I am from a tiny town in Kentucky, called Louisa. I grew up there and have a love/hate relationship with the town. The population is about 2000, and everyone is in everyone else's business.
Jewelry is my craft of choice, (even though I do a little of everything), so I have made a bracelet, necklace and pair of earrings representing 3 things from my hometown.
**Story Behind the Bracelet **
Louisa sits at the meeting point of two rivers, and they form a third river where they meet. The Tug River forms the border to West Virginia and the Levisa comes from within Kentucky. They both travel South to North. When they meet in Louisa, the name changes to the Big Sandy River. In October 2000, a slurry compound broke, spilling millions of gallons of coal sludge into the Tug River. While the effects were felt greater in areas south of Louisa, we still felt the impact. The slurry traveled down the Tug and into the Big Sandy. After a little while, the slurry started backing up the Levisa River, making it about a mile to the water treatment plant. The town was basically shut down for a little over a week until the water was usable again. Here is a news story reporting 4 years later about the disaster. http://www.ohvec.org/links/news/archive/2004/fair_use/10_11.html
For my bracelet I was inspired by this woven bracelet by alohamom2three.http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=220669.0
I have two strands that come together to one strand. I wanted blue focal beads (even though the rivers aren't blue, it's still a water reference) and used black seed beads on the Tug River side and blue seed beads on the Levisa side. As I got closer to where they meet, I slowly added black seed beads into the Levisa side. Where they meet, I alternated the two different focal beads and used mainly black seed beads with a few blue ones. I wanted this bracelet to remind me of the way of life where I come from. The company that spilled the slurry was given a slap on the wrist, as coal is a way of life here. I could go on and on about it, but I think that's long enough.
**Story Behind the Necklace**
Crossing the two rivers mentioned above is a bridge. The bridge is listed in Ripley's Believe it or Not. It spans two rivers (Tug and Levisa Fork), has a right turn in the center, connects two states (Kentucky and West Virginia), two cities (Louisa, Kentucky, and Fort Gay, West Virginia), two counties (Lawrence County, Kentucky and Wayne County, West Virginia).
When someone not familiar with the area asks how to get to the "Point Section" area of town, locals will often get confused looks when explaining to "Go to the middle of the bridge and turn right." I was inspired by the same bracelets as above but made it longer, and added a Y to it.
**Story Behind the Earrings**
Ok, not really much of a story here. Louisa does have one of the largest lakes in the state, when measured by shoreline. This is because it is mainly a series of connected creeks. There isn't much of a large area of water.
I liked the way it has little branches everywhere, so I made pretty simple earrings. Started with earwires, added a chain, then two headpins with 5 blue seed beads to each of the 8 loops on the chain. Pretty simple.
**End of Story**