Thursday, November 20, 2014

Ice and Spice

The earrings that I'm sharing today are something of a hybrid, I guess.

I'm getting over my autumnal design frenzy and have my mind focused on winter-y pieces.  There's some autumn warmth in the frit-ty torch-fired panels, which I got from Georgie at 4ophelia.  She has some lovely pieces available at the moment. I ordered some more the other day and, just checking her shop, I can see more that are tempting me!

Here the spicy shades on the panels strike a contrast with the frosty white, icicle-like, recycled glass shards.  As I've said before, I do like a spiky bead!  I finished these with some vintage ribbed washer beads and freshwater button pearls.  They're available here in my Etsy shop.

Bye for now, Claire

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

It's the Small Things In Life

What is it about small things that makes us all warm and fuzzy and squealy inside? A fuzzy mewy kitten? A wee bud vase only big enough for one flower? A small shell found on the beach. Baby toes? 

See, you're smiling. 

As much as I love long dangly earrings, I'm also learning to appreciate the beauty of post earrings. It's harder to fit what you want to say into a smaller package, but if executed right, they can be deliciously wearable without sacrificing statement. 
Several weeks ago I had a free weekend---rare and choice---and spent it in the studio making a quartet of fossil post earrings in sterling silver. I had been saving these little fossilized sea urchins since my trip to Austin earlier this year. As an aside, if you're ever there, hit up Nature's Treasures for some serious rock candy. 

Please, please, try to suppress your squealing until this post is finished. 

Aren't they just so wee and cute? Plump little fossils with a bumpy geometric star pattern, naturally occurring thanks to Mother Nature. Did you know that fossilized sea urchins are also called sea biscuits? Think about that imagery in your mind - how appropriate? And I crafted two gnarled little prongs to reach out and hug each fossil. 

The warm neutrals of these make them suitable for any outfit - dress em up or dress em down. In fact, my good friend Staci of Staci Louise Originals is currently rocking this pair.

Alright, it's ok to squeal now...

Happy Wednesday!
LoveRoot on Etsy

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Take a Risk

In a departure from the usual format of focusing on the inspiration for my idea, I would like to probe into the selection process for blogging about my earrings. I'm sure each of the participating artists on Earrings Everyday has her own method for building a post around their earring creations. Maybe you are curious about mine?

Detailed advance planning doesn't work as well for me as spontaneity. Please don't interpret that to mean I'm just being lazy! The truth is I cannot decide which direction to go until the last moment. So I usually have three newly made earring pairs from which to choose, one being a variation of a signature design of mine, in other words "in my comfort zone". The pietersite earrings below fall into that category. The other two pairs are the risky ones. This time, I have one pair of very rustic hammered and hinged copper earrings with a red patina (pictured below). I also have the pair I chose to feature above that are the most risky of the three, out on the edge in a primitive style. For the body of these earrings, I used my own bone shaped polymer clay connectors. The roughly wrapped oxidized copper wire emphasizes the primitive character, as do my handmade copper ear wires. The dangling beads are Czech glass with an aged Picasso finish.

"Comfort zone" wire wrapped matched pietersite stones with leather.

Medium risk, relentlessly hammered copper earrings in a 2-part hinged design with less than precise stamping and a red patina.

Gloria Ewing

Chrysalis Tribal Jewelry
Chrysalis Too on Etsy

Friday, November 14, 2014

Oh beautiful forest...

Living in British-Columbia is truly a treat (yes, even if we are currently experiencing really deeeeeep cold weather)... I never, ever, get tired of admiring the 'sea' of spruce trees that line our roads as far as the eye can see. I can look at them for hours on end, and never get tired of it :)

As soon as I step outside of our small northern BC town, you see gorgeous spruce trees lining the highways. Since Christmas is my favorite 'season', I am just happy, happy, happpppyyyyy, to the core when I am in the forest and there's a light sprinkle of snow :-)))

And, inspired by my spruce trees... I made these earrings:

I recently treated myself and purchased some of (our) Cindy Pack's gorgeous ceramic components, and this pair of swirly caramel-tone charms reminded me of wood, the forest, the trees... the textures of bark, nature. Ohhhhh happy days!!!

I have hand-crafted the copper bead caps (tops and bottoms), and decorated them by hand-stamping some pretty leaves and texturing the edges every so lightly... and suspended them on a pair of non-allergenic Niobium ear wires in a shade of dark rustic brown.

