Royal Feather Jewelry Challenge & Blog Hop

I‘m posting from the road now, in Brooklyn- so apologies that this is late…

It has been awhile since I joined in on one of Jewelry designer Andrew Thornton’s jewelry challenges. Andrew has always been one of my most favorite jewelry designers on the planet, and NO one puts together a sumptuous selection of beads- like Andrew. His palates are always studied and interesting. I love it that he is at it again and putting kits out into the world.

How this jewelry challenge works: Andrew selects a theme, matches beads and findings for it in a kit (see below), offers a limited number of kits, we TRY to get them (they go fast!!), we design jewelry, and the BEST part- we blog hop to ALL the other designers to see what everyone has made. Be sure to hop the blog list at the bottom of this note.

Andrew’s Royal Feather jewelry challenge includes beads of royal blues, greens, purples (like the tail of a peacock feather)- with coppers and silvers- and lots of beads including crystals, wood, glass, sequins- along with Andrew’s own very cool crown stamped mystery component! LOVE it!!!

The kit:

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42″ long Lariat: My first photos are not the best- but here is my first piece:

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To the kit I added: a few green pearls, one heavy mystic purple/blue quartz point- added to the center (for balance/weight), and a Green Girl Studios pewter hook clasp to one end. I am again making lariats because they are endlessly variable in how they can be worn- opera long length or  doubled to princess length (17-18″), etc.  I just love them.  I will be posting bracelet and earrings when I get back in town this weekend: those posed the real challenge 😉

Please visit the other challenge participants here:

Kari Asbury
Ann Schroeder
Sarajo Wentling
Christina Porter
Tammy Bowman
Tara Linda

* And also on Andrew Thornton’s blog:
Andrew Thornton
Margriet Schnabel
Keisha Russell
Tara Linda
Alison Herrington
Laurel Ross
Marcia Gilbert
Joanne Goldberg
Crystal Lombardo Farrell
Cheryl Lee Tucker

New Projects~ Feather Fans & Baubles

Here are just a few things I’ve been into since tour:
Feather Fans for Smudging:

FeatherFan-ForestSacredLandSagePheasant, turkey flats. Handles with Heshi shell & turquoise. Amber. Guatemalan fabric.

featherFanOrinoco0952This one is made of naturally molted Macaw from a friend’s bird on the East Coast, and a South American Green Parrot who lives in San Francisco. I cut and sand the handle from Palo Santo holy wood, and wrap with deer tan lace.  One of my favorites. It has already found a home.

And a few new baubles: I’ve been into raw, rough stones lately.

PeridotStuds_0967Peridot posts- raw stones

amberBracelet-O1_1654Rough raw Balkan amber, & Green Girl Studios charm.

silver_1959chrysophase_1965octopus_1985My absolute favorite little Octopus Pendant by Cynthia Thornton! I’ve held onto this for so long. Finally found the right moonstone drop. Lab and aquamarine stones beside it.

And there will be more very soon~ Next week, Oct. 23 is reveal day for Anthony Thornton’s Jewelry challenge and blog hop!  Be sure to check back to see what everyone made with a little box filled with goodies from Andrew. Here is what we all got in the mail-

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New Jewelry and Bid to Benefit~ Haiyan Typhoon- Tonight

Just a little reminder that today (midnight PST) is the last day to bid on 2 pieces of jewelry, the proceeds of which will be 100% contributed non-profit CARE to assist typhoon victims of Haiyan, Philippines. Plus new designs for my shop- Three Muses!

Just a little reminder that today (midnight PST) is the last day to bid on 2 pieces of jewelry, the proceeds, 100% of which go to non-profit CARE to assist typhoon victims of   Haiyan, Philippines. Scroll down or go here to this post see what the pieces are, & where the bids stand. And be sure to leave me your email contact info!! (encrypt if you like- or contact me privately to let me know).

Creatively now, with my jewelry designs, I am following two very different Muses. But then as my shop banner shows for my Etsy shop Three Muses, this is nothing new: Muses can be poetic, musical, artistic, male, female and from all parts of the globe.

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Now, I  have one Muse still lingering from my recent Chaco Canyon excursion.

An image of the ruins of Pueblo Bonito in Chac...

Thus, some designs are looking like this:

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The other Muse is sashaying across the stage, sporting crystals & fringe on her 1920’s flapper dress.  And so we get some holiday bling when she passes by.

dangle designsTaraLinda

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I will be posting more of both designs to my shop every day this week! Come by and see me sometime. 😉

Artists for Disaster Relief: Silent Auction Blog Hop

Make a bid for jewelry and help Typhoon victims at the same time. I am a participating artist in this drive to contribute to the recovery effort for typhoon Haiyan, Philipines. I’m offering 2 pieces of jewelery for auction- 100% of the proceeds going to CARE. Read on and come back soon to see the other piece I’ll be donating.

