Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Reflecting and Looking Forward to 2013

The holiday season is here! Are you ready? I still have a few people I need to find gifts for and I am feeling stumped. Hopefully gift ideas will come to me within the next couple of days, as I'm not a very good at last minute gift buying. That thought brings me to the point of today's post. I plan to be off line for the next couple of weeks. Taking some time to spend with my kids and my family without thinking about creating or marketing my work. I hope to refresh my spirit, get a couple of projects off my list and just have fun.

This has been a busy year for me, full of interesting learning curves. While dealing with multiple members of my family having serious health issues (which thankfully are behind us now) I found I completely immersed myself into learning new techniques in order to maintain my sanity.  

I kicked off the year by creating a Katwise sweater coat for myself.
Sweaters were taking over my kitchen.


But I LOVE my coat. 


I took painting classes.



I gifted myself a lampworking class with a fantastic teacher, Trey Cornette. Lampworking classes are very expensive so I don't take a class too often but I really needed something to make me feel better at this time. I have long been an admirer Trey's work and there was no way I was going to miss this opportunity.


These are the beads I created in Trey's class. With Trey's help I was finally able to work silvered glass in the flame without it turning a muddy brown. This was huge and exciting for me! Sometimes it is a small thing that makes me so incredibly happy.


One of the beads I adorned with kumihimo braided seed beads. I just love this piece!



I spent a great deal of time researching and learning metal working techniques. I worked on etching copper in an acid bath and a more environmentally friendly etch using a salt water bath.


These are the results of my first experiments with the salt water etch.


Now that I was creating with metal I needed to finally learn how to use my jewelers saw so I could cut and shape the metal into jewelry components. I read a wonderful book, Metal Artist's Workbench: Demystifying the Jeweler's Saw. This book was extremely helpful in getting me to understand how the jewelers saw works and provided some great practice projects.


A finished piece of jewelry, using lampwork beads and etched copper as a focal which has been colored using Vintaj patina inks. This bracelet was a gift to my niece for her birthday.



In addition to etching metal I learned to emboss and impress images onto metal. Now this is really fun to do!


These bracelet focals have been cut, sanded, embossed, patina added using liver of sulfer, sanded some more, shaped with a partial curve and sealed.



I purchased the book Painting with Fire by Barbara Lewis. Barbara developed a technique of adding enamels to metal without using a kiln. I was lucky enough to visit Barbara at her new store (of the same) and got a mini private lesson. I haven't had a chance to explore painting with fire in my own studio. I intend to do more of that in 2013.

Enameled metal beads


The internet has so much to offer in terms of learning new techniques. I have to credit many of the fabulous women I have met through A Creative Bead Chat group on Facebook. Without them I'm not sure I would have learned so much this year. Thank you CBCers.

There is still so much more I look forward to learning and adding to my work and sharing with you.
I have some exciting events coming up during the first few months of 2013. 

Over my break I will be going through my beads (oh there are so many beads) and jewelry preparing for a huge destash sale during the week of January 7th. Stay tuned to my Facebook fan page for the details.

In February and March my work is going to be published in two different issues of beading magazines! I am very excited about this and will share more details about this in January as well.

In late February I will be hosting an online auction of my work on the Facebook site, Artisans Open Market. I hope you will be able to join me for this event. Stay tuned to my blog and my Facebook page for all the happenings.

I have a few other ideas in the works for January too. I'm thinking about a Component of the Day, offering a bead or jewelry component at half price! What are your thoughts about that deal?

Thanks for joining me and I hope all my friends are enjoying their December Holiday Celebrations and I hope you all have a very Happy New Year.

See you in 2013!

Monday, December 3, 2012

AW Holiday Earrings Winner

The winner is.....comment number 11.
One comment per person was counted to determine the total number of comments. I used a random number generator to determine the winner.

I said the winner would receive a pair of my new earring design but I didn't have a photo of the exact earrings. These are the earrings I will be sending along to the lucky winner.


And the winner is Shelley Graham Turner! Congratulations Shelley.

I thank you all for entering and visiting my blog. If you are interested in owning your very own pair of earrings like this please visit my Etsy shop and I invite you to join me on Facebook  to stay current with my new designs.

Friday, November 30, 2012

The Challenge of Color - Earth as Art

I joined the challenge this year. Erin Pais-Hintz of Treasures Found and Brandi Hussey of BrandiGirlBlog are hosting the 3rd Annual Challenge of Color.

