After seeing a bunch of braided hairstyles online I decided to try one out on my long locks. As a girls who always had french braids in my hair, I thought this would be easier, but was I ever wrong. Good thing I have some awesome crafty friends who make hairpins to hide my mistakes.
I complimented [or hid] one side of my messy ends with this lovely hairpin by Jen of the littlest bean. It was the perfect match to my favorite marigold vans shirt which was the perfect match to my smoky vans shoes. With an up-do a girl certainly needs earrings, being a jewelry maker makes you need earrings even more. I think these sea foam with a dash of marigold dots were just the right accent. I can never resist adding just one more complimentary color.
happy weekend! I am off to try another braided up-do, and you?
ps: it really brightened my day to have a feminine hairdo with an otherwise sporty getup. isn't it fun to mix and match when it comes to style and color? i certainly think so.
For some time now I have been meaning to write a series of blog posts inspired by color in my handmade community. Often I see that makers I know are working with similar hues. Whether it be hand sewn attire, hand dyed yarn, felted goods or handmade accessories we seem to migrate towards the same colors or combinations of color. I guess my talented friends and I have a good eye for what works!
Recently one of my favorite collectors of all things handmade posted a tweet to let us makers know that she was wearing shades of plum in enamel and felt. She sent us a picture of her beautiful smiling face as she sported her handmade bling to show us just how well our work came together. Kat also gave us the best compliment a maker can hear, "I always feel a little boost when I wear work from either (or both) of you!" Now that is the best thing a maker could ever hear. To think that another person has that strong of a reaction to your work, the pieces you pour your heart and soul into is heartwarming. Work you sometimes sweat over and bleed while fabricating or cry over. Kat's sentiment means the world to me and makes me want to run to my jeweler's bench right this moment and not emerge until I am sufficiently covered in silver dust.
Now, let's get to plum!
. . .these enameled plum dot earrings by me!
I may be biased but I think Kat has a great sense of style. Mixing smooth, cool jewelry with a warm, rougher textured brooch is a smart combination. She is a true supporter and lover of handmade.
If your stocking didn't have enough sparkle in it why not treat yourself to some bling? Now until January 4th, 2014 use the code WHATIREALLYWANTED at www.kobrienjewelry.com to add some bling to the New Year.
Pick earrings that don't match. I won't judge you.
I have been making lists, so many lists! Inventory lists, lists of what I need to make, lists of what I hope make, lists of what I hope to sell, lists of materials to purchase. There are a few items I have collected quite a bit of and would love to sell them off to make room for new designs. Since materials cost money, it is time to raise some! Let's celebrate autumn with a flash sale!
So, if you are on Instagram you can keep an eye out for pictures I post there. If you are on Facebook, why not like my page and follow my flash sales there? Or you can look out for my tweets with links to the sale item of the day. I am only offering these sales at www.kobrienjewelry.com so be sure to shop there.
Here is a little sample. These earrings retail at $24 and being offered for $20 until the 17th of November at midnight EST. Including free US shipping you save $12.55. Heck yeah, right?
And these plum dot earrings are usually $44, so you save $14.55. Hooray! Now get shopping because the flash sale for these ends on the 17th at midnight.
That's right. There are some shiny objects en route to Magpie!
So, here's the peek. Now get in and see my bling in person.
ps: how awesome is technology? I made all of these graphics on my phone.
Here are some more behind the scenes photos . . .
This striker is the spark behind my flame. Love this simple tool.
Beveling the edges of silver discs to prep them for . .
. . . dapping!
The perfect little cup to hold silver in.
Gum agar spray so the crushed glass sticks to the silver.
sift . . sift . . sift
clean up the edges
Adding a mustard dash to a smoke palette.
All lined up for one last firing . .
I love the way the enamel changes right before your eyes, don't you?
Now they are fused and ready to become earrings.
Cutting up bits of solder.
Setting the earring on a trivet so the enamel doesn't flow and stick to another surface while I am soldering.
Flux . .
. . . and more FIRE!
[then there is clean up time, we can see that next time around.]
I love this combination. Smoke is a lovely canvas for dashes of color, especially mustard.
won't you visit my shop and start making your list for the holidays?
ps: at least i waited until after halloween to mention the holidays. in the crafty world, we have been planning for it since the fourth of July.
