Saturday, June 29, 2013

Color Challenge

My friend Brandi at Brandi Girl Blog issued a color challenge a while back. Click HERE for the specific post. I should have thought to post this earlier, but there's still time to enter. It's open through July 10.

I used seed beads and a simple herringbone weave to create my entries for the challenge. The first bracelet I made followed color palette #2 from Brandi's choices. Admittedly not a color combination I would have chosen on my own, while I worked on the piece I grew to love it!

Next, I chose color palette # 5. This one turned out too red/white/blue looking and I chose not to submit it for the challenge, hence no photos.

Lastly, I tackled color palette #1, which I like to call Mixed Lettuce.

This one, I love!!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

New Ideas -- They're Always a Surprise!

Most of you know that I've been doing this jewelry thing for a long time. 16 years. Many times in those 16 years I've felt as if I'd used up all of my ideas. Like there was a lifetime quota that I could not exceed and that I'd used my quota. Luckily, those moments passed and something new was created in my studio.

That very thing happened again today. I was busily building inventory for the State Fair, wholesale accounts and my fall craft shows. For some reason, I was working at a frantic pace, even though there is no deadline currently.

... and when I say frantic pace, that's relative ... I never work at the kind of frantic pace that comes to mind when one uses the term frantic pace ...

Suddenly, I was staring at these beautiful white pearls in a rondelle shape. I bought them many years ago in Tucson because they were lovely, different and had wonderful luster. I gave no thought to how I might use them, as that shape always gives me trouble. I never did figure out how to use them effectively. Until today.

As you can see, it is a fairly simple design that really shows off the luster. I vaguely remember trying to use them on a headpin in a stack sort of arrangement. They never looked good or right that way. Plus they would sometimes wobble in an unattractive manner. 

Then I located some long forgotten chunky sugilite rondelles and really beautiful smooth turquoise nuggets. I dare you to guess how long I spent going through those irregular pieces of turquoise trying to find acceptable pairs.

The frantic pace was no more. As a matter of fact, the turquoise nuggets are still spread all over my table screaming at me to make more pairs!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Lampwork + Gemstones = COLORPLAY

One of the funnest things about creating jewelry is the color play involved. Gemstones are full of natural color. Pearls can be naturally colored, dyed or heat-treated to attain wonderful colors. And lampwork beads? Where do I begin to describe the amazing colors and combinations thereof that are found in these art glass beads?

Just about a year ago, I purchased a bunch (49 to be exact) orphan lampwork beads from Firelily on etsy. Here's a photo of the whole lot.

They are amazing and they've been sitting on my worktable for a full year. I would occasionally fondle them or just peer into their awesomeness. Inspired by something I saw on etsy the other day, I finally decided to use some of these works of art.

First, I sorted through them to separate out the pairs, to be saved for earrings. I know they are all supposed to be orphans, but I definitely found lots of pairs. With some of the remaining beads, I made a series of pendants. Each bead is paired with a gemstone (also orphaned) and made into one of two styles of pendant. In one style, the lampwork bead and the gemstone are wired together in chain-like fashion, making for an articulated pendant. The other style hard-wires the two elements together.

These photos capture most of the 21 necklaces I made.

I do not plan to list these in my etsy shop, so if you see something you like (or would like to see more photos of), let me know and we can work something out. Enjoy the colors!