Saturday, February 28, 2009

Go Into Every Room...

Everyone is a house with four rooms, a physical, a mental, an emotional and a spiritual.

Most of us tend to live in one room most of the time, but unless we go into every room, every day, even if only to keep it aired, we are not a complete person.
- Indian Proverb

Friday, February 27, 2009

All the Colors in the Rainbow

I can't get enough color!

And just when I think I have a favorite...another makes my heart stop.

So you wouldn't think that someone with such a passion for color would have a difficult time thinking of inspiring color combinations for creative projects...right?


Pictured above is a readily available tool I sometimes use to help spark an idea, open my mind or simply choose a hue.

It is called a Color Deck or sometimes a Fan Deck and you can purchase them from your local paint and decorating shop. They are generally used to select paint colors.

They are an inexpensive and portable compact color library.

I am moved by the "feeling" that colors give me and if I am in need of a push...I can flip through the deck and something is bound to hit me!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Creating a Mood to Work By...

I love candles...

but after an incident when I was working late one night and accidentally left the candle burning for hours I have stopped using them in my office/studio.

Needless to say, I was a tad freaked out.

Then a wonderful friend gave me a package of these flame-less candles...and you know what? They flicker and have a warm glow...for sure not the real thing...but a safe alternative that can still help create a mood.

There have even been times when I have seen it out of the corner of my eye and forgot it was moving paper away from it or not passing my arm over it.

I have seen them in stores recently in a variety of colors, shapes and sizes and have even seen some that are scented!

Create a mood...but always with safety first.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Safe Storage

With kids and a very active American Eskimo dog...I needed a safe way to store small jewelry items.

I found this double level of storage works really well for little items.

I bought it at a national craft store and it wasn't real expensive. They are little individual round plastic containers with screw on tops...then they fit in a larger plastic tray with another lid. Double protection from an accidental fall or for travel.

I like how the containers are perfect for small quantities, special items or tiny findings. The fact that the small containers screw closed can keep sterling silver from tarnishing too.

I am a visual having clear containers is vital for me . Out of sight - out of mind really applies to my crafting personality!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A New life for Return Address Labels

Custom printed return address labels are easy to find and very inexpensive.

I use them for lots of things...fragile stickers for my packages, labels for merchandise, customer information labels, business announcements, company bio stickers and I have even printed them "two up" and cut them in half to use for tiny packages.

There are many online companies that offer them and the company I use allows me to upload photos which is great to promote my work. With many colors and templates they can coordinate with any style.

So think outside of the box...(or envelope!)

Monday, February 23, 2009

It's my Birthday...Yea!

The summit of happiness is reached when a person is ready to be what he is.
- Erasmus

I am grateful to be finding myself...(after 41 years)
Better late than never, right?

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Earring Week Wrap Up - Using What You Have

Ah, the final day of my "Earring Week" series.

I hope I have given you all some food for thought and a bit of inspiration.

I guess the biggest theme I want you to take away from this last week of posts is to "use what you have".

New, old, left over, stuff that isn't specifically made for jewelry, etc... just play and find ways to combine components that you have. The worth of the finished piece doesn't come from expensive or rare is from YOU and your spirit.

The earrings above are a good example of using what you have.
A few left over beads dangling on a large jump ring...unified by the same color.
Hanging from sterling silver ear wires to finish the look.

Inexpensive, wearable and most definitely "gift-able"!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Earring Week - Day 6 - On the Wild Side

Day 6 in my "Week of Earrings" series...

I think these earrings are a good example of combining unlikely themes to create something unexpected and a little whimsical.

Using the detailed, metal, vintage sunflower charms with the black and white, plastic, animal print beads, I think, gives the plastic beads some credibility.

Still fun but not like children's dress up jewelry...which could easily happen with black and white plastic!

In this case, I like how the shapes of the components are both graphic but completely different.

Hanging from sterling silver ear wires, these earrings are youthful but still appropriate for any age.

P.S....Happy Birthday Mom!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Earring Week - Day 5 -Butterflies are (almost) Free

Welcome to day 5 in my "Week of Earrings" series...

These make me think of spring!

The most simple and cost conscious earrings you can make. I found little charms (which are two sided) at my national arts and crafts store. I just liked them and the fact that they had special words on the Hope, Love, Bloom, etc...they look like small paintings.

The yellow glass beads sitting on top are also readily available at most art or craft stores...and come in a myriad of colors.

As with my post on the first day of "Earring Week" these earrings have a shape that is echoed with the oval and round. I think there is something pleasing to the eye about that repeat of the curve.

If you are afraid of color a good trick is to pick one component with a pattern and then choose one color from that pattern for your accent beads.

With the earrings above, by choosing a less dominant color (the yellow) and not the obvious color (the purple) I think it makes the earrings look more interesting and artsy. I think it also brings out the detail in the pattern.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Earring Week - Day 4 - Flying Saucers

Out of this world...the 4th post in my "Week of Earrings" series.

