Friday, 18 July 2014

Pine Ridge Treasures Gemstone and Metal 2014 Blog Hop

This was a real challenge. I was sent some "Candy Jade" to work with. (I completely forgot to take a photo. Sorry.) I sat with those beads on my desk for a very long time. No inspiration. Nothing. They did not fit into my usual design esthetic. What was I going to do. By the time I decided what I wanted to create with these lovely beads time was running out. There was no time to wire wrap all these beautiful (but small) beads. So stringing it was.

I pulled some larger metal beads from my stash as well as a few spacers. The longer strand is very symmetrical with a vintage pendant at the centre. The second stand is completely random. I really like how they create a somewhat delicate but still in your face design.

Thanks Lisa of Pine Ridge Treasures for a great challenge.

Please enjoy the rest of the hop. Click here for a full list of participants.

Thanks for visiting. Enjoy the hop!

We're All Ears: July Challenge

The inspiration and challenge for July was a tough one. I am not an American so I am not familiar with all the patriotic traditions. The photo below was the inspiration for the monthly challenge.

Click here or here for more details regarding the hop. This image only spoke to me of colour. I rarely work in multi colours but I had no choice in my mind other than to use red, white and blue. I have been collecting all of my vintage trade beads in preparation for some new necklaces and these beads popped out. I realize they are extremely simple but this is what I like to wear. Light and simple.

Thank you EARRINGS EVERYDAY for this challenge.

Thanks for visiting. Enjoy!

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Tuesday Eye Candy

Hi all! Wow what a summer!

Just finishing off a garden rehab that was started last summer. I have put in a vegetable garden for the first time in my life (potatoes, tomatoes, lettuce, spinach, various herbs.....) and they need way more attention than I ever imagined. Oh where do the weeds come from?

I signed up for a once a month night market. I cannot seem to shake the urge to make "all new" stock for each event. I have been busy with experiments and prep that will hopefully see the light of day soon. (It definitely does not pay to try to reinvent yourself each time out.) 2 nights are complete and 2 more to go.

Hope these pieces intrigue you.


Monday, 30 June 2014

Mojo Challenge - Week Eleven - Characters Welcomed

 "Create a piece of jewelry inspired by a celebrity or pop culture character.  The character can be from a TV show, movie or book.  Fun, right? Ask yourself - what would she wear and go to town making it. "

Click here for more details.


Not sure why, but I have been fascinated for a very long time with trying to design something for Wilma Flintstone.
I really don't know why I decided to work with horn. Maybe my decision was based on the idea that animal horn would have been available in the "modern stone age". Maybe my decision was based on the idea that animal horn would be a good choice as an alternative material, since stone is so heavy. Also, everyone knows that Fred loved Wilma very much. That's why I am pretty sure that he would have given her a second necklace to wear for special occasions. It's easy for me to believe that Wilma would have worn something upscale when she attended a special occasion with Fred, like a dinner hosted by the Loyal order of Water Buffaloes.
The very rustic vintage silver that I used, may likely be a bit of a stretch for anyone to make during the "modern stone age", but I like to think that there could have been a talented maker of unique jewellery (someone a lot like me) living in Bedrock at that very special time. And just like me, that jewellery maker needed something to connect the pieces together. After all, Wilma deserves to wear something special, whenever she went out on the town of Bedrock.
I am happy with this piece. It did start out with the chain in the back but I think I prefer it in the front. I feel certain that Wilma would agree with me. I hope you do too..
Hope you like it. Enjoy!

Saturday, 28 June 2014

A Great Day In Kananaskis

Yesterday was a great day -  we headed into Kananaskis Country for a wonderful hike....

And stopped at Barrier Lake / University of Calgary Field Station ....

After a liberal application of bug spray, we set off to see fields of yellow lady slipper orchids....

Imagine the side of a hill covered in clumps of these amazing flowers. We saw an amazing number of wildflowers along the trail. I have included a few here.

 I also have a fascination with tree bark...... (just two photos - there were a lot of trees after all)

On the return portion of the first loop, we discovered we were on the Trans Canada Trail. Unfortunately we were unable to find where this portion of the trail went. There were only 3 markers, so it was not very well marked.

This site was used as a WW2 POW camp to house German prisoners. The building was one of the original guard towers from Camp #130.

We also had the pleasure of meeting this young deer - he was bigger than us and heading in our direction. He waited patiently, staring at us, until we had turned around and headed back down the trail. He began to follow us for awhile and then he headed off into the woods. Only after he had left for greener pastures, did we turn around and proceed up the path.

Thanks for visiting.

Monday, 23 June 2014

Mojo Challenge - Week Ten - Fashion & Beads

"Create a piece of jewelry inspired by your favorite clothing catalog or online store."
This entire weekly challenge has been fun and challenging. I have found it difficult to keep up but I do intend to finish all 12 weeks. (Just 2 more to go.)

This pendant speaks to my love of metal as well as very simple pendants. Simple hammered disks with just a hint of torch fired patina left, waxed to stop any further change in patina, connected with a small jump ring. I would wear this pendant with architectural pieces of clothing. Maybe black? or something strapless where this would lay against your skin. Some of my favourite clothing designers include Eileen Fisher, Kaliyana, or maybe eskandar. They all have a similar esthetic which I love. I enjoy the mix of metal and leather cord. Polished but still with a tribal hint. I like to call this style URBAN TRIBAL.

