Thursday, February 26, 2015

Up Up and Away!

After our success with creating a collaborative work of art AND actually donating it to a local hospital,  Park Avenue Artisans Collective is starting a new project. Due to the exposure from our first project, we actually attracted some new artist members!! We have doubled our group (to 8!) and we may be gaining more! If you are an artist in the Montgomery-Bucks Co area and would like to know more (or join us!), feel free to contact me.

Our next collaborative piece is a long way from being finished (we have coated the board with gesso), but we are finished the planning phase. Our subject matter this time around will be hot air balloons. We will collaborate as a group on the background, and then each artist will make a balloon (or 2 or 3) to mount on the background. Each balloon will be unique, one of a kind, and hand made by each artist, in the medium they choose. At our last meeting, several members already had completed their balloons! Wow!  They are really motivated, and they motivated me! So, I got my rear in gear and made my balloon. I may make an alternate one later, but for now, this is my balloon...

My wire balloon and sketch
Before making the wire balloon, I sketched it and cut it out, to use as a template. It is 3 inches high, from the top of the balloon to the bottom of the basket.
It's made of copper wire. I created the frame from 14g wire and then wove and wrapped 28g wire in and around the frame. I wove the "basket"  in 20g gunmetal wire, to be a slightly different color. I attached it with little bits of dark brass chain. It's slightly dimensional - the center frame wire is bowed upward, to give it a slight 3-D look. As I said, I might make an alternate balloon between now and the end of summer, with some colorful beads or enamel, but I kind of like the lack of color in my "all wire" balloon.
Hopefully it will be "uplifting" without any colorful beads.
I am already thinking of hot air balloon inspired jewelry to make, for when we display the finished piece in public (hopefully fall 2015 at the library). Stay tuned!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Creative Spark Winter 2015 released!

Today is the day! The znetshows Creative Spark Winter 2015 e-magazine is released today. It is stuffed full of jewelry designs and other fun stuff!

For this issue, a handful of designers from the design team (including me) were to receive surprise packages of the cultured sea porcelain. I received an email when they shipped, so I sneaked a peek at mine (shhh! don't tell). They are all blue and white, to look like old china patterns. I showed you a photo of the cultured sea porcelain in a previous post.

When I saw these hoops, I knew instantly that I wanted to do a little byzantine chain mail and hang them from it, for earrings - so here they are! I think I will keep these!

This necklace was made with the pendant from the same set. I used 3 of my enameled beads and some filigree bead caps, arranged ombre-style, and some larger link chain across from the beads for visual balance.
Next, we have another pair of earrings. These are from another 3 piece set. I just used some dark brass chain with blue crystals (that were already out on my desk!) The blue crystals matched really well.
The matching necklace (the pendant from the same 3 piece set)....I started out thinking I'd make a rosary type chain with the blue crystals, but ended up making 3 bead links separated by large jump rings.

 My next little "set" had 2 pair of earring components. And I originally made 2 pair of earrings. But, it was just too many pairs of blue and white earrings! The components are beautiful, but similar, and all the earrings were getting repetitive. So, I took apart one pair, and made them into 2 necklaces!

This one I put in a wire "bird nest" frame, and used some red Czech flowers from my stash, along with brass beads caps and small fluted round brass beads. And, just to be a little different, I used Arte Metal Chain, instead of dark brass.

 The other half of the earring pair was made into this necklace! I used more Czech flowers, but in aquas and greens. I was reminded of Celadon, or Peking Glass or something... I hung the porcelain pendant in front of an Arte Metal leaf and used some more brass bead caps, more Czech flowers, more blue crystals. The 2 round green beads were just odd beads on my desk. I really have no recollection where they came from. They have a satin finish (slightly smoother than matte).

 These earrings match the necklace, but they do not contain any beads from znetshows. More Czech flowers.

The last thing I made with my znetshows sea porcelain was with the last earring pair - and I made earrings. (surprised?) I used a filigree brass bead cap at the top.
 BONUS: Everyone like a little extra of something, right? While I was making earrings, and digging through my stash, which includes some znetshows sea glass from last summer, I stumbled on to these 2 blue ovals. I tried to use them together with one of the components, but as earrings they were way too heavy. As I was taking them apart, I noticed these as they are, and I liked them, so I stopped taking them apart!
or below

Monday, February 16, 2015

Baby it is cold outside - no kidding.

It's about as cold as ever - record breaking, bone chilling, brutal cold. We're not used to this kind of cold around here. It was 3 degrees when I left the house this morning. I just checked my phone - it's gone up 5 degrees to a balmy 8 degrees!!

While it was really cold this weekend, the sun was bright, and the cats couldn't help but lay in a sunny spot on a chair or the floor. Me? I took the opportunity to snap some photos in all that sunlight!

I made a bunch of necklaces similar to these right before Christmas, to sell at a slightly lower price than my other jewelry. I forgot to take photos of those. They are quick to make, so  I am able to make a bunch at one sitting.

The first group - I just got the Cicada wings from StDymphnaSupplies on etsy. Everything else has been in my stash for some time. The fob thingy (next to the wing) is from Trinity Brass. You can't see in my photo, but the teal beads on the Cicada wing pendant have an AB finish, kind of like bug wings sometime do.
 This group is virtually the same description as above, except there are some different components. The Pine Cone charm on the far right is from Trinity Brass.
After making these, I decided to get some ball chain from Vintaj to make them in dark brass, since it is my firm belief that everything looks better with dark brass!! (I know it's just me, but I can't help it)
The ball chain I bought is on a spool (the silver ones above were already 24 inch "necklaces" when I got them). I made the brass chains about the same length (24"), so they can be put on/ taken off over your head. I did not have problems getting the clasps on and off of these, but I do find them difficult sometimes. Also, I got the heavier Vintaj ball chain (3.2mm), for a richer look.
The charms are from Vintaj and Trinity Brass. The lighter charms are a from a new Vintaj line called "Vintaj Vogue". They come in threes. So, in "one"  package was the feather, the key and the swirly filigree feather. I then dug through my stash for the darker pieces. On the middle necklace, I used my buffing block on the filigree, to give it some highlights.
Unlike the silver necklaces above, I made a conscious decision to not add any glass or crystal, or anything shiny or colorful. Just wanted them to be neutral, and for the brass to be the focus.
 These three are much like the 3 above. I buffed the dragonfly, the keyhole and the little filigree drop, to highlight the texture. The bright round filigree is from my stash, from who know where.
Thanks for stopping by. Stay warm, wherever you may be!

Monday, February 02, 2015

Coming soon - Winter 2015 Creative Spark from znetshows

I just noticed that my last post was Oct 31st! Ack! I'm sorry I have not posted in a while. I was busy, like everyone, around the holidays. I made jewelry to give as gifts, but did not take any pictures, darn it! I can borrow my mother's gifts to snap some photos since she lives near by....that will be a future post.

I will be participating in the Winter Znetshows e-magazine "Creative Spark" this time around!! I'm excited to say that we designers were sent beads to design with that were a surprise to us! The products that were chosen for me were several components from their new line of Cultured Sea Porcelain. Even my husband said they looked like dinner plates! All the components I received were blue and white, and do look like dinnerware patterns, with fish, butterflies and flowers. (not all on one piece, but on separate pieces!) They were lots of fun to design with.

The reveal date for the Winter issue of Creative Spark is TBD, but I'll be sure to let you know.
In the meantime, you can actually buy the Cultured Sea Porcelain from znetshows, for yourself, if you are interested.

photo from znetshows website