Tag Archives: etsy

Art is never finished, only abandoned…

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brass pendent

Time Flies

I’ve been working on this piece well over a year. I looked at the date when I first uploaded the picture and it was February 2, 2012. I admit that I was fairly happy with it at the time. I really loved the rustic aeronautical look. I debated what type of chain I would use and ultimately decided to go with leather cord. I was satisfied with my decision, took pictures and put it up on my etsy site.
brass pendent

Time Flies

A few weeks ago, I pulled it out my jewelry box and as I was looking it over, I decided I didn’t like the look of the leather cord and the weight seemed all wrong. I cut off the leather and started experimenting with chain. I altered the top of the pendent and how it was connected to the cord and added jump rings and beads. I believe the heavier chain looks better and the toggle clasp has more purpose.
brass pendent and necklace

Time Flies Revamp

Ultimately, I don’t know…I may just abandon it a while longer or maybe I will destroy it and start completely over.

close of of brass pendent

Time Flies Close Up

Copper Is The New Black

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Copper is my new black. Everything I’ve created recently involves using copper chain, wire, and findings. Usually I’m inspired by a theme or an object. Hearts, birds, watches and buttons have been a few of the items that have driven me to create. I can honestly say that a metal has never been at the center of my creative forces. This is part of growing and evolving as an artist.

leather rose necklace

Leather Rose Necklace

The rose necklace was a labor of love. I found the leather rose at a garage sale. It was stuck all by itself on a matching leather braided cord. It looked so sad and I knew I could give it new life. I struggled creating the pendent. I used leather cord to attach the rose to the wooden bead. The next hurdle was creating the leather bail and using the copper wire to hold it in place. I’m thrilled with the way it turned out. I have various types of copper chain but ultimately, the simple look of the beaded copper chain won. I think it places all the focus on the best part of the necklace, the leather rose.

The cluster ring came about because I wanted to use copper wire to make a ring. My “go tos” are usually silver and brass. I used neutral colored wooden beads (another first for me – I like high contrast). I love the sense of calm and balance the ring has and I also love that only two materials were used to make it, wood and copper.

wood and copper ring

Wood and Copper Ring

chandelier style earring

Chandelier Style Earring

The green beaded earrings were the first project I created with the copper earring wires. I had one copper chandelier earring that I was given at a garage sale because there was no match…I love it when that happens but that’s another blog…I simply cut the chandelier and freed the beautiful vintage green beads and attached them to the earring wire. I adore the simple look and the contrast of the copper with the emerald green beads.
vintage green beaded earrings

Vintage Green Beaded Earrings

celtic cross earrings

Celtic Cross Earrings

The Celtic cross earrings were a little more thought out. I found the Celtic metal charms at Bead It! and knew they would make a great pair. I continued to hunt for something else with copper and I found the awesome black beads with copper on them. At the time I didn’t plan to put the two together. I completed the earrings, the beads were on the table right next to me and I decided to add them.

I’ll be posting the pieces on etsy soon. If you have interest in any them or want more details, please send me a comment. Who knew copper could be so inspiring?

Hooked on a feeling

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Last week, I got a taste of what I want for my future and it tasted great! I visited several vintage and thrift stores and found a few items I could use for jewelry.

The jade turtle. I bought this necklace for the turtle

The highlight of my day was visiting a little shop, Blackbird.It’s a small boutique in an up and coming neighborhood. I’ve actually admired the building for years and it’s good to see it finally put to good use.

I spoke with one of the owners about selling my jewelry there. It’s hard for me to talk about myself and my jewelry. I don’t know why. That’s a question for another blog. I was proud that I mustered up the courage to do it this time. Guess what, it paid off. I emailed her the link to my etsy store and received some very nice compliments. If it all goes well, I will be represented at Blackbird in April! WOW!

Days like this compel me to keep creating jewelry and writing. Mixed emotions of excitement and happiness with a little fear and anxiety, all good. It’s not just the memory of this day that stays with me, it’s the feeling I get when I remember this day. Sounds silly, but I smile from the inside out.

Beautiful red mohair yarn I got from a thrift store.

I long for more of these days on a consistent basis. I want to be an artist and freelance writer full-time.
The way I felt that day is how I want to live my life everyday. That taste still lingers. I am hooked on a feeling.

I love hematite, plus the jade turtle. I got this at a vintage store.

Buttons, Bye Gone

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Buttons Bygone, brass charm bracelet



It’s finished! The bracelet that took forever is finally finished and listed on etsy. This project was really tough for me. It required a lot of planning and executing. There are 25 individual pieces on it. Nine are hand-crafted findings. Creating those findings took quite a bit of experimentation to get the look and length I wanted.

