Monday, February 22, 2021

Jan/Feb, 2021 - Use of Color

 The subject of this Jewelry Artisans Community blog carnival is "Use of Color" which is something I've given a lot of thought since our topic was announced.  What I've realized is that I have yet to meet a color I don't like; I love and appreciate colors of all shades including black and white.  I also realized that I don't give much thought to use of color in the early design stages.

I've never been much of a planner when it comes to creating jewelry.  I make it up as I go along including deciding which colors I will use in any given piece.  I might start out deciding I want to use a particular cabochon or a strand of beads that caught my eye.  Or, I might be influenced by the seasons or something I saw in the yard.  

This is not to say that I don't coordinate the colors I use; it's just that I don't start out thinking about color.  Like most people, I am drawn to certain colors which does have some influence over what I use in my work.  I like earthy tones, blues, greens and reds.  Black is a favorite as is pink.  I rarely use purple, yellow or white, not that I don't like those colors, but they don't look good on me which tends to take them off of my radar when I'm buying beads or making jewelry.

In the case of this necklace, I started out wanting to use the cabochon and turn it into a pendant.  I knew I wanted to use a wire netting technique, so the first thing I had to do was select which color of wire to use.  My go to is copper, but the colors in the stone sometimes determine the color of the wire.  A cool blue might look better in silver or an emerald green might be more at home in gold or bronze.  Although, I have found antiqued copper wire to be a pretty good fit for just about every color, but that might be my bias towards copper coming through.

 For this stone, with its earthy colors, copper definitely felt like the best choice.  Once the netting was done, it was time to decide if I wanted to let it be the star of the show and suspend it from a simple chain or did I want to dress it up with some beads or other findings?  I decided to dress it up.  

After selecting several different types of beads in the same color family and placing them next to the pendant, I found the beads that seemed right.  They had the same earthy tones and looked like they could have been cut from the same stone.  Now, I don't always try to perfectly match beads to a cabochon, sometimes I like to use contrasting colors.  In my world, there just aren't very many rules when it comes to color.

Which brings me to my main point about color.  It's a really personal choice.  Use what you love.  If you are drawn to blue and brown like my good friend, Mindy, use blue and brown.  Mindy often says that she needs to expand her wardrobe colors, but she always goes back to blue and brown.  I once told her if that's what you like, don't worry about wearing other colors.


On the other hand, my close friend, Bonni, loves color.  She wears every color in the rainbow and her home also reflects her love of color.  She'd die of boredom if she was limited to two or three colors.   I always look forward to seeing her latest outfit because I never know what she will do next with color.


A few of my personal favorites - you'll see that I go for the earthy colors, but I also like bold choices like red.

And, this one just happens to be yellow - I just surprised myself.  Go figure!

Sure, colors trend, they come and go and it's perfectly ok to make jewelry in trending colors to add to your business inventory if you are selling your jewelry.  But, even then...make stuff in the tones you like as well regardless of whether or not they are trending.  I guarantee that you will have more fun designing and creating and it will show in your work. 

To see what the other members of the Jewelry Artisans Blog Carnival have to say about color, please click on the links below:

Cat's Wire 

My Bijou Life 




Thursday, January 14, 2021

Oldies but Goodies - Spruce Up

 The Jewelry Artisans Community weekly Oldies but Goodies Challenge was "Spruce Up" this time.  We were challenged to share past work that we would be pleased to wear with our favorite holiday outfits.  Did we ever have some beautiful work submitted.  There is no end to the talent of the ladies in this group.  Without further delay, I give you "Spruce Up."

From Cat of Cat's Wire there was this simply elegant beaded bracelet.  It is beyond elegant and perfect for nearly any holiday or formal occasion. 

Next, Cat share this absolutely amazing necklace.  It's incredible with multi-colored stones, each encased in its own wire woven bezel and wire swirls galore.  Cat's creativity seems to know no bounds!

Caroline of Crafty Chimp shared her amazingly intricate bead work with us in the form of these two gorgeous bracelets.  I can't imagine the time that goes into creating these beauties.

Purple and green has always been a favorite color combination of mine, so I am very drawn to this dramatic piece:

This one done in blues and greens is fit for a princess.

Irith, of Riorita Jewelry jewelry never disappoints and she wowed us again with this bold statement ring.  I love the deep blues of the faceted Kyanite stone that has been set into a flower pattern.  What a beautiful ringy!

This wonderful three strand black and gold necklace by Michelle of My Bijou Life would look equally at home with a little black dress or dressing up a pair of jeans and a sweater.  It's one of those pieces that easily transitions from casual day wear to glamorous evening attire.

 Also from Michelle was this stunning wire woven red pendant.  Beautifully done and I especially like the addition of the red crystals at the top of the pendant.

My offerings for the challenge were this hand painted pansy pendant suspended from a chain made of purple crystals and brass wire.  

My other contribution were these fun and very long dangly wire woven leaf earrings made of copper wire that has been oxidized to a warm, antique finish.  Shoulder dusters is not an exaggeration when describing these earrings!

I hope you have enjoyed this collection of  "Spruce Up" jewelry.  I know many of us live in our jeans, but there are times when we want to feel elegant and pretty - these pieces are guaranteed to accomplish exactly that!

