Audubon's Kingfisher

Audubon's Kingfisher

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Good Earth Challenge - Reveal!

Hello and welcome to The Good Earth Challenge Reveal!

I was so excited when I received my beads I did not take a picture of the kit before spreading beads all over my desk.

Such is life...

Our Host is Andrew Thorton, here is his wonderful and inspiring blog:  The Writing and Art of Andrew Thorton

I have to say this was one of the most challenging things I have done in a LONG time. I love earth tones so I got the kit thinking this will be great, a nice easing back into comfy beading time. Nope. Got the beads, spread them out. Got instantly stuck. They sat on my desk for weeks. The deadline loomed. Nothing was speaking to me. The beads and my muse both turned their backs on me and walked away.

Then 2 things happened.

I met a lovely Red Tailed Hawk during a trip to the Zoo (according to my messy notes, his name is Gunner. I sure hope that is right! ) He was a wild hawk that was injured and is now visually impaired in one eye. He is a fantastic raptor ambassador and very beautiful.

He is the inspiration behind this bracelet:

The beads and brass feather are from the kit. I painted the feather to look like a Red Tailed Hawk tail feather and added chain to complete the bracelet.

Then my Boyfriend and I went hiking to Franklin Falls near Steven's Pass:

How amazing is the earth to have such beauty, texture, and color! I also saw my first Hermit Thrush (part of the same bird family as Robins) and was stuck on adding birds to my designs (I am an avid Birder so my brain pretty much as 2 channels, beads and birds)

The hike inspired these 3 necklaces and bracelet:

All beads in the bracelet were from the kit. I added the charms and chain. Colors were in the kit but remind me of the cliff walls and greenery around the falls and the brave swallows that live on the sides of the cliff.

I used the waxed linen cording to make a fun knotted necklace inspired by the mist rising off the waterfall. Carnelian, Rutilated Quartz, Apatite, Aquamarine, vintage Tibetan bead with turquoise inlay and Green Girl Studios pewter dragonfly link.
Tulip glass beads, the smaller green pearls, the amber glass beads in the back and the "Eggs" inside the nest were all from the kit. I could not get past the idea that the strand of cream and gold glass beads looked like eggs. I tucked in some moss gathered on the hike by my Boyfriend inside the wire wraps. Most of the birds here have nested and hatched the next generation, however, their nests can still be seen through the branches on the trail to the falls. 
I was obsessed with the idea of creating a dream catcher pendant with my kit (with many failed results littering my desk) I have been up most of the night getting this out of my head and made into beads. I have not seen an owl in the wild this year. Maybe this little guy will bring me some luck! All beads are from the kit except for the small glass links on the feather charms. Bronze Owl  Coin by Andrew Thorton.

And with time running out, I ended up having to choose between the focals. The little leaf pendant sits on my desk, waiting for some kind of strand to make a necklace out of it. No such luck (It is so pretty though!) I was shocked at first when I saw the amber rondelles, they looked so much like the Tibetan copal amber beads I always want but can't afford. I added white bronze spacers, Thai Hill Tribe silver leaf charms and spacers, wood rondelles, coral discs, and czech glass turquoise rondelles. It is super chunky and light weight, and way out of what I would consider my comfort zone as far as style. Please forgive my camera for making the amber spacers look like cheetos. They are MUCH lovelier in person.

Thank you for reading this far! I can't wait to visit everyone and see what they made. I am already eyeballing the teaser for the next kit coming out soon...

And a million Thank You's to Andrew, this was indeed a Challenge!

And here is everybody!

 - You are here - Christina Hickman 
Andrew Thornton, Alison Herrington, Laurel Ross, Kim Griggs, Deb Floros


  1. It's amazing how inspiration comes and goes, but it definitely stayed with you when it came! Your pieces are so varied but all so full of the Good Earth. What a great idea to paint the feather! And the nest, so sweet! I love all your necklaces, I could'nt choose a favorite, or maybe the dream catcher one, because of the ow:

  2. I absolutely love your inspiration photos and what you created from them. The way you made that feather look like it came from the hawk is wonderful! All of your designs speak of the Earth and all the beauty it bestows.

  3. When your muse showed up she came in force! I love your designs and the inspirations that helped you find your muse. Your post was delightful to read and your jewelry beautiful to see :)

  4. So happy you got your Muse back and she brought her sisters! Wow!! I love all your designs but I especially loved reading how you got your inspiration back. Painting the feather as a tribute to Gunner the Red-Tailed Hawk is truly wonderful!! You embraced the Good Earth challenge fully in your necklace and bracelet designs. I love the one with the faux Moroccan amber beads. The leaves interspaced with them look so beautiful!!!

  5. Oh my gosh, your muse sure kicked in! What a fantastic collection! I love the beads you used as little eggs. I hadn't look at them that way. Each piece is really lovely. I really love the first bracelet that kicked it all off. The painting on the feather is so beautiful.

  6. Wonderful collection! Greet use of the elements! Great job!

  7. When your Muse decides to kick in, she does so in a big way! What great designs. I do have to say that my favorite is the last bracelet. The white copper next to Andrew's amber is such a delicious contrast.

  8. Dream Catcher necklace!!! Awe-some! You rule!

  9. Sometimes taking time for yourself is the greatest of prompts. From being stuck to producing several awesome designs... it's super! I think you did a great job and you were able to capture the hawk perfectly in your bracelet and the energy of the waterfall and hike. You did such a nice job! Thanks so much for participating!

  10. Wonderful jewelry. I especially like the first bracelet.
    Really enjoy seeing your work and your posts.