Sunday, April 21, 2013

AJE Earrings Challenge Reveal #7!

For Art Jewelry Elements Earrings Challenge Week #13 ~ I have been admiring Kristi Bowman's components for awhile and I was thrilled to finally use them to design a pair of earrings.  I just love the texture and colors of her copper components and before I even received them I decided I needed to combine them with turquoise.  I love the tribal design Kristi put on these components.  She has lots of eye candy jewelry and components in her Etsy store!

For Week #14, I had to show off the pair of earrings I made for the Artisan Whimsy Bead Chat 5 x 5 Product Testing Group.  Amazing how an aluminum strip can transform into such beauty!  You can read more details on my previous post.

Please hop on over to other wonderful artists who wrote about their creations!

Mahalo for stopping by!  
Kumi ♥

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Artisan Whimsy Bead Chat Magazine 5x5 Product Test Group

I was on one of my favorite Facebook group called Creative Bead Chat where jewelry makers share ideas, ask questions, inspire one another, and a place to socialize with like mind creative and wonderful peeps at the end of February.  We were having a great discussion started by Kristin Oppold from Yay Jewelry and next thing I knew 5 of us signed up to be testers for Melinda Orr for Artisan Whimsy Bead Chat Magazine's 5x5 Product Test Group for April 2013 issue!

This is how the 5x5 Product Test Group work ~ 5 members receive 5 items to design with and you have 30 days to create, test, try new techniques and submit your creations.  I loved the similarity in concept with my favorite show Chopped (although nobody gets chopped in this test group) :)  If you want to be future tester, sign up here.

For our test group we received aluminum strips in two widths, two gauges of copper wires, bronze wire, and brass wire.  I use copper and bronze wire in a lot of my work so I was familiar with their characteristics.  Both copper and bronze wires are very malleable and easy to work with.  I decided to make a Tree of Life Pendant and mixed the two wires to get a different blend of colors.  Personally, I wouldn't mix the two wires for future pendants.  I don't like that copper wires will age in time but the bronze will remain the same color because of the coatings.

Next was brass wire.  Unlike copper and bronze, brass is a lot harder.  I tried to shape it but I knew it was going to be too hard on my hands.  So if brass wire won't let me manipulate it, I decided I'm going to pound the heck out of it!  It was a great stress release :)  I really like how hammer textured brass looks.  I cut the wires in two different lengths and looped the ends.  I hung them on black leather cord for color contrast and surprisingly I ended up liking brass much better than when I started to work with them :)  I need to see how the metal tarnishes and will experiment with different ways to seal the beautiful shine it has.  If any of you know, let me know what works best!

I was intrigued when Melinda told us she was sending aluminum strips.  As I mentioned during our team discussion, I never considered using aluminum for jewelry in the past.  When I received the strips of aluminum, I was surprised how soft the metal was.  My girlfriend Lynda came over for creative play date and she brought her embossing machine with her.  We decided to run the strips through and the aluminum embossed the patterns beautifully!  I also hammer textured the other strip and it was so easy to apply the texture.  So opposite from the brass wire.  I've been wanting to try alcohol ink on metal and decided to try a new technique!  I wouldn't consider covering silver with ink because of the price of silver but with the affordable aluminum, color away!

The alcohol ink colored the metal beautifully.  I learned once you achieve the color/look you like, leave it alone!  I had to redo one set all over again because I just had to add another drop of ink and ruined the look I wanted to achieve.  Another tip is to seal the work once you are done and the ink is dry.  I used an acrylic protective sealant called Protect Your Memories II.  Without any protective sealant the colors chip and mar easily.  The sealant didn't change the color of the ink and was resilient to scratches :)  The color combinations are endless!  I kept the design of the last pair of earrings simple to show off the gorgeous color blends.  

I am so happy I got sucked in, I mean signed up, for the 1st 5x5 Product Test Group!   I would have never tried aluminum and used alcohol ink on metal otherwise.  As you may have guessed, I'll be inking like a fiend on aluminum now!  

Big Mahalo to Melinda Orr for including me in the tester group and introducing me to aluminum!  Go visit Melinda's store Orrtec for supplies :)

Check out what my teammates Linda Younkman of Lindy's Designs,  Ali McCarthy of Northwoods Creative Studio, Alicia Marinache of All Pretty Things, and Kristin Oppold of Yay Jewelry created on April's issue of Artisan Whimsy Bead Chat Magazine!  They all did a great job!!  Come join us on Artisan Whimsy!

    Mahalo for visiting!
    Kumi ♥

    Monday, April 1, 2013

    AJE Earring Challenge Reveal #6

    Wow what a busy couple of weeks it was!  I participated in Lori Anderson's Bead Soup Blog Party and I was in the first reveal date on March 30th.  You can scroll down and see the beautiful beads I received from my partner Donna Millard and what I created.  

    I still managed to make two earrings for Reveal #6 :)  I'm so glad I joined Art Jewelry Elements' Earring Challenge to continue to push my creative mojo.  Here is my Reveal #6!

    Week 11 ~ Beaded Jewel Earrings
    I gave one of my girl friends a necklace for Christmas last year and she asked me to make her earrings to go with it.  I purchased a kit at Bead & Button Show 2 years ago from Eclectica Beads and love the necklace!  They carry so many great kits and I can't wait to see what they have in store when I go in June.  Because it's such a unique design it was hard for my girlfriend to find a pair of earrings that matched.  When she asked me to make earrings to match, this is what I came up with and she loved them!  I don't work with seed beads much and it's so difficult to thread the beading wires into the little tiny holes but the end result is so worth the achy fingers.  Check out there website if you want to pick up the same kit.  So many different color combinations with so many different beads!!

    Week 12 ~ Owl on a Twig Earrings
    I've been admiring the most adorable owls created by Rebekah Payne of TreeWings Studio for weeks.  I just had to make the earrings to show off her cuties.  I perched the owls on Vintaj tree branch with 20g Vintaj wire.  I just can't get over how cute they are.  Rebekah has tons of other cute critters on her Etsy store.  Hoot!

    Please hop over to all the other wonderful artists' blog to see what they created!  Mahalo for visiting!

    Kumi ♥