Saturday, January 11, 2014

Forest Hop

Welcome to my corner of the 2014 Into the Forest Blog Hop, hosted by Lisa Lodge of Pine Ridge Treasures.  I've seen lots of great things inspired by Lisa's hops and decided I needed to participate at least once.  Our mission was to create jewelry with a "forest" theme.  Here is what I was sent.  Czech glass, crystal, agate and jasper. 

I not only wandered into a forest for inspiration, but I kept right on going and crawled into a cave (within the forest).  The Caves of Lascaux in Southern France contain the oldest known art made by man, estimated at almost 20,000 years old. The Lascaux images are very powerful.  There is also another cave in Argentina that has equally powerful images, Cueva de las Manos (Spanish for Cave of the Hands).

Above is a picture of Cave of the Hands, a wall covered by silhouettes of hands.  I am fascinated by this and would love to see it in person sometime.  What a monument to human existence.  These hands reach out over the ages, bridging time and space, to remind me of the similarities between us.  After I was almost done with my piece I learned that approximately 75% of hand images in Upper Paleolithic art on European cave walls were made by women.  Dean Snow from Penn State University recently published an article about this.  

Instead of making a piece of jewelry, I did bead embroidery.  I used the focal and some of the darker colored beads from the stash, combined with lots of feldspath graphic chips and dark terra cotta seed beads.  It's a big piece, 8.5 x 11".

That's what I did.  I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone else has made!  Thank you Lisa for putting this together.  Here is the list of participants:

Your hostess:  Lisa Lodge, A Grateful Artist
Melissa Trudinger, Bead Recipes
Kathy Zeigler Lindemer, Bay Moon Design
Eleanor Burian Moore, The Charmed Life
Jo-Ann Woolverton, It's a Beadiful Creation
Chris Eisenberg, Wanderware
Christine Stonefield, Sweet Girl Design
Carolyn Lawson, Carolyn's Creations
Janine Lucas, Esfera Travel Blog
Jasvanti Patel, Jewelry by Jasvanti
Shaiha Williams,   Shaiha's Ramblings
Kay Thomerson, Kayz Kreationz
Karla Morgan, Texas Pepper Jams
Veralynne Malone, Designed by Vera
Toltec  Jewels, Jewel School Friends
Christie Searle Murrow, Charis Designs Jewelry
Molly Alexander, Beautifully Broken Me
Monique Urquhart, A Half-Baked Notion
Janet Bocciardi, Honey from the Bee
Dini Bruinsma, Angaza by Changes
Heather Richter, Desert Jewelry Designs
Christina Miles, Wings n Scales
Elizabeth Engriser, Bead Contagion   <~~~~  you are here
Alice Peterson, Alice Dreaming
Alicia Marinache, All the Pretty Things
Kay Mallery,TBD
Catherine Yvonne King, Catherine's Musings
Alice Craddick, Alice's Beads and Baubles
Ema Kilroy, Ema K Designs


  1. very cool! what a great idea to create art for the hop! love your spaceman :)

  2. yours is one of the small handful of blogs that truly feels like home.
    this cave embroidery is sensational~the feel, colors, textures, size, inspiration~it is all so beautiful. i yearn to stumble upon cave paintings some day, and at the very least to see some well known ones. i going to go read the Penn State article now. Gorgeous work, Liz.

  3. Wow, Liz, what a bold and captivating reflection on the haunting images of the Cueva de las Manos!

  4. How wonderful! And thank you for sharing the Cave of Hands....I just love how you formatted this hand and presented it. As another Bead Embroiderer, I just love this.

  5. What a great piece! I just love your inspiration and how you brought it to life in this design!

  6. Wow..... that is an awesome piece! I know that took some time...great work though and it corresponds to the caves...Great job. Thanks for posting!

  7. Wow, Elizabeth! What a beautiful creation ! This must have taken a long, long time to make. Thanks for sharing the nifty information about the caves as well. I love bead embroidery (looking at it, not making it - those tiny beads and I don't work well together). Thanks for being in the hop!

  8. I love your art work! What a beautiful rendition of the Cave of the Hands!

  9. Oh my goodness - what an amazing piece of art - it perfectly echoes the hands in the cave - I love every part of this!

  10. Oh my what a fabulous beaded piece of art! I love your inspiration--the cave in the forest.

  11. Your piece of art is delightful. Well done!

  12. Good heavens! That must have taken a while to make. Kudos for thinking out of the box- it's really a lovely piece of art. Christie

  13. Wow. What an amazing creation.

  14. Wow! Stunning interpretation of your inspiration, and a really wonderful twist on the hop theme. And props to you for covering 8 1/2 x 11 with bead embroidery!

  15. OH MY...this is just soooooo creative and beautiful! I really love ancient cave drawings. Hubby and I got to see lots of them when we went on a road trip to the Grand Canyon. We also got to see New Grange in Ireland...amazing!

  16. Stunning, absolutely stunning. Love it

  17. This is AMAZING! I love how the cave has inspired you to create such a work of art! Beautiful job! As I reading your post and first read the word "cave", I immediately went (in my mind) to Luray Caverns - located about 2 hours from here. One is immediately transported back in time upon entering these caverns.

  18. I can not say anything that is not said yet!!! So I send you some ♥♥♥♥♥ - hearts in stead of words! It's fantastic what you created!

  19. Love the background info and love, love, love what you did. It is both beautiful and moving.

  20. Oh how cool!!! I second Patti & everyone else -- indeed, AMAZING! Your post just fills me with joy. I'm moved, delighted, inspired, feel wise, and love how you presented your art, slowly, unfolding here, unfolding there... seeing, appreciating, then comprehending -- hands! And hands represented with our greatest power as leaders, as women, as artists.

    So often I have seen the hand as a symbol of despair: children in need, a representation of warring against something, abuse, longing, lack -- so much focus on what is missing & not what I wish to ever ever focus upon, as I do not wish to bring more energy to the unwanted or add energy to suffering.

    You, brilliant artist, have shared with us ancient hands as a medium of meaning that reminds us of the incredible wisdom of earth, our beauty as people. The silhouettes of hands radiate -- wonderful, lasting symbols of life, of the possible, of our infinite creativity -- indeed, "a monument to human existence" as you observed & so generously & beautifully shared.

    I'm very excited about the Argentina's Cueva de las Manos! I'd love to visit the cave too. Yet, you've given us a tremendous gift by bringing us the cave in your exquisite bead embroidery. I could speak of your art's colorway, the use of feldspar & the focal and terracotta (I like to think of that color as "Mexicali Clay")beads. I could comment on your perfect combination of texture and materials. I certainly could tell you I'm in awe and in love! And again, express how amazing your work is, and so very generous. I honestly can't say enough, except to let you know I think your work is the most powerful and beautiful bead art I've ever seen in my life. Gracias!

  21. What a magnificent piece. I'm in awe of anyone that an use seed beads like that whether jewelry or a wonderful piece like yours. I was in Argentina years ago, but did not get to see that cave, but you captured the feel and color of it perfectly. Wonderful.

  22. Wow! That's a pretty amazing piece! Love your inspiration!


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