Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Monday, March 30, 2009
The color and detail are so obvious in this photo and would never have been so true inside...even with my light box.
Now that the weather should be getting better - grab some props, your camera and your creations and head outside.
It can make taking clear, detailed jewelry photos so much easier...especially with natural stones that might show reflections of artificial lights.
I know...lugging your stuff can be a pain...so plan to do several pieces in each shoot.
I am no photo expert but try not to photograph in direct sunlight...a sunny day with a little shade is great...and always use a tripod.
Sunday, March 29, 2009
This pretty, hand made glass sculpture was given new life.
There was something so ethereal about this piece when I found it...it reminded me of the ocean and I knew I needed to rescue it!
I held on to it for a while...not really sure what I wanted to do with it.
Then I found these iridescent beads and that was it.
I knew I wanted to keep it simple and not distract from the beauty of the pendant. I think these beads did the job perfectly. They highlight the colors and have the same watery feeling. They are delicate without being to flimsy looking for the weight of the pendant.
It brings me joy to have been able to give new life to the wonderful artwork of a fellow artist!
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Friday, March 27, 2009
I purchased them online with other items and just wasn't inspired when I actually got them. The were pretty but much smaller than I thought they would be and consequently have been sitting in one of my drawers since.
Then, while I was playing around with some wire I made these little "egg-nests" in gold and silver...a ha! I had an idea...I covered the traditional and uninspiring loop on top of the little charms with the tornado of multi-colored wire and bingo...delicate, interesting...current hand made earrings!
I finished the look with hand made sterling silver ear wires.
I really enjoy mixing things up...industrial with delicate...vintage with sleek...ethnic with machine-made, etc...
As I have said before, I am inspired by real life...and in real life stuff is mixed! That is definitely part of my artistic style.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
I think when there aren't a lot of details the clean design can get lost in a photo.
This is the perfect example of that...
I had the hardest time photographing this collection...necklaces, bracelets and earrings featuring skinny leather lacing with Swaorvski Crystal accents...but then this picture happened and I saw things in a new light.
I think the way the necklace is laying looks like a heart...which was a complete accident.
I like the shadow showing too...I think it makes it look a little graphic.
This showed me that in a photo, the simple shape of the piece can be visually pleasing and that might be enough.
I have been having fun learning about photographing jewelry...this was just another of many lessons!
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Then...inspired by Styrofoam packaging for electronics, I devised a workable solution.
I purchased a shallow, clear, hinged-topped box and cut a piece of Styrofoam to fit snugly inside. With the back of a paintbrush I made indentations at regular intervals...like little wells for the button shanks. With buttons in many shapes and sizes, figuring out the right spacing was a little tricky and my first attempt was hidden by turning the piece of Styrofoam over in the container and trying again!
The covered box keeps the buttons dust free - but as I have said many times before...for me, with my tools and supplies, out of sight, out of mind...so that is why I chose a clear box.
The buttons lay face up...unless I knock the box over...which I have done.
I find that knowing what I have allows for creative freedom...and helps me not to purchase duplicate supplies!
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Monday, March 23, 2009
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Sometimes, to me, costly materials can kill creative freedom.
At a jewelry show I stumbled on a company called Para Wire. They had a huge display of shiny, colorful wires in a variety of gauges. Their wire is coated, tarnish-free, plated and is so much fun to use.
Because of the lower cost their is no pressure when using a lot of wire or making mistakes...I felt free to experiment. It also helped with the final cost of my jewelry creations when I was able to incorporate it in my designs.
It is available in the traditional finishes as well as an array of beautiful, bright colors. The wire can be worked like regular wire...hammered, bent, formed, etc...which was great for making hand made hooks and clasps.
I don't have their contact information right now but I am sure if you google the name you will find a supplier.
Have fun experimenting!
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Friday, March 20, 2009
and it is everywhere.
I am feeling so inspired by all of the beautiful colors and patterns in the stores right now.
Maybe a trip to your local mall might spark some color combinations or styles for your upcoming creations.
While I do find a lot of inspiration in nature, I also find inspiration in other peoples designs.
Shopping to see what's out there helps keep me current and might even make me think of designs I might not have thought of on my own!
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
It was included in a gift basket I won at the silent auction fundraiser for my son's school last year.
At the time, feeling a little stuck creatively, the title intrigued me.
I am not a big reader but I couldn't put the book down!
I highly recommend it for anyone that just wants to get closer to being their true authentic self...and that might not be happy with the course their life is on right now.
Perfect for a winter day stuck in the house...or in a few months...for the beach!
Monday, March 16, 2009
Sunday, March 15, 2009
but the funny thing is, I often forget it's there.
Then I go to look for a scrap of paper to make a note or sketch something and I have to hunt.
For me...out of sight is out of mind...with "things". I am not sure why but if it isn't right in front of me I can completely forget about it.
I know a notebook is a great tool...and when I do remember it's there I LOVE using it...but if I keep it tucked in with just the spiral binding showing...I will forget!
Not really sure what the solution is...as I can't leave everything flat on the table in front of me.
I guess maybe it's a tool that I will have to get use to using...if I remember!
Saturday, March 14, 2009
I wasn't sure what I wanted to do with this large shell pendant. It is bold and needed something that could support the scale without overpowering it.
I knew I didn't want it to be all natural and obvious...but then I found these vintage, faceted, slate colored, plastic beads and it hit me.They look old and a little worn...like maybe they were discovered in some sunken treasure and the color was perfect.
They had an interesting shape and the translucent quality gave them depth.I thought they were big enough to work with the pendant but still looked light and airy.
A nice frame to highlight a natural work of art.
Friday, March 13, 2009
I think Mother Nature is the most fantastic artist!
Turning to nature is a great way to gain inspiration for color combinations, shapes, textures, patterns, etc...not to mention the actual raw materials that you can incorporate into your creations.
I think there are no mistakes in art...as in nature.
The next time you feel blocked creatively, maybe looking at a beautiful landscape, a colorful flower or a sparkly stone will help you get past it effortlessly.
Thursday, March 12, 2009
I had the best time exploring and experimenting...trying new techniques.
It was a lot of fun and very rewarding creatively.
PMC opened a whole new world of jewelry making to me.
I could created a piece of art in a precious metal with very few tools, in a short period of time...great when you are someone who needs instant gratification!
Above are some of my first PMC creations.
A little rough - but still an expression of "me".
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Monday, March 9, 2009
I found this ring at a resale shop and was completely draw to the sparkle...some of which gets lost in the photo.
The stones are older and have so much life when the light hits them! The marquis shape of the stones remind me of another time...like some fabulous night at a supper club.
The setting and the band looked small and a bit "dated" so when I got it home I decided to embellish it a little...
I wire wrapped the band and around the base of the focal piece.
I wanted it kind of messy and raw looking...the opposite of what the ring was originally intended to be.
I used silver plate wire and hammered it to flatten.
I think it gave the ring a little more weight and interest...so much so that I am keeping it for myself!
Sunday, March 8, 2009
Pretty beads...interesting beads.
I find that having a small bin or in my case a small drawer right next to my work table is the perfect place to collect all of those treasures.
I love rummaging through my loose bead drawer when I am I need of that one odd focal bead.
They are all sparkly and colorful!
It is a great place to collect beads for smaller projects like earring too.
At one point I tried to separate them into size categories but that was too much work.
Now I just toss them all together and when I need something small I know to dig down to the bottom for sunken treasures!
Saturday, March 7, 2009
- Mahatma Gandhi
Try slowing down creatively with a detailed project...like a mosaic or knitting.
Enjoy the process and soak in the simplicity of the movements. Something repetitive can be very calming and comforting.
Try something new just for the newness of it...let your mind wander.
Friday, March 6, 2009
I LOVE knitting and I have a bunch of knitting needles in a variety of diameters and materials.
I find them useful for so many jewelry projects.
The obvious one is for wire wrapping...the larger diameter is great for hand made sterling silver ear wires and the thinner ones are good for making coils or jump rings.
I have also used them to braid fibers or leather laces by tying one end on to the needle and holding it in between my knees so that it would keep the strands taught while I braided. The needles with the thick cap on the end keep the strands from sliding off while you are working on them.
I think they are pretty to look at too..I keep mine on my jewelry table sanding up in a pretty cut glass vase. Like a bouquet of metal rods!
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
This bracelet is a result of my early education with PMC (Precious Metal Clay).
When I added this medium to my business offerings years ago there was a lot of trial and error but because of the precious nature of the materials I couldn't just part with the cast offs.
After collecting charms for several years, I decided to create a special treat for myself...a sort of tribute to a new learning experience.
I call it my "Orphan Charm" bracelet. It is made up of fingerprint charms and other pieces that might not have been up to my standards, some samples, designs that didn't make the cut, etc...
Separately they have no real value...but together I think they combine to create an intimate and interesting piece of jewelry.
I do have some more charms that I am thinking of making into another bracelet to offer in my etsy shop...keep your eye out for this one of a kind, personal work of art!
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Almost as much as I love fabric...but cut ribbon pieces can be a nightmare to store and manage!
I use the cut ribbon pieces for so many things...packaging an order, grouping supplies, labeling items, protecting items in transport, pulling my hair back in my office when I don't have anything else around! It is a smart way to utilize surplus ribbon...too pretty to discard and sometimes at the art store they will even sell a full bag of assorted cut ribbon lengths for $1 to get rid of extra inventory.
A few years ago while surfing online for clever ideas on how to store ribbon...I stumbled on a really useful idea. I don't remember where I found it - so I apologise in advance for that!
Just know it wasn't my idea to begin with...but I did tweak it a bit!
What they did was use a wire hanger (like you get from the dry cleaners) and loop the the lengths of ribbon through the wire like the picture above. The strands of ribbon slide together and hang so that you can always see what you have available!
I think the best part is that you can easily remove or add new lengths one at a time without disturbing the others! No more tangles, creased ribbon...or forgetting what you have.
I hung the hangers on a hook on the back of my door.
Now my newest twist was to buy a multi level hanger...typically used for several pair of pants. This way I was able to have five rungs to hang from in a smaller amount of space! The hanger is coated so it protects more delicate ribbons. I recommend that if you have ribbon that creases easily...loop it very loosely and don't pull it taught.
It is pretty and functional...I actually moved it from behind the door to a wall hook near my desk because I love seeing my colorful ribbons!
Monday, March 2, 2009
Readily available at most online printing companies, I think the magnets make a nice gift for special customers.
Inexpensive and useful...a great combination.
The company I order from allows me to upload images and print in full color which helps keep a uniform theme for my business. I can also order in small quantities which is great for using photos of newer items to keep the magnets current.
There are templates on the website that can be used as well...like a year-at-a-glance calendar.
They are light and easy to send...and come in two sizes.
I like to add the inspirational quote from my website because I think it is a good reminder for people that they are important and there "voice" needs to be heard. Maybe providing a little uplift in their day.
Sunday, March 1, 2009
But I knew I didn't want to use it as a pendant.
I think this bracelet illustrates how one special element can make very simple beads more interesting. These icy, crackle, vintage beads were sort of dead on their own...but with a special element I think they look so much more inviting and important.
I like the simplicity of the two colors and think that it makes the detail in the pendant stand out.
Sometimes using a larger piece as a focal item on a bracelet can open up new creative doors!