Sunday, December 6, 2009

Saying "Hi"

Dropping by the Blog to say Hi! :) My mind is more on Xmax gifts and shopping and house cleaning, rather than jewelry making at the moment:)

I'm starting to want to do some ambitious time-consuming jewelry project again, but I don't have a design idea as of yet, and I won't have time until over the Holidays when I expect to have some time off from work.

I'm sure I will have a post or two up during December, but I won't be very active again until the end of the year.

Just barely managed to pull off a submission to Year of Jewelry this week: The Ruby Brooch

The following pics are for my daughter's sake, becasue she doesn't follow my flickr account. To most of you it's old news:)

Oh yeah, while I am at it, let me throw in a failure:( This ring was what I was having so much trouble soldering a few weeks ago. You see the bad soldering if you look closely, and also the ring turned out way too big:( I want to be able to make soldered closed frames like many other wire artists do, but I still have a ways to go!

Friday, November 27, 2009

No Copper Allowed

Jewelry Lessons is planning a new contest and I'm excited about it! You can find details here if interested

The idea is that artists are to make something that is just as rich and valuable as their best works but replace half the silver or gold with some other type of material, as long as it isn't copper. (EDIT: JL has revised their contest to allow copper. Seems less challenging to me, but I know many other poeple will be happier) It seems very challenging! JL was also very smart to allow two months for the contest to complete, this gives poeple plenty of time to participate. ...Now what to make?.....

I started a necklace that was meant to be a prototype for a silver design, but somewhere along the way I crossed the line and it became the real thing. It turned out to have a surprisingly gothic/romantic feel. It hangs really well around the neckline!

I've also been playing with some 10 gauge copper wire. Oww-y on the wrists and hands! But I love the forged look of this copper bangle. I hammered it and annealed it and shaped it into a bangle and I love the textures that came out in the metal.

I also tried texturing the wire using the concrete in my patio, but I didn't care for that one as much.

Sunday, November 22, 2009


I drove to the post office saturday afternoon and kept having near misses. Why are the roads so unsafe I ask myself? Am I driving badly? OH!! holiday shopping! I am reminded that the roads here in LA will continue to be hurried, rushed, and full until the Holiday season is over.

On the other hand - The HOLIDAY season is here!! Hurray!

I did not solve my soldering problems. I feel like I've wrestled an alligator and lost. I put alot of time and effort into it and have nothing to show for it. I hate that:( Will take break from soldering efforts until later date when hopeful again.

Added some failed projects to the failed project box. Saved them for a future post when we all need a good laugh:)

Hooked on making brooches right now. I love the flying fantasy one alot. He makes me smile:)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

This Week

This week, I did a little bit of everything, but not much of anything. I cleaned the house a little bit, I worked wire a little bit. I was playful a little bit, responsible a little bit, and I did a little bit of nothing at all:) Seems like nothing much at all got accomplished, but I will do the same thing next week, and I hope a little bit of everything will have a cumulative effect over time:)

This was a tool buying week. I broke my best cutters. I felt so helpless and vulnerable without them . (((shiver)))

I won't say what I was doing, except to say I deserved for them to break:)

I replaced them with these Lindstrom Ultra Flush cutters:

My new cutters don't get into small spaces the way my old ones did:( Another pair of Lindstrom cutters added to the tool buy list.

My new cutters make the best jump rings ever!! A million kisses all over my jump rings!

This week I learned not to use solder purchased from the hardware store:( The wonderful people over at The Creative Wire Jewelry Forum set me straight:)

I bought new solder, and now my butane torch can't melt it:( New torch added to the tool buy list.

This week I fussed with combining my two opposing design loves. I love fat organic wire in very simple forms, while also loving extravagantly detailed ornate wire wraps. I always feel like I have to sacrifice one to have the other, and I hate to sacrifice!

This moon brooch met the ultimate goal of bringing both forms to one piece. Though the detail part fell short for me a little bit, in that I wanted it to be even MORE eye-poppingly ornate. Still I was happy with what I accomplished so far:)

This week, Dear Blog Reader, I made you a cup of tea in my favorite teacup:)

This week I reworked an old design into a lush feast of simple pleasures, fat pearls, fat wire, and color, for you to enjoy with your tea.



would you like a chocolate Bob bon to go with that? ;)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Fan Necklace

This fan was one of the most ambitious projects I have done to date. I would love to make another fan that would include some improvements and lessons learned but I don't know when I will have the time.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Happy Birthday Aaren!

