Friday, November 29, 2013

Artists for Disaster Relief Silent Auction

Terrible things happen in the world... that's just an unfortunate fact.  But how we as humans choose to respond when those bad things happen can be a beautiful thing.  People pull together; open their hearts, their homes, and, yes, their wallets; they find a way to help.  Sometimes the tragedy seems too big while I feel too small... yet I want to be able to do something, even a small thing to try to help make things better.  That's how I'm feeling now and what this blog post is all about.

You'd have to be living under a rock to not be aware of the devastation in the Philippines from the recent typhoon.  As I mentioned briefly in a previous post, my friend Andrew Thornton and his partner William have come up with a number of ways to help raise funds for the relief efforts in the Philippines.  Andrew's mother is from the Philippines and he still has family there that have been affected by this disaster.

One thing that they are doing is hosting a raffle to raise money.  There are tons of great prizes that have been donated and you can find out more about the raffle on Andrew's blog HERE.

Another way that Andrew is rallying artists to help raise money is by organizing this blog hop of silent auctions.  I hope that you will take a few minutes to hop around to the links at the end of this post to see what everyone is auctioning off and to consider making some bids.  The money earned from the this auction will all go to a good cause and you can feel really great about buying something beautiful and helping relief efforts in the Philippines at the same time!

I thought it appropriate to auction off a necklace that I made for the Inspired by Reading Book Club that Andrew Thornton started.  Especially a piece that features a resin focal made by Andrew himself.  If you are interested in reading more about the inspiration behind the design, you can read about it HERE.

Clasp Detail
The design includes a mix of gemstones including pyrite and labradorite, a variety of Czech glass, and Swarovski crystal.  The chain, wire, clasp, and leaf charm are all Vintaj Arte Metal along with a small Vintaj Natural Brass filagree piece.  The necklace measures approximately 19 inches and the pendant is just over 2 inches from tip to tip.   

Here's how it works: to place a bid you just leave a comment on this blog post with the amount of your bid and an email address.

Bidding starts at $15 and should go up in $5 increments.  The retail value for this necklace is $50.  

The auction will run from today until midnight CST, December 5th.  The winner will be announced on December 6th and a Paypal invoice will be emailed to the winner.

I will cover shipping costs for domestic shipping in the U.S. Sorry, due to shipping costs the auction is only open to folks in the U.S.

All proceeds from this auction will be donated to CARE's typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) relief efforts.  CLICK HERE to find out more about what they are doing and to donate.  

This is a blog hop... please check out what everyone is auctioning off too!

Monday, November 25, 2013

November Art Bead Scene Challenge

When I first saw the inspirtion painting for this month's Art Bead Scene Challenge, "Basket of Apples" by Paul Cézanne, I wasn't really sold on playing along.  Thankfully, the cool proportional color palette that the talented Brandi Hussey did changed my mind!  You can find out more about the painting over on the ABS blog HERE

Basket of Apples by Paul Cézanne, 1893
Oddly enough, I didn't really realize how much of that pale aqua/turquoise color was in the painting until I saw this version of the palette.  I wanted to go with something that reflected the colors and feel of the picture without being too literal this time, but none of my art beads were speaking to me.  I had just snagged an orphan strand of gorgeous lampwork beads from Erin Davenport of Firelily Glass and one of those little lovelies looked like just the thing for a starting point.

Now at 14mm by 9mm, this bead on its own isn't too terribly large when it comes to focals.   I wanted to highlight the luminous quality of the borosilicate glass without overwhelming it.  Per my usual process, I started just grabbing beads that might work in a design and made my very patient husband take a look and listen to my thoughts.

While I can take credit for thinking about using the red recycled glass ring from Trinket Foundry somewhere in the design, it was Eric who thought it would be cool to put the lampwork bead in the center.  When he saw that the ring wasn't drilled he figured his idea was a bust, but I knew with a little bit of work, I could do some fancy wire wrapping and turn these two beads into a really cool focal.  Now what I needed was some time, lots of patience, and a whole lot of wire!

It wasn't at all easy but I did finally get the pendant wrapped reasonably well on my second try.  (On my first attempt I seriously underestimated the amount of wire I needed!)  It might not be the most refined wire wrapping job ever, but I was hoping for a more rustic look anyway.  I decided to go with a symmetrical design this time and made wire wrapped links with dragon blood jasper, China variscite, petrified green opal, and Czech glass for each side of the necklace.

