You know ... I almost never win. I can easily count my sweepstake wins on one hand and even then most of the time I just won some ... stuff (I remember a box of tennis balls - my parents happily took them, because they were the tennis players in our family - not me).
So I did not even think about winning, when the Pittsburgh based metalsmith and artist Sharon Massey started a contenst on Twitter and Facebook. She asked people to send in their favorite ideas for a Pittsburgh related piece of jewelry. The price would be that Sharon would create and send you some custom jewelry following the winning idea.
Just being back from Pittsburgh I thought that was a fun idea and brainstormed what I would like. My ideas went the same way like I usually plan my tattoo designs (which my fantastic tattoo artist Mac then turns into real designs). I love things that have a strong meaning to me, but are not so obvious. So for example you need some decent knowledge about historical slavic fonts and especially Glagoljica to read the tattoo on my right upper arm. I know what it means and that it is enough for me.
In the case of Pittsburgh what came to my mind first was the shape of the skyline. For me it would be full of precious memories, but only people who know and love the city would easily recognize it. The next part of the brainstorm was maybe to include the abbrevation PGH, because in the (maybe senseless ;) dicussion if it is PIT or PGH I am all team PGH. For people in the USA including it would make it more obvious which skyline it is, but here in Germany, where I live, nobody would know what this is all about - for me a feature not a bug ;)
I twittered it all and Sharon liked it, but there were lots and lots of other amazing ideas sent in and the statistical chance to win was not really big. The more surprised I was when Sharon posted "The winner of the first custom Jewelry N'at giveaway contest is @CKapaun" ... well that's ME! WOW!!!!
Sharon and I got in contact, which is a win itself because she is such a nice person. She wrote me that she would need to find the right view on the skyline to make the design. The cool thing is that we both agreed, that the sight from Mount Washington was not what we wanted. Of course it is BEAUTIFUL, but it's a bit too "postcard" if you know what I mean. Additionally, like you know, I was staying at the Priory Hotel and so my first, AMAZING look on the skyline every morning was from the North Side accross the Allegheny River - mostly from the Warhol and sometimes from the Clemente Bridge (not the shortest way, but several times I walked the extra blocks because I LOVE the Clemente Bridge). Sharon on the other hand spends a lot of her worktime (btw ... look here for her other jewelry line - her "real" work like she calls it) at "The Studio Situation", which is also placed at the North Side. So we both thought that this was the view on the city we wanted. A couple of days later somebody posted on Twitter a marvellous picture of Pittsburgh shot from the press seats at PNC Park ... looking over a golden Clemente Bridge in the evening light on to the fantastic skyline. We loved it both and knew right away - that was IT!
This could be the quick happy end of the story because Sharon made the design and created a beautiful pendant - a fantastic piece of art and handicraft - and sent it over together with the cute little Pens pendant I additionally ordered.
And then the karma kobolds started playing shenanigans with us. Usually it takes a week, maybe two for stuff being send over from the States. This little parcel I was so badly waiting for took .... SEVEN WEEKS!
To be honest Sharon and I had almost given up. She was ready to do it all again and send me a replacement. I loved her for offering it, but I hated the idea that she would put so much work into it for a second time (not even talking about the fact that gold and silver are expensive). So I told her to hold on for maybe two more weeks. One week of the two was already over again when I finally heard the doorbell ringing this Friday. I thought it would be my Old Navy order (but that is another long story about postal service failure ... in this case DHL Express *crap*), but no - the guy was holding a small parcel coming from Pittsburgh - YAY!
And here you go. This is the beautiful pendant Sharon made for me - look at the golden Clemente Bridge, amazing isn't?
And this is the sweet Pens pendant. Is it fall yet (I MISS PENS HOCKEY!)???
And that is some little extra Sharon put into the parcel and I am planning to wear it next time I am in Pittsburgh, because it will be very likely during playoff season 2012 (You hear me Pens?). Since we girls cannot grow a real one we are lucky to wear this pretty (actually much prettier than the ones of some players ... no offense Sid ;) little version of a playoff beard.
If you like what you see and want some cool jewelry as well, visit the Jewelry N'at website and do not hesitate to contact Sharon to order. You'll love your custom made jewelry just like I do. BTW - Sharon makes beautiful Buccos things as well ... and finally we have a season when it could be actually fun to wear it.