Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Vintage Treasures!

This past weekend, the ArtChix had an art and artisan jewelry sale. During some of the down time, one of the ArtChix brought out two huge bags of vintage beads and jewelry to sort through. What fun! She is a member of the DAR and they are involved in a service project, working with the schools, and selling this donated jewelry/beads is part of their fundraiser for this project. So, for a donation, I had the extreme pleasure of sorting through both bags and choosing lots of treasures to turn into modern jewelry with vintage charm. We sat for two hours remarking things like "look at this...I can make three pairs of earrings from this one bracelet", etc.

I am always torn, when receiving vintage jewelry, between leaving them as they are or tearing them apart to modernize them to be worn today. I usually lean towards making them wearable today since I think these treasures deserve to be worn instead of stored in boxes in a closet. Add to that the fact that I (and I think many others) cannot bear the discomfort of wearing screw-back earrings with my pierced ears so something has to be done about that! The workmanship, even in the costume jewelry, is amazing by today's standards and I just marvel at that.

Here are the first few I have been working on, I just could not wait one day past the weekend! I might also add that I don't think these will be available on my sale tables since I like them so well I want them for myself. I will have to be less greedy than this as I work through these treasure bags and make more jewelry from them since I do want to sell (I mean share!) them with others who enjoy the vintage looks as much as I do.

 This is a lovely old brooch, all metal settings, done in black metal of some sort. One of the larger stones was out of the setting, but it was found in the bag of mixed beads and jewels (phew!) and I repaired it, cleaned up the brooch, removed the brooch pin, made a bail for it and hung it from a black neck wire ring. Cool, huh?

These were my fav's before I even got them home! Look at that filigree on the long drop earrings! Do you see why I am keeping these?! The rhinestone earrings were taken from a choker necklace where these were some of the focal pieces. Thankfully, I was able to snap them from the rest of the stones cleanly and add the posts to them without incident. These are now all on posts. Lovely filigree silver in these.

Stay tuned as I continue to work my way through these bags and make these treasures from the past into Fav's for Today!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Got the Book!

I want to show you all that the book I won on Lisa Crone's blog arrived and I am now perusing it. I want to try some of the projects she provides as they look like such fun pieces of jewelry. She is a very inspiring person!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Some Days You Lose, and -

- some days you WIN!!!!! A few weeks ago, I entered a blog give-away offered by a blogger I follow every day...Lisa Crone of A Bead a Day. I love her daily blogging because it always contains the latest news of beads and things that everyone is trying now. She was giving away one of her new books on beading and jewelry making, so I entered a comment on that day. As Fate would allow, I was the winner! So, I am now excitedly awaiting the shipment of my great new book. I'll post a review of this when I get it and read it. It is so exciting to have your name drawn above all the others who entered!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Copper Piecrust Pendant with Chain

I decided to turn this pendant into a larger piece by using turquoise beads with chain and some silver pieces. I like this and hope that someone who loves large jewelry will like it also!


Friday, September 24, 2010

Copper and Silver Two-Tone

I just got back some of my jewelry from Chama and will start photographing it. I want to be prepared for the Oktoberfest sale at Sun City Grand on October 9 and wanted some of my inventory from there. It is like seeing old friends to go through my stash of finished jewelry now.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Copper and Turquoise Links

I made this pendant a few weeks ago and have been mulling how to suspend it until yesterday when I found I had some matching turquoise beads to pair with it. I like to separate the stone beads with hand-made links since it cuts down on the considerable weight of these natural stone beads when wearing. Plus, that makes for more copper to show!


Copper and Sodalite Pendant

I cut and hammered this pendant base yesterday and added the beads this morning. I like the pairing of the copper with its complementary color of blue beads.

I am mulling taking off that bale component and trying something a bit different for that part of the piece. I have some more ideas, anyway.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Copper Calla Lily

I felt compelled to get out my torch the other day and start bending copper to make this cone which I paired with turquoise beads. Lots of bending of metal and wire went into this one! I like it and hope that others will, too.


Saturday, September 4, 2010

Copper and Turquoise Pendants

Once again, I feel compelled to make pendants, reaching for my favs of turquoise and copper components to make some. I have quite a collection of copper components and turquoise beads so they sort of speak to me when I start putting them together. I like the simplicity and lighter weight of using the natural stones to make pendants rather than heavy beaded necklaces.

