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Monday, March 30, 2009

Something To Inspire Creativity

When creative people are not feeling all that creative, anything that can inspire is welcome. If you have a graphics pad at your disposal, you may enjoy tooling around with ArtRage. It is software that allows you to paint on your computer. I don't pretend I'm a painter. I actually started jewelry design after I realized I did not have my Dad's talent for painting.

Aside from paints, it also provides chalks, crayons, markers, airbrush, and pencil tools. The free version has less tools available than the full version, but still enough to splash colors together, blend, and experiment.

For those who find color combinations scary, this is a safe way to play with them. It even has an eraser if you don't like what you've done. I've included a painting example here, my abstract version of a heart.

I do this when I'm not feeling all that creative, and it relaxes me and allows my mind to wander, and I think that's a much better state to be in when trying to put something new together. I hope some of you may find this an interesting outlet with which to experiment.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Spring Blossoms in Metallic Blue

You may not be able to tell unless you look closely, but these two sets of earrings are actually different. The difference is in the color of seed beads used on the outer edge of the blossom. One is made with Amethyst Glow and the other uses a more subtle Rainbow Amethyst. Although not a traditional representation of Spring flowers, they make a colorful, bold statement.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Illusions in Light Blue

I love the look of illusion necklaces, especially made with monofilament cord where you don't have to use crimp beads. The monofilament is strong, and very thin, so it's easier to just suspend the beads by passing back through the beads as you string them. It also makes it easier to space the beads consistently, and is flexible enough to allow for an adjustment or two if needed. These necklaces are so light and elegant. This particular piece is made with 4mm, 6mm, 8mm, and one 10mm glass pearls, complemented with 4mm bicone crystals in heliotrope.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Spring is Here...Right?

It's been a long dreary winter, even for me, and I love the brisk weather and the snowfall. It seems that Spring is taking it's time getting here though, and I'm tired of days ranging from 50s, 60s, even 70s one day and back in to the 40s or 30s the next. This design is with a bit of green that came too late for St. Patrick's Day celebrations, but still represents the color of renewal and verdant growth. This is made using Beadalon Gold Beading wire, 4mm and 6mm glass cube beads I picked up at the Bead & Button Show a while back, and some silver-lined topaz seed beads. The clasp is adjustable, using gold colored chain and spring ring clasp.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Now It's Purple, Now it's Blue

There is a reason that artists use natural daylight bulbs, like the type that OTT brand uses. With certain materials, such as glass beads, the color looks different depending on if it's viewed in natural daylight or in fluorescent light. This particular illusion necklace was made with crackle glass beads, pink glass pearls and pink bicone glass beads, strung on clear monofilament cord. When I made it early in the day, I chose the beads because they were a light purple color. Later that evening, in the lamplight I noticed they were a light blue. So this piece is perfect for someone who likes variety and shifting shades of color.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Paige's Birthday Goodies

I can't believe my niece is 13 already, a newbie teen, with a keen fashion sense and highly developed individual style. It's actually intimidating to try to design something for such a want them to like it more than just the polite "Thanks, Aunt Kelle." For the birthday girl, I put together a couple items. I like designing with pinks and purples, so it's great that she's a fan of the colors. I pulled out the Swarovski crystals and the lampwork precious babies! Below are the fruits of my labor, and they seemed to go over well.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Red and Black Dangle Earrings

Red and Black Dangle Earrings
Originally uploaded by Aridan Fashions

Representing Jeff's company, he, I and my aunt and uncle all participated in a bowling event to benefit Junior Achievement. As I had mentioned earlier, the shirts were black and red, with some white on the back. I took that as an opportunity to once again spar with my old friend the wire jig.

Such a simple tool in theory, there is much more than meets the eye. What gauge wire you use, and it's hardness will effect the wire shape. Additionally, how many pegs you place in the jig at any given time can make it much easier or much harder to complete a component. I have struggled with keeping the entire piece on all the pegs, and with flattening the piece after it's taken off the jig. Let me tell you, the little plastic spacers used to press the wire down as you shape it is well worth using.

This piece was fashioned on a Wig Jig Centaur jig, using 22 gauge non-tarnish brass Artistic Wire. The beads are 4mm fire polished red faceted rounds and 4mm jet faceted Preciosa crystal bicones. My aunt and I wore matching pairs for the event.

Teardrop Pearl Earrings

Teardrop Pearl Earrings
Originally uploaded by Aridan Fashions

These 6mm and 8mm glass pearls are nicely framed in teardrop shaped earring findings.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Cane Glass Memory Wire Bracelet

Cane glass memory bracelet
Originally uploaded by Aridan Fashions

I find cane glass, also known as furnace glass, beautiful and fascinating. It's made by creating and combining glass rods into colorful patterns, and encasing them in clear glass to make a larger rod, then sliding them into different bead shapes and sizes. It comes in varying qualities, with lesser quality glass lacking the shine, clean cuts, consistent holes, and vivid colors of the designer glass.

This bracelet was made using blue cane glass, metal beads, and jet AB faceted round glass beads. It was a gift for my cousin's birthday.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Reflections on ArtFire

So venturing out on artisan selling sites, like Etsy and ArtFire, is not for the faint of heart. It's truly amazing how many talented people there are out there, working hard on beautiful handmade pieces of art. And that's just the start on these sites. I have to admire all these artisans that put the time an energy not only creating their fine pieces of work, but also contributing to the vast community, providing feedback and help to other artisans and the site itself. As much as there is a sense of community, there is also fierce competition. When gathering together the best and brightest, how do you make yourself stand out in such fine company? That is the money question, and one many are still trying to answer. I'm enjoying putting my art out there, and I'm patient, and I learn from my mistakes. Balancing the day job, the family and friends, and other interests, I only have so much time to dedicate to my jewelry passion. It's good that I'm patient. I'm willing to take my time and see where these online venues take me, and what I can offer back.

So here is my latest listing in my ArtFire studio. It's actually the first time I've made a wire yoke. Something about 16 gauge wire used to scare me off, but I'm kind of in a "bring it on" frame of mind lately. These are glass pearls, and my lovely smokey irridescent glass chips.