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Friday, May 26, 2017

Building.....achieving

My latest order from Helen Chalmers included quite a few sets of these absolutely wonderful butterfly beads.  Today's post was going to have a series of earrings featuring these beads.  That was the plan and here's what actually happened.


(photo by Helen Chalmers)

Step 1: I wrapped brass squares with seeds and added 4 strands of cup chain on each square.  Let me tell you, attaching those cup chain strands was the most time consuming process ever, I almost gave up numerous times.  I finished them but you won't see me wire wrapping cup chain strands like this again for a while.  I need to get over how many hours I spent on just that one thing.



Step 2: is where I add the butterfly beads to the wrapped squares, and I did....but they just wouldn't work.  They didn't look right with the squares - I forgot to take a photo (oopsi) but they didn't look great.  It was probably the shapes - squares and lentils....
I found these beautiful lampwork caps by Beth Mellor and they were perfect.  This was the second most time consuming task in this project.  You know how you have your mind set on particular beads (butterfly pairs from the first photo in this case) and then how it becomes absolutely impossible to look beyond those beads when they don't work out! Argh, it took me forever to find something that looked just right on top of the squares


Step 3: I still wanted to add more on top of the caps.  I played around with plain brass connectors for a while and finally settled on this.



Step 5: I tested these out (ear wires changed) to make sure they feel and look ok and they did.  they are now listed in my shop <3

Those butterfly beads, well I'll figure something else out for them....maybe for a future post :)

See you again soon <3

Suhana xxx

My Etsy shop: Buttoned Up Beads



Thursday, May 25, 2017

Bon Apatite!

Over the past six months or so I've been feeling creatively restless--not necessarily dissatisfaction with what I'm doing, but more the feeling that there are new things coming to add to it.   Lately I've been attracted to jewelry techniques and styles that have never really "called to me" before, and I've been learning new techniques and trying new ideas.    

Anyway, that kind of brings me to these earrings...  :)


I don't often use gemstones in my work, even though I love them, and I don't do a lot of wire-wrapping these days either, though I also enjoy doing that as well.  So these earrings use techniques I haven't made use of in a while.


My starting point was Cathleen Zaring's beautiful white-and-blue enameled copper crescents, a shape I love.  To suspend components like these, I often knot tiny beads into thread instead of wrapping beads on metal.  But a week or so ago I'd been digging around in my little trove of gemstones looking for some garnets and found a small bag of tiny, GORGEOUS blue neon apatite beads--and they looked great with the crescents.  I also had a feeling that these rustic-cut little beads would look best wire-wrapped onto metal.



So I made four copper connectors, darkened them with liver of sulfur, and then tumbled them for hours to give them a gorgeous gleaming chestnut brown color.  Before I put all the parts together, I wrapped the apatite beads to the connectors with raw 26-gauge copper, and then attached the crescents to the connectors and to copper jump rings (which had also received the liver of sulfur and tumbling treatment).  The teal blue niobium ear wires were the perfect final touch.

"Bon Apatite" can be found in my shop, Two Trees Studio.

I really enjoyed making these blue beauties and sharing them with you.  I also wonder how many of us might be feeling that pull of restlessness that I identify as the urge to grow and expand on a creative path.  My love and best wishes go out to you all as we share our paths together!

xoxo
Meridy










  

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Art in the Garden

Last weekend I took part in a lovely event. New to me, it was held in the wonderful garden of Jan Lord, a friend of my friend Helen Backhouse (she of Helen's Bat Cave fame).

As well as keeping about 5 acres worth of garden looking magnificent, Jan is a potter, so pottery and ceramics featured quite strongly in the show. 35 artists of all genres, in marquees placed in the garden. Very English - lots of tea and clotted cream scones!


Here's me on Sunday - having left my cardigan at home on the Saturday when it proceeded to pour with rain after the first hour, I had learnt my shivering lesson and took a jacket. Of course, it came out warm and sunny! I'm also wearing my grandson's pumps (I possess no flat shoes, not very useful when you are on grass for 2 days).


                             You wont miss the fact that I have A LOT of earrings for sale.
Here is one of my favourite pairs from the show - a sleek and simple design with copper cones that show off the beautiful colours in Helen's leaves.



And I couldn't resist showing you Tarquin, my lovely pottery tortoise (cheap to feed and no vet's bills). Traded with my neighbour for a necklace - one of the perks of live shows. He's now out in my garden, peeping out from a hosta plant, tasked with keeping the slugs and snails at bay!


                  I'm taking away great memories of a beautiful place, along with several new plants. 




                              Do you love your garden?  Or have  a favourite plant? Tell us about it.

