Saturday, December 12, 2009

Saskatchewan Necklace

I've been trying lately to create necklaces that mean something to me, something that tells a store, rather than simply something that is beautiful. While i want it to also be beautiful, i find that the extra thought and the meaning within the necklace only increase it's beauty.

This necklace was created when cutting a piece of metal, and realizing that i'd inadvenrtantly cut it in exactly the shape of my home Canadian province, Saskatchewan. Now, saskatchewan isn't exactly a difficult shape to cut, but still, it was right on the money. I set that piece asside before continuing with my regular cutting.

The necklace has references all over to what Saskatchewan means to me. From the easily recognizeable reference with the canadian flag peeking through (taken from a Canadian stamp) to the less harder reference of 306 (saskatchewan's phone area code) to the color choices of blue, green and golden brown for the beads and fibers, everything was done with a reason.
Basic technique used: I first fired the pieces of metal, till they were nice and patinated. After, i rolled up the longer piece to create a loop and created a window in the top piece with a screwdriver (who'd have thought?). I glued a stamp in the window, and drilled the two pieces together. Underneath I put a tassel made with Saskatchewan grass field colours. Later on the chain are two brass links, one with some grass from my grandparent's backyard in Saskatchewan, and the other with the numbers 306 rubbed on. Last features include a suede neck cord embellished with six green and blue beads.

This piece was created (late) for a challenge to go through Mary Hetmansperger's 'Wrap, Stitch, Fold & Rivet'. This is the 4th project, Layers Necklace, with my own spin to it.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I made my own nails

I feel kinda proud about this one. See those four pieces of metal? That used to be simple 16 gage copper wire. I annealed and patinated it, hammered on the top to form a head, and used my metal file to sharpen the bottom part. I may still use my metal files to clean up the groves left by the C-clamp (i don't have a vise). I got the general technique from Kazmer's book 'Cold Connections'... again. I really do love that book.

But here is the dilemma... now that i've made them what on earth will i do with them? An assemblage project of some kind? I dunno... I guess i'll just wait for the inspiration to strike. I really like the mint-tin style assemblage with the nails sticking out on the edges. Maybe a strange, strange christmas ornament? hahah.

I have also created the start of four bezels. Still unsure what to put in them too. They have been cut and filed, and are ready for me to torch solder them this weekend. Can't wait. The one of them is really deep... need to find something with more weight and presence to put in that one. They will also be a chance for me to try out my new ice resin!

Looking for nail-y inspiration...

Monday, November 23, 2009

Christmas present arrived!

Colour me impressed.... Objects and Elements was able to ship a box of stuff to me out in South Korea in only 1 week. I was so excited to come home and see a box waiting for me on the kitchen counter.... At first I assumed it was the presents my friend Tasha had sent me (she made me an awesome corset/arm-band/hair piece set that i can't wait to recieve), but it turned out to be my christmas present from my honey!

Ryan and I sat down last monday and picked out our christmas presents from each other online last monday. He picked a load of books off amazon, I picked a litter of interesting stuff off the Objects and Elements blog. Check out my loot in the picture above!!!!

First, I picked the Liver of Sulfer. I knew i wanted taht going in, as i have been experimenting with patinating metals, especially copper. I love the feel and working with copper, but i am not wild about always having that same bright red colour that just doesn't always seem to match everything. It's nice to work with some new colours in the metal mix sometimes. I have been working with my blow torch, now it is the time to step this up to the next level. I know i need to be very careful with this stuff... Don't worry i'll be carefully reading up on this all over before attempting use.

On a less chemical scale, but no less exciting for me, i then immediately picked up the metal punch alphabet. I have been wanting one of these for so long.... I couldn't resist trying it out immediately. The punched piece was just made earlier this evening. So easy!!! I just love the level of personalization available here. Can't wait to create my first piece with a great quote.

I also picked up a sheet of bronze, as seen on the bottom of the picture. The gage is so wonderfully thick. I was expecting it to have a more rusty kind of colour, but find the colouring to be fairly similar to that of copper. Still, it doesn't have as intense of that red tone.... this could be very interesting. Can't wait to play with it and my blow torch this weekend!

I picked up some of the cog wheel shaped pendants here, seemed like fun things to use for a steampunk style piece. I do love the idea of creating in the steampunk style. Just need to really jump in with that one.

Last, but not least, maybe if you squint really hard and use a bit of imagination you'll be able to see the Ice resin i also purchased. After hearing so much raving about it, I thought i'd give it a try. I then promptly forgot to put the bottles in the photograph! Sigh. Typical of me lol. Still, that i think will be more intersting once i start creating with it.

