Strega Jewellry's Blog

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

Versatility


Holiday season……….rush , rush, rush!   Some days are so busy it seems like you are on the go from morning till night.   It’s also cold weather season, the switch to warm sweaters and light jackets.

I don’t know about you, but I LOVE scarves!   The thing that exasperated me about scarves is that I had to stop wearing necklaces if I had on a scarf to accent my outfit.   I decided to do something about that one.   I have combined some of my favorite scarves with favorite jewelry pieces.

The beauty of these accessories is that I can start out at the grocery with jeans and a jacket and keep the same scarf till night time when I am meeting friends for a show.   Any of these pieces would go well with casual wear when you are shopping and maybe meeting friends for a quick lunch, or to work with a skirt and jacket or dress pants and top.   They go with sweaters, or with a simple dress to wear to a club.

I’m not going to do descriptions just photos.  You can find these and more in my Etsy shop, Studio L

scrfprn6

See how pretty that cameo looks with the scarf?

How about this butterfly focal with a teal scarf.   Showing 3 views, one closeup, one with a jacket and one with a sleeveless top which I did in place of a dress.  I did all photos with black so I did not have to keep changing my model’s clothes.  The “lovely Claudia” my model is quite helpless.

And this one has a gorgeous jasper focal.   The autumn colors are so beautiful.

jaspcoll

This one has a beautiful turquoise donut focal and bright seafoam scarf.

turcoll

Here is one just for you witchy women.

witchcoll

and one for cat lovers

scrfcat4

This one has a fairy and your initial.   The initial L is showing.   I also have J, D, and S.  Could not do the whole alphabet.

scrfblktur4

There are more.   Just check out my Etsy shop, Studio L.   

Do you have a favorite scarf of your own?   I can do a custom order:  design a special pendant just for you.   Message me if you are interested and we will talk.

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November 15, 2017 Posted by | fashion, holidays, Jewelry, wiccan | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wheel of the Year: Lammas


 

Whooo-eeee, I sure missed the Lammas post by a mile!   It’s about the busiest time of the year with all the harvest coming in.   Seems that every day I’m picking the must do up the food for storage.   Love the fresh ripe tomatoes the best but crisp green peppers and cucumbers make such great eating.   My daughter stopped by the other day and when she said she was hungry, I went to the garden and picked salad fixin’s fresh right then.  I keep grilled chicken and bacon crumbles handy for summer salads.  Add some burnet out of the herb garden, some fresh parsley and what a meal!

tomatoes

I’ve been doing a lot of other work also.  Just now opened a new shop on Etsy.  I’ve called it Studio L Jewellry, featuring my own work and that of Liam Mac Steamish.   It’s a fresh start with new things.   I hope you will check it out and “heart” it.   I’ve not too many items yet but it’s a work in progress.

Made some decisions also.   Quite a few folk have messaged me and want to know if I am ever going to do new podcasts.   It’s been years since I started Salem Avenue and I did have a lot of fun doing it.   I am going to try to do my first “new” one on October 1st.   I am, however, moving to a new host, one that has better support and more bandwidth.   I’m excited about it and have projects planned for my Facebook page and blog and for the podcast.   I do believe I’ll start my own webpage on GoDaddy called 1313 Salem Avenue.

I’ve got some fun ideas.   I want to do some “stone readings” so I can tell you what stones you need in your life, a “stone personality” event and I have plans for a mini tarot reading.  You’ll get the mini reading and the cards will tell me what stones you need to wear or carry to help in your situation.

I’ve been doing some jewelry experiments also with “living” wearable art.  My mermaid gardens are way cool.  I have a prototype made and just today made 4 more to sell.  Do not have photos of the new ones but here is the prototype.

merme

 

 

August 18, 2016 Posted by | gemstones, metaphysical, New Age, pagan, wiccan | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Let’s Face It Part 2


I started this 3 part series as a gift giving aid and a help for women to suit their jewelry choices to their face shapes.   By making choices that suit the shape of your face, you lower the risk that you will buy something on impulse that does not look right once you get it home and try it on.   Let’s face it, we have all done this.   Also, for men, it’s a great way to help you decide what to buy the women in your life.  You all have sisters, moms and wives or girlfriends, and there are plenty of holidays that call for gifts.   Christmas, birthdays, Valentines Day and Sweetest Day, Mothers Day and oooops, I’m sorry days.   Be sure and check out Part 1 for round and square shaped faces.  In this post, I’m going to talk about heart or diamond shaped faces.

heart shaped face

heart shaped face

Let’s start with earrings.  You think they are an easy gift to choose until you start looking at all the different styles.   For heart shaped faces, you want to look for styles that draw the eye sideways, horizontally to add width to a small and often pointy chin.

earringshapeshrt

Pear shapes and triangles with the wide part at the bottom or fan shapes are the best.   Upside down hearts would also work.

hoopwidags

steampunk

When considering necklaces, think about the necklines that look best with heart shaped faces.  Boat necks are a great choice, drawing the eye from side to side.

boat neck

boat neck

For this neck line the necklace should echo the line of the garment and not crowd the face.  Chunky beads are perfect.   Assemblage pieces draw the eyes out and away from the chin.

sewwhatnecklce

Off the shoulder necklines have the same appeal at boat necks and often look similar.

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Simple round one strand necklaces are best with this neckline or a simple collar like this one.

collar

If you love cowl necks, go for the higher cowls, not the deep cowl neckline.   You have interest at the neck but are not drawing the eye downward too much.

high cowl neck

high cowl neck

Remember, with any cowl neck, it’s earrings you want to feature, not necklaces.  A brooch is also great with a cowl neck like this.

sprflowrs

 

If you really love V-necks or lower cut round necks you can still wear them.   Just add a light jacket or sweater with wide lapels or other interest to draw the eye outward instead of down.   Again, a simple one strand piece keeps the eye at the neck and holds it there.   A brooch on the lapels is another piece that you can wear that does not draw the eye downward.

