place in early in 1540.   Henry reconsidered the marriage, said she had been misrepresented to him and their marriage was annulled before it was ever consummated.   Apparently, she wasn’t pretty enough for Henry.  To be fair, she was not crazy about him either.   He gave her a generous settlement and she lived in England until she died.


Though Henry didn’t think Anne pretty enough, I thought she should have a really pretty necklace.   This one is made from silver metal clay and set with red dichroic glass.


Henry’s “friends” and advisors introduced him to his next “love”.   Katherine Howard was even younger than his other wives, if not in years, then in maturity.   She was the daughter of a 10th son who had no prospects at all.  Actually, she was a cousin of Anne Boleyn so perhaps this was a family attempt to get back in court favor.   She has been fostered at the home of a prominent duchess who took in wards, both male and female but spent most of her time at court.  Her wards had very little supervision.   She had an affair with her music teacher when she was 13.  After that, she had another affair with one of the other wards and they promised to marry each other.   When she was presented at court in 1542, she immediately caught Henry’s eye and they were married.    Katherine Howard (played by Tamzin Merchant) was flighty, poorly educated and spent most of her time trying on new gowns and jewels and dancing and cavorting.   Very childish, she had no idea of how to act like a queen.   She fell in love with Henry’s secretary, Mr. Culpepper.   She was beheaded for treason before year’s end.


For her, I designed this dragonfly necklace in painted brass with resin for she is like a dragonfly, carelessly flitting from flower to flower.


The hast of Henry’s wives was Katherine Parr (Joely Richardson).  She was older and a widow who had taken care of her husband until he died.    Katherine and Henry were married in 1543.   She was mature and gathered all of his children into the same household, befriending Mary and Elizabeth both.   She wasn’t afraid to nurse Henry who suffered terribly from a suppurating leg ulcer, a grievous thing that had tormented him for years.


For her, I made this fibula pin.   I thought of her spending long nights nursing Henry’s leg in a drafty old castle and thought she might use such a thing to hold a warm shawl around her shoulders.


I hope you are going to hop around and visit the other ladies, see what shows they liked and what they made for their characters.

Melissa Trudinger    (Hostess)

Karen Mitchell         

Andrea Glick            

Karen Martinez       

Lennis Carrier          

Lindsay Starr            

Mona Arnott            

Lee Koopman          

Shaiha Williams       

Veralynne Malone  

Elisabeth Auld          

Kelly Schermerhorn

Dini Bruinsma          

Jami Shipp                

June 6, 2015 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , ,


  1. What absolutely awesome ideas!! As a lover of that series myself, I think you are spot on with the jewelry you designed for each of the characters!

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Dawn Ball | June 6, 2015 | Reply

    • I think you probably know those characters as well as I do so I value your opinion! thanks!


      Comment by stregajewellry | June 6, 2015 | Reply

  2. Wow! You took this idea and went wild, and I love it. Another show I have yet to watch, but you clearly were inspired and we can see why from the photos. All of your pieces are nicely done. I could easily see the actresses wearing what you’ve made. That first necklace – what a match to who she was!

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Kelly | June 6, 2015 | Reply

    • Kelly, I hope my post inspired you as well, to check out this series. The actors are great. Thanks for stopping by.


      Comment by stregajewellry | June 6, 2015 | Reply

  3. Oh My Goodness!!! Did you get inspired or what! I haven’t seen the show, but I read and watch historical shows. You truly hit these on the head! Excellent job!!!! Thanks for joining and showing us your great work!

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Veralynne | June 6, 2015 | Reply

    • Veralynne, if you like historical shows, you will want to watch this one. Henry was SUCH a piece of work!


      Comment by stregajewellry | June 6, 2015 | Reply

  4. Lovely pieces! I love the Katherine necklace – the black and red are striking!

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Elisabeth | June 6, 2015 | Reply

  5. OMG your pieces are divine, absolutely gorgeous. I will have to check out the show to see if it’s as captivating as your designs.


    Comment by karen | June 8, 2015 | Reply

    • Thanks a lot Karen. I just know you will enjoy The Tudors.


      Comment by stregajewellry | June 9, 2015 | Reply

  6. Fantastic Lee! I love the pieces, and the inspiration behind them, and I’m finding it tricky to choose a favorite. Thanks for joining the blog hop!


    Comment by mtrudinger | June 8, 2015 | Reply

    • Melissa, as always, a great fun hop1 thanks for hosting it!


      Comment by stregajewellry | June 9, 2015 | Reply

  7. Wow, you went all out. These are all beautiful pieces and evoked a sense of the individual women as much as your descriptions did.


    Comment by Mona Arnott | June 8, 2015 | Reply

  8. Your pieces are all so fabulous! They seem to fit each character well and look so period, but then I look again and they are modern. I love them.


    Comment by beadlove | June 9, 2015 | Reply

  9. Your pieces are wonderful. I really love the pin you designed. 🙂



    Comment by ZenithJade | June 9, 2015 | Reply

  10. Nailed it ….I can see so much thought and design went into each and every piece!

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Terri G. | June 9, 2015 | Reply

  11. You made a wonderful ‘translation’ with this jewellery, from the original designs into these… The fibula is my absolute favourite ♥

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Dini Bruinsma | June 10, 2015 | Reply

  12. Looking at the pictures of each character really shows where your inspiration came from very clearly. Catherine’s necklace is the show stopper. I love that Anne’s necklace echoes her crown. So happy to see a pin/brooch. I love them.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by windbent | June 13, 2015 | Reply

    • Thank you! I also love pins. Wish they would make a “comeback”.


      Comment by stregajewellry | June 15, 2015 | Reply

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