Tag Archives: handcrafted jewelry

Lost and Found…

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Found objects, that is.

I participated in a Re-purposed Market craft show at a local antique mall over the weekend, which was fun but attendance was pretty sparse. It was held at a very nice indoor venue and featured demonstrations by FYI guy Jeremy Rabe (who is very charming and gracious!) but the weather was a glorious 80 degrees all weekend, so I guess the lake got more visitors than we did. You just never know! Anyway, the good thing is that preparing for this show rekindled my love for making found object jewelry and sparked my creativity in a way that hasn’t happened in a while.

One of the first things I found to play with was the head of a tiny old hammer-

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With the addition of wire, beads, a piece of an old folding ruler and some nuts borrowed from my husband’s tool box it’s now a pendant! I call this one “Handyman Special” ūüôā

 

 

When I saw this fabulous Victorian drawer pull I couldn’t resist – I just love the sweet little bird on the front.

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I carefully bent it and added a verdigris patina, brass chain and some gorgeous Czech glass beads for a one of a kind bracelet-

 

Next up, some sweet little vintage perfume bottles I found at a flea market-

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I had SO much fun making these!

 

Here’s an everyday garden item-

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With a new look!

 

So maybe this show wasn’t a big moneymaker for me, but that’s OK – the creative juices are flowing, and that’s a good thing!

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Bird brain

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Or birds on the brain, anyway -so many of the things I’ve made lately feature our feathered friends. One of the main sources of inspiration has come from my own yard – last year we had bluebirds nesting in one of our birdhouses, and I’m so happy to see they’ve come back!

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Bluebirds are especially fun to paint, too!

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I’ve also enjoyed using these brass beauties from B’Sue Boutiques-

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Of course I had to paint and/or add some rusty patina to all of ’em!

 

This vintage beauty was a recent Etsy find, and I couldn’t wait to pair it with some of the other goodies in my stash, like the old rhinestone ring and mother of pearl heart and discs-

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There are still plenty more birds – and other winged creatures – waiting on my workbench, so we’ll what flies out next! ūüôā

 

5×5 Challenge

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This past month I participated in a very intriguing challenge, along with 4 other Artisan Whimsy members. It’s called 5×5 Testers, and works like this: five artists are chosen each month and each are given five identical components to create with. At the end of the month, all of the pieces are revealed and are featured in the beautiful Bead Chat e-magazine. To see it, click on the “Glossi” link on the right side of the page.

The results are fascinating, as each artist interprets the pieces in their own unique style. I wish I’d have thought to take a picture of the components before I used them (d’oh!), but I do know that some of the other team members did.

Here’s what I came up with-

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I decided to work with this filigree piece first. This was the easiest piece for me, since I work with this style so often. I enhanced just the center of the filigree with Vintaj patinas, and curled the ends under at the sides. At first I was going to join the chain with jumprings, but instead I inserted a headpin with tiny brass beads to work as stoppers. Some absinthe green Czech glass drops swing from the filigree.

Next came the X shaped piece of brass. I gently shaped it with bailing pliers so that it fit the curve of my wrist, and carefully wound hemp cord around the legs and over the center, adding a few African trade beads as I went along. Some vintage cuckoo clock chain and a lobster clasp was added to finish.

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When I saw this large, kind of open weave brass ring I knew I wanted to make a bezel with it, but wasn’t really sure how to go about it. After reading about the process on the ICE resin website, I decided to attempt a backless bezel with resin. I set the frame on a piece of packing tape and poured just a little resin in to cover the inside of the frame. After the first layer was dry I cut a piece of heavy scrapbook paper and laid it in for a background, and continued to add several thin layers of resin, letting it cure between layers. To finish, I painted a brass bird charm and glued it to the front. A couple of tiny bead caps painted with Vintaj patina became little flowers to hide the holes in the bird’s wings.

