Monday, March 4, 2013

The End of an Era

Hello all,

Hope you've all been well and enjoying yourselves.  I actually have quite a lot to share with you today.  Yes, indeed...back to my usual making you look at tons of pictures.  C'mon, you know you like it! 

What era could I possibly be referring to in my post title?  Why, the ear obsession era of course!  Been a long run with earrings, hasn't it?  Well maybe it's not entirely ending, you know better than that, eh?  But just for a short bit, I've focused on other body now, keep it clean.  You know this is a G rated blog.  Here, let me explain

Remember these?

Sparkling Stars in the Midnight Rose Garden
Turns out they are a tad bit too large for the lovely lady I made them for,
so they will be relisted this week.
Exchanged for this smaller version....

What do you think?
Do they still fit the bill minus the roses
 which I just couldn't squeeze into them and keep them the desired size?
That's the very last bit of that turquoise.
The search goes on for more.
This is what I've been working on steadily since my last post.......
A fellow jewelry-making Etsian entrusted me with some of her
beautiful baubles to be made into goodies for her wrists.
here's what I came up with
Bird in Flight
I affixed her carved pre-ban ivory bird to a vintage buckle that looks like 
 wispy clouds in a clear blue sky.
Red roses, pearls that look like fluffy clouds, vintage beads
and a stick pearl and rhinestone wreath for a closure. 

It's a wrap!

A luscious carved red rose- love this piece!
Paired with moss green velvet ribbon, Opalite,
raspberry quartz, rhinestones and twist pearls in a double wrap bracelet.

Love Doves

Carved pre-ban ivory birds with a tiny wire nest cradling
two wee pearl eggs, antique tatted lace,  hand dyed
silk ribbon and a tiny bit of shiny textile...
all the things a bird might gather to feather it's nest.

Vintage red focal, rhinestone, oxidized brass filigree for
a bit of mystery and romance.
Have you guessed the theme I was working on here?
Red hot fiery romance with a touch of sweetness.

How fun is that?!
My objective was to make each bracelet unique enough to be worn alone.
yet complimentary enough to be worn together.
I'm so honored to have been asked to make these for her,
as she certainly could have made them herself. 

To me, this one epitomizes red hot romance with the
mother of pearl heart providing the sweetness.
White and grey freshwater pearls,
translucent red glass beads, a filigree calla lily, rhinestone rondels,
antiqued filigree and a snippet of grey ribbon which in this photo,
 is hiding a bunch of embellishments.

There we go, now you can almost see it.

Moss green freshwater pearls and rhinestone rondels
on a triple-wrapped wire frame,
embellished with a
encased in a resin filled wire frame,
a rhinestone wreath and a snippet of silk ribbon.
Simple Elegance

LOVE this one!
I made her fantastic little micro mosaic stick pin into a clasp.
Kept it simple with the pearl and rhinestone drops adorning
the fleur de lis chain.
I found it a bit challenging to start altering these beautiful pieces she sent.
I wanted to do them justice and hoped that my vision would match hers.
I'm so happy to report that she is very happy with the results.


In the Secret Butterfly Garden
My idea here was a secret garden wherein the
happy couple could stroll hand in hand
amidst the butterflies as they fluttered happily
 under the warm summer sun.
I etched a vine pattern into a brass piece for the closure,
 giving it a subtle verdigris patina.
I did a herringbone wire wrap around a peacock druzy stone
(from numinosity),
wire wrapped a tiny skeleton key to insert as a toggle into the vine clasp
 (to unlock the way into the secret garden).
I adorned the flower connector with a rhinestone bead,
red beads and a deep red rhinestone wreath.
I also added a bit of  hand dyed silk ribbon in blue-green
 after taking the photos.


I received this gorgeous silver filigree from two dear friends who allowed me to
purchase things from their private stash of jewelry components
that they've collected over the years.  What an absolute blast that was!
It was perfect timing for all of us. 
They were ready to pare down and I was wanting to find some quality components.
Bonus that I got to spend a few days with these wonderful ladies before I moved away from them.
I've paired the filigree piece with red rhinestone chain,
grey freshwater pearls, vintage twist pearls,
a black vintage teardrop bead, rhinestone rondels,
raspberry quartz, and a bit of flaming romance ribbon.
almost done, just a couple more.......

velvet ribbon and vintage rhinestone bling.