The gorgeous Emerald Green lampwork beads were recently acquired in a destash 'trade' I made with another artisan and they were sitting on my bench, just patiently waiting to find their spot to shine :)

P.S. Don't forget to participate in our November We're All Ears challenge - this is open to EVERYONE! New to making jewelry? Jump in and participate! Have been making jewelry for awhile? Why don't you join us in this fun challenge? We'd love to see what you make!

Thank you for stopping by! Have a great day (and keep warm!)
Nathalie in the Enchanted Forest up North :)
Metalsmith - Jewelry Artist

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Confetti Hoops

Confetti Hoops
I was captivated by these strands of tiny multicolor lampwork glass rondelles from Indonesia --I grabbed up a pile of them! I wanted to use them all together in a riot of color. I constructed copper hoops for them, with hammered paddles on the end, and strung them on. Because of the paddles, I needed beads with bigger holes to slip over them, and this was the color assortment that sported the biggest holes--I like it! Then I connected the hoops to earwires via recycled glass discs in sea green, and wired little seed beads in robin's egg blue onto the earwires.

I've been in kind of a confetti mood--THIS really appeals to me too, from BabaYagaFashion, a UK shop--oh for the youth and guts to wear it!
Upcycled Skirt at Baba Yaga on Etsy
(I've marked this shop as a favorite, just in case I hit my head really hard whilst falling into the Fountain of Youth, and I emerge dewy and lithe, with the lack of inhibition common to traumatic brain injuries.)

I'm planning to make additional pairs of these earrings sporting different colors, and probably without the glass disc. This was kind of a prototype, to see if it would work. They are fun to make!

(All of the beads in these earrings are from Happy Mango Beads.)

You can see (a very tiny bit) more of my work at my Etsy shop.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Lilac Tapestry Earrings

 I met Earrings Everyday team leader, Kristi Bowman for lunch at our favorite Thai restaurant a couple of weeks ago.  I asked her to bring along her new colored copper components and I picked out a gorgeous earring pair.

I could picture in my mind how I wanted the earrings to look.  It didn't seem like it would be too hard.  I've certainly done wired wraps across the face of beads before.  No sweat, right?
 I added the wavy copper discs to accent the copper in Kristi's components and that's where the challenge started.  The wraps needed to be placed on the parts of the discs that dipped downwards, but the discs spun around whenever I put pressure on them from the wire wraps. I finally got the first earring  wrapped the way I envisioned it, but I ended up having to cut the wire off off the other earring and start over again.
But I kind of like the challenge of problem solving when making jewelry.  So fussed with them a bit more and I love how they turned out.  Ah, but the problems did not end there...
I left my computer for about 10 minutes to take photos of some of my ceramic components and when I came back my screen was black and the computer could not be started.  A trip to the computer repair shop resulted in a diagnosis of the motherboard in need of replacement. :(  So Plan B was to take pictures of the earrings and upload them to my husband's laptop, where I could then write this post.

However, there were a few additional hiccups along the way involving my camera and our other laptop, which is why I am currently posting this blog entry at 1:50 a.m.!!!  But I prevailed!  There are lovely earrings with Kristi's components and an on-time blog post. The Lilac Tapestry Earrings are available in my shop.  Happy Wednesday!


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Halo Earrings in Wintergreen

I've been reluctant to use and share my new ceramic components. But at the encouragement of friends I am revisiting them and warming up to them a lot more! It's like when you think something is going to be one way and then it ends up being something else. But then you realize that what it actually came be to be is just as great or even better...

Maybe I'm getting ahead of myself with talk of winter when last week I was admiring the autumn leaves? It's cold and more cold is moving towards us from Canada according to the weather reports.

I am bundling up in my winter coat and will be digging my gloves out today!

I think this set would look great with a big fluffy white or pale blue-green sweater & jeans.
Casual, rustic.

For this set I have used a set of my own hand fused fine silver rings. I have hammered on one side to reveal a smooth silver surface on the other. I love smooth silver - and often turn the hammered side away.

The ceramic beads and dangles are handcrafted (Cindy's Art & Soul).

How do you see Winter? White and fluffy or maybe red & green? Or maybe neither of those? Maybe you are headed to the beach for a swim? What color is your winter?

Art & Soul Jewelry 

Don't forget to check out this months Earrings Everyday Blog Challenge inspiration! Please join in the fun! Anyone can play and I think we'll see a lot of participants this month. It's going to be a lot of fun! You can check out the link over to the left of the page ---> or click here to go there now!