Anchors Aweigh Design Challenge and Blog Hop

Anchors Aweigh Design Challenge and Blog Hop badge
Ahoy mateys, mermaids, selkies, water sprites, and finfolk, and welcome to reveal day for the Anchor’s Aweigh Design Challenge and Blog Hop.  Our hostess on this creative voyage is Toltec Jewels, who challenged us to design with our choice of sapphire blue or stormy seas green anchor charms hand made by our featured artist, Diana Ptaszynski of Subarban Girl Studio.

I couldn’t decide which color anchor charms I liked better, so I bought a set of each. And while I was in Diana’s Etsy shop, I picked up a strand of stoneware beads with a sailing motif.  There was plenty more in her shop by which to be tempted, but I somehow managed to limit my first purchase to this theme.

Here’s a screen shot of some of the lovely and oh-so-tempting items in Diana’s shop.

Suburban Girl Studio's Etsy shop

The anchors are sold by the pair.  If you know me, or you follow my blog, you know I have a thing for earrings. I wear them everyday, no matter what I’m doing or whether I even leave the house. They are also my go-to for jewelry making. I’ve probably made four times as many pairs of earrings as all my necklaces and bracelets combined.

I try to resist the urge to make earrings for design challenges, because I want to use the challenges as a way to stretch my creative limits.  I don’t always succeed in resisting the earrings.  Spoiler alert:  I made earrings with my anchor charms.

Anchors Aweigh Design Challenge and Blog Hop Stormy Seas Earrings

“Tempest at Sea” earrings made with the “stormy seas” anchor charms.

The first pair of earrings, made with the lovely green “stormy seas” anchor charms, have green marble puff ovals and blue aventurine rondelles wrapped in silver wire. The green marble is a nearly perfect match to the glaze on the charms, and a fair representation of the color the sky can turn during a violent storm at sea.

I probably should have put a dark patina on the silver wire, to better match the little loops on the charms. But, I didn’t. So, there. The lighter and darker flecks in the blue aventurine beads remind me of wind-churned waters at sea.

Anchors Aweigh Design Challenge and Blog Hop Sapphire Blue earrings

“Safe Harbor” earrings made with the sapphire blue anchor charms

The second pair of earrings, featuring the dazzling sapphire blue anchor charms, incorporates a few other nautical symbols. These earrings have Tierra Cast pewter sparrow charms and blue goldstone stars on rope-edge silver chain. Anchors, sparrows, stars, and ropes are common in sailor tattoos.  I am a fan of tattoos, and the “traditional” kind have many ties to sailing and sailors. Even modern sailor tattoos incorporate these traditional themes.

In the Navy, anchors are symbols for a sailor who crossed (and returned from) the Atlantic.  Anchors are also a symbol for a Merchant Marine. As the object that keeps a ship in place, anchors are also symbols of unfaltering faith and reason for staying grounded.  Swallows were initially to represent first setting to sea. Now, they are common symbols for each 5,000 nautical miles sailed. Sparrows can also symbolize finding land or your way home, due to their migration patterns.

The North Star, which is often represented as a compass rose in tattoos, is believed to help sailors find their way home.  A small blue star on the ear could represent having made it around Cape Horn. Survive that dangerous passage twice, and get one for the other ear.  A rope knot means the sailor has crossed the Equator, International Date Line, Arctic and Antarctic circles. A rope around the wrist is the mark of having been a deckhand.

That’s it for my anchor charm designs. But wait, there’s a bonus to this reveal. Remember I said I also bought a strand of beads from Diana’s shop?

Anchors Aweigh Design Challenge and Blog Hop Sailing Charm Bracelet

“Tropical Sailing” charm bracelet featuring sailboat stoneware bead.

This “Tropical Sailing” charm bracelet features the sailboat bead from that set. It’s combined with reconstituted stone turtle beads dyed a similar shade of turquoise, and some copper Hill Tribes sea shell beads. The copper bracelet mixes plain and rope edge links and closes with a toggle clasp. In sailor tattoo symbolism, sea turtles represent crossing the equator. I imagine the tropical waters there are about the same color of turquoise blue as the glaze on the bead.

