Mar 1, 2014

3rd Annual Challenge of Music Blog Hop

Welcome to The 3rd Annual Challenge of Music 
hosted by Erin Prais-Hintz

This is my first time participating in the challenge, and I found it very healing and encouraging. Erin suggested we not only create jewelry and bead art, but create intellectually as well, challenging ourselves to:

Focus: Music and Memory :: Telling YOUR Story through Music

1::Pick a year in your life history.

2::Pick a song from that year that tells YOUR story. 

 Music, for me, reflects where we are at emotionally, our over all vibration and place of center. Rather than thinking of emotion as something we "deal" with, think of it as a kind of gps. It let's us know where we are at any moment. I firmly believe that what music and movies we find ourselves attracted to reflect our general self. Someone vibrating or generally acting with anger in order to pass hurt (and not a bad thing at all; anger relieves us of depression & discouragement, and is a stepping stone to empowerment, moving up the emotional guidance scale) may find movies like "Count of Monte Cristo" enjoyable. Likewise, feeling satisfied, relaxed, and appreciative may make songs like "Thank you for being a friend" feel good to listen to. In turn, music -- as long as it is somewhere near the vicinity of where we are at -- can help raise our emotional vibration. If we are in boredom, for example, we could either hear a 90's alternative (discouragement) or a song like "Something's coming, something good... maybe tonight" (hope) and feel comfortable. But the one that raises our vibration will ultimately get us feels better, no longer bored, but anticipation & encouragement. From there, we can go on to inspired, creative, confident. And from there onto knowing, passionate, excited, joyful. 

The Emotional Guidance Scale (Abraham-Hicks), our built in GPS system for the life we create day by day, is a way to know where we are before we take action, to sculpt our days and live purposefully, rather than simply react to life and events. I have found that thinking of emotion this way has changed my life entirely. I do, have and am a person who lives so joyfully, watching my wishes unfold, manifesting my desires, growing and  laughing and loving each moment.

Which takes me back to music in the moment. 

When my eldest daughter, Christina, died two summers ago, one her sisters told me she listened to all Chrissy's favorite songs and felt such happiness! Certainly, her return to the nonphysical was an experience that challenged every belief I held dear: rather than be victim of emotion, could I focus in ways that allowed me to come to my new connection with her joyfully? We are told death is terrible, a loss, and the death of a child the greatest loss of all. Representations of shocked & despairing parents, pale in their suffering, abound. Could I live my belief that death is part of life, that it is not a tragedy but a return to all we are and have become and can be, and that in death, non-physical does not focus on the contrast of life but is a vortex of all high vibration, all that is good, all that is love. Well-being, pure positive energy, that which creates worlds and keeps universes in perfect proximity to each other, that which is a guidance to all, that which migrating birds tap into, that which turns me on, inspires me, gets me going, that which I can tune into at any moment, my choice, my focus, that which is infinite love. 

Why care so much about feeling good? Focusing and thinking thoughts that bring relief? That work me up the emotional scale? Experiencing her death as perfect timing (non-physical decides when we croak) and OK? Because I believe that in order to connect with her now each day as her mother and friend - as a physical and nonphysical being, I must meet her as a now nonphysical being where she resides, where we both can together at any time: in joy. 

Focusing, then. on a place of joy, I'm reminded of a warm, long summer, when all three of my girls were little, and I was falling in love. I had met my beloved (we've now been together 21 years and with changing laws, may even someday marry - it was 1992) and my spirit soared with love love love! 

One night, my kitty cat jumped up into the window sill, suddenly knocking the blind down onto the head of the bed right below the window. The sudden sound was startling, and waking wide eyed in the dark night, the blind hit my beloved in the eye, scratching it. The next afternoon, Lee lay resting in the golden summer sun, a living metaphor for "it's all fun & games until someone needs an eye patch" -- but happily home from work and sleeping. It was Indian summer, and the gladiolas were in full bloom, could be found everywhere, filled grocery stores & gardens in rich, abundant tall bouquets galore. 

