Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Plugging along...

Since coming home from London I've kind of been laying low. I'm fighting a cold and feeling a bit worn out but that hasn't stopped me from working. Working on what? you might ask! Well, nothing new, nothing surprising... earrings. More earrings. I'm on a roll, what can I say.

This pair is called Art Deco Fan. I love the detail that shows through the glaze! I will have these in many, many colors very soon.

This pair is called Spirograph. I am also making this style on a hoop (with the hole right through the center - very spiffy).

And these fun circle patterns are called Tide Pool.

In other news.... I am taking part in a necklace Round Robin hosted by Lorelei. She blogged about the first round where everyone who is participating sent their necklace starts to her and she added to them. Well, I just received the necklaces in the mail today and hoo-wee, do I have my work cut out for me! I have some ideas brewing but I will have to spend a little time just staring at them before I can get a real feel for each one and the person they will go home to. Stay tuned for some photos once I finish my part (hopefully within the week). :)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

London and back

Me reflected in the train window as I made my way from the Heathrow airport to the hotel. Click for the close-up.

Whew! That was one quick trip! Lorelei and I hit up London like a couple of crazies. We arrived on Sunday morning and immediately set out to see what we could see. That adventure landed us in the area around St. Paul's Cathedral and in a restaurant where we experienced some of that famous British food we had heard so much about. It wasn't good. We both got burgers that looked so good and smelled divine but tasted like absolute poo. My guess is that they scraped every left over piece of meat that was laying around, formed it into a patty, covered it in avocado (the only redeeming part of the meal) and laid some truly gross "streaky" bacon (their term) across it and called it a burger. It was full of gristle and other mystery chunks. I immediately had a horrific stomachache and had to find some relief in the way of Milk of Magnesia. Thank the lord for that chalky magical liquid. I chugged it straight from the bottle while walking the streets of London.

The only other bad food experience I had was actually not that bad at the time. It was only later, when I returned home and googled "black pudding" that I nearly vomited when I read that it is the same thing as blood pudding. I should have known. I mean, I watch British TV shows more than American ones. But I was hell bent on having an authentic Full English Breakfast and that was part of the deal. It didn't taste too bad. Kind of like what I imagine canned cat food to taste like. A little pasty and slightly liverwurst-ish.

Crossing the Millennium Footbridge over the River Thames. That's St. Paul's Cathedral in the distance.

St. Paul's Cathedral.

The inside of V.V. Rouleaux - the most wonderful ribbon and trim shop.

But enough about the food. The real fun came when shopping for beads, buttons and anything else we could find that could be used in the making of our jewelry. We both went into spasms when we accidentally stumbled upon this ribbon and trim shop called V.V Rouleaux. I see that Lorelei has already posted photos of some of her finds (trust me, she isn't showing you everything... that girl went nuts!). I tried to control myself and save my money for the Button Queen. It wasn't quite as glorious as we had hoped but it was pretty great nonetheless. And I did manage to load up on some beautiful buttons that are going to make excellent molds - so keep your eyes peeled for some London inspired pieces in the future. We also had great fun at a shop called Cloth House. They had tons of vintage fabrics and buttons. It was a super pricey place but that didn't stop me from buying a nice little pile of buttons. From there we hit up some bead shops and in the end we were both pretty satisfied with our piles of
beady/ribbon/button goodness. In fact, we ended each night by taking out all of our loot, laying it out across our hotel beds and just starting at it. (Yes, we need help)

Sweet squirrel sign.

I won't bore you with every little detail of the trip. We did visit the Tate Modern (my favorite place of all! What a thrill to be surrounded by all my favorite modern artists) and we did a quick run through of the British Museum (I had to pay my respects to the Rosetta Stone on behalf of a friend). But my favorite adventure was taking a Jack the Ripper walking tour through the streets of Whitechapel at night. I'm a bit of a Ripper freak so this was a highlight for me. To walk the same streets and stand at the locations of each murder was quite thrilling (I sound like a real ghoul, I know). There are areas that look just as they did at that time and our tour guide, Chris, did an amazing job of recreating the era for us. If you are ever in London be sure to take this tour. (And ask for Chris, he is the best!)

