Strega Jewellry's Blog

jewelry, beads, stone lore, music, kids and nature

Creative Sparks Winter Issue


 

Creative Spark Fall 2014 Winter 2015

I am a proud member of the Znet Shows design team.  This means that, from time to time, I receive some of their beads which I must then use to create original pieces which may or may not be used in their ezine, Creative Spark.

Znet Shows is a wholesale website that has some really beautiful cultured sea glass which I LOVE to work with.   When they sent me beads for the winter issue, I was so happy with the colors and the styles!  THEN I read the enclosed and realized the theme I had to work with was ICY.   ICY!   and sea glass which makes me think of sunny beaches, not snow and ice.  What the heck were they thinking?

I was stumped for a while but one day just got out all my beads and started letting my brain do some mental doodling.   Actually, the colors they sent and the frosty look of sea glass was perfect for the wintery theme.

I’d like you all to go take a look at the winter issue of Creative Spark!  There are some very talented artists who are use other types of beads from Znet Shows so you can get an idea of what else they offer at their site.  There are earring tutorials and there is a great article about Yoga for Beaders.  To see this issue,  you can go to this link.   Enjoy it.  Share it with your friends!

 

I didn’t use all my beads this time.   These beautiful little starfish are going to be perfect for some summer barefoot bracelets!  And there are so many more colors!  I WANT!

starfish

and, I need some of these pretty little shells also though there are so many different colors I can’t decide which.

znetshells

and I have a strand of these beautiful sea blue chips! (Znet calls them pebbles, very apropos).   I see earrings and a bracelet happening!

znetpebbles

and I absolutely must buy some of these delightful fishbone beads.  They will make perfect daggers for a Halloween design I want to make later this year.

znetfishbone

A huge thanks to Hope Smithereen whose hard work is evident in this beautiful issue and to Bill Zhang of Znet shows who is kind and generous and easy to talk to and also runs Graphic Stock.

February 22, 2015 Posted by | challenges, fashion, gemstones, Jewelry, znetshows | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Build a Line Challenge: Progress at Last


nevergiveup

 

Last week, my son posted this on his Facebook page.  I read it and thought how true it was.   He has had so much to struggle with these past years and I am so proud of him and the adversity he has overcome.  I commented on his post, and as I did, I thought……  he learned this from me.

I really needed that, to be put on notice that I should stand by what I taught my children.   I was ready to throw in the towel, to give up on BSue Boutique’s Build a Line Challenge  and resign myself to the fact that I was and always would be a hobbyist, a creator of fun things, one of a kind pieces,  and too scatterbrained to build a cohesive “line” of jewelry.

I had watched a video that Brenda posted to help us out.   In the video, she built the beginnings of a line in a few hours.   I had been struggling for much longer and had far less done.   What was different about me? I mean, what was different other than the fact that she has years of experience and knowledge?  Well, for one thing, Brenda knows every item she has.   I have things scattered all over the place and needed to sit down with a whole table full of different things and play around.   For another, she began with a big beautiful statement piece and took smaller components from that to create other pieces.  This was not exactly something I could do because I had chosen to build a men’s line and most men are not going to buy one of those big necklaces.

For a week after I watched the video I panicked!  I read the posts in class but refrained from commenting.  What exactly could I say?   ARGGHHH!   I can’t do this!   I’m too scatterbrained!  I can get great ideas but can’t follow through!   ARGHHHH.   What business do I have, at 70 years old, trying to fit into a culture like Steampunk?   ARGHHHH   I am the Charlie Brown of the B’Sue Build a Line Challenge!   ARRGHHHH!

Bsuebutton

charlie

 

Here’s where I was at when I watched that video.    I had discovered one thing about men’s jewelry.  SIZE MATTERS!!!!  Stop the snickering ladies and don’t go there!   Men have broader chests and somehow, I think their torsos are longer.   The links I usually make for my chains weren’t working.  They looked too frou frou.  I had torn apart my original links and switched to heavier gauge wire, like 16 instead of 20.  That worked well.   Men also need longer necklaces.   Steamers often wear cravats and vests and even greatcoats and I had to get my focals below the cravat line.   I found that a lot of the things I had ordered for links would not work with my links.

 

from Steampunk Emporium

from Steampunk Emporium

Here is another thing about men of “esteam”.   They do not go to Comic Con every week so the big piece or even the cufflinks or tie tac might not get worn a lot.   I needed something they could also wear for the regular life.  I also realized that this “line” was set to appeal to a smaller subculture.  I needed pieces that would appeal to other men.  Jewelry for men is a smaller subculture all by itself and now I was truly limiting myself.  What the heck do I use that will appeal to men in the mainstream culture at the same time?

Most are not big fans of flowers and glitzy gaud in their jewelry (unless they are a banger or rapper) and most do not go for lime greens and pinks so I wanted to stick with mostly the basics, antique gold, copper and silver with maybe some dark green, black and blue.

