Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Crema di Mascarpone - tasty earrings

These earrings are made for The Wire Artisan Teams monthly challenge (www.thewireartisansguild.blogspot.com). And the theme of the month is Tasty.

I just love ice cream - it´s one of my addictions. And an ice cream sold in Sweden is called Crema di Mascarpone. It´s nothing like the Italian original I suspect - but I love the taste. It´s ice cream with mascarpone cheese, raspberry and pistagio nuts. SO TASTY!I covered these earrings in the colours of Crema di Mascarpone.
Material:925 sterling silver wire and findings (oxidized and tumbled for a nice shine). Pink topaz, green amethyst (prasiolite), tourmaline and white fresh water pearls.Size:5,5cm/2.15" including leverbacks

This is the first time I used 30g wire - only 0.25mm thick. It was very smooth and easy to work with. And I love the result - so even. I will definitely convert to 30g and wave good bye to 28g. But I did notice that some of the tiny tourmaline rondelles had 0.25mm holes. Imagine that drill!!!

Fabric + jewelry = TRUE LOVE!

Right now I´ve got a thing for jewelry with textiles, lace and embroidery-like solutions. And suddenly I see it everywhere. A trend perhaps?

I´ve tried to figure out what it is that I like about the usage of fabric in jewelry. And it must be the textures and the contrast between hard and soft, if the jewelry also are made of metal. Fabric and metal makes a great clash between cold and warm. Since I´m a swirly girl, the usage of scrolls, vines and flower embellishments could also play a part…

My favourite jewelry designers using fabric are Tinctory ( http://www.tinctory.etsy.com/) and Edera Jewelry (http://www.ederajewelry.etsy.com/).
Tinctory stands for a more strict, modern look. I just love her choice of colours – always great against the base which is oxidized silver. Edera jewelry are more like traditional brocade, full of intricate patterns. I always dream of wearing her jewelry with Versailles or some other “little house” as a fond…

Two designers that recently started to experiment with fabric in their jewelry are Eclettica, (http://www.eclettica.etsy.com/ )and Meristem (http://www.meristem.etsy.com/) .

Both Eclettica and Meristem are gurus for me when it comes to colour – and now they impress me with their courage to experiment with fabric too. Check out their latest pieces and enjoy the fantastic work - fabric included or not.

So will fabric reach my jewelry? I might tie a descrete ribbon bow on a pendant soon. But that´s as far as I will dare to go I think…:)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The source of my style

If it´s possible at all to point out a certain object to be the source of my style it has to be this necklace. My great grandmother, Fanny, a lady with Sami origin (natives living in the north of Sweden) got this as a gift 1947.
It´s a 925 sterling silver pendant with a rococo lady and beautiful ornaments. I´ve always adored this piece. The design contains everything I want to achive with my own jewelry; interesting swirly details, a feminine expression and a wonderful balanced composition (even though it´s assymetrical).

Ever since I got this necklace in my hands I´ve loved it. And when I found it again today and polished it - it all seemed so clear to me. This necklace must be the explanation for my love for swirly jewelry. Of course being brought up in the 70´s with stripes, large flower patterns and pine wood furniture can also be reason to my preferance for inricate, swirly and shiny materials :).

Being a Swede I´m supposed to embrace the nordic "blond" minimalistic designs so common here. I think no other people has taken "less is more" as serious as the Swedes. :)

I don´t have any daughters of my own, but will hopefully have grand daughters to pass this on to. And I´m sure they will treasure it like I do – even if fashion changes all the time and it will only lie in their jewelry boxes.

Do YOU have a particular object that can be the source of your taste and style? I´d love if you shared the story here. It doesn´t have to be about something that inspires you to make jewelry - it can be anything.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

THUMBELINA - long eye catching earrings

Today I finished a pair of long sexy and sparkly earrings for my FAIRY TALES collection.They are named after Thumbelina the tiny character in Hans Christian Andersens story about the lady who wished for a child and got a tiny little girl no longer than a thumb. The lady was ever so happy for her little girl. But one night a large toad takes Thumbelina with him as a wife for his son. After that she´s lost and meets with all kinds of unpleasant creatures that wants to marry her. But a swallow, Thumbelina has nursed, rescues her and takes her to a whole little kingdom of tiny people in her size. Of course she meets Mr. Charming and marries him.

