Tuesday, March 29, 2016

March 2016 Blog Carnival - My Favorite Jewelry

The Jewelry Artisans Community March Blog Carnival is about our favorite jewelry.  I have a lot of favorite jewelry pieces including items that belonged to my grandmother and mother, things that were made by other jewelry artists whom I admire and jewelry that brings back special memories.  In this case, though, I'm going to write about favorites that I have created as doing so is a journey of what I have learned, how much I've progressed and how my own tastes have changed over the years.

In my early days of jewelry making, painting wood beads and stringing them together was what held my interest.  This bracelet is a good example of the type of work I was doing and I so proud of the little dangle that was attached at the clasp.  While this one is listed in my shop, I have a very similar bracelet that I often wear.

From painted beads, I moved to painting miniatures that were turned into pendants.  This is one of the early works that quickly became a favorite because everything came together easily.  The painting just flowed out of the brush and the beads were a perfect match.  It was also one of my first sales and even now, all these years later, I sometimes wish I had kept it.

Wire work had always fascinated me and it didn't take long to realize that I was not a natural at this technique.  Even a simple wrapped loop was beyond me.   After hours and hours and hours of practice, the day came that I was able to make a loop that was actually round!  Determined not to be defeated by wire that seemed to have a mind of it's own, I persevered and eventually little successes were achieved.  I loved the idea that something beautiful could be made with nothing more than a few pieces of wire and some hand tools.

This Celtic style braided cuff is one of my favorites from that time:

These earrings will always be a favorite as they were the first sale from my Artfire shop.  I remember how excited, happy and relieved I was after six months of patiently waiting.  There were even a few tears involved.

This one represented feeling as though I mastered (although that is really not the right word as there is still much to learn) wire weaving.  I wanted to frame one of my pendants and after many failed attempts this was the result.  I also really liked that goofy seagull.  Apparently someone else did too as it sold within a week of listing.

A customer gave me this stunning shell and asked me to make something for her.  She and I both loved the end result.  To this day, I have never seen such a beautiful piece of abalone and often wish it could have stayed with me.  It will always be a favorite even if all I have is a photo.

While this one isn't the prettiest bracelet ever made, it has a ton of sentiment and meaning because it is made from the tags of all of the dogs that have been part of my life over the years and who have gone on to the Rainbow Bridge.  While I don't have any cats, the cat charm is something I found in a jar of change when my sister and I were cleaning my brother's apartment after he died.  He adored his two cats (no worries, we found them a wonderful home) so I added it to the bracelet in memory of him.  When I wear the bracelet, all of the tags jingle together and people often look around expecting to see dogs following me.

Moving ahead to present times, I have recently started working with resin and this is one of my first successfully completed designs.  It was listed in my Etsy shop for three days when I decided I just couldn't part with it, so now it is mine.  Definitely a good decision; it will always be a favorite.  I've shared this a few time in various blog posts and hope people don't get sick of seeing it!

This is another one that was listed in my shop and that I took down.  It never really grabbed people, but I just love everything about it and figured it should stay where it would be appreciated.  It is.

As I was writing this, I started thinking about what would be my favorite in the sense that it is worn a lot.  It came to me that I wear this bracelet more than any single piece of jewelry I own.  It's not a complicated design; simply some beads strung on beading wire, but the beads are so colorful and cheerful that it just cannot be ignored.  It always makes me happy to wear it whether I'm out and about or spending the day at home.

It's interesting to see all of these favorites together; all so different and treasured and special.   I'm sure I'm not alone in finding myself gravitating towards the same items over and over as I think all of us have our favorites that are very meaningful to each of us for a variety of reasons.

To see what the other participants of the March Blog Carnival have to say on the subject of favorites, please click on the links below:

Echoes of Ela

Cat's Wire

Violetmoon's Corner