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Monday, November 20, 2017

Pretty painted brass

I haven't had much time for making jewellery over these past couple of weeks. Family and work commitments have taken over and if it wasn't for this blog, I'd have nothing new made! Whenever I have a break from creating, I always find it difficult to start again. Typically, I surround myself with components, but this never helps!
So, I took a deep breath and just pulled out this beautiful pair of hand-painted brass charms by my fabulously talented friend, Suhana Hart of Buttoned Up Beads. Aren't the colours beautiful? I love the pattern too. I added some pretty brass hoops and picked out the colours with these fabulous seed beads and lentils (they're from a new range at Smitten Beads. Really worth checking out). Although this design is pretty simple, it took me a good couple of hours until I was happy with it. Out of practice, y'see.
Thought I'd share these other two pairs featuring Suhana's painted brass charms. These include beautiful lampwork beads by UK artist Joanne Joyce, brass triangles and pretty earwires by Lucy Haslam

And this final pair, with heart shaped charms, and some rather lovely chunky recycled glass, and more brass hoops
So, all of these are available in my etsy shop. Thanks for stopping by. I'll be back in a couple of weeks, when hopefully the creative juices will be flowing a little more speedily!
Sue x

Friday, November 17, 2017

We're All Ears :: November Reveal :: Quotes

Hello earring peeps!
Sorry for the delay. Google has been messing with me and somehow froze my account - meaning I couldn't access this blog, my photos, my email - nothing! But I somehow found a way back in! Better late than never!

This month was a special challenge inspired by our friend and editor Loralee Kolton. She challenged ME to find a way to use quotes to be the inspiration. Challenge accepted!

I selected the quotes because they had a built in visual element to the words and because they spoke to me. I believe in wearing positive power mantras in my jewelry and this would be a very abstract way to do that. Only you would know that this is a representation of a powerful message. I like that bit of mystery.

So here are my four pairs of earrings. Which quote speaks to you?

 I was thinking literally of stars when I read this quote. But I don't happen to have any star shaped beads. So I decided to seek out shiny crystals. And that is when I spotted a strand of these fun two-hole beads. They are tiny, like little pinponts of light, and they have the most magnificent flash of an AB color treatment (very hard to photograph). I wanted them to have a bit of a shooting star vibe, but my 16 gauge steel wire was not cooperating. In frustration, I crossed the ends of the paddles I had made, which reminded me of awareness ribbons. There are people that I know that are facing insurmountable odds and grave darkness with many different circumstances. And this quote speaks to me because you cannot appreciate the light without the darkness. It is a hope-full quote and one that resonates with me to also be that star shining in the darkness for another.

I have a friend who is the most positive person I know. She exudes a bubbly optimism that is infectious and striking. She and her husband own a cabin cruiser boat that they spend all summer on and when she knew that I was making this quote into a pair of earrings, she told me she immediately thought of her maritime adventures. I was at first thinking of maps and journeys. But as I worked through that thought I realized that I would need a lot more time to make that vision a reality. What I next considered were compass roses and arrows and the concept of true north. True North is the direction along the surface of the earth that points directly toward the North Pole. It is a fixed point that orients your entire world. To be successful, you need to stay on track, and your "true north" are your guiding principles, your core values and your most deeply held beliefs that point you in the right direction. To be truly you, this internal compass guides your way. Finding your "true north" means staking your integrity, fueling your passion, and taking steps to journey toward your one true goal - and that is different for every person.

Initially, I wanted to make something triangular that would call to mind a mountain, with a bright shining crystal at the top. For me a mountain is uncharted territory, and although it may be a steep climb, rife with pitfalls and downhill slides, reaching that summit is a goal. I imagine that the view from the top of a mountain is glorious and filled with light. I found these odd shaped golden crystals that I loved. And then I spotted these little triangular bead frames. I tried to make those top heavy crystals balance on top but it just didn't work. I was about to give up when I noticed that one had flipped upside down. That is when it all came together. And it reminded me of this quote...and how a change in perspective can make all the difference.

