Strega Jewellry's Blog

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Language of Clothes: Getting the Blues


Holidays are often a depressing time.  At the very least, they are stressful.  That’s good reason to “get the blues” this time of year.  The color blue actually lowers blood pressure and respiration.  It has a calming effect.  It’s the color of the sky and the ocean which are always constant.  Landscapes may change, buildings may crumble but the sky never falls and the ocean keeps on rolling.   Blue sends a message of constancy, trust, and dependability.  (this may be why we see a lot of blue used in uniforms)

eye candy

eye candy

(not a fashion statement here, just some eye candy)

The more black you add to blue, the more serious and sober you seem.   Navy blue:   we see it and our brain tells us; dependable, traditional, classic, conservative, professional, confident, quiet but authoritative.   It’s a great color for job interviews, presentations, and speeches.  Wear it when you ask for that raise, reminding your boss he can count on you.

yes sir

yes sir

Okay, I’m done fooling around now.  Let’s move along to sky blue.   It’s calming and cool.  The vibrations you send out will be those of a person who is tranquil, happy, stable, faithful and true.

skyblue

Its also a great color for accessories.  It will add serenity to the dangerous element of black, make white more approachable and turn the passion of purple toward a more spiritual vibe.

skybluears

Light blue is definitely calm and restful.  That’s one of the reasons it’s used in hospitals for scrubs and walls.  It calms the patients and inspires trust.  When you want people to relax around you, trust you and calm them  down, wear light blue.   Initial impressions:  calming, cool, peaceful, clean.   On a hot day, wear a light blue dress and people will be drawn to your cool, watery serenity.

icyblue

Icy blue lanyard necklace

Bright blue sends a different message.  It says happy, energetic, vibrant and it stirs these emotions in others.  It’s a great color to pair with neutral tones to jazz up their traditional stable messages.  Try bright blue with olive and antique gold and you will get the vibrations of stability and tradition plus happy and trustworthy energy.

amber_and_turquoise_earrings_05bf7bf8

Turquoise and amber earrings

Wear bright blue with purple and hot pink and you have happy festive vibes.

sunset_colors_three_strand_bracelet_31bb5eee

Fiesta bracelet

Teal has a whole different meaning of its own.  Wear it and say “I’m unique”!   It has a richness, an expensive upscale quality that says Not only am I unique, I’m darn classy!

tealearrings

tudorneck

Old world style necklace and earring set

So, that’s my story for December.  Go out and get the blues!   And……..if you see something from my shop that you really like, you can get a 25% off code if you “like”  my Strega Jewellry Facebook page.  You’ll save some money.

Here is a collection of blue accessories from my guild sisters on Artfire.

 

 

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December 10, 2014 Posted by | fashion, Jewelry, New Age | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Cuff Love


I’ve fallen in love with cuff bracelets!   I love wearing them and I love making them!

I got a good deal on some steel cuffs but they were all silvertone  which was way to tame for me.   I only made two in the silver tone and they sold really quick.   I spray coated the others with a cream color matte and then used a sponge and some Folk Art paint so they have a really cool pattern.  I used about 3 colors per bracelet then accented that coat with Gilder’s Paste and finally covered all of that with a clear matte finish.

Next:   decide what to add to them to make each one unique.

Buttons were a really easy choice.  They look simple enough, but make a striking emphasis to the paint.

lime and teal cuff

pink and purple cuff

This cuff with a resin flower looked a bit plain till I added the ribbon for a really feminine touch.

cuff with a flower

I love this cameo bracelet.  I glued on filagree in silver tones which gives it a steampunish look and added the ribbon for a girly girl attitude.

cameo cuff

I love this one.  I call it the Frog Prince!   I used a bezel and put a photo of lily pads inside then filled it with resin and this little frog charm.  He’s so darn cute!

Frog Prince Cuff

This one has copper filagree and dichroic glass.

The Red Queen bracelet is perfect for anyone who loves Alice in Wonderland.  The deep purples and red in the bracelet really accent the colors in her picture.   I used gold tone brass filagree to frame the bezel and softened the look with burguney and purple ribbons.   Girly!

Red Queen Cuff

This last one is for me to wear to the Reggae festival.   It’s my Irie/peace/rasta cuff with the Reggae peace symbol.  It will go perfect with my outfit which is a brown skirt and brown blouse with purple and orange designs.   I used soft suede to wrap round the cuff after I punched holes all around.  I’ve still got to add beads and charms to the suede ends.

