Maha Rani pink Bridal Jewelry

 In Indian languages especially in Hindi, colors are named after certain objects - fruits, herbs or even nature. For example, Sky blue is called Aasmaani (like the sky), olive green is called Mehendi (after henna), pink is called Gulabi (after a rose) and Gray is called Saleti (after slate). But them some names are peculiar and it makes it hard to trace their origins. Case in point - Rani!
Rani refers to a hot pink colour  (I don't know the story behind it, and do tell me in the comments if you know). It is more saturated than a magenta and yet darker than pink. Its vibrant, strong, saturated, rich, and full of life and maybe that is why it is called Rani or Queen (of colors). No wonder I chose it  as the brand colour (albeit a slightly darker shade) of Sayuri.
Though hot pink is a very common colour in fabrics, it is very difficult to source jewelry supplies for it. A Supplier once told me that the hot pink color is very difficult to achieve while dyeing beads as they tend to lose out the vibrancy very fast and for the extra trouble, they are priced higher than similar beads of other colors.
I get a lot of requests for rani pink flower jewelry, but I turn down most of them as I find it very hard to source hot pink flowers. Here are pictures of two similar sets I made recently after a lot of hunting for materials. Take a look.
Rani pink Bridal Jewelry

After I made the first set, I realised that it look more royal than I excepted so I thought why not call it maharani pink instead of rani pink. Most dictionaries describe or Define "Maharani" as the wife of a Maharaja, an empress to an emperor but is that all, what makes one a Maharani?

 Rani pink Bridal Jewelry

Most vernacular languages, have words that lose their emotion (or feeling) when translated into English. I feel that Maharani is one of them. More than a position, it is an endearment, an estimation of how beautiful someone is. Where I come from, there are endearing terms that a loved one uses to describe a girl/woman who is traditionally dressed (usually a saree and jewellery). These words will be accompanied by gazes of love (adoration), pride and most often than not , a long sigh! For instance, a father would refer to his daughter as "Rani" or queen, a boyfriend or a husband who call her his "devathai" or angel and the grandmother would call her a "Maharani" blessing her with a long and fruitful life.
Maang tikka and haathphool
Indian bridal jewellery might start at the crown of the head but a lot of importance is given to what is worn on the feet. Toerings due to their ability to compress pressure points impacting fertility have the foremost importance but anklets come a close second. In my first set, I made an exotic looking mixed flower anklet with 8 different types of flowers. The idea here is that every bride should dress up her feet as she takes the first step towards holy matrimony.  Too cheesy? I thought so too!

In the first set, I made a statement Five strand Ranihaar in pink and gold with red, pink and a gold bead choker necklace with red and pink roses. I used bud roses, full roses, button roses and daisies in 3 different colors to create bracelets, rings, anklets, headpiece, armlets (first image of this post) and clips for the braid.

The second set was simpler with just the long necklace in a different pattern, a simple choker, grander headpiece,  2 flower earrings and slave bracelet with similar flowers.
Norman Mailer once said  that "The highest prize in a world of men is the most beautiful woman available on your arm and living there in her heart loyal to you...." 

So here's to all the heartfelt love and the beautiful jewelry that make gorgeous women even more fabulous- that make them the Maharanis of the world. 

 I hope you found it interesting
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Nature trails at Coorg

This time last month, I was in Coorg, Karnataka, for a short spring break. Known as the Scotland of India, Coorg is famous for its coffee and spice plantations. I was there for three days and toured Bylakupe (A huge Tibetan settlement) Madikeri, Talacauvery (the origin point of river Kaveri), Bhagamandala (A 1000 year old Shiva Temple), Nisaragadhama, a coffee and spice plantation and Melkote ( A 1000+ year old Vishnu temple) and Srinrangapatna (The seat of Tipu Sultan) apart from doing lots of shopping.
I was led to believe that it would be more hill station(y) and thereby cool(er) than Chennai but it was disappointing as it was horribly hot. So much so that I fell sick immediately on my return and it made me not want to write about the trip. But then I saw a picture of a "Bird of Paradise flower" yesterday  that reminded me of the beautiful resort we stayed at in Coorg and I wanted to share pictures of the beautiful flowers, trees and plants that we saw there. So this Earth day,  join me as I take you on this visual journey with inspiring pics of nature.

