Friday, 30 March 2012

FusionBeads - Chained #2

So, last week I showed you two pieces I made with chain I was sent from FusionBeads as a part of the FusionBeads Affiliate Blog Partner Program that they started a couple a months ago. Here's the link to that previous post of mine.

Now it's time for part 2 of this month's reveal. And I have made another necklace and a bracelet.

First the long necklace where I used the twisted chain, with wire wrapped large round beads distributed evenly along the chain and with large gaps. Two colors, and perfectly mirrored sides.

Green semi-translucent marbled lucite 18mm rounds. White carved 16mm rounds, that I can't remember what they are. I bought them ages ago before I had a good system for keeping track of all my purchases. The word jade pops upon in my head, but ... I don't know. Two ceramic pods for a pendant. The green one is by Marsha Neal and the white one by Birgitta Lejonklou. A brass colored ball with a hank sits at the back to balance the weight.

I didn't manage to take a good photo where you can see the whole necklace laid out, or one where it sits on, when I took the photos earlier today. I might give it a go again tomorrow just to give you an idea of the proportions and the length. It reaches all the way down to the tummy.

Now the bracelet.

I used green colored/patinated metal parts by MissFickleMedia. And Rayon gimp cording to tie everything together. A somewhat unusual solution maybe, but that I am very pleased with it. The rayon gimp knots creates a nice effect against all the metal, gives another texture softer and kind of satin feeling, and it adds just a little bit more color too. I've secured the knots with glue and the cord ends with fray check. Two strands of the etched chain from FusionBeads.

The chains used in the pieces above were provided as part of the FusionBeads Affiliate Blog Partner Program. The author of this blog has not received any payment from above-mentioned company. The post above represents only personal opinion of the blog author.

All my best,

Monday, 26 March 2012

Barbara Bechtel on Polymer Clay

I just have to share this with you! Today I saw the first lesson/vlog in a coming series by my friend Barbara Bechtel. On the blog Love My Art Jewelry she will be sharing her knowledge and personal tips on good ways to work with polymer clay. Lesson one promises a great great general approach by Barbara. And further more great stuff to come with lots of good hints and advice.

"You have to get inside the head/the mind of the material you work with. Like a psychologist or therapist."
(Quoted freely by me)

I love that. It is so true.

Here's the direct link to the post with Barbara's first lesson.

Besides making great tutorials Barbara makes the most wonderful work in polymer clay. Beads I personally can't resist to buy. And beads that I love to use in my own work. Barbara is a true original artist. She has created many new styles and concepts. Styles I have seen copied by other bead makers at times. But Barbara is the original. And if you are looking for top quality you don't have to look further.

It is a good idea to go check her shop Floridity on Etsy often, because she updates with new beads and new styles kind of irregularly. I was lucky to get my hands on all of these beauties above just the other day. Oh, I am greedy, I know ;-). Now I am impatiently waiting for them to arrive in my mail box. All the way from Florida, over the Atlantic ocean they will travel. And end up in one of my jewelry pieces in a not too far future. And hopefully finally be sitting on some cool person walking the streets of Stockholm. Isn't that a truly beautiful collaboration over boundaries?

And here's another little tip from me to you. I like to look into the section of what's already been sold in a shop on Etsy. Because there you can get an idea of more things that might be available again in the future. It's not always what you see for sale in the shop, at the current time, that will show you the full capability of that particular artist. It's likely that the most unique or awesome pieces of a bead artist will sell quickly, because there is a fair bunch of people out there who are just as obsessive about art beads as I am. ;-)

Finally, here are a few of my own pieces that include beads by Barbara.

All my best,

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Chained ...

A new parcel from FusionBeads arrived last week. Like an unexpected present :-). It was 4 different chains this time. Antiqued brass plated base metal. Chains ... how refreshing I thought ... I used to use chain in my jewelry all the time before, but lately over the last few months or so I have kind of gone away from it. You know how it can be, you are into certain things during different periods. So, yes, it was a little refreshing kick in my butt so to speak. Today I will present two pieces using two of the chains. I will come back and show you what I did with the other two in the coming week or so.

And hey, look at that one! The really chunky ball chain. 4mm each ball. You know what. I have never ever used ball chain. I have never ever bought it either. I have just never ever been keen on it before. But oooohhhh, this one, that's something different. I didn't know ball chain could come in this chunky-ness. I just had to start with this one. I played around putting together clusters of wire wrapped beads and art beads hanging from a larger ring sort of. Until ...

... until my eyes fell on this ceramic leaf that I have had in my stash for a good while now. By Tracee Dock of ClassicBead and ClassicElements. I adore this leaf, but have never known how make it justice, or how I would like to incorporate it in a jewelry piece. But look at this. Just hanging like that on a long chain. So simple, so perfect. The proportions work really well. A marriage made in heaven. :-) And now I am hooked on ball chain for the future. But I think, for me it has to be this chunky kind.

Next up, the 10 mm round links chain. Combined with a macrame knotted section with enameled beads by Barbara Lewis of PaintingWithFire. Waxed cotton cord and a magnetic ball clasp.

Finally I just thought I would share with you Charlie, my cat, who really likes to work as a prop when I take photos of my jewelry.

All my best,

The chains used in the pieces above were provided as part of the FusionBeads Blog Affiliate Program. The author of this blog has not received any payment from above-mentioned company. The post above represents only personal opinion of the blog author.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

ABS March - Earrings

This month's inspiration painting on Art Bead Scene is one by Vincent van Gogh. He's a favorite artist of mine, and I even did a speech on him, his life and his art back in school when I was around 16. Read more about the challenge on Art Bead Scene's page here.

In fact these earrings are just a sort of coincidental accident. I have so many things laid out on my table to play around and work with for my challenge piece/-s. What I was looking for to create yesterday was something else, but suddenly these beads were just laying there next to each other, and VOILÁ , it just happened. I think they look really nice and very French ;-). But I'll keep working on one or two more pieces still. Hope to get them ready and present them here in the coming week.

I used:
  • Pomegranate red with white heart lamp worked beads by BoulderGlassMonkey
  • lucite marbled ivory and grey round and hexagonal beads
  • blue large seed beads
  • Rosey Copper head pins by E2SSupplies
  • French Lily Copper ear hooks

All my best,

Friday, 16 March 2012

Swedish Lesson #8

long longed for ... here is my 8th Swedish Lesson. The 8th! I am sorry I was confused in the making, and call it the 7th.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Be inspired by: René Gruau

Do you know of René Gruau? I myself only heard of him a couple months ago. BUT, I for sure have seen and been inspired by his work throughout my whole life, without actually knowing of him. And it is very clear to me that he has had many followers in the illustration and advertising worlds. Looking at his pictures I am completely mesmarized by his skill and the casual ease in which he captures the essence of a garment or style. The text below is taken mainly from an article about him on Wikipedia. I have shortened it severely. The pictures are placed in a completely random order. Hope you enjoy! :-)

René Gruau was a renowned fashion illustrator whose exaggerated portrayal of fashion design through painting has had a lasting effect on the fashion industry. Gruau became one of the best known and favorite artists of the haute couture (high fashion) world during the 1940s and 50s.

Born in Italy 1909, Gruau was the son of an Italian count and a French aristrocrat. When René's mother and father separated when he was three, he moved to Paris with the mother. Gruau then took her last name. His passion and inclination for arts led him to a love and pursuance of fine arts.

At 14, Gruau began to support his mother and himself by selling drawings to the Milanese fashion journal Lidel. He demonstrated talent for drawing throughout much of his early life and worked as an illustrator for fashion magazines such as Femina, Marie Claire and Vogue in Paris in his teens and early 20s.

Gruau found it difficult to find work during World War II and ultimately found little work for small or unestablished designers such as Christian Dior before he became popular during this time.

Gruau's first position as artistic director for advertising was in 1947 with Christian Dior. The two together formed the "New Look" of the time, partially a result of Dior's designs, and partially a result of Gruau's combined interpretation and upgrading of old-style graphic illustration. Gruau formed a friendship with Dior that contributed to their successful collaboration and further enlargement of fashion advertisement, which a primary reason he is mostly remembered for his work with Dior.

Gruau, whose posters often echoed both classical Japanese drawings and Toulouse-Lautrec's sketches of fin de siècle Paris night life, was perhaps best known for creating the marketing images for Miss Dior perfume and for Rouge Baiser lipstick.

Gruau moved to the United States in 1948 to work for Vogue and Harper's Bazaar. He remained with the magazine for two years, and then went to work as sole illustrator for Flair.

René Gruau passsed away in 2004 and remained artistically active up to a very high age. Today Gruau’s works are collected and exhibited by the finest art institutions including the Louvre in Paris.

Don't you feel inspired now? I hope so. I certainly do. :-)

All my best,

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Spring is in the air - Bracelet - Live

I've been longing so much to sit in my studio for the last few days. I haven't set my foot in here since last week. Instead I've been playing around and experimenting with macrame knotting, inspired by a post on Maneki's blog (Kristina Johansson).

A parcel arrived the other day. With stuff I purchased from Jubilee about a week earlier. 4 different beads/pendants it was, (plus a few extra goodies, thank you soooo much!). I just loooove what I got from Jubilee. And I can't wait to use them all as soon as possible. Had to start today with this one with the word "Live" on it.

Took me a little while to find the combo I ended up using. I started off with beading wire, lime green and silver colors. Naaa, wasn't happy with how it looked. I am glad I am one who keeps struggling when I am not pleased with what I got before me.

Live - stoneware raku bead by Jubilee.
Teal and cream facetted Fire Agate, 8mm.
Teal waxed cotton cord.
Plastic vintage button.

All my best,

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Crazy for Crystals - Swarovski

A few weeks ago I received a yummie mix of crystals in different sizes and colors for the new Fusion Beads Blog Affiliate Program. I, who am not normally a crystals person, got really really inspired. And I wanted to let the colors speak and the crystals to star in my pieces.

I have made three different designs. A bracelet, an earring and a ring. And even though I have not fully completed the ring yet I decided to show it to you anyway, as I think there is such a strong family feeling between the three pieces. And I am also pleased with the design. :-)

The ring is made in odd count peyote stitch, and a mix of one-drop and two-drop. All so I would get the width I wanted and a center line to embellish along. I used matte ivory colored Delicas size 11. The 3mm Crystals are attached each sitting diagonally along the center double row of the peyote.

My idea for the design for the bracelet actually started with a combination of two words that popped up in my head. "Crazy Cluster". I was looking for an un-tidy and more messy look than I myself normally associate with designs using crystals. Here I have sewn together a bunch of crystals in different sizes and colors to make this cluster bead. I think I managed to achieved what I was after. For the rest of the bracelet I have used ivory colored bone disc beads, strung on elastic cord to avoid the use of a clasp.

Now the earrings. A tassel type construction with a mix of crystals in different sizes and colors knotted on many strands of cord. I wanted to use silk cord, because it balances the slightly messy look with the more classy material. And crystals and silk cord is just utterly beautiful together I discovered. A definite hit! I used a closed square copper ring to attach the cords to.

All three pieces together. I really really enjoyed to work with these crystals. Who would have thought that? It was fun to try to find the somewhat un-tidy and bohemic solutions I was looking for. I will definitely use crystals more often in the future.

All my best,

The materials above were provided as part of the FusionBeads blogging program. The author of this blog has not received any payment from FusionBeads. The post above represents only personal opinion of the blog author.