Category Archives: Jewelry
(The Art Bead Scene post is one click down)
Every month Erin Prais-Hintz gives us an amazing design challenge. The challenges have ranged from photos of dragonflies, to short movies and this month: Architecture.
When I saw this building, and the others in the challenge, I knew I had to make earrings with Dinosaur Bone. And not just any Dinosaur Bone, Opalized Dinosaur Bone.
In medical school I learned that the hip bone is “spongy” inside. It is not solid bone but has “trabeculae”, long arches of bone in its spongy core. The arches are virtually identical to the arches architects have used over the centuries to create the supports for cathedrals and for modern buildings like the one above.
If you are a nerd like me, you are going “duh” because the laws of physics apply equally to supporting bone and supporting the roofs of buildings.
Here is an X-ray of a hip bone. The image is reversed, so the bone shows black. Do you see the swooping, curved lines?
Here is a drawing that shows the lines that support the bone:
If you go to http://www.earrings-everyday.blogspot.com and look at all of the photos Erin posted, YOU WILL SEE THESE SAME LINES AND CURVES IN THE LOAD-BEARING WALLS OF EVERY ONE OF THE BUILDINGS in the challenge.
I am in year two of a five year plan to create gorgeous polymer clay opals.
When Erin posted the April Challenge, I had just seen this photo of Opalized Dinosaur Bone and pinned it to my “Opals to Polymerize” Pinterest board.
This fossil is a tiny piece of a dinosaur bone, so you don’t see the swooping lines we’d see if we had an X-ray of the dinosaur’s whole hip bone.
Here are the earrings I made:
I really had fun making these. I created two shades of green opal, two of blue and one of violet. I mixed tiny shreds of these colors into five different color combinations. I wrapped the green ones in Raw Umber Premo and the blue ones in Burnt Umber. If you look closely you can see how this enhanced the natural, organic feel to the piece.
The opal clay sparkles and twinkles just like mineral opal.
I used dyed jade beads as drops below the Opalized Dinosaur Bone. It’s translucency enhances the mineral feel to the earrings.
Here is another shot. The photo finishing to bring up the sparkle of the opal made my hands look a bit blue.
Join me on a trip down memory lane:
This is one of my early pieces, a pendant of Fossilized Dinosaur Bone, in this case the spaces in the spongy bone of the dinosaur filled with the mineral Apatite, Fools’ Gold. This is my interpretation in polymer. I have one of these available to sell. Message me at http://www.susandolphindelaney.etsy.com if you are interested.
This piece, a small pendant, is very dear to me. The green clay is my very first successful batch of opal clay. I’d been playing with a technique which hadn’t worked and I was processing the clay so that I could turn it into Beads of Courage for kids with cancer, and voila, there it was. I had discovered the next step in making beautiful opals from polymer.
This is another pendant, from my second batch of opal clay. I’d seen an amazing fossil: Opalized Snakeskin, in these colors. I had to try to make it.
Thanks for following my journey.
I am so grateful to Erin for creating these challenges. I always enjoy them, but I must say the deep nerdyness involved in this one kept a grin on my face the whole time I worked.
My mother, Ethel Delaney, worked at NASA Goddard, just outside of DC.
After Apollo 11, which put men on the moon, Spock and Kirk came to NASA Goddard to thank the employees for their help with the mission.
Spock put a gold-plated charm of the lunar lander into Mother’s hand. She was thrilled to the point of speechlessness (not a usual condition for her!) She gave the charm to me and I cherished it. I planned to give it to my own future child.
It was not to be. I lost my little lunar lander charm in a house fire shortly before I became pregnant with my daughter.
Years later, I was able to obtain a modern version of the LEM from the Space Store and give it to her.
On the day that Spock died, February 27, 2015, I went online to find a photo of the charm to post on Facebook with the story of Mom and Spock. To my delight, one of the original charms was available from an Etsy shop!! I ordered it.
