Friday, January 20, 2017

We're All Ears :: January Reveal :: Greenery

Heather Powers of Humblebeads does an annual event called the Muffin Tin Challenge. The idea is to gather supplies to work on some projects and place them in the openings of a muffin tin. This is a great way to kickstart your creativity and get you back to creating in the new year after all the hubbub of the holidays has died down.

I didn't grab a muffin tin...I actually say that my entire studio is like a giant muffin tin....but I did manage to trip over trays of beads, muffin tin style, as I was attempting to clean up. So while I didn't really follow the muffin tin part of the challenge, I did use beads that I had lying around to kick-start my creative new year. Actually, I keep a sort of rotating muffin tin challenge happening all the time...when I get new art beads I comb my stash for the perfect accompaniments and put them in a bin or tray for me to stumble on at some later time, a ready-made creative challenge!

I first decided on a few of the palettes that Pantone selected for the Color of the Year: Greenery. Then I started with art beads and grabbed complementary beads that were on each palette. My only requirement was that a fresh shade of green had to be in each pair of earrings. I didn't quite make a whole tray full of muffins, but I did end up making seven pairs. Yea, me!

Which pairing is your favorite?

Time for you to share what you made! This bright cheery green makes me joyful that Spring is not that far off! Let's make 2017 a year of creative joy!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Center Of Attention

Have you heard about the Muffin Tin Challenge on Heather Powers' Humble Beads blog It's a way of kick-starting your creative juices at the start of the new year. I decided to participate, for the 2nd time, this year.  You gather up all you need to complete 6-12 projects and place all the project components in each cup of the muffin tin.  Then whenever you have a moment, all you have to do is start creating, because you've already gathered up all the "ingredients" needed for your design.
My muffin tin.
Unfortunately a bout of bronchitis got in the way of completing the challenge in time.  However I did get 3 projects completed before the bronchial bug bit.  The earrings I ended up making kind of hopped from one muffin cup to another.  See the turquoise spikes (Suburban Girl Studio) on the top left?  They ended up getting paired with the beaded beads (Sue Beads) in the next muffin cup.
At 3 inches long, these guys are kind of drama queens!  This pair of earrings will be perfect for someone who has the confidence and poise to be the center of attention.  They're not gaudy and the narrow profile gives them a flattering line. But they definitely command attention - which I totally love about them.

What about you?  Do you prefer long or short earrings - or some of each?
 The Center Of Attention Earrings are now available in my shop.    

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Life is Change

"HEY. That thar's a piece o' wood hangin from yer ear..."

Why yes, yes it is. It's a twig of black walnut, to be exact. Cut into small segments, rounded at the ends, drilled through with a hole, and sealed with wax to help preserve the wood. 

Sometimes I wonder if I've taken my "back to roots" routine a little bit too far. In this example:

1. I love wood beads. 
2. Let's take it back a step to old ratty vintage wood beads. 
3. Oh, but wait, what if we went back even further to part of the tree branch itself and just made that into a mini log-bead? 

Lunacy? Inspiration? The line between the two is far thinner than we like to think.

For this long, swingy pair, I picked out a particularly luscious pair of lampwork glass headpins from dear friend Kim of NuminosityBeads. The swirled moss, sage, delft, and cloudy hues work perfectly to provide a habitat for the natural wood beads. Plump rounded blobs of blackened silver solder cap off the wood, while wee rusty metal bead caps crown each headpin. These are earthy, subtle stunners.

I ended up titling this pair "Life is Change". Because I'm sure this black walnut tree could have never dreamt, even in its wildest imagination, that it would one day end up adorning someone's ears.

