Wednesday, February 29, 2012

the challenge of music

i must thank the lovely erin prais-hintz for coming up with this beautiful idea! i'm so excited to see what everyone else has done and what song inspired them.

i have to admit, i started right away. i dug through my cds, i listened to every song on my i-pod. i seriously considered doing three necklaces inspired by three different songs. but sanity reigned and i chose 'the middle' by jimmy eat world.

i've always felt a connection with this song, like i was the one who needed to hang on. i had just given up my dream of being an art therapist, a dream i'd had since high school. i first heard this song right after 9/11 and there was this cloud of darkness settling itself over the country. my depression at this time had led me to consider suicide, and here was this song telling me not to "write myself off yet/it's only in your head you feel left out or looked down on." this song made me think maybe i wasn't such a lost cause. i definitely needed the reminder that it's gonna be all right, if i would just hang on. here are the lyrics.

The Middle lyricsSongwriters: Adkins, James; Burch, Richard; Lind, Zachary; Linton, Thomas
Hey, don't write yourself off yet/It's only in your head you feel left out or looked down on/Just try your best, try everything you can/And don't you worry what they tell themselves when you're away

It just takes some time/Little girl you're in the middle of the ride/Everything, everything will be just fine/Everything, everything will be alright, alright

Hey, you know they're all the same/You know you're doing better on your own, so don't buy in/Live right now, yeah, just be yourself/It doesn't matter if it's good enough for someone else

It just takes some time/Little girl you're in the middle of the ride/Everything, everything will be just fine/Everything, everything will be alright, alright

It just takes some time/Little girl you're in the middle of the ride/Everything, everything will be just fine/Everything, everything will be alright, alright

Hey, don't write yourself off yet/It's only in your head you feel left out or looked down on/Just do your best, do everything you can/And don't you worry what the bitter hearts are gonna say

It just takes some time/Little girl you're in the middle of the ride/Everything, everything will be just fine/Everything, everything will be alright, alright

It just takes some time/Little girl you're in the middle of the ride/Everything, everything will be just fine/Everything, everything will be alright, alright

when i did a little research on wiki i found that the band wrote this song after they'd been dropped after their first album was a total hit. they felt betrayed and belittled and totally like everything was spinning out of control. so they decided to produce this single themselves, and it hit the top 20. and then they got picked up by another producer, a producer who listened to them and wanted them to make the music that they wanted to make. so. it was better in the end.

pretty profound life lesson, there. deep songwriting at it's best. just hang on. it will get better.

so here's the focal i made. i drew out my design idea on paper and then drew with a sharpie on the copper, refining the shape until i got something i thought would be comfortable. then i cut it out, hammered it and added the words. i wanted the words to be black so instead of liver of sulpher i used a sharpie, sanded it all to make it matte, and added the holes.

then i added this little key, as a reminder that just holding on is the key for me. all things pass, the hard times, too. i used a pretty little enamel headpin.

then i added this wing. it symbolizes that when you're holding on, you're flying.

life comes with the good and the bad.

the circle of life, twisted paths and clearings along the road.

so that was my journey this month. i still need to remember and implement this lesson. it's a good lesson, don't you think?

i hope you enjoy this blog hop as much as i enjoyed working on this challenge. again, thank you, erin. i wouldn't have stretched myself in this manner without you.

now go, visit the next blog!

Marcie Abney
Christine Altmiller
Elisabeth Auld
Lori Bowring Michaud
Shannon Chomanczuk
Cece Cormier
Jenny Davies-Reazor
Malin de Koning
Beth Emery
Michelle Escano-Caballero
Erin Fickert-Rowland
Therese Frank
Amy Freeland
Tanya Goodwin
Stephani Gorman
Amy Grass
Beth Hemmila
Kristina Johansson
Jennifer Justman
Tari Kahrs
Susan Kennedy
Ema Kilroy
Kathleen Lange Klik
Kirsi Luostarinen
Paige Maxim
Beth McCord
Natalie McKenna
Alice Peterson
Cat Pruitt
Bobbie Rafferty
Johanna Rhodes
Cynthia Riggs
Sally Russick
Sarah Sequins
Amy Severino
Staci Smith
Kristen Stevens
Lola Surwillo
Stefanie Teufel
Sandi Volpe
Holly Westfall
Shaiha Williams


  1. I love the song you chose. It takes me back to a time where things were much simpler, yet still compliated.

    The piece you made is fabulous, and really represents the essence of the song.

    I'm so glad that song helped you get through a rough time in your life. And now here you are making beautiful art and sharing it with us!

  2. WoW! So much meaning and feeling in this necklace. I can really see the shape and flow of the piece and how the music was truly an inspiration all the way. Love it!

  3. Oh WOW! I'm lucky if I can get one word to line up correctly, let alone this amazing piece!!! I'm gobsmacked.

  4. Beth, what an amazing bracelet you've made here. The feelings and intentions behind it are very evident and bring the emotions right to the fore. Your story, well, touches too....

