Friday, 19 August 2016

We’re All Ears August Challenge

August, the month for vacations, for outdoors, for away time, for camping and for campfires. The inspiration for this month’s Earrings Everyday Challenge is campfires, all types in all their glory. One of the inspiration photos:

Photo Credit Luke Porter, Unsplash

The idea of interpreting a campfire in earrings intrigued me. I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to do it but decided to try and participate this month. I used the colours of the flames as a starting point for this pair:


Digging through my art beads I found the porcelain flowers in antiqued colours, created by Cheryl Irwin. They reminded me of the colour of embers as they begin to fade out, which triggered the idea to bring in the charcoal remnants of a campfire into the design. I used black wood beads separated by antiqued brass spacers to do so. These beads are not perfectly square, instead being irregular in shape just like charcoal. Gunmetal was used for the leverbacks and wires. The finishing touch are the seed beads in shades of ash, burnt wood and sparks that are wound above the wood squares.

Sparkzzz Earrings

I noticed a tiny wire that needs tucking in. Once I get that taken care of and get better photos these will go into my shop.

Please click here to see what everyone else has made too.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day.

Thursday, 14 April 2016

We’re All Ears April Challenge

The April inspiration for the We’re All Ears blog hop challenge are images of fiddlehead ferns. Spring, renewal, rebirth, all happy thoughts, just like the fiddleheads. The images that were chosen came from Getty Images and I chose this one as my personal inspiration.

In my stash, I happened to have some charming swirl patterned porcelain charms from Suburban Girl. The swirl reminded me of the unfurling fronds of the ferns.

Optic Illusion Earrings

I chose to keep the look of the earrings simple and the attention on the charms. The charms were hung from sterling silver shepherd hook earwires. You can find them in my shop.

Please click here to see what everyone else has made too.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day.

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

March Art Bead Scene Inspiration Blog Hop

The Art Bead Scene hosts an inspiration challenge every month. Participants must use an art bead in their design. The idea is to take something from the inspiration, a theme, colour or colours, shape, whatever strikes you as a starting point, and make an original piece based on it. This month’s inspiration is this lovely oil painting by Taisia K. Afonina. You can read more about Taisia and her work here.

"Still Life with Pussy Willows" By Taisia K. Afonina
1964, Oil on canvas 80 cm × 60 cm (32 in × 24 in)

I was priviledged to be a subscriber to the Simple Truths Sampler Club. Erin Prais-Hintz creates beautiful polymer clay based art beads inspired by the artwork selected for the challenge each month. Only the sinking Canadian exchange rate kept me from renewing my subscription.

Her sign of spring pendant is the perfect representation of the pussy willows in this painting. I decided to take a simple approach to highlighting the pendant, with this necklace.

Springtime Cattails 

I made the cord from Hotarubi metallic thread, traditionally used in making fine Japanese kimono fabric. I wrapped the thread around an 18” long form approximately 30 times, giving me 60 lengths of thread 18” long. Before removing the cord I tied the ends off then wire wrapped them with brass wire. As soon as the threads were removed from the form they wrapped into the graceful twist you see above. Beads caps and clasp in antiqued brass along with an extension chain in antiqued bronze completed the necklace. The bead caps were a little large for the cord so I simply tied an overhand knot and snugged it up to the caps to finish it off. That extension chain comes in handy now. You can find this necklace in my shop here.

Although it’s difficult to see in the photos, the Hotarubi thread has a beautiful sheen to it. It was difficult to capture though you can see a bit of it near the pendant.

Though I love the cattails in the painting, I also love the blue that shows up throughout the artwork, in the tea cups, the sheer curtains and the watery view behind them and even the silver pieces. All of this blue inspired me to make these earrings.

Sweet Spring
These ceramic flower pods in light blue and light green, created by Cheryl Irwin, look like tulip flowers captured in the first flush of opening up. To showcase the sweetness of the flowers I used simple sterling silver wires for the stems, allowing the flowers to swing freely off the jump rings and lever back ear wires which are also sterling silver. You can find these earrings online here.

Please visit all the other pa of this challenge. I will add the link tomorrow when it’s available.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day.

