Muffin Tin Challenge 2017

Life is what happens when you make other plans.  Ever heard that saying?  It pretty much explains what happened to me the past two weeks, in regards to this challenge.  Let me explain.

Heather Powers (Humble Beads) issued her annual Muffin Tin Challenge a couple of weeks ago.  The idea is to kick start your creativity at the start of the new year.  Participants  load up each cup of a muffin tin with all the “ingredients” needed to make a piece of jewelry.  Then whenever you have a spare moment, you can sit down and start creating, without the need to gather material or get distracted by all the other pretties.

I was coming down with a cold, so I decided to make it easy on myself and just use a 6 cup muffin tin, rather than attempting 12 projects.

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My muffin tin.

That cold I mentioned?  Yah, well it quickly morphed into bronchitis.  Which explains why my muffin tin reveal is now a week late.  Even though I missed the deadline for the blog hop, I still felt a sense of commitment to follow through on this challenge.

Before the bronchitis hit me like a tsunami, I got a couple of pieces done.  First up is a pair of earrings that I featured on my Earrings Everyday blog post yesterday.  I ended up making the earrings from the contents of the first two muffin cups. The ceramic spikes are from Suburban Girl Studio and the beaded beads are from Sue Beads.

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Then I went on to make a necklace with the Humble Beads bird pendant that you see in the second muffin cup.

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The rest of the jewelry was made this week. I made these cute earrings next.  They are strung on Irish waxed linen and I macramed the loops at the tops.  The wavy ceramic charms were made by Marsha Neal Studio.  I’m in love with the glaze on these.  See how it shades from mauve to lavender? ❤

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I adore this wonderfully textured heart, by Yoli Miramontes.  I topped it with a  lampwork glass cube, that pulls in the pink from the heart and accents that with mint green.  I’ve been looking for an excuse to use these unusually faceted, mint green beads.  Their time had come to shine!  I interspersed them with tiny green seed beads and transparent pink fire polish beads.  I’m super pleased with this one.

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This next necklace features more ceramic work by Marsha Neal Studio.  I have a huge hoard of Marsha’s work, so I need to focus on designing with her things and then releasing them out into the world, so others can enjoy them.  I topped Marsha’s pendant with a delightful, ceramic bird bead by Caroline Dewison of BlueberriBeads.

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And finally, I wrapped up this challenge with these happy, little flower earrings.  Unfortunately, I don’t remember the name of the lampwork artist.

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So I finally finished the Muffin Tin Challenge.  Better late than never.  The first pair of earrings are available in my shop now and I will be adding the others over the next few days.  Thanks for visiting my blog.
I am always delighted to read your comments!  Hope to hear from you.

Linda cursiveLinda Landig Jewelry

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Teal We Meet Again

A few weeks ago I bought a strand of glittering bronze crystal roundels.  Although they are dark in color, these babies really sparkle.  I was anxious to use them in a necklace.  Usually my design process starts with a cool focal bead and I create a necklace or bracelet that will show the focal off to the best advantage.  This necklace, however, started with those crystals.  I quickly decided to pair them with bronzed espresso-colored cubes and dark sage-green one-cut seed beads. It took me three tries before I discovered the right pendant to go with the necklace.  First I tried wire-wrapping a dichroic glass bead.  I wasn’t happy with the quality of my wire-wrapping, plus the bead looked lame in the necklace.  Then I tried a gold Venetian glass bead.  Nope.  Lastly, the one you see below:  teal with slightly raised bronze cross-hatching.  Perfect.

Bronze crystal necklace with teal colored lampwork pendantBronzed crystal necklace with teal lampwork pendantThat’s all for today–Teal we meet again!

2010 Summer Fine Arts and Crafts Show

I had a great time at the 2010 Fine Arts and Crafts Show last weekend.  It was fun talking with the shoppers and I truly appreciated all my friends and family members who visited the show!  Especially enriching for me were the conversations I had with my fellow artists in the show.

My new booth set-up.

Rosalind Phillips of Photo Elegance generously shared her helpful insights on marketing for a show of this type.  She has traveled around the world photographing animals in their natural environments.  A friend of mine bought one of Rosalind’s  framed photographs.  The photo, of a scarlet flicker in a tree, now hangs in my friend’s front entryway.  Robert Harju, Cowlitz Indian Tribal Carver, had the booth directly opposite of mine.  It was a pleasure to view his incredible carved feathers and masks all weekend.  If I had just won the lottery, I would have walked home with one of those masks in a heartbeat!

My booth at the 2010 Fine Arts and Craft Show

There were a couple of young artists at the show whose work impressed me, also.  Morgan Bajardi, Fabric Artist, had the booth next to Robert’s.  She mostly brought screen printed shirts with her to the show, but she had created a portfolio book that told a whole different story of a young woman with immense talent in designing woven fabrics.  Keep an eye on this one:  she could go far!  Also working in fabrics, but as different as night and day, was Christine Malek.  Christine has a creative impulse over-flowing with whimsy.  She designs stuffed animals and amazingly fanciful hats.  All weekend long I was wishing that my baby grandson was old enough to enjoy one of her creations.

There is another Fine Arts and Crafts Show in November.   I’m hoping that I can jury into that one too.   I’m amazed at the amount of talent in the Olympia area.  It was very energizing to have been a part of this group for the weekend.

Linda at the Fine Arts and Crafts Show

Beachy Keen!

It is fascinating to ask jewelry designers how they arrive at their final designs.  You hear everything from the slightly New Age-ish, “I let the beads tell me where they want to go.”,  to people who draw out detailed plans on paper first.  Some people have a definite color scheme in mind, others get out a color wheel and use it for guidance or inspiration.  Some people just start grabbing beads and somehow create something lovely with a seemingly random process.  None of these approaches is right or wrong.  They are just a reflection of our individual styles — just as each designer’s  jewelry reflects  their individual artistic voice.

Most of the time my designs are inspired by the focal bead(s) I have selected.  This was the case when I started working with the sand dollar beads I purchased from Jenelle and Daniel (see yesterday’s post).

I like to work on a Vellux bead mat, because it keeps the beads from rolling around.  So I laid out my 3 sand dollar beads on the mat, with the largest in the middle.  Four small spacer beads came with the set: two in turquoise, with sterling silver tracings and two in green.  I place the two turquoise beads on either side of the largest sand dollar.  I knew I wanted clusters of Swarovski crystals between my beads, but first I had to choose a few larger beads to go with the sand dollars.  Initially I decided to go with blue and green, but when I looked in the drawer where I keep all my green beads, I just saw the dark, dense greens of malachite, jade and serpentine.  I realized I needed the light, airy colors of sky, water and beach glass.  Looking in my drawer of turquoise beads I spied lots of pale turquoise amazonite:  Perfect!  I had amazonite in rounds, faceted ovals and carved tubes.  I can’t seem to compose jewelry in my head or on paper.  I just have to try it out.  I laid each possibility between the sand dollar beads.  It was clearly the carved tubes that looked “just right”.  I discovered, however, that using  two amazonite tubes on each side of the center bead made the bracelet too long, so I went searching in my stash for some smaller coordinating rounds.  Do you like my pick?

These beads are sometime called sugar beads because the texture on them looks like the tracings of melted sugar.  My last step was wiring it all together.  48 sterling silver wrapped loops on the Swarovski crystals took awhile, but I was so excited about how it was looking that  I could hardly wait to finish!  What do you think?