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Thursday, September 21, 2017

Dragonflies and Faux Australian Koroit Opals

One thing about suffering from a chronic illness, I end up spending a lot of time (sadly) laying down, thinking and designing things in my head. One of things I do is work through various creative ideas in my brain, and try to work out all the kinks so that when I feel well enough, then I can actually implement things quickly. Kind of like hitting the ground running.

So, among the many ideas swirling around in my coconut, the idea of making some 'faux' Australian Koroit Opals had been swimming in there for quite some time. I figured it was time to try it out, and see what happens! Yay!!

So this is what I ended up with. I made several oval-shaped faux opals (some smaller, and these slightly larger ones), and picked a pair to use in these dragonfly earrings:

Faux Koroit Boulder Opals Sterling Silver Dragonfly Earrings by Nathalie Lesage

I'm also fond of charm necklaces, but wanted to make some 'charm earrings' since we're all about earrings here. Extremely lightweight (gotta love Polymer clay for reducing the weight on our earlobes!) these cuties are ready to play and explore the world with you! These measure 2.5" tall x 1" wide.

http://www.MyGardenOfLove.Etsy.com


I used some 20g Sterling Silver wire to make the hoops, added a bit of textures while cold-forging, and decided to go with a pair of fun twisted sterling silver jump rings to suspend my faux opals. I kept the rest simple (truth: I made these quickly before running out of light to take pictures and write this post..... haven't been well at all lately)... so fun little Sterling dragonflies, and a few sparkling Czech glass beads became part of this little party.

I'm happy on how these turned out, but I want to try again and go a bit finer on the chunks of host-rock (the brown areas) I think. It's definitely fun, and I'll keep at it. Practice makes perfect!

I have a showcase planned on FB for October 1st. I'll be selling some faux opals and other polymer clay handmade jewelry components (Search for the Handmade Beads and Findings FB group to discover lots of great handmade jewelry components makers!).

In the meantime, these earrings can be found in my Etsy shop HERE, along with other jewelry supplies. I've started to list some of my personal gemstones collection on Etsy too. I'm just too unwell to make much jewelry, and I need to part with some of my stash.

Have a wonderful weekend! I can't believe September is almost done already...

Cheers,
Nathalie
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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Green Eyes and a Heart Of Gold





Hello, beady peeps!  Loralee here, so nice to be back!


One of the coolest discoveries I made at The Bead & Button Show this year was that Golem Design Studio  came out with a smaller size lentil bead, and it's perfect for earrings!  

Below is one of the sets that I purchased.  The folk art pattern is just so warm and friendly.  

I played around with a few ideas but that green looked so amazing with brass that I knew in an instant I didn't need to look further.  I then layered some decorative wire on top of the hammered discs. Since the wire was also shiny brass, I decided to add some patina paint to make them stand out a bit. 





Here are some small round Golem beads that paired wonderfully with  drops from Josephine Beads!   Don't they look like gourds?  The colors and pattern of the charms are like tribal, meets autumn, meets a 1970's kitchen!!  They just make you feel good.





While looking through photos I ran across this pair I did a couple of years ago. The colors just had to be included in this blog post, right?!  Rich green and the warmth of brass again...perfect. These etched and extra crusty glass beads are the creation of Kay Mallery.  So much texture like Roman glass.  Kay's beads are ones that I reach for time and time again.

I wanted each piece to stand out on their own so I made extra large hoops in the center.  I think it makes an interesting look.




I'm am so happy it's autumn, I feel totally alive!  I'm crazy in love with this season.

I'll be back in a couple of weeks!  See you then!

Loralee xo

Loralee Kolton Jewerly - artful in beads



Tuesday, September 19, 2017

My New Finds

Hello everyone! Jetta here, filling in for the lovely Norbel :)

I recently found these adorable tin charms by Star Spirit Studios. I am always on the look out for new and unique beads to go crazy over. I loved the way they looked and ordered 4 pairs.

I immediately fell in love with how they felt in my hands when they arrived. They are light weight and so easy to work with in lovely color palettes.



These have got to be my favorite pair of the four. The tin charms have a cherry flower pattern that made me think of Japan. I stacked red and grey lampwork beads from Jodie Marshall with black patina wire dangles from Miss Fickle Media.








The next pair have some beautiful powder blue flower tins. The dark blue lampwork beads are again from Jodie Marshall and the mint blue lampwork beads from Glass by Leese. I just wanted to finish them off simply so decided on some dainty Vintaj chain loops. And since the tins were a bit bigger than the others I chose tiny ear wires.








Another red pair I just saw circles when I looked at them! Va-voom red flowers on these tins I coupled with yummy red African recycled glass rings. But the red glass rings seemed lonely so I found these black twisted rings from Fallen Angel Brass. I am thinking the black is too dark. I haven't decided yet whether I will play with my patinas to lighten them or not


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The last pair are these cuties. I fell in love with these first, they have all the colors I am crazy about.
This was the last pair I turned into earrings so I went simple with orange enamel bead caps from Gardanne Beads and bright pink hand painted acrylic flowers from Vintage Meadows Artworks.

I love finding new artisan beads. But just as exciting, I got to use my older artisan beads, too!!

I hope you have a great week and it is jam packed with creativity and beads,
Jetta

Belt It Out!

I am participating in a upcycled art show in February.  A friend gave me an old belt of her husband's, that I might use as a base for a bracelet, for the show.  But in the meantime, I decided to do a little warm-up practice and make a pair of earrings with a section of the belt.
On the left, you can see that the belt was in really bad shape.  The woven pieces were so worn out, that they were useless.  So I decided to see what would happen if I removed them.  To my surprise, there was the underlying structure you see on the right, above.  All those holes!  Oooo!  I knew I could use those.  Each of my earrings today, consist of a strip of belt, containing two small holes and one larger hole.
I attached my ceramic ovals to the upper small hole.  The glaze I used on the ovals turns green and blue in random places during firing, so each piece is always unique. Then, I created dark green tassels to dangle from the lower hole. I finished them off with handmade brass ear wires.
On a different note - Washington and Oregon were blessed with rain today after several dry months and terrible wildfires.  The fires are not only devastatingly destructive, but the smoke has caused lung and eye problems as well.  My heart goes out to everyone who has experienced the opposite problem, with torrential rains and tornadoes.  Stay safe friends.
https://lindalandig.indiemade.com/

Monday, September 18, 2017

The joy of copper washers!

So, I decided to order some copper washers and have a go at using them in some earring designs. These versatile little copper hoops aren't just great for plumbing -oh no! The joy of bashing them with a hammer to give them texture, and oxidising them to give them added depth of colour, sanding them back to get just the shade of warm coppery goodness i want, and then waxing them to seal all of that prettiness in. Well, actually it was fairly laborious, but worth it! I wanted to show you a couple of slightly different designs using them.

Both of these pairs of earrings feature gorgeous enamelled discs by the fabulous Kimberley Rogers of Numinosity Beads and earwires by Lucy Haslam (a professional copper basher) of  Faerystone. This first pair echo the warm coppery tones of the copper washers, and I just added a jump ring wrapped with teeny tiny coppery seed beads.



This second pair have such a pretty lilac colour on the discs. I thought I'd pick this up in the lilac seed beads. Finished these off with some semi-wrapped handmade copper hoops from a design by Cindy Wimmer of  The Missing Link (a great wire-wrapping book)

Hope you like them! They'll be available over on The Jewellery Show on Facebook on the 25th Sept. See you in a couple of weeks

Friday, September 15, 2017

We're All Ears :: September :: Here Comes the Sun{flower}

Sunflowers never fail to cheer.

Today, I stopped at the local farmer's market downtown on the Square and picked up a humongous bouquet of fresh flowers. I was attracted by the bright colors, the gorgeous purple cabbage roses and the mini sunflowers. I had enough flowers to make three smaller bouquets that I shared with office-mates and the financial firm next door (I won the Packer pool last week, so I felt that I should share the love!), and one large one that graced my desk all day. All for $6. It makes me smile to see it.


In making the sunflower earrings for this challenge I wanted to focus on the iconic yellow and black tones of the blooms. That was kind of hard to do since I don't often buy yellow....anything!


I found these little neglected ceramic drops in the dark recesses of my printer's cabinet drawers, white with black polka dots, from Jennifer Heynen of Jangles. She isn't even making beads anymore (she is a brilliant fabric designer and quilter), and she hasn't been to the Bead & Button Show in many years, so these are practically vintage and totally one of a kind! I paired them with some frosted faux sea glass in a sunny honey color, wrapped up in blackened steel.

Next up I pulled out some new charms that I just made as part of my Papilio line, inspired by butterfly wings in macro photography for the challenge over on the Art Bead Scene Studio (come see our new website and you can read about my behind the scenes inspirations!). Yellow is a hard color for me and I don't have a lot of beads in that color, so this was serendipity that I had just made these. I like making a stack or grouping of spacers. Of course, they work well as a bumper between beads, adding texture, but together they pack a punch. Finishing it off with a golden Swarovski gives this just enough bling that ties in with the flecks of glitter in the wing charms.


Finally, I pulled out some enameled drops and mixed up some yellows and oranges, attaching them to an oval ring that recalls the shape of sunflower seeds. Up close the rings remind me of the black sunflower seeds in the center of the head. I like the movement they have even though they are very simple. I think I might have to wear these today for a pop of sunshine as I move about!


Now it is your turn to show off your sunny accessories! Add your links to blog posts or even Facebook or other sharing site below. Looking forward to seeing where this sunny inspiration takes you!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Gift of the Mermaid


I recently came upon these gorgeous enameled components in Raida Disbrow's Etsy shop, Havana Beads...


...and a dialogue started between my head and my heart.

Heart:  Oh, my gosh, those are GORGEOUS.  Look at those colors!
Head:  Ohhh, but those can be such a pain to work with. They're handmade--those things are never even, you have to fight to get them to hang straight--
Heart:  But I've got beads the same color as those little violet-pink dots!!  And lots of pink rondelles--
Head:  --hey, come to think of it, there's that stash of rhodolite garnets that haven't been used in about seven years!




That argument didn't last long.


Since I did have a goodly stash of little Czech glass rondelles in various shades of pink, the garnets, and sterling silver beads, jump rings, and headpins, I gave in to the lure of the Boho chandelier earring--and I loved it. Now that my heart has helped my head get over its jitters, I aim to make more. 💗

And, funny thing--they do hang straight after all.  😉

Gift of the Mermaid

Thanks so much for reading!  I'll be back in two weeks.
 
xoxo
Meridy
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