Thanks for visiting. Enjoy!

Friday, 20 June 2014

We're All Ears: JUNE Challenge

The challenge this month uses the photo below as inspiration. Click here or here for more details regarding the hop. I really enjoy this hop each month and I try to participate no matter what else may get left by the wayside. I love to wear earrings, but making them is another matter. This hop has really helped me to become more comfortable with the process of designing and then making my earrings. Thank you EARRINGS EVERYDAY for this challenge.

Guggenheim Museum: Source
I love visiting the Guggenheim and am inspired every time I go, because there is always something new and different to see. This is a perspective that I am not very familiar with, since I hardly ever look straight up, but I find it to be intriguing. Spirals like the one in this photo are a favorite of mine. I have been working for some time trying to perfect my wire spirals. I know that I am improving, but I feel that I still have a long way to go in my efforts to form copper into a spiral that is perfect.

This pair of earrings is made from 14g copper, then patina-ed. I have dished them so that will appear to have the same perspective as this photo of the museum walkways.

Thanks for visiting. Enjoy!

Wednesday, 18 June 2014


Bracelets / Bangles

Is there a difference to you? In my humble opinion a bangle is rigid where a bracelet is "softer".  I have always been a big fan of both but since I have large hands bangles have always been an issue for me. That has to be one of the big benefits of making my own. :)  My wrist is pretty normal in size but my hands are large. (Took after my Father on that one unfortunately.) I am in love with the arm party or stacked bracelet trend. I try to keep the stacked bracelets to a minimum though since I find it difficult to wear too many at once.

Just finished this turquoise bracelet. I am going to post more bangles / bracelets on Wednesdays for the next few weeks ---- come back and see what I come up with.

Thanks for visiting.

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Tuesday Eye Candy

Wow! It has been awhile. I have been occupied with family issues. I am easily distracted and will use most any excuse to delay my jewellery work.

But it is time to get back in there and do what I love. I have been all over the map. Stacking bracelets, tribal pieces, found objects, sleek wood, more and more earrings. I have been loving most of what I am making but it not of a style. Decided I need to let that go. "If I like it I will make it" is my new motto.

I like to explore and try new techniques. Glitter, gold leaf stones, why not? Diamonds with plastic? I really admire artists who work in a "style" and I know I have talked about this before but...... embrace the difference -

Do you make jewellery for yourself that is different from what you make to sell? I often find I do not have any pieces to wear casually. So..... I made some casual jewellery. Lots of layering pieces, I love them but they do not sell..... Maybe it is the display? Maybe it is the wrong audience? Maybe, maybe, maybe..... Maybe don't worry so much and just make what you enjoy?

I hope to have some enamel pieces ready to show you next week - in the meantime here are some new pieces I have been working on ---

Enjoy! Thanks for stopping by.....

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Mojo Challenge: Week Nine - Ancient History

"Create a piece of jewelry inspired by an ancient design using modern materials. What's ancient? Let's anything before the Renaissance. Head back to ancient Greece, Rome, Africa, China or India for a serious dose of inspiration. Don't forget Celtic and Viking jewelry designs too. There is literally a whole world to explore!"

Click here to see the original post for this week. Thanks again Heather.

This week took me awhile to get my head around - I work with ancient beads all the time. I love them. I love the worn patina, the smooth texture from years of being worn and touched. I read, I goggled, but I was stuck on some vintage trade beads. I decided to modify the challenge a little and use the beads I loved (ancient) but create a more modern design. I have been into wrap bracelets lately and this seemed to be the perfect use for these lovely beads.

Thanks for visiting. Enjoy!

Saturday, 17 May 2014

AARCS Art Combat

Thursday evening was a fund raiser for AARCS, a local animal rescue society. This was the second year for their Art Attack Challenge.

I made an interchangeable necklace for the silent auction. The piece sold so I was very pleased that money was raised for a very worthy cause.

The clasp  allows the individual strands to be added and removed allowing the wearer to create a different necklace each time they wear it. It is made from vegetable dyed wooden beads so even if worn with all the stands it is still very light.

Friday, 16 May 2014

We're All Ears: May

Earrings Everyday is hosting their monthly challenge based on this image. "The Greek legend is that there was a boy of astonishing beauty named Nerites. He was a lover of the sea-born Aphrodite. When Aphrodite was invited by Zeus to join the gods on Mount Olympus, she invited Nerites to join her. He refused, preferring to stay in his home, the sea. In revenge she metamorphosed him into a seashell."

 Thank you Earrings Everyday for hosting.

Zigzag Nerite shells - Neritina Communis - from Atlantis Shell Co

This monthly challenge seems to be really helping my earring mojo. I still prefer simple earrings but I have decided that is OK. I can admire all the amazing designs I see on the hop but I can still stay simple.

I do not have anything close to these shells in my stash and there is no way I could order anything and have any chance of it arriving on time. So - what to do --- I decided to work with the seashell theme but not limit myself to what was pictured.