I covered Lee in the gladiolas as he slept, transforming my bed into a bed of flowers. 
It was breathtakingly beautiful.

I turned on my cassette of R.E.M.'s "Flowers of Gautemala" 
and Lee woke to the extraordinary beauty. I wanted to express how good life is, how beautiful, how magic and flowers cover everything.

It was, in a way, like a celebration but also much like a grave -- flowers everywhere across the body-- a rebirth, a transformation. Covered in gladiolas, Lee laughed. 

So how is it my jewelry is not covered in flowers? For our challenge, I indeed made enough chainmaille flowers to cover a necklace, held Czech & beautiful painted wood beads, worked with antique brass twisted wire and carnelian round beads that glowed like the lampwork. 

Most importantly, the handcrafted lampwork music symbol gifted to me by Lori Anderson needed to take center stage. Slowly, the gems and wood and faceted crystals just weren't a part of it, and instead I created and re-created links, my own handcrafted links and chain maille pattern fashioned from an infinity link. The copper and enameled rings mirror the soft oranges of the glass, and the significant line of deep dark glass running through the center of the art, accentuating its shape, defining its curves and color. A meditation. Wearing the long, long chain and glass pendant, the lines seem to flow endlessly from glass to metal. Simple, yet complex. Flowing and never-ending, with hours of the physical and the spirit in unity. 

This is a blog hop and fundraiser. Enjoy participants' music stories and jewelry, some of which may be auctioned by Erin to benefit the and

Toltec Jewels is an author by day, jewelry maker by night. Her literary work is housed by the San Francisco MOMA and is published internationally in popular magazines, literary quarterlies, and university publications. She has won a number of awards for literary and jewelry arts. She is happiest making handcrafted jewelry with her entire family, snuggling with her doggies and grandkids, sewing, singing, reading, and learning more jewelry techniques. She is the hostess of JSF, a diverse community of expert and emerging artisans taking inspiration from each other and jewelry arts. Join her on FB for networking, fundraising for Beads of Courage, jewelry making challenges, blog hops, contests, give-a-ways and of course, cool beads and jewelry!


  1. Beautiful necklace. I love the glass treble clef.

  2. This is such a beautiful post. You took me on a journey of the power of music in your life. I had no idea of the loss of your daughter. But what a wonderful experience to share her spirit through the music that gave her life a richer meaning. But the story of your love for Lee and the gladiolas (my birth month flower - and I love them!) really delighted me. I have never heard that song and I love it. Beautiful that you made all the links yourself and it is a wonderful interpretation. Thank you so much for joining in the 3rd Annual Challenge of Music! Enjoy the day. Erin

  3. I love the simplicity of this piece and the infinity links embracing the beautiful music symbol. It seems to show us that music resonates throughout the links of our lives no matter if they are joyous links or sad links, it's there for us.
    To lose a child is a challenge of faith and understanding and so very hard to accept. When I lost my Ben, his music seemed like a message to me when a song he loved came on the radio. I was fortunate enough to experience physically and audially the fact that he still loves (I have a blog post The Firefly Tale, either I or II, can't remember) that as a parent who has lost a child, you might find interesting. I love this piece and what it represents. Beautiful work!

  4. As I was reading your story, I kept thinking how the note pendant looked like the flowers, with the shape and color. The necklace is perfect and carries the idea of a garden and fits perfectly.

  5. Wonderful piece and truly captures the color of some of the flowers perfectly! Thank you for sharing your story. Love those links too!

  6. A beautiful piece. The musical note is just stunning! What a great tribute to celebrating life and also the spirit.

  7. What a beautiful necklace and post. I also went for simple (which is so hard to do) because I wanted the focal to really be the focus. I bet that this is gorgeous when you are wearing it. Going to have to take a picture of that and share it with us.

  8. Your post brought a tear to my eye, your design, the story and how you were able to bring it all together, thank you so much for sharing with us x

  9. Lovely necklace! I like the colours and the soft, flowing shape of the pendant. It makes it feel happy and lit by a glow from within.


Gracias for your comments and for visiting! I appreciate every word :)
Namaste --