Saturday, February 28, 2015

meet my Partner

I recently signed up for the Bead Peeps Swap n Hop (see previous post).
It is getting close to the time to send out our beads and prezzies to our partner. But first I have to tell you about my partner in crime for this event.  

from Los Gatos, California, meet Inge von Roos

Inge is an amazing lamp-work artist. She MAKES. GLASS. BEADS.  *sigh* ( love these.)

She is a lifelong crafter with many interests; pottery, stained glass, weaving, jewellery making, and many other handcrafts. Beginning as a bead stringer she fell in love with hand made glass beads while at a glass and bead show. Hooked on this idea, she took one class and that was it, she found her passion.
Inge is a constant student , regularly taking classes from various lamp work artists, in order to perfect her craft, and she travels all over North America to do so.
She says that bead making is meditation for her and is loving the variety of beads she can create by playing with new techniques and trying different colour combinations.
I cannot wait to see what she sends me in our swap.
To see some of Inge's work pop on over to  Inge's blog

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Bead Peeps swap 'n' hop

I am taking part in the BEAD PEEPS SWAP 'N' HOP. 

We have been asked to tell a bit about ourselves and our jewellery habits. 

I started jewellery making when I was a wee girl . 
My first piece was a pop' n' snap plastic bead necklace. Does anyone remember those? 

Then my next endeavour was to take apart and reconstruct a stretchy candy necklace. 
(minus a few pieces lol)
 Again, does anyone other than me remember those?

Fast forward several decades and my foray back into jewellery making was due to
 getting a job at a local bead and art supply store.
 I decided that to sell the products, I had to learn what to do with them. 

 I truly worked for beads . well that's where my paycheque went anyway.

So now I have a embarrassing supply of beads and findings and other good stuff. 

That's where swaps are such a good thing . I get to share my stash. 

I have a rather eclectic style.
 I don't think I have found MY VOICE  yet. 
So I make as many different styles as I can, in the attempt to find it .
 I do LOVE wirework and do a majority of my pieces with that technique. 

But then again I also love metal clay so I do some of that as well.

 Then there is bead stringing, and metal smithing , add a touch of soldering , but nowhere in this melee of techniques will you find me bead stitching

 so WHY do I have so many tubes of SEED BEADS? 'Cause they are so darn pretty to look at. 
 I do use them to make the backs of some necklaces smooth and easy to wear. and  I do own two bead  looms, so does that count?

Lately I have been using hardware store materials to fabricate some rustic pieces. 
(think washers and steel wire and copper sheeting and nuts and bolts )
I also am reworking a lot of older pieces -UPCYCLING  them into wearable designs for current trends. salvage at it's finest

the only one i don't use is BEIGE. LOL
As a former (retired) Interior Designer I have been exposed to colour my whole adult life. 
I was (am) not one to follow trends as I design for long term use and have found that I am ahead of the game, so to speak, by about two years, so what I look for is not easily available .
 I have used purples and magentas for quite a while before they became popular . 
 Lime green has been in my colour schemes for several years and it's now a mainstream colour. 

so here is a hint for you- my latest obsession is with the colour CORAL. 
Lets see where this leads hmmm?

so what does all this mean to you dear reader? 

Looking forward to swapping and creating with my partner. 

til' later!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Bead Hoarders blog hop

well , doesn't life and death get in the way of life ?

 due to a death in the family last week and the funeral being today I didn't get around to making anything for the bead hoarders blog hop till this afternoon.

it's not really a good use of a LOT of beads but i did use up some of my stash. I was looking through some very outdated bead magazines and found this idea for wire and beads. Originally designed to be a bracelet I decided to create a focal for a necklace instead. and then after I made the sample with craft wire I made another with artistic wire.

add some chain and voila , two necklaces from the same idea.

 the first one is made with craft wire and though I don't care for the colour of the silver it does work well with the glass pearls and the black cat's eyes beads. 

 the second one uses artistic wire with silver plated beads , instead of chain I used silver lined glass beads to create the "chain" 

Now I am wondering if matching earrings are necessary or not. 

