Friday, April 30

Are You Brave?


I am having fun with these heart shaped bezels, you can probably tell that I'm liking them.

I wanted to make a hole at the bottom, though, because I really like adding a dangle to the bottom.

But I wasn't sure how that was going to work.

So I made up this 1870 Heart Award Medallion, put the smallest drill bit into the flex shaft, and held my breath while I tried to drill a hole at the bottom without totally wrecking an almost finished piece.


Whew!

I was able to make a small hole at the bottom as I hoped.

You can read the date "1870" at the bottom of the heart. And the back side has an engraved design.


I wanted it to look like a military medal or emblem. Like something awarded for bravery or heroics.

And since I managed to drill the hole without messing up the piece or drilling through my finger, I think I was very brave to take the chance!

Thursday, April 29

Head and Shoulders, Wings and Hearts


I've been showing you some new pieces that combine the hand cast pewter bezels and the polymer clay components.

I'm showing these two, although they're already spoken for, because I'll be making some more that are similar as soon as I get a chance.

I'm having a great time with the heart shaped bezel. Maybe I have the Mother's Day holiday on my mind.


And I just finished this shallow round bezel. This one has a smiling moon face in it, but the bezel itself has a pretty finished back. I'm thinking of offering just the bezel by itself in the shop, then you can add what you'd like to the inside.


The folded wings heart turned out very nicely, the color and finish on the wings very light cream colored. I'm trying something new, too, by hand engraving a pattern on the reverse side in the pewter, to give it an old-fashioned look on the reverse. I think it could be worn either way, reversible. At least that's the idea.


So I'll need to get busy and make some more like these, since these are already gone. Hope you like them!

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Yesterday I started to feel odd, with body aches and a huge headache. When I got home from the day job I had fever, but less than 100 degrees. I hope I'm not coming down with something ickky. It seems that every year I have to take one sick day off, and every year it's in the month of April. Weird, huh. This year I was hoping to break the string. If I can make it until Friday ....

Wednesday, April 28

Preview of Publication


For some time now I've been talking about an article I submitted to Belle Armoire Jewelry magazine on working with resin. When folks email me with resin questions, I've been mentioning this upcoming article.

It was originally to publish this spring, but instead will be in the upcoming summer issue.

I just got an email with a preview of the article, and it looks great!


I created these faux amber resin jewelry pieces last fall, over a long Labor Day week. I created the cabochons, made the pewter settings and chain, and assembled the jewelry. It was a fun project. Then I sent them off to the publisher for their formal photographs.

Almost all the pieces were photographed for the article, and the photography is really lovely. I wish I could get my photos to look nearly so good! Believe me, these are my photos, not theirs! I took these before I sent the jewelry off to the photographer.


In one of the pieces you can see one of Heather Powers' beads, and it shows in the photo in the magazine too, so I have to give her credit for all her creativity and inspiration. See it there, on the right side of the chain in the picture.

Some were made as pins, to be worn as a broach.

I can't wait to see the magazine, it should publish soon.

If the article doesn't use the step-out photos I took, I may post them here so you can see them.

Exciting!

I got the originals back last week and I'm thinking of going ahead and listing some of them in the Etsy shop, do you think it's too early?

Tuesday, April 27

Blue Silhouette


I've been working on some new, fancy bezels that I can combine with the polymer clay components I enjoy making. This is one of the new ones, with flowers and leaves and a lot of ornate scrollwork at the bottom.

I combined it with one of my faux cameos, in a light blue color.

See the beautiful blue lampwork beads beside it? Those were created by Sue Kennedy at SueBeads. I love the dots of silver in with the matte finish blue glass.


They match perfectly with this cameo. I recently bought two more from Sue with the silver dots, with an off-white ecru background.

I'd love to create something, a finished piece of jewelry with the beads and the cameo together, but I just don't have time right now with all my other projects.

But if you love the two together, ask Sue about making some for you like these, they're perfect with the pewter components. She has a pair listed NOW, too cool!


I went ahead and listed the cameo pendant in the LynnDavis Etsy shop. Later I want to make some more with different colors in the background, maybe peach, or even a black backing to the cameo portrait.

Thank you SUE for the beautiful inspiration in your beads ...


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Those of you who have a blog, and haven't required moderation for posts, do you find that you're having more instances where folks are leaving comments to posts but they are really spammers? I have really resisted turning on moderation, I don't want to add an obstacle to people posting. I did turn on moderation for posts older than 14 days, as I found that spammers would go into really old posts and put spam there. So far I'm just cleaning up the spam messages in the post comments.

What do you think? Does having moderation turned on cause you to be reluctant to posting replies on the blog?

Monday, April 26

Giveaway Ending, Winners and Goodies


There was such a great response to my question on the giveaway post, and I'm enjoying reading all the replies.


Here are pictures of the front and back of the piece that's being given away. I found the glass bead and loved the color, so I decided to create a compatible polymer clay emblem to use in one of my new heart bezels.

On the reverse side I engraved a faint pattern in the pewter, to look like it has been worn away with much wearing, a delicate linear engraved line design.