Glass and Copper

I have had these glass beads for awhile and hadn't decided what to do with them. Today, when I looked at them I decided to make a chunky bracelet with them and it feels good on the wrist. Love those colors, each bead is a bit different.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Pie Crust Cabachon

I spent the morning trying to figure out how to make a free form cabachon wrap with sheet copper. I saw some examples of "pie crust wrapping" and decided to make it work for myself. This is a very free form piece and I love the organic nature of it. This could also be termed as "crude", but I like the fact that it is a unique piece. I also love how torching the copper brings out so many colors!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Finally, Jewelry!

I must apologize for ignoring this blog for over a month. We were on a planned monthlong vacation, during which I made lots of jewelry in the motorhome but neglected to photograph it. Plus, I was taking it up to the RV park office for their display case to sell it and that was my main concern, greedy person that I am. At the end of the summer, if there is anything left I will photo it and show it here then. My jewelry items do seem to be selling.

These are among my fav earrings I have made. I started with a sheet of copper that I flamed to bring out the colors, cut the blanks out, punched the holes in with my metal punch and then textured and domed the discs. I then beaded them with brass beads and hung brass dinosaur bones from them. I just love them and may have to keep these for myself. The other earrings here were made with brass and copper blanks I cut and then put them together in this fashion with the suspended dino bones. I hung the tiny copper blanks on both sides since these earrings have so much movement that they need to be reversible. SOLD

These are just some fun earrings I made from some of the strand of red glass heart beads I bought some time ago just because I thought they looked like such fun beads. I still do!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Art/Jewelry Sale Yesterday

I participated in an art sale yesterday to raise funds for the Arizona Artists Guild new building fund for operating expenses, maintenance, etc. I "bought" my table and was allowed to keep any proceeds I made. I had mainly artisan jewelry for sale, but also a few racks of unframed, but matted prints and original paintings. It was an okay day; not the worst jewelry sale nor the largest jewelry sale I have done, so that is okay with me. AAG seemed to be doing very well with table sales and donated items sales, so that was good. I do wish the traffic could have been more, but this was our inaugural event so we will have to see how this evolves in the future. But, at any rate, this is my table(s), my buddy, Carol, had bought a table and then was too sick (respiratory virus, yuk!) on that day to participate so I inherited her table as well. I was situated in front of the wall containing a few nudes in Conte, etc. That was either a boon for my table or not, I don't know. I do know that those who did not even bring a cloth to cover their tables, nor organize their wares well remarked that my table was the best in the room. Jewelry displays necessitate their own display formats! So, here it is, warts and all....

Friday, April 9, 2010

Latest Projects

I found this Butterfly at Confetti Beads, locally last year and didn't know what I was going to do with it, I just liked it. In January I found these delicate glass beads at Gem World in Quartzsite so thought they would look together. I made individual bead units and connected them for the necklace. I made earrings to match.

I also found this copper chain at Quartzsite at a gem show and saved it for this charm bracelet made from pure copper beads and silver. I love making dangly little charms like these!

After helping with a kitchen plumbing job recently, I was inspired by the unused brass compression washers that were left. I thought they would look good to make bead units paired with some carnelian beads I had in two sizes so I made a necklace and bracelet set. I love the look of copper and brass together!

I have been wanting to make a fan necklace but hadn't found the fan beads I wanted until I saw these. I paired them with silver-toned cubes, nice look I think.


Sunday, March 28, 2010

Eyeglass Chain 2

This is another eyeglass chain I made for a friend's approval. I like making the eyeglass chains with wired bead components instead of out of beads strung on beading wire, I think they are stronger, which is important with eyeglass chains.

