Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Mixed Metals

With jewelry, I've always liked things to match. If I worked with glass beads, all the colors had to be similar to each other in some form. When I started to like working with copper, all the copper had to be the same shade~ there couldn't be a mixture of bright and antiqued copper. But I've been searching around Internet forums and discovered that mixed metals are are very popular.

Here are a few examples of mixed metals I have found on Etsy. I have these in my favorites list and kinda stare at them every day, like a kid who looks longingly in a toy store window.

This is a chainmaille bracelet made by MBOI (http://www.mboi.etsy.com/) . I love chainmaille, though I don't have any jewelry that has chainmaille in it. It reminds me of knights of Arthurian times, who wore chainmaile with their armor. It is a very epic medium. I love this bracelet because of the contrasts of the brass and the silvery steel.

This set of rings was made by kateszabone (http://www.kateszabone.etsy.com/) . There is a mixture of rose gold, which is beautiful pink, sterling silver, and yellow gold. Put together, they make a soft yet strikinng combination. I love how they have a hammered texture as well. They are simple~ there are no glittering jewels, and I really like that. They let the beauty of the mixed metals and the texture shine.

This stoic bracet is handcrafted by TammysTreasureChest (http://www.tammystreasurechest.etsy.com/). Not only do I love the mixed metals and its rustic appearance, I love the fact that its a cuff bracelet. I am am more into big chunky pieces of jewelry that I can wear often thatn the more delicate pieces. This utilizes brass, silver and copper. There is just the right amount of contrasting colors in this scheme.

In celebration of my new found fascination with mixed metals, I sat down at my own beading desk and created a simple pair of mixed metal earrings. I've taken beautiful brass daisy bead caps and accented them with a white freshwater pearl. I have contasted the bright brass with elongated sterling silver earring wires.

Blue n' Brassy

One of my favorite reasons I love working with glass beads is the amount of colors I can work with. One of my favorite color combinations is a rich navy blue that is paired with antiqued brass. Antiqued brass has a burnished dark gold color that works so well with the dark blue. I have made a few pieces that have this.

The necklace is lariat styled, featuring a simple antiqued brass chain that ends in a cluster of navy blue flowers~ it is worn with the brass ring in the front, with the cluster threaded through it. I like how the earrings turned out~ they are bold, swinging, and dangling. These, too, end in a small cluster of flowers. I was going to go with a streamlined earring, with three flowers in a line instead of the cluster at the bottom, but I love how the cluster has more visual appeal.
I am very much inspired and in awe of costume jewelry from the past century. If anyone is interested in this subject, there is a wonderful book out there called "Fabulous Fakes" by Carole Tanenbaum. It has a gorgeous array of pieces that the author has in her collection and has included for show in this book, illuminating what women wore in the past decades.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Bouquet Lariats

I am still on my little journey through making necklaces. I had an idea for a necklace that fit perfectly with the style of earrings that I make. Glass flowers are one of my favorite mediums to work with, so I incorporated them into a lariat necklace. I really liked the end result. I made a couple of them to match my earrings.

The Caribbean Cluster lariat~

This necklace is very simple, and I believe that my focus is on how the colors, the copper and the beautiful opaque turquoise hue, compliment each other. I personally love the shape of these flowers~ they dangle together in a cluster so well!


I used to be a huge fan of making necklaces. I stopped for a time, because I wasn't entirely satisfied with them. I also had trouble taking their pictures. I recently found an awesome Etsy store, BluewaterStudio, and ordered some vibrant colored Czech beads. They really inspired me to use them in necklaces. I also found a necklace style that I love~ the lariat. I combined these beads and the lariat style to make very simple and bold necklaces. The beads are the center of attention, as their vivid colors draw the eye. I made two lariats using copper and brass chains.

The orange beads makes me think about pumpkins, and best of all, pumpkin pie. I love the orange and the copper~ the color combination brings a lot of warmth. Brass and green are a wonderful color combination as well~ they remind me of Ireland!