Friday, March 16, 2018

We're All Ears :: Pump up the Contrast

I'm late! I'm late! For a very important date!

I am definitely the White Rabbit!

Late into the evening last night (because if it weren't for the last minute nothing would ever get done) I was creating my earrings for our monthly challenge: All About the Contrast.

I typically go through my stash and pull out all the beads in the color palette that I intend to use. This time Black + White. That was a significant challenge for me! Everywhere I look there is a sandbox of colorful beads beckoning me to dive on in. But I did manage to find some.

Eagle-eye Friend of the Blog, Miss Divya, pointed out a mistake on my challenge post that it is a misnomer to call Black + White a monochromatic color palette. Of course, she is right! I will admit that I have not formally studied color, but consider myself more of a Color-Embracer, so I appreciate learning the correct term. She let me know that Black + White is actually called achromatic. So I looked it up.
The term achromatic can be confused with monochromatic. Achromatic means only the neutral colors are used in decorating. These neutral colors are black, white, and gray. A monochromatic color scheme, however, means that designers use varying shades of one color. -
Thank you for the clarification!

 What I was really going for was a play on mixing patterns this month, but whatever direction you decided to go in is completely okay. The point of these challenges is always to have fun and make earrings!

I decided that I would stick with just Black + White and not mix any colors. But I did decide to add some touches of gold that I think really pop, as would any other metallic. Here is what I created:

I found these black glass petal beads in my stash from a video shoot that I did for Interweave back in 2015. Then I spotted a baggie on the floor with a defunct "grandma" necklace in it. There were these knobby plastic pearls in the bunch separated with the gold filigree bead caps. I know you can't really see it, but under the bead caps were these sort of rubbery black plastic daisy bead caps that allowed a little black to peek out. Topped it off with some great chunky faceted snowflake obsidian stones. I could picture these elegant earrings on a character like the Dowager Countess on Downton Abbey (goodness, how I miss that show!).

I have no idea where I got these twisted glass wreath beads. Then I spotted these carved mother of pearl leaves. I added some little black beads that came from that defunct granny necklace (see above). I couldn't come up with a name for these since my mind was too full. Ha!

Long ago I had purchased some lightweight vintage plastic beads. I have no idea why I buy things, because I rarely have a need for them in the moment, and I am realizing that my studio is filled to overflowing with so many things like this! I really need to start using them up! That has been my plan this year. But it seems that when I find something like this and use it, that things just seem to multiply. I used to have quite a stash of Jennifer Heynen's Jangles beads over the years (if you need a dose of happy, just head on over there!). She has since stopped making beads to focus on making fabric, so what I have left are pretty special to me! She knew how to mix bold patterns fearlessly. I auditioned all manner of spacers to give an added oomph, and these vintage brass bursts did just the trick. I think that Jennifer would approve!

I really do adore mismatched earrings. But I never find myself making them. But these little stacks just sort of appeared in the jumble. All very similarly shaped elements, which makes this work. Bits of Jangles and JulsBeads.

Who doesn't love penguins? I bought these cute little critter beads from JettaBug Jewelry some time ago (see above re: buying-things-and-never-knowing-how-or-when-you-will-use-them). Now was the perfect time to bust them loose! They make me so happy! I decided that these sweet friends needed a little block of ice to feel at home. Friends forever doing their dance!

Okay. That's enough for me. Let's see what you made!

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Classic Bohemian Girl

I've been on "Standby Service" for the Sacramento Superior Court all this week and have been checking the court's website every evening after 5 p.m. to see if they want me to report to Court the following day.  So far, I haven't been called in, so I've been catching up with projects I haven't finished and have been digging into the serious mess that is my studio.  It's like a treasure hunt when you clean up, and I struck gold when I found a little bag containing these meltingly pretty polymer clay teardrop charms by Helena Benkoczka of Areto Beads and Jewellery.  

So, with an eye to an imminent spring (and then a hot summer), I decided to use Helena's pretty charms to make one of my favorite fiber-wrapped designs, one I've made many times.  I love this design and enjoyed gathering the ingredients:  pretty purple Czech glass Saturn beads, turquoise Czech glass discs, little purple faceted rondelles (also Czech glass), and 8/0 purple-lined seed beads.

I hadn't made a wrapped design in a while, so I especially enjoyed the wrapping part of making these earrings: the tension needed to keep the beads at the top straight and strong, then the precise wrapping at the tops of the charms, adding the tiny 15/0 beads that nestle inside the teal rings, tying the thread off at the back, and covering the thread with matching colored paper and glaze.

Interestingly enough, as I'm finishing my blog post, I find out that I have to report to Court tomorrow morning at 8 a.m.  I guess duty calls!

Thank you so much for reading!  I love you guys, and I'll see you all again in two weeks.  💗


Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Mother Earth

It's been a sad week in the Philipson household. On Saturday my mother-in-law, Annie, fell asleep for the last time. She was nearly 94, and had suffered dreadfully from Alzheimer's Disease for the last 10 years. So although it wasn't unexpected (and if we are being entirely honest - seeing her deteriorate to a nil quality of life - often wished for) it's still a shock when the day finally comes. So very final.

