Tuesday 30 June 2015

Cobourg Celebrates Canada Day

The Cobourg Rotary Club Craft show, part of the annual Waterfront Festival, starts tomorrow, 10 – 6, Thursday and Friday 12 – 8 and Saturday 10 – 5.

First launched in 1967, the Cobourg Waterfront Festival is one of the premiere summer festivals in Canada. So much to see, so much to do. Come for a visit and have a wonderful time.

I will be selling my jewellery under the Rotary Club Arts & Crafts marquee tents, at booth C5. My new pendants, launched here, and here, and here too, will be available along with lots of other favourite pieces.

The festival is held along the beautiful waterfront, in the heart of town. Come out for an enjoyable family outing and shopping.

I have been really enjoying a more organic, somewhat rustic bohemian approach to my designs lately and would be interested in hearing your opinions on this style. Please let me know.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day.

Monday 29 June 2015

Art Bead Scene June Inspiration Challenge

Here are my creations for the ABSblog inspiration for June.

The challenge inspiraton was this painting by Séraphine Louis, known as "Séraphine de Senlis" ("Séraphine of Senlis ") (1864–1942). She was a French painter who worked in the naïve style.

Feuilles, 1928, By Seraphine Louis, Pigments on Canvas

I was drawn to the many colours and shapes of the leaves she painted. Though orange, pink and red dominate the work, there are other shapes and colours hiding in the background that were the jumping off point for some of my pendants.

First off is this pendant with stoneware ceramic leaf by Lesley Watt of Thea Elements. The gorgeous orange and rust colours went perfectly with these two sparkle mini Lampwork beads from Sue Kennedy of SueBeads. I added glass rounds in complementary colours, used copper to tie the pendant portion together and strung everything off leather and waxed cotton cords.

Fire Leaf Pendant

The second pendant pulls its colours from the polymer clay leaf. Unfortunately I do not know who made this leaf. I mated it with another Lampwork bead from SueBeads, this time a Cameo bead in a Wedgewood like blue plus purple ceramic beads from Natalie McKenna of Grubbi Beads. Waxed linen in complementary colours holds some Mother of Pearl chips I acquired from Linda Landig, finished off with silver plated wire and clasp.

Summer Streaks Pendant

Next came this pendant with stoneware leaf by Diana Ptaszynski of Suburban Girl. I used an agate circle, originally intended to be a ring, and batik cotton ribbon from Lorelei Eurto of Jewelry Accord. Like the first pendant, everything is tied together on this one with copper, hanging from a waxed linen cording this time. All of the waxed linen cording in these designs also came from Lorelei Eurto.

Rusticated Leaf Pendant

The next two pendants use polymer clay leaves in greens and rusts from Hilla Bushari of Hillovely and ceramic rounds in dark merlot and oatmeal from Cindy Pack of Art & Soul. Again I went with waxed linen cording and either antiqued bronze or antiqued brass for the metals.

Summer Touch Pendant

Sun Kissed Pendant

Monday 22 June 2015

Making Space in the Studio

Remember this from early May? Remember how excited I was? Just a little studio rearranging and some new feet, and it would be good to go.

“New” old storage cabinet

I still love the cabinet, just haven’t been able to put it to use yet. I started rearranging things, happily moving the Ikea cabinet that holds all my gemstone, pearls and beads now, to a different section of the basement, actually outside the studio space, and moving other items out of the way “temporarily”.

This cabinet under the desk was moved outside the studio

Then I measured the available space and the cabinet…and…came to a screeching stop. The cabinet would not fit in the opening! It was too wide by a good 4 inches.

Well now what? There was no way I was going to give up my beloved cabinet! The “bench” had to go. Until now I’ve been using a hollow core door propped onto 2 metal sliding shelf organizers as my desk. It had advantages, lots of space, and disadvantages, not strong enough to hammer on except at the edge. 

So, I’ve spent the last few weeks looking for a new bench or desk. After spending last weekend selling at the local craft festival, I took today off from my bill paying job and went searching again. My first stop was at the local Restore outlet where I found this desk. A hotel had refurbished a lot of their rooms and donated much of the furniture. There was damage on the front side of the desk, not visible in this photo, where something had been screwed in, and I got it for a bargain price.

