Holiday Bling Blog Hop, Part Deux!

Holiday Bling Blog Hop, Part Deux!

That’s right, I joined another blog hop. I know, I know… I have joined a support group, and the interventions have been delivered by friends and family. This is my last one for a little while, I swear! 😉
I had such a good time with the last couple of hops that when I saw a post for the Holiday Bling Blog Hop 2, I decided to go ahead and sign up!

I really have to give Shelley, of Tori Sophia and Fabric of My Life for having a GREAT intuition on who is paired up as swap partners. This time around, I was partnered with Elaine Ray, an incredible ceramic/clay artist who expresses and celebrates her love of the earth by recreating “tiny bits of the land we all walk and live on” in the form of beautiful hand formed pendants and beads. Elaine carries her wares on and has some really sweet seasonal pieces as well as great year round designs.

I must admit that I entered semi-stalker mode when “researching” Elaine. Allow me to explain a little-I love creating personalized items for people. I love reading their blogs-the words they write, the words they don’t write, the pictures they post, and the emotions they share. I love to get a feel for a person, to reach out to them with heart and soul, and find in them something that matches in me, that I can then transform into something special just for them. Elaine doesn’t have much posted in the way that some do, with personal recounts of family history, photos of family, friends and home, but what I did find made my heart sing. Her love for the earth compliments perfectly my love for green growing things which depend on the good earth for strong roots, tall limbs, and beautiful fruit. Earth, without which roots cannot take hold, trees cannot reach their branches high and wide. So with all that in mind and heart, I sat down and knew I needed to make Elaine a tree.


Agate slab dyed blue goes so perfectly with the bare copper wire and “chimes” made of repurposed copper tubing! Little bicone crystals sparkle when they catch the light, and the chimes give such a soft tinkling when the wind blows. The roots of this tree are wrapped firmly to the frame after a heat treatment to give them and the trunk a little color. After the tubing was cut, sanded, drilled and sanded some more, I also drew a flame over each one several times to create the colors you see.

I couldn’t leave the opposite side plain! I swirled and twirled heavy gauge copper, climbing the agate’s frame like the tendrils of a wild vine, which also left the center of the agate visible here, to highlight how pretty the variations of color are throughout the agate. I finished the wind chime/sun catcher with a handmade hook attached securely with both a copper clad steel chain and 25 pound pull Beadalon wire, just in case Elaine gets the occasional crazy winds we get down here in the country. I hope I have created for Elaine something that will put a smile on her face and light in her step every day for years to come. <3

I have truly enjoyed participating in this Blog Hop. I received the most incredible vessel, handcrafted by Elaine, and absolutely love it. Such a perfect sentiment inscribed around the rim, such perfect colors!! I had goosebumps and tears in my eyes as I read it, and I wondered how Elaine knew just what to say. I will cherish it always! Please check out her blog, to see what she posted about the vessel she sent me! When you’re done there, please visit the blogs of all my fellow participants!

Thank you, thank you, Marlene and Shelley, for having me be a part of your hop!

Shirley Moore
Lori Bowring Michaud
Catherine King
Dyanne Cantrell
Sonya Stille
Elaine Ray
Gina Hockett
Jo-Ann Woolverton
Debbie Rasmussen
Renetha Stanziano
Ginger Bishop
Miranda Ackerley
Sandra McGriff
Tammie Everly
Alicia Marinache
Melinda Abrahamson
Rita/ Toltec Jewels
Chandra Merod
Mary Govaars
Kelley Fogel
Tiffany Goff Smith
Heather “Rats” Otto <——YOU ARE HERE!!
Anitra Gordy Boyers 
Marlene Cupo
Shelley Graham Turner


11 Responses

  1. Wow Heather! Once again you have created something that is truly outstanding. You put so much thought into your creations and I love that. The blue agate really pops against the copper and I love the effect that tge flame created on the tubes.

    I can’t take credit for giving you the perfect partner. Truth is I sat at a table at Denny’s, wrote all the names on slips of paper and then just pull two names. LOL.

    The ceramic tray Elaine made you is something you can use over and over again!

    Thanks for participating AGAIN! – HAPPY HOLIDAYS, ~ Shelley

  2. I adore this wind chime, and reading about your process. Off to read about your vessel. Happy Holidays, and here’s wishing you a very creative 2013.

  3. Stunning!! Everything about it is completely beautiful!! The copper, the flame colors, the agate slab, the crystals. LOVE your tree of life wind chimes:) Thank you for sharing your inspiration and process of creating too.

    Feliz Navidad Heather!


  4. What an incredible creation to grace our hop. Am sure Elaine with treasure it always. So glad you joined, in spite of the intervention. Happy Holidays!

  5. What a beautiful post. I love reading about how much care you take in designing the piece for Elaine. I agree, her work is stunning. I am thrilled with the uniqueness of this wind chime. The design and colors are breath taking. What a wonderful gift!

  6. Oh, my, goodness Heather! That is an amazingly beautiful sculpture! What a gift to Elaine, I’m sure she loves it. I know I love my ornament (which I brought home from work to grace my tree)! You are an incredible artisan!