Superstition Blog Hop Reveal

Superstition badge framed 300 x 400Welcome to reveal day for the Superstition Blog Hop and jewelry design challenge. The participants, all jewelry designers, have created jewelry based on various superstitions of their choosing. Some of them are using Lucky Black Cat beads, made by yours truly, in their design.

This is my first time hostessing a jewelry design blog hop. I’ve participated in quite a few and felt it was my turn to come up with an inspiration/theme and invite some friends. You can read more about why I chose “superstition” as the theme in the post where I announced sign-ups for the hop.

What is superstition?

A superstition is essentially a belief in a supernatural cause and effect relationship. And what is a “supernatural” cause?  It’s anything beyond scientific understanding or the laws of nature.

For example, some believe wearing certain gemstones promotes healing, communication, etc. despite a lack of scientific evidence showing a link. That’s a superstition. But simply because a link has not been found, does not mean one isn’t there. Maybe we just don’t yet have the technology or the knowledge of the workings of the universe to see it.

I believe science has all the answers, but we don’t yet have all the science. Or, as they say, absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.  I also hope science never gives us all the answers. After all, what’s life without a little mystery?

Are black cats unlucky?

When I was hatching the idea for this hop, I knew I wanted to include something about black cats.  I even designed some polymer clay focals specially for this event.

13 Lucky Black Cat Beads

This was the first batch of Lucky Black Cat beads. I made a second batch, and purely by coincidence, ended up having exactly as many beads as there were people who signed up. Not everyone chose to use one of these limited-edition beads for their design. If you’d like one for your very own, the small number of unclaimed beads are available in my Etsy shop.

Why black cats?  In some countries (including here in the U.S.), they have been recipients of cruel treatment thanks to superstitious beliefs that link them to evil and the devil (a supernatural being, btw). During the Black Death pandemic in the Middle Ages, black cats were systematically exterminated.  Because the illness and death was believed caused by “evil” forces, and black cats were known agents of said evil.  So, it certainly is true that being black is unlucky …for the cat.

Meanwhile, in the UK, Australia, and Japan, black cats are considered good luck. The ancient Egyptians revered cats in general, and didn’t exclude those with black fur from being idolized. I wanted to design something that’s consistent with these more civilized, enlightened beliefs, which is why I chose to make Lucky Black Cat beads.

Black cat sitting by window

Tonks is one very lucky black cat. She was rescued from an over-crowded shelter and adopted by my friend who adores and pampers her. (I have two very spoiled rescue-cats of my own; but Ms. Tonks is the official mascot for this hop.)

In feng shui, black is the color of wealth, strength and unpredictability. In those cultures where black cats are considered lucky, black is not the color of evil. It is the color of protection and wards against negative forces. Having a figurine of a black cat facing north is believed to ward off evil. Or, you could simply adopt a black cat and put a soft cushion in a north-facing window.

Black cat necklace

I kept to a monochromatic color theme for this necklace. I used one of my Lucky Black Cat beads as a pendant by wire wrapping it to a black metal bead frame and adding a beaded dangle. The neckline is beaded chain with polymer clay beads I made from the same metallic black and gray background as the focal beads. Some are marbled and some are striped. They’re wire-wrapped using black coated wire.

Superstitions don’t spring up out of nothing. They are usually linked to something people observed but could not explain without resorting to a supernatural belief. Cats can do some pretty amazing, and bizarre, things. Ethology can explain the reasons for most of them. But back in the day before there were scientists making a living spying on the secret lives of cats, people used superstitions to explain what they saw.

Lucky Black Cat pendant necklace

This is a long necklace that would look great over almost any color sweater or knit top.  The faceted gray beads accenting some of the polymer clay beaded links have an AB finish. For some reason, that makes them look less sparkly in the photo than they actually are. They add subtle flashes of light to this neutral monochromatic design.

