Friday, November 20, 2015

We're All Ears November 2015

This month for the We're All Ears challenge, Erin has inspired us to make earrings based on all the unique shapes of seed pods!  You can read more about why she had seed pods on the brain over on the Earrings Everyday blog HERE.

Here are some of the cool vintage botanical prints that Erin shared with us to get us going:

The first thing that came to my mind for this challenge were some copper plated pewter poppy pods from Nunn Design.  (I have them in silver too but that didn't feel very forest floor!)  I paired them with some fun swirled Czech glass coin beads.   These are a bit on the heavy side for earrings, so they won't be for everyone!

My second two pairs of earrings may be more spore or mushroom like than pod themed, but hopefully it's not too big of a stretch!  I received both the orangey-red speckled ceramic beads and the green and gold wood beads in a shipment from Blueberry Cove Beads.  For the orangey pair I mixed in some Czech glass drops and tiny rondelles.  For the green pair I added some faceted agate beads to the wood and copper plated findings.   

I hope you'll stop by the Earrings Everyday blog to see what everyone else was inspired to create this month!

Monday, November 16, 2015

New Earring Monday: Weeks 45 and 46

The year just keeps marching on... finding us at weeks 45 and 46!  The last couple of weeks have been busy ones in my world.  We've seen our friends' play, caught the new James Bond movie, gone to two concerts, and had a whole weekend of birthday fun for my sweet husband.  On the jewelry business front, I participated in a small craft show at my husband's workplace and delivered a collection of jewelry to the West Side Perk coffeehouse in Bloomington.

My first pair of earrings this week were designed to compliment my newest necklace design that was made in response to this month's Art Bead Scene challenge.  (If you missed that post, you can check it out HERE.)  I didn't want the earrings to be too matchy matchy with the necklace so I started with the same leaf shape but in turquoise with a Picasso finish.  This pair is a twist on an earring design that I haven't made in a long time.  I pulled in some dark read Czech glass beads and plated hematite to round out the design.

Next up is a special order that a friend requested.  They are destined to be a gift so I won't out who they were made for!  My friend brought me the little "drink me" charms and asked me to make some Alice in Wonderland themed earrings.  Today is seriously dreary making winter photography even more challenging than usual so you can't really tell that the jet beads have shiny polka dots on the otherwise matte surface.  I chose them because I felt they give a playful feel to the red and black design.  I'm hoping my friend loves them... otherwise it will be back to the drawing board!

My Inlinkz account isn't playing nice today but I still want to see your earring creations!  Please share you link in the comments so I can pop by and see what you've been busy making!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Art Bead Scene November 2015

This month's Art Bead Scene challenge inspiration is a lovely muted fall floral silk screened by Marguerite Zorach.  I find the colors quite striking and have a number of art beads in my stash that would work well this month... this could be another month of multiple entries for me depending on how my month goes.  You can find out more about the artwork and the artist over on the ABS blog HERE.

Autumn flowers
by Marguerite Zorach
I've been a member of the Simple Truths Sampler Club that Erin Prais-Hintz offers through her company Tesori Trovati for quite some time now.  For the last couple of years, Erin has committed to making something inspired by the Art Bead Scene monthly challenge for the club each month.  Sadly, many of her little treasures are languishing in my art bead cabinet (mostly because I want to keep them all for myself!) but that is not the fate of this month's offering!  (By the way, Erin does currently have spots in the Sampler Club... find out more about it HERE.)

This month Sampler Club members got a tiny peak at the November artwork a couple of days early since she sent them out with the October selections.  Because I had such early access to her pendant, I knew I wanted to make something with it before attempting anything else.  Here's the pendant that I received... she calls them "Love, Autumn."

It's hard to tell in my photo, but there is a fabulous pearlescence to the pendant that helped drive my bead selection for this project.  I really wanted to break out of my normal design mode and play with a mix of bead shapes and colors... all in a (gasp) asymmetrical design.  I chose a mix of mostly Czech glass beads that pulled out the various colors from the pendant and the painting that inspired it.  I was fortunate to have some plated hematite beads that echoed the pearly blue in the pendant with their metallic sheen.  To round things out I also threw in some brass beads and gemstones (red wood lace stone?).  Originally, I was thinking I'd use waxed linen for my stringing material, but it was quickly apparent to me that I would be better off using beading wire. 

Without further ado, here is my finished necklace!  I'm pleased as punch with how this one turned out.  How do you think I did?

Monday, November 2, 2015

New Earring Monday: Weeks 43 and 44

>Happy New Earring Monday and welcome to November!  I really thought that October was going to move at a more leisurely pace, but that's not really how it went down.  I think that it might be time to admit that life will probably always be a whirlwind!  Despite that fact, I vow to try and savor every moment and experience I can... two more months to enjoy what 2015 has to offer.

