Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Ornament Thursday - LUCK

Welcome to Ornament Thursday! Each month, a group of diverse but like-minded artists come together to create pieces based on a common theme. For more information regarding Ornament Thursday, please go here.

This month's theme is "luck". Now, I think everyone had in mind "luck of the Irish", given the timing of this theme, but I decided on a departure from this interpretation. I don't know - call it "luck of the Chinese" or, more properly, "luck of the Chinese Take-out"? Please bear in mind that I am not Chinese. Of course, neither are fortune cookies, really, so I feel that it's all good. Accounts differ as to where the first fortune cookie was invented. The Husband believes that Chicago was the location, other accounts seem to indicate California. As far as I'm aware, fortune cookies remain unique to US Chinese restaurants. (To my non-US readers - I'd be interested in any information to the contrary.)

I am not a superstitious person, but I love fortune cookies (I have even been known to eat them). I tend to save the good fortunes and the funny ones. They end up in ceramic vases, desk drawers, books, candy dishes, etc., etc. all around my house, my parents' house, my friends' houses. So, when I started working with PMC and resin, fortune cookie fortunes seemed like a good candidate for a piece of jewelry. It seemed obvious to me, anyway.

I think this is a good example of finding inspiration in everyday objects. These days, I am unfashionable and I do not follow trends - I barely manage to wear matching socks and have, on one memorable occasion BSO (Before Short One), managed to show up at the office wearing my shirt inside out. When I design a piece of jewelry, I look to the things I find interesting - poetry, manga, movies, music, games, traffic lights and, well, fortune cookies. To me, nothing epitomizes good luck like a favorable fortune cookie fortune.

The fortune used in this necklace (and you can click on the photo for a close-up) is actually from our local Chinese restaurant, a very child-friendly place where the Short One (a picky eater) will condescend to eat a little chicken and all of the baby corn from the restaurant's version of lemon chicken. Our family, is, as a result, a regular at this restaurant. So, there is a little bit of our daily lives infused in this necklace, which I find appealing. To cap it off, the fortune itself says, "Something wonderful is about to happen to you". I can't imagine a better sentiment to help one get through the day.

For more luck (and who can have too much luck, after all?), please visit the websites of the other participants of this month's Ornament Thursday project:

Art Bead Scene
Lucky ABS! We're part 2 of Lucky Knots!

Cindy Gimbrone aka Lampwork Diva
Luck is knotted up in Part 1 of this tutorial

Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
Melanie is inspired by a lucky Leprechaun to make a fairy tale, treasure filled necklace

Jennifer Heynen of Jangles
Lucky Charms Bracelet...The name says it all. This bracelet has everything to bring you good luck.

Jenny Harada
Jingly Good Luck Charm

Joolz by Lisa
As Luck Would Have It...Lucky Earrings

Katie's Beading Blog
Make your own luck with these fun, swingy earrings!

Labyrinth O' Luck
Hali has created a finger labyrinth journal designed after a 4-leaf clover.

Linda Augsburg at Make It Mine magazine
Lucky doesn't begin to describe the adventure I had making this T-shirt...

Lucky to be... based on a coin holder a friend made for me...

Lucky To Be Me
Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the fairest of them all? Well, YOU, of course. No matter who you are when you look into this magical mirror, you'll be reminded you're lucky to be you!

Lynn Kvigne - Beading Help Web
Irish Proverb Window Ornament - step by step instructions for making this year-round ornament that may bring luck right through your window!

Savvy Crafter
Get Lucky over on Candie's blog! She's giving away some Lucky charms and see her earrings made with napkins! Bon Appetit!!

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
You'll "make Jean's day " if you check out her lucky Pendant with a Clint Eastwood eighties twist.

Swelldesigner gets lucky this month with some super colorful, sparkly painted bangles.

The Impatient Blogger
Luck starts with a wish...Margot shares an project she created for Simply Beads last August.

Thanks for visiting!


Christina J. said...

N. doesn't nap anymore, but when he sleeps later than usual I find myself wondering if he's still breathing. It doesn't go away! :)

Melissa J. Lee said...

Hi Christina! I was afraid another Mom was going to tell me that! I guess I'll just have to get used to it. :)

Margot Potter said...


This necklace is amazing. I want one! I used to save all of my fortunes and had planned to create a performance art piece based on them...but alas I lost them in one of my moves.

What a brilliant idea and a delightful twist on the theme!


Melissa J. Lee said...

Thank you, Margot! I'm glad I'm not the only one who saves fortune cookie fortunes!

melanie brooks said...

What a great piece Melissa, very beautiful. I love your twist on the Luck theme and how you went to another culture than many of us were thinking...

mmm I love fortune cookies actually! So crispy and vanilla-ey. YUM! I made them once but they are a challenge!

Kriss said...

Great work! The necklace is beautiful and I think it's great you used the fortune cookie as your lucky charm.

Anonymous said...

Oh man, you can really create! Nice necklace!

Cindy Gimbrone said...

Lovely necklace! Hmmm speaking of the short one, I'm thinking maybe your next piece should be inspired by baby corn? :-)

Melissa J. Lee said...

Thanks, Melanie! Yeah, folding fortune cookies is like doing origami - there's always that last bit at the end that's a little complicated. But it feels so good, once you've made one!

Thanks, Kriss!

Hi, Vickie! Thanks so much!

Baby corn! That's a good idea, Cindy. :) It's funny how kids end up taking over all aspects of your life, isn't it?

Jean Katherine Baldridge said...

oh cool this rocks!!! I think this is fantastic!

Hali Chambers said...

Melissa, this is BRILLIANT! I'm a fellow-collector of fortunes, too. LOVE your story about it--AWESOME post! :-) Hali

Linda Augsburg said...


I have a bowl of fortunes at home, so I love this idea! I plan to somehow work them into a quilt (embroider them into blocks? I haven't really perfected the concept yet...), but what a great way to showcase a truly fabulous fortune!

Melissa J. Lee said...

Thank you, Jean! I'm glad you like it.

Hali - yes, another collector of fortunes!!! I'm with you!

Linda, a quilt made of fortunes sounds FABULOUS!!! Think of all the good karma it would have. I should hold a poll about what people do with their fortune cookie fortunes...

Michelle McGee said...

Oh my gosh... I think this is my favorite!!!!!!

Melissa J. Lee said...

Aw, shucks, Michelle! Thank you!

Lisa said...

Am I the only one who gets totally commercial fortunes in cookies? I love what you did with this piece!