DoubleWave Pearl Cuff

DoubleWave Pearl Cuff

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Viking inspiration...


Not sure if any of you out there have watched any of the "Viking" episodes on the History channel, but we've been seriously bitten by the bug. Those guys make current day thugs look like complete amatures! The vileness, gore, and utter heatheness has been shocking. Yet, there is a certain appeal to watching the hoarding, looting, routing, and generally bad behavior displayed by these characters.  Not to mention observing these big, burly, muscled and hunky men running around wearing next to nothing or what amounts to short skirts. And the women. Who wouldn't want to be a Shield Maiden? Hmm... What does this have to do with jewelry? I have no idea, but I feel like it's inspired some form of animus or at least awaked the ancient Celt in me ( I think those guys rivaled the exploits of the Norse).  I am, afterall, part Irish.  My Captured Stone Pendant gives as good as it gets. We cut, shape and pound metal.  We harness a lovely stone with wire capture.  Celtic Weave Ring binds metal into a miniature Druid circle. Come and join the fun with me and these upcoming classes at Brea Bead Works.   

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Call him Lucky!

Some people buy plants for the flowers, and some people buy them for the bugs, or they buy egg cases, but that's another story for another blog entry. What?! Yeah, that's what we did.  Milkweed (Asclepias) is the ONLY thing that Monarch butterflies eat for their reproductive life.  They fly until they spot a milkweed, land, munch, lay eggs and flit off to the next plant.  We found a couple of these plants at the local Armstrong's nursery and snapped them up, with the hopes that we would have Monarch's flying into our yard to begin the process.  Lo and behold, we actually bought a plant that already had Monarch larva on it.  Within two days, we had this little guy happily munching our plant.  We have another plant and it has at least two or three active caterpillars doing their thing.  I am now documenting "Lucky's" life until he/she turns into a lovely butterfly. least that's the plan.  Stay tuned!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Who's paying attention?

Okay, okay, okay!  You've all been reminding me for a while now.  You know who you are.  I have finally gotten off my duff and I am blogging.  Now is the time for me to turn the tables.  If you've recently taken a class with me, you know I've talked about this metal working technique.  What is the name of the method?  The first student to name the technique will win this pendant.  As soon as I get an answer, I will post again and explain it to those that don't know.  Good luck!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Can't help myself!

Am I precog or what?  Emerald!  2013 Pantone Color of the Year?  I knocked these babies out fast, huh?  Just kidding.  These beauties were designed for a Brea Bead Works class just held a couple of weeks ago.  Wendy Remmers who co-owns the store sends out email snippets on trends.  She sent one in the Fall calling for big, dramatic earrings for the Winter Session.  I had just designed them and knew they'd be perfect for a class.  I call them Diva Earrings.  Ironically, the peacock seed beads were the inspiration and I knew that I had some Emerald Swarovski teardrops in my stash.  Just in time for Color of the Year!  One of my students asked in class if I was going to sell the pair I was making in class.  They weren't perfect, so I said "no, but the green pair I'll sell".  I think not.  I'm gonna put these on today and show off my green pride!  It helps that I'm part Irish!  Erin go braugh!  Or, as the lads in Ireland would say, "Erin go braugh-less"!  ;)

Everything's coming up Emerald!

Just announced!  Pantone's Color of the Year 2013, Emerald!  I love it.  I'm a "Winter", which means rich, saturated gem tone hues look best on me.  Inspiration is just around the corner (okay, maybe across the pond).  Think Emerald Isle.  All those green hills.  Before you know it, March will be upon us along with green bagels (sorry, but they've never looked appetizing), shamrocks, green beer and SPRING!  I know, I know....Christmas isn't even here yet, but I can't help it.  Green means renewal and I am really done with this year!  I am looking forward to a fresh start and this just gets my creative juices sparked.  You know that great trends begin with a great idea.  In a couple of weeks (I kid you not) you're gonna start seeing this color in everything!  Before Grandfather Time magically transforms into a baby on New Years (enough with the cosmetic surgery), catalogs, ads, furniture, clothing, and fashion accessories, i.e. JEWELRY will be this color!  So, get off your duffs, wipe the eggnog off your face, and start thinking GREEN.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Red, White, and Blue!