It looks very ancient and feminine, I like it a lot.


All this coming week I'll be showing new pieces I'm making with the pewter bezels and polymer clay together, like carved bone, ceramic or ivory.

I decided there were so many great replies that I would offer everyone who gave a reply to the giveaway post a 10% discount in the Etsy shop, so if you've had your eye on something you can use this discount until the end of April. Maybe you need something for a special Mother's Day gift, or just something for yourself.


To help me remember to give you the discount, please write me a note at checkout, I'll adjust the price through PayPal - and enjoy!

The winner of the Peach Heart Drop Pendant is Cynthia Wolff at BeatnHeart - Thank you ALL very much for all the good feedback.

And I wish I could have all of you in the studio for a day, to learn whatever you'd like. Maybe one day ... it's on my mind ... possibly in 2010, or maybe 2011!

Sunday, April 25

Costume Pearls of A Certain Age


I remember my grandmother's costume jewelry, back at that time costume pearls were very popular and over time they got a certain variation in color and a slight warm coloring from being worn.

So I've been experimenting with new, bright white costume pearls, trying to get that aged and worn look.


These two batches came out just the way I envisioned, like so many things creative it's a trial and error process, but I think these are about right.


One group is a light gray color, with some darker ones mixed in, as though they aged unevenly.

And the other is a warm golden-cream color. Just about what I remember from the old ones in the jewelry box.

I've put these two colors into the Etsy shop, they really work well with the pewter pieces.


Pre-aged costume pearls, to give that look of authentic vintage aura. I'm working on a necklace using these with some pewter connectors. So there's no need to hunt down old pieces and take them apart, these are all ready to go.

I love wearing pearls, the look of them. They work really well for bracelets, too, either strung or with rosary wire wrapping.

Gray and cream, faux pearls, replica costume pearls!
Oh, and that's some of my hand crocheted lace there in the background, too ... to add to the vintage look.
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Don't forget about the giveaway post below, today's the last day to share your thoughts in a reply and get in the running for the giveaway item! And a huge THANK YOU to those who have posted, terrific info and greatly appreciated.

Saturday, April 24

Faux Fun is Real Fun


I thought I'd return to the experience I had at Artfest, now almost four weeks ago, and talk about another wonderful class I took there, showing some pictures of the finished piece. I really love how it turned out!


Richard Salley taught a class on my first day of classes to create an etched copper faux bone letter opener.

Here are some photos I took in class of his pieces, he had them available for inspiration. And the class example he made was really beautiful, too. He has a very distinctive and recognizeable style, and everything he makes has a finished and grounded look to it, which is part of the reason I wanted to take the classes with him.

They look very organic and have a weight and color that marks them as uniquely his own.


He's a great teacher, really knowledgeable and grounded, the pace of the class was just right and covered all the high points, while allowing some freedom to make the piece individual.


This is my letter opener, I wanted to make my blade look more like horn or antler than like a bone blade. And Richard had some examples of what real horn looked like, to help me reach for that look. I was very happy at the fit between the two pieces, they slide together easily and come apart with little pressure, but hold together tightly. Nice!



The design pattern etched into the copper is from one of my very favorite rubber stamps, it has lettering and intricate detail. I was happy that I didn't lose any of the detail. I used texturing hammers to create the rough patterns in the end pieces. The whole thing is darkened with liver of sulphur to make the pattern show up, and give a time worn patina to the piece.


I wanted the letter opener to look like something very ancient, as if it was discovered in a dig at the site of an ancient monastery or castle site.

I have some ideas on using the copper etched pieces to create some more things, without the faux bone.


I bought some ferric chloride etchant, I usually use a stronger etchant but decided I'd get some of the FC Etchant to play with also. When I get some time I will be doing more etching in copper, I love the look and color of the copper combined with the pewter pieces.


Later, I'll take some photos to share here with the piece I created in the other class I took with Richard, so you can see how it turned out.

It's raining here, chilly and windy. I keep an eye on the weather while working in the studio this morning, it's a gray and blustery kind of spring day. The darkened sky seems to enhance the brilliance of the ornamental pear blossoms and red buds blazing in the yard.

I slept in this morning, it is rainy and cool, good sleeping weather.

And I stayed up past midnight last night watching a period piece show on Masterpiece Classics, and I know the look and feel of the jewelry and buttons on the costumes is seeping into my unconscious - Can't wait to see what comes out ...

Thursday, April 22

Another Heart and a Giveaway


Last night I took the night off out of the studio.

Yes, that's right. I ate dinner at a table like most folks, and watched a favorite show on TV.

Radical!

I thought I'd treat myself and take a little break, but tonight it's back in the studio to make up some more things.


One of the new things I made last weekend is this little linen-colored heart with metal hanging loops. It is very ornate looking and worn, almost like carved bone or wood. The back has a design on it, too.


I noticed that the ExpeditionD shop has now joined the other Etsy shop in going over 800 sales! Woo Hoo!

That plus the 2 year anniversary at Easter of the ExpeditionD shop, and the blog counter milestones tells me, it's time for a GIVEAWAY!