For example, when people saw black cats hanging out while people were getting sick and dying from the Black Death, they blamed the “evil” cats. We now know that rodents are carriers of the bubonic plague. So, in hindsight, it makes sense there were cats about: cats hunt rats. Surely there were cats of other colors out and about hunting rats at the same time. But since people already believed black cats were agents of evil, why not blame them?

Are green eyes evil?

There is a superstition that the eyes are windows into a person’s soul, meaning you can see a person’s true nature by looking into their eyes. The superstitious part of that is the belief in a soul. The soul is not something science has been able to measure or detect. That doesn’t mean there isn’t some unquantifiable essence in each of us.

Whether you believe in the soul, or what you think one is, there’s no question you can tell a lot about a person from their eyes. The expression lines around them, and whether they meet yours when speaking, for example, are ways the eyes can reveal a person’s character.

Green Evil Eye necklace

This necklace features a green polymer clay eye focal by Staci Louise Smith. It’s paired with copper wire-wrapped jasper and some Czech glass accents in the neckline. The focal has a dangle that includes a hollow copper bead with a spiral design and a Czech glass flower

The color of our eyes is also a source of superstitions. In some cultures, people with blue or green eyes are believed capable of matiasma, or the evil eye. This superstition may have arisen because of the rarity of these eye colors in some countries. After all, what’s different must be evil, right?

Green Evil eye necklace shown hanging

I love the primitive design of the focal and the “ancient artifact” effect of the crackle and distressing. I kept the design monochromatic, and warmed it up a bit with copper accents.

The superstitious belief that green-eyed people, especially women, were witches may have arisen because of observations of how rare that color is in humans while being very common in cats. These green-eyed humans were obviously shape-shifters who turned into cats, yet were somehow unable to disguise their feline-colored eyes. Yep. A 100+ pound woman with red hair and freckles could turn into a 10-lb cat with solid black fur, but when she turned back, she couldn’t disguise her green eyes. Makes perfect sense.

Can jewelry protect you?

So, how was a brown-eyed person to protect themselves from these evil green-eyed demons who could curse them just by glancing their way?  Why, with jewelry, of course. The wearing of jewelry has some origins in superstition.

Orange Evil Eye necklace shown hanging

The focal on this necklace is another polymer clay eye-shaped focal by Staci Louise Smith. This orange eye is paired with copper wire-wrapped citrine tumbled nuggets and orange Czech glass on copper rolo chain. The awesome orange lampwork bead with embossed spiral design dangling from the eye is by Genea Crivello. There are also three hollow copper triangle-shaped beads with spiral patterns.

People began wearing silver earrings in the belief they prevented evil spirits from entering the body. To deflect the evil-eye, you could wear an eye-shaped amulet. Or you could wear turquoise jewelry to protect you from evil. Planning to spend a bit of time at sea? You might want to find some aquamarine jewelry to keep you safe.

Orange Evil Eye necklace laying flat

As with the green focal, I went monochromatic for this necklace using this orange eye. However, the lampwork bead that dangles from the eye has swirls of many colors. Some people believe citrine can transmute negative energy to positive. It is used in spells, healing, and meditation for that reason.

If you search for the meanings of gemstones, both precious and semi-precious, you will find that many of them are associated with one or more supernatural powers. Whether you choose your jewelry for what it can do for you metaphysically speaking, or just because you like the way it sparkles, I’m sure you’ll find lots to love in the designs of the hop participants.  You can also view their work on this Pinterest board. I’ll be adding photos to it as I visit each of the bloggers listed here.

The Hop Participants

Tammy Adams (Hostess) http://www.paisleylizard.com/blog/
Renee Hong  http://www.fineanddandyjewelry.blogspot.com
Betony Maiden  http://beadwenches.blogspot.com/
Coral Law  http://abcoraldesign.blogspot.com/
Lee Koopman  http://stregajewellry.wordpress.com
Jeanette Belmont  http://www.onecanvasatatime.com
Shai Williams  http://www.ShaihasRamblings.com
Beth McCord  http://ebbeadandmetalworks.blogspot.com/
Robin Lynne Showstack  http://heartsdesiresjewelryforyou.blogspot.com/
Lori Blanchard  https://alainnjewelry.wordpress.com/
Deb Fortin  http://www.mhotistudio.blogspot.ca
Michelle McCarthy  http://www.fireflydesignstudio.blogspot.com
Maria Rosa Sharrow  http://willowstreetshops.blogspot.com
Kim Dworak  http://cianciblue.blogspot.com/
Divya N  http://www.jewelsofsayuri.com
Karin Grosset Grange  http://ginkgoetcoquelicot.blogspot.fr
Rebecca White  http://morganafeycreations.121hub.com/#sec-blog
Catherine King  http://Catherines-musings.blogspot.com
Brook Bock  http://artisticendeavor101.blogspot.com/
Kari Asbury  http://hippiechickjewelrydesign.com/blog
Carolyn Lawson  http://carolynscreationswa.blogspot.com
Linda Anderson  http://fromTheBeadBoard.blogspot.com
Ann Schroeder  http://www.beadlove.wordpress.com
Melissa Trudinger  https://beadrecipes.wordpress.com/
Kathy Lindemer http://bay-moon-design.blogspot.com/

32 thoughts on “Superstition Blog Hop Reveal

  1. Divya

    It was interesting to read about the many beliefs that you covered in the post and how they are pretty universal. I too believe in the “evil eye”. Thank you Tammy for hosting this hop 🙂 my post is now up on my blog

    1. Tammy Adams Post author

      It is interesting how many superstitions seem to cross cultures and continents. And even more interesting how what’s lucky to some is unlucky to others.

  2. Karin

    What a fabulous and interesting post. And your jewelry is amazing, I love how you chose to go monochromatic!
    Thank you for this great challenge.

    1. Tammy Adams Post author

      Thanks so much, Karin. I don’t know why I tend to go monochromatic when I work with art beads. It’s as if I’m afraid I’ll over power them if I mix up the colors.

  3. Debbie

    Oh such wonderful works of art, and lots of great fun facts. I love my Casper the friendly cat. He’s mostly black and has gold eyes. Thanks to all who joined in the merry making 🙂

    1. Tammy Adams Post author

      Thank you, Debbie, for stopping by and for the lovely comment. Casper is a great name for a black cat.

  4. Kathy Lindemer

    Thanks for hosting this blog hop and sharing your amazing black cats. All of your pieces are wonderful. i especially like your black cat necklace. I love your selection of black and gray beads with the black chain.

  5. Deb Fortin

    what a wealth of superstitious information you shared here. A lot of it I didn’t realise was the basis for our fears and beliefs. I’m so glad you provided some background info as I didn’t think to do so on my blog. But like you I stayed in a monochromatic colour scheme.
    Great jewellery you made. I too had issues with my AB crystals not showing their sparkle on camera.
    Thanks for setting up this hop and for providing us with those cool black cat pendants. just like real cats they are similar but different. The background in mine has tiny “eyes” peeking out around the cat. Im off to see what the rest of the team made.

    1. Tammy Adams Post author

      Thank you, Deb. I’m glad you you enjoyed the little bits of superstition trivia in my post.

  6. Kim

    I love love love all of your pieces, they are beautiful. Your post was very interesting, I never knew that about blue or green eyes. Thank you so much for hosting this fun hop!

    1. Tammy Adams Post author

      Thanks so much, Kim. I’m glad I decided to take the plunge and host this hop. It’s been fun.

  7. Renee Hong

    Your necklace turned out simply beautiful, Tammy! I also love the eye jewelry. Great info on the superstitions. This was fun, and I look forward to seeing all the rest of the designs over the weekend. Thank you again for the lucky cat and for the blog hop! Count me in next time!

    1. Tammy Adams Post author

      Thank you, Renee. I’m already pondering possible themes for another hop. I’ll keep you posted.

  8. Shaiha Williams

    I loved your write up on superstitions! My husband has green eyes but I am the one that is more apt to turn into a cat since my Goddess is Bast.

    All of the necklaces are incredible. I have some of Stacy’s focals that I need to dig out and use. Thanks for the push.

    Also what an awesome job on this blog hop!

    1. Tammy Adams Post author

      Thanks so much, Shaiha. My eyes are blue, and I haven’t managed to transform into a cat no matter how often I’ve wished it. 😉

    1. Tammy Adams Post author

      Thanks, Michelle. I’m glad you enjoyed the trivia. It was difficult to choose just a few. I let the jewelry dictate which ones I covered.

  9. Lee Koopman

    I’m a great collector of jewelry and gemstone lore. Just so you know, I did find one article a long time ago that researched the evidence that copper ions are absorbed by the bodies and people who have lower levels of copper which can add to arthritic pain, do absorb some of the copper ions so indeed there is evidence that copper bracelets are good for arthritis (an old wives tale). This gives me hope that the ancients actually DID know things we haven’t discovered as yet and that other stone lore may be as true. Gemstones were actually even mentioned in the Bible and worn by priests of old as protection and as helpers in achieving visions. As you say, what is life without the mysteries? Great post Tammy. Love the look of your necklace.

    1. Tammy Adams Post author

      Thank you, Lee. I have heard that about copper. I suspect (in my conspiracy theorist moments) the reason there isn’t “hard evidence” about the powers of gemstones (and herbs, for that matter) is that the corporate pharmaceutical industry doesn’t want funds going toward that kind of research. No matter …some things work whether they believe it or not. And some things work *because* we believe they do. 😉

  10. Ann Schroeder

    Thank you, Tammy, for hosting this hop! It is so fun. I loved making my piece, and I am enjoying visiting the other blogs. your necklaces are beautiful!! I really love them all. The information behind superstitions is interesting, especially cultures where black cats are considered good luck, along with the color black!

    1. Tammy Adams Post author

      Thank you, Ann. I’m glad you could join and are having fun. As far as I’m concerned, cats of any color are good luck and worth having around. 😉

    1. Tammy Adams Post author

      Thanks so much, Lori. I compulsively have to use every bit scrap clay when I make a special cane or color-blend. So I often end up with “accent” beads.

  11. Cynthia

    What a fun hop Tammy! I don’t believe in superstition, and yes I have green eyes! I don’t recall ever shifting into a car form? ha! lovely designs and the beads / focals are awesome

    1. Tammy Adams Post author

      Thanks so much, Cynthia. When it comes to supernatural causes and creatures, I’m in the “I want to believe” camp. 🙂

  12. Robin Lynne Showstack

    I love all of your pieces. I do use a lot of the evil eyes in my jewelry as well. Your beads and necklaces are simply elegant in design and are all statement pieces. I had so much fun with this challenge. I love my black cat bead-and am still debating on keeping my piece or listing it. Thank you so much for choosing me as one of the lucky 13!

    1. Tammy Adams Post author

      Thank you, Robin. The evil eye is a great jewelry design element. I’m glad you enjoyed the hop and like your black cat bead. I do still have a few for sale in my Etsy shop if you need a spare. 😉

  13. Beth

    Wow – I love, love, love each of your pieces you created! I also loved each of the explanations you gave for the various superstitions – very interesting.
    Thank you again for hosting this wonderful blog hop. Mom and I had a lot of fun!

    1. Tammy Adams Post author

      Thanks so much, Beth. I’m so glad you and your mom enjoyed the theme. I’m planning something similar for next year. Maybe I’ll see you both there.

  14. Coral

    I read this post before and after I finish my design. I think this topic can be so wide and many jewelry can be made. The eye one could be sold at history museum, natural museum and even superstitious museum if there is. Tammy you are so creative.

    1. Tammy Adams Post author

      Thank you, Coral. It is indeed a very rich topic for jewelry inspiration. I’d love to do more research on the uses of jewelry as protection.

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