Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Focusing On Life: 52 Photos - Monochromatic

The theme for week eight of Focusing on Life - 52 Photos is monochromatic. The idea was to tell a story through a single color. When I think of the word monochromatic, my mind always takes me to images of a bygone era. 

I have a small collection of vintage books and buttons. The books in the photograph are titled "The Charm School" published in 1919 and "Familiar Features of the Roadside" published in 1898. The buttons are from a collection that I have attained over the years from yard sales and antique shops. The key was a gift from Lorelei Eurto.

When I look at these items, I wonder about the people who first owned them. Did they enjoy reading and have a collection of books lining a book case? Were they a seamstress whom worked in a factory and made all of their own clothes? Did the key open the door to their home or was it to a secret room only they had access to? I will never know the actual answers to these questions or who the people were that once owned these items, but I can create my own unique stories with my imagination! 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

A Birthday Gift For My Mom...

My mom's birthday is in February, so I thought a necklace with her birthstone, amethyst, would make a perfect gift! While shopping at the International Gem and Jewelry Show at the Dulles Expo Center back in December, 
I came across a beautiful strand of 13mm faceted amethyst.

The vendor HIJ and Co., whom I have purchased from before, told me this strand is aaa grade amethyst. He insisted that they are natural amethyst that have been heat treated. They were shaped and faceted by a 70 year old man who is retiring as his eyes are no longer as good as they once were. As many of you may or may not know, 
heat treatment is common in gemstones to bring out color and clarity. 

While my style is bold and modern inspired by nature, my mother's style is more classic. 
With that in mind I created a simple, classic design that would focus on the beautiful amethyst beads.

I added in Tierra Cast silver spacers and a sterling silver adjustable toggle.

Presentation is everything and this necklace deserved extra special packaging! I decided to make a keepsake box for it. I upcycled a jewelry presentation box that was in brand new condition. The photo, of ferns, was taken in the Adirondack mountains two summers ago while on vacation.

I created a label insert for the inside, set the necklace in place, gift wrapped it and shipped it off to my mother via USPS Priority Mail, insured! She was stunned upon receiving it and has apparently worn it everyday since!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Bead Soup. The Ingredients Have Arrived!

This is my fourth time signing up for the fantastic Bead Soup Block Party hosted by Lori Anderson
This year, there are over 500 participants from all over the world!

Lori partnered me up with the ultra talented Julie Panusis of Petaluma, California. She has a blog titled Cat's Meow Co that has an entertaining photo of a cat or cats at the end of each post. Some of them really crack me up! She is a very creative lady who seems like she is a blast to hang out with! Her recent interests include matalwork and wirework.

A girl after my own heart as I too have been exploring both mediums, thanks to some fantastic classes I took at Bead Fest with Eva Sherman and Brenda Schweder. Lori Anderson really is a genius at pairing people up!

Just as exciting as finding out who my partner would be for this round of Bead Soup, was receiving my bead soup ingredients in the mail! Julie sent me a fantastic assortment of beads and findings in this cool plastic box...

This is the soup that I sent Julie...

I am very excited to dive into the fantastic ingredients that Julie sent me. I wonder what I will create this time around. Stop back on April 6th to see where my creative imagination takes me!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Focusing On Life: 52 Photos - Beauty Of Flowers...

For week seven of Focusing on Life - 52 Photos, Sally asked us to explore the beauty of flowers with our camera. Being as how it is still winter, there aren't any flowers growing around here just yet.

There are however some pale yellow daisies left from the beautiful flower arrangement my husband surprised me with several weeks ago. They are starting to wilt, but still beautiful in their own way. 

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Focusing On Life: 52 Photos - Feel The Love

For week six of Focusing On Life: 52 PhotosSally asked us to capture love in a photo...

Well that was an easy one for me! There is nothing that makes me smile or fill my heart with joy like my husband Brenton and our dog Twila. They are my true love!  I love that Twila is a lover-she loves to snuggle. I love that my husband makes me breakfast each weekend. This morning he made me blueberry pancakes and I love him for it! 

Friday, February 1, 2013

Focusing On Life: 52 Photos - Capture Our Hearts

For week five of Focusing On Life: 52 Photos and in a very fitting way to start out the month of February, Sally asked us to pay attention to our surroundings; that hearts are everywhere from the scrolling pattern in an iron fence to designs on clothing. Our mission this week was to observe and capture a heart in a photograph.

Last weekend, I started working on a new jewelry collection. I created these necklaces with beautiful stoneware and ceramic pendants from Suburban Girl Studio.

I like hearts and love the meaning behind them, but I rarely design with them. Or so I thought. This week, I finished a ten piece collection with five of those pieces having hearts in them! I didn't realize how many of my designs had hearts in them until I stopped and looked. Perhaps it was just Valentine's Day in the back of my mind. Or perhaps Sally was right, hearts really are everywhere!