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Monday, 29 April 2013

Reversible Lace Hand Jewelry - "Tender Garden Collection"

More pieces belonging to my Tender Garden Collection today.

I've added another new product to my jewelry line, Hand Jewelry.  I think hand pendants can be beautiful, and they definitely attract attention!

It reminds me a little of when Indian ladies put pretty henna designs on their hands.  Some hand jewelry can be uncomfortable, but I find that because I'm making them out of a soft textile, they are very comfortable.  I actually love the way mine feel on!  And I always put an extender on the bracelet to allow it to be adjusted.  I did the photography on my own wrist, which is smaller than average size.  But that being said, it works very well for me too.

This one, like much of my jewelry, is reversible.

The first side is the brighter side.  I added color and crystals to highlight the flower in a pretty shade of aqua.

The second side is lighter, more of a soft green, with a touch of sage.  It would look nice going into fall even, but we don't want to think about that quite yet, right!? :)


Sunday, 28 April 2013

Colorful Reversible Lace Earrings

Recently a found a way to make my lace earrings reversible.  It's nice for the customer because they get two looks in one pair of earrings.  And they're very easy to switch up.

Each of these two pictures shows one side of these three pairs of earrings.

I love this green lace for spring and summer.  It reminds me of the green of new vegetation, so I have titled the collection of pieces I made from it the "Tender Garden Collection".  I've made other pieces from it besides these earrings, which I'll show you in future posts.

One of the nicest things about lace earrings is that they are so light-weight.  You hardly feel like you have earrings on at all.  So you can wear a substantial earring without discomfort or fear of damaging your earlobe, which is something that I personally love. These are about 2 3/4" long.

Besides crystals, I embellished the lace with sequins with beads in the center, for extra sparkle.  I also brushed a bit of color onto parts of the lace to enhance the color of the embellishments.  And, each earring got a dangle.

These are the two sides of the pink pair.  As you can see, the front is brighter, while the back is soft-colored.      


For the next pair, I started off with the turquoise, then decided to add some periwinkle purple as well.  Love this combination!

One of the things about working with lace that I find interesting is that there is a natural variation within the pattern.  When I cut two flowers out, they are never truly identical.  So the two earrings are slightly different, but I like that personally, and I go with that in my designs.

For the last pair, I stayed in the green tones.  Again, the first side is brighter, the second side softer.  I brushed a bit of green color onto the first side to brighten all the lace on that side. 

They're all ready for spring outfits!

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Help, I Can't Stop Improving My Pieces!

I don't really mean the "Help" part (at least I don't think I do!), but it can almost be frustrating at times.  I get a piece of jewelry or a collection finished (or so I think).  I go to bed, and the next day when I look at it, I immediately see how I can improve it, or embellish it a little more, or something.  I make the improvements and am happy with it.  For a day or so.  At this point I may or may not have done the photography.  Again I see a way to take the piece to the next level.  When I see it, I have to do it, so I go ahead and make the improvement, redo the photography if it was already done, and say "There, finished!"  Until I see a picture of a necklace online, and it inspires me to take my jewelry to the next level again!  You get the picture.  This can happen several times.  I'm learning not to be too quick to take my pictures!

I kind of wondered what was wrong with me.  A lot of other jewelry artists seem to just make their pieces, photograph them, and move on.  But then one day I was reading a book by Thomas Kinkade, called "The Art of Creative Living" (wonderful book!).  He said that in his studio, in addition to the painting he was working on, he had about 50 paintings all around the room, and he would commune with them over the course of the day.  He might even be on the phone when his eyes would fall on one of his paintings, and he would see a way to improve it.  He would say "just a moment" to the person he was talking to, run over and put a sticky note on the painting so he would remember his idea.  When I read that, all of a sudden I felt better.  I immediately thought, "That's me!"  I realized that that trait is the artist in me that just can't be satisfied until a piece reaches its highest potential.

So that's what has happened over the last couple of days for me again.  I saw ways to improve the two body necklaces I shared in the last two posts.  They're fairly small improvements, as the pieces were pretty much "there", but they needed to be done just the same, and the photography needed to be redone too.