Happy Wednesday!
LoveRoot on Etsy

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Rustic Leather

hello everyone! i almost always love sitting down to write this post. sometimes having very little to say. 😊 other times having way too much i want to say. today is somewhere in between.

i have a hurt arm right now, wrist and the underside of the forearm. it's not an injury, just overuse, i believe, and that has me a bit concerned but i refuse to think about it too much. i have not been working. i'm on day 12 (starting to really twitch now), trying to rest it as much as possible but everything we do uses the arms so it's challenging, and it's only gotten a bit better, so i'll have to think about what to do next. please excuse the lack of capitalization. it's easier for me to type without using the shift key right now. i apologize. 

the point though is that i have not created anything. i decided i would make something for my post, and i would do so without using wire, as it's the pliers that hurt the most. i love wire. love it. i am not afraid of the discomfort, i can deal with that; it's what the discomfort is telling me that concerns me, so pliers are out for a bit. well, maybe next week i'll give them a try. ;) i only have so much will power to stay away!

I have made designs without wire before, but i wanted to do something more than that. 

i have been very inspired by our own kristi bowman-gruel and lynn ferro in their use of paints and other coloring agents and have wanted to try my hand at it for awhile. i've had these leather pieces for almost two years! so yes, it's been a while. the pieces were made by melinda orr of ORRTEC. melinda is a very creative woman, and my hat is off to her after i worked painting leather, something she does all the time. i originally had purchased a pair of these leather wedges already painted. so beyond being inspired by melinda, kristi and lynn, they are likely similar to the pair melinda painted. she gave me instructions on how best to go about this, and the steps she takes. i did modify the leather pieces a bit. i won't go into the long story. There's nothing to learn from it, otherwise i would. ;)
so i did the painting over a few days. i painted the solid black background, front and back, and let that dry, really dry, and then did the painting in steps, basically by color as i decided what i wanted where. it wasn't the best thing for the arm, but i was not using pliers and that was my goal. i had what i thought were the thinnest brushes but i cut one of them to an even thinner point at the tip. the areas to paint in are very small. some of the areas required repainting with black when i "painted outside the lines." :) 
after all the painting was completed, again i let them thoroughly dry. using melinda's method, i took a piece of sandpaper to them to roughen them up and age them, and bring out some of the tan-colored leather underneath. 

I strung tiny copper-plated link chain between the 3 holes. then using waxed irish linen i hung just about the last of my stash of antique venetian glass beads, more than 100 years old. i have set aside two beads for myself but other than that, this is it of the good ones.  

The tops contain copper spacers and blue green picasso finish czech glass beads on linen also, then attached to a copper-plated flat spacer ring which accommodated both the linen and the black niobium ear wires. 

i did end up having to use pliers for the six copper links which the chain is attached to; it was not pleasant, and that was a sad moment for me. 

all in all it was a challenge, really. the painting was a painstaking process but very fun to see them become. i would will definitely paint again, hopefully sooner rather than later! 

as always, i am so grateful you stopped in to check us out. i thank you for letting me share my passion with you. i do hope this finds you all healthy and well.

thank you!

you can also visit me on facebook and instagram
be sure to leave a message or comment there and i will
send you a discount code for a first-time purchase! 😊

Monday, January 16, 2017

Longing For Colors

January. Where I live, in Stockholm Sweden, is very far north on our planet. We are on the same latitude as Alaska, Siberia and northern Canada (but our climate is much milder due to the golf stream). In the winter time we get very short days.  Oh, how I now long for brighter days, more daylight, sunshine ... and ... colors. Lots of colors. I really need it.

Beads and components are (from the bottom):
Handmade enameled yellow head pins by Barbara Lewis of PaintingWithFire
Copper heishi spacers (African)
Small copper tubes with circular pattern
Yellow opal Toho seed beads size 8
Opal white gilt lined seed beads size 6
Teal glass trade beads
Gaspeite rondelles (gaspeite is a rare and lovely semi-precious stone)
Again, yellow opal Toho seed beads size 8
Copper heishi spacers (African)
Swarovski Crystal facetted champagne colored rounds
Dark pink matte Matsuno seed beads size 8
Handmade oxidized copper earrings hooks

All my best,
Malin de Koning

Please contact me if you are interested in any jewelry of mine that isn't yet listed in my Etsy Shop. (I am known for my delayed listings procedure. So sorry for that.)

