Monday, November 30

Watching a Movie and the Results


On Thanksgiving Thursday my hubby and I watched all the special features to the Indiana Jones movie.

We intended to watch the movie "Raiders of the Lost Ark" after that, but after three hours of special features, we ran out of time for the movie itself. Isn't that funny?

Anyway, never let it be doubted that what I watch and read has a direct impact on what I make in the studio.

It's always interesting to me what my eyes and hands decide to combine.


But when I saw a large cross-like script textured emblem with a setting in the center, and a scarab beetle, it wasn't hard to tell where that imagery was sparked. Remember the knight templar in the last movie about the holy grail? And the egyptian features in the first movie?


The large ornate portrait of a very proper little gentleman with the word "DARE" inside was just one of those joking play on words. Double dare you to mess up that fancy suit!



And the nichos with the milagros that Pattie sent me - don't they look intriging together?


Overall it was a very productive studio session. It didn't hurt anything that the weather was pleasant and I wasn't bundled up like an eskimo yet, to keep from freezing. It gets really COLD in the basement!

So - I wonder what movie I should watch next! and then wait to see how it affect the creativity in the studio.

Does this happen to you? Or am I the only one who seems to be just a conduit from my unconscious mind to my fingertips ...

Sunday, November 29

Frozen Charlotte Warm Heart


I've noticed a few designs out there, people really seem to like the porcelain dolls called Frozen Charlotte. There's a story behind the doll, most of the time you see them in bright white porcelain, a full-length doll with arms and legs.

In one of the Belle Armoire magazines a whole group of artists designed around pewter castings of Frozen Charlotte, one of those artists is Deryn Mentock.

So I thought if I was going to do something similar, I needed to do something different. Unique, not a copy of someone else's inspiration. You know what I mean.


My doll in pewter is just a partial girl, down to her thighs.

And in this casting, she only has one arm. I've made one with both arms that I'm sending to a special friend, I hope it will inspire a pretty design. But this Charlotte must have her other arm behind her back.

And she's a headpin, she has a wire at the top of her head for a bead or wire wrapping.


And another wire at the bottom, for ceramic, lampwork or filigree beads to be added.

She's very lightweight, even though she's cast in pewter, she's flat on the back. No 3-D look to her, I wanted her to be small enough to wear as a jewelry piece, but large enough to be recognizeable as Frozen Charlotte.

She's a lot of fun.

I'm thinking of making some other charms with just her head, or just her feet. Kinda crazy, huh? It makes me smile to think about them, I think I'll go work on some now.

Either as charms, or with a wire to be used as a headpin, I think these are fun, and different enough to look like they were made by me.

After all, Frozen Charlotte has her own look, don't you think? There's no denying her special look ...
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I have to go in to the office today, something came up. I've had a really good run in the studio the last couple of days. The temperature has been warm enough for resin.

And the pewter has been unusually cooperative the last couple of days. Or maybe my hands have just gotten into a rythmn, with working on things for several days in a row.

Whatever it is, I wish I could bottle it and just spray it on myself when I have time to get to the studio.

And it makes me regret losing several hours today, but we all do what we must...

Saturday, November 28

Time Flies, Winging to End of Year


I've said many times that I'm intrigued by watchworks and wings.

But I don't like to take apart an antique pocketwatch.

So I decided to create my own, made up version that I can use without guilt.


This one has wings, so I'm thinking it's a symbol of how "TIME FLIES" or "TEMPUS FUGIT" that you see etched into old watchworks.

I got started making the dangle, using all my own cast pewter pieces, and before I knew it I had a finished necklace.


I took some of my special, hand dyed cotton and wire wrapped it, to use as part of the necklace.

It gives it a funny, worn and very vintage look.

The metal piece in the front, with the watchwords and wings, came from a dream I had the other night. I was dreaming about time, clocks and the passage of time. And I saw these watchwork pieces, with the wings on the side. The central focal piece, the winged watchworks, is all one piece, like a curved amulet shape.



Then I made the tiny little charms for the dangle, including a coppery-round gear looking piece, and a leaf scroll that reminds me of a pendulum.


I used mixed metals in the necklace, with copper, pewter, brass and dark patina bronze, there's a little hand charm (for the "HANDS OF TIME") holding a brass prayer box. And a bronze antiqued bird charm (for "TIME FLIES" with a long brass chain and dangle.