The charm has been very well loved. It looks like it was worn every single day.
I made this pair of earrings using it. The left earring has four little chains, echoing the feet of the LEM.
I wear the earrings with this necklace and bracelet, which have the same color of Swarovski crystals in them, along with dozens of other beads including two sizes of citrine; three types of vintage beads that I collected in Santa Fe; Swarovski pearls in two shades of gold; Swarovski rondelles in three shades of gold; a beaded bead from Barcelona; a few deep beige cats eye beads and some two-toned, sun face beads.
I cannot tell you how wonderful it is to have my “Spock charm” back!
The March challenge for Art Bead Scene reminded me of paintings I’d seen of birches at twilight.
I am crazy about birches and have 531 pins of birch trees on my “Birches” board on Pinerest.
Here is the challenge painting:
Edith Carr painted this in 1912 after a six week adventure into rural British Columbia. She called it “Haida Totems”. Birches grow in British Columbia and as far north as Alaska.
My twilight birch beads are inspired by Heather Power’s birch beads, although mine are much, much bigger than hers. I strung them with denim colored button pearls and amethysts.
I also entered the Bead Challenge this month, based on the same photo. Here are Indigo Goddesses.
You can see this month’s challenge at http://www.artbeadscene.blogspot.com/2015/03/march-monthly-challenge.html
A few days ago a woman found my Aurora Australis earring disks on Etsy and wrote to me.
She is a spinner of wool and wanted me to make her a diz* that looked like my earring disks. Many emails ensued and today I made her the diz at the top of this post.
I textured the top of the diz with a mold I’d made from a Malaysian palm and after curing, painted it with iridescent paints and cured it again.
*A diz is a curved disk with small holes in it. It is used to select the longest fibers from a mass of wool fibers, so that they the long fibers can be spun into a strong yarn.
Here is the back of her diz:
The diz is 2 1/2″ across and 1/4″ thick. I left the back very plain so that no paint would rub off on the wool.
I look forward to hearing from her about how it works for her.
Looking for the ABS Challenge? It is down three clicks! It was a month will a full heart!
This month’s challenge from Art Jewelry Elements was open to all!
The editors challenged us to use components created by the editors, rescued from our stashes of beads, and to make something from them.
I found SIX items in my stash from the Art Jewelry Elements editors.
I set to work.
The first earrings I created used two of Sue Kennedy’s Shimmer Beads and paired with with snowflake charms from MayaHoney. You can find Sue’s Shimmer Beads here:
I bought these beads during one of Sue’s wonderful sales.
Jen Cameron of AJE runs an amazing Art Charm Exchange and Charity Auction each fall. Jen’s shop is http://www.glassaddictions.com.
I didn’t have any of Jen’s work but I had these charms from Diana Ptaszynski BECAUSE of Jen’s Art Charm Exchange.
I swapped one of my handmade charms for these leaf charms with one of our other Art Charm Exchange artists.
You can find Diana’s stoneware leaf charms here:
Creating the many colors of yellow and tan polymer opal clay that went into the disks in these earrings brought me to a breakthrough, using golden yellow opal clay, that led to my Giverny series of polymer clay opal disks, which you can see in my shop, so I am so glad that I swapped for these.
It is not often that I find myself almost weeping for joy when I open a parcel from an Etsy seller, but when I opened the package from Rebekah Payne with these Queen Ann’s Lace drops, I wanted to cry. They are absolutely gorgeous. I paired them with some white baroque freshwater pearls. You can find Rebekah’s drops/pendants at:
You will not be surprised to learn that I had three items in my stash from Kristi Bowman.
Kristi does wonderful things with copper clay. I paired her disks with my lush female figures made up in my Azurite with Native Copper polymer clay. Kristi’s shop, KristiBowmanDesign, does not have these exact disks as I write today but you can find many other wonderful copper disks there today:
I’d been walking around Kristi’s Lotus Root Pods for some time. This challenge enabled me to make this pair of earrings. I added goldstone beads and copper beads to copper headpins to make the dangles.
This item is not available on Kristi’s shop today but you can use the url above to find something wonderful.
Finally, I had a single heart from Kristi that I had “won” in Jen’s Art Charm Exchange in 2013. I created a pair of asymmetric earrings. I paired Kristi’s copper heart with one of the disks from my shop, Azurite in Native Copper. I topped it with a Swarovski AB topaz bead. I made the other earring with some chain maille I’d “won” in the Jen’s 2013 Art Charm Exchange. Toltec Jewels made the chain maille. I added topaz crystals to match the other earring.
You can find Kristi’s hearts in her shop today:
So, one challenge, six pairs of earrings and the inspiration for my Giverny Opal Clay!
Here is the Waterlily Garden Opal Clay that arose when I worked with Diana’s charm:
All of these earrings are available in my shop
Thanks to the AJE team for this wonderful challenge.
visit http://www.artjewelryelements.blogspot.com to see the other participants.
A bead artist in one of my Facebook groups was bemoaning her cracked fingertips. I will share what I wrote to her, in case you are suffering as well.
I am a doctor/artist and I wrote a comprehensive health care guide for women who do crafts. It won a Gold Medal for Health Communication and was a Main Selection of the Doubleday Cooking and Crafts club.
One whole chapter of my book is on the fingers.
Here is what I am doing this winter for my cracked fingertips. Every night I put a teaspoon of sugar in my palm and pour in about a teaspoon of olive oil. I scrub down my hands, the backs, palms and fingertips. I rub my fingertips in my palms in the sugar scrub to burnish off dead skin and to stimulate the blood vessels.
Then I wash off the sugar with water under the tap, then most of the oil with hand soap.
I keep my fingernails very short so that the skin on the tips is uniformly tough, so that it resists cracking.
At bedtime I put 1/2 teaspoon of sweet almond oil in my palm and I massage it into my hands, especially my nail beds and fingertips. The massage not only delivers the oil to my skin but opens up the capillary beds so that maximum sturdiness of the skin develops.
If you want my book, many Amazon Booksellers have it for 1 cent plus $3.99 shipping (this keeps me humble; if you buy from Amazon Booksellers I won’t make even that one cent, which is fine).
If you need it today you can get it from C&T Publishing as an e-book. There’s a hot link to the C&T listing on my author website http://www.susandelaneyauthor.com.
BTW, C&T was the best publisher a gal could dream of!
Are you feeling at the end of your rope?
My dear, late friend Fr. Al Durrance used to say this: God can always be found at the end of your rope.
Al had been in the healing ministry for 56 years when he passed last July. He brought me into that ministry in 1994 and I have been privileged to see many miracles because he “got” me that day at the National meeting in Ft. Worth. He waived the “entrance” requirements for the Oder of St. Luke the Physician and inducted me on the spot. I think he knew that I would do all of the required things. I did. In fact, I have taught the course on the healing miracles of Jesus eight times already.
I made these earrings from translucent polymer clay that I kissed gently with silver/granite clay and bronze clay. Only the tiniest bit of each.
I made the silicone molds from a statue of St. Francis of Assisi. The mold for the back is just folds of his habit. See below.
I painted the recesses of the clay ovals with a silver paint and the high points with a gleaming micaceous paint.
They are gorgeous. Below you can see the “back” of one on the left.
They are available in my Etsy shop as a special order. I can do them with hints of silver, pale gold, gold, copper or bronze in the clay. I can put in gray mica or gleaming colorless mica. Or both. I can paint the recesses with silver, gold, copper or bronze. I can paint the high spots with a super thin layer of mica in red, orange, blue, green or violet. I can use wires and lever backs to match the metallic color you have chosen to tint the clay body.
I’d be glad to make a pair for you. I can have them ready to ship within three days.