What do you think of when you hear that word?
Chinese food? Probably.
But in relation to music, certainly you hear the childhood piano favorite, "chopsticks", playing in your head.
As a child, I wanted to learn to play piano. I took lessons, but could never get my left hand to do something different than my right hand (am I alone with this one?) But I could play Chopsticks. Because both hands are doing the same thing, but in the opposite direction. Then mid-way through the song, they do the same thing, but a couple keys apart. This was easy for my child hands (and brain) to "master". We played chopsticks until we were told to "knock it off!!" by the adults in the room (then we switched to "Heart and Soul" - another easy song for the piano). As an adult now, I can see where more than a couple minutes of chopsticks would make you yell "knock it off!!".
Liberace plays it in this youtube video, like I have never heard it before: (wow!)
And here is what I discovered on Wikipedia about Chopsticks (it's a waltz - who knew?!):
"Chopsticks" (original name "The Celebrated Chop Waltz") is a simple, extremely well known waltz for the piano. It was written in 1877 by the British composer Euphemia Allen under the pseudonym Arthur de Lulli. Allen, who was the sister of a music publisher, was supposedly only sixteen when she composed the piece, with arrangements for solo and duet. The title Chop Waltz comes from Allen's specification that the melody be played in two-part harmony with both hands held sideways, little fingers down, striking the keys with a chopping motion. This name suggests the piece should be played in 3/4 (waltz) metre, although it is also commonly heard with the stresses as in 6/8 time.
On to my creations!!
***Obligatory apology for the photo quality. I was forced to use an indoor light box, which is no substitute for natural sunlight***
I knew when I decided to use this song I would need to make some decisions. Should I go with an Asian theme? Or a childhood theme? Or make some thing that represents the two halves of the song?
Rather than make a decision, I went in all directions.
My first photo is the childhood theme. When I think of "chopsticks" I think about being that kid at the piano! I'm not a bracelet fan, so this can be worn either as a bracelet or a necklace. Simply remove the length of chain and wrap the charm bracelet around your wrist! Lots of plastic kid charms and pixies, a bottle cap bead, a vintage red celluloid heart and wooden mini yo-yo.
|Above the dog it says "I'm in the doghouse"|
Next, I got to thinking about the Asian influence this song had on my thoughts. On a recent visit to Erin's etsy store, I saw her Asian inspired simple truths, to compliment the monthly painting at Art Bead Scene Blog. Serendipity! - It was perfect for what I had in mind. And the colors would be perfect too! In the meantime, I've had an Arizona iced tea can on my workbench, waiting to test my disc cutter. The can is fairly thin gauge, and it cut like buttah! My "plan" was to dap my discs into bead caps, but I now realize (after
OK, plan "B"!
It took me a while to figure out how to fold them, but I made mini fortune cookies out of my discs! I absolutely love them! But then, my pendant arrived, and, while I love it, the colors were more subdued than I imagined they'd be. My fortune cookies are too bright and don't look good with it.
OK, plan "C"!
I happened to have an Asian brass fan sitting out on my bead desk (from Trinity Brass, I think), so I designed my fortune cookie necklace around that. I am actually quite happy with it. I have enough fortune cookies left over to make a bracelet too! (someday)
|Faceted fuscia Jasper, Brass Fan, and my little fortune cookies!|
|I case you're wondering, I did not slide tiny little fortunes inside the cookies - but I could!|
Now, this was another one of my ideas for Chopsticks...if you count the number of chain links on this necklace, it's the same number of notes in Chopsticks:
123456.123456.123456 (clasp) 12.12.12345.12345.12.12.
(plus, you might have noticed that I chose the stick version of Erin's pendants, rather than a round one or some other shape - get it? chop STICK)
|18 links per side, represent the two "halves" of the song|
|Strawberry Quartz and sea glass, adventurine, Lucite leaves, and the lovely Simple Truths pendant|
Lastly and also serendipitously, last weekend I stumbled across a bunch of chopstick I had bought, back during my auction-going days. They are petite (about 6" long) and beautiful, with mother of pearl inlay. So, at the last minute, I wanted to try to make something with two of them. This is more of a experimental necklace, and not really meant to be worn. I may add to it, but this all I had time to do. I think it has potential. The chopsticks alone would be beautiful stuck into a hair bun.
|Czech Dragonfly bead from Maya Honey|
Thank you, Erin, for hosting once again. This challenge proved to be a bit more difficult than I thought it would be, but I'm happy to have been a part of it. I'm anxious to see what everyone else has done!