Friday, September 2, 2016

THE SILVER WITCH ~ Inspired By Reading ~ September 2016

I enjoyed reading and listening to The Silver Witch, by Paula Brackston.
It was the September selection for the Inspired By Reading Book Club, hosted by Andrew Thornton of Allegory Gallery. 
The story is told by two narrators on a Welsh lake - Tilda, a contemporary ceramicist and Seren, a witch and shaman in Celtic times.

Tilda finds what she believes is a bracelet with a Celtic carving of 3 dogs and 3 hares in a circle - seemingly chasing each other. 
I knew I wanted to, somehow, incorporate that image in my design.
After much research, I settled on a Celtic image I wanted to use.

I used a laser printer to copy the image onto glossy paper.
Then heat transferred the image onto 18 gauge copper and put it into the etching solution for a few hours.

The middle image was printed twice, resulting in a heavy build up of toner.
*Lesson learned* Less toner is actually better and gives a clearer impression.

 Thanks for visiting!

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Inspired By Reading ~ The Fault In Our Stars

I'll admit it - I over-extended myself with way too many events in April and May. It was great to step back and travel in June and scale back even more in July. This has given me the chance to read and dive back into the Inspired By Reading book club started by Andrew Thornton.

For July, we read The Fault In Our Stars by John Green, a poignant story of two teenagers battling cancer. I hope to see the movie someday.

Hazel, a main character, finds parallels in her life and the life of the main character in her favorite book. That character's mother fell in love with a "Dutch Tulip Man".

I was inspired to create tulips - 2 ways, on copper ovals cut in the hydraulic press with Potter USA's spoon shaped pancake die.

First I etched a flower design that I colored with alcohol inks.
I kept this design simple with a dangling carnelian bead and copper chain.

My next tulip is enameled on copper. I mixed the powdered enamel with Thompson's A-3 Holding Agent to create a liquid I could paint with.

Originally, I had planned to hang the pendant from a simple mixed seed bead necklace, but it needed something more. I love the way the little carnelian dangles on the silver chain tie the piece together.

Finally - a pair of sterling silver earrings with stamped stars.

Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Honey Do List - July 2016

It's always fun to see the challenge Eric Wentling has cooked up for the "Honey Do" list.
His goal is to encourage his wife, Sarajo, to stay creative. It's a bonus foe those of us who play along.

Here's what Eric, an accomplished photographer had to say about this month's challenge:

I'm a huge fan of the beauty to be found in nature, especially that hidden within the depths of the earth.  The random patterns of these stone pendants are a work of art unto themselves--some abstract, others more defined.  The challenge this month is to incorporate such a patterned natural stone into your jewelry!

If you've been following me or a while, you know I can't resist unique gemstones.I thought it would be difficult to choose, but I was immediately drawn to a unique ocean jasper cabochon I picked up in Tucson a few years ago.

I tried to follow the lines of the pattern with my wrap and decided to simply string the pendant on a copper chain to keep the focus on the stone.

Thanks for stopping by.
Don't forget to visit Sarajo's blog to check out the rest of this month's participants.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Honey Do Challenge - Reflecting Pool

When Sarajo Wentling posted her reveal for the June “Honey Do” Challenge, I realized I never even saw the intro..
Where did the time go???

I overwhelmed myself in April and May – scheduling events every weekend for 6 or 7 weeks. The business side of me took over and creativity took second place.
(to be honest, so did  family- not a good thing)

Memorial Day weekend was the turning point – We drove from NC to Colorado to celebrate our “nephew”, Ryan’s graduation from the US Air Force Academy. It was such an amazing two weeks. 

Then for the last two weeks of June I traveled back to Long Island and The Hamptons for a working vacation. It was great to see former colleagues at retirement parties and catch up with friends and clients at The Sag Harbor Arts and Crafts Fair and the Southampton Farmers Market. Of course, I cherish the time spent with my daughter.

Now that I’m back in NC, my creative side is beginning to emerge again. I’m ready to take on the challenges that fell by the wayside.


I was excited when I saw the photo Eric Wentling chose for the June challenge. I loved the blue palette and was pretty sure I had a piece started that fit perfectly. 

I used a die from Potter USA to cut a rectangle from textured copper in my hydraulic press.

I put the rectangular pendant together when I was experimenting with my powdered enamels. I started with a transparent blue base on textured copper. Then attempted to follow the swirl pattern with white base coat and a third firing with the same transparent blue.

Blue agate rondelles were wire wrapped onto sterling silver chain to complete the necklace.

Visit Sarajo's blog to see who else has played along.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Honey Do Challenge ~ Black and White and Shades of Grey

I have so much fun playing along with Sarajo and Eric Wentling. This month Eric challenged us with some black and white photos - very different from last month's bright orange, yellow and green.

Right away I thought of liver of sulfur on silver.  

This cuff started as 20 gauge flat sheet of sterling silver. 
I cut a 3/4" wide rectangle and rounded the ends. After stamping the borders, an oval dapping block created the the slight dome and curved the cuff.

Naturally, "Shades of grey" brought labradorite to mind. 

These beauties have been lingering in my stash waiting for the right accent to bring out the amazing flash. None of my other gems did it any justice, so I decided to try something different - I knotted the piece with dark blue silk thread.
I love it!

And, just when I thought I was all done, I re-discovered a jar of white beach glass. Silver wire wrap, liver of sulfur and a few moonstones for accent...
2 more necklaces.

Thanks for visiting!

I hope you'll hop over to Sarajo's blog to see what everyone else has created!  (click here)

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Honey Do Challenge

It's time for Sarajo Spurgeon Wentling's "Honey Do Challenge". Her husband, Eric, created a color palette from one of his amazing photos. The palette immediately reminded me of a fun bead
from Andrea Pirkey that I've been hoarding for a few years...

I kept the design simple to highlight the glasswork - just green aventurine and iris brown Czech glass.

Thanks to Sarajo and Eric for the challenge!

I hope you'll check out the other participants listed below.

And do come back and visit me again sometime!

Thursday, February 18, 2016

CLOUD BRIDGE ~ An Allegory Gallery Design Challenge

Who or what is Pantone, and why do they can dictate the "it color" for the year. 
I went to their website -  still can't figure out what they do? Can anyone explain it to me?

So, this year's color of the year is actually two colors - rose quartz and serenity.  

This photo of Andrew Thornton's Allegory Gallery Cloud Bridge kit called to me.
I don't know why, because I'm not a huge fan of pink and blue together. I once had my house turned into a nursery by mistake. Apparently, the contractor couldn't read my directions. 
He changed it the next day.

Crunched for time; preparing for an out of state art festival and ensuring the gift shop had new pieces in my absence, I decided to work some simpler designs. 

rose quartz chips with river rocks
assorted rose quartz
First up are two bracelets using the some of the rose quartz and river rocks from the kit.

I added sterling silver accents and my hand-crafted toggles.

This color palette actually worked quite well with a few gorgeous glass beads from Andrea Pirkey that I've been hoarding for a several years.

The seed and small glass beads for the perfect accent for this lovely floral focal. 

I love the simplicity of this design.

Rose quartz and pink glass from the kit with blue glass from my stash make this fun bead pop!

Thanks to Andrew and William for another great challenge!

And, THANK YOU, for stopping by.
I hope you'll leave a comment here or on my Facebook page.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Inspired By Reading ~ The Magicians


I can't believe it's been three months since my last post.
I have been reading and I have been creating for the Inspired By Reading Book Club, hosted by Andrew Thornton. I just haven't found the time to write and post.

The most recent book for our club is The Magicians, by Lev Grossman.  The story line feels like a marriage of Harry Potter and The Chronicles Of Narnia.  Although I am still reading the book, a few images have spoken to me.

At one point during the testing to determine Quentin's magical discipline, sparks flew out of his fingertips. Lightning bolts came to mind, so I created these earrings out of 18 gauge sterling wire.

One of the professors brought a lizard to the testing. I thought I must have a lizard my stash of Green Girl Pewter. And there I found Cynthia Thornton's Gecko Ball. I created a simple pendant with a sterling silver chain tassel.

If you want to learn more about this book, and see another design, you really should visit Sarajo Spurgeon Wentling's blog Sj Designs Jewelry.