Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Word Tag Pairs

On a recent trip to Michael's, these Tim Holtz word tags caught my eye. I always welcome any opportunity to add text to my jewelry. (It must be the ex-English teacher in me.) 

I had great fun playing with word pairs. Dumping them out on the table, the words seemed to naturally find each other. They sat on my work table, getting knocked about by my curious cats. Fearing that they would lose each other, I tied the pairs with some hemp scraps.

It's often difficult for me to use commercially-made items as is. I needed to somehow alter them to make them my own. Enter my chasing hammer and Vintaj patina. 

Hello, play!

Hello! Play!

Either way it is punctuated, the message is the same. Go play! I certainly played a lot making these earrings. I dimpled them with my chasing hammer and painted them. Much more playful than the original. smile emoticon

I just love the pairing of colors: turquoise and orange always makes me happy.

*magnesite, fire agate, pewter


Wish Noted

It's funny how these two words found each other. I imagine someone making a wish and sharing it with a friend who writes the wish down in a journal, saying "Wish noted." Maybe that wish will eventually come true; maybe it won't, but at least it was noted for future consideration.

*red coral, magnesite, pewter, waxed linen

The piece of waxed linen is a lagniappe, that little something extra that brings a piece full circle. I added it at the last minute.

All You Need is Love

LOVE spoke to me, and it didn't take too much thought to design these. I've been hoarding these red Czech glass teardrop beads forever. Any piece I make with them seems to just design itself. I mean, look at these beauties! 

This time I used black paint to highlight the lettering and then added the red trim. I debated for some time about whether to add the pieces of waxed linen; they looked nice either way. I suppose it would super simple to cut them off if a customer so desired. 

Happy early Valentine's Day!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015


I am slowly dipping into the collection of gorgeous stones that I have been hoarding since last spring. The owner of one of the shops that carries my jewelry put an order in for some stone earrings, but every time I make a pair, I sell them or want to keep them for myself. What's such fun about working with these stones is that the stones themselves are the star of the show; I only need to add some small accents. 

Last night I cleared off my studio work table of all other projects that might distract me, so I can get focused and serious about designing more stone earrings to take to Angelinas in Nehalem.

Here are the earrings I have made so far:

Fabulous amazonite. The first pair I made. I don't think these can leave home. Ever.  :)

This second pair were made for a challenge at Earrings Everyday, inspired by a photo of a slot canyon in Arizona. Happy accident: my wire wrapping was sloppy, so I wrapped it with waxed linen to cover it up. I quite like that little fix. 

The next pair were a custom order for a dear friend who grew up in New Mexico. They have that kind of NM vibe. My wire-wrapping was better this time, but they looked too plain without the waxed linen accent. A style is born!

I am forcing myself to let go of these lovely jasper stones and send them to Angelinas. I won't believe I am capable of letting them leave home until I am actually handing them over to Lina in her shop. 

Here is my lovingly hoarded stash. I swear these stones are my addiction. I can get stoned just looking at them. :) 

Next project: I can't decide whether to stick with blues or go with a secondary orange accent. Such difficult decisions!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

We're All Ears :: October Reveal

This month's inspiration is fashion, specifically the Fall 2015 collection by designer Monique Lhuillier. The challenge was to select one of these looks and create a pair of earrings to accessorize it. 

I don't really follow fashion. Though I enjoy watching Project Runway, I rarely am blown away by the clothes that walk the runway. The unconventional challenges intrigue me because of the challenges they present and the creative process involved. The bottom line is that fashion doesn't really interest me that much, especially now that I am retired and living in practical clothes (jeans, fleece, and hoodies). 

This challenge involves choosing one dress to accessorize. Something about this particular dress drew me in. I don't particularly like it; I guess it just so desperately begged for some earrings, that I had to oblige. 

Black, purple, and pink. Interesting colors. To counteract the whole high-fashion thing, I wanted to create something long and dramatic but also funky with a vintage vibe. I cut some discs from recycled tin and embossed them using a floral pattern to echo the pattern on the skirt of the dress. After covering the entire area with black Vintaj patina and meticulously painting the raised areas of the floral pattern in amethyst, opalite, and agate, it just looked too neat and tidy. Wanting more of a grungy flavor, I scruffed them up with some sandpaper. Better. More vintagy. Punch a hole. Good to go.

That dress needed hoops, so I made some out of 19 gague steel wire, forged them, and sealed them with Rennaisance wax. To finish, I added the painted discs and some crazy-lace, steel-wrapped gunmetal earwires. (Note to self: wrapping 26 gague steel wire around those earwires was a nightmare. Steel is a bugger to manipulate in tiny spaces for fine, detailed work.)

They look slightly different on another background.

I wish I knew a way to Photoshop my earrings into the photo with the dress. This is the best way I can think to accomplish that. 

Making these earrings jolted me out of a pretty serious creative slump. Usually, I make several pairs of earrings for these challenges; this time I was fortunate to accomplish one pair.  I've spent a lot of time lately sitting in my studio, staring at walls at a loss for ideas. Thank, Erin, for the jumpstart

To see earrings created by other talented artists for this challenge, CLICK HERE