The Earth As Art image gallery is a group of over 120 pictures taken from the Landsat series of Earth observation satellites since 1972. These pictures of the unique features of our beautiful planet are a vital resource for understanding scientific issues related to land use and natural resources. I encourage you to check out these photos. They are beautiful images and so inspiring!

Each participant was assigned two color palettes from the Earth as Art images. I was given these two color palettes to choose from. 


A little background on the Dardzha Monster:  Looking like a monstrous ogre with something gooey in its mouth, the Dardzha Peninsula in western Turkmenistan lies among the shallow coastal terraces of the Caspian Sea. Strong winds create huge sand dunes near the water, some of which are partly submerged. Further inland, the dunes transition to low sand plains.


Background on the Dasht-E Kevir: The Dasht-e Kevir, or Great Salt Desert, is the largest desert in Iran. It is a primarily uninhabited wasteland, composed of mud and salt marshes covered with crusts of salt that protect the meager moisture from completely evaporating.

I committed to working the Dardzha Monster palette. I found this choice to be my challenge. I thought and thought, how could I design a lampwork bead in this color scheme. I had some ideas and got to the torch.


Round 1 of beads. I was not satisfied with what I was coming up with. The colors were proving to be a real challenge for me to create beads with. I had made a few more of the spacer beads. They seem to have disappeared from my work bench for the moment so they missed the photo shoot.
I know I committed to the Dardzha color scheme but it just wasn't working for me. So I thought I would try the Dasht E Kevir color scheme.



These beads are from the second round at the torch. I was seeing blues and off whites in the Dasht photo. Then I thought earth and nuggets. So I created nugget shaped beads as well as round beads.
It all looked good going into the kiln but once the kiln had cooled I was disappointed. Although I like the beads there is too much blue in these. Again not the look I had in mind.


Round 3 and I nailed it! (if I am allowed to say so myself). Okay, finally, beads I can work with. Immediately the ideas for a finished jewelry design began to  take shape.






 This is a blog hop. I am sure you will want to check out what all the participants  created based on the images they were assigned. We were given some great inspiration photos. I can't wait to see what everyone has come up with!

Ema Kilroy http://emakaye.blogspot.com ***** you are here *****

Thanks for joining me. As always you can visit my Etsy shop to find lampwork beads, metal components and finished jewelry at Ema K Designs.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Hurricane Sandy Relief Effort Artisan Supported

My friend Lea Avroch, of LAJewelry is from NYC. Her cousin," Mandy Bickerstaff, set up a grassroots fundraising group to help victims almost as soon as the storm hit and she's STILL helping them through her group, UWSLOVES."

Lea has organized her friends and artisans to donate items which are being auctioned off. You can make a bid on your favorite items, if you are the winner you will receive an artisan made piece and know that 100% of the funds you are donating will go directly toward Hurricane Sandy victims. You will find all the items up for auction here:



These are the earrings I've donated toward the effort. They are valued at $40.00 and the current bid is at $20.00. What a great value! Stop by and place your bid and help to directly support Hurricane victims. This auction will end on November 26th.

You can find more earrings like this in my Etsy shop.
www.emakdesigns.etsy.com
and you can follow me
www.facebook.com/emakdesigns

Visit my Holiday Page to find links to wonderful artisan sales and giveaways! 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Artisan Whimsy Holiday Sale



                                                                                               

Kumihimo Jewelry designs now 15% OFF


Shop the finest Jewelry Designers For the 2012 Holiday Season
Many of our artists have published work & sell their beautiful pieces nationally and internationally.
See something you like?
Please click on the picture to browse their giveaway and view all their 
Fabulous Handmade Jewelry Pieces.
The largest Artisan shopping event 
for Cyber Week...Ever!! 

It starts this Friday, Nov. 23rd thru Friday Nov 30th.
All participating jewelry designers will be offering a discount on their stores &
will be promoting a giveaway.  
Winners will be chosen individually by the blog owners.
For event wide discount code use: AWHOLIDAY

We will be hiding
Three Exciting Giveaways 
throughout our participants blogs.  
When you find them, follow the directions to be entered! 
AND! Bookmark ArtisanWhimsy.com for Future Artisan Jewelry Shopping Opportunities!


Lampwork beads 15% OFF
Copper Jewelry Components 15% OFF



In my Etsy shop, Ema K designs, I am offering 15% OFF all jewelry and jewelry components when you use coupon code AWHOLIDAY at checkout.