 

topvwide

swan1

 

Hopefully, this has been helpful to help you choose holiday gifts.   Remember, if you “like” my facebook page, you can find albums for each type of face with earrings and necklaces that go with each.    And if you subscribe to this blog, contact me and I’ll email you two downloadable pictures with earring and necklace styles for each face type.

January 19, 2016 Posted by | fashion, Jewelry | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Let’s Face It Part I


Have you ever fell in love with a piece of jewelry, bought it, then did not like it when you wore it?   It seemed so right at the shop but when you actually put it on, it looked all wrong?

The type of jewelry you should wear will depend upon your face shape.   I’m going to do a 3 part series of posts about fashion and face shapes.  I’ll give you a face type, tell you what sort of jewelry goes best with that specific face type and show you some examples.

Guys!   this will be a HUGE help when you are trying to decide what to buy for the ladies in your life.  And for everyone else, it’s not just your own shape you should consider, but an aid when choosing gifts for moms, friends, daughters and that Secret Santa gift you need for the job.   I thought this time of year would be a great time to discuss gift giving help but actually, we need gifts all year long.

Let’s start with both round and square shape faces.  We have the same goal with both…..to make the face appear longer, not wider, to draw the eye up and down instead of horizontal.

round face

round face

square face

square face

To draw the glance vertically we want long dangly earrings.  chandelier earrings are great for this.   Triangle shaped earrings are good if the wide part of the triangle is at the top and the slim point is at the bottom.   If you have a curve, make sure it faces inward, not outward.  Long drops, tassels, and dangling chains are good.   Diamond shapes are fine as long as the diamonds are long and thin, not like inverted squares.   It also helps if there is a bead drop from the bottom of the diamond.

earringshapesrnd

acophrtearz3

these brushed copper and glass earl earrings are great for a round face, long and dangly and the heart shape just accents the vertical gaze

rndmnstn

These moonstone dangles are great for a square face, the length draws the eye vertically and the round silver bezels soften the line of the jaw.

Keep the neckline of your clothing in mind when you choose necklaces.   Don’t buy turtlenecks for ladies with short necks or round or square faced.   They crowd the chin and bring the eye right back up topside.  We want it going up and down remember?  You want a neckline that pulls the eye downward toward the bosoms so avoid boat necks which pull the eye side to side.

Scoop necklines are great for pulling the eyes down.   Ladies with square faces look best with a rounded scoop neck.  The curve of the neckline will soften the lines of the jaw.

round scoop neckline

round scoop neckline

square scoop neckline

square scoop neckline

Round faces  seem to have more definition with a square scoop neck.

When choosing necklaces, do not buy pieces that are very short, like chokers or collars.  they crowd the face.   Choose pieces that are over 20 inches long.   Long dangly pendants are best.  They bring the eye downward.   Avoid large chunky beads near the face or layers of chain.   Assemblages pieces are not ideal.  Large amounts of eye interest across the neck will take the eye horizontally again.   The best assemblage pieces will feature  a minimal assembly with dangling charms.

rndonyx

A great piece for either type face but especially square.  The oval shape of the pendant lengthens the face while the feminine ribbon and minimal amount of beads will soften the lines.

 

A half hang necklace with its symmetrical curves which features a beautiful focal is a great addition for both these necklines and these face types.   A round face would want a focal that is not round but oval or rectangular.  Ditto the square face type. Square faces want soft curves  Triangle shapes are also great.  Again, dangles from the focal do no harm.

Cowl necks are also great.   And they are wonderful for displaying long dangly earrings!

cowl neck

cowl neck

acornearz

 

 

Tube tops in summer and strapless dressy dresses are also fine.  Attention is taken from the face and downward.  Wear simple pendants on chain or cord or boho style pieces.

asunmon4

 

V-necks are perfect for both face types, again, focusing the eye downward.   For V-necks, you do not want elaborate pieces but simpler types of beautiful pendants that you want to show off.

V-neck sweater

V-neck sweater

acorn2

Here is one other thing to consider when selecting gifts.  Size matters!   Larger ladies will not look  best in tiny delicate pieces.   The piece will “get lost”, appear too small.   Fuller figured ladies can wear beautiful bold pieces with no problem at all and bold chains and dramatic beads.  Yaaaay

cicada4!

One last thing.   If you “like” my facebook page, you can check out more types of jewelry to get better ideas.   I’ve created special albums for face types with examples of pieces that look well with specific face types.   It will be easier than checking back with this blog when you go shopping.   If you subscribe to this blog and email me that you did, I’ll email you 2 downloadable charts that will help you choose pieces both for yourself and others.

 

 

 

 

 

December 8, 2015 Posted by | fashion, holidays, Jewelry | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Superstition Blog Hop


Tammy Adams of Paisley Lizard designs came up with the terrific idea for a blog hop, the Superstition Hop.

She also created some wonderful black cat beads from polymer clay.  The first 13 people to sign up for her hop won a bead.  Our challenge was to make something with her bead.  We could also take our “favorite” superstition to inspire us to design.   This sounded like SUCH great fun, I rushed to sign up and sure did win one of these adorable little “lucky black cat beads”.

superstition

I’m not a really superstitious person.  I do not think that black cats are unlucky nor the number 13.  I love the number 13, after all, 1313 is the Munster’s address.   I do not avoid walking under ladders (though I do look carefully to make sure there are no tools in danger of falling on my head).

