Wednesday, December 25, 2013

December Echo Creative Club Reveal

Welcome to my reveal for the Echo Creative Club December blog hop.  I would like to thank the very talented Jeannie Dukic (JKD Studio) for allowing me to participate.  It has been a very positive experience - one which stretched my creative muscles a lot more than I had anticipated.  It's an honor to have an artist send you their creations and put their trust in you to create something from that.  I was ever mindful of the fact that I was not only making a piece of jewelry but I was being given an opportunity to make another artists creation shine in the process.  Thank you for that Jeannie - for the experience I have gained and for the chance to work with your art.

Now on to the reveal.  I was given some pretty little half lotus blossom charms to work with this month.  

From the very beginning, when I pulled them out to take a picture for the first blog entry, I knew what I wanted to do with them.  I had purchased some beautiful hand dyed silk ribbon at the Bead Fest in Philadelphia earlier this year.  The colors were perfect for these little cuties. 

I used some 12 gauge brass wire to create a bangle, which I then wrapped with the silk.  I secured the silk with some 26 gauge brass wire and wrapped some delicate little micro faceted amethyst beads with the brass wire.  

I added some yin/yang charms and some sun charms to accent the half lotus blossoms......they add to the overall bohemian feel of the bracelet.

Thanks again Jeannie! 

Please visit the other participants in the December Echo Creative Club blog hop:

Friday, December 6, 2013

December Echo Creative Club tease..............

It's time once again for the "tease" post.  I received these cute, colorful little half lotus charms made by the enormously talented polymer clay artist Jeannie Dukic ( As in previous months, I am only showing what I received to incorporate into my design........

I pulled out some of my hand dyed silk, some pretty little faceted amethyst beads and some brass wire - as before, I am not sure what I am going to create - I let the pieces sit on my bench for the month while I play with other things that *could* go with them.  

Aren't those half lotus charms just adorable?  Oh, and you'll just have to check back to see what I create with them........come back on the 25th for the big reveal!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

November Reveal for Echo Creative Club

Welcome to my reveal for the Echo Creative Club November Blog Hop.  I was so excited when I opened the package from Jeannie Dukic (Jewelry by Jeannie) and found this pretty curly pink and gold paisley and pink button inside.

As you can see, I pulled a lot of beads and wire out to work with. Pink is not a color I work with very often, so that added to the challenge.  

I love the delicate look of the paisley and didn't want it to be overpowered by any stones or beads. In the end, after a lot of experimenting I decided to create a viking knit necklace to hag the paisley from.  I sewed tiny pink freshwater pearls to the  length of the viking knit. I created two brass wire connectors that mimicked the genera shape of the paisley and wrapped those in the pink freshwater pearls. 

One of the connectors is also part of the clasp - the pink button fits perfectly into it.
My sister has already claimed the necklace - because she "has the perfect sweater to wear it with". Well, it DOES make the perfect birthday gift!

Please check out the other blog entries for this months Echo Creative Club:

Monday, November 18, 2013

More Musings on a Pretty little Pink and Gold Paisley Focal (and a button!)

I have been working with the November focal from Echo Creative Club - trying all sorts of colors and metals with it - I may have hit upon a winner!

Just now have to figure out how to incorporate that adorable pink button................
This truly is a lot of fun!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Echo Creative Club - November

This is my second month of participation in the Echo Creative Club.  The piece that I make will be revealed on November 25th - but until then I wanted to show you the gorgeous creation by Jeannie Dukic (Jewelry
by Jeannie) that I will be using in my piece.

There is this pretty little scalloped ice pink swirl outlined in antique gold

and this cunning little button.

I have started playing with beads and wire and colors but I can see I am far from finished going through ideas of how to incorporate these lovelies in a piece. 

An idea or two might come out of this collection - but then again I may end up swittching them all out for a completely different idea.

Reveal date is November 25th.......y'all are invited of course!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Boho Inspired Bracelet

I confess. I love bracelets. They are my favorite piece of jewelry to make - small, compact, and not necessarily faster to make than anything else. I think I love making them so much because, especially in the summer, nothing else really gets the exposure while being worn - the exposure, the movement, the attention.  I love an arm stacked with colorful beads and various textures, or one that jangles with the sound of stacks of silver bangles.

The bracelet phrase this summer seems to be "Boho Inspired".  Do an image search and you will find anything from silk and wire wrapped bangles to beaded leather wraps.  Along with those images, there are also multi strand beaded bracelets.  I confess, in spite of my rampant OCD (CDO, please!) I was compelled to mix and match some of my beads to make some bracelets.

This is the first of those bracelets.

I started with the lovely mint green Czech glass beads - added a strand of freshwater pearls and a strand of garnet rounds with some bali silver beads.

Sterling silver focal bead and a fine silver handcrafted clasp (since buffed with the dremel!).

It is surprisingly comfortable to wear.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Doing the Happy Dance!!!!

For a long while now I have been a fan of Evolving Creations Lampwork ( or on Facebook @Evolving Creations Lampwork). The beads are some of the most intricate and beautiful beads I have seen.  Just recently, they had a sale (I know, the time to write this would have been when the sale was going on, sorry!) and since I have always wanted to own some beads made by them, I visited their Etsy store and started browsing.  Pages and pages of gorgeous color. I had pages saved, new tabs opened, calculator keys flying and all the while a towel in my hand to wipe the drool off the keyboard.  I was determined to narrow it down to an affordable order - and I did.

