2/18/2021

Oldies but Goodies - More black and white

Black and white - a classic combination. Of course it would have been mean to demand from our members only to show black AND white pieces for the new Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge, but if black or white (with merely a hint of color here and there), the collage all brings them together nicely, don't you think? Of course there's more to see if you click through to the challenge.


1 Cat's Wire
2 Jewelry Art by Dawn
3 RioRita
4 My Bijou Life
5 The Crafty Chimp

2/17/2021

Ms Dawn is going out

Ms Dawn is going out and she's not wearing a mask. Dawn is in the 20s - the previous century's decade, that is, not her 20s and not the 20s of our century.
Dawn may be born in the 70s, but she doesn't care. She's a Flapper at heart and she demanded that I took her golden and hot pink dress off and gave her something a little more elegant. She became my "Mini Flapper" (compared to Flapper Barbie and Flapper Christie) and this is the story how.
If you please, you may imagine the following read to you in the manner of an announcer at a fashion show.

Ms Dawn's sleeveless dress is worked in the peyote technique in a subtle combination of dusty pink and grey with a hint of silver shimmer in both. It goes up all the way in the back and features a rectangular neckline in the front.
At the bottom seam it is finished with a small fringe.
Pink blossoms accented with a small center bead are generously scattered all over the dress except in the upper part of the back.

For jewelry she has chosen a classic and unobtrusive long necklace from clear beads that she is wearing sideways. She has refrained from adding any more jewelry on this occasion so as to not take attention off her outfit at all.


The headband that picks up the flower embellishment of the dress is perfect with the slightly windswept look of Ms Dawn's bob. Unfortunately she wouldn't share the secret with us how she manages to tame her full hair, but we suspect that the lovely grey headband makes up a big part of it.


A night out is impossible without wearing an elegant evening cloak. Ms Dawn's choice is this custom made model matching the color of her dress perfectly. It is bead loomed and has a high peyote collar. The hems are embellished with small clear accent beads for a sophisticated look.


These fashionable sandals too are designed to match the colors of the outfit. For a better fit on the foot they have small pink straps. With sandals as comfortable as these Ms Dawn will have no problems to dance the night through if she so desires.


An accessory that can't be missed is a purse, big enough to hold the most important things for a night in the city. At the last minute Ms Dawn has chosen this cute little drawstring pouch that matches her outfit instead of a silver clutch that her friend suggested because she can just hang it from her wrist.


And here's our Flapper now, waiting for her friends at the big cat sculpture.
Thank you for joining us and we hope to welcome you again to our next fashion show at La Maison Cat!
Enjoy your night as our Ms Dawn no doubt will, too.



Dawn was a registered trademark of the Topper Company. I am not affiliated with Topper in any way.

2/15/2021

Colors

What are your colors?
This Jewelry Artisans Community Blog Carnival's topic was inspired by two things.
One was the comment of one of our members on an Oldies but Goodies challenge "This challenge has pointed out to me how seldom I use bright colors. That needs to change!".
The other one was that we noticed I had used a lot of blue in 2020 without knowing why.

So this is the topic for today's post:
"How do you choose colors for your jewelry? Do you prefer certain colors, knowingly or unknowingly? Do you like bright or subdued colors?"
The best way to start this was to have a look at my different stashes and to think about in what way I use them - Delicas, seed beads, lampwork, cabochons, and more.


It was interesting. Obviously I am not a very colorful person. Looking down and seeing that I'm dressed in black and grey at the moment, I shouldn't be too surprised about that.
Of course these are only a few examples, but I came to the conclusion that I prefer animals in lampwork beads, subdued colors in cabochons, and only my Delicas and seed beads offer at least a bit of color although I also have a lot of different grey and other neutral tones.
I didn't take a picture, but my other beads - cubes, bugles, daggers, etc. - only confirmed that.
In the last few years I have also not been using my colored wires much except in the yarn baskets (these are just a few of them).



What does that mean? Am I a dull person? I went to my folders with pictures of all of my pieces and found some color after all, but not as much as I had expected to.
A lot of blue, purple, a bit of red here and there, very little yellow, some orange, but all in all my work isn't bursting with color.

So I thought about why that is.

I have a few colorful lampwork beads, but I'm not very good at using them. I have always been drawn to the blue ones which is one of my favorite combinations with silver. So I stopped adding to my lampwork stash except for one or the other animal that I couldn't resist.

I hardly use colored wires anymore after people made some very mean remarks - not to me, but other sellers - about their pieces looking cheap. While I didn't agree, it obviously influenced me more than I even noticed. I'll have to get on that.

My cabochons are usually favorite stones of mine, labradorite, moonstone, jasper ... right, they don't necessarily come in bright colors. Nothing will change here because I'm determined not to buy cabochons on a whim anymore to hide them away with the ones I already have.

Delicas and seed beads, I got colors there. I'm just thinking of my Bollywood bracelets, like this one for example. Oh wait, more blue and purple. What's my problem? ;-)


Ah, but there are others. Take this one, for example.



Seems it's easier for me to use colors with Delicas and seed beads. I think that's why I love Heather's work so much and like to transfer it into beads. Her colors make me happy.

So what's the conclusion?
I like to see colors, but I'm not using them often enough myself.
What do you think, should I change that? Or should I just accept that the colors will come to me if they want to?

If you want to know what the other participants are thinking about colors, check it out here.

