Thoughts of Design Inspiration


1 Comment

3 Big Jewelry Trends You Must Know for 2017

2017 jewelry trends - big necklaces

Statement Necklaces

There is a lot of big and bold going on in the jewelry arena! The first big one is Statement necklaces. Forget the small and simple pendants because it is time for those statement ones. Statement pendants are undoubtedly catchier than the tiny ones. You can try wearing those statement pendants and necklaces if you find that the small ones are boring and do not provide you with the catchy look you need. There are many impressive designs that can increase your beauty and make you catchier on different occasions especially the formal ones.  Instyle magazine forecasts that the big and bold long necklaces are going to replace the choker that  has been popular for a while.
InStyle Fashion Forecast Long Necklaces 2017

Brass Moon Necklace

Brass Moon Necklace – Handmade in the USA

Copper Bar Necklace with Sterling Silver

Copper and Sterling Silver Bar Necklace

big bracelets jewelry trend

Bracelets and Arm Cuffs

Second big one is Bracelets and arm cuffs. In 2017, modern solid cuffs take center stage. Solid cuffs add a modern artistic flair to any outfit. Many cuffs can be stacked for a more unique look.

Silver and Copper Torch Fired Cuff Bracelet

Sterling Silver and Copper Art Cuff

Art Earrings

Third must know – Art earrings with innovative materials, graphic shapes and arty inspiration. Single oversized earrings, earcuffs and single large earrings. Want to look different and attract more attention? Do you love earrings but do not like the idea of wearing them? You can try wearing single earrings to decorate just one ear. It is not the first time for this catchy jewelry trend to appear as it was seen before during the past years and continues to be a big jewelry trend in the next year. art earrings jewelry trend 2017art earrings and single earrings jewelry trend 2017
Enamel Art Mixed Color EarringsPainterly enamel earrings with bead dangleBlue Enameled Copper Ocean Wave Lines Earrings

blue poppy flower earrings artisan enamel

And if you are not so much for the big huge necklaces try Multilayered necklaces. If you still love those small pendants and do not like the idea of wearing statement necklaces and pendants because they do not suit your personality, then there is no problem. You can wear those necklaces with small pendants but in large number and multiple layers. This means that wearing only one necklace with small pendant is not trendy and multilayered necklaces are the jewelry trend you can opt for to enjoy your small pendants.

Multi layered Necklaces Trend 2017

Jewelry Looks New York Fashion Week 2017

Jewelry Trends from Bridal Week 2017

Hundreds of gorgeous dresses paraded down the runway at Bridal Fashion Week 2017. And the trends are more unique than ever this year. From rising necklines, 3D details, and steamer sleeves, the trends from this year were loud and unapologetic.

Statement earrings and drop earrings, as well as chokers were popular. Drop earrings come in may different options. You could go with a large dramatic pair or something more small and subtle that just adds a little pop.

Bridal Jewelry Trends 2017Bridal Week 2017 Trends

Blue heart jewelry clothing trends 2016 -blue enamel hearts


Leave a comment

Making Hearts

Blue enameled copper heart jewelry

I had a big inspiration recently on creating hearts, I guess the concept of Valentine’s Day might have had something to do with it, since you start seeing hearts everywhere! Anyway, I wanted to try some new color combos in my enameling work. I use the torch method so you can’t really do as much detail with the enameling like you can in the kiln because I just dip and sprinkle, but with careful balancing act you can achieve interesting results. It all happens while dangling the piece of copper over the flame, adds to the excitement! And, you always get a unique result, so you won’t get bored with your artisan craft!
I wanted a tonal blue, so I did one with three shades of blue that I like to call “Blue Sky”. I cut the copper shapes from raw copper sheet, I like to use my own stylized heart shape. Made blue earrings to match the necklace, which is new this time, I have rarely done sets before. The other version I wanted to try was using some purple that I haven’t used in a while. I did purple with a blue center, tried to sprinkle an inside shape of a blue heart on the larger purple heart. I really like how it came out, put even some pink in there. Again, did matching earrings with the same purple and blue tones.

pippa middleton blue heart scarf

Pippa Middleton and the blue heart scarf

Purple and blue heart earrings - enameled copper handmade at Basketofblue.com

My purple and blue heart earrings

Thinking of the fashion trends this year, I did find some really nice heart prints in clothing. Even Pippa Middleton has been wearing a scarf with blue hearts on it! (It was for some good cause, and seems to be sold out.) I found a couple of nice blue heart sweaters also that I thought were really fun. Would go nicely with the blue heart jewelry! Some designers have also made heart handbags this spring. Kate Spade has a lovely clutch type bag that’s really cute. Hearts are red though, not blue. I may have to make myself a blue version!