So, if you post your thoughts to this question on this post, you'll be in the running to win one of my new heart designs in the pewter bezel that I pictured on the previous post. Fun!

Here's the question:

If you could spend any amount of time with me in my studio and have me teach any ONE thing in ONE media (glass, polymer clay, pewter, fused fine silver, to list some options) which ONE would you pick?

If you choose to post, and you are a FOLLOWER of the blog, you get extra points (hint, hint) so give this some thought and tell, DO tell ... lots of juicy details on how you reached your choice also give a extra point on the giveaway. You can do it, I know you can ...

I'll announce the winner next Monday!


(Don't hold back - I promise you'll REALLY love being the winner)

Wednesday, April 21

Hearts and Flowers


I've been promising myself for some time now that I would make more bezels, especially ones that I can combine with my polymer clay faux-tique beads and cabochons.

So last weekend I made myself take out time and create some.

This heart shaped pendant is one of the results.

I created the interior of the heart bezel to fit some of the heart shapes I've already been making.


The back is a brushed metal, and I put on a dark coppery-bronze patina and aged it really well, like an attic antique.

The front reminds me of carved bone or ivory, but with a hint of yellow and green color.


Like daffodils, from faded flowers long ago. It's my new favorite.

And I can't wait to make up some more. I have an oval one in the works, and a rounded circle, I just haven't finished off the castings quite yet.

Fun!

Tuesday, April 20

Bowtied Beauty




Karen Burns at Vintage Findings has a way with my components, I love how they turn out in her hands.

She was nice enough to send me these photos, aren't the designs and colors beautiful.

I wish they were mine! I would wear them constantly.

I have to choose sometimes between using the time to make components, or taking the time to create finished jewelry.

When I see what folks like Karen do with the components, I'm happy I choose to make and share them.


It's like getting a present!

I love sending them out, and I do wonder a lot what they "grow up" to become.

This is one of my favorites, using one of the components, the little bowtie connector, that I like a lot.

It's a replica of an antique, very pretty. Just like this necklace. What a beauty! And the little girl is quite pretty, too ...

Monday, April 19

For a Friend, Shiny Thoughts




Do you get the impression that I get started in a direction and end up in a groove and have a hard time changing directions?

I guess I get going working in a media, get into it, and stay on it for a while.

I've had a friend, a very patient friend, who has been asking for some fused glass.

So this weekend I took a time out from the orders, from pewter and polymer, and made this pair of fused glass dangles.


I am so happy they turned out, and they're headed to their new home.

I do owe a couple of people some special items, and they're on my list.

But this one is done, and I'm pleased. Feels very good!

On to the next one, bring it on ... I'll work it in, too. It's good for me to learn balance.

Sunday, April 18

Color of Flight



Today I'm changing gears, back to working in pewter, I have some orders waiting to be filled.

It's been lovely, the response I've gotten for the colorful hearts and wings.
So here are a couple more, with pretty blue wings outspread, and bright red wing, green leaf hearts and red scroll heart.



And another of the houses I finished, with a couple of skully beads.



My hands are coated with red, blue and green paint, I'll remove it when I change to casting the pewter.

It's fun working with the bright colors and graphic designs.

Now I'm off to create some metal-toned pieces.

I love changing from media to media - it keeps things interesting.

Saturday, April 17

Hearth House Home


I finally got some little houses in polymer clay finished and posted to Etsy, and I really like them.

They're already gone out of the Etsy shop, though. That's exciting. I guess it means I should make more.

I do have a couple more almost done.

I love how the colors are coming out right now, very subtle and shaded.

Sometimes I have days with a paint brush when everything comes out muddy and I can't mix colors worth anything to look at.

And other days, the paint just wants to go together, it comes up so pretty, coming up with colors and blends I would never have done on purpose.

When I'm having one of those days, I try to do a lot of painting.

On the muddy paint days, I do something else, like antiquing and patina applying - that needs a muddy hand sometimes.


I like the little houses. I will find some time to create some more, really soon. And hope for a cooperative paint day right after that.

Friday, April 16

Winged Heart, Heart Wings


Color.

It's an inspiring and uplifting part of this time of year.

The grass suddenly green and needing to be mowed for the first time.

The sky a brilliant blue, with startlingly white clouds.

The tulips a shocking red, pink and yellow.

I always find myself drawn to lots of bright colors in the springtime.

I saw a cardinal, a bright red one, flying in the buds of the tree leaves. A flash of red against the light lime green leaves.


Wisteria and redbuds, blooming out in brilliant lavender colors.

Hearts and wings, both soaring.

Thursday, April 15

Got the Blues?


It's April 15, you know what that means. It's tax filing day here in the good old USA.

Fortunately, ours are ready to go.


I've been making some blue colored hearts and houses, so I thought I'd post photos of some of them today.

They'd be good for a blue Monday, too.

I think they'd be good for any day you're in the mood for a blue color.


Like the sky, or the caribbean sea, a bluebird's wing.

Blue is a color that lifts the spirits. With greens, for an accent.

So you can see, I've got blue for you!