The necklace has a large handmade brass hook that lets the necklace length be adjusted, to shorten for a choker or lengthen if the neckline is lower.

I really like the way it turned out. It has a very vintage fantastical look, like in my dream.


I hope someone likes it as much as I do, and finds it for a special gift - it's very unique and one of a kind.

I know the watchworks inside aren't truly real like a clock, but how many clockworks with wings do you see? Other than the ones I see in my dreams, of course...

Friday, November 27

BLACK Friday Giveaway and BIG SALE


The folks over at the Art Bead Scene are having a big sale event, I was too late to participate but I decided to have a

big sale at both shops -

and have it be part of the giveaway today, too.

So everyone who posted on the Giveaway Reply Post and gave such good feedback,

everyone who posted will get 20% off anything

in either store
!

Pretty good, even things that are in the
SHOP SALE section at the ExpeditionD shop. I added a bunch of things to it, so be sure to take a peek!

Just put GIVEAWAY POST in your comments and I'll adjust the prices.

I haven't turned the shipping charges back on, so on top of the savings, there are

no shipping charges to the US or Canada.

It doesn't get much better than that!

And if you've been wanting one of the Asian Ovals in pretty colors, those have their own special sale prices too.

I really appreciate all the feedback and ideas for the round connector beads. I knew you would have lots of ingenious ideas!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Well, I know some of you want to see who won the connectors!

Be~Jeweled by Jana - Four-Way Connector
EmandaJ - Braided Round
Retail Therapy - Circle Link

Click on the EMAIL the RINGLEADER of LLYYNN link and give me your addresses, I'll get those out to you. And always remember I love seeing what you make, so if you snap a photo please send to me so I can OHH and AHH over them!

And if you didn't win one,

you can get yours at 20% off

if you posted to the Giveaway
...

I'll keep them listed so they're available if you want one!

Thursday, November 26

Cornucopeia


HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

This little urn is full of my good wishes and celebrations for the American holiday of Thanksgiving.

And for those of you in some other part of the world, celebrate the fall season, the falling leaves.

Unless you're in the Southern Hemisphere, of course!

It's a wish for good food, family, fun and time off to rest and relax.


I know that the Canadians have already celebrated their Thanksgiving holiday.

Let's all pause for a good meal, a gathering of family and friends.

Cheers - have a cup of punch and a hot toddy!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


So - what's with the little wires sticking out of the bottom of some of the charms I'm making recently?

Well, I know that some of you make lampwork or ceramic beads, maybe you'd like to add some pewter headpins together with them.

Usually when I add the wires to the pewter, I go ahead and put the beads on, to finish. But I thought some of you extraordinary creative types might like to add your own beads.


So the urn has a loop at the top for adding to a chain, or whatever you like. And the wire at the bottom, for your ceramic, lampwork or crystal beads to be added.


I also made this key, with a wire for a headpin, I can think of a dozen ways I'd use it with beads or filigree...

Like the one next to it, with the bow at the top, there's a headpin wire at the bottom with a filigree and a brass hand charm. And that ceramic bead is by Gaea, doesn't it look like a little candy mint?


So that's the story of the headpins ... Can you think of fun ways to use the key and urn?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Don't forget the GIVEAWAY tomorrow, if you haven't posted there's still time to reply.

Wednesday, November 25

Bows and Wings - What Are These Things?


I guess I'm already thinking about decorating the holiday tree. It's usually something I do over the Thanksgiving weekend at some point. And I take it down over the New Years holiday.

Kind of a tradition.

So I made this pair of pewter wings. With holes drilled in the wingtips. I can see it as part of a tree ornament.

Or a decoration on a wreath - maybe with a little angel in front.

It would also make a really pretty necklace focal, it has a brazen-bronze coppery tone to it and looks very ancient.


And what are the little bows about? Why do they have wire coming out of the top and bottom?

Well, I've been making focals and adding the wire, so I can add filigree ball decorations, or large oversized beads and then make a wire wrap on the bottom using the wire.

So the focal doesn't rotate on the wire. It's fastened and holds in one place really well.


The wire can just be made into a large loop, or beads can be put onto the wire next to the pretty little bows. I have some long, beautiful bead caps and it would be fun to add a teardrop shape bead and one of those bead caps to the bottom wire...