Blue heart sweater

Fashion pictures from theoutfit.com, instyle.com and hearts handbag clutchcaliforniadreamsboutique.

enameled copper jewelry


Leave a comment

Enamel surfaces – what fun things can you melt with a torch

torch fired enamel jewelry with melted wire

Melting stuff is always fun – right? Not to talk about playing with fire. I’ve been experimenting with various substances you can melt on your enamel surface. So far I’ve tried wire, mashed up glass, enamel sticks, other bead chips. Not sure where the limits might go, but it sure creates some interesting effects!

torch fired enamel jewelry with melted wire

Wire sprinkles on this enameled piece with transparent green enamel

Of course it can be a bit tricky to get these things stick while you have a torch going and one hand is busy holding your steel rod (where your copper piece is dangling). The power from the torch is like a wind that makes your piece move constantly so getting something on top of it can be challenging. The mashed up glass you can sprinkle on, with copper tube you can roll the hot tube in it, which is great. I think the hardest to get the way you want them is shapes of wire, they go and blow away real easy in the “wind” of the torch. Also, your piece you are trying to adhere it to is often curved and the wire will just slide of. So, yes, it’s a balancing act, luckily no acrobatics involved!

enamelsurfaces4

Melted thin enamel stick

enamelsurfaces5

Smashed up glass beads, use that hammer!

enamelsurfaces2

Smashed up glass in very small bits with transparent enamel on top.

torch fired enamel jewelry

Sometimes you may get an eye…

 

I find that my favorites are the wire coils and smashed up glass (they call it frit if you go buy it in the enameling universe).  I imagine you can buy some really nice even shaped frit, but I find that I like my own smashed up stuff better. It gets more interesting and doesn’t always work (which is part of the fun). Some glass bead chips don’t melt, or you might have smashed something that is not exactly glass. Also, using transparent enamel can make it even more interesting because of the see through effect, and you can keep layering it on. The copper wire I use gives out a nice smoke when it gets torched and you can end up creating some nice flame patina on it, too. It is the hardest to make stick, your copper piece has to be hot enough and your arm very steady. Plus you want just enough enamel to adhere it properly but still keep the surface texture.

I will keep experimenting, no two pieces are never alike. That’s the best fun of using the torch!
You can find more items on my website: www.evadesigns.us

sign up on email list

tumbling media and copper


2 Comments

Tumbling Madness

rock tumblerA tumbler is a great tool to do a few things – tumble, polish, harden, smooth and so on. I did my first experiment with copper (and a few pieces of stainless steel, even though they do say it’s good to keep the metal one kind).

The tumbler I have is a 3 lb model with a rubber barrel. The only thing you had to do before use according to the manual was to oil the bearings. (I used shredder oil.) The shot I use is stainless steel, sort of all purpose with varied sizes of pieces especially made for jewelry tumbling. I put in 2 pounds because I read that you should have the barrel half to 3/4 full of material. Not sure yet if this actually only applies to rock tumbling since I have been reading contradicting info elsewhere. Some jewelry tumbling instructions say to just use a little shot media and there are videos showing the tumbler only 1/4 full.

tumbling media - mixed stainless steel shot

Tumbling shot – mixed stainless steel for jewelry

tumbling copper jewelry

Tumbler filled and ready to go.

copper jewelry and junk pieces to be tumbled

Copper pieces ready for the tumbler.

So how did it all go down:

  • I filled my tumbler with 2 pounds of stainless steel shot and the metal pieces in the picture (with some junk copper end pieces in there to fill it up more)
  • Added water to just cover the contents and one drop of dish soap

 

Notes: My tumbler had a little trouble getting rotating at first. I washed the outside to make sure there was no oil that might cause it to slip, cleaned the nylon shaft covers to make sure they were clean. My husband’s opinion was that because I had all the 2 lb of shot in there the barrel was too heavy. It did start turning though and kept going eventually, and then later on when I stopped it you could see some of the rubber started wearing off on the nylon shaft covers and the grip got better.

copper coated with rubber after tumbling

I let the tumbler run for about 7 hours.  (It is surprisingly quiet!) Excited, I open it…everything looks fine, except my metal is totally coated with black rubber! Bummer. What is this?! I went online searching and found some similar results by other people. There were possible explanations: the barrel needs a break in time where the loose rubber will come of,  there wasn’t enough soap, there was too much tumbling media. I have no idea, but I will try again with less media and more soap… It took me a good amount of time to scrub the metal clean. Otherwise, the pieces did get smoother edges and earwires were harder. I would say for perfect results, you would need to tumble a bit longer. I still had to hand sand some pieces a bit and hammer my wires a bit more.