I do, however, toss salt over my shoulder if I spill some, just in case it does bring bad luck.  I do not kill spiders because it is good luck to see one.   At this particular time of year, I should be ROLLING in good fortune with all the spiders trying to move into to the house due to the cold weather.   I don’t kill crickets who come into the house just in case they DO bring good luck.  And, I do let thistles grow in my flower bed because they are supposed to keep thieves away.

Anyhow……….when I got my cute little bead, I looked around to try to find out why black cats were considered unlucky.  Supposedly, if a black cat crosses your path, you will have bad luck.   Hmmmm.   No reason why. ,

I have always, however been fascinated with African “hoodoo” magic, a version of Hatian voodun. Not that I want to practice voodoo, it’s way too complicated for me, but I love the mythos of the loa and stories of Haiti, the colorful alters and the interesting characteristics of the l’wa.

blackcatspell

According to hoodoo or voodoo as it is sometimes called, a black cat bone carried in a mojo bag will bring a lover back to you again and again.  It is very strong magic so they say.  There was even a song written about it.  Black Cat Bone was a song done by many musicians from old bluesmen like Lightening Hopkins to more modern singers like Johnny Winter and  Eric Clapton.  The lyrics tell of a man singing that he believes that his “baby has a black cat bone” because she runs around and cheats on him, is gone all night and has several men but he keeps going back to her.  Maybe that was why the black cats were considered unlucky.  A man would be compelled to go back again and again to a cheating woman who had a black cat bone.

Lore says, a black cat bone was only effective if you boiled a pot of water at midnight on the waning moon and tossed in a live black cat, killing it and boiling the flesh away.  The  bone that floated to the top was the most effective.  EEEUUUUWW!  No WONDER  they came to mean bad luck!   I simply cannot imagine ANY good coming to a person who had a personality that would  DO such a thing!

ANYWAY……….black cat bones were considered such big mojo that a whole line of magical items grew out of this lore.  You can buy black cat incense, black cat oil, black cat candles and black cat powder.  Just for the heck of it, I checked on eBay and you can buy “black cat bones” which are actually (so I have heard) chicken bones splintered and painted black.  I also read that the black cat oil is not actually rendered fat from black cats but mineral oil scented with natural oils.  I would certainly hope so.

Just look at this cute bead I got from Tammy!   How could anybody think he was bad luck!

blackcatbead

I sure did not want to make any jewelry out of black cat bones so I kept looking for inspiration.   I did find a spell and some lore that black cat hair is lucky for gamblers!   hey!   Here I go!   I created this “lucky black cat necklace” with some moon and star charms,  and some funny little beads that look sort of like bones to me, Tammy’s cool bead, a small glass tube with some black cat hair for luck and some stones and herbs that are good for drawing money.   Maybe I will wear it and go to the new casino here in Dayton!  I’ll play the horses!  I’ll play the slots!   It’s going to be my lucky necklace!  I just know it!

blkcat2

I also found this little list of reasons to adopt a black cat.   I’ve had some black cats in my life and I definitely considered myself lucky to have such good friends.

blackcat

I had some fun making this piece and I know Ill have fun wearing it.   It was good fun to look up black cat lore too though the part about black cat bones was nasty!   I hope you’ll have some more fun and visit the other ladies in the hop to see what they made.

Sigh!   I HAD a list of participants.   But Tammy sent us a revised list and I deleted the list.  For some reason, WordPress will not let me paste the list here and because of the eye surgery, I can’t read what they want me to do.  Something about ctrol/cmd whatever that is.  Anyhow.  For a list of the other bloggers, please go to Tammy’s Paisley Lizard blog and see the list.  Sorry.

 
 

November 13, 2015 Posted by | challenges, Jewelry, metaphysical | , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

It’s Official!


Signups ended and I have a good turnout for the Danse Macabre Blog Hop.   By almost unanimous vote, the official badge is this one.   Please note that this graphic is courtesy of Grapic Stock, modified with Picmonkey of course.

danse3

Grab the badge and put it on your own page.  Here’s the link to use  https://stregajewellry.wordpress.com/dansemacabre

You can put it on your sidebar to direct your readers to the post.

Ladies, we have a small group which makes me happy since this is the first hop I have ever hosted.   It might be small, but there are some great designers here and all have active blogs.   Now, if anything changes, life gets in the way and you can’t participate, please notify me before the hop so we do not have dead links.   A dead link will stop the hopper “dead” in their tracks and we do not want that!  We are dancing after all.  The other good news is that everyone who signed up is a blog hop vet so I don’t think I have to remind you of blog etiquette.   The reveal is August 17th.  Join the dance as soon as possible after posting and be sure to leave comments.   It should not take long to get through this list, just make sure to visit everyone.   It’s part of the fun.   I’ll be having a couple of giveaways too, so you might want to tell a buddy, bring a friend.

Ladies, here is our list of participants.   You should be able to copy it from here and paste it into your own blog.  Don’t forget the list so your readers can see what the rest of the group has made.

Starting, of course with your weird hostess:

Lee Koopman                           Strega Jewellry

Sam Waghorn                           Pale Moon Creations

Dini Bruinsma                            Angaza by Changes

Mowse Doyle                              Mouse Made This

Lori Blanchard                            Alainn Jewelry

Robin Showstack                        Hearts Desire Jewelry for You

Amy Jorgensen                           Hoarders Corner

Nan Smith                                    Wired Nan

Tammy Adams                             Paisley Lizard

Catherine King                              Catherine’s Musings

Michelle McCarthy                         Firefly Designs Studio

Betony Maiden                             Beadwenches Blog

Becca White                                  Morgana Fey Creations

Kim Dworak                                   Cianci Blue

Tami Norris                                   Tamis Creative Spot

Inge Von Roos                               Inge’s Blog

Terry Jeanette Carter                    Tapping Flamingo

Deb Fortin                                       Mohti Studio

Melissa Trudinger                           Bead Recipes

August 30, 2015 Posted by | challenges, Jewelry | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Join the dance!


