Thursday, October 20, 2016

We're All Ears :: October Reveal

I took a meteorology class in college because I thought it would be an easy and entertaining way to satisfy my science credit. WRONG! Meteorology = Math, and I am not great at that.

What I did love learning about were weather patterns and cloud formations. I find clouds fascinating. So this month I have been stopping and noticing clouds on my daily commute and find that I frequently take pictures of striking clouds.  

I also love weather maps. You know the ones that show what look like ripples in a pond radiating out? I can recall having to take a photocopy of the US map gathering some weather data and plotting all the wind patterns and isobars on there and then coloring it for temperature variations.  My professor couldn't understand why my wind patterns were always screwed up. But my colors were always perfect! I just love the color coding. Like the maps you find on the back of the USA Today newspaper when you stay at a hotel.

This map in motion from December 25, 2013 is from the Star Tribune website out of Minneapolis posted by meteorologist Paul Douglas. Isn't it fascinating to watch it morph and change? Looks like Christmas was chilly that year!

The colors that are assigned are based on temperature changes of 10 degrees. Red is the hottest, while blue and white are the coldest. These types of maps are called Isotherms.

  1. a line on a map connecting points having the same temperature at a given time or on average over a given period.
      a curve on a diagram joining points representing states or conditions of equal temperature.

Since there were so many options with weather (precipitation, wind, clouds) I just couldn't settle on one thing for my own challenge. But then I came upon these maps and the lightbulb went on....  I could make my own isotherm patterns in clay! Eureka! (At this point I should tell you that it was about 9:38pm...)

I set out doing some mokume gane and blended colors from fuschia and magenta, indigo and cerulean, leaf and wasabi, sunflower and pumpkin ending in blood red. I threw in a few layers of translucent mixed with opal and then some variegated gold leaf just for good measure. Then I impressed away with all sorts of tools to make marks. It always looks like a mess at this point. 

You don't know the magic of mokume gane until you make that first slice. They are always destined for the scrap heap, but not this time. I will make so many things from this amazing stack (and just in time for the onslaught of holiday shows right around the corner!)

From there it was just finding the right bezel in my stash. I sliced away, selecting contiguous pairs, covered them with resin. I found the perfect little heart charms for the bottom because I love weather! I think I will see what other bezels I have that might work with these slices... like long thin pendants in my favorite bezel might be awesome!

I call these earrings Isothermic for the variations in color temperature and the fact that they look like impending storms are brewing! Here's wishing you beautiful skies wherever you are!

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The Bead Fest Weekend Storm That Never Was

A possibly historic storm was expected to hit Washington State last weekend. It was predicted to be second only to the 1962 Columbus Day storm.  I was 9 years old in 1962 (do the math) and I still remember the tremendous winds (wind gusts to 160 mph!). There was widespread loss of electricity, lots of structural damage and the roads were carpeted with branches and trees. 46 people in CA, OR and WA lost their lives.
No cell phones in 1962!
This was not a good forecast for the Fall Bead Fest weekend!  I was not surprised that many people chose caution and stayed home, (not surprised, but still disappointed). The biggest storm impact was supposed to hit on Saturday afternoon.  Anticipating periods of low shopper traffic, I brought jewelry making supplies with me, on Saturday.

Although the "storm" turned out to be no worse than gusty rain, I did have some time to create new earrings.  Kristi Bowman and I had tables next to each other, so I thought I'd start with a pair of Kristi's marvelous colored copper components.
I topped the copper with some dyed turquoise mother of pearl flowers.  At the last moment I decided to thread in some faceted AB coated hematite. It was the perfect finishing touch.
I was pleased with how these turned out and despite the non-storm turn-out, I had a lot of fun at Bead Fest.  What could be better than being surrounded by beautiful beads for 3 days (& buying bunches of them), hanging out with beady friends, meeting folks that I had only known online and even meeting fellow Earrings Everyday blogger Cindy Pack for the first time!  Cindy is a Washingtonian too.  We've talked about meeting before, but have just never pulled it off before this.  It was so great to spend time with her in person!  So I'll leave you with this picture of Kristi, Cindy & I.
Left to right:  Kristi Bowman, Linda Landig, Cindy Pack

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The Best Laid Plans

I had a vision. 

