Fresh Baked Designs

Adventures in jewelry making

Switching gears… November 11, 2015

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Setting aside bigger and chunkier pieces to round out my inventory for the Holiday Market with  some sweet sterling silver necklaces. I don’t usually offer gift boxes, but for this market I will.

                             These can be ready to gift…how easy is that!

Mystic Blue Quartz

mystic blue with filigree

Charms with pearls, turquoise, and smokey quartz

silver branch with charms

Love this modern twist on “love”

love charm with three rings

What’s on your holiday list of jewelry to make?

If you have some ‘best sellers’, I’d love to hear what they are !

 

Leather Necks December 9, 2014

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I’m going out on a limb with this post title of Leather Necks…living in a city with a substantial military presence, including a huge Marine airbase. As I was making these pieces, this title just kept popping into my head. Having nothing better to take its place, that’s what I’m going with…with all do respect to the Marines.

Love, love this wide suede neck strap on these pieces (close to 1/2 inch width). Love the color, soft texture, and feel of these. Couldn’t find a local source, so I had to go on line. Wishing I could get it in a continuous roll rather than pre-cut lengths. I have all these left over shorter pieces to play with…so I may have to get busy with some bracelets soon.

The first three necklaces have some cute brass pendants and are liberally sprinkled with an eclectic mix of left over beads.  That bumble bee pendant is just too cute!

These are very l-o-n-g. And look great with t-shirts, sweaters, and tunics.

leather necks 1

Leather neck 2

leather neck 3

Leather neck 4

leather neck 5

  This last one is my attempt to ‘marry’ the leather

with some smooth, lustrous, creamy pearls.

I just may need to take this one out for a test drive !

 

“We’re All Ears” July Challenge July 18, 2014

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Earrings Everyday continues to inspire me

with their monthly  “We’re All Ears” challenges.

July is no exception with this powerful poster image.

Two sailing boats on Puget Sound, in Washington state.

stuart-westmorland-two-sailing-boats-puget-sound-washington

It was posted on July 4th and besides the obvious patriotic theme,

there is so much energy and movement in photo.

Can’t you almost feel the sea spray in your face

and wind in your hair ?

My goal was to capture some of those gorgeous blues of the sea and sky…

and give the earrings a feeling of easy breezy movement.

I was pleased that their shape also mimicked some of the geometric motif in the sails.

 

Blue sails

 

blue seed bead sails 2

Funny how I just cannot seem to get away from seed beads

in these monthly challenges…is it a challenge within a challenge??

 

Now, I’m heading over to Earrings Everyday to see what everyone else created.

 I love earrings  !

 

Pearls, Pearls, Pearls…and Copper Too ! June 29, 2014

Last September, Michelle Buettner hosted a fabulous blog hop all about pearls.

Personally, this was one of my favorite hops of the year,

because I too love pearls and have a somewhat embarrassingly large cache of all kinds

that are used in many of my pieces of jewelry.

For that first hop, I challenged myself in one of my designs to pair pearls

with an unusual metal choice for me… Copper.

 Here’s a look at that piece.

pearls and copper

 

Copper pearls 2

 

I was pleasantly surprised by the number of positive comments

about the copper with pearls.

 So this time around for the Second (and hopefully, annual) Pearls, Pearls, Pearls Blog Hop,

I present to you… all copper and pearls!

 

 

Rosy pearls and copper discs

 

Cranberry pearl cluster

 

copper feathers

 

The copper components were created by me, either from copper sheet

or thick copper wire from the garage (thank you dear husband).

Ear wires and headpins (some sterling silver) were also made by moi.

Proud to say that all the metal elements were artisan made.

Have to give a shout out to those oysters for their fabulous work on those pearls!

I love the richness that these colored pearls add to the patinaed textured copper.

 

This last piece was inspired by the work of Shel herself…

Pearls and copper crimp beads on silk cord

with an etched and soldered copper cross.

 

cross 1

 

cross 3

 

If you want to know more, her resource page on all things “Pearls” is a must read,

HERE.

 

To see the other lovely, pearly creations of the 2014 Pearls Blog Hop, go HERE.

Thank you, Shel, for inspiring all of us to appreciate

and create with this most lovely of gems.

 

 

 

 

 

The Holiday Market is Here! November 13, 2013

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If you are anywhere near San Diego…here’s an invitation and reminder.

This Friday and Saturday is our Women’s Ministry’s fifth Holiday Market in Downtown. (link to more info and directions) There’s plenty of parking.

Every year it just gets better and better for fellowship, fun, food, and shopping!

This year will showcase over 30 artists and crafters of hand-made goods.  And you know what tasty baked goods those Church Ladies make!  Plenty of tempting treats to enjoy there or take home.  Jan is making her famous tomato basil soup and chicken salad for lunch both days.     And Scotty’s “infamous” chili bowls will be available for those shopping near dinner time on Friday. Good Eats!

Of course, there will be loads of Fresh Baked Designs available for purchase.

Here’s the latest from my workbench.

 

floral copper

 

floral copper with chain

 

Amber shard on sterling 2

 

texture rings with carnelian

 

silver and gold

 

Double strand labradorite

 

This necklace image is humungous…but it is just soooo sparkly close up!