Sunday, 28 February 2016

February Art Bead Scene Inspiration

The Art Bead Scene hosts an inspiration challenge every month. Participants must use an art bead in their design. The idea is to take something from the inspiration, a theme, colour or colours, shape, whatever strikes you as a starting point, and make an original piece based on it. This month’s inspiration is this Vogue cover from 1925.

Vogue Cover - Simultaneous Dress next to
the Simultaneous Car by Sonia Delaunay
Illustrated by George Lepape from January 1925

Orphism is a term originating from 1912 when French poet and art critic Guillaume Appollinaire identified the new style of Cubist painting. Simultanism is the strand of Orphism practised by the Delaunays. The name comes from the work of French scientist Michel Eugène Chevreul who identified the phenomenon of ‘simultaneous contrast’, in which colours look different depending on the colours around them. For example, a grey will look lighter on a dark background than it does on a light one.

Simultaneous Flower

My inspiration was the colours used in the illustration, kicked off by the lovely porcelain glazed flower pendant by Lisa Peters Art. I added apple red ceramic beads from Cindy Pack which, though they aren’t the reddish-orange shade in the illustration, worked well with the flower cabochon. I added blue glass beads to make the deep blue colour stand out, and used white beads to help pull the colours together. Black steel wire holds the cabochon nicely to the waxed linen cord I strung the beads on. Gunmetal chain and a silver plated lobster clasp that I added a dark patina using liver of sulphur.

I have to admit I’m not quite happy with the pendant bail. There may be some modifications to it before the necklace is posted in my online store.

Please visit all the other participants of this challenge. Thanks for stopping by and have a great day.

Friday, 26 February 2016

New Earrings

I’ve been getting ready for my craft show tomorrow, sorting products, pricing, double checking calculations, putting all the new earrings on my handmade cards. When I had all the earrings carded I saw this amazing little stack.

That’s 40 earrings in the last two months alone. I was pushing some new skills to the limit. I just hope that when I pick up again it wasn’t just the blush of beginner’s luck and I can do as well again.

You can find me at Winterloo 2016 tomorrow Feb 27, from 11:00 – 7:00, at the Waterloo Memorial Recreation Complex, Hauser Haus, 101 Father David Bauer Drive, Waterloo. I will start listing any that are not sold in my online store next week.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day.

Monday, 22 February 2016

Want to Learn Soldering?

Have you ever wanted to learn soldering? Not just read about it but actually be successful at making something using soldering? Check out this post by Pearl Blay on her The Beading Gem blog. Today’s post is a review for a book about soldering. The book, Simple Soldering: A Beginner's Guide to Jewelry Making, by Kate Richbourg, is published by Interweave.

There’s a great giveaway too. Enter by 6 pm EST Monday, February 29 2016, a week from now, and you have a chance to win a copy.

I like to follow all types of blogs and those that focus on jewellery have a special place in my list of favourites. Often these blogs provide information, tutorials, guidelines, rules, what have you. In my opinion some are very good and some are very bad and Ms Blay’s blog definitely falls into the very good category.

Ms Blay posts all kinds of interesting information in many types of media. Though her main focus is jewellery she does not hesitate to post about other types of art. Take some time to look through her blog. You may find you get hooked too.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day.

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

My New Shop

I took the plunge, opening a new store on Etsy. Come visit it and let me know what you think.

I had a store on Artfire for about 4 years but chose to change host sites recently.

I did a lot of research into the best options. Because I have a full-time bill paying job I don’t have the time needed to support a standalone shop. A large, well managed host site was my best option.  

Why did I choose to move to Etsy and away from Artfire? There are several ways that Artfire operates very differently from Etsy including currency management, seller fees and general ease of use.
For me, a Canadian based seller, the Artfire currency issue was the biggest problem. Artfire requires the seller to post item prices in US funds and buyers have to do their own conversion to their native currency. This is fine when currencies are stable but just does not work when the value of foreign currencies swings up and down from day to day.

Added to that a smaller audience, lower ranking level for search results and a very different rate structure and the decision almost made itself for me.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day.