Saturday, November 7, 2015

Bear

One stop of our vacation this Summer was in Colorado. The boys enjoyed being in the mountains, hiking, biking and running amok. I played around with ideas from there, trees, bears, mountains... this is one of the bears that I made this week, it is a brooch made out of copper, I used my trusty towing hitch to raise the metal and polished it to a nice shine.




Saturday, October 24, 2015

Green Glass earrings

I titled this Green Glass.... but....These are made with acrylic made to look like broken glass. I don't know if they look like it to anyone else, but I kind of like them. 

Tinted with a transparent green, they are about an inch in length, wire wrapped. 





Saturday, October 17, 2015

Earrings

Earrings I made with glass beads strung on brass wire.












Maybe a better picture, color-wise.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

ring

I'm embarrassed to say, I have no idea what type stone this is. It is amber, reddish, and a tiny bit of orange... I don't know stones.
I've been working on a few rings, silver bands, silver rope circling the silver bezel. I like this one... it is a teardrop shape, which I think makes it a bit more elegant looking. 
Very simple ring. But I like it.





Saturday, October 3, 2015

Fall Leaves

I wanted to make something for Fall, something to wear on a scarf. There are no really nice leaves in my yard, the only trees I have left are the very old Mulberry trees. The leaves on them are huge, bigger than my hand usually, so I went hunting in the neighborhood and found a beautiful maple tree a few blocks over. I came home and messed around with the leaves I picked up. I finally used resin make a rigid enough leaf to imprint in molding material. I peeled it out and voila! a leaf mold... 

but... it was a flat leaf. I liked it ok, but you know what? I kind of wanted some shape to it... so, when I poured the acrylic into the mold to make this, I waited for about 8 hours and tried moving the mold... The acrylic wasn't going to pour out, but it wasn't solid either, so I used my vice and, no joke,  clothes pins, and pulled the mold out of shape a bit. 
It worked! I got a misshapen leaf. I drilled into it and placed the crystal... didn't get a really good picture of it, but it sparkles!
I used gold leaf to add a bit of detail on the "rim" around the edges, I used a knife to make that indention in the mold, but didn't get it all the way around, so it is just highlighted some



Saturday, September 26, 2015

Week 39- Vintage Inspired

Back in the early  90s, I found Polymer Clay. I loved making little bits and bobs... beads, brooches, and cute little models.
This is my inspired creation for this week's project.
A brooch in Polymer clay with glass beads, a little humming bird on a flower...
I forgot how much I liked wearing fun little brooches like this. My favorite was a caricature of a crow wearing a straw hat and a gingham dress... His beak is now broken off after years of wear... I think I'm going to get him out and do a nose job on him...

While I was working with polymer, I also made these two brooches, I love hummingbirds!
These were made using a mold from Penni Jo Couch, who is an artist extraordinaire... You can visit her Etsy store here

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Week 38 (Sept 19) - Dangles

This week, dangles!
Made from Lapis Lazuli 6mm round beads, glass 8/0 seeds and silver bead caps

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Week 37 - Leaves

Fall is in the air!
 This makes me want to jump in a pile of leaves and have pumpkin pie! Of all the seasons, I love Autumn the best. It is still warm enough to swim, yet in the morning, you feel like there is change in the air, that winter will be here again soon and you need to make the most of every day!
This chain is a cellini spiral made from6/0, 8/0, 10/0, 11/0, and 15/0 seeds, the leaves are brass, formed and fire patina the acorn is polymer clay.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Week 36 - Birthstone of the Month: Sapphire

Cut sapphires from my collection of stones
When we think about Sapphires, we think of the deep blue, brilliantly cut gems that are so beautiful and sought after. Something like the engagement ring worn by Diana, Princess of Wales.  Actually, the stone
tiny cut sapphires, all 2mm or smaller
s come in a multitude of colors... I didn't know this until I started working with stones some years ago. I started looking at stones to buy and found such a varied and beautiful assortment. The stones are in the same family as the Ruby, which is from the mineral called Corundum. Ruby denotes the red color stones... Sapphire is the name given to all other colors... ranging from colorless to pink, yellow, grey, orange, black to the deep blue we all think about... 
I actually own some sapphires. The stones at the top are a variety of cut sapphires that range in size. the next picture is a sampling of tiny stones, all about 2mm and smaller.

