Friday, April 17, 2020

We're All Ears April 2020 :: Safer at Home

I'm so glad to see the We're All Ears Challenge back this month over on the Earrings Everyday Blog!  Earrings are my favorite thing to make so I truly look forward to this monthly challenge from my friend Erin Prais-Hintz.

As I type up this blog post it is April 8th and Governor Walz of Minnesota has just extended the stay at home order another two weeks until May 4th.... so the theme is super timely.  I'd really like to challenge each of you to do your best to reframe your view about being home right now.  We aren't "stuck at home," we are Safe at Home.  I wake up each day so thankful that I have plenty of food, a home that provides shelter and plenty of comfort, access to a variety of means for communication, lots of books to read, plenty of movies and shows I'd like to watch, and, of course, a stupid amount of beads to keep me busy.  So, to commemorate this strange time of social distancing and stay at home orders, I've created a mini collection of house jewelry for your viewing pleasure!

First up, a totally sweet pair of enameled houses from Gardanne Beads.  The white on the rooftops is appropriate for all the April snow we've been having in my neck of the woods, lol.  These houses are a little bit chubby so I decided to keep the rest of my design fairly compact.  I just added some cute teal Czech glass flowers with bronzed edges and tiny faceted hematite in a bronzey plating.  I do so look forward to a time when real flowers bloom around our house!

I also managed to snag some of Blue Hare Art Wear's house charms in one of her Facebook sales.  Score!  I love how she mixed so many colors in these charms without coming across as too bright or garish.  It's tough to tell in my picture, but the little striped roofs are actually corrugated... such a fun detail!  I picked a fun stripey pair of polymer clay discs from Humblebeads topped with some bright blue Czech glass to play off the stripes in the charms without getting too heavy.

Not satisfied to just make something with the house charms in my stash, I wanted to play with an idea for constructing some little mixed metal houses.  I brought out my box of Vintaj metal blanks and started to see what might work to bring my seed of an idea into bloom.  For the main body of my houses, I ran some Arte Metal rectangles through my BigKick with an embossing folder and then sanded them a bit to highlight the design..  I loved the lines that made if feel a little like siding or brick.  The roofs were cut from square brass blanks.  I felt a little guilty cutting up the nice finished blanks, but it meant I only had to do a tiny bit of cutting and filing... plus I love the finish on the Vintaj brass.  I still wanted some texture so I used a tiny ball peen hammer all over the "roofs" before I riveted the two pieces together.

Not earrings, but I couldn't help but translate the same house idea into a larger format for a necklace.  This time I used the geometric pattern on the Art Metal roof piece and then used fun flourish pattern for the body of the house made with a brass blank.  I also added a little decorative piece from Vintaj that I painted with their patina paints to give it some color.  At first I wasn't sure where to go from there... or even if I would get a finished piece of jewelry done.  I decided that I wanted it to be a longer necklace, but knew it needed a little more physical weight.  I found a little pewter nest bead from Green Girl Studios that I wire wrapped with some Czech glass and crystal beads that coordinated with the painted flower on the house.  As another perfect little detail, the nest says "home" on the back side.  In keeping with the mixed metal theme, I used some Arte Metal chain right by the pendant and then brass chain at the back.

I hope you'll stop by the Earrings Everyday Blog HERE to see what everyone else was inspired to make!


  1. Adorable! I love the ones you created from the metal pieces. Great necklace design! I have an entire set of those enameled house pieces from Gardanne in every color of the rainbow. Why didn't I think of using those? Oh that's right. I haven't been in the studio even though I have been working on the other side of the studio for weeks! Thanks again for taking up the challenge, Miss Sarajo! Enjoy the day! Erin

  2. Ha! We had such a similar idea for the little metal houses. I like how you joined yours with the rivets and kept the natural color of the metal. Since I used scraps, I had to color mine. And, that necklace! I adore the flower accent on the front of the house, but the little nest is also such a superb addition! Awesome!!

  3. The metal houses are gorgeous and make great earrings.

  4. Beautiful and charming designs, I love all house charms, but my preference goes to your mixed metal riveted pair.

  5. Each of your projects is just so adorable! I know it's an earrings challenge but I do love your necklace - the extra additions, especially the nest, take it up a notch.

  6. I love the metal houses. I have to find my embossing folders!