Fresh Baked Designs

Adventures in jewelry making

My Hands Hurt October 25, 2014

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Spent this morning hammering away on some sterling silver and copper textured pendants. The copper was recycled thick wire, probably 12 gauge, from the garage. Makes great earring pendants to hang pretty beads and stones from. Really tried to keep my thumb out of the way, but it’s still sore from the reverberation of the pounding on the bench block. Because the pieces start out as only one inch in length, I need to hold them pretty close to the edge of the block. And, get this…the copper seemed to heat up as I worked the metal!  Anyone else ever notice this? Not super hot, where I wanted to let go…but a definite heat sensation. Probably something to do with creating energy from the hammering that travels down the wire?

Anyway the end of my thumb and hands need a rest after the pounding, filing, hole punching, more filing, oxidizing, and polishing. Everything is in the tumbler for several hours. Cannot wait to open up the tumbler tonight…one of my favorite things about metal work is seeing the final, super shiny pieces that result.

Here’s a peek at some other things I’ve made this week…

 

Wings pendant

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

greencopper bracelet

Vibrant green faceted glass rounds on thick knotted Irish waxed linen cord, with a suede leather strap closure.

copper bargreen bracelet

 

 

And a remake of a necklace I made for the Pearls challenge.

Not fully happy with my pearl stringing, perhaps too much space between each pearl?

I think the visual impact of the close spacing

of these gorgeous freshwater coin pearls is much better.

The necklace also sits up much higher on the neck which I like for this one.

copper cross remake

 

 

 

Lastly, there’s still time if you wanted to throw your name into the hat

for the etched copper earrings. Entries close on this Tuesday night.

Just comment on this post.

copper feathers

 

Hope your weekend is shaping up to be a great one !

Lynda

 

 

 

Craft Gathering June 2, 2014

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We had so much fun at the recent women’s retreat creating and snacking and talking and laughing,

that a few of us planned some more of these times during the next six months.

Last Friday night was the first one…making mini collage jewelry and bottle cap magnets.

About a dozen ladies joined in the fun and this was a perfect project for those with no prior experience. Each person got an antiqued copper pendant kit, materials for five bottle cap magnets, and either a key fob or bracelet kit. Tons of fun for a $10 fee…including yummy snacks and beverages.  The supply table had a huge variety of text pages, music, and scrapbook paper. Scissors, tweezers, glue sticks, hot glue guns, and good craft glue. Supplies are readily available on Etsy…search for bezel tray pendant and bracelet bezel tray.

I’d highly recommend this project as a fun girl’s night out (or in), retreat, or birthday party.

In fact, I’m putting this jewelry project together for a granddaughter’s upcoming 14th birthday.

   Her request…I’m honored!

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  I took my pieces home and of course had to jazz them up a bit…although they were pretty cute as is.

always bracelet

Added the three beads to this bracelet as a counter balance.

butterfly collage

 

This necklace pendant is still a bit murky and needs some more drying time to be crystal clear.

photo-5

 

  P.S.  My camera cable is on the fritz, so I had to take these photos with my iPhone.

  Pretty darn pleased with them.

 

Time for an Etching Update May 7, 2014

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Looking back at my posts of the last couple of months,

I see that there’s not much jewelry shown.

Time to correct this, I think!

Since returning from Africa, I have renewed my mania for etching copper…If I’m honest, obsession is probably the more accurate term. If anyone is thinking about starting to learn this method using ferric chloride, I’d highly recommend seeking tutorials, both text/photo and video on-line.

Beaducation has a free detailed video series here. This supplier also has a huge variety of inexpensive pre-cut shapes in base metals that would work very well with this etching method. I have only working with copper sheet metal…cutting my own copper discs with a die cut tool and shapes by hand with heavy kitchen sheers (actually very easy).