Acorns are a very powerful symbol of growth to me. I have little bowls of them in my house, and one that I found on a walk in my car as a reminder that from the smallest seeds can come the largest trees. I knew that I had to use an acorn for this pair. I have these lovely acorn bead caps, but I always struggle to find a bead in my stash that fits them properly. Then I spied some long-neglected ceramic beads by MaryAnn Carroll. They have this band of the most yummy rust and apricot glaze and best of all they fit the caps! I remembered that I had a stash of enameled oak leaves from Anne of Gardanne Beads and modified some Vintaj oak leaves to add some layering. This quote reminds me that the growing is the thing, not the seed, not the tree. It is not where you start from but where you are growing to that counts, and the day you stop growing, stop learning, stop striving is the day you die. I have a lot more rings left in this tree trunk!

I hope you enjoyed my journey through some favorite quotes! Which one is your favorite quote? One of these or another one? Be sure to add that to your comment as I am a collector of quotes and this was certainly a challenge, and fun, exercise! Thanks to Miss Loralee for suggesting it!

Your turn! Add your link below and be sure to hop around to see what everyone else created! (LinkyTools will be open for one week, so get your post in!)


Thursday, November 16, 2017

Land of the rising Sun

I was scrambling at the last minute for ideas to make some earrings. I always have a hard time deciding which colors to go with. I think I need to start writing colors onto pieces of paper and just draw a main color at random and go from there lol

So instead, I went on my FB page and asked my friends what colors I should go with. Orange and Fall colors were some of the suggestions (among many other fun ideas), and since I had a pair of handmade polymer clay components that had some nice orangey shades to it, I pulled out some Carnelians and went to town:

http://www.MyGardenOfLove.Etsy.com


I'm a sucker for Copper, especially when it comes to coupling them with rich Fall jewel tones. I wanted to use some kind of bead cap for the chunky faceted carnelian briolettes, but I didn't have anything suitable on hand. I pulled out some of my handmade slightly domed copper beadcaps and bent them to make a bit of an Asian style cover for the top, as I wanted to add a bit of width to the bottom part.

A few more copper accents and carnelian beads, and voila!

I wish the "rising sun" would make its appearance here. We've been drowning in rain for the past couple of weeks now. I had just a wee bit of a break to go plant my seed garlic in the garden (after the blizzard we had, I thought I had missed the window to plant garlic). It's been very wet and dreary here... these sunny Carnelians were a very welcome sunny sight on my bench!

I need to take better pictures before I list them, although it looks like they might be spoken for already :)

Happy Thanksgiving to all our friends in the US!

Cheers,
Nathalie
Visit my shops:
My Garden of Love on Etsy
The Crafty Tribe on Etsy

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Gilded Fragments

I find these components very moving.  Blissfully asymmetrical with the touches of rich gold that bring a warm cohesive feel.  The beautiful ceramic charms in both earrings, were handmade by Andrea Salkowe of JosephineBeads.   They remind me of broken pieces of fine china.

The folded pod type beads at the top, were purchased at The Bead & Button Show.  They are 24k gold vermeil.  I remember in detail, going to the register to pay, and the shock on my face when the little baggie of beads I was carrying was totaled up!  You see, you pay per ounce for the beads of this kind and not by design like I'm used to.  It was an education! Maybe I am the only one who didn't know..lol  But goodness, just look at 'em...





To create the illusion of space and add a little sparkle I used some very old crystals repurposed from a 1930's necklace.


For this pair I used some lovely druzy agate for texture and a bit of softness from glass pearls.




Can you tell I'm gearing up for the holidays with the touches of gold?  I will also admit that I've listened to more than a few Christmas carols already..lol

A million thank yous for stopping by and having a look today! 

Talk with you soon,

Loralee xo


Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Old love

Hello peeps,

How are you all doing? I hope you’re enjoying the fall.
Last week we spend some wonderful days exploring some ancient sites on the Peloponnese. The weather was wonderful, apart from one morning of heavy rain. We drove through gorgeous mountainous terrain, with lots of trees in autumn colors.

This is the Pantanassa monastery in Mystras, dedicated in September 1428. It is the only monastery on the site still permanently inhabited.

These few days traveling and exploring brought my muse back to live. I am back to my old love: bead embroidery.