I have a couple of students that provide a lot of inspiration.  They are the two Shellies.  Shelli Keller and Shelley Herbin. They take most of my classes and are a lot of fun to have in class.  And double the fun when they take a class together.  Shellie Herbin took my first Infinity pendant class.  She made her pendant in copper with beautiful Padparaschda and Golden Shadow Swarovski, along with bronze pearls.  Using copper for the armature and the pearls on the bottom half was a true inspiration.  She also said she thought she add a crystal drop to the top half.  Unfortunately, I haven't seen her since she finished it and she hasn't sent me a pic! (Hint, hint)  The original sample is the one in the middle on Silver-filled wire.  This is a replica of the one I made for Andrea at Christmas time.  The blue one on the left is Shelli Keller's.  She used Montana AB rounds and bicones, along with dark blue pearls.  She's my color guru.  She has an innate sense of color and whenever I'm stuck, she helps out.  So when we had class, she ran around BBW grabbing colors that she thought would work for me.  I love the burgundy, and Satin Rose combo.  This pic doesn't do justice to these pieces, but when you see them in person, they are fab!  Thanks to my groupies....Shelli & Shelley!  Anyone else game?  Send me a pic of what you've done with your piece.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Buy Smart!

Purple Haze sunset over Orange, California

You've all heard the real estate adage "Location, location, location"!  In the world of jewelry design and production it's all about resourcing.  I'm a proponent of supporting local bead stores in Orange County.  Actually, in all truthfulness, I'd support a bead store just about anywhere, in any vicinity that I happen to find myself.  Yes, it's an obsession, but it's particularly important to shop locally.  For one thing, it keeps a percentage of the sales tax in your own locale.  Secondly, it keeps businesses open that are a vital resource for so many of us.  The product offerings and classroom instruction are a relatively inexpensive form of therapy (physical and mental) and keep most of us happy and connected to other Crafters that appreciate and understand the importance and cultural significance of handcrafting.  Yet we've seen numerous stores close due to a lackluster economy, joblessness, Internet competition, increasing costs, and sometimes poor business planning.  It is always sad when a store closes, and the trickle down effect can be disastrous.  Understandably, there is only so much money to go around.  Buying smart and having a plan is your best bet.  Like my last blog about mise-en-place, planning your purchases by the project will be the biggest aid in managing your resources.  Buy the smallest quantity you can get away with for that given project.  Remember, anything you don't use in the project will have to be stored, and in a sense is wasted money.  I'd rather buy as much as I need for the project and reserve the rest of the money for the next design.  If you tend to purchase from the Internet because you find it convenient or for the best pricing, instead consider buying with a group of bead buddies and buy in bulk in local stores that offer bulk discounts or tiered pricing.  Or in the very least, shop with a friend and split strands or quantities.  Instead of crafting in Sterling Silver if that's prohibitive, try Silver-filled wire and/or sheet.  Or, craft in copper.  Copper's been a hot material for some time and is truly inexpensive.  It's very forgiving and looks beautiful when combined with most colors of beads.  Buying locally means not having to wait for product to arrive, and there isn't a shipping charge.  Some would argue that the cost of gas is probably the same, but the advantage is you have your product in hand.  Let's try to support our local bead stores as much as possible and be a little more creative with buying strategies (i.e., exhibit control when entering a bead store).  So what's the significance of the pretty pic above?  It's to remind you not to get caught in a hazy daze after entering a store and then feign innocence when the hubby mines your stash cabinet (or closet) and finds your cache! Just be smart about it and shop locally as much as possible.