Friday, June 22, 2018

Wings 'N' Roses

Hello everyone,  Today I'm sharing 3 variations of one of my favourite designs.  I've been meaning to revisit this design for a while but never got round to it.  It's very very very very fiddly work and requires a loooot of patience.  I managed to make 3 pairs!!  Hope you like them :)

In this pair I've used up my last Claire Lockwood moth wings *eek* which hang from my wire wrapped hoops. Sitting above are polymer roses by Neli Da. The fringe/tassel is made up of black plated brass chain, antiqued cup chain and waxed Irish linen cord

Kim Snider wings hang from wrapped hoops with roses on top.  In this pair I've used raw brass chain and antiqued cup chain with sari silk underneath. 

Lastly, enamelled wings by Felicitas Wilhelm with roses and hoops.  The tassel is made of antiqued cup chain and waxed Irish linen cord.  

These will be available in my shared show with the lovely Nicola Morse next Thursday (28thh) in The Jewellery Show FB group.  Hope you can join us.  see you again soon <3

Suhana Hart

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Welcome Wild Woman Beads!

Our first-time guest today is Meredith Jordan, designer and creator behind WildWomanBeads. Thank you for joining us, Meredith!

Pulling thoughts together to write this blog, I  had a good laugh as I tried to describe the almost whimsical way I go about creating a pair of earrings. Some of you are sure to laugh along with me as you recognize yourselves in my process. Let me start with the search for components.

There are so many gifted component artists in our bead community who keep upping their game at what they make for us to use in jewelry designs, and, most often, there’s  considerable competition to claim some for our own designs. I recently watched a show in which one component artist sold every component pair seconds after they posted. There must have been twenty or more designers following the show with trigger fingers itching to BIN.
As I have watched wonderful, colorful, creative components come into view and vogue, I made a decision that I would choose only components that truly made my heart sing. I knew I would never be the fastest person to BIN. I need to look at a component and pay attention to the colors, textures and design. If they make me come alive, gasp or jump for joy, I go for it and sometimes come out the winning binner. If they don’t make my heart sing, they weren’t mine to work with, no matter how much I may want something from that artist’s collection.

This takes time. Sometimes, to be true to my own ideas and designs, I have to pry my fingers off the keyboard before buying something just because it was beautiful. I have to train myself to listen for the “still, small voice” inside me that says, “Oh, yes, these are for you!”

This is my nature as an artist. I’m an introvert, and my reference point is necessarily an internal one. I simply ask myself, “Do these beads (or charms) bring me joy?”and wait for an answer. Doing this, I sometimes pass on some glorious components because, if I don’t swoon at the sight of them, they are obviously intended for someone else. On the other hand, I might come across something that rings my chimes, and I’ll leap, even if I have no idea what I’m going to do with it. It may sit in my collection for weeks or years until a day I open a box to find I already have the perfect bead for my next project.

Which brings us to a project. I have to be moved to create something by the intrigue of the components themselves (which is why choosing which components to use is such an important first step). I rarely carve out designated time to create. I can be in my nightgown, on the way to bed, when I take a last look at my table, and suddenly, it’s one in the morning, and I’ve just finished a new pair of earrings. Or I could be stumbling into the kitchen in the early morning, thinking about breakfast, when I glance at the table and discover that a new pair of beads is a delicious match for charms that have been sitting on my table for weeks.

It’s lunchtime before I look up again, and the pup is begging for a walk. It’s not this way all the time. Sometimes I brood over someone’s new beads, charms or headpins, trying to force myself to design something fresh. But the best of my designs come from those times when I just wait patiently for that inner voice to sound out. 

(This is also one of the perils of having an in-house studio through which I must pass to reach any other part of my sweet little home.)

If I’m making a pair of earrings, the beads will talk to me. I hear a very clear “No, that’s not it,” when I put something together that’s “good enough” but not quite what sets my heart to dancing. I’ll hear a sigh of relief when I take a piece apart and move the beads around until I find that sweet spot where it’s “just right.”

