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View of Swiss Alps from top of Mount Pilates

I’ve just started my first trip to Europe and I’ve already seen and experienced many new and exciting things.  We spent a day in Lucerne, Switzerland where we saw breath-taking views of the Alps from the top of Mt. Pilates.  We ascended the mountain on a cog railroad,  walked around the top of the mountain and then descended in a gondola.

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Riding up Mount Pilates on Cog Railroad

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Descending down Mount Pilates in a gondola

While many of these sights were astoundingly beautiful, there was one I will always remember…..the Lion of Lucerne.  The Lion Monument is a giant dying lion carved out of a wall of sandstone rock above a pond at the east end of the medieval town. It was designed as a memorial for the mercenary soldiers from Switzerland who lost their lives while serving the French king Louis XVI during the French Revolution.

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The Lion of Lucerne

While I did find the history of the statue interesting, I had no idea that a piece of stone could evoke such strong emotion.  As I walked up to the lion I was immediately drawn to the details which the artist had been able to render in stone, but when I looked at the lion’s face my heart broke.  The look of pain and agony was so real that tears began to flow out of my eyes.  I found myself wanting to wade through the pond and wrap my arms around the lion.  I know, a bit crazy considering it’s a piece of stone, but the power of the lion’s expression is unbelievable.

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The face of pain

Mark Twain described the Lion of Lucerne with these words:   “the saddest and most moving piece of rock in the world” and  I have to agree with him.  As I stood among a crowd of strangers staring at the lion, I finally had to look away….It just hurt too much to keep staring at that look of pain.

***If you want to know more about the history of the monument, click on this link: Lion of Lucerne

 

 

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***(click on links below to go to jewelry and listen to songs)***

“Eclectic” is a word that has been used to describe me and I have to admit that it’s very fitting.  My tastes and styles vary greatly in just about every way possible and the music I choose to listen to is one of those areas.  I enjoy almost every genre from classical to head-banging rock and roll.  The different styles in my jewelry designs are also what could be called ‘eclectic’.  As I look at  the pieces in my collection I can almost ‘hear’ the music that might have been playing as I designed them.

One type of music I enjoy is the soft, ballad sounds of artists like Nora Jones, Natalie Merchant or Sarah McLachlan.  Many of their songs are about love, and the feelings those songs evoke  may lead me to create more ‘romantic’  pieces of jewelry, or at least ones that feel that way to me.  I find that these designs often have pearls in them and use warm-toned vintage metals.

Romantic Pearl Necklace  (click for more info)

“Come Away With Me” by Norah Jones (click to listen to song)

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Country music can inspire more rustic designs possibly with antique copper or ones that use components with a bit of a Southwest flair.  I have certain gems that just ‘feel’ country to me…Autumn Jasper or Blue Sky Jasper.  I often find myself singing along with the more familiar country songs.  (Being able to do that is one advantage to working at home.)

Rustic Blue Sky Jasper Necklace-Jason Aldean's "She's Country"

Rustic Blue Sky Jasper Necklace (click for more info)

“She’s Country” by Jason Aldean (click to listen to song)

As I’ve designed more Celtic pieces, I’ve also developed an appreciation for Celtic music.  There are many types of Celtic music from very traditional style which is very melodious and serene to a very edgy style that is predominantly drums—like the group Albannach.

Traditional Celtic Knot Necklace

Traditional Celtic Knot Necklace (click for more info)

Traditional Celtic Music (click to listen to song)

Sexy Summer Anklet--Celtic Byzantine--Albanach

Sexy Celtic Byzantine Anklet (click for more info)

“Alexander’s Welcome” by Albannach (click to listen to song)

(you MUST listen to the entire song to get the full Albannach experience.)

( I first heard this group at the Celtic Fling and I LOVE THEM!!!)

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I also have a deep love and appreciation for piano music–Michele McLaughlin, David Lanz, Joe Bongiorno and others.  This music can stir up strong emotions which then flow into whatever I am designing.  This type of music can sometimes make me more aware of the feel of the stones I’m working with or  make the colors seem more vibrant to me.  The jewelry designs created while listening to this type of music definitely have bits of my ‘heart’ worked in to them. (Even a few tears at times)

Cluster of Treasures-Christofori's Dream

Cluster of Treasures Necklace  (click for more info)

“Christofori’s Dream” by David Lanz (click to listen to song)

(see comment below You Tube video to see how I feel about this song.  It is truly an amazingly emotional arrangement.)

There are other days when I’m more in the mood for some serious Rock & Roll music—Aerosmith, Led Zeplin, Def Leppard……  That’s probably when my more edgy pieces are created—ones with lots of metal worked in to them..  I have to admit that when some of these songs start to play I can’t help but get a smile on my face and begin to ‘dance’ a bit in my chair.  There have even been times when a certain song comes on and I have to put my pliers down and simply get up and dance to the music. (Another advantage of working at home…..it’s usually not acceptable to get up and dance around in a cubicle.)

Sexy Summer Anklet---Walk This way

Sexy Summer Anklet (click for more info)

“Walk This Way” by Aerosmith (click to listen to song)

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Chains and Pearls Necklace

“Pour Some Sugar on Me” by Def Leppard   (click to listen to song)

These 2 songs definitely get me up and dancing—how about you?  

(I got to dance to Def Leppard at one of their concerts this past summer.   Yes, I can still have fun at a rock concert at 50 years old. 🙂 

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I’ve often said that music is the key to my soul.  I enjoy the way it can tap in to some of the  feelings inside of me and I’m also grateful that I’m able to express those emotions through my jewelry. 

Now…………..what do I feel like listening to next?………………….

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