Wednesday 30 July 2014

Art Bead Scene – July Reveal

The July Art Bead Scene inspiration photo is based on the painting The Little Mermaid by Edmund Dulac.  Created in 1911, the pen, pencil, ink and watercolour artwork was made especially for the 1911 Edition of Stories from Hans Andersen, including his story “The Mermaid”.  This is the original story, not a Disney version and the artwork matches it

The Little Mermaid, 1911 by Edmund Dulac
Pencil, pen, black ink and watercolour with scratching out on paper
12¼ x 9 7/8 in. (30.8 x 25.2 cm)

Here are the pieces I made based on the inspiration:

Mermaid’s Wish

The beautiful multi coloured beads in this bracelet are handmade Polymer Clay pieces, made by Tree Wing Studios.  The various shades of blue evoke the depths of the waters while the swirl of colours in the focal button reminded me of the aquatic plants and creatures.  I added gorgeous Feldspar square beads to give substance to the weight and draw out the shades of brown in the artwork


The sweet bird in this Ceramic Pendant charm by Gaea Cannaday inspired the necklace name.  There are 2 other ceramic beads by Gaea knotted in the cord, along with some Sponge Corral dyed blue and some Olive Jade.  The colours were chosen to complement the underlying tones in the 3 ceramic beads.  I used waxed cotton and leather cords in black, wire ends wrapped in copper, to attach everything together.  The necklace is completed with a handmade copper clasp.  And, to coordinate with the necklace I couldn’t help but make earrings with the gemstones

Check out all the other creations here

Sunday 27 July 2014

Sites I Like

Right from when I first started this blog, I have included links to other sites I like.  There have been almost no changes since then, except for dropping one that ended.  I like different blogs that speak to life in all its aspects

Blogs are meant to share, to inform and to tell readers things.  Mine is no different in that respect and my goal is to tell you about my adventures in jewellery design

I decided it was time to do another in depth review and see if they still fit my desired intent.  In the end I decided to drop one that went in a different direction and added another.

Please check out The Art of DoingStuff, a blog by a Canadian (like me) who likes to figure out how things work and how to do them herself.  She tries things that I never would and has more energy than me but good for her

While you’re at it, give the other sites a look too.  You never know what you’ll find.  Happy reading!

And a visual treat for you – Here’s a sample of a new line of bar necklaces and earrings I’m working on.  I will be bringing these to Kempenfest this coming weekend 

Pearl Row

Wednesday 23 July 2014

Custom Setting a Gemstone

While I was at the Goderich Festival of Arts & Crafts I had a wonderful conversation with a lady named Sharon.  She was very interested in the different techniques for capturing gemstones in jewellery settings, eventually showing me an Agate slice she owned with a very unusual but striking shape

The gemstone was acquired many years ago and represented what were clearly some very special memories.  Though Sharon had owned the Agate all this time, she had not been able to find the right setting, nor the right person to pay tribute to those memories

Agate Slice
2 1/4 x 1 3/8 x 1/8 inches (at widest point)

After some further discussion around potential settings Sharon asked if I would wire wrap the stone for her.  I was extremely honoured and touched to be trusted to turn this special stone into jewellery for her and eagerly accepted.  We discussed metal types, chains vs cord options and clasps and signed off on a custom order form

After sketching a dozen designs and constructing about 4 of them, I finally realized that wire wrap was not the best setting.  The wires over the top of the stone did not hold properly, at least not without interrupting the natural colour lines in the stone

My thoughts went to bezel settings but I was concerned the bezel back would take away from the beautiful translucent look of the stone, until it occurred to me that I could go with an open back bezel!

Now the cord and clasp are completed and it goes into the mail tomorrow.  Here is a pictorial of the very organic bezel that I made for Sharon’s very special Agate slice  

Sharon, I hope you like the results

Bezel Pattern
The inked line at the top represents the top of the Agate

Brass pieces after bezel was cut out

Patina applied and ready for fitting

Checking the Fit

Locked in Place – Front View

Locked in Place – Back View (Despite the
appearance the bezel fits flat on the back)


Tuesday 22 July 2014

Destash – Corner Blocks for Kanopys Tent

I have been continuing to work on cleaning up and clearing my studio so that it is more functional and I have easily available the items I really need

Hiding in my garage were some replacement corner pieces for a show tent.  I bought these Kanopys brand corner scissor blocks for a different brand of tent, thinking that they would fit.  Well they didn't so I’m selling them off to someone who can use the corner pieces.

They are brand new, never used. If interested please contact me

Friday 18 July 2014

Earrings Everyday – July Reveal

This month’s inspiration photo was very patriotic.  In honour of National Holidays, Patriotic Holidays, it celebrates the 4th of July in particular.  Being Canadian I decided to embrace the spirit and celebrate both the 1st, Canada Day, and the 4th

Here’s the inspiration photo

Here are the earrings I made:

Beach Party

Fun earrings made for a day at the beach.  I used faceted deep red teardrops, suspended from shell chips and bright blue beads inspired by the blue of the sails in the photo.  These earrings make me think of a summer beach party


Earrings that speak from the heart for love of country, the blue glass hearts have a crystal backing that makes the blue pop.  The variations in the blue colour remind me of the colour of the water.  I used pretty red and semi translucent white beads to complement the hearts and hung them from stud ear wires