 

          I’d love to see local friends come by if you can to say hi and chat a bit!

 

 

Tuesday Morning Tutorial and Invitation~ May 21, 2013

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Good morning!

I’m so excited that Love My Art Jewelry just posted the invitation to their 3rd Boot Camp.

I’ve participated in their first two and had a fantastic time of learning and fun.

This one is all about wire work!

If you have never tried this before or even if you are a veteran at working with wire,

do go check it out.

This group of artisans provide inspiration, tutorials and encouragement

to stretch your jewelry making repetoire by adding some new skills

or looking at new ways to apply ones you may have already  mastered.

 Their first post also includes a tutorial on the traditional method of rustic wire wrapped briolettes.

I have posted before my struggles with neatly wire wrapping these types of stones and beads,

so I’m going to post a little tutorial here with an alternative way to do this

that I have found suits me better.

 This is NOT my discovery…but in searching for some help, I came across someone else’s tutorial.

Sadly I don’t know whose, but will continue to search out the original and amend this post.

If you know who might have posted this first, I’d be grateful for a name.

 I am indebted to this creative soul for helping me get more comfortable with wrapping up brios,

because they are beautiful additions to jewelry when done well.

That said, this style of rustic wraps is a favorite of mine for two reasons…

First, they don’t have to be perfect!  In fact, imperfect if perfectly wonderful!

Secondly, I absolutely love the effect of oxidizing both copper and sterling wire

with all the interesting nooks and crannies in the wrapping.

This is only my second photo tutorial, so thanks for bearing with me.

For this tutorial, I used an inexpensive faceted glass briolette and 22 gauge copper wire.

Supplies and tools needed:

large briolette

dead soft wire that comfortable fits through the brio holes

nippers

    round nose pliers

   chain nose pliers

step 1

Step One:  Cut an 18 inch piece of wire and make a wrapped loop on one end with only two wire wraps.

(note:  If you are making earrings, I’d highly recommend doing them at the same time,step by step.

I’ve found that I have better luck achieving more similarity in the pair of briolettes when I do this.

Actually, this is great advice when making anything in pairs or multiples.)

step 2

Step Two: Insert the wire into the briolette and

bend the loop to sit just above the very top of the brio.

step 3

Step Three:  With your fingers or pliers bend the loop to ‘sit’ upright on the top of the brio.

step 4

Step Four:  Bend the wire end up to cross the wrapped loop.

(note: you could finish the wrap up here and have a simple wire wrapped briolette)

step 5

Step Five:  Begin wire wrapping down the brio and stop when the wire covers the side holes.

These wraps do not need to be perfect, but serve as an under layer, covering the brio.

step 6

Step Six:  Now, the fun part! Begin loosely wrapping the wire back up the brio,

criss-crossing a few is great. Finish with a tight wrapping up under the top loop.

step 7

Step Seven:  Oxidizing with Liver of Sulphur or some other agent is optional,

but I promise you that it will give an amazing finish to this style of wire wrapped bead.

These are the finished pair of earrings with a dark oxidized finish on the copper wire.

blue wraps

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

If any of you decide to give this tut a try, I’d love to have some feedback…

was it helpful or not, too much or too little info, something needs more clarity???

 Or anything else you’d like to tell me, I’d be ever so grateful!

Again, I’d love it if you all hopped on over to the Love My Art Jewelry blog

and checked out their post on this great opportunity to learn more about the art of wire work!

They will be posting some great lessons and techniques over the next month or so.

 

Join Me at Boot Camp! March 19, 2013

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Love My Art Jewelry just opened up their latest boot camp just for us!

This time it’s all about hand texturing metals.

And they even provide weekly tutorials or videos to give you encouragement,

skills, and ideas.

The blog tour for this challenge is on April 8th,

so there’s still plenty of time to go raid your tool box, garage and junk drawers

for fun things to use to texture metals and create some jewelry.

Click here for more details. I really hope some of you will come join the fun.

Even if you decide not to take part in the blog tour,

I bet you’ll definitely learn some new techniques and skills with this one.

So I did go scavenging in the garage and found some good possibilities.

 And in the first week’s video, Barbara suggested trying bits of steel wire

bent into interesting shapes to use.

copper stamped pendant

You can see that I smashed the heck out of the steel wire on this copper disc.

 I thought the results of my experiments with these tools was okay

and decided to continue with a domed pendant idea.

I also soldered on three small sterling silver balls that I made out of my scrap bits.

 Oxidized and scrubbed the piece, then into the tumbler for 3 hours.

Here’s the finished necklace. I must admit that I never, ever thought

I’d be making this type of jewelry.

But this semester’s experiences in sheet metal and soldering

have given both the skills and confidence to give it a go at home.

sea urchin

Also tried just using the chisel to dent the edges of these sterling hoops I made.

 And another excuse to solder on more of those sterling balls.

I was just awe-struck watching the sterling wire bits glow

and turn liquid and just ball up.     Magic!

chiseled hoops

hugs and kisses

Hugs and Kisses earrings from letter stamps

copper leaf drop

Copper Rain earrings…textured with the claw end of a hammer.

So, what do you think?  Want to come and play?

The earrings are listed in my Etsy Shop.