Saturday, September 1, 2012

Challenge of Travel Blog Hop

Ahoi hoi beaders and jewerly enthusiasts,

Over the summer, I joined my first blog hop. I couldn't resist jumping in on it because of the topic: Travel. I love to travel and find most of my jewerly inspiration from the things I see on the road. The challenge, hosted by the lovely Erin of Tesori Trovati Jewelry, was to select a region of the planet that you don't live on (I chose to up the ante by chosing a region I had not traveled to) and choose an inspiration nation from within that region. There was also an option to have a nation chosen for you. I went for the latter, and was gifted with the beautiful nation of Lesotho.
(I apologize in advance for the photos of my jewelry pieces. It was late when I took them and the lighting was not good. I will repost better pics when I have some daylight to work with.)

Lesotho Flag

In my research, I found out that Lesotho is known for its beautiful landscape, but not really for its arts and crafts. The one item of note that did keep coming up, however, was the Lesotho cone hat.

A woman wearing a traditional hat waits to vote in Likalaneng, Lesotho, February 17, 2007. [© AP Images]
The Cone Hat
Since the cone hat was such an important image (It is on the flag!), I decided to try my hand at crayon batik incorporating the image. I used the fabric I made to create this cuff.

Cone hat!

While Lesotho is not known for its arts and crafts, it has its fair share of artisans. Commonly used materials for jewelry are wire, clay, and plastic beads. They also have a penchant for using bright colors.

Vibrant Colors

I love the brilliant colors in this photo, and chose to capture some of that vibrance through this wrapped wire and bead necklace.

And again here in these wrapped wire earrings.

And lastly, the Basotho blanket is another prominent image connected to the country of Lesotho. The blankets feature simple yet striking circular patterns.

Basotho Blankets
These beautiful swirly blankets served as inspiration for my last piece, a circular bead pendant.

Well, that's all she wrote for me. I greatly enjoyed my time with Lesotho. Most of the pieces pushed me in new directions with my jewelry, which always makes me happy. Here is a list of all of the other blog participants. Please check out their blogs!

Monique Urquhart  Burkina Faso

Niky Sayers   Egypt

Therese Frank  Kenya

Joan Williams     Mauritania

Sherri Stokey     Senegal

Regina Santerre    Seychelles

Raida Disbrow    Tanzania

Kristi Wodek    Zimbabwe

Sally Russick    Brazil

Melissa Trudinger     Mexico

Tracy Stillman    USA

Sandra Wolberg    India

Tanya Goodwin   Japan

Susan Kennedy    Japan

Beth Emery    Japan

Lisa Cone   Japan

Tanya Boden   Japan

Inge von Roos   Laos

Erin Prais-Hintz   Nepal

Dee Elgie   Phillipines

Carolyn Lawson   South Korea

Lisa Stukel   Sri Lanka

Elly Snare    Thailand

Shelley Graham Turner   Austria

Mallory Hoffman   Bosnia Herzegovina

Paige Maxim    France

Jenny Davies-Reazor   Germany

Sharyl McMillian-Nelson    Greece

Evelyn Shelby    Iceland

Holly Westfall    Ireland

Rebecca Siervaag   Ireland

Toltec Jewels     Ireland

Lee Koopman   Ireland

Laren Dee Barton     Italy

Cindy Wilson   Norway

Kathleen Lange Klik   Poland

Shaiha Williams    Portugal

Jennifer Justman    Romania

Elsie Deliz-Fonseca    Spain

Lola Surwillo    Sweden

Kim Hora     Switzerland

Leanne Loftus   The Netherlands

Patti Vanderbloemen   The Netherlands

Marcie Carroll    Turkey

Marlene Cupo  Federated States of Micronesia

Ine Vande Cappelle   Fiji

Tammie Everly   Guam

Alice Peterson   Kiribati

Elisabeth Auld   Nauru

Susan McClelland     New Zealand

D Lynne Bowland    New Zealand

Denielle Hagerman     New Zeland

Rebecca Anderson    Papua New Guinea

Mischelle Fanucchi   Samoa

Kari Asbury    Solomon Islands

Cece Cormier    Tonga

Emma Todd    Tuvalu

Debbie Price   Vanuatu

Happy Travels!


