Friday, February 25, 2011

Fini Friday!

This Fini Friday format is going to be a little different! I'm going to walk you through my creative process starting with the strands of shell and stone and ending with the necklace and bracelet that grew out of those with the addition and help of other materials!

Here is where I started...

I saw these two strands laying side by side at a wholesale show and they reminded me of the Ocean... how the water looks with sediment settling out and through it.. the waves uncovering and sometimes whisking away treasures... the brilliance and warmth of the sun sparking off the waves and rocks...
I knew they had to come home and grow into something(s) Very Grand!
My initial vision was of a multi-strand bracelet, full of wonderfully subtle stone, mother of pearl, shell and all things ocean, sparkling with sterling silver...
But Inspiration and the beads had other plans!
What grew forth were a necklace and beautifully simple single-strand bracelet.

The necklace features a hand-made painted clay focal bead suspended by a link from a necklace chain. The clay bead was very thick, with a hole that was lower than many beads and so called for some ingenuity in suspension! I like how the fatigued gunmetal finish lends itself to the ancient, time-worn look of this creation!

Title: Ocean Fossil
Ingredients: Hand-made painted clay, impression stone, mother of pearl, lead-free pewter, metal, stainless steel cable.

The bracelet kept more closely to the original inspiration, with the sterling silver clasp as well as sterling and Bali silver accents, shell focal and glass beads imitating spiral shells. However, I found that as I finished this strand and moved forward to string the next, I was captivated by the simple yet stunning beauty of this single strand. It seemed strangely complete by itself. So I let it go as you see below...

Title: Memories of the Ocean
Ingredients: Impression stone, shell, glass, sterling and Bali silver, stainless steel cable.

So, I ask... are these a person's memory of the Ocean or the memories of the Ocean? Like all excellent art, it is up to the beholder to decide!

To bring this entry back full circle, I've a photo to show you of both creations, finished, together...

FYI: If you would like to find some of those gorgeous Mother of Pearl tube beads, you can find them here at Rings & Things!
Alas! The strand of corner-drilled cube beads are called "Impression Stone" (which is likely some sort of jasper) and it looks like there is no more to be had!

I hope this weekend is full of warmth and rich memories for you and yours. If you are near an beach or ocean, think of me!!!

P.S. I did not receive any immediate compensation or free goodies from Rings & Things for the above mention and link, however I am hoping to be entered into one of their contests (and winning!) for posting this information!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Whimsy Wednesday!

Just a quick Whimsy Wednesday entry before I run off to celebrate a birthday!! This Wednesday just abounds with whimsy!

I've two creations to show you today, both with butterflies and one with those fabulous pith helmet charms making an appearance!

The first is a bottle I filled with beads, glitter, a turquoise carved bunny, a Swarovski crystal butterfly, and a few soft lavender flowers! There are two colors of glitter. The first is a white crystal mix, representing a last little bit of Winter and the second is a vibrant Spring Green, representing the new little flowers and plants that spring up everywhere during...well.. Spring! Which brings us to the title and theme of this bottle...
Spring in a Bottle!
I found these bottles online at Rings&Things and knew I had to have them and play with filling them up!
You can find them here .

And here it is:

The second creation is a pair of earrings with butterflies, tigers and pith helmets, oh my!
The link that all beads and the charm are suspended from is from a vintage necklace I took apart. Aren't they wonderful? Pairing the pith helmet with tigers just seemed natural.. since one would wear a pith helmet in tiger territory. That the tiger is purple is unusual and purple has been associated with royalty and spirituality for eons. Butterflies are a symbol of transformation, due to obvious reasons and so the title just naturally fell into place.
Spirit of Adventure

If you love those butterflies as much as I did, you can find them via Rings&Things here !

And now, to the celebration!

P.S. I did not receive any immediate compensation or free goodies from Rings & Things for the above mentions and links, however I am hoping to be entered into one of their contests (and winning!) for posting this information!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Fini Friday!