My only offspring turns 22 today. Every year I give her a piece of jewelry in the early morning as a wake up gift. I used to buy this jewelry until I started working with wire.

I usually try to give her the best thing I can make at the time. She always says "Thanks Mom- it's nice". She means it too.

BUT - this is the first year she is actually excited about her upcoming jewelry gift. To my mind, that is the best compliment of all:))

This is was she got... some type of flying fantasy, huge labradorite pendant, modified eni oken stlye clasp.

Have a lovely day honey!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Harry Potter's Wand for YOJ

I am often fascinated by the wood like attributes in twisted wire. It can take on the appearance of a gnarled old tree. I would like to develop that fascination further without having to resort to making an actual tree.

This is as far as I've gotten with that fascination for now.

Aged red brass, labradorite, and fine silver.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

The Angsty Artist herself, about to go trick-or-treating with her older brothers. I think 1969. The darling costumes were made by my mother:) Thanks Mom!

Friday, October 30, 2009

The Angsty Artist Again

Last week I felt such a sense of accomplishment from my work with the wire, almost as if I had 'arrived' at my destination. I achieved many of my wire wrapping goals, even if I had set them unconsciously. This week, I find myself resting from the wire and waiting until my next set of goals come forth from the muse.

I'm also trying to deal with a rebellious pouty-ness on my part over how much responsibility life has. Issues about my priorities and how I want to spend my time and what I value are on the table and I would like to shove them off the table but they won't go:)

It is difficult to fit wire wrapping into a life with a full time job, home ownership, and family and social engagements. Dropping wire wrapping for me is not an option on the table. I have often been a dreamer in life who was full of wishes to play guitar or have some skill or ability but never had the desire to do the hard work of practicing. I tend to give up when things get hard.

My life would be easier if I didn't try to make time for wire, but it is important to me that I stick with something and see just how far I can go with it. I do have a mini goal of seeing 'what one year of sustained effort' will produce. That year would end in June of next year, so I at least have to get to June:)

So how do I get to June without destroying myself in my health with not eating right and not getting some exercise? I sit all day at a computer and than sit with the wire at night. How do I get to June without driving myself crazy trying to fulfill every real and perceived obligation and expectation that comes my way? I don't know yet!

One nice thing about having full time work is that I am not dependent on the wire for any income. I would like the wire to produce income one day, but for now I have the luxury of exploring the wire and doing whatever I please without worrying if it is sell-able or whether another person likes it, except when I do the occasional commission.

So at the moment I am floundering around trying to figure out the 'next thing' the muse wants to do, and while I wait for her I am trying to figure out my game plan for living. I hope my muse doesn't get too weird and make stupid or odd things. I have often judged and mistrusted her rather than embraced her. But she seems to be doing Ok so far;)

So for your viewing DISpleasure today, we have....


Sunday, October 25, 2009


On Friday night I finally felt relaxed enough to approach the wire and the 'creative moment'. If I know I have to be somewhere soon, or have some obligation to attend to, I can't get into working the wire or allow myself to get too involved. Since most of my projects require a great deal of involvement, the wire tends to be an all or nothing proposition at my house.

If I get involved deeply in a project, you can forget about groceries or anything that requires cooking. I have always been this way about any project I get into, balance is something I never got the hang of.

When I was raising my daughter the pain of this unevenness on my part was too much for our household so I stopped crafting or attempting any detailed or demanding projects. I started to buy the books that promised 5 min or one hour projects. It served me well to just give up those creative wishes for many years.

But now I am back, able to do as I please again:) So I worked for 15 hours straight but for the sleep part in between. I completed two projects, both for Year Of Jewelry, so I will only post one of them for now.

This is painted wire, copper and coral.

A couple of months ago I spent 15 hours just trying to get this pair of earrings done A few months before that I designed this locket in 28 hours.

Both projects I did this weekend required all new techiques that I had to innovate and design from scratch. Both projects were fairly detailed. Both projects hit bumps in the road where I had to rethink my design plan and rework the wire more than once. I can't beleive I got them both done in so little time!! So little for me anyway:)

So why is my blog post titled "Happiness"?

