"The Cream Puff"

"The Cream Puff"
"The Cream Puff" was shown by request @ Liberty Art Gallery, Long Beach Ca. April '12

Saturday, July 5, 2014

"Summer Days & Summer Nights"

       Welcome to the latest ZnetShows.com design team challenge.
    The theme for this one is "Summer Days and Nights", and we're working with cultured sea glass.
    Our goal was to make at least two pieces or sets of jewelry. One in a casual daytime style. The other in evening wear.

    A little theme music to set the mood............
          "Indian Summer" by Chica Libre

     This challenge also coordinates with the publication of the fourth issue of  "Creative Spark" magazine.
    Yay! I've been published again!
    My spread can be found on pages 100-104. As well as a few other small contributions on pages 37, 59, 83, 98 and 121.

    I was asked to pick out the colors I'd like to work with for this challenge and chose shades of soft blue and yellow. This is a color palette that's new to me.

    A few possibilities for inspiration....
   Unfortunately it appears I've either forgotten to take, or misplaced the photo of the stash I received from ZnetShows for this challenge. Oops!
    I'm usually really good about taking that supplies photo as soon as my stash arrives.
    You'll just have to use your imagination on this one. Or better yet, head on over to ZnetsShows and scope out all the possibilities. That's sure to wet your creative apatite.

    Summer is all about the beach for me.....but then I live just a few miles from the Pacific Ocean, and it's pretty much summer for most of the year here in Southern California.

             Life is a beach!

    I must admit that I had a really hard time trying to make something geared specifically for daytime, or nighttime use. So many of my creations would serve both purposes well.
    My first attempt was a fail. I ended up with what is very much a crossover piece.
    It's bright bold happy colors, and playful textures in a fun theme. Perfect for day.
    Yet at the same time it has plenty of sparkle and a sexy silhouette that carries over into the evening quite well.
         May I present..... 
    "Schools Out For Summer!"

    Irregular hammered copper rings, mixed with the cultured sea glass fancy rings in Desert Gold (PMX7-B16) to form a grid. On top of which I seeded a coral reef, which is really teeming with life.
    Lampwork glass beads by Kim Snider of Mandrel 2, and Val Lewis of Idyllic Arts, as well as copper, gemstones, and fiber create the plant life.
    My school of fish is made from Carnelian stones, wrapped in sari silk, with tails of wool locks.

"The Sea Garden"

    This piece was sort of inspired by another challenge.
    "The Sea Garden" was the 10th round of the Blogger/Non-Blogger round robin challenge held in the Bead Soup Cafe forum.
    Hosted by Esterina Mestoko Jagiella.
    The photo was taken by Dinink Sonia at Banda Sea in the Maluku Islands, Indonesia.
    I had an idea for this challenge, but never found the time to create it before the deadline. This necklace is not my original idea, but in hindsight I can see this photo had an influence on my work.
    You can view the photo album to see what everyone else created for this round of the challenge here.

          "Summer of '69" -by Brian Adams

    Next I tinkered with some earrings.
          "Sand & Sea" 
"Sand & Sea"

    For my "Sand & Sea" earrings, I used the cultured sea glass bottle-curved diamond square pendants in saffron yellow (P23-B57).
    Dangling from mismatched stacks of lampwork glass beads and an array of different shaped and colored freshwater pearls.
    Gold Italian mesh is layered between each of the beads, and accented with some frayed denim blue cotton for texture and casual style. (Although that Italian mesh is quit sparkly under low light as well.)
                                                                                              "Summer Breeze" 
"Summer Breeze"

  Then I came up with another pair of earrings, which are, finally, absolutely completely casual daytime jewelry. Yay!
    Cultured sea glass teardrop pendants in luscious tangerine (P48-B83), hang from lampwork glass spiral discs by Val Lewis of Idyllic Arts, and copper cage beads turned on end.
    Strung on Irish waxed linen in pumpkin, with orange fresh water pearls hanging at the ends of the knotted strings.
    Accented with frayed denim blue cotton fiber, and wisps of blue eyelash yarn that blow gently in the "Summer Breeze".
    I realized as I was writing this, that these beads were actually left over from a previous challenge.
    They work quite well with this sunny summer theme though, so we're keepin' 'em    ;)

    Now that I'm feelin' the casual style....
                              "Wave Runner" 
"Wave Runner"

    For my "Wave Runner" necklace, I used the fancy glass rings (PMX7-B28), the double-hole flat free form pendants (PMX3-B28), a pair of small freeform curve pendants (P16-B28), and a pair of conch shells (S29-B28S), all in the deeper shade of Turquoise Bay blue. I also used the barrell nuggets in opaque purple (S79-B161).
   All of the lampwork glass beads were made by my mother, Carol Rowe.
    The druzy pendant, I foil wrapped, wired on a bail, and soldered.
     Strung on blue and lavender striped sari silk, with a casually knotted outer wrap of vintage lavender embroidery thread.
    Accented with lavender Biwa pearls, and a silver dolphin charm on the clasp.
    I love all the irregular free-form shapes and swirling colors. It reminds me of the fluidity of dolphin leaping on the rolling waves.

    One of my all time favorites, Janis Joplin singing her soulful rendition of the classic "Summertime"
     "Lights of Lahaina"
    Lastly, and most definitely my evening wear.....
    This piece kinda kicked my butt.
    I imagined a choker style necklace, but it just wouldn't go together the way I envisioned it.
    Part of it was ensuring a comfortable fit.
    I was worried that the Italian mesh would be scratchy so close to the skin.  So I needed to back it in some way.
    I had this piece of Shibori ribbon near by, that I had actually ordered for a different project. But it kept jumping up and down and shouting, trying to get my attention, so I finally gave in.

