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Valentines Day and Indiana Art Fair Recap

Did you all have a great Valentines Day weekend? Mine was a bit...unconventional... And I suppose it isn't technically over. 

First show of the year is this weekend!

Good morning! Hope you're staying warm/dry wherever you are. It's been so bitterly cold with storms marching across twice a week since Christmas, that I am so grateful for the few days of sunshine this week (even though it's still really cold). I took this photo yesterday morning after the freezing fog cleared off and just left the freezing part on the trees and the beautiful sunshine. It was about -10 when I took this photo. I was very quick about it. Brrrr!

Art Jewelry Elements January Component of the Month Reveal

For the January challenge, the talented mixed media artist Jenny Davies-Reazor created personalized focals for each participant. 

November Component of the Month Reveal

  Kristen Stevens, the talented seed bead weaver, hosted the Art Jewelry Elements component of the month design challenge for November.

She was inspired by this palette

 

to create these beaded beads

2013 Art Charm Swap Reveal and Benefit Auction for Beads of Courage

The day is finally HERE!!! After months of planning, creating, swapping, shipping, photographing (and editing those photos...UGH!), and listing on eBay, we can show the world what we have done!!!!

Well THAT was a big job and that was only Part I

Remember way back on September 6th when I announced the art charm swap and Beads of Courage benefit auction? Yeah, it's a struggle for me too...seems like forever ago. Anyway, over the last few weeks, packages have poured in from all over the United States, plus Canada, England, France and Slovenia.

October Component of the Month Reveal

As you probably know by now, Art Jewelry Elements has a design challenge every month where one of my team members provide components for others to design with. Then we all reveal at the end of the month. This month Kristi Bowman was the hostess. Kristi was inspired by this photo:

Day of the Dead Blog Hop

UPDATE! I (finally!) finished. Aren't you glad you came back to see?

Sugar Skull Day of the Dead Earrings. #glassaddictions

I used  Anne Choi sugar skull charms (you have to scroll down the page to see them).

anne choi sugar skull beads And lots of Swarovski crystals in fuchsia, copper (looks almost orange), and lilac. I decided on that color scheme after doing a little research on traditional DoTD colors. I'm keeping these earrings for myself because I LOVE them. Sparkly, colorful, and sugar skulls. What's not to love? You can find the list of fellow participants on hostess Diana P's blog. Make sure to visit and say hello. There's some pretty amazing and creative designs.
 

The Most Meaningful piece of Jewelry I've ever made

My friend Joyce lost her boyfriend a year ago October 4th. In the months leading up to the 1 year anniversary, I planned to make her a piece of jewelry in memory of the man she loved and lost way too early. Generally when I design jewelry, I rarely have the exact finished piece in my head. But I obsessed over this design for at least 6 months before actually tackling it. I never sketched it. I pictured it. Every step. Every single bit of symbolism I could put into it. As the date approached, I was afraid and emotional about it. I literally could not make myself start it. What if she hated it? What if she was offended by it? What if what if what if. However, deep down, I knew she would love it and I tried to let go of the fear. Over the last year, I have watched Joyce struggle with her grief. I've tried to be there for her. He was more than a "boyfriend," but it's the only label I have at my disposal right now. She loved him. And I cannot even imagine going on without the love of my life. I would fall to pieces. I am so impressed she has managed to put one foot in front of the other. And slowly pick up the pieces of her broken heart. The design needed to feature a broken heart healing....but never totally healed....with holes that will never fully close. I annealed a piece of brass, folded it in half and hammered the fold. Opened it up and proceeded to texture the edges with a different hammer, then cut bits out of the center of the heart. I folded some of the bits back. I then added holes and patina and did a quick flash in the torch to add more color.  

Custom heart necklace glass addictions jennifer cameron

  I used this heart as a template to make a 2nd heart out of copper to mount this one to. I did a hammered texture on the front side along the edges and the center where it would show through the broken heart seam.

Front side bottom layer of heart necklace glass addictions

  Then I stamped Tom's name, his birth and death dates, and a heart with wings onto the back side...where it will be against Joyce's skin.

Custom heart necklace backside of bottom layer glass addictions jen cameron

  I did a liver of sulphur patina then a quick flash through the flame for a bit more color. Both hearts were sealed with Renaissance Wax. I then added a silver wire "suture" for the broken heart, eyelets for the chain, and then riveted both hearts together taking care not to go through any of the stamping I did on the back.

custom Heart assembled glass addictions jen cameron

 

Back side custom heart necklace assembled glass addictions jen cameron

  I made lampwork beads in a color close to the color of Tom's brand new motorcycle that he loved, and died riding. Which, when I told the people that live with me (aka-my family), they thought it was a bad idea. However, I know Joyce. I was pretty sure that was the correct direction to take.

 Necklace custom made for a friend in memory of her boyfriend glass addictions jen cameron

  I made it adjustable so she could wear it every day with lots of different necklines. I had intended to mail it to her as a surprise. I realized it was more about me being a chicken than it being a surprise. So I asked if she wanted to go to lunch this past Saturday and to bring other friends too (she has cool friends...lol!) I had packaged it up and gave it to her, but warned that it might be emotional and gave her the option of opening it later, which she decided to do. And we had a FUN lunch...laughing, chatting, and eating really good Greek food where they yell "Opa!" a lot. Later that day she messaged me and told me how much she loves it and that she was going to wear it to a fundraiser she was attending that night. I knew she loved it when not long after she posted photos of the necklace. Then later that night she posted photos of herself wearing it. That smile makes me so happy. And relieved. It was worth every bit of stress and second guessing myself to make her happy and to have something Joyce can wear that symbolizes Tom. Joyce wearing custom necklace. Glass Addictions   Update: Since I wrote this post, Joyce blogged about receiving this necklace and what it meant to her.

The Black Hole

It's Monday! And we had a fantastic weekend. We drove to Cleveland Friday evening to spend the weekend with our 15 year old son (who chose to, and got outside financial backing to attend a boarding school). I haven't seen him since I dropped him off in August and I missed him so much. We had so much fun...the four of us reconnecting, him remembering what it's like to be part of the family (I taught them the term butt cleavage at dinner), and just being together. While the weekend was jam packed with a trip to Columbus to watch the Crew MLS soccer team, hubs running the Rock n Roll half marathon, shopping, eating, etc. I took exactly ONE photo. Of my drink Friday night: [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="500"]Chocolate covered pretzel martini @the chocolate bar jen cameron glass addictions Chocolate covered pretzel martini at The Chocolate Bar Cleveland[/caption]   Fail. What does all this have to do with a black hole? Nothing. But after we got home last night, ate dinner, unpacked, did laundry, got ready for bed, etc, I made the  mistake of walking in the vicinity of my studio door....and was promptly sucked in. Which resulted in an experiment. At midnight. In my pj's. And my darling sending out a search and rescue team to find out what happened to me.

 It may be nearly midnight, but sometimes the studio seems to contain a black hole that sucks me in if I get too close. #thisartistslife #glassaddictions

  I'm using a component Lesley Watt sent me a couple weeks ago. It involves resin, a lampwork bead, a sterling silver bead, and a UV light. I haven't decided if it's finished yet. When it is, I'll show you what it looks like in daylight rather than UV light.
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