When I new I wanted to make something for this story I first thought of red petals and tiny things, but all my sketches felt too cute. But what if she had lived today; young, beautiful and famous. She would surly turn up in gossip magazines, with shots walking the red carpet somewhere. Wearing something bright coloured, shoulderless and sexy. So here are the earrings to go with that dress!These earrings truly make a statemen! The large grape amethysts touches the collar bones and enhances your neckline. The dark red rubies and garnets make a beautiful contrast to the shiny golden tones.

Thumbelina is ready to receive an Oscar! JMaterial:14k goldfilled, 24k vermeil. Earposts are made of 14k gold filled. Grape amethysts, rubies, garnet and tiny rhodolite garnet.Size:4"/10cm long, including earposts

Friday, January 16, 2009

RETURN OF INNOCENSE - new necklace

This is a piece I started sketching on as my contribution to The Wire Artisans Guild challenge ART NOUVEAU. But somewhere along the way it travelled in time and ended up more as an EDWARDIAN piece. But the two styles where very close to each other in time.

The Edwardian era are sometimes referred to as the “belle époque”. Swirly intricate designs where common and platinum and pearls where highly preciated.

Read more about the Edwardian era and the jewelry of that tim at “Antique jewelry at Topazery”.
Even if this necklace doesn´t fit as an entry for the challenge, I like it a lot. So swirly, and intricate.

With this piece I wanted to give more density to the style I usually have, and I really think I managed to achive it. Even though it took me more steps than usual.

As you can see on the pic showing the sketch and the finished result I made some changes while creating as usual. And at first I left the piece shiny but decided to oxidize to enhance the detail.

This piece is so feminine, in a way women strived to achive in the past millenium, so what name could be better than the titel of the old ENIGMA song RETURN OF THE INNOCENSE.

Material: A lot of sterling silver went into this piece! 925 sterling silver wire and findings. Hundreds of tiny 1mm 985 silver Karen Hill tribe beads. Cultured white fresh water pearls.Oxidized to enhance the details.

Size:Chain 11", pendant 3" including bail, 2.5" without bail and ring.

1300 hearts!!!!!!!!!!

Wow, I´m so exited! Scaring my neighbours right now with my own wild celebration choreography.
I´ve reached more than 1300 hearts at Etsy. When someone save you as their favorite shop you get a "heart".
I´ve been waiting so long to take the step past 1300 hearts. And been having so many defeats. Just when it was 1299 it dropped down one or two hearts. People must have been cleaning their saved favourites after Christmas perhaps.
But now I reached my goal!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Learn to mix and match colours

Even if I´ve been making jewelry since 2004, I still have a hard time to combine colours. Most of the time I end up with using only hues of one colour. And I so admire jewelry artists that are good at combining three or more colours like Sky Dreams or Elle a Belle. But I work hard to get by this and I think I´ve become better in the past year.

I use some tricks that I want to share to you poor designers that are in my situation...I know most of you are not. So I guess this post will not help many, since most people seem to manage this fundamental skill !

The first thing you should start with if you want to approve how you handle colour, is to read some about colour theory. You may recognize some words from this in the back of your head, you probably heard them in school; primary colour, complementary colour and so on. This kind of theoretical information is great to know, but are not very inspirational.

Today there are many tools available at the Internet to help you mix and match colours. Mainly they are developed by web designers, but they can be handy for more people depending on colour. For example, try the “colour wheel machine” you can find at Colours on the web. There you can spin the wheel virtually and get examples of colour combinations you can use in your jewelry. The tricky part can be to find stones that match the example. If you want to use what the pro´s use you can download Color Wheel Pro where you can get more variations. Eni Oken, well known jewelry designer, has a colour match program for free download too.