Inspired by the sailing boats themselves, I combined the look of rectangular nautical flags and life buoys for this design.  The white shell beads, which gave me a hard time photographing, are surrounded by round glass beads in red and blue.  The blue was inspired by the sky and the red by the hints of deeper red in the shaded corners of the back sail

Come see what everyone else made here

Tuesday 15 July 2014

Pearls Hop and Art Bead Scene – Items are Online

I’m happy to let you know that the reveal items from the Pearls Blog Hop Challenge and the Art Bead Scene June Reveal are now listed in my Artfire store

Come have a look 

Sunday 13 July 2014

A Little Break and then More Shows

Two shows in a row, including on Canada Day, then a break.  I’ve spent the weekend resting and catching up on everything.  Just imagine a messy house, well that’s mine times 2 so only so much rest is in the cards.  Then I will be gearing up for 2 more shows.

On the first weekend in August, from the 2nd through the 4th, I will be at Kempenfest in Barrie.  This will be my third year participating and I enjoy this show very much.  Lots of activities, a beautiful location, always fun.  I will be located at booth 227 again this year, just to the south of the Tiffin St Boat Launch, along the upper walking path.  Show hours are 10 – 6 Saturday and Sunday and 10 – 5 on Monday

Kempenfest, My Booth Outlined in Blue

Port Dover
And then, on August 16th and 17th, I will be at the Port Dover Summer Festival, another beautiful location, and a brand new show for me!  I am so excited to have been accepted.  It will be lots of fun.  More details to follow soon

Thursday 3 July 2014

Art Bead Scene – June Reveal

I decided to give this challenge a whirl again this month.  My posting is late because I was at the Cobourg Arts and Crafts Festival all weekend.  I celebrated Canada Day there.  Lots of fun!

I found that the last challenge last month stretched my boundaries and inspired me to keep trying something new.  And besides, I love the inspiration photo.  It is beautiful, and so is the story of the artist, Marianne North

Trees Laden with Parasites and Epiphytes in a Brazilian Garden, 1873 by Marianne North Oil on Paper

Here is the piece I made based on the inspiration:

Twisting Flower

The necklace focal is all lampwork; red rosebud, green leaves and white seed pods, made by Deborah Mussy of Toronto, ON

Each item was formed off a wire of either brass or steel.  Once I had determined the layout for the focal I twisted the wires together, added more brass wire for strength, stability and to attach to the waxed cotton cord.  Then all the remaining ends were curled for comfort.  The random pattern of the wires makes me think of climbing rose vines 

Check out all the other creations here

Wednesday 2 July 2014

Pearls – The Real Blog Hop

The Pearls Pearls Pearls Blog Hop Challenge reveal day was on Sunday, June 29th.  I posted a mini update that morning that I would be late with my reveal because I was at a show in Cobourg (and my photos sucked), and would do my reveal by Wednesday

So, after redoing all my photos, here is what I made:


The pearls are 5 mm Freshwater, dyed Dark Peacock that I wire wrapped to Silver Plated hoops with Silver Plated wire.  The hoops are 1 inch in diameter (25 mm) and the earrings have an outside diameter of 1 3/8 inches (35 mm).  I recently used this same technique for another blog hop and decided it would be fun to see pearls in this design too

Sea Treasures

This triple strand bracelet is the first item I made for the challenge.  I used a different pearl on each strand to see how different colours would work together.  I’m pretty happy with the results although the lightest colour, the 13 mm Moonlight Green dyed Keishi Pearls were very difficult to photograph.  There is more green than the photo colour indicates.  The next strand are 6 x 9 mm Baroque Pearls, dyed Olive.  The smallest strand are more Keishi Pearls, this time dyed Peacock and 8 mm in size.  I attached the strands to a triple loop Sterling Silver toggle clasp and used all Sterling Silver findings.  Each strand has different coloured seed beads to space the Pearls and add a finishing touch

Waterfall Earrings (Sold)

After making the first two pieces for the blog hop, I needed new inspiration and started playing with some new polymer clay beads I had purchased recently.  When I dug out these charming blue daisies I found my inspiration.  The daisies are the perfect foil for these beautiful 6 x 9 mm (.25 x .35 inches) oval Freshwater Pearls, dyed a striking Sapphire colour.  The daisies are ¾ inches (19 mm) in diameter and were hand made by Tree Wings Studio. A tiny 3 mm (.12 inch) Sterling Silver bead sits between the pearls.  The earrings hang 2 ½ inches (63.5 mm) from the top of the ear wires which, along with the jump rings and wire, are made of Sterling Silver

Waterfall Necklace (Sold)

I loved the Earrings so much I decided to make a matching necklace.  To balance the intense colour of the Sapphire Pearls I added some top drilled oval Freshwater Pearls in a supporting role.  These pearls are smaller at 4 x 6 mm (.16 x .25 inches) with a lighter Steel Blue colour, also dyed.  The necklace is 20 inches (508 mm) in length and the pendant focal is approx. 1 ¾ inches long (44 mm).  Two more daisy charms were added as a finishing touch.  And the name Waterfall was chosen because the combinations reminded me of a clear blue stream rushing over a mini waterfall, deep intense colour at the top changing to a white-ish spray at the bottom

To see what everyone else made check out Michelle's blog