thanks for stopping by even though i didnt meet  the deadline 

click here for the list of participants so you can see all the other goodies 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Octoberfest Blog Hop 2014

Today is the reveal for the third annual Octoberfest Blog Hop hosted by our fearless leader Rita of Toltec Jewels. 
Our mission, should we choose to accept it - and I did - is to create something that reflects this time of year , AUTUMN, in all it's glorious splendour. Here in eastern Ontario  in Canada  our leaves turn the most beautiful colours, sadly this year most of our leaves have already fallen. But the memory of their hues remains. I have been playing around with reclaimed/recycled copper sheet (think roofing materials). 
As a scrapbooker I have a ton of embossing folders and thin copper sheet gets the most wonderful designs or textures when it is run through my machine with these folders. 
I have been prepping for an art tour next week and so have a few thing to show off. One of my fave techniques is wire work, this time in copper as it's less expensive than silver and really relates to the colours of Autumn.  I hope you enjoy my picture show. 
wire work goddess with agate nuggets
wire work leaf in copper and silver with mixed gemstones

embossed fall scene- copper on leather 
embossed copper with handmade bail 
copper wire coils and sheet, on leather backing 
copper sheet hammered to create ruffles
                       silver clay leaf oxidised to add fall colour ,
               pearls and glass beads with silver links 

 You can see the other artists creations by visiting the Host site 
where you will find a list with all the links 
thanks for visiting 
Happy Fall y"all

Thursday, July 31, 2014

AJE component of the month

I'm so excited to be participating in the AJE July component of the month hop as a guest designer.
The hostess this month is Francesca Watson She sent us each one of her handmade glass cabochons. I received the loveliest blue iridescent (dichroic) cab.

Here is a photo of that cabochon. You can see the beautiful blues in the background with the hint of pinks , sea foam, gold and silver, in the dichroic mix of this bead. The colour shifts as one rotates the cab and it has flashes of iridescence .

The second photo shows the depth of metallic colour within this cab.
I knew that I had some other special glass beads in my stash, so I went hunting. I had a slew of Unicorn beads with similar character so I decided now was the time to stop hoarding saving them. I chose  3 yo-yo beads in clear glass with gold flashes of fire on the surface. Now yo-yo beads are interesting designs, they have no holes. The trick was HOW to combine them  and connect them to this focal.

Francesca gave us the option of having a un-drilled or drilled cab . I chose drilled, so my method of choice was to create a bail to secure this bead to my finished piece. Any old bail would not do.
Not only because this cab is special but it's also much thicker than most bails are designed for.
My solution was to create a wire bail with 18 gauge sterling wire. I decided to create a spiral at the front, feed the wire through to the back, make the bail and then tuck the tail behind the spiral.
I then had to figure out how to attach the yo-yo's (that's why they hadn't been used yet. ) I decided to use the same 18 ga wire and do a simple wrap around to secure them . You can see the path of the wire esp in the right hand bead. If the wire gets pulled it only gets tighter around the cores of the yo-yos. The three beads are connected with one piece of wire ending in a loop at each end.
the main focal with spiral bail and the three yo-yo beads above. 
I then added links made with cube beads  with the same gold fleck on the surface and Chinese crystals in a similar blue to the cab.

 I didn't want the necklace to become too busy with lots of wire wrapped links so I limited the number to be just enough to fit below the collarbone.
I didn't have any sterling chain that worked with this design so I used a mix of seed beads, e-beads,  bugle beads, and fringe beads in similar colours and character to create the remainder of the necklace.

 Rather than have the clasp at the back of the neck I decided to add it to the front where the links and the seed beads connected. I made a spiral embellished hook and eye clasp to add another scrolled element to the piece.; it looked ok but it was unbalanced visually so I made a matching spiral for the other side with 18 ga sterling wire. and connected it to the wire guard where the stringing wire joined onto the wire links. It adds a balancing element to the other side and hides the bare wire guard.

Of course one can't have a gorgeous necklace without marching earrings , well one can but one doesn't want a special piece with no companions. So I used up two more of the yo-yo's and glass cube and crystals to make a simple pair of earrings.

