Thursday, June 22, 2017

These Earrings Had to Have Chain

Lately in some of my earring designs I've been searching out different elements and colors than I usually favor, mostly as a way to push myself out of my comfort zone a little, which in turn seems to help to keep my creativity sparking.  

This week's earrings feature a pair of Nicola Morse's brass paint effect-and-resin charms:

The charms themselves are Different Element One:  I rarely use gold or gold-tone metal.  Even so, they're so beautiful that I couldn't resist them!  I decided to pair them with lampwork glass--glossy blue discs by Helen Chalmers and small streaky mango-colored rondelles by Beth Mellor. 

Different Element Two was kind of randomly imposed: I'd decided that these earrings had to have chain, something I've almost never used in my earrings.  Somehow the delicate gold-filled chain I found finishes these earrings perfectly.  I used gold-filled head pins to wire-wrap 2-mm round turquoise beads and 11/0 gold-plated seed beads to each segment of the chain and hung them all from gold-filled jump rings. Hey, once I decided to go gold, I went all out!   😉

They're long, lightweight, and swingy.  They'll be in my shop soon.  

Thanks so much for reading about my adventures in golden charms and chains.  I'll be back in a few weeks!  💗




Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Welcome Sue - Utterly Lovely Stuff!

Hello! I’m Sue Robinson from Utterly Lovely Stuff and I’m utterly (sorry!) delighted to have been invited to do a little guest spot on Earrings Everyday! What a thrill! Especially as some of my very favourite jewellery artists contribute here.

So…I was told to create a pair of earrings especially for the blog, and tell you a little about them. This was no hardship, let me tell you as making earrings is one of my favourite things to do. 

This pair features components from one of my absolute favourite artists (whose beautiful pieces feature regularly here on EE) Petra Carpreau of Scorched Earth. I love her rustic, natural style, and think the coppery glaze on these ceramic drops is just beautiful. 

I popped these drops on some copper hoops, loosely wrapped with some pretty, coppery seed beads to pick up the orange hue in the glaze and added another favourite component - recycled glass chunks. I have a friend who goes to South Africa and picks up these recycled glass chunky beads for me from a local bead shop, so I have a plentiful supply of them! A good job as I seem to use them in lots of designs at the moment. I finished these off with some pretty enamelled headpins, made by a clever jewellery friend, Charlotte Rosser of Wild Strawberry Designs. (Link not available.)

Hope you like them! There’ll be over in my Etsy shop Utterly Lovely Stuff.

Thanks for having me!

Sue Robinson
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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

I really love these!

Hello everyone. I do hope your week is off to a great start.

This is one of those longer posts I find myself writing now and then. 😃

While making, every once in a while something magical happens and I remember very clearly what it is that I love so much about creating. Those of you who are makers will understand, I think, and I'm sure there are many other things in life that others can relate to, things that create the same feeling: maybe holding your grandchild; sitting with your favorite pet on your lap or at your feet while reading a great book; looking out at the water on a clear, crisp, fall day, trees filled with colorful leaves. That last one is another one for me. They are incredibly special times that create emotions that at least I don't live with regularly. But it's also something that is difficult for me to put into words.

I say every once in a while because for me that is how it works. It is not something that happens every time I create something, even if I love the result. There are many days where it is nothing more than a practice of habit. . . . . I sit at my worktable, pull out a hundred and one things and try to "feel" what works that day. And that can change from one hour to the next. Something I'm excited about can quickly turn to "what was I thinking" after frustration and a break away help me see things more clearly.

But this day, these earrings, the magic happened.

I had these sweet bell ceramic pieces fired with a glazed called "Poppy Fields" for only a week or two. They were made by friend-to-many and Ceramic Artisan Petra Carpreau of ScorchedEarthOnEtsy. These were not the only pieces I had out on my worktable. At least a half dozen others and I was not at all focused on anything when for whatever reason the rusted tin ceiling tiles that I cherish crossed my mind. And it simply took off from there.

