Sunday, June 30, 2013

June Component of the Month Reveal!

What a whirlwind this month has been! I have been up to my elbows in clay - teaching an intensive pottery "camp" for teens and young ones. Whew! I hope to settle in and make a few pretties for Beadfest Philadelphia before too long!

Are you ready to see what the team and our special guests have created?

This is what I made:

And away we go: 

Guest artists: 

The AJE Team

Jennifer Cameron -
Jenny Davies-Reazor  - (that would be me)
Susan Kennedy  -
Linda Landig -
Melissa Meman   -
Rebekah Payne  -
Jo Tinley  -
Lesley Watt  -

Francesca Watson  -
Diana Ptaszynski   -
Kristi Bowman -
Kristen Stevens  -

I am thrilled to have so many people trying these "organic ceramic" charms! I cannot wait to take a look! Thanks to one and all for participating in the AJE Component of the Month this month!


Saturday, June 29, 2013

Saturday Share...It's Complementary!

As a jewelry designer, I am always looking for inspiration in different places...nature, textiles, fashion, literature, music and more.  Shapes and textures are important, especially in metal work, but I guess the biggest inspiration a designer can draw on is COLOR!

In the last couple of years, several websites have cropped up, providing color inspiration. Some share color palettes based on photographs like Design Seeds and Brandi Hussey's blog, while others like Colour Lovers let you choose your own colors and create patterns. As designers, all of us are on the lookout for the next trendy color of the season...cue Pantone and their top color lists! Oh, and let's not forget Pinterest...type a color in the search engine and be blown away at the color-drenched inspiration!  These are wonderful places to find your muse in designing new jewelry, but sometimes I like to just use the good, old-fashioned, color wheel. Google color wheel and you will find a boatload of images with all different styles of color wheels...some have every hue imaginable, but sometimes simple is best.

One of my favorite things to do when I am in a creative slump, is to look at the color chart and choose a set of complementary colors...these are the 2 colors in the wheel directly across from each other...they are usually combinations that you might not choose at first thought!  One of the most common and traditional complementary pairs are red and green - Christmas!

My favorite complementary pair would have to be yellow and purple.

My Dutch Iris, earlier this spring!

Petunias and Sweet Potato vine on my front porch

Here are some gorgeous purple and yellow art jewelry components and finished pieces you give you a dose of color inspiration!

'It's Complementary!' by melissamemandesigns

Complementary Colors - Purple and Yellow

Original Fairy Flowers hand...

ON SALE Yellow Organic Frit...

Ceramic charm pair star anis...

Saffron WoolyWire (tm) - Han...

Raspberry Lemonade - Torch-f...

Lampwork Beads - SueBeads - ...

ONLY ONES Rainbow Stained Gl...

Eco friendly felt beads in p...

Retro Tiles......set of Five...

Labyrinth Necklace Purple Ce...

Lampwork Beads - SueBeads - ...

Focal Beads Swirl Beads Poly...

Bronze heart pendant, slende...

Torch Fired Enamel Beads - B...

Lilac Flower Earrings Purple...

Warm summer colors. Red, ye...

What about you? Where do you go for color inspiration?  What is your favorite complementary pair?

Melissa Meman
Melismatic Art Jewelry
Art. Life. Love.

Friday, June 28, 2013

July Component of the Month and...a giveaway!

It's summer and that means lots of gorgeous flowers are in bloom!  To celebrate, the Component of the Month for July is one of my porcelain orchid pendants!  

Here's how the giveaway, challenge, and blog-hop will work (please read all the information carefully!):

  • I will give away 1 orchid pendant to each of 2 winners selected randomly from those who leave comments below this post. 
  • Please include your EMAIL address in your comment so that I can contact you ASAP should you win.
  • Please (PLEASE) only leave a comment if you can commit to creating a finished piece and blogging about it on the reveal date.
  • I'll choose the color, so you'll be surprised!
  • The names of the 2 winners will be announced on July 1st so I can get international packages out if need be!
  • The blog reveal will be Wednesday, July 31st!
Also, don't forget that the reveal for the June COM is this Sunday!

Diana P.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Tutorial - Primrose Hill earrings

The most recent earrings I made for the Earrings Challenge were a break from the norm for me - they used yellow! Yellow is a colour that I usually shy away from in my home, in my wardrobe and in my jewellery making, but a friend's lovely outfit the other week made me think again and inspired this combination of soft grey Picasso jasper and primrose yellow faceted glass with a new design for my Etsy shop - heart head pins. These earrings are lovely and quick and easy to make, so my post today shows you how to use a pair of fancy head pins to make your own summery pair!