AND last:  Most men, given a choice would prefer a sleek convertible to s comfy station wagon.

With these thoughts in mind, I made some decisions.

   Number one:   All of my pieces would be convertibles.   Each chain will come apart and become either two necklaces or a necklace and a bracelet.   One of the necklaces would be more ornate.   The other could be worn with jeans and a tee or with an open neck shirt so that whoever bought them could get more use out of them which should encourage the expenditure of the more significant amount.  Another reason for doing this:  the plainer one would go behind the collar and actually be more comfortable to wear than a chain of all large links.

Number two:  All of my focals would be of mixed metals using all 3 (antique gold, copper and silver) so that any focal could go with any chain.

With these things in mind, I began to work on themes.   Here is what I have come up with.

These are my chains.   The links look like springs and vacuum tubes and in some cases, are gears.   There is one of each metal so far.   I am thinking of combining gunmetal and gold for another basic chain but that is not a given.

antique brass links

antique brass links

copper links

copper links

 

The first lower end items I made came from Brenda’s video on Beerings.    I turned the beer caps into key chain fobs.  My grandson loves to test outlandish beers so he hooked me up with some weird beer caps.  My personal favorite is the Arrogant Bastard beer cap (the black one).   His is the 3 Floyds (with the pink and green).   I added a spring/sprocket link and a clasp so they can be hooked to a key ring   OR…………to one of my chains.   Josh loves his, by the way.   What’s great about these is that someone could custom order one in their favorite beer as long as they mailed me two caps (one in case I mess up) and were willing to wait until I received the caps and made the piece.

beer cap key fobs

beer cap key fobs

 

The first “theme” type things I made used those big pearls from B’Sue Boutiques.  I love them!   I used one in the chain for the bracelet on the gold chain, made a cravat stickpin with another and two for cufflinks.   There is a set now.   You could start with any or all of them.   I had this old vintage brass and mother of pearl button and paired it with a dark jade donut focal for the chain.   I’m setting a precedent here.  All my stone focals will be one of a kind.  A man will not went to see his own focal all over comic con.   Men do have some sense of style after all.   This also allows me some freedom of expression of my own which I really need.  I cannot simply turn out piece after piece that is all the same.

pearls theme

pearls theme

 

I needed a “theme” for the copper and that’s where those cute little steampunkish hats come in.   Notice I used all 3 metals in this one.   This particular focal can be repeated over and over.  The cravat pin and cufflinks will also remain the same.  For a slight extra fee, I can make the focal badkground in different colors of patinaed copper.

basic copper chain

basic copper chain

copper seaparated

copper seaparated

hats focal

hats focal

 

hats set

hats set

 

The “silver” set is not actual silver but tinned copper, which is silver colored copper wire, much more economical and never tarnishes. I used a stone focal for the photos but, of course, that is detachable and any of the focals can be purchased for this set.  I also used some beads in this one.  I think I’ll stick with hematite  beads, a silvery black that is so beautiful.

basic silver set

basic silver set

silver set separated

silver set separated

The plain silver chain, for everyday wear is so simple, but any small charm can be added, a key, a simple gear, a small arrowhead, endless possibilites to express in everday life that you have steamy associations.

 

Where is the assemblage you are asking?   We’ve been busting our butts, painting, gluing and putting things together.   What the heck are YOU doing over there Lee?  Brenda is giving me a sideways look and thinking,……ummm…..Lee, this is supposed to be the B’Sue Build a Line, not Lee’s original chain and stone line.  I want to see more of my product out there.

I’m getting to it.  I’ve had starts and stops and abandoned my original idea and started another so I know I do not have as much done as the rest of you.  BUT, I”m getting there.

Here are some of the focals I’ve worked on this far.   Some are very simple to go with the plainer necklaces.  Some are not.   More are in the works.  Every focal comes with a clasp and can be detached.  A guy could have a whole wardrobe of focals if he wanted!  You go guys!

bugs and leaves

bugs and leaves

Purple Heart medal

Purple Heart medal

058

simple key

simple key

 

I’ve been a wire wrapper for a long time and have plenty of spare wrapped stones.   I’m thinking these wrapped stones would look great with the chains and while they might not be exactly steamy, they are manly.   I have this idea of gluing some of the little charms to them, as you can seen with the  white calcite and the little dragonfly charm.   I’m thinking that I can make up a few with a bug or a dragonfly or bird or key or more on them, then I could offer a selection of the charms and a person could choose which one he wanted on his stone (here I could add some color to match the stone also).