Last weekend I made three pairs. Here is one pair:




A picture of a fourth- still in progress- project, which gives you an idea how I make these.

The design start with gluing components on ultra suede.Then I get to play with tiny beads which I embroider on the ultra suede.
One pair will take me about 4 hours to make.

Bead embroidery gives me the freedom to place the beads exactly where I want them.
The advantage of bead embroidered earrings is that they are very lightweight.




These, as well as the other 2 pairs are available in my shop.

Thank you for visiting. And you know the drill. I love to read your comments, so don’t be shy and write a few words. See you next month.

Wishing you a wonderful day,
Janine
Esfera Jewelry

My etsy shop
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Monday, November 13, 2017

Warm and Cozy

The leaves are almost all off my trees. I have even started shopping for Christmas presents. The year is zooming on its way. With the cooler days I start thinking of cozy knit sweaters, scarves, and playful gloves.

I love fiber and texture in my jewelry designs. I have made knitted straps to use with necklaces and bracelets. Soooooo, I just had to try smaller straps and see how they looked as earring components.

These are my first three experiments. I used artisan enameled beads for all three pieces.

This first pair is made with a mulberry and light blue yarn with teardrop enamel charms from Alison Page Studios. I named them 'Mulberry Wine'.









The next two pairs are a work in progress. I did snap some shots of how I plan on them looking when completed. Remember my mentioning the year zooming by? But I will finish them! I find jewelry making so relaxing.

This pair is a forest green mixed yarn that looks wonderful with enamel diamond charms from 4 Ophelia. I named them 'Green with Envy'. I think the swirls in the enamel is so lush.












And the last pair have a fun mix of pinks, yellows, green in the yarn. The sweet little enamel leaves are from Gardanne Beads. I have been hording these leaves for a while. They seemed so cheerful I named them 'Hello Morning'.











I love wearing earrings in fall and winter. I think it is their time to shine since winter is all about bundling up with scarves and coats. Now I feel like I am wearing a scarf on my ears.

 
Until next time, stay warm and have fun making earrings,
Jetta 

Friday, November 10, 2017

Spikes, 4 ways,

sort of.  I had plans for this.  I have spiky drops of many shapes and sizes in my bead stash.  I wanted to make a series of spiky earrings, the series obviously didn't happen (not enough hours in the day) but I managed to squeeze in a few.  Here's how they turned up.

I used these absolutely stunning lampwork spikes by Janna Petrovna, topped with double caps, claws (had to get some in there) and Czech glass.  


And a second pair with similar spikes.


3rd pair also features Janna's beads, chubby hollow lampwork pins topped with triple caps, claws and Czech glass flowers.


And finally a 4th pair, featuring spiky dangles by Jana Bliznakova


These will be available in my FB show on Sunday in The Earring Show.  See you in a few weeks time with more ear candy <3

Suhana
My Etsy shop: Buttoned Up Beads 

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Goldenrod

Our son Jesse, who lives in Kansas City, has been visiting for the last few days.  As I'm writing this, we've just dropped him off at the airport, and I'm feeling tenderhearted toward the world at the moment. 💗


That, and that feeling you often have when your grown kids leave after a visit...that bittersweet wish that they could stay longer.  But the sweet thing is that these earrings are a gift for Jesse's sister, Rhia, and working on them has added to that tenderhearted feeling too.

And about the earrings...  They owe a lot of their sleekness to these gorgeous asymmetrical lampwork headpins by Kimberly Rogers.  Their beautiful colors of mustard yellow swirled with gleaming gray and their crusty/shiny glaze make them irresistible.


I emphasized the slim, elongated lines of the headpins by topping them with slender copper tube beads wrapped with what look like little vines, and then adding small bead caps, rustic yellow Czech glass beads, and finally beautifully faceted topaz-colored helix-shaped glass crystal beads.

They're lightweight, sleek, and elegant.  (And I hope Rhia loves them!)  😊

Goldenrod


Headpins:  Kimberly Rogers
Copper tube beads:  by JBB Findings (at Rings and Things)
Bead caps:  Copper plated pewter bead caps by TierraCast (Fusionbeads.com or your favorite place to buy TierraCast)
Helix crystal beads:  Available at Danette Darbonne on Etsy.