AFDR LOGO

I am a participating artist in this drive to contribute in the recovery effort for typhoon victims of Haiyan, Philippines. I will be offering 2 pieces of jewelery for auction- 100% of the proceeds going to CARE.  This wonderful way to help comes from artist Andrew Thornton, and is an ideal way to get finished jewelry, supplies, and fineart for gifts, while *simultaneously* donating to help others. Visit the blogs of the other artists below to see more pieces you can bid on.

HOW IT WORKS:    Just leave a comment on this post until Dec. 16!

Leave a comment below naming the piece you want and the price you bid for it- and come back often to see how it’s going. That’s it!  Bids start today at $10, and can be for any increment after that. My auction Bidding ends Dec. 16th, since I just got back in town.

I will announce the winner here and on FB/Twitter- on Dec. 16. If your bid is the final one- you’ve won! and I will send you a Paypal invoice.  (I  will pay for US shipping.)  As soon as you pay, I quickly donate 100% of the price to non-profit CARE who is active now in delivering medical supplies, blankets, housing, and food to displaced victims. Bidding is open to US and international residents. (Sorry, only US shipping is included.) Be sure to leave your email contact (if your avatar doesn’t have a direct link back to you- most do not, so that I can reach you when you win. It is amazing how many winners I  have *not* been able to contact over the years!)

My donated pieces are inspired by the American southwest and recent travels, and I will be posting the inspirations next. Here is the first one:

Moss Memories:  (Retail $42)      Navajo inspired design. Hoops- peridot stone chips, turquoise heishi and slices, horn. Bali sterling silver earwires. Length from top of wire to bottom: 2.65″

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MossTurquoiseHoopsTaraLinda

1920’s Holiday Ball (below) Retail: $45

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These have wonderful marcasite rounds, with built in lever-back earwires (I think the earwire is sterling, but no marks), Red wine Czech crystal rondelles, non-tarnish sterling, all atop a creamy white one inch Biwa pearl. Perfect party pair!!  

Thank you for bidding! Enjoy the bloghop of participants below:

Here’s a list of participating artists (Ending Dec. 6): Be sure to read their rules, as some differ.

Fall Trunk Sale: New Jewelry

This Fall jewelry sale was a good time and place to try out different designs. The earthier pieces went. New designs include longer earring dangles with more color, texture, and bling.

My little jewelry trunk sale went well enough: it was the first one in my new digs, and brought friends I hadn’t seen in a while, which always makes for a good day.  One of 3 displays:

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Classic Faux pas: it was truly a ‘little sale’: I panicked setting up, realizing my selections may be too slight, despite the extras I made and added to shop inventory.

Earrings8727New dangles this season – longer, more colorful, more texture and bling.  Three Muses

I always put out new pieces I’m not sure about, to get feedback and see them modeled on different clients. Like these trade bead chokers:

tradeBeads7467Each necklace has beads that vary in age- from the 1600’s to present day from all ends of the globe. Consensus was to make these necklaces longer than princess or collier length. Check.

BashaTealEar8906Sea from Space. Finally got some Roman glass to play with, which of course looks great with Basha’s beads.

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I have collected some amazing fetishes, stones, and shell from Native sources over the years, like this onyx raven with lapis, turquoise, and shell heishi. Experimenting with leather designs, and will be adding a few to the shop soon.

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tealPink9130And these, simple polymer dangles from HappyFish: not sure what happened… this isn’t normally a design I would wear, but I just can’t part with them!  They are super lightweight & look great on.

Good things about this sale: sharing the weekend with seamstress friend Elma who makes awesome textiles- Dia de Los Muertos pillows & an amazing Frida quilt! The photos didn’t take- so I will snap some in better light & repost.

This sale was good in showing kinks to work out in this space for next time: like poor lighting at night.  I should have done all the layout sooner. I also assumed that since earrings were a big sell last show, they would be again. Nope. This time, necklaces,

like these pieces that found new homes: Night Music.  is a fire necklace of Lava, Raku, torched glass.

chokerOpera8590I fell in love with this piece when making it: bone ash Raku rounds (Wondrous Strange) with vintage deep red Basha bead nuggets- truly different from her current work in shape and color.  This was my first knotted necklace using waxed cord.

BlackMud-OmNckl 236 Mystic Mandala: BlackMud Studios pendant, and favorite blue stones and glass.

And some Dia de los Muertos pieces found homes.  Tis’ the season, time for more… 😉

Ribbon Cord, Ribbon Beads

Experiments in using fine rayon and silk ribbon to make cords and and ribbon beads in jewelry. New Three Muses jewelry creations!

How ’bout a Jewelry update?

Of course leave it the illogic of stress that I would schedule a jewelry trunk show for THIS weekend- smack in the middle of recording sessions. Argghhh! What was I thinking?!  New baubles for Friday’s show soon.  But for now, I want to share a break through from this summer working with textiles to make ribbon beads. Some of which you may have noticed a few of these turning up in my shop lately.