In those 15 hours I noticed I was completely happy:)

But now I need some groceries.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Organic and Art Nouveau

It was a very busy week at my company and I had to work overtime, so I only completed one piece of jewelry this week. (edit, as of this morning I managed to make a second piece). Next week appears to be the same so wire production has been curtailed quite a bit:( Boohoo - But yay that we are busy:)

Last week I purchased an organic ring tutorial from Zaplecione. She makes the most wonderful organic wire rings. I have my own method for making wire leaves but I preferred Gosia's method over my own for making uniform sized leaves with a more organic shape. The overall construction of the ring in my opinion is quite brilliant, it's an excellent foundation for making all sorts of rings using one's own imagination. You can buy the tutorial on ETSY if you are interested.

True to my own form, I did not actually make the project, though I do read all tutorials carefully and study the mind of the writer:)

Instead I made another upper arm band using Gosia's leaves and I used a modified version of her weave. I modified it so that I could add on more wire at any time without disrupting the pattern.

I have actually tried to make organic looking wire jewelry before but they ended up in the trash. I think I am improving because I really like this one:)

This is copper, kyanite, and sterling. Only bad thing about it was that it put a big dent in my kyanite stash (sniffle)

This pendant was finished this morning. I had started it earlier this week but lost hope I would complete on time. This art nouveau style pendant was use for my YOJ submission this week.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Edwardian Pendant

I joined the Year of Jewelry project, and this was my first offering. It was based on the theme 'Edwardian Jewelry". It was very easy for me to be inspired by that type of design. It gave me alot of new ideas.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Angsty Artist

I was raised in an environment where being creative and thinking for oneself was not actively modeled. Being more the compliant and people pleasing type by nature I readily went along with that.

Don't get me wrong - we created things all the time and worked skillfully with our hands often, sewing, knitting, crochet and musical instruments were a big part of our lives, but we played music written by others, and we crafted patterns that others sold to us. I thought of us as crafters, not artists.

In my 20's I was with a friend in a ceramic store, buying figurines for us to paint. This friend found what he wanted exactly except for some bit of detail he did not want. He thought nothing of modifying the figurine and removing that plaster bit to make it his own. I was astounded that someone would even think to do that!

I was half way into my 30's before I really began to own my own mind and think for myself. I've grown alot these last 10 years and have become more comfortable in my own skin. I've been creative in many ways these last 10 years, in raising my daughter, in fixing up the old run down homes I have lived in, in bringing creative solutions to my lifes problems. But I have never tried to be creative in the area of my crafting until recently.

I know for some people, working artistically and creatively is like coming home to something familiar and comforting; but for me it is like exploring some unknown land with unknown dangers and pitfalls.

I am unsure exactly what my tastes are. I like vintage, modern, eclectic, ornate, simple, chic, rustic, victorian, tribal, gypsy and exotic jewelry. Sometimes I do not know what direction I ought to go in, or what my style is.

Having so many different interests is causing me to stumble lately. Recently I made these two upper arm bands for my niece. (My niece is the one who made all the wonderful banners in my Etsy shops.)They are very different styles and I actually like and appreciate both styles. I could not decide between one style and the other for my niece so I ended making her two of them. I wasted a great deal of time in indecision over her design.

I am now trying to fulfill a commission and having the same trouble making up my mind as to what the design will be. This indecision is a huge stumbling block and time waster to moving forward. I don't know how to solve my inner conflicts right now. I could have had 3 or 4 more pieces made with all the time I have been stuck being conflicted.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Wired Elements

I opened a new shop on Etsy! I never really liked the shop name "Brassy Beads" so I finally put my back into it and came up with a new name... "Wired Elements". It is much more suitable for what I do and sell.

Than I thought my shop looked very sad....not only must I be a creative 'Namer' but now I need to be a window dresser as well.

I spent some time dawdling in regards to housework and did some creative window dressing instead.

There is nothing new, jewelry wise, in the shop, but I do think the 'look' is all new.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Busy Busy

Oh my goodness, what happened to September? It cruised right by me!

I haven't been able to post many pics because much of what I have been making is gifts for others.

My house is a mess - Going to leave the prescious wire long enough to clean it this weekend.