My original design.
I was originally thinking that the pendant would go horizontal as shown in the picture above.  I just wasn't happy with the angles of how things set so it was back to the drawing board for a little reworking.

I switched the pendant's orientation and added in some little dangles off the bottom using Czech glass, turquoise, and little brass charms.  I also added some length to the chain now that it was no longer a choker style.  I'm happy with the overall effect and the colors in this piece.  My wire wrapping skills still have a ways to go, but I'm proud of myself for trying something totally new!

Take two.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

AJE Earring Challenge - Weeks 45 & 46

I've been radio silent again lately due to lots of stuff going on in my personal life and with my day job at the library.  Luckily I have a nice stretch of time off for the Thanksgiving holiday so I hope to be getting a lot of new jewelry made in the coming week.  Fingers crossed!

Time just keeps speeding by and it's already time to share another two pairs of earrings for the Art Jewelry Elements Earring Challenge.  I really haven't gotten too much made lately, but I did manage to get my earrings done.  The challenge (for those of you who are unfamiliar) is to make on pair of earrings each week using at least one artisan made component or bead.  

First up is a pair that's a little bigger than I normally tend to go.  I used some cute little spotted lampwork beads from Michelle Bryant at The Spacer Bead Shop as my starting point.  (These were more freebies from my order... I've used more of the free sets than the ones I paid for so far!)  As soon as I saw this pair I knew that I wanted them to dangle from the Vintaj Bohemian Teardrop pieces I had recently purchased.  I added in a mix of glass and crystal beads in colors that coordinated with those lampies to finish off my design.

Week 45

My second pair is on a smaller scale size wise and once again uses lampwork from The Spacer Bead Shop... this time with a pair of beads I actually bought!  I kept these pretty small and simple with the lampwork just dangling from some small TierraCast blackend hammered rings.  There's a little jet crystal for a tiny bit of sparkle.

Week 46

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Artists for Disaster Relief Raffle

I wanted to let you all know about the raffle that my friend Andrew Thornton is hosting to help raise money for disaster relief in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan.  Andrew has family in the Philippines so this is a cause especially near to his heart.

Raffle tickets are only $1 each and there are some really cool prizes that artists from all over the place have donated to the cause.  You can find out more about the prizes and how you can enter over on Andrew's blog.  CLICK HERE to check it out.

Raffle tickets will be sold from November 14th to December 5th, so there's still time to buy them.

This is just one of the many ways that Andrew and his partner William are raising money to help with relief efforts.  Another avenue that they are organizing is a silent auction blog hop... I'll be participating in that when it starts next week, so stay tuned!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

AJE Earring Challenge - Weeks 43 & 44

Happy Sunday!  It's earring time once again with the AJE Earring Challenge reveal.  For those of you new to these posts, the challenge is to make and share a pair of earrings that use at least one artisan made component.

This week I'm showcasing two pairs using cute little lampwork beads from Michelle Bryant at The Spacer Bead Shop on Etsy.  Truth be told, neither set of lampies were the ones that I actually bought from Michelle... they were unexpected thank you beads.  Such a nice surprise when I tore into my package!

I kept it pretty simple this for this reveal... just adding the little lampwork beads to silver plated or pewter findings.  Enjoy!

Week 43

Week 44

Monday, November 4, 2013

D.E.A.R. Shopping Event

Just a quick post to let folks I'll be selling my jewelry this coming Saturday in Waconia as part of the annual D.E.A.R Hunting event.  Don't know what that means?  D.E.A.R. stands for "Divas Enjoy Awesome Retail" and is an event sponsored each year by the Waconia Chamber of Commerce to coincide with the opening of dear hunting season.

Myself and several other vendors will be at DMA Dentistry this Saturday, November 9th from 9 am until Noon.  The address is 133 West 1st Street, Waconia and we'll be in the lower level of the building.  As an added bonus, there will be coffee, tea, and light refreshments to keep you fueled for your shopping day.

I've got some great fall pieces to wear now and tons of items that would make wonderful holiday gifts.  It's a perfect time to start taking care of your holiday shopping!