Combining a variety of shapes and textures make these little earrings fun.

By utilizing some surplus vintage beads and a couple of left over mother of pearl disks, I kept the materials cost of these earrings very low. Perfect for my client.

I loved the mellow, aged finish on the vintage round beads and how that worked with the cool sheen of the mother of pearl.

Hung from sterling silver ear wires the Bali beads really finished the look.

Poke around in your bead stash and see what left overs you can put to good use.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Earring Week - Day 3 - Custom Scrolls

This is the third day in my "Week of Earring" series...

A simple concept for these earrings...find a way to use an unexpected, very inexpensive material in a sophisticated way.

With some decorative paper and plastic tubing (that plumbers use) I created these sweet, very light weight earrings.

Small vintage heart charms dangle at the bottom and supply a little movement.

Suspended from sterling silver ear wires, no one would guess that the largest component in these earrings actually came from the hardware store!

Get creative and mix everyday items with some pretty beads.
Create your own vision of beauty.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Earring Week - Day 2 - It's in the Stars

With a little silver plate wire, some loops and some scroll designs, these bright red, plastic star beads are given a higher purpose.

The second post during my "Week of Earrings", I think that these illustrate my point that you don't need expensive materials to make fun, artistic jewelry.

I read an artists bio once that said he would rather have the value of the piece of art come from his work and not the materials used to create the art.

I agree...the value comes from the human component not the fancy supplies.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Earring Week - Kick Off!

Simple earring designs to inspire you...

I had recently knocked out a huge amount of simple earrings for a store I sell to here in Rhode Island.

They weren't the type of earrings that take a lot of time or that have expensive materials.
They were simply, fun, artistic, handmade earrings at affordable prices. They filled a need my client had for a certain price point and customer.

This week I thought I would post something new and do a kind of series highlighting a few pair of earrings from this batch.

I want to show you that you don't need special materials to create special pieces. Most of the materials (or similar versions) I used for these earrings are readily available at craft stores.

Enjoy a week of earrings!

The earrings above are very simple. By paying attention to scale and repeating the square/rectangle shape there is a balance to the design. They reminded me of little perfume bottles. Metal beads like the one I used on the top are available everywhere now and the blue stone can be replace with your favorite color!

Hung from sterling silver ear wires they look custom and elegant.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

All Strapped Up Earrings

Trying something new...

I loved these little, two toned disks but I wanted a different way to hang them.

While rummaging around in my box of ribbons I came across this shiny, braided cord.
I wasn't sure how...but I wanted to use them together.

After playing around with ideas and flipping through some magazines this is what I came up with. I used ribbon ends to create a loop that the disks dangle from.

They are light as a feather and I like how they look a little industrial.

They will be in my Etsy shop soon!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Is a Background Just a Background?

Learning through trial and error...

For me, photography is still a big learning experience.

I don't really know about lighting and exposure, all I have to say is thank God for digital cameras!

Before being able to view and delete pictures instantly my film developing bills were huge.
Plus it was such a waste of time and energy trying to get the right shots...for me it was sort of hit or miss.

Anyway, now it is becoming fun...and I like playing around with backgrounds.

Above is a good example of how different a mood of a piece of jewelry can be just by changing the background and nothing else.

I think the first one (on the stone slab) makes the necklace look earthy, a little ethnic and brings out the natural element of the focal stone.

The second (on the white) makes the necklace appear more graphic and geometric. I think it highlights the center focal piece.

And the third (on the red) makes the necklace look bold and the white mother of pearl, square beads really pop.

One necklace...three moods...just because of the background.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Feeling Intimidated Artistically?


After the game,the king and the pawn go into the same box.
- Italian Proverb

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A Learning Process - Golden Dots

A fun experiment...

I had been holding on to some gold PMC (Precious Metal Clay) for a very long time.
Mostly because I was scared to use it!

Well not too long ago I decided to just bite the bullet and go for it.

I made several pieces where I added accents of the gold to fine silver.
It was actually really fun and pretty easy...I feel kind of silly that I was so intimidated by it.

These earring are one of the things I did and some other items will be in my Etsy shop soon.

I like the matte finish of the gold and how it looks melded together. I think it added some interest to otherwise plain earrings.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Peter Rabbit Nursery Mural

A sweet scene...

I hand painted this small spot mural in a new baby's room.
It was several years ago but it brings back good memories when I look at it.

My client selected the scene from a favorite book and it was such a pleasure to recreate it for her.

I was happy with the result and I hope her child enjoyed it.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Designing Artwork for my Fingerprint Charms

These were some sketches (thumbnails) of ideas I was playing around with when I was trying to do a logo type thing for my newly designed fingerprint charms.
Below is what I ended up with but you can see where it evolved from.
I wanted something that would incorporate the graphic pattern of the fingerprint and that would symbolize love and a heart connection.
I was happy with how this came out. I like the clean lines and the kind of organic silhouette of the heart.
I find that doing a bunch of "thumbnails" or small black and white sketches helps me explore thoughts and ideas. They are fun to look back at too.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Pretty Containers for Pretty Supplies

I love my jewelry supplies!