Lying around all summer, laid up with back problems and suffocating in the heat and humidity in Ohio, I have not posted in months.   I have spent most of the summer reading books and living in some far off world and not creating much of anything.   I’m kicking myself and trying to get back in the dance.   To do so, I believe I’m going to host a blog hop.   It’s something I wanted to do before but had no idea how to accomplish such a thing.   I chose the month of October for this hop to happen and I chose a theme that goes hand in hand with Samhain, or Halloween as you may call it.   My hop is going to be called Danse Macabre.

Oh, right, it’s French, you say, what the heck is that.   Literally, it means the dance of death and the phrase was coined in Medieval times when artistic types used allegories most of the time.   Danse Macabre illustrates the universal aspect of death.   It comes to all, regardless of station in life.  Paintings were created with skeletons dancing their way to the grave, sermons were preached cautioning people that the material side of life was unimportant, death is a fate we must all meet, peasant, pauper, priest, pope or noble.  So, enjoy life, make the most of it for we are all on our way to the same fate.   Life, after all, is a glorious dance with the grave as the finale, dance through it with joy!

dansemedieval

1493 medieval painting

dansemaodern

from the Creative Life of Bob Sparks on blogspot

It’s also a brilliant classical music composition for violin and piano.   I’m sharing here a modern dance version

Now you want to know what is this blog hop about?   Please, no medieval stuff you say.   Nope.  and we are not going to get morbid either.   We are going to join the dance.  We’re going to have a party.

The challenge?   Pick a spooky or scary or creepy representation from a Halloween type character as your inspiration.   It can be really scary or it can be generic, like “a witch”.  It can be cute, like Mavis, Dracula’s daughter  from Hotel Transylvania.  It can be a zombie or a mummy. It can be Elvira, that Queen of the Night or your favorite vampire.   Make something.  It does not have to be jewelry.   It can be decorations or some other type of craft.  It can be a costume.   Make it, show it off and tell us about it.  How will you celebrate at our dance?

Sign up by commenting on this blog.   Tell me you are IN and leave your name and blog address.  You might want to leave your email address also, especially if you are not in the Bead Peeps Group so I can email you and remind you of the date.    And while you are here, choose one of these pictures for our blog badge.    I simply cannot decide.

one    Please do not sigh up if you do not have an active blog!   I will check links.

Signups are open until August 25th.   On the 31st of August, I’ll have a list of participants here on the blog.  You can copy and paste for your own blog.   And, I will have chosen the official badge for the hop with a link.  

danse1

two

danse2

or three?

danse3

come on now, you know it’s going to be fun!

August 13, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | 28 Comments

Epic Blog Hop


I love Melissa Trudinger’s idea for an “epic” blog hop.  We all got to choose our favorite television series to design some jewelry.   I had no trouble at all choosing my series.   I love The Tudors.   I started watching the series because I love anything where Jonathan Rhys Myers appears.  But history AND fabulous costumes AND Henry VIII who was such a character?   Hands down my favorite!   Yes, there is a lot of sex but Henry was just that kind of guy.   He changed wives and mistresses like most guys change clothes for gosh sake.

I checked out the IMDb page for the Tudors and the show was nominated for 60 awards between the Emmy awards and ASCAP.   It won over 40 of the 60 nominations!  That’s pretty incredible.

Tudors1

They won a lot of awards for costumes.   The costumes and jewelry were so real for the time period it was amazing!  In fact, some of the awards they won were for costume design.

I decided not try to make designs that copied the originals.   They did this in the movie and the pieces were so  beautiful.   Instead, I wanted to design something modern that fit the personality of the characters who were actual people.   I decided to do one piece for each of Henry’s six wives.

tudorsjon

Jonathan Rhys Myers played Henry VIII and did an incredible job of portraying his craziness, his volatile temper, and his aging.   You can see the great costume and awesome jewelry.   I did not design anything for him.   Quite frankly, I’d be happy to see him in nothing but an simple silver earring.

Catherine of Aragon was Henry’s first wife.   This was an arranged marriage to form an alliance between England and Spain.   She was betrothed to Henry’s brother, Arthur first when extremely young.  When Arthur died, Henry’s father still wanted the Spanish alliance so married her to Henry in 1509.   They remained married until 1533.   They had only one child, Mary, no male heirs which probably played a large part in Henry’s decision to divorce her.   Marie Doyle Kennedy played an excellent Catherine, a very pious woman whose religion meant the world to her.  Catherine was very proper and an extremely strong woman who refused to accept divorce and who continued to pray for Henry’s soul after his abominable treatment.

tudorsaragon

For her, I created this piece.   The bead sections are quatre feuille made of faceted black beads with deep red flowers in the center.  I’ve never done quatre feuille before.   The cross is HUGE, showing the depth of her faith and religion.