This one is designed with a hammered brass frame,
adorned with glass beads wired onto it
and embellished with 
brass beads and a carved butterfly dangle.
An entirely different style than the rest.

Creme de la Creme

This one took a bit of figuring out.
The incredible mosaic arc was a bit wider than I would normally use
 for a bracelet so I had to build up the design visually to balance it. 
I used an ornate embossed brass base with a verdigris wash.
A ruffle of reddish ribbon to soften the effect.
A beautiful woman, deep in thought, encased in resin
 to compliment the fine details in the mosaic arc.
The bracelet band is aqua velvet ribbon with fancy
turquoise-aqua-rhinestone chain adorning it.
A faceted amazonite teardrop, a rhinestone embellished antique button
 along with a carved pre-ban ivory butterfly
and a lampworked bead encasing red roses provides the final
well with the bracelets, that is.

I couldn't completely resist the draw of the ear,
which I'm pretty sure comes as no surprise to you, right?

Turquoise nuggets, golden stick coral and hammered copper washers
dangling from roller printed copper, with a verdigris patina.
Here's a close up of the copper....

It's a floral pattern that's been imprinted into the metal.
Must have Spring on the brain
and there's these simple hoops


Swirls with Petra's drops

Did you really think we could get through an entire blog
without me using some of Petra's goodies?
No can do.
Lest you think I've worked my fingers to the bone on jewelry and nothing but jewelry,
This is what else has been happening in the studio,
not that there's a lot to share in that regard, mind you, so please don't be thinking
there's going to be a bunch of great stuff here to wow you...
cuz, sadly,  there's not,
just this.....
this is the marraige of two lamps.
See, I'm keeping that romantic theme through this whole post!
You can see that, right?
hahahhaa... anyway....
I stripped the fabric and trim off of the lampshade
and after dismantling the other lamp, I put it onto the base. part.... it rotates!  Woo-Hoo.
yes, I knew that would be an exciting-not-to-be-missed feature
you all wanted to be aware of.
yup, more stuff on top of stuff.
on top of stuff.
This stuff is all picture taking props stuff.
You might recognize some of it.

Look at our shameless-likes-to-flaunt-her-naked-self-in-front-of-the-window manne
all decked out in
 her new paper party hat and uber cool shake-it-baby necklace. 
Both gifts from dear friends which makes me smile each time I see them.
you see that little manne in the background there?
check out this logo and see if it reminds you of anything......

Remember Victoria Secret in the old days?
When they had the dark rich woods and elegant decor.
I think this is from there and from that era.
Does it look that way to any of you?
I could swear that's the same logo on their current bags.
Which I obviously don't have any lying around to compare it with
or I wouldn't be picking your brains.

It's a mini manne.
This is a kinda big necklace but it looks huge on this manne.
So I'm still trying to figure out if I should age it because as you can see
it's pretty beat up.
If I do, no doubt you'll see her again after the fact. 
 But as I've been trying to decide to age it or not
since well before the move, it might not be done anytime soon.
I'm open to suggestions from you guys.
That is if you're still reading.
This is becoming the War and Peace of blogs, isn't it?
Almost done....
In the last round, and by last, I mean the LAST BOXES...
of studio unpacking, I uncovered these
a storage box with more of my ancient ribbonwork.
Why?  Because you love looking at my non jewelry stuff, right?
That's why you read a jeweler's blog, isn't it?
C'mon, widen your horizons.
Or humor me.  Or make fun of me.  Whatever you choose, we're almost done...
(wow- I can hear the wild celebrating from here)

ribbon fuschias

and a couple of works in progress....


a textile cuff perhaps

it feels so incredibly good to be able to find my supplies
and my tools, and my ribbons, and my beads and my metals
and all the other goodies I like to incorporate into my pieces.
It's actually pleasant rather than frustrating to be working again.
Of course there's a good bit of hunting to find where I put these supplies,
but I can eventually find them!

