Wednesday 31 December 2014

Art Bead Scene – December Challenge Blog Hop

I had meant to join in on the November challenge but ended up not being able to participate. Even with everything going on in December I was determined to try my best.

The inspiration for this month is this very structural painting by Pieter Jansz Saenedam.

"Choir of Sint-Bavokerk, Haarlem" 1635
by Pieter Jansz Saenredam
37.1 x 48.2 cm" Oil on Oak Panel

About the Art
Passion for the purity of light and line, so strong an element in Dutch art, is found at its most abstract in the art of Saenredam. He restricted his subject matter largely to the portrayal of whitewashed Dutch ecclesiastical interiors, which he shows stripped of centuries of medieval embellishment by the Reformation's iconoclasm, as seen in the Choir of St. Bavo, Haarlem. It was in this great church that Saenredam and Frans Hals were buried.

My take on the painting is mainly influenced by the form and lines in the structure and hallway flooring.

The first piece I made was influenced by the linear lines of the columns. I chose these gorgeous Bronze Clay rectangles with leaf pattern, created by Lesley Watt of Thea Elements. Lesley added alight stain of colour to bring out the details on the rectangles. I paired them with Silverneedle Agate round gemstones, strung on Rose Gold links, connected with handmade jump rings also in rose gold. I went for a full mixed metals look by topping off the earrings with Sterling Silver ear wires.

Bronze Clay Rectangles,
Sterling Silver, Rose Gold Plated Wire

I was very taken by the optical illusion in the tops of the arches. They appear to have a distinct point at the very top. Examine them closer and you will see this is an illusion. The play of light and the casting of the shadow of one arch onto the next that give this impression. It makes the arches appear to be intertwined.

My second piece is based on these arches. The focal bracelet bar, also by Lesley Watt of Thea Elements, follows the shape, and the colouring of the arches. The beautiful blue and yellow design on the rustic stoneware bar is a brighter interpretation of the colours on the floor and in the chandelier. Where Brandi Hussey saw greens in the columns and floor tiles I saw shades of blue, and ran with it.

I used clear Yellow Quartz gemstone nuggets and a lighter blue tone of glass tri-beads to bring the bracelet bar colours all the way around, then added antiqued brass spacers and clasp to pull the rustic look throughout the bracelet. Two strands give the right balance to the width of the focal bar.

Starburst Bracelet

Rustic Stoneware Bracelet Bar, Yellow
Quartz, Blue Glass Tri-beads, Antiqued Brass

Now check out what everyone else has created here.

Monday 29 December 2014

Dresser Redo – Part 2

Back on December 8th I blogged about a dresser I had bought at a yard sale, and showed everything except the final finished product in its new location. This is what it looked like starting out

Dresser case with the first
touches of primer on the feet

Side view

And here it is all finished and in its new location, the upstairs hallway. You can still see the indentation in the floor where the other storage unit was. Our upstairs hall has a very odd configuration and is almost as wide as it is long. The layout accommodates putting in furniture pieces for storage. Useful considering there are no storage closets in the house.

The top of the dresser is holding our Christmas village right now. I’m looking forward to putting some household treasures on it when the village is put away.

Friday 26 December 2014

Boxing Day

So now it’s the day after Christmas. I hope your day was extra special, spent with family and friends.

Today is Boxing Day, its origins coming from the traditional day when all household and shop staff were given the day off, and given boxes of gifts and food. Enjoy your day.

Wednesday 24 December 2014

Merry Christmas

It’s the day before Christmas and I am wishing each of you a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.

Christmas in the Village

Monday 22 December 2014

Did You See These?

I’m still making my way through all the blogs for the participants of the 3 blog hops that I joined till now this month, 2ndAnnual Bead Hoarders Blog Hop hosted by Lori Anderson, Michael’sBeading Challenge Blog Hop courtesy of Heather Powers and Lorelei Euro and We’re All Ears December Challenge sponsored by the amazing women at Earrings Everyday.

Three busy blog hops with many pretty things to see. Some were made for gifts, some for the maker and some are for sale (or sold already – darn it).

Here are some of my favourites, from the hosts themselves. By no means are these all of my favourites. There are so many on the blogs for the artisans who linked in.

BlueCharm Bracelet by Lori Anderson
Winter Necklace by Heather Powers

WorkingParts Earrings by Erin Prais-Hintz

The items that I made for the fundraising draw and my friends are safely distributed. The ones not given away are now posted in my shop.

