Saturday, September 29, 2012

Design Challenge Three: Pocket Saint, Vintage Perfume Bottle

My blog followers will recall that I am currently enrolled in a workshop being offered by Deryn Mentock called The Alchemy of Objects.

I have previously posted about my pieces for design challenges 1 and 2. This week, the focus is on sparkle and texture. Two of my favorite things!

I decided to use a focal of a pocket Saint Medal of Mary that I enclosed in a vintage perfume bottle. I am not yet finished, but this is my design process so far:


I will be posting the finished project soon!

Registration for this workshop is open until Oct. 15, and I strongly recommend that anyone interested enroll. The course content, instruction, and classmates are all amazing!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Mary Found Me

Today I went to Decatur Estate and Way Back Antiques one of my favorite area antique stores (reasonable prices and good selection!). While there, I was browsing through a box of old pictures, which I like to do in case there are any Holy Cards hiding among the pictures or post cards.

While rummaging through the box,  I came across a small booklet once used by a Catholic priest called Our Lady's Book. I can imagine the comfort found by many throughout the career of the preist in the prayers offered among the pages of this book. I opened the small blue book to look more closely and inside I discovered a bunch of Holy Cards. Some of the cards appear well-loved. I wonder if these belonged to the priest for his own prayer life; or if he gave them out when needed. Maybe it was a little bit of both.

I knew upon looking at the book and cards that it was a case of Mary finding me.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Design Challenge Two Revealed

Here is a look at my necklace for Design Challenge 2 from the Alchemy of Objects workshop I am enrolled in.

This one tackles a fabric focal piece as well as asymmetry. I do not know why my first two designs have used so much green! This uses a vintage fabric Mary to which I attached a cross dangle.

I used vintage mesh chain, vintage gold spacer beads, glass stone beads and what I like to refer to as glass "Easter Egg" beads to compliment the Mary focal. I also used this wonderful box clasp with coordinating colors.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

A Non-Catholic Praying the Rosary

Wikimedia Commons Public Domain Image
Recently, I met a good friend and fellow-Episcopalian for coffee. After, as we headed back to our respective cars, a Rosary fell out of her purse while she searched for her keys. She grabbed it and looked at me, "I like to bring a Rosary to church on Sundays."

I smiled and confessed, "So do I."

Actually, the practice of reciting the Roman Catholic Rosary is practiced by a fair number of Anglicans. There is also an Anglican Rosary, but it does not have the long history of the Catholic Rosary, and is not a Marian devotion.

So, my friend and I are not alone in our attraction to using the Rosary in prayer. I regularly recite the Rosary and love that it allows me to meditate on various events in the lives of both Jesus and Mary.

Dirck de Bray Still-Life with Symbols of the Virgin Mary 
Public Domain Image

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Alchemy of Objects Design Challenge One

My photograph and the color palette generator
As part of our first Alchemy of Objects workshop design challenge, I used the above photograph I took this spring of the Bougainvillea in the garden of my in-laws, to generate a color palette for a piece of jewelry.

Here is the necklace I designed using this color scheme. I feel like there could be more of the pink beads from the front throughout the necklace, but this was all of the pink ones I had in my supply stash!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Vintage Elements

I am excitedly awaiting the start of the workshop I am enrolled in, The Alchemy of Objects with Deryn Mentock. This workshop begins tomorrow and focuses on design. I have always had a particular love for color, maybe even preceding my long-ago scrapbooking days! And I now am looking forward to seeing how my design process and knowledge grow after this workshop.

I already have most of the supplies I need in my beading stash. However, I did need just a few items I was missing. I can give you all a sneak peek at some of the objects I purchased.

Cloth bead from Soft Jewelry on Etsy
Vintage coin purse, Tess Ronae Vintage on Etsy
Vintage porcelain from Violette Slippers on Etsy

However will I use these??? You will need to stay tuned dear readers to find out!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Designing with Deryn (Mentock)

Spellbound by the allure of a glittering vintage rhinestone paste brooch or an antique buckle?  Want to work magic with that unique lock or old metal flower?  In this workshop, I'll help you transform your treasured vintage and found objects into a beautiful one-of-a-kind pieces of jewelry. -Deryn Mentock.

Here is a sneak peek from Deryn!

Am I spellbound by glittering vintage rhinestones? Yes! Do I have lots of vintage and found objects I want to design with? Yes! Do I feel like I still have things I can learn about the jewelry design process? Yes!

Some of my vintage stash of jewelry!
These are just some of the reasons I enrolled in Deryn Mentock's newest online workshop, The Alchemy of Objects. I took two of her previous workshops, which you may recall if you follow my blog.

I am very excited to begin this workshop, especially because of the stress on aspects of design. I am fascinated by the jewelry design process!  I am also looking forward to learning more about the best practices for working with rhinestones (of which I seem to have many). And, of taking another workshop with one of my favorite designers, Deryn!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

The Vintage Angel

I just listed this necklace in my Graceful Leigh Store.

Check this necklace out here
As soon as I set eyes on this vintage angel brooch, I knew I could make it into a marvelous statement necklace! There is something mysterious about the brooch to me- maybe because the large gray stone is so moon-like. But, also because the angels are turned away.

Six miniature, identical St. Benedict Medals from Italy also appear mid-way up the necklace. You can see even more pictures if you view the listing in my Etsy store.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Religious Kitsch

Usually, I like to keep most of my blog content separate from what I write in my newsletter. However, today I am sharing a revised version of what I wrote in my latest newsletter, on the topic of religious kitsch.

I have to admit that I am very attracted to elements of kitsch like running Christmas lights, a fascination with theme parks and Americana, and the sometimes over-the-top designs of vintage jewelry.

One of my fellow Mary's Graces Team Members, Black Forest Rose creates some wonderful pieces like this. 
Not surprisingly (if you follow my blog), I especially love religious kitsch. Bold colors and altered religious images or sculptures captivate me!  I believe that what speaks to me most is the artist's passion and attempt to make the religious both more accessible and sacred through altering them.

A Wooden Icon created by one of my Mary's Graces Etsy team members,
The Woodwife's Wares.
I say this because, for me, the image or item becomes an obvious reflection of the act of creation as religious expression, while also bringing extra attention to the images with use of sparkle and color.

Are you attracted to kitschy elements in art?