 

 

It’s been fun.     If you like making cuffs too, maybe you’ll get some inspiration from mine and make some of your own.   If you want to buy any of these, you can find them in my Artfire store. 

 

June 10, 2012 Posted by | fashion, Jewelry, steampunk | , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

To Market, To Market


Shiloh Farmers Market is a summer outdoor market in Dayton. Josh, my grandson, wanted to do some shows this summer but I thought that we might get our feet wet in the show business by doing this little market. They have never had any vendors other than food vendors so we are an experiment.

What a job getting ready! I had done a market once before but all my display items were unsuitable so we had to buy a canpoy, display items, table covers, come up with signage and on and on. I got some simple bags and made promotional packs to pass out for the first market to introduce outselves. I put in our business cards with our FB pages and the Artfire store address, a 15% off coupon for first time buyers, a sample of Josh’s bath salts, enough for one bath, and a package ornament from my shop. Wow! Did they ever go over big! Lots of people used the coupon at the first market.

Here are some shots of our setup and some of the other vendor’s wares.

Josh’s soap table

Of course, Josh waited till the last minute to label the scents on the soaps….good thing I brought pens!

plants

The booths on either side of us have plants…….hanging plants, garden plants, fressh asparagus, fresh lettuce and cut flowers!

toffee bars and other yummy goodies

These toffee bars from Miller’s Home Bakery are my new drug of choice!

elepant ears

these gigantic “elephant ear” cookies are a favorite of my younger grandsons

some of my things

I put a lot of things in baskets to make setup and takedown easier.  These are little girl’s necklaces from memory wire and memory wire bracelets for adults.  Man, are those popular!

cuff bracelets and “crazy rings”

This glove was perfect for showing off crazy rings and cuff bracelets.  The dog liked it too!   She ate it and scattered my stuff all over the yard after I went to work that afternoon.  Thank the Lady I had another one!  I was HOT!

charm bracelets and nicer earrings on the rack

And THIS is the most precious thing!   This is my great grand child, Lilly who loves the Farmer’s Market!   At the second market she remembered where the cookies were and marched right over there and pointed so someone had to buy her cookies!  And she got flowers from Cook’s Farm which she just loved!   The vendors are so darn nice!   It’s a great place!   If you’re in Dayton, Ohio on a Saturday morning, stop by there and say hello.  You won’t go away empty handed!

“Lillo” and her flowers!

May 28, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Colors Talk Part II


If you read my blog post, Colors Talk, you know I have become fascinated with colors and the emotional messages they convey.   In Part I, we visited some Artfire Shops of my guild sisters to see how their avatars and banners expressed, through color, a bit of their personality and artistic style.  I want to take a look at some more shops this time and talk a little bit about palettes.

Though each color has it’s own emotional impact, a color palette, which is a combination of colors, makes an emotional statement.  Let’s take a look at some more shops and see what their avatars and banners tell us about them.

Stopping at Pink Rhododendron’s shop, we see an avatar and banner in pinks (surprise!).  Pinks are youthful, romantic, spirited, fun and trendy.

Pink Rhododendron's Avatar

Her palette uses colors from what Pantone calles the “Romantic” palette, not the muted pastels but blushing and vibrant colors that say:  charming, soft, inviting, nurturing.

Check out this romantic pink pearl bracelet from her shop.

pink pearl bracelet

Epicetera’s avatar shows up totally black to me, but my eyes are not what they used to be.

Black makes a powerful statement with the bold white lettering.  Unrelieved black by itself can be intimidating, signaling too much power or even danger.  To others, it will signal elegance or mystery.  To some, magic.  To others it is a sober color.   If I were going to change it at all, I would outline it with a charcoal gray (sophisticated quality) or more of that burnished gold.  With the white and gold contrast, the avatar prepares you for the dramatic effects of her banner which has mysterious eyes, gold flourishes and accents and makes a very clear statement.   Please check it out at her shop to see this.

This color palette is called the “Classic” palette:  traditional black, gray, taupe and muted bronzey gold, the colors of rock, stone, caverns and weathered buildings.   It says timeless, elegant, powerful.   Here is a necklace from her shop.

chunky jasper statement necklace

Onward to the next studio on the block, Pretty Gonzo.   Mary’s name, avatar and banner all reflect her feelings for her much loved cat, Gonzo.  Gonzo’s coloring and the echoing colors in the banner and avatar say a lot more than love for a feline friend.

