Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Retreating to the Desert

Wikimedia Commons Public Domain Picture of  a Harris Hawk in Tuscon
This February, I am participating in my first real life (non-virtual) art retreat called Art Retreat in the Desert in Tucson  AZ.  Every time I think of it, I am exceedingly excited, and wish I could race around the room screaming with glee like my son does when he is enthusiastic about something.

The retreat is a combined 40th Birthday and Christmas gift from my husband. The instructors will be: jewelry artist Diane Cook, jewelry designer Deryn Mentock (and the lady from whom I have taken several classes, including my current Alchemy of Objects workshop), mixed media artist JoAnnA Pierotti , Jewelry designer Richard Salley, and jewelry designer Jessica Papke.

I am looking forward to learning from some great instructors, gaining the expereince of an art retreat, and going to a city I have never visited.

St. Augustine Cathedral, Tucson, Arizona
Wikimedia Commons Public Domain

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Victorian Mourning Jewelry and Fundraising Necklace

 This week, for The Alchemy of Objects workshop lesson 5, the challenge was focal pieces. For this challenge, I paired a Victorian mourning brooch with a coordinating black cross pendant. I then used faceted, black beads to pick up on the faceted nature of the brooch and cross. The back has a vintage rhinestone clasp and a vintage Medal.

I used a Victorian Mourning Brooch paired with a black cross as the necklace focal. 
This week, I also created a necklace to donate to my son's school for their silent auction fundraiser. It features a handmade clay bird from Firefly Design Studio. I used marbleized agate stones that compliment the green of the pendant.

I also drilled a hole in the bottom to add a coordinating charm dangle. The back features a vintage box clasp and bronze bird dangle, picking up on the bird theme.

A bird necklace crafted for a silent auction. 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Vintage Coin Purse Necklace

As part of the Alchemy of Objects Workshop with Deryn Mentock, I was hard at work this past week on a necklace. This necklace focused on proportion as well as transferring an image to leather. 
A flower transfer decorates the front of a vintage coin purse
I paired vintage beads with red, lampwork beads, ending with a vintage clasp and coordinating dangle.This piece is surprisingly comfortable when worn, despite the bulky focal. 

Here is a close up of a brass book I created. I used "messy" soldering on purpose and thought the floral stamping would pick up on the flower transfer. I also used photocopied antique book passages inside the tiny book. 

I am still going to add a good luck charm of some sort inside the purse. I was also thinking of donating this piece to a fundraising auction at my son's school. 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Design Challenge Three: Saint in a Bottle

In The Alchemy of Objects workshop, our design challenge for this past week was related to texture and sparkle. As you are most likely aware, I love sparkle!

I knew that I wanted to incorporate my pocket Saint Mary into this week's challenge. I had long been contemplating using small, vintage glass bottles to display pocket saints in my jewelry designs. I had come across pictures of hinged bottles used in jewelry, which are a similar concept. However, the bottles as I have fashioned them do not open.

I cut the glass bottle, positioning Mary and some text inside. I then solder the bottle back together again.

This design needs a little tweaking, but my hope is to perfect it and then offer a series of them in my Graceful Leigh shop.

Monday, October 1, 2012

A Big Fall Sale! Plus Victorian Mourning Jewelry

First, Graceful Leigh is having a FALL SALE. Buyers can take 15% off everything Use the code FALL15 at checkout. This includes custom orders (excluding gift cards).

Today I went exploring in Broad Street Antique Mall (part of The Chamblee Antique Row District). I have never been there before because it is a bit of a drive for me, but I was up for exploring something different today.

I can never resist these bags of mismatched jewelry when I come across them.
My  favorite find of the day was this Victorian Mourning jewelry. I have been wanting to find some because I have some particular beads that might work nicely with them.

Victorian Mourning Brooches
Make sure to check out the Graceful Leigh Etsy store to get in on the great sale I am having! Especially good for Christmas shopping . . .