Tuesday, January 24, 2017

BEAD PEEPS 3rd Annual HOP N SWAP



I'm taking part in BEAD PEEPS 3rd Annual HOP N SWAP hosted by Linda Anderson. 

This is the first time for me to do this event. 

As part of the requirements we have been asked to tell a little bit about ourselves, what we do as jewellery artists, our style, our likes and dislikes, our preferred materials to use and what we don't like to use at all. 

I am sort of retired, (as in not working but not old enough to officially retire.)

I have been making jewellery for at least 10 years.

I work primarily with semi precious gemstones, glass beads, copper, silver plate or silver-filled wire, leather, chain, linen, silk and other fibres. I don't do bead embroidery but I do use seed beads as spacers or for filling up stringing wire to make it pretty. 

I also work with metal clays, in past using a friends kiln I made pendants in copper clay, bronze clay and steel clay. Now I limit myself to silver clay as that can be torch fired.

The past two years I have started to use recycled or reclaimed copper wire and sheet metal to create nature-inspired jewellery. Fold-forming is a favourite technique I use to texture and shape my pieces.
 I also love to work with wire to create my own chain links, clasps, ear-wires and other findings. I have a whole slew of wire in different gauges so that when inspiration strikes I am ready to go. 

My style is "scattered"; symmetrical , asymmetrical, chunky , delicate, sedate, classic, funky, steampunk-y, Iv'e done them all.  I have yet to focus on one particular style. 

Lately I have fallen for the tribal (amulet, talisman) look, so that may be my new go-to style. 

I also am a lover of symmetry, so a classical look often finds it's way into my completed projects. 

I am NOT afraid of colour and use some unusual combos to create fun and unexpected results.
edited to add* i love colour and other than beige I am open to any colour combos even black and white or grey *

My most popular items for customers are my earrings. I like em long and large but am also comfortable making smaller ones to suit my customers tastes. 

I don't think there is a material I wouldn't use except for cheap plastic. (That doesn't include lucite or bakelite or resin as these are not cheap.)

I like to remake older jewellery into new designs. As a child of depression era parents I was taught not to throw anything away if it has any useful life left in it, so I am a big recycler, re-user.  This includes leather scraps , old belts, rhinestone brooches, copper roofing, electrical wire etc. I think you get the picture. 

This year I am hoping to incorporate needle felting into my jewellery lineup; I'm thinking amulets, talismans, and other tribal  inclusions. Perhaps I will put my rusty embroidery skills to use, to embellish felted or fabric pieces, that I can incorporate into some new designs I have floating in my head. 

My muse had better not take a year off like she did last year. 

Looking forward to meeting my partner and sharing some bead love. 


Ceramic buttons (by a fellow artist ),
that I wired into a single unit and hung from multiple leather cords;

my first STATEMENT piece. 

recycled aluminum tag, fold-formed & hammered,
 coloured with alcohol inks, with glass o-rings as spacers and dangles
(sold)

leather scraps made into fringe with brass beads gold wire and cotton cord 
(sold)

Sunday, January 15, 2017

new artwork

Yesterday I spent the day at a workshop hosted by a fellow artist and friend, Wendy Southin of Dragonfly Dreamers studio. 

We were playing with Gelli Plates and making mono-print artwork.We began by creating standard mono-prints on various paper types. 
After a lunch break we got down and dirty with making layers on our base prints. I came away with an incredible assortment of art prints that I can add to in future, (they don't LOOK FINISHED yet). But I did get three that I am very pleased to say are done, that is I don't think they need anything else other than to be framed or mounted.

I don't have titles for these. They haven't divulged what they want to be called yet.

The first one is a yellow-toned study with touches of dark green and metallic copper. 



I decided to be a bit brave and work in black white and grey, an odd choice I'm sure the others thought when I started. In the end we were all impressed with how they turned out, esp. once I added  a touch of red. 



Im not sure if I have them right side up as shown , that will depend on how I frame them. 
For now I'm happy to have three finished. 



Thursday, January 5, 2017

HAPPY NEW YEAR

New year, same old intentions.To update my blog more often. Will I be consistent? who knows. but I will try.
For now, here is a photo from one of the shows I did last year.


not only jewellery but paper crafts as well. 

and a close up of some of the items I sold , the four necklaces on the left hand side are all sold and gone on to new homes. Only one of the bracelets below them is left in stock. the two necklaces on the right are going to be taken apart and remade . they seem a bit bland to me and haven't sold, so it's time to tweak them a bit and see what happens.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

"We interrupt our challenge schedule to try something new for the month of August....a headpin challenge. But not just any kind of run of the mill headpin. 
We're talking fancy schmancy art headpins.