I’m not complaining by any means. I know it takes time and effort to accomplish your goal. I’ve learned that time and time again with running and weight lifting. You can not make your objectives happen over night. There is no amount of hoping and praying that will work. You must put in the time and dedicate yourself to the task at hand.

Buttons Bygone is a piece that I’m really proud of. I’m thrilled with how it turned out and I’m super excited to do it again. Attaching the charms to the chain will be less time-consuming now that I know the proper way to do it. There is a method. I’m inspired. I can’t wait to go out this weekend and look for charms and items I can make into charms.

I have to admit, I am a little sad about giving up the buttons. I have a bad habit of getting attached to certain objects. The look or feel of an item will appeal to me. Sometimes it’s because I bought it at an estate sale and I feel like I know the person who used to own it. They kept for a reason and although I don’t know their reason, it makes it special to me. Other objects come from a thrift or antique store. I’ve made friends with the owners so I think of them when I see the objects and that gives them meaning.

Brass Buttons

Maybe I’m just a sentimental person, but I think that describes most artists and in particular jewelry artists. You are making pieces for people to adorn their body. Most jewelry is given for a reason or sentiment. It only makes sense that jewelry pieces have meaning.

Ultimately, I’m glad I was able to finish because now I’m ready for a new challenge. Like any good race, you savor the ecstasy of the moment you finished. You enjoy bragging rights for day or two. Then it’s back to work. It’s the same for artists.

So bye-bye buttons….Be gone! Bring on the next challenge…

Buttons Bygone, a labor of love and learning...

The Pinnacle Moment

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Black n Blue cluster ring

Sometimes as an artist you find yourself where and when you least expect it. You work and work and make a lot unique pieces. You explore different materials, styles and genres trying to figure out what you and your work are about. Then there’s a day when something you created provides you with divine insight and you understand who you to the core. It’s profound.

I began retailing my jewelry on Friday. The salon where I have my hair done also carries a variety of accessories. My stylist suggested that I bring some to her to sell. I had my hair done that day and took 10 pieces with me to sell.

I’ve learned that I’m not ready for retail, especially the display part of the business. I made my cards and tied and taped my jewelry on to them with hand-written descriptions. Hopefully the jewelry will speak for itself. Removing almost half of my pieces from my etsy shop left it quite empty. I also sold a piece on Thursday to a friend. YEA!!!

Leaf and Tiger Dangles, earrings

This created a situation in which I had to pump out the pieces. I completed 4 rings on Saturday with some new black coated copper wire that I bought from Sea of Beads. I really like the way they look and I especially love the back in black ring.

Back in Black ring

Sunday was earring day. I began by cleaning my desk and organizing tools, beads, buttons, keys and wire. I found two navy blue buttons in the back of my top desk drawer. The feel and color of the buttons caught my attention, so I made a mental note. I also organized my loose chain. This is like trying to pull apart live snakes, maybe not as dangerous, but just as frustrating. I separated this beautiful brass chain that I had bought because the chain was rustic and looked hand hammered. The horrid large blue pendent was obviously a later addition.

As the earring making frenzy started, I remembered the little blue beaded bracelet I found on Saturday at a sale. I bought it with several other pieces and added it to the pile. On closer investigation, I realized that the bracelet was a hodge podge of vintage blue glass beads on brass wire rigged together with the icky plastic sun charm. I love it when you uncover something really special.

Black and White Dangles, earrings

I created 5 pair of earrings before I was mentally exhausted. The silver pairs are nice, well thought-out designs, executed to the best of my ability. The brass earrings with the red crystal leaves and tiger crystals are another example. The beads were purchased at various bead stores because they appealed to me. The chain and jump rings were obtained in a similar fashion.

Hematite Dangles, earrings

I find myself drawn to the brass chain earrings with the buttons and the beaded chain earrings. It’s a gut reaction that words can’t describe. I used the items I most adored and that had a history to them. The thought process while creating them was completely different. I didn’t analyze or fuss with the design. What I discovered is that these two pair of earrings are true expressions of me. They encompass the materials I love to use, the way I love to work, my philosophy of re-purposing and a deep appreciation of things that have history.

Blue Button Dangles, earrings

It’s the pinnacle moment when you say to yourself DAMN! This is what I’m about.

I realize that this is just a moment. Ten years from now, I may be influenced and inspired by different materials and objects. As an artist you always want to be growing and progressing. I know that I will take this moment with me and it will make me a better artist, not just because I had it, but because I took the time to realize it. Keep working for your pinnacle moment. It’s humbling and exciting at the same time. I just wanted to share mine.Blue Bead Dangles, earrings

Spinning Out of Control

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The perfect spin.

