Friday, October 31, 2014

leather and rolo chain bracelets

Way back in August at Beadfest Philadelphia, I spotted a bracelet on a vendor's display. The vendor sold leather of all different sizes, and chain too (one of the many vendors selling leather, I don't remember which one it was). They had samples of jewelry on display that could be made with the products they sell. What caught my eye was a bracelet made of 2mm leather and rolo chain. I had an abundance of rolo chain at home (a crazy internet purchase from a couple years ago!), so I purchased some 2mm leather in a variety of colors (plus I had a couple spools of basic black and brown leather at home) to try my hand at making these bracelets.

I studied the sample at the show, and while it was fresh in my mind, got to work re-creating it.
The look is sort of industrial chic and they are quite comfortable to wear. The weaving technique is fairly simple.

Now, my first couple bracelets, per my usual bracelet making, came out way too long. I do struggle getting bracelets the correct length, but I really think I've got these bracelets mastered now. I've actually sold a couple of them, too!

These first 3 are made with the black, medium brown and dark brown leather I had at home. The buttons are vintage buttons from my dragon hoard of old buttons! The button at the top is black velvet and the 2 on the bottom are the same, but different colors. They look like they could be bakelite. And all of these bracelets were made with antique silver rolo chain.

This bracelet was made with antique copper chain and some olive green leather. The button is a hand made button by Mudalicious. I have been hoarding these hand made buttons for years!
 I am just now noticing that the "swirl" design on the button is really a lizard (I think). After I searched my stash for beads with holes big enough to fit on the 2mm leather (and didn't find any) I went out and bought some big hole beads to tie onto the leather tails.
After having made a half dozen or so bracelets, I wondered how it would look if I used only 2 rows of looks fine! This is more antique silver rolo chain and some blue leather.
and another Mudalicious hand made button, and some of the big hole beads.
I'm enjoying making the bracelets, they make up pretty quickly, once you have the pieces of chain made and the leather ready.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Elements of Antiquity blog post

Hi - this is a quickie post.

Elements of Antiquity just posted my photos (from yesterday) on their blog! Check it out!

Here's the link:

FYI - Today is my birthday. I received an email wishing me a happy birthday, with this photo, from my "nephew" Herschel.

How sweet of him to remember my birthday!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Elements of Antiquity Design Challenge

I was selected to participate in a Design Challenge from Elements of Antiquity! It's open ended - no real deadline that I'm aware of. I am supposed to post photos of what I made here on my blog. No problem!

As usual, I did not take any photos of the loot they sent me, but I will point out the components in the photos below. I was not asked to comment on the items I received, but I would like to say that the quality of all the components is quite nice. Everything feels substantial, not flimsy or lightweight. This was a challenge for me, in that I am so used to working with only dark brass. Switching to silver colored components was a challenge for me, but one I enjoyed.

First up is a bracelet. The Elements of Antiquity component is the gorgeous filigree bracelet bar. It is slightly curved, and is quite heavy. It is not bendable (not that I want to bend it) and holds it's own with all the flower beads. All the flowers are various Czech glass beads I've acquired over the years. I thought it would be fun to create a playful mix of shapes and colors. The clasp is magnetic, so it's super easy to get on my wrist. As anyone knows that reads this blog, I don't make many bracelets, so this is kind of an accomplishment for me. It actually turned out the right length, and fits my wrist quite well.
 This bracelet looks good from every angle!!
 Smell my flowers!

Next up, just it time for the holidays, a reindeer pendant. He looks like he's a reproduction of a vintage piece. I glued the green and red rhinestones in his eye, and on the wreath around his neck. I know not everyone celebrates Christmas, but I do. And I love wearing Christmas jewelry. I have a large collection of vintage holiday pins (brooches). This pendant has such a nostalgic feel, it will fit right in to my collection. I created beaded links with red and green glass beads, and rhinestone spacers, very blingy. The reindeer is probably 1.5" wide, so I thought it needed to be on a longer necklace. This necklace is fairly long, hits mid chest.
 A closer look reveals all great details - he's even got fur.