As the weather has turned a bit chilly again... well, really it is the wind that has a bit of a bite to thoughts again return to warmth and FIRE!!!
Which is makes this entry for Fini Friday perfect!!
This creation has been on my beadboard for atleast 3 years. The finished creation is close to the original design, though less fussy and therefore was able to be completed. The original vision called for 3 tiers of tiny chain with crystals and etc. strung through them and other nifty, but persnicket-y details and that is what ultimately bogged down this design. Different chain, a paring back on the idea and a few new touches such as the clasp here and there and it is Fini!

Title: Firing the Furnace
Ingredients: Earthenwood Studio Steampunk Furnace Pendant, reproduction vintage metal stamping, Swarovski Crystals (Fire Opal colour, of course!), vintage acrylic beads, anodized aluminum jumprings, metal, lead-free pewter.

Have a Fabulous Weekend!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Whimsy Wednesday!

I have a little bit of an experiment and a pair of earrings to show you today!

I ordered little lead-free pebbles (USA) with shapes cast in the surface, some of which are perfect for glueing in flat-backed crystals or rhinestones! Though technically quite simple, I'd not done this before and I'm pleased with the results!

I used Swarovski crystal rhinestones in "Sun" and "Volcano" colours. I love the "Volcano" colour because it flashes from violet to warm topaz with stops at garnet red and a rich magenta in-between! It is an interesting take on using a traditional 'floral' colour for the middle of the flower in the "Grow" pebble.
I am very happy with the wonderfully warm and vibrant "Sun" crystal as it shines out from the middle of the hand on the "Play" pebble... Did you see what I did? PLAYing in the SUN? Hee hee!!

I think it is safe to say that with the recent warm spell, Spring is on everyone's mind.. including mine!!!
I love the lightness of the beautiful yellow butterfly, the beautiful pastel pink and contrast of green and blue to give vibrant spots of colour to the wonderfully detailed bunny (It even has a tail!!!) Blue matched the butterfly because, of course, butterflies are found fluttering in the sky and green paired with the bunny as bunnies hop along through the grass.

Title: Dance of Spring
Ingredients: Swarovski crystal butterflies, faceted and Czech glass, lead-free pewter (USA), sterling silver.

Here's hoping your day was as full of colour and life as mine!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Fini Friday!

I'm pleased to show you two pairs of earrings today that have been languishing on the sidelines for a few years now. The first was merely waiting for the design to coalesce. The second required technical expertise and confidence that I did not yet have when they started growing.

Bunnies Moonlight Dance
Ingredients: Turquoise bunnies, moonstone, Bali & sterling silver.

I saw these fabulously vibrant fans of vintage lucite at a bead store some years ago and knew I had to have them to play with! They are beautiful and when I saw the earring finding cast of sterling silver, I knew I'd found their match! Unfortunately, the side-drilled holes of the lucite beads posed a problem in terms of hanging so that the fans dangled the proper direction once the earrings were hung in the ear. I played around until I devised a novel way to hang them, however, by the time I'd discovered my particular technique, I was out of both confidence and patience and became very discouraged. And thus, they sat. Here they are, finished and boldy elegant at last!

Lady in Red
Ingredients: Vintage lucite, Sterling silver

Don't forget to stop by and see me and these new creations at the Abundant Heart (And Chocolate!) Mini-Symposium this Saturday in Minneapolis, MN, USA!
I'm so excited that I'll be giving a presentation as well!!!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Whimsy Wednesday!

I'm so excited to share this Whimsy Wednesday's creation!!!
Many of the materials just traveled back to the studio with me from this weekend at Supercon and it is always energizing to use newly-arrived shinies!

Let's start with a photo right off and then discuss from there:

Title is Adventures of the Heart
Ingredients: Swarovski crystal hearts, old watch parts, metal, plated silver surgical steel earwires.

