Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Custom Majong necklace

I hope this blog post finds you all well, and enjoying the holiday season. I don't mind the mild weather we've been having. But it is time for Winter to get on with it, no? Here in the Philadelphia area, we've only had a few frosts so far. Now we know what it's like to celebrate Christmas in one of the Carolinas! But, this post is not about the weather....

A while back, I was contacted to create a custom Majong necklace. I sorted through the tiles I have, and snapped some photos to see which tile my client might like to use. She didn't like any of them, and set out to find her own. I thought at that point that maybe she had changed her mind, and was letting me down easy. Until, a couple weeks ago, I received an email, letting me know she found the perfect tile! So, we met and she gave me the tile. I have to say, the tile is in perfect condition, and is quite nice!

So, I took it home, to get started creating the necklace. The first order of business was to wrap a piece of filigree around it to make it into a pendant. I was so nervous. I didn't want to scratch the tile, as I've done previously to some of my own tiles. But that went very well. Yay!

I then looked in my stash for beads to use in the necklace. I recently got the black fluted rounds (with gold in the recessed areas) and they looked great with the tile. I also wanted to put together some beads to look like the vase pictured on the tile. I put together one of my enameled beads with some various bead caps to mimic the vase shape.  I ended up using it "upside down", but the  vase shape is still apparent. Then, I noticed, sitting on my desk, my special stash of vintage glass leaves! Could I let go of my precious? I used one black leaves connector in the necklace. I just love cool old stuff like these leaves!!
So, here's Ellyn's necklace!

Ellyn did not want to tell me what she wanted, as she did not want to cramp my style, or stifle my creativity. The only thing we discussed was the necklace length, and she also hoped it would be asymmetrical.

When we first talked about what I would make, she wasn't sure if she wanted a pair of earrings to match. I told her she could get the earrings, but she could NOT get them too - whatever she wanted. No pressure! But she liked the earrings I made with the vintage leaves, so she took those. The other pair of earrings are made with my enameled beads. They are currently on Sterling Vermeil ear wires, due to possible allergy concerns. I'll change them to Vintaj brass ear wires, and put them in the gallery. Black earrings go with anything!
By all accounts, Ellyn loves the necklace and earrings!! I am thrilled she's happy with them.

Thanks for reading, and Happy New Year!!!

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

A Dragon's Hoard of Dragonflies!

Ever since I discovered Vintaj Natural Brass (many years ago!) and the different dragonflies they offer, I have had a love affair with dragonflies (& butterflies).
I've mentioned before that I sell my jewelry in a small local gallery - The Orchard Artworks. It is a small but wonderful gallery, filled with all sorts of art and fine craft: jewelry (or course), paintings, wood, fiber and pottery. The gallery has an arrangement with the local Whole Foods store to set up tables on the first Saturday of the month. This happens off and on, but in October, I set up a table there. I was there with Gail Simons & Louise Sussman. Gail is a jewelry artist and Louise is a ceramic artist. Louise continuously makes new and interesting things, and I was helpless to resist buying one of her fabulous wall pockets - with a dragonfly! She even included the sprigs of seasonal flowers.

 So, I took it home and hung it on my folk art rack, in my kitchen. I change this "display" according to the season. It's time to change it to a more winter/ holiday look.

But, while we stood there all day in Whole Foods, chatting and occasionally looking for free food samples, I mentioned to Louise that if she would make just the dragonflies, I could make jewelry out of them. So, we worked out the details, and she said she'd do it!! I was surprised to get a phone call from her about 2-3 week later, saying they were ready! She got right to work on them. She had never made jewelry components before, but luckily there was someone at the art center who had, and helped her when she was working on them. They gave her wires for hanging, rather than makings the holes she and I had discussed. I absolutely love the glazes she used. Lots of blues and greens and purples. They were a bit rough on the back sides, so I had to dremel some of the the pokey bits, but, so thrilled with them. Here are most of them!!

I made 2 necklaces right away. This one is tan and green and purple. I used grayish green crystals and faceted purple howlite and some seed beads, along with Vintaj bead caps, jumprings and chain.

 Ooooh, so pretty!!!
 This dragonfly is a gorgeous turquoise color, so I just made a simple beaded chain of Vintaj brass and turquoise howlite beads. Simple, but delicate.

 Honestly!?! Just squeeee!
I have made more of the loose dragonflies into necklaces. I'll get some photos of them and post more dragonfly goodness, hopefully soon.
Thanks for stopping by my blog!