Sunday, April 5, 2020

We're All Ears :: Safer At Home

Hi, friend. How are you doing? No, really. How ARE you?

It has been a bit weird lately, to say the least. Last month I completely missed doing a challenge, and since each day is now like a week, it seems so long ago that I can't really recall. Is that a thing for you, too?

I wasn't sure that I would make this month either. Because, let's face Muse has left the building and no matter what I do, I can't seem to coax her back. Between the hand washing, and the meal prepping and the working from home, and making sure that my kids are doing their school work (they are college students so it is much easier on me, but we talk about how grateful our kids are grown at this point because you parents adding homeschooling to your days get a lot of praise!), and worrying if our elderly relatives are doing okay with not just the isolation but the loneliness....well, the last thing on my mind is actually creating.

No, wait. That isn't quite true. The FIRST thing on my mind is being creative! I even have a sticky note that I see every single day, and my home office is actually on the other side of my Bead Cave, which you would think would be an easy temptation.
Seafoam Squarepants says, "DO SOMETHING CREATIVE TODAY!"

But yet, I have not made one thing in the past three weeks. Not one. And that just has to change. This creative constipation stinks!

You see, creating is a life-giving action, no matter what you are doing. Creating generates endorphins* and those happy chemicals lighten your load and gives you a positive outlook on life.
(*I am not a scientist, but it sounds about right!)

So now is a great time to make something!

My daughter is a dancer, and we cleared out the living room for her dance studio. Even bought her a portable dance floor which really helps. Dancing is a great stress relief. In Wisconsin, we had a statewide dance party on Saturday afternoon at 3pm. Radio stations all across the state played the song "Jump Around" which a sort of unofficial Badger anthem. People all over the place went out in their driveways and on their front porch to do just that: jump around! So much fun!

She has also been baking a lot. Each week she makes us a new treat, usually cookies.

My son has been practicing his chipping game. We have a huge backyard, so there is a lot of room to chip and putt all over the place.

My husband has been doing all the yard work. That is sort of an unofficial hobby for him. Roto-tilling, raking, riding the lawn-mower. The yard looks ready to green up.

Me? Nothing much. Just trying to keep my family fed. And clear out my studio so that there is a space to even create a pair of earrings. In the process I am finding all sorts of things, which makes me think I should have a massive destash event because there is no way I could ever use all of these things myself!

The good news is that I really don't mind being at home so much. Aside from going to work every day, I really don't get out that much (and clearly I can work from home so now I think I should do that always). Since this local mandate started about a month ago, I can count on one hand the number of times I have gone about town. Our house is large enough that everyone has a space they can call their own, so that really helps, and I know we are lucky in that. But I do miss going out and about, or seeing friends. But the more we embrace this new normal (and I think it will be this way for a much longer time than we think), the better.

I hope that no matter where you are in the world that you are staying safe and healthy and positive and sane. Perhaps you are under some sort of mandatory or voluntary stay-at-home mandate. We all must be doing our part. Here in Wisconsin it is called "Safer At Home." I just wish that every one would abide by that so that we can all come together to fight this common enemy by standing {six feet} apart.

What does Home mean to you?

I have always argued that Home is not necessarily a place but more a state of mind, a feeling, and certainly not limited by four walls and a roof. But in these uncertain and odd times, Home is taking on a much greater and deeper meaning.

I hope that your Home is a safe haven, a comfort zone, a place where you want to be.

I am sure that Home is where you have a lot of memories, where the pantry is always stocked, where friends and family and pets come together to laugh and play, where the laundry always smells fresh, the counters are always cluttered, and the chaos of the everyday makes you smile.

I want to believe that everyone's home is a place of acceptance, security, and, most of all, love.

Make some earrings to represent HOME to you*. Come back on Friday, April 17th to show them off and it would be great to see pictures of your home as well!

*Thanks to Sarajo Wentling for the inspiration! 

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Strange times

Hello lovely earring fans,

I can imagine you have other things on your mind than earrings and I do hope you and your loved-ones are all healthy and safe.What strange and scary times we all are living in.

We are doing fine and staying in the Netherlands at the moment. My sister has been sick. There are not enough tests so she hasn't been tested, so we can't know for sure but the doctor suspects Covid-19. Luckily she only has mild symptoms but even with that she has been sick for 3 weeks already.
Well, enough of the misery, earrings are what you are here for, so here they are:

My collection of ceramic beads and charms made by Natalie McKenna of Grubbi Ceramics is increasing steadily. Look at these sweet earring charms.
Here is another pair, this time with wonderful butterflies:

Well, that's it for today. Thank you so much for visiting. Please stay safe and healthy. 
Wishing you a wonderful day,
Esfera Jewelry

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Sweet Bun-Buns

Joan Miller of Joan Miller Porcelain is the amazing talent behind these sweet little bunnies.  For me, the biggest design challenge working with Joan's pieces is enhancing without overpowering; adding just enough to the ongoing story. 

