Monday, August 27, 2012

Treats for you for Christmas

Have been working on my display box for the beautiful cloisonne bracelets and it's all finished now. Lovely box, decoupaged with gorgeous photos of all things Chinese and lined with a deep forest green chenille fabric. Choosing your bracelets should be a really fun experience.

Cloisonne Bracelet Display Box
Also have finished staining the hands that will go next to the display box and making mini bracelets for them! Now one of my projects is to make a bunch of sets like the one in the box above - a set of five bracelets is $20. I'll make sets of all one color, like the blue hand on the left below, and sets of all different colors, like the one on the right. Then you can combine them any way you like depending on your outfit or mood.

Buddha hands with mini cloisonne bracelets

Have also had a great time making bead necklaces as well. These are on affordable stainless steel chains. I love the gorgeous colors of the beads.

Most of the focal beads are handmade by Beth Blosser of Pomegranate Glass
And I'm making earrings to go with the necklaces because I find that customers often like to buy a set as a gift.
Several different pairs will match with the necklaces - yay!

Color combinations match the necklaces
Lots to be done, can't wait to work on them some more!

Beads saying "Pick me, pick me!" I pick up the beads with that lovely silver spoon.

Spacer beads for the cloisonne bracelets - it's like working with rainbows!
My little boudoir doll patiently awaits her new blouse while I'm distracted with making necklaces and bracelets - she knows it's worth the wait. And in the meantime, she does get to wear her very own cloisonne necklaces : )

My boudoir doll sits in the studio overseeing the progress of jewelry making....
Check back for updates on Dreamkeeper Creations getting ready for Christmas, one of the most special times of the year : )


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Indulge in the Magic of Asia - Affordably!

I am smitten, and I think you will be too, by a new style of bead and the bracelets, necklaces, and ankle bracelets my muse inspires me to make of them! It's all about BEAUTY. I believe that beauty feeds the soul and spirit, creating joy, which makes our hearts sing - we should all be able to carry this with us at all times to soak up and rejuvenate by, no matter where we find ourselves.

Cloisonne ROCKS!
I am head over heels in love with these beads because they lend themselves to SO many different ways of expression - I can make 10 red bracelets using the gorgeous cloisonne beads combined with different spacers and put them all on my arm with a good red dress and they're spectacular. OR I can put on (as I have on right now) black, navy blue, forest green, red, white, turquoise, and gold, for a delicious combination that matches absolutely anything and everything. 

Besides my Etsy shop, Dreamkeeper Creations, I sell my work at the Green Drake Gallery and I'm making a special display for these wonderful bracelets in the Gallery. It's soooo much fun!!! I'm all thrilled with the whole process of how cloisonne is created, the process, as well as the history of it. The beads come from China, and the history of the cloisonne technique originates in India, then moves into China years and years ago to the practice today (yay!).

Cloisonne factory in China. Somebody please pay me to do this all day!
Here's what I'm doing for the display, which I'm very excited about, can't wait to share it with you! 

Selecting Images
I had a lovely visit to Barnes and Noble in search of images of Asia that I could use to decoupage the treasure box that these bracelets will be displayed in. I LOVE creating a whole "buyer experience" so that after you get home with your treasures you have a sense of the history that went into the making of the beads and a special experience to remember as you wear them - a tiny piece of history and art captured humbly by yours truly. I love creating an admiration for cultures different from our own. Definitely something to celebrate and revere. I'm sure the publisher of this book on China never imagined its buyer would "cut it up," but I got over that in pure enjoyment of creating this display....

These images will be on the back of the treasure box.
It was way past bedtime when I finished going through this wonderful book on China and I so enjoyed the hours spent choosing just the right images to adorn the treasure box, which will be lined with black velvet and heaped with bracelets for you to choose from.

The Treasure Box

So to give you an idea of what you can do with these bracelets (combine totally different colors or do sets of all one color) I'm making "mini" bracelets to fit these beautiful wooden stylized hands that I will stain so the color on the wood lends its warmth to the display.
Stylized hands waiting for adornment.
The trick for me right now is waiting for the humidity to pass so I can finish the staining without bubbles. Am totally looking forward to making "mini" bracelets for them.

And this is what you'll have to choose from, and more....WOW, have fun!

How long is my arm and how many can I pop on?


Jen : )

Sunday, April 1, 2012

New Wine Glass Markers and Rear View Mirror Light Catchers

Classy Wine Glass Marker
I've been making some classy little wine glass markers which are now for sale in my Dreamkeeper Creations shop on Etsy. This is my favorite, with a fancy jasper carved bear bead, and maroon, olive, and blue seed beads winding around the flexible silver twisty section. When you pop these onto your wine glass stems, not only do your guests feel special, but they can tell which glass is theirs! 
Back View of Wine Glass Marker
The back of the Wine Glass Markers is just as pretty as the front! Each one has a couple of little tails that sport accent beads and seed beads to match the main twisty section. Findings are silver plated wire and sterling jump rings. They don't go into the dishwasher but can stay on the glasses if you're hand washing.

