Friday, November 17, 2017

We're All Ears :: November Reveal :: Quotes

Hello earring peeps!
Sorry for the delay. Google has been messing with me and somehow froze my account - meaning I couldn't access this blog, my photos, my email - nothing! But I somehow found a way back in! Better late than never!

This month was a special challenge inspired by our friend and editor Loralee Kolton. She challenged ME to find a way to use quotes to be the inspiration. Challenge accepted!

I selected the quotes because they had a built in visual element to the words and because they spoke to me. I believe in wearing positive power mantras in my jewelry and this would be a very abstract way to do that. Only you would know that this is a representation of a powerful message. I like that bit of mystery.

So here are my four pairs of earrings. Which quote speaks to you?

 I was thinking literally of stars when I read this quote. But I don't happen to have any star shaped beads. So I decided to seek out shiny crystals. And that is when I spotted a strand of these fun two-hole beads. They are tiny, like little pinponts of light, and they have the most magnificent flash of an AB color treatment (very hard to photograph). I wanted them to have a bit of a shooting star vibe, but my 16 gauge steel wire was not cooperating. In frustration, I crossed the ends of the paddles I had made, which reminded me of awareness ribbons. There are people that I know that are facing insurmountable odds and grave darkness with many different circumstances. And this quote speaks to me because you cannot appreciate the light without the darkness. It is a hope-full quote and one that resonates with me to also be that star shining in the darkness for another.

I have a friend who is the most positive person I know. She exudes a bubbly optimism that is infectious and striking. She and her husband own a cabin cruiser boat that they spend all summer on and when she knew that I was making this quote into a pair of earrings, she told me she immediately thought of her maritime adventures. I was at first thinking of maps and journeys. But as I worked through that thought I realized that I would need a lot more time to make that vision a reality. What I next considered were compass roses and arrows and the concept of true north. True North is the direction along the surface of the earth that points directly toward the North Pole. It is a fixed point that orients your entire world. To be successful, you need to stay on track, and your "true north" are your guiding principles, your core values and your most deeply held beliefs that point you in the right direction. To be truly you, this internal compass guides your way. Finding your "true north" means staking your integrity, fueling your passion, and taking steps to journey toward your one true goal - and that is different for every person.

Initially, I wanted to make something triangular that would call to mind a mountain, with a bright shining crystal at the top. For me a mountain is uncharted territory, and although it may be a steep climb, rife with pitfalls and downhill slides, reaching that summit is a goal. I imagine that the view from the top of a mountain is glorious and filled with light. I found these odd shaped golden crystals that I loved. And then I spotted these little triangular bead frames. I tried to make those top heavy crystals balance on top but it just didn't work. I was about to give up when I noticed that one had flipped upside down. That is when it all came together. And it reminded me of this quote...and how a change in perspective can make all the difference.

Acorns are a very powerful symbol of growth to me. I have little bowls of them in my house, and one that I found on a walk in my car as a reminder that from the smallest seeds can come the largest trees. I knew that I had to use an acorn for this pair. I have these lovely acorn bead caps, but I always struggle to find a bead in my stash that fits them properly. Then I spied some long-neglected ceramic beads by MaryAnn Carroll. They have this band of the most yummy rust and apricot glaze and best of all they fit the caps! I remembered that I had a stash of enameled oak leaves from Anne of Gardanne Beads and modified some Vintaj oak leaves to add some layering. This quote reminds me that the growing is the thing, not the seed, not the tree. It is not where you start from but where you are growing to that counts, and the day you stop growing, stop learning, stop striving is the day you die. I have a lot more rings left in this tree trunk!

I hope you enjoyed my journey through some favorite quotes! Which one is your favorite quote? One of these or another one? Be sure to add that to your comment as I am a collector of quotes and this was certainly a challenge, and fun, exercise! Thanks to Miss Loralee for suggesting it!

Your turn! Add your link below and be sure to hop around to see what everyone else created! (LinkyTools will be open for one week, so get your post in!)

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Land of the rising Sun

I was scrambling at the last minute for ideas to make some earrings. I always have a hard time deciding which colors to go with. I think I need to start writing colors onto pieces of paper and just draw a main color at random and go from there lol

So instead, I went on my FB page and asked my friends what colors I should go with. Orange and Fall colors were some of the suggestions (among many other fun ideas), and since I had a pair of handmade polymer clay components that had some nice orangey shades to it, I pulled out some Carnelians and went to town:

I'm a sucker for Copper, especially when it comes to coupling them with rich Fall jewel tones. I wanted to use some kind of bead cap for the chunky faceted carnelian briolettes, but I didn't have anything suitable on hand. I pulled out some of my handmade slightly domed copper beadcaps and bent them to make a bit of an Asian style cover for the top, as I wanted to add a bit of width to the bottom part.

A few more copper accents and carnelian beads, and voila!

I wish the "rising sun" would make its appearance here. We've been drowning in rain for the past couple of weeks now. I had just a wee bit of a break to go plant my seed garlic in the garden (after the blizzard we had, I thought I had missed the window to plant garlic). It's been very wet and dreary here... these sunny Carnelians were a very welcome sunny sight on my bench!

I need to take better pictures before I list them, although it looks like they might be spoken for already :)

Happy Thanksgiving to all our friends in the US!

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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Gilded Fragments

I find these components very moving.  Blissfully asymmetrical with the touches of rich gold that bring a warm cohesive feel.  The beautiful ceramic charms in both earrings, were handmade by Andrea Salkowe of JosephineBeads.   They remind me of broken pieces of fine china.

