bobcat walking across drive

Nature Inspires Arm Party

My studio window offers inspiration aplenty:

bobcat walking across drive

©2013, Mary Ellen Merrigan studio view in August

How can you not be inspired by this Mama cat who had three babies with her. …look closely, you can see the legs of one of them. I have a series of pictures tagged as “studio-view.” This is one from August 2013. I thumbed through my views as I sat down at the workbench.

A picture perfect day in which to play beads. My goal, to develop a flowing, perfect arm party, took off from one of those images – the scene to the right of my workbench.

A random assemblage of rounds, oblongs and rectangles in green and brown jasper painted my desert landscape perfectly. I was especially happy with the little pewter fish bead, even though it’s not a native animal in this part of the world. Six strands felt right on my arm. A pewter lobster clasp with adjustable chain completed the creation.

6-strand random combination of jasper bracelet

©2014, Mary Ellen Merrigan, Six-strand jasper arm party

A thought flashed: “I like this kind of arm party.”

Arm Party is a favored topic, one I’ve discussed in past posts. Originally the phrase referred to single strand bracelets, but that’s changed.

Of course, you can pile ‘em on…wear three to four, five, six or more bracelet strands at once. What if you could just incorporate several strands into one dynamite piece?

Aha! Back to the workbench! The dress up version of my arm party features gold colored, luminescent, freshwater pearls and size 11 seed beads. Four strands are accented with gold findings and a bling-y, oh-so-fun clasp.

4-strand pearl bracelet

©2014, Mary Ellen Merrigan, Four-strand pearl arm party

Although I liked my four-strand version, I wanted something bigger. In the back of my mind I remember a sign from the flea market:

If you can't see if from the side of the road...How would it look if I combined a strand of macramé with my other bracelet strands? I checked it out with arm party – trade bead style.

5-strand trade bead bracelet

©2014, Mary Ellen Merrigan, Five Strand trade bead arm party with macramé

While this combination might not work for everyone, it said “happy” to me. My middle strand includes a beautiful dark brown macramé cord. Because of the flexibility of the macramé, it molds perfectly to the arm, offering comfort as well as style. I’m wearing it as I write.

Color me laughing-out-loud delighted!

collage - arm party in the studio

©2014, Mary Ellen Merrigan, Arm Party collage

What will nature inspire for you during your studio afternoon?