 My aunt gave me a pair of beautiful sapphire and opal earrings when I was 14... way too early for that kind of gift, but that was Aunt Margaret. She was a generous and sweet woman, who loved all things beautiful.
I treasure the earrings, and when I started learning to set stones, I ordered sapphires thinking I would make a ring to match my beautiful earrings.
I have used them for other projects, but not a ring for myself... yet...
That might come soon...  

So, I haven't had time the past week to do any stone setting, I've been working on a couple of necklaces that have been really on my mind, but I did make these earrings... I think they  will do as Sapphire color... not actual sapphires 


Saturday, August 29, 2015

Week 35 - Sunrise/Sunset

This is a spiral Cellini stitch made with 6/0,8/0, 10/0, 11/0, and 15/0 seed beads, a bought heartshaped clasp, and a heartshaped glass bead for the pendant.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Year of Jewelry---Week 34 - Life is a Beach

This week's subject is Life is a Beach...
I live in the desert, and yes, it is like a giant beach.. no water, but plenty of sand!
I love the water, grew up loving to swim, loving a beach and loving the way it makes you feel...warm and content with the world.
This is a bought bezel that I thought was cute... and it was on clearance, how can you go wrong? I used a nice paper for the background, covered it in glitter (since glitter makes everything nice) and used some sand for the bottom, some real shells and filled it up with resin.
The 'chain' is made of  6/0, 8/0, 10/0. 11/0, and 15/0 seed beads, done in a cellini spiral.
The clasp is bought... it's Summer, what can I say?


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

July and August

The month of July and August were filled with Summer Camps and Vacations!  I did work even on vacation and have tons of pictures to go along with the work, just haven't had time to get hem posted, will try very hard after the first week of school to  get caught up with this project.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Week 31 - Birthstone of the Month: Peridot

OK, this is getting embarrassing, I didn't do the theme again...
here is what I have for this week, I kind of like it, though I made it with bought materials, I mean the chain and the head pins and the beads,and the spacers...
I know a lot of people complain when a person makes a necklace out of store bought items... Some will say this is not being a jeweler. That's ok... I wanted uniform, and I like the idea of working fast. I figure that is why they made the machine to make the links on a chain... fast... and why on earth would you want to make a chain when you can buy them?
I don't find this to be "cheating"
I find this as being creative.
I saw a necklace something like this somewhere, I don't know where, or  if it was an old design, or who made the first version of it, I think it is kind of reminiscent of those old crystal necklaces that my mother wore, but just a little more hip. 
lol... ok, here goes...
I used three sizes of gold chain, charlottes in 6/0; 10mm faceted teardrop crystals, rhinestone spacers, 4mm faceted crystal bicones

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Week 29 - Let the Games Begin

This is the bead embroidered bracelet that I have been working on, kind of like it!
To me, it is a Summery garden, full of flowers, all we need are some bees and butterflies and the scene would be complete.
Summer is a time of fun and games and flowers... I always end back with flowers.
This is no exception!
Glass seed beads 10/0 and 6/0;  resin flowers 

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Week 28 - Beach, Sun, Water!

This is my interpretation of "Beach, Sun, Water!"
I've been experimenting for a few years with underwater themes, waves and using different, natural items in my jewelry, I kind of like the use of real shells, real natural stones, and seaglass, I have even used sand brought home from different places I have visited, like from Normandy, the Firth of Forth, Mississippi coast, White Sands, and I can safely say... I have so many vials of sand that I can do maybe 20 more without repeating a single visit!

Bead embroidery done with 15/0; 11/0; 10/0; 8/0; 6/0 seed beads; bugle beads; 4-8 mm round crystal pearls; 4-6mm crystal bicones; 6mm crystal; stones; seashells, Polymer "Seaglass"  and a crab pendant.
The 'chain' part of the necklace is random glass beads and stone and a modified right angle weave also, the clasp is made from a silver plated connector and a sterling silver shaped wire.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Year of Jewelry-Week 27-Birthstone of the Month- Ruby

This month is a special month! My daughter was born in the middle of July... a very hot and dry year... and I can remember thinking that her birthstone would be lovely...when someday when she was grown, she would have rubies, very precious stones. I love the phrase ..."A price above rubies"... and that is how I think of my daughter... as being precious.
This necklace is not made with actual rubies, but if I could afford it, it would be!
I loved the color of the cut glass and crystals, what a rich and welcoming birthstone.