The folded pod type beads at the top, were purchased at The Bead & Button Show.  They are 24k gold vermeil.  I remember in detail, going to the register to pay, and the shock on my face when the little baggie of beads I was carrying was totaled up!  You see, you pay per ounce for the beads of this kind and not by design like I'm used to.  It was an education! Maybe I am the only one who didn't  But goodness, just look at 'em...

To create the illusion of space and add a little sparkle I used some very old crystals repurposed from a 1930's necklace.

For this pair I used some lovely druzy agate for texture and a bit of softness from glass pearls.

Can you tell I'm gearing up for the holidays with the touches of gold?  I will also admit that I've listened to more than a few Christmas carols

A million thank yous for stopping by and having a look today! 

Talk with you soon,

Loralee xo

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Old love

Hello peeps,

How are you all doing? I hope you’re enjoying the fall.
Last week we spend some wonderful days exploring some ancient sites on the Peloponnese. The weather was wonderful, apart from one morning of heavy rain. We drove through gorgeous mountainous terrain, with lots of trees in autumn colors.

This is the Pantanassa monastery in Mystras, dedicated in September 1428. It is the only monastery on the site still permanently inhabited.

These few days traveling and exploring brought my muse back to live. I am back to my old love: bead embroidery.

Last weekend I made three pairs. Here is one pair:

A picture of a fourth- still in progress- project, which gives you an idea how I make these.

The design start with gluing components on ultra suede.Then I get to play with tiny beads which I embroider on the ultra suede.
One pair will take me about 4 hours to make.

Bead embroidery gives me the freedom to place the beads exactly where I want them.
The advantage of bead embroidered earrings is that they are very lightweight.

These, as well as the other 2 pairs are available in my shop.

Thank you for visiting. And you know the drill. I love to read your comments, so don’t be shy and write a few words. See you next month.

Wishing you a wonderful day,
Esfera Jewelry

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Monday, November 13, 2017

Warm and Cozy

The leaves are almost all off my trees. I have even started shopping for Christmas presents. The year is zooming on its way. With the cooler days I start thinking of cozy knit sweaters, scarves, and playful gloves.

I love fiber and texture in my jewelry designs. I have made knitted straps to use with necklaces and bracelets. Soooooo, I just had to try smaller straps and see how they looked as earring components.

These are my first three experiments. I used artisan enameled beads for all three pieces.

This first pair is made with a mulberry and light blue yarn with teardrop enamel charms from Alison Page Studios. I named them 'Mulberry Wine'.

The next two pairs are a work in progress. I did snap some shots of how I plan on them looking when completed. Remember my mentioning the year zooming by? But I will finish them! I find jewelry making so relaxing.

This pair is a forest green mixed yarn that looks wonderful with enamel diamond charms from 4 Ophelia. I named them 'Green with Envy'. I think the swirls in the enamel is so lush.

And the last pair have a fun mix of pinks, yellows, green in the yarn. The sweet little enamel leaves are from Gardanne Beads. I have been hording these leaves for a while. They seemed so cheerful I named them 'Hello Morning'.

I love wearing earrings in fall and winter. I think it is their time to shine since winter is all about bundling up with scarves and coats. Now I feel like I am wearing a scarf on my ears.

Until next time, stay warm and have fun making earrings,

Friday, November 10, 2017

Spikes, 4 ways,

sort of.  I had plans for this.  I have spiky drops of many shapes and sizes in my bead stash.  I wanted to make a series of spiky earrings, the series obviously didn't happen (not enough hours in the day) but I managed to squeeze in a few.  Here's how they turned up.

I used these absolutely stunning lampwork spikes by Janna Petrovna, topped with double caps, claws (had to get some in there) and Czech glass.  

And a second pair with similar spikes.

3rd pair also features Janna's beads, chubby hollow lampwork pins topped with triple caps, claws and Czech glass flowers.

And finally a 4th pair, featuring spiky dangles by Jana Bliznakova

These will be available in my FB show on Sunday in The Earring Show.  See you in a few weeks time with more ear candy <3

My Etsy shop: Buttoned Up Beads 

Thursday, November 9, 2017


Our son Jesse, who lives in Kansas City, has been visiting for the last few days.  As I'm writing this, we've just dropped him off at the airport, and I'm feeling tenderhearted toward the world at the moment. 💗

That, and that feeling you often have when your grown kids leave after a visit...that bittersweet wish that they could stay longer.  But the sweet thing is that these earrings are a gift for Jesse's sister, Rhia, and working on them has added to that tenderhearted feeling too.

And about the earrings...  They owe a lot of their sleekness to these gorgeous asymmetrical lampwork headpins by Kimberly Rogers.  Their beautiful colors of mustard yellow swirled with gleaming gray and their crusty/shiny glaze make them irresistible.

I emphasized the slim, elongated lines of the headpins by topping them with slender copper tube beads wrapped with what look like little vines, and then adding small bead caps, rustic yellow Czech glass beads, and finally beautifully faceted topaz-colored helix-shaped glass crystal beads.

They're lightweight, sleek, and elegant.  (And I hope Rhia loves them!)  😊


Headpins:  Kimberly Rogers
Copper tube beads:  by JBB Findings (at Rings and Things)
Bead caps:  Copper plated pewter bead caps by TierraCast ( or your favorite place to buy TierraCast)
Helix crystal beads:  Available at Danette Darbonne on Etsy.

Thank you so much for reading--I'll be back in two weeks!


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