Monday, September 10, 2018

Orchard Artworks Pop-up show in August

Well, so much for keeping the blog going on a regular basis! I'll still try to do this, but will not beat myself up for not posting regularly. It will just be a once-in-a-while thing, and hopefully my followers (you!) will enjoy the posts whenever they occur. I do admire the bloggers out there that really keep it going - It's hard to do.
That said, I have something to post! (with photos too)

I did a pop-up show at my local gallery (Orchard Artworks) back in August. There was art on the walls in a "Colors of Summer" theme, and then every weekend there was a different pop-up show. Our main goal was to book guest artists (we booked 2!) but we ended up having some member pop-ups, like mine, so the room would not be "bare". I sent out emails to all my contacts/friends. Some of my friends showed up, which was nice! I really appreciated their support!
The only "theme" my pop-up had was "new items" - things that have not been in the gallery before. Everything I showed was "new" to Orchard Artworks.

This is my display as seen walking into the gallery.




And this is the back side, after you walked around the table. I dug into my older designs that had never been at the gallery before. I was obsessed with hand woven cords a few years back (and I have all the yarn to prove it - lol). I have had some cords in my gallery space, but those have assemblage pendants that I made using Vintaj filigrees. The necklaces in the photo below are my hand woven cords, using purchased pendants. The pendants are sterling, with various stones, pearls, etc. I have not had them at the gallery since the pendants were not made by me.

In the foreground is a tray of my attempts at wire-wrapping stone and bead pendants. While I like them, they will likely become Christmas gifts, since they didn't sell. (spoiler alert to my family and friends!)

In case you noticed the vintage looking postcards, they are photos from my family. The woman with the big black hat is a photo of my maternal grand-mother Isabel on her honeymoon at Niagara Falls. (circa late 1920's). The photo of the 2 girls is my husband's paternal grand-mother Nellie with her little sister Elisabeth. 2 cuties! (probably circa 1910's, as my in-laws were older than my folks).



I tried to have many new designs for the pop-up.
I made lots of necklaces using Czech flower beads. I'm really in love with Czech table cut flowers right now!



I also made lots of leather and big seed bead bracelets (on the bottom bracelet bar). Various color combos, all use 1.5mm leather and vintage buttons for the closures.
After making the seed bead bracelets, I wondered what it would look like if I used big hole pearls (on the middle left bar). Also with vintage button closures, but on 2mm leather.
And then....I received a gift of watches! They were very pretty, and in working order, so I made 4 watches with leather and big hole pearls! (on top bar) Also with vintage button closures and 2mm leather.
There are 2 lonely looking wrap bracelets on the middle bar as well. Surprisingly, they both sold! Well, I was surprised....

 


I bought a baggie of feather bookmarks last year at Beadfest (at Supertime, I think), and decided to try my hand at making bead embellished bookmarks. I liked them but it felt like they weren't "artistic" enough, so I hand painted them with Vintaj patinas.
There are a handful of lockets on the tray behind that. The lockets are simply on chains with Swarovski accent beads.



This photo hints at my previous infatuation with freshwater pearls and Sterling Bali beads. The 2 closest trays have some of those. I still have quite a stash of supplies, but then I became MORE infatuated with Vintaj and wire....so the freshwater pearls and Bali beads are waiting for me to return to them....someday.
There's also a tray of Czech flower earrings, to coordinate with the Czech flower necklaces.



All in all, it was fun to do. It was a good motivator to get some new things done. And, I still stand by my "old" cords and pearl necklaces - I still love them. I did sell some things, which is always nice!

Thanks for stopping by and sticking with my blog.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

More bling for my nephew's wedding

I've never been one to stop when there is more to be done or had. It's my downfall when potato chips are involved - LOL.
But, when it comes to making jewelry, the more the better.
I had another inspiration for a necklace for my sister (the mother of the groom). You can see the first 4 necklaces in a previous post.

Here's a stacked group of wire wrapped stick pearls, in grey (with matching earrings!). My sister has a weakness for pearls, so she might pick this necklace over the others.


I made the same design in white stick pearls. Those pearls are sort of double sticks, but I like them just as well in this design. It looks like these necklaces, but white! (with silver wire and chain) I don't have a photo yet.

This necklace isn't for the wedding - I just made it because I had the violet stick pearls! I'll probably keep this one - love it!

Pretty, pretty pearls!
For my Mom, it was "one and done"! Uncharacteristically, I stopped after the first necklace. But, it is really perfect, so why make anything more? Plus, she was really excited about it too.
There are 3 tiny light blue rhinestone pins that she got at a garage sale, for me to use. They are combined with antique silver filigrees and a rhinestone brooch from my stash. It looks stunning with her periwinkle gown.

Beautiful jewelry "runs in my family". hahaha

In the meantime, I finally got inspired to make something for myself!
I have been very undecided, but tried to make something anyway. I'm not committing to wearing either of these next 2 necklaces to the wedding, but I'll take them with me and decide later. I also have some very nice vintage Victorian jewelry that I could wear, so I'm still on the fence...

My dress is navy blue. I really didn't want to wear a navy blue gown, but it was on super clearance and was only $18.00! And, it fits me well. And it's "age appropriate". If you haven't shopped for a gown lately, you might not have noticed that everything is geared towards younger, skinnier "women" (a.k.a. girls). I realize prom dresses are more sought after, especially this time of year, but us older gals need to get dressed up once in a while too. I started searching for "mother of the bride" dresses online, just to eliminate the super tight, super sexy dresses, with spaghetti straps (or no straps). My dress is sleeveless but doesn't feel "bare" up top. The neckline is like a low cowl, and not too low. And I don't feel like a school marm in it.