I do have one difference in method than shown in their series. They recommend covering the edges of the pieces in a heavy coat of permanent black marker ink, so that the etchant does not eat this part of the metal. I do not do this and there is a good reason. They are working with smooth, pre-finished blanks. I’m using hand cut pieces that are still a bit rough around the edges. Happily, I discovered that by leaving the edges exposed to the acid, these were naturally smoothed and finished by the treatment.  Much less work filing and sanding for me!  And you’ll notice in these earring components the very cool rounded ridge and striation marks all along the edge…love this!

 

           Still learning to “read” the process…this pair needed to stay in the acid a little longer.

 

 

copper disc wturquoise drops

 

etched butterflies

 

small etched floral

 

 

    These last three photos were taken a sunset on my porch.

Love the touch of gold added to the gorgeous patina!

 

Dandelion copper pendants

 

Amethyst copper pendants

 

Sea change bracelet with copper button

 

Just listed a few of these pieces in my Etsy shop !

And I promise to share more jewelry very soon!

Lynda

 

Asymmetry Boot Camp Recap March 25, 2014

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Love My Art Jewelry just finished up its latest Boot Camp and it was all about a nemesis common to many jewelry designers…Asymmetry.

I’ve said before that I’m so drawn to pieces of jewelry with this attribute, but personally struggle with it in my own designs. Maybe it’s a right brain, left brain thing…how you’re wired to look at the world or a gift in manipulating the things around you in an off-kilter, but oh, so pleasing manner.

I don’t know.

There is one trick to achieving an asymmetrical look that someone shared with me early in my jewelry making adventures. It’s kind of faux asymmetry, if you will. A baby step…

Get out 4 or 5 different kinds of beads, put them separate numbered groups. Beads #1, Beads #2 , Beads #3, etc…

Then with a paper and pencil, make up a random sequence using those numbers.

Say I have 5 groups of beads, here’s a possible sequence…

2 2 1 2 4 3 1 2 5

Then arrange the beads in that order…repeat the order until you have a bracelet or a necklace.  So it’s kind of like creating with repeated asymmetrical groups, I think.  Maybe not true asymmetry, but playing with beads this way really got me thinking outside my tendency to create with rigid patterns and symmetry.  In this necklace, I repeated the pattern 4 times (minus one bead at the end of the line that I lost!)

**Can you figure out which bead is missing?

bead pattern

To my eye, this necklace has an asymmetrical effect with a pleasing balance of weight, color, and textures just by repetition of a random ordered grouping of beads.

Here’s a few pieces from my work in the LMAJ Boot Camp…

Etched copper bar necklace 2

 

Flower and Bird on Copper

Poly clay flower connector and copper button by me

I really struggled with these earrings…found it much more difficult to get something pleasing in such a small space and with so few beady options.

In the end, I really like them!

 

Asymm. Earrings 2

 

 

This last necklace was my final project in my metals class this session. The pendant was hand cut from copper sheet and embossed. I bezel set three stones. Some issues getting the stones tucked in because I wanted them so close together, but I persevered.

three stone pendant

 

To see what other folks have done in this boot camp go here.  And enjoy!

 

February Wrap-up February 26, 2014

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So it’s the end of the month and time to post a little something about my year long Personal Pinterest Challenge…Don’t Just Pin It, Make It.

I made a deal with myself to try one new recipe and one crafty pin each month.

So here it is for February.

Crafty me…I knew this was something I wanted to try the moment I laid eyes one this.  Painted wine glasses.  I pinned so many great tutorials on how to do this, I had to create a new board for them all.

I chose to go the quick, easy, no fail polka-dot route, using some round sponge stamps from Martha Stewart (a deal at Michaels with coupon).

If I had used only basic acrylic paints, it would have been even faster with a low temp heat curing in the oven. However, I loved adding some transparent glitter paint with the turquoise and needed to go the loooooong, 21 day air dry method.

But so worth it, because I looooove them!  I now have a set of four.

glasses

Here’s the tutorial.

Now, on to the recipe and it’s a good one!

This was a recipe for Parker House Rolls from an episode on Martha Bakes.

One of the grands, Jenna, had seen it and asked me if we could try it out.

How could I refuse?