Ohio flint

Ohio flint

arrowhead

arrowhead

stones with charms

stones with charms

 

I have three more themes that I am working on right now, one uses bugs and will be lots of fun if it works out the way I plan.   One uses clocks.   I actually have the focal done but cannot show it yet because it’s getting published in an e-zine that comes out in March and I can’t use it in any blog or facebook page until after that.   I can only say it’s called Frozen in Time.   The cufflinks and cravat pin are not ready yet.  The last one uses those little propellers from B’Sue and while the focal should be fine, I cannot, for the life of me, figure out how in the world I can use them for the cufflinks.   I believe they will catch on the jacket cuff and get ruined.   I need some biplanes!  Brenda!!!!!!  Any other ideas?

Anyhow, I’m having fun, lots of fun and am so glad I did not give up on this.  And, I’ve even gotten a reward of sorts already.  My son, Justin, is very sparing with praise.  I had him try on some of the pieces so I could judge if my size estimates were correct.  He actually said “these are actually pretty cool, mom”.    Even if my line never takes off and I sell nothing, I have learned so much from all of you and I am glad I did not throw in the towel.

Why not hop around and see what the rest of the gals in the challenge have made?   Here’s a list for you.

Brenda Sue Lansdowne, B’sue Boutiques: Jewelry Making Outside the Box

Marcia Tuzzolino Aurora Designs

Jann Tague: Clever Designs by Jann

Judy King: Apt to Wander Studio

Linzi Alford: Magpie in the Sky, Spoil Heap Tales

Cynthia Wainscott: Exotic Peru

Carole Carlson: Beadsophisticate

Lynn Stinten: Dragonzwench

Marica Zammit: Bead Lovelies

Catherine Shattuck: VRBrose

Michaele Collie: The Vintage Gem

Mary Craig: Jewelry Alchemy

Lee Koopman: Strega Jewelry X You are here

Erin Whitacre: Shattered Time Jewelry

Monica Casady: MJCasady Copper Works

Leila West: Leila Nicole Designs

Cindy Peterson: Howling Dog Jewelry

Leila Belcher: Leila Bee Designs

Gloria Allen: Wings and Beads

Pamela Anger: Novegatti Designs

Tammy Adams: Paisley Lizard

Lynda O’Mara: LOmara Creative

Elizabeth Hildreth: MadScientistsDesigns

Dana Hickey: Wind Dancer Studios

Janet Calardo: Jan Lea Designs

Maria Clark: Sweet Willow Designs

Lori Beekman: B. Accessorized

Jennifer Kroeger: Relic Charm

Amy Jorgensen: Hoarder’s Corner

Robin Reed: Artistry: Handcrafted Bead Designs

Ingrid Anderson: Lilis Gems

Louise O’Shields: Desire Divine Jewels

Susan Killam: Killam Creative

Mary Katherine Deis: The Rose Sword: Artisan and Vintage Collectible Jewelry

Nike Bottalico: Nike Bottalico

Susan Bowerman: Woodside Wireworks

Kristy Le: Kristy Le Trendy Jewelry Designs

Jan Peters: Stylized Vintage

Mitzie Crider: Needful Luxuries Occasional Blog

Gina Hockett: Freestyle Elements

Linda Anderson: From the Bead Board

Alexandra Sefton: Imaginary Jewelry and Altered Art

Melida Boman: The Journey of Pens and Things

Teresa Shurter: TreeZ’s Treasurs

Melissa Latimer: Smithed Up

Renee Hong: Fine and Dandy Jewelry and Art

Nadine Edris: Moondance Jewelry

Lori Meyer: Parisienne Girl

Jennifer Merrill Williams: Artists of All Stripes

Denise Lussier Poirier: Jewelry by Denise

Renee Allen: Small Stuff Design

Autumn Adams: Autumn Dawns

Elizabeth Owens: 1996 Shabby Lane

Kat BarronMiller: Midnight Kat Productions Art Jewelry

Sandra Ballard: Mama San’s Mojo

Coral Law: ab:coraldesign

February 20, 2015 Posted by | challenges, fashion, Jewelry, steampunk | , , , , , , | 67 Comments

In the Pink: Language of Clothes for February


February is Heart Month and of course, Valentine’s Day is the big commercial holiday so it’s only fitting that I chose pink for the color vibration of this month.   What are the messages you send when you wear pink?

When you wear pale pink, you send out a romantic vibration/message.   The feelings evoked by pale pink are of soft things, sweets and cute and cuddly.   On the downside, it sometimes sends out baby girl messages or vibrations of delicacy so if you want to impress your boss with you capabilities, don’t wear that pale pink dress.  Or, if you do, add some darker accessories to take away that delicate or babyish message.  Here’s one from Macys that sends out the young and romantic message without being too young.

lightpink

Dusty pink is my choice if I must go with pink.   It’s cozy, soft and subtle and has a romantic hint.   It’s really close to mauve which has grey undertones and subdued, sentimental vibrations.  It was my choice for my grand daughters wedding, a romantic occasion, somewhat subdued (yeah, right, you know me better than that though I did tone it down)   I had hat, dress, purse and jewelry all in mauve.   I felt beautiful and peaceful wearing it.  And that is part of the reason for choosing your wardrobe colors carefully, not only how you appear to others, but how you want to feel yourself.

sweet little old lady

sweet little old lady

Bright pink sends a whole different message:   it’s exciting, happy, energetic, youthful and spirited.   It’s fun, trendy and often considered “hot”   It’s attention-getting for sure.

