Saturday, August 27, 2011

Inspired by the Sea and Irene

Inspired by the Sea and Irene
After preparing my home for hurricane Irene, I used my time to create this necklace.  With all of our focus on Irene and my goal of making a weekly contribution Humblebeads'  new challenge,  my thoughts turned toward the sea.   The greens and browns that I seleced remind me of a stormy, churned up sea--just as I picture Irene as she heads up the east coast. The necklace contains elements of the sea such as a variety of pearls, a star fish and shell. There is a special green bead that is I made from paper wrapped with gold and green threads. One again I am thankful to my cousin Sandy for her Sewing by the Sea retreat for the class on making beads from fabric and paper. 

 I love to use pearls because they are classic and are from nature.   I usually include pearls in my creations.  I have had these gorgeous green blister pearls stashed away for almost a year.  I finally decided I had a design worthy of them.   Jasper is another favorite of mine. It is a nurturing stone.  We can all use some extra comfort as we wait to see the impact of Irene.   I combined these green jasper with antique brass filigree.  The colors compliment one another.  I love all of the different textures that this variety of beads, metal, paper and thread create  in this necklace. 

The focal is made up of one of Heather's beads--the polymer clay star fish.  I have had that bead stashed away for a few years waiting for the right necklace.  I combined it with some new filigree and an antique shell charm that was waiting for the right occasion . 

Good luck to all on the east coast.  I am hoping we will be spared major damage and loss of electric.  One piece of luck at my house is that our cupola already blew off and smashed apart on our driveway during our last major storm.  Procrastination pays.  We haven't replaced it yet.  No worries there!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Inspired by a Zen Garden

Zen garden by Bay Moon Design

Humblebead's Inspired by Nature theme for this week is Zen Garden.  To me the main purpose of a zen garden is to establish a place to clear your mind.  It is a place to create peace of mind.  Meditation is a way to create this peace.  In yoga class, we use the om breathing technique to help focus our mind.
It is said that when OM is spoken loud, brings human voice closest to universal vibration.  When rating my zen garden necklace I decided to use the om symbol as the centerpiece.  I hung an owl, some red and blue flowers, a lady bug, snail, and leaves on a silver branch anchored by a zen charm to create my garden.  I decided to use pearls in this necklace because pearls are associated with honesty, innocence and integrity, concentration, focus, meditation, serenity, tranquility and wisdom. I combined large red lacquered pearls with navy blue freshwater pearls.  Blue is peaceful color.  Red suggests power. I included a special denim bead that my cousin Sandy taught me how to make at Sewing by the Sea, a sewing retreat in Ocean City, Maryland.   I connected everything with silver chain and links to create my zen garden.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Inspired by Dragonflies

Dragonfly Brooch by Bay Moon Design
Dreamcatcher Designs a fellow artisan wrote an interesting blog about going from big to small.  She made an interesting statement that she  " always thought that when trying to learn something new you should work from big to small".  She used an example of  first prereaders in Kindergarten.  The one or two words on each page were quite large compared to the first grade readers and then chapter books and novels. The print got smaller and smaller as readers progressed in ability.

Dreamcatcher  Designs found success with big to large in the reading formats, so it seemed natural  for her to apply this idea to learning to make jewelry. I totally agree with that concept.   I was working on my first dragonfly made from sterling silver this week for Humblebeads Inspired by Nature Contest.   I decided that in order to make my first dragonfly from sterling silver it would have to be large.  I won't be able to make a small charm to dangle for a necklace.   I decided to make a brooch.  I then had to give a lot of thought to what exactly what features made a dragonfly.  I agree BIG is Easier for me for the first time also.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Inspired by Tiger Lillies

Inspired by Tiger Lilies
Humblebead's Inspired by Nature theme for this week is tiger lilies.  I had lots of them in my garden this summer.  They are one of my favorite flowers because they actually grow in my garden with little or no help. For this contest, I thought about what really makes the tiger lily stand out.  It has to be the bright orange color contrasted with yellows, browns, and greens.

These dangling sterling silver earrings capture the oranges, yellows, and browns of the tiger lily. I used a total of one dozen crystals in these earrings. 2 different color orange and yellow crystals were combined with brown crystals. Each of the dozen Swarovski crystals are meticulously handwrapped with sterling wire. You can see the fairy tale sparkle that all of these Swarovski crystals create. The large yellow faceted bead is wrapped in non tarnish sterling artistic wire. I created the long earwires with 22 gauge silver.  Since I made each of the components, these earrings took some time to create, but I think it was worthwhile.  They are very pretty just like the tiger lily.