Sometimes I don't want to use them because I like looking at them so much.

One thing that I have really changed in the last few years is how I store them and how I set up my studio.

I enjoy finding pretty containers, boxes and trays to jeep my findings and beads in. Like the small beaded box above (from an import store) it makes me happy to be surrounded by pretty items.

I could have used any old thing to store my buttons but when I reach for this smooth, shiny box, it makes me feel good.

I think it's important to take pride in your surroundings and give yourself little treats.
They don't have to be expensive or elaborate as long as they speak to you.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Twittering, Tweeting, Tweets...

Well, I have joined the ranks on Twitter...

Come follow me at

I am not quite sure what it's all about yet but we shall see...

Let me know if I can follow you too!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Necessity - The Mother of Jewelry Design!

Ok, so math isn't my thing.

With my new need to be able to figure out time in another part of the country I went on a search to find a watch with two faces.

"No problem" I thought...just run to the store and choose from a selection of styles.

Well, I guess that fad that was around several years ago no longer exists because after visiting many stores I came home with not even one option!

I poked around online but really felt like I needed to be able to try them on.

Then it hit me...I am a jewelry designer...duh.

So I purchased two retail watches that had faces I liked and that would fit my small wrist...yea, I know I could have bought the watch faces wholesale from a jewelry supplier...but I am slightly impatient and in need of instant gratification. Plus these were on sale.

They both had stretchy bracelet style bands, which I promptly removed. I attached them together with several jump rings and added a black leather band.

Voila! A custom, two faced none other.

I am the white and my husband is the black.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Acknowledgement Feels Great!

I had such a wonderful surprise last week when I opened my email and found that Pearl from the inspirational website "The Beading Gem" had selected my blog to receive the "Lemonade Award".

"What is the Lemonade Award?" you might say...

The Lemonade award is given for gratitude and attitude.

The rules are:

1.Put the logo on your blog or post
2.Nominate blogs that show great Gratitude and/or Attitude and link to your post.
3. Let them know they have received this award by leaving a comment on their blog.

Isn't that the coolest?

It made my day.

Thank you Pearl!

Please visit
and see all of the great content on her site!

Below is the very thoughtful blurb she wrote about my site...

Pamela Vale is a multi-talented artist who lives up to the name of her shop and blog for she is just a-bubbling with lots of ideas. Like me, she also believes you can make great jewelry from unusual materials such as a bracelet a clear plastic tubing stuffed with pretty yarns. Dipping into her past posts, you can find off-centred wire worked bails, trompe l'oeil paintings, artwork, home decor and a series of antique store finds such as this jewelry display. Her artistic eye also results in some clever jewelry photography ideas such as using scrapbook props (not paper). Her floating earring photo shoot was really cool! She does indeed see potential in everything around her. So thank you for inspiring us all.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Slow Down and Enjoy Your Craft

Take a deep breath, have a cup of tea, light a candle...

Often I can find myself rushing through projects with my sights set on the next thing on my list instead of being present to what is actually in my hands.

Sometimes that is ok...sometimes I need to just plow through several things sort of like cleaning out my engine or when you have to turn the can of spray paint over to clear the nozzle.

But generally I believe that it is better to be more deliberate and in tune with the present moment, especially creatively.

There are those times where I am totally aware of everything around me... the way things feel, look, smell and that's when I feel a connection between my art and my self.

This picture makes me smile whenever I see it. Our dog, Nilak, runs so fast she is like a blur. I don't want to power through my life like that. I want to experience my life.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Scrapbooking Cutting Tools for Jewelry Making?

The right tool can make your life easier!

I did a series of jewelry pieces where I incorporated photographs and decorative papers.

At first I liked the process of cutting the papers and photographs by hand with a knife or tiny scissors and really taking the time to get each shape just how I wanted it.

That novelty quickly wore off and soon I was on a mission to find tools that could help me expedite that part of the process.

My large national arts and crafts store was the answer.

In the scrap booking section there is an entire wall of cutting tools and accessories!

Not really needing to get sucked into another craft I stayed away from the big machine type models and opted for the simple hand held cutter like the one pictured above. I was able to use a 40% off coupon and each time I went back I added to my shape collection.

They are available in many decorative shapes and sizes and can really fit any crafty need you might have.

It made my life easier and I was able to more fully enjoy my creative process.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

The Creative Power of Love and Support

Today is my 11th wedding anniversary! Yea!

I just wanted to take a moment to thank my spectacular husband for all of the creative juice he gives me. It makes a huge difference for me to have the unconditional love and support of my partner.

He allows me to explore and experiment with whatever my current whim is and never crushes an matter how weird it might seem. (and I have tested that)

He provides a safe environment for me to flourish and grow as an artist.

My art comes from a place of love and he is a big reason why.