The star charms were probably the hardest thing for me. I figured I'd make earrings with them, but I had trouble pairing them with something. Everything I tried created too much competition. I wanted the stars to be the "star" (pun intended). Then, I looked down on my desk, the blue enameled frames that had been there the entire time, caught my eye. The stars looked great with the blue frames. I hung them from twisted jumprings to add a little extra swing.
 Lock and key earrings - I received the tiny skeleton key and lock. I searched my stash for locks and keys, and came up with a similar black key and a black door knocker. The embossed keyhole makes the earrings look more matching, even though they have different items dangling below.
Love these: translate to *mine*.
These Roman coins are so detailed. I wanted to show them off, so I put them on top of a brown brass filigree, and made a dangle for below. The Czech red flower repeats the shape of the coin.
 This is a close up of the coin. You can really see the details, and how thick the coin is in this photo.
 The last piece I made was this simple necklace. Unlike the other charms, this one (the peace sign charm) was not part of a set. I made the beaded link, to give the necklace a little more substance. The chain is vintage, and is about 24" long, with a lobster claw clasp..
 This close up shows the texture of the charm better. It has a hammered looking surface, as you can see. That pony bead in the middle of the beaded link must be 15 years old - I knew I would use it eventually!!
Thanks for looking. I hope you enjoyed this post!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Recent signs of life

I have been so absent lately here on my blog, I feel like I need to make up for lost time. Maybe I'm just a bit less active in the jewelry making in the summer months. My beading room is usually pretty hot in the summer. I'll use that as my excuse *ahem* I mean, reason.
I took lots of photos last week and have lots to share with you.
These are all enameled beads that I made. I have been having good luck selling the simple 3 beads bar necklaces, so I thought I'd try some with enameled beads...
 This necklace has one of my enameled flowers on a copper filigree, and cat's eye round beads. The filigree bead in the flower center has heat patina.
 This is a vintage Bakelite Majong playing piece. I had the cool handmade paper bead (don't remember where I got it), and, of course, some enameled beads in the colors on the playing piece.
 Does everyone love Lilly Pilly mother of pearl components as much as I do? I just love the detail in the etching. And the designs are always cool. This is a Lilly Pilly MOP disc, and the flower, the hoop and the bead were enameled by guess who! Moi!
 A straight-on shot. There's a tiny yellow crystal in the center of the flower. I love the color of the enameled filigree bead.
 This pendant is carved, and much less refined than the above pendant. But I like it also. I pick these type of components up at bead shows from the various Chinese vendors. There's always a vast selection. The crystals in this necklace are from the growing pile of Znetshows beads I've amassed. All the brass is Vintaj.
 And lastly, a pair of earrings. I enameled the frame components, and dangled the yellow crystals and pearls (also from Znetshows) in front.
I'm really hoping to post more regularly this fall/ winter!! Thanks for sticking around.

Coming up...
I'm participating in a Design Challenge hosted/ sponsored by Elements of Antiquity. They sent me a handful of lovely components to play with. I have completed one design, and intend to make a couple more before I reveal anything here. Stay tuned!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Magic Carpet inspired designs

In a previous post, I told you about the Park Avenue Artisan's Cooperative, and our display at the Wissahickon Valley Library. The display has been taken down, since we were only there for the month of September.
In preparation for the display, we all created our own "art" inspired by the collaborative art we created together. It was just a little challenge for us to work on as individuals, and to hopefully have a more cohesive display. The display turned out very nice, I wish I had a photo of it. Darn it!

As a reminder, this was our collaborative art piece:
 And here's what I made to go in the display....

I felt the inspiration artwork had a Caribbean kind of feel to it. This necklace has all the happy and spicy colors I picture of when I think about the Caribbean! The round beads are my own enameled beads. The long beads are sea glass from Znetshows. They are matte and opaque and so, so yummy!
 This is the necklace at a party, dancing! Cha-Cha-Cha!
 Of course, there are earring to match, just in case. The little orange flowers are resin.
This is a rare bracelet. Rare, because I rarely make bracelets!
I used a Vintaj Sea Maiden focal and more sea glass from Znetshows. I have been wanting to use the sea glass sand dollars for a while, and finally came up with a solution I am happy with.
I also put two of these simple crystal bar necklaces In the display - the orange one and the light blue one. They went well with the other items in the display.
We have donated our art to a local hospital, to hang in the Emergency waiting room...that story is for another post, perhaps.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

not much eye candy lately

I apologize for the lack of eye candy these past several months. I've been making jewelry, but I've been too busy to snap the photos! I will make more of an effort to get back to taking pictures of all my jewelry designs going forward.

I know I will be taking pictures of some new designs soon, because I was selected to participate in a designer challenge by Elements of Antiquity. I will receive jewelry components to work with in the next day or two.
I checked out the website before applying, to make sure there were items with my usual vintage vibe. My goodness! There were so many things that were so beautiful. I know I will like whatever I receive.
They also have a blog.
Please stop back to see my designs.