Here is one commissioned gift which has made it to it's intended owner.

Saturday, September 12, 2009


Since I completed the wire beads I have felt a relaxed, more playful attitude towards wire. I've enjoyed making some simpler pieces for everyday wear. The necklace shown here is much more playful and it looks stunning dripping around the neck. It sold immediately to a customer who has been with me from the beginning. This customer probably owns the best record of my work to be found anywhere. She would like to see me start signing my jewelry with an etching pen, an idea that never occured to me until she mentioned it. I will probably start doing that in the coming months.

A number of new and old commisions need to be completed this month, so I can't just keep playing. But I am happy to be working:)

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Blood Wire

I try not to whine on my blog...but...this wire business is just so hard, frustrating, and often disappointing. I thought if I just applied myself hard enough and practiced enough I would see results...if I just didn't give up...

But... I have again a string of failures on my desk, everything I have set my hand to has failed on me, and what makes it even more disappointing is that I don't even know what I did wrong, so I have no hope how to proceed towards improvement:(

I was in quite a state this morning, because too many trials can cause alot of doubt in my mind as to whether I am cut out for this? Maybe I don't have what it takes? Seriously why put so much effort into something - if your just not gifted at it?

Anyways I prayed and asked Jesus for help. And asked Him what I ought to work on next, if at all. Than I got up and played around with a Lynne Merchant style wire bead I sometimes practice making on and off. Not really expecting any results, and wondering why I should choose such a doomed project when I was already at my wits end.... and it WORKED!! I actually cried when I saw that it came out well!!

These babies are going to stay with me. This wire bead is the main reason I ever wanted to wire wrap in the first place. The rubies remind me of all the blood that I put into this wire, and Jesus blood shed for me.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Artsy Pieces

I love cuffs. They are comfortable to wear and modern. These bracelets came together without too much frustration. A nice break from the constant battle with the wire:)

Labradorite focal with sterling wire.

Vintage italian wedding cake bead with copper wire. This cuff looks so good on! It's a bit too girly for me but for the right woman it would be a terrific find.

Sunday, August 30, 2009


After a very long frustrating dry spell.... I finally made something that I like! It also has some new and innovative techniques (by moi, thank you ((Bows))) . Innovation is the hardest part of wire work for me:)

I look forward to building on this idea more in the future.

Now I think I will go wash the dishes....:)

Friday, August 28, 2009

In A Slump

I'm stuck...

The month of August just took the wind out of my sails. I had so many great ideas, and I still have those great ideas, but I have no patience, or drive to pursue them.

I hope my spirit comes back soon!

In the mean time I am posting some jewelry from 3 years ago when I was first learning to wire wrap. You can see Sharilyn Miller and Eni Oken influences in the pieces along with some of my own addition of beaded beads and vintage glass.

Monday, August 24, 2009

The Mystery Gift

The mystery gift finally made it to my brother's house, and I do think he was surprised:) This is my second ever piece of jewelry made for a man.

This is a rough and tumble male who doesn't normally wear jewelry. But he wears this!!

The three center rings are my pride and joy, in that I managed to perfectly form them and the solder joints went so well it's hard to see them.

This ring was the warm up act..

Monday, August 17, 2009

Out Sick

The angsty artist has been sick:( which has slowed down wire production a great deal:( She also has super busy week of real life responsibilities ahead of her:(

She does have some very cool new projects she would love to post, but they are secret projects intended for someone who might read this blog:)

She will reveal all when she can:)

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Dreamed It

I woke up with this bracelet design in my head. I am working on a design for an upper arm bangle and this particular idea was not one of my sketches so far.

The weave was learned from an Emi Kaz tutorial ,which you can find here if interested . He did a great job on the tutorial. I haven't actually made the ring in the tutorial but I learned quite a bit of useful techniques just reading it, and now I have this cool bangle.

The bracelet packs alot of punch and I got it done in under 1.5 hours. Amazing huh? Well, I was amazed anyway! hehe:))

I am concerned about it how durable it is though:( It has to open and close around the wrist every time you put it on, and I wonder how long it will take for the core wires to fatigue and snap. I suspect I am being overly cautious, but I'll put some thought into some type of 'fatigue testing' before I continue to work with this design. I can think of a million more ways to use the wrap around idea.