These beads are so much more beautiful than I had imagined - just to capture some of their beauty in a photograph was difficult.  I LOVE them and am so glad I bought them.  I have no idea what I will make with them (I am SO hoping they don't end up being one of those hoarded beads I keep because I don't think I can do it justice in a piece of jewelry) but I know whatever I make it will be made even more fabulous by these beads. 

I highly recommend you take a stroll through Evolving Creations Etsy shop.........the beads are FABULOUS!!!!

NOTE: I have no affiliation with Evolving Creations Lampwork - just a very satisfied customer fan!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Echo Creative Club Reveal

Welcome to my reveal for the Echo Creative Club July Blog Hop.  I was so excited when I opened the package from Jeannie Dukic (Jewelry by Jeannie) and saw this beautiful polymer clay sand dollar.

I recently moved to Maryland from Maine - when I lived in Maine I lived near the ocean - mostly just minutes away - and to say I miss it is an understatement.  I enjoyed walks along the beach scouting for sea glass, unique shells and of course sand dollars.  When I opened the package and saw this sand dollar I knew I wanted to create a piece of jewelry that spoke of all that - and was summery and light.  I played with beads and fibers, leather and wire and just about everything I had in my stash - and remembered some pretty aqua sea glass beads I had purchased last time I was in Maine.

I domed some small copper washers to use as bead caps and wrapped (using the "messy wrap which was a serious challenge for my OCD!) each of them in copper wire. I also had some pretty little faceted aquamarine rondelles which I paired with some crystal spacers (to mimic the shape of the sea glass beads), which I also wrapped in copper wire.

 I used some copper washers (which I etched with random shapes) in between each set of aquamarines.

 I wanted the sand dollar to shine as the star of the piece, but wanted to highlight it somehow, so I created a copper hanger for it.

A handcrafted copper clasp to finish it off.

A big thank you to Jeannie Dukic for the beautiful sand dollar and the chance to be part of the Echo Creative Club July Blog Hop. 

 Please check out the other blogs that are taking part in this blog hop:

Alicia Marinache
Charlie Jacka

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Echo Creative Club - July

This is my month of participation in the Echo Creative Club.  The piece that I make will be revealed on July 25th - but until then I wanted to show you the gorgeous creation by Jeannie Dukic (Jewelry by Jeannie) that I will be using in my piece.

First I have to say I was blown away by the packaging she used.........her tagline is "Be brave enough to live your life creatively" and judging by what I received in the mail, she does!

And now on to the charm - it's a lovely sand dollar - polymer clay and oh-so-perfect for a summer piece of jewelry.  I have to admit that it has been sitting front and center on my bench - every time I get an idea I lay the beads and wire/fiber/cord next to my mind it has been made twenty times over.  

I am not going to spoil it....................(although I ALWAYS read the last page of a book and ask for the ending of movies just 'cuz......)and I am not going to even hint at what I will be using for beads/wire/etc.......but I will ask you - what would you do with this?

Come back and visit me on the 25th for the reveal - and until then check out Jeannie's work on her website - it's fantastic!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Macrame with Wire

I have been experimenting with macrame (the popularity of the Shambala bracelet helped my obsession).......and while playing with some copper wire the other day, I decided to try to macrame with the wire.  My first bracelet was a very rough prototype - I used the beads I had with me at the time (some size 6 seed beads) and while I loved the result of the knotting I hated the beads I used.  So, of course that meant I had to try it again, this time with some larger beads and some 14 gauge wire for the center wire and 22 gauge wire for the knots.  I LOVED how it looked (and unfortunately my sister claimed it the second she saw it - I will try to wrangle it from her and get a picture) and had to make another one.

I used some 12mm sodalite faceted rounds, the 14 gauge copper wire for the center wire and the 22 gauge copper wire for the knots. 

The sodalite beads catch the light and sparkle like crazy - so for a bracelet with only 5 beads, it makes one heck of a bling statement!

Knotting copper wire, even wire as thin as the 22 gauge wire, is very hard on the hands, but it's all worth it - the result is a lacy, highly texturized bracelet.

Keeping your tension even is key as well as remembering where you are on your sequence of knots.  This is the square knot which, if you've ever done macrame, you know is a two step process.  I found myself a number of times forgetting which knot I had just completed.  Paying attention is a must!

After I completed the knots and added the beads, I crafted a spiral clasp out of the 14 gauge wire - and this time I did not hammer it flat.  I smoothed out and flattened the ends but left it in it's natural state.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Year of Jewelry 2013 Week 10 - Wabi Sabi

 "Wabi sabi is the beauty of things imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete, the antithesis of our classical Western notion of beauty as something perfect, enduring, and monumental." -- Leonard Koren, author of "Wabi-Sabi: for Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers".
Wabi stems from the root wa, which refers to harmony, peace, tranquillity, and balance. Generally speaking, wabi had the original meaning of sad, desolate, and lonely, but poetically it has come to mean simple, unmaterialistic, humble by choice, and in tune with nature.

Sabi by itself means "the bloom of time." It connotes natural progression-tarnish, hoariness, rust-the extinguished gloss of that which once sparkled. It's the understanding that beauty is fleeting.

Brass and silver both tarnish when left on their own in the elements - and both aquire a soft muted patina that speaks of the 'bloom of time' and which only gets better as time goes on.  I kept the design of this necklace very simple - I used the rest of the brass tube pieces I had, again with silver because I love the contrast of the two especially when wrapped so closely together. 

A brass blank, domed and stamped with the word 'JOY'

A large aqua crystal rondelle, wrapped with fine silver wire
A fine silver handcrafted closure, fine silver jump rings