Consider this hot pink necklace.   It actually has a sort of dark nature but the playful pink color makes it happier, poking fun at the death/goth aspect.

pinkskellie

Or these bangles, so fun, so playful.

103

I don’t think we need any pictures of “hot” dreses………….you can check out Victoria’s Secret for that .

Our last pink color is burgundy.  It’s vibrations are rich and elegant, very tasteful and txpensive

.   It’s a mature color but one that is incredibly feminine.   Pantone’s color of the year, Marsala, is a variation of burgundy.

How elegant is this set made by one of my guild sisters on Artfire, the Glam Duchess, Hegi Kazhachi

burgundy

And here is a collection of accessories from my guild sisters on Artfire.

 

Craft Supplies

February 10, 2015 Posted by | fashion, Jewelry | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

AJE Reveal


Every month, Art Jewelry Elements gives away three or four components made by one of their members.  If you are lucky enough to win, you join in the fun as a guest and make a piece with your component.  I was lucky in December and won these great beaded rings from Kristen Stevens studio.  they are made of little seed beads and teenie weenie little beads that are iridescent.  My gosh, I don’t know how she does it! Well, it got to be the second week in January and I still hadn’t received my component so I emailed AJE.  Some glitch in the mail I guess with the holiday season and all.  Anyhow, long story short, I ended up with 2 sets.  So I made 2 different things. For this first piece, I only used one of the rings.  I’m saving the other for a piece that is exactly like it.  when I saw these little brassy colored rings, I thought way back in time to riding a carousel horse.  Who was daring enough to reach all the way out and grab “the brass ring?” Remember the thrill.        stretching all the way out……… carousel My grand daughter, Kelsey, is turning 18 next month and she will graduate in June.  These are steps into the adult world.   I made this necklace with one of Kristen’s rings and one of my own bronze heart charms that says DARE.   I wish, for Kelsey, that she will always be brave enough to reach out and grab that brass ring and follow her dreams all of her life.   The copper chain has a pinkish color and so do those teenie weenie little beads on the ring so I put a hint of pink on the bronze heart.  (It’s Kelsey’s favorite color).  You can’t really see it in these shots though.  My camera batteries were low and somehow, it makes the pictures darker. 039 I wanted a close-up of those little rings to show how beautiful they are. 040   The other set, I made these earrings with copper filigree and “black” glass pearls from Swarovski.  I’m keeping them for myself, LOL. 027   Hop around and see what everyone else made.   It will be fun!

AJE team:

Kristen Stephens

Susan Kennedy

Jenny Davies-Reazor

Lesley Watt

Melissa Meman

Lindsay Starr

Jennifer Cameron

Caroline Dewison

Linda Landig

Guest Participants ( aka winners)

Lee – Strega Jewellry

Shai – Shai’s Ramblings

Samantha- Wescott Jewelry

Kathy – Bay Moon Designs

Nikki – Silver Nik nats

Melissa Trudinger

Becky Pancake

Yvette – Blue Kiln Beads

Karin – Ginko et Coquelicot

Bonus participants!

Sarajo Wentling

Leah Curtis

Susan Delaney

Karen Z

Christine Walker

January 31, 2015 Posted by | challenges, fashion, Jewelry | , , , | 14 Comments

Pretty Palettes Challenge


Every month, Erin Prais-Hinz posts a color palette for Halcraft.   Just so you know, you can find the beads at Micheals Craft stores.   Erin always has a great blog about the color palette of the month and everyone is invited to play along, creating something with beads from that palette. This month, the January Pretty Palettes Challenge was to be in colors that matched Pantone’s color of the year, Marsala.    This was her photo.

prettypalettes

I’ve always got some beads around from Micheals and just happened to have some dusty pink and some wine colored ones.  I also had an old fashioned bonnet focal and some little tea party charms that I had been wanting to use some way, some how.  So I got out some alcohol inks, colored the bonnet focal, put some tiny  garnet beads with the pink and wine beads, made a bit of beaded chain with the garnets and wire  This is what I came up with.

029

Garden Party Necklace

 

I know, Erin, I probably should have taken a photo of the beads from Micheals before I used them.     I did, however, keep the SKU numbers for two of the bead strands. YAY for me!

garnets    10120993

dusty pink     10401972

January 28, 2015 Posted by | challenges, fashion, gemstones, Jewelry | , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

B’Sue Build a Line


I’ve discovered a source for components that I really like.  B’Sue Boutiques has fantastic findings in raw brass that I can color, combine and manipulate to enhance my designs.  It’s amazing what a little B’Sue can do.  Here’s a before and after photo of a necklace I made.  Didn’t really like it all that much till I added a bat from B’Sue Boutiques.  The result if worthy of Abby at NCIS.

