Saturday, July 19, 2014

Gemstone and Metal Blog Hop Reveal

Hi, it is me again with yet another blog hop or challenge review.  It has been a very busy week around here!  This time, I would like to welcome you in to take a peek at Lisa Lodge's Gemstone and Metal Blog Hop.   Several months ago,  Lisa offered participants the chance to work with natural gemstones and participate in her hop. I love natural stones. so I couldn't wait to participate in this one.

Lisa is always so generous with her kits!!  These pictures show just a bit of the wonderful items she sent me to work with.   The gemstone in my kit is black vein jasper.  I received tons of beads in this stone.  Rectangles, coins, different sized faceted beads and rounds.  The metal side of the hop included a pretty clasp,  two different kinds of spacer beads, some chain, cones, and connectors.  

When I sat down to design,  the one thing I felt was missing from the collection was a bit of color.  The black, white and grey in the black vein jasper is very bold and adding just the metal spacers made my design ideas kind of one dimensional.   So, I looked for a color that would work well with the stone and metal.

I settled on red as my accent colors for my pieces.   It is a strong color and compliments the grey, white and black in the jasper nicely.  To add my signature touch of sparkle,  I included some Swarovski crystals in jet with an AB finish, so they are a glittery shade of grey.

I was careful when picking the rectangles of jasper to match up the colors so the beads display all the variety of color in the stones.  I used some of the metal lentil spacers to separate the stones and then added barrel shaped red glass beads for that pop of color.  I then finished off the necklace with the crystals, smaller faceted jasper beads and then connected it to the chain that Lisa provided.   Unfortunately, I damaged the clasp  she gave me so I had to use one of my own.

Next, I designed a bracelet that can either be worn with the necklace or stand well on its own. I used faceted rodelles and one oval shaped of the jasper beads,as well as these neat metal spacers that are different than those on the necklace.  I used red for the color pop, this time, using glass beads that remind me of little perfume bottles.   Finally, the Swarovski crystals appear again for additional sparkle.

I couldn't make jewelry and not put together a pair of earrings!  Here I used more of those silver spacers from the necklace and small jasper rondelles.  I chose two oval glass beads in a bright red and added a crystal at the end so that all the pieces tied together.

It was lots of fun participating in the Gemstone and Metal Blog Hop and I want to thank our hostess, Lisa Lodge, again for giving me the opportunity to participate.   Please take some time to visit the other artists on the hop and see what they created.   Thanks for visiting!

Your hostess:  Lisa Lodge, A Grateful Artist
Kim Dworak, Cianci Blue
Marybeth Rich, A Few Words from within the Pines (You are Here)
Karen Grosset Grange, Ginkgo et Coquelicot
Veralynne Malone, Designed by Vera
Katrina Taylor, I Wanna Go Out
Ann Schroeder, Bead Love
Kathleen Breeding, 99 Bottles of Beads on the Wall
Terri Wlaschin, Dances in Fog
Margaret Pelech, Big Margaret
Jo-Ann Woolverton, It's a Beadiful Creation
Kathy Zeigler Lindemer, Bay Moon Design
Heather Richter, Desert Jewelry Designs
Carolyn Lawson, Carolyn's Creations
Toltec  Jewels, Jewel School Friends
Melissa Trudinger, Bead Recipes
Shaiha Williams, Shaiha's Ramblings
Chris Eisenberg, Wanderware (May be delayed a few days)
Eleanor Burian Moore, The Charmed Life
Christine Stonefield, Sweet Girl Design

Robin Reed, Artistry HCBD
Laurie Vyselaar, Lefthand Jewelry
Cassi Renee Paslick, Beads: Rolling Downhill
Crystal Thain, Here Bead Dragons
Alicia Marinache, All the Pretty Things (May be delayed a few days)
Marde Lowe, FanciMarDesigns
Linda Anderson, From the Bead Board
Leithleach Alainn Seodra, Alainn Jewelry
Lisa E. Prewitt Knappenberger, LiRaysa Designs
Paige Maxim, Paige Maxim Designs

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Friday, July 18, 2014

We're All Ears July Reveal


Hello again and welcome to July's reveal for the We're All Ears challenge.  If this is your first visit to this monthly post, let me give you a quick update to what this challenge is.   Every month, Erin over at Earrings Everyday posts an inspiration photo and the participating jewelry designers are to use that photo to create earrings.  We all gather together on the third Friday of the month to post our creations.

This month, Erin's inspiration post was on the 4th of July, so I think she really got into the spirit of the Holiday with these red, white and blue sail boats.  I loved the way the sails filled with air and the movement you could feel in both of the boats.   That movement is what I focused on when I created my design.

I ordered some brass from Vintaj earlier this month and they included a goody bag full of samples of their new designs.  The minute I pulled out these earring findings I new I had to use them for this month's design (they are called Perfect Paisley, but I like calling them swooshes.)  They remind me of the full sails, straining with the wind as the boats move across the sea.  Also, they could represent the waves that are displaced as the boats move along the water.   

To honor the colors in the photo,  I wrapped cathedral shaped crystals to the bottom of each piece of brass with a soft red shaped wire.  It adds just the right touch of red to the design without overpowering the brass.  I just love the blue hue in the cathedral shaped glass beads!  When I got done wrapping them,  they made me think of the water the boats were sailing on.   The little bit of copper colored finish on the ends of each bead really complimented the larger metal piece and brought the whole design together.  

