Art Elements Design Challenge and Blog Hop - Foliage

"Foliage? I can do that!"
When I read the September topic for the Art Elements Design Challenge that Caroline gave us, I was completely confident that I would rock this. I have made leaves and leaf patterns both in wire and beads before, and I even thought that this time I would be able to make more than one piece.

BAM! Unfortunately this is not a "I did it" BAM, but a "life gets in the way" one.
So this is the part where I'm getting to the cheap excuses, in this case work and health or rather a combination of both which tends to kill off not my creativity, but the ability to transfer my ideas into actual pieces. For example I saw some wire crochet leaves in fall colors before my eyes, but after ripping one up twice I didn't feel like another attempt.

I even forgot that I had started making something that I put on my manikin head to decide about a clasp and embellishments.
Just a few days ago I happened to see it again (and I walk by that head all the time!) and had planned to work on it some more yesterday after coming home from work, but due to a stranded train it took me three hours to get home, and all I wanted there was something to eat and sleep.
This morning now I wasn't even sure if I liked it at all anymore without some major changes. Now I'm afraid it's going to move to the Drawer of Eternal WIPs which is not a good place to be, I've heard ;-)

I'm glad that I'm not standing - well, actually sitting - here without having anything to show.
I love making these kind of leaves, they are great to use in earrings, pendants or necklaces, and it's always fun embellishing them with what I can find at the moment.
Here I used chocolate brown freshwater pearls and matte carnelian beads for that perfect fall feeling. After all fall is my favorite season!

Now here's the good stuff, a list of all the other participants in the challenge, and I'm sure they'll be showing a lot more. I'm already looking forward to going through all the posts and pictures!
Please have a look, I know you won't be disappointed!


Alison - Alysen - Anita - Beth and Evie - Cat (that's me ;-)) - Dawn - Divya - Hope - Jill - Karen - Kathy - LaurieMary - Michelle - Sarah - Sarajo - Tammy 

AE team members

Claire - Cathy - Caroline - Jenny - Lesley - Marsha - Niky - Susan


Oldies but Goodies - More Copper

Copper is not new to the Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge, in fact it's the third time for it to make its appearance which is no wonder.
After all copper is no new material in jewelry design. Often jewelry artisans start out using copper because it is more affordable than silver and fall in love with its warm look that is so beautiful with a lot of colors. A red or green combined with copper for example will have a completely different look than combined with silver.

To be frank, I have always considered myself to be a silver or white gold girl. Actually I started out making jewelry with coated copper wire if I wanted a bit of color, but also sterling and then fine silver. At some point that turned around, I felt the beauty of copper creeping up on me. Maybe I felt it worked better for what I did than silver, maybe I was inspired by the beautiful copper pieces I kept seeing from others, at any case my feelings from when I kept getting a dark wrist from the only copper bangle I ever owned as a teenager had changed completely.

Today's selection shows I'm not alone with this feeling about copper. Enjoy.

1 Bijou Bead Boutique
2 RioRita
3 Cat's Wire
4 Jewelry Art by Dawn
5 The Crafty Chimp
6 MC Stoneworks


Oldies but Goodies - Black and blue

This week's Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge was easy peasy. Or was it?
The topic was Black AND Blue, not Black OR Blue, but we were lucky, it didn't mean that other colors in the piece were not allowed.
Black and blue is actually a pretty cool color combination as you can see looking at the entries, and maybe I should use this as an inspiration. I'm thinking of bead looming here ....
For now, however, I have this collage of fabulous pieces for you. Once again it was very hard to choose!

1 Jewelry Art by Dawn
2 CymberRain
3 Bijou Bead Boutique
4 MC Stoneworks
5 RioRita
6 Cat's Wire
7 The Crafty Chimp


Oldies but Goodies - Festive colors

What is there to say about this week's Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge? I think the title speaks for itself ... festive colors.
Although I like to say that black is my favorite color - yes, I know it's not really a color - we all need some color in our lives, maybe even more these days.
I hope you'll enjoy today's selection (and please click the picture for more detail)!

