Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Chrysanthemum Earrings

One of my Pandemic Projects has been cleaning and organizing my studio. It had gotten so bad that I had no space in which to work. Oh look! I've organized one corner!
I won't share any other studio pictures, as the rest is still a disaster zone. I'm taking it step by step, otherwise the task is too overwhelming. Anyway, while I was cleaning, I found a pair of earrings that I had started, but never finished. So I finished them up in time for today's post.
The copper shards are the work of Kristi Bowman Designs. They remind me of the rays of petals that circle the center of chrysanthemum blooms. I used enameled headpins by Sue Beads to wire on a pair of carved fluorite flowers. The fancy copper ear wires are by wire wizard, Joan Langmo. 
The Chrysanthemum Earrings are available on my website.
Do you have any Pandemic Projects you're working on? Let us know in the comments. Stay home and stay safe friends!

Monday, April 27, 2020

Brights With Dots and Stripes

I had a very different birthday yesterday because of the times we live in but I enjoyed it and managed to make three new pairs of earrings. I've been preparing for my next components show so decided to pick out some of my favourite designs for these earrings.

I make the components by hand painting the design onto wooden shapes and then use pyrography for the line work (for those who do not know this technique it is created by using a machine that heats a wire which is used to burn into wood.) The backs are painted black.

I have used a bold design for each pair of earrings. Recently I purchased fabulous lampwork beads by Magdalena Ruiz and some small striped acrylic spacer beads. For the first design I came up with this silhouette of a whimsical bird which has been matched up with the lampwork beads by Magdalena Ruiz, lampwork cups by Alisha White, acrylic and Czech glass spacers with metal bead caps.

For this next design I created a cute pig with a heart. I have used similar beads with the addition of headpins by Alisha White, Czech glass flower bead caps, lampwork spacers and acrylic striped spacers.

Finally, these cute sleeping cats that I  designed have also been matched up with lampwork by  Magdalena Ruiz and headpins by Alisha White, acrylic striped spacer beads, lampwork spacers and Czech glass flower bead caps.

Thank you for taking the time to read this, the earrings will be available in my FB group later today - Nicola Morse Jewellery & components.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020


Mooching around on my bead table this week, not knowing what to make for the blog. Needing the boost of something new when I hear our lovely postman coming up the path and whoa! My headpin order has arrived from Kim Rogers. And just look at those colours and textures! The swirls of acid green were crying out for the green Basha Beads.

I wanted to represent the Starlink satellites that are orbiting close to earth at the moment - my smaller grandson is sitting outside scanning the sky for them as I write.
The pale blue I picked out with roman glass; the larger, 'orbiting' black discs are coco shell and the smaller obsidian.

I hope Oscar got to spot the satellite; small boys' memories are made of moments like this. Hope to see you again  in two weeks - stay safe, everyone.

                                                                              Lindsay x

                                                                        My Etsy shop
                                                                       My facebook page
                                                                        My Instagram

Monday, April 20, 2020

Hoops again!

Hello! Hope you're all keeping safe and well.

Well, in these strange times I found myself reading too much news and getting rather overwhelmed with the state of things. So, I consciously took a step back, reduced my time checking the news and spent some time at my little workbench. The result? Feeling much better.

Now, I've mentioned in my  last contribution to the blog that my silver stash is dwindling, as my main supplier has shut their doors for a little while to keep their staff safe. And rightly so. So I have been looking at every little tiny bit of silver i have with new eyes! How can I turn this into something pretty? Will I have enough to make a pair of these? I have very little sheet left, and a little more wire -so, I thought I'd make some pretty hoops.

I love hoops. They feature in oh so many of my designs -old and new. Love their versatility -how they can be the main feature of a design, or simply an accompaniment to a striking component -be that an art bead or a gemstone.

Now, this pair are a gift for a fabulous friend who has cheered me on in my silver jewellery endeavours! They started out as a simple bit of wire, soldered at the top and shaped on a mandrel, with a little light hammering to harden their shape. I had some leftover semi-circles of silver from an earlier design, which just needed to be filed to to same shape and size, and then hammered to give them that pretty texture. Finally, soldered onto the hoops, oxidised and buffed to a shine -for a contemporary, but edgy look. Hope she likes them!
These others are made from slightly thicker pieces of sterling silver wire. I found a piece of beaded wire in my stash that I'd completely forgotten about, so once the hoops had been soldered and shaped. I cut the beaded wire in two, and wrapped it along the bottom half of each hoop. I made some earwires for this pair, and had a little of the beaded wire left, so added them around the join, just to embelish them and echo the main design.
So there we are! And if you don't have a torch for soldering, hoops are still so easy to make -you just need to know how to wrap wire, and have something to wrap the wire around! 

Hope you are finding something creative to do to keep you calm in these difficult times. Keep safe and well, and I'll be back in a couple of weeks


Friday, April 17, 2020

We're All Ears :: April Reveal :: Safer At Home

Hello bead peeps!

I am sorry to be a little late to my own party. And I am not prepared (!). I clearly have not been very good at mastering time management of late. I am ashamed that I have no earrings to show for this post, but I do have something creative to share. And as they say on Broadway...the Show Must Go On!

I didn't make any earrings, but I am very proud to say that my creative constipation has finally busted through! LOL! I did manage to make the first in what will become a series of mixed media mosaic assemblages, so that is what I am sharing with you today. And there is a little bit of earring tucked into it....

I have had these little house shapes for some time and more that are larger and smaller, as I really resonate with a house shape. I have wanted to make these into something for a long time but just couldn't figure out what.

Then I stumbled on the "leaning tower of discarded jewelry" which is really leaning and it is so large it is a tower in my studio that I literally stumbled into! I found a necklace that I had made back in 2014 as a sample for a video series that I did with Interweave called "Shimmering Garden" (that I see is still offered for download!). It was in the discard pile because it had been strung incorrectly and the flowers didn't hang right. But all good pieces, and nothing ever gets thrown away in my world! So I just took a scissors to it and started cutting. Those three large flowers were what I made in the video and were the perfect focals for this new project. From there it was just fun to find all the bits I had lying around to make this mosaic assemblage. Included in here are actual earrings that were in my mother's jewelry box. There was a whole bag of these unfortunate costume jewelry pieces from decades past (nothing valuable or sentimental), things I can't even fathom my mother would have worn, still I couldn't get rid of them. So even though I didn't make earrings, there are still earrings represented here!

These will become a series that I will debut at the Gallery Q when we do actually reopen. And now that I have made one, the flood gates of creativity are opening. Huzzah!

A picture of my home before when we bought it in late 2009.
When this home isolation mandate came down I embraced the change, even though it was hard. I thought that maybe I would tackle some creative projects I had been putting off. But no, that sadly hasn't happened. Yes, it has been a shock to the system, but it is clearly NOT the worst thing. Despite the negative connotations, the actual hardships that people are facing, and let's face it, the inconveniences that are seemingly the main thing that I see people griping about, this time on pause has made me appreciate more than ever all the blessings that I have in my life: my family, my friends, having a job, the food on my table, the health that we have, the beauty of nature all around us, the rising of community spirit, the undeniable worth of a positive outlook, scientific facts and discoveries that will carry us though, the value of seeking to learn something new every day.

My friend Shannon has been doing a Facebook live "Stories with Shannon" each week for little ones, complete with a story she reads, plus coloring and even yoga bits. It is simply delightful. She read a book about mindfulness called A World of Pausabilities this week and it really resonated with me. Pushing pause on our lives as we knew them is not the same as pushing stop. There are many opportunities to be had if we only take the time to look up and out and see how we are all tightly woven in our communities, local, state, country and world - dependent on each other for health and happiness. This mindfulness is what I hope to carry through to the other side, wherever and whenever that may be. So I ask you...

What do you hope to carry with you to the other side of this pause? 

If you were able to play along in this challenge, now is the time to share!

P.S. Today, April 17th at 2:00pm I will be doing my very first Facebook live with a little art project that anyone, anywhere can join in on. We will be doing Greeting Card Mosaics with paper. Would love to have you join me! It will be hosted on the CREATE Portage County Facebook page.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Statement Headpins

Some of my favorite pet projects are working on these asymmetrical headpin designs.  It gets my juices flowing - it's all freeform and sort of like a  game of word association (sort well, you know what I mean, right?  

These stunning vibrant lampwork headpins are by Kimberly Rogers of Numinosity Beads.  

This color combination is by far one of my favorites!

I decided to let the beads move freely on this particular design.  I made large loops at the top leaving space on the wire for movement.

I softened some of the bold colors by adding lovely vintage Miriam Haskell pink glass pearls and balanced the look by adding some spacers with bling.

Here is another example but in earth tones.

I think I'll call these "Twist and Shout"  lol

These organic, etched headpins are also by Kimberly Rogers.  I used recycled African glass with beautiful daisies, one big lustrous Miriam Haskell glass pearl, heavily oxidized spacers, and tiny AB crystals. 

Thank you for stopping by my worktable today!  See you back here in a couple of weeks!

Loralee xo

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Beyond the Fringe

Strange times continue. One of the few times I feel really at peace these days is sitting at my bead table, no news on, just listening to the birds outside for whom life is unchanged. So it's very good timing for this years #the100dayproject2020.  Post a piece of work each day on your Instagram  account and hashtag #the100dayproject2020. It'll be the third year running I've participated - can't promise that I'll do it every day, but it offers structure and motivation in a chaotic period.

Today was Day 1 and I chose to make something bright and cheerful. We all need it.

These gorgeous enamels are by Candan Imrak. I wired a fringe of rainbow haematite beads along the bottom edge together with a czech glass drop which perfectly matches the green in the enamels, as do the enamelled copper earwires by Lucy Haslam. Very flirty!

                             Please, all of you, stay safe till we meet again. And do think about joining in.

                                                                          Lindsay x

                                                                     My Instagram

Monday, April 6, 2020

Little stars and new beginnings

Hello Earring Folk!

Hope you are all keeping safe and well.

So all of this social isolation gives more time for reflection, and can act as a catalyst to make changes that have been percolating for a while...This has certainly been the case for me! After months of pondering pros and cons, I finally decided to close my etsy shop after 7 years. There have been changes there that have meant that traffic on the site has slowed considerably for my little shop over recent months. I was sad...but my jewellery style has been changing and this felt like a good time to make a fresh start. I'll be looking for a new forum to sell my pretties, but in the meantime, you can find me on Facebook and Instagram :-)

So these pretties are a recent make. I made these little connectors with some left over bits of silver. My go-to silver supplies shop is shut for  while, so I'm using every bit of silver I have! I added some pretty silver balls for detail, and then went looking for the perfect charms to accompany them.
I cannot remember the artist who created these little enamelled copper stars, but they work well with the silver, I think
They'll be available in my next showcase.

Look after yourselves, and stay indoors 

Sue xx

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