A wonderful building facade in pink and hearts.

Beautiful statuary on the front of a building.

Skulls at the entrance to a church. Very cool. :)

So that was our trip in a nutshell. We had such a good time and the memories get better and better as I wake up and return to NY time. A super huge, GIGANTIC thank you to Lorelei for inviting me to accompany her on this trip! We make such great traveling partners (we should really have our show on some travel network!). :)

Saturday, September 19, 2009

London bound

As some of you may already know I am heading to London today with my pal Lorelei. She so kindly asked me to tag along on a business trip and I jumped at the chance to get away, if even for just a few days. London is one place I have never been so I am beyond excited about going. We plan on doing a little blog/vlogging while we are there so stay tuned to see what we get up to!

In other news I am going to take this opportunity to thank my sweet niece, Rebecca, for sending the most beautiful bracelet and earrings (that she made!). She is a budding jewelry designer, at age 11 mind you, and film maker! Check out her YouTube channel!

(Aren't those hydrangea above gorgeous? My neighbor has a tree that is dripping with blossoms. :)

Friday, September 11, 2009

Earring love

I am desperately trying to get ready for a show I have this weekend but I just had to take a moment and show you what I listed in the shop today. I am sooooo(!) happy with the earrings that came out of my manic earring making flurry this past week and these are four of the BEST pairs.

Above is what I am calling Sweet Tweets. (man alive! do I love these!)

And here is a new twist on the Discus earring - the Crater Discus!

This pair is called Vintage Script. The script is raised and takes on the cobalt glaze so nicely.

This pair is called Harlequin. I'm not sure what took me so long to make a simple diamond but here it is. Paired with my handforged earwires they look simply divine. :)

If you happen to be in the Norwich, NY area this weekend be sure to come and pay me a visit at the Colorscape Chenango Arts Festival - booth #88.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Butterfly Redux

I've just replenished the butterflies in my Extra shop. This time around there are sets of two (for bracelets) and single butterflies as well. I won't be making more of these for a while so be sure to snatch some up now if you so desire. :)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Reworking an oldie but goodie

I've been making some form or another of this oblong oval earring for years now but felt it was time to give it a bit of a face lift. When working with such a basic form it can be difficult to stand out from all the other people who are also working with that same basic form. I mean, who invented the oval, or the circle? No one owns it so it's very common to see the same exact shape being done in the same exact way. So it all comes down to presentation and, in this case, earwires. And since I have been on a hardcore earring wire kick this past week I came up with this sleek extra long version that I think makes these ovals look supper terrific!

I'm calling this style Orbit. (this pair above can be found in my shop)


I'd love to hear what you all think. Will they stand out from the others or do I need to attach some flashing lights and sparkles (and possibly be completely naked while wearing them) in order to be noticed?

I've gone seasonal

This is about as seasonal as I get. A local shop asked if I could make some Halloween themed pieces so I found some cute tiny buttons, made some molds and came up with these bats and ghosts. I'm not usually one to do seasonal things (outside of hearts which are all year round) but I love bats (I make Happy Bat all year long) and the ghosts are kind of funny, so here they are.

They are TINY! And making tiny things isn't really that fun (truthful confession) so I don't see myself cranking out a caveload of these little beasts. I will, however, take special orders for them - so if you would like some bat or ghost earrings just send me an email (naneliz2@yahoo.com) and let me know what colors you want (all my usual glaze colors apply). They will be $12 a pair for my blog readers only! (I will retail them for $15 so just think of the savings ;)

Monday, September 7, 2009

I'll see your OCD and raise you a healthy dose of ADD

I have a big show coming up this weekend and instead of assembling the pieces I already have made I have been working like a freak in the studio trying to replenish the pieces that haven't even sold yet. Does that make any sense? I feel like I've been given an injection of insanity. I can't seem to slow down and stop making earrings. It's like I lived through the Great Earring Depression and now I am hoarding every pair I make. I'm obsessed with textures and will make dozens of variations on the same theme. In the past few days I have made over 100 pairs (I stopped counting when the voice in my head started to chant "OCD much?")! I may look calm (and slightly smug) in the photo above but if you look really close you will see the crazy peeking through.

