Thursday, June 23, 2016

Polyclay and Lampwork Team Up

I was so delighted to have been able to attend a polymer clay technique class by Christine Damm of The Stories They Tell at Art On The Farm in Vermont this early summer.
With polymer clay you can achieve quite a bit of length without adding too much weight to your designs.

The poly clay parts are actually headpins I formed and with the coloring and veneer technique I learned I was ready to go big using the pieces as a canvas for texture and color.
I simply paired them with a set of lampwork beads that I had on hand that I had made.
I didn't sell the beads as a pair because the the dimensions weren't the same but I'm not afraid to use them together myself!

These babies are over 3 and a half inches long  (9 cm)
 I'm looking forward to making more of these headpins so that if I get enough of  a good stash of them i'll be willing to part with some to sell.
Imagine the possibilities!

thanks for stopping by
Kimberly Rogers

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The Little Flapper Girls

Now the Flapper was my kind of woman;  Light-hearted, nonconformists who eagerly tried new clothing styles not to mention challenging traditional ideas of behavior by wearing make-up, publicly drinking, smoking & acting unladylike.  

They sported a short bobbed do, wore lipstick, rouge and short fringed skirts, giving the title, "It Girl".

That is exactly what this fun, free spirited design reminds me of. These have become a huge hit.  I wasn't sure how they were going to be perceived, but I sold 4 pair, 2 to the same customer; one for her and the other a gift.  Who would not love to fashion these little gals!!

The hand painted wood heads are so darn cute, each one slightly different.  I bought the brass flower beads off ETSY and hand painted them in girly pink, of course, folded over some soft copper flower caps and finished them with copper findings.  Ball end headpins strung with rounds of cream Howlite serve as tiny swinging feet.

I was provided a little gift with my next head order, Its a BOY!! 
OMG, how cute is he? Now you have it, a Flapper Couple ♥

These are totally out of my design style, but I had such a great time working with them, I hope the trend continues.

Thanks for taking the time to stop by, share a comment or two if you can and we will see you again July 6th.  

My ETSY Shop- Y.u.c.c.a. B.l.o.o.m.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Jana + Wire = Fun!

Hello! And depending on where you live, Happy Summer! And Happy close to the end of June, if it's not summer for you. ;)

Copper wire is one of my favorite things to work with; ceramics made by Jana Bliznakova of HappyFishThings are another favorite.

These beautifully painted ceramic bars were resting in an open box with many other wonderful pieces I'd just received from Jana. 

I sat down to play with wire. A little soldering fun sounded like a very good idea that day. A bit of fire play is invigorating! I played with spirals and hoops, triangles and ovals, teardrops and a shape trying to be squares, hearts and birds, but nothing was catching my attention. It's been a bit of a down time for me creatively after having to let go of our almost 13-year-old Lab; she was a beautiful girl, Angel, and a constant, loving companion throughout those years. The muse doesn't seem to be able to break through the emptiness just yet.

As I was wrapping the wire 'round and 'round a pair of step pliers, these pieces caught my eye and I thought, hmmm, I can offset the open end of the pattern on these, which felt right to me.

Jana + Wire = Fun
Halfway through the first earring, I noticed the pattern on the second piece was identical, not a mirror image. Oh No!!!! my symmetrical leaning brain alarm sounded. How do I do this then? Do I wire the second one on the same side as the first, balancing the open side of the design. . . . . which absolutely felt wrong to me. So no, of course I was going to wire the second one on the opposite side. 

Either way, I was going to end up with an alarm going off. :) But I have slowly learned to ignore that alarm, firmly burying it and its silly notions, feeling totally comfortable that the two pieces aren't identical. Thanks to many of the Oh-So-Talented Jewelry Designers here on EE, as well as others, I now am okay with it, and may even prefer them that way! That was not the case a few years ago. I suspect I would have scrapped the idea altogether and moved on. The one thing we know about life on this planet is that things will always change. That's a good thing. ;)

Jana + Wire = Fun
The red beads I paired with the ceramics are natural Red Sandalwood Seeds. They grow this vibrant shade of red. I had never seen them before, and purchased these at the very cool TheFickleBead shop on Etsy. Debbie is the shop owner, a wonderful lady to work with; customer service is at the top!

