Tuesday, 29 April 2014

April's Challenge from LiliKrist

As soon as I saw this painting posted by LiliKrist of Personal Collection by Li.K. for the April challenge, I loved it immediately and knew I wanted to join in. The colors and the composition are wonderful and really speak of Spring to me. I love that the subject matter is Mother Earth. Here's the painting:
"GAIA" by UK artist Edward Foster

I wanted to include all of the colors from the painting but also to reflect the painting style with circles and fine elements making up the whole (like  Georges Seurat's pointillism)
The natural and spiritual feeling is very strong in this painting but I didn't really know how to represent that in a piece of jewelry which  would still be in keeping with my own personal style.

Bracelet for Gaia 
I recently discovered these tiny, colored hematite beads in many gorgeous colors and have been using them in everything I make. I bought them at my absolute favorite bead store in Toronto , Hi Beads, on Queen St West at Augusta. I used blues, greens and matte copper beads lined up like the waves of tiny squares in the painting. I added antique copper chains and findings with my own handmade clasp. I was stumped with the warm golden orange color but after many trials decided that these agate chips and focal had just the right look and feel. The larger blue-green beads are Picasso finish Czech glass beads with more of the mini hematite spacers with a shiny copper finish in a hexagon shape.The multiple circles of the bracelet are a reflection of the circular shapes in the painting.Overall I think it has an elegant,earthy feel for Mother Earth.

Thank you LiliKrist , for hosting this challenge. It was great fun and I look forward to your choice of art for next month. Please go to her blog to see who else was inspired by this challenge and check out what they have created.

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Two Days in Toronto

Spring is slowly arriving here in Ontario with sunny but chilly days the norm. Oh, how I crave the heat!

I spent the last 2 days in Toronto with an eventful dentist appointment followed by a sleepover with my good friend Meg and lunch and window shopping with my great son, Robbie!

I have been having extensive dental work done over the last few months which cumulated on Tuesday with a whole new set of teeth! If you haven't seen pictures of me before you probably can't appreciate the improvement but believe me it is like night and day when you see the new me. I don't usually include selfies on my blog but this one I couldn't resist. Excuse my vanity this time but I am very happy.

Meg's birthday is May 5th and since she loves birdies and blue these are the earrings I made for her.
They suit her perfectly!

Met up with my son for lunch on Queen St West in a funky little place called the Java House which has quite good food and reasonable prices. A rare find in downtown Toronto. Being a jewelry designer is very frustrating for a mother of a son who doesn't wear jewelry of any kind. (luckily his girlfriend does) but  I couldn't resist making him this dogtag necklace with this wonderful " I Am Not A Number" piece made by Petra of Scorched Earth. It's been sitting in my stash for over a year just waiting for inspiration to strike. It seems really appropriate now since he is in business studies and really enjoying Accounting. He put it on but I don't know how much he'll wear it.

 After a lovely lunch Robbie indulged my "need" to check out my favorite bead store (Hi Beads) which is right next door . I was restrained ( this time) in that  I only bought some beading wire and 2 clasps. I won't tell you what I spent on my last visit there!

After the bead browse we went into another favorite shop on Queen St West called, Mokuba. It's a Japanese shop devoted entirely to ribbons. Every kind and colour of ribbon and cord is available there. It's like a giant candy store. It might be a common find in Japan but I don't imagine there's many shops like this in North America. I had to show it to all my blogging buddies!

Even Robbie was captivated!

 And this is their great window display.....it's all untwisted rope strands in a rainbow of colours. OMG it's a wonderful place to browse! If you're ever in TO you have to check it out.

Well, that was my latest urban adventure. I'm working away at cooking my Bead Soup for next weekend so I better get to it and I have some new items to list in my Etsy shop so please check it out later today !

Monday, 14 April 2014

ABS April challenge

This month the inspiration is a lovely painting by Edgar Degas with a group of ballet dancers in a beautiful composition of form and colour."Swaying Dancers"

I was captivated by the use of the colours blue-green and orange which is one of my favorite combinations especially for Spring. And of course the swaying movement of the dancers!

I made a very simple pair of earrings to represent this painting using beautiful lampwork beads from The Spacer Queen and a  Unicorne spacer with a lovely blue green centre. The copper dangles I've had for about a year and they were perfect for this challenge. I hope you like!

Now that I've got that challenge complete it's on to playing with my Bead Soup. I've already got a few pieces made and there are more to come! 
Check back on May 3rd for the big reveal

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Colour of Dreams Blog Hop

I'm very happy to participate in this blog hop hosted by Toltec Jewels of Jewel School Friends. All participants were sent a unique handmade bead and were to design around the bead using  our dreams as inspiration !
 A wonderful concept and I'm not at all surprised at where it came from. I met TJ last year when she was my partner in the 7th BSBP and have come to know her as a warm, caring, contemplative person who beautifully expresses her intelligence, compassion and spirituality in her writing. I am blessed to call her my friend. So of course I jumped at the chance to enter her blog hop and the reveal is today!

The beautiful and colorful art beads that were given to each participant (50 of us!) were made by polymer clay artist, Patricia Handschuh of Color of Dreams and posted at quite a personal expense by TJ. Thank you both so much for your generosity.

Now about my dreams...... I feel like I'm living my dream right now. I have retired from a enriching and satisfying career as a nurse which was everything and more than I ever dreamed possible when I was a young girl fresh out of college. I've met so many wonderful people, patients and co-workers, and had amazing opportunities to learn and grow as a nurse throughout my career. Now that I've retired I'm doing what I've been dreaming of for years.....designing and making jewelry! I'm also spending much more time with friends and family and enjoying every moment of my dream life!