My beautiful bat necklace

My beautiful bat necklace

 

Brenda Landsdowne, of B’Sue Boutiques is guiding over 50 designers through a challenge to build a line of jewely.  She will be our fearless guide to creating a new look, a new style, one that is uniquely our own.   For 3 months we will take this class, the first of its kind and hopefully expand our designing horizons, learn a lot and make new friends.

Bsuebutton

This will be a brand new experience for me.  Those of you who know me also know that I am worse than a little kid when it comes to making jewelry.  I see something, I say “OOOO, I want to learn to make that,” then I learn it and see the next thing and “ooooo, I want to learn that!”  Once I have learned something, I give it my own little twist and its off to the next thing.  I have an ADHD brain that goes flitting from one thing to the next, which makes me a sort of Jack of all trades and master of none.   .

Black Water

Black Water

So how am I going to set myself on a path to make a “line”  and stick to it?   SIGH….I don’t know, but I believe I need that discipline so I am going into this challenge, though I have talked myself out of it twice now   Here is a bead and linked piece with one of my bronze focals.  Below that, a really simple pair of tudor style earrings.   You can see I’m all over the place.

121

tealearrings

We each had to come up with a theme for our line.  Brenda said think about what we love and what we could get excited about.   I love stories, literature, fantasy and parallel or alternate histories.  I was reading steampunk literature before it was ever called that.  And, I love to embellish stories of my own.   I love Victorian times and histories.  I also love steampunk.

As far as I could see, the world did not need another Steampunk jewelry artisan.  There are masters out there that I could not even begin to compete with!  MASTERS!

Those of you who know me also know that I like to give me reader s bit of “mood music” to listen to while they scroll.  So listen to this steampunk music.  I played this over and over while I thought about my designs.

I looked at lots of Steampunk fashion and poured over steampunk books and what did I see?   Almost NO men’s jewelry!  I’d been toying with the idea of working on men’s jewelry anyhow.  What would be different about Steampunk men’s jewelry?

These fellows wear elaborate costumes and back in the day would have been called dandies or “fops” even.   A “fop” would wear more elaborate styles of jewelry and I could still keep it simple.  *I’m not one for elaborate collage type pieces.)

What would I need for a line of “fop”.  What would Victorian/alternate history types wear?   Cufflinks, cravat pins, vestpins, kilt pins and pins for capes and maybe a “statement piece”, an elaborate necklace just for a man.

I would need leather and chain, not just little wimpy commercial chain but heavy links in brass, copper and gunmetal.  So, I began assembling some links designed to go with suede cord.  Coils are going to be prominent to go with the gears.

069

I needed some particular charms and findings from B’Sue Boutique so I ordered them.

072

I would also need a “theme”, a story if you will.  And, I TOLD you I love stories and love making up my own.

My line is called PHOPP.   PHOPP is an anagram for the Peculiar Herioc Order of Picaresque Paladins.   It’s a group formed by a philanthropic organization that would like to honor heroes of the fantasy battles written of by a plethora of authors.   The honorifics are military medals for Picaresque (which means rogueish in fiction) Paladins (leaders)…….gentlemen who have read these fantastic tales have participated in the battles through their imagination, whether they fought in the War of the Worlds or with the Kraken King.  It’s a sort of “secret” gentlemen’s club adminstered by a character of my own called Liam MacSteamish.    I am only the chosen designer.  It’s Liam who will have a FB page and his own shop which will be called  PHOPPS Emporium.  He may even end up with his own blog.  Look for Liam on Facebook.  I am his only friend poor fellow.

Liam MacSteamish

Liam MacSteamish

I’ve lots of ideas but have yet to assemble my first piece.   I’ve begun and that is what is important.  Here are some sketches and some polyclay findings I made.  IDEAS are happening!

073

Here is a list of the other folks in the class.  Hop around and see what they are up to!  And don’t forget to stop by B’Sue Boutiques.  Brenda is lots of fun and has a ton of  tutorials and a shop full of findings, charms and chains.

