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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Cedar Earrings

Shortly before we left to Mexico, we took our niece and her fiancee to the one of the few temperate rainforest in the US; a day's drive from our house.  While there we saw giant maples and firs draped with veils of moss.
We also saw what is supposedly the world's largest Western Red Cedar.
"QuinaultLakeCedar 7274c" by Wsiegmund - Self-published work by Wsiegmund. Licensed under CC BY 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons

I was thinking of that humungous cedar when I made these earrings.  
 The brown ceramic hoops by Marsha Neal, represent the reddish-brown wood of the Western Red Cedar.

 The swirling green, muted purple, black and cream of the lampwork by Beads and Botanicals, represents the cedar branches, moss and all the lush forest growth. I topped the earrings by my own handmade ear wires that echo the round shape of the ceramic hoops.

If you ever have an opportunity to visit Washington's rainforests, don't pass it up.  You'll be glad you went!
Linda


Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Rocky Coast

We took a quick trip to the coast last week to hunt for beach finds for my jewelry. I was so lucky to have the most gorgeous day possible. The sun was low in the sky and I was in heaven. 
Miss Molly helping me find shells and rocks.
My earrings and jewelry reflect my love for nature. I am especially drawn to coastal and woodland finds since that is sort of my home-base here in WA. 
These earrings feature handcrafted ceramic beads by Cindy's Art & Soul, along with found sea glass, and rustic little Czech class beads from Art-Bella Surplus on Etsy. Wrapped in fine silver wire with handcrafted sterling silver ear wires and headpins.

You can see more of my most recent trip to the coast on my personal blog here: 
http://www.cindypack.blogspot.com 

You can find these earrings and more jewelry with natural found objects at www.ArtAndSoulJewelry.com

http://www.artandsouljewelry.com/

Monday, January 26, 2015

Not your grandma's pearls

I've accumulated an extensive stash of fresh water pearls over the years. I hoard them. 
I really think I need an intervention group or something for my bead-hoarding...
(but I'm guessing that we'd all end up participating in the group lol)

The other day, when Miss Erin showcased the new 2015 Pantone colors, I started looking through my stash and pulled out a couple of strands of pearls that caught my eye with their soft cool hues.
They seemed to match really well with this year's palette.

When I use pearls in my designs, I aim to set them up in a non-traditional way, so that we don't end up thinking that we're wearing our grandma's pearls ;)

So this is what I've come up with for this design:

Designer Pearl Earrings by Nathalie Lesage at NatLJ.com
The fresh water pearls featured at the top are a soft cool blue, almost a dusk blue (Pantone 16-4120). Although the color is soft, I think these two pearls at the top really 'pop' and add a touch of brightness and spunk to the design. They seem almost luminescent :)

The set of pearls at the bottom is a Titanium grey (Pantone 17-4014) that picks up
the same metalic hues as the Hill Tribe Fine Silver Squares.

Soft cool grey hues inspired by the Pantone 2015 colors
These hollow HT square were very plain originally, but a few years ago, I had heavily distressed them to use them in a project, and I ended up using something else instead. I kept wanting to do something with these, and it seems that today was the right moment.

I hope that you'll agree that these are not your grandma's pearls :D

You can find these earrings HERE on my website.

Have a fabulous day!
Nathalie
Metalsmith & Jewelry Artist

Friday, January 23, 2015

Luminita


I've had these lovely porcelain charms by Round Rabbit for years now (I can't be the only one who hoards these things, right?) but since I am so hooked on using Irish waxed linen here lately, well...inspiration (finally) struck on how I wanted to use them.
                                You will find this pair available on my website here.
                                              These are available here on my website.

                            I can't decide which pair I like the best....what about you?


Thanks for stopping by...have a great weekend!

Kristy Abner

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Feeling down? Say this one word...

...limpet.

No, I'm serious, go ahead and give it a try. Just one little time. Go on...while no one is listening.

See? You feel a little better, don't you? Maybe a teensy smile just crept across your face? A little levity to your soggy gray winter Wednesday? Perhaps even a smidge of impish delight when you imagine the cute cup-shaped domed shell of a LIMPET? 