Thank you so much for reading--I'll be back in two weeks!

xoxo
Meridy

My shop
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Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Wonderful Wool.

The clocks were turned back in the UK last weekend and the nights are drawing in - that's an old fashioned phrase! But old fashion is on my mind this week. 

I'm still hooked on textiles. Maybe it's the texture- they look so warm and cosy. Maybe the colours - such an array, from natural neutrals to bright primaries. Anyhow, in the search for something new to show you this week, I came across these Dorset Buttons.

Who knew? These buttons started their life in this country in 1622 (very precise!) and ceased hand production in the 1850's when machines began to take over. Made in Dorset, in the very south of England, they were a cottage industry that often the whole family took part in - mum, kids, and dad when he got home from the fields in the evening. The first ones used products of local sheep farming - rams horn for the circular frame and either wool or cloth scraps for the winding. Sold or traded, they were valuable items, for the clothes of the well-to-do.

I love the wheel pattern - they speak of cart wheels and spinning wheels. Pre-industrialisation.






The first pair in these fabulous neutrals I attached with a curled over piece of copper sheet and a ball end headpin - both made by Lucy Haslam, as are the earwires. The
stoneware spikes are from Petra Carpreau.







A second pair has darker neutrals, and ceramic connectors, again from Petra Carpreau, with little moving wheels, just like an old loom. Dark satanic mills, indeed.
 
 
 
Then I went for some serious colour! On the blue and yellow, more Petra spikes, dumortierite and Lucy's chartreuse earwires. On the blue and pink - Patricia Ritchie lampwork and sari silk, with copper rings and wine earwires (again, Lucy).  
 
 

 
The buttons? Still hand made, but in the Midlothian area of Scotland from local wool, hand spun and dyed by Gilleon Finley-Coull. Since early 2017 the buttons have been protected as a Heritage Craft.  


                                                              See you in two weeks

                                                                      Lindsay x

                                                                  My Etsy shop
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On Wobbly Legs

Hi again, I'm back. Have been on a brake for a few months as you might have noticed (and if you haven't that's fine too :-)).

Isn't it interesting how often after you have created something and you take a step back and look at it, you realize that it so much represents you and the time you are going through right now. In fact the subconsious always seems to have this kind of grip on me. And it always catches my by surprise.


Like with these earrings. The first piece of jewelry I have completed for some time. And I am on very wobbly legs in my life right now. In many ways. Both literally and methaphoricly. So "wobbly legs" they are named.



Ingredients:
Green and yellow raku fired ceramic disks by Jubilee
Dark grey (black) matte 6/0 seed beads
Oxidized copper wire 20 G
Heavily oxidized sterling silver handmade earring hooks



All my best,
Malin






Monday, November 6, 2017

Gorgeous ceramics

It's November already! How did that happen? Suddenly, the weather seems much colder, the nights are crisper. I love these final three months of the year, mainly because my daughters were born in October, November and December. As I write this, there is the most beautiful full moon in a clear sky. It's Bonfire Night here in the UK, so there is also the sound of fireworks...which brings me to these little crackers (did you see what i did there? ;-)).

These gorgeous ceramic slices are from the uber talented Claire Lockwood. Aren't they fine? Now she doesn't have updates of her beautiful ceramic components very often, so i tend to hold onto any purchases. I love the colours in these. Perfect for Autumn, don't you think? I've paired them with beautiful bronze and silver nuggets by Maryse Fritz-Thillens , some silver leaves and brass hoops and absolutely love all of these colours together.


Now these pretties will be available in my shop (link below), but i also wanted to show you some other pretty things made with Claire's components (all gone to new homes). It's been nice remembering these makes! First off, these beautiful purple, blue and ivory ceramic drops. I love the color and textures in these. I just added some copper teardrops and jump rings, and purple seed beads.
And these stunning crescent connectors, with some greek metal spacers and brass chain. Hoping she makes more of these (hint hint, Claire -if you're reading this!)
So that's it from me. I'm back in a couple of weeks :-)
Sue 


Friday, November 3, 2017

We're All Ears :: November Inspiration

So you can blame my friend and yours - Loralee Kolton - for this month's inspiration.

