AJE Earring Challenge – Reveal 17, Weeks 35 & 36

Shockingly it’s September 15th, this is my first post of the month and I don’t know which is worse – the fact that I’ve not posted anything or the fact that two weeks seem to have slipped without me noticing…time must have sped up surely?

Blogging is not the only thing I’ve be remiss with and I’m way behind on the AJE Earring Challenge which has it’s latest reveal today. I have however managed to make three new pairs to at least plug the gap a little…

I’ve been feeling the urge to play with sheet metal of late and this autumnal pair feature leaves from my first attempt at fold forming – heat and hammer is a very satisfying combination I must say. The lampwork beads are by Caroline Rhodes.

I love red and black together as the contrast is always very striking so for this pair I teamed the lovely ceramic flowers from Karen Totten with ‘Fallen Angel’ black brass and some tiny Czech glass beads. The name was inspired by the lyrics of the song ‘Red and Black‘ from Les Miserables.

This final pair are just full of fun with the lovely polka dot etched lampwork beads by Kaz Baildon dressed up with some handmade twisted bronze  rings and bead caps by Lisa Quinn and my own bronze ear wires.

All earrings will be listed in my Etsy shop shortly but feel free to contact me if interested.

You can check out what the other challenge participants have been making by visiting the AJE Earring Challenge Pinterest page and you can also see who is blogging about there designs on today’s AJE Blog post.


Lesley

This Weeks News…

Finally! The news I’ve been waiting for…planning permission for my garage conversion was granted on Wednesday and I now have a start date of May 27th, just ten days away – yippee! Which means of course that I will be spending part of the weekend sorting out this mess although, having had a false start it’s not as bad as it was.

I’m quite conscious that under those empty boxes are a lot more full of perfectly usable household items and clothing which have ‘somehow’ accumulated but which I just don’t need. I don’t have the time or resource to deal with this myself at the moment but hate the thought of it going to waste so I’m using an local ‘Eco Clearance’ company who aim to recycle and redistribute as much as they can to the most appropriate area which will leave me with a clear conscience at the same time. Then we get get down to the business of turning it into something a bit more like this…

I’ve still got lots of decisions to make about things like flooring, wall tiles and paint but I think I need to get a feel for the space before I can do that properly. Needless to say excitement is mounting.

I’ve been building  a log list of things to I need for the new work space when it’s finished but I haven’t been able to resist buying a couple of new toys already, the first being this Silhouette Cameo Die Cutter. It’s widely used for sign making and paper crafts but thanks to some very inspirational people in the field I’ve discovered it can also be used to create beautiful jewellery.

Caroline Dewison of Blueberri Beads has designed some beautiful etched pieces using vinyl cut on the Cameo  which achieves a much crisper edge than many other methods.

And Wanaree Tanner, doyenne of the metal clay world has developed a process for using it with sheets of dry metal clay to produce gorgeous cut out work. Check out their work and you’ll see why I just had to have one of these.

Photo by Wanaree Tanner

I’ve also treated myself to this little bench polisher. I’ve always done a lot of my finishing by hand but when I was preparing for the Big Bead show I started getting pains in my hands from the sheer volume of repetitive work and I’ve noticed that I can’t do as much now without my hands beginning to twinge. Obviously it would be a disaster if I couldn’t work because of this so it seemed that this would be a sensible investment.

I haven’t tried either of these gadgets out yet but the Cameo will be trialed on some display cards I need to make for a consignment of components I’ll be sending off to a Bricks and Mortar bead shop in the next few weeks (more of that in a future post) – cheaper to practice on card than clay methinks!. As for the polisher, I’m sure it won’t be too long before that gets a spin…I just need to find it a temporary home.

Something else I’ve been doing this week is making a bit more jewellery and I’m really enjoying it since I’ve been so consumed with the component side of things it’s great to have a bit of a change. My jewellery shop has also been a little neglected of late so I’ve been trying to make some new stock and use my own components more…not always easy when you have a huge stash of other peoples gorgeous goodies.

I will also be concentrating on jewellery whilst the building work is being done as it’s going to be difficult to do much component making. This means there will be no major THEA too updates until after the studio is complete but the shop is well stocked so there is still plenty to choose from. Likewise I won’t be able to make custom orders but am happy to take them for completion in the latter half of June.

Another little bit of excitement for me will be the publication of my first project piece in the June edition of ‘Making Jewellery’ which hits the shops on May 30th. I can’t show you what it is yet but of course I’ll post some pictures when it’s published…It’s a bumper issue with 100 project so worth a look.

Well that ‘s my news for the week..things are about to get a little hectic as you can see but while the building work is going on I will be writing regular posts to show you how it’s progressing so watch this space.

Have a fantastic weekend.

Lesley

AJE Earring Challenge Weeks 5 & 6/52

I’m hosting the AJE Earring challenge reveal today and had a great time looking through the designs on out Pinterest board to choose just a few favourites. There is such a variety of designs and it seems like everyone is having fun with this – I certainly hope so! I was really pleased with my own earrings for weeks 5 & 6 – sometimes I’m a bit unsure but happily there were no doubts this time round.

For this first pair I used some 22 gauge oxidised bronze wire to create macrame pina and suspended some beautiful Borosilicate lampwork beads from Brendan Blake from then. A couple of little Czech glass teardrops add a final flourish and voila…

I just haven’t found the time to list these yet and I’m not sure I’m going to either…

My second pair on the other hand have already been snapped up and will winging there way to the USA tomorrow morning. I’ve just bought a whole load of new  texture mats and wanted to try them out and these beautiful patinated seahorse charms were the result. They’re quite big and very striking so all I’ve added are some tiny etched handmade beads by Radiant Mind ans some hand forged wires to complete the look…

Pop on over to the AJE blog to see the the other participants entries and don’t forget to join us for reveal 4 on Sunday 3rd March. happy designing folks!



Lesley