Friday, August 29, 2008

Bead Swap

Wire Wrappers Anonymous

“The Addictive Art of Wire Wrapped Jewelry”

Well another swap…This one is a bead swap….

Twelve of us signed up for this swap. Rules were simple, just send your swapping beads to the swap Mom, and after all the beads were received she forwards the “Bead Box” to the first lucky participant, and the box moves forward.

The day the Bead Box arrived at my house, I couldn’t wait to open it, what an amazing selection, almost better than a visit to the local bead store. I’ll take that back, it really was better than a visit to the local bead store. A great selection of beads; seed beads, coral, ceramic beads, many types of jasper, jade, camelian, amethyst, rhodynite, arrow head, cabs, many colors of agate, shell beads and pendants, and to many more to mention.

The Bead Box has been at my house for a week, I’ve really had a hard time deciding which beads to select. Did I mention, I had 4 ½ pounds of beads to go through, finally selected my beads tonight, so I can get this bead box back into the mail.

I’m sending the “Bead Box” to number ten on the list, and the bead box is almost back home to our swap Mom.

Hope we will do a Bead Swap again….

Thursday, August 28, 2008

My First Wire Wrapped Pendant

Wire Wrappers Anonymous

“There is no cure here, no twelve step program. Rather, we feed each others sickness and allow our Muses free rein! Wrappers of all levels are welcome. Whether your, a salty dog or a beginner just getting your footing come in and make yourself at home.” Wire Wrappers Anonymous is part of the Metal Chasers Forum, a fun creative group of Artisans.

I recently participated in the first “Wire Wrappers Anonymous” pendant swap. Thirty-one lovely ladies created thirty-one very different wire wrapped pendants, each a beautifully designed.

I created my first wire wrapped pendant with a Blue Quartz focal and Sterling Silver 21 gauge square and half round wire. The design proved to be somewhat if a challenge, not wrapping the cab, but the construction and finishing of the bezel detail. I was quite surprised that the square wire was much harder to work with than the half round sterling silver wire. Not sure why, but the square wire seemed much harder. Both sterling silver wires had been purchased over a year before, but can’t see why the age of the wire would create a harder surface to work.

Each participate was contacted with the swap partners address, not until pendants are received do we know who actually is our swap partner. My swap partner was Gini Briggs of Missouri Ocean Design. I mailed her the pendant yesterday, hopefully she will receive the design before the holiday, and she will know that I am her swap partner. I hope she enjoys my design!

My beautiful pendant that I received was from
Brenda Smith of “The Jewelry Box”.

The pendant is a chunk of genuine Tigereye wrapped with copper wire.

I was just thrilled with Brenda’s pendant, she used my favorites copper and earthtones in create her design. This was also Brenda’s first attempt at wire wrapping a pendant, just like mine. “Who knows…maybe one day, we’ll both become famous wire-wrappers.

If you would like to see the other Wire Wrappers Swap pendants they can be view in the WWA Pendant Swap Gallery.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Art Auctions for Charity

Art Auctions for Charity
"Caring Hands & Giving Hearts"
Together we can make a Difference!

Today is the first day....

Welcome to this exciting opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life! All proceeds from the sale of donated works of art will be sent to various charities.

Art Auctions for Charity is a site to conduct on-line auctions. It is a place where you can nominate a favorite charity, donate art, bid on an auction and participate in a fun high energy drive to raise funds for charities that are dear to our hearts.

The proceeds from the first auction will be donated to the account of: Georgia Graham , who is in need of a lifesaving kidney transplant

Georgia is the Mother of my friend Jacqui from the Artist of the RoundTable (A.R.T.)where she has graciously been moderating and teaching on-line workshops to many years. It is our turn to band together and show her how much she is appreciated, by helping to get her Mother on the kidney donor list! This is an exciting event, hosted & sponsored by a loving artist community! Please help spread the word about this endeavor by visiting Art Auctions for Charity

Beginning in January 2009 the auctions will take place every month, once a week, 7 items will be featured for 10 months.

Together we can make a Difference!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Photography props and backgrounds

My thoughts…

I’m practicing again with my photos…


Many pictures of jewelry are done with solid background. Typically, a clean slate really focuses the attention on the piece not the background. I personally love black backgrounds, though some designers feel they are visually stale.

If you have a flowery swirly jewelry design, with a paisley, checkerboard or overly textured background the photography is going to seriously distract the viewer. You’ll want to give some serious thought to what are you selling, the fabric or the jewelry. Does the fabric detract or enhance your jewelry design.