I now have the makings of some great bronze bezels.... and good resin to put in it too! Very exciting.... stay tuned for eventual pictures :)

All things said and done, i would call my shopping experience with Objects and Elements a total success! I really love my metal punch set, and all that remains is to check out their 'signature product', the ice resin! Very exciting...

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Day of the dead hand chain

I have decided to enter a piece into the fantastic challenge on the Objects and Elements blog. This round, the challenge is to put something unusual in a bezel. I had a couple cool hand-carved skulls, so i was ready with some ideas. I really love reading and seeing all the challenges, and this time I decided not to sit idly on the sidelines.

I was currently making a piece of jewelry for a friend back home in Canada's belated birthday, and i was going on a 'Day of the Dead' theme after seeing how awesome these carved bone skulls looked with metal roses.

The bezel form was from a stuff-swap with the lovely Amber Dawn. In the bezel i put a handcarved korean skull surounded by three metal roses(echoed later in the wrist part of the chain, more pics to come). The background is simple scrapbooking paper, and after aranging everything i filled the bezel with resin. I then drilled four holes through the resin and bezel to fit it into the formation as needed.

I really encourage any of you to pop on over to the Objects and Elements blog challenge, as the voting starts tomorrow October 23rd. Good luck to all the participants!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Etsy Metal Challenge

There is a challenge blog I've found that is from various metal artists on Etsy. An amazingly talented group of jewelry artists joined as participants for a challenge that follows Project Runway's weekly challenges. Each week, they challenge themselves to create something following the theme of the week's show.

I was intrigued last week, where the challenge was to create a piece of movie jewelry in a movie genre. I chose Science Fiction for myself, and started to work on a piece in more of a narrative jewelry in a narrative with industrial (dare i say steampunk?) style. However, the piece was big and i didn't even get halfway done before the week's limit.

Luckily, the next week's challenge was to create something in blue. As i hadn't yet added any color and had just been working with metal, the change of all colored pieces to blue was an easy one. So, the plan was to have this as a guest submission to go with the others.

This plan very sadly didn't work out as i was 3 HOURS LATE!!! for the submission deadline. I had planned to work on it friday night (korea time) in order to finish by the deadline but then went to a jazz festival instead of finishing the piece(still worth it). sigh. Maybe next week i'll be on time? I'll be leaving a quick comment on the post saying that I finished the challenge but was too late.

I thought i'd post this piece anyways, as it is finished and photographed. Also, it's been a LONG while (almost a month!) since I last updated and I knew I needed to get on posting this or it would be just set aside.

As I mentioned, this is a narrative piece of jewelry. When I was designing for the movie challenge, I decided that this would be for a girl who had been part of a royal family. Her family were murdered by her evil aunt, but the girl managed to escape (kind of like Anastasia?). The girl ran off, and pretended to be a boy. She lived with a blacksmith family for a while, but was found out. She managed to escape again, but the blacksmith family was sadly killed. The girl, who has grown into a woman, swears revenge on her aunt.

I'm not sure this is really a sci-fi movie, but it isn't really historical fiction either.... It almost has some elements of an adult fairy tale type movie?? I don't know where it really fits. Still, each element of the necklace has an element of the movie within. The two tear shaped blue dangles are for her parents. The key was to her old bedroom. The picture is of her mother. The three iron pieces are for the blacksmith family. Lastly, the scraps of blue fabric are from her aunt's dress, to remind her of her purpose.

I had a lot of fun making this piece, and definately learned a lot too! Not quite sure what I will do with it, as it isn't exactly the standard type of piece people wear out on the street or to work, but I'm not your usual korean on the street here anyways! Maybe I'll wear it out and about anyways, and love the looks that it draws.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Bead Shelf

I continue to work my way through Mary Hettmansperger's book Wrap Stitch Rivet. This is my next piece for the challenge, the bead shelf. I find i really practiced a lot of new techniques for this one. Not only was this my first time working with self-annealed metal, it was also the first time i had succesfully drawn beads on a wire. The top of each dangle there has a bead on the wire.

Now i need to get my butt in gear, and get pictures taken before Deryn Mentock's challenge to work through the book is over, for i've also finished the mixed metal pendant that comes next, and also the pea pod project.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Burried treasure collaboration

*** This post is my submission for the 'Buried Treasure' collaborative project posted by Seth at The Altered Page. I am sorry that it is a day late :s. The object of this is to look back and re:post one of your favourite old entries. I really liked this one because not only did I show pictures of projects i was working on, i discussed two books i had been reading as well. Hope everyone has a fantastic day!***

Books! (the title of the post)

For Christmas, my boyfriend and I each picked out out own presents off amazon. He himself is quite the bibliophile, and I really wanted a couple of books. I got myself Mary Hettmansperger's book 'Wrap, Stitch, Fold & Rivet' and Susan Lenart Kazmer's 'Making Connections: A Handbook of Cold Joins for Jewlers and Mixed-Media Artists'.