 

Brenda Sue Lansdowne, B’sue BoutiquesJewelry Making Outside the Box

Marcia Tuzzolino       Aurora Designs

Jann Tague:    Clever Designs by Jann

Judy King:  Apt to Wander Studio

Linzi Alford:  Magpie in the Sky, Spoil Heap Tales

Cynthia Wainscott:  Exotic Peru

Carole Carlson:  Beadsophisticate

Lynn Stinten:  Dragonzwench

Marica Zammit:  Bead Lovelies

Catherine Shattuck:  VRBrose

Michaele Collie:  The Vintage Gem

Mary Craig:  Jewelry Alchemy

Lee Koopman:  Strega Jewelry          X  You are here

Erin Whitacre:  Shattered Time Jewelry

Monica Casady: MJCasady Copper Works

Leila West:  Leila Nicole Designs

Cindy Peterson:  Howling Dog Jewelry

Leila Belcher:  Leila Bee Designs

Gloria Allen:  Wings and Beads

Pamela Anger:  Novegatti Designs

Tammy Adams:  Paisley Lizard

Lynda O’Mara:  LOmara Creative

Elizabeth Hildreth:  MadScientistsDesigns

Dana Hickey:  Wind Dancer Studios

Janet Calardo:  Jan Lea Designs

Maria Clark:  Sweet Willow Designs

Lori Beekman:  B. Accessorized

Jennifer Kroeger:  Relic Charm

Amy Jorgensen:  Hoarder’s Corner

Robin Reed:  Artistry: Handcrafted Bead Designs

Ingrid Anderson:  Lilis Gems

Louise O’Shields:  Desire Divine Jewels

Susan Killam:  Killam Creative

Mary Katherine Deis:  The Rose Sword: Artisan and Vintage Collectible Jewelry

Nike Bottalico:  Nike Bottalico

Susan Bowerman:  Woodside Wireworks

Kristy Le:  Kristy Le Trendy Jewelry Designs

Jan Peters:  Stylized Vintage

Mitzie Crider:  Needful Luxuries Occasional Blog

Gina Hockett:  Freestyle Elements

Linda Anderson:  From the Bead Board

Alexandra Sefton:  Imaginary Jewelry and Altered Art

Melida Boman:  The Journey of Pens and Things

Teresa Shurter:  TreeZ’s Treasurs

Melissa Latimer:  Smithed Up

Renee Hong:  Fine and Dandy Jewelry and Art

Nadine Edris:  Moondance Jewelry

Lori Meyer:  Parisienne Girl

Jennifer Merrill Williams:  Artists of All Stripes

Denise Lussier Poirier:  Jewelry by Denise

Renee Allen:  Small Stuff Design

Autumn Adams:  Autumn Dawns

Elizabeth Owens:  1996 Shabby Lane

Kat BarronMiller:  Midnight Kat Productions Art Jewelry

Sandra Ballard:  Mama San’s Mojo

Coral Law:  ab:coraldesign

January 23, 2015 Posted by | challenges, fashion, Jewelry | , , , , , , , , , , | 52 Comments

Language of Clothes for January: WHITE


What’s the first thing you think of when someone mentions a white dress?  I bet it’s a wedding dress, isn’t it?

my grandbaby girl, Jessie and I

my grandbaby girl, Jessie and I

Actually, white wasn’t used for dresses for most people until the early 1900’s, except by the wealthy.   Women of lower socio-economic status usually chose a good dress of a suitable color other than white.  White was a status symbol.  One had to be wealthy to afford to be able to clean the dirt from a white dress.  Women who wore white were unapproachable, of such status that most men could not afford to court them.   Wearing white was akin to saying “I can afford to throw this dress away when it gets dirty.”  Right up until the late 1800’s, white was a status symbol.  Really, can you imagine dragging long white skirts through muddy streets?  There were not sidewalks, you know.  Wearing a white dress once could be its ruin.

White was also a symbol of purity when white was thought to be the absence of all color.  Phrases that we associate with white, like pure as the driven snow and icy white, imply cold.   Wearing all white can still give that impression.   You may be perceived as glacial, unapproachable, or cold.

Vanilla can give you a sweeter aspect and off white can pull you out of that category but beware of wearing all white.

So what do you do if you want to wear white but don’t want to appear cold or unapproachable?   Accessorize!

Remember to stay away from silver with white.  Silver is a cool metal and you want to add warmth to your outfit.  Gold, bronze and copper are great.

Layer black and white.  Black speaks of experience with that layer of purity underneath.  Very intriguing to many gentlemen.

pirate flair

pirate flair

 

 

 

Turquoise, a warm blue or navy blue can tone down the icy vibes.

102

 

summery blues and sunset oranges can give a warmer feel.

Bracelet for Palette #5

Bracelet for Palette #5

040

There’s always red white and blue for that patriotic spin.

If you wear red with your white, stick to the red hues that have a touch of blue underneath, not your orangey reds.  You don’t want to send a message of aggressive and cold both.

Summertime just screams for cool whites.   Add pastels for a romantic look or some playful hot pink and lime with teal.

027

here is a collection of white accessories from my guild sisters on Artfire.

 

 

Craft Tutorials

January 18, 2015 Posted by | fashion, Jewelry | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Muffin Tin Project


036

Well, here is another fine mess I have gotten into.  Heather Powers of Humblebeads challenged us to fill a muffin tin with all the “fixin’s” to make 12 projects and complete them before January 4rh.   This, with Christmas and New Year’s in the mix!   I was in a slump and not doing much of anything creative so I thought this might get me jump started.