But finding combinations you like are actually easier than that. Just look at nature, on butterflies, flowers and birds. Nature never chooses wrong and you can find amazing colour schemes that you can transform to your jewelry. Or why not take that pile of glossy magazines saving dust on your coffee table and use it for this purpose. Pictures of interiors or fashion photos give you an endless combination of colours.

All the examples so far are great, but my favourite way to find combinations is from fabrics with patterns. I just choose one I like and try to dissect which colors they´ve used, and I often end up with 5 colours or more. I also note which one is the dominant to achive the same balance.
So far I´ve never had that many matching stones at home, but I have managed to use this method to come up with a combination of three colours. And that is much for me!!!!
Make 2009 your colour breakthrough!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Tasty treasury - peaches and raspberry!

Yes, I got myself a treasury!
It was a long time ago since I made a treasury. So I was surprised when there suddenly was room to make one right as I opened up the Treasury at Etsy.
If you never heard of a treasury before, it´s a possibility for Etsy users to pick their favorite items and make a collage with them
Normally I have a theme planned for the collage - and I have already picked items and saved them among my Favorites. Now I had to come up with something quick - and Peaches and raspberry was the first thing that popped into my mind. I guess I long more for summer than I know :)

If you have the time, pop by and add a comment:

IKEA found my photo tent idea

Today I noticed a new site in my "referring sites" statistics at Google Analytics. It´s fun to see which site people visited before mine.
The new site I found that suddenly seemed to direct a lot of traffic to my blog is www.ikeafans.com/ . They´ve written an article about my IKEA photo tent.
It made my day!
Read the article here.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Use a wiki when creating custom orders

Custom orders where you work close with the customer to decide which material you´re going to use are fun. But the e-mail traffic following such a mission can be overwhelming. Sometimes it can be hard to keep track of all information; what has been said and not.

Now I have found a way to make this work a lot easier and I want to share it with other jewelry designers. I´ve started to use wikis to keep all information gathered in one place and reachable for both my customer and I.

This is something I started to use at my daytime job when planning for festivals and other projects together with other organisations.

Using a wiki is so easy. You set up a wiki, which is like a simple website where you can add folders and pages, upload pictures and other documents. Then you invite other users and make them only able to read the content or add information themselves. They can always write comments on everything you add. Everytime the wiki is updated you get a notification by email.

Now you don´t have to go through several e-mails for certain information. You just go to the right folder to find it. And I guess it´s a great way to avoid disputes with the customer too, you always have the same information.

Does it sound tricky and confusing? Watch Commoncrafts “Wikis in plain English” at Youtube.

I use http://www.pbwiki.com/ because there you don´t have to pay to avoid others to see the information. http://www.wikispaces.com/ has a layout I prefer, but you have to pay a fee to make it private.

Large projects have become so much more fun since I started to use wikis. Now the whole family use wikis for planning trips, parties and even business plans.

Try it!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Who links to your website?

I amused myself this morning with searching for sites who link to my Etsy shops and my blog. And I found many interesting sites and news about my business (!!!). So I thought I´d share with you on how to do this in an easy and fast way. Probably most of you know of this simple action, but I just found out.

Just go to Google.com and write "link:" and your url adress without the http thing. Example:

I found several blogs and social shopping sites where people have recommended my jewelry. It even works with sites where they just wrote your adress without attaching a hyperlink.

So thank you Pandabear 18788 for recommending my SLEEPING BEAUTY and THE GIRL IN ME necklace on This Next. And thank you With this ring I thee obsess and Charming Paper blog for recommending my jewelry for future brides.

I also found out I´m now a proud member of Self-Representing Artist Jewelry Designer (SRAJD member 1797)!!!

Now someone may think you can find this out from Google Analytics or Statcounter. But to actually see sites who link to you there takes that someone clicked on the link. By using this easy Google way you´ll see sites with information about you without clicks.