My Bijou Life
Jewelry Art by Dawn

2/12/2021

Oldies but Goodies - Favorites of 2020

I don't think I have to say much about 2020. You all know that it was not a fun year, and that is putting it extremely nicely.
The topic for this week's Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge was to pick our favorite pieces from that year to remind us that you could still find some beauty in it. There is a wonderful collection of personal favorites in that post, so you should really click through to see all of them.

For the collage I could only pick a few, to whet your appetite, so-to-speak ;-) I hope it's working!

1 My Bijou Life
2 The Crafty Chimp
3 Jewelry Art by Dawn
4 RioRita
5 Cat's Wire

2/05/2021

The Fairy Queen

Do you remember Dawn, my little Topper doll? After having her lying without clothes for years because 1. I didn't even know back thenwhat or who she was, 2. I had no idea where to get clothes for her, I had finally made a fancy little dress and accessories for her out of seed beads.
As Dawn is only 6 1/2 inch - compared to the 11 1/2 inch of a Barbie and 11 1/4 inch of a Francie - it may not be instant gratification to make something for her, but it's definitely quicker. I couldn't help myself and had to get more Topper dolls, two more, to be exact.
After making the dragonfly pin, I knew what I wanted to do with one of them.
Dawn was to become a fairy!
Only she's not really Dawn, but one of her friends as the head mark 11C as opposed to 11A told me. She's Jessica who used to be a stewardess (yes, that's what it was called back then). It's kind of funny because last time I had thought that Dawn was a Jessica, and now I fell for it the other way round. I should have noticed that her hair was not as full, but I'm so used to different Bubble Cut hairstyles on vintage Barbies that I simply didn't think about it.

As usually, I made the dress first.
What do you think of when thinking of a fairy? Tinkerbelle? Flora, Fauna and Merry-weather from Sleeping Beauty? Cinderella's fairy godmother? Oh, no Disney fairy at all? Maybe one from a fairy tale book you read as a child? From a fantasy movie?
Do you imagine a long dress, a colorful hat that reminds of a witch's hat? Something short and green? A cloak with a big bow? Something glittery? Something colorful like flowers? That's the fun part about it, your imagination is the limit.
My imagination sent me to a combination of reds and browns with some gold mixed in. I made the dress using the Herringbone technique which has proven to be the most versatile so far, at least for me who's not that much of an off loom beader (yet?). I like the "pleats" in the skirt and hope to be able to do reproduce this in a bigger dress eventually.
This time I forgot to take a picture of Jessica just with the dress on, but I'll get to the accessories again later.



Next were the wings. It's two sets of wings that I made in the bead embroidery technique with golden seed and bugle beads. Instead of enhancing the golden look as I did in the dragonfly wings, I used tiny clear AB seed beads with the sequins here.
Sewing the wings on was quite a fiddly thing to do, especially with the arms constantly getting in the way. The hard part was also to sew them on in a way that wouldn't make them move too much, after all I don't want to fold up in the back, so you won't be able to see them.
I would say this part challenged my patience the most, and yes, there was swearing!
Here's a close-up of the wings.


My first thought had been to give my fairy a wand, but the typical wand with the little star on top seemed a little stereotypical. Instead, I decided on giving her a long staff, something sturdy, something to emphasize her power as a queen even more than the little golden crown of seed beads and coated hematite.
After thinking for a while, I remembered having wood skewers left over from my polymer clay days. I used size 15 seed beads to cover one of them in peyote, going from coated clear beads at the bottom to golden ones at the top.
The Swarovski crystal came in very handy although the story goes that it's really a citrine found by the dwarves and gifted to the Queen of the Fairies ;-) I could have used the same one in a smaller size, but the Queen made very clear that she didn't think small.
For the connection between staff and crystal I glued on a thick layer of golden seed beads to strengthen the thread connection. It was one of the rare times when glue and I made up a good team!
The staff is attached to the hand by means of a little bracelet and I can even move it into different directions without it falling off.



Last but not least came the everlasting struggle with the shoes. As I had already mentioned in my post about Dawn, the Topper dolls have tiny feet thanks to their size. Once again I tried slippers like I made them for Francie before, I tried to make the soles in different sizes and use differently sized beads, but to no avail. Even when I admitted defeat and got back to the sandal design, I still had to experiment with that.
This is attempt #6, I think, the one that finally made me happy. They stay on her feet and they fit the outfit. I didn't have a golden thread, but I have a gold metallic pen coming to cover it and even like this the "golden yellow" was still the best choice.


Thank you if you have made it to here. I'll end this post with a picture that is giving you a better idea of the Queen's size. This is an ordinary step on my stairs, so you see that our fairy is indeed one of the "small folk".
Don't let it deceive you, though, I'm sure she knows how to use that staff, for magic or to hit you with it! ;-)


Barbie is a registered trademark of Mattel, Inc. I am not affiliated with Mattel in any way.
Dawn was a registered trademark of the Topper Company. I am also not affiliated with Topper in any way.

2/04/2021

Oldies but Goodies - More jasper

Some years ago we already had a Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge with the topic jasper. Back then I told the story of the first tumbled rock I bought. I could edit that post now to say that I finally made something with that rock, a humble jasper that was the first one to let me see the beauty of non-sparkly stones.

Now we are back with a new challenge and new kinds of jaspers. There are so many varieties and one is more beautiful than the other. I hope you will like what we have done with them.



1 RioRita
2 The Crafty Chimp
3 Jewelry Art by Dawn
4 Cat's Wire
5 My Bijou Life