I was lying in bed--drifting, woozy, floating in that liminal netherworld where ideas come to us so fluidly. What I would do, see, is I would take a piece of copper and fold form it and beat it over some rocks, see, and then texture it and punch it and file strategic places and shape it just so and...

I awoke the next morning with vague recollections of my vision and headed straight to the studio to bring it to fruition. Fifteen minutes into the project when the copper buckled and snapped, I realized:

shit, this isn't going to work

See, sometimes our dreamy ideas seem perfectly logical and functional. And then we go to execute and we realize they could use a little more refinement. There is nothing wrong with this. Rome wasn't built in a day. There is beauty to be found in the process.

Today's pair of earrings features the salvaged results of this vision. I took the two snapped pieces of copper, trimmed them up, softened up the edges, oxidized, sanded, and turned them into simple lightweight earring tabs. And you know what? For being "failures", I'm really quite fond of them. Funny how that works. When life gives you lemons...well, you know.

Happy Wednesday!
LoveRoot on Etsy

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

To Crystal or not to Crystal

Hello everyone, and thank you so much for joining us.

I rarely use crystals in my work. Not that I don't love them because I do. As an object they are fascinating. The sparkle and colors, twists and turns, are mesmerizing. And sometimes I wonder why I don't use them? I think there is still a part of my process that isn't fully open. Why can't I use a Swarovski crystal rather than a Lampwork bead? I don't know the answer to that, and I think the answer is buried underneath what I think I SHOULD do rather than doing what pleases me. This writing, what I am writing right now, has brought this to my attention and it is something I need to explore. I always say, with all honesty, that I make what I like, not what I think I should. Yet if I like crystals and don't use them, that seems to belie the fact. It's amazing to me what sitting down with a "pen and paper" can do. So you have now just witnessed a revelation! lol True. The title of this post was not "To Crystal or not to Crystal" before I wrote this paragraph! 

Okay, back to the task at hand. I love both of the handcrafted pieces in these earrings. The beautiful, celestial, pewter pieces were made by Vincent 'n Nooma of Inviciti. I think this is my favorite to date of their work. And the headpins at the bottom! When I received these, I honestly felt I could never do them justice; still don't think I can. They are one of the most unusual pair of headpins I've ever seen. They were made by Sasha Crow of CrowsCacheSupplies
You can view the full listing here:

I had already added the Swarovski crystal to the pewter pieces, knowing I wanted to use them, but there was nothing else going on as far as a complete design. I simply put them aside and went on to other things. I have pulled out the glass/solder headpins frequently over the last couple of months, not necessarily with the intent to use them; I just love them! Many times I thought I would simply put a bead on them that I love and keep them for myself, but that never happens. :) 

Pondering what to add to the bottom connection of the celestial pewter, the idea of clear crystals, or Crystal Quartz nuggets kept coming up as a possible, and eventually the vision of the clear glass struck and I leaped from my chair -- literally lol -- and knew that is where they would go. Adding a simple silver metal spacer and a second Swarovski bicone was perfect. 
You can view the full listing here: 

 I began to have thoughts of adding Crystal Quartz dangles here and there and more silver. . . and then I stopped myself. I thought about it, talked to myself about it. I have a tendency to want to keep going. . . I'm not sure why that is. Both of these handcrafted pieces could stand on their own, with nothing added. Yet I often persist in adding more embellishment than they need. I am really working on that!

The psychology of creativity confuses me. I've worked hard to encourage myself and allow myself to be me, to create what I want to create and be okay with it. Things changed a bit when I decided to sell my "art" in an attempt to contribute to the family income. Long story there completely unrelated, but all of a sudden I went from the joyful time spent creating to attempting to think business. I've done that most of my life, not a big deal, but THIS is very different and it became a big deal. It is still something I struggle with, but it no longer causes serious anxiety or sleepless nights. I've learned to not allow life in general to do that to me, and that includes designing and the sale of same. 