Friday, January 13, 2017

How long?

This week I set myself a challenge to make my longest pair of earrings yet .  These enamelled seahorse charms I'd received from Kaz Baildon a few days ago were small and thin enough for me to start building upon. 

I wire wrapped some hoops matching the seed colours to those on the charms w/o making them 'too matchy matchy' and attached the seahorse charms.

Next I added the oval brass blanks on top of the wrapped hoops followed by the filigree tubes on top.  But it didn't look right so I added the big brass rings behind the wrapped hoops and oval blanks.  The length at this point was just over 4 1/2" which is not long enough in my opinion as I've made longer earrings in the past.  Maybe I should have taken photos of each step?  Something for the next post perhaps.
I spent a long time trying to figure out ways in which I could make these longer - to no avail 😓.  I gave up however they still didn't look right.  I showed them to my husband and he also said there was something missing - there was too much brass between the wrapped hoops and filigree tubes.  I added the little red flower drops which did the trick.

So here they are, long earrings for most people I think but I failed in creating my longest pair - again something I can work on for a future post so all is not lost 😄.

These earrings are now listed on Etsy.  See you again in a couple of weeks time. 

Suhana 💜💜💖

My etsy shop: Buttoned Up Beads

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Tonal-Color Blingy Fun!

Hi! I have had the privilege of introducing Meridy Migchelbrink, designer/creator and owner of TwoTreesStudio, to you previously as a guest contributor. I am so very happy to be introducing her now as one of our new regular contributors to Earrings Everyday! You likely already know that Meridy's style is beautifully unique. I am very happy she has joined us.

Hi, everyone, Meridy Migchelbrink of Two Trees Studio here--Happy New Year to you all!  This is my first time here as a regular poster on Earrings Everyday, and I'm happy and honored (if a little nervous!) to be a part of the talented designers and lovely people here and to share my newest 2017 earrings.

Because this is my maiden voyage, I thought with these earrings I'd try something I never do. I set myself a specific challenge, rather than what I usually do: fall in love with a component or bead (or what I like to call the "lightning bolt" school of inspiration, ha!). I decided my criteria would be:

1. Tonal-color elements, that is, all elements in tones of the same color (copper accents excepted).

2. Bling!
3. Grace.
4. A touch of whimsy.

These 25 x 10mm blue hammered brass oval links from the fabulous Shannon German of MissFickleMedia were my starting point:

Their lines are graceful, clean, and simple…perfect to build upon. 

So I gathered up the rest of my turquoisey/teal elements. 

I found these 2-mm Celsian Czech glass beads at (and also added a few non-Celsian beads from my stash in different shades of blue for contrast):

Then I gathered up from my own bead hoard blue Czech glass bell flowers, tiny teal glass tulip flowers, blue rhinestone rondelles, scalloped copper bead caps, and teal-blue Irish waxed linen:

For those of you who are unfamiliar with my work, I make a lot of my earrings with fiber rather than wire, and generally the technique doesn’t take a whole lot longer than wirework construction does.  As you can see in the photos of the earrings, the beads are strung on the thread/cord, and in these earrings the wrapped section ends just at the top of the first 2-mm bead.  These earrings took longer to make only because it was unusually tricky to get the cord wrapped and secured exactly the way I wanted it to.  I was literally sweating it, but it came together in the end--whew!  Wipes brow.  ;)

I was especially pleased with the wave-pattern repetition of scallops in the sets of flower beads, the rhinestone rondelles, and the copper bead caps.  I hadn’t consciously chosen those beads for that reason, but something must have been at work subconsciously!  Consciously, I just liked how they looked together, and that's good enough for me too.  :)  

Thanks so much for looking! My wish for you all is a peaceful, happy, and creative 2017. I'd love to hear what you think about my whimsical Mermaids or about anything Earrings-ish. I'm grateful to be a member of this group...and I'll be back in a couple of weeks with something new! xo Meridy