I'm off to the studio again today, this time to glaze. If any of you ordered from me this past week I am going to be shipping tomorrow. So sorry for the delay! Please bear with me as I navigate the rough waters of overachieving. :)

Sunday, September 6, 2009

R.I.P. Christie Romero

(Photo credit: The Center for Jewelry Studies)

I came home from the studio today to some very sad news. Jewelry historian, Christie Romero, passed away yesterday from pancreatic cancer. For those unfamiliar with this remarkable woman, Christie was one of the foremost authorities on antique and period jewelry, the director of the Center for Jewelry Studies and the author of, what I consider, the best book on jewelry identification and history, Warman's Jewelry. (This book is sitting literally two feet from me - I refer to it constantly.) She was also an appraiser on the Antiques Roadshow from time to time.
Before I was making my own jewelry full-time I was wavering between the art history world and my passion for jewelry. Jewelry historian was the direction I wanted to head in and Christie was my hero. I dreamed of one day having half of her knowledge and even a fraction of her enthusiasm for jewelry. She was truly inspiring and ever-encouraging, always willing to take the time to respond to my silly emails asking her questions and gushing like a fan-girl.

The jewelry world has lost a wonderful person. Thankfully all her hard work, expertise and generosity will live on in the work she did and we can all continue to benefit from her gift.

Friday, September 4, 2009

It was an earring kind of day

I made approximately 5000 pairs of earwires today. OK, maybe I'm exaggerating but it sure felt like 5000. It was probably more like 50. But still, that's a lot, right?
I've been making more one-of-a-kind earrings lately and I'm having quite a bit of fun with them. Usually I work with the same designs and if they sell I make a million more just like them (yep, I'm in the exaggerating mood) but I need to mix things up a bit. Below is a little sample of what I've been up to. The little turquoise hoops are part of my regular line-up but the other three pairs are true one offs.

I'm curious to hear what you guys think of one-of-a-kinds. Are you more likely to purchase something if you know that there won't be another like it?



They will all be in the shop on Saturday. :)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Clinging to summer color

Even though I have confessed to longing for cooler days and chunky sweaters I must admit that I still want to hold on to the colors of summer. Last night I was playing around with some of my bow tie connectors and even though I told myself over and over not to pair the celery green with turquoise I did it anyway.

I'm glad I didn't listen to myself because I am very please with the look of this piece. :) I also enjoyed using the connectors in a way that I had never really thought of. I attached them to vintage mother-of-pearl buttons and they became these really cool, modern-looking focal pieces. I paired them with dyed howlite and added a vintage chain. All done! :)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Bunches of butterflies! (and two new glaze colors!)

I've just listed eight sets of butterfly beads in my Extra shop. There are many different colors so there is a lot to choose from. To see examples of pieces made with these little guys click here or here. :)

In other exciting news (at least to me!) I have been working on some new glazes. This week I tested out five batches that I had mixed up last week. Here are two of the colors that I am especially happy with. Above is what I am calling Princess Pink (in honor of my niece, Rachel, who is all about pink princesses).

This is Tangerine! I'm not really an orange kind of gal but I've been getting many requests for it at shows so here it is. I guess this is a big color for autumn. I tend to look mostly dead when I wear orange (and don't even get me started on how I look in yellow!) even though I do love the color.

Let me know what you all think about my new colors!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Stampington & Company 2010 Art Calendars

Believe it or not 2009 is winding down and it is time to start thinking ahead to 2010! (I know, it's only September 1st, but it's cold this morning and I am wrapped up in my fleece bathrobe feeling rather cozy and nesty and nostalgic [or crazy, take your pick] for winter months.) Anyhoo, Stampington & Company have released five beautiful calendars using artwork that has appeared in their various magazines. I am getting Melange (on top) to hang in my studio - can't wait! Check out their website to see more gorgeous images! :)