Bird of Paradise flower

For this Mother-daughter fun trip we stayed at a luxury spa resort. It is an expensive place but I got a really good Summer deal on it. The entire resort was a reminder of the BHEL township I used to live in (and written so much about in my old posts) so we thoroughly enjoyed our stay at a very familiar setting. I loved walking around the resort, looking at plants, taking pictures, sketching and just sitting at the reading nook to read. My mom had some spa time while I soaked at the pool, it was gorgeous. Did I mention that the resort was next to Nisargadhama one of the 8 islands of the River Kaveri in Coorg and so the river was flowing through the resort? As Kaveri is also the lifeline of Trichy, old memories came flooding back. We only wished that we could stay a.k.a live there forever. 

My favourite corner was the one with the red telephone box. Our "room" was a quaint little cottage with a normal private garden replete with a lily pond and normal chairs where we enjoyed a lazy evening snack. 


The tag line of the resort was that its the "Rabbit hole for the soul" and was designed taking inspiration from Alice in Wonderland. So there were these quaint little quotes all around.


Coffee Plantation

There were so many many beautiful flowers there and I was inspired to create resin jewelry by embedding them. So I sought permission from the resort, plucked them, sourced cat litter  (clumping as I couldn't find Silica gel litter) and plastic container in an unfamiliar small town to dry the flowers and carted them all the way back to Chennai to find out that the flowers were completely dried out due to the heat and it was an epic fail :( I have been drying variations of flower drying ever since, I am yet to try salt drying, but almost always they get spoiled afterwards due to the extreme heat and humidity not even giving me a chance to put them in resin. Maybe I ought to try it in the cooler months. 

So that was a small sample of what we saw on the trip. I found something (or was it someone?) special on this trip and I will write about it soon. If these pictures seem familiar then you have either been to the Amanvana Spa and resort or you seen this pics on Instagram. Not yet following me on IG? Click here to follow Jewelsofsayuri to learn more new offerings, behind the scenes secrets and a wee bit more about my life.

 I hope you found it interesting
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Spiral wire Earrings

 Of all design motifs I love spirals the most and for good reason for they are the most basic and one of the oldest designs known to man. Math and art geeks would associate Spirals with all things beautiful due to the Golden proportion and the Archimedian spiral
 Sanatana Dharma on which Hinduism is based on states that AUM is the primordial sound and the basis for all creation. The visual representation of the letter or the symbol AUM is incomplete without the spiraling loop. The Primordial spirals begin with a loop and continue to grow outward to infinity and beyond. This most basic spiral is called "Suzhi" in Tamil, yes like in the phrase "Pillaiyar suzhi" ( Curling symbol of Lord Ganesha - the elephant headed God)* which is used as the first symbol or expression of thought when starting to do any handwork - from writing to sculpting.  See the end of the post for an elaborate footnote.
Likewise, loops and spirals are the foundation for wire jewelry. Most wire jewelry pieces are begun with a simple loop, which is then turned by hand to form a spiral base which creates the foundation for the piece .With a few simple turns of your pliers you can turn even the most humble piece of wire, into a work of art as spirals represent creation, beauty and adornment.

Spiral wire Earrings
I have made many different spiral earrings over the years and they continue to be my favourites ( I even wore one today) so when this month's Earrings everyday, we are all ears monthly challenge reveal was on Spirals I just had to participate. The first design is inspired by the curls and spirals on a tendril or a creeper and is called the Spiraling Tendril. 
Spiral wire Earrings

 It is an ornate pair of earrings with annodised aluminum wire and mirror work beads The Second design is one of my personal favourites - its simple, elegant, classy and yet rich enough to accompany dressy clothes. I get compliments whenever I wear it even though my pair is quite old. I have made multiples of it over time and yet I always feel excited about it.

Our Inspiration

Out Inspiration was  the fiddlehead fern. Chennai, where I live, is super crazy hot now, its been like that for a while (No, we don't have spring here - just a long summer) so associating the inspiration with spring and the color green was difficult. Hence I chose the form over the color and created my own concept. Do check out what the other designs in the We're All Ears :: April Reveal 

* Footnote

Lord Ganesha, is referred to as the custodian of the AUM sound as his form bears acute resemblance to the visual representation of AUM and people believe that as Ganesha is the destroyer of obstacles drawing a symbolic representation of him - the Pillaiyar Suzhi will remove any obstacles in their path to success.

