Thursday, March 31, 2016

Pretty Palettes Reveal for March

Hi Friends,

The inspiration for the Pretty Palettes challenge this month are some amazing photos of dresses for which we are to design red carpet-ready jewelry.  

Always up for a challenge, I headed to my local Michaels in search of stunning sliders and crystals to create some jewelry fit for the Oscars.  But...I got there at the end of a sale, and it was pretty bare.  There just weren't enough strands to create in the lovely jewel tones of emerald, ruby and sapphire that Erin picked for this theme.  So, I found another color - amethyst - and went with that.  

The result is a more vintage style, possibly more Downton Abbey than Hollywood. 

Here's the necklace:

Amethyst Necklace
The central sliders and silver spacers are Bead Gallery from Halcraft.  The chain and amethyst drops and rounds are from my stash.  

I really liked these amethyst sliders, so I made three pieces, including one that is super easy.  It's a ring.  All I did for this is glue a filigree ring band to the back of a slider.  
Amethyst Ring
And, here is the bracelet.  It is on memory wire with purple AB rounds and tiny faceted crystals, which are Halcraft's.  The small silver sliders were in my stash.

Amethyst Bracelet
Perhaps this set is not flashy enough for the red carpet, but I think they have a regal look to them.  I can't decide if the large sliders remind me of Victorian design or a Celtic shield, but this vintage style is one to which I keep returning.

Happy Creating!  Take a look at the reveal and see all the fabulous jewelry creations!

Saturday, March 19, 2016

We're All Ears - Arabesque Earrings

Today I'm inspired by photos on the Earrings Everyday blog that Erin Prais-Hintz presented for the We're All Ears post.  She showcased arabesque art from the mosques of Iran as an inspiration for our earrings.  These stunningly beautiful sights are a wonder to behold.  Here is one photo she used, but be sure to take a look on the We're All Ears post for more amazing structures.
Celling of Hazrate-Masomeh’s mosque in Qom, Iran

As I contemplated these photos, I was struck by the similarities to other intricate, geometric designs.  Rose windows came to mind as I am teaching an art lesson on that now.  But, it is a very ancient and deeply embedded type of design in the human psyche.  Buddhist mandalas, Celtic crosses and Navajo sand paintings all share the same beginning in the circle, which represents the wholeness and unity of the cosmos. For those who want to see how these geometric designs are derived from the circle, see this: The Art of Islamic Pattern.

Now, how would I capture such intricate geometry in an earring?  Of course, I can only capture a small bit of it, an impression of it  I happened to have a couple of metal filigrees that would make a good start for the a patterned and divided center.  I layered on another filigree piece and filled the center with a turquoise rondelle and fluted bead cap.  But, it needed more, so I added dots of patina around the large filigree.  As is always the case, I debate with myself whether to add more or leave it alone.  What do you think?

Here they are:
Arabesque Earrings
And, another photo against the fence so you can see the effect of the patina and filigree layers better (but a little blurry!).
Arabesque Earrings

I would love to play with this idea more.  Thanks, Erin, for the inspiration.  I always enjoy your informative posts!

Happy Creating!

Friday, March 11, 2016

National Craft Month

Hi Friends,
It's National Craft Month and I'm celebrating all things crafty!  What do you like to do?

Here's a few of the things that I like to play with:

First on my list is beads.  Here's a set that I did for Craft Ideas.  It's perfect for weddings or other spring and summer occasions.  You can find the instructions on the Craft Ideas website under jewelry or in the spring issue of Craft Ideas.
Lavender Butterflies Set

Another craft that I love is needlepoint on plastic canvas.  Here's one of my latest designs at Herrschners.  Irises are one of my favorite flowers and I created iris coasters in three different colors.  Here they are:

Craftways® Iris Coasters with Holder Plastic Canvas Kit Was: $16.00                     Now: $12.99:

And, of course, I create with Smoothfoam™.  Here's my latest creation for them - a Gazebo Centerpiece.  You can find the instructions on the Smoothfoam™ blog.  Decorate for a spring dinner or special occasion such as a bridal shower!

Gazebo Centerpiece
 If you need more crafty ideas, this month on the Designer Crafts Connection blog, we have a collection of our favorite craft ideas.  There are thirty ideas right now to get your craftiness started!

Happy Crafting this month and always!