Wouldn't they be fun on a package as part of the gift wrap - or a special pair of holiday earrings? Come to think of it, I believe I'll make a pair for myself.


They're very lightweight and have a beautiful color to the metal, they look old and very vintage to me.

But that's what the wires are about.

I've been having a good time coming up with ways to use them. If you have other ideas about how to use the wire that's part of the bows, be sure to share!

Tuesday, November 24

Black Friday Giveaway Celebrate Around and Round


I decided I'd do a celebration of the publishing event, the anniversary of the blog and just a general fun time for all of you to celebrate with me.

I made these components in pewter last weekend. They're very different styles, almost like different periods in time.

They look to me like they might have been relics from long-gone furniture hardware, or something from the stable off an old horse-drawn carriage. Fanciful thinking, I know!


One is a dark four-way connector, the other two are unbroken circle shapes.


One is a braided rope, in a copper-bronze tone.



The other is a simple round textured shape, thin and delicate but sturdy and light. All three were hand-cast by me in pewter and finished, I have the ruined manicure to prove it...

If you'd like a chance to win one of these three styles, leave a comment on this post and tell me - how would you use them?



Do you like one better than another - which one(s) are your favorites.

Do you like the bright pewter, the darkened patina or the copper-brazen look best? Or all three, for different reasons?

Would you make a necklace, a bracelet - or maybe earrings - what kind of design ideas do you get from them?

Would you combine them with other beads, how do you picture them? The sky is the limit!

Three replies will be chosen, each chosen reply will win one of these connectors! I'll announce the winning comments on the Friday after the Thanksgiving holiday - Black Friday Giveaway.

Monday, November 23

Spooning and Skulls


I'm reading some new mystery stories from the public library, they're set in Britain on a Devon farm. There's a lot of background information about running the dairy farm, sheep herding.

It's always interesting to me to learn about other cultures, other ways of living. The idea of milking dairy cows twice a day, and shearing the sheep for the wool, is romantic to think about but I'll bet it's a lot of work. Long hours, tiring.

The weather this weekend was lovely and mild. I had the windows and patio door open, it won't be long before it's too cold to do that.

I made a bunch of pewter this weekend. Some things look very old and worn, I can picture how I'd use them to make jewelry myself. But I went ahead and put them into the Etsy shop, in case someone is working on a holiday gift project.


The little spoon top charms remind me of a ring given to me by an aunt and uncle, years ago. Like the ornate tops of silver sugar spoons, but with a loop to make earrings. I put a hole at the bottom for a dangle, maybe a pearl or a faceted crystal bead. Something pretty and feminine.


I've also been watching the TV show called "BONES" lately, when I can catch it. It's more of a challenge without the TiVO that got sparked during the lightning strike, but I can sometimes find a re-run of a show I haven't seen before.

Maybe that's the source of the pewter skulls. I think they look very interesting. Like the catacombs beneath a cathedral. Memento mori, remember life...

Sunday, November 22

Connections and Separations

I made these three-hole separators out of pewter. Mainly, I wanted to see if I could make them.

I planned to use them to separate three strands of pearls.

Or maybe to use to connect a strand of beads to a clasp, one hole to the clasp side and two holes for the strands.


I think they look very steampunk or at least, my idea of what that would be like. Something from the hardware store, with a lot of rough sides but giving a very authentic look to something old and worn.

Like a found object. Only I found them in my imagination.

Saturday, November 21

Charmed Wings


Deryn Mentock is another of those folks I admire, her designs strike some sort of a chord with me. They have an elegant but worn look that I like and seek to get into the beads and components I make.


She recently made this necklace,
for a show in Houston, where I once lived before the gypsy caravan of my life brought me to the midwest. Maybe the road will curve one day and I'll find myself back in the south again...

See the little wing, there in the dangle? And I have the milagros that Pattie sent me, hmmmm....

Someday I hope to meet Deryn in person, if our paths cross somewhere in common.

In the meantime, I'm always thrilled when I see one of my pewter pieces in one of her designs.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Big news, that some of you may know already. Deryn and I collaborated on an article for Belle Armoire Jewelry magazine, it's the Winter issue that's coming out soon.

This will be the fifth article for me in BAJ, and I have another one coming in the spring issue, with pewter and resin. Writing for the magazine is what got me started on this whole adventure.