Thursday, December 31, 2020

Creativity and Covid - November/December 2020 Blog Carnival

 The topic for the Nov/Dec 2020 Jewelry Artisans Community Blog Carnival is "Creativity and Covid."  The Covid pandemic of 2020 has turned lives upside down this past year and it has been a time of great sorrow, frustration, boredom, anger, hope, fear and despair.  Since Covid is on all of our minds, the blogging community at JAC thought exploring how Covid has affected creativity a topic that we would like to explore.

When this all started back in February, 2020, I initially thought I'd be spending a lot of time in my studio designing and creating because we were not leaving home except to buy groceries every two weeks and I'd have a ton of time to create (lack of time being something I often complain about).  As it turns out, I was mistaken - I've spent very little time in my studio this past year.

Instead, I felt an almost urgent need to be outside.  We live on 3.5 acres that is in constant need of tree thinning, brush clearing and burning of the resulting vegetation piles to reduce fire danger.  Weather allowing, we were outside nearly every day taking care of our land back in February, March and April.  



As the weather became too hot to work outside, I found myself wanting to spend time in the kitchen.  I was baking bread, cookies and other desserts and trying out new recipes.  I've always enjoyed cooking, but really took it to a new level.  I believe that there is aconnection between preparing food and taking care of our families and I think this was a way to nurture my husband and myself.



All of the above isn't to say I didn't make any jewelry.  I did here and there and derived the same sense of satisfaction as always; I just didn't feel driven to make it.

I've come to think that this lost year has fostered a different kind of creativity.  Working outside freed my mind to wander and my body to become strong and fit.  Cooking and baking is something I've always thought of as another art form and it was something my husband and I could share, whereas making jewelry doesn't allow for that kind of closeness.  The cooking and subsequent consumption of the food provided comfort to both of us. 

When I think about making jewelry, it seems inconsequential compared to what so many have had to endure, yet any activity, whether it is jewelry design, knitting, cooking, gardening, reading, writing poetry, bonding with pets or zoom chats with family and friends are all creative outlets and that provide what we have needed to help us get through this difficult time. My hope is that by spring, we will be seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and that people will be able to begin to re-claim their lives and pick up the pieces. 

To read what other members of the Jewelry Artisans Community have to say about Creativity and Covid, please click on the links below:

Cat's Wire

Monday, December 28, 2020

Oldies but Goodies - Candle Light

Our Oldies but Goodies Challenge at the Jewelry Artisans Community was to share our jewelry designs that were reminiscent of candles.  As always, our group showed how talented and creative they are.

Cat of Cat's Wire didn't waste any time in reminding of us of how creative she is with this beaded candle decoration.  It's not jewelry, but designing and creating it required many of her jewelry making skills.  Cat tells us she puts this darling ornament in her hallway during the holiday season:


This beautiful cuff looks like it is reflecting the glow of candle light.  Such a romantic piece of jewelry - wouldn't that be pretty to wear in a restaurant where the tables are lit by candlelight?

Caroline, of The Crafty Chimp presented these amazing beaded tea light designs.  They are so clever and I just love how they look like festively wrapped Christmas gifts. 

 For my own submissions, I felt like this orange stone that practically glows from within was a perfect choice to represent candle light.  

The orange crystals in these earrings remind me of the flickering light of a candle.

Irith of Riorita Jewelry gave us these gorgeous tear drop earrings with deep red faceted stones.  They almost look like they are on fire.

Irith also shared this warm golden pendant and it's shape looks very much like a candle flame.  I love the way the stone is set with Irith's signature earthy style.

Such lovely creations from these lovely and talented artists - it's always a pleasure and a joy to see your work!


Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Oldies but Goodies - Christmas Colors

The theme for this Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge was Christmas Colors, and boy, did we have terrific entries.  It always amazes me how the members of this group can take the same theme and come up with such diverse designs.

Without further delay, let's get right to these beauties!

Cat of Cat's Wire gave us these fabulous spiky Christmas ball pendants.  I've always admired these balls that Cat makes and they come in earrings, pendants that can be worn on a chain, tree ornaments or simply put in a pretty bowl or basket.  They also come in all sorts of colors.

Next, Cat showed us her playful side with this loomed beaded black cat wearing a Santa hat.  Now, doesn't he look naughty?  No treats for him; I think he will be getting a lump of coal in his stocking!

Irith of Riorita Jewelry shared this wonderful silver bangle set with green Tourmaline and red Garnet.  This stunning bangle really shows off Irith's very unique and earthy style.

Irith wowed us once again with this heart shaped pendant that features what I believe to be red and green sea glass.  It's absolutely lovely and versatile enough to wear all year round.  No need to save this beauty just for Christmas!

This free form copper wire sculpture bracelet is accented with red coral and green turquoise beads and has a knotted red cord band.  Whimsical, yet elegant, this submission is from Dawn at Jewelry Art by Dawn (me).

I also chose these icy blue earrings with snowflake accents to share in this challenge.  I really like these colors together; they make me think of a snowy Christmas morning.

Last, but certainly not least, Michelle of My Bijou Life got everyone in the Christmas spirit with these awesome beaded Jack Skellington tree ornaments.  Now, I ask you...who doesn't love Jack Skellington!  I can picture a tree decorated with nothing but these fabulous ornaments - what a tree that would be!

I hope you have enjoyed seeing the work of these talented artists.  It was just what was needed to bring on the Christmas cheer.  However you celebrate, Happy Holidays to all!