Here’s what I’ve learned in my 15 years as a designer: There’s a voice inside that guides my work: an inner compass, a muse, my True North. If I fall into a rabbit hole of wanting whatever is popular at the moment, whether components or designs, I may turn out something good, it may even sell, but I’m left without the sense of delight I feel when I’ve paid attention to the components that sing to me, listen to the beads speak, and find my way to a final design that I’m truly proud and happy to send off to a customer.

Of course, we all create in order to sell our wares, and I don’t mean to trivialize that as important to our lives and our families. I just mean to say the deep satisfaction found in living the artist’s way, or life, comes (at least for me) when I remain true to my own true creative nature, when I follow as it speaks to me, and when I humbly bow to honor the joyful artist that lives within.

I'm ending with a happy shout out to some of my favorite component artists, whose work inspired the earrings you see here: Cathleen Zaring, Kelly Luttrell, Kristi Bowman, Paula Kroft. Vincent and Nooma Cav, Emily Ciaurro, Jana Severin, Sasha Crow, Kristin Louthan, Jeni Houser Alasad, Sabrina Koebel, Carolyn Driver, Helen Backhouse and Nicola Morse!

Thank you for stopping by today. 

Meredith Jordan - Wild Woman Beads
Wild Woman Beads on Facebook
Meredith Jordan on Pinterest

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Happy Ending For The Bride & Groom!

While preparing for their wedding day, this June bride and groom experienced a near tragedy!  *Gasp!

Either the agate bead had a hidden flaw, or pressure from the steel wire wrapping was too tight for the etched Dzi bead and it crumbled right in my hand.

I thought of a couple of options, but as you know, you don't get a second chance wrapping lampwork headpins.  Once you've made the commitment (like our happy couple, here) there's no turning back!

Even before the mishap, I had wanted to bring more warm gold tones into the design.  So, I decided to do a fabric wrapped bead in a mellow gold tone wire on a dark background.  I had also thought of stacking ornate open jump-rings but there would be too much gold on one side; this had better balance.

I think the Mr. is looking even more dapper now.  I love this design far better than the original!  Now they compliment one another and each has their own individual style - like every couple should. 


Umm, it's honeymoon time...we should be leaving now I'm thinkin'.

I hope if you experience a mishap while working, you'll think of it as a challenge!  You may discover a new technique or come out with an even better design!  I believe many refer to it as a "happy accident".

The amazing skulls were made by Gaea Cannaday of Gaea Handmade.

The lampwork headpins are the creations of Kimberly Rogers of Numinosity Beads.

Many thanks for stopping by today, it's always a joy to be here and show you what's happening on my work table!

Loralee xo

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Keeping it simple

So, I've had these beautiful ceramic pieces by Spanish artist Mari Carmen Rodriguez Martinez of Majoyoal in my beady stash for a while. The colours and texture of Mari's work are so striking -beautifully luscious! They always make me think of summer, perhaps because i often have pieces with me when i go to Spain on holiday (yes, I take beads with me when i go away!) and they have a very Spanish feel to them.

It's fun to think of new designs and different ways of using components. However, sometimes I like to keep it simple....less is more, right?

Recently, I got some new lilac recycled chunks, which i thought would go beautifully with Mari's indigo ceramic charms. Pretty seed beads accent the ceramic and glass components, and some stainless steel earwires for contrast

 This next pair have aqua green recycled glass chunks. The same simple design to show off those beautiful charms
Both pairs will be available in my next Facebook showcase over on The Earrings Show on 30th June. See you in a couple of weeks

Friday, June 15, 2018

We're All Ears :: June Reveal :: Kaleidoscope

I am not only up to my eyeballs in colorful clay patterns, making charms and pendants and jewelry and mobiles for my upcoming exhibit (goes up in 2 weeks! Yikes!) but I am also on the road! So this will have to be short but sweet.