An actual gemtone in itself, the ruby is prized in many countries as being worth more than other precious gemstones. It's deep red evokes thoughts of blood and life itself.

The Chinese Emperor Kublai Khan was said to have offered an entire city in exchange for a sizable Ruby.  Rubies were given in offering to Krishna along with gold to ask to be granted rebirth as an emperor, and Rubies are mentioned in the Bible and by the Roman Pliny, who used it's description in his writings. The word Ruby comes from the word in Latin RUBER, translated into English as 'red'.

No wonder we have a fascination with this gem. It seems to have been used throughout the ages as a good luck charm, bringing safety, health and invincibility!

Here is my homage to the ruby...


Saturday, June 20, 2015

Week 25 The Year of Jewelry Project

This week's theme was supposed to be " My Dad's Favorite Colour".... which I have no idea about... My father died when I was 14,so I am lacking in ideas on this one... I could lie and tell you that it was blue or black or something... but it is lost to me... and my mom is in one of those periods that she probably would answer, and it might be right, but who would know for sure...

Sooo.... this is what i was working on anyway, and decided that it would suit this week's bit of jewelry.
This is a Scotty dog, one that I really like, it is made from sheet steel, enamels and rhinestones and a Swarovski crystal for the eye. 
I started making Scotties back in the 90s. I sold a ton of them and gave away as many. I put away the pattern for a long, long time and when I decided I needed to make some more... well, I looked at the pattern and decided that I didn't like it, and it was too big... so I drafted another pattern, and voila! here it is. I do these in copper, brass, silver and like this one... steel. It has a pin back and is just the right size now. 

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Week 24 - Something Old + Something New

Week 24-- Something Old and Something New

I have been making Scottie Dogs of some type for over 20 years, some out of metal, some out of fabric, some beaded like this one... so this is something old, but I found these cute little charms, thought that they would look cute on the collar of the little dogs, so that is something new!

I don't own a terrier like this, but I think it would be a fun dog to have. I don't know the fascination with them other than they are just so adorable. They seem to always symbolize Scotland, in that tenacious way that Terriers have of being small but tough. I think of Scotland like that. Not a huge country, but it is so very tough, sticking it out through all the trouble and turmoil over the centuries... I like Scotland.


Thursday, May 7, 2015

Week 19--Year of Jewelry- - My Mother's Favorite Colour

Here it is, nearly Mother's Day weekend... I can't believe  it, because that means that school is nearly over... just another 6 weeks and it will be Summer break... YIKES!

My mother has had such a rough time of it lately, you all know that she has been in and out of the hospital for the past month or so, and she was gravely ill since January. I know now, looking back, that she was feeling really bad in December as well. She just wasn't her perky self. Now she has good days and bad days, and well... on her good days, she is perky, fun and flirty... she winked at my friend as he was telling her goodbye one day... yep, that's my mom!

Mom gets her love of purple from my grandmother, who also loved purple. I don't know what it says about a person that loves purple, but... I know that one study said that painting your home in that color can make people nauseous... I believe that! I love purple as well, but couldn't stand much of it... we moved into the house that I kind of grew up in, my aunt and uncle owned it for something like44 years. They had added on a new bath, bedroom, pantry and grand room as well as a two car garage and work area, which was a wonderful addition. But the bathroom was done in lavender and white tiles, the shower was done in all lavender... and ugh... trying to find bath towels was hard, but you can't imagine what trouble it was to find fabric to change the look of the room without contrasting too much with that color. YIKES!
Anyway, Mom decided to paint her bathroom with white and purple, and it ended up looking pretty good. Not enough of the purple to make it outrageous... then she had me do a mural on her bedroom wall... of Wisteria vines. Yes, purple in there as
well... and you know, it was ok. I don't really like murals in my bedroom, but in hers it looked like it fit.
This piece is made of a Crystal Rivoli, 11/0 glass seeds, 6/0 glass, and tube beads. The 'chain' is made from Czech glass, pearl, metal and crystals.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Year of Jewelry- Week 17- Embrace Nature

