Monarch Memories Necklace

by Tamara Summers.
(Sarnia, Ontario, Canada)

Recently I went for my usual walk down to the beach. It was a windy day, and the wind was quite chilly.

TSummers: Monarch Memories Necklace 1

Right away I saw a Monarch butterfly on the sand trying to fly, but it couldn’t because of the wind. Beside it was a single wing of another Monarch. I wondered why the butterfly and the wing were together. Were they friends or mates? I guess I’ll never know.

TSummers: Monarch Memories Necklace 2

I put my hand out to help the struggling butterfly, and he readily perched on my finger, and stayed there as I walked back up to the grass and placed him in a sunny, sheltered spot near a fence with vegetation.

Then I went back down to the sand to retrieve my treasure, a single, perfect, intact Monarch wing. I carefully took it back home to make a jewellery piece with.

I like to use what I have on-hand, and I didn’t have a shadow-box type pendant, or any way of displaying it flat while protecting it, but I had purchased some little glass bottles not too long ago, so I decided to try that. I put a layer of black glass seed beads in the bottom, then gently curved my wing and put it inside. I liked the way it looked because you can turn it around and see it from different angles.

Monarch Memories Necklace

Monarch Memories Necklace

I covered the top of the bottle with a gold filigree circle, and added some butter-coloured ribbon to the top and bottom. The Monarch is a very elegant butterfly, and I wanted my necklace to portray that look.

TSummers: Monarch Memories Necklace 4

I liked these vintage graduated black faceted beads with it. I wanted the necklace to come down a little lower than I usually make, so that the pendant would sit nicely but would be protected, and it ended up being 21″.

I found the colours in this wing to be perfect for a fall piece.

I so enjoy creating with my natural found treasures. 🙂

Tamara Summers
Pink Pearls and Potpourri at Etsy

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  • Just gorgeous, Tamara! The story, the rescue, the single wing that was waiting for you – and most of all, the finished necklace. This bottled wing makes a stunning pendant (as well as a unique way to preserve the wing), and I love how the vintage bead strand accentuates the black in the wing. Thank you for sharing this piece and its story!

  • Tamara says:

    I’m glad you enjoyed the story, Rena, and thank you for your compliment on the finished piece. 🙂 I looked in the place I left the moth 2 days later when I went down there, and didn’t see him/her, so was hoping he/she went on their way. The next time I was down a Monarch flew by me on the beach, close to my face, and I said “Hi, is that you?” 😀

  • Thank you for sharing that lovely epilogue to the butterfly story, Tamara! I’m sure it must have been the same one, saying hello. 🙂

  • A few months back, I found the wings of a Luna Moth. First one, and then another and then…I realized the moth had probably been the meal of a bat the night previous(I live on a nature preserve, and bats are always out at night).

    It didn’t occur to me to memorialize the beautiful moth as you have with your Monarch – good for you. But I did point out the wings to a visitor, who asked if she might have them. Perhaps she has found a way, as you did, to lovingly display.

  • Tamara says:

    Terrie, thank you for sharing your experience with the Luna Moth. That must be very cool to live on a nature preserve! 🙂

    I hope it was the same one, Rena. If so, it must be a beach-loving butterfly, which is something it and I have in common, lol.

  • Catherine Franz says:

    This is awesome!

  • Tamara Summers says:

    Thank you, Catherine! And thank you for sharing this post again, Rena! That necklace has migrated from my collection of sellable jewellery to hanging from a little black wall plaque in my dining room. Not saying that I wouldn’t sell it to the right person who loved and wanted it, but in the meantime… 🙂

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