So what do you make out of the information you get? Not quite sure. But approving your confidece is a result good enough.....:)

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Photographing jewelry with the help of IKEA

I get a lot of questions about my photos, both on how I arrange the light and which camera I use. So I thought I share my way of taking pics here.
I use a Canon Eos 30D, but I think the quality of the photos depend more on which camera objective lens you use. I have a Canon macro lens EF 100mm 1:2.8. It allows me to get sharp photos and get real close. See pic and read more about the objective here.
When it comes to the camera - it´s very important that you can adjust the white balance to avoid yellow photos. But I think most of the digital cameras can do that today.
My studio setting is a chapter of it´s own. Must be the cheapest one ever. It´s built with and IKEA laundry bag that gives a smooth perfect light. It won´t work with larger objects than jewelry but for that it´s perfect.
Jeffery Ball has another idea on how to build an unexpensive photo tent. Read more about that at Digital Photography School. It´s great to start with an unexpensive tent and then perhaps buy a real professional when you gotten a grip of taking photos.
Of course there is a lot of tricks with the photos to. You have to find the right angles and preferably your own style too. Props or not is another question.
Table Top Studio has great tips about taking good pics of your jewelry.
Home Jewelry Business Success Tips has some good advice too.
But remember to be personal. Try to find your own style!

Good luck!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Sleeping Beauty - fairy tale necklace

Here it is - the Sleeping Beauty necklace I blogged about earlier. Now it´s finally been put together. It looks almost like my sketch, I only did a few changes and added the draped chain on both sides. The design needed more balance.
I got the inspiration from an illustration of Sleeping Beauty by William A. Breakspeare. So beautiful and with an oriental touch. You´ll find the illustration here.
Material:925 sterling silver, 985 and 999 fine silver wire and findings. Pink and purple amethyst, vesuvianite rondelles and white fresh water pearls.Size:16"/40cm. Focal with chains and briolettes 4"/10cm.
What I don´t like about making necklaces is that I haven´t found a great way to take pics of them. Got to buy me some kind of model and experiment more with angles.

Featured in magazine

It´s a strange feeling to see yourself in a magazine. I never get used to it. But it´s fantastic to see your pieces displayed and to have someone writing about your business. This is an article about doing business on Etsy.
Etsy is something new to both sellers and buyers in Sweden. When doing a search I can only find 49 Swedish sellers at Etsy - it should be more! I hope this article will help others to take the step forward against opening their own Etsy business.

I also hope this will make me find more Swedish customers. My customers mostly comes from US, UK and France. It used to be Australia and New Zeeland but for some reason I´ve had no buyers from those countries since spring.
If you have an Etsy shop, where do your customers mostly come from?

Where to sell your crafted items

Today there are many sites to sell your homemade crafts. I only use Etsy at the moment, but have been thinking of trying my luck at other sites. But how do you know which one to choose?

Now Foundhandmade.com has done half the job for you. They´ve listed traffic and compared fees. eBay, Café Press and Etsy are top three. I have never heard of Café Press but will definitely have a look at that site.
Read the whole article at Foundhandmade.com

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Large jewelry rules spring 2009

We heard it already last year - large, statement jewelry is the thing. And this will continue through spring and summer 2009 according to Fashionising.com . That sounds great to me since wire jewelry almost always tend to becom large.
Jewellery in the 2009 collections from the cat walks, took many and various forms. There were a few common threads amoung them, however, including:

  • Geometric shapes

  • Exotic and ethnic inspirations

  • Rich colours; prominent stones and gems

See more pictures and read the whole article at Fashionising.com

Wanted - more members for WAG

The Wire Artisans Guild is looking for new members to join our team!
The Wire Artisans Guild is a group of wire jewelry designers and artists who have assembled for camaraderie and to help each other promote our Etsy shops.
We will be accepting 10 new members and please understand that your work will be juried in order to become a guild member. We are an Etsy street team so you must be an Etsy seller. To apply for an application and read more about becoming a member visit our team store. www.WireArtisansGuild.etsy.com

One of our members, talented Anna-Karin from Små Blå has made an excellent post about this on her blog. Visit her and read more about the criteria to become a member. And while you are there, enjoy her jewelry!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Wonder babies - off topic

I know this is totally off topic. But I got these pics of little babies made of, what I thought was, marsipan at first. But it turned out they are made of clay. They are...FANTASTIC, scary and so amazingly well made. I just had to share this!
Can you imagine the feeling of holding one of those mini babies in your hand. You must be overwhelmed with an urge to protect.