What I think is required for me, and for anyone who has that tiny (or large) feeling of insecurity about their work is to STOP (in the name of love. . .  :) comparing my work to that of other designers; no bouncing around Etsy and Pinterest viewing the work of those who are more successful than I am, more talented than I am, better at marketing than I am. Those people will always exist. There will always be those that are better than I am in all of those areas.  Loving my work and being proud of my work is a must if I am to create honest work. 

So join me in being free with your designing. Don't allow visions of the designers and shops that are more successful than you are enter into your design process. Designing that way inevitably looks contrived.

For me it continues to be a process. For the most part, I am free of it. Then a dry period, or a dry-er period comes around and the little gremlins start trying to spin the wheels. I take those little angry creatures and pop them right off their tiny stationary bikes and stop the wheels in their tracks! It is NO fun that way! 

So my bottom line is, and it's always my recommendation to en"joy" creative time; create what makes "me" happy, not what I think others might like, not what I think might sell. I think that keeps my designs honest and fresh.

Well, that was not at all the post I had planned. :) lol 

Thanks so much for stopping in. 

Yours in joy,
She Flies Again Etsy Shop

Monday, October 17, 2016

Square And Opal

Lately I've been going through my beads and components stash searching particularly for things that I have had for some time, and really like. But haven't found a way to use them in a way that I am satisfied with. When I first got them I had an idea on what to do with them, but when I tried it out it didn't work how I had had in mind. So now I am challenging myself to think in new ways. How shall I make that bead or component talk in an interesting way? 

Like the square chain in these earrings for instance. It is unusual and I love its look. About 5-7 mm side. I never thought of it as something to use in earrings before. But why not, I now thought. It is made of aluminium, so it is light weight despite it's robust look.

I cut a couple of shorter segments. The pale pink peruvian opal stone faceted nuggets creates an interesting contrast to the somewhat industrial look of the chain. When I design jewelry I am always fascinated by unexpected combinations of different design elements. To make seemingly unrelated things look like they were meant for each other all the time.

Hung from handmade Sterling silver earrings hooks.

I have recently re-opened my Etsy shop. Its been on vacation mode for quite some time now, 
due to reasons :-). So far I have only listed a few things, but I intend to keep adding more pieces gradually over the coming period. 
Please contact me if you are interested in any of my pieces that I haven't listed there yet.

All my best,
Malin de Koning

Friday, October 14, 2016

Autumn Moon

Hello and check me out!!! This is the first time I've actually named my jewellery :D. 

I don't tend to follow seasons, I just make whatever catches my eye on the beading desk.  For this post however I was determined to make something autumnal.  

I picked up these Muscha discs by Petra Carpreau as they had orange in them.  I wrapped some teeny leaves, orange seeds and of course rhinestone chain around big hoops and positioned the Muscha discs inside the hoops.  This was going to be it.  I was going to keep these short and simple.  But my Cathleen Zaring order arrived yesterday with these gorgeous moon connectors.  They matched the original earring colours so well that I just had to add them somehow. 

Muscha discs by Petra Carpreau

Luckily in the original design I hadn't cut off the excess rhinestone chain from the bottom of the hoops yet.

I added a moon connector to one of the earrings with the rhinestone chain hanging from the bottom.  I used some teeny leaves to fill up the gaps.  For the second earrings I decided to leave the rhinestone chain as it is and attach the moon connector next to it.  I think the asymmetry adds a lot more interest to the design.  I like the way they've turned out and hope you like them too.

Enamel moon connectors by Cathleen Zaring

Coming back to naming the earrings.  There wasn't much rocket science involved.  There were moon connectors and the colours were autumnal, hence Autumn Moon hehe.  There you have it.  My Autumnal earrings.  Take care and see you soon.

Suhana <3<3<3

My Etsy shop: Buttoned Up Beads

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Czech romance

My earrings of today were inspired by these beautiful Czech lampwork glass beads.

For the dangles I used silver plated as well as copper beads and Swarovski crystal.
But this design will work with all kinds of beads you have on hand.
I think these turned out rather romantic. Something to wear during a candlelight dinner, either at home or in a nice restaurant.


Thank you so much for looking. These will be available later today.

Wishing you all a wonderful week, full of joy, laughter and romantic dinners.

Esfera Jewelry