Saturday, February 14, 2015

Earthy and Soft Ribbon Necklace

I promised to post photos of completed designs utilizing my embossed and patinated tin components. Here we go . . . 

Working with this batiked silk ribbon opens up a whole new world of design for me! I'm now combining ribbon with the embossed metal pieces I have created. The ribbon feels so soft and comfortable against the back of the neck.  

*Embossed and patinated tin, turquoise, fancy jasper, amazonite, antiqued copper beads and textured washers, silk ribbon.

I love the design on this pendant.  The tin was black, and I love the subtle way the color shows through after reliefing the piece. 

I also figured out a way to make this necklace adjustable in length. Just pull the fabric through the large-holed beads to shorten.

Coordinating Earrings - embossed and patinated tin, turquoise, fancy jasper, antiqued copper, handmade copper earwires

With my new stash of gorgeous batiked ribbon, I am excited about creating this new line of jewelry. More colors to play with!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Surf's Up: Beach Bracelets

After days of wind and rain, there was a little peak of sun today. I guess that was all it took to spark thoughts of summer. And for me, that means BEACH BRACELETS! Usually, I make these bracelets on my porch or on the beach . . . 

. . . sun shining, warm breezes, sunflower buttons, sea blue glass beads, woven hemp. So much fun to make and to wear. Almost like it actually is summer.

Usually I knot these bracelets, but this is a new WOVEN design . . . 

My husband wanted a bracelet in browns and whites, so I added a leather button and brown, black, and white beads.

Weaving these bracelets is completely addicting, and I can pretend I am on the beach in the sun with the surf rolling in. These are sturdy, substantial bracelets and very comfy to wear. Surf's up!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

New Love

After drooling over the choices on the website, showing incredible restraint in not purchasing ALL of them, and tracking this package obsessively, my treats finally arrived today. I am absolutely in love with these batik cotton/silk ribbons from Fire & Fibers. Gorgeous colors! Can't wait to explore the use of ribbon in my designs. 

I mean, look at these beauties! 

My search for ideas on how to utilize fibers begins now. Fun!

We're All Ears :: February Reveal

I have tasted spring, and it is glorious. Playing on the beach in 70 degree weather under a cloudless blue sky and walking barefoot in the surf has been absolute heaven.  (I admit to feeling boastful writing that statement when the east coast is still buried under feet of snow and suffering brutally cold temps.  But trust me, winter is still bound to deliver some surprises here.) Anyway, you have to appreciate those spring days when they present themselves, right? My garden delights me; daffodils blooming, lilies sprouting, lilacs and rhododendrons budding. So this month's floral earring inspiration is perfectly timed!

The Inspiration

Erin, our host for this challenge, outdid herself this month when she discovered the work of Malaysian artist and photographer Lim Zhi Wei, who pairs beautiful watercolor illustrations with fresh flowers to create a garden of delicate, whimsical, and ethereal "flower girls."  You can follow Lim Zhi Wei on Instagram and Facebook or on her blog, Love, Limzy. Feast your eyes on these beauties!

Rainbow, Watercolour and dyed rainbow roses on paper, 2015

Sapphire, Blue Eustoma and Watercolour on Paper

Given the spring weather, my own garden budding and blooming, and these flower girl illustrations, it's not really surprising that my jewelry would take on a literal floral theme. It would be impossible for me to pick a favorite illustration from this collection, but the calla lily girls provided a design focus for me. I adore cala lilies and these girls are pure delight!

Sisters, Calla lilies and watercolor on paper, 2014

The Earrings

I have always loved graceful calla lilies. When I saw these lily bead caps in a lovely little bead shop in southern Oregon last year, I fell in love with them but had to be content with just buying one pair. If there had been more than that, I would have bought them all. These earrings practically made themselves. The shades of blue in the lapis and the Peruvian opal captured the spring sky and the ocean. 

On the same buying trip, following the same lily theme, I was drawn to these acrylic cala lily beads. Usually working in gemstones, glass, and metal, I'm not sure what prompted me to buy something acrylic, but they sat untouched forever. I just had no clue what to do with them. Then, on a second trip to the same bead shop, I discovered some calla lily filligree bead caps and glass briolettes, which I stuck in a bag with the acrylic beads and totally forgot about - until I saw this month's charming illustration. These are w-a-y more bling than is usual for me as a designer, but it was an interesting moment of inspiration. 

A little bit of peach . . . 

And some copper cones . . .

Now, all I need is for the cala lilies to bloom in my garden, signaling that spring truly has arrived. 

P. S.  Just as I was writing this post inspired by flowers, my dearest friend said goodbye to her mother. When I was grieving over the passing of my own parents, Bonnie and I visited a greenhouse filled with yellow flowers. I will forever remember that day and associate yellow flowers with the comfort I felt in the presence of such cheerful beauty and dear friendship. The daffs I picked today, along with the sweet flower girl illustrations inspired me to create this last set for Bonnie in hopes that they will bring her the same comfort I felt that day in the greenhouse. 

I am passing on to Bonnie this vintage sunflower button from my mom's button collection. 

I invite you to view more flower girl illustrations and all of the creative earring designs inspired by them at Earrings Everyday. Thanks again, Erin. Please know how much I appreciate this sharing of creative energy and the kind comments this community is so generous in giving all participants. This is such a heartwarming experience each month! 

Monday, February 2, 2015

A Revelation!

I just figured out something. Instead of buying expensive sheet metal to emboss and patinate, I can use the many tins I have collected! An added bonus is that after reliefing/sanding the raised portions of the design, the color of the tin shows through. I particularly like the turquoise tin with the cobalt patina. I learned not to get too vigorous with the reliefing block or sandpaper, though, as it also removes the original color of the tin. A gentle buff works best.

Here are some charms that I made. I love this cobalt patina with the turquoise/teal/mint tin color.

Disc charms and pendants lined up and ready to go. Now for some inspiration to strike for jewelry ideas. 

It's February already?

I can't believe it is February already! You know what that means: Valentine's Day! Though I usually don't succumb to seasonal jewelry, this year I caught the Valentine's Day bug. Bad. I don't know what happened; all of the sudden I had a tray of red beads, red leather, and red paint on my work table. 

The discs on these earrings were cut from a piece of white tin from a Christmas cookie tin. I patinated them with red Vintaj patina. Reliefing the raised areas highlighted the original white color of the tin.

I had fun with this beautiful red deerskin leather. I riveted a loop from which to hang the jump rings. 

I love these picaso Czech glass teardrop beads!  

I experimented with a new earwire design.

These cotton batik serged ribbons have been calling my name for a long time. I finally decided to experiment with them in a necklace design. Putting the clasp in the front was a new technique for me. It certainly makes it easy to fasten and is so soft on the back of the neck. 

Long ago I pinned a bracelet tutorial by Rebekah Payne of Tree Wings Studio that I discovered on the Art Jewelry Elements blog. You can find the tutorial here. I finally made made one of these cool bracelets!

I'm not really a pink sort of gal, but I had these Czech glass bellflower beads leftover from a custom order project and these pink textured washers. So feminine (but so NOT me). 

Finally, a bit of sparkly bling.

These pieces are available in my shop: 
CMS Designs