                                                              See you next time

                                                                    Lindsay x

                                                                My Etsy shop

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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Caribbean Getaway

A friend of mine just returned from a wonderful getaway to a resort, just south of Cancun, in Playa del Carmen, Mexico.  We visited Playa, (as the locals call it) about 15 years ago, when it was just a sleepy fishing village, with a touch of tourist activity clustered near the beach.  My friend says there is now a mall, shopping centers and tons of resorts and restaurants.  Frankly, I'm glad I got to see the area in its more "natural" state.

Nevertheless, she and her middle school aged son had a wonderful two weeks of relaxing, exploring Tulum and swimming in a cenote.

When my friend described her trip to me today, I remembered how vividly turquoise the Caribbean waters are. The lampwork beads in my new earrings are Caribbean turquoise too.  I love the unusual "drip shape" of these beads and the touches of purple and white on the lower edges.  The beads were made by one of my favorite lampwork artists Julie Burgard of Outwest Beads.
I decided to play up the purple touches by suspending the lampwork glass from purple leather cord, which I topped with  lavender Czech glass flowers and handmade brass ear wires.


We may not be able to lounge on a white sand beach or splash in warm turquoise waters, but we can wear a little getaway dream on our ears. The Caribbean Getaway earrings are available in my shop.


Hope you are having sunny days, wherever you live.  I'll be back here in a week.  Till then -

Monday, May 22, 2017

A Kaleidoscope of Butterflies

A collective name for a group of butterflies is called 'Kaleidoscope'.
However others have called it 'Swarm' or 'Rabble'.
I think a Kaleidoscope suits these beautiful creatures don't you?

Sold

Lampwork by Marise Den Hartog

Rainbow Wings
Rainbow Lampwork Beads by Patti Cahill.

Beautiful Wings


Lampwork Beads by Janell Nelson.

I thought it would be fun to share creations from other lovely artists with you too!!


Lara Levy Linkmeyer of 



Monice Pryor of



Michelle Mikalski-Thompson of

My wings are painted Copper (PMC) coated with Ice Resin.
 They have the look of enamel but they are Ice Resin.

I have a show coming up June 2-3 on the
I will have lots of Butterfly Wings and more to share!

Thanks so much for spending some time here on Earrings Everyday!


Kristi

Friday, May 19, 2017

We're All Ears :: May Reveal :: Trash Transformed

When I got my start making jewelry I had a name for myself using unexpected materials and found objects. That is why my company name is Tesori Trovati which is Italian for "treasures found." To this day, I enjoy the challenge of turning something that would otherwise be neglected, forgotten or discarded into something of beauty, substance and ingenuity. There is a fine line between trash and treasure and I like to walk it daily! 

There is a little art gallery in our town called the Riverfront Arts Center. Right on the picturesque banks of the Wisconsin River (and literally steps from my office building) this tiny gem offers rotating exhibits featuring mainly local art. I have had the good fortune of having my work juried into exhibits like their signature Winter Garden theme in the dead of winter that features live orchids, violets and succulents among an explosion of floral art, the BikeLove exhibit that centered around our beautiful 26 mile Green Circle trail and the bike culture. This spring they brought back a popular exhibit that I was a part of in 2013 called "Re-Art Revived" with the focus on using recycled material in art. the criteria was that 75% of the art had to use reclaimed, recycled or trash material. I submitted three necklaces plus I made an accompanying set of earrings for one. (If you want to skip to the end you can see the earrings....)


This first piece, "Hex on You" was created about 8 years ago as part of a submission for the Bead Star competition. It did not get chosen probably because there was literally not one bead in it! But I loved it and wore it proudly. Those are hardware store hex nuts you see. I had a friend of mine who owned an auto repair shop paint those bright colors on some. It is all tied together with embroidery floss and woven with a sort of modified friendship bracelet pattern. It is one of those pieces that people want to touch and see up close. I still have some of those colorful hex nuts. I should probably make a pair of earrings to go with this!


Next up is a piece I had in mind for awhile called "Pop My Top" and features bottlecap beads made just for me by Trinket Foundry in Minneapolis. If you don't know their work, you should check it out. They are known for taking items destined to be landfill and turning them into components that have a new life in jewelry designs. They sell thousands of bottlecap beads of every sort you can imagine...diving into giant tubs of them at Bead & Button Show is always a hoot! They have a great video showing all the steps it takes to make each one. I do not have the sort of patience! But I do live in Stevens Point, home of the Point Brewery, which makes beer, of course, and also sodas. Their root beer is the best! I gathered hundreds of bottlecaps and sent them to Trinket Foundry and ordered a few hundred of these beads made just for me. She says when she has them she can't keep them in stock because they are so quaint! And I own literally dozens of them. If you look closely, you will see the Point-y headed company mascot has funny sayings. I also used brass transom chain from the hardware store to bring it all together. 