KatherineA

When the Pope refused to grant Henry an annulment of his marriage to Catherine, he broke with the Catholic Church and made way for the Protestant Reformation.   He faced excummuniction to marry Anne Boleyn in 1533.   Anne was a young girl who had spent a lot of time in the French court.   Her father’s ambition for his family led to her involvement with the King.   Women were used to further family prospects.   He first ordered her sister to attempt to snare the King and when that relationship went down the tubes, he had Anne try to do better.   Anne passed herself off as virginal, insisting that she would not have relations with Henry until she had a ring on her finger.  Natalie Dormer played this Queen of Tarts.   The marriage lasted 3 years.   After giving birth to one daughter, Elizabeth, Anne had a series of miscarriages.  Henry tired of her anxiety and jealous nature and had found another love interest, a true “virgin” so it was said.   He accused Anne of adultery, which for a queen is treason.   She was beheaded in 1536.

tudorsboelyn

Anne wore a lot of pearls, a symbol of chastity and loyalty.   Her most famous piece of jewelry was a pearl and diamond B necklace.  For her, I made these pearl and copper earrings.

AnneB

Jane Seymour was in service to Queen Anne when she first caught Henry’s eye.  She did not reject the advances of a married man and accepted gifts from him.   Also pushed by her family to further their ambitions she was presented by herself and by them as young and inexperienced.   She left the court and retired to her father’s estate when Henry was in the process of trying Anne for treason.   She and Henry were married in 1536, the day after Anne was beheaded, literally dragging her wedding dress through the spilled blood.  Their marriage was short lived.  She died in 1537 just days after the birth of their son.

tudorsseymour

For Jane, I made this “dark angel wing” necklace because she was no angel though her supporters and those of her family certainly presented her in that way.

janetudor

After Jane’s death, Henry’s advisors insisted he needed to find a bride who would be good for military alliance as he was having problems with both France and Spain.   Cromwell and others persuaded him to marry Anne of Cleves (played by Joss Stone in the series).  The marriage took place in early in 1540.   Henry reconsidered the marriage, said she had been misrepresented to him and their marriage was annulled before it was ever consummated.   Apparently, she wasn’t pretty enough for Henry.  To be fair, she was not crazy about him either.   He gave her a generous settlement and she lived in England until she died.

tudorscleves

Though Henry didn’t think Anne pretty enough, I thought she should have a really pretty necklace.   This one is made from silver metal clay and set with red dichroic glass.

AnneC

Henry’s “friends” and advisors introduced him to his next “love”.   Katherine Howard was even younger than his other wives, if not in years, then in maturity.   She was the daughter of a 10th son who had no prospects at all.  Actually, she was a cousin of Anne Boleyn so perhaps this was a family attempt to get back in court favor.   She has been fostered at the home of a prominent duchess who took in wards, both male and female but spent most of her time at court.  Her wards had very little supervision.   She had an affair with her music teacher when she was 13.  After that, she had another affair with one of the other wards and they promised to marry each other.   When she was presented at court in 1542, she immediately caught Henry’s eye and they were married.    Katherine Howard (played by Tamzin Merchant) was flighty, poorly educated and spent most of her time trying on new gowns and jewels and dancing and cavorting.   Very childish, she had no idea of how to act like a queen.   She fell in love with Henry’s secretary, Mr. Culpepper.   She was beheaded for treason before year’s end.

tudorshoward

For her, I designed this dragonfly necklace in painted brass with resin for she is like a dragonfly, carelessly flitting from flower to flower.

CatherineH

The hast of Henry’s wives was Katherine Parr (Joely Richardson).  She was older and a widow who had taken care of her husband until he died.    Katherine and Henry were married in 1543.   She was mature and gathered all of his children into the same household, befriending Mary and Elizabeth both.   She wasn’t afraid to nurse Henry who suffered terribly from a suppurating leg ulcer, a grievous thing that had tormented him for years.

tudorsparr

For her, I made this fibula pin.   I thought of her spending long nights nursing Henry’s leg in a drafty old castle and thought she might use such a thing to hold a warm shawl around her shoulders.

CatherineP

I hope you are going to hop around and visit the other ladies, see what shows they liked and what they made for their characters.

Melissa Trudinger             http://beadrecipes.wordpress.com (Hostess)

Karen Mitchell                   http://www.overthemoon-design.com

Andrea Glick                      http://zenithjade.blogspot.com/

Karen Martinez                 http://fairiesmarket.blogspot.com/

Lennis Carrier                    http://windbent.wordpress.com

Lindsay Starr                      http://phantasmcreation.blogspot.com/

Mona Arnott                      http://bijouxgemsjoy.blogspot.com

Lee Koopman                    https://stregajewellry.wordpress.com

Shaiha Williams                 http://ShaihasRamblings.com

Veralynne Malone            http://veradesigns.blogspot.com

Elisabeth Auld                    http://www.beadsforbusygals.com

Kelly Schermerhorn          http://meanderingwithkelly.blogspot.com

Dini Bruinsma                    http://www.angazabychanges.blogspot.nl

Jami Shipp                          http://www.celebratinglifewithdamamashipp.blogspot.com.au/

June 6, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | 18 Comments

Bead Peeps Swap N Hop


swapnhopbadgeWhat a great bunch of ladies in my Facebook group, Bead Peeps!   Linda Anderson, organized a bead swap and blog hop for this month.   We each got a partner and swapped some beads then had to get busy and design some pieces with what we received.  This is what I sent my partner, Shaiha Williams.

partner

She sent me a bunch of really cool beads.  You can read about them here.

swap1

My muse took a break and left me after the Build a Line Challenge and I was worried I would never get done!  But, it’s finally time and here’s what I finished!