I connected mixed metal filigrees with jump rings, and then glued vintage Swarovski bead caps, to make the necklace "blue". I found these beads caps at Beadfest (last year?) and bought them in every color! When I stumble upon anything cool and vintage, I must buy every color, and multiples, to make sure I have a life time supply! (see opening statement of this post! lol.)

Mixed filigrees with vintage blue Swarovski bead caps affixed.

This next necklace was made to sell at the gallery. But I thought maybe the buff color of the main stone would look good with navy, so I brought it home. The smaller stones are faux opals. The stones in the chain portion are peach moonstone (I think) and match a bit closer in real life (my photograph is not accurate!).
The focal was part of a pre-made focal I got at Michaels. The part I removed was smaller and heart shaped. I bought 2 and made earrings from the 2 smaller pieces. They are sold already, so I can't show you those. There was also another necklace, but that also is sold already! Yay customers!

This might look nice with the dress, but it doesn't have the "wow" factor.

That's it for now. I have a couple more ideas, so there will probably be another post with more wedding jewelry. Maybe I'll take photos of my Victorian things - now that's my favorite eye candy!
 
Thanks for stopping by!
 

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Sheryl's Rose Quartz beads


My friend Sheryl gives me old broken beaded necklaces to create new necklace designs for her. A few months back she gave me some Rose Quartz nuggets and a Rose Quartz and purple crystal beaded bracelet, along with 3 green "wedding cake" beads (lampwork glass with lacy looking details).
It took me a while to get the inspiration to make something with the Rose Quartz. I like Rose Quartz, don't get me wrong, but it never looks as pink once you remove it from the pink string they string it on. The color is almost off white or pale flesh, especially when you mix it with other non-pink colored beads. But, I finally found inspiration!

The first necklace I made was inspired by a design I saw on the Vintaj website in their idea gallery. (they've got a TON of eye candy/ jewelry porn!) They wired a bead to a circular filigree. This was just the thing I was looking for! The wedding cake beads were not big enough to be used as a "focal" for a necklace. But wired to a brass stamping, it became the focal I wanted. The other 2 wedding cake beads were used in the necklace, on either side of the focal. The rest of the beads are Rose Quartz and purple crystals from Sheryl's bracelet. I added antique brass bead caps and some iridescent size 8 seed beads.
My photograph is awful - the Rose Quartz beads look blue in the photo!!

 
 
 This was a more experimental design, but Sheryl liked it. Again, the Rose Quartz looks blue in my photo. These were the larger nugget beads. I created the 3 drops and put them on a curved antique brass spacer. The drops can slide and move around, but the weight of the beads keeps them towards the middle. This necklace reminds me of an Art Deco light fixture, for some reason. I plan to revisit this design in the future!


I will post the photos of the rest of the wedding jewelry (see previous post) soon!
Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Mother of the Groom bling!!

What can I say? Blogging used to me more popular. Everyone's on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pintrest, etc. these days, so there are fewer and fewer blogs to read anymore. I still like to read them though, and I try to leave a comment once in a while. I will admit I should comment way more often.
I couldn't tell you why I haven't posted here in almost a year...I guess I got out of the habit of photographing my jewelry. I'm not much of a photographer, so it's like a chore for me. But still, I know it's a great way to record what I'm making, and I love looking back through my archives, to see how my designs have morphed and changed over the years. Sometimes I get a fresh inspiration from an old design.
So, with that said, I'm going to try to get this blog going again.
I won't look backwards.

Looking forward then.....I am going to my nephew's wedding in June!! It seems like only yesterday he loved to play with his Tonka Bulldozer! Now he's a young man, first-time home buyer, and soon-to-be newlywed!
My sister is the mother of the groom, so she has a special dress for the occasion, and I have offered (really, I've taken over) to outfit her in jewelry.
She's in California and I'm in Pennsylvania, so she will pick a necklace when I get out there. But I have photos of the dress. It is a medium to light grey, with crystal colored bead work all over. It has somewhat of a plunging neckline (V-shaped).

There are so many directions to go!!

So let's just let the pictures do the talking.

Vintage rhinestone pins, rhinestone circle links from Michael's
The first necklace may be too much necklace for her dress, but it is clearly my favorite!

Vintage rhinestone circle pin, crystals and chain.
 Second necklace is simple on purpose, with dangling crystal to hang in the plunging neckline.


Vintage rhinestone dress clip, rock crystal, blue Chinese crystal with rhinestone rondelle spacers
The third necklace is made from the oldest of the vintage pieces. It has some yellowing and missing rhinestones. I replaced many, but there are just too many tiny rhinestones to replace. If anyone gets that close to her necklace, they probably should get slapped for being fresh! I thought the art deco feel of the dress clip and necklace design might look good with the dress.


Rock crystal pendant and assorted crystal MOP, glass beads from my stash.
The forth necklace is probably best for the dress. Simple, but not too simple . It will hang into the plunging neckline, but not as low as necklace 2.
 
Of course there are earrings....
 
These would go with any of the necklaces, depending on how big she wants to go!

These match the third necklace exactly - very matchy-matchy!
Mother of Pearl leaves, gray glass pearls and chandelier crystal parts.
So those will be her choices. Now I need to make something for myself and the Grandmother of the groom (my Mom!). That will be my next post! Let's hope I can keep this going.
 
Thanks for stopping by!