I hope you found it interesting 
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IndiPR - a revolution in the PR industry

No comments:
Though PR or Public relations management has been existing in India for many years now, it has been reluctant to move into the blogosphere and social media while preferring traditional routes. However, in the last 2-3 years, PR companies have been taking slow, yet steady steps in this direction and the launch of by IndiBlogger can be considered as a milestone in this process.

Thousands of businesses, products and services are launched every day across the world. When these products go live, a Press Release is usually the first order of business. PR is the art and science of talking to the right audience in the right voice and a well formulated press release dispersed through an effective channel of change makers and influencers can elevate the business or a product to the next level. was built to make it extremely simple for a business to get their Press Releases published by top bloggers. All a business has to do is upload their Press Release and the ‘Automated Influencer Targeting Engine’, or ‘AITE’ for short, proceeds to accept applications and automatically shortlists bloggers based on various factors including internal ratings and rankings. Once shortlisted, the influencers do their research and publish their articles.

How does this benefit Companies?
AITE is a self-learning engine that automatically targets the right publishers and businesses can spend less time worrying choosing influencers and more tiem developing their product and promotion stratergies. Karthik DR, Co-founder & Business Head at IndiBlogger says, “The amount of time that people spend in trying to identify and contact influencers is huge. With, you don't have to worry about any of this as the system just needs your Press Release. The rest is history!” Businesses of various sizes, including start-ups, can now have their Press Releases published by relevant influencers in less than 72 hours. Anoop Johnson, Co-founder & Director of Marketing at IndiBlogger, adds, “With a starting budget of just USD 150, a business of any size will be able to get their press releases published by influential bloggers with a few clicks.”
What's more Business get a free trial on registration which includes publishing of 1 press release across 5 blogs and reports for analysis in 72 hours. They also get to rate the bloggers with a 1 to 5 Star rating, with 4 and 5 star bloggers given priority for the next job. assists digital marketers with a variety of tasks including, but not limited to, SEO, content marketing, generating awareness and gaining much needed conversations around the product, driven by internet users on influencer platforms like blogs.

How does this benefit bloggers?
Paid press releases are a good way to earn from your blog and choosing to do free trials increases your probality of getting a consistent rating which leads to well paid jobs. In the future, will carry more than just Press Releases. Influencers will be able to get creative assignments, get invitations to attend the trendiest launch events and be privy to the latest news on the planet before the world wakes up to it. Renie Ravin, the Founder and CEO of IndiBlogger, says, “We believe that this system will help Influencers with fresh and new content on their site every day. In a way, you could be writing about the next Google without even realising its immense potential.”

Although registrations are open for businesses globally, commercial services have only been launched with publishers of Indian origin at the moment. A global version with publishers from other countries is expected to be launched by the end of 2016. Learn more about from the above video. 

Contact Information:
Anoop Johnson
Phone - +91-9900-001655 or 0124-4891498

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How to write a fantastic Guest post

Last week, I posted an article on Guest posting Dos and don'ts which triggered an interesting discussion on facebook. I also got a lot of feedback from people about guest posting is awesome and how they were looking to guest post. It was interesting to note that not many were guest writing on a regular basis even though they wanted to.
It got me thinking, if guest posting is so great, then how come we don't engage in writing more? Is it because we are unable to manage our time for writing yet another post or is it because we have no clue what to write on? I feel that it could be a combination of many reasons - lack of proper time management skills (Guilty!), a feeling of inadequacy when it comes to formal writing (language and style) and inability to churn out interesting content ideas that might be suitable for a global audience. Writing for your own blog is easy, but writing for another blog could be terrifying because we assume things. So what do we do to create fantastic guest posts?
"Stop Assuming and start Communicating!"
Whether you are a guest-posting pro or beginner who plans to get into it, ask yourself (and publishing blogger) the following questions before you write.
1. The Title and scope - What should I write about?
2. Length & Depth - How long and how detailed should the article be?
3. Image requirements - how many images, what size, with or without watermark
4. Can I backlink to my site from the article? If so how many links
5. Voice and style 
As I have already discussed points 3, 4 and 5 in my previous post "Dos and Don'ts of guest posting", I am now going to discuss in general about the scope, style and textual requirement of articles when it comes to guest posting

How to write a fantastic Guest post
Image: Splitshire

The Title - What should I write about?
This often depends on the blog, its niche and the audience, which might be similar or very different from the audience of your blog. Communicate with the blogger on what kind of articles they want, again do not assume. As JOS is a design blog that focuses of Accessorization, I accept articles with respect to jewelry and accessories. The more detailed post will be up later this week which will discuss the eight content categories that I am looking for on Jewels of Sayuri. 

