Thursday, June 30, 2011

Independence Day

I tried out a bead store I have never been to called The Bead Shoppe. They are located in Avondale Estates, very close to me. I am not sure why I haven’t stopped by before, other than trying to spare my wallet. The store makes the most of its boutique sized square footage, and there is a nice mix of bead types. I liked that they also have a nice selection of vintage beads and findings.

I fell in love with some vintage Czech glass beads, some vintage African glass beads, and some other random beads and vintage resin findings. These items demanded a trip home with me.

I will be out of town and not posting until later next week. We are going to an annual family reunion. Although I am still debating which jewelry items to bring to wear, I already have my reading for the trip planned:

Happy Independence Day!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Pearls Before Swine

I made a new necklace using silk ribbon and pearls, which I hinted at earlier. I made this necklace for my mother. I modified the design from a project in Stringing Magazine (Summer 2011). 

I used vintage chain from the 1960s, a repurposed strand of pearls, and recycled silk sari ribbon. I created a pendant from a vintage earring by removing the clip on back and wire wrapping it.

I wire wrapped the silk ribbon to keep the pendants in place and also as a way to attach jump rings to the ends.

I am not certain if I like the way it looks on though. It may need some more work? Thoughts?

Even though I am WAY over budget this month today I am checking out a bead store I’ve never been to, even though it is very close to me.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Design Day Wednesday Woes

I have had the most frustrating design day today. Perhaps it is because my son is home (between camps) this week and I have hauled a bunch of my jewelry making items downstairs and am playing rounds of action figures and with him while also designing. Or, maybe it is just one of those things that will, hopefully, pass very soon.

I have been struggling and struggling with an earring design most of the week. I am hoping to eventually sell these once my Etsy store is up and running. (Maybe this is adding to my stress level?). The base of the earrings are vintage clip-on earrings from Germany. I had to do some modifications to the back, wire wrapping and gluing the clip on part closed. However, I originally was going to add French hooks, but they won’t work because of the weight/size of the overall design. So now I am not sure what type of finding to use- maybe kidney wires?

Any and all advice is welcome!

Well, at least there is strong coffee and cream to sooth my frustrated soul.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Antiquated Tastes

We spent Father’s Day in the Georgia Mountains, where I made a stop at Nacoochee Antiques before we enjoyed dinner at the Nacoochee Grill (one of my husband’s favorite restaurants).

The more I get into jewelry design, the more I am stunned by how my own tastes change. I used to love very dainty style jewelry. I always loved vintage and estate jewelry, but my tastes leaned more toward highly romantic, small, intricate designs. However, now I love chunky pieces, and the slight outrageous quality of some of the items I am drawn to.

I picked up a few vintage items yesterday. When I looked through my Pictorial Guide to Costume Jewelry, I discovered one of the Monet brooches I purchased listed. I also discovered something very similar to another brooch I fell in love with – I like the angels and could picture them as part of a Marian or saint piece of some sort.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Silk and Pearls

I cannot say too much about the piece I am currently working on because I am trying to keep it under wraps. The most I can say is, it involves silk and pearls.

I am also reading Enchanted Adornments, which has got me thinking about the stories behind my jewelry designs. This concept of stories got me thinking about the St. Francis statue I blogged about before. Thanks to my kind and helpful followers, I was able to confirm the medal I was wondering about is St. Francis after all. Now, on my mind’s back burner I have a St. Francis piece simmering.

As though I need more ideas! I do already have a shelf full of ideas marked in books and magazines.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Design Day Wednesday

Now that my teaching term is in full swing, I am devoting Wednesdays to crafting. Today I worked on a charm bracelet. I have been mentally working on this design for some time to celebrate the sixth anniversary of my Pentecost Baptism. In the Christian faith, Pentecost celebrates the day the Holy Spirit descended upon the disciples. Pentecost began this past Sunday, marking the end of the Easter season.

A mixture of vintage chains form a double strand. Some vintage charm elements hang from the chain, like the shell, which is a Christian symbol of baptism. This shell opens to reveal Jesus on one side and Mary and the baby Jesus on the other side.

Red is the traditional color of Pentecost, so I included a red-framed Sacred Heart image of Jesus. Medals and crosses complete the charms. A vintage clasp finishes the bracelet. How do you all like my latest creation?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Does Anyone Know Which Saint this Is?

