About 6 months ago I moved into a great new studio space and finally acquired a torch and some enameling supplies – then the fun began!
I got a very limited taste of enameling a few years ago when I worked at a bead store, and have been itching to try it again ever since. Now I can’t get enough!
Follow lilruby jewelry on Instagram if you’d like to see more – I don’t think I’ll be stopping anytime soon!
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-
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” 🙂
When I saw this fabulous Victorian drawer pull I couldn’t resist – I just love the sweet little bird on the front.
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-
I had SO much fun making these!
Here’s an everyday garden item-
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!
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!
Bluebirds are especially fun to paint, too!
I’ve also enjoyed using these brass beauties from B’Sue Boutiques-
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-
There are still plenty more birds – and other winged creatures – waiting on my workbench, so we’ll what flies out next! 🙂
A couple of months ago I accepted an invitation to “test drive” some of the delightful components made by Miriam from Joyful Muse. She asked that designers who accepted the challenge would use at least one of them in a jewelry design, and then share the results! Here are the components I used-
A pair of ribbed connectors painted a rich brick red.
And a very cool reversible spinner pendant!
Since I normally use darker colors and brick red happens to be one of my favorites, I tackled the ribbed connectors first. I layered them over some metal washers that I picked up at an antique show and wired on faceted turquoise blue Czech glass beads for a cool pair of earrings that have a retro yet steampunk look to them – I like ’em!
Now for the pendant – I will admit right off the bat that although the spinner pendant is an ingenious design and beautifully made, I don’t normally feel comfortable working with pastel colors so I struggled a bit with this! But after stewing about it a while I started digging through my bead stash and was able to put this necklace together using some Czech glass and crackle painted metal beads – I think it’ll be perfect for Spring!
I enjoyed using these well made components and want to thank Miriam for the opportunity to work with them! Be sure to check out her Etsy shop to see more – http://www.JoyfulMuse.etsy.com
Way back in high school I read “Look Homeward, Angel” by Thomas Wolfe. I don’t remember the specifics of the story ( it was a long time ago!) but I do remember being captivated by it, and I suddenly thought of it again as I fashioned this sweet little angel.
The antique doll used here is called a “frozen Charlotte”- these tiny ceramic dolls are dug up by the thousands from the ground by the German factories where they were once made. I was fortunate to receive several of them from my partner in the Bead Soup Blog Party a couple years ago ( thanks Gretchen!). It’s rare to find one that’s completely intact, but I don’t think the imperfections take away from their beauty – the missing arms just give opportunity for wings to sprout, and that’s exactly what happened here!
I used rusty black filigree pieces from B’Sue Boutiques to make these wings, and added some very old lace scraps along with what I believe to be the oldest (and my favorite) button in my collection. A little wire and some tiny rhinestone spacer beads are the finishing touch, and she’s strung on vintage cuckoo clock chain.
This little angel doesn’t need to look any further for her home – I’m keeping her with me!
When I saw that Erin Prais-Hintz of Tesori Trovati Jewelry was hosting the 3rd Annual Challenge of Color blog hop I jumped at the chance to participate. I was intrigued by the premise of the challenge, which is to create a jewelry piece using color palettes that were created by Brandi Hussey from satellite pictures! The images of places all over our planet are from the Earth As Art exhibit, and are breathtakingly beautiful. The other thing that makes Erin’s blog hop challenges so interesting is that she encourages you to go beyond just the jewelry creation part of it and to actually learn a little something about the topic.
Of the two palettes I received, the one I chose to use is called “Lake District”.
Here’s what I learned:
The Lake District, also known as The Lakes, is a mountainous region of Northwestern England. The area is famous for its lakes, forests and mountains, but also for being the home of poet William Wordsworth and children’s author Beatrix Potter.
The highest mountains in England are in the Lake District as well as the two deepest and longest lakes. Designated as a National Park in 1951, it’s the most visited National Park in the United Kingdom. Something that made it all the more interesting to me is that it happens that some of my husband’s ancestors are also from that region!
Another good thing about this challenge is that it forced me to delve into my stash of “stones I couldn’t resist buying but have no idea what to do with”. This pendant was the first thing I made-
Pretty close match, isn’t it? By the way, does anyone know what kind of stone that is?
Next, I thought I’d try to pick up on some of the dusky pink and rose brown tones. I had a strand of large picasso jasper rounds and two of these striped stone beads that I thought would work well for a chunky bracelet. I don’t know what those striped beads are either, but they have a wonderful silky smooth texture! I bent a couple of little gears to make bead caps for the picasso bead and wired everything together along with a few Czech glass beads.
So there you have it – I managed to use some of my mystery stones, learned about something new and had a great time doing it!
As I was writing this post I was having tons of computer issues so I apologize that I wasn’t able to include the list of other blog hop artists here – but please click on the link below to go back and visit them all – thanks for looking!
Erin Prais-Hintz http://treasures-found.blogspot.com
Lately my blog posts have been about anything but jewelry, as my creative urges in that area have kind of gone through a lull. I used to get stressed out about that, but now I realize that channeling my creativity in other ways – like taking pictures of cows or the moon! – helps me to get a fresh perspective that really helps when I sit down at my little workbench again.
I’ve kind of been obsessed with these angel wing stampings lately – I just love the exqusite detail of the feathers, and the way they look in different finishes or with an added patina. That got my spark lit again, at least enough to make a few things!
By the way, the fabulous brass wings are from B’ Sue Boutiques – if you make jewelry and haven’t visited her store yet you really should! www.bsueboutiques.com