Think of a spinning top. When it first starts, it spins very fast and stays in one place. As it continues to spin, it slows, wobbles, spins out of control, and falls over. I haven’t fallen over yet.

I stared with a ton of energy. I created a lot of pieces, set-up my etsy store and started a blog. I accomplished all of the back end work that needed to be done. I made logos and banners and posted pictures and wrote profiles. I was completely driven to make all of this happen. It’s all up and running now and at this point, I find myself slowing down and getting wobbly.

Ballchain, earrings with cloisonne and chain

I will find the mojo to spin fast again! There is so much that must be done. It’s almost the weekend and that always rejuvenates me. On Saturdays, I go to garage and estate sales and I visit my local bead shops for supplies and inspiration. This is my auger. (The metal shaft that you pump to make the top spin.) I wish I had more of these days per week as a way to wind myself up more often.

Dangles on the Dark Side, earrings with black rhinestones

I continue to design more pieces and I’m full of ideas. This is a definite plus. It’s natural to have a humongous amount of momentum at the beginning. As time ambles on, if we’re not consistently gathering our forces, momentum slows, we loose our balance and, topple over. I’m the type of person that recognizes whats happening, says it aloud and then holds myself accountable for taking care of business. I will spin out of control, but I will not topple!

Dangles 3.1 chain, garnet,glass crystals

An interesting fact is that the top is one of the oldest recognizable toys found in archeology. They developed independently all over the world. I find it interesting that a top is a perfect metaphor for our lives as artists and people all over the world and for a very long time have concurred. Keep spinning my friends.

The slow, wobble spin.

Change, nothing stays the same

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It’s time for a change. My etsy store has been up for approximately 3 weeks now and I’ve been working under the name Blue Lizard Designs for several months. I’ve realized that this name doesn’t completely fit my artistic view. What’s in a name anyway? As I continue to make more jewelry, I’ve discovered that I enjoy exploring many different sides of my aesthetic. Sure I can plant flowers and skip, but there’s also a part of me that likes to punch, kick and listen to punk rock. (If you read my bi-polar by design post, you know what I’m talking about.)

Knox, earrings with malachite

After much contemplation, I’ve decided to do a name change. I need something that feels right, describes my point of view and accurately represents the work I do. I love puns but I didn’t want to go too far in that direction. I didn’t want to name it after my own name, that just feels weird. Honestly, I always had a hard time signing my name on the front of a painting or drawing. I never felt that my signature belonged on the idea as a part of the design…I’d just sign the back with a date.

Dangles 1.1, earrings on gunmetal with garnet crystals

The dilemma, what’s a good fit and will continue to represent how I work now as well as in the future…I’ve already made that mistake once! It became more clear to me this week as I was making earrings. I stopped over thinking and just made them. Instead of worrying about how they would fit into a blue lizard design theme, I made them based on what I personally like in a earring.

Rollers, earrings on silver chain with onyx

It’s actually simple. I love dangles with high design and light weight. This is also important to guys if you buy the lady in your life earrings. Heavy earrings are uncomfortable and look unattractive when they are weighting your earlobe down.

In my (what seems to be now) regular fashion of designing happy and light, I also designed dark and edgy. The result is that I’m extremely pleased with everything I made and I believe it all fits my personal vision. Naming that personal vision is tricky. I’m inspired by music, punk, grunge, classic rock, alternative and metal. I’m inspired by Pop artists such as Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenburg and Joseph Cornell. I adore pop culture and fashion. I love a good Roller Derby bout, and I never miss Top Chef or Glee. I’ve taken all of this into consideration and it makes me dizzy.

Daisy Chain, earrings with red glass crystals

Dizzy – giddy, bewildered, sensation of whirling. This word completely describes me and it sounds better than crazy. I pondered how I could incorporate this word into a name. I talked it through with Phillip. I mentioned that I wish I would have come up with the name Alice in Chains. I love the band, the name harkens to Alice in Wonderland and it sounds great coming off the lips. He thought for a moment and suggested Dizzy in Chains. Hmm. I marinated over the idea for a while and decided that this was a name I could use. It has meaning now and it will carry me into the future. Dizzy in Chains perfectly characterizes my attitude and my working philosophy. I also get a little pun as a cherry on top.

Daisy Chain 1.1 earrings with pink rhodochrosite

The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance. ~ Alan Watts

Squares n Dangles, earrings on gunmetal chain