Giftfrom the Heart, Polymer Clay Pendant (Sold)

FrostedPines Necklace

Rhythmand Waves Earrings

Do take some time to check out the blog posts for the 3 challenges. You may just find your perfect treasure.

Friday 19 December 2014

We’re All Ears – December Challenge Blog Hop

The last time I participated in the Earrings Everyday monthly inspiration challenge was in July. Things went haywire for me for a while but I got back on track and meant to join last month. I didn’t quite succeed but was determined to participate this month. I am happy to have succeeded.

The inspiration was a video again, of an amazing kinetic sculpture called BreakingWave. It’s amazing how these balls are moved in such a fluid motion.

I made 2 pairs of earrings and tried to stay true to the beauty of the forms and the golden colour in my creations.

The first pair is an attempt to follow the waving forms made by the moving sculpture, interpreted in the shape of the dangling stacks of beads. I used glass drop seed beads and gold plated wires. The seed beads are a creamy colour with drizzles of a deeper honey colour all over them. They have an irregular form with holes placed off centre.

Rhythm and Waves

Rhythm and Waves

 The second pair are a little truer to the colour, but still an interpretation. I used honey jade and gold plated wires again. I wrapped wire around some of the beads and made little spirals at the bottom of others. Everything was linked together using jump rings in 2 sizes. Different shades and pattern variations of the honey jade were selected, showing how nature reflects its own rhythm. Each bead colour flows into the next.

Twists and Spins (Sold)

Twists and Spins (Sold)

This second pair is a gift for a friend who did something special for me and increased my ‘stash’ of wires and clasps.

Now, come check out what everyone else made here

Thursday 18 December 2014

Michaels Beading Challenge Blog Hop

Heather Powers of Humblebeads and Lorelei Eurto have joined forces to host another Michael’s Beading Challenge blog hop, inspired by this beautiful photo and colour palette by Heather.

Based on the photo and colour palette Heather picked these beads from Micheal's.

I was a little late in deciding to join so had to make some substitutions. (I'm not sure that we get all the same beads in the Michael's stores in Canada.) Some of the beads in the photo below are from my stash and some I found at Michael's. Though not exactly the same, they are close in shape and colour.

I thought copper was the perfect foil to highlight the gorgeous colours. I added polymer clay log beads in yellow and brown from Tree Wing Studios, and some of my own copper clay charms. I wanted to evoke the feeling of the country setting and thought that of all the handmade beads I had these fit the best.

I broke the rules a bit, then got back on track. First I wanted to use the palette to make a Christmas gift for a close friend of mine. I put together 4 sets of beads and charms and made napkin rings. Well actually I made 2 of them and will owe her 2 more since we are to see each other today.

I used a heavy copper wire for the base circle, approximately 9 gauge, and an 18 gauge wire to do the bead wrapping then added the charms with jump rings. The charms kind of disappear in the photos but they grab attention by moving freely. My daughter thought they were bracelets when she first saw them (yes they probably are a little large for napkin rings) and absolutely loved the colour combination. Heather thanks for the great palette!

After these two were finished I followed the rules again and made a necklace, using a larger charm from my copper clay stash and a large flattened ring I made from the same copper that I had used for the napkin base.

Everything was strung, and knotted, onto thin natural coloured leather cording.

I’m happy with how everything turned out, just need to hang the necklace for awhile so that the leather cords straighten out a bit. I decided to wear it today, you know, just to help the cording stretch out. 

Now, head over to Humblebeads to check out what everyone else made

Wednesday 17 December 2014

Custom Necklace Order

On Monday I blogged about setting up a jewellery display in an office cubicle. It was a fun day with lots of fellow employees stopping by to check out the jewellery and many making purchases. I was very happy with how everything went and several unique pieces were taken home for gifts.

One woman purchased my Nightfall necklace.

Nightfall Necklace
Polymer Clay, Sterling Silver

She was also looking for a very simple necklace in red, wanting one to go with an outfit she had. Well I didn’t have exactly what she wanted but did have this one, in the style she was looking for.

In Blues

Blue Opal Nuggets, Sterling Silver

After seeing some Bamboo Corral dyed bright red, she was excited to learn I could make a custom necklace for her in the same style.  Here is that necklace. It is being delivered today.