I would highly recomend either one of these books, as I am immensely enjoying the both of them. I am loving the ideas and style of Susan's book. It is very found-object focused with STUNNING pictures of projects she has created. Turning bottle caps into bezels, how to create funky trapezes to dangle objects from, pictures of mini-lightbulbs with little paper messages inside... what's not to love? I just wish I had been able to take my 'found object' art supplies with me here to Seoul. I have a whole bunch of stuff sitting in Canada that would be great for this kind of thing but i had to leave my stash behind (but safely tucked away in storage!).

I also am loving the project based aproach in Mary's book. There are many techniques discussed at the beginning of the book and then it turns to project creation. I unfortunately lack many of the tools needed for both books. I sadly still don't have an anvil, a dapping block, or a torch :(. Give me time... and a good hardware store... Mary seems to have a strong following for her book, as I have seen many of these projects being discussed on blogs and such. I am looking forward to getting started, but am still in the material and idea gathering phase for her first project of a 'spinner necklace'.

However, I have created a couple necklaces that use ideas discussed in the technique sections. Mary's book discusses how to create these swirls and pound them flat. Lacking an anvil, i am ashamed to admit i have been using a hard ruler and a towel.... sigh. However, the wire was fairly soft and it worked fairly well for this! This necklace was created while practicing how to make these fun swirls discussed in her book.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

ATCs for trading!

I've been working, and created a couple atcs for trading. I have a trade for a couple of them pending, but if anyone else wants to trade these are some that are available right now. Just leave me a quick comment saying which you'd be interested in, or that you're looking to trade :)

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Gathering ideas...

I say to my honey... "I say ethereal, you say..." He answers "Elves". Hunh. I guess it should be expected when i ask someone who plays D & D?

I'm thinking about a weekly fun challenge i am entereing with the theme word of 'ethereal'. Deciding on some ideas of what to do for this. I don't think I will go the 'elves' direction, as it is not quite what i'm looking for. More of a 'moonlight', selene style i think. Thin looping chain and white stone? We will see.

What do you think of when you think of ethereal?

Friday, June 26, 2009

Giveaway!!! Earings for 4000 posts!

Hey there everybody.

So, I took a peek at my blog ticker, and I see that i'm almost at 4000 hits! When'd that happen??? Wow. Very exciting :).

I had posted these earings previously, as part of my entry to Derryn Mentock's challenge to do Mary Hattmansperger's book, but i myself do not have pierced ears. It's strage, i'm a jewelry artist who can't wear some of the jewelry she makes hahha. It's just something i never got around to doing i guess?

I decided to celebrate the 4000 hits with a giveaway. Leave me a quick comment here, and i'll pick a number for the winner... standard blog giveaway style. Don't forget to make sure there is a way I can contact you!

By the way, speaking of giveaways, i just discovered a new blog that has some rather pretty stuff... Sweet Bead Studios had a web redesign, and is giving away some jewelry with some pretty sweet embossed metal, and a embossing hammer. My fingers are so crossed for the hammer!! Check it out here

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Hand chain

Inspired by the lovely steampunk jewelry of Melanie Brooks, i have created a 'slave chain'. A slave chain is both a bracelet and a ring combined into one, with chains across the back of the hand. I really am pleased with how this came out.

The challenge at Green Pepper Press right now is to "Make it Your Own'. I really liked this idea for a challenge, as i feel it is so accessible to everyone and open for interpretation. This is my submission for the challenge. I was inspired by the basic shape of Melanie's Clockwork Scarab Slave Chain (seen here) and created a slave chain of my own. While both of these are in the general steampunk style (hers especially), hers goes deeper into the genre while mine is more of a feminine style.

It was relatively simple to create the basic shape. Chain around the wrist with a closure, brass filigree on the wrist, piece on the middle of the hand, thin long filigree wrapped around the middle finger... the concept is very open. It is then open for you to create the theme, colours, and style that you want using the basic ideas.

Anyone else made some of these before? I'd love to see other ideas.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

April showers... in June?

