Saturday, 10 November 2012

New blog name - Silver Maple Designs

I have changed the name of my blog to match my new company name more. Please check my new blog here.

I have registered a small business name of Silver Maple Leaf Designs. A big task to choosing a name, but I really do love it.

Come over to see me at my new blog,

Friday, 31 August 2012

Using the silks from Marsha Neal

I have blogged about my summer 'art' necklace earlier; however I wanted to add a thank you to Marsha Neal for having a Silk Color Challenge. It was so much fun to pick out some colors from the many she offers on her website, here . I am fascinated by combining colors. I chose colors that represented rain in the garden (which we needed a bit more of this summer).

Part of my color pallette in the silks were a beautiful aqua and brown (water and earth) which matched so well with Mary Harding's vessel bead that was my challenge to myself. With a lip on the neck of the bead, I was trying to figure out how gracefully to hang it without a lot of chaotic wire wrapping. Then I received my order of the silks in the mail. That was it - I knotted the silks around the neck of the clay bead, and put a bit of glue to hold it. Voila, the beginning of putting the necklace together.

I love wearing this necklace, and I get so many comments on it. So fun to work with such quality materials. Marsha, the silks were integral to my design for sure. My first time using 1mm silk cords. I sewed the silk to hold it (with a bit of glue), and then did my first chaotic wrapping.

The silk was just the thing to transition from the fabulous focal bead to the other components. So soft and delicate looking with all of the harder materials. Please check out my earlier post to see the other artists I included in this necklace.


Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Leather & Leah Deeb's handmade beads

I was trying to find time to sort out the exact design I wanted for these lampwork beads made by Leah. Leather is new to me and I wanted to have a number of colours from the beads in the leather. The Greek leather feels wonderful, and I had an Argentium Sterling Silver clasp and ends to finish it. I didn't hand make this clasp; it is from Unkamen Supplies, here.

However, I was having trouble with my idea that I wanted long lines of this leather to be seen. I didn't want too many knots in it. I worked on it in little bits of time for a number of weeks. I was a bit intimidated by using the glue (so permanent), but I finally went for it. So here is the final necklace, and I am happy with it.

Leah, the beads are so wonderful. Thank you for making them. They were my inspiration for this leather adventure. It is hard to see in my picture but there are 4 colors of leather (aqua, a dark blue-purple, metallic lilac, and a teal).

Leah's beads can be found here . Check out her Etsy store for great beads.


Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Necklace with vessel focal

More about the necklace with Mary Harding's focal vessel bead

It was a wonderful afternoon: great to meet Mary; she helped us create wonderful copper folded leaves; Jenn and I had lunch out on a patio in a picturesque town. A great day.

Here is the necklace I made to meet Mary.

I wore the necklace (finished only the night before) the day of the class. Mary said come on in when we arrived at the door to the studio.She looked at the vessel bead and commented on it, and I just smiled and said, "It's one of yours." So then she knew who I was, and exclaimed, "Oh you must be Andrea!" How fun to meet the artist who made this interesting focal.

I had seen the clay vessel bead for sale, and I loved the colours of aqua and browns, but I didn't know if I could use such an interesting piece. Well, I did end up buying it online to challenge myself with a large wonderful focal with a peekhole where the wires go. Lovely shape, great colours, I had to have it. It took me a while to figure out what to put it with, but the metal folding class was the impetus I needed to get working with it.

I put it together with lampwork beads from a number of Etsy artists: Jeannie Galt of Jeannies beads; Amy of AHouston; Glass by Leese discs; lampwork bird by Kim of Mandrel2; Raida of Havana beads glass headpins; held up by silk cords from Marsha Neal Studios; and of course Mary's focal. I used Argentium sterling silver components to make it stay shiny and bright (Rio Grande - chain; and UnkamenSupplies - jumprings). I made the enamelled brown headpins, and the clasp.

So there we have it. A most wonderful afternoon with Mary in a class that I had always wanted to take - metal folding. Lots of hammering, laughter, and good company. And I did get that necklace done in time to wear it to show Mary. I did it!

Thanks Mary for that focal that inspired me. I love it.
Check out Mary's work on etsy here, and her website  here

Meeting Mary Harding

I got to meet Mary Harding, who has made some clay pieces for me. She is an artist that makes lovely pieces with wonderful colours, and themes of natural plants in this part of the continent.

When I found out she was teaching a class in a nearby border town (Canada/US), I signed right up. It was for metal folding, and I really wanted to try that. Now I could try it, and meet Mary.

My friend, Jennifer, and I went to Clayton and had lunch on a patio, and then spent a wonderfully creative afternoon under Mary's instruction (with no interruptions from kids). Great day. Wonderful to meet Mary.

I worked late the night before to finish a necklace with  a specific focal of Mary's, so I could wear it that day. I will add some more about that with a picture too. Look for that later.


Friday, 22 June 2012

Thanks for voting

Thanks for voting for my colour palette in Marsha Neal's Silk Color Palette Challenge.

Guess what? My Rain in the Garden palette had enough votes to make it into the next stage. Those 10 colours of silks will be offered as a bundle on Marsha's site. I am so excited to see my colour palette with her silks she offers for sale. Can't wait!


Monday, 18 June 2012

Hello to any of my jewellery loving friends. See my entry in a color palette challenge. Voting is open now to choose your top 10 favourites. Mine is Rain in the Garden, if you would like to check out the colors I chose for the silk ribbons in my submission. I am hoping to win some of these ribbons to make jewellery with. Click on this link and scroll down to see all of the squares of colours, to vote color palette submission vote
They are all lovely.