The earrings below weren't made for today's post, but I wanted to show you another Jana/Wire pair. I melt looking at the primitive, soft blue sun design. 

Soft Blue Primitive Suns

I hope you have a happy week, filled with love, laughter and peace of mind.

Thank you for stopping by! I will be back on the 5th of July. 

Angel Baby

Monday, June 20, 2016

Clay and Cord

I recently made my first purchase from NadiaTerra in Bulgaria. Love her style with a matte shabby chic look and lots of new, fun and interesting bead shapes. Like the ones I used in these earrings for instance, they have no holes, just a groove all around. Very interesting!

Earrings for hot summer's days. Looking great with tanned skin, a casual white shirt, worn jeans and brown leather sandals.

Wonderful handmade terracotta clay beads with engobe patina and without holes by NadiaTerra
Irish waxed linen cord
Pewter rings
Heavily oxidized sterling silver handmade earring hooks

All my best,
Malin de Koning

Friday, June 17, 2016

We're All Ears :: June Reveal

The strawberry. A delicious taste of summer.

[Photo credit :: Benil Benjamin :: Unsplash]
I have memories of my mother taking us out the the U-Pick strawberry fields nearby our hometown very early on a June morning. Once I had kids of my own I made sure that we did this trek a few times as well. I remember that they would give us shallow cardboard boxes and drive us by tractor out to a distant row mounded over with lush green plants. Each row would have multiple pickers all hunched over with big floppy hats eagerly gripping the bright red berries. As a kid it was a feast! More berries went in my belly than in my flat! At the end of your row, you got to take your flats to the farm to be weighed. Then it was home to wash and process all the juicy goodness, usually into canned preserves. 

And then there were the treats. Fresh berries piled on pancakes, overflowing over ice cream and floating in my cereal. And the desserts... pies and strawberry shortcake, or mixed with rhubarb from grandma's garden in a fluffy trifle. Yum!

I still haven't had my first strawberry shortcake of the season, but I did see that they are advertising it! Yea! So when I get home on Sunday night from the second of my trips this month, I think I know where I will be celebrating!

Since I haven't had any fresh strawberries...yet...I thought that I would make some of my own in anticipation. I found these wonderful headpins in my stash...I am quite certain that I got them last year at the Bead & Button show, but for the life of me, I cannot remember who they belong to. I thought that they looked very much like strawberries, but even more so once I added the little hand-painted bead caps. I call these "Fragaria" for the genus of the species that is more commonly known as the garden strawberry.

And I really liked the tiny little green berries in this picture, so I made those as well, aptly named, "Unripe."

Perfect adornment for berry-picking days!

I found a web page that had 14 facts about strawberries that I thought were really interesting. How many of these were new to you?

  1. Strawberries are the only fruit that wear their seeds on the outside. The average berry is adorned with some 200 of them. No wonder it only takes one bite to get seeds stuck in your teeth.
  2. Strawberries aren’t true berries, like blueberries or even grapes. Technically, a berry has its seeds on the inside. And, to be über technical, each seed on a strawberry is considered by botanists to be its own separate fruit. Whoa, meta!
  3. Strawberries are members of the rose family. Should you come upon a bush of them growing, you’ll see: they smell as sweet as they taste.
  4. The strawberry plant is a perennial. This means if you plant one now, it will come back next year and the following and the year after that. It may not bear fruit immediately, but once it does, it will remain productive for about five years.
  5. Americans eat an average of three-and-a-half pounds of fresh strawberries each per year. It’s closer to five pounds if you count frozen ones. In a study, more than half of nine-year-olds picked strawberries as their favorite fruit. They’re nature’s candy!
  6. Belgium has a museum dedicated to strawberries. In the gift shop at Le Musée de la Fraise (The Strawberry Museum), you can buy everything from strawberry jam to strawberry beer.
  7. Native Americans ate strawberries long before European settlers arrived. As spring’s first fruit, they were a treat, eaten freshly picked or baked into cornbread.
  8. The ancient Romans thought strawberries had medicinal powers. They used them to treat everything from depression to fainting to fever, kidney stones, bad breath and sore throats.
  9. Sex & Strawberries? In France, where they’re believed to be an aphrodisiac, strawberries are served to newlyweds at traditional wedding breakfasts in the form of a creamy sweet soup.
  10. Strawberries are believed to help reduce the risk of heart disease and certain cancers. They are low in calories and high in vitamins C, B6, K, fiber, folic acid, potassium and amino acids.
  11. Strawberries contain high levels of nitrate. This has been shown to increase blood and oxygen flow to the muscles. Research suggests that people who load up on strawberries before exercising have greater endurance and burn more calories.
  12. California produces some 80% of the strawberries in the U.S. They grow about 2 billion pounds of the heart-shaped fruits per year. Every state in the U.S. and every province in Canada grows their own.
  13. To store fresh strawberries, wash them and cut the stem away. However, if you plan to keep them in the fridge for a few days, wait until before you eat them to clean them. Rinsing them speeds up spoiling.
  14. Strawberries can also be pickled. Especially when picked green or unripe. If your berries are overripe, make jam!
Now it is your turn! Show off your best berry baubles!

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Wednesday, June 15, 2016

On the Edge

I'm on the edge. The edge of a vacation, that is. 

That delicious pre-vacation period where you're ALMOST THERE and are filled with the anticipation of having time to step away, breathe, clear your mind, get yourself out of the workweek rut.  My mom always said that the pre-vacation is better than the vacation itself. Part of me doesn't want to believe that, but there certainly is something to be said for it. 

Next week my other half and I are headed to the mountains of West Virginia. We stayed in a cabin for one day last year as we were passing through, and it struck such a chord with us that we vowed to come back this year and stay for more than just a day. The cabins are nestled at the foot of a towering cliff, and a clear, clean river winds its way past the base. Last year we saw a bald eagle soaring right above our heads. I was even able to convince my husband (who is not afraid of heights, definitely not afraid of heights, no, never) to climb the nearby mountain with me. We got to the top with a mixture of exhilaration and sheer white-knuckled terror. Quite a memorable combination!

We toured one of the region's many caves and experienced TD, or "total darkness"---where the guide leads you deep into the cave, gives you fair warning, and then turns out all the lights. If you've never experienced that kind of sensory deprivation, it's incredible. That is, unless you're claustrophobic or scared of the dark or have a fear of being trapped underground. Yeah, probably not so good for that.

We also spent a couple hours walking next to the river, which was filled with tons of perfectly rounded, water-smoothed rocks. Each rock was glazed with a soft, slippery layer of mossy-green algae. And when I say slippery, I mean, "Nikki fell on her ass while trying to cross the river". Hey, I at least had to give it a try. That's just me. 

The green lushness of those memories from last year remind me of this pair of polybells I made a while ago. I took polymer clay, formed it into two rough poddy bells, textured them against some piece of random organic matter, cured them in the oven, hand painted them with acrylics, and then sealed them. The mossy green pockets, slate blue peaks, and silver-kissed highlights bring to mind a deep craggy forest.

Hope you have a wonderful week while I'm off playing mountain woman!

Happy Wednesday,
LoveRoot on Etsy

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Sea Glass Love Sea Glass Earrings

I've been infatuated (in love?) with sea glass forever, I think. I love it as much as any bead or button. Maybe more so. Every piece is unique. Even if I manage to find the perfect piece in the just right shade of green (or whatever color I am seeking) finding another to match is a near impossible task. That's why when I do find two that go together, whether it be for size, color or shape, I am thrilled. And momentarily find peace. Until next time... and search again. 

This set features olive green, natural (found) sea glass, with carved (or etched) agate beads in a dark tomato red color that pairs well with micro-faceted garnet gemstones and tiny Swarovski crystals that dangle from pure silver nugget charms. Ear wires are handcrafted with over sized silver nugget, hammered ends. 

Are you interested in drilling your own sea glass? I have written up some helpful tips here: