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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

New from the Work Bench

This morning at the work bench, these earrings were begging to be made. 

I put my spin on the design with some twisted copper wire that I found in the studio.  It was left over from a previous project.  Then some river stone beads were added.  These have a nice earthy feel to them. The original design is by Kathy Thompson, from the  September 2010 edition of Easy Wire.

Perhaps the next pair I'll oxidize/antique the wire, but for now they are in the tumbler getting nice and smooth and shinny.

As I look at these earrings I'm thinking they would be fun with some colored wire.  Stay tuned to see what I come up with.  I do love experimenting with color.

Friday, January 21, 2011

MountainMade Paperwork Completed

It's been a long process, but well worth it!   All of the legal mumbo jumbo paperwork has been signed and submitted to MountainMade Gallery and my jewelry will soon be on display. I have enjoyed every moment of the process.  It has been a remarkable journey.   Everyone at MountainMade is delightful and has made the entire process a pleasure.

This is a fantastic gallery in Thomas, WV and I encourage everyone to visit, when you want to be transported away and experience a large dose of art and artisan creations, along with the beauty of the mountains and waterfalls of West Virginia.

This picture is only a small portion of what you will see when you enter the large MountainMade gallery.

The historic Buxton Landstreet building (original on the left) has been completely renovated into the home of the MountainMade Gallery.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Treasure Hunting Success

The trip to Clarksburg, WV the other day was a lot of fun.   On the list was Staples, as a destination for office supplies.  My expectations were to get the unexciting office essentials and get out quickly.  While searching the isles I caught a glimpse of intense color.  My brain was immediately full of questions and decided to focus in on the distraction.  A pink chair!  Perfect for my studio!   I was in need of a new chair for my office desk and thought that another functional piece was necessary.  I'm going to roll my black task chair out of the studio, to my office.  My worktable in the studio will now have this happy and whimsical PINK chair.

What is this?  A new pet? Well, I couldn't resist her.  There I was in Marshall's and Little Miss Happiness was adopted!  A fun way to save, so I can buy more beads and wire!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Pretty Colors for the Wall

Yes, I did it!  I decided to go with painting the brick on the wall, in the studio.  I want to thank each and everyone of you who commented and gave me your suggestions.  Yesterday, my friend Tammy and I took a road trip to Clarksburg, WV (over the mountain and through the woods.....)  The nice men  in the paint department, at Lowes, were very helpful.  Perhaps a bit puzzled at my painting idea, but helpful.  They suggested that I buy 1/2 pint samples and they would mix whatever color I wanted.  (Woooowhaaa.- insert evil sound!)  Little did they know that I wanted 7 samples. 

What a great deal this is at only $3.00 for each sample and it's just enough paint for several bricks in each color.  Plus a bit more spent on a quart of white paint and some primer.

The colors are: Cautious Yellow (nothing cautious about this color!), Frosty Melon, Souvenir Orchid, Magenta Mist, Clear Amethyst, Tidal Pool and Lime Parfait. All are Valspar interior house paint. What if I don't like it?  I can always paint over it with white Zzzzzzzzzzzz.  But, I'm feeling confident about my plan.  (Famous last words!)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Painting the Fireplace Wall in the Studio

I am going to paint the brick wall and maybe the brick floor in my studio, at the gas fire place. I'm looking for your thoughts.  I want to randomly paint some bricks fushia, lime green, bright yellow, purple, turquoise, white and leave a few bare/organic. The studio needs more whimsey and high energy. Do you think this is a good idea?

The rest of the walls are now mostly paneling and will be painted later, perhaps in the spring, but I thought the fire place wall is a good focal, to begin.   I'll be going to Clarksburg tomorrow (1 1/4 hour drive) for paint.  I'm looking for your opinions.  What do you think?


Monday, January 10, 2011

Evolution Of The Creative Process

How does our mind take a thought or idea and expand it into something else?  We are amazing humans. 

This big thought came to the fore front of my mind when a necklace that I made began to reshape and turn into another design.  The SciFi folks call this shape shifting.  The art folks call it creative.  It looks to me like a creative idea can continue to evolve and re-create perhaps endlessly.  I find it fascinating.  I want to explore this creative evolution even further.


