Monday, April 30, 2012

New adventures + Giveaway

I like to think about myself that I'm the adventurous type (sometimes bordering insanity). I always, always love to try new things - I've always liked to take new classes, to start new projects... And I've always been in love with metal and wire - for as long as I remember. My mom is the crafty type and we've always created something or another.

When I decided to pick my jewelry making back where I left it from, I've had some clear images of pieces I would make. Wire was always involved. Somehow - I would not make anything with wire (except for my crochet wire pieces, which are the ones I love the most). I would try a new technique of this or that... I would buy books and magazines on how to work with wire (cold-forming, not metal smith - or not yet!)... I would dream my pieces, sketched them... and still - no wire making for me.

'Why?' would you ask - and it is a great question. The answer is - I am not 100% sure. If I look deep inside - I believe it was fear, two-folded: fear of not being able to produce the images my brain was projecting; and fear of not liking this branch of jewelry making as much as I thought I would. Paralysing fear. In the past 2-3 months I told myself almost daily: I would try this tomorrow... and tomorrow would come and pass and I was still making other pieces.

Until the past weekend. I have been asked by a friend to provide the jewelry for a mini fashion show at a community fund-raising. My jewelry is nice, but I didn't have that many pieces that would go with an evening gown or dress. So, obviously, I had to make more. I only managed to get the pictures of the dresses (16!) last Friday which meant (the fundraising was this past Saturday, on April 28th) I had only one weekend to come up with the rest of the pieces. Oops! (Now you know where I disappeared for the last week :))

Out of necessity I had to conquer my fear - because I knew the pieces I had in mind for so long would be perfect: delicate and glamorous, perfect for day and gorgeous for an evening attire. I will show you everything during the next few weeks.

Today, I will start with some of the wire work:

Wire work: sterling silver, swarovski: Flower Power, William's Fire, A son's heart :: All Pretty Things

The 'Flower Power' set is my very first try with a jig - I had to create something with flowers to match one of the dresses - and I first made the flower... I thought I want to fill it using crochet - and after making the frame I realized it is much more elegant just like that, so I left it as is: sterling silver wire frame, with a Swarovski crystal in the middle. Making a smaller version for the earrings I decided to change the style slightly, while keeping the same 'Fire Opal' Swarovski bicone.

Together - they are an extremely elegant set, and a versatile one too: can be easily wore during the day, with business attire (and even with jeans and a nice, crisp shirt), with a cocktail dress, even with an evening gown. The crystal's fire is warm and inviting, the sterling silver is stylish and elegant - together they make a great team!

The necklace in the middle has been designed by my son - it's the one necklace that was supposed to have 3 strands, with a star fish on the 3rd, but the star fish broke (now that I have another one, I'll make his 3rd strand soon). Using the same Fire Opal Swarovski crystals - the necklace can be easily paired with the earrings of the 'Flower Power' :)

The last piece you see, the heart - has been entirely designed and handcrafted by my son! He asked if he can use one of my scrap wires and I said yes - after a few minutes he came with what you see (minus the wrapping at the bottom, and the Swarovski) - completed with hammering! I am so proud of my budding artist :)

Now - for the giveaway. Based on his heart design I made another set - pendant (set on chain) and earrings:

Lovely heart set (Swarovski crystals, sterling silver) :: All Pretty Things

I'm giving away the whole set! And if pink is not your favourite, you can choose the colour of your Swarovski drops, I will try my best to find it. This makes for a great Mother's Day gift too.

To enter - use the Rafflecopter widget below: you have a few chances to enter:
  • Leave a comment in the blog (mandatory) - and make sure you enter it in the Rafflecopter widget
  • Like my facebook page (for 5 extra chances) - and make sure you enter it in the Rafflecopter widget
  • Share this giveaway of your Facebook page (for extra 10 chances) - and make sure you enter it in the Rafflecopter widget
  • Share this blogpost on your own blog (for extra 5 chances) - and make sure you enter it in the Rafflecopter widget
  • Follow this blog (for extra 4 chances) - and make sure you enter it in the Rafflecopter widget
  • Share this giveaway on Twitter (for extra 3 chances) - and make sure you enter it in the Rafflecopter widget
That's 28 chances in total!
The giveaway will be on for 2 weeks, a lucky winner will be chosen on Mother's Day, May 13 :)

Good luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

28 comments:

  1. Hi there well I have joined your blog ,following you on twitter and commented there, liked you on facebook and left comment, leaving comment here and gonna advertise your giveaway on my blog and gonna email my sisters to make sure they know about it...and I will announce it on my facebook page...I hope I didn't forget anything...So I am all lined up for this absotively positutely fabtabutous giveaway...thank you kindly bye for now and Happy beading

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    1. Thank you, Jacqueline, your enthusiasm is contagious :)

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  2. sweet pieces - love the style of these!

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    1. Thanks, I love them too - but then, so do I most of my 'babies' :)

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  3. I love the flowers and the hearts with the drops are simply wonderful.

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    1. Thank you - I am quite pleased with the result :)

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  4. It's all beautiful! And you know, I think your fears are pretty universal -- and they're ok! I feel that way a lot myself. Here if you need me!

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    1. Thanks, Lori, you're sweet :) Yes, I imagine my fears are not unique... but still it came as a surprise to me to not being able to do something I really wanted to do - now I'm over it :)

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  5. I love your jewelry, I don't think you have anything to worry about!

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  6. I don't really have questions but I did want to say that you have nothing to worry about when it comes to wire. Your pieces are just gorgeous.

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    1. Thank you, Shaiha, it is something that I truly love to do; already planning next projects :)

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  7. Ah, this is just great! I love pink, I want a present like this for Mother's Day, and it would be so much easier for both of us if I won, isn't it, dear friend? :)
    Superb pieces, Alicia!

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    1. Thank you, Delia! I wish you good luck (and if you don't win, I might think of something :))

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  8. ...and for me too! :)

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  9. Alicia~ We all have those pesky fears, lack of confidence can be a creativity killer. I'm glad you were able to overcome them & create something lovely. :-)

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    1. Thank you, Tammie - I am glad too, since then I see wire-work everywhere I turn (as in: 'Oh, I could try this... or that!' :))

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  10. I love, love, love your son's skills!! That is what makes this post so special...you conquering your fears led to someone else discovering their talent in a new area. :)
    I don't exactly have a fear of wirework, but I definitely don't like the results I've had so far. Really need to take a class!
    Thanks for such a special giveaway!

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    1. Oh, thank you, Shirley! I still need to make a pair of earrings to match his heart, and I'll do it right now (there is a special event at school tomorrow and it's the perfect thing to wear!).
      I need to take a few classes myself - hopefully before the summer ends I'll find something. Good luck - and thank you for playing!

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  11. Ok, I did all the rafflecopter thingies, except the blog post, (I'll do it in a minute) but I didn't put anything in the rafflecopter boxes. I'm thinking I didn't do something right?

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    1. You're in - I can see your name :)

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  12. Wow....your fear was definately unnessary....the wire work is beautiful! I did the various entry things. Would love to have this set.
    Sonya

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    1. Oh, thank you, Sonya, very kind of you! Good luck!

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  13. Fantastic blog and giveaway! And what beautiful prizes...x

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    1. Thanks, Dee - enjoy and good luck!

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  14. Awesome! I just got a wire jig and can't wait to try it. I love how these show the bends and twists. Great job! I hope I do as well on my first time! Thank you for a great giveaway!

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    1. What was the hardest part of getting the "jig of the jig" hahahaha. I am a little intimidated by it but I'm excited to try it too!

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    2. LOL - thanks, Kimberly. Well - the hearts and the big flower aren't done with the jig, I have other pieces to show (on Monday) created with the jig. What I am still trying to figure out is the wire gauge - books are quite confusing (and not agreeing all the time :)), plus I don't have every material someone's suggesting... So that takes a little while to figure out: what gauge (and hardness) goes best for what. Another 'difficulty' is making the loops similar (especially in earrings) - yeah, you have the pegs, but one time you might go around slightly more relaxed than other times... and it shows. On the items that use beads while you jig - it's not easy to hammer them down.
      But I enjoyed using this technique the most so far, it's not that complicated, and you get more of the 'instant gratification' than with other techniques (no kiln, oven, or anything involved... well - if you don't consider you should tumble them ;))
      I know the 'intimidation' feeling - my best advice: get yourself a spool of 22 gauge and one of 20 gauge of not-expensive wire and just start curving it around :) When you see the results you'll feel better!
      Oh - important tip: if you can, work from the spool; if not, make sure you cut more than you need (I have a few unfinished jig pieces... my wire ended right in the middle of the last loop :))

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Thank you for sharing your thoughts! I appreciate and love to read your comments!