I've been waiting for inspiration to hit, so I could get these cool new beads out into the world. Today I was really on a roll!
Sunday, May 18, 2014
On my last visit to Cultivation, the shop in Wheeler that carries my jewelry, I dropped off a bunch of bracelets and received a new order for earrings. These are the earrings I made recently to replenish the earring rack - metal, glass, and bone.
Looking through countless pages of leather strips on various sites, I have discovered that with all of the wild colors out there, I am really only drawn to neutrals - tans, towns, and blacks. There are some great shades in these neutrals, though. It's been fun to play with combinations of leather and metal in a variety of finishes - antiqued brass, copper, and pewter. Here are my experiments with Tierrcast leather strips, clasps, and embellishments from artbeads.com.
The color of the leather below is called "taco." Hmmmm....interesting name, beautiful color. Incredibly soft! Love the bamboo embellishment. Z-clasps are so easy to use.
On this saddle brown bracelet (below), I discovered that brass nuts from the hardware store rivet well on this leather. Rock and roll, baby! (The embellishment is "Rock and Roll ID Tag.")
This color (below) is "rust." Looks gorgeous with antiqued copper. So rich. Adding a lobster clasp and chain makes this one adjustable to a variety of sizes.
Cocoa brown leather (below) is classic with silver.
Friday, May 16, 2014
Shells? Oh, yeah. I can work with that! For this month's challenge, I was instantly inspired to run with the beach theme. After all, I have 50 million shells tucked away in dresser drawers, piled in jars on windowsills, and occupying way too much space in one of my jewelry studio hutches. In fact, I was even pretty sure I had some of these exact shells somewhere. SOMEWHERE. A word I use far too often and a clear indicator that it is time to organize the remaining boxes from our move, wherein reside said shells.
Looking through my jar of agates collected from hikes on various Oregon beaches, I found two carnelian-colored, almost-matching pieces that would represent my beach theme and started shopping through my stash. Copper? Carnelian? Red Creek jasper? Bone?
I knew I wanted to keep the focus on the agates and cage them inside hammered copper hoops, but they sat on my work table forever while I dreamed (literally) about how to accomplish this without obscuring the stones in gobs of wire.
Here are the finished earrings after a wire wrap, a bath in LOS, and an added shell charm dangle - a beach find with a nod to the reddish color and the spiral shape.
But wait, what about shells? I found two shells with holes in them. (Haven't yet invested in a drill to make my own holes, so naturally occurring holes are a handy convenience.) These took forever to problem solve, but that's what challenges are all about, right?
Still more shells to use! I combined wrapped shells with aquamarine, pearls, larimar, and Peruvian opal. As you can see, I got distracted from the original color palette. I was thinking about beach colors, I guess. *The spiral cage technique was created by Tracy Stanley and was published in the book she co-authored with Janice Berkebile, Making Wire and Bead Jewelry .
I wasn't yet finished with this inspiration; I was on a roll! Departing from the beach theme, I still had to capture those colors and shapes - the spirals, the red and black, the stripes. I made some silver spiral connectors and added Czech glass drops, striped bone, and black seed beads.
Finally, here are the inspiration photos for this challenge. Thanks, Erin, for the best inspiration yet. This challenge was near and dear to my heart, representing the natural beauty of my home on the Oregon coast.
Monday, May 12, 2014
It's always comforting to return to an old favorite design. These were the first style of wrap bracelets I learned to make, and I still enjoy making them (though it has been a while). I love this button, and the teal linen really adds a unique design element.
*black 2mm leather, silver ball chain, teal waxed linen, pewter sunflower button, silver beads
I have been fortunate to be doing quite well selling my jewelry in a cute little shop called Cultivation in the small town of Wheeler, Oregon just north of here.
Lina, the owner, just put in an order for more bracelets, so I have been very busy in the studio, ordering new beads and stringing bracelets. I just received an order of handmade Indonesian glass from Happy Mango Beads at 40% off. Great sale!
As requested, I made lots of leather bracelets.
Now Lina is requesting more earrings. Back to work!
For my cousin, I made this wrap bracelet/necklace. I love the color palette and button. It just so happened (unplanned) that the bracelet will arrive on her birthday. Kismet! Happy birthday, Kate!
* Indonesian glass (Happy Mango Beads)