Deryn has had numerous articles published in BAJ and other places, she's a versatile and creative person who works in many media.

For this project I made pewter components and sent them to her and she created the jewelry designs with them. The article is beautiful, based on the preview version I looked at early last month, and it should be reaching you soon if you want to take a look. (I don't have my preview copy yet, although I have been haunting the post office)

Deryn's designs have always intrigued me, her use of vintage and found objects inspires me. It occurred to me that she might find usefulness in some of my faux-tique components, too.


I greatly appreciate her work, and the collaboration. At one time I interviewed Deryn for the Art Bead Scene blog, and we have now had the chance to work together on this collaboration project, I'm very proud of it.

Thanks, DERYN, for the idea of the article and for the beautiful use of the pewter. Looking ahead, I'd love to work together again... soon!

Friday, November 20

Pieces of Glory, Bountiful Story


I've been so lucky to be "found" by so many talented people who have fabulously unique ideas about using the components I make.

When I began this expedition two years ago, I didn't think anyone would buy an unfinished component, so I always made up complete jewelry pieces. I was sure that no one would want just a bead, or just a charm, all by itself.

Then Heather Powers at the Art Bead Scene convinced me that, yes indeed, people would buy just beads and components so I opened the ExpeditionD shop to put just the artbeads there.

Thank you Heather! That's one lady who knows what's what!


And I met the lovely Lorelei Eurto, who has seen so much growth and blossoming of her unique talents this year especially.

She made the jewelry that's pictured here. I love all of her designs. She uses wire in such unique ways - I can look at a photo of one of her designs and recognize her style, even if I didn't know it was one of her photos.

She has been so supportive and kind, I can't thank her enough.


Now, I put the resin and polymer clay in the ExpeditionD shop on Etsy, and the finished jewelry pieces, pewter components and fused glass items in the LynnDavis Etsy shop.

In November I approach the two year anniversary of this adventure online, the first Belle Armoire Jewelry Magazine publication and the launching of the first Etsy shop. The blog, all of the things started two years ago...

I've learned a lot about photography, and how to write a description. Lots of things I've learned in that time..

I just passed a combined 950 sales in both shops. Hopefully it's not cheating to count them together, since it means I created at least 950 items in the time the shops have been on Etsy.

950!! Wowzers, that sounds like a lot! Almost (dare I think it) 1,000. YIKES!

I think that calls for some kind of celebration - I'll have to think of something super special! To say THANKS for coming along on this expedition with me....

Thursday, November 19

All Buttoned Up and Braided Round


I've been playing with some new ideas in the pewter.

I thought it might be fun to make some pewter buttons, with a very vintage worn look, and a dark copper-bronze patina.

These are headed off to a special friend, hopefully to inspire some jewelry designs. I hope they strike the right note!



I also made this large braided rope circular emblem. I can see it being used as a clasp, or maybe with wire wrap attaching some fun dangles and vintage items.

It's large but still lightweight.

The more I work with the metal, the more I learn about how to get the designs I want out of it.

Now I need to place an order for more metal, to make more pewter. I'm thinking of having a sale in the shops, to help gather the funds for the order. Metal is heavy, and a bit more costly than polymer clay! And expensive to ship...


I think these would make cute earrings, or maybe a clasp for a bracelet. I thought the buttons would be fun, but I know you can just go to the sewing store and buy buttons right off a rack, huge numbers of them.

So I don't know if there's any interest in these hand cast buttons.

Any thoughts? Would you make use of hand cast pewter buttons, if they were in the shop?

Wednesday, November 18

Tiny Houses of Welcome


Remember a while back when I made some of these little houses, some of you mentioned about hearts. Those houses had square windows cut into them. These are "home is where the heart is" style, with the windows in the shape of a heart.


Like the others, these have a map design on the back, to guide your heart back home.


I made four in different colors. Sometimes it's a challenge to name the colors so others can picture the shade.

These are very subtle colors, with a tone like things in nature. Slate and Moss. One looks like demin to me. The ruddy color reminds me of brick.

These are very simple, for adding to a keychain, like I mentioned before, for House Keys.

Or give to a child who's leaving home for college or to their first apartment on a keychain, to remind where the heart begins and where it belongs.


They say the hearth is the heart of the home. Did you notice that HEART and HEARTH are just one letter different?