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Barbara’s Blog – BBD Art Jewelry

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!

Here’s What I’m Doing Today…


It’s time once again to make more polymer clay Faux Amber and Turquoise beads. They are an integral component in my “Tibetan Inspired Beaded Rope Necklace” kit. Time consuming to make but also great fun, these Faux Amber beads are almost ready to go into the oven for curing. I just have to finish enlarging some of the bead holes. Two finished beads are shown at the lower portion of the photo. With the addition of some brown acrylic paint, sanding, and painstakingly polishing each bead to a satin gloss finish these beads will appear to have had Mother Nature lend a hand in their creation!

And…They Are Ready!


Are you ready for some color?  Although we’ve set our clocks ahead to Daylight Savings time, several weeks of winter white weather still lies ahead and, I for one, am more than ready for some bright, happy color!  I’m wearing my “Color Play” Geometric Pentagon earrings as I write this post and they have mentally transported me to a tropic island with swaying palm trees, white sand beaches, and warm sunshine!  Many of you have loved making  my “Color Play’ Triangle Earrings so I know you will enjoy playing with Pentagons!  Pentagons are a bit more challenging than Triangles, but my step-by-step tutorial will make it easy! I’ve just listed the tutorial and beading kits for the “Color Play” Geometric Pentagon Drop Earrings design.  I know some of you have eagerly been awaiting this release!  The tutorial covers both “Caribbean Brights” and “Mango Brights” colorways so fun can be had making both pairs! The kits contain eighteen packets of Delica beads in silver-lined, opaque, rainbow, and matte finishes beads, 4mm Druk beads, and 47mm sterling silver-plated stainless steel earwires. You’ll find the kits and tutorial in my Etsy shop along with other goodies and if you care to peruse my website, I think you’ll find it interesting!

 

 

Just Finished and Now…

I’m busy putting the finishing touches on the tutorial for these earrings.  I’ll be assembling kits for this “Color Play” Pentagon Drop Earring design in several colorways. I love the happy colors of these Caribbean Brights and Mango Brights colorways.  They make me think of tropical vacations, crystal blue water, palm trees, and ripe, juicy fruit!  Each pair of earrings is composed of colorways that differ in color arrangement so they can be worn as a matched or mismatched set depending on which side faces forward on the earwires.

The earwires are sterling silver over stainless steel and measure 47mm in length. A brightly colored 4mm Druk bead accents the front and back of each geometric woven Pentagon!  Talk about fashion statement jewelry!  I’ll let you know as soon as the tutorial and kits are ready!  I’m shooting for Sunday!

Soon…


I’ve been working on a series of Geometric “Color Play” Pentagon Drop Earrings over the past several weeks. I finished a pair last week in a Mango Brights colorway…the pair in this photo is worked in a Caribbean Brights colorway and is almost finished!  Now onto the tutorial to go along with the design and both colorways as well as beading kits. They should be ready by early next week if not sooner.  Stay tuned!

Another Take on Color…

Finding color combinations derived from nature was the topic of my previous post.  But there are so many other places one can find color inspiration as well.  While browsing a magazine I came across a page that possessed wonderful tropical color combinations! Colors I associate with mangoes, melons, and papaya that are ripe and juicy and greens that tinge the skins of those tasty fruits almost danced across the page. All of those colors spoke to me and I immediately opened my bead drawer and chose my palette of colors for a new pair of earrings.  Continuing with my Geometric “Color Play” series of earrings, this pair is titled “Geometric Color Play Pentagon Drop Earrings – Mango Brights”. You’ll notice that the pattern design differs in each earring. Because each front has a different backside, “Color Play” earrings can be worn as a matched pair or as shown in the photo depending on which side of the pentagon faces front when strung on the earwires. I plan to work up several more colorways and will have a new tutorial and kits available in a few weeks…stay tuned!

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