Wednesday, November 28, 2018

In Praise of Patina.

Today I'd like to welcome as our guest my very good friend and partner in crime Lucy Haslam. For those of you who don't know Lucy - she's not only one of the kindest people you could wish to meet but also a basher of metal and twiddler of wire par excellence. She has made me some of the most innovative components I've ever used in my own work. But she also makes jewellery herself, so let's shine a light on her!

                                                                Lindsay x 

Hi, I'm Lucy from Faerystone and I would like to thank these lovely ladies for asking me to join you today. I've been making jewellery and findings for a few years now and love nothing more than twiddling wire and bashing metal. When I was asked to guest here I had soooo many ideas, but what stuck in my mind was patina....I love it! 

Both these pairs are made with sterling silver wire and sheet which I have cut, soldered and hammered. The little Ruffles are discs of silver that I have twiddled and bashed to give them a wrinkly feel. The little discs have been dimpled and the rings hammered and soldered.

The thing is both sets are made using the exact same silver wire, metal and gemstones (well, ok I did substitute black onyx instead of rock crystal on the dark ones) but other than that the rock crystal rondelles and the labradorite faceted drops are the same.
Here the silver is left pure and clean, the gemstones look frosty and clear. Glamorous sparkly party earrings. 
But as soon as I add my dark patina they change the mood - dark and gothic, the gemstones look misty and moody, the silver now darkened has a deeper sheen, a darker soul.
And this is what I love about patina, a bit like me and my friend Lindsay Philipson, she's all dark and goth and I'm all light and magical lololo. (ed. - what rubbish) 
Thank you for having me ladies, its been such fun. These earrings will be available in our A Christmas Carol show on The Very Nice Group page. It would be lovely to see you there.
Love Lucy.

In the Bleak Midwinter

A little bit previous this week, as it isn't really yet midwinter nor is it particularly bleak - more wet and windy up in the north of England. I have Christmas Carols on the brain though - our village Christmas tree lights are being switched on this weekend, I'm helping organise a Christmas Fair in our village hall on Sunday and next week we have our carol concert. But possibly my favourite event will be my next on line jewellery show, this time with a Christmas Carol theme.

My friend Helen Backhouse has recently begun adding ceramics to her repertoire of polymer clay and metal components. Just as you'd expect from her, organic in shape and beautifully glazed. As tester in chief, I made these, which I have named In the Bleak Midwinter.

They're textured using a stone I brought back from Greece this summer. Cool blues and steel grey, echoed by lampwork headpins from Linda Newnham and steely chain, with 'magic' glass beads above which would be happily at home on your Christmas tree. Lots of copper wire and earwires made by Lucy Haslam.

These will be included in our show in our Facebook group The Very Nice Group on 8th December. Do join us!  

I shall be back tomorrow to introduce Lucy Haslam, writing her first guest post. Hope you'll pop in and welcome her.

                                                                        Lindsay x

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Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Is it Spring yet?

I know I know, we're barely in to fall/winter but I think these will definitely get you in the mood for Spring!!
Monarch Butterfly Wing Earrings
I've paired my Handpainted Monarch wings with wonderful dotted Kazuri beads, a match made in heaven!

Rainbow Butterfly Earrings
These Rainbow wings have been paired with some of my favorite Rainbow Lampwork Beads!
Amber Butterfly Earrings
Three rough and rugged Amber Nuggets are sheer perfection!!!

All of these and more available on my website!


Monday, November 26, 2018

Rustic Charm

I decided to make a set of earrings featuring enamel components by Brumedeterre. I just love their rustic charm and fabulous colours. For the first pair I have matched the enamel charms with rustic lava free form lampwork beads by Natalya Darlin that perfectly highlight the orange and blue colours. Then, I couldn’t resist using Kerstin’s hand-beaded caps as a kind of crown, again the deep orange colour is perfect and I feel that it adds a tribal feel. To finish off I added some Czech glass beads.

For the second pair I have used these enamels, again by Brumedeterre with a fabulous daisy petal design in strikingly contrasting colours. I found the perfect lampwork beads to match, these bubble beads by Joanne Joyce and finished off by using copper beads and bead caps as a balance with the other colours.

For my final pair I chose to use these very striking enamels, again with a daisy petal design. The exposed copper on half with the use of a flower stamp is a lovely touch I think. After having a good search through my lampwork stash I found these gorgeous beads by Australian artisan Susan Clarkson which I combined with copper bead caps and spacers.

Thank you for reading, you can find my designs at Nicola Morse - Jewellery & components.

