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Stories of You Inc. © Stories of You Inc. 2017

​The Story Behind the Necklace

In addition to being striking, the compass image on the cover of our The Mentor That Matters: Stories of Transformational Teachers, Role Models and Heroes anthology spoke to my brother Andy and I of the valuable direction our mentors give us: the sense of "true north" that helps us protect us when we are lost, guide us along the right paths, and move toward the destination that is the best that we can be. Working with our book designer, cj Madigan, we chose the red shade of the title to contrast with the image and subtly suggest the fact that (unlike the contributors to our anthologies about the sources and starting points of fiction), all of our "Mentor" writers are American. 

The cover and themes of the anthology made an inspiring starting point for the necklace planned for this first giveaway. 
Like assembling the anthology itself, this was a labor of love that involved some patience and some rethinking.

I'd found the decorative compass face and pocket-watch style locket that became the focal piece at different times in the past and cached them away for just the right project...and this was it. Their original metal finishes seemed flat, so I layered both with stamping inks and metallic markers. The locket was easy, requiring just a couple of coats of silvery pigment and a protective wax, but the compass was a challenge. None of the blues I tried seemed right and the one I liked best, a cobalt similar to the shade of the compass on the book's cover, made the compass directions too hard to read. I tried and removed several different treatments along the way. Midway through the last round I realized that the worn effect I'd chanced upon by accident—with some blue pigment remaining and some gone—was a good compromise. The compass is purely decorative, unlike the mentors in the book who always point to "true North"!

I always pull out what seem like hundreds of beads when I make a piece of jewelry. It never fails to surprise me how many don't work for what I envision or look right with the other components, and at least a handful always seem to end up on the floor, to be found in some dark corner at a later date. It all makes for some disarray but the texture and colors of the beads, stones, and metals make them such a tactile pleasure to play with. 

The necklace is built around sodalite beads, which give it a range of variegated blues and grays. That was an easy choice, but the reds were tricky—a bright crimson seem jarring, so I eventually used a quartet of warm red carnelian beads I had been given as a gift. I love the milky, translucent stone, which takes on the color of its surrounding, of the four chalcedony rondelles.  They were among the first lot of beads I ever purchased when I began making jewelry. They bring back happy memories of combing through the many bins, boxes and trays of a little bead shop on New York's Upper West Side. 

This necklace is about 12" in beaded length, with another 2 inches or so added for the pendant. Thanks to its stone beads and metal focal, it's fairly heavy. 

I hope the winner of this giveaway contest will enjoy our anthology, as well as the necklace, as much as we enjoyed creating them! —SUZANNE FOX

Entering, Rules and Eligibility 

The "Compass and Connection" giveaway contest runs from July 10 through July 26, 2017. 

The winner will receive a signed copy of Stories of You Books' The Mentor That Matters anthology and a one-of-a-kind handmade necklace inspired by the book.

This giveaway context is open only to residents of the U.S. 

To enter, like our Facebook page (—you are still eligible to win if you have liked the page prior to the start of the competition) and leave a brief comment in response to the "Compass and Connection Contest" post near the top of the page. What you post doesn't matter. It would be delightful if you mention a favorite mentor or role model or comment on your favorite essay in our The Mentor That Matters anthology, but you can also just say hi or "count me in"!

The winner will be chosen through a "blind" computer-generated drawing on July 27 and announced on Facebook on July 28. 
Be sure to watch our Facebook page beginning July 28 for the annoucement—we'll need to get the winner's address to send the prize.
July 2017 Giveaway Contest: "Compass and Connection"