Hi again! It has been a while since I updated this so thanks for your patience. It’s not because all my free time is spent on Pinterest, I promise.
Starting in September I rented studio space downtown close to where my kids go to preschool. It was glorious being able to drop them off and then walk to work, making jewelry for hours on end without the distraction of the computer or housework (ahem) until my alarm told me to go back and pick the kids up. I showed you a little of my Sedona line, and after that I did a grouping with Swarovski-set components (like this focal) as part of my Facets collection.
I am still working with colored stone briolettes for my Facets collection as well, and I hated to see this pair of cluster earrings go…
|Purple, pink, and orange!
Also I can’t get enough of those big honkin’ Chinese crystals, so I did some long necklaces and wire rings featuring those for the holiday season.
But after Christmas change was in the air. The pedestrian mall was torn up for an infrastructure upgrade and facelift, and it has been interesting to watch all the work going on just outside my studio.
|Cutting down “my” tree, piece by piece
|Along my commute
I decided not to renew my lease downtown after my spring collection was delivered to the shop
, but instead move my tools back home again (for now).
It actually isn’t because of the construction. This is the time of year when I get to focus on other things! For example, my jewelry friend Judy and I recently played with CopprClay, a copper version of PMC that will likely be paired with turquoise in my Sedona collection in the fall.
|I love the torched patina on the left one
I just delivered a group of Puffy Heart necklaces to the shop downtown. I weave these together from 73 Swarovski crystals and they are perfect for Valentine’s season or just to add a little bling to an otherwise plain outfit. I am in love with the top color, Indian Pink 2XAB, an orangey pink with two coatings of Aurora Borealis, or AB. Basically, gold is held in a flame and the resulting fumes land on the surface of the crystal to make a shimmery rainbow coating. Clockwise the colors are Indian Pink 2XAB, Light Siam AB, Indian Pink AB, Fuchsia AB (bottom), Rose AB, Crystal AB (off to the left), and Siam AB, with Cyclamen AB in the center.
These take some time to make and I still have to follow the tutorial, but it is fun to see it puff out on the final step, and they are so sparkly in person. I brought packs of crystals, a spool of illusion cord, and nail clippers with me on vacation last week so I could make hearts on our day at sea or in the airport. (My husband snapped this shot of me in our stateroom. The bracelet is by Hope Gibson, a fantastic lampworker I met in St. Croix.)
My tutorial for the Puffy Heart Pendant is available for download here if you want to give it a go, or you can email me if you want to order a puffy heart in any color ($49 with chain). Happy Valentine’s Day, y’all!
My Elements collection is well underway, so I’ve moved from production mode to pricing/tagging mode. Ugh. Not my favorite part, so the procrastinator in me looks for something fun for distraction. Another line!
My Facets collection is next so I’ve been
in purchasing mode shopping for faceted stones and chain. It’s taken me awhile, but I’m embracing gold again. I’m planning to have both silver and gold and colorful stones like peridot, amethyst, citrine, garnet, and maybe some Swarovski crystal to fill in where nature is either lacking or cost prohibitive. On Friday I got to visit one of my favorite places, Sparkles Bead Shop in Newark, Delaware. Connie, the owner and my precious friend, walked me through the new Swarovski colors, and just standing in front of a halogen-lit wall of sparkling facets was so inspiring.
One part of working with color that is not my strong suit is putting different colors together. When I get dressed in the morning and choose a colorful shirt, I wear neutral pants (or my beloved green capri pants with a neutral shirt). That’s a color cop-out, especially when I love how other people put bright colors together. So I’ve learned little tricks that help me out, like looking at a non-jewelry item to get inspiration. When I go to the fabric store and don’t really need anything, I’ll walk around and look at color combinations used in the fabrics. Pictured here is pile of picnic blankets I saw in Parents Magazine. (When I joke that I never really leave work, I’m not entirely joking.)
I do the same in the scrapbooking section because those color combos tend to be a little more contemporary. Also in that magazine was this ad for lice medication, but here is the part I saw: turquoise, avocado, burnt orange, chocolate, mustard. I’m drawn to circle motifs, but I’m training myself to be in “color mode” these days.
I’ve had a break and let myself get distracted while still being productive, so now I’ll go back to the grindstone and finish pricing and tagging Elements. I’m planning to put a gallery page up so people outside the Shenandoah Valley can see what’s new, too. Will keep you posted!
It worked! Making an order deadline (and subsequently enforcing it) has created a distinct lack of stress this year, for the first time since I started my business in 2004. I finally get to enjoy December, hang out with my family and friends at will, and not get burnt out doing custom orders at the last minute. We figured we won’t bother getting a Christmas tree until Olivia “gets” it (and wouldn’t want to eat it), though.
I’ve been sitting on a set of Twelve Days of Christmas sterling silver charms for a few years now, every year forgetting about them until January. I hung them from a simple chain bracelet and they, along with the following set of jewelry, are at Simply Charming Boutique in downtown Winchester, VA. If you don’t live locally and you must have something, just drop me an email and I can see what’s left. Not pictured is another pair of earrings with the green Swarovski crystals from the necklace. (Peridot Satin for those Swarovski fans out there.)
The thing I love about these Christmas lampwork beads is the gold swirls and holly that resemble Lenox china with a subtle nod to the holiday. I’m not into cutesy reindeer or snowmen lampwork beads. The necklace is actually a bracelet with an extender that hooks into the other end. You can wear it as either, depending on your outfit or taste.
Have a Merry Christmas!