I knew I wanted thin strips, not really sure yet what I was going to pair them with. I cut them out and as I was shaping and filing, the bells became the focus. My idea was to use white acrylic paint to give them a "whitewash" kind of look but pulled out colorants made by Vintaj instead. Testing the coloring on the back of one, in a split second I knew it was exactly what I wanted. It's a white/blue color named "marine."

The rest of the design went along smoothly but at this point the feeling was already there, and it lasted throughout the remainder of the making and far beyond. Even still, I get an unearthly tingle inside when I look at them. Now, I know that they are simply a pair of earrings, and they may not even be something that many will like. But the feeling doesn't depend on those things. It comes from inside. It's a joy that creating sometimes creates. It is what it is. And I am very grateful to be able to experience joy.

Like so many of us do, I spent many years of my life raising a child, earning a living, keeping a house, taking a bit of time now and then to visit with family and friends, dealing with illnesses and a whole host of other "life" happenings, and keeping so busy that I never slowed down long enough to let the mind and body completely relax and let this brand of joy come.

This feeling, this joy that I'm talking about, comes to a quiet mind. I had a brother just 18 months younger than I, until he left us much too soon at age 47, who told me how being on the golf course was the only time his mind shut down. I could not understand that because I had never experienced it, . . . until I began creating. Then I understood exactly what he meant, and what an incredible thing to be able to stop the mind from its constant meandering all over the place. It mostly ponders the past, the good, the bad and even the indifferent, things that mean absolutely nothing at the moment, rehashing old material and old emotions for no good reason whatsoever, or it ponders the future, the when this and when that, then I'll whatever. What a waste of all the brain power we have. Focusing on something one loves to do and that requires focus and concentration is incredibly healing, agree? I'm pretty sure you know exactly what I mean. :)

Back to the earrings, I debated for a bit putting the tiny, matte finish, faceted glass beads along the edge of the tin. They're a great pink with orange undertones, and I thought I would love it but was concerned about adding three more holes to the thin strip. After weighing the pros and cons, and deciding that re-making the strips was not that time consuming, that I could make them again if I had to, it was something I had to try and it worked so well. It was just another moment of "I Love These!!"

And I really do. To me they are very special. They will always be a highlight for me. . . . . at least until the next time. :)

Thank you! Thank you for stopping in; thank you for listening to the musings of my mind; and thank you in advance for sharing your thoughts with me, if you are so inclined.

I'll be back on the 4th of July! See you then.

Sincerely, and with wishes for joy to each of you, each and every day.
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Monday, June 19, 2017

Large things become lighter when acrylic

Large things become lighter when acrylic.

Transparent olive green/gold facet very large acrylic beads, 25x15 mm
Abalone mosaic cylinder
Tectite charm
Brass wire and findings
Handmade Sterling Silver earring hooks, heavily oxidized

All my best,

Friday, June 16, 2017

We're All Ears :: June Reveal :: Lightning Bugs + Fireflies

After spending almost a whole week in Milwaukee for the Bead & Button show and turning around this week to chaperone 10 dancers at a pre-collegiate dance invitational, that didn't leave much room for making earrings. But it is my party, so I have to be sure that at least I set up the space to allow everyone else to have fun!

I decided to whip up two pairs of earrings: one inspired by the look and shape of the actual firefly beetle, and the other inspired by the lights dancing around in the night forest. (To see the inspiration, please click here.)

I gave myself one hour to make, photograph and post. A true quickfire challenge!

Here is the first pair called Lampein for the Greek word that their species, Lampyridae, comes from and literally means "to shine," It is funny that this rather unassuming and rather drab looking winge beetle (they are not flies at all!) can produce such a wonderful nighttime light show!

And the second pair I made is called Flashy Flirt for the playful way they do their mating dance in the dark of the forest.

Now it is your turn! If you made some earrings for the Firefly challenge, please share your link below. If you didn't make any and want to do your own quickfire challenge, please join in the fun! The LinkTools will be open for one week. And don't forget to hop around and see all the fun nighttime summertime earrings that were made!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Ocean Turtles

A couple of weeks ago, I made some new cute polymer clay Turtle Charms using some of my favorite ocean and beach inspired colors. I made some extras so that I could design a pair of earrings for today's blog post :)

I had this design in mind for several days. I just had to put the components together.