I'm super excited to share this first pair of earrings for this installment.  While digging around in my messing studio for something else entirely, I stumbled upon a pack of cool silver colored filigree pieces that I bought from my friend Marcia when she was destashing some items she no longer needed.  Even though I'd looked at this pack many times before, suddenly the light bulb went on and I had a clear idea of what I wanted to try with them.  

I pulled out some Arte Metal rectangle blanks from Vintaj and matching rivets and then sat down with my hole punch pliers and my hammer... and bingo!  I would love to make another pair, but I seem to have lost the filigree pieces in my mess of a space.  (I really hope that Marcia doesn't read this!!)  It may be past time to do some studio clean up... maybe next week.

I decided to keep with a riveting theme for my second pair of earrings... I really don't play enough with this technique and I really should do more!  This time I mixed copper and Arte Metal for a leafy pair that feels like fall to me.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Art Jewelry Elements Component of the Month: Ravens!

Usually, the Art Jewelry Elements blog offers up a specific Component of the Month for their editors and a few lucky guests to design with for their monthly challenge.  For October they shook things up a bit and are allowing anyone to participate... and it wasn't even limited to jewelry this time!  The theme for the month is the raven.  Karen Totten wrote a great introductory post about the facts and myths surrounding ravens (and how they differ from crows) that you can read HERE.  To keep the raven love going and further inspire us, Jenny Davies-Reazor just shared a post about the ravens of Celtic myth that you can check out HERE.

Common Raven, from "Into the Woods".
Eric and I both love ravens and have a few different art pieces in our house, so I had to play along... but first I had to find the perfect art bead to feature.  In digging through my mess of beads and supplies (good gravy but I need to block out some serious time to get my studio under control!!) I found a pendant that I had totally forgotten about from Kylie Parry.  I bought it in a destash bundle quite a while back and (hangs head in shame) it was still in the box she shipped to me.

As usual, I forgot to snap a picture before I began my design.  Sigh.
Technically, it's supposed to be a crow (at least as far as her listing goes) but I think he looks raven-y enough.  He's got the ruff of feathers around his neck anyway!

I used mostly gemstones (jasper and carved agate) as well as some Czech glass.  I also added a cool metal bead that I bought in Santa Fe a few years back that's a mix of copper and silver.  For now, the back is copper plated chain to match the other copper findings but I'm tempted to replace that with some black deerskin leather lace.  I'd love to hear your thoughts on that.

This is a blog hop.  Check out today's post on the Art Jewelry Elements blog to see what everyone else was inspired to make HERE.  Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Art Bead Scene October 2015: Take Two

When I initially started working on this month's Art Bead Scene challenge, I had a couple of different art beads pulled but wasn't sure if I'd actually pull both projects off.  The earrings were relatively quick and easy so I got them done right away.  (You can see them HERE if you missed them.)  The necklace that I had in mind took a little longer to come together, but I did manage to pull it off before the end of the month!

Ma'at from Tomb of the Queen Nerfertari
Valley of the Queens
This time around, I wanted to focus more on Ma'at's wings as well as the rich gemstone colors in the artwork.  My starting place was a wonderful ceramic wing pendant from Earthenwood Studio that I've been hoarding forever.  I love the bronzy, slightly metallic glaze that she used on this piece (I think she calls it oxidation).  I pulled some lapis barrel beads that I've had forever and some matte carnelian rounds (boy, do I wish I had picked up more of those babies!) to get started.  I added in some faceted hessonite garnets and some metal cube beads (they look somewhere between antiqued brass and copper).

I knew that I wanted to pull all the elements together with multiple strands of waxed Irish linen and this is what I came up with for my second go at this challenge!

Monday, October 19, 2015

New Earring Monday: Weeks 41 and 42

Wow!  We are week 42 of 2015 which means only 10 more weeks in the year... and only 5 more New Earring Mondays left!  That just blew my mind a little bit.

This week I'm going to kick things off by sharing another special order that came out of the Art Wander.  In this case, the customer had seen a necklace she liked at my house on the Wander, but ended up walking away.  When she got to Unearthed Arts, where I have my jewelry all the time, she saw a similar design and decided to buy it as a gift... just one problem, she needed earrings to go with it!  We finally got the chance to meet up and design what she wanted and here it is what we came up with...

Next up, I've been playing with a design that I debuted at Art Wander... my long oak leaf and owl earrings.  I've been trying some new colors (love these beads!).  I've only sold two pairs of this style so far, so I should probably slow down on production, but I love this design!  I'm in desperate need of an Etsy shop revamp, and I'm thinking I'll list these there and see what happens.  I know long isn't for everyone, but I'm hoping that the right person will find these little hooties.

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