Pretty Gonzo'a avatar

These colors are from Pantone’s “Earthy” palette which includes mixes of forest green, barn red, nut browns and harvest russets.   This palette says:  abundance, rich goodness, down to earth, prosperity, natural.  This palette is appealing to almost everyone.   Here is a bracelet from Pretty Gonzo studio.   Please visit and check out her other work.

serpentine turquoise

Elaine, from Zoomgraphik Design is another animal lover.  She has a very original stylized dog as her avatar.  Even if you are not a dog-lover, you will be taken by this fellow’s eyes and expression.  His colors are classic with lots of white and say “innocent” and pure.   His eyes say “let’s play”.

Zoomgraphik

Now, step into Elaine’s studio.   The first thing you see is a bright explosion of colors!  These are from Pantone’s “Playful” palette, extroverted bright colors that stimulate the child within us.  They express movement, activity and unrestrained joy.

Elaine’s work reflects this attitude.  She is always experimenting with new ways to express herself and to use traditional stoens and metals in new and exciting ways.

Seaside Pearls

And last, but not least, on our walk around Artfire JCUIN guild block, we come to Linda Landig’s studio.   Linda’s avatar is a “fooler”.   She has a plain picture of herself.  She looks like an ordinary lady, a bit pensive, quite serene.

Linda Landig

This avatar in no way prepares you for the lively lady who is the owner of this studio.   Her banner features 3 brightly colored pieces of her work against a neutral background.  Linda’s colors are from one of four “Unique” Pantone palettes.   The four palettes range from the sublty unusual to eccentric to completely outrageous.   These palettes all say “you are an indiviaual.  You are expressive.”    And this is Linda, a far cry from that serene lady you see in the avatar.  Linda “does the dance” using colors and materials that are non-traditional.  She participates in blog hops, bead swaps and experiments outside her own comfort zone.

If I were going to change one thing about Linda’s studio, I would change her avatar, either to a colorful silhouette of a lady joyously dancing or I would use one of her bright pieces like this ceramic flower bracelet from her shop.

Ceramic Cuff Bracelet

Is anyone throwing rotton fruit at me yet?   I hope that none of my guild sisters think I am criticizing.  I realized that I had a lot to learn about colors and marketing message and that the best way to learn was to study what messages others were sending.

Please post and let me know:   Is this the message you were hoping to convey?   Did you know what you were saying when you chose your colors?   Do any of you who were NOT featured want to talk about your own avatar and banner?

Next blog I am going to put my own banner and avatar under scrutiny.  I’ve even been looking at the fonts and headers in my shop.   I’ll be changing them when I change the look.  I want to make positive changes and I’d like your help.   Is anyone else NOT satisfied with their banner and avatar and would like them posted for critique or do I go alone……boldly……..?   I want to hear from you.   We all have the same goals:  to bring on the business!

November 2, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Torchd Beads


I want to share another little shop I have found on Artfire.  Angela Bohannon has some simply gorgeous beads in her shop.  

I must admit, I haven’t used many lampwork beads before.   I have been looking at other people’s work and decided I wanted to try some.   A good friend had asked me to make a custom order for her.   Knowing Dee, I knew I needed purple or bluish purple to make her happiest.   So, I did an Artfire search for purple lampwork beads.    These beads came up in the search and I fell in love with the colors. 

Angela's "purple haze" beads

 
 
 
 
This delicious mix of deep purple and blue just made me feel good!   So, I took a look around at some of her other work.   Than, I fell in love with this bead.  
 

gorgeous focal bead

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
I really didn’t have any project in mind so I debated for a while, but ordered it anyhow.       When I received the beads in the mail, and paired the purple haze with some large hole beads I had been planning to use, I found that this focal bead was perfect, just perfect to make the bracelet really standout.   Lucky I ordered it!  LOL
 
Here are some photos of Dee’s custom leather wrap bracelet.   Strung on leather cord, the bracelet wraps 3 times around your wrist.   And Dee has a one of a kind, never to be duplicated bracelet that she loves.
 

Dee's custom leather wrap bracelet

 
 

focal bead in place

 
 
 

how it wraps, shown from the side

 
 
 
 
 
 
And, as an added bonus, I had 2 purple haze beads left over so I made a fantastic pair of lampwork earrings.  
 

purple haze lampwork earrings

 
 
 
 
 
I want to show you some of my favorites from Angela’s shop.   If I had more money, I would have ordered lots of things.  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
I love the rich colors in these beads.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Isn’t this an awesome focal bead?   Anyone who loves that movie Titanic couldn’t help but fall in love with this bead!!!
 
