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Saturday, April 28, 2012

Gemstone Pendants and Charms

On April 9th I wrote about all those charms I made from scrape pieces of wire.  I thought I'd show you what I did with some of them.

A few weeks ago I started a new pendant series, using gemstones and copper wire.   I found myself possessed and I just couldn't stop experimenting with different stones and different patterns.  Here are a few of the 75 that I've made.  Yes, that's a lot, but I'm hopeful that the visitors to my tent at the Elkins Farmers Market will find them irresistible.  If not, I'll have a lot of pendants! :) 

All of the pendants will come with a black 18" cord, but I left it off for the photos.


Redline Marble and Copper Wire


Rainforest Marble and Copper Wire


Amazonite and Copper Wire

Fancy Jasper and Copper Wire


Marble and Copper Wire


Sesame Jasper and Copper Wire


Jungle Jasper and Copper Wire


Marble and Copper Wire


Peridot Jasper and Copper Wire

Sesame Jasper and Copper Wire


Quartz and Copper Wire

Whew!  See I told you I wasn't going to post all 75 pictures.  I had a lot of fun making these.  I sure hope they sell.  If not all my friends and relatives will know what they will be receiving for gifts.  :)

Have a joy filled and creative day!

Linda





Thursday, April 19, 2012

Stick Pins for Elkins Farmers Market

I wanted to add some bling to my tent at the Elkins Farmers Market.  Plus I wanted something that had a lower price point.  A stick pin just makes sense to me, but only time will tell if they will sell.  It sure seems like they should, especially at $5.00 each.  These little beauties won't make a  lot of profit, but it will hopefully drive some more traffic to my tent.  When people are in my tent it makes people think 'Hey, I wonder what they are looking at?'.  I guess this could be called a marketing strategy.


I'm thinking they might be displayed in a piece of foan core or that stuff flowers are stuck into.  That way they will catch the light.


Here's one of each color.  A future design will have a butterfly instead of the heart.

Upside down letting the glue dry.  I experiemented with difference glues.  I decided that the Bead Smith was the best choice for me.  Arlene's seemed to take too long to dry and the glue gun left strings of glue that I needed to clean up.


Outside and upside down drying and getting ready for their photo op.

I really love these darlings.  The Swarovski crystals have a lot of bling.  I used a different brand for the pear shape and I must say I can't tell the difference.  Bling, bling.

I had a lot of fun making these.

Have a joyfilled and creative day,

Linda





Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The New Display at WV Highlands Gallery

I completely forgot to post pictures of the new display that I installed last week at the WV Highlands Gallery.  I spent 7 long - that would be looooooooooooong hours putting this huge glass display together.  I lost count of just how many screws were needed and all of them with my trusty pink flowered screwdriver.  But it's so worth it.  I am now occupying all of the the space allotted to me and that means there is more jewelry on display.  There is a bit more tweaking to do.  Hopefully, it will be fully stocked in the next week.  In the meantime, here are a few pictures.


Here's the final display.  I have some tiny lights to add, plus there are some colorful busts that need to be ordered.  I also want to change out my hang tags to something a bit smaller.
The first 2 hours were spent the day before, on my living room floor,  putting the base together.


At first I was enthusiastic with that first layer of glass.
Then the enthusiasm was slowly replaced with impatience, as the hours rolled on and on.  Oh, the glamour of owning a business.


Using a cool tool and wearing my favorite casual shoes were helpful, but I had a dream that night about this daunting task.


Tah Dah!!! Whew!!!

Thank you for stopping by my blog.

Have a joy filled and creative day,

Linda

Monday, April 9, 2012

Wire Charms from Scraps of Left Over Wire

I've been on a quest to find a book, magazine or blog article that focuses on wire charms.  Several hours of searching on Google and Amazon and I came up with zilch, nada, zero, none, zip.....I'm puzzled.  How come?  Why can't I find a resource?  Am I the only one that wants to know more about wire charms?  How weird if I'm the only one.

   
The upper left resembles the swan clasp design and it has been hammered.  The next looks more like a swan or duck.  The lower row are simular with the exception of the use of a soft bend on the bottom, versed sharp bends and how much wire was used or left over.  The final two shows the difference that can occur with a bit more wire.