I used salmon colored glass leaves to make the focal for this necklace, and it does embrace nature! I love the earthy tones of the ceramic and glass beads. I love this combination! I love this melon colored ceramic paired with silver and the deep, rich turquoise color mixed with the salmon color of the glass... simply spectacular colors together!
 I used the silver beads to separate the round ceramic beads and to add a bit of neutral to the piece,because if I had used the blue, it would have ended up looking pretty heavy... and with the glass leaves, I wanted this layer of the necklace to look light...the second layer is made with a Right Angle Weave (RAW) with a silver round bead in the center for a bit of sparkle without being too shiny... the third row is 11/0 seed bead in the deep turquoise color fading into silver 11/0 seeds, done in a peyote stitch with a glass leaf in the center.
The necklace is finished with a silver plated clasp.
To me, this is piece embraces nature in the most sincere form of impressionism.

and these roses are from my garden... Embracing Nature in it's finest!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

week 16-Year of Jewelry- Made of Thick Wire

This week's project is something made from thick wire... this is my answer to it.
This piece is of a purple amethyst/agate stone with steel wire around, and 28g brass wire wrapped pendant. The chain is an aluminium wire like the kind you find in the floral section of the craft store. I had bought some to use in floral arrangements a few years ago, I like to use it for that purpose, but I have had fun using it in other projects as well. I have a couple of bracelets that I have made using it, and then a few necklaces like this one... I kinda like it. Using this type of wire can be kind of tricky. If you use pliers, they must be either coated in protectant or use pliers that have the plastic covers to make sure you don't mar the finish.  When you snip the wire, you use Flush Cutting wire cutters. They give a better, smoother cut, but you still need to use sand paper to file down the ends. Normally, when you curl wire, you would sand or file down one side of the end of the wire, giving you a nice, gentle slope to start the curl... it just looks better, more finished and is a smooth transition from the end of the wire into the curl... but when the center of the wire is silvertoned and the outer color is different, it isn't practical to do that, the center color will show...
So, I blunted the ends and curled carefully and this is what I came up with.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Year of Jewelry- Week 15- The Story of Me



Jewelry, jewelry, jewelry… the story of my life.
I have made jewelry for a long time. When I was a kid, I loved beadwork, but I wasn’t really good at it. I tried, but I think that my eyesight had a lot to do with my lack of skill, that I was just not that even with stitches, I got a bit discouraged.

When I was a kid, I worked with a friend in a concession stand at rodeos and at pow wows and I loved the beadwork that was sold back then.  It was cheap to buy necklaces and bracelets, especially silver  and turquoise and most glass beads were very cheap.
One day, during a intertribal pow wow, I bought a beaded necklace… and my mother, aunts, and grandmother all griped at me…
Why would you buy something that you can make? Why would you pay someone else to do something that is your heritage and your God given talent?
Why would you not make it or ask someone in your family to make it?
So… I didn’t buy another piece of beadwork for many, many years. I still cringe when I find a piece that is made by a designer that I would like to buy… why? I still hear my grandmother and see her shaking her head…
I learned to make pieces, on and off loom, to crochet with beads, to embroider them onto fabric and leather... I don’t have many pieces of my early jewelry left. I threw some away, gave away some… and well, some are in pieces in a box somewhere, I have no idea which one… and when  I run across it, I think, wow, I should fix that and wear it.
But…
I had one necklace that I loved. I wore it all the time when I was a kid. It was a very thin copper wire, I don’t know what gauge it was but probably a 32 g copper wire with seed beads. Nothing special, but I loved it... I made it when I was maybe 12? And the beads were really lovely, and honestly, you can’t buy those kid of seeds anymore. They were rich colors, hand made and very precious to me.  I wore it and wore it… and I made earrings to match it, and I wore those until my ears were green… literally…'
 I put them  away when I had my daughter, but I got it back out eventually, when I didn't have little ones around to catch it and potentially break it.. and I wore it with a bit of nostalgia.

My daughter loved the necklace so  I ended up giving it to her when she was grown, and she wore it for a while, but broke it… and I think lost it… I almost wanted to cry... Not because it got broken, that happens a lot, not that she lost it... not really, but that it was something that reminded me of a simpler time, a simpler me. Kind of those days before I wanted more, those days when we as a country were a bit more innocent, and well, I guess that I kind of miss my childhood. That necklace reminded me of what it was to be a kid.