I have this Saint medal with no name on it. Is there anyone familiar with this image who could tell me which Saint it is?

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Monastery of the Holy Spirit

I am one of nine women who divide themselves into two cars for the journey to Conyers, about 25 miles east of Atlanta. We are all a group from our church, St. Luke’s Episcopal, heading to the Monastery of the Holy Spirit for a day trip.

I was aware of this Monastery for several years and extremely curious about it. As you can deduce from many of my blog posts, I am strongly drawn to Eucharistic worship practices like those in the Episcopal and Catholic traditions (among others). This explains my love of ritual, icons, saint medals, and Rosaries. 

This is an angel icon designed by Sabrina Samuel that I purchased today
The Monastery was founded in 1944, in what was very rural Georgia at the time. The Brothers belong to the Benedictine movement, and welcome visitors because art of St. Benedict’s teachings is the idea of hospitality and welcoming the stranger as though he were Christ.

One of the many vocations of the monks is the design and manufacture of stained glass. Below is a picture of a sketch representing some of that design history.  We joined the monks and others for their noon service in the Abbey Church. The original monks who founded the monastery built the cement structure by hand.

While walking around after the service, we take note of the strong smell of gardenias wafting around a statue of St. Francis. As I study his form, I contemplate what it would mean to live a monastic life. Although I am an introvert, complete separation from the world would be extremely difficult for me. Yet, the commitment the monks show to one another as a community is nice.

Finally, the monastery is known for some of the foodstuffs they produce like fudge, fruitcake, honey, and others. However, I have to declare the biscotti they bake to be like a taste of heaven. I am a biscotti lover, and have tasted many, many kinds. Monks Biscotti is above and beyond the best I have ever tasted!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

I love My new Rosary

I received the beautiful I won in the Etsy Rosary Guild Team May Giveaway. Created by Mary Selano of Faithful Servant Arts,  the Rosary is quite beautiful, and I love the way the clear, faceted Ava beads create prisms of light dancing everywhere.

I especially love the center connector piece which has an image of Our Lady of Lourdes on one side. I blogged earlier about how much I love the story of Lourdes.  This medal has a sacred heart on the back.

I am looking forward to using this in prayer.

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Creative Spirit

Today found me spending way too much time playing with my camera rather than cleaning. I have been trying to better learn how to use some of the features on my camera that I have ignored in favor of the “easy” setting.

I had a burst of creativity this weekend and made both a necklace and a pair of earrings. I was all fired up to finish them both by Sunday. The necklace uses a Rosary I took apart to make into a necklace. The Rosary is definitely vintage and may be antique. 

I used Mary center Rosary medals as a decorative element to attach the additional chain to. I used a vintage, broken floral piece, which I think was originally a sweater/scarf clip. The stones were missing, so I added complimentary pink beads to it.

The necklace also features vintage Milagros- Mexican prayer charms. As I mentioned in another post, I love Milagros. I created a charm drop for the closure using another Milagro charm and a pink bead I rescued from the original Rosary. I also ran out of pre-made closures in the right color, so I made a hook closure.

The earrings echo the pink of the necklace in the form of both hot and pale pink beads. I also used Milagros and a length of chain for the dangle.

In other news, I am very excited because I am joining a group from my church taking a day trip on Saturday to Monastery of the Holy Spirit right outside of Atlanta in Conyers, GA. I have a friend who goes on periodic weekend retreats there, and I have always been extremely curious about it. I will certainly take my camera and lots of notes for my blog followers! So stay tuned.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Retro Saints

Retro Saint medals from the 60s or 70s are my latest obsession. An extremely popular form of devotion, Saint medals have been in use since the earliest practice of Christianity.

I have always seen the medals as ones carried in a pocket, on Rosary necklaces, or on charm bracelets. I had not known that they were stylized to fit the jewelry trends of certain decades. For some reason, I find these images particularly fascinating.

I read an article in the June/July/August edition of Belle Armoire Jewelry that got me thinking about the way to present and package my jewelry if I do end up selling it. One idea I had is to use vintage Holy Cards for the religious pieces. 

This is still something I am mulling over. Do you think the Holy Cards would need some additional decoration?

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Giveaway Winner!

I went to to generate the winning entry number for my necklace giveaway:

Entry # 19 is: Juliana!!! Congratulations!!!!!!! I will be emailing you for your mailing address.

Hope you all had as much fun as I did.