I brought along my treasure trove of bezels filled with clay to get busy making into jewelry this weekend. ("Time to make the donuts!")

Polymer clay creations waiting to be made into jewelry!

I started with some earring pairs that I pulled out and managed to whip up three simple pairs of earrings. Each of these is made with polymer clay in three different techniques, in different shaped bezels, in different metal tones.

Natasha Bead veneer

Mokume Gane veneer

Stroeppel Cane veneer

The colorful clay in these patterns and colors reminds me of the swirling, psychedelic transforming colors inside those little tin kaleidoscopes that I played with as a kid. And thinking of that makes me happy. I hope that people will think happy thoughts when they wear these little baubles!

What did you make inspired by kaleidoscopes? Your turn!


Thursday, June 14, 2018

Okay, I Admit It: I'm Really Not Crazy About Wrapping Briolettes ❤

I didn't realize until today that I didn't have any new earrings to present for my blog post this week. I usually make earrings for my blog post several days ahead of time and then write my post the day before it posts, but this time I just didn't have anything ready.   I haven't been making many new things for a while because of a lingering bronchitis and its resultant lack of energy, but this morning I remembered that I had a pair of beautiful daisy connectors by Wild Raven Studio and a pair of lovely carnelian briolettes from, so I thought I might work up a quick pair of earrings.

With sterling silver wire, I added a pair of pretty Czech glass rondelles in a deep orange-yellow to the daisy connectors and added the briolettes to the bottom of the wire as well. 

I talk about adding these briolettes as if it's no big deal, but, for me, wrapping briolettes never seems to be easy.  I rarely wrap briolettes, so when I do I always seem to fumble my way through it.  Seriously.  It took me three tries to get these done to my (barely passable) satisfaction.  And I did each one differently, so before these earrings are ready to go into my shop they'll have to be redone so the brios are wrapped the same way.  Sigh.  But still, they're kind of pretty, aren't they?  

These earrings feel like summer...lightweight, colorful, and lovely.  I hope your June is feeling lightweight and lovely too!  

Thanks for reading!  I'll be back in a couple of weeks!  ❤


Wednesday, June 13, 2018

The Merchant of Venice

I got up this morning with absolutely no idea what to make or talk about for today's post. Once grandson no. 1 is off to school with enough packed lunch to feed an army I like to have a coffee or three and peruse Facebook to see what's new. What should pop up in my memories of 12th June but the Instagram photos I took in Venice this time last year. Seems ages ago I was there. 

On every corner of the city you can see street vendors selling carnival masks - cheap holiday souvenirs of Venice's iconic imagery. But wander into the back streets behind Piazza San Marco and find the real mask shops - traditional, hand made from papier mache and hand painted. Here you will find the most amazing works of art - especially in the back rooms, where the assistants wear white cotton gloves to show you, and they cost thousands, ready to be loaned out at Carnival time each February.

So I decided to give you a preview of a pair of earrings I had planned for my next joint show with Helen Backhouse, Lucy Haslam and Jeni Houser Alasad. On 24th June, we've called it 'A Midsummer Night's Dream and other Tales from The Bard.' I love working to a theme, and these are, of course, to represent The Merchant of Venice.

I had ordered the fabulous beaded masks from Ellie Bead and wasn't disappointed.  Perfect little Venetian masks, all scarlet, gold and black. The lampwork beads (aka pound of flesh, sorry if you're squeamish!) are from Kimberly Rogers, and the black chalcedony represents Shylock's black heart.
Aha, you say - but was Shylock wholly to blame, or was he the victim of cultural and religious discrimination in 16thC Venice, merely fighting his corner? Shakespeare students, discuss.

Anyhow, they'll be available at our show in TheVery Nice Group on 24th/25th June, along with other Shakespearean themed delights - hope to see you there. And in the meantime, arrividerci Venezia!
Lindsay x