The talented artist making these babies are Canadian Camille Allen. Visit her web site and be prepared to drop your yaws...

Custom order - cuff

When I started with wire wrapping I used to make this kind of cuffs. I had learned from tutorials by Eni Oken: http://www.enijewelry.com/ . It was fun but very time consuming. So for more than a year now I haven´t been making these.
But now I have a custom order for a cuff with rhodocrosite and garnet. And I´m exited! And the order is of the kind when you work close with the customer to decide which material will be used. I love that!

Red carpet jewelry

Looking for inspiration for new fabulous designs? Why not have a look at what all the celebrities where wearing for their red carpet moments previous years.


I love to google around the web for fantastic outfits and jewelry. It makes my creative mind go off instantly. So whenever my mind is empty when sitting at the working bench I just go to the computer and look for images and wait for that color, detail or story that will give me ideas.

As told in previous posts FAIRY TALES is my source of inspiration for spring 2009. For this I´ve found a wonderful site with a lot of original stories and the history behind them. Got my head full of ideas. Now I just need time :)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Inspiration for necklace

I really love making jewelry for my new FAIRY TALES collection. I found this illustration of Sleeping Beauty by William A. Breakspeare. It´s something oriental with the image. It´s the colors and the shapes of the bedside table.

Anyway she´s beautiful, and I got a large necklace about to be made. All the bits, pieces and stones are ready to be put togheter. It´s going to be purple, white and with a hint of green and long and dangling. All oxidized silver.
Sleeping beauty was a favorite story when I was a kid. I loved the animated version by Disney and have seen the movie many times.

Nightingale earrings

NIGHTINGALE earrings is part of my new collection FAIRY TALES, with intricate and colorful jewelry inspired by characters in stories from all over the world.
Material:925 sterling silver wire and findings. Golden citrine briolettes, tundru sapphire rondelles. Oxidized and tumble to a beautiful shine.Size:1.5"/4cm including ball post
NIGHTINGALE is a story by Danish HC Andersen about the chinese emperor that caged a nightingale to enjoy it´s singing. The tale is said to be inspired by Andersen’s crush on the singer Jenny Lind (see image to the right), who was about to become famous throughout Europe and the United States as the Swedish Nightingale.
Jenny Lind was known in America and Europe in the 1800s, for her beautiful voice and natural singing style. She made her American debut at the Castle Garden Theatre in New York City on September 11, 1850.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Fairy tale collection

I´m starting off 2009 with a new collection, FAIRY TALES, with intricate and colorful jewelry inspired by characters in stories from all over the world.

First story to be transferred into a piece of jewelry is 1000 and one nights. The beautiful SCHEHERAZADE inspired to a pair of dangling spicy earrings.

Material:925 sterling silver wire and findings. Large whiskey quartz briolettes. Rhodolite garnet briolettes and tiny faceted tunduru sapphire rondelles. Cultured fresh water pearls. Oxidized and tumbled.Size:2"/5cm

Behind the scene

The picture shows my petite studio where the adventures of this blog will take place...

And yes, this is right after I´ve gotten rid of my mess: little bits of wires that only amuses the cat. But normally I´m pretty organized. All the semi-precious beads are sorted by color in the white drawer under the bench. There lies the silver wire too.

On the wall I have a very functional and cheap plier rack - it´s just a nail in the wall :)

First step...

So I´ve taken the first step! I´m with blog too - as every normal human being seems to be.
With this blog I will try to gather all ends of my split personality and try to give an image of what lies behind the jewelry I create.

I guess one post or two about my everyday life will end up here too....But that´s just me. I tend to go off in all directions at once - all the time :)

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