Barbara-Briggs-Designs-custom-jewelry-wearable-art

Barbara’s Blog – BBD Art Jewelry

I’ve Been Really Busy, But…


I did manage to carve out a bit of free time to work on some beadwoven triangles.  These are part of a collection that will eventually become a Kaleidocycle (inspired by CGB). It’s fun coming up with various designs for each of the four triangles that will be repeated six times to comprise a total of twenty-four joined triangles. I’ve wanted to make a Kaleidocycle for the longest time, but I always seemed to be mired down in existing projects. Mind you, I’m in no rush to finish this project…I’m enjoying the process without having a deadline that imposes time constraints!  As a child, I would constantly ask, “Are we there yet?”, but the older I grow, the more I feel the need to slow down and enjoy the moment rather than rushing to get things done before moving on to another project or the next task. I’m finding that my work ethic and ever present perfectionism has somewhat enslaved me and kept me from truly enjoying the nuances of the journey. The destination is the end result, but taking time to savor the road traveled along the way makes life far sweeter!

 

It’s Time Consuming, but…

It’s all so beautiful!  I’ve just returned from Murphy’s Gardens with a box full of herbs…thyme, parsley, rosemary, mint, and lots of basil!  They’ve been in a greenhouse so I will harden them off outside during the day and put them in pots on the deck in a few days.  I no longer put them in my herb garden because raccoons love to pull them out of the ground at night and I awake to withering or dead plants.  For some reason, the raccoons have not learned to climb onto the deck and I hope it stays that way!  The front beds are doing splendidly!  Jack in the pulpit, ferns, bellwort, wild geranium, solomon’s seal, and more are growing vigorously and bluebells have taken over the woodland path!  Rather than needles, thread, and scissors, my tools this week will be spade and pruning shears! As much as I want to get back to the studio and work on beading projects, I have to take this time to “smell the roses”. This time of year is so fleeting and before we know it the dog days of summer will be here…you’ll definitely find me in the studio then!

I Knew This Would Happen…

The weather pattern world-wide has been unpredictable of late! Forget spring…our lengthy and arduous Mid-west winter has seemingly become summer overnight! We went from snow accompanied by frigid temperatures just two weeks ago to hot summer-like weather!  The trees have barely leafed out, but all of sudden the flower beds are bursting with new growth and with that comes the realization that I will have to temporarily abandon art projects and devote my time and energy to garden maintenance, porch and deck cleaning, and all other tasks involved in making the house summer ready!  Believe me, I’d much rather be in the studio than outdoors with the bugs while raking leaves out of the herb garden, cleaning out the garage, and hosing down porch furniture!  But when it’s finished, I’ll look on it all as a job well done and my reward will be getting back to playing with beads, metal, resin, polymer clay, and paper!

 

It’s Springtime and…

Flowers are blooming everywhere…even in my studio!  These four collections of polymer clay flower and butterfly shaped components have so many possibilities! Each component has a subtle matte iridescence that does not show up in the photos…they truly are lovely! The largest components are the butterfly in Collection #1 (2.5″ across) and the big flower in Collection #4 (2.25″). The small butterflies measure 7/8″ across. The medium-sized flowers are 1″ and the small flowers are 3/4″ in size. All of these components can be easily drilled with a small hand drill or metal punch…just add jump rings, hoops, earwires, or attach with needle, thread, and beads! They can also be molded into 3D shapes with the use of a heat gun! Like a blank canvas, you can experiment with surface treatments adding beads or a stamped ink surface! You can add them to bead-embroidered projects and use them as accents in all manner of ways…even a nature wall scape!  You’ll find them in my Etsy shop…I’d love to see what you make with them!

