Monday, July 25, 2011

Art Spark Winner for July

by Izzy Winterhart

I hope everyone is staying cool in this heat.  When I first posted this challenge my husband and I were finishing our gorgeous deck build.  These past few weekends we've been building a Japanese style walkway off the deck.  This weekend temperatures hoovered in the 100's and let's just say we were insane to be out there in it...  We don't have a lick of sense.

Something magical took place in our back yard this past spring.  In a old, dead holly tree about 50 or so feet from the back of our house, two Barred owls chose to build a nest.  (We named them Ollie and Hollie).
Two adorable feathered babes were born  And after about a month we got to see two sweet babies occasionally peeking out from the tree.
Ollie, Hollie, nor the babies were a bit scared of us and I could always get close to take some amazing photos.
One night we spotted one of the babies several feet from the nest.  I was scared because he was perched on the very top of the old tree and I didn't want him to fall.  It wasn't long when I realized what he was doing.  He was leaving the nest.
I took this shot just as he flew from the perch and crashed just below on the ground.  Oh, my heart sank.  But Ollie was close by and talking to this little guy the entire time.  With a little guidance, nudging and love Ollie helped this babe find his tree.  
The babies leave the nest after a few months, find a tree close by and they stay there until they get the flying thing right.  Sometimes we'd catch this fellow flapping around from limb to limb then climbing back up with his talons.  Then we didn't see the babes anymore.  We occasionally hear Ollie and Hollie talking to each other but don't see them much.  I miss my little owl family.

So when I saw this beautiful necklace in our Art Spark Gallery, well it melted my heart.  I thought of my little owl family and the happiness they brought and it made me smile.  I just adore this necklace.

Needless to say Erika, supere67 your piece won me over.  Here's what she had to say about her Owl Family Necklace.

"I’ve always loved owls. My favorite is the snowy owl, followed by the Saw Whet Owl (the smallest owl in nature.) So it was only natural to incorporate that love into jewelry. I also love to use ceramic beads; since they come from the earth, they are inspired by nature themselves. The same goes for stone beads. Somehow, using something that came out of the ground makes me feel closer to the earth.
So I decided to use ceramic owl beads and pair them with stone and wood beads, for a very earthy feel. When I started looking for owl beads on etsy, I saw so many varied interpretations of the owl. Some were funky, some were whimsical, and some were just plain cute! It was a lot fun working with different artisans to collect all the owls for this necklace! My goal was to use a different artisan for each owl (although Branch Designs had three owls in her listing, and I used all three in the piece:))
The colors of the piece were also inspired by nature. All the tans and browns remind me of the forest trees where the owls make their homes. The blues of the sodalite, lapis and blue lace agate remind me of cornflowers in a meadow.
The necklace has owl beads from the following etsy artisans:


I also included a ceramic round from etsy's NKPBeads and a ceramic cube from etsy's Jubilee, blue lace agate, river stone, petrified wood chips, sodalite, lapis, jasper and wood."

You win lots of fun stuff.

Please contact Melissa at and let her know you won Art Spark so she can send you the lovely beads she donated.
And contact MaryAnn through her Etsy shop so she can send the wonderful beads she made for the challange.
Oh, you lucky thing, one more.  Contact Maire Dodd through her Etsy shop so she can send the book "Making Metal Beads".
Thank you so much for submitting your necklace and bringing back the memories of the little owl family.  And thanks to all you other creative souls who entered some amazing pieces in this challenge.  It has been so much fun to see how you are all inspired by nature.


SummersStudio said...

I love all of these owl pieces in here.

Alice said...

Izzy, thanks for sharing your story and photos of the sweet owls in your back yard!

And congratulations to the winner of the July challenge. What a gorgeous necklace! I jus love owls, and so does my oldesd daughter.

Kristi Bowman said...

What an amazing story and an amazing necklace to go with it. Congratulations!!

KayzKreationz said...

What a great story and pictures of your owls. And a wonderful Owl piece of jewelry. Congrats to the winner.

supere67 said...

I can't believe I won - especially with all those other beautiful pieces entered in the challenge!

Izzy, I just love your owl family experience and all the great pictures you were able to take. And I'm honored that my necklace reminds you of your little owl family.

Thanks so much!!

Sally Anderson said...

I love your owls and how close you could get to them. One question: Are the owls and the tree the same color or was that photoshopped? They are so perfectly camouflaged that it just amazed me. Thanks for sharing this!

Ms. Lahtidah said...

Those owls are SO beautiful! Lucky you, being able to share your spring with them. Thank you for sharing - I'm in awe.

Anonymous said...

Sally, the owls weren't photoshopped and they are perfectly camouflaged.

Patty said...

Erika, beautiful necklace! I love how you have included so many artists' work in your piece.

Izzy, how wonderful you were able to witness that! Isn't mother nature's camo the best?

D'Arsie Manzella said...

Congratulations! I love the colors and casual elegance of the necklace and enjoyed the pictures of the backyard owls too! Great post~

Regina said...

What a great story, your backyard is a special place. Love the necklace too, so unique.

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