Do you collect ribbon? What to do with all of the fabric strips you’ve amassed?  For jewelry, I’ve tried varied things in design with mixed success; fabrics may fray and come apart; fine rayon and silk often snag on chunkier clay pendants that I’m so drawn to this year.

ribbonClay-WondrousFine ribbon (rayon and silk) can work nicely simply string up with single pearls, but finishing them around metal findings can be tricky for the long term life of your piece, and that matters.

While I have made my own cords covered in those gorgeous silk sari fabrics over the years, now I’m focusing on finer ribbons like those of AbbieANDEllie to make cords like the one on the right featuring a Fanciful Devices pendant.

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While I love the messy look of the sari silk cord wraps for some designs- as with the ‘neatness’ of the Buddhist pendant, conversely, sometimes you want a more refined wrap to contrast a rustic clay pendant. Especially where the wrap shows a color gradient.  This led to making long cords and smaller chunks of chord, using the same fine fabric ribbons– whaaa-la!   Ribbon beads…

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The left side shows sari ribbon, the right rayon and black-edged ribbon from AbbieEllie. I’ve spent a LOT of time experimenting with different materials- several adhesives (water repellent and non), and finishing products to ‘fix’ the wrapped fabric after- testing out the colorfast effects on the fabrics. The most important thing for me through all of this- seeing how the beads hold up to wear in everyday jewelry.

I’ve discovered that  waterproof matters with fabric on a necklace and especially bracelets: sometimes you just forget to take them off (i.e., I always start to wash dishes or cook before thinking of removing bangles.)  And I have clients who boast of never removing jewerelry. OK- I don’t think fabric beads will do well with daily showers!  But normal wear, they work great. In my exploration of materials- I talked to several artists and designers along the way too, including Patsy at Abby&Ellie about fabrics, and Kate of Quisnam (whose work is magical!).  My quest with Three Muses designs is to use natural materials- semi-precious stones & metals- in jewelry that lasts and that has little to no base metal. These ribbon beads and cord with fine fabrics add color and more to design with!

octopusNcklPendant: Wondrous Strange

chacoNckl8555Path of Water.  Pendant by Wondrous Strange

talisman1-31Four Corners Talisman:  My first ribbon bead features- feather, Navajo carvings, arrows, clay beads by Wondrous Strange, GreyBird, bone and deerskin.

DIY Enameled Headpins: Glitter and Gold

Want to learn how to make your own headpins for earrings? I recommend this DIY tutorial using old eye make up, a heat gun and glitter.

Part of my creative meanderings lately, have been exploring new media- new for me anyway. I normally buy finished pendants and findings (toggles, clasps, headpins for earrings, etc.), and spend my time on stringing and wire wrap. But certain tutorials have given me the nerve to try my hand on findings, like this one on making headpins from Marina of fancifuldevices. I love this one because clever girl that she is, Marina combines household items (old make up!) with inexpensive supplies most beaders have at home.

First, let me begin where I ended: my ruined kitchen table.

First advice; buy a protective surface for your work space and creative projects: don’t work directly on your furniture. Silly me, I thought wax paper and paper towels would suffice.  Have since gone to the hardware store for a plastic rollout surface, and friend G suggests an oversized cutting board- which works great when you have to move your project round dinner time. (NOTE: we will know if Esposo actually reads this blog because I have yet to fess up to the mystery of missing veneer and burn stains on the southwest corner. (Bad grrrrrl! Ha!) But here is the good news… Lots of cool, headpins- Yippee! 

headpin6947This is exciting because  so many of my crafting/embellishing forays are grand flops; I can’t even blog about them, they are so stupendous. So pardon the gush: I am extremely happy with the results.  I learned an alternate use for embossing enamel (UTEE) + heat gun + eye powder & glitter.  I just followed the directions in Ms. Fanci’s tut.

Here are things I learned while doing:

1) Eyeshadow colors turn out darker- even when I didn’t use a lot of heat. I was actually hoping that the cool periwinkle color would stay that way, but I got this indigo instead.

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2)      Work fast; going for the rounded shape was the hardest thing. Trying to get that teardrop must be an art, one that I will be happily working on!

3)   You can easily darken colors with the heat gun with a second pass; going for shape the first pass gave me better results.  Overheating mos def darkens the colors.  (Although check out all the different hues you can get with different temperatures. Believe it or not, these are all from just clear UTEE with the same fine glitter.

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The clear ones are glittery because I added a white/clear glitter to clear UTEE, sans eyeshadow. I like how lots of heat turned them golden!

4)     Dipping the teardrop in glitter at the tail end is a very cool effect (second pic with bright purple and green). Don’t overheat though; today’s glitters are plastic and will torch up.

In  short, I loved this tutorial and highly recommend it. Marina’s directions are clear and very well written, and she’s got all kinds of helpful advice and experience telling us about the do’s/don’ts

Here are results, now in my Etsy shop:

panchaNcklc7669Spring Gaea

aquaEar7812AquaCreams

chalcedOpalEar7769