Friday, November 23, 2018

Pixie beans

Little pixie bean faces by Green Girl Studios were the inspiration for today's earrings.  As always my original plan didn't work.  I wire wrapped cup chain on to some brass circles with a length of cup chain hanging from either side.  The pixie beans on the stick connectors were meant to hang from the middle of the circle framed by cup chain on either side.  It worked in my head but not in practice.  Unfortunately I don't have any photos to show you my failed attempts. I scrapped that idea...after spending at least 2 hours on it.  By this time I was ready to give up and make some simple earrings. I chose these hammered silver plated brass caps....and decided to do some stacking using more caps, spacers, rings and flowers.  

The earrings looked ok but nothing out of the ordinary.  I needed to make them look a bit more special.  I punched some holes on to the silver caps and added glass flowers and brass stars.  This seemed to do the trick.  I was finally happy with the outcome.

Here's another view.

And that is all for today.  These earrings are now on Etsy.  Have a lovely weekend.

Suhana <3

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Gratitude and Joy

In the U.S., today is a day officially set aside for giving thanks.  Thanksgiving Day was designated a federal holiday in 1863, during the American Civil War, to be celebrated each year on the fourth Thursday in November.

Well, as it happens, the fourth Thursday of the month is one of my regular blog days here at EE.  So I thought I'd share a few thoughts about thankfulness and gratitude...and maybe show off a new pair of earrings too. 😊

Long ago I was taught the benefits of an "attitude of gratitude," being grateful for the good things in your life, no matter how small, instead of focusing on the negative.  Being actively grateful takes some effort and retraining of the mind. Meditation is, of course, an excellent mind-trainer (and mind-quietener), but I learned that even just making lists of things I'm thankful for is a good (and easy) way to start.

So on this day I'm thankful for all of you EE readers and writers and for creators and appreciators of beauty in all its different forms. And I'm sharing these joyful, whimsical earrings on this day because I'm grateful that I had the opportunity to make them. 

Recipe for the Earrings

Colorful dotted charms by Nicola Morse
Dotted golden hollow glass rounds by Beth Mellor  
Orchid lampwork glass discs by Beth Mellor
4-mm faceted purple garnet coins
Gold-filled bead caps, Swarovski crystal rondelles
Gold-filled ear wires

💗 Thank you, Nicola and Beth! 💗

Thank you for reading...and Happy Thanksgiving!


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Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Bits & Pieces

I have saved all the bits and pieces from past projects for (at least) the past ten years!  I use mainly vintage chain because I'm so in love with the natural patina and quality, like the tube links above.  I'm embarrassed to tell you though, just how long it took me to find the right way to connect these so they would hang correctly and not turn.  Sure, it looks easy... sigh!  As I'm sure you know, each project has it's own challenges no matter how simple it may appear!  lol

These lovely enamel charms are by Cathleen Zaring of Blue Hare Artwear.  I remember seeing them in her shop and nearly jumping out of my chair!  I'm especially fond of her rustic work like these.  That beautiful celadon peaking out of white enamel and pops of dark copper - swoon!  I also had perfectly matched tin-cut crystals from the 1930's - The size and cut are perfect and doesn't interfere with the enamel design but still adds so much life.

These vintage tin charms by Tracy DiPiazza Metalworks are so well made.  They are double faced so no matter which way you turn them they show the same image- how great for short or pulled back hair!  She also solders the edges so there are no sharp or rough spots.  Tracy's attention to detail is just one of the reasons I love her.  That might be an understatement - I lovessssss her soooo much!  Last year I purchased one of her necklaces and I've never been able to put it away, I just leave it in an open box on my dresser so I can look at it as I pass by- I kid you not!  :D

Again, I used all sorts of vintage bits of chain, links, and connectors.  The oval ornate jump-rings below have a slight twist and were originally one long chain. Adding them gave a bit of dimension, especially since the overall design is very flat.

Many thanks for taking the time to pop in! I'll be back in a couple of weeks!

Loralee xo

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Gorgeous ceramics

Hello! My turn on the blog again. Mojo has been lacking recently -too many things to do, and creative pursuits are always the first things to be shelved. But this morning, I had some time. And the mojo returned! 

Looking in my stash for some inspiration for this blog, I came across some seriously beautiful discs from the magnificent Claire Lockwood of Something to do with your hands. As always, with Claire's work -the colours and glazes on these ceramics are stunning. I worked on these gorgeous deep purple discs first.
I thought Jana Bliznakova's wonderfully tribal stoneware beads added a nice contrast to the glossy purple of  Claire's little concave discs. I added some pretty czech glass teardrops, brass chain and some purple glass spacers. 

For this next pair, Claire's ceramic discs were the starting point again. A gorgeous blue-green glaze on these. 

A dash of czech glass again (this time a little green flower in the centre of the discs) with more chain and a wrapped green czech glass teardrop. I went with some rustic, chunky African recycled glass beads this time. 

