March 2009


porcelainflowerbeadbraceletRecently, I was cleaning up from a jewelry project that involved mostly white beads and I noticed these white porcelain beads with flowers on them.  I have had these beads a while, looked at them a thousand times before, and this time was different, they just struck me.  I tend to go where inspiration leads me, so I pulled them out to work with. 

This is the end result.  I paired them with moss agate, crystal, and some greenish glass beads with patterns on them.  What’s interesting is that the greenish glass beads have a pattern and feel very different than the porcelain beads, yet the bracelet is very harmonious and has a nice flow.  Starting out, I would never have guessed I would end up here.  It’s nice to just see what unfolds.

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grapehyacinth1I love these little flowers.  Even though they are called hyacinths, they are really members of the lily family.  I can see a little resemblance to lilys of the valley in how the flowers hang.  I am fortunate to have these in my front yard.  They have the tiniest bulbs and have been multiplying at a very fast pace.  In one area, I have a tiny purple forest of them that needs thinning.  I’ve also seen them sprout in places where I have not planted them – assisted by the wind or a bird, I don’t know.  Here is my lovely bouquet of them.  It stands only 3″ tall and I adore it.

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I give my jewelry women’s names.  Some pieces are named for people I know, others are given a name I like or think suits the piece.  I usually name jewelry after I’ve done the photography.  Prior to that time, they have working titles, usually based on the materials the piece is made of.  Once in a while, it’s something different.

This necklace was inspired by the carpet at a hotel in Louisville, KY.  The hotel was new and done in very serene, spa like decor.  The carpet was a shade of blue/green with a lot of circles in different sizes, in soft shades of blue and green.  I looked at it while waiting for the elevator and got the idea to do a pendant with circles on it like the carpet.  When I went to make the pendant, I realized I wanted additional colors in the piece, so I took a little artistic license.

The pendant is made of flat peyote stitch with circular peyote stitch flowers.  Once the pendant was done and I started on the necklace, I felt the right approach was something a little lighthearted and free.  That led to the use of the little golden flower beads, red rosette beads, and light green translucent beads that have an airy feel.

Carpet as inspiration?  Why not.  I take my inspiration where I find it.

The past few weeks have been busy ones.  I’ve been working hard to prepare new pieces for the three stores that carry Bead Dreamer jewelry, making sure each has a nice quantity of interesting, beautiful, and unique pieces.  The owners and staff at each store have always been so kind and helpful to me and I appreciate each and every one of them.  I also appreciate every customer who has purchased Bead Dreamer jewelry, whether it’s someone who has purchased one pair of earrings or a long-term customer with a collection of my work .  To all, I say thank you.

These two colors love each other and always will.  I use a lot of silver and gold toned metals, but every so often turn to copper.  It has a warmth and richness that is very appealing and in certain cases is the only metal that will do.  I used copper wire to wrap these cobalt furnace glass triangles, added opaque blue discs, shiny darker copper glass beads, and then made copper earwires to match.  How delightful.cobalt-and-copper

jillianbracelet1I made this bracelet using the same “many to one” technique I wrote about earlier.  The other piece was a necklace and, this time, it’s a bracelet.  The concept and method of construction are the same, the length of the pieces are really the only difference from a technical perspective.

In this bracelet, I used some gorgeous aqua glass tubes.  I had them in regular glass and also some with matte and luster finishes.  Something about the color, length and shape of the aqua glass beads made me envision a design that seemed very fluid.  I think I achieved that and needed many strands to do so.  Interspersed with the glass tubes are bits of gemstone and glass, all in similar tones, to add a bit of interest.

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When I considered how to approach this necklace, my first thought was to use beads in similar tones as the prominent greens and yellows in the pendant.  I soon realized this created conflict and competition rather than harmony.  I changed my approach and primarly used beads in the same tones as the frame, extending the concept of the frame into the necklace.  There are tiny splashes of yellow-green in little glass beads and soft-toned aquamarine that hints at some of the colors in the background of the pendant.

This is my first time working with a pendant like this and I was excited to use it.  It is a reproduction of a painting by Charlie Clingman entitled “Springling Yellow” .  Not only is the artwork beautiful, the pendant is very well made.  I’ve called it an art pendant, but its proper name is Canvas On Wood Pendants.  The jewelry supplies available to today’s designers are really fabulous.  Bead shopping can be so dangerous!

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