Now, if your jewelry designs are going to be in a catalog or a similar publication you will have to follow submission guidelines; most often requiring a solid background. When using stark white background against color; especially dark colors, the contrast is extremely high. When photographing with a white background you have to verify the white actually comes out WHITE and the design colors actually comes out the proper color! Many photographs can be ruined simply because the white background appears greyish, off color, and the piece will often have an unusual color cast.


Props can add character, tell a story; thereby ADDING TO THE VISUAL appeal of the design. The use of different colors and/or props can make a stunningly gorgeous statement. They should be simple and focus attention to the piece. The whole prop does not have to be in the photo to be effective, its shadow or texture can reflect the beauty of the jewelry design.

Some of my favorite props are things found in nature. While my designer friend Lola from Metal Chasers loves using antiques, especially glassware, bronze candlestick holder and similar objects. Lola was the inspiration for this blog and has greatly helped me improve my photography skills. Much of what I’ve learned about photography has been gleaned from Lola.

Recently I received a wonderful suggestion from eSMArts team member, Stacie of Creative Junque, suggesting that I use ceramic tiles as background props. Looking forward to trying this suggestion, I really believe this will add interest without distracting from my designs.

Practice, practice and more practice

I suggest, taking several photographs with several different props, backgrounds, camera angles, and lighting. This will give you a selection of photos, which gives you the ability to choose the photo that shows your design to its fullest potential. What works for one piece may not work for the next. The more photos you take, the more experience you will gain, you will find your style, and hopefully photography will become second hand…

I’m still practicing…

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

A Game of Internet Tag!

I’m It…
I’ve been tagged…
eSMArts team member Tina of Links and Loops has tagged me…

Here are the rules:

1) Link to the person who tagged you
2) Post the rules on your blog (this is what you are now reading)
3) Write 6 random things about yourself (see below)
4) Tag 6 people at the end of your post and link to them
5) Let each person know they have been tagged and leave a comment on their blog.
6) Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

Six Random Things about Me…..

1) I breed Parrotlets, the smallest parrot kept in captivity for over 12 years

2) Jill is my middle name, and I’m not telling my first name. I was named after my Great-Grandmother. She didn’t like her first name either.

3) I married my best friends brother 20 years ago; his family said I’d never go out with him.

4) My son finally got married, and I have a wonderful Daughter-in-Law

5) I have a son, daughter, and step-daughter, and 4 grandsons. My family is the most important part of my life. I miss my daughter and her family horribly, they live in the San Francisco Bay Area.

6) My a 4th generation Californian, but have lived in Georgia 35 years.

Now I’m tagging….

Kateri of The Writing's of Presumed Royalty
at Simply Willow
Wilma at Wilma’s Whimseys

Izzy at Precious Creations by Izzy
Barbara at Magpie Dreamers
Michele Cook of Michelle Cook Designs

Friday, August 1, 2008

Egyptian Flower Princess

Behind the Mask - My Bead Embellishment Challenge

The Beadin' Path in Freeport, Maine issued a challenge to beadwork and fiber artists from all over the world: to accept, be inspired by and submit a mask for a show entitled Behind the Mask. Thirty Seven artists joined this challenge, creating beaded masks using varying techniques; such as bead weaving, stitching and embroidery, sculpture, mixed media, clay and more.

All of the artists started with the same basic white plastered paper mask, producing 37 totally different translations.

I begin my journey

I still have no idea why I decided to participate in the Behind the
Mask Challenge, though I thought this was an interesting concept, and might push my creativity into a new arena. I learned a lot from participating in my new challenge, what worked, what didn’t work, and what I would do differently in the future. The other artisans provided support, knowledge and ideas.

My basic background design is composed of 11/0 champagne seed beads, gluing each bead in place, using larger beads as accents, and design components. I started my mask by attaching the plum delicas on the lips, then encasing the face with the seed beads, using bugle beads as the base of my flower petals, and finishing with the 12 gauge coiled headpiece.

As the mask progressed, the basic original design concept continued as planned, but my design ideas also continued to flow, ideas that I hope to use in a future design concept. If I had the time, I would do things very differently. With many hours already committed to the mask, now was not the time to change my direction. I worked on my mask from October 2007 to April 2008, over 1000 hours spent gluing each and every beautiful bead in place.

An opening reception was held at The Beadin' Path in Freeport, Maine on Friday, June 27th.

It was open to the public and was a great opportunity

for attendees to meet with many of the artists and discuss their process and statement behind their mask. Unfortunately I was unable to attend…

The Beadin’ Path will have another challenge in the fall of this year, will I participate? Looking forward to what the next challenge might bring…