Copper Blossom 2

This is another of my copper blossoms necklaces. I so enjoy hammering and shaping these discs I cut out from the flamed sheets of copper. I am also enjoying making more necklaces with hand-twisted links, forming bead components. I feel they are stronger and I just like the look over that of beads on beading wire.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Deming Stone - Polished

This is one of the stones I found while rock-hounding near Deming, NM. It was tumbled and polished and I wire wrapped it in copper wire with brass half-round wraps. I love this stone and found quite a bit of it while at this place. I will start another tumbler full of stones later this month. I wore this all day yesterday and most of today, road testing it, and found it to be not very heavy and was comfortable.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Turquoise and Copper Eyeglass Holder

I made this pending the approval of a friend who requested a turquoise and copper eyeglass holder and wanted a finer touch than the copper tubes and turquoise beads shown before. We'll see if she likes this one. I do like to do the connected bead units for eyeglass holders, they are much more secure than those beaded on wire.


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Earrings for Carol

Last year a good friend, Carol, purchased one of my copper and calsilica bead necklaces from me and now wanted earrings to go with them. I was able to match the coils and washers and designed these for her. Both the necklace and earrings were oxidized using Liver of Sulfur.


Monday, March 1, 2010

Latest Fun

I have spent the last few days working on these two projects. I want to work on designs for eyeglass holders. I know many people who wear their "readers" hanging round their necks and I think I should design some funky and interesting designs that will be sturdy and worn well. This is my first one.

While I was cutting copper tubing for the eyeglass chain, I decided I would also work that idea into a necklace design. I used calsilica beads for the necklace and like those a lot.

I am so pleased to announce that these two necklaces were among the many of my pieces that sold during the Art Faire at Sun City Grand on Saturday. They went to good homes!


Monday, February 22, 2010

Green stone Cross and Beads

I was asked to restring a friend's necklace since it originally came on a wire neck ring that was too small. I wanted to keep with the simplicity of the nice green stone beads and cross and make it a simple, yet longer necklace. I like this look, pending approval from my friend.


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Copper Rectangle

This is a another copper pendant I finished this morning. I am having fun with the dapping and doming set and my hammer! I added a macro shot of the pendant for a closer view.

I wore the Copper and Brass pendant (below)to the Arizona Artists Guild meeting last night and the pendant was noticed quite a bit. I think I am on to something with these copper pieces, I know I sure enjoy wearing them when I road-test and market-test them!


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Artisan Jewelry Sale

Last Saturday I participated for one day in an art sale at the Sun City Grand Art Club. I was pleasantly surprised with my successful sales that day and even more that I sold more of the mid to high end pieces than the less expensive line of jewelry I had on display also. I met so many people who were interested in hand made jewelry, and interested in the process of how it is created. It was a good day!

The Valentine's Bear was one of my presents from my honey for Valentine's. I thought he added such a fun air to the scene!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Copper Blossoms

This is one of the pair of earrings I made yesterday to go with the copper and brass pendant made earlier this week. The other one did not show the colors well and was in shadow and, rather than retake the photo, I decided to just show this one. I do love the colors that the torch brought out on this sheet of copper.

I road-tested these yesterday afternoon and they are comfy and have lots of movement; which I like for earrings.

Note the almost rough edges on the bell, I am inspired to make them more so to suggest petals of a blossom next time. These are filed smooth on the edges and I like the dips and flares, for some reason, instead of hammering them smooth in the doming block. Next time, I think I will make the disks larger and just hammer the center of them and let the edges be what they want to be. Interesting!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Copper and Torched Brass

Wow, this one was fun! I cut out a rectangular shape from the torched copper sheet from before, then cut out a smaller rectangle from a torched brass sheet I had played with. I cold-fused them together with a copper grommet and then added a dangle of copper and brass. I loved doing this, it was great fun and seemed to speak to me while I was making it. I love it when that happens!

First Domed Piece

About a month ago, I purchased a doming and dapping set at Harbor Freight. I knew I wanted this but hadn't thought through just what I would do with it. Well, I found out what! A few days ago, assisted by my husband, I torched (yes, I was trusted with my handy-dandy butane torch) a sheet of copper. I brought out the lovely reds, greens and gold from the copper and dropped it immediately into a cold water bath. I loved it. I got out my Harbor Freight tin snips and cut out an approximately round shape. I domed it with the tool set and it formed this lovely, petal shape. I paired it, today, with some pure copper beads from A2Z Beads and...wa-la! I love this piece! This is such fun! What do you think?