On the "Water Violets"  necklace, I had just been feeling that I wanted to create a bit more of a focal point on one of the sides, and eventually found the way to do that - by adding a bit of deeper color, and a bit more silver, in the center of the top bunch of flowers, to make it actually look like one big flower.  I paint on my lace sometimes to enhance the color, or to add other tones.  I also added a little bow in the center of the pendant. 

For the white and gold body necklace, I just added about a dozen more white pearls into the lace pendant. 

I think I improved the photography a little too.

"There, finished!" :)

Monday, 22 April 2013

This is the other body necklace that I said I would show here.  Again, Gardenia is our model. :)

I had enough pretty gold-tone chain to make one, and wanted to do one that was a different look from the first one, and different colors.  I found this beautiful piece of  pre-loved (seems like a nicer word than recycled, repurposed, etc., don't you think?) white lace, and decided on a white and gold theme.  The pearl and gold focal is actually a huge vintage clip earring.  It was just the attention-getting focal I was looking for!  Along with the other embellishments, I wound a bit of chain that contained a few little pearls among the little flowers too, and added a few little pearls around the edge of the pendant.

This pendant is a different shape from the first one I did (the last post).  This one is about 6" long, the other one was 7", but this one is much wider (about 6" at the widest point).  It sits and nicely fills the neckline area.  Body necklaces, just like regular necklaces, can be made in a variety of shapes and styles, with a variety of materials.  

When I tried the finished piece on, I found that it was a bit wide and buckled a little, so I cut it down a bit, until it sat nicely.  I had cut off a couple of the little golden-centered flowers, so decided to make them into earrings - it seemed like just the finishing touch for the look!

This set would be beautiful worn with a wedding dress, but it could also be worn as a statement piece with a t-shirt and jeans.

I'd love it if you'd let me know which is your favourite of the two body necklaces!

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Embellished Lace Body Necklaces

This is my first post, the beginning of me sharing online my creative journey with jewelry and who know what else! Thank you for reading it, I so appreciate it!

To pick it up where I am at this point, I'd like to share about one of my newest jewelry products - body necklaces.  For those who may not know what they are, they are a necklace which has a special pendant or focal area, and then two chains or strings of beads are attached to the bottom of that.  The chains come around to your back and either attach by a clasp at the back of your waist, or they sweep up your back and attach at the back of your neck.  I prefer the ones that come up, because they are easier to fit on most people, are easier to do up, and they look very elegant and lovely.  I love body necklaces!  They can look so luxurious and special, and make you feel that way.  They're a real statement piece.  The ones I've made, two so far, are comfortable to wear and very easy to put on.

I'm a mixed media artist, and my favourite material to incorporate into my designs is lace, so I made lace focal pieces for my necklaces.  This is the first one I did. (I'll share the other one in my next post).

I see you've met my model!  She's my garden angel, so I've named her Gardenia. She lives in the house in the winter, and I discovered that she worked as a model when I was looking for some way to display my body necklaces for photography.  She looked a little pale, so I gave her a bit of make-up.  I think she looks fantastic, don't you think?  If she's going to work regularly as my model, she may have to stay in this summer.

Anyway, back to the necklace...  I used lace on lace here, with some purple crystals, pearls, and silver sparkle.  I always embellish my lace.  I had enough pearl chain to try this out, so I went with that, adding a bit of plain silver chain at the back.  I love pearls, glass ones and real ones, and use them frequently in my designs, as well as crystals for a bit of sparkle.  I thought these purple flowers looked like violets, and they look like they're floating in beautiful deep teale water, so I've called this set "Water Violets".  I made simple earrings with the largest pearl in the necklace, to complete the look.

But that's not all there is to this piece ... it's reversible!  I've recently been making as much of my jewelry reversible as I can.  It's good value, as it gives the wearer two looks.  And I get to create twice on the same piece, so it'a a win-win situation!  Here's the other side of the pendant.

This looks like the water movement pushed all the water violets together into a pretty grouping!  Instead of purple crystals, I've left that color out on this side and used turquoise crystals instead.  Having the two sides creates more versatility for what the necklace can be worn with, but there is a harmony between the sides.

Please feel free to leave comments or ask questions, I would welcome them.  Thanks for stopping by!