Here is my muffin tin.  We are supposed to have all our beads and findings in one tin but my cups runneth over as you can see.  I do a lot of wire work and trying to get the wire into the cups was impossible.

My first 3 projects were wire pendants with some very cool crazy lace agate.   I sell a lot of pendants that never make it into the store and I needed these to show to one of my customers.

075

 

My daughter got me a tutorial for this Aegean cuff bracelet.   It’s made from copper wire and I’m fairly happy with it except that the next one I make will use some square wire also.   Using all round wire is not good as it tends to roll around too much and it does not lie close enough together to suit me.    I’m definitely keeping this for myself because I really love copper and I do love this pattern.

083
This little bracelet is also copper wire.  There is a butterfly charm on the other side BUT that picture was too blurry so you will have to just imagine it.  It’s pouring rain again and there is no way I can get another shot today.

085
This one I call Beach Front Property.   I used some sari silk ribbon and some large chips of pretty agate and one of Heather’s beach house charms.   I made the links of silver wire.  The pattern for them is in Cindy Wimmer’s book, Missing Link.    They sort of look like shells to me.    It reminds me of waves along the ocean sand with the colors of the agate chips in pale blue, brown and creamy beige.

102

 

I had this little starfish charm from Bead Freaky that I was also going to put on that bracelet but it  sort of drowned out the beach house charm so I took that starfish charm and more of the agates and made this necklace with more sari ribbon.  It makes a fairly good set I think.   Beachy and boho.

046

 

I wanted to use some of my new copper sheet wire (Merry Christmas to me) which you can see in those bottom cups.   I made this earring and necklace set which is sort of a noir/Goth look.  I love this patina from Lillypilly.  My links are hand made from brass wire.  I do want to darken the links a bit.   The gold in the copper sheet is more of an antique gold.   The lampwork heart is from Covergirl Beads Artfire Studio.

038

 

The other copper sheet looked like a desert to me.   I have a sweater and a hat a made for myself in camo colors and no jewelry to go with it.  I’ve got 2 bangles now, earrings and a dog tag necklace to wear with my camo clothes.   Woot woot!  I’m on a roll!

073

 

I saw an earring tutorial  (on Earrings Everyday I think.)   I wanted to try it out but make something different using the colors from my 7th Heaven blog hop that’s coming up.   They came out just fine with sari silk, silver bead caps and purple beads.   Oops…….I can’t use the 7th Heaven earrings.    So I made an extra pair in spring green (I think all this rain and no snow has me thinking of spring).

014
Love this octopus from Bead Freaky but dark blue is not my color as a rule.   I think he came out fine.   I used silver snake chain, sari silk ribbon, blue freshwater pearls and tiny Swarovski cube beads.

088

 

I made this Namaste focal for a friend then ended up giving her a different piece.  Been wanting to do something with it.  It’s made of Bronz Clay.  I put it together with sari silk, cord, agate chips and wire.  It’s sort of a Boho look.

055

I have one more necklace in the tin using one of my Bronz Clay focals but I’m going to reveal it in my 7th Heaven Challenge in a couple of days so here’s a blur…..

122

When I finally finished all my projects, I was ready to celebrate but I had all this sari ribbon laying around so I cut some steel bangles and made some sari ribbon bangles.  Not original but love the colors.  Do I get extra points?   LOL

103

Want to see what the rest of the ladies made?  Hop on over to Heather’s blog and check them all out!

January 4, 2015 Posted by | challenges, fashion, Jewelry | , , , | 15 Comments

2015 Goals and Projects


"2015

 

One of my blogger friends posted about this challenge and after reading her post, I checked out the challenge.  It sounds like a good project for me.  I’ve had a vague goal about learning to work with polymer for quite some time.  To enter this challenge you have to have specific goals and post about your progress.

Hmmmmmmmmmmm, sitting down and figuring out the goals was the hard part.

What do I want to do?

I want to set stones in clay so I have unique pendants.   Sounds easy enough, right…..until you actually sit down with the clay and don’t know what to do.   I found a good tutorial at Claylessons.com and think I will start there (NO….not more I think, or I should)  I WILL start there.

I also want to make earring components that are colorful and unique.

I want to find simple tutorials for beginners that I can make.

I signed up for 3 polymer clay newsletters.  Even if I can’t do complicated things, I can see what others are doing and clarify my goals for the future.

I have other goals for the coming year and I do not want to commit to blogging once a week about the clay.

Here is my statement of goals for this challenge.

1.  I will purchase the 3 tutorials I saw at Claylessons.com, one for setting stones, one for cute earring components and one that is more complicated but very interesting.

2.  Each week, I will commit to setting one stone until I am satisfied that I have mastered the technique.  Only after this will I move along to the earring components.  Only when I am satisfied with the components will I move on to the more complicated piece.