A desk from a hotel with my vacuum hiding underneath

Now all I have to do is pack up everything that’s on the bench and the shelf above. The shelf needs reinforcing and the two pieces of wood sitting on the bench, helping hold it up, have to go.

The rearranging starts as soon as I finish the commission orders from the weekend.

Friday 19 June 2015

We’re All Ears June Inspiration Challenge

The inspiration for the June Earrings Everyday challenge is based on a National Geographic article about tide pools. There are photos by Robert Sisson, as well as a painting by Karel Havlicek with the article. Erin tracked down some more artwork for inspiration photos and tied it all up together for us.

This first pair of earrings starts with these pretty blue/green glazed stoneware charms by Marie Carmen Rodriguez Martinez (Majoyal), complemented by borosilicate glass beads and 2 shades of waxed linen on sterling silver. 

Under the Sea Earrings
The inspiration was this illustration by Theo Carreras. The wispy shapes reminded me of the pattern on the charms and the blue green colours were perfect.

This illustration by Hashime Murayama was the trigger for the combination in my second pair of earrings.

I started with the white stoneware sand dollars, by Cindy Pack, that are hinted at here and there in the artwork. Then I dug up the smoky merlot ceramic rounds, also from Cindy. The colour and shading in them are a perfect match for the mussel shells in the illustration. Sadly I could not do justice to them with my photos. I used waxed cotton, in 2 colours again, to secure everything to antiqued copper jump rings and ear wires.

Mussels and Dollars Earrings

Finally, I made this pair.

Coral Hues Earrings (Sold)

The square porcelain charms, with the coral pattern, are from Marsha Neil. I paired them with freshwater pearls dyed a dark coffee and another 2 colours of waxed cotton, and finished off with antiqued copper jump rings and ear wires. The deeper colours from this final illustration were the starting point for this pair.

I really enjoyed this challenge. Having grown up in Northern Ontario I did not get to experience tide pools and loved it when I got to see one on a trip to the east coast several years ago.

Thanks for stopping by and please do see what everyone else made here.

Thursday 18 June 2015

More Sea Theme and a Festival

This weekend I will be at the Fairy Lake Artisans Festival in Newmarket. The show runs from 10:00 – 5:00 on Saturday and Sunday. There will be lots of artisans there with a large variety of handmade and artisan designed products and handmade foods.

The festival is held in the lovely Wesley Brooks Conservation Area in the heart of town. It’s a lovely setting with picnic areas and play park for the little ones. Come out for an enjoyable family outing and shopping.

Here’s a sample of one of the products I’ll be bringing. Check out the last few postings. I’ll have those items there too.

Coral Squiggles Necklace (Sold)

The focal is a square porcelain charm by Marsha Neal, with a coral squiggle pattern, and is glazed in a combination of blue, gold and brown glazes. The focal pendant is attached with waxed cotton cords in copper and dark green, sitting immediately below 2 ceramic beads by Gaea Cannaday, glazed in complementary colours. Strung along the waxed cord is a ceramic charm with a seashell, also by Gaea, in brown and clear glazes. Riverstone chips and freshwater pearls dyed deep coffee help call out the Tide Pools interpretation of the necklace, as does the antiqued brass starflower toggle that finishes the necklace.

I have been really enjoying a more organic, somewhat rustic bohemian approach to my designs lately and would be interested in hearing your opinions on this style. Do let me know.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day.

Monday 15 June 2015

A Weekend "under the sea"

I spent Friday at my son’s university convocation ceremony, a rainy but wonderful day. So proud of him!

Saturday was a beautiful day and I spent it outside working on yard projects. Sunday was a rainy, water filled day, right from early morning until dark. It was a good day for catching up on a bunch of paperwork and blog reading. When I decided I had been sucked into the internet blog and link jumping long enough it was time to work on new designs.

First up, earrings for the Earrings Everyday June Challenge. These will be posted on Friday. One set of those earrings inspired me to make this necklace. It’s not a perfect match, instead it complements them. You’ll see what I mean in a few days.

Under the Sea Necklace (Sold)

Reverse Side, Under the Sea Necklace (Sold)

The focal is a versatile double sided porcelain charm by Marsha Neal, with a spiral on one side and a seascape on the second, and is coated with a colour called Glacier Glaze. The focal pendant is held in place with waxed cotton cords in blue and light green. Strung along the waxed cord are borosilicate glass drops in Multi Forest colour, matte Aventurine and Bamboo Corral dyed blue. Messy wraps of Sterling Silver were used to attach a sterling silver chain and closure.