I'm generally an optimistic person and when I make jewelry I try to reflect this attitude  with positive colours and themes. Initially I was stumped with what to do with my art bead but eventually an idea developed. I ended up making 2 different versions of the bracelet  and can't really decide which one will be my forever one. I've been using a lot of Mykonos beads lately and love the earthy, aged look of the patina on the copper. The first bracelet features a fish clasp and dangle bead from the Mykonos collection at Stinky Dog Beads.

I included the spiral beads because spirals have consistently appeared in many of my jewelry designs and I have adopted the spiral in my logo so it seemed appropriate to use it in my "dream" bracelet and earrings. The colored jade beads pick up the lovely blue-green shade in the Color of Dreams bead and the lampwork beads from Unicorne Beads add a touch of sparkle.
The starfish below represents the one part of my dream that I'm not living now......beach life.....but who knows what the future holds!

Of course once I had finished and photographed my jewelry I had second thoughts (nothing new for me) when I came across this magical disc that was gifted to me from one of my suppliers. (Sorry to say I can't remember who.) It seemed as if was telling me to use it. I played around and tried to age it with a bit of black shoe polish which also made the engraved letters stand out. I added an antique brass clasp and chain extension to make it adjustable . Here is my second version.

I think I prefer the first one but the dream disc does work as well. What do you think?
Again I want to thank Patricia and Rita for this great blog hop. Please visit the blogs of the other participants and see what their dreams are!

Here's the list:

Honorary Artist: Patricia Handschuh
Patricia's blog:            The Color of Dreams        
Patricias Etsy:             The Color of Dreams
Hostess: TJ                Jewel School Friends
Kay Thomerson           KayzKreationz
Audrey Belanger          Toki No Hourousha

Alicia Marinache          All the Pretty Things
Terry Carter                TappingFlamingo
Lori Schneider             Bead Addict
Jenny Kyrlach             Wonder and Whimsy
Asri Wahyuingsih         Asri's Beadwork
Dini Bruinsma              Angaza by Changes
Karla Morgan              Texas Pepper Jams
Debbie Rasmussen        A Little of This, A Little of That
Veralynne Malone          Designed by Vera
Kathy Stemke               Vintage Memories Jewelry Design
Mowse Doyle               Mowse Made This
Heather Richter             Desert Jewelry Designs
Lori Poppe                   Adventures in Creativity with LorilliJean

Jayne Capps                Mama's Got To Doodle
Andrea Glick                Zenith Jade Creations
Kathleen Breeding         99 Bottles of Beads on the Wall
Becky Pancake             Becky Pancake Bead Designs
Karin Martinez              Fairies Market
Miranda Ackerley          Mirandack

Penny Houghton           Smelly Nelly
Carolyn Lawson           Carolyn's Creations
Chris Eisenberg            Wanderware
Christie Murrow          Charis Designs Jewelry
Monique Urquhart        A Half-Baked Notion
Eve Shelby                  Raindrop Creations Jewelry by Evelyn
Cryss Thain                 Here Bead Dragons
Jasvanti Patel               Jewelry By Jasvanti
Nan Smith                   NanMade Handmade Jewelry
Sue Kennedy               SueBeads
Jean Yates                   Snap Out of It, Jean! There's Beading to be Done!
Debbie Rogers             Debbies Treasures
Marybeth Rich             A Few Words From Within the Pines
Shirley Moore              Beads and Bread
Shaia Williams             Shaiha's Ramblings
Kathy Lindemer           Bay Moon Design
Linda Anderson           From the Bead Board
Judy Turner               Silver Rains
Gloria Allen                Gloria Allen Designs
Regina Wood              Ginas-Design
Robin Reed                Artistry HCBD
Mary Goovars            MLH Jewelry Designs
Marlene Cupo             Amazing Designs
CJ Bauschka              4 His Glory Creations
Robin Showstack        The Crazy Bead Hoarder
Cynthia O'Toole          Sparkles and Sweets

Jael Thorp                 Jael's Art Jewels
Renetha Stanziano      Lamplight Crafts

Saturday, 5 April 2014

The winner is...........

Back when we were all highly motivated to clean and organize our workspaces on  March 1st weekend in Sharyl MacMillian-Nelson's "Clean Up and Fix Up Challenge"  I decided to have a giveaway for people who commented on my post about my studio. Well , I finally made the hoop earrings for the giveaway and sent them off to the winner as a surprise. I heard today that she has received them so I can reveal the winner. It's Rita (Toltec Jewels) who was chosen at random from those lovely ladies who commented on my blog post. Sorry it took me so long to organize this but I've been busy with a few other challenges ( both blog and dental) and the time just flew by me. Here are the earrings won by Toltec Jewels.

Hope you like them!

See you tomorrow for The Color of Dreams Blog Hop!
Have a lovely evening.

Thursday, 3 April 2014

What a Thrill!

I feel like I just won an Oscar. I'm one of the winners for the Art Bead Scene March challenge. It was such amazing company to be featured with and to win divine! I realize that the winners are chosen at random so it's not really a judgement of my creation but the prize that I won is Mary Harding art and that's amazing. I've been drooling over her Etsy shop for months.

Like all truly gracious winners I must thank those without whom I wouldn't be here. I know it sounds corny but very true. Without the artistry of Rebekah of TreeWingsStudio and Juls of StudioJuls then my lariat necklace " Blue Bird of Happiness" would not exist.

.Happy dancing into the sunset!