Little Hearts

Carefully hand-shaped in polymer, stamped with the impression of old weathered wood, and painted with acrylics… you know I love anything inspired by nature and trees!

On each one I hand-carved the word "love".

Some I made in my favorite rustic copper brown and a few extras in a brand new color: sea-washed grey. Perfect for woodland or seaside jewelry, I think.

Find them ready for new homes here.

This beautifully grey and wet spring day calls for quiet time painting more beads and a nap for my furry studio helper…

Happy Thursday to you all!

Coming soon…

Brand new burned leather drops by Bethanne… coming to my shop very soon!

I just love the color palettes she's working with right now!

And in other studio news, today is my day to write on Art Jewelry Elements blog—I'm reflecting on my creative process and and how I get through those uncreative days… join me here!

A happy and creative weekend to you all!

AJE February 2015 CoM Challenge Reveal ~ Winter Rose

It's reveal time! I can't believe just how long it's been since I've played along in the Art Jewelry Elements Component of the Month Challenges…it's so good to be back at it! Sorry I'm so late—I was still finishing my design late last night and… then had to wait on daylight and to get enough time to edit photos and write up my post today. Anyhoo… here I am at last!

For this month's challenge it was Melissa Meman's turn to be our hostess and component maker… she started by carving her own original design stamp and then shaped a beautiful assortment of components in copper clay. It's not often that I use copper in my designs, but a chance to try a brand new component is not something an art bead lover can pass up easily! I snatched up a pair of her stamped rectangle charms right away!

It was so hard to settle on one design idea… I went from my original plan to make earrings… to a bracelet… to finally a necklace! A necklace that is now one of my very favorites ever.

I love the dark lines of Melissa's design and the soft glow of the copper and really wanted to keep it the focal point of my design without any overly distracting colors or patterns, so I chose to go very neutral.

And I think I was maybe just a little inspired by all the snow that has fallen this winter—way too much if you ask me, but it's been lovely to look at! I've titled my necklace "Winter Rose". The palette reminds me of the melting snow, as the faded leaves of the forest floor start to peek through. It's beautiful out—colors of winter are so saturated with the wetness of the melting show and it's one of the very best times to go walking… if you don't mind the cold!

I used Melissa's copper charms to frame one of my own hand-painted polymer roses—like little leaves on either side.

I chose some rectangular white agate to echo the shape of Melissa's charms. Almost all of these beads came from a recent bead swap with a wonderfully generous bead lover I met through Etsy. And what fun new beads I got!

She'd had the stash of beads for quite some time, so I'm not absolutely sure what they all are—czech glass for the rondelles and the creamy-white ones look like some kind of stone, maybe. Doesn't really matter to me—I just love how they all fit into my design so nicely!

My sister Bethanne was sorting the bead swap with me (I think she may have kept some for herself! ;-) and suggested I add a pop of color with the oxblood red faceted rounds. Yes! Of course—one of my very favorites! I also threw in a sprinkling of oxblood seed beads to match.

I realized with this necklace that I've actually never done a knotted necklace before! What?! Wow… I've always loved the look and so it was a lot of fun to finally give it a go. It gave the necklace the perfect drape—I had tried beading wire, but it was too stiff and didn't match the "flow" of the the linked section and made the whole necklace look very stiff and lopsided. Perhaps a different wire would have worked fine, but I didn't have any on hand—what better excuse to try something new! :-)

I didn't have enough of the same beads to go all the around the necklace and didn't want to add anything else to the design. So it took me practically forever to decide how to finish the back of the necklace, but in the end I went with the simplicity of hemp cord. I made beaded loops at the end of the beaded section and knotted the hemp cord to that—I like that it adds a bit more texture and rustic-ness to my design and that I can easily adjust the length.

And there you have it—my brand new favorite necklace! Thank you Melissa, for another most gorgeous and inspiring CoM! And thank you to all you readers for stopping by to visit!

Be sure to take a peek at what everyone else made…