Friday, December 19, 2014

We're All Ears: December 2014

This month's inspiration for the We're All Ears challenge hosted on the Earrings Everyday blog is truly mesmerizing!  It took me awhile to wrap my head around what I wanted to make, but I knew I had to do something for this one.

Erin chose an amazing sculpture that really needs to be seen in action to be appreciated.  I would so love to see it in person...but it might put me in a trance!  Breaking Wave is an anamorphic kinetic sculpture created for Biogen-Idec's new headquarters in Cambridge, MA. The sculpture was created by Plebian Design and Hypersonic.  

When viewing this sculpture, it appears random and chaotic unless you happen to be standing in one of two hidden spots where the patterns are revealed...

Seriously, do yourself a favor and watch this short video of the piece in motion... you won't be sorry!

After viewing that clip, I'm sure you understand why I just had to make something for this challenge.  I wanted to try and capture some of the movement of the piece but also its structure.  I thought that using some tiny, neutral Czech glass rounds on headpins might just do the trick... but what to hang them from?  

I ended up deciding to 
play with the idea of the gears that make the whole mechanism work and come to life so I picked out some Vintaj natural brass blanks in gear shapes.  I chose to go for an asymmetrical design this time using two different gear shapes.  I added textures to each gear after punching some holes in the blanks and then domed them.    

To keep things from being too monochromatic and boring, I mixed sterling components in with the brass and brown glass.  I also added a thin layer of silver paint onto the gears and then sealed with Renaissance Wax.

It was honestly great fun to just sit down at my work table and play with these.  I think they are super cute and funky... hopefully my customers agree!  Worse case scenario, I guess I could always make another set and then match them up.

This is a blog hop.  You can check out what everyone else was inspired to make over on the Earrings Everyday blog HERE.     

Thursday, December 18, 2014

30 Words: The Christmas Present

What’s the best present under the tree?  
Well, I am of course!  
The handsomest too!    
But I promise to cuddle the other gifts, 
keeping them warm for you until Christmas.

The premise of 30 Word Thursday is simple... take a photo, write 30 words (no more, no less) and post it each Thursday.  This is a blog hop hosted by Erin Prais-Hintz over on her blog Treasures Found, pop on over there to see her post for this week as well as links to the 30 Words from everyone else.

Monday, December 15, 2014

New Earring Monday: Weeks 49 & 50

Since we are so close to Christmas and solidly into winter weather now, I thought I'd tie into that for New Earring Monday this week.

I've got two variations on a theme again... this time I'm playing with some post style earrings for the very first time.  We keep getting inquiries at the Unearthed Arts gallery about post-style or non-dangly earrings so I decided to give it a shot.  I bought a pack of Nunn Design ornate mini circle earrings in silver plate and started to play.

Hoping to get a few holiday items done this year before the holidays are over (memo to self, start working on holiday items MUCH earlier next year!), I pulled out my Christmas scrapbook papers and my UV resin and here's the result.

First up, I went a little more subtle with these little sleighs paired with some small fluted gemstone dangles.  (So, these don't fully fill the no dangle request, but they are much smaller than most of my other earrings.) The black and cream color scheme makes these appropriate throughout the winter.

My second pair is more obviously Christmasy since I filled the bezels with Christmas trees!  For the little dangles I used some small dyed green agate rondelles paired with silver plated spacers.

I took both of these pairs to Unearthed Arts last Friday (along with another pair I'll share in the next New Earring Monday reveal) and I hope they will get snatched up quickly.

I think I'll definitely order some of the other post style earrings in my next Nunn Design order... including some without the loops for dangles.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Proust's Overcoat: Inspired by Reading Book Club

This is the last installment of the Inspired by Reading Book Club for 2014.  I feel like a broken record lately but, seriously, where has this year gone??

I actually read this slim volume during my trip to Pennsylvania for the book club meet up in October.  I have to admit that while it was a quick read, it didn't really resonate too much with me... likely because I've never read anything by Proust (and probably never will.)

This is a nonfiction title that relates the story of one man's passion for (maybe even obsession with) all things Marcel Proust.  Being a librarian married to a book collector, I get the desire to collect to some extent, but I have a hard time going to some of the lengths that Jacques Guerin did.