In Reds
Bamboo Corral, Sterling Silver

Close up of Bamboo Corral
and Sterling Silver Beads

I had fun making this minimalist but elegant necklace with its free moving beads. I hope she likes it.

Are you interested in a custom made jewellery item?  Let me know. Perhaps I can turn it to reality for you.

Monday 15 December 2014

Fitting a Show into an Office Space

Last Friday was the date for the annual Christmas Luncheon at my office, aka my bill paying job. It’s a pot luck where everyone brings in the dish of their choice, or the utensils, plates, cups, drinks, etc. For years I cooked from scratch but lately I have been bringing appetizers, i.e. pickles or cheese and crackers.

What I also bring is my jewellery. Typically it is my last “show” of the year, not really a show though. I set up a 4 foot table and cover it and my credenza with one of my booth tablecloths and lay everything out. It’s not a typical show. Except for the luncheon, and the giveaway I talked about in the 2nd Annual Bead Hoarders Blog Hop, everyone is still working away on different projects. Folks wander by to check things out and come back when they have time to really look or when they’ve decided that yes, they do want to purchase that piece they had their eye on.

I thought it would be fun to show you how a jewellery display can be squeezed into a shared cubicle. (I share the quad with some very understanding teammates, especially the one who sits directly across from me.)

Full Display Set Up

That’s my table on the right and my credenza on the left. My desk is just outside the picture. I use wire grids with removable hooks to display earrings and pendants. There is a flattened cardboard box, wrapped in light blue giftwrap, behind the pendants. Without this they would just “disappear” into the background.

Necklace side of the display
with some bracelets

I didn’t bring my necklace hanger stands this time, just laid the necklaces on the table with some on highlighted on the mannequins and busts.

A few more necklaces and lots of Bracelets

I haven’t used these trays for display in a long time, usually using them for transporting and storing between shows. This time they were just the right touch. I sold several bracelets, including the “Shimmer and Shine” button drop bracelet featured here.

A final shot of the grids loaded
with earrings and pendants

The display is a little crowded but earrings were a hot commodity anyway. I was thrilled with how many were sold.

And there you have it; a very successful casual show crammed into a tiny space.

Friday 12 December 2014

Charms, Charms, Charms and Pendants Too

In the most recent little bit of time I have been exploring the talents of other jewellery artists. This has led to a bit of a buying spree, so much so that I have quite a collection of charms and pendants. I’m looking forward to using them soon. In the meantime, here are some recent purchases

The first group are pendants and charms that I purchased through the Beads of Courage auction on eBay. This auction is organized by Jen Cameron, an artisan herself, with 100% of auction proceeds going to the charitable organization. I was lucky enough to win the auction for 4 pieces.

Bird in Flight by Melissa Trudinger
In a Brass Bezel with Resin Coating

Brass Stamped Hummingbird with
Purple Ink by Alicia Marinache

Ceramic Butterfly and Dragonfly Charms
By Jenny Davies Reazor

Next are some ceramic, stoneware and bronze metal clay charms, pendants and connectors made by Leslie Watt of THEA Elements in England. Like the ones above, these are all handmade.

Stoneware Heart and Bracelet Link with floral
Detail, Ceramic Leaf Pendant

Bronze Clay Earring Charms with Queen
Anne’s Lace (Left) and Leaf (Right) Detail
Snowflake Clasp with Handmade Toggle

2 Bronze Clay Charm Grab Bags
With All Kinds of Goodies

I still have on hand the beautiful polymer clay pendants below, from Tesori Trovati. Erin Prais-Hintz is the talented artist. I won these in a draw for the Art Bead Scene monthly challenge. The challenge is based on an inspiration piece, photo, artwork, animation, sculpture, selected by the blog editors. Participants create a jewellery item that draws on colours and shapes from the piece. My prize was for the Maychallenge.

Polymer Clay Pendants
with Crowned Key Charm

And finally, here are some copper clay charms and pendants I made myself. These were made in a metal clay course I took last year.  I have used some and here’s what is still waiting for the right spark of inspiration. Now I need a kiln to make more!

Copper Metal Clay Charms and Pendants by me

Like Lori Andersen said in her Bead Hoarders Blog Hop invitation, it’s time to take these out of the stash and turn them into jewellery. I’m so excited I can hardly wait, but this is a post-Christmas project. Hmm, some new blogs for this project…