Once that was done, in the mood for some almost instant gratification, I took some hammered loops that were ready and made these, earrings in different lengths, all sterling silver and with different ear wires.

Dots and Loops Earrings in Single, Double and Triple Loops

 I would love to hear, which earring length is your favourite? Do you like them short? Or longer?

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day.

Thursday 11 June 2015

Catching Up – April and May Polymer Clay Challenge

I fell behind in my goal of trying one new polymer clay creation each month. It’s a new medium for me, another experiment in my mixed media goal, and I allowed myself to be overwhelmed for awhile

I saw a tutorial for jewellery bowls by Laura Gummerman on The Beading Gem and though “surely I could do that”. So I gave it a try, with a selection of 2 colours of yellow, green, white and black. I made the snakes roughly to the ratio in the tutorial and twisted and rolled away. In the end I mixed my colours together a little too well. There’s a very dominant green look to my mixture.

Polymer Clay Lined Wood Bowl

Rather than make a bowl that’s all polymer, I decided to line a sweet little wooden bowl with the clay. I sanded the inside and used a bake and bond clay glue before laying the mixed clay into the bowl. The ends were trimmed up with an x-acto knife, then I baked away. I like the way the green and brown work together but feel like the bowl needs more embellishment. That may just be something to get accomplished for this month's goal.

I had lots of my colour mixture left over so I decided to practice with some new embossing textures to make earrings. In the end I have these little flower earrings which aren’t quite the samesize. They need sanding still, but aren’t too bad for a first attempt (I think). I will be keeping these as one of my learning experiments.

First attempt at flower beads
And, I’ve still got lots of the mixture left for future experimenting. Of course, I will likely change up the colour so there’s less green.

Saturday 6 June 2015

Epic TV Inspiration Blog Challenge

Back at the end of April a blog challenge invitation was issued by Melissa Trudinger. The time was right to have a design challenge and blog hop inspired by Epic TV. Heather Powers had just issued a Game of Thrones challenge but that was okay, there was enough scope in TV series out there to inspire a dozen blog hops!

I’ve been busy outside all day and haven’t had the time to post until end of the day. Then I couldn’t find my camera. It still hasn’t turned up. I took my photos with my iPhone. Even these I took outside, because it really has been a glorious day!

I chose 2 Epic TV shows for the subjects of my challenge.

The first is Castle, the police drama where Richard Castle works with New York Police detective Kate Beckett to solve crimes. It certainly wasn’t Rick who attracted my attention, and gorgeous as she is, Kate Beckett is not one to wear a lot of jewellery. My inspiration was Martha Rodgers, Rick Castle’s mother.

Susan Sullivan as Martha Rodgers, Photo courtesy of imdb.com / ABC
Susan Sullivan, a long time veteran of episode TV, plays the part of Martha to perfection. Martha is an actress, specifically a stage actress, who lives with her son and granddaughter, and now her daughter-in-law Kate. When the series started, Martha was down on her luck and had not had any parts or been in any plays for some time. Martha was a very minor character at the beginning of the show. Her part and onscreen presence has expanded over the years. In Season 7 Martha was an important member of the storyline.

Martha Rodgers is a prima donna actress, relishing her role in plays, and dresses the part. She loves cutting edge fashion and jewellery with a twist.  I designed these pieces with her in mind.

First is this bib necklace of turquoise. These are beads I purchased from an artist who was clearing her stock. They are 22 – 25 years old and are of gorgeous quality. I matched them with round quartz crystal beads and sterling silver.

The Martha Rogers Necklace

The matching earrings came next. They are delicate looking, yet strong and hang from leverback ear wires, also in sterling silver. I can see Martha wearing this set to a premiere party!

The Martha Rogers Earrings

Next is this necklace, which pays homage to Martha Rodgers classic refinement. Much as she loves fashion forward looks, she also have a classic side. The necklace is composed of brass flowers enameled in a creamy ivory with centres full of little rhinestones. The bib effect hangs from a gold plated Circle and Circle chain. In making the bib effect I used jeweller’s brass jump rings to get the right spacing.