The imagery that really stuck out to me was really just a tiny mention in Guerin's backstory describing his family's perfume company.  The author describes a large, bright room that housed women "sorting through white, yellow, orange, and crimson rose petals, which, once picked over, were piled high in huge wicker baskets."

I ended up wire wrapping some orange and yellow Czech glass flowers to a brass filigree hoop and hanging it from a simple brass chain.  I wanted to give a little more movement and visual interest to the pendant so I hung the hoop from the chain slightly off center and then added a dark red glass flower and an orange leaf dangling from the bottom of the hoop.

You can check out what everyone else made this month too:

Sarajo Wentling - That's me!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

30 Words: Time Keeps Ticking

Where does all the time go?  
The year disappears 
one tick, 
        one tock 
               at a time.
We try to capture it, 
but it’s slip slides 
through our fingers 
and away.

The premise of 30 Word Thursday is simple... take a photo, write 30 words (no more, no less) and post it each Thursday.  This is a blog hop hosted by Erin Prais-Hintz over on her blog Treasures Found, pop on over there to see her post for this week as well as links to the 30 Words from everyone else.

This photo was taken on our trip to Pennsylvania in October when we went on a field trip to the Phipps Conservatory in Pittsburgh with Andrew Thornton.

Monday, December 1, 2014

New Earring Monday: Weeks 47 & 48

Happy December everyone!  I hope you all had a happy and blessed Thanksgiving... I certainly did.  As the holidays approach, it seems like it's harder for me to feel motivated to create new jewelry when there are so many other things going on.  Despite a bit of a creative slump, I'm not going to fail in my earring challenge at this point in the year!

I decided to do a little more "project cleanup" for this week's installment of New Earring Monday.  During the Art Wander studio tour back in September, I had my Sizzix BIGkick machine out to show my guests how I make some of my embossed and etched metal pieces with it.  Folks were super excited to learn and to get to press out some designs themselves.  (Want to know what I'm talking about?  Check out my blog post on using the BIGkick and paints HERE.)  

I was actually planning ahead when I chose the designs that I had people experiment with and I had them use the brass circle blanks that I most often use for earrings.  But, as so often happens in my world, after the show I moved onto other projects and my stack of embossed brass circles got lost in the chaos of my bead table for a while.  After two months of languishing, buried under piles of beads and findings, some of these little guys have finally become finished jewelry!

I've got two variations on a theme this week both with embossed brass circles that I sanded to highlight the raised areas and then hammered into a domed shape.  I punched extra holes into the pieces so that I could dangle little Czech glass beads from the bottom.  Voila!  

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Art Bead Scene Challenge November 2014

This month's inspiration artwork for the Art Bead Scene challenge is "Cattelya Orchid and Three Hummingbirds" by Martin Johnson Heade.  To find out more about the painting and the artist, click HERE.

"Cattelya Orchid and Three Hummingbirds" 1871 by Martin Johnson Heade

I was immediately enchanted by the lush tropical flora and fauna in this painting.  While not what I would have predicted for a November challenge, I was pleasantly surprised and excited to see all these gorgeous colors!

Per my usual process, I went digging through all my art beads looking for the perfect fit.  What I found was a lovely polymer clay pendant from  Humblebeads in mulberry. (Thanks for inspiring me Heather Powers!)  I wanted to give the pendant a little more weight so I wire wrapped a couple of lampwork spacers from Beadygirl Beads along with a wavy copper plated disc above it.

Overall, this is a pretty dark and moody piece so I added in some dyed green agates in two colors, dark pink agates, along with one of Heather's disc beads from her Midnight Garden set.  Wanting an asymmetrical look, I also wire-wrapped a hoop out of coppery peanut beads and used that to balance out the disc bead on the opposite side.  The beaded hoop also reminds me of the little hummingbird nest in the painting!

Since November has been a busy month that included a week-long trip to Alabama to see family, I'm barely getting this one in under the wire since today was the last day to add to the group Pinterest Board.   Better late than never though!  Due to the time crunch, I had to take pictures with less than ideal lighting conditions... the beads aren't really quite as bright as they appear here.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!