Scope refers to the extent of coverage or range of the subject matter. For example, if you are discussing the scope of a design degree, then you talk about the subject areas, the skills that you learn in the course and types of jobs it could prepare you for. Simply put, scope is the measure or estimation of how much information you can disperse through the article. Scope depends upon the length, depth and breadth of the article. As a rule of thumb, Avoid topics that are extremely broad or convert it to a series of articles instead of one post, just like I am doing with this Guest Posting Series

The length of blog articles depends upon three things
1. The Niche (and therefore your topic)
2. Your style of writing 
3. Current google algorithm requirements 

Niche: Design, photography and art blogs tend to me more visual than verbal so these blogs ideally require about 300-600 words with lots of images. On the other hand tech blogs, blogs on blogging, business management would expect a minimum of at least 1000-2000 words. I like posts that are between 500 to 1200 words for JOS with a minimum of 2 images per post.
Style: If your tone is more conversational like a story, people would love to read even if its long but if you make it too long then you just kill the reader's curiosity and interest. Also, this really depends upon who your audience is - are you targeting teenagers, moms, hobbyists, research scholars, industrialists or a hybrid mix of everyone who is out there. 
Algorithm - Ever Since the Panda Update, the latest one is hummingbird (yes, Google algorithms have names!) bloggers have been interested in longer, keyword rich articles for SEO optimization. Hence, for the time being longer posts are better. 

Width & Depth 
A couple of readers rightly pointed out in the earlier post that they were put of by the generic articles supplied by Content writers. Most of these articles are written by qualified writers who are good with their craft - their language is great, the content passes the usual plagiarism checks  and it all seems very hunky dory. But these articles never get published on niche blogs - because they are very shallow and do no offer deep insight on the topic they are being written on. The root cause of this problem is the writers themselves - they are great writers but they lack the technical expertise on the particular topic. As a solution, I suggest that we should write only about what we know - either its our field of study or practice and we can talk about it with confidence. Even then, we should do enough research before writing the article to maintain authenticity of the content and the suitability of our viewpoint on that topic, for the particular blog. That is what turns an ordinary guest post into a fantastic one

In conclusion, for your guest posts to turn out fantastic, pick out a topic that you know about and a blog niche that is relevant to it and do your research. Create posts that are error free, true to the point with appropriate images and links in a style that is in-sync with the voice of the publishing blog. If you are interested in trying out your hand at guest posting at Jewelsofsayuri, do wait for the next installment in this guest posting series where I'll discuss top content ideas suitable for this blog. Till then do share in the comments, any blogging or writing tips that you have.

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Guest Posting Dos and don'ts

Some of my students who are inclined towards writing often ask me ideas to improve their popularity as a blogger and I recommend  guest posting or guest writing to all of them. What is Guest Posting?
Guest posting or guest writing is very similar to the regular blogging, except that your fabulous new content is published by another blogger on their blog and is co promoted by them. It is a mutually beneficial process for both parties involved as the guest gets introduced to a new reader base and the blogger (here the publisher) gets free, interesting content with a new voice or point of view for their blog. Sounds great, doesnt it? Its pretty awesome, if you follow basic Guest posting Etiquette.
In the past couple of months, I have received numerous requests from people all over the world to "Guest post" on my blog. Though it sounds quite flattering to get such requests, most of them turn out to be content writers out there to make a quick buck and I end up spending so much of my time and patience on them. I have nothing against content writers, I was one myself for over two years. But thankfully I wrote only for one site and never had to go around approaching blogs or sites to get my content and thereby "links" for my client.