Thanks for stopping by and reading about my nautical jewelry designs. A big thank-you to our hostess, Toltec Jewels, for the inspiring theme. And to our featured artist, Diana Ptaszynski, for the gorgeous beads and charms.

Please visit the other participants’ blogs to be treated to the wonderful variety of nautical jewelry designs using these amazing anchor components.

Hostess: TJ                               Jewel School Friends
Featured & Honored Artist:        Diana Ptaszynski
Diana’s Blogs:                          Suburban Girl Studio and Art Jewelry Elements

Bobbie Rafferty                         Beadsong Jewelry
Chris Eisenberg                         Wanderware
Heather Richter                         Desert Jewelry Designs
Michelle McCarthy                    Firefly Design Studio
Kathy Lindemer                         Bay Moon Design
Dini Bruinsma                            Angaza by Changes
Cynthia Machata                       Antiquity Travelers
Kathleen Breeding                     99 Bottles of Beads on the Wall
Linda Younkman                       Lindy’s Designs
Robin Reed                                  Artistry HCBD
Marla Gibson                              Spice Box Designs
Gina Hockett                               Freestyle Elements
Renetha Stanziano                      Lamplight Crafts
Marianne Baxter                          Simply Seablime Jewelry
Christina Miles                             Wings N Scales
Marybeth Rich                            A Few Words from Within the Pines
Shai Williams                              Shaiha’s Ramblings
Cheri Reed                                  Creative Designs by Cheri
Monique Urquhart                      A Half-Baked Notion
Jennifer Reno                             Musings of a Crafty Jenny
Shirley Moore                             Beads and Bread
Tammy Adams                           Paisley Lizard  (**You are here!**)
Melissa Trudinger                       Bead Recipes
Jill Bradley                                     JillyBeads

14 thoughts on “Anchors Aweigh Design Challenge and Blog Hop

  1. Cynthia

    oh my so much great history here! LOVE that … and the designs! You really went to town with Diana’s beads to make a collection of fun nautically inspired jewelry. Really loving the turtles with the sailboat – they pair beautifully together!

  2. Beth Petricoin

    Wonderful pieces! I am really in love with the bracelet, those turtle beads really get me, and you’ve paired them so well with everything else in that piece.. just lovely! Oh, and as always, loved reading the story behind the creations, I often learn something new… never knew that about the tattoo symbolism before!

  3. Gina Hockett

    I am totally enamored of the tattoo and sailor symbolism revealed in ropes, sea symbols, and the Navy. Love all pieces, but my favorite is the bracelet. Oh, okay and the green earrings. Well, alright then, and the blue earrings. Fabulous!

  4. Marianne Baxter

    Wow I love what you made with the anchors. The first pair looks fabulous with those stones and the second pair along with the story is beautiful in a totally different way. Don’t you just love when you are in challenges that “challenge” your pocketbook also! haha

  5. Jill Bradley

    Your stormy vs serene pair of earring designs did indeed illicit those different moods. I know I’d go with it and when I’m in a fine mood I’d be wearing the pair with the soaring birds, in a grumpy got to go to work mood…bring out stormy! That way I’d be wearing my private little mood detector. As I scrolled down to see your copper bracelet it was like finding a treasure in the sand! Beautiful addition!

  6. Kathy Lindemer

    Tammy-My favorite pair of earrings is your first pair. The colors are wonderful together and the design is great. The bracelet is terrific. I love Diana’s beads. I keep going back to her sight on a regular basis!

  7. Shirley

    So funny what our ‘go to’ is in beading. I struggle to create earrings, and it’s so easy for you. Both beautiful designs, as well as the bracelet. I love all the sea lore, thanks for sharing!

  8. Dini

    I love what your ‘go to’ is, it has another great result! Beautiful colour combinations, for me especially the first one… the teals in it match perfectly! And thanx for the story about the turtles in the bracelet, I did not know that. ☼ Beautiful ☼jewellery!

  9. Marybeth

    I love the bead choice in the first pair of earrings and the copper of the bracelet works really well with the beads. Very nice work!

  10. Robin Kae Reed

    Adore the first pair of earrings and love the other 2 designs as well! Great Job!!! Have a Blessed Day!!!

  11. Jen Ren

    Really nice pieces! The first pair of earrings are my favorite. I love the blue and green combo with the wire wrapping.

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