I am quite please with how this turned out and I think it would make a lovely bridal necklace with the crystals and the "something blue".
Here is the complete necklace including the seed-bead "chain"

I am so honoured that I was invited to play along this month . To see what the other guest designers and the AJE team made with their cabochons just click on the links below.

                                            Deb Fortin-  you are here.

Toltec Jewels -

Carol Briody -

The AJE Team

Caroline Dewison -

Susan Kennedy -

Melissa Meman -

Jenny Davies-Reazor -

and not least, our hostess and provider of the cabs for us all to play with  -

Francesca Watson-

Thanks for stopping by .  Hope you can come by again. 

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

My country blog hop

Oh Canada, my home and native land......
There is so much to love about Canada and being Canadian. I am a native of Canada's Capital city, Ottawa, Ontario.  Ontario is a vast province; from east to west it takes about two days to travel by car.
 Part of Ontario is comprised of the Canadian Shield , a HUGE rocky landmass. We are a mineral rich province as one could expect with all those rocks around.

We also have the most gorgeous Maple Trees that give us the best Maple Syrup in the world. In Spring these trees warm up, the sap runs, and we have tree growers who tap the sap and make syrup. Sugar shacks abound and one can visit them, watch maple syrup being made (by boiling the sap for hours and hours and hours in huge metal tanks).

Some fresh snow packed into a plate , pour on some warm sap and we enjoy the most delicious treat, maple syrup taffy on a stick. YUM.

In fall these same Maple trees turn the most amazing shades of red and orange, turning our forests into flaming beauty.

For my entry in this blog hop I've chosen to honour our maple leaf and highlight it with some of our local minerals/gemstones that are abundant in Ontario. I chose Sodalite, Garnet and Amethyst.

I made the pendant from Art Clay silver. It is fine silver .999 pure. It is a metal clay that one can make many different items with. I chose a simple rectangle and while the clay was wet I stamped two tiny maple leaves into it. After firing it becomes pure silver and with much polishing it gets really shiny. I patina'd the leaves with LOS and a tiny brush to keep the patina within the recessed leaf areas. This adds a bit of emphasis to the leaves as they are now a warm golden colour in contrast to the silver.

The stones are joined together with hand made silver wire links., Wire wrapping and wire work is my favourite technique for making jewellery. To keep it simple I finished the necklace with silver rolo chain which mimics the round loops of the wire wrapped connections. The whole piece is about 22 inches long.

To see other designs representing other countries stop by the host's blog Nanmade by Nan Smith. She is the hostess who set up this tour de pays hop. Thanks Nan for this great blog party.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Mary Harding Copper Leaf Pendant

I had some very happy mail today.  Last month I made a comment in reply to an Inside the Studio Post on the Art Bead Scene Blog, featuring Mary Harding . I wish I knew what date that was as I can't seem to find it now.
To encourage visitors to leave comments they choose one winner from each days comments and I WON.
 Today I received my prize from Mary Harding,  a lovely handcrafted Leaf pendant made from Copper Clay. Not only did Mary send me this lovely piece of art BUT she packaged it ever so beautifully in a hand stamped box wrapped with the most colourful ribbon and as a special treat it was tied to a gorgeous ceramic heart bead that was also made by Mary. I am so delighted with these miniature works of art. I love the warm earthiness of the copper and it's almost duplicated in the glazes used in the ceramic piece.  I think Mary uses real leaves to create her moulds and then can replicate nature in metal or ceramic. The ribbon is a mix of purples and olive green that goes so well with the colours in the pendants.
I've included links to the Art Bead Scene blog, Mary's blog and her website as well (click on the purple links above.)
Here is a photo of the two pieces I received. Aren't they GORGEOUS?
the copper pendant on the left (as viewed here) and the ceramic pendant (heart) on the right
Now to think of a project to do them justice.

To add to this serendipity, I discovered that Mary and I don't live all that far from each other (in the grand scheme of things. She lives in Northern New York state near the Canadian Border and I live in eastern Ontario,  just a skip across the St Lawrence river from her. Truly a small world.

This world wide web has closed the distances between so many of us artists.

Thanks Mary for such a lovely gift. I hope we get to meet in person, sometime soon.