Here's a little video of me soldering posts onto earrings I had already enameled.
I am kicking my production in to the highest gear possible with the holidays approaching.
A few weeks ago I put my stump to use in the studio.
I dapped away to prepare for some new enameled jewels.
After I fired some pieces I realized I matched my soon to be necklaces and earrings.
Happy accident or do I just have colors I simply love?
View of my soldering bench. I returned to solder some posts to these lovely new pieces.
[new day, new vans!]
A family of Parisian blue nasturtium earrings were born.
And a necklace too!
Won't you visit my shop to see these lovely blue beauties. I am thinking this is the color for autumn! What else compliments a nice rusty orange or marigold? A complimentary blue is my answer!
After an entire winter of wearing these red boots and toting this teal bag, I started to miss these colors as summer rolled around.
Seeing as my clothes are often varying shades of grey I love to add pops of color with accessories.
My favorite accessory being jewelry.
These bright hues look like superhero colors, craft superhero colors!
If you are interested in purchasing these shiny objects with dashes of color, click the images above or take a look at my shop. With the holidays fast approaching I will be posting new items as fast as I can make them so keep checking in. I know you will find something shiny you love.
ps: sorry to mention the holidays, in the craft world we are already busy making away to stock shops for our big season. as far as I am concerned, it should still be the lazy beach days of summer!
About a month ago I decided to put some orders aside and play around with a new design that was stuck in my head.
I get overly ambitious when I order beads and have had these pyrite [fool's gold!] beads for about a year.
I made earrings with this bead on them and wear them often but was missing a necklace to match.
I set out to making a fun clasp for this simple design and used some chain that fit right through the bead.
Having the chain go through the bead itself made for a bit more of a challenge than if I wrapped the bead to the chain as I have to solder the clasps after the bead is on the necklace.
I am in love with the results. It is really simple but still perfectly elegant necklace.
I love the movement of the pyrite on the chain. It gives my hands something to fiddle with when I step away from my jeweler's bench and interact with the public.
This oxidized fool's gold necklace is my favorite of the two. It changes the design just a little, making it less elegant and more me, perfect for everyday wear.
Everyday wear for me is a t-shirt, jeans and vans or docs. Oxidized metal always seems to suit me but I realize everyone has different styles and tastes so I always try to keep my shop full of options. I aim to please.
ps: this is the start of a new series of work. I just know it! I have visions of more chain, different beads, color combinations.... It is endless.
pps: can i just say technology rocks? i took these photos with my phone and listed the necklace on etsy with my phone. that rocks!
pps: can i just say technology rocks? i took these photos with my phone and listed the necklace on etsy with my phone. that rocks!
I found this shirt at a thrift shop some time ago. It needed to be taken in, mint and polka dots are worth the extra effort as far as I am concerned. You know I must love it if I bought a shirt I need to iron!
It is so difficult to photograph yourself, at least to get an entire outfit in one shot. Well, I tried. The skirt is a thrifted gap skirt from last year. my shoes are miz mooz, a rare pair of heels you will find me in, I suppose I made an exception for the color yellow. I love how my marigold nasturtium necklace looks with the mint shirt. I suppose it is a habit of working with enamel, you just can't get away from playing color combinations.
When The Modern Shop at the Modern Art Musuem of Fort Worth ordered some shimmering moon rings I was delighted to start making them.
As a jeweler I am generally a precise person and pay great attention to detail. Rings require a certain type of detail I am not very good at, math. You must be able to consider the thickness of the band as well as the width when cutting silver to the right size. Luckily I have a little book with an easy to read grid to help with this. Here I am measuring twice and cutting once.
I don't get to make rings too often. Many people don't know their ring size and selling them in person is tough, you need to have enough on hand for a broad range of sizes. This was the cause of my excitement, it gave me a reason to get back into ring making.
It also doesn't help that I am a mere 4.5 US ring size which is far smaller than most people, so my idea of the average size is skewed. When I make a ring too large to fit me, it still doesn't fit most other people.
I started to clean the oxidation from these rings and suddenly remembered how much fun it is to use this little mandrel wrapped in sandpaper. It makes cleaning the inside of rings a dream, though, I may not have fingerprints left once I finish this part.
A shiny, shimmering finish, looking great stacked..
The oxidized are just as shimmery, they remind me of nights out on the beach, watching the water turn dark as the sun sets and the moon sparkles on a few waves, highlighting the ebb and flow of the ocean.
I am ever so proud to announce that my jewelry is now available in The Modern Shop at The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth!
That's right, this lovely building is now home to these pieces below....
It was such a pleasure to do business with them. I really feel like my work is a perfect fit for this shop, I do hope it is well received.
After seeing how lovely the architecture of the museum is I am itching to take a road trip there. My jewelry gets to travel to the best of places, at least there is a part of me there, but I am still jealous.
I treated myself to some ring finger bling.
For some time now, years I think, I have been lusting after The Angry Weather's shop.
After much debate I decided to go with these desert rock stacking rings. Iveth's work is all so lovely it made for a difficult decision. Knowing I wouldn't want to take her jewelry off I decided on these sweet little rings which are oh so perfect for everyday wear.
Everyday wear to me means days spent in my studio, days working at the antique shop, days where I get all glammed up and days where I stay home with my Callie girl. I am seriously smitten with my rings. Thank you, Iveth, for making such lovely jewels wrapped up in the cheeriest of packaging. When I get to Montreal, I can't wait to grab a coffee with you.
after another year of crafting my heart away i get to send out another thank you post on the blog.
thank you for keeping even my oldest of designs in high demand.
and when i say high demand i am not kidding.
i soldered, cleaned and packaged [well, my awesome parents did the packaging] over 50 pairs of earrings [& some singles too!].
oh! i forgot to mention some steps here...
...i did texture sheets of metal, cut out disc after disc and dap them..
...before i went though all of these 3m wheels.
I did a quick run through my new set up before my one and only fair of the season, Bazaar Bizarre.
and i also crashed on the studio couch so my late night of making could turn into an early morning of making. [2013 may call for a sofa bed]
So, here's a nice big thank you. I am grateful to have been busy enough to sleep at my studio and grateful to be making orders up until the 21st of december. As a reward to myself I will be taking some time away from my production work to clear off my bench and start fresh. It's a new year and this new year is promised to be full of fresh beginnings. Don't worry, I won't push aside my simply timeless line of designs, it is just time to add some fresh ones to the mix.
here's to a happy, healthy new year full of fresh starts for all.
ps: thank you for being awesome. without buyers of handmade, i wouldn't be able to do what i love everyday. i love you for your support.
Here is yet another day added to the long Thanksgiving weekend which is promised to be chock full of deals. But the thing is I don't believe in putting my handmade items on sale. I work hard to make quality items in an efficient way and I offer them at what I consider to be an affordable price. My goal is to be able to live a meager lifestyle as a jewelry artist and since a girls gotta eat I just can't afford to put my work on sale. I do hope you enjoy my bling just the same and make a point to support small businesses and buy handmade this holiday season.
Here are some new items available on my website....
|dots with dashes of color|
|smoke + aqua|
|smoke + mustard|
|surf + sun|
I may not believe in putting items I plan to continue fabricating on sale, but I believe in marking down items I will no longer be making. As they say, out with the old, in with the new. Take a look at my clearance section to get items that won't be around for much longer.
I am pleased to announce my jewelry will be available in the Fuller Craft Museum Shop for the holiday season!
|hues of autumn and winter dot necklaces|
I have spent many late nights in my studio which turned into early mornings to complete this order.
|new nasturtium necklaces!|
During these wee morning hours I played around with a few new elements. I am most excited about the new nasturtium series. The organic shape really speaks to me, it allows my palette to be displayed as one would see these colors in nature versus how they are seen within the constraints of the rigid frame of a perfect circle.
|complete set of necklaces for the fuller museum|
Other updates include:
the chain: this one seems to allow the pendants to move more freely.
the clasp: they mimic the shape of the pendants [this sleepy head forgot to capture them for you.]
the finish: the back of the pendants are satin finish while the edges are polished to a shine [I am loving this contrast!]
|nasturtium post earrings|
The newest color in the collection is autumn rust [second from the left]. I have fallen in love with this hue, I think it is the perfect compliment to this collection.
|autumn and winter hues dot post earrings|
So, here are all of my new shiny objects with dashes of color. They are bound for The Fuller Craft Museum Shop this afternoon. Their holiday shop opens on the 17th of November, mark your calendars and buy handmade this holiday season.