You will need:

  • One pair of decorative head pins with at least 5.5cm stems. Stems of 0.8mm wire are best as this thickness holds its shape well but still makes comfortable ear wires.
  • Beads to decorate the stem.
  • A crimp bead or squashable metal seed bead 
  • Round pen barrel 
  • Wire cutters 
  • Crimping pliers or flat nosed pliers 
  • Needle file or nail file 
  • Hammer and bench block

 How to make them:

  1. Thread the beads onto the head pins, finishing with the crimp bead or squashable seed bead.
  2. Squash the crimp/seed bead it hold the larger beads in place.
  3. Hold the head pins up against each other to check that they are the same length and trim if necessary.
  4. File the ends of the wire smooth.
  5. Bend the wires around the pen barrel to form an ear wire shape.
  6. Hammer the front of the ear wires (being careful of the beads!) to strengthen them.
  7. Enjoy wearing your new earrings!

To give you some more inspiration I've put together an Etsy treasury of lovely fancy head pins, including a few from the AJE team.

'Fabulous Fancy Head Pins' by daisychainjewellery

A collection of beautiful handcrafted head pins, perfect for earrings and charms!

Green Quan Yin Handmade Head...

Peacock Feather Headpins - ...

Handmade Blue Glass Bead Lam...

5 Teardrop Head Pins set. Bl...

Lampwork glass bead headpins...

Handmade bronze headpins, Ar...

Sterling Silver Heart Head P...

Red lampwork glass headpins,...

Handmade Copper Snakeskin Le...

Sterling Silver headpins, Ha...

TWO Bronze Blossom Headpins ...

Green Leaf Glass Headpins, H...

This is actually my last post as a member of the AJE blog team. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time on the team, and working with such a lovely, encouraging and talented group of women who are just as addicted to jewellery making as I am. However, my life, both personal and business, are moving at a crazy pace at the moment and a couple of things have had to give to allow me to keep up with everything. I will still be around lurking and commenting, and of course on my own blog, but thank you to everyone who has read and commented on one of my AJE posts!



Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Where did this necklace come from part 2 and giveaway winner

First I would like to share with you all the winner of the Earring Challenge Giveaway!
Congratulations to

Monique of A Half-Baked Notion

Please contact Linda so she can get you your goodies!!!

So when I left you in my last post I had just been back from the Michael's trip and found these and some really cool hematite rings that just begged to come home with me.

So off I went to create.  I attempted to bezel those rounds but they were just not playing nice.  It wasn't the look I was going for.

But before I could even take a picture of those rings as they were purchased they just screamed at me and needed to be beaded right away.  I was loving the way it was going.

 Well as luck would have it and my luck for sure I did not have enough of those rings to do the whole piece.  So how to bring it all together.  Back then I did not have very much experience with spiral herringbone stitch but it just seemed to be the perfect flow so .......

Then the real question.  How to hang the pendant.  Sideways so it flowed from one side to the other or up and down so that it hung as a statement.

As you can see this is perfect in my opinion.  I love wearing this one just because and with just about anything it can go with (when my daughter hasn't hidden it on me.  She says it's hers.) and it hangs just were I want it too.  I had actually worn it to the State Fair last year and was literally stopped by 3 women wondering what booth I bought it in. 

So that is how so many of my creations come to be.  I love to be surprised by what I receive because it challenges me to think and play in a way I may not have before.


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Work Space + Uninspiration!

Melissa has been so nice to show us her work space, I thought I'd share mine too.  When I get uninspired, I tend to try and figure out why, which doesn't really help all that much does it?  So then I try and clean up my work space.  This is what I'm going to work on this week.  Hopefully it will help!

Here's a little bookshelf that my son helped me put together!  I use it to hold my tumbler, my small crockpot, extra enameling beads, and various "stuff"!

Under my work table - bottles I use to either melt down and make cheese trays, or break them up to use for recycled bottle beads.  The bag is pieces of broken glass leftover from a class I took at the Pittsburgh Glass Center.  Goodness, Sue, do something with it...

This used to be a rack that held kid toys - of course it didn't last that long because toys get more numerous and bigger!  Now it holds all my presses and pressing tools, frit, murrini, lampworking enamel, shorts, and extra containers that I just can't throw away! Oh yeah, and that little respirator mask too.

My bench - don't really need to explain the mess, do I?

This is a makeshift moveable rack for all my glass.  It used to be a bookshelf; there's a handle on the side, there are casters on the bottom and pvc pipe to hold the glass colors.  I outgrew this long ago!  Hence the vases full of glass on the photo above!  On top are my large hole rods, glass, and frit on a lazy susan.

My tv, kiln, and wall where my bead roller tools hang.

Another shelf holding tutorials and books, extra enameling pieces, and more glass and more frit!

More glass on the floor.  What????

 Oh.  More glass on the floor.   WHAAAAAT??????

The window sill - holds old coke bottles and my wonky rods, that I use to make those flowery plant pokes!

The work table, where I have my polymer toaster oven, where I take photos, and various "Junk" that needs to be put away.  And more glass....

So, next time I post, hopefully at least two or three of these places will be neater.  What?