Friday, March 30, 2012

(Getting into Trouble at) Iris Moon's Boca Beads

We arrived in Florida for a week of vacation last night. While here, we are seeing lots of family members on both coasts. We begin our tour in South Florida and Boca Raton. To feed my ongoing addiction, I made my mother take me to Iris Moon Boca Beads, which is very close to her home.

Let me just say that it is probably an extremely good thing I do not live here! Iris Moon Boca Bead's selection stretched on and on. They have some stunning items in stock, like antique French glass beads. They have an extremely extensive collection of seed beads as well as Swarovski items.

I purchased some items to go with a project I am currently working on, as well as some beads I just plain fell in love with and could not leave without.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Earrings for Etsy

I made these earrings for my soon-to-open Etsy shop. I got these blue and gold beads in Los Angeles, but cannot recall if they were vintage or not.

I used a length of vintage medallion chain to forn the earring base. I paired the blue with some orange accent beads and vintage religious charms.

We are on our way out of town for my son Liam's spring break. We are doing a Grandparent tour in Florida (as well as seeing cousins). I found myself spending a huge amount of time deciding which jewelry to bring with me! Since I have been having such a torrent of creativity, I actually did contemplate whether I should bring supplies with me, but then thought that might be considered insane.

I have looked up some potential bead shops in Florida to check out. Since we will be gone, I may not be posting while away.

Monday, March 26, 2012

First Etsy Necklace

I just completed the first item for my Etsy sales stock! I am equal parts nervous and excited. This is the necklace I posted about previously. I repurposed a Madonna and child pendant I already had as the centerpiece.

I strung red Czech glass beads, gold spacers, and pearls to pick up on the red stones, pearls, and red parts of the Jesus and Mary picture present in the pendant. I used a bit of wire wrapping to attach the pendant to the necklace.

I wanted to use this wonderful vintage clasp since the pearl center works so well with the necklace. The clasp is for a double strand necklace, so it has two connectors on each side. There is a way it can be strung to attach it to a single strand necklace. However, I had the idea of using two, matching Rosary centers because they have a two-to-one style connection.

I now want to work on a few more items to stock my store with before I open it. I would like to have 6-10 items made before I open.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Mother Son Crafting and a Contest

Whenever my son, Liam, sees me beading, he wants to make things too. Because of this, he has his own beads and stringing materials. He also likes clay a lot, so he has lots of clay. For school, he has a Tsunami weather project he is working on that needed a visual aid.

In trying to think through what material he could make the wave from, it hit me that resin clay, which dires into almost cement-like hardness, would be perfect. I mixed up my Aves Studio Fixit clay for him, and he made a wave from it.

Once placed in the box, I propped the back of it until the clay was dry and stood on its own. He added blue craft glitter I had on hand (with Mod Podge as glue) to act as water, and a trapped car and building that I used caulking to glue in.

I had also promised him to mix up some clear resin so he could fill some bottle caps like he did in a school art project I mentioned in a previous post. So, he put clay into the bottle caps and I filled them with resin.

Guess Liam is a true mixed media artist!

In other news, I noticed that the Craftsy blog is having a spring fling contest. You upload a spring-themed project to their website and the project with the most hearts by April 15 wins. I have the perfect necklace idea that I am going to enter.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Creativity Strikes

In my recent outpouring of creative energy, I have been working on another necklace. I love the rich look of these metallic red, bohemian glass, Czech beads when paired with pearls. I often find various tones of red seem to go especially well with religious images. I am not finished with this necklace yet, but making good progress.

As you know, Madonna images are among my favorite to use in my jewelry.
 My son brought these bottle caps home from school, so I asked him if they used resin for them and he said yes. I explained how I sometimes use resin in making jewelry. He asked me to set aside some bottle caps so he can make more.

I am thinking that it may be time to take advantage of my newest spurt of inspiration and stock my Etsy store!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

All That Sparkles

I am making good progress with my latest necklace. I am still not finished and am, in fact, waiting on some other elements to arrive in the mail. I have removed the broken sequins and replaced them with green ones. But I am still going to put something in the center of the sequins.

I do like how it is coming along, but I still have several things I am in the process of working through. For instance, I am still not sure if I am going to have any wire wrapped elements, or stick to more of a classic beading technique.