I Know…

I said in my last post that the tutorial for the Geometric “Color Play” Square Drop Earrings would be available in a day or two, but stuff happens, life gets in the way, the dog ate my homework (just kidding!).  Well, the tutorial and beading kits are now available in my Etsy shop!  The kit contains the tutorial, sixteen packets of brightly colored Delica beads in silver-lined, opaque, rainbow, and matte finishes, 4mm Druk beads, and 47mm long Sterling Silver-plated Stainless Steel Earwires all tucked into one of my handmade envelopes!   The easy to follow step-by-step tutorial features large color photos as well as a color chart!  If you’re looking for a geometric project that is speedy and portable, this one’s for you!

A Natural Progression…



I love to make earrings!  They work up quickly and they are a great way to experiment with color.  Having created geometric warped square earrings and a recent series of geometric “Color Play” earrings in triangular and pentagonal shapes, I decided that flat squares were in order and here they are! The color pattern is worked in vertical stripes and as with the other earrings in my “Color Play” series, sides #1 and #2 are joined together in different colourways so they can be worn as a matched or mis-matched set depending on how they are strung on the earwires. I love the colors…warm Kiwi and Orange against cool Blues and Purples with a pop of hot red along the border!  Beading kits and a tutorial will follow in a day or two.  Stay tuned!

Channeling Edie…


If you were around in the 1960’s and into Pop Culture, you probably remember Edie Sedgwick.  She was part of “the MOD scene” at Andy Warhol’s Factory.  Edie came from a wealthy and eccentric family.  She was super thin, wore tons of eye makeup, the shortest of mini skirts, and the l-o-n-g-e-s-t shoulder sweeping earrings, which looked wonderful with her pixie haircut!  I was an impressionable teenager in the 60’s and the allure of the Jet Set fascinated this small town girl. Raised in the Midwest, I was captivated by photos I saw of Edie dancing at Studio 54 in New York, dining in the fanciest restaurants, and hobnobbing with the rich and famous.  Sadly, she became a drug addict and overdosed at the age of 28. I thought of that lost “flower child” when I made this pair of long “Matisse Inspired Cutouts” polymer clay earrings…they would have looked super groovy on her!

A New Publication!

When I had first purchased my “Now That’s a Jig” wire-working tool at the Bead and Button show in 2015, I made a bracelet that I titled “Climbing Roses Bangle” and wrote a tutorial for it.  The bracelet was composed of a looped steel wire framework that to me resembled a trellis.  I covered the loops with polymer clay multi-colored roses.    I’m pleased to announce that the tutorial for this piece has been accepted and published on WireJewelry.com.


If you enjoy working with wire and polymer clay, here’s your chance to try a fun project that works up quickly!

 

Predictably…

After the dreariness of winter is finally over and our snow has melted, my thoughts turn to flowers and butterflies as soon as spring arrives! I crave color after months of a white and grey landscape! Given that, I couldn’t resist adding to my collection of “Matisse Inspired Cutouts” polymer clay earrings. Each is one-of-a-kind and sold separately so an earring can be worn singly or as an asymmetrical pair. These earrings just make me smile! Bright orange, red, green, blue…I’ll bet you could use a color fix too! Measuring approximately 2” to 2.5’ length and weighing next to nothing (they truly are almost light as a feather!), these earrings are now available in my Etsy shop. And if you’d rather make your own polymer clay earrings, I also have a tutorial available as well! 

The Fruits of My Labor…


I do love making polymer clay beads…especially beads that look very old, if not ancient! These are beads that I made last week. I had run out of the faux amber, turquoise, and coral beads used in my “Tibetan Inspired Beaded Rope Necklace” kit and needed to make more, but I couldn’t resist making a small collection of chunky round faux amber beads embedded with tiny chips of faux coral and faux turquoise…they look like beads one might find at a Bazaar in some exotic local like Morocco! These resemble beads made of copal resin rather than actual amber; the difference being that true amber is fossilized tree resin that is millions of years old, whereas copal is resin that is merely thousands of years old and lacking the clarity of true amber. One day I may make a necklace incorporating these along with seed beads and silver charms. In the meantime, I’ll just enjoy gazing at them every time I open my bead drawer!

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Type your email address in the box below and click on the subscribe button underneath to receive an email with my blog every time I post...usually once or twice a week!