  5. Wow! so glad you found your song & your talent is amazing! Love your creative design!

  6. Your post, and your song pick got me a little verklempt! Beautiful. I've always loved this song, but never really listened to the words - and wow - I should have! Your piece is so unique. I love that you etched a quote from the song in your focal! The key and the wing - just sent me right over the edge! BRAVO!

  7. Wow - this is an amazing piece! Love how you incorporated the lyrics on the metal!

  8. My mouth dropped open, as I scrolled down and saw the first photo. You did such a great job cutting and stamping - very impressive. I like all your symbolism! Such a meaningful piece!

  9. What an amazing statement piece! I am sure glad that you hung on otherwise there wouldn't be as much beauty.

  10. It's funny -- that song was on the radio when I was going through a rough time, too. It was exactly what I needed at the time.

    What an amazing copper focal piece! I love how you made the song lyrics a literal part of the necklace. Thanks for sharing the sharpie tip, too -- I'd never thought of doing that.

    -- Sarah

  11. Oh Beth! I love it! And that is a great song! And thank you so much for sharing your story with this song (((HUGS))) I will always think of you when I hear this song now. I love Jimmy Eat World. <3

  12. Wow! What a statement piece! This is gorgeous! Such a great way to show off the song. Beautiful piece and beautiful compilation of materials!

  13. I love copper and text - so this piece speaks to me. I wish we could see it on! I love the copper focal's swirling shape, and am trying to imagine it on a chest. How long is it? Glad you responded so well - the challenge was good, wasn't it?

  14. Wow I loved this song too and it pulled me through a lot of those moments when I felt like giving up! Thanks for bringing it back into my life today. I love the focal point that you created. The shape is so powerful and combined with words, I imagine it feels like a prayer hanging around your neck. xoxo Beth

  15. BEAUTIFUL!!! This is so funky it exudes awesomeness! Great design!

  16. Fab necklace! I really like that impressive, swirling copper focal. And the rest of the design works very well with it. The wing is such a perfect detail for the sentiment of the song.

    I hadn't heard that song before, but rather fittingly, where I am in life right now, I probably need need to hear those words they sing. Thanks for introducing me to this song!

  17. wow! How cool is that necklace!! Wonderful work!! :)

  18. That is amazing. Your focal is truly wonderful. I love that song also and just grinned when it started playing. Awesome work!

  19. I like this song too. What a funky necklace I love the use of so many different pieces all working together and I love copper so the focal had me at hello :-)

  20. I wish I'd made that focal :-). It's stunning. I love the symbolism in your necklace. It's so much more than a piece of jewellery now.

  21. I truly feel that joy in this song and in this piece you made. There is a rolling, an ebbing, a flowing that fits so well with the rolling of the music in and the crazy party in the video (which I have never seen by the way). I am so glad that the lyrics in this song spoke to you. Because without you sharing your creativity the world would be a darker place. You know I love words, and I love how these are incorporated into the thoughtful design, as if they are part of the texture. I am so delighted that you chose to make time for this challenge in your life, Miss Beth! Enjoy the day.

  22. I LOVE this song and am so glad it was and continues to be such an inspiration for you. The piece you created is beyond amazing ... the amount of heart and soul in it gives me chills. I don't think you gave up on your dream to be an art therapist ... it's still there and you're doing it.

  23. very nice- love the flow of that focal piece!

  24. A very inspiring story. I feel sad that you were in a such a desperate place in your life but I am so happy that you found a way to rise above and find hope from a song. You translated it all so beautifully into a piece of wearable art. So you are working in art therapy after all! How beautiful is that? Well done.

  25. Okay now that is a most awesome post...the journal of the journey...the project is amazing...great...all around Beth! ( ps have I told you how awesome you are yet? Yeah well, I am sure glad you never succeeded in depriving the world of your uniqueness....don't let the dark engulf the light...praying that one day you will be filled to overflowing with THE LIGHT that lasts for all eternity, Jesus Christ & his love and sacrifice!)

  26. Awesome song! Haven't heard it in a while and now I want to hear more from them! What a powerful piece you created. The focal is beautiful. I am glad that the song inspired you and had a positive impact...your art has impact and I am inspired by it-thank you!

  27. p.s. the focal you created is amazing! The whole design flows beautifully.

  28. Great message, and very cool necklace! Thanks for sharing your inspiration and your creative process. It's obvious that your heart is in this piece.

  29. Wow. This necklace is amazing! I love the shape of the copper section, and the whole piece has flow and's awesome.

  30. Very cool! Perfect for the statement necklace trend right now!

  31. I love this song! It has an amazing message...I didn't know the back story though...awesome! This necklace is AMAZING! I absolutely love it! Great job!


i heart you back!