The first pieces I made were from the gorgeous goddess pieces she sent me.

swap3

I turned this into two necklaces.   I made a short choker type with just that little blue square.   The center hanger is sterling silver and I can reverse this piece and wear it plain.   That focal came from Clay Impressions.

gdsblesscollage

This longer piece can be worn with the above.    I used that awesome little goddess charm and painted her blue and purple sky colors with lumiere paints.  and put her on a charm holder with a tiny spellbook, a candle I made from bone and beadcaps and one of my own bronze charms that says Blessed Be.  The blue glass pony beads have silver bead caps and smokey amethyst faceted crystals.  Silver infinity chain links are handmade by me.   These pieces are mine!  

gddscharmcollage 

Shaiha sent me some little lampwork bows made by Mandrel 2.   Now, the first thing I thought of when I saw those bows was how many “bad hair days” I have.  The least bit of humidity and my head looks like a dandelion gone to seed.  No lie!   So, I made a little polymer lady with “bad hair” as my focal.   I wanted to keep the bead level simple and focus on the bows so only used a few beads, some hunmetal links and chain that Shaiha sent.   I”m not totally happy with the lady’s face.  .  It does not seem to be defined enough.  I got to figure this out.  But she is ready enough to show here.

badhairdaycoll

I had a totally different idea when I started this piece.   Shaiha sent me beautiful magnesite beads and some gorgeous blue butterflies that she painted herself.  I love the colors.  I also love butterflies flying around the flowers in the summer.   I wanted to make a resin piece.  So, using a picture frame bezel I got from B’Sue Boutiques and a picture I got from Graphic Stock, this is what emerged.  One butterfly lurking around the flowers and one emerging from his Hill Tribe Siilver cocoon.   The darker beads are Swarovski glass pearls and the wire and bead caps are copper.  I’m keeping this one too.   LOL

bpbfflycollage

Remember when I said this little elephant from Okawa  Beads was adorable but I do  not do adorable and he would be my biggest challenge?   I sure had a time coming up with an idea.   I researched the significance of the elephant in African lore and Indian lore and came up with dignity and integrity and some other stuffy and honorable traits.    Well, this little guy, with his flowers and happy face was ready to party.      He wanted to prance and parade through the town!  I wanted beads that would bring out his flower colors so I used some ceramic beads I had and some sari silk for a festive look.   I loved the beads Shaiha sent, but these worked better for what I wanted to do.   Don’t you think he looks like a happy little guy?

Short side note to Shaiha:    I have a toddler grandson who loves to work with me.  He was fascinated with this little elephant.  Somehow, the tip of that jaunty little hat was broken when I next took it out of the bag  That is why there is a bead cap on the tip of his hat.  (I expect he might have had a run in with “the Justice League or some Transformers or perhaps a giant anaconda).  With a touch of silver Gilder’s Paste on the trim, it almost looks like it belongs there.

bpelecollage

Because the beads I used for the elephant were so large, I could not incorporate  the little elephant clasp.  And he is so cute!   So I made some sari silk bangles and still thinking about  Africa, I used bright colors.   This is a set and he is perfect for a charm.   I’m going to  put some bells on these bracelets too.

elebraccollage

Anyhow, you can see I had a good time.   Please stop by Shairha’s blog and see what she made with what I sent to her.   Here is a list of the rest of the hoppers.   Check them out.

