Thursday, May 29, 2014

Wire wrapped lava pendant with brass and copper spirals

It's been a while since I've made one of my favorite types of wire wrapped jewelry: the classic wire wrapped lava pendant. This one was made with brass and copper wire, which I twisted into a series of spirals.

The challenge in making this was layering the wires. I usually use only one type of wire; I then loop the end to make the bail (the part where you thread a cord or chain so the pendant will hang) and create the rest of the design using that one piece. This makes it easy for everything to stay in place since the entire wire is attached.

In this case, I layered the brass wire over the copper. The hole was too small to make a double bail so I wrapped the wire around the loop at the top and then made the design. I was a bit worried that the wire would fall off or come loose, but I secured it tightly enough that it stayed in place. I even took it for a little "test drive" when I went to class the other day and my teacher noticed it.

Right now, I'm trying to make another lava stone necklace using blue and turquoise wire, but the color wire has a different texture from the plain metals. Because they are anodized, the color wire is a bit tougher and not as easy to maneuver. I tried to do a spiral design this morning but am not happy with the result. Oh well, time to try again!

Meantime, please check out the rest of my handmade wire wrapped and enamel jewellery at Naomi's Designs and MayaGirl Creations.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Abstract enamel pendant in blue, pink, purple and green

For the past couple of months I've been working on the same enamel necklace. It was getting tiresome, so I took a much-needed break and made a couple of smaller abstract pendants. These aren't nearly as complicated as my work-in-progress, but they're pretty and well, FUN to make. The latter is what is most important to me.

I still need to polish and clean the other pendants, but here is the first: a blue, green, pink and purple piece. It looks a bit like a rainbow in the sky, though I wasn't really trying to make a particular design: I was just playing around with the silver cloisonne wire ... and it turned out that way.

I've been trying to mix things up and use different colors, but I always seem to go back to blue enamel. What can I say? I like blue!

On another note, I learned today that my jewelry teacher has had some interesting students over the years, including Jenna Bush and Scarlett Johansson. Johansson took the enameling class during her senior year of high school, so this would've been right around the time she did Lost In Translation. My teacher says she joined the class with a friend and that both girls were really nice.

I'm not a big "Fan Gurl" when it comes to celebrities. I wrote for a TV magazine for 14 years so I dealt with actors on a day-to-day basis and the novelty got old quickly. Still, it's cool to hear you're sitting in the same room where someone so well-known once sat. Maybe my teacher's future students will be saying that about ME in a few years!!!

Meantime, check out my wire wrapped and enamel jewelry at Naomi's Designs and MayaGirl Creations.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Photo Gallery: Gold Wire Wrapped Jewelry Designs

I know I haven't posted a lot of new items, but don't worry -- I have several projects in the making! I just finished a new enamel pendant, so expect an "Adventures In Enameling Class" post sometime soon. I hope to finish and photograph it this weekend.

Meanwhile, here are some of my favorite gold wire wrapped jewellery pieces to kick off Memorial Day weekend, the unofficial start of summer. Gold equals the sun, which makes me think of summer and well... okay, the connection is a bit tenuous. Still, you can never go wrong with a classic like gold!

My jewelry can be found at Naomi's Designs and MayaGirl Creations.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Photo Gallery: Funky Wire Wrapped Spiral Rings

Those wire wrapped rings I made this week reminded me how many rings I've made in the past couple of years -- and how many have been based on a spiral design. It's amazing how one shape can yield so many different looks! Here are a few of my favorite wire wrapped spiral rings. You can find them all at Naomi's Designs or MayaGirl Creations:

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Silver And Copper Wire Wrapped Abstract Rings

At the last craft fair I did, many people purchased and admired my oversized silver and copper wire wrapped rings. I think it's because they're unique, comfortable to wear and are fairly inexpensive.

I'm always playing around with new designs and recently came up with these three wire wrapped rings ideas:

The heart and infinity ring is a take on my wire wrapped infinity rings, only I combined the two symbols of love forever. The oversized silver and copper rings have a series of geometric shapes. I played around with the arrangement until I came up with designs that look cool and are functional. If you, say, place a large shape over a smaller one, the ring won't be as strong. I want my jewelry to look good, but to also stand the test of time.

I'm still working on some more intensive projects involving necklaces, but I can never get enough of the rings! So keep checking in with this blog or my sites Naomi's Designs and MayaGirl Creations for more handmade jewellery.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Photo Gallery: Happy Mother's Day Jewelry

Happy Mother's Day to all of the moms, grandmothers, aunts, sisters, friends -- and to all of the other wonderful women who share their love with someone important in their lives. In my case, I don't have kids, but I do have a niece and nephew ... and of course, my beloved cat, Maya.

My and my husband's grandmothers died a couple of years ago, but I'm fortunate to still have my mom and mom-in-law in my life. Even better, my parents and in-laws are friends. I hear a lot of horror stories about people's relationships with their mothers-in-law, but I really lucked out!

Both my mom and mom-in-law have been very supportive of my jewelry making... probably because I'm always giving them pieces, LOL. I know they appreciate it, though, and I enjoy giving gifts that come from the heart and my imagination. So in honor of Mother's Day, here are a few of my pieces that make me think of Mom. Some are gifts I've given to my mother or mother-in-law. Others make great Mother's Day gifts in general. You can check out the rest of my handmade wire and enamel jewelry at Naomi's Designs or MayaGirl Creations.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Tales From The Craft Fair: UCPN Event

2013 was a disappointing year when it came to craft fair sales, but so far, 2014's fair season began on a great note! Today I sold my jewelry at the United Cerebral Palsy Association Of Nassau County and had a really nice time.

I don't know if you can call this event a true "fair" since there were only two of us selling jewelry. But a portion of my earnings went toward the school's funds; at this point in time, they're raising money for the upcoming prom.

My friend Christopher teaches at the school, which is how I got this gig. He loves his job and the kids, and is constantly talking about work, so I was happy to actually see his school. The complex itself is huge and actually houses more than just a school; there are dozens of medical offices and lifestyle classes for adults. Basically, the association is there to help anyone with CP, regardless of his or her age.

What struck me about the place is that it's very well-maintained and very ... warm. That's warm as in "friendly and pleasant," not temperature-wise, though we are having a sunny day here. But almost everyone was smiling and laughing, and the students/patients seemed to be really happy. Those who work there have a very difficult job, but it's clear they all love their work and think of the patients as family.

Anyway, on to the sale! They sat us in the middle of the main atrium so we got a lot of traffic. Both of us sold a lot of pieces, too, which is great because that's money for the prom. I'm, of course, pleased to have sold so much jewelry, especially since a couple of my high-end pieces were purchased, but I also got to meet some great people.

Many of the teachers/nurses/physical therapists stopped by to ask questions about my items and were genuinely interested when I explained how to do enameling or champleve. Not everyone bought something from me (which is fine), but many complimented my work and seemed to really appreciate the fact that I make all of my items. I recently lost a close friend and have been feeling down, so this helped lift my spirits somewhat.

My favorite encounter was with one of the adult patients. She asked a lot of questions about my earrings and ended up buying a pair that has a filigree design and Swarovski crystal hearts. When I packaged them up for her, she exclaimed, "Thank you, you made my day!" It was so sweet! Really, she made MY day. :-)

Christopher teaches the very young kids and he introduced me to a few of his students. They're so cute! He not only teaches them, but often has to do things like feed them or change their diapers. Like I said, this is a very consuming job. I admire him for being so passionate and compassionate.

After the sale was over, the other vendor, who is also a PT at UCPN, drove me to the train station. On the way we chatted and she noted that most of the students and clients have a very positive outlook, even though they're dealing with physical and sometimes mental disabilities. She said she uses her patients as an example -- and that when she's feeling down, she remembers there are those who have it worse... and manage to find reasons to be happy. I think that's a great lesson for all of us!

You guys all know my shops and can find links to them in my other blog entries. But today I'm going to encourage you to donate to the UCPN. Thank you.