You think I'm mad, but if you haven't picked it up already from reading my blog posts and jewelry listings, words really do hold that much power in my life. There are some really fun words, like limpet, bauble, and mallard. And then there are some really horrible nasty evil words, like moist. *shudder*

 
All this to say, I found some limpets last week! My day job shipped me off to the Pacific coast of California for a week and our hotel was right on the beach. As in, I could hear the waves crashing from my room. It was like every insanely picturesque post-card you've ever seen, and it was ALL RIGHT THERE. I couldn't help myself but to kick off my heels, sneak away, and do some beachcombing and toe-wiggling in the sand. 



I haven't been to a beach in probably 15 years. As a child, the few times we went I almost lost my head over all the cool little shells, pebbles, and scraps of sea life that would wash onto shore and get trapped in tide pools. I've always been fascinated by it, and nothing has changed as an adult. Every day last week I would sneak furtively back up to my hotel room with handfuls of sandy briny shells.

Now that I'm back home in landlocked Ohio, I've been sifting through my finds and picking out a few shells to incorporate into jewelry, since you know how much I like weaving organic found objects into my pieces.  

These earrings are quite special, as they feature some really sweet little purple banded limpets that I collected. They swing lightly under stacks of ancient Roman glass, wood bodhi beads, pyrite nuggets, and some antique opalescent Venetian glass "moon" trade beads (100-200 years old). Purples and teals and indigoes, all wire wrapped up together and ready to whisper songs of the sea into your ears.

Happy Wednesday!
Nikki
LoveRoot on Etsy


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Ravens Eye

Ravens Eye Earrings

There are so many fascinating stories in the history of the native American people. I was inspired by a Pacific northwestern tribal mythology that portrays the raven as both a creator and a trickster. In the legends of Haida Gwai, the raven was highly respected as an intelligent bird and was depicted as the creator of their world and the provider for their needs. As for the trickster role in the myth, the raven was believed to have brought about the pairing of the sexes.

My earrings were designed to capture that "totem" image of the raven that is common among the Pacific northwestern tribes. Primitive ceramic charms that resemble the ravens eye from Jana Bližňáková of Happy Fish Things, accompanied by colorful trade beads and copper wire wrap.















Gloria Ewing

Chrysalis Too on Etsy
Chrysalis Tribal Jewelry

Friday, January 16, 2015

We're All Ears :: January Reveal

So in the span of 2 weeks I have come to a morphing conclusion about Marsala, the Color of the Year. It is actually starting to grow on me!



I found that I actually have more things in my closet and life that are this color. I love it paired with grey and navy and lavender. I can see it with silver, gold, brass, gunmetal and copper. I guess I am entitled to change my mind!

Just when I was thinking that I might not have the right shade of bead, I got a surprise package in the mail from Cindy Martin-Shaw. She has been making components and she was working on Marsala colored ones and she thought I might like to have some. How right she was! I was so delighted by her kindness in thinking of me. And now I had just what I needed to make my earrings for the reveal.

The first pair, called Marsala Medallions, feature these domed rounds with a heavy embossing on them. The color is that perfect shade of dusky Marsala. I wanted to try to pair the Marsala color with some of the others on the list of Spring 2015 shades. I chose to use Strawberry Ice in the form of cherry quartz faceted rondelles atop some vintage rhinestone drops. I like the almost monochromatic palette this creates and the dangles make these a bit longer and swingy, the way I like them.

For the second pair, I added drops of mauve pearl headpins with diamond faceted pyrite ovals. The pyrite, also know as 'Fool's Gold,' leans more to the Custard color. I gave the rings a little bit more interest with love knots in black gunmetal rings. I tried all sorts of ear wires, but couldn't find any that worked, until I swiped the ear wires off my piece from last month's reveal! I know, cheating. But I really like the paddle effect. Unfortunately, these ear wires are in a gauge that is too thick for ears, so I will have to recreate these in a smaller size. I call these Marsala Spark because I learned that when you strike a pyrite rock with a hard object you can get a spark!

This third pair, called Marsala Flora, was really more of an accident. I happened to have a bag of these lovely bead embroidered components lying on the table from my friend Kristen Stevens. I tried putting these lovelies with all manner of beads... glass, gemstone, hematite, drops, dangles and rondelles. I just couldn't find the right beads to go with them. And then I realized that it was because they were so very special on their own. So I dug out a special pair of sterling silver ear wires I had been hoarding and that was that! You shouldn't mess with perfection. I really can't lay claim to this design (thanks to Miss Kristen for the pretty beaded components!), but I did wear them today and I love them! Something new for me!

Which color in the palette do you think you will work with this year? Let's see what you made!

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