See the charm just below those gorgeous Swarovski crystal hearts? That's a pith helmet!!!!! ISN'T THAT AWESOME?!!! I giggle over those every time!!! As you might have guessed, they were the inspiration for this creation and the whimsy for this post! They inspire me to think of adventure and exploration and I knew I wanted to create something a little steampunk with them! Also, they match perfectly with my theme of not-your-typical Valentine's Day offerings!!
I love the contrast of the brass watch gears along with the vibrant blue-violet of the hearts that spices up the silver and gunmetal tones of the rest of the creation!
In addition, I'm pleased with how the brass watch gears frame the entire earring creation, top to bottom. Details are so important and so much fun!

So, what adventures are we bound to discover next? Who knows?? You'll have to check back to see!

*Also, rondezvous back here with me for my notification as to when these will be offered in my online studio!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Shinies and Loot!

I'm back from my mini-vacation to Hastings and Supercon!
We made good use of the hot tub, snacky-things, fabulous company and general relaxation that is Supercon! YAY!!!
And! Of course I created Shinies and came home with loot!!!
First, the loot!
I picked up a bit of steampunk bits and parts, intriguing pendants, fun charms, cats and pith helmets, just to name a little of what you'll see below!

I was pleased to renew my tradition of donating Creations to the Art Auction at Supercon. This is a fun challenge for me as the Auction rules state that all art needs to be made at the Con.
I managed to finagle a few photos of the 4 pair of earring creations I submitted and here they are!

Stay tuned to see what I do with the lovely loot you see above!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Whimsy Wednesday and Fini Friday!

And here we are at Wednesday again!
As I will be away for an extended weekend/mini-vacation on Friday, this post will double as a Whimsy Wednesday and Fini Friday!
A little bit of news before we get started: I procured a set of tools and toolkit over the weekend to work in a new medium! I'd actually been interested in working in this medium for quite a while and when a good friend took up working with it recently, I decided to dive right in! Watch for more details and photos as I develop the skills to work with the materials!

Onward to the Whimsy!
I have several pairs of earrings to show you today...most are whimsical... some are both whimsical and serious and all are very unique.
The first pair were created with Whimsy Wednesday and Fini Friday in mind as I've had the focal beads languishing in my bead drawer for some time.
The rest are my offerings and inspirations surrounding Valentine's Day.

Titled: Atlantis Laboratory II
What happens when Altanteans meet Steampunk? Seeking an Altantean Mad Scientist in his native Laboratory? Look no further than these earrings!

The glass beads always remind me of some curious concoction bubbling and brewing in an unusual container... that might be found in a Mad Scientist's Lab! There are old watch parts that move and spin, keys to doors, cabinets and who-knows-what, bright flashes of color and, of course, fish! After all, Atlantis is a very water-based culture!

On to the Valentines!
I love the sparkle of Swarovski crystal and these hearts are so very fun!!! The first two earring pairs combine Red Magma hearts with shiny silver and gritty metal tones. I love the fire of that Red Magma color and the sentiment that a fiery heart inspires because it is so different from most of what is touted as traditional heart colors and concepts.
Title: Heart-Wrenching
While this title may sound depressing, I wanted to point out that the wrenching used in the earrings (and to complete the pun) are adjustable! With the gritty metal tone that offsets those fiery hearts, these earrings are unapologetic about the real-life concept they humorously present, while also wisely pointing out that we are free to adjust our lives and hearts as will suit us best. We are all, after all, works in progress.

Title: The Mechanics of the Heart
Old watch parts, a spanner and Swarovski crystal! Not a combination for the faint of heart! This is suitable for Steampunk, Boxcar or just plain Awesome Individualism! The synthetic garnets in the old watch parts mirror the undertones of the Red Magma colour and these earrings present a very interesting tableau for the imagination!

And last, we have a deceptively simple pair of earrings.
Pathways of the Heart

And since French is reputed to be the language of Love, I will leave you with this...
Au Revoir !