Thursday, April 24, 2014

Star Factory

Star Factory
I am just enchanted by these Unicorn lampwork beads in "midnight special"--they make me think of a glowing nebula!
Photo of the Omega Nebula by NASA
The way these lampwork drops (available from Stinky Dog Beads) are configured, they are most stunning when viewing the drop section head-on, so I devised a design that would keep their shining faces front and center. Here I've combined them with amber, freshwater pearls in lime, and antiqued copper. The idea of a "star factory" must have also put me in an industrial mindset because the metal sections feel very hardware-like to me. And that's always a good thing!

I leave you with a stellar spire from the "Eagle Nebula",

and a little music to go with it:


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Rocking Out!

 Do you remember collecting stones as a kid?  Maybe you had a favorite tin or a child-sized shoe box where you kept some of your favorite rocks.  Now that we are more or less grown up, we can still collect rocks.  Here's my latest collection.
One of my online bead buddies, Jeannie Dukic, of JKD Studio, sent me a sampling of her new line of polymer clay faux stone and faux pebble beads and and pendants.
Each stone is just as unique as real stones are, but instead of being a burden on your earlobes, these faux stones are as light as a feather.
I topped the "stones" with some rustic, faceted Czech glass and a bit of wire wrapping.
So show some rocker chic attitude!  I think these earrings would be fun to wear with this outfit, now that things are warming up a bit (at least it's getting warmer here, in Washington state).  The Rock Out earrings are available here: Linda Landig Jewelry.


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Plum Afternoon

Casual earrings for spring - with a touch of color! 
by Cindy's Art & Soul 

Plum Afternoon

Peace ~

Monday, April 21, 2014

Mixed Metal Swirls

Recently I experimented with combining
 White Copper and regular Copper Metal Clay and here are the results.
 I love the look!

Some say they look like Petrified Wood or Sliced Agate!

Petrified Wood                                                                             Sliced Agate

I tried using complimenting beads on the wire wrapping
 but in the end they looked best wrapped simply with no embellishment.

Whether they resemble anything else or not I think they are very beautiful and interesting. I love how the where the 2 metals alloyed to created a third color where they connected. Exaclyl what I was hoping for.
If you'd like to see how I made them check out my post on Art Jewelry Elements HERE.


Thursday, April 17, 2014

We're All Ears :: April Reveal

For April we are inspired by this tablescape from Pottery Barn. With the retro palette of sage, gold, cream and brown with touches of silver, this whimsical place setting could be from the 70s or today! There was a lot to be inspired by in this picture.

Here is what I created for the challenge. Since I was unable to complete the challenge for March, I was inspired to make four pairs of earrings for April.

Lasso The Moon
I was pulling from the golden color of the oil and the bird for this pair. I like the texture on the woven placemat and the hammered silverware. I spied these links on my beading table and it was serendipity that they already had great texture. These stars are one of those things I have had lying around for years. No, really. Mellisa of Chinook Jewelry sent these to me about 7 years ago! They were a mistake in that they were supposed to be beads with holes through them. But the wire got stuck inside during the firing process so they were unusable as beads. She had some sort of contest about what you would do with them, and I won them. It takes me awhile but every bead will find its purpose! I just wire wrapped the stars randomly for that lasso effect. And that is also a line from one of my favorite movies. Do you know what that is?


Another component that has been lying around forever are these cold clay (DAS) charms from Alona of Rafya. They have this great raised design that has been highlighted in gold with undertones of sage. I have these two very old vintage French books with hand drawings of architectural details that I love. They look right at home on this page, don't you think? A fleuron is a stylized form of flowers or leaves. I was drawn to the natural elements in the challenge picture, the leaves, the branches, the berries.

Spiked Lemonade

I imagine that in the Pottery Barn world they are having quite a feast on these tables! The glasses filled with what looked like lemonade intrigued me. More beads from my stash. These polymer clay beads from Heather Powers of Humblebeads were the perfect golden color, and I loved the way the lines mimic the textures on the skylark bird on the plate in this challenge picture. I hammered some aluminum blanks as a nod to the mod silverware, and the brown spikes are for the wood of the table.

 Well Grounded

The dark wood of the table and the fresh green stripes on the napkin along with the shimmering pressed glass is what inspired me for this next pair. I used a pair of bumpy barrel ceramic beads and some wasabi silk cord from Marsha Neal Studio. I tied them to a hexagon connector. And I am pretty proud of these ear wires (and the ones from the previous pair). I have always wanted to make my own, but I never have been able to make them identical, until now. I recently learned a trick to get my wires to come out the same on both sides using the technique in this tutorial from Jewelry Making Daily. But of course, I couldn't leave them plain, so I wire wrapped some glowing green pressed glass Toho square beads that remind me of the glasses on the table.

So, there you have it. There was so much of interest in this challenge picture that I probably could have gone on for days interpreting different parts of it. I hope that is what this challenge does for you... helps you to isolate the inspirations around you, allows you to flex your creative muscles and encourages you to use those beads that are just lying around to make something fast, fun and fabulous! Come back on Friday, May 2nd for the next We're All Ears inspiration challenge!

What inspired you?
Let's see what you created!
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This is my ninth post for this blog and it's odd, for me, that this is the first time I've shared a pair of earrings featuring Scorched Earth elements.

It's odd because a large number of my designs, and particularly earring designs, feature Petra's ceramics.  Many of her pieces are sold in pairs that demand to be made into earrings.  And I'm sure that, in working with Petra's pieces, I've learnt a heap of earring-making lessons.  Perhaps, in holding off, I was trying to avoid being predictable, because I'm kinda addicted to them really.  You can see the extent of my problem here....

In this pair, I've teamed these gorgeous rich turquoise and bronze bands with some long drops of ruby zoisite, some antique brass caps, and some little czech glass accents.  I received the stones through error - the supplier sent me somebody else's order. I'm not crazy about ruby zoisite, to be honest, but I'm quite happy with these, and that, in no small part, is down to Petra's lovely ceramics.

They're available here in my Etsy shop.

Bye for now, Claire

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Junkyard Queen

"One man's junk is another man's treasure"...

It's an aphorism that we've all heard before, right? I've always found it curious how something that some would consider junky, worn out, used up, and ugly could appeal so much to me. There's something about having a soul, having lived through a storm or two, having a story to tell. A little metaphor for us humanfolk, don't you think? The things that make us the most interesting and emotionally rich aren't always the things that make us pretty.


I know I'm not the only one out there who loves the junkyard aesthetic. I channel this primitive rustic look in all of my jewelry, but I was particularly tickled with how this recent earring pair came out. Rusty washers handmade by Kiyoi Designs out of steel metal clay, little blue kyanite shard "collars", and perfectly mismatched etched agate and carved wood bead toppers. 


These babies sold in a snap to my dear dear friend Susan who is a vintage-loving antiques freak like myself. I loved them so much that I created a second similar pair to share the love - available now in my shop. Embrace life's beautiful imperfections...y'know what I mean?

Happy Wednesday <3

LoveRoot on Etsy