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!

Saturday, December 12, 2020

Oldies but Goodies - Seeds & Nuts

 This week, the Oldies but Goodies Challenge over at the Jewelry Artisans Community was "Seeds and Nuts".  The entries were simply amazing!

From Cat at Cat's Wire, we were treated to examples from her felting period and I  really looking forward to more felting from Cat.  Look at these gorgeous, yet playful earrings!

Michelle over at My Bigou Life gave us these sweet hoops earrings that featured amethyst beads wrapped on sterling silver wire.  They remind me of peas in a pod.

Then she WOWed us with this beautiful wire woven Petosky stone pendant with little fossils embedded in the stone.  Michelle said that the fossils reminded her of the spiky seeds that attach themselves to our socks.  That they do, but without the annoyance factor of those darn stickers.  This is one gorgeous pendant, Michelle!

Irith of Riorita Jewelry wasn't sure that her offerings fit the theme, but there was no doubt in my mind that they did and more.  

I love this necklace with little silver flowers and it's no stretch to imagine the seeds that those little flowers might make.

And, then Irith went from dainty to big and bold with this beautiful ring.  That wonderful stone makes me think of rich and delicious hazel nuts.  

 And, lastly there were my submissions.

This pendant features a butterfly hovering near a flower.  The wing is real (found on a sidewalk) and the body is made from the seed of a wild native grass that grows in my area.

 Chipmunks love sunflower seeds and this hand painted pendant tries to capture the moment when a little chippy found one of its favorite foods and chowed down while perched on a picket fence.

Thank you for checking out this week's Oldies but Goodies Challenge - I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did!

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Oldies but Goodies - Mushrooms and Moss

 The Jewelry Artisans Community but Goodies Challenge theme this week was "Mushrooms and Moss."   Participants were challenged to submit jewelry designs that they made recently or years ago that captured the mushrooms and fungi that show up with the arrival of moist fall weather. The entries are gorgeous and I am thrilled to share them here:

From Cat of Cat's Wire:

The whimsy and creativity in this wire woven mushroom complete with woodland fairy swinging underneath is magic:

And, then Cat turned around and shared this elegant mossy ring with us.  Wouldn't that be a great ring to wear to a dinner/cocktail party?

Next to share her beauties was Michelle of My Bijou Life with this beautifully wire wrapped and woven cabachon with a pattern reminiscent of mushroom colors.  I think I see mushroom shapes in there too! This is such a unique piece - well done, Michelle!

Michelle mused that these sweet earring were too blue green to be make us think of moss, but to me they bring to mind a patch of mossy stones under a big blue sky.

Irith of Riorita Jewelry never disappoints and she thrilled us again with these lovely domed earrings that immediately brought to mind the shape of mushrooms.  Not only that, but the gems stones she chose to use are the perfect representations of Mushrooms and Moss.  Thank you so much, Irith!


Dawn of Jewelry Art by Dawn (me) chose to submit this hand painted mushroom pendant...

It's always interesting to see how different artists interpret a theme and this week was no exception; I hope you enjoyed seeing these lovely takes on "Mushrooms and Moss".

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Oldies but Goodies - Fall Colors, 11/15/20

 At the Jewelry Artisans Community some of our members participate in a weekly "Oldies but Goodies" challenge.  Participants are encouraged to go through their stash and post photos that pertain to the theme. It can be something they made yesterday or something they made five years ago.  For many of us it is a fun trip down memory lane and for others we are seeing the shared items for the first time.  Either way, it is fun and kind of magical.

The theme for the week ending 11/15/20 was fall colors and our members did not disappoint.

From Cat of Cat's Wire, we had this gorgeous wire woven pendant:

And, this stunning beaded cuff.

Irith of Riorita Jewelry shared these beautiful examples of her uniquely organic style. I'd recognize Irith's work anywhere.


This three strand seed bead bracelet and these lovely dangly earrings by Michelle of My Bijou Lifereally captured fall colors.

And, bringing up the rear, I ( Jewelry Art by Dawn ) submitted this painted wood beads necklace...

...and, a real autumn leaf preserved in resin pendant.

This is my favorite time of year and I truly enjoyed seeing all of these fantastic creations from such talented members.  Thank you all for participating in our challenge - it was a treat!