Many things came to mind when I thought of this area: the natural beauty of the land, quilting, bluegrass music, small country churches, tight knit families...but the two things that I kept coming back to were coal and fall leaves.
Coal is the main industry here, and it's rare to find a family without at least one coal miner (my father is a retired miner), or take a trip to town without seeing men in their mining uniforms. Fall is my favorite time of year, and the mountains come alive with brilliant yellows, reds, and oranges. I love the colors, the crisp fall mountain air, and the various festivals that take place in the surrounding towns.
This is the necklace I created with these two things in mind.
The black stone in the pendant isn't actually coal, but it looks exactly like it. I added leaves in browns, oranges, and deep reds, then added chips in similar colors to form the chain. The necklace is simple, much like the way of life in this area.
I hope you've enjoyed a peek into rural southwest Virginia. If you enjoy mountains, small towns, lakes and creeks, grab a pair of hiking boots and come visit!
Be sure to head back to Erin's blog to see what inspires other bloggers.