 
And last, but not least, these froggy beads!   I love frogs and toads and just wish I had these for a Toad You So necklace!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
If you want to see more of her beautiful  beads, check out Torchd Beads on Artfire!   Say hello to Angela and tell her Strega sent you!

August 9, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Spiral Dance


I often find myself using one of the simplest technques in jewelry making over and over. I will always love spirals. I notice so many of my fellow artisans spiraling in their creations.  Spirals are one of the first techniques that wire workers learn.  In different ways they can enhance a variety of designs. 

Let’s talk about the meaning of this favorite symbol. It’s used in almost every culture and unlike many other symbols, no exclusive group has claimed the spiral for its own.

Primitive rock carvings have spiral designs. You can find it in Celtic art,

Native American petroglyphs,

 Nazca pottery,  African and Aboriginal Australian art. Arabs used it in architecture. It’s been used in Japanese rock gardens and in mazes.

Whirling dervishes danced in spirals. You see it today in corporate logos.

(note:  each of the links will take you to a blog I found with awesome photos and lots of info or to a video.  If you have time, take a look)

In nature, you can see it in ram’s horns, coiled snakes, tornadoes, vines, snails, seashells, whirlpools and we live in a spiral galaxy. The ammonite fossil is probably the most famous of spiral nature artifacts. In fact, it often symbolizes the universe in constant motion. It can represent the evolution of time, stars, planets and the way of natural progress.  Our universe is a spiral.

our spiral galaxy

Spirals mean different things to different folks.   What does it mean to you?

Evolution and holistic growth

Letting go, surrender, release

Awareness of the one within the context of the whole

    Connectivity and union with deific and cosmic energies

I read one article that suggested “that ancient Celtic artists used the spiral symbol as a mind-altering creative process in which the act of creating a spiral in their work released their minds into a creative splendor. Perhaps that’s why we see them dominate the Celtic world; out of a strong desire to step outside the physical and enter a gossamer domain where dreams and intuition take hold of awareness. ”

That made me want to spiral more and more. It was suggested that you should draw spirals, feeling the freedom that spiraling outward gives you and opening your mind to the creative process. I tried it. I liked it. I’m going to do it again. I found it envigorating and uplifting.

In terms of spirituality, the spiral symbol can represent the path leading from outer consciousness: or a focus on more material things and the ego or self to the inner focus or intuitive self.

I love using spirals.  These “magic spiral earrings” are one of my favorite things to make.

my magic spirals

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
My fellow guild artists are truly adept at enhancing their designs with spirals in many forms.   I’ve curated an Artfire collection that showcases their work.  Please check it out.  
 
 
 
Vintage Fashion

July 7, 2011 Posted by | Jewelry, metaphysical, stone lore | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

The Chosen One


This must be my lucky week!   First of all, I sold my first bracelet from my online store at Artfire!   I was beginning to think I would never get noticed!   There are so many jewelry artists online.   You almost have to have a gimmick to get noticed.   Anyhow, I sold this bracelet the day my first great grand daughter, Lillie was born.  Of course, I could not run right out and ship it because I had Tiny Tim for the day, then the day dragged into the night as Lillie took her sweet time.    I had to email this lady and tell her I could not ship till Thursday and thought to myself   “just great, my first sale and I have to make an excuse already…..won’t THAT be great feedback?”    Anyhow, Lillie finally got here…..

Miss "Lillie Fayre"

Tiny Tim and I drove up to the post office on Thursday and mailed the package……with a gift, for being the first customer and a VIP and for having to wait.  This is the bracelet that I sold.

Primary Colors Bracelet

Saturday, I had an email from JW in Ohio  who had this to say about my work. 

The package arrived and well the contents are just spectacular!  Such a burst of happy color to wear.   Winter won’t seem quite so dreary and long for sure!   Until this summer, I haven’t ever really bought things on line other than museum and travel tickets.  So glad you were there.”

So, I was on Cloud 9 already and thinking it couldn’t get much better than this.  

Then, an email from Artfire that told me one of my pieces had been chosen to be in a collection.   A collection is showcased on a prominent page and it is an honor to be chosen to be part of one.   This is THE CHOSEN ONE!

Ice flake crystal bracelet

Quartz is a master healing stone.  It also enhances the qualities of other stones.   It helps communication skills.   I hope this bracelet SINGS out from the pages and tells people that I love making my jewelry and they would love to wear it. 

This is the collection that features my bracelet.   What an honor to be among so many expensive and beautiful pieces.

What a Girl Wants!
Click here to see this great collection featuring your work

October 9, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment