Thursday, April 23, 2015

Color Play

Today this photo showed up in one of my feeds. I'm so in the habit of flipping madly (and frequently) between my FB feed, Pinterest feed, Blogger feed, and Twitter feed that I now have no idea where this photo came from in order to give credit. (Just typing this last sentence has made me realize how out of control my social media habits are. Might be intervention time, folks.) 

Anyway, here is the photo that started this all.

Today, unlike recent gorgeous spring days, was dreary and gray. After seeing this photo, however, I was inspired to play with beads and color. Blues happened. Cobalt and turquoise.

Lovely lapis, turquoise, magnesite, blue jasper, and silver beads strung on beading wire and crimped to silver rings and a gorgeous silk ribbon. The lapis pendant was originally a lone earring donated by a kind friend. (Thanks, Kathryn! I think it feels better being part of a family again.)

This ribbon is so soft against the neck. Yum! 

And some pretty coordinating earrings to tag along.

Next, I'd like to continue playing and work in some reds and greens along with the blues. Now that I look at this set, I wish I had added some reds. Tomorrow. 

Monday, April 13, 2015

We're All Ears :: April Reveal

This month's Earrings Everyday inspiration was architecture. Specifically, The City of Arts and Sciences, an impressive complex located in Valencia, Spain. Created as a way to honor the melding of science, technology, nature and art, the buildings were conceived and designed by renowned Spanish architects Santiago Calatrava and Félix Candela

Let's take a virtual tour of the complex, and I'll share the earrings I created, inspired by these unusual architectural shapes. I wanted these earrings to be architectural, keeping the emphasis on form and maintaining a neutral color palette.  I also vowed that this time I would keep it simple. (See my recent post HERE of my habit of making everything more complicated that it needs to be.) We'll see how that goes.


L'Hemisferic (below) is meant to resemble a giant eye - "The Eye of Knowledge."


Long ago I made these wrapped, curved, and antiqued copper links and have had them sitting in my "to do" basket, waiting for just the right project. When I saw this architectural eye shape, I knew that the time had come to use those links. Interestingly and very fitting to an architectural challenge, it took quite a bit of engineering to get them to "work" correctly. When simply joined by a jump ring, they kept flipping around. 

Finally, I decided to first wire wrap them together at the top to keep them steady and then add a jump ring. Voila, no more flipping!   For the eyeball, I wanted to capture the milky luminescence of the lighting in the photo, so I used a grooved, milky opalite bead for the center dangle. The wedge-shaped charm at the bottom seemed to capture the shape of the buildings to the right of the "eye" in the photo. I added another wrapped opalite bead to the antiqued copper earwire. Here are the finished earrings.

(The picture below was taken before I antiqued the earwires, but I like photo quality better that the previous one. Photography is always such a challenge for me.)


Notice how the following structures have arched shapes paired with parallel lines. That image kept circling in my head and demanding to be expressed somehow. Arches and parallel lines

El Museo de les Ciències Príncipe Felipe (below) resembles the skeleton of a whale.

L'Umbracle, the Walkway of Sculptures, contains contemporary Spanish artwork amid a garden of indigenous plant life, chosen for the way it changes with the seasons.

L'Oceanogràfic is the largest oceanographic aquarium in Europe and the third largest in the world.


So earrings . . . arches and parallel lines. In keeping with my simplicity vow, I abandoned my jewelry studio and headed out on my porch with just a couple rolls of copper wire and some tools. These earrings just happened. I like how the coiled links capture all the arched shapes in the structures and the paddles echo the parallel lines of the walkway. Parallel lines occur again in the copper coils. 

There was something very freeing about just working with metal and not having to confront drawers and drawers of beads in my studio! (Don't get me wrong. Having an ungodly amount of beads - AKA hoarding - is pretty cool, but sometimes it intimidates me, and I just can't make decisions.)  As always, hammering metal is awesome and provides great therapy!

ARCHITECTURE (more arches and parallel lines)

Assut de l'Or Bridge, suspension bridge that connects visitors to the City of Arts and Sciences.


Again, the parallel lines and the rounded shapes yelled at me. I still had that roll of copper wire, and the next thing I knew, hoops evolved. I love making hoops and lashing stuff to them. Some parallel lines of lashed antiqued copper and peach-colored glass beads still kept the color palette neutral and monochromatic, emphasizing form and shape. Fun and . . . well, . . . hoopy. 

Fun challenge, Erin. Thank you! I had great fun creating these earrings and experimenting with taking jewelry photos outside on my porch in gorgeous spring weather. (You just can't beat the Oregon coast on those sunny, warm days.)

Click on the link below to view earrings created by other talented jewelry artists. Enjoy!

Saturday, April 11, 2015


Angelina Boutique and Jewelry
Nehalem, OR

Wheeler's loss is Nehalem's gain. I have watched favorite stores in Nehalem close, leaving only empty spaces and memories of great shopping. Wheeler, on the other hand, blossomed with lovely shops. Cultivation was one of the gems of Wheeler. Lina's small little space was packed with lovely clothes, jewelry, bags, shoes, accessories, and artwork. The best part, though, was Lina. Her style sense, her artistic eye, her beautiful jewelry, and her support of local artists, like me. I have been fortunate to have had my jewelry pieces in her Cultivation shop during this past year, and she has been a dream to work with. 

This past February, however, Cultivation closed. Seeing the sign and wire sculptures gone and the paper-covered windows was disconcerting. Then through a bit of sleuthing, I discovered that Lina had opened a new shop in Nehalem, Angelina. 

After waiting patiently for opening day, March 12 finally arrived and what a gorgeous spring day is was! The familiar and cheerful colored ball-and-wire sculptures greeted me in the front yard and made me smile. 

Is this not charming?

The roomy front porch and open door welcomed me into shopping bliss.

Seriously, this is a woman's dream shop, but even my husband was enchanted. Warm colors, vintage and art lighting, twinkling displays, racks of gorgeous clothes, cases of artful jewelry . . . well, I will just let the pictures speak for themselves.

This bright, open space culminates in a dressing room area that makes every woman feel like a queen. A well-lit full mirror, comfy seating, spacious dressing room, and lots of carpeted real estate to walk the runway in beautiful clothes. Just perfect. 

And to think that 95 pieces of my jewelry have a home in this enchanting shop is such an affirmation for me as a jewelry artist. 

Angelina is a store that makes you feel so welcome and comfortable that you won't want to leave. But eventually you will have to exit that door with your new purchases, feeling like a celebrity. As you walk across the front porch, those cheerful, colored sculptures will make you smile and remind you to return. 

In a future post I will share photos of Lina's display of my jewelry. Stay tuned.