When I found this lovely leaves chain in copper at A2Z Beads I loved it and imagined it in flowing earring dangles or something like that. In taking it apart in this endeavor, I found that the individual leaves were with rings that would make them lovely on their own, albeit tiny. So, these are the dangles I made from this chain as well as the simple, small earrings...maybe for a young girl?

This is a bracelet I have been working on for months, literally! I made the original bead components from 1/4-inch copper tubing with spiral silver wire, but hadn't quite decided how to finish it. It is finished now and I like it!

This is a bracelet I formed using charms formed from the beads bought at A2Z Beads. I had thought, originally, of making only earring dangles from these beautiful beads, but saved five of them for this bracelet....I am glad I did!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

While at the Quartzsite show, I found a great deal on beautiful turquoise beads so indulged myself and bought quite a few strands. One cannot have too much turquoise, especially when one lives in the Southwest! I like this design for its simplicity.


Quartz and Jasper Pendant

I found this stone while out rockhounding near Deming, New Mexico. I suspect it is quartz with jasper inclusions. I tumbled and polished it and think it is such a pretty color. I wrapped it with twisted copper wire and suspended it from a copper neck ring.


Cloisonne Earrings Again

I wanted to show you a close-up of these earrings. I have now used all of these special beads I bought. I will miss them! Aren't they beauties?

Turquoise and Copper Swirl

This turquoise pendant is another I found at the Quartzsite show. I thought its simple shape demanded a simple swirl of copper. I still love these neck wires, they keep things securely simple.


Mauve Set

I made this set of mauve-colored stone beads and a stone pendant from the Quartzsite show. I have a mauve cotton sweater in this color so I decided to try it on with that. It makes a nice look when they are the same color. I hope someone also has an outfit that would match this, I love the color!

Bracelet Trio

This is a trio of bracelets I recently completed. I found these pure copper and sterling beads at A 2 Z Beads and loved them, now I am sad that there are so few left! The two copper bracelets are an experiment. I love the oxidized look and the one on the right was dipped in Liver of Sulphur to speed the oxidation and the other one has been left to oxidize on its own. In the photo, they look to be much the same color, but you can see the darkened little nooks and crannies in the LOS bracelet, which is nice. I may polish the non-LOS bracelet or let it oxidize more.

The bracelet on the right has what I believe are either magnasite or howlite beads. They are a gift from a good friend's mothers things after her mother passed away. They are very interesting and very appreciated.

Center bracelet SOLD

Monday, February 1, 2010

Pendants and Earrings

When in Quartzsite in January, I visited my fav bead store there during the Gem and Mineral Show, Gem World. George, there, has so many great beads and findings, all at super prices for the show. I bought many pendants, both drilled and plain for wire wrap like cabochons and have had fun making some of these pendants. I also bought, there, some wire neck rings that I think set off the simplicity of these pendants well. I like the size and flexibility of them instead of the stiffer, wider Omegas that I usually use.

While spending my gift certificate at A 2 Z beads in Glendale I spied these lovely, almost cloisonne-looking beads and bought enough to make a few pairs of oriental earrings. They just spoke to me!

I'll post more later, I have been happily painting and making jewelry, doesn't get much better than that!

Green jasper arrowhead SOLD

Friday, January 29, 2010

Sunset Rainbow

I just love this simple necklace. I found these red stone beads at A 2 Z Beads a few weeks ago and wanted to pair them with simple silver beads and a silver pendant I also found there. No wire wrap, no intricate design, just the red and silver. I hope nobody gets dizzy looking at this photo, but I elected to take the photo inside and the sun came out at just that time and shown through the blinds. I looked at the photo and decided I liked the almost abstract effect it gave so will go with this, at least that's my story!

I haven't been wrapping much wire lately, but will soon start some pendants with my tumbled stones since I bought three colors of neck rings when we were in Quartzsite this week. I am thinking the neck rings (made of stranded wire) can either be beaded or left as exposed wire since they are in colors of copper, silver and black wire. Fun!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Copper Pendant

This is my latest project. I cut the back piece from a sheet of copper, hammered it for texture, then folded the top to form a "shelf". I drilled holes for the dangling pieces to slide through and then hammered both ends to form paddles after adding various copper and silver beads.

The copper chain was bought at Western Traders in Las Cruces, NM.