As always, I had a great time participating in this challenge.  Would you like to see what others designed?   Check them out below:

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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Good Earth Challenge Reveal

Hello Everyone!  It is an exciting day in my household because my son is having a birthday.   Remember those days when you were young and couldn't wait for your birthday?   Where did that fun go?  It is also an exciting day here because it is time for the Good Earth Challenge Reveal.   

I was very lucky to get to participate in this challenge that is hosted by the wonderful artist, Andrew Thornton.  You can follow Andrew over at his blog here.   Andrew picked a wonderful palette of beads for all of the participants to work worth.   He also made some of the pieces himself.  Take a peek at what I received.

And these are just a bit of all the treats I got!  In this picture you can see a fine selection of Japanese seed beads, Czech glass beads, Irish waxed linen, vintage brass rounds, ceramic beads, and even a vintage Hamilton gold bead (which I am saving for something special I am making for myself.)  On the bottom right are the beads Andrew made.  A leaf pendant he made out of polymer clay and some wonderful faux Moroccan Amber beads that are just to die for!!  I also got a bag full of goodies.  Tons of seed beads, Swarovski crystals and pearls, vintage sequins, jasper, glass and quartz to name a few of the wonders inside.  
It took me a bit of time to come up with a plan for all of these wonderful beads but I came up with several pieces that all speak to me about nature.  Most of my designs make me think of fall and harvest time.  The colors just explode with the celebration of nature in one of it's most beautiful seasons.  Come take a peek at what I made!

Autumn Abundance

My first piece is a necklace that used the beads from Andrew's collection exclusively.  I used several of his faux Moroccan Amber clay beads as the focal point for this piece.  In the middle is a wonderful glass bead that has a great vintage look.  In between the clay beads are vintage brass beads that have a really interesting texture.  The rest of the necklace uses Czech glass, crystals and a wonderful collection of seed beads.  Can you see the wonders of fall in this piece?

Next,  I made a fun pair of delicate seed bead earrings to work with this necklace.

I even made sure to match tiny red beads on the earrings to work with the red glass beads that are next to the green Czech glass on the necklace.  I am not exactly sure if those swirly metal discs at the ends are brass or not, but I fell in love with them right away and knew they had to fit into my design.  These earrings are delicate and add just the right touch to the necklace.

Leafy Splendor
There were so many wonderful beads left I just had to make another necklace.  This one uses Andrew's leaf charm as the focus.   I highlighted the charm with some wonderful Czech glass rondelles I had that are in a warm shade of red with a Picasso finish.  I love how the red color highlights the finish he put on the pendant.  Next, I used the round artisan ceramic beads, some more of the great Czech glass Andrew provided and then completed the necklace with the Japanese seed beads.  I can so see wearing this piece at a Harvest Festival or at a Thanksgiving event.

Guess what?  I am not done yet!   I finished off my collection with two fun bracelets.   The first is a collection of Czech glass, vintage glass, seed beads and some crystal.   I love this bracelet because of its random design.  If you know my work, you know I am big on symmetry so it was fun to go outside my comfort zone and design something that focuses on the beads and not a pattern.   One of the things I love about this bracelet too is it's versatility.  It can be worn with so many things!

Harvest Corn Bracelet
Finally, my last piece is a fun little stretch bracelet that works back to the earrings and my first necklace.   It reminds me so much of the oranges, yellows and browns of candy corn.  Wouldn't this be so much fun to wear on a fall Saturday when you were out enjoying the season?

Thank you so much for reading my post and stopping by to see my designs.   Thanks again to Andrew Thornton for hosting!  Please stop by and visit the other artists who created pieces for this challenge.

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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Hop, Hop, Hopping All Over the Place!!!

Sorry I have been away from the blog for a bit,  but I have been focused on creating  and (hopefully!!!) selling the last few weeks.  Throw in summer break from school and I seem to have lost all my creative writing time.   I wanted to post a quick update to let you know what is coming down the pike.   Blog Hops of course!!!  I have come to really enjoy them.  Every time I participate, I am challenged and it always takes my designs to a new level.  

First up:
Good Earth Challenge July 17, 2014
I had the luck to be able to enter one of Andrew Thorton's blog hops before they sold out.   They always go fast, so I was very excited to get into this one.  Check out Andrew's blog.  He is an incredibly creative individual.   I was overwhelmed when I got these beads and I have made three pieces so far and probably have two more in mind, if I can figure out how to use my new knotting tool.

Here is a sneak peek at some of the beads I received:

The next hop up is Lisa Lodge's Gemstone and Metal Blog Hop.
Gemstone and Metal Blog Hop July 19,2014

I do not have pictures yet of the wonderful beads I received, but one of the reasons I love participating in Lisa's blog hops so much is because she always gives such a great range of beads to work with.  This will be lots of fun!  Check out Lisa's blog here

If you take a peek over on the left side of my blog,  (<------  Yes, over there :) )  You can see an updated list of some of the blogs and challenges I will be participating in over the next few months.  

So, with all this talk of hops, it is time to make a special announcement.  Forest of Jewels and your friendly hostess, (that's me!!!)  Will be holding a Blog Hop  in November in time for my birthday.  I haven't gotten all the details together yet, but expect to work with beautiful Czech glass beads and handmade clasps, plus a special focal bead.   I will be announcing the hop and starting signups in the middle of August, so make sure to check back for details.  Better yet,  follow the blog so you don't miss an update!

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!

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