I had my ears pierced when I was a baby so I don’t remember the pain if there was any. In traditional Caribbean fashion I was sent gold earrings and a gold bracelet from a beloved Aunt of my mother’s. In my baby pictures I can see them in my ears and on my wrist but they are no longer in my possession. During my adolescence, demonstrating classic early signs of DIY craftiness, I pierced my own ears a second time for a second pair of earholes, which I can still feel on my lobes but have not used in many years.
I remember that at Bard College, as an icebreaker with my new and slightly stiff roommate, I held out my hands to her one morning before heading out to class and asked, “What do you think? Do I look too much like Mr. T?” I wore way more rings in those days, at least two to three on each finger.
In addition to earrings, I also have an eclectic collection of necklaces that I love as well. I shop on etsy, H&M, Forever 21, street vendors and museum gift shops which are literally like an amusement park for me.
All of this to say, I wear and have worn as much jewelry as the next woman or man for that matter. But I’ve never done anklets. Oh there was one triple stranded anklet my godmother made for me when I was a girl. She made me jewelry all the time that I adored. That anklet wasn’t one of them. It’s not that it wasn’t nice. I just didn’t get it. My high school BF, Vanessa used to wear these cute silver toe rings. I could never pull that off either. I loved them on her though as I love anklets on other women. I find small adornments like that to be very special and specific. It is an adornment beyond the traditional Western adornment. You have to pay attention to see it and when you look you see more than just the jewelry; you see the body part. Ohhh it’s so feminine.
Well Khalilah is very feminine and she has been after me for some time now to make an anklet for her using some beads she purchased at Beads of Paradise which were originally purchased for me to make her waist beads. I spent a little time in the bead shops downtown on 6th Ave this weekend looking for accent beads, rings, clasps, crimp beads and crimp bead covers to create Khalilah’s anklet. I love bead stores. I got very curious and learned new things about finishing off beaded projects that I didn’t know before. Eternal gratitude to YouTube. LOL!
This past Sunday I made an anklet bracelet for each of us. Khalilah’s anklet has these beautiful copperish base beads with a translucent pink color you can see when you hold it up to the light, orange accent beads, and these beautiful shimmery gold colored bells that sound delightful when they ring. These colors are inspired by the Goddess Oshun.
I made mine with a tinier bright yellow base bead because I am just plain shy about wearing an anklet. The yellow is bright but the strand is thin and modest because I am a walking contradiction. LOL! I used green and orange accent beads because they are two of my favorite colors. When I put it on I feel so freaking damsel like. I mean it’s beyond feminine. It’s such a delicate and sweet thing to wear jewelry on your ankles and feet.
I haven’t made anything by hand in a while though and this was a very interesting project. I feel like my sense of color combination and placement is becoming more refined than it used to be. It always feels good to complete a hands on project like this and for me one inspiration invariably leads to others. It’s one of the many things I love about color, creation and making things with my hands, especially in the Summer.