refining this one a bit

I think I'm almost there.
Since you've stuck with me through all of this,
here's a little something to give you a chuckle......

know what it is?
I mean other than that it's obviously intended to be a bracelet.
Does the design look familiar at all?
still no?
you mean that's not a great clue in this last picture?
hahahahah.  I agree.

it's Girl With a Pearl Earring!
I'm amazed you couldn't tell.
Considering that it's almost an EXACT REPLICA!
yeah, this is what someone does, who has no clue how to use
chasing tools. 
When I ran across this, I wondered if there's anyway
to salvage it.  Not too hopeful about that.
 This illustrates why I keep my early work around.
We all need some comic relief around the studio from time to time.
I have plenty.
in case any of you were wondering about the orange tree...


 The baby oranges are.....

picked and sent off to the orange tree's rightful owner.
we're going to eat the next ones that ripen as a treesitters fee.

we have a theme going here, it seems-
mini manne's, mini oranges tucked into a
ridiculously long blog post.
ok, finally, that's all folks.
I know, I know, it's been quite enough.
Hope all goes well with you till next time.

photo courtesy of Flotsam Tide (thanks Kim)

Thank you guys for stopping by and leaving comments.  I know we all lead hyper-busy lives, and I do appreciate that you take the time to share your thoughts.  I enjoy reading them immensely!

au revoir


  1. In complete jewelry bliss over here, saw these photos via your pinterest, and had to hop over. Janet, I am grinning over these bracelets you have made. They are wonderful! I appreciate the romantic theme, saturated but rich colors, and wonderful antique elements. Love doves is perfection to me. Your client is very lucky indeed to receive a treasure trove of a collection. I always like seeing shots of your studio, your prop collection looks great. I hope you are settling in well. I am astounded by your ribbonwork whenver I see it, you have so many talents. Got to scroll through this one more time ;)

    1. You always have the nicest things to say. Thank you for sharing a bit of your sunshine.
      And thank you for sharing the awesome gator picture with us.

  2. Immensely enjoyable piece after piece after piece!! You are really rolling out the beauties. Sensual colors and great combinations.

    1. Thank you,Pipn. I couldn't go wrong with all of those beautiful things she sent me to work with. Well, yeah, sure I could have, but it would have been a challenge, eh?

  3. Total eye candy! Even the beast at the end looks cute, haha!!
    I love this batch of bracelets, my fave is the dove one with the twigs, so cute and I love the work of the wires! As Flotsam says, your client is a lucky one!
    The mini oranges look juicy to perfection, we call them clementines in France (it's also a name for girls)

    1. Thanks Lucie! Yes, a cute menacing beast. I always love your reaction to the animal photos. We have Clementines here too. And an old fashioned song about a woman named Clementine. Which before I started to write this, I could remember the lyrics to share with you. Now POOF! hahahaha. awww wait, they came back. (the mind is a deep forest) here goes.... "oh my darling, oh my darling, oh my darling Clementine. You are lost and gone forever, dreadful sorry Clementine" TA-DA!

  4. Ha haaa, a classic Janet-length post!!!! Mahoosive!!!!! All those bracelets!!!! NOW, I understand why they took so long!! All lovely, and how could the recipient not be chuffed to bits with them? I especially love those dark, black and red numbers - right up my street! Oh, and your re-worked earrings are just as gorgeous as the originals - love those colours.
    I love these peeps into the wonder that is your studio - it's so heavenly in there - and, great trick with the lamp!! Inspired!!
    Thanks for the picture, Kim!
    Oh, and great to see my droplets on either side of a nice bottom!!! Ha haaa, love 'em!!!
    xoxoxoxoxooxox <3 :O)

    1. thank you much, Petra. she has great taste in components which makes the end result quite nice. I'm giving the credit to her good taste.
      yes, your droplets do look quite nice there don't they? possibly, you should start making low hanging pendant lights for the bathroom. eh?

  5. I've been AWOL from blogging, and visiting my favorite blogs and even from making jewelry. It seems when you turn 50 things start going bad health-wise, at least for me. I'm happy to be back and looking at all your goodies. Wonderful--all of them!!!

    1. Hi Alice! I'm glad you're feeling well enough to be back. Hope this means you are well along the road to recovery. You've been missed.

  6. Love the new work. And that old ribbon work...I need to get out my boxes of antique laces and ribbon now. You are
    on a roll here!

    1. Thank you Patty! There's nothing better than ribbonwork done with the antique ribbons. Yummy. These obviously are not that! Please do a show and tell. We would love to see it.

  7. I really like the re-work on the earrings...they look perfect. Well, everything you touch looks perfect, so there. I said it. :) But your title had me going!

    1. hmmm I don't hear that often-if ever! what a very generous compliment, Lela. Thank you!

  8. I love your beautiful blog good job Thanks lot for this useful article

    1. Welcome Butik! Thank you very much for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment. Much appreciated!

  9. Your creativity continues to flourish, Janet! I love all the new bracelets, particularly the ones with the ivory birds! A great juxtaposition of romantic with a touch of edge! Hope you're enjoying your new home too. :) Robyn

    1. Thanks Robyn. It was so much fun working with those pieces. Now I understand the thrill you must have when working with all of your fabulous vintage components. love the blue enamel violin, btw.

  10. Oh wow! I'm so happy I found your blog. The jewelry and the pics are gorgeous. I feel a bit concerned about the use of pre-ban ivory. I'm not sure what to think about comes from dead elephants. I'm afraid that using legal ivory will make it easier to use new illegal ivory as well. Elephants are dying en masse in Africa and Asia to satisfy Chinese and Thai buyers of ivory. On the other hand, ivory is so beautiful and by using the wonderful old pieces we're showing that we respect the law and don't want any more elephants to be killed. However, there are good substitutes for ivory today. All my best from Stockholm, Sweden! Anna

    1. Welcome Anna! Yes, it is a tragedy that animals are killed off for adornments. I totally agree. Renewable Tagua nuts are such a wonderful alternative to ivory. While I am conflicted about using it, I will use pre-ban ivory on occasion. As a wise artist friend put it when we discussed the matter, "You can't put it back". Still, such a troubling situation. It does make me sad whenever I think of these magnificent animals being killed is such inhumane ways for something so unecessary. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts. I appreciate it.

  11. I love the pearl girl cuff just as it is. It is like a Picasso line drawing.

    1. that is certainly putting a positive spin on it! Thank you! you just made my day!

  12. I love your site! You will be in our prayers and thoughts! Nice and informative post
    on this topic thanks for sharing with us.Thank you
    epoxy coatings
    glue removal
    floor levelling
    Polished concrete sydney
    concrete repairs
    concrete coatings

  13. Hello my friend,

    I just found this post today as we were without internet for two weeks during a landline switchover. Went out of my mind as I don't like going online with my iphone... only to keep tabs on my shop. Old fashioned I guess.

    You my dear have been quite busy I see. And what a lucky lady to be receiving all of these exquisite beauties. The bracelets are all to die for. I love Petra's "chuffed to bits" although I'm not sure how to use it correctly in a sentence! I can't even pick favorites as I love them all. I wish I met you when you were in Florida because I would have taken every class you taught. Let me know when you're coming back... hee hee hee! You just ooze creativity and talent. I also love the redo of the earrings. I'm trying to see how many times I can use the word love in one comment. I should probably switch to adore which would work with your red hot lover bracelets!

    Your posts are never too long. I enjoy ooooggggling at all your creations. Thank you for giving me more mannequin envy with your studio photos. I'm adore your lampshade redo. I'll have to send you a photo of mine that I did 5 years ago for a trunk show. It resides in our bedroom on a gorgeous flea market find lamp and keeps my favorite, can't part with, earrings within easy reach. I use it on a different brass lamp when I do shows.

    Okay, before this turns into war and peace 2, I will leave you with " keep on sharing your talent girl"!

    Bond Girl

  14. Holy toledo AA - such a huge post with such a cornucopia of stuff - you have been busy in so many ways. In the main I wanted to say congratulations on the article - and the subject matter was both fascinating and beautiful. Liked the fossicing - toe comparison was good. Go well and create well. B


I love to hear what you have to say. Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment.