Wednesday, April 26, 2017

My Newest Leaf Bracelets


My leaf bracelets have become a staple of my inventory.... I use these great flat leaves as a base to build on, which makes them sort of half cuffs.  I carefully curve them to fit the wrist, and decorate as the mood drives me.  I'm pleased to say that even though I've used some of the same design elements on them, each one is unique.

I lay out the main focus, usually a animal, and then I add cogs, gears, dangling bits until I like how it looks.  

 This pic shows one of the bracelets in progess... i rivet mostly to put these together.

I've never used a cat before, which makes this one extra special.

I've used dragonflies multiple times, but each one comes out with it's own flavor.

Owls have proved to be popular the last year, so I decided to make another one.

I love this brass fairy, she's so beautifully rendered.  I think this one came out the best, she's got such a 3D effect going on.



Monday, April 24, 2017

I'm going to let my Picture do the Talking.....

Yet another lovely new necklace just in time for Farmer's Market 

I'm tired so that's all I got today!

Friday, April 21, 2017

Earings, earrings, coming out of my .......

the first pair has delicate, detailed unicorns ! the end pair is vintage adding machine cog, with crystals, and the middle pair... I ADORE! vintage pocket watch regulators with little angels!
EARS! hehehehehehe

Sorry, I couldn't resist, I know I should try harder, but hey, you only live once, but you can pun a thousand times!   Anyway, more earrings to tempt you with... Downtown Farmer's Market is only 2 weeks away!!! wow!!  I so want to have plenty of temptation for you, so here are several pairs of earrings for suit all types!
Lightbulb earrings, all blinged and worded up!

Dangling vintage watch cogs, Paris and clock face, and another lightbulb earring

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Monday, April 17, 2017

Vintage Button Rings

My stash is large and varied, and boy I really need to use up some of it.

So here are 4 rings made using "vintage" buttons from the stash.  the all metal silver button with the flower on it is probably Victorian,   The MOP is pretty old as well.  It's hard to date buttons because most of the styles and types were used for YEARS,   And There are sooo many of them!

The navy button was sold to me as WWII.  I have my doubts on that, but it's all metal so that means it's at least much older than what would be on current uniforms.

The glass one it's extra hard to judge.  The dealer that sold it to me told me it's vintage, but I know that buttons like this had huge popularity in the early 90's and several Czech companies "copied" old designs, in some cases using the original molds that were 100 years old.  I'm guessing it's a "authentic" reproduction,  so it's definitely in the vintage style.  So vintage or not, these rings represent just a quick look at my 3 boxes of buttons.  Three boxes of buttons, and I've lost count of boxes of beads, stones, cabs, and now bunches of vintage parts.  Boxes I get to go through as time allows to fondle and dream and create with.  (And some just to hoard.. I admit it)

Some days I just have the Best Job in the 'verse!


Saturday, April 15, 2017

Just for Fun

As a artist, some pieces have deep meaning to me.  I use my art to work out emotional conflicts in my life, to try to understand the meaning of the universe and share my discoveries with others.

And sometimes, it's just pure, unadulterated fun!  I would place this owl firmly in the 2nd category!  I had fun conceiving it, I had fun making it, and it makes me smile just to look at it.

This piece was made during girl's weekend about a month ago, so right there it has a major leg up on the whole "happy" spectrum.  I took the owl with me and I knew I wanted to use small watch gears in the eye area. Beyond that it just grew organically.   When I put the gears in the eyes, it looked good but they didn't pop.  So I added the cobalt color in behind.  Once I started to pull the other elements in, and figured out the wings were going to be apart of this... they had to be colored as well.

I've had the hat in my pile for some time.  I worked the crystals on it well over a year ago, and then couldn't decide what story it wanted to tell.  So  there it sat in the pile... when the ideas started to gel on the owl I wanted a hat.  I was going to use a crown but none of them looked right.. then I remembered the hat and it fit perfect!!   (however I still want to do an owl with a crown.. hm hm hm)

Since Mr owl definitely had a steampunk vibe going on with gear eyes and all, I added a vintage watch face to the hat as well.

The final touch is he looks like he's perched on something...  so I added the key for that.
putting it all together stage.... 

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Feeling Lazy

I can't indulge myself like my Cat Jupiter is in this picture... I need to finish refinishing displays, clean the kitchen, fold laundry, make jewelry, do quarterly sales taxes and a million other things.  But hey, at least someone is enjoying himself right?   And he's still pretty damn cute for a cat, especially going on 18 years old.