Here are a few more examples.
Carved Jasper Bear Wine Glass Marker with Onyx and Jasper Tails
Black Onyx Carved Bear Wine Glass Marker with Black Glass and Onyx Tails

Turquoise Carved Bear Wine Glass Marker with Turquoise Tails
Another sparkly item I've been making for you is the Light Catcher Car Jewelry! These are easy to fasten around the arm of your rear view mirror so you can enjoy the sun sparkling through and lighting them up.
Rear View Mirror Light Catcher
I have three in my car, a rabbit for trust, a bear for connection as I travel over the earth, and a Buddha to lend serenity as I go about my travel adventures.
Rabbit, Bear, and Buddha
Here are a few more that will be up in Dreamkeeper Creations for you.
Turquoise Bear Light Catcher with Glass Circle Beads
Cheery Red Light Catcher
Shiny Blue Light Catcher
Look for more fun treasures and jewelry at Dreamkeeper Creations!


Wednesday, February 29, 2012

My Greatest Jewelry Challenge Yet - How did I do?

I went to lunch with my wonderful friend Kathy yesterday. As always, we had a great time and talked nonstop over our salads. We covered everything from education to family to personal history and many things in-between, it was great. But there's a reason I have to blog about it - there's a great story here!

Towards the end of our lunchtime Kathy drew out a plastic bag from her purse and put it on the counter. It contained two very long, very shiny silver screws. I wondered where the heck she was going with this. Then she told me the story of how she broke her ankle.

She had taken her beautiful 55 lb dog outside for playtime and the dog got a little over-enthusiastic, deciding to run towards her at mach speed, and when she realized her dog wasn't going to bypass her she tried to get out of the way. In that moment her dog knocked her down and as she twisted, her ankle broke all to hell. Please don't get the willies from the gruesome photo of poor swollen broken ankle...does that look painful or what!? Read on....

The doctors actually had to use two screws to connect her ankle bones and Kathy walked around on them for months while she healed. Owie!!! She told me she could feel things rubbing together in there and it was not comfortable to say the least. 

Well right before we went to lunch together she had, at last, had those screws removed - YAY!!!! If you've ever had an injury of any kind and gone through the body healing stuff, the emotional stuff, the limitations on what you can and can't do while it's healing, you understand her glee, and her gratitude towards those screws that made the alignment and healing possible. They're pretty special screws.

She's an enthusiastic buyer of the jewelry I so love to make - which you can purchase in my Etsy shop Dreamkeeper Creations, and it always looks so great on her. So she said to me, "Jen, can you make me something out of these?"

And you know, I love this girl, and I picked up the bag with it's long shiny screws and nodded my head, answering "Absolutely." Well, I trust my artistic muse, don't I? This is a LOT of trust....

In the car on the way home that night after work my head was full of thoughts about how to attach these screws so they'd hang straight (a reflection of my totally OCD nature - I'll write a post about that too, and it'll be fun). So I sat down at the table my husband made me in my studio and got to work. Man it was fun. These earrings came out like they were just waiting to adorn her - HA! Take a look....

Kathy's Earrings to Commemorate Healing
Pretty cool, eh? Thank you my muse! These lovely danglies include little sterling silver dog charms, wish I had a better photo for you, and some agate, tourmaline, chalcedony, and Swarovski crystals, wire wrapped to blend nicely with the steel screws.
So pretty, huh?
Whenever I do commissioned jewelry for my friends (all clients are friends - which you'll thoroughly understand if you've ever purchased and worn my pieces) I write a special note letting them know what kind of stones were chosen and a bit about the piece(s). Kathy's copy says, right at the beginning:

Custom Earrings to Commemorate Healing for Kathy

These earrings, made especially for you, include little sterling silver doggie charms because your beloved fur person got a little over-enthusiastic and knocked you down, maybe you should eat more pancakes.... (she's a tiny, beautiful woman)

The silver spiral symbolizes the eternal cycles of life, healing and growing, death, and birth, of facets of self.

The spiral is because whenever we injure ourselves there's something going on that makes us stop, or at least slow down, and turn our thoughts more closely to ourselves to see what's really going on...and that's when surprising growth happens inside ourselves, which can positively affect our influence in our outside worlds.

So there's the story, ain't it great? I feel honored to have been asked to make something special to commemorate her healing, and I give sincere thanks, always, to my muse.