1 Bijou Bead Boutique
2 RioRita
3 Ganison Atelier
4 MC Stoneworks
5 Cat's Wire
6 Jewelry Art by Dawn


Nostalgia - 50s figurines

Some years ago when I still did the "Finds of the week" posts, I had some called "I'm a collector" in which I shared vintage items. Over time my collections have mostly stopped growing due to different reasons, but they are still there and still loved. I also have vintage items, some inherited, some gifts, some from fleamarkets, some more interesting than others. So I thought it could be fun to share some of them every, now and then and tell their story.

This time I want to show you two very old friends of mine.
The brass horse and baby elephant belonged to my grandmother. I remember playing with them as a child. In my imagination the little elephant was an orphan that had been adopted by the horse. I would let them walk all over my grandmother's place - which wasn't that big, mind you - and when they took a break, the baby would drink milk from the horse. Don't ask me why, I was the kid that used the little playing cards at my other grandparents' house like dolls, making them have conversations and go out (I loved the way the pictures looked). I had a lot of imagination and was able to play like that for hours sometimes.

Unfortunately they are not marked. I know they are not Walter Bosse because the style is more realistic. It just surprises me that so far I haven't been able to find them elsewhere or at least something in the same style because I'm convinced these figurines were just as popular in the 50s as the wonderfully whimsical Bosse pieces. Here's a cat that has to work hard in my kitchen holding towels and potholders, I think he's still surprised about that job ;-)

At a fleamarket about ten years ago I did find this cat. I suspect she is younger than my old friends because its surface looks rougher, but I fell in love with her elegant posture and the price was very sensible.
As you can see she is much bigger than horse and elephant, too, so I don't display them together. She usually has the job of holding my two wonderful memory necklaces of Merlin and Meffi, painted by my friend Dawn, while horse and elephant protect part of my personal library, safely behind glass.

Some time before my grandmother passed, she gave me the little elephant. A while later I saw the horse standing on my younger brother's book shelf. I couldn't bear to see them apart and practically begged him to give it to me. Luckily he not only had no sentimental connection to it at all, unlike myself, he also wasn't at an age to be interested in a figure like that. No worries, he still hasn't regretted giving it up ;-)
Whenever I see those two together now, I'm immediately taken back in time to my grandmother's flat. I see her TV chair, her record player, the table cloth with the tassels (something else I loved to play with), and the cupboard where they used to wait for me to take them down and play with them.


Tackle that stash - Lampwork, silver, and crystals

Lately I have been working on making more earrings. You know I sometimes struggle making the same thing twice, so this is not always easy for me.
When going through my lampwork stash in search of inspiration again, however,  I found these beautiful drop headpins on sterling silver by Iced Moments.
The easiest way to use them is just bending the silver into earwires, I "made" a pair of earrings for myself that way. For these I wanted a little more, though not too much to keep the drops the main attraction.

In my crystal stash I still have some 2 mm crystals, and these three colors - a sapphire blue and a grey and light blue in kind of an opalite shimmer - seemed to be perfect for the earrings, so I wrapped them on using a fine sterling silver wire.
Just a pair of my handmade earwires and there you go. It doesn't always need much.


Oldies but Goodies - Patterns

Do you have a favorite pattern? I remember a great pair of capri pants with wide blue and wide stripes back in the 80s. I loved that one so much! Or the finely striped jeans in grey and black, one pair in the 80s, the other one in the 90s, I miss both of them!
Or that plaid skirt - not missing that one so much. I never was into flowers for myself that much either, but that early 80s wide dress in a light plaid was very pretty. I never wore "punk plaid", though, or the then fashionable "carrot pants" in a tartan pattern.

Of course there is much more out there than only flowers, stripes or plaid, though, they were just the first ones that came to my mind. You want proof? Just check out this collage from the latest Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge where we did patterns this time. As always I'd like to encourage you to visit the original thread as well because one collage simply isn't enough to show it all!

1 Togan
2 The Crafty Chimp
3 Jewelry Art by Dawn
4 Cat's Wire
5 MC Stoneworks
6 RioRita
7 Bijou Bead Boutique