I will confess I have been completely obsessed with this necklace. I am having a hard time focusing on anything else right now.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Ruby-Zoisite to the Rescue

Liam's beaded message
The necklace I am working on, using a vintage image of Jesus has been driving me crazy. I am not sure why, but I keep having major problems finding beads that I like when paired with the image. I went through every possible bead combination in my stash, all to no avail. While working on bead combinations, my son crafted his own beaded creation especially for me!

So I decided this warranted a trip to my local beading store,  The Bead Shoppe. Although this has nothing to do with my current project, I did fall in love with these vintage Czech beads and purchased a strand to use at some point. I am a big sucker for vintage Czech beads!

Vintage Czech Beauties
I then discovered these stunning ruby-zoisite beads. According to Gem Select, ruby-zoisite "is the natural combination of ruby and zoisite crystals in a single specimen. Zoisite, the same mineral as tanzanite, provides an earthy green and black color while ruby lends exciting pink and red highlights."

I also got seed beads to match the ruby tones and use as spacer beads. I will, ultimately, be replacing the sequins on this piece, but that part is going to be a surprise I will reveal when I am finished with it.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Oh My, Miriam (Haskell)!

Since I started thinking about the possibility of selling my jewelry, I have been on a bit of a journey in discovering what jewelry elements I most enjoy creating with. This week I both read a blog post by Amy Hanna and listened to a podcast with art quilter Martha Sielman  on Art and Soul radio where there was mention of being led by your passion to create with certain materials over others.

This is part of the (very slow!) process of uncovering my own jewelry design style. While I mentioned my obsession with Miriam Haskell vintage jewelry before, I wanted to go into more detail in this post because I think it may, ultimately, influence my own style a bit.

The more I pour over my Miriam Haskell Jewelry book by Cathy Gordon and Sheila Pamfiloff, the more I narrow down the reasons I love vintage Haskell design. First is the use of color. Always a statement, and sometimes surprising in their combinations, the use of color in each piece is wonderful.

A Miriam Haskell bracelet I own (dated c. 1950s)
The second attraction I have is bold design. Almost never understated, the Haskell look is eye-catching and elaborate. The earliest designs by Frank Hess often featured asymmetry, a jewelry feature I also tend to favor.

This style signature dates my piece to the 1950s at earliest 
The other thing of note, as I observe pictures of Haskell jewelry very closely, I do notice great skill in execution as well. There are almost always prong-set stones, hand wired and/or hand strung beads form the foundations of each piece.

There is some debate as to whether my bracelet was designed by Fank Hess or Robert Clark because of the domed clasp
Because there is an avid collector’s market for Haskell, prices for vintage pieces are steep. For this reason, this beautiful bracelet is my one and only Miriam Haskell.

Interested in learning even more about Miriam Haskell? Check out these wonderful resources:

Miriam Haskell Information on Morning Glory Antiques and Jewelry

Monday, March 5, 2012

A Taste of Red

I have been playing around with one of the two Jesus portraits I discovered at Kudzu Antiques the other day.  I still do not really know what they came from, but one thing I was contemplating was that perhaps they were lids for Rosary boxes.

Vintage Jesus Image paired with red beads
I am not sure if I should try and repair or replace the missing sequins with beads, or just leave it as is since it is a vintage piece. Originally, since this has pink in the sequins, I thought it might look good with green beads, but that was not looking good together at all. Then I tried the dark red, glass beads above  that look really good with it.

One of my favorite vintage finds are these pink glass beads.
 However, I also could not help but see how some of my favorite vintage beads- these pink glass beauties- looked. They did not really work, but I figured it was worth a try.  I have been dying to use these.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Kudzu Antiques Again!

I have blogged before about Kudzu Antiques- one of my favorite places to explore. If you are ever in Atlanta, it is worth a visit. I indulged in some browsing there today and did find some things I could not help but purchase a few items.

First I discovered these great images of Jesus. Are any of you fine readers familiar with what these might be? They are slightly padded and look to have once been glued to something on the back. I could not resist them!

I also discovered some French saint medals. My camera got kind of crazy on these and is missing some of the finer details. I picked up a nice pair of rhinestone dangle earrings as well. Often, antique rhinestone items will have slight imperfections, but these do not.

Possibly my favorite find of all is this antique (1932) First Communion book. I saw Mary staring out at me from behind glass, and I was not sure what was inside the covers. Once I opened it, I was hooked.

Something about this miniature prayer book, with its remaining inscription in the back really spoke to me. Can you believe how fresh the ink looks even now?