So for those who can, go take a cat nap, watch a movie, or curl up with a good book.  I'm gonna go get stuff done.

sigh.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Been in a "fowl" mood.....

hehehehe, I love puns!  Seriously, and more specifically, I've been in a owl mood.  I've made 3 owl pieces in the last month.  This is the big one, and it actually started as a sketch, sort of.  Early last year, I started this owl on a vintage porcelain pocket watch face.  Since it's porcelain I added an extra layer of resin on top of it, since porcelain can be very fragile.  Then I didn't know where to go with it.


If you actually follow my blog, you know that I'm trying to finish up UFO's (UnFinished art Objects) the last couple of months.  So my brain has had this incomplete owl and watch face lurking in my brain... I had a dream during the night of 3/17/17 -- and it was massively weird dream, I won't burden you with the details - but I woke up and drew the below sketch.  This design was the most normal part of the dream actually.

It still wasn't a complete idea, but at least it got me started again.  I thought I would build a larger necklace using a wing with the owl and face on it, and add stuff til it looked right.  That is seriously how most of my pieces get built lately.. I just start laying stuff out and eventually it looks right to me.


I have these large wings, like 6 inches across, but it just didn't look right to me.  the width of the wing was 2 skinny, you couldn't see the wing under the face.. and that ruined the look I wanted.  So I dug some more in my pile and found this great feather.  I also added one of my large old clock gears in the background for more visual impact.

I laid out a bunch of watch and clock parts until it looked good to me... here is what I liked layout wise.


Then it was time to actually construct the piece with rivets and screws and a touch of glue.  I mostly use glue to hold stuff in place when I am using more delicate materials.  Since the owl is already on the face, I didn't want this face to move.  it's screwed and riveted just in the middle, so I used glue to keep the 12 at the top.

Here's the thing with layout vs. actually constructing the piece... things often change.  In this case, as I was drilling holes for the screws/rivets, at one point I flipped the feather in the other direction.. and l liked how that looked even more!  So some of the other components had to be rearranged as well.

This piece has some real 3D layering going on, and the top small gear spins pretty well.  I used some new heavy brass chain I recently found... I'm really pleased how this all came together.  This Piece will be one of the "big" necklaces making it's debut at Downtown Des Moines Farmer's Market May 6th.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Just a Quickie

So I'm 1 month away from my first show -- which is the opening weekend of Downtown Farmer's Market   (wooo hooo!!!!!!!!)

Traditionally this time frame -before the start of the season- I start freaking out and working like a mad woman.  Alas, this year is no different.

So this weekend is all about inventory, and getting stuff done and figuring out what are the most pressing, glaring holes in my stock.

So I'm off to spend several hours in my studio despite what looks like excellent weather outside.

Please, enjoy this fine spring day.  And I'll see ya May 6th at the Market!!

Thursday, April 6, 2017

More flower earrings now at Five Monkeys!


Yep that's right! Yes, I've hit the mad woman stage of show prep, but I'm not gonna forget my favorite local gallery, Five Monkeys Inc.  This Saturday Dina is having a Garden themed sale, so I figured I had to get in some flowers earrings!  Now these pics show pairs I've made in the last month or so... I took 6 pairs in, so go in and see which ones she got! Go this Saturday and see all special artsy garden stuff she's got -- and all the art from 50+ Iowa artists.  You won't be sorry!

Now I need to add more flower earrings to my list of stuff to make before my first show 1 month from now.  Yep, Crazy Mad Woman stage!

Monday, April 3, 2017

And the modeling award goes to.....

Recently on Etsy a customer wanted to know what the necklace would look like on a real person.  So here is my lovely assistant, aka The Daughter, rocking the necklace.

You know what? It sold that same day.  Thanks Sweetie!


Saturday, April 1, 2017

Updating my Booth Display

So Today was all about mocking up my booth display and test out some of the new ideas I have for it.
I've long been tired of my top drapes being so influenced by the wind.  We have little clips we can add to the table cloth on windy days but it looks kind of tacky.  So I've been thinking of other solutions including such things as weighted table cloths, and try to upscale my booth in the process.  I think we got !


You can see the contrast in the above picture.  The aqua drape is the old, the bamboo surface is the new.   It won't be flopping around in the wind!  I love the dark, rich texture the bamboo gives, and I think it goes great with the vintage vibe we try to have in the booth.. since most of my jewelry has vintage pieces in it!



So here is a sneak peek at two tables.  I won't guarantee you will see exactly this when you come to my booth this season, but I think I've got it almost there.  We are not using the singer sewing machine box this year, nor the cash register drawer.  Still have the adding machine case for bracelets though.  See the great clock in the background?   I used that for awhile at the gallery, and we liked how it looked so much it's now apart of our regular display!


The other kewl new "old" display is the radio on the other table.

Now that I've worked through most of the layout, I know what I need to fix and replace.  I also have a rough count of the pieces of jewelry I need to have a full display.

Now I've got to pack it all away again.  UGH.  At least it's not in the rain :)