Saturday, February 27, 2010

It's just Common Cents

.........or maybe I should say the new jewelry line from mrs beadsley's is anyway! I am having fun with pennies and all the things that can be done with them.  I think they are interesting when flattened, left whole, buffed or whatever.  And since there are boxes and boxes of them here at the house, that equals a lot of opportunities to explore creative ways to use them in jewelry.
So, I collected some tools and wire and beads - and a penny of course
some lovely aventurine beads from Turquoise Magpie
a lovely heart shaped clasp from my local bead store - Beads on the Kennebec
copper wire from my local hardware store - Audettes - Ace Hardware
wheat penny drilled and domed
the finished piece.  Now named "(un)common cents".

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Copper Malachite Necklace

Remember this guy?  Imagine my delight when my dear SO came home with a smaller version!  I was ecstatic and immediately went into my studio to see what I could do with it.
(the large one has 1/2" SCM stamped on it - the smaller one has NIBCO - the company name - on it)

After a lot of trial and error, I settled on some wonderful malachite; the large beads are vintage from Africa (I blogged about them here), and the smaller rounds I got from a wonderful gem shop over in Belfast, ME, Bennett's Gems.

then, I thought a wonderful little copper celtic component I had would be good as a connector, and would work well with the green malachite;

I added a clasp on one side using one of the large malachite beads (it clasps in front);

then I wrapped some 3mm malachite rounds (using 22 gauge copper wire) and made some jump rings from some 18 gauge square copper wire to create a chain;

added the copper plumbing thingy (which I hammered and buffed and shined), a dangle and there you have it!

the copper strip can be personalized by stamping or even perhaps etching a design onto it - many possibilities!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

OWOH Winner

Well, the Magic Carpet Ride is over.  And what a wild ride it was.  Over one thousand blogs joined in the fun and mayhem......I had a great time and I hope you all did, too. 
Congratulations to Lisa of Lisa Lectura Creations.  She is the winner of the leather and brass bracelet, drawn, as promised, randomly.  Thanks Lisa and everybody who visited me and left such wonderful comments. I hope to do this again next year!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

A Day in the Studio

Another day spent hammering pennies - did I tell you how much I love my job?  After creating the cute little copper and mixed gemstone bracelet yesterday, I did what I haven't done yet - I thought "line of jewelry".  Yup.  Shocked myself, I tell you - but still I thought it was a great idea.  All because of that copper plumbing thingy and the bracelet created from it.  Go figure.  I love the look of the copper wire wrapped loops and the slightly smaller rondelle beads in the bracelet, and I think it makes for a mix and match possibility you don't really get with chunkier bracelets.  Plus, when I wear bracelets I end up looking like a gypsy woman, I pile so many of them on. 

So, some pennies - flattened, drilled and buffed - ready for words, names or just random letters to be put on them (once I get in my order from Harbor Freight - oh I DO love tools!!!!)
some fabulous little 'red velvet crystals' from my fabu local bead shop (Beads on the Kennebec), wrapped in yards of 22 gauge copper wire, and closed with a cute little copper heart clasp. To wear alone or.........

with one created with a mix of gemstones (wonderful strand I got from Turquoise Magpie - hands down the BEST place to get your gemstones)..............or maybe

you're like me and you'll wear them all at once.  Why not?  Life is short - make it colorful and bright!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Plumbing Aisle.....

..........offered up it's treasure - I'm not entirely sure what it is - some sort of hanger or bracket or something - but it screamed out "jewelry" to me!  I bought three of them not knowing what I would do or what I would be able to do with them so they sat next to me on my bench while I figured it out.

I stretched one out and buffed and shined it - thought it might look good with some gemstones in it.........
I used some luscious large magnesite, garnet and sterling silver............I liked it but wasn't sure how I would attach it - the wire works but I can't get it to look messy enough (you know, that "chaos" look that some wire wrappers excel at - well, I don't) or neat enough, so put that aside while I thought about it.
flattened one of them and then buffed and shined it up (I just LOVE my new bench grinder) - I'm thinking a bracelet for this piece;
I found my leather stamps (I used to tool leather in a previous incarnation and have accumulated a number of stamps) and used one of them to stamp a design into the copper - random though it is;
and wrapped some cute little rondelle gemstones I got from Szarka (a fantastic buy - a strand of mixed gemstones - all sorts of colors and stones) and fastened on a cute little copper heart clasp.  It's a rough prototype - next time I want to rivet the holes (once I get to that lesson :-)) and I will hopefully have my new letter stamps so I will do something different on the copper.

Now, going back to the copper and magnesite piece I was thinking about.........
While rooting around in my stuff, I found some copper brads, or maybe they are a sort of rivet - I got them a while ago with the idea that I would learn how to use them, but they seemed to fit this idea perfectly.  So, I used some sterling silver wire to string the stones on (I left off the garnet - it just didn't fit into the cup of the copper thingy), put the end of the wire over the hole in the copper thingy, placed a brass nut over that and the copper brad/rivet thingy over everything; flipped the piece over and hammered the brad/rivet flat.
I hosed up the other end - very badly - so rather than call it a complete waste, I just kept experimenting (I now know what NOT to do, heh heh heh) and fashioned a sort of pendant.  Or something.  Whatever.  It was fun and I got to do a lot of banging and buffing and the likes. 

Friday, February 12, 2010

Shopping Spree

Went on a shopping spree yesterday - at the bead store, of course! Our Local Bead Store is fabulous.  Linda, the uber awesome owner of Beads on the Kennebec is an avid beader herself so she stocks all the latest and greatest, of course, as well as local artists' beads and findings.  It's really an awesome little bead store with an amazing assortment of goods and great classes, too!  Take a peak at my haul:

really sparkly, yummy huge crystal's in a rainbow of colors

these gorgeous saucer beads - here in blue




and green! (think I went overboard?????)

and some sweet little "Pandora" type beads I'm going to use for some bracelets for my young cousins.

All in all a great shopping day!!!

Monday, February 8, 2010

One World One Heart

Time again for the annual One World One Heart blog event.  What an amazing experience it was last year to go from blog to blog meeting new people and making connections with other artists around the world.  I lost track of time this year, but am entering the event at the last minute. 

As you can see by my other posts, I make jewelry.  I love everything about it - especially the experimentation involved in MY learning process.  My blog is a way of sharing with others that journey and attempting to show how my creative process works.

My "door prize" this year is a wonderful little leather bracelet - knotted and embellished with brass beads and a wonderful vintage brass button as a closure. 
To get your name in the hat, you should be a blogger; leave me a comment and a clear way to link back to you,  or leave an email address so you can be contacted if you should win. The final day for leaving comments is February 15th - at which point I will close the entry to comments and do a random drawing to determine the winner.  Best of luck to each of you - and I look forward to meeting you along the way!

**edited 2/15/2010 to add that I will close this posting to comments at midnight EST and at that point, using a random number generator, will pick the winner.  Thanks to all who left such kind comments on this post and others - I had a blast going from blog to blog this year.