Thursday, May 31, 2012

Artfully Drifting...

Look at all the lovely charms I received in the mail this week!  These are from the "feather your nest" swap and each one is a treasure!  It's obvious how much time and care went into the making of them. (Click on the picture to see a close-up view).  It's a nice coincidence that so many people used similar shades of blue, because a bracelet will look so much more cohesive.  I may combine them with the charms I received in the Spring swap; they'd probably look great together.

Meanwhile I've been kind of drifting a little aimlessly lately, when it comes to art.  I've been playing around with various materials and ideas and trying to complete something - anything!  I pulled out an aqua bracelet that I put together late last summer and decided to vamp it up a bit with some crystals and glass beads I picked up recently.  I also added some copper charms - the seahorse on the right and the sun which is slighltly right of the center.  It looks fuller and richer, but not so crazy overdone that you can't see individual charms.  I'll be adding it to my Etsy shop soon.

It occurred to me recently that one of the reasons I like playing with these charms so much and combining them into a piece of jewelry, is that it's so similar to a collage.  There are lots of elements made with a variety of materials and each one is a clue about a theme or about something the artist might be trying to say.  In this case, the colors, shapes, and materials all relate to the sea.  In addition to the seahorse, there are seashells, a glass fish, pearls, and round glass beads resembling bubbles.  It would make a great beach vacation souvinir!
 The next swap charms I have to work on are for a blue & green color swap with copper findings.  I came up with these three samples, below.  The first is a polymer clay flower strung with an acrylic leaf and glass bugle bead for a stem.  I may add a little copper bee charm to that, if I can find them (or maybe I'll make them out of shrink film?).  The one in the center is actually a piece of 5/8 inch tubing cut to just under an inch long.  I put some green yarn and blue metallic fabric inside, along with a tiny cutout of a seahorse.  Can you see it?  I'm not sure if I'll send those for the swap - they're slightly longer than 1 1/2" with the end caps and beads, which is the size limit.  Maybe I'll add them to some of my own creations, and make some with shorter tubes to meet the size requirement for the swap.   Finally, I made some quick dangles with some other blue and green beads I picked up.
When these are done, I may need to take some time to reorganize my creative space downstairs.  Right now, it works for me pretty well - I can find what I need and have room for just about everything - but the open shelves I have make everything look so messy!  I'm thinking of moving my fabric stash into white cardboard storage boxes and putting them in the open cubbies and moving the jewelry and other craft items to where I currently have my fabric (if I get braver in the future, maybe I'll post before and after pix!).  I'm hoping it will make the room look neater without making it any more difficult to find things and put them back in the right spot.  If I can reorganize my space and getting it looking more inviting, maybe I'll be able to reevaluate my goals for the year and figure out what I want to start on next.  It's hard to believe the year is already almost half over!


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