They will be in my etsy shop. Hope you like them. See you in December :-)

Friday, November 16, 2018

We're All Ears :: Reveal :: Cornucopia

I have to confess that so many things came up between that first week in November and this eve of the reveal that I almost missed doing anything at all. I had lofty ideas of making teeny-tiny little fruit and vegetables in polymer clay cascading from a cone. But alas, my ideas and my time didn't match up.

So after I finished up a last minute graphic design project for our gallery, and realizing that I couldn't show up to my own party empty-handed, I looked around and my eyes spied this air-chased piece of copper that had a great texture.

I thought that perhaps I could do a very simple abstract design based on the horn shape and set about to fashion just that. Coiling and then manipulating with my fingers, I made them into my very own Horn of Plenty. If I had had more time I think I could have put some dangling beads that look like apples and grapes and wheat and pumpkins cascading out of the horn, but I quite like the simple style of these cornucopias that would remind me to share all my plentiful blessings with those I meet.

What did you decide to focus on? The iconic shape? The abundance of fruits? Do share!

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Super duos

Ahhhh, the tiny little wonders of seed beads.
As you might know already I love to work with tiny seed beads. The colors, the shapes and sizes, they give endless possibilities.  When I find myself without inspiration I return back to bead weaving and bead embroidery. Somehow, working with the little ones relaxes my mind and brings back my mojo.
Here are two examples of earrings I made with beautiful lampwork beads made by Karen Kordan.
I found the basis for this design in this tutorial on youtube by Beadifulnights. I adjusted it a bit and it is really easy to make.

Here the lampwork beads have beautiful purple, blue and green hues. I paired them with iris black magatama's, super duo's in two colors pink, turquoise AB crystals and rose gold delica's. Of course with handmade ear wires by my friend Lucy Haslam.

The lampwork beads in these earrings have orange, yellow and brown hues with silver sparkles. I paired them with black super duo's, Swarovski diamond black AB crystals, topaz Delica's and ear wires by Lucy.

These will be available in my show on Facebook on December 3 :)

Thank you so much for looking and your support for Earrings Everyday :)
And you know I love to read your comments, so don't be shy and leave some words.
See you in two weeks.

Wishing you all a wonderful day, full of joy, laughter and tiny little wonders,
Esfera Jewelry

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Buttoned Up

It's getting chillier out there! I was looking through some old photos this week, and found a picture from one of my blog posts this time last year. I had discovered Dorset buttons and now I had  a sudden urge to make another pair.
Traditionally made in Dorset, southern England from 1622 onwards, the buttons were a cottage industry where all the family - mum, kids, and dad when he returned home from the fields - would work on them, and sell to the local gentry. They're still a Heritage Craft and I got mine from Gilleoin of Woolrush on Etsy. Made in Scotland with hand spun and dyed wool, the frame is now plastic rather than the original ramshorn.    

They're a great blend of lilac and orange wools so I highlighted both colours - orange recycled sari silk to add even more texture, and the double lampwork headpins in lilac are from Kimberly Rogers at Numinosity. Those chunky copper ball end headpins and earwires are by Lucy Haslam, who's going to write a guest blog on here in a couple of weeks time. 

                                                   A little bit of cosy for your ears!

See you again  in a couple of weeks - in the meantime, keep warm and dry; stay buttoned up!
Lindsay x

Tuesday, November 13, 2018


Carly Simon's song, Anticipation, keeps running through my mind these days because our daughter and her husband are expecting a baby daughter any day now. This grandma is very excited. Every time the phone rings, I'm anticipating it will be them, announcing the start of labor. ( Nothing has happened so far.)
Simon's song was in my head when I made these earrings too. Each season brings with it the anticipation of the changes ahead.  Some of my Facebook friends are already posting photos of snow.  Here, in the Pacific Northwest, we still have colorful leaves clinging to some trees, while others are already bare.  Its a time of transition, of anticipation of cozy nights ahead, spent near a fire, reading a good book.
The gorgeous lampwork leaves, the green beads and enameled bead caps are all made by Sue Kennedy of Sue Beads.  The fancy wrapped ear wires were made by Joan Moritz-Langmo of  Handmade by JGL.   The Anticipation Earrings are available in my shop now.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Nature and Design

This is my second post here, the first as a ‘proper’ member and I’m very excited to be able to contribute.

I have chosen to create these two pairs of earrings using porcelain components from one of my favourite artisans, Melissa Gabelle at The Clay Hen. Her pieces are influenced by natural forms and I like her strong sense of design.

The first pair I created using Melissa’s porcelain paddles. Chartreuse green is a colour I love so decided to echo this in the other components I used. The hand-beaded beads match perfectly and add an extra texture to the design whilst the glass beads echo the strong design element in black and white. Also added are lampwork spacer beads and Czech glass flowers.

