When I was a little girl my second cousin Christy and I were coastal pen-pals. She was in California (and Jakarta, for a time!), and I obviously on Long Island, so we sent letters, dried flowers, little toys, and of course, friendship bracelets, across the country, and sometimes the world. When I saw that Meg, of Chasing Davies, was hosting a friendship bracelet blogger swap, I jumped on it! I got so excited. Now, I'm not good at making traditional friendship bracelets, but I have been slightly obsessed with making clay jewelry as of late. I knew I wanted to send a bangle I made, but I also wanted to send my blogger pal something that represented Long Island, as it's where it would be sent from.

Meg sent us all emails with our buddies, and I was so excited when it showed up in my inbox. You know when you're away at sleep away camp and receive a box full of handmade cookies? That excited. I was paired up with the gorgeous Ellie of All Around Ellie. Immediately I could tell that she has awesome style for everything from her choice of clothes to her nails. I knew I wanted to make something that she could wear in summer-to-fall, and with any fun outfit she put together.

So, I sat down and started playing with the clay...not really thinking, but in the back of my mind, knowing I wanted to do something influenced by my island surroundings. All of the sudden an idea popped into my head: wampum! Wampum?! Wampum. Okay, so you probably have no earthly clue what wampum is, so let me explain (we spent months learning about this in 4th grade: ah, to have grown up on LI). Or, let's see what Wikipedia has to say on the matter:

"Wampum are traditional, sacred shell beads of Eastern Woodlands tribes. They include the white shell beads fashioned from the North Atlantic channeled whelk shell; and the white and purple beads made from the quahog, or Western North Atlantic hard-shelled clam. Woven belts of wampum have been created to commemorate treaties or historical events, and for exchange in personal social transactions, such as marriages. In colonial North America, European colonists often used wampum as currency for trading with Native Americans."

Got it? Great. Wampum have a beautiful purple and white matte quality to them, so I knew it would be easy to reproduce them in beads. I mixed up white, purple, and a touch of magenta clay...and voila! I love the marbled look of them.

To make them into jewelry, I got stretch cord from Michaels in .5 mm size. I also got a bunch of cool toggle clasps (also from Michaels). A pack of 6 clasps was $2.99! Not bad.

Finished and sent off to Illinois to Ellie! Thank you to Meg from Chasing Davies for this opportunity!

PS. Stay tuned for my new bracelets from Ellie tomorrow! I love them!

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