On a whim I made the upper portion with big swooping movement and the round nose pilers.  Then I got daring and decided to make a coil on the top two; the botton two have spirals, but since the amount of wire was different the spirals took on different sizes.
Charms, typically are preformed or cast and have served as jewelry enhancements for a long time.  As a little girl I envied my cousin's charm bracelet.  Her parents would give her a new charm whenever she became involved with a new activity, like her little ballerina charm. I've started making some wire charms.  They aren't specific to an activity.  They have an abstract form.  Little spirals, curls, coils and crinkles can be made.  Some are hammered to add another design feature.  I'm working on adding colors to some of the charms and sealing them.   There are ideas in my noggin for little daisies, hearts, dragonfly's and butterfly's.  My imagination is soring with more ideas.
These embellishments can take a design up a notch and really put the icing on the cake.  I like adding them to the bottom of pendants, or dangling from a bracelet and if I make two that are identical they will transform a simple drop bead earring into something extra special and unique.


I had learned to make a leaf form from Linda Jones.  Since my left over wire was small these leaves became charms and a spiral or spirals were formed from the left over wire.  The bottom two remind me of goddesses.


Here I went wild with tiny squiggles and added different types of spirals on the end.  The charm on the far left has the spiral up a bit and over lapping the squiggles.
After I have made some jewelry I usually have several pieces of odd lengths of wire left over.  Those bits that remain after that final snip of the wire.  These pieces can be anywhere from 1" in length to several inches and the gauge of wire varies.  Sometimes, when time is short or my hands are tired, I save these bits and pieces.  These can be round wire, hammered and textured flat wire or twisted wire, etc.  Sometimes I delve right in with my pliers and start to take that tiny bit of wire and transform it into a charm.  I have found that many surprising designs can appear from the wire, especially when I'm not planning a specific design.  I just start to curl, twist and move the wire.  Some of these charms end up really ugly and they are quickly put into the trash.  But most of the  time some sort of design comes from the wire and it becomes a keeper.  I try not to think about the charms final purpose and what it is for or how it will look in a piece of jewelry.  I'm just saving that small bit of wire and keeping it out of the trash.  Once a charm is made, I try not to judge it.

The top two charms I bent a piece of left over wire sorta in half.  I say sorta, because I didn't measure.  The bend was placed on the round nose pliers and then I twisted the ends around.  I then formed coils, they were all stretched out in a random pattern without much thought to their final outcome. From there I made different types of spirals on the botton of some. 

The other day I was cleaning out my studio and came across my batch of charms.  I was surprised by how many had been made and how much wire that had been saved from the trash.  I decided I would oxidize them all.  After they dried I sat in front of the TV and started to polish each one.  It became very therapeutic.

Here's a picture of my found batch of charms that I made here and there with my left over wire.

More sqiggles, but they all look so different because of the variation of wire gauage and length of left over wire.
Throughout this post I've inserted pictures of some of my little charms.  As I look at them I can see that some of the designs came from forms I've seen or adapted from others.  I'm sorry, but I don't know who the original designers are.  Plus, there are many charm forms that came from my allowing the pliers and wire to just make a form and I'm certain there are many new designs just waiting to come into form.

The spiral we all know and love changes it personality lickadee split when the guage of wire changes, twisted wire is used, or when it is hammered and tectured.  The patterns seem endless.  Perhaps that's why we love the spiral so much.

I was attempting a design by Cindy Wimmer and was doing a terrific job of failing.  Mostly because I didn't have a heavy enough gauge wire, nor was the length long enough.  But, there was a silver lining because I was left with a new charm design.

Jeanette Blix has a wonderful pair of earrings on her blog.  In my vain attempt to recreate a pair for myself I am left with a huge batch of cool charms.  As you look closely you will see the variations of wire gauge used and the different lengths of wire.  There are a couple that don't even have a loop for attaching, so I'll add a jump ring.  Maybe one day I'll master this techinque, but in the meantime I'll make charms.

Have fun with your wire.  Have a wonderful and joy filled day,  Linda