Sadly, I did not have the presence of mind to snap photos during the process, but let’s just say there was lots of flour flying around the kitchen.  AND, there is butter in the dough, between the layers, and brushed (we drizzled) over the tops when they came out of the oven. Now, that’s a dinner roll!

Here’s a pic of the finished product and too bad for you that this blog does not have smell-o-vision, because it was divine.

The aroma lingered in the kitchen for days…which was a lot longer than these rolls lasted.  Yum!

Jenna's Rolls

Jenna and the Parker House Rolls

T and J Rolls

Taylor and Jenna patiently waiting for them to cool a bit.

Yes, these were a lot of work and time.

I don’t have a fancy mixer with a dough hook, so lots of kneading by hand.

But, the final result was so satisfying in many ways,

especially the time spent in the kitchen with ones you dearly love.

And because this is after all a jewelry blog, here’s a look at some cool copper buttons made in my adult school metals class this session. Made from 24 g. sheet metal…cut, file, sand, texture, patina, polish, seal, and more polish.

copper buttons

And a bracelet made with one of these guys…

     with chalcedony and two of those gorgeous lamp work beads by Studio Juls.

Meantioned Juli Cannon’s bead work before, but it’s well worth repeating!

Lovely beads to design with for sure.

copper button bracelet 2

 

 

And an embossed and bezel set copper pendant…with a t-i-n-y opal.

 Teacher Charlene and I dug through every box and bag of stones in the cupboard to find a stone small enough to fit the bezel cup.  NEXT TIME, I will have the stone first, before I start the project!

Opal set pendant

Next week I hope to share a bit about our metals class challenge project

                                                        …and boy, is it interesting…

 

Hearts Abound February 11, 2014

Filed under: Archives — Fresh Baked Designs @ 6:03 am
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There are certainly many ways for jewelry designers to express

and show creativity regarding themes of love and affection.

And while not everyone is enamored of hearts, it is almost universally recognized

as the enduring symbol of deep emotional connection.

Personally, I don’t have any jewelry with hearts,

but I do love to create them around this time of year for others to wear and enjoy.

Love to work the wire into various heart shapes and embellish in beautiful ways.

Here is a simple, yet meaningful bracelet design from a tutorial by Lisa Yang.

heart clasp

This is actually a combo of two of Lisa’s tutorials…

one for the eternity link chain and the other for the sweet heart clasp,

I used silver non-tarnishing wire for this first test run.

And love the versatility of this design.

The clasp can be linked along the chain to accommodation a variety of wrist measurements.

Add links to lengthen the chain for a simple, yet elegant necklace.

Wire wrap stones or pearls between the links instead of the jump rings.

Make larger links to use as individual components for bracelets or earrings.

 And on and on…

And even more hearts for the holiday.

 This time I made a batch of painted polymer clay heart pendants.

These went to the jewelry workshop at my neighborhood library last Friday

for the ladies to enjoy creating with.

Interesting that the black heart was one of the first to get snatched up.

mini hearts

Hope your Valentine’s Day is filled with sweetness and love!

 

Joyful Colors Alert! August 28, 2013

Filed under: Archives — Fresh Baked Designs @ 11:58 am
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If you love, love the happy colors in the work of Jennifer Heyman of Jennifer Jangles,

then RUN, do not walk to your nearest BIG M (Michaels) store.

I popped in there yesterday to pick up a package of poly clay

and walked by an end cap display whose bright flashes of color caught my eye.

Skidded to a stop and was delighted to find that all her beads,

head pins, and components were on sale…99 cents a package!

While I did not quite clean out the store’s stock,

I did grab an arm load of these put-a-smile-on-your-face goodies.

I know I recently posted about all the work that needed to be completed

for the upcoming Blog Hops I committed to.

But seriously, who could resist playing with these cuties!

Could not wait to dig into them this morning.

Just one bracelet, I promise!

Jangles 1

jangles 2

jangles 3

***** Updated this design…because the three small howlite turquoise beads

did not provide enough weighted balance. Oops!

jangles 4

            Also decided to add a few black line details to the sweet birdhouse

with a fine black marker pen.

Better, I think!