Do What You Love With Passion!

It's been said that if we do what we love, it stops being a job and becomes a passion. I love to write as much as I love to design jewelry. With this blog, I will share both with you!

Saturday, September 1, 2012


Where in the world does inspiration come from?

Selecting Italy for this Olympic Blog Hop was a simple matter for me, as I have studied the country and language for about three years.  My fascination began years ago with the movie Under the Tuscan Sun with Diane Lane.  Years later, I read Elizabeth Gilbert's emotional and spiritual novel Eat, Pray, Love and was captivated with Italy.  Here then, is my story in pictures, from a town in Northern Italy and the necklace I created from its inspiration.

Everything about these colors and patterns cries out Italy to me! Bella! I thought it would be challenging to represent the elements, from building facade and tiles to circular blue glass windows to the natural element of greens and reds in potted geraniums.
My decision was to create a torsade necklace with five lengths, all somewhat equal to each other.  Each length would represent one of the elements of color and form as seen in the inspiration photo.
The beginning layout:  Five individual wire strands about sixteen inches in length connected to antique brass chain by means of tulip-shaped end caps.  Lobster clasp closure.

Literal interpretation for potted geraniums, red and green natural beads are strung on first of the five wires:

Here, the fourth strand is being connected.  Darker tones in beads, used to depict the building facade tiles are interpreted on this wire:

The final wire represents blues and whites in the circular glass windows.  Blue and white glass beads with brass spacers are strung on:

Thirty-one inch torsade necklace in antique brass.  Five individual lengths approximately sixteen inches each in length, attached by tulip-shaped antique brass findings to chain.  Lobster clasp closure allows for adjustment in length, as well.


I knew that if done properly, the necklace should 'disappear' when laid on top of the inspired print.

Thank you for stopping at my blog and thank you,
in advance, for your comments.  Have a great day!

Laren Dee Barton


Special thanks to Erin, Tesori Trovati Jewelry!

