Friday, October 30, 2009

Project Runway Jewelry Challenge: Pick a Place!

Welcome to Southern California!
Most palm trees are not native to the area, but they thrive here here and the tree lines streets of Beverly Hills and Hollywood have become iconic symbols of L.A. and Southern California. I am an Orange County native and grew up seeing Palm lined streets everywhere - including the street I grew up on and where my parents still live. On the green belt of the side walk, planted every few yards is a Palm. They don't provide much shade, but I still like them. They have tiny orange 'coconuts' that come down a couple times a year and in the Fall, sometimes the palm fronds turn brown and hang low. As kids we used to swing on the fronds like a Tarzan vine - into the street and back to the sidewalk. Here's a photo I managed to take from the sun roof of my car down the street from my house today.
So the Palm Trees of Southern California serve as my inspiration for my Project Runway Jewelry Challenge. The necklace features a row of palms decorating a slightly curved strip of sterling silver. A 'road' of copper is riveted to the silver along the bottom edge.
Visit some other jewelry places:

Friday, October 23, 2009

Project Runway Jewelry Challenge: Sparkle, Shimmer & Shine!

Last week's project runway was fun. The designers were to create a glitzy stage costume inspired by Bob Mackie's designs. An over the top garment that would stop the show. The EtsyMetal Jewelry Challenge was streamlined to simply create something with sparkle. I wondered what Mr. Mackie had done with jewelry so I did a search and didn't find much - some Christmas pins was all I found, but Bob Mackie did design a line of furniture, and I've always thought that hardware on furniture is quite jewelry like. There was one piece that I found especially show stopping. Just look at the inlay of wood surrounding the simple hardware on this chest. Very Cher and feathers, right?
I will admit that I left this until the last moment, so my entry may not have pushed the envelope outside my comfort zone, as those projects tend to take time. The feathery earrings do have shine. Using the feather motif, I've attached six pieces of hand cut patterned brass feather or leaf shapes to strips of sterling silver as if they were sequins, pinned with a bit of fine silver. They move freely on their pins and catch the light nicely. I am letting them dangle from ear wires so they can swing with the wearer's movement.
Other Sparkly, Shimmery & Shiny things:
See them all on the EtsyMetal Blog!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

PRoject Runway Jewelry Challenge: Weddings

Last week, project runway designers had to re-work a wedding dress for a recently divorced client into a non-wedding garment. Well, our leader re-worked the challenge and gave us the directive to design something for a bride.
I have been intending to make a set of wedding rings for some time now and bought these rough, uncut diamonds a long time ago. I love them and have finally put one into a ring that could be an engagement or wedding ring (or both!). I used sterling silver because with the price of gold soaring to new heights and the current economy, I think many couples might chose silver for their rings. It's a simple wide beveled band with the diamond bezel set. The diamond I used is yellow and is cube shaped. I paired the bride's ring with a more masculine ring for our bridegroom. It is a nice, chunky and heavy, beveled band in sterling silver with a small square of 14 kt. gold. The gold square mirrors the shape of the diamond setting in the bride's ring.
Here's a story about my own engagement ring I like to tell. My then future in-laws had set aside three diamonds; one for each of their children to give or have as their engagement ring. A lovely thing for them to do. All we had to do was to select and buy a setting for it. (No there wasn't a ring present at the actual proposal). So, they knew this guy who was a jeweler for a fine jewelry store and he wanted to give us a deal without the jewelry store taking their cut. So, he met us in the gas station across the street from the store and the three of us sat in the back seat looking at samples of settings and having my finger sized. I selected a very simple white gold four prong setting, and then the jeweler sat back and threw his arms around us and said, "Marriage is forever!" in a heavy Italian accent. The whole scene was like something out of a silly movie and my husband and I have often giggled about it. This was the last time I purchased jewelry out of a car, but as I don't have a storefront, I occasionally meet people in various parking lots to exchange a jewelry order for payment, so it isn't the last parking lot jewelry transaction I've been involved it.
And now for our our other submissions:
and the EtsyMetal Blog (thanks Victoria!)

Friday, October 9, 2009

PRoject Runway Jewelry Challenge: Blue

Last week, Project Runway designers were to design something incorporating the color blue for the I.N.C. clothing brand at Macy's. Many moons ago, I worked for Macy's Department store and have always loved I.N.C. They have a simple, classic style, and a sleek silhouette. I don't know if my Blue Ring fits in with their line as it might be a little fussy for them, but I love it. I used a beautiful, marquee shaped, light blue, vintage glass cabochon with some lovely swirls. It is set into sterling silver (silver and blue go so well together!), which I've embellished with a wavy line of silver made with my fun tube wringer. I set it horizontally to make it more modern and gave it a plain rectangle silver band. For fun and a touch of whimsy, I stamped "blue" on the inside of the band. The result is this blue ring, which is now available in my etsy shop!

Check out the other Project Runway Jewelry Challenge Participants!
And here's the EM blog for a summary! Thanks, Victoria!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Little Soldiers

This is what I have been up to lately. These rings are off to Uncommon Goods where they will hopefully all find homes. There's something satisfying about seeing them all lined up like little soldiers. Today, I'll start on a batch of necklaces. I'm in good shape for the deadlines, so I'm happy. Off to the studio!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Project Runway Jewelry Challenge: Hollywood!

Millie Gray boards a bus bound for Hollywood in 1940. She has no beau in the army training camp to stay loyal to and only her mother to disapprove of her pursuit of her dream of a career as an actress. She arrives with her single suitcase and no one to meet her. After finding an apartment to share with several other girls, she is lost in a sea of young, beautiful actresses hoping for any role in any movie. She can sing and dance and lands several auditions, but has trouble staying off of the casting couch. She finally gets cast as an extra in a war propaganda movie. Excited in her new found career, she shows up on the set and gets into costume. Her military uniform includes a drab olive green skirt, blouse and a tie. The only flash of color on her costume is a chevron brooch with a lipstick red stone. She doesn't get shot close enough to the camera for the brooch to show up on screen, however. On the last day on set, she kisses her fellow extras goodbye, and slips the pin into her handbag to save as a memento of her film career and boards the bus going back home to help her mother with her victory garden. Her grand-daughter, Millie, a successful actress, always wears the pin on her movie auditions in Hollywood, 60 years later.

Last week on Project Runway, the designers were to chose from a list of move genres to design a costume for a movie star. I chose "period piece" and selected WWII war for my piece. The trend for jewelry during war time drifted toward patriotic pieces and some fashion mirrored the military uniform in style. My piece is reflective of that influence. A lipstick red, vintage glass deco cabochon is set into a sterling silver bar brooch with chevrons at either side. The back of the brooch is covered with patriotic stars.
Here are the other participants in this EtsyMetal Project Runway Jewelry Challenge: