Sunday, February 19, 2017

Rock And Chain

Art Beads:
Facetted polymer clay rocks by Barbara Bechtel of SecondSurf/Floridity.

Other components:
Brass chain and findings

I really like the three-dimensional shapes that are created when this type
of chain hangs vertically and freely like this. I lack the words in English
to properly explain what I mean, but I hope you understand from looking
at the picture above.

I am so lucky to still have quite a few of Barbara Bechtel's components
in my stash. She is/was one of my favourite art bead artisans. A wiz with
the polymer clay. Inventive and groundbreaking. Check out those faceted
rocks. She was the first one who started making them some years ago.
Now we see many using that style, and in different materials. Nowadays
she is focusing on her art carreer more than the jewelry side.

These earrings are not for sale at the moment. They will be worn on
stage by one of the singers in my son's band.


All my best,

Friday, February 17, 2017

We're All Ears :: February Reveal :: Patchwork

Hello earring peeps!
I hope you found some inspiration in the layers of color and texture that I shared two weeks ago. I think that my whole life is a patchwork of sorts, filled with a random mixture of colors, textures, patterns and shapes.The cool thing about patchwork, mishmash, jumble or potpourri approach is that anything goes!

Usually with these challenges I try to challenge myself. This month I set out to adapt a look that I have been working on for other jewelry pieces into some components for earrings.

Introducing: The HodgePodge Collection

These are made from a variety of canes and blends that I have made myself in my polymer clay work. To make these I have to make larger sheets that are filled with a crazy mish-mash of cane slieces and polymer clay veneers. Then I use these special micro cutters that I found (meant for leather work) to make the shapes. These are just the initial pairs that I have created, but I know that I will make other shapes and color palettes. Lots of possibilities here!

I decided that for the earrings I would select a few of my favorites, but I wanted to keep the focus on the components. Not long ago I spotted a video of Heather Powers for her Bead Table Wednesday where she talked about making your own ear wires. I know I should really get in the habit of making my own as it really ups your game and makes your jewelry really unique, but I admit that I am quite lazy! I would much rather work on the beads and components and by the time I get to making my own findings I am ready to move on. Still, it really is quite simple if you have the right gauge wire...oh and a good wire rounder tool to make sure the wire ends are smooth. I used 20 gauge sterling silver wire for all of these. I experimented with different shapes and added details like some faceted hematite beads and hammered spirals. I like that these ear wires I make can complement the materials and shape of the components.

 I really like the graduated sizes of most of the shapes in the set. I think it will be fun to experiment with drops that are different sizes and adding in other beads and metal for a more layered effect. I think I will have fun making more of these components this spring, and even offering a few for sale. If you are interested, let me know.

Now it is your turn! Let's see what sort of mish-mash, jumbled up, patchwork style you created this month.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Escape to a Tropical Paradise

Heyyyyy..... it's been awhile! I'm so happy to finally feel well enough to make an appearance here.

I've missed you all very much. My battle isn't over, but at least I'm making enough progress to start hanging out with you here again, and that makes me VERY happy!

For the past 9 months, you could say that both my hubby and I have been 'surviving' life rather than 'living' life. As we were watching the finale of the Alone tv show last week, one of the contestants was talking about the difference between being in survival mode vs living life mode.

That's how I feel. I've been in survival mode for 9 months now, and attempting to insert a bit of 'living life' here and there - and to me, that means getting creative again!

So I'm thrilled to say that I've been able to make some Mokume Gane Polymer Clay earrings components such as these, recently:

I love the look of Mokume Gane, don't you? It kind of reminds me of Australian Opals with the layers and colors. I just get giddy inside when I see these :)

The metal leaf (gold in this case) and various layers of translucent clay and colored clay blend together to make a unique rustic chic look that I love. It's random and once I apply several coats of clear varnish, the layers and colors just pop.

My mother-in-law and I were talking that we'd love to go on a trip to Hawaii (she's been there, I haven't) one day when we're all feeling a lot better (gotta have a goal in life, right?), so I made these earrings thinking of escaping to Hawaii:

Rustic Chic "Escape to a Tropical Paradise" Earrings, featuring my handmade Mokume Gane polymer clay components, with a rustic messy 14kt gold-filed wire wrap, Swarovski Crystals, gorgeous Czech Glass beads from my friend Jac at Sugabeads (she has awesome supplies!), and set on hypoallergenic Titanium ear hooks.

You can see these earrings and more of my handmade jewelry components in My Garden Of Love Etsy Shop HERE.

Thanks so much for stopping by! Have a wonderful weekend!

Nathalie Lesage
My Garden Of Love on Etsy
The Crafty Tribe on Etsy

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Dapping Fool

Isn't it wonderful how new tools can gently help guide our evolution as artists? 

For years the only dapping set I've had was cheap, wooden, and next to useless. It would divot whenever I used it, had way too much "give" when I would hammer, and would chip and flake all over the place. I limped by with it on the few projects where I wanted domed metal discs. Oh, and those metal discs? I was cutting those out by hand and praying to the symmetry gods that everything would turn up roses. I'm all for winging-it in the studio and making do with what you have, but come on, this was complete amateur hour. 

A month or so ago I decided enough was enough--I needed a decent set of graduated metal dapping punches, a dapping block, and a disc cutter. In other words, I was putting my artistic big-girl-panties on and growing up a bit. And the difference has been night and day.

So since I've been DAPPING EVERYTHING IN SIGHT lately, the other week I had a notion to experiment with some half-hollow forms. The idea happened to coincide nicely with a new order of deliciously primitive ceramic cone beads from NadiaTerra. The result: half ceramic, half copper, scrappy little oddities. I'm reminded of excavated ancient pottery and weathered bronze age metalwork. 

I cut, textured, and dapped copper discs into domes, strung them on my own fat-bottomed copper headpins along with the ceramic cones, and connected both halves with a ribbon of blackened silver solder. A dot of solder on top, an oxidation bath, and a good seal with wax, and there you have it. 

The only downside to my new tools--I may have to invest in a good pair of noise cancelling headphones for my husband, as I'm sure all this hammering is less than acoustically pleasing... 

Happy Wednesday!
LoveRoot on Etsy

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Farewell Post by Cindy's Art & Soul; Words, Emotions and Jewelry ...

I recently read an article/comment that indicated words don't have a place in jewelry.
I will go out on a limb here and say they do. For me, they definitely do. How about you?

Words have power and wearing them is a way of tapping into that power. Others will read it and they too can be influenced by the positive energy you choose to bring to life.

To breathe it in to absorb the positive nature of all that they hold...

I have used words, positive affirmations and power symbols on my beads and in my jewelry since the beginning. For more on this story I invite you to read my personal blog here:

Courage & Strength. Rune Earrings. Sold.

Thing is... the written word, be it direct or symbolic (such as runes) can reach us on some deep level that we may not even realize when it happens.

 This is why you see words in my jewelry. 

If a word holds power for you, wear it!

With all the hate flying around lately, I find myself wanting to put the word LOVE everywhere. To stamp out the meanness/madness

And so it is that I bring you my recent inspirational earrings with LOVE.

As I mentioned, this is my farewell post. It has been great fun writing for the blog and being a part of this talented group. Now It's time for me to move on to my next adventure, wherever that may be. 

You may catch my personal blog at:

Connect with me on Facebook 

or on Instagram
Or get my newsletter here:
 Cindy's Art and Soul Newsletter Sign up

See you later!
be kind. and wear your words!



Monday, February 13, 2017

A tiny walk down memory lane

Ieeeee, I am so sorry.
Yesterday night I woke up….utterly stressed out… Oh my goodness, how could I have forgotten to take pictures of my new earrings and write a blog for today?  
I was so busy with sorting stuff in my parent’s house, it totally slipped my mind.
And of course, now it is dark outside, no good lighting for taking pictures. So I hope you don’t mind me sharing my first pair of earrings sold on Etsy (October 2011)
Simple earrings with sodalite and silver plated disc beads. I still love this design. I have to say, having forgotten the blog yesterday has a benefit: going through my earliest designs has given me all new ideas. And I am happy to see my photography skills certainly has improved.

If you go through your earliest designs, do you get inspired? Do you still like what you have made back then or have you developed a totally different style?

Thank you so much for looking. See you back in two weeks. With new earrings :)

Friday, February 10, 2017

Love Hearts

Seeing as it's Valentine's Day next week I thought I'd pull out all of my 💜 beads and make a collection of 💜 earrings.  That was the plan anyway.  I started on this pair (below) and it took me all day, in between dealing with a very restless 2 month old, to make just 1 pair. By then I'd lost interest in making more heart earrings so I just played for a bit and made the rest.  Hope you like them :). 

Polymer hearts by Areto Beads.

Resin/paint and copper charms by Nicola Morse.

I have lost count of how many times I've made this design 😂 but I'm still enjoying making them so that's a good thing.  Resin/paint/copper charms by Nicola Morse and lampwork by GlassBeadArt.

and these, more simple compared to the rest but the colours went so well I didn't want to spoil them with more additions.

That's the lot for today.  I might list them on Etsy next week, if not they will be available in my next FB show in the Earrings Show group.

See in a couple of weeks time.


My Etsy shop:  Buttoned Up Beads