Wednesday, April 1, 2015

In honor of Dorothy Zbornak

The earring style that I ALWAYS gravitate towards is the hoop.  In fact, my jewelry box is overflowing with hoops: from teeny tiny to oh-my-gosh-my-ears-hurt-large.  I particularly like the look of mixed metal earrings (mixed metal anything, as a matter of fact).  

Instead of soldering on a tiny little ball dead center at the bottom, which I have done in the past, I created a bead from sterling silver tubing.  I just cut the tubing (with my saw, so as to not squish the tubing), sanded the edges, and slipped them on the wire prior to soldering.

While I do love the look of these hoops, I already have a very similar pair - in my ears as I type this, as a matter of fact.  

When I am in my studio, I HAVE to have either music playing or the TV running - I must have white noise  (that's how I made it through high school homework, as well).  My all time favorite show - to this day - is The Golden Girls. I have all seven seasons on DVD and I can quote any line from any episode!  (I am sure this factoid makes my mother so proud of me!)

I would give anything to be like Blanch Devereax - not necessarily her sex appeal, but her self confidence.  Sophia Petrillo's gift of story-telling is another trait that I very much admire.  No one has a heart as big as Rose Nyland - though naive as all get-out, she loves animals as if they are people - the real life Betty White, too.  But Dorothy Zbornak...quick witted, common sense, her height for goodness sake! (I am 5'1").  

Have you ever noticed the attire of these ladies?  So well dress and accessorized. I actually glanced up from my bench the other day, and the first thing I noticed was Dorothy's very large hoops.  But, they were post earrings - allowing the hoop to dangle as she moved.  

I remember this episode!
See those hoops?  In fact, the majority of her earrings are posts that dangle.  So, I set out to make a pair for myself.  

I knew that I had to have a wide opening from which I could hang the hoop.  So, I curled some 14 gauge wire into a coil of 3 hoops and soldered the hoops together on the back side. After filing the back smooth, I  soldered a tiny little sterling silver disc onto the flattened spot I created on the coils. Finally, I soldered the post to the disc.  Lastly, I added the hoop itself - 12 gauge wire as I wanted the look to be substantial...but not heavy.  A little bit of texture, a bath in liver of sulfur, buffing, tumbling..and ta da!

Post earrings are so difficult to photograph!  

These are my "Ode to Dorothy Zbornak" earrings - and they are so comfortable!  I know I will reach for them often!

Now I have an excuse for all the TV I watch - inspiration!

What inspires you these days???  Do tell!

Thanks so much for stopping by today!


Monday, March 30, 2015

A few new things to share....

So, Christine commented on one of my last posts that she likes to do "routine" beading when her muse is asleep.  I thought that was a brilliant idea. My muse was gone - so - I was hoping that doing something familiar would help to wake her up.  First, I made this necklace.

I am so in love with these hand cast pewter crosses from Inviciti!  When purchasing, one has the choice of finish on the pewter - I asked for this one to be kept completely aged - no buffing.  I love it! This is the third pearl and pewter cross necklace that I have made - each one a bit different.  The pearls have large holes to accommodate wire, fiber, even leather. 

I always think of Michelle when I pick up a pearl, as she is an expert and her designs are exquisite! These have such a lovely peacock sheen!  I added a bit of sterling riveted chain to this necklace, and I soldered up the clasp for added security as well.

I also made yet another Spinner Ring - this time with 3 spinners.  This is the second attempt for this ring. For the first attempt, I had the most beautiful texture on my silver.  On my very last "bang of the hammer" to form the anticlastic curve that holds those satellite rings in place, my base ring split - right smack dab down the middle.  Who knew that I had that much strength???  That mistake put me back another day, as I dropped everything right then and there and stormed out of my studio in disgust.  But, I am still pleased with this second attempt.  The center satellite ring is the only copper in the ring, but I soldered on a tiny bezel set turquoise cabochon.

Lastly, I made a little pendant with a Malachite Cabochon.  The banding of the green in this cab is so pretty - blue and green will always remain my favorite colors.

During my "break" I also revisited an online jewelry making class in Precious Metal Clay.  I have now viewed this class - over the past 12 months - 3 times.  In addition, I have read (and re-read) several books on PMC. Let's face it - I am not getting any younger here.  So, I finally bit the bullet and ordered a kiln last Friday.  In fact, I just got the email that it the kiln is en route and should be here within the next 3 days or so.  I don't think I have ever been more nervous, but, I am fully stocked in fire extinguishers (two in my studio, as a matter of fact).  Although my studio does have a built-in exhaust system, I may actually fire it outside the first few times....just in case!

Lastly, Cynthia posted a picture on her blog (prompted by Christine) of some gnomes that live at her office (her office beer garden to be exact)!  I thought I would share a picture of my gnomes.  These ceramic gnomes were made by my mother many, many years ago.  When she moved up here from Florida, my sister and I went down there to sort through her belongings and I snagged these up knowing I would find the perfect spot in my yard. These little guys (not so little!) sit under a tree right outside my walk-up basement - I smile every time I see them!

It is a beautiful - and I mean BEAUTIFUL - day here in Northern Virginia - 62 degrees as I type this. Could it be...has Spring finally sprung??  Let's hope so!

Thanks so much for stopping by today!