So, I made her another one but out of larger gauge brass and larger beads, I don't know if she likes it or not, it isn't quite the same as the old one, only the sentimental value of that one was more…
This is a piece that is similar to the one I made for my daughter. I  added an etched brass Celtic knot. My family is part Scottish....sooo....
It is probably the best piece that describes me, It is simple, sturdy, and not too garish.
The pendant, is not attached for a reason. I put a steel jumpring on it, to use in another project...  I did eventually get the jumpring off and it is now attached with a brass jumpring!!
 brass 24g wire, brass tubing beads, glass beads

 By the way, this is the anniversary of my dearest and one of my oldest friends birth. She and I met when we were about 4 years old... sadly, she was killed in an auto accident not long after my daughter was born. So sad to live such a short time. My buddy, Brenda.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Year of Jewelry- Week 14- Birthstone of the Month-Sparkly Like a Diamond



Year of Jewelry – Week 14- Birthstone of the Month-Sparkly like a Diamond


Well, I don’t have loose diamonds to use in jewelry that I make… I do have some pretty sparkly cubic zirconia and that is about as sparkly as I get. I do have some pretty shiny beads as well, I like using them to bring out the colors in the metal or beads that make up the project. Nothing like a little sparkle to catch the eye!
I especially like using cz because they sparkle when you wear them and they cost a mere fraction of what a diamond  costs…so you can use more!

I have been working on a lot of jewelry this year,mostly for my booth, a bit repetitious but very rewarding as well.  This is something that I make a lot of,  sparkly like a diamond! 
Stamped brass ring with formed copper flower with a silver and cubic zirconia  center.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Week 13- Year of Jewelry Project- Something I've Never Tried Before

Week 13, lucky number 13.
This is a project that I made using beads and cabochon given to me by my beading partner, Alicia Marinache. She sent me an assortment of beads that were so lovely, I've been using them for projects here and there... and this one is no exception.
The cabochon is a piece of glass with stripes of  turquoise and amethyst and I have to say, it was kind of tricky to use in a project like this. The face is slumped over and it is kind of difficult for me to catch the front inside the beaded bezel. Though, if I had used all one size beads, it probably would have been easier.
After the front was captured, I flipped it and finished off the back, which was a breeze!
I made the necklace in Cellini stitch, which I am not accomplished at... but it came out pretty nice I thought.
Anyway, I enjoyed making this piece which is doubling for one of the projects of my Swap n Hop that we participated in.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Year of Jewelry- Week 12-Spring is in the Air



Ahhhhh, breath deep the wondrous air! That’s Spring! That is the wonderful, fresh, clean, sneeze, sneeze, ahchoo..pollen laden air!
Heck, I don’t even mind the pollen this year! We didn’t have a hard Winter, but I took it hard. Sickness and heartbreak all through the Winter months was enough to give me the blues, so… This is something that is soooo welcome to me!
This piece was inspired by the purple leaves that I received from my bead partner from a Swap and Hop, Alicia. She sent them as well as the little pointy polymer clay flowers and I knew immediately what I wanted to make…
This is a bead embroidered bib style necklace. I used glass, polymer clay, metal, and stone in the piece, especially the ‘chain’ part of the necklace. I loved some of the beads that I received from my partner, the amethyst Czech glass beads and used them in the chain, as well as the pretty silver floral clasp that I bought a while back. I actually bought a whole package of them and keep using them sparingly. I know they aren’t special really, but… darn it, I love those things! I’d use them on every necklace, bracelet and if I could figure it out, earrings as well!
So here is the necklace.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Year of Jewelry- Week 11- Hinged

Sigh...


No, I didn’t make hinged.
This is my entry this week.
It is a sword made in copper, cut by me, shaped and fire painted.
No, I didn’t make the chain, but it is a guy thing… so it needed to be thick. Not that I can’t make thick chain, but I didn’t.
Here it is, the Sword of a Hobbit…
Big smile there… get it.. it’s small… hobbit… sigh. 
 The total size of the sword, pommel to tip is 1 1/2 ".