Like any other blogger who juggles a full-time job and a blog, I too love a good Guest post. I love it when friends and followers of the guest writer come over to my blog to read and say hello.  guest posts are God Sent when you have a Writer's block. I have had guests whom I admire write for this blog, like Neena of Caprilicious Jewellery who wrote about why you should buy handmade jewellery or Keith Andrew who wrote about the Beaded brides of Africa. I have also had folks who write regularly here, people like Vichitra or John, who would do as many rewrites and corrections as it takes to get the post to my expectations. There have also been posts which I have re-written sentence after sentence just because the content was indeed very good and they have ended up bringing in tens of thousands of page views.

But then to come across hidden treasures like these, I wade through so much junk. Well, there I said it - Junk. A bit tired of keeping up with my habit of replying to every single one of the emails I get, I decided to share with not just potential guest posters regarding the articles I am looking for but also shed some more light on Guest posting etiquette in general. Fair warning, though - this is going to be a long post.

Guest Posting Dos & Don'ts - For the guest writer

  1. Do send a personalised mail - When I see a mail with BCC or CC address listing I don't feel like reading it, so I simply delete it. I hate reading request emails that are completely generic where the writer has no clue about who I am or what my blog is about. Sending a personalised mail shows that the writer is sincere and really want the opportunity.

2. Read the blog before you approach - This seems like a no-brainer, but when you read some request emails its apparent that they haven't read a single post. Before you approach a blogger, please read their articles, understand the language, voice, and tone of the blog, categories that already there and propose new topics that will fit in the blog's niche. This would make them want to take your request seriously.

3. Do Submit Original, Interesting Content - the first rule of successful blogging is to post Original Content. So why will any blogger worth their salt agree to post duplicate content scrambled together from different sites along with existing images? Boss, I want you to add value to my blog, not make me guilty of supporting plagiarism! Do bear in mind that I run all submitted posts through the dupli checker before posting them.While you are there, make the content interesting - specific to the blog and its audience. I get posts that go like this "Women like wearing jewellery, jewellery like necklaces, earrings and bracelets are in trend"  and they make me want to tear my already thinning hair in half. Instead, be specific talk about the type of necklaces or bracelets in trend and link to a forecast. I'll respect you immensely for that effort. But otherwise I am not posting it as I have an intelligent audience and I do not want to disappoint them. I am sure many bloggers will agree with me on this one.

 4. Please DON'T try to sneak in Commercial links - This is what annoys me the most, why do people think they can make money using my blog. I provide 2-3 Free links to personal blogs, site or social media pages, sometimes more depending on the author but I don't like using . Disclose the fact that you'll be linking back to commercial sites (and getting paid for them), disclose when using affiliate links as you need to pay for them. Most Bloggers, including me, accept these links but remember that Commercial links are NOT FREE, They'll be paid "Nofollow" links

5. Check for errors before you submit - I use a very conversational tone in my blog but then "If i is 2 rite lik dis den nobdy wont 2 reed". So please, please do a spell check and a grammar check before you submit your article to a blogger. Grammarly offers free basic extensions for Chrome, firefox, and even a free desktop app, so use it to your advantage and churn out great posts.

6. Do send Images - Images play a very important role in attracting reader's attention. Always submit your posts with at least 2 original pin-worthy images and more in the case of a tutorial (more on this in an upcoming post). The best etiquette is to submit 3 images - one landscape (for sharing on Google+, facebook and twitter), one vertical image for pinterest and one square image to link to Linky parties. You can also combine the square with either the landscape or the portrait.  Stock images are acceptable but nothing like an original photograph, sketch or even a digitally created illustration. You don't have to be a professional photographer with a DSLR camera to create images - A simple photo editing software would do.  I created the first image of this post in 5 minutes using a sample photo that comes preloaded in Windows Pictures folder and a couple of nice fonts. 

# Font Tip - Pick a max of 2 fonts and Use the same fonts on all the images within the same post

  7. Promote the post - Please do not fully repost that article on your blog, Ever! If you want to blog about your guest post and direct your readers to the publisher's website write a new introduction and add not more than 3-5 sentences from the guest post with a link. You can also include a small para about the destination blog to create a context for your readesrs. Submit the destination url (not the url of your introduction post) to linky parties and social media platforms. Yes, I want you to promote another blog as it contains your work.