What is an art headpin? 

Well...it's a headpin that is handcrafted by an artisan, has been manipulated in a manner that is more than just a ball end, and has the potential to be the centerpiece of a creation rather than just playing a supporting roll."   (the above statements are courtesy of 

Well I checked my stash and rats, I don't own any art headpins. 
How did that happen? I love art headpins. 
So I'll just have to make my own. 
Take some wire -20 gauge; cut two pieces 6 inches long

Now I could just make swirly coiled headpins but that's so meh. 

Lets try soldering.
So I make some bends on one end of each wire to create triangles. 
Make a bend in the middle of one side to make the long pin part of the headpin.
Next-add some solder to fill in the gaps .
Sounds simple -right? 
NOT!!!!
 Who knew that solder doesn't go where one wants it to just by wishing. 
You actually have to control the solder. 
My soldering skills are rusty - well truthfully they are non-existent, 
so this was truly a challenge for me.
but I persevered and FINALLY got the solder to stay where I wanted it to stay.

they don't look all that great here
But were they what I wanted to create? Perhaps, perhaps not,  but it took so many attempts to get to this point that I decided they are just fine. So MOVE ON Deb. 

Part of the challenge for me was to also make a finished piece of wearable jewellery. 
so the process continued......... 
I felt the headpins were a bit raw and unfinished so I added some (Lisa Pavelka) Magic-Glos which requires UV light to cure them, so  then I hung them outside to dry and cure for 1/2 hour. Once cured they have a lovely shine plus some thicker dimension to them so they look coated in glass. I was pretty darn pleased with how they turned out. 

Next step - choose some lovely glass beads to make earrings. 
Why does that process strike such fear in our hearts? 
We want perfection folks but perfection takes time and the deadline was looming, so I made my choice, added some tiny lampwork rondel spacers and wired them all together. Add some hand made ear wires and I'm done. 

See how pretty they turned out . They are 2-1/2 inches long. I make my ear wires with long tails at the back for better balance and security, they don't fall out of my ears as easily
This process was challenging but exciting and I am much more prepared to do it again with other materials 

Thanks so much for stopping by. 
To see what the other artists made, click on any of the links below.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Luna Moth Challenge

Over on the Allegory Gallery Facebook page there is a challenge (or several) going on.
One of them is the Luna Moth Challenge . We were required to purchase the kit from the Allegory Gallery website and then had quite a few weeks to create something with those beads.
We had the option of adding from our own stash or not. I chose to NOT add in other bits this time.

I decided I wanted the one -holed focal LUNA MOTH pendant to be a non- pendant so I added another hole opposite the first one, thank goodness for my Dremel Micro. It's become a real workhorse in my studio.

I have not used waxed linen before in my jewellery making, (only for handmade book bindings.)
It was an interesting material to work with. It is self needling cause it's sticky and does fit through quite a few bead holes, even the small e-beads we were given as part of the kit. It does create a less flexible finished piece than is usual with other fibres, but it holds KNOTS really well. Bonus!!!

This being my first time using waxed linen cord I didn't calculate the correct length to start with, (factor in the knots next time Deb) so my first attempt ended up being choker length. And I do mean CHOKE-er. I don't have a skinny neck and the end product, while gorgeous, was not wearable by me. But I was on a deadline and the challenge photos were due so I posted it anyhow to the Facebook page.

soft and pretty LUNA MOTH choker
It fits my mannequin but she has a skinny neck, a really skinny neck
But it's done. 

but......... If you are like me you often are not satisfied with what you create and things need tweaking. So I tweaked.  I had added a small cord crimp to each end to allow me to attach the lobster clasp. so adding more waxed linen was going to be problematic. so off came the jump rings and I knotted the additional linen cord to the loop on the crimp end and continued to add more beads. It is now a more wearable 26" long with a button and loop closure. so it is metal Free. Not an issue for me but if I decide to sell it that may be a selling point. I also added two beads (and another hole) to the Luna Moth pendant to guarantee it wont flip over or upside down when wearing it. I guess after all this it ended up being a pendant anyways. Oh dear.

This is my finished piece and I won't be remaking it again lol.

A much longer necklace now

I added Wooly Wire twists to cover the metal cord ends so no exposed metal .
I used one of the larger gemstone beads to make a button and
 two loops of linen cord twisted together to make the loop.

If you want to see what the other artists made with this kit and the Tribal kits as well pop over to the Facebook page. there are tons of things to see so prepare to browse for a while.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Oh my word it's almost march

Holy cow. where has the time gone? 
I have been remiss in updating my poor blog.

I had a very busy fall craft and art show season so I'll blame that on my lack of posting here. 

I have been working on some new jewellery designs and
 once I get them photographed I'll pop them up here for a show and tell. 

Hope you all are surviving winter . Its a weird one for sure.


In the meantime here is a photo of my very first art journal page. 
A new venture for me this year. 


Friday, November 13, 2015

Superstition Blog Hop

Today is Friday the 13th.  Tammy Adams from Paisley Lizard set this blog hop up, made a whole slew of polymer clay pendants and shared them with a group of jewellery artists.  What a sweetie.
It is now our mission to make something in keeping with superstitions and to share it on our own blogs as part of this Superstition  Hop
Now a lot of people fear the number 13, and especially as a date when it lands on a Friday.

 I'm NOT one of them . I have always had very LUCKY Friday 13th's.  In fact it's often one of my luckiest days, a day when things always seem to go right.

Some folks don't like black cats. Again I'm NOT one of them, I LOVE black cats, and have shared my home(s) with them since childhood.

Ladders ? Don't walk under them something bad will befall you!
Mirrors ? Don't break one or 7 years of bad luck will come to you!
Spill salt ? throw some more over your shoulder!
Step on a crack ? you'll break your mothers back.!

superstitions abound. which ones do YOU believe in.?

I acknowledge superstitions and follow them out of habit and perhaps a secret fear that they ARE TRUE. The one I am most careful to avoid is "don't walk under a ladder. " Not sure if it's a superstition or a safety thing, I just don't want it falling on me.lol.  Maybe it's my fear of heights. What ever the reason I decided to incorporate a ladder into my design along with my black cat pendant. And I have yet to break a mirror (thank goodness) .

How many superstitions do YOU see in this piece? 



(Hint: the numbers 13 and 7 figure in the construction-13 rolo chain links form the ladder-7 crystals form the rungs; there is  mirrored gem at the bottom; a "ladder" suspension system; black mirrored crystals; black cat polymer clay pendant -handmade by Rachel Adams- Paisley Lizard.)

I do wish the photo showed the sparkle of the crystals better, it's quite bling-y in person  

I hope you enjoyed your visit to my corner of the blogesphere. Please hop on by the other participants blogs to see what they came up with. 


Tammy Adams (Hostess)http://www.paisleylizard.com/blog/  our hostess
Renee Hong http://www.fineanddandyjewelry.blogspot.com
Betony Maiden http://beadwenches.blogspot.com/
Coral Law http://abcoraldesign.blogspot.com/
Lee Koopman http://stregajewellry.wordpress.com
Jeanette Belmont http://www.onecanvasatatime.com
Shai Williams http://www.ShaihasRamblings.com
Beth McCord http://ebbeadandmetalworks.blogspot.com/
Robin Lynne Showstack http://heartsdesiresjewelryforyou.blogspot.com/
Lori Blanchard https://alainnjewelry.wordpress.com/
Deb Fortin http://www.mhotistudio.blogspot.ca    ***you are here***
Michelle McCarthy http://www.fireflydesignstudio.blogspot.com
Maria Rosa Sharrow http://willowstreetshops.blogspot.com
Kim Dworak http://cianciblue.blogspot.com/
Divya N http://www.jewelsofsayuri.com
Karin Grosset Grange http://ginkgoetcoquelicot.blogspot.fr
Mowse Doyle http://mowsemadethis.blogspot.com/
Rebecca White http://morganafeycreations.121hub.com/#sec-blog
Shawneen Fagnani http://blondespotpinkshoe.blogspot.com/
Catherine King http://Catherines-musings.blogspot.com
Brook Bock http://artisticendeavor101.blogspot.com/
Kari Asbury http://hippiechickjewelrydesign.com/blog
Carolyn Lawson http://carolynscreationswa.blogspot.com
Linda Anderson http://fromTheBeadBoard.blogspot.com
Ann Schroeder http://www.beadlove.wordpress.com
Melissa Trudinger https://beadrecipes.wordpress.com/
Kathy Lindemerhttp://bay-moon-design.blogspot.com/