I do not know why, but I have always imagined Romania as being an incredibly mysterious and completely fascinating place. It is a country with a long and sadly often war-wracked history, but despite its difficulties it is a country full of natural and cultural beauty.
To read a quick overview of Romania's history, you can go here:
Now to get a quick visual of some of the beauty Romania has to offer, courtesy of Flickr and their respective owners:
and this collage is just amazing!
As I looked around at all of the beauty in this country, I felt a little overwhelmed... what could I create as my tribute to such an incredible place? I decided to use the almighty Google and try to discover if Romania had some secret jewelry techniques I could pick up on, or some commonly used motifs... anything. What I finally found, that sent my mind working, was something that is sometimes called "Romanian macrame", but is more commonly known as Romanian point lace :). Here is an example (not my own):
I was reading this lovely blog I found (http://sunshinescreations.vintagethreads.com/) while looking up this type of lace making. As I read, I realized that the base of this, was a crocheted cording (which, fortunately, the lovely Sunshine included a tutorial on her blog). Now, I warn you, I learned to do a very basic crochet about a million years ago. My mom taught me how to make granny squares, a knowledge which I had since forgotten. But, this being a challenge, I decided to truly challenge myself. I wanted to make a wrap bracelet, using this fabulous method of crochet. This required much patience on my part, which is one of the reason I didn't stick with it in the first place I think lol. From her video and notes I was able to get started though! I started out practicing trying to use waxed Irish linen thread, which turned out beautifully, but was so difficult to use for me. My hands ended up very sore after.
I ended up doing three little crochet wrap bracelets in the colors of the Romanian flag (blue, yellow, and red), they can be worn together or separate. As aforementioned, my skills in crochet are a bit erm, lacking. I got better as I went on, the first bracelet (red) has the most "wobbly-ness" and the last (yellow) has the least lol. All in all, even with my goofs, I am very proud of these. It took me quite a while to make these, but it felt wonderful when I finished each one :). The yellow one's clasp attaches to this absolutely gorgeous bit of filigree work from Fallen Angel Brass that reminded me of the ornate lace designs and embroidery you will find in Romania's cultural dress. Without further ado... my Romanian pride trio:
And if any of you are interested in learning, here is the link to Sunshine's wonderful tutorial :)
My little girls (6 and 4) love these bracelets and are begging for them in pink and light blue, I might just do them!
Other fun links to check out:
One of the ladies in their history I found fascinating:
Postcards of the Romanian royal family (historical), these are amazing!
Romanian Culture in 101 Photos:
And my personal favorite... Romanian fairy tales!
I hope you enjoyed this whirlwind taste of Romania with me :) Thank you SO much to Erin for hosting this wonderful wonderful challenge! Now onto other countries you go! I tried to copy and paste the list but my blog decided not to cooperate, so here is a link to Erin's blog where you can find the list!
Happy Travels! :)