Martha Rogers Necklace Two

I’m not totally thrilled with the result. Though the flowers lay nicely on a flat surface and when the necklace is being worn, they all collapse into each other when it’s held up. My daughter looked at it and came up with the best solution; use narrow widths of brass sheet on the back to maintain the shape! Sometimes we are just too invested in a method to see the alternatives. I will be modifying the back and soon it will look just as lovely in the hand as it does when worn. I set aside two of the flowers to make earrings with but ran out of time. These will come soon too.

One of my other favourite shows is the Canadian science fiction show Orphan Black.  Tatiana Maslany plays many characters on this show about clones and the intrigue surrounding their creation by "a scientific movement called Neolution. The movement believes that human beings can use scientific knowledge to direct their evolution as a species. The movement has an institutional base in the large, influential, and wealthy biotech corporation, the Dyad Institute. The Dyad Institute conducts basic research, lobbies political institutions, and promotes its eugenics program, aided by the clone Rachel Duncan. But it also seeks to profit from the technology the clones embody. It has thus placed "monitors" into the clones' personal lives, allegedly to study them scientifically but also to keep them under surveillance."

One of the clone “sister” characters played by Tatiana is Allison Hendrix, a most unusual suburban wife.  According to her official bio, she is “married to Donnie Hendrix, and the (adoptive) mother of Oscar and Gemma. Her yoga pant-wearing, craft-making, soccer-mom exterior is a clever front for who she really is; a gun-toting suburban rebel who will stop at nothing, including murder, to protect her family. After Donnie comes clean about his own clumsy murder, the two find a lost passion. Now sober and recommitted to ‘Team Hendrix’, Alison intends on keeping her eye on the prize – helping her sisters, and keeping her family safe.”

Allison can be very conservative in her appearance, as depicted in this photo.

Tatiana Maslaney as Allison Hendrix, Photo courtesy of Space.ca

This necklace came to my mind when I started to imagine the jewellery she wears. The focal is a ceramic pottery shard from the pattern Blue Willow. The necklace itself is made of Lapis Lazuli beads in two sizes, tiny sterling silver beads and finished in sterling silver.

The Allison Hendrix Necklace

The second clone sister I selected is Cosima Neihaus. The official bio on Cosima states she is “the cosmic geek and PhD student in Experimental Evolutionary Development Biology, who helps her clone sisters make sense of the science behind their existence. After becoming embroiled in a steamy and sometimes dangerous love affair with the duplicitous Dyad scientist, Dr. Delphine Cormier, Cosima’s life is even more complicated. She has a congenital respiratory illness unique to the Leda clones, and is obsessively driven to get to the truth of their biology. Cosima hopes to free them from their collective and fatal destiny, through newly discovered research.”

Cosima has a very bohemian attitude and style.

Tatiana Maslaney as Cosima Neihaus, Photo courtesy of Space.ca

I imagined her wearing a necklace like this one.  The beautiful focal bead is made of polymer clay and is a creation of Erin Prais-Hintz. The bead itself was inspired by Frida Khalo. I matched it to four colours of waxed cotton and in the soft cotton tassel that I made. The colours used in both are taken form the colours of the flower and butterfly in the bead. Ceramic beads and antiqued bronze chain, hoops and clasp finish off this necklace.

The Cosima Neihaus Necklace

Thanks for stopping by. Please visit all the other participants of the challenge:

Melissa Trudinger   http://beadrecipes.wordpress.com  (Hostess)
Karen Mitchell         http://www.overthemoon-design.com
Andrea Glick            http://zenithjade.blogspot.com/
Karen Martinez        http://fairiesmarket.blogspot.com/
Lennis Carrier          http://windbent.wordpress.com
Lindsay Starr                        http://phantasmcreation.blogspot.com/
Mona Arnott            http://bijouxgemsjoy.blogspot.com (You’re here now)
Lee Koopman           http://stregajewellry.wordpress.com
Shaiha Williams      http://ShaihasRamblings.com
Veralynne Malone   http://veradesigns.blogspot.com
Elisabeth Auld         http://www.beadsforbusygals.com
Kelly Schermerhorn           http://meanderingwithkelly.blogspot.com
Dini Bruinsma         http://www.angazabychanges.blogspot.nl
Terri G                     http://terrisbloomingideas.blogspot.ca