Here's what's happened; I made a heart necklace, in silver with 5 identical hearts as the focal point.  As I looked at it, a strong thought landed in my mind.  I wanted to only have 3 hearts and the center heart should be larger than the two flanking hearts.  I also wanted it to be in bronze and with crystals.  So I began the measuring and shaping of the larger center heart.  At first it was too narrow and simply didn't look like the other 2 hearts, repeatedly, I adjusted my measurements and the position where I placed the beginning of the wire in my round nose pliers.  After several attempts I was satisfied with the larger heart.  I then proceeded to write the measurements and directions down, so I wouldn't forget.  I've done that before, where I've tried to recreate something, but forgot the instructions.  Not a happy time when that happens! 

Since I didn't have bead caps, twisted jump rings or headpins in bronze I had to make them from my wire.  I changed the fresh water pearl to a happy rondel crystal.  What a difference!  Even though the 2 necklaces are similar, there is a distinct and unique personality to each of these necklaces.

Now my mind wants me to go forward and tweak this design again.  I feel strongly that the back of the necklace should be changed from wire wrapped crystals to a chain or cording.  The creative process of this one design keeps evolving.  I have a wonderful and satisfying sense about this process.  I'm wondering how far I can evolve this one design and can I continue this creative process with other designs?

Pearl Of My Heart

Valentines Day always inspires me.  I love the romance and sentiment. The way little kids exchange heart cards in elementary school and those boxes of sugar hearts with sayings like 'Be Mine'.  I wonder how the symbol of the heart came to be.  Maybe, like our red Santa here in the U.S., from an advertising campaign.

It really doesn't matter, because we all get it.  When we see a heart we think love.

Here's my latest piece of jewelry.  A necklace with a center focus of 5 silver hearts, with fresh water pearls traveling all around the neck.  It measures 18" in length, but I can adjust the size if needed.  I'm going to list this on line at http://www.artyzenstudio.etsy.com/  This necklace is silver jewelers wire, so I'll list it for $58.  I'm thinking of doing something similar in sterling or perhaps bronze.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Free Earring Give Away Results ..... And The Winner Is.....

I love the concept of Play It Forward (PIF) and have been encouraging it with free jewelry give aways for several months.  The idea comes from the book of the same name and the movie.  For more information, click on the PIF tab, at the top of my blog.  A few days ago I listed a pair earrings made of bronze with blue stones.  Several wonderful and participating ladies added their names.

I put the names in my little ballerina jewelry box......

Congratulations to Brenda Smith! 

Brenda's is the winning name that I drew from the box.  These earrings are going to swing with happiness from her ears.  Hey Brenda - I'll mail these out to you. - Linda

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Free Give Away

It's time to 'Play It Forward'.  This time I'm giving away these earrings.  All you need to do to enter is add a comment to either my blog or to the post on my Facebook page.  The winner will be announced this Saturday, 1/8/11. 

Field stone beads were wrapped with bronze wire to make the cages, spirals and ear wires. They measure 2 1/4" long from the top of the ear wire to the bottom of the spiral and about 7/16" wide.
Yes, yes, yes, if you have already won you CAN play again!

Just drop me a line.  It doesn't need to be long.  Just something to let me know that you are interested in playing and winning.

On Saturday I'll put all the entries into my little ballerina jewelry box and draw a winning name.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Superman Lights Up Studio

Since I moved into my new home and studio, last July, the studio has been a bit dark.  Two floor lamps have been keeping me company and doing a fair job of lighting my space.  But, today that has all changed.  I can no longer blame any jewelry mistakes on the lack of light! 

Ron, aka Superman, my brother-in-law has installed two sets of track lighting in the studio.  One set over each of the interior doors.  Wow!  What a difference.  As you can see from the pictures, the wires still need to be hidden.  I'll take a hike over to Lowe's.  They have this nifty cord hiding channel thingy that glues to the wall and the electrical cords are hidden out of sight. 