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Next I tackled the little square of copper. The edges were pretty sharp, so I filed them a little, and then coated the square with Vintaj patina. Once it dried I sanded it here and there for a distressed look, and added a rusty metal flower layered with a bright Czech glass flower bead. It’s strung on bright turquoise suede cord.

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Finally, the domed copper disc! This pretty much had me stumped, and I put off dealing with it until the very last minute. I thought about somehow winding wire through the slots but couldn’t come up with anything I liked, so out of desperation I just started punching holes in it. I had some bright colored embroidery thread laying on my table so I used it to make knots in the holes, and glued a flower shaped Czech glass bead to the front. It’s a little weird, but I kind of like it!

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This challenge was a great exercise, and forced me to think outside my normal creative box! Thanks so much to Melinda Orr for letting me participate, to Alicia Marinache for moderating the challenge, and to Heather Kelly Marston, who generously provided the materials!

Here are links to the rest of this amazing team’s blogs and their fabulous creations –

Charlene Bausinger Jacka     http://www.clay-space.com/blog

Lesley Freedom   http://www.sweetfreedom-designs.blogspot.com

Heidi Kingman     http://www.heidikingman.blogspot.com

Sharyl McMillian-Nelson  http://www.sharylsjewelry.blogspot.com

Heather Kelly Marston      http://www.cswdesignsbyhehe.blogspot.com

 

Show and Tell – Bead Soup Reveal Day!

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I’m so glad it’s here – the first reveal date for the 7th Bead Soup Blog Party hosted by the amazing Lori Anderson!¬† I admire Lori for taking on a project like Bead Soup, and really enjoy being a part of it.

This is my 2nd year, and has been especially fun because of the incredibly generous  soup that was sent to me by my partner,  Gretchen Nation!

Here’s a peek of what she sent-

A strand of fire agates, vintage beads, buttons and more!

A strand of fire agates, vintage beads, buttons and more!

More beautiful beads and buttons, and best of all - Frozen Charlottes!

More beautiful beads and buttons, and best of all – Frozen Charlottes!

The  first thing I made was this bracelet, using some of the lovely fire agates along with a pierced sterling bead and a pewter button. I threaded a length of gypsy ribbon through the oversized rolo chain for a little extra color. The colors and textures reminded me of walking through the woods on a cool, misty morning-

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Next I wrapped brass wire around and through bone circles and these cool Tibetan beads for a pair of earrings with a funky, earthy look-

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This next piece is totally uncharacteristic of my usual style, as I’m not normally drawn to this kind of bright color – but that’s what makes these blog hop challenges so much fun! I call this one “April Showers”-

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The teardrop shaped magnesite beads are the color of new Spring leaves, and are joined by tiny purple garnets and sterling silver, including the beautiful flower toggle that Gretchen sent. The pendant is a rusty metal rose that I “frosted” with Iced Enamels – a new product from the folks at Ice Resin!

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And finally, my favorite! A Frozen Charlotte – well, Charlie, actually – since this one’s a boy – framed by wings that I formed from gears bent in half and coated with Iced Enamels and strung with Czech glass beads, more gears and a beautiful vintage bead in icy blue. This necklace is called “Frozen Angel”.

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Thanks so much for hopping through today, and many thanks also to Gretchen for sending me such wonderful things to work with! I’ll be dipping into her box of treasures again and again. Be sure to visit her blog at http://artfoodlodging.blogspot.com

Then visit all the other fabulous blogs in this hop by clicking on the link below:

http://www.beadsoupblogparty.com/

love life

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jewelry 563When I started to make this bracelet, it was with the intention of just making a fun piece to sell for Valentines Day. But as I was deciding how to etch it and what the text would say, instead it became a reminder – to love life – no matter what challenges it holds. My husband and I have experienced some doozies over the past couple of years – illness, the loss of both of our mothers, job loss followed by extended unemployment which in turn has caused financial hardship…all of which equals stress levels that are off the charts! But – love endures – for each other, and for the life we share.
So, instead of a holiday sale piece, I think I’ll keep this one…or at least make another one for me! ūüôā

The Challenge of Travel – blog hop reveal!