I was doing research on "The Hidden World of Seeds" after seeing this aptly named article on a book entitled "Seeing Seeds" by Robert Llewellyn. And then I spotted Loralee's awesome post about seeds and pods as the basis for earrings. (Wahn-wah!)

I told her that great minds think alike!

Even though Loralee indicated that she did indeed have more seed inspirations in her, I decided to switch gears. And in the conversation that we had she gave me a suggestion....


That was an intriguing proposition. (And words really ARE my magic!)

I love quotes and collect them obsessively. I have a most awesome page-a-day calendar (and if you have ever received an order from me, chances are that you received one of these quotes randomly tucked inside). I pulled together a collection of four different quotes from the past few weeks that spoke to me for various reasons and also had some sort of visual attached to them. Since I couldn't quite bring myself to select just one, I decided to let you choose.



For November's We're All Ears Challenge, choose your favorite of the four quotes and make a pair of earrings that illustrates that message. If you are feeling mighty feisty and really want a CHALLENGE, then do more than one...or even all four! I dare you!

And as Loralee said, "It would be exciting to see everyone's take on the same message!" Indeed!

Won't you join me? See you on Friday, November 17th for the reveal!


Thursday, November 2, 2017

Simple lines

Sometimes things get too complicated in life and we're reminded that we should aim to keep things simple.... go back to basics. Lines. Metal. Wire. Pure lines. No color. Simple. Minimalist. Simplicity.

My brain is still adjusting to verrrrry slow and verrrrry gradual increases in my new epilepsy medication (this stuff is potent, wow), and I do feel better for awhile, but when the next small increase comes up on the schedule, it takes awhile for my brain to adjust and then it's a challenge until I've adjusted.

Because of this, I don't have anything new to show you today, but I pulled a few pairs of earrings I've made in the past that show this concept of keeping things very very simple.

Sometimes when the creative muse isn't 'happening', maybe just going back to pure simple lines is a way to create while the muse is on vacay ;)

Here's a few examples for you:











What do you do when your muse wanders off?
I'd love to hear!

Be well,
Nathalie

Visit my shops:
My Garden of Love on Etsy
The Crafty Tribe on Etsy

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Gone To Seed




Happy November, my seedy-beady friends!  Loralee here, today I'm sharing  sculptural botanical beads by Melissa Gabelle of The Clay Hen!  


I love the rough texture of the petals and the bold lines.  I wanted to carry those lines back to the top so, I added some fabric beads by Sagahus with blackened steel wire and that same yellow-green.  I originally was going to wire-wrap the petal to the fabric connector, but thought the tip was too delicate.  Instead, I tried an oversized hammered jumpring and added some larger seedbeads.  It turned out much better this way!  It protected the charm, added more variety of color, and the suggestion of seeds that I was envisioning all along.






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Such a beautiful rich brown color with that beautiful pop of yellow - it's a favorite of mine.  To me, they are Georgia O'Keeffe-esk, but at the same time, with the use of the heavier gauge wire, look somewhat urban/industrial.  

For the seeds I used, Czech glass, teardrop Picasso beads. They are matte with soft painterly spots of yellow...I can't tell you how thrilled I was when I discovered them in my stash!  Don't you love when things fall together like that...just meant to be!  





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I paired these open pods with some wispier fabric wrapped beads, again, by Sagahus.  The feathery fabric pieces match the gentle brush strokes of paint used on the pods. I have a tendency to oxidize most things but these are amazing in bright copper.  Eventually they may have a more subtle natural patina.   At a recent beading retreat I was gifted some fine (26g, I believe) braided copper wire.  It made the most beautiful wrapping.  *Psst...thank you, Lin Standke xo




November is always bittersweet for me, as I say goodbye to my favorite season.   However, I've started pulling some wintry things out now....it's time.

Many thanks for joining me today, it's wonderful to hear feedback especially when you work alone in a studio for so many hours...lol . Until next time!


Loralee xo

Loralee Kolton Jewerly