And by the way, guess who won BEST IN SHOW for the exhibit? Me! I found out on Friday when I attended the opening reception that "Pop My Top" was the winner. Wowza! It was a blind jurying by a really well-known assemblage and pleine aire landscape artist named Diane Bywaters, who is a professor at our university. If you have made it this far and are interested, here is a little slideshow of some of the other art in the exhibit.


Which brings me to my final piece created for the exhibit, called "Light as a Feather." I made this necklace just for the show, and created some earrings to go with it (you might be thinking, well its about time she got to the earrings!). I asked a lot of people to touch it and hold it and guess what it was made from, and they were all stumped. That qualifies as a total success in my book!  It has a wow factor and saturated color from the hand-painting and the inherent shine and luminescence of the material. Here is a detail of the process I undertook to make this set.


There was some heat involved with not much more than a candle and an embossing heat gun, along with alcohol inks and paints, a plant hanging kit for the chain in a long lariat style necklace that only needs to be wrapped in a variety of ways to get a jumble of sparkly lightweight feathers. I can't wait to wear this when the exhibit is complete.

And here are the earrings (finally!) that I made to go with this necklace. I wanted to make sure that I represented all the different styles I created... the hand-painted feathers along with the wavy heat created feathers that look a lot like abalone shells. Super lightweight and flashy!


Proof that you can make something pretty special from almost nothing at all....if you dare to imagine the possibilities that the material holds!


Now it is your turn! I can't wait to see what you did with your unexpected finds. Please share your creations below...and how about we sweeten the deal a bit... I have a few extra feathers that I made and I will select a random winner from anyone that enters a link below. If you didn't get something made, you now have one week to paw through your garbage and recycling and transform your trash into art! I will select a random winner from all links and contact the winner next week.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Mermaid jewels

Some of my favorite color combos for the Summer are ocean greens and ocean blues. Add in some sparklies in the mix and I just become totally giddy lol

I like to mix things up when I create new polymer clay jewelry components, and this time around, I created some cool earring drops with fabulous glass cabochon that I have encased in polymer clay. I had those cabs saved aside to use at some point, and I figured, why not use them with Polymer Clay? I'm very happy on how each design turned out!

Here's the earrings I made with a pair of my latest handmade components:


http://www.MyGardenOfLove.Etsy.com

Handmade polymer clay & glass chandelier style earring drops made by me, with little oxygen bubbles springing up all around; A mixture of Swarovski crystals and Czech glass beads, there's a little flower detail on each, with a tiny silver color glass bead in the center, like the flower in the hair of a mermaid :) and I used anodized aluminum jump rings in coordinating colors. These earrings are suspended on a pair of hypo-allergenic Niobium ear wires.

I love how the colors in the glass sparkle like the sun hitting the ocean. I love the movement in the colors and the feeling that you're holding a precious treasure. These are one of a kind.... a precious treasure indeed :) The glass set up feels like you're looking into the ocean through a porthole on submarine (I used to work on one of the Atlantis submarines in the Carribean, btw! It's magical!)


http://www.MyGardenOfLove.Etsy.com


If you're interested, I have a few other pairs of one of a kind glass/polymer clay components that I will be listing in my shop HERE, along with these earrings.

Which colors make your heart giddy? Do tell!! I want to know what makes your heart sing :)

Cheers,
Nathalie

Visit my Etsy Jewelry/Components shop here: My Garden Of Love
Visit my Etsy Digi shop here: The Crafty Tribe


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

This is Not Goodbye

 
Rather, this is just a little slide to the side. A clearing of the throat. Making room for another voice.

Over the past +3 years that I've blogged here at Earrings Everyday, I've shared some wacky stuff with you beautiful people. I've bared my soul in small, scary ways that have both helped me to process and you to relate to this thing we call life. 

Creating jewelry (and art) is about so much more than "making pretties", amassing goods, or trying to keep up with trends. It's a much more personal, spiritual thing that can enrich both the maker and the wearer.

 




I have met some of the most incredible, kind, serendipitous souls through my business. Some days it's overwhelming. How else would a hermit like me have reached out and touched each of you, if not for this? 

Just when I begin to feel that humanity is too far gone into a self-absorbed downward spiral, you all pick me up. Make me realize that for ever bit of dark, there is just as much light to counter.

And for all of that, I deeply thank you. 
 





I'm stepping away from Earrings Everyday to make room for other artists who have wisdom and beauty to share. Because there are so many of us out there, and we each have something unique to say. I'll still be making jewelry, I just won't be "here"---although you may see me return for a guest post every now and then.