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I so enjoyed this blog hop challenge! We were instructed to choose a part of the world other than where we live and then create something inspired by it.¬†I chose Africa, because for years I’ve been fascinated by tribal jewelry and love to collect African trade beads. Here’s a picture of part of my collection-

Those beads in the center of the tray are kiffa beads, and they’re the reason why I specifically¬†chose Mauritania as the African country I felt inspired by.

Mauritania is an interesting land of contrasts on the Western coast of Africa, and is bordered by both the Atlantic Ocean and the Sahara Desert. The northern part of the country is inhabited by nomadic Arab and Berber tribes, and by black African people in the southern portion.

Making kiffa beads

African women make the colorful kiffa beads by hand, using traditional methods and very simple ingredients – ground glass, gum arabic –¬† sometimes even saliva! The beads are made in pans over an open fire. Modern kiffa beads look much the same as ones made long ago. I think they’re so beautiful!

I have a handful of kiffa beads that I’ve been hanging onto for a number of years, and¬†I used them in three separate jewelry pieces for this challenge.¬† First is this pair of earrings made with hammered brass hoops, batiked bone beads and a couple of small kiffas-

Next is a bracelet with beads that remind me of Morrocan silver,  a large copal amber bead and small kiffas.

The final piece is a necklace made with antiqued brass, czech glass and more kiffa beads, including my favorite – a triangular focal.

Thanks so much for joining me on my little tour of Mauritania – I hope you enjoyed it!

Be sure to visit all the other countries and artists on this wonderful trip around the world!