At a bit of a loss what to make for this weeks post, I decided to share a pair I have ready for a show I'm doing at the end of the month on LBA Designers Galleria Showcase with my friends Helen Backhouse, Lucy Haslam, and Jeni Houser Alasad. We are calling it Mother Earth - entirely appropriate for today.

These are called 'Pachamama' - the Inca goddess of the earth, or Mother Earth. A tribute to Annie. Not that she'd ever have worn them though - far too big and ostentatious!

The ceramics are distinctively Mari-Carmen Rodriguez Martinez. Proper goddess headdress they are too. Completed with tiny colourful seed beads on waxed irish linen and glossy wooden tribal figures.

         Hope you can join us there - I'll be donating the price of this pair to the Alzheimers Society.

                                                              See you in two weeks

                                                                       Lindsay x

                                                                     My Etsy shop
                                                               My Facebook page

Earthy and tribal

Hello! It'll be a brief post from me today. A little pair of earrings I made recently with some components from my very favourite artists. And also illustrating my slight obsession with layering in earring designs!

Firstly, we'll take Petra Carpreau's beautiful ceramic droppers. Made with black stoneware, they are earthy and rather tribal.
I added some oval brass connectors at the back, which act as a frame for some rather fabulous red brass chain, which peaks out from behind the holes in the droppers and at the bottom of the earrings for extra swing! I had a pair of Claire Lockwood's gorgeous textured denim ceramic rondelles in my beady stash for a while. They were part of a set of earring beads that Claire sold in one of her shop updates (her updates are rare, but oh my word, they are worth waiting for!) and I really like both the colour (that pop of blue is a nice contrast) and texture of these (co-ordinates with the primitive, tribal vibe I think!). Finally, I added some greek ceramic rondelles and some copper twisted jumprings.

Hope you like them. They are available in my shop.

See you in a few weeks

Monday, March 12, 2018


I notice that if I don't challenge myself ever so often in my designs I grow stagnant. Oh, don't get me wrong, I love my earlier designs. But sometimes I feel the need to stretch myself in directions I don't normally go.

Asymmetrical style earrings are not something I think of when I sit down at my bead table. So I thought it time to try them again. I tend to use up one-of-a-kind beads or a left over bead from an earlier project. So I always feel good about using bits and pieces that I love.

I call these earrings 'Rose Marie'. I love the elegant lady on the vintage brass cameo with roses around her. Then I found a vintage brass filigree button with a rose on it. They both had a similar size and shape. Now to dig up beads that worked in similar colors. I had a left over mother of pearl diamond charm from Smitten Beads UK Then a lovely grey pearl and Czech English cut bead and Czech flower in dark red, also from Smitten Beads UK to complete my rose theme.


If you are looking for a way to challenge yourself  check out Erin's We're All Ears Challenge for this month creating monochromatic designs. I tried my hand at a long descending sized black and off white button pair of earrings I call 'Monochrome Buttons'. I used wooden pattern buttons and vintage black plastic buttons and strung them on black Irish waxed linen. And the showstopper ear wires are from Lucy Haslam of Faerystone.

Have a blest creative day,

Friday, March 9, 2018

A random mix

Hi everyone, for this week's post I have been playing with my latest haul from Petra Carpreau's shop and came up with the following.  I messed around a lot trying to come up with clever designs, not sure I've achieved anything new but here they are.

I absolutely love love these connectors with multiple wire loops. I had a similar pair from Petra several years ago and was really happy to see them again. Not sure why but I felt like making them asymmetrical even though they looked just fine as symmetrical earrings.  I made some wire wrapped hoops in black and periwinkle, and stacked both with my usual brass bits.

Here I used Petra's bobble flower connectors, topped with brass bits and Czech glass flowers, hanging from the bottom are my wire wrapped connectors with slight asymmetry. 

Bobble flowers again, teamed with brass flowers and insects.  

These are now listed in my Etsy shop.  See you again later this month. 


My Etsy shop: Buttoned Up Beads

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Crows and Clovers

I have some special components to share with you today!  These lovely crow charms were made by Sasha Crow - Artisan Jewelry ComponentsThey are hand drawn with many layers of colored pencil on hand cut copper pieces. Each layer is baked and sealed.  

I was very lucky to have won a pair of little beaded "U" connectors by SagaHaus Components for a 'giveaway' prize during a show.  Aren't those colors just perfect?!! I wanted to bring a Celtic knot vibe to the design so I added wire components by Joan Moritz Langmo.  I'm pretty thrilled with the way this design came together.

Revisiting a design I made last year with crows and clovers ~ couldn't resist showing you.  I guess I'm just in love with that spring green with that pop of black!  


While at Bead & Button this past summer, I found these wonderful little vintage clover connectors from a vintage dealer.  I added teeny-tiny vintage enameled four leaf clovers for the dangles.  The top AB faceted beads are not vintage but do have a vintage feel so it all works nicely.

So happy to be here, and a million thank yous for stopping by today!

All my best,

Loralee xo

Loralee Kolton ~ artful in beads

Sasha wanted me to add this comment and a coupon to her shop today!

"Cool stuff! Thank you, Loralee! You did the crows well! Although I don't have any more crows or other pencil components, I am having a SALE today in honor of the Earrings Everyday mention --- 15% OFF everything in my shop -- only today -- coupon code EARRINGSEVERYDAY"

Please share! xxx