And.... here's the result:

I have a few of these cool stick pearls that I've been wanting to use for some time. I thought they would go really nicely with my little turtles... what do you think? I added some cute little summery chunks of real Turquoise, and sparkling sunny glass seed beads, all strung on sterling silver wire.

My new handmade Turtle Charms are available in my Etsy shop HERE in a few different colors. 

I also have some nice Handmade Polymer Clay items in my clearance section at 50% OFF (yep!). Sweet deals, if you're interested :)

These earrings have sold within a few minutes of me showing them off on Facebook as I was writing this blog post, but I do have other one of a kind pairs of earrings listed in my Etsy shop.

Have a great Sunny weekend!

Visit my Etsy Shop for Handmade Polymer Clay Jewelry supplies: My Garden Of Love
Visit my Etsy Shop for my Digital Downloads Designs: The Craft Tribe

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

When simple might be best.

Hello! How are you all? Feels like a good while since I've been here.

I hope you enjoyed Jetta Sellers' post yesterday. She is a sweetheart, and her work is great. Loved the Lettuce Leaves!

So simple. . . . the word simple really means something like having only one element, not compound. So the word itself may be improperly used here, but by simple I mean not complex, not complicated. So although that is not the definition of simple, in the context we use it, I think it's still the right word. When you look for an antonym of complicated, you get simple! lol

I am the least likely person in this group to talk about simple. That's a good enough reason, I guess, to talk about it! It's likely come up before. Sometimes I lose sight of what I'm actually creating, get carried away, and a pair of earrings could be put together and become a necklace! So I do like to try to focus on simple sometimes.

But about 4:00 yesterday afternoon, I still had nothing made for this post, let alone wrote the post, so when I sat down at my worktable I decided I was going to do simple. . . . really simple. So that's definitely one time simple is best.

For me, it's the artisan beads. So many of them, ceramic, lampwork glass, metal, polymer clay, are so perfect as they are, that they often sit in my collection for a long time, maybe forever, because they're beautiful works of art to me. They are the art form I collect. And so many times, the thought of adding something to them seems really wrong. It's very difficult to enhance something that I see as perfect. You wouldn't dream of taking one of Monet's Lilies series and add to it, to "enhance" it. Yeah, that's an extreme example, but to me it's the same thing. The only difference is that the artist that creates them, makes them specifically for the purpose of us adding to them. So of course, it's what we do. So here are my earrings for today:

These earrings are available for purchase in my Etsy Shop here

The beautiful ceramic components in the earrings, by Petra Carpreau of ScorchedEarthOnEtsy, I've had for a good while now. I have worked with them on a number of occasions and nothing ever felt right. They are just too cool on their own. Knowing that this is a huge decision for me, I decided to simply add one dangle to the bottom connector AND NOTHING ELSE. Nothing! :) I might have done that another time, but would certainly have worked on the top, also. But I stopped. And I love them. Really love them. That was a great lesson for me. What I added were three pieces on each, two silver metal beads and one rustic, natural Turquoise disk nugget.

Previously when working with them I was picking up on both the periwinkle color that you see on the earring on the right -- it's  minimal but it's there -- and they both have a bit of turquoise around the edge of the bronze clay that Petra uses in much of her work.

So being in a crunch is certainly one time simple is good. But it does have other benefits if one is able to make simple. I say"able to make" because using only a few pieces and making a fabulous pair of earrings takes great talent. It's not easy, not for me. So it's an exercise I should take up more often.

The other benefits include keeping the weight down, which for me has become an issue. I can't wear heavier earrings any longer. They hurt and pull down my lobes. Another benefit is price. Less materials, less time, equals lower price. That provides more women the opportunity to purchase handcrafted artisan earrings, often made with artisan beads, at a lower price point.

That's it for me today. I hope you are all heading into a fun-filled summer.

As always, we thank you for stopping in and spending a few minutes with us.

Happy Days to everyone. 
All the best, 'til next time!
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