  1. Great job - I think you really captured the essence of Africa in your pieces!

  2. I really love what you've done - especially the batik!! Very cool.

  3. Your pieces are all so colorful and absolutely reflect the color and tone of this area but I love those wire wrapped earrings the best! Nice blog and great work.

  4. So cool! I had no idea that was a hat in the flag! I think that you interpreted the country so very well. I can feel the bright cheeriness of the Lesotho people in your pieces. I think that the way you constructed the earrings is so very clever. I am truly blown away by how you chose to approach this challenge and I am so happy that you joined me on this virtual world tour. Now I need to go and get a passport because I would so love to visit this land! Enjoy the day! Erin

  5. I like what you have done! The beaded necklace makes me want to wear it with jeans and a white tee! You have great pictures that show beauty in a country I for one wasnt very familiar with...

  6. Thank you so much for taking me a long on your trip to Lesotho. I had a wonderful time getting to know the people and the land. Your keepsake pieces of this wonderful country are very pretty I really like the batik cuff.

  7. You did a nice job of capturing the feeling of your host country in your pieces, keep up the good work :-)

  8. All of your pieces are beautiful. I love the color in the last pieces and your beadwork in the pendant is awesome. I am taken with your cuff. I hadn't heard of crayon batik, but I love the result. The cone in the bracelet is wonderful.

  9. I love how you were inspired from the bright colors the Lesotho use in their daily life. Your pieces are fabulous, and I just love the beaded focal!

  10. Very nice post about Lesotho! And your pieces are wonderfully representative!

  11. Interesting, I like the way you incorporate the unique cone hat and the vibrant colors into your jewelry. Love the designs on their blankets. Thanks for the tour.

  12. I enjoyed learning about Lesotho! I love the bright colors of your jewelry and the fabric cuff is so unique ;)

  13. I really like the colours and textures in your wire-wrapped and bead necklace. Can't wait to see more pictures.

  14. Beautiful job... I really love the earrings.

  15. Wow! I love your necklace!!! Great job!

  16. I just love how you picked out the colors from some gorgeous pics and the patterns in another. Great job!

    Also you will get more comments on your blog if you get rid of the CAPCHA

  17. How interesting that the hat is on their flag. Beautiful beadwork, love it!

  18. Oh so vibrant! You did a fantastic job on all your creations. The smaller countries we know so little of, can be so inspirational.

  19. Beautiful and bright, well thought.

  20. I think you did a wonderful job incorporating all those bright colors!! This was my first blog hop as well - great job!

  21. I think you did a great job with all your pieces but I really like the circular bead pendant. I love color and woven beads at that.

  22. This was my first blog hop as well and I can see that I need to push even further. I am so inspired by what I have seen so far, yours included. Very nice pieces. Loved how you shared your inspiration and then the piece that developed from the inspiration. Would like to learn more about your crayon batik. All of your pieces are successful and captured the feel of your country. Great job!

  23. I really like your pieces here. Not only do they represent your country well, they are the sort of thing that would be a joy to wear any day! Very nicely done!

  24. Pretty with or without the light.Lovely and inspired.
    Love and hugs Tanya

  25. You certainly did find plenty of natural flavour to inspire your work. That cuff is really quite a standout, and all the details in your other pieces are quite evocative of those rich colours. Great work!

  26. Raychelle, you have shown me so many things that are new in just one post! Starting with the Lesotho cone hat and the Basotho blankets, which are so unique to this nation. I don't think another country features a hat design on its flag, so this must be very special to the Lesotho people! Those blankets would have endless pattern inspiration, I'm sure.

    The technique you mentioned, crayon batik, is one I am unfamiliar with, as well, but it looks fun and adaptable!

    You created a wonderful variety of jewellery pieces that showcase your chosen nation... well done, Raychelle!