Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Design This - Sheep Jewelry Part 2

In my previous blog post I described how I came to make a pair of sheep earrings for a friend of mine to give as a gift. The byproduct of this process was a sheep bracelet mock up that sat on my bench for a couple of weeks before I decided what to do with it. Between the holidays and running the Happy Holidays Pop-Up Market, I did not have time to put away unused supplies from the few pieces I managed to create during December.

When I finally had time to start putting away those unused beads and findings, I contemplated what to do with the bracelet mock up. I really liked the way the faceted black agate beads complemented the single lampwork sheep bead
that would be opposite the clasp in a finished bracelet. It would have taken a similar amount of time to disassemble and properly stow the parts as it would to complete the bracelet so I decided to finish it up. The mock up anticipated a sterling silver toggle clasp and findings to finish off the bracelet. Since I was no longer constrained by the request for sterling findings, I could now consider other options. With the beads being mostly black and white, I thought gunmetal would be the perfect color for the crimp bead covers, jump rings and toggle clasp.

Now that I had a plan, I gathered up some beading wire, crimp beads and gunmetal tone findings and set about to turn my design into a finished bracelet. I liked it so much I listed it in my EDCCollective Etsy shop.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Design This - Sheep Jewelry

When a friend of mine visited the Happy Holidays Pop-Up Market and spied my lampwork sheep earrings, she said her mother liked all things sheep. The only problem, she saw with those earrings was that her mother did not like long earrings and the metal in her jewelry needed to be sterling silver.

We talked about some options and we decided I would mock up a bracelet design for her consideration. After some back and forth on that design we reconsidered what my friend's mom would likely enjoy the most. We went back to discussing earrings. I had some
sterling silver posts with a loop to attach the sheep to that would create shorter earrings than the pair on French ear wires she saw at the market. She decided to go with this option and I made them up in time for her to take them with her for a Christmas gift. I was thrilled when I saw my friend after the holidays and she reported that her mother loved them.

In my next post I will share what I have done with the bracelet mock up that sat on my bench for a couple of weeks.

Friday, December 21, 2018

Happy Winter Solstice 2018

Longer spans of sunlight our in our immediate future, as today marks the shortest daylight day of the year. Tonight's longest night will be brightened by a full moon. Winter officially arrives at 4:21 pm CST. So celebrate the arrival of our shortest day since that means longer stretches of daylight start tomorrow. The increase does start slowly, only one additional second tomorrow, but that will accelerate going forward.

We were rewarded with clear skies and a bright sunrise to greet today's Winter Solstice as you can see in this picture I took this morning. Please note, I DID NOT look through a camera lens to get the shot. I aimed my ipad in the general direction of the sunrise. I did have to take several photos since I could not frame the shot directly. And yes, I did some photographic art manipulation to the image to help capture the glorious way this sunrise on this shortest day of the year made me feel. Cheers to sunshine.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Last Chance to Find Eclectic Design Choices' Creations in Person in 2018

Brick and mortar appearances are rare for my creations, so please take the opportunity to check them out in person at the Happy Holidays Pop-Up Market that begins this Saturday, December 8. Joining me will be 14 additional artisans with a wide variety of goodies for the people on your gift giving list or a treat for yourself. Another one of the artists, a weaver of baskets and related objects, is in this photo with me that O.K. Carter took for his article in the Fort Worth Business Press discussing the business side of art.

Happy Holidays Pop-Up Market is an ephemeral boutique shop stocked with unique products produced locally. Don't delay your visit to the Urban Union area of Downtown Arlington. The market will only be open from December 8 through December 23, 2018. See the market website for shop hours and more information about the participating artisans and their wares.

While Shop Small Saturday is the Saturday after Thanksgiving, American Express urges you to shop small whenever you can. Whether you're looking for the perfect gift or a little something for yourself, you're always welcome to Shop Small® at the Happy Holidays Pop-Up Market this holiday season. Grab a friend or family member and join the Shop Small Movement, proudly backed by American Express.

817ArtsAlliance partnered with Downtown Arlington Management Corporation to bring about Happy Holidays Pop-Up Market in order to showcase and support local talent and provide a unique shopping experience in Downtown Arlington.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Look for Eclectic Design Choices at Olde Town Christmas

Friday, November 30 from noon through 7pm and Saturday, December 1 from 9am until 3pm you will be able to find me at Olde Town Christmas inside the Dottie Lynn Recreation Center in Arlington. I will have a large selection of my jewelry, accessories and photographic art creations with me to
help you check people off your holiday shopping list. Look for my Eclectic Design Choices sign.

If you miss me this weekend, my creations will be at the Happy Holidays Pop-Up Market starting December 8. I will have more information about that next week.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

New Jewelry Themed for AMA's Upcoming Hiroshige Exhibit

I am looking forward to seeing the upcoming exhibit at the Arlington Museum of Art. The exhibit will feature colored wood-block prints by Hiroshige, a prominent 19th century Japanese artist. The exhibit opens to the public on Saturday, December 1, 2018 with a member's reception on Friday, November 30. Unfortunately I might be too worn out to attend the reception after manning my booth at Olde Town Christmas at the Dottie Lynn recreation center that day. Once again I was able to locate some supplies
to help me create jewelry for their gift shop to complement the museum's exhibit. These are small batch, handmade items so if you see something you like you need to grab it before it is gone. I purchased some of the supplies in a very limited quantity.

The necklaces are made from gold or silver plated brass ginko leaf charms. I paired the silver ginko leaf with a sodalite teardrop which reminded me of some blue and white Japanese vases I have seen. I added a silver plated sliding bail to a navy blue silken cord to hang the pendant from. Jade seemed like a natural to pair with the gold plated ginko leaf pendant, which I hung from a gold plated traveling bail on a black silken cord.

Cranes and fans are also popular Japanese motifs. You may recall that I used these fan charms to craft an artistic interpretation of the some of the dresses on display during the film costume exhibit this past summer. This time I used them for what they are, fans, and paired them with jade beads to make fairly large dangle earrings. The hourglass jade beads remind me of sections of bamboo. I made smaller dangle earrings from some crane charms that I recently picked up. I paired them with peacock colored synthetic hematite, rounded bicone beads. Stop by the gift shop to see these and other Japanese themed items when you visit the Hiroshige exhibit at the Arlington Museum of Art.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Fall Colors and Spring Promise

If it was not for the pretty colors leaves take on before they drop from the trees, I might have more trouble enjoying the mild fall temperatures since falling leaves signal winter approaching right around the corner. Here in North Texas we seem to have jumped this year from just beginning to experience fall temps, which I will admit can be pleasant, to full on winter. Our high temp for the day occurred at midnight and the reinforcing cold front will put us in the upper 30s shortly (relative to when I am typing this). The wind chill already is in the lower 30s and gray skies make it feel even colder to me.

We are expecting our first freeze of the year tonight. Any tender in ground plants will need to be covered and any tender potted plants need to be moved inside. The majority of the trees I can see from my office window are actually still green. If the freeze is strong enough their leaves might just fall without changing color. Going straight from green to bare without a pretty change in color would be a shock to my system, so I am glad I got some pictures a week ago of the pretty reds showing on my dogwood and red oak. I am sharing a couple of them here to brighten the tone of my post. The dogwood tree even shows promise of the spring to come in its swollen flower buds nestled among its crimson leaves.