Thursday, April 17, 2014

We're All Ears :: April Reveal

For April we are inspired by this tablescape from Pottery Barn. With the retro palette of sage, gold, cream and brown with touches of silver, this whimsical place setting could be from the 70s or today! There was a lot to be inspired by in this picture.

Here is what I created for the challenge. Since I was unable to complete the challenge for March, I was inspired to make four pairs of earrings for April.

Lasso The Moon
I was pulling from the golden color of the oil and the bird for this pair. I like the texture on the woven placemat and the hammered silverware. I spied these links on my beading table and it was serendipity that they already had great texture. These stars are one of those things I have had lying around for years. No, really. Mellisa of Chinook Jewelry sent these to me about 7 years ago! They were a mistake in that they were supposed to be beads with holes through them. But the wire got stuck inside during the firing process so they were unusable as beads. She had some sort of contest about what you would do with them, and I won them. It takes me awhile but every bead will find its purpose! I just wire wrapped the stars randomly for that lasso effect. And that is also a line from one of my favorite movies. Do you know what that is?


Another component that has been lying around forever are these cold clay (DAS) charms from Alona of Rafya. They have this great raised design that has been highlighted in gold with undertones of sage. I have these two very old vintage French books with hand drawings of architectural details that I love. They look right at home on this page, don't you think? A fleuron is a stylized form of flowers or leaves. I was drawn to the natural elements in the challenge picture, the leaves, the branches, the berries.

Spiked Lemonade

I imagine that in the Pottery Barn world they are having quite a feast on these tables! The glasses filled with what looked like lemonade intrigued me. More beads from my stash. These polymer clay beads from Heather Powers of Humblebeads were the perfect golden color, and I loved the way the lines mimic the textures on the skylark bird on the plate in this challenge picture. I hammered some aluminum blanks as a nod to the mod silverware, and the brown spikes are for the wood of the table.

 Well Grounded

The dark wood of the table and the fresh green stripes on the napkin along with the shimmering pressed glass is what inspired me for this next pair. I used a pair of bumpy barrel ceramic beads and some wasabi silk cord from Marsha Neal Studio. I tied them to a hexagon connector. And I am pretty proud of these ear wires (and the ones from the previous pair). I have always wanted to make my own, but I never have been able to make them identical, until now. I recently learned a trick to get my wires to come out the same on both sides using the technique in this tutorial from Jewelry Making Daily. But of course, I couldn't leave them plain, so I wire wrapped some glowing green pressed glass Toho square beads that remind me of the glasses on the table.

So, there you have it. There was so much of interest in this challenge picture that I probably could have gone on for days interpreting different parts of it. I hope that is what this challenge does for you... helps you to isolate the inspirations around you, allows you to flex your creative muscles and encourages you to use those beads that are just lying around to make something fast, fun and fabulous! Come back on Friday, May 2nd for the next We're All Ears inspiration challenge!

What inspired you?
Let's see what you created!
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This is my ninth post for this blog and it's odd, for me, that this is the first time I've shared a pair of earrings featuring Scorched Earth elements.

It's odd because a large number of my designs, and particularly earring designs, feature Petra's ceramics.  Many of her pieces are sold in pairs that demand to be made into earrings.  And I'm sure that, in working with Petra's pieces, I've learnt a heap of earring-making lessons.  Perhaps, in holding off, I was trying to avoid being predictable, because I'm kinda addicted to them really.  You can see the extent of my problem here....

In this pair, I've teamed these gorgeous rich turquoise and bronze bands with some long drops of ruby zoisite, some antique brass caps, and some little czech glass accents.  I received the stones through error - the supplier sent me somebody else's order. I'm not crazy about ruby zoisite, to be honest, but I'm quite happy with these, and that, in no small part, is down to Petra's lovely ceramics.

They're available here in my Etsy shop.

Bye for now, Claire

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Junkyard Queen

"One man's junk is another man's treasure"...

It's an aphorism that we've all heard before, right? I've always found it curious how something that some would consider junky, worn out, used up, and ugly could appeal so much to me. There's something about having a soul, having lived through a storm or two, having a story to tell. A little metaphor for us humanfolk, don't you think? The things that make us the most interesting and emotionally rich aren't always the things that make us pretty.


