Monday, August 24, 2009

Objects and Elements

The talented Susan Lenart-Kazmer has challenged her readers to show their best summer color in a jewelry creation on her blog. I've created a three-strand necklace with a large blue and black bead as its centerpiece. I've wrapped the bead with steel wire, and I also used steel wire to make the clasp and jump rings. One strand is full of blue, purple, and silver beads. The black strand is a length of silk cord. And the final strand is bright blue silk sari ribbon, which I bought from Susan's Objects and Elements shop. The sari ribbon comes in many colors -- my bundle is blue, purple, green, all very bright colors. The challenge was to make a piece using the colors of summer. I think I've accomplished that with my summer color necklace.

You can see all the entries to Susan's reader challenge on her blog. Take a moment to vote for your favorite and leave a comment.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Jewelry of the Week

Maybe you've guessed by my studio name that blue is the color that inspires me most. It works beautifully with silver, which is my metal of choice. I made this necklace, which I call Shimmering Silver, to showcase a beautiful blue glass bead I found at a bead show.

I used 18 guage silver wire and made every piece to it except the length of chain at the top. I wrapped the wire, twisted it, hammered it and bent it. I added a few more beads for a little spark of color. The focal bead is hanging below a wrapped hook, which I felt helped it stand out even more. This necklace doesn't have a clasp because it's long enough to go over your head. I love the feel of just the thin chain on my neck. This looks beautiful with a simple black top.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Fall Leaves

I'm starting to see articles about the Fall harvest in magazines, but it's still 90 degrees here in Florida and we're heading for a beach vacation today. Yet somehow, I feel that I'm ready for the Fall. Now, realize that the leaves don't change here, the temperature doesn't really get cooler until the rare December day, and our vegetables are harvested in the Spring. (Right now we're getting mangoes. Yum!) But the kids are getting ready to go back to school, and I'm starting to look forward to the green markets that are open from October to May here. I'm already planning a brunch with friends following a green market visit. I'll pick up freshly made cider donuts, croissants, melons, and we'll bring them home to serve with a big batch of eggs. How fun. But no, we won't have beautiful Autumn leaves to decorate our table.

But I was in the mood for them anyway, so I did the next best thing -- I whipped up a bunch of watercolor leaves. I used watercolor paper and cut it into leaf shapes, then I colored them with orange, green and purple paints. This took a couple coats to get the shades I wanted. I also used a stylus to draw lines into the leaves.

I just finished making some silver links to give to friends, and thought these leaves would be a perfect tag to attach them to. The links were made using 4" of wire wrapped around a highlighter pen. That seemed about the right diameter. Then I wrapped the wire "tails" around the ring, and they were done.

I punched a hole at the top of the leaves and attached a couple pieces of yarn and some ribbon. Here are the finished leaves with the silver links attached.