    First I created a casing on either side and wired it to shape it..... but then it needed something to edge it. So came the pearls......

    Have you ever made something that you just kept asking yourself "what are you doing" because "this is hideous!"?
    That's how this project was going.
    My mind kept saying, "cut your losses", "try something else".
    But I just kept on working through it.
    Layering, and layering.
    Filling holes along the way.
    Well, I'm really glad I did because I LOVE how this set turned out!
    Totally, completely different than what I had planned, but I went with the flow and adapted. And it's Brilliant!
    Okay, that's my own biased opinion, but I do hope you agree.
    After wiring all the pearls and edging it, I started hanging all the dangles, before moving on to the original intended choker band in the center.
    For the framework of the choker, I made a chain with both oval (S62-B88S), and fancy cultured sea glass rings (PMX7-B88) in light aqua "Coke" bottle, interspersed with vintage blue and white crocheted buttons.
    I wove the gold Italian mesh through, and around the chain of cultured sea glass links.
    Then seeded yet another coral reef.
    The amazing lampwork glass shells are made by Kim Snider of Mandrel 2.
    Embellished with both blue and white fresh water pearls.
    The darling little lemon yellow cultured sea glass fish pendants  (P51-B84) swim through my reef.
    For the dangles I used the curved diamond square pendants in light aqua "Coke" bottle (P23-B88), the baby conch shells in lemon yellow (S29-B846), mother of pearl coins, sea shells from the isle of Skye in Scottland, and fresh water pearls.
    As an after thought, I added the teardrops in opaque white (S77-B42), and accented them with Italian mesh, Pearls, Citrine, and Sea glass nuggets.
    I love the drama they added. Originally the dangles were all the same length.
    Can't forget the bling. I filled in with Chinese crystal designer glass cubes with Aurora Borealis coating (RS271-01AB) left over from the last ZnetShows challenge.

    I had two of the opaque white teardrops left, so I made a pair of dangly earrings to match.
    This set brought back memories of a trip to Maui I took about 10 years ago.
    We stayed in Lahaina at Ka'anapali point, which has been voted the best beach in America.
    Lahaina is a charming little resort town, with lots of quaint gift shops, and restaurants all along the waterfront.
    We had dinner one night at a Bubba Gump, that sits right on the water.
   There were no windows. Just shutters that open to the sea.
    In the evening the puffer fish were drawn to the lights from the restaurant and congregate near the windows.

    The sky has a magical quality to it as the sun sets, and the evening lights come up, dancing on the water.

    Calling all Gypsies and Fairies.....
If you are anywhere in the Southern California area, you can find me today at the Headquarters at Seaport District in San Diego.
    Located at 789 W. Harbor Dr. San Diego, California 92101.
        The original San Diego Police headquarters were built in 1939.
    This Spanish Mission style architectural gem has been revitalized into a fabulous shopping and dining mecca.
    PyxeeStyx - Traveling SideShow will be vending there from 10am - 6pm on Saturday July 5th, at the SoCal Etsy Guild Market  

Here's the list of all the participants. 
    You can also find this list at ZnetShows.blogspot.com on their write up for this challenge. As well as on the back page of the latest issue of  "Creative Spark" magazine
    It should be interesting to see what unique ideas everyone came up with for this challenge. 
    Check it out. 

    Thanks for stopping by. 
    Always appreciate your comments, and over to the right, you can sign up to "Run Away with the Circus" to follow along on all our magical adventures.
    Hope you're enjoying your "Long Hot Summer Nights!"  


  1. I knew your pieces would be wonderfully creative - and they are! Really beautiful work, and yes that last set came out great despite your concerns as you went along! I love all the different materials and fibers you include. I just have to mention that your Summer Breeze earrings look like fireworks!

  2. As always, you created some absolutely unique and stunning pieces. That first necklace is such a statement and probably my favorite of the bunch! However, the colors in your wave runner necklace are my favorites. You did an amazing job with your sea glass.

  3. All of your pieces are artwork and statement pieces. I am partial to the red tear drop earrings and your last wrap necklace. Your work is exquisite, worthy of being in a museum.

  4. OMG. Totally amazing pieces - ALL. LOVE that Lahaina piece..... and the School's Out piece? Yowza. Lovin' these challenges! Aren't they fun?!

  5. Wow! This is the first time that I have seen any of your designs and I have to say that they are all spectacular. I can't really pick a favorite design as they are all incredible.

  6. OOOOHhhh AHHhhhh...WOW...BOLD BEAUTIFUL and just my style. I am in love with the choker...its screams my name...LOL I love all the fibers and variety of beads and elements you put into your pieces.. Well done!

  7. Wow. Boho beach jewelry. Goregous!

  8. Talk about pieces that make loud, beautiful statements! My favorite has to be the "Schools Out..." Th red hot colors combined with a bit of softness, very sexy. Great work.

  9. I am loving the mood music. Put me right in tropical vacation mode. What great designs. I had a hard time deciding on a favorite until I came to the last one on the page. Awesome!

  10. Hi Kathy, all I can say is WOW!!!. Your pieces are all amazing. "Wave Runner" is my favorite. I love the colors. "Lights of Lahaina" is fabulous.

  11. Love your work! Your use of fibers really makes your pieces outstanding!

  12. Oh, Wow! All of your pieces are truly amazing and pieces or artwork!

  13. Thanks for visiting and taking the time to leave a comment....which allowed me to find you and your fun with blue and yellow. The choker is beautiful!

  14. Thank you for coming by to visit my blog, Food on Fifth. I so appreciate it and your comments. Wow!! You are nominated for the most colorful and fun blog yet...so happy to have found you and will definitely keep up with what you are up to...