I know I'm not the only one out there who loves the junkyard aesthetic. I channel this primitive rustic look in all of my jewelry, but I was particularly tickled with how this recent earring pair came out. Rusty washers handmade by Kiyoi Designs out of steel metal clay, little blue kyanite shard "collars", and perfectly mismatched etched agate and carved wood bead toppers. 


These babies sold in a snap to my dear dear friend Susan who is a vintage-loving antiques freak like myself. I loved them so much that I created a second similar pair to share the love - available now in my shop. Embrace life's beautiful imperfections...y'know what I mean?

Happy Wednesday <3

LoveRoot on Etsy

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Beach at Tulum

Kyanite and Crystal Earrings

The old and the new, the rough and the polished; I am intrigued by this contrast. This particular design reminds me of a past trip to Mexico, specifically the Mayan ruins at Tulum. How dramatically the craggy rocks and the old structures stood out next to the brilliant blue green Caribbean in the background! I used rough kyanite nuggets wrapped in darkened copper wire, and attached faceted Swarovski crystal cosmic shaped beads in indicolite. Greek cast spiral drops contribute to the ancient character of these rustic dangling earrings.

Tulum, Mexico

Gloria Ewing
Chrysalis Too on Etsy
Chrysalis Jewelry on Artfire

Monday, April 14, 2014

Blue Waters

Believe it or not, we are *still* dealing with snow, and you know it... I miss Summer so badly!!

Today, I've decided to venture for the first time on Polyvore, and oh my! 
I found so many beautiful things to inspire me,
and these are the earrings I made for my Carefree Beach Chic outfit:

Blue Waters Brazilian Blue Apatite Sterling Silver Hoops by Nathalie Lesage
I think these would go really well with the outfit I just created:

Wire wrapping is something I've been doing for a number of years (on and off), and which I really enjoy. It speaks to the bohemian woman living in my soul :)

These flirty 1" hoops are made with beautiful natural (untreated) Brazilian Apatite gemstones
and loads of hair fine .925 Sterling Silver wire wrapped on a pair
of my cold-forged Sterling Silver hoops.

I was lucky enough to have the super talented Eni Oken as my mentor a few years ago,
and I've learned a lot from her over time. It takes a lot of patience and time to do fine wrapping.

Since we're on the road and currently living in a place where "good" water is at a premium (we're on a campground with bad pipe water at this time), doing soldered jewelry - which requires a good amount of water for quenching, pickling, rinsing, tumbling, etc - is just not something I can do much of because we have to buy all the water we use for daily living. I have to be very frugal with it.

Therefore, I'm back to doing more wire wrapped jewelry designs instead :)

You can purchase these earrings HERE on my new website.

Thank you for stopping by and have a great day!

Nathalie Lesage
Metalsmith, Jewelry Artist

Friday, April 11, 2014

Coral Blooms

Oh how I adore the color coral! When I saw these art tiles from JLynn Jewels I knew I had to have them...they just popped with color! I wanted to keep them simple since the dog tag tiles are so vibrant, so I just paired them with a faceted coral glass bead and an orange bead that matched perfectly. The tiles are great because they are very lightweight and perfect for earrings.

I can picture them being worn with this fun ensemble....
Coral Blooms

These earrings are available HERE in my shop!

Don't forget our April Inspiration Design Challenge. The reveal will be next Friday April 18th. 

Thanks for visiting our blog and have a fabulous weekend!

Kristy Abner

Kristy's Kreations 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Time of the Season

There's nothing like the turn of the seasons for filling you with a new impetus for designing, I find.  Now I've been making for several years, I find myself welcoming the return of certain palettes - I've just been revisiting pastel green with daffodil yellow and crisp white.  So what was I thinking, just the other day, when I made these?

Much as I love being led by the time of year, I do worry about making overtly seasonal pieces, that will, if they don't sell, start to look 'out of season'. Why I made autumn earrings in anticipation of spring, I don't know!  But I'd just received these delicious lampwork beads from Bluhealer and I've been loving these red picasso czech glass leaves and I couldn't resist! 

Hey ho!  If you fancy autumn earrings in spring, you can find them here.

I'm filling in for Kiersten today as she's under the weather. It's all slightly last minute, so I'm afraid it's a bit of a short post. To compensate, I'll leave you with this sonic treat, which popped into my head when writing this. I hadn't heard it for a stack of seasons, but it's still sounding fine!

Bye for now, Claire
(something to do with your hands)