Name                 Region           Chosen Inspiration Nation

Monique Urquhart Africa Burkina Faso

Niky Sayers Africa Egypt

Therese Frank Africa Kenya

Raychelle Heath Africa Lesotho

Joan Williams Africa Mauritania

Sherri Stokey Africa Senegal

Regina Santerre Africa Seychelles

Raida Disbrow Africa Tanzania

Kristi Wodek Africa Zimbabwe

Sally Russick Americas Brazil

Melissa Trudinger Americas Mexico

Tracy Stillman Americas USA

Sandra Wolberg Asia India

Tanya Goodwin Asia Japan

Susan Kennedy Asia Japan

Beth Emery Asia Japan

Lisa Cone Asia Japan

Tanya Boden Asia Japan

Inge von Roos Asia Laos

Erin Prais-Hintz Asia Nepal

Dee Elgie Asia Phillipines

Carolyn Lawson Asia South Korea

Lisa Stukel Asia Sri Lanka

Elly Snare Asia Thailand

Shelley Graham Turner Europe Austria

Mallory Hoffman Europe Bosnia Herzegovina

Paige Maxim Europe France

Jenny Davies-Reazor Europe Germany

Sharyl McMillian-Nelson Europe Greece

Evelyn Shelby Europe Iceland

Holly Westfall Europe Ireland

Rebecca Siervaag Europe Ireland

Toltec Jewels Europe Ireland

Lee Koopman Europe Ireland

Laren Dee Barton Europe Italy

Cindy Wilson Europe Norway

Kathleen Lange Klik Europe Poland

Shaiha Williams Europe Portugal

Jennifer Justman Europe Romania

Elsie Deliz-Fonseca Europe Spain

Lola Surwillo Europe Sweden

Kim Hora Europe Switzerland

Leanne Loftus Europe The Netherlands

Patti Vanderbloemen Europe The Netherlands

Marcie Carroll Europe Turkey

Marlene Cupo Oceania Federated States of Micronesia

Ine Vande Cappelle Oceania Fiji

Tammie Everly Oceania Guam

Alice Peterson Oceania Kiribati

Elisabeth Auld Oceania Nauru

Susan McClelland Oceania New Zealand

D Lynne Bowland Oceania New Zealand

Denielle Hagerman Oceania New Zeland

Rebecca Anderson Oceania Papua New Guinea

Mischelle Fanucchi Oceania Samoa

Kari Asbury Oceania Solomon Islands

Cece Cormier Oceania Tonga

Emma Todd Oceania Tuvalu

Debbie Price Oceania Vanuatu


Micheladas said...

I love your necklace. It captures Italy perfectly.. Great job

Pixiloo said...

Your necklace is stunning. I love how you took all the colors and made them work together so seamlessly!

Sharyl said...

That's fantastic! I've never been able to get multi-layered necklaces to hang right. Now that I've seen you do it, I think I'll try redoing one of mine and see if I can get it right.

Lauren, your colors are wonderful. And I love the notion that if you lay the necklace against the photo they would blend together! Now I'm going to want to do that with art inspired creations! (Note: lots of borrowing going on here!)

Bottom line though--it's a lovely piece and a great idea!

beadrecipes said...

I love your necklace! You've really captured the colours and more importantly the feel of the picture! And it looks fantastic!

A Half-Baked Notion said...

Italy holds such fascination for so many. It is at once classical, romantic, modern and spiritual. I see your beautiful necklace design as illustrating all those facets of her personality, Laren.

I have learned from your post a great technical lesson in planning colour and balance, and your love of Italy is evident in the result.

A Polymer Penchant said...

Oh I loved seeing this design come to life having seen your inspiration. Wonderful presentation of your muse.

TesoriTrovati said...

I love your necklace Miss Laren! I would love to travel to Italy one day. To see the gorgeous colors and experience the charming hospitality of that region. I also love multistrand jewelry and this is so perfect with the colors of that inspiration photo. Thank you for joining me on the journey around the world, Miss Laren! Enjoy the day. Erin

Alice said...

I have relatives in Italy but have never visited there. One of these days.....

I love the necklace you made. The bead colors are rich, and make a very elegant piece. Very fitting for your chosen country.

sandi m said...

What a perfect translation of the picture using simple techniques. Love it! Italy is on my travel wish list.
And, it really does melt into the photo...

LisaS said...

Glad I finally found you. A beautiful interpretation of Northern Italy, love the necklace ;)

Laren Dee Barton said...

Thank you, Micheladas! I am grateful for your kind words.

Laren Dee Barton said...

You are so kind, thank you very much!

Laren Dee Barton said...

I am deeply moved by your words. If I am fortunate one day, I will see Italy first-hand. In the meantime, I treasure my books and study the language. She (Italy) is a magnificent woman and story.

Laren Dee Barton said...

Aw, thank you so much!

Laren Dee Barton said...

Oh, it was my pleasure, Erin. Your tour of the world was a wonderful idea and I enjoyed my part so much. Kudos to you!!

Laren Dee Barton said...

Alice, thank you so much! Yes, like you, I would love to one day travel to Italy. If it is meant to be, it will happen. :D

Laren Dee Barton said...

Thank you, Sandi, for your compliment. I learned that trick about it needing to disappear from a college art class years and years ago. As I was designing this piece, a memory was triggered of that class and the result speaks for itself.

Thank you again!! :D

Laren Dee Barton said...

Thank you, Lisa! I treasure your kind words and those of everyone who have posted here. :D

Laren Dee Barton said...

This was a delightful experience for me! Thank you so much!! :D

stregajewellry said...

Better late than never. I am truly glad that Erin posted your correct address. I tried to remember who it was but I was hopping so fast, I forgot. Wow, when I saw the picture you posted, I thought "how in the world is she going to get one necklace out of all that splashing of color?"
You did a masterful job and a beautiful piece.