I am still catching up slowly on the necklaces i have created but not yet photographed or put up on the blog here. This i created for the Creativity Challenge way back in april but am finally getting around to posting... i am a lazy blogger it is true lol. Still i thought i'd share it, throw it out there. Better late than never...... right....?

The prompt for this was 'april showers'. I really liked the idea of having more of a choker for this necklace. This is the first time i have created the form of the necklace, as a choker, myself. Hanging from it are links i created with fake turquoize, glass blown hearts, 'raindrop' charms, metal leaf dangles, and a frame. The frame contains a picture of a lake with lilypads, that came from a US stamp i recieved some time ago. I cut the picture and put it in the frame.

What has anyone else been up to lately?

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Mary Hettmansperger Challenge

Deryn Mentock is hosting a challenge on her lovely blog, Something Sublime, where she challenges us to create projects with Marry Hettmansperger's lovely book, Wrap, Stitch, Fold & Rivet. I created the first project a while back, but have definately been neglectful and fallen behind on my blog here. Today I finished my second project from the book, and wanted to get this up before i fall further behind. At the rate i was going, the contest would be over before I put my projects up!

This i call my 'Tree of all Seasons', based on the first project in the book 'Stacked Spinner Necklace'. It took me a bit to get started on this necklace, as i was unsure of how i wanted to procede. The idea of creating the stacked necklace is so open... there were so many different directions i could go! However, i eventually made a stac starting with a flat tree pendant, followed by etched copper, then a leaf form, ending with a textured rectangular piece of copper. My kindergarten students looked at it and told me it was my seasons necklace. The bare tree was spring, the flowered copper for winter, the falling leaf for fall and the blank sheet for winter. Sometimes the words of children are the ones that mean the most.


This second piece I call 'Blue Folds', loosely based on her 'folded earings' project number two. I liked the idea of working with copper, but i don't yet have a blowtorch so i was unable to do the project quite as she discussed. Instead of focusing on my torching skills, i focused more on riveting skills that' i've been learning from my Kazmer book. I liked the way the metal was wrapped around the beads, but i went a different direction after the initial inspiration. As opposed to drawing a bead on the wire, i riveted the end of the wire. I then strung the beads on, and then created the loop on top of the brass. I am quite pleased with how these turned out.

My only dilema now is what to do with these. I love jewelry, but i don't have pierced ears! I can't wear these myself, as i do with all the necklaces and bracelets i make. Maybe i'll have a giveaway later? Maybe these will help celebrate 4000 views to my blog later on? Or maybe i'll use it for a birthday present later? I am still deciding on this one. Any suggestions?

Friday, May 15, 2009

Fabric and Lace

My jury is still out on this piece, but i thought i'd post it anyways. This necklace i called 'fabric and lace'... for rather obvious reasons i think lol. I was inspired, as usual, by the lovely work of Nina Bagley, as seen in this post. I just loved the homespum feel created here by the lovely buttons. What a wonderful way to attach fabric to chain! I createda similar type of thing, but then went in a bit of a different direction with my piece here.

I feel that this necklace has the most rustic feel of all my pieces. It has fraying edges, chunky knots and visible hand stitching on the fabric everywehre. I think i am still getting used to it?

GPP Street Team's theme this month for their monthly challenge is 'make it your own'. In their discussions of how to do this, they talk about taking manufactured (and also non-manufactured) materials and infusing them with your artistic signature through methods such as sanding, painting, etc. In this it reminded me a LOT of what i'm reading inn Suzan Lennart Kazmer's book. Also, they talk about using the inspiration of others, yet 'making it your own'. I could enter this into this, but as i find pretty much all my pieces start inspired by others, i think i'll enter one i like a bit better... I feel like i just missed the mark a little on this one. Any suggestions?

Monday, May 04, 2009

Bussan Beauty

Last month, I finally had a chance to go on a weekend trip and get out of Seoul for a short time. A couple other teachers organized a trip to the lovely costal city of Bussan. I spent the entire weekend laying on the beach, frolicking on the edge of the frigid water, hiking around the rocks and beachcombing. The results of this beachcombing was a variety of little pieces of sea glass and a couple handfulls of fascinating little shells. I loaded up my little treasures into my pockets, and brought them home. (If you want to see more pictures of my vacation to Bussan, check out my other blog

To this point, one month later, i have created one piece with any of these things. The first piece I tried was drilling a hole in a shell with my drill, but that ended disasterously when the beautiful shell just cracked in half and broke. Does anyone know how to make holes in shells? Any technique to this, or special tool i need?