Bead Peeps Swap N Hop 2015 
Partner List  

 Our Hostess: Linda Anderson from http//:fromTheBeadBoard.blogspot.com

Linda Anderson http://fromTheBeadBoard.blogspot.com
Marica Zammit http://www.beadlovelies.com
Linda Anderson http://fromTheBeadBoard.blogspot.com
Jessica Hocutt https://faithfamilyandadventure.wordpress.com
Kristina Hahn Eleniak http://www.peacockandlime.wordpress.com
Debbie Jeffries http://wordpress/debrasdivinedesigns/blog.com
Rosantia Petkova http://bairozan.blogspot.com/
Shalini Austin http://jewellerybyshalini.co.uk/my-blog/
Catherine La Vite http://drygulchbeadsandjewelry.blogspot.com
Annica Larsson http://zestyfrog.wordpress.com/
Lori Schneider http://beadaddicted.blogspot.com/
Divya N http://www.jewelsofsayuri.com
Mowse Doyle http://mowsemadethis.blogspot.com
Fay Wolfenden http://torchfairy.blogspot.com
Kathy Lindemer http://bay-moon-design.blogspot.com/
Claire Fabian http://saraccino.blogspot.de/
Janice Warden Bergeron http://thejewelryroom.blogspot.ca
Natalie Davidson http://www.northshoredays.com
Deb Fortin http://www.studiok24.blogspot.ca
Inge von Roos http://ingetraud.wordpress.com
Karen Mitchell http://overthemoon-design.com
Robin Reed http://willowdragon.blogspot.com
Marie Covert http://thistledown-and-swaddlings.blogspot.com/
Alicia Marinache http://www.allprettythings.ca
Nan Smith http://www.wirednan.blogspot.ca
Johana Nunez http://artincendi.com
Kelly Hosford Patterson http://travelingsideshow.blogspot.com/
Lori Blanchard http://alainnjewelry.WordPress.com
Sue Kennedy http://suebeads.blogspot.com
Shai Williams http://www.shaihasramblings.com
Niky Sayers http://silverniknats.blogspot.co.uk
Melissa Trudinger http://beadrecipes.wordpress.com
Candida Castleberry http://www.spunsugarbeadworks.blogspot.com
Erin Guest http://www.renlish.com
Nicole Rennell http://nicolerennell.com/blog
Ien Temaluru http://ienmaginationsjewelry.wordpress.com
Robin Showstack http://heartsdesiresjewelryforyou.blogspot.com/
Sam Waghorn http://palemooncreation.blogspot.co.uk
Marianne Baxter http://www.simplyseablimejewelry.blogspot.com
Elsie Deliz-Fonseca http://ladelizchica.blogspot.com
Shai Williams http://shaihasramblings.com
Lee Koopman https://stregajewellry.wordpress.com      X (you are here)
Jayne Capps http://mamasgottodoodle.blogspot.com
Marti Conrad http://marticsclay.blogspot.com
Tina Bosh http://bookbug-somanybookssolittletime.blogspot.com/
Eleanor Thomas http://woolywireetc.blogspot.com
Jeanne Steck http://www.gemsbyjeannemarie.blogspot.com
Gloria Allen http://www.wingsandbeads.blogspot.com
Rachel Mallis http://www.mintmonarch.com/#!blog/c1jlz
Andrea Glick http://zenithjade.blogspot.com/
Stephanie Stamper http://skwds.blogspot.com
Chris Haussler http://pixybugdesigns.blogspot.com
Betony Maiden http://www.beadwenches.blogspot.com/
Kari Asbury http://hippiechickjewelrydesign.com/blog/
Jenny Kyrlach http://anafiassa.blogspot.com/
Colleen Foley http://colleenfoleycreations.blogspot.com
Marybeth Rich http://forestofjewels.blogspot.com/
Marcy Lamberson http://www.StudioMarcy.blogspot.com
Dyanne Everett-Cantrell http://www.deelitefuljewelrycreations.blogspot.com
Ginny Lones http://www.Skippingintotheunknown.blogspot.com
Maria Rosa Sharrow http://willowstreetshops.blogspot.com
Loretta Carstensen http://designsbyloretta.blogspot.com
Dolores Raml http://craftydscreations.wordpress.com
Michelle McCarthy http://www.fireflydesignstudio.blogspot.com
Louise McCormick-Glazier http://jewelrytreasuresbylouise.blogspot.com/
Heather Richter http://desertjewelrydesigns.blogspot.com
Tammy Adams http://www.paisleylizard.com/blog/
Shirley Moore http://beadsandbread.blogspot.com
Seed Beaders
Susanne Stelljes http://pearlify.blogspot.de
Sheila Prosterman http://catswithbeads.blogspot.com
Pallavi Asher http://kalaabhushan.blogspot.in/
Jami Shipp http://celebratinglifewithdamamashipp.blogspot.com
Peggy Kosier http://www.kosydesigns.blogspot.ca/
Andra Weber http://andrasjoyfuljourney.blogspot.com
Catherine King http://catherines-musings.blogspot.com
Krafty Max http://kraftymax.com
Sierra Barrett http://giraffecanhas.wordpress.com
Lois Sherwood http://thiznthat5454blog.wordpress.com
Katy Heider http://onthepondcreations.blogspot.com
Rebecca Robertson   (White) http://morganafeycreations.121hub.com/
Heather Richter http://desertjewelrydesigns.blogspot.com
Brandy Collier http://bhjewelry.wordpress.com
Stephanie Haussler http://www.pixybugdesigns.blogspot.com
Lori Blanchard http://alainnjewelry.WordPress.com
Kathleen Breeding http://99bobotw.blogspot.com
Becky Pancake http://beckypancakebeaddesigns.blogspot.com
Renetha Stanziano http://lamplightcrafts.blogspot.com/
Tami Norris https://jewelrybytami.wordpress.com/
Ginger Bishop http://lilmummylikes.blogspot.com/
Peggy Johnson http://charmbarn.blogspot.com

 

May 2, 2015 Posted by | challenges, fashion, Jewelry | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 31 Comments

Build a Line Challenge: School’s Out!


 

Bsuebutton

Three months ago, I saw this badge while reading Brenda Lansdowne’s blog and determined to enter this challenge.  Little did I know just how much I would learn and how many cool ladies I would meet!  Over 50 of us entered this class, most with only a small idea of what we would accomplish.   There was much banging of heads, gnashing of teeth but lots of laughs and plenty of learning.

The class was free this time as it was the first time that Brenda Sue Lansdowne, of B’Sue Boutiques has offered such a challenge.  The only condition was that we use visible pieces from her shop, not an unreasonable condition at all.

The challenge was to complete 5 pieces of a cohesive line by the end of the 3 month period.   Sounded very simple, I mean, who could not do 5 pieces in 3 months?

Every time Brenda gave us  class notes, there were tons of questions and plenty of lively discussion.  We learned to research trends and styles even though we thought we were not fashion conscious ourselves, it was important to know what is trending.  We talked about color and its importance, about branding, about developing a cohesive “look” so that anyone who sees our work can tell that we made it.  We talked about pricing pyramids and everything under the sun.  To quote directly from Brenda herself  some of what we covered was

trends, color, using color to compliment customers, the selling pyramid, the diff between a hobby maker and a jewelry designer, the things that are necessary to become a jewelry designer, when lines become collections, pricing, quality components, how to manage manufacturing inventory so you don’t run out, how to pay attention to customer requests to learn how to design future lines….and how to concentrate on keeping looks together so that your style and brand remain cohesive

This was a very real challenge for me.  I had never made jewelry for men before.  I had never done assemblage before like most of the others.  I had never worked with lumiere paints (and they are so much fun I am now addicted).  I had only made OOAK pieces and had a great fear of being bored by reproducing the same pieces over and over.

While I had ordered from B’Sue before, almost none of what I ordered would fit into my line (or so I thought) and I had the challege of deciding what would work.  I ordered things I didn’t need and didn’t order things I could have used.  Most of all, I learned to FOCUS!  I think that was my hardest thing.  I am so easily distracted!  Now that I have focused, I can see many “series” in my lines and uses for so many more B’Sue items.