The house was full with my sister, niece and great niece, so Sadie, who loves her privacy, stayed nestled in one of her beds.  Yes, I said beds.  Sadie is a bit spoiled with two beds, the sofa and of course my bed that she claims at her will.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Crazy Lace Spiral Bracelet

It's cold outside, here in the mountains, so I'm staying toasty warm inside my studio and keeping busy twisting wire.  It's a choice of making jewelry or vacuuming the house.  I figure the vacuum needs a day off.

Actually, I left the studio and sat on the floor in front of the TV with my hand tools, wire and beads.  It's become a favorite place.  Don't get me wrong, I do love, love, love my studio, but sometimes I need a good dose of 'Bones' and her hunky FBI dude - Booth.  Focus, Linda, focus!

For this bracelet, I began making spiral after spiral.   Then gave them a wrack with my jewelers hammer, and moved on to the beads.  The beads are called crazy lace agate.  This is for sure my favorite bead.  They have wonderful natural patterns throughout each bead.  I'm reasonably sure that the lovely blue comes from a dye, because this stone also comes in pink and purple.  This blue is perfect with denim jeans.  I've taken the wire and made caps on the ends of each bead.  I must admit that this isn't the easiest or quickest technique, but being the tiniest bit stubborn, err I mean determined, I wasn't about to quit until every bead was capped.  Finally, I connected all the beads with handcrafted jump rings, added a spiral to each jump ring and then I made and attached the clasp.

This bracelet will fit a wrist size from 7 1/2" to 8 1/2", because I added several jump rings to the end to make it adjustable.  Each of the spirals are 1/2" long and 5/32" wide, the beads are 1/2" x 3/8 ".  All of the components are a  feminine size, yet there's lots of fun movement with the spirals. I'm going to list this in my on line shop http://www.artyzenstudio.etsy/.  I think $38.00 is a good price and of course the shipping is free.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Loving Open Heart

I absolutely love this heart design.  I found it in a magazine somewhere, originally designed by Sharilyn Miller.  I've put my own spin on it, by adding a bail and a few extra twists of wire and sometimes a few pretty beads.  Sometimes, as with this one, I leave the beauty of the copper wire to shine through and others are antiqued, to add depth to those nooks and crannies.  Then my hammer gives each a bit of texture. It seems like each time I make one it comes out with it's own personality.  I teach classes on this heart pendant and students always make a wonderful heart and again with their own special touches.

I've been inspired to make more hearts, most likely because of Valentines Day.  I'm planning on making some from my new love of bronze wire and of course silver wire.  I want to experiment with some earrings.  If I can get my hands to form smaller hearts.  I'll give you a peak at them, as they begin to take shape.

Now I need to get this Loving Open Heart posted to my on line shop at http://www.artyzenstudio.etsy.com/  I think that $20 is a reasonable price, with free shipping.  This heart  pendant is 2" wide and 2 3/8" high.  I think it's a nice size for your tee shirts or sweaters.  Any bigger and I think people would stare way to much and not look at your pretty eyes or smile.  The bail has an inside diameter of 1/4" so you can change out the neck cording to match your outfit. The first 'prototype' that I made was e-mong-gus.  I still have it.  Perhaps one day I'll meet an 8 foot tall women. ;^)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Learning Curve with Photography

Photography Studio Kit Lights Turned On
Photography Studio Kit Lights Turned Off
Last week I received my photography studio kit.  It's a box about 18" square with a set of lights that shine through the transparent sides of the box.  My camera sits in the front opening on a funky easel.  I need this setup so I can take proper pictures for my on line shop http://www.artyzenstudio.etsy.com/ and for my newsletter and blog http://www.artyzenstudio.blogspot.com/.  Since I began making jewelry with wire and metal about 6 years ago, I found out very fast that I needed to take pictures.  It has and still is a learning journey.   I hope to master photography and sooner would be better than later.  I spent hours taking pictures of 11 pieces.  After the first round of pictures I realized my time consuming mistake!  The lights that let the camera see the jewelry need to be turned on!  Dah! Blond moment!

These earrings are in my on line shop http://www.artyzenstudio.etsy.com/ for $12.00 with free shipping. Field stone beads were wrapped with bronze wire to make the cages, spirals and earwires.  They measure 2 1/4" long from the top of the earwire to the bottom of the spiral and about 7/16" wide.