Overall a good first attempt. Hopefully next time no more rubber!

sign up on email list

 


2 Comments

Fuzzy Yarn Egg Flies – Are They Beads?

The other day while I was at a sporting goods shop I was taken by a small display right by the shop counter. It had these really cute and fuzzy looking colorful balls lined up  in tiny little rows that at first glance looked like beads to me.flyfisheggs

Of course, they weren’t beads at all, but since I don’t do fly fishing to me they looked like beads.  The man at the counter told me that they  were trout eggs. Trout eggs are yarn egg flies made out of this fuzzy bright colored bug yarn used in the art of fly tying. I was instantly planning how one could make earrings using these neat findings!  I then got really interested in how these crafty balls were actually made and started watching youtube videos of fly fishermen tying these fascinating “bugs”. It does seem to have many similarities to beading and jewelry making, various small specialty tools, strong nylon thread (like fireline) and a neat looking vise where the hook is held while the egg (or fly) is tied on it. There are also many small beads used for eyes and heads, and many colorful, shiny and fuzzy materials.

Woolly bugger

Woolly bugger

flybuggs2

Fly fishing flies

flybuggs

Nice green color scheme on this fly!

Gaines Bass King Popper

Gaines Bass King Popper

807ENW_LG

Jacks Fighting Crab (!)

The variations on these flies are endless, they come in all colors, shapes and sizes. The actual bugs look very realistic and are made with all kinds of specialty “parts”, wings, legs, hair, eyes, body fur, and so on. The names of these materials sound so exciting – krystal flash, holographic mylar, fluoro fiber, ice dub chenille, pearl mirage flashback tinsel, shimmer fringe, gliss ‘n glow!

What if you tried tying something similar using wire or a headpin instead of the hook? And why couldn’t you use any type of thread, as long as it’s thin enough? I want to try this technique to see if it could work for bead making.

Oftentimes one expects that beads used for jewelry making are made out of glass, acrylic (plastic), gemstones, clay or wood. You think of the “soft” materials less often, yarns, wool, fabric, paper and so on. Beads can be made out of yarn, wool can be used to make felt beads, fabric can be used in various ways, sometimes tied into beads with yarns or glued into shapes. The options are endless, and it offers so many opportunities for exploring!

product-original-22798-2402-1335785682-fe40e145eb0fb4607f28448e75ec617c

Beads made out of yarn and into earrings

FeltBead1

Felted wool balls

Fabric bead

Fabric bead

Wooden pendant


2 Comments

Revisited Inspirations

I wanted to look  back at my earlier posts and review some of the creative attempts I have done based on inspirations in my posts. Many of them I’m still working on, refining my methods and improving my skills.

drrill

Home made sanding station and wooden dowel I make beads from.

During the process I have taken over several of my husband’s power tools – sawsall, drill, dremel…It’s a satisfying feeling when you figure out you can actually use some “man tools” with no problem. The opportunities are endless and you can repurpose many tools to do things you don’t first think they were meant to do.

With “Wood Coins and Drill Holes” –  I am now making my wooden beads out of dowels, craft boards and other larger pieces of wood. I have made a sanding station using the drill which works really good (just don’t sand away your fingertips) You can quickly reshape pieces, big difference from the beginning when I was completely sanding by hand!

beads

Finished beads imitating weathered wood look – cut from dowel, sanded and rag painted.

I think I’m doing much better with getting the surface even and have discovered which paints make the type of finish I’m looking for. I want to imitate a weathered wood type of surface, a rustic feel that makes you think of the shore, beach, sand and how the wind and water shapes the wood.

Digitata seaweed Maine

Digitata seaweed in Maine (Ogunquit Beach)

seaweedscarf

Seaweed scarf model with tentacles.

coppershapes

Copper shapes still in rough form. I patinated the left one, but I don’t really like the dark color.

I created several copper shapes based on my exploration with the “Seaweed Inspirations”.  I also started scarfs that imitate shapes of seaweed. I really like the idea of the freely hanging legs or tentacles like in the seaweed (that I think is called) Laminaria digitata (see picture).

I think the scarf body is too lightweight due to the yarn, but I want to  keep the idea of tentacles. The yarn I found has variations and nubbies that I work well to keep the shape interesting. I found some commonly made patterns of seaweed scarfs online, but I didn’t think they were really seaweed enough!

The yellow and green in “Unexpected Beach Art” gave me an idea to create these wild yellow earrings, round lemon yellow beads handing from purple chain with Swarovski crystals. I wanted some real lemon punch with the clusters, they sort of look like berries or candy grapes to eat!

Lemon yellow cluster earrings

Lemon yellow cluster earrings

This was a quick review on what I’ve made based on my earlier posts. I hope you like some of them, any comments are welcome!