Abalone? They are shells - I love the shape of these beads and hanging like this reminds me of the waves washing in the tiny shells from the inspiration photo.

Enjoy! and thanks for visiting.

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Mojo Challenge: Week 8 - Colour Palette Inspiration

Find a color palette to use as the inspiration for your next jewelry design. Pick a color palette that isn't your go-to colors! Think outside the box this week.
Click here to see the original post for this week. Thanks again Heather.

I am not sure which was more difficult this week - finding the palette or making the jewellery. I decided to make a bracelet this week since I have avoided them for this group of challenges so far. Not sure I am a fan of memory wire though. The bracelet tends to fall off my wrist very easily. I am doing some research to see if I can find any suggestions to fix this issue.

So, here is my palette from Design Seeds...

geode brights

Hope you like it. Enjoy!

Monday, 5 May 2014

Mojo Challenge: Week 7 - One Colour

"Make a piece of jewelry with just one color, varying to value (light & darkness), shape and texture for interest."
Click here to see the original post for this week. Thanks again Heather.

I am really confused though - I thought I was so up to date and I find this is week 8 already ---- I need to get my post for week 7 up. "I am late - I am late - for a very important date"  --- Not sure how this happened but all will be right with the world very soon. I have been making a number of monochromatic pieces this week and nothing was striking my fancy. I wanted something simple - to wear with a colourful sun dress - I did not want to use any metal - I know this type of necklace can look very cheap but I was determined to either overcome that or love "cheap" which ever came first ----- And I do love this - enough to make a couple more for layering - I used only bone beads but they all vary slightly in colour due to natural dyes. I also varied the shape ---- I randomly selected from a bowl of different shapes and sizes and placed them onto my beading wire. I was fortunate enough to have a number of bone clasps as well. I am very happy with my results.

Thanks for visiting. Enjoy!

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Mojo Challenge: Week 6 - The Poetry of Beads

"Create a piece of jewelry inspired by a poem, quote or a song."
Thanks Heather for the great multiweek challenge. Click here for the link for this weeks post for the multiweek MOJO Challenge.


I was fortunate to be able to attend a week long retreat with Susan Lenart Kazmer at Hacienda Mosiaco in Puerto Vallarta this past winter. At the start of the week Susan gave each of us a word for the week --- mine was discovery  ---  at the time I was somewhat unimpressed with my word - I wanted something sexier, more romantic, more "something"......  But as the weeks go by I am more and more intrigued by my word - life is a discovery and I am in discovery mode. I am almost 60 and I had been thinking my time for discovery was ending - I thought I was moving into a stage of contentment - but discovery????? Well here I am discoverying so many things - new jewellery techniques, new recipes, new paths to walk, it seems there is new around every corner.

I have taken some liberties with this weeks challenge. There is no poem, quote, song, ????????  just a word. I did not want that word to be too obvious. I wanted it to be a discovery. I also wanted it to be a piece I could wear constantly. I have stamped a single letter on each disk and hung them vertically from a sterling chain. Could not be simpler but it achieved my objective. (And I hope it is at least a nod to the challenge this week.

Thanks for visiting. Enjoy!

Saturday, 19 April 2014

7th Do Over Challenge Reveal

I decided to give the 7th-do-over-challenge hosted by Jeannie of JLD Studio a try. Jeannie ships you an older piece of her jewellery and your challenge is to redo the piece. Thanks for the challenge Jeannie.

Pieces I received ....

I received a piece created with dark blue and black paper beads, light blue plastic flower beads. silver spacers and wire wrapped silver beads. The instructions said it was OK to create one piece from all the pieces I received. Since I like "weightier" necklaces I decided to combine the paper and the silver wrapped beads, add some black vinyl heishi and some African glass donuts. I used the original silver toggle and added some silver spaces to complete the piece.
detail with challenge beads

Thanks for visiting. Enjoy!
And one more this ----- here is the list of participants. Hop around and see where creative inspiration has struck.
Jeannie K Dukic
Judy Campbell
Veralynne Malone
Christine Murrow
Shai Williams
Lola Surwillo
Christina Hickman
Katrina Taylor
Becky Pancake
Roxanne Mendoza
Charlene Jacka
Inge von Roos
Mary Govaars
Penny Houghton
Beti Horvath
Ginger Davis-Allman
Molly Alexander
Linda Britt

Friday, 18 April 2014

We're All Ears: April


Earrings Everyday is hosting their monthly challenge based on this image from the Pottery Barn catalogue. Thank you so much for hosting.

A very interesting inspiration piece if I do say so.
Yellow and green? birds? berries? I had to give this one a lot of thought.
I decided to do something new for me. You may already be aware that earrings are not my favorite things to make ---- so ---- I decided to focus on shape, and then colour in the inspiration photo.
The first pair of earrings remind me of the stack of plates in the foreground of the photo. Simple but effective I think. I know I will wear them.
Colour was more difficult. I searched and searched my stash for olive green...... then any green, I love green - why are there no green beads when I want them......  I think these beads hit the nail on the head. And the openness reminds me of the branches.
Thanks for visiting. Enjoy!