My second piece went far better. It already had a perfectly placed natural hole at the top of the shell. It was rather small, but it was an easy thing to simply sand the hole bigger. Once the hole is started i am fine, but i am unsure how to create new holes without destroying the shell. Again, any help would be great on this one.
I kept the design of this piece rather simple. I started with beaded chain, which matched the hues of the shell nicely. It was easy enough to simply create my own jump ring to attach it to the chain. After that came the harder part. I fanangled another piece of chain to loop back and forth a couple times underneath the shell, but still look smooth from the front part. In the end, i got that too. (The problem there was that the chain was too thin to fit jump rings of any wire i have through the hole... it's quite fine). After tying them all together with wire in the back, it worked out okay. I had two nice dangling bits of chain, and one middle loop holding a jump ringed blue flatback bead.
I do so love using natural elements in my pieces. I am trying to work on doing this more often, but the sparkles of pretty pretty beads are often very distracting haha. What a happy conundrum.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Music Leaves Necklace

I was playing with resin while creating this one. I resinated some musical score paper... lots of fun. I would highly reccomend to anyone trying putting resin on paper. It gives it such a glassy sheen on top. It also gives the leaves almost a seethrough quality. This necklace is inspired by the pretty, pretty leaves i often see popping up in Deryn Mentock's work. She truly has a lovely website, which you should definatly go check out

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Fabric Nest, and questions about inspiration.

I have really been enjoying the posts on the blog of Nina Bagley lately, on her blog
Ornamental. In this crazy city i live in, it is nice to see that there is a bit of peace out there in the world. As well, Nina makes some of the most beautiful nature inspired jewelry i've ever seen.

Is it bad that when i saw her lovely lovely nest necklace, and couldn't resist trying to make a fabric nest of my own? I was simply so inspired by her that i couldn't help it... the fingers just started reaching for the lace, needle and thread of their own volition. What is the protocol on this exactly? I will definately list her as the inspiration for the necklace, and let her know. I am slightly torn on this, and am wondering what you think out there. On the one hand, I did not copy the entire necklace, just the general idea and then pieced together something of my own ideas from hers. On the other hand, she is a professional artist who earns her living by these designs. I love how genereous she is sharing her lovely designs on her blog. It would be different if this was published in a book (which she is more than talented enough to write!), or in a magazine where she is putting it out there for public inspiration. On the other hand, a blog can be something like this as well... when we put things out here they are officially out in public and anyone can see them. Hmmm.... it is a question i am mulling over in my mind. Any ideas you guys have about this would be greatly appreciated, pro or con.

To be perfectly clear, this necklace is only for my own personal usage (i love it too much to give it away and i am not at the level where i'm ready to sell on etsy just yet). I'll also be sending her a note letting her know how inspiring her blog really is to me, especially that necklace. If i were selling things, this would be a different story altogether.

Without further ado, this is what i created.

I created this fabric nest by first sewing together a long line of different laces, then wrapping them around the wired beads so the different layers show. This is a necklace that BEGS to be touched... the next is very textural. Some of the lace, and also the lace i tied in a knot on the side, is a beautiful gift from one of the street sellers in Dongdaemun. The store specializes in handmade lace for wedding dresses, and when i tried to buy a half meter of it, she said that was too short and gave it to me for free instead. I loved it, and bought a couple other laces there too. Although they did not fit, I have been thinking of making a lacy Marie Antoinette-style choker with varied laces... could be fun.

The acorn was a gift from my mother when i last saw her in canada, which she'd found on the ground. How special, to have an acorn my mother found me in my grandmother's garden... it just adds to the specialness of the necklace for me. The join is a 'trapeeze join', which i learned in Kazmer's book Making Connections.... (i swear the book is amazing). It allows the acorn to spin around it's wire, and swing freely. The chain is from Dongdaemun, as usual.

Hope everyone is having a lovely weekend.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009



Such a beautiful tank top... it gets me excited as i am hoping to see the cherry blossoms myself on saturday.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Teal Night

Here's a new necklace I'd made a bit ago. I was inspired while poking around the Art Bead Scene blog about a month ago... they showed a necklace where they took a bird and wrapped it around flat bead, like a hug. I loved the idea of it and had these pretty flat pieces i'd picked up earlier. After experimenting wrapping a pretty blue bead in a flat copper piece, i was delighted with the results. The necklace simply took off from there.

I created many of the parts of this myself. The star was a simple woodcut from michaels, which i painted blue and wrapped in wire. The circles i put star beads within and filled partly with clear resin. I also used a couple blue stone beads, a strange structural piece i picked up earlier, some shell buttons, and a moon pendant. I was trying to keep with an 'ocean at night' theme... i am so happy with how it all came together.