Saturday, April 8, 2017

Bead Peeps swap n hop

well today is THE day. It's reveal time for the 2017 bead peeps swap n hop event.
 Organized by our hostess Linda Anderson of Cherry on Top Design Co. its a fun way to meet new beady peeps and to challenge ourselves by relying on someone else's bead picks for us. 
This is the first time I have participated in this swap . 

*warning Long read ahead * just scroll through the pix if you don't want to read it all.

My partner is a polymer clay artist, Nicole Rennell from Massachusetts, USA.
She sent me an amazing example of her latest works -Faux Labradorite, plus an assortment of beady goodies to accent and enhance my design. 
just check them out. 
Hand made Faux Labradorite with faux pewter frame look at the size of it. I have large hands btw.
It's a FOCAL piece for sure.
Look at the detail of the faux pewter frame. Isn't it gorgeous?

and all these other yummy beads. 
sea glass in my favourite blue-green and crystals and african glass discs and silver spacers and e-beads galore. *swoon*

all this yumminess just for me.

Of course when presented with such choices one has to let the ideas percolate for a while. 
How long is a while? 
Well lets just say I got these March 10 this year. and now it's April 6 same year, 
and I just finished my pieces to show you all. 
Yeah my muse has been in absentia, 
in fact she has been missing in action for quite some time. 
But I do work best under tight deadlines
what to do with such a large focal? 
Do I make something huge and busy and multi-stranded in an attempt to balance the visual weight?
Or just add it to a chain and call it a day?

Oh No , beady peeps!! 
That won't do.  Enter Pinterest.  
& ta-da, a lightbulb moment

I've been on a tribal search lately and suddenly realized that this focal needed to be the star
 but with some earthy edginess.

While trying to find ms. muse I was tidying up my studio (again) and found a cardboard display with several coils of hardware store wire (from my dad's workshop- but that's a story for another day) priced at $1.90 for three spools from K-mart (which hasn't been in Canada for quite a few years, may I add.)  They are non-rusting steel wire, 16 gauge half round, 19 gauge round, and 22 gauge also round. with pretty pictures on the display to tell one what they are to  be used for.  Home repair??? HA!

Brenda Schweder, move over .lol

I love to play with wire and wrapping it is a favourite technique, but OMG steel wire is really hard on the hands and fingers.and wrists  and dirty, dirty, dirty. 
But I got the edginess I wanted and I think the focal looks amazing, if I do say so myself. 
One of the hardest things for me is deciding when something is finished, is just right, doesn't need another darn thing added. You get the picture. 
I just happened to have some recycled Sari silk in my stash that is the right colour . 
I add some bead links, attach some silk; rats it needs to be shorter -cut the silk? no ! remove the beaded links and now it's the right length.  I didn't want it so long that the focal could end up getting squished, smashed, banged up , dented or broken so a really long necklace seemed inappropriate. Now it falls just mid-cleavage; safe and secure in that location. lol

and one needs earrings to go with  it.....

and a bracelet, just cause I love wearing them.

so now I have a parure of lusciousness. 
(that's french btw - and an intriguing word)

so now that you've waded through this recounting of my process (& God bless you for staying with me thus far) you deserve a treat , so head on over to the other blogs & see what goodies all the other participants have to show you. 

Linda Anderson
Christina Hickman
Catherine LaVite
Barbara Price
Kathy Lindemer
Linda Raggo
Marianne Baxter
Rachelle Walker
Gloria Allen
Ally Asato
Robin Lynne Showstack
Naomi Knafla
Maria Rosa Sharrow
Dana Phillips
Michelle McCarthy
Beth Blanc
Hope Smitherman
Kari Asbury
Shai Williams
Betony Maiden
Inge van Roos
Kelly Hosford Patterson
Kristina Peck
Lori Schneider
Rosantia Petkova
Erika Price 
Claire Fabian
Rachel Mallis
Deb Fortin
Nicole Rennell
Joanne Bell
Johana Nunez
Sam Waghorn
Natalie Davidson
Robin Reed
Faye Wolfenden
Karin King
Seed Beaders
Rebecca White
Palak Udeshi
Penny Houghton
Krafty Max
Heather Canepa
Ginger Bishop
Katy Heider
Renetha Stanziano
Becky Pancake
Tina Pawass
Mowse Doyle
Tami Norris
Minnette Miller
Veralynne Malone

Tuesday, January 24, 2017


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

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

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


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.