3.  I will BOLO other interesting tutorials and increase my skills base throughout the months until, at the end of 2015 I can say that I have significantly increased my knowledge and can be proud of my work.

4.  I will NOT try to do 15 new things at once and overwhelm myself.

5.  I will blog approximately every 5 weeks about my clay progress so I have a record of successes and failures.

I still have 6 more months of the Language of Clothes posts.  I’ve had such fun with this series and want to cover the rest of the colors.  That’s six more posts.

One more goal!  Bsue Boutiques is offering for the first time ever, a master class in design.  We have to Build a Line and Brenda will help us all the way.  Only stipulation is that we use her products in our designs.  No hardship there.  I love her stuff!  And, she has so many ideas and tutorials.  She is fun and down to earth.

Bsuebutton

this is her challenge…….for 3 months we will work on and develop a line of five products that we want to feature in different styles and colors with interchangeable aspects.   Well, I’ll blog about it in January, the whole deal.  I’m such a scatter-ass, I try so many different things and am always off on a tangent somewhere.  I’ve got an idea for a line I want to try and this will help me learn how to develop the line.  Woot woot!  We have signups on January 8th and have to submit our ideas.  We also have to be accepted and the number is limited.  Plus, if our idea is already taken, well, we better have a backup plan.  So, I’ve got some doodling and studying to do and all other hops and projects will be ON HOLD till I’m done.   This is going to be a fantastic learning experience.  I’ll have to come up with a branding name and logo type thing and it means I’ll be opening a small new shop just for these items.  Lots of work, lots of fun!

All in all, I”m going to have fun.

January 1, 2015 Posted by | challenges, fashion, Jewelry, New Age | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Graphics Galore


Some time ago, I was given free access to Graphic Stock.  In return, I was expected to do a review of the site and give me honest opinion.  In no way was I compensated monetarily.  My opinion is my own.

I first have to say that I am a graphics freak!  Every time I use them I have to hunt all over the internet for free graphics and believe me, it’s not easy to find them.  Trust me, I made the most of my time on Graphic Stock.  If you read my Octoberfest blog and the Thanksgiving blog, you know I have already used lots of the ones I downloaded.  I had planned to do a Christmas  blog with all the projects the kids and I made  BUT, last week I came down with some crazy ear infection that turned into a respiratory thing and I still do not have projects finished.  And I do want to get this blog up because if you know someone who loves graphics or who uses them a lot, this would be a great last minute gift idea, a subscription to Graphic Stock.  For yourself, take advantage of their offer for a free trial.  There is still time to do some Christmas projects.

I made postcards to send to my old mother who is 97 and loves to get mail.  She gets a different one every other day.  I use Pic Monkey to personalize them.

 

one of mom's postcards

one of mom’s postcards

How cute is that little guy?

I also made “cards” to glue onto paper bags so the boys and I can make hand made gift bags for the hand made gifts they made for their parents.

3boyslove

We will be making these today because they are out of school.  All we need is glue and some cord to glue on the paper bags and we have totally unique gift bags.

Ornaments were supposed to be done by now.  Gosh, I hate being sick.  I’m so behind.  I have the papers printed out but they have to be modpodged and resin poured.  We are using this for my son whose tree is all red black and white and who loves dragons.

xmashare3

We added the lettering with Pic Monkey.

This one will be for my grand daughter who loves owls.   And we have 12 more to do!  ARGHHHH!

graphicsxmasowl

I also chose some to share on Facebook.  All lettering is my own.  And see my store name on the bottom?  Anyhow who shares it will be sharing my name.

xmashare1

xmashare2

and I used this one for a sale in my Artfire shop.

xmascode

pretty cool, eh?

Graphic Stock is so easy to use.  You can search for images by typing in a search word or you can browse the categories. Once you select a category or a search word, your page will show small images but when you mouseover, they show up large enough so you can make an easy decision.

 Sometimes, I’m not even sure what I want until I type in a word and the drop down menu gives me choices that I didn’t think of myself.  I wanted blue water for a resin piece and when I typed in water, the drop down gave me lots of choices, one of which was “water splash”.  OMG, that was exactly what I needed a splashy wave!  There are thousands of images (jpg, png, raster, vector, photos) and so many choices.  You can’t go wrong with this site.  Believe me, I’ve looked at others.   Check out the free trial.  There’s still time to hook someone up with a subscription.   All images are yours to use even after you cancel your subscription and you can print out your license to use them right at the site.  No limits either on the number of images you can download!  Awesome!

This is my last blog until January.  I’ve got so much to do.  I’m going to be remodeling my Artfire studio and opening a new shop and Graphic Stock has some great graphics I can use.  Until then…..

snowsave

December 22, 2014 Posted by | Jewelry, Kid Stuff | , , | Leave a comment

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 533 other followers