For the second pair of earrings I have used Melissa’s porcelain petals, again with a strong black and white polka dot pattern. With these I thought it would be nice to introduce another colour to compliment them and although I’m not really a pink person I thought the ceramic melon beads by 'Golem Design Studio' where perfect especially with the black stripes. Once again I echoed the colours in the other smaller elements. The black patina ear wires in both designs are by Louise Goodchild.

I hope you like my designs, thank you for reading. I will be listing them for sale in my FB group - Nicola Morse - Jewellery & components

Friday, November 9, 2018

Tree of Life

Whenever I have an EE blog post due I try and challenge myself to use things I may have bought on a whim.  These Tree of Life charms are one of these buys.  The components were already made up...I wasn't sure how much I could add except wire wrapping some seeds and cup chain to the hoop areas.  But I do that a lot anyway.  And I have done it again in these but I've tried my best to add more interest to them. I have to admit, by the time I finished the second pair I had tonnes of ideas swimming around in my head.   

1.  For the first pair I started by wrapping chain on the hoop (I had absolutely no idea where I was going with this btw) mimicking a previous design (see photo below).  This wasn't working as the chain I used in the older design was smaller and easier to wrap.  I improvised by cutting 4 lengths of chain and wrapping them on to the hoop separately.  I then continued with cup chain leaving a long tail at the end which seemed to compliment the chain lengths on the opposite side.  The design wasn't balanced yet.  Flowers always come to my rescue when I need to balance a design out and they did again here.  I added a single purple flower on the same side as the cup chain then another on the longest chain length.  For the top part I found these polymer flowers - very rare now as this artist (Elise Canning) no longer makes them.  

(previous design featuring porcelain discs by Claire Lockwood)

2. For this pair I decided to keep things a bit shorter, the first pair measures 6" (yikes).  I did my usual cup chain wrapping, then went around the frame again with more wire and seeds.  I added some Elise Canning flowers on top to complete the look.  Oh I forgot to mention, I had these components painted prior to wrapping.  One tree ended up in rainbow colours (because I loooove rainbows) and the other one purple and white gold.  

I hope you like my 'Tree of Life' earrings.  These are now listed on Etsy.  See you soon <3


My Etsy Shop: Suhana Hart Jewellery

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Color Play

Early on in my life as a jewelry designer, I learned that my favorite part of designing was working with color, with line/shape/proportion coming in as a close second, followed by texture.  It's true to this day.  It's probably not too surprising--who doesn't love color, after all?

But I found that I enjoyed the study of color, of what colors complemented what others and what colors really didn't work well together.  For instance, in the earrings below, the beautiful dagger charms by Inviciti were a gently dissonant pink-and-orange, as were the streaky little glass rondelles by Beth Mellor, and I very specifically chose the tiny aqua-green rondelles to go with them, in direct complement to the rest of the color palette.

In contrast, these cityscape earrings, left, are an example of color matching, using lampwork glass, Czech glass, and Swarovski crystal beads in the same colors found in the vibrant charms by Marlene Kazor Quigley that are used in the earrings.

The earrings below, however, started out with a lot of color.  The first items I had to start my earrings were Kristi Bowman's rainbow-painted copper charms, which are so colorful that they could almost be the earrings' entire focus of color.  But I wanted more color. 😄💗

The wonderful Beth Mellor helped feed my color craving by making these gorgeous encased lampwork beads, with their ripples of color and little dark sine-wave-like scribbles.  She also made the beautiful orange glass rondelles.  💗

So...I got a little more color, and I think it works.  In fact, it feels autumnal, and that was a surprise.  Interesting...  
These earrings are available at Two Trees Studio.

Thanks so much for reading.  💗
See you in two weeks!  

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Faux Vintage Tin

Tin has become increasingly popular and recently I have discovered artists that are making their own! 

Faux tin cicada charms featuring original drawings by Heather Powers.  Heather has workshops where she teaches this craft.  I've been lucky to attend some and it's a fascinating process. It can be quite a labor intensive with all the cutting and filing but with the help of Jess, her husband, they make the most beautifully finished pieces which are smooth like butter.

 Teal lampwork glass with 24k gold leaf and very old ornate vintage chain dangling from the bottom.  Oh, this chain - can we all just pause and appreciate this for a moment - ahh.  I've never been able to get my hands on more, but I'm always searching!

Charms made from salvaged tin embellished with vintage decals by Marina Rios.  Marina has a completely different approach which is partially done over a flame!  She has a wonderful tutorial you can purchase in her Etsy shop.  I've attached a link to name above.

I paired these lovely woodland charms with some roughed up connectors and added small touches of gold leafing to bring out the detail.  I added some long chain with crystals attached at the bottom for some weight, movement, and sparkle.

Oh, and I almost forgot to show you the backs!  Butterflies!  Beautiful on both sides!

So that's me for today.  I'll be back in two weeks with another pair of tin charms and perhaps some enamel :D  Try to contain yourselves...Hahaha!

Loralee xo