 Guest Posting Dos & Don'ts - For the blogger

1. Display your rules or your expectations for the guest post, prominently on your blog
2. Stick to your rules, add disclaimers and disclosure statements, particular for paid posts
3. Promote your guest posts as you would promote your own posts - Share them freely at linky parties and on all your social media channels
4. Communicate regularly with the guest; inform them about your rules, your background, voice and your readers so that the guest doesn't have to assume anything. Write to the guest poster with the published link once it goes online so that they can promote it
5. Do not add more than 1-2 inlinks to other articles from your blog
6. Develop a good relationship with the guest by visiting their blogs regularly and by liking or commenting on the posts that you find interesting

Well, that was a long post, but I am still not done on this topic. So come back next week, when we shall discuss content ideas for guest posts that every blogger (and specifically me!!) will want. Till then, I hope that these tips will be of use to you.
Do tell me in the comments about your guest posting experiences - either as a guest or a publisher and also share with us, any more tips, dos and don'ts that you follow

I hope you found it interesting
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Reflections - March ABS

For the March ABS challenge,  our inspiration was a painting by Taisia K. Afonina titled "Still Life with Pussy Willows". I had no idea what pussy willows meant until I looked at the picture and when I did, the painting felt more like a casual Tea table set up than the more formal "traditional" setting that is used for still life drawing in art classes. A note accompanying the paintings emphasizes the above point, by mentioning that the painting comprises of a "Set of objects that are organic and natural, causing numerous associations. Composition of the painting is devoid of stage effects. It seems that the observant eye of the artist captured on canvas daily life of a bygone era. The exquisite silver composition fills us with the invisible presence of those who are dear to us and whom we will always be waiting...."
Inspiration - March ABS
 "Still Life with Pussy Willows" By Taisia K. Afonina

Rather poetic, I should say and the words "associations, organic and silver" immediately caught my attention. As I started to form a visual image in my head (for the design) all I could think about was something sea or water related and thus I settled in the concept  of "Reflection".  
Inspirations work in strange ways and on closer examination of the painting I notices the reflections of the vessels on each other, the light reflection on the vase and the chiaroscuro effect on the sheer gossamer curtain. 
crystal and paper necklace

Heather had suggested a color palette of pale grays and neutrals with dark peacock teal, purple and dull yellow. But I really couldnt see these colors in the picture. I found cold frosty silver with lots of blue along with accents of purple and on hindsight, ochre. I made two pieces  based on the theme - Dew drop and Mirror Mirror and they came together pretty quickly as I found the colors very simple

Dew Drop
The artisan component is resin pendant that I made with layers of paper and foil and is strung together with gorgeous glass crystals in a frosty blue. The pendant looks like metal, rough with a matt blue patina on it. For added interest I have used silver foil glass beads and silver crystals along with purple glass beads and a double sided purple and green matt crystal bead. The necklace has a lot of intrinsic shine but without that blingly over the top rhinestone type of shine. 

crystal artbead necklacefaux metal pendant

Mirror Mirror:
My fascination with/for mirrors is very well known in my circle, so much so that my family never ceases to remind me that I will not live in a room devoid of mirrors. I have to admit albeit reluctantly that it is true. I think mirrors not only help see your yourself, they make a room appear bigger also brighten up the area by reflecting light. I am a big fan of how Ancient Egyptians used mirrors to light up their vaults and how mirrors are used in metal jewelry worn in India during Dandiya

To cut the long story short, I knew that I wanted to used mirrors in my pendant and create a mosaic sort of look (as an ode to good old Gaudi) to mimic the distorted reflections and depth as showcased in the painting. I used matt silver paper as the base and did multiple resin pours. I made a mistake here. The first pour was ice resin and second was little windows, both of which have difference physical and chemical properties, so I ended up with lots of bubbles in the front and a pattern at the back.  I am still wondering how to correct it.

Despite this flaw I really like the piece. It has organically cut shell nuggets from South east Asia, Indian glass beads and a lovely floral clasp. I actually like both these pieces, a first for me, mainly because they are in blue and I tend to shy away from this shade of blue. Maybe as the weather here is burning, roasting hot with complex humidity, I somehow feel that these pieces would bring the much needed coolness to refresh the wearer as well as the onlooker.

Do tell me what you think of these pieces and my unorthodox realisation of the given inspiration. You can find entries of other artists in the Art bead Scene Pinterest page - Beads and Jewelry challenge 

 I hope you found it interesting
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