Monique Urquhart http://ahalfbakednotion.blogspot.ca/ Africa Burkina Faso
Niky Sayers http://silverniknats.blogspot.co.uk/ Africa Egypt
Therese Frank http://www.theresestreasures59.blogspot.com Africa Kenya
Raychelle Heath http://abeadloveaffair.blogspot.com/ Africa Lesotho
Joan Williams www.lilrubyjewelry.wordpress.com Africa Mauritania
Sherri Stokey http://www.KnotJustMacrame.com Africa Senegal
Regina Santerre http://reginaswritings.blogspot.com Africa Seychelles
Raida Disbrow http://havanabeads.blogspot.com Africa Tanzania
Kristi Wodek http://livedinlife.blogspot.com Africa Zimbabwe
Sally Russick http://www.thestudiosublime.com Americas Brazil
Melissa Trudinger http://beadrecipes.wordpress.com Americas Mexico
Tracy Stillman http://www.tracystillmandesigns.com Americas USA
Sandra Wolberg http://city-of-brass-stories.blogspot.de Asia India
Tanya Goodwin http://pixiloo.blogspot.com Asia Japan
Susan Kennedy http://suebeads.blogspot.com Asia Japan
Beth Emery http://storiesbyindigoheart.blogspot.com Asia Japan
Lisa Cone http://inspiredadornments.blogspot.com/ Asia Japan
Tanya Boden http://fusionmusebangkok.blogspot.com/ Asia Japan
Inge von Roos http://ingetraud.wordpress.com Asia Laos
Erin Prais-Hintz http://treasures-found.blogspot.com Asia Nepal
Dee Elgie http://cherryobsidia.blogspot.com Asia Phillipines
Carolyn Lawson http://carolynscreationswa.blogspot.com Asia South Korea
Lisa Stukel http://carefreejewelrybylisa.blogspot.com Asia Sri Lanka
Elly Snare http://themagicsquarefoundation.wordpress.com Asia Thailand
Shelley Graham Turner http://www.shelleygrahamturner.blogspot.com Europe Austria
Mallory Hoffman http://rosebud101-fortheloveofbeads.blogspot.com/ Europe Bosnia Herzegovina
Paige Maxim http://www.pmaximdesigns.blogspot.com Europe France
Jenny Davies-Reazor http://www.jdaviesreazor.com/blog Europe Germany
Sharyl McMillian-Nelson http://sharylsjewelry.blogspot.com Europe Greece
Evelyn Shelby http://raindropcreationsbyevelyn.blogspot.com/ Europe Iceland
Holly Westfall http://silverrosedesigns.blogspot.com/ Europe Ireland
Rebecca Siervaag http://www.godsartistinresidence.blogspot.com Europe Ireland
Toltec Jewels http://toltecjewels.blogspot.com Europe Ireland
Lee Koopman http://StregaJewellry.wordpress.com Europe Ireland
Laren Dee Barton http://larendeedesigns.blogspot.com Europe Italy
Cindy Wilson http://www.mommysdreamcreations.blogspot.com Europe Norway
Kathleen Lange Klik http://ModernNatureStudio.blogspot.com Europe Poland
Shaiha Williams http://shaihasramblings.blogspot.com/ Europe Portugal
Jennifer Justman http://soulsfiredesigns.blogspot.com/ Europe Romania
Elsie Deliz-Fonseca http://ladelizchica.blogspot.com Europe Spain
Lola Surwillo http://www.beadlolabead.blogspot.com Europe Sweden
Kim Hora http://www.kimmykats.com Europe Switzerland
Leanne Loftus http://firstimpressiondesign.blogspot.com Europe The Netherlands
Patti Vanderbloemen http://myaddictionshandcrafted.blogspot.com Europe The Netherlands
Marcie Carroll http://labellajoya.blogspot.com Europe Turkey
Marlene Cupo http://amazingdesigns-marlene.blogspot.com Oceania Federated States of Micronesia
Ine Vande Cappelle http://jewelsbyine.blogspot.com Oceania Fiji
Tammie Everly http://ttedesigns.blogspot.com/ Oceania Guam
Alice Peterson http://www.alice-dreaming.blogspot.com Oceania Kiribati
Elisabeth Auld http://www.beadsforbusygals.com Oceania Nauru
Susan McClelland http://mistheword12.wordpress.com/ Oceania New Zealand
D Lynne Bowland http://islandgirlsinsights.blogspot.com Oceania New Zealand
Denielle Hagerman http://somebeadsandotherthings.com Oceania New Zeland
Rebecca Anderson http://songbeads.blogspot.com Oceania Papua New Guinea
Mischelle Fanucchi http://micheladasmusings.blogspot.com/ Oceania Samoa
Kari Asbury http://hippiechickdesign.blogspot.com Oceania Solomon Islands
Cece Cormier http://www.thebeadingyogini.com/ Oceania Tonga
Emma Todd http://www.apolymerpenchant.com Oceania Tuvalu
Debbie Price http://greenshoot.blogspot.com Oceania Vanuatu

The Big Reveal!

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Yay! It’s finally time to reveal the pieces I created for the 6th Bead Soup Blog Party so graciously hosted by Lori Anderson at http://www.prettythingsblog.com!

My partner is the lovely and talented Lori Poppe of http://www.lorillijeanscreativecorner.blogspot.com.  Here is the bead soup she sent to me:

My first project was to create a necklace using the beautiful sky blue pendant and the lampwork beads. This was a bit of a challenge at first, as I don’t usually work with pastel colors. Once I picked up on the black background of the lampwork beads I was able to bring a little of my “darkness” into the necklace with some black chain. I think it turned out to be an interesting combination!

Lori included a terrific handmade copper toggle clasp and I used it for this necklace of magnesite slabs and copper wire beads-

I found a use for the wonderful horse head beads by combining them with turquoise magnesite and a black lava bead in this bracelet and matching earrings-

It was so much fun being a part of this event, and I can’t wait to see everyone else’s creations! Here’s a link so you can follow along-

http://lorianderson-beadsoupblogparty.blogspot.com/2012/06/participants-of-6th-bead-soup-blog.html