Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Apparently when I've made up my mind in certain areas I can be quite stubborn. Hubby teased me one day when I declared, "I've folded my arms," but he has a point. To that end, I've folded my arms on my creative funk by making a pair of earrings for my friend Justa.
She stopped to visit today at work and had on a beautiful necklace with a deep green and silver focal pendant strung with brown and green beads (yes, I should have snapped a picture with my phone). She said she needed a pair of earrings to match when I realized she was already wearing her pair of The Leaves I made for her many months ago. I chuckled a bit but said okay.
When I got home I looked through my stash and realized the brown carved bone beads I recently acquired along with some dyed green shell beads would be perfect. I put them on a pair of handforged argentium sterling silver earwires I made about a month ago so I hope she'll love this creation.
Nature puts green and brown together a lot and I love the combination! If you've got an idea for some jewelry you'd like to see from Seedlings, please let me know - I love doing custom pieces.
Posted by Sharon Paradiso at 6:48 PM
Friday, September 25, 2009
I keep having great ideas - I keep writing them down - I keep trying to execute them and end up scrapping everything (except the beads when I use those).
I am in a creative funktopia, solid now for what feels like a month?
I know it is because I have diverted all my brain energies to working on my professional portfolio (web design) and I'm using jewelry creation as a procrastination device.
To that end, I plan on getting the portfolio to a state where I can live with it and be satisfied with what it is by this weekend.
And no, this blog post is not the equivalent of telling someone you are going to workout and then not doing it...
I did post some stitch markers to the Etsy shop. The design was tested by some friends and they gave them the thumbs up which made me happy.
Posted by Sharon Paradiso at 4:23 AM
Sunday, September 13, 2009
I've been working on several fall-related ideas themed around what I consider the four main elements - earth, wind, fire, and water. My plan is to roll out particular jewelry pieces pertaining to those elements for the next four months starting with earth.
I identify most closely with earthy things which may be why this necklace jumped out of my head first. When sketching out general notes for pieces in the earth line, the word embrace kept coming to mind. I did some experiments in August with some earrings, wrapping some pearls around argentium silver wire in what hubby called a "messy wrap" but to me it looked beautiful. The earth is messy, you can't embrace it without getting your hands dirty.
I also associate particular metals and stones with earth especially copper, amber, turquoise and howlite. I think of terms like hibernate, heavy, and enclosed. I don't want the earth element to be something that is stagnant though, it's a positive embrace...a time to reflect and draw stability from that reflection.
This necklace uses seven sunstones which are the official gemstone of Oregon. They were a gift from fellow Handmade Artists' Forum member Dragonclaw as part of a purchase from his Etsy shop earlier this year. I love the gentle color in the sunstones and how they take to their copper embrace without fuss.
I used seven stones, one for each day of the week, so every day during the winter you could have a bit of light. I also connected each stone with a mobius or flower link to keep the energy going. Up the side, seven double rings connect a mobius link to the handforged clasp which ends in a small mobius link. Each link was hand coiled and cut.
This necklace made me happy to work on and happy to finish. I feel the strength of the sun gently radiating through the stones and through the links. I'm not so worried about the winter now.
Embrace - necklace in copper, Oregon sunstones on Etsy.
Posted by Sharon Paradiso at 1:42 AM
Sunday, September 6, 2009
I'm not exactly a hoarder but I do have several boxes of keepsakes (the ones that survived the unfortunate flooding incident in college anyway) including jewelry that I no longer wear for whatever reason. I recently went through those boxes in order to consolidate and move them out of cardboard into more easily toted plastic boxes. I found some great memories in those boxes including a pair of simple earrings made from a single flat malachite bead on each side.
I remember having these earrings made at a booth at the Kansas City Renaissance Festival when I was in my early twenties so likely over fifteen years ago, way before I was making jewelry or had any interest in making it even. I do remember being amazed at the ease in which the artisan made the earrings and I wore them every day for a long time.
My favorite assistant professor in college commented on the earrings, telling me that malachite was known for absorbing bad energy and that you should have them cleansed from time to time. Those earrings did their job well I think over the years but I eventually stopped wearing them and they went into a box to be rediscovered.
I think the earwires must have been base metal of some sort but they were completely blacked over, well sort of a greenish black...a color you didn't want to put into your ear that's for sure. The style wasn't really appealing any longer but as a lone bead they didn't really make for good earrings.
I had the idea of making a ring version of the wire-wrapped cuffs I had recently made but was going to use a recycled glass bead from Ghana. I told hubby about the idea and he said, "a round bead might irritate your finger, do you have any flat beads?" I immediately thought about the flat malachite beads and I'm thrilled with the way it fit into the design.
I made this ring for myself as an experiment to see how it would turn out and also because I wanted to recycle that good memory now that I found it again. The ring was fun to make (as were the cuffs) and I have one more of those flat malachite beads. Perhaps I'll share that memory with another ring in my shop soon!
Posted by Sharon Paradiso at 2:39 PM
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
I was a fairly big hat person in college (well, they weren't big hats...cept maybe that one with the jaunty feather) but knew that I was in trouble when last year at the Paradiso family reunion I was scrambling to find a good sunhat. I settled, and that's a generous use of the word, for a really bad piece of work from Wal-mart.
I first took notice of ElephunksTrunk's (ElephunksTrunk.etsy.com), Celeste's hats during this year's Etsy YART sale. Something about the vivid orange of her reversible sunhat really pulled me in and I ordered one for hubby's mom. That was a huge success and I thought, 'now, it's just silly that you don't have one.'
So I was very lucky and saved my pennies and ordered my own. Working with Celeste was fantastic - she sent me convos all along the way showing me fabrics she had found that she thought would work well and letting me know the status of my order.
I wasn't even expecting it to be reversible because I had requested a wider brim but she went out of her way to figure it out so it's like I have two hats in one!
These are great customer service lessons for any type of shop but especially important when you are doing a custom order.
Protecting your face from the sun is very important to me as skin cancer runs in my family. Now I can get extra protection and do it in swirly luscious style.
Custom Sunhat from ElephunksTrunk on Etsy
ElephunksTrunk on Facebook
Follow ElephunksTrunk on Twitter
Posted by Sharon Paradiso at 3:54 PM
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
I've not been handling stress well the last few weeks and have felt pretty much like I'm stumbling around (sometimes literally) a lot. I've dealt with a few sick days, a few of hubby's banged up elbows (he's teaching himself to skateboard but that's been fun) and just an overwhelming sense of too much to do even if it's stuff that I want to do. I tend to shut down completely when that happens.
But not today, no sirree, I got back up on that horse and got some neat photos taken of a couple new pieces including Moops (moderate hoop earrings) in copper and a necklace-length Mmm, Mobius.
Tomorrow I start work on learning Full Persian chainmaille weave in a bracelet for hubby so will post photos on that work in progress.
Listings on Etsy:
Mmm, Mobius - http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=30243130
Moops in copper - http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=30243515