I learned about the difference between a collection, a line and a series.   What I have is Strega Jewellry’s Men’s Collection. It is called PHOPP and I felt it needed  its own shop and blog and “brand”

Here is my signage for shop, blog, FB page,  website (coming soon) and will be used on my business cards and tags.  Consistancy is important for a cohesive look that is uniquely mine. (I learned that in class)  I also needed a “catch phrase” that would tell something about my line.  I waivered between “gentlemen of esteam” and “esteamed gentlemen”, wanting to point out that this is not fashion/trendy jewelry but for cosplay.  I’m still not decided which is best and would like some thoughts on this.   I have chosen “gentlemanly” colors for “branding” of burgundy and jade green with creamy tans.  Their are reasons for those colors bit I won’t discuss them here.

phopps
For lack of any better names at present, I am calling my lines the Brass Line, the Copper Line and the Silver Line.  Each will have a series. Most chains will be hand made and all chains will be convertable. This stamps the look as MINE.  The focals will be mixed metals, interchangeable within the metals “lines”.   Some focals will be OOAK.

Although I originally intended this to be men’s jewelry only, I believe that many of the pieces will be unisex.  I do know that the collection itself will cater to folks who love cosplay.  I know this is a limited subculture but I am happy doing it right now.

I know……you want pictures.   I have the most done for the Brass Line.  I have other pieces on my table but need minor details before they are finished.  Here is where what we learned about “lead time” came in handy.  My stickpins bases have not arrived nor my cufflink bases, SIGH.   Here is a collage of the Faux Pearls series which includes a chain, focal, cufflinks and cravat pin.  The chain converts to a bracelet and shorter chain.  Chains will be my base pieces and toward the higher end because they are hand made.  Focals will fall into higher end and mid levels on the tier.  Bracelets will be mid level.  The cravat pins and cufflinks will be my lower tier products.

brasscollage

Also offered are a cravat pin (not shown) and a leather bracelet.

clockbrac

This bracelet blank from B’Sue is great for a men’s piece.  I’m not sure if you can see the little beetle under the goggles and leaves but he is there.  Blank, clock face, bug, rhinestone chain and leaves all come from B’Sue.

This focal can also go in the Brass line, the series of Order of the Kraken.  (I’d been reading  the Kraken King right before this challenge)

oklarge3

I fell in love with these Victorian button tops from B’Sue and used them for cufflinks in the Order of the Kraken series.  Aren’t they gorgeous?  So simple but so cool!  I could make dozens of these and not get tired of them!  I saw some other button tops on her site that will work well.

okcuff

These simple pieces are lower tier focals I will use with the brass line using these way cool dragonflies I  found at B’Sue.  I fell in love with these and wish I had a whole BOX of them!  I honed my lumiere skills painting these.

dragfly1

dragfly3

One last focal from the Entomology Series, a mother of pearl blister with one of Brenda’s fab beetle bugs.

mopfoc2

That is more than five pieces for the Brass line, Men’s Collection but I want to add a couple more items.  I do have pieces with natural stones but I am only showing here the pieces that use the most from B’Sue.

Here is a focal that will go in the Silver Line, Aviator Series using one of B’Sue’s balloon charms.  They paint up really nice, I think.  Note:  I used one of her brass gears and keys and the brass shows through on the balloon so this can be also used with the brass line.

balloon2

The Copper Line, I began in the last blog but I’ll put a collage up here just to refresh your memory.

coppercollage

This, again, is  my own chain but I used Brenda’s steampunk hats and gears on the focal and cufflinks and also have a cravat pin with the small hat.  These hats are the only thing I had in mind when I first planned to enter the challenge.  I found SO much more!  My whole line almost went out of control!

And last:  A huge copper focal that only used my own things I made myself with metal clay and dichroic glass.   I just HAD to have one OOAK piece.   This focal goes in the Order of the Kraken series.  It should have one of B’Sue’s little OK charms on it but I lost my last one somewhere on my worktable mess!  I’m going to need a lot of these.

OKfocalibg

So there we have it.  My Men’s Collection which will cater to those who love cosplay.   Series within the lines will be

Faux Pearls series which I showed here

Order of the Kraken (OK guys)

Aviator Series (balloons and propellers)

Entomologist Series (bugs and spiders)

Hat’s Off Series

Privateer Series (wait till you see that big clipper ship focal)

SOBS series (Secret Order of Baleful Snipers)

Paladin Series (western and horses)

It’s About Time Series

Mourning Jewelry Series

and, I’ll be making some pieces for those who love popular series or books, like Outlander or Truebloods  (come on with the bats!)   No Twilight, it’s already overdone.   I have seven costumes to make for the family outing to Comic Con this year and will need pirate jewelry for the Dread Pirate Roberts and his crew (my son and his boys are  going to advertise while they have fun).

Brenda, I definitely want to say thanks for this opportunity!    I’ve muddled along for quite a while, trying this and trying that but I think I have found my muse now with much help from you, your pieces and my classmates. I am honored that I was chosen to participate.   I will still keep a small Strega shop but I believe that PHOPP is going to be my main focus.   I can use all my other skills along with the new ones I acquired.  I can satisfy my desire to do original stuff at the same time.  I can be different even when using components that hundreds of others also use. I feel more focused..  AND, I met some fantastic and interesting people

I hope that some will be curious enough to follow along as I develop my presence, you can follow Liam Mac Steamish’s new blog, PHOPP’s Emporium.   Or “friend” Liam on Facebook.   I’ll annouce the opening of my shop both  there and here.

Here is a list of my classmates blogs.  They are doing some amazing things so check them out for yourself.

 

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

 

 

March 20, 2015 Posted by | challenges, fashion, Jewelry, steampunk | , , , , , , | 64 Comments