This blog is meant to be a record of my adventures as a new home-based business owner. Starting my jewellery business was one of the most daunting things I've ever done, next to giving birth. Especially since I was (am?) pretty technically stunted. In this blog I will describe the trials, tribulations and, hopefully, eventual successes I experience while navigating the world of (really, really, really small) business. I also plan to use this blog to talk about all the aspects of jewellery design that fascinate me, keep me addicted, and cause me to spend thousands of dollars (What, honey? No, I didn't say thousands...) on gemstones, beads, findings, etc. I welcome your input, ideas, and stories of similar experiences in beading, jewellery design, or running a handcrafts business.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Inspiration from Henry

Sometimes I find myself at a loss when sitting in my studio (kitchen table) for inspiration--what should I make today?  Earrings, necklace, bracelet?  Dangly earrings, long necklace, choker, pendant, no pendant?  Copper, silver, get the idea.  This week, I got some inspiration from an unexpected source--the TV.  This week, I watched an episode of CBC's "The Tudors" for the first time.  I knew a bit about Henry VIII from reading a couple of Phillipa Gregory novels, but I'd never been interested in watching the Emmy-winning series, which is in its final season on CBC.  I tuned in, to be honest, because I couldn't find the remote, and was too lazy to get up and change the channel (heaven forbid!)

I became an instant convert.  It's captivating, and, more to the point, it's a feast for the eyes of Henry VIII proportions.  The luxurious sets, gorgeous furniture, sumptuous table spreads, and beautiful costumes make your head spin.  As far as I know, the show is supposed to be pretty historically accurate, but Jonathan Rhys Meyers doesn't look much like the bloated, wobbly-faced Henry VIII that I've seen in the history books.   The queen in the episode that I saw was Catherine Howard, played by Tamzin Merchant.  Those silk and satin gowns and intricate headpieces trimmed with brocade and dripping with jewels!  Yum!   If it weren't for the ancient torture devices women wore under those gowns, (not to mention the social constraints women lived under and the lack of decent facilities for taking care of bodily functions,) I would love to have lived in the right age and economic class to wear those clothes.

Any road, the costumes inspired me to create a line of earrings that I think Henry VIII would have given to his queens, one by one.  Of course, Henry's gifts would have been made with precious gemstones, not glass beads and Chinese crystals, but still.  I've named these earrings after Henry's unfortunate queen consorts, Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, Anne of Cleves, Catherine Howard, and Catherine Parr.  Three Catherines!  Catherine must have been the most popular baby name of that century, like the Joshua, Madison or Dylan of this generation.  Check them out!

Catherine of Aragon Earrings
Catherine Howard Earrings

Katherine Parr Earrings

Anne of Cleves Earrings

Jane Seymour Earrings
Anne Boleyn Earrings

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