So I won't say goodbye. You know where to find me. And I know where to find you. 

Much love <3  
Nikki
LoveRoot on Etsy

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Trash Transformed - having a go.

Earlier in the month Erin set us all the challenge of transforming 'trash' - something that would otherwise go into the bin - into earrings. I don't know about you, but I'm an innate hoarder of 'stuff that may come in useful one day' - especially with four grandchildren to entertain. And over the years, I've been very grateful for 'stuff' that I could have thrown away and haven't.

Cards, pictures, collages, bits of practice sewing. It's all found a home. But earrings?  A little bit harder.

But....I received some strings of opal a few weeks ago from my friend Lucy. They had these dinky silky tassels attached to the ends and, loathe to throw them away, they had gone into my  'textiles, ribbons and sari silk ' box.





Stick a wire through the loop at the top, thread through a copper cone, add a matching (or contrasting?) crystal, loop and voila! A pair of cool, swingy tassel earrings in absolutely no time at all. Easy. 






So, by the end of May - bring out your trash and let's see what you can do!
 
Lindsay  
 
 
 

Monday, May 15, 2017

Super Long

Oh, I am so much in the mood for really long earrings lately. As you might have noticed in my last few posts here. These ones however break my own record so far. They just barely touch my shoulders when they sit in my ears. It doesn't cause any discomfort at all, since the chain is very supple. I really like the combination and contrast of the classy rich glitter of the Swarovski crystals and the rusticity of the chain and the other heavily oxidized metal parts. I already love to wear them. These earrings are keepers.



Ingredients:
Swarovski bicones in different colors and sizes
Large champagne coloured Swarowski rondelles
Rustic chain
Heavily oxidized copper wire gauge 20
Heavily oxidized sterling silver handmade earring hooks

-------------------------------------------------------

My etsy shop is on vacation again. I'll let you know when it's back on.

All my best,
Malin de Koning



Friday, May 12, 2017

Faces

Hello, I have 3 pairs to share with you today. 

First up are these with ceramic faces by NadiaTerra and a new artist for me, Holly Stultz, who made the beautiful polymer charms. 


The original lady of decals, Petra Carpreau's da Vinci charms are featured here along with crown caps.


Petra Carpreau's Klimt charms with crown caps


Not much to say this week but I hope you enjoy looking at the earrings :D They are now available in my shop <3.

See you again soon.

Suhana xxx

My Etsy shop: Buttoned Up Beads

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Juicy Grapes


These pretty chainmaille earrings do look a bit like clusters of shiny purple grapes.  Made of blue, purple, teal, and fuchsia anodized niobium rings, their back-and-forth European 4-in-1 weave drapes from a 10-mm ring and finishes with a 4-mm ring at the bottom.  They hang from ear wires of matching niobium and are great fun to wear, lightweight and swingy in your ears.   They're also fun to make, easy and quick to come together.
 



I'll be back again in two weeks with a bit more to say.   (It's just been one of those weeks.)   Thanks for looking!

Meridy
xoxo

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

A Postcard from Greece

Yesterday we paid the balance for our holiday this summer. When I ask him indoors around February each year
'where do you fancy going this summer?'

his reply is invariably monosyllabic.
                                                                    'Greece'.

Then we check with our elder grandson Connor (who's been coming with us on this one since he was two, and isn't about to be left behind just yet, even at almost fourteen). Equally monosyllabic. Well, almost. At least he says please.

                                                                    'Greece please'




                  Although last year this was all we saw of him most days, till he surfaced for food!

 
Inevitably once we are booked my thoughts turn to sun, sand, long beach walks to tiny neighbouring villages, collecting stones and shells along the way. Cool glasses of wine and meze in the evening  at beach tavernas, watching spectacular suns go down behind craggy mountains.  And greek music. I was brought up in a northern seaside fishing port so I'm never happier than when I can smell and hear the sea. And the Greek people are so warm and friendly - ask Janine, who has chosen to live there! One day we will get near enough to visit her.

Today's earrings are all about the sea. Like Janine, I've been trying to use some of my stash and I had these lovely soft pink ceramic shells from Teresa (Bo) Hulley - she's on  a hiatus at the moment, having moved home and packed away her kiln for a while. We all miss her like mad.

The colours in the ocean jasper beads on top are just wonderful - storm grey, creamy white and pink, with tiny crevices. I like to juxtapose crusty with shiny and mix up the shapes, so those grey criffles from Kimberly Rogers are perfect, along with the gleaming biwa stick pearls. Blackened copper earwires from Mrs Haslam complete nicely.



 
 
 
 
So tell me your favourite holiday destination. Beach or city? Adventure or a rest?
 
See you in two weeks
 
Lindsay x
                                                             
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