Atop are bunches of tiny hand-painted flowers. I love the contrast of the matte mottled metal against the glossy clean lines of the porcelain charms.  The copper accents are warm and mingle nicely with the color palette. The heavily oxidized ear-wires give balance to the dark outlined characters.

Below are hand-painted pewter bunny silhouette charms by Kelly Luttrell of Soul Relica.  I love the softened squared off clover shape, it's just perfect for a tiny rabbit portrait.

I've hoarded these matte floral cubes for years, again by Joan. They look great not only colorwise but in proportion and shape as well. 

My adorable plate was made by The Storybook Rabbit. If you've never checked her out you should!  

I've provided links to all :) 


Thank you so much for stopping my worktable today!!  Hoppy April, Y'all!

Loralee xo

Friday, March 27, 2020

Cute As A Button

Mismatched vintage red buttons that go 'sew' nicely with these unique bone connectors!  

Itty-bitty green vintage daisy spacers and oxidized copper wire.  

Handmade ear-wires by Joan Moritz Langmo

Thank you for stopping by to see what's happening on my worktable this week!  I'll be back on 4/2 with some sweet bunnies :)

Loralee xo

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Rock the Weekend

Strange days, aren't they? How to keep sane whilst isolated at home? Do I keep my little business running or not? Without creating, I'd go bonkers. More than that, creating adds a good dollop of mindfulness in a spinning world.
But we are not supposed to visit the Post Office unless essential and our village one has closed, so  a drive to the nearest town is needed.  Anyhow, I had orders to send to the US, so I sorted myself out and finally got to grips with paying on line for my postage, and printing address and customs labels. I shall go back to supporting my local Post Office when we come out the other side.
So on to the earrings. I'd had a marvellous strand of Mexican Sun Agate delivered - each piece a tiny world of colour and texture. At some point I intend to make a necklace with the majority, but in the meantime I couldn't resist picking out the more stunning pieces to make some earrings.

The sun agate lends itself to rustic designs, and goes well with jasper - picture or leopardskin - and rustic, crusty pearls. But you can make a statement pair just with brass wire and beaten brass square studs. Versatility! And as I'm lucky enough not need the additional income from my jewellery (being  a pensioner - doesn't feel too good at present, but there are upsides, trust me!) I'm donating all my profits to our local foodbank for the foreseeable future.
Stay safe everyone, look after yourselves and your families. See you soon.
Lindsay xx

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Harbinger Of Joy

 I always feel like spring is on the way when I see the first crocuses pushing up through the soil or peeking out from the snow. Spring flowers fill me with joy and hope (much needed these days).
The purple and yellow earrings I'm sharing this week remind me of the colors of these pretty, little crocuses. But they could also be reminders of purple Dutch irises, with their yellow centers or purple tulips with their vibrant yellow throats. All of these signal joy to me!
You probably recognize the polymer clay tube beads as being the work of Heather Powers, of Humble Beads. I paired them with hand enameled beads by Susan Kennedy of Sue Beads. I love the way the ribbing, in the metal beads, stands out as a contrasting texture. Buttery yellow ceramic floral bead caps and yellow faceted fire polish beads provide the accents.
Polymer clay is very lightweight and the enameled beads are hollow, so these earring are very comfortable to wear. You maybe thinking, "But who needs earrings now?" Well I have found that wearing a little handmade jewelry actually cheers me up a bit. There were a few of the early isolation days where I never got out of my PJs, but I still wore a blue stretch bracelet (hey, it matched my PJs, so why not?). I have resumed getting dressed daily and creating a normal daily routine, as much as possible. It helps. The Spring Crocus earrings can be found in my shop here.

I hope you and your loved ones are staying home and staying safe. Plus you are saving the lives of other vulnerable people, when you shelter at home. Hang in there and enjoy the spring flowers.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Charming Green Elephants

This is the season of renewal, the season of Green!  Elephants are a symbol of strength, power, and wisdom.

Vintage celluloid elephant charms circa the 1940s. 

Gorgeous polymer, tribal-inspired flowers by Kimberly Rogers of Numinosity.

Sweet little vintage buttons.

I hope you all have a good and safe week!  Keep the faith!

Loralee xo