What am I giving away? I will be giving away a pair of earrings. It is a new design I have just worked up. The design is so new I haven't had a chance to photgraph them. I will snap a photo and add it later.
Leave a comment to enter the giveaway. Make sure to leave your email address so I can contact you.
The earring giveaway will be similar to one of these designs.
Drawing will take place on December 1.



Have a wonderful and happy Thanksgiving!

To view a listing of all participating artists visit my blog page, Holiday 2012 Great Deals.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Rolling Along and Painting with Fire

I am just back from a vacation with my Mom, two sisters and my youngest son. My Mom and two sisters have happily finished their radiation and/or chemotherapy treatments and all are doing very well. I saw this trip as a celebration of our lives and our health. I am happy to have those treatments behind us. It is not easy watching your loved ones deal with the side effects but I was also pleased to see that cancer treatments have come such a long way. I encourage you to support your favorite breast cancer research foundation. It is important to all of us.
My sisters and I sitting on top of 4 feet of shells washed ashore by Hurricane Sandy

My sister Pat, myself and my Mom


We, as a family, are lucky to regularly visit the West Coast of sunny Florida; palm trees and beaches, my favorite place to be. This trip had a special side trip in it for me. I was an hour drive from Barbara Lewis' new store Painting with Fire in St. Petersburg. Definitely put that trip on the agenda!

Photo from Painting with Fire website (I forgot to take a photo!)

What a joy it was to meet Barbara. She is definitely a kind hearted soul. (Again I forgot to get a photo with her). She dropped everything she was doing to chat with me, give a demo and even allowed me to enamel a couple of beads (should've had one of my sisters take a photo of this!). I explained to her the trouble I have had in removing the bead from the mandrel after it has been enameled. She gave a mini private lesson so now I should have no trouble making enamel beads. Thank you Barbara, I am looking forward to trying this technique out in my studio.

The two beads on top are from Barbara's demo. The bottom two are from my mini lesson.

Of course I shopped too. Barbara's store is full of goodies. I had to refrain from overspending. There was so much good stuff. The shop has everything you might need without feeling crowded. The shop is very comfortable but not lacking for any supplies. In addition to a great stock of enamels, plenty of beads to enamel there was nice variety of metal working supplies. I picked up some jewelers saw blades, a trivet for enameling metals on a flat surface, metal beads to enamel and some sari silk.

Metal beads to enamel

Sari Silks

Ribbed beads to be enameled

The whole stash! The trivet is in there, buried under the silks.

I didn't waste anytime putting those silks to use. I am trying out some new styles.

The Power of OM necklace by Ema K designs

Sari Earrings by Ema K designs

The Power of OM set

Boho Sari Heart by Ema K designs

I will be listing these pieces in my Etsy shop soon or you can visit Ema K designs on Facebook to find these pieces. What do you think of this new design style? I would love to know your thoughts. I know I had plenty of fun visiting Barbara and her shop. If you get the chance you should definitely stop in to meet Barbara.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Creative Bead Chat and the Women Who Make It Happen

What is Creative Bead Chat? Creative Bead Chat, aka CBC, is a relatively new group on Facebook. Created by a group of talented women. The goal of CBC is to create... 
"A home for creative component and jewelry designers to share new creations, tool tips and help build our creativity and 
sales ! A home for new designers as well experienced to share your experiences and ask questions. Ultimately we are a team and work together towards the goal of being proud of our accomplishments and accomplishing our dreams...welcome to Creative Bead Chat!"



And what a wonderful group it is! It is a place to where you anyone can drop in and see what is going on in the world of beads and jewelry. It is a place I have found to be wonderfully open and giving. There is no question that goes unanswered. Everything is discussed and shared from design ideas to business questions, even questions you didn't know you had. I am learning so much from this group and I am so happy to be a part of it. The group is growing fast, recently reaching 1000 members. If you like jewelry on any level this a wonderful group to become tuned into.

The women who serve as administrators are wonderful artisans as well as business women. They deserve some recognition for all their hard work in organizing the crew.

Please let me introduce you to them and their work.

Melinda Orr of Melinda Orr Designs. Melinda is a woman of many talents. Melinda got Creative Bead Chat off the ground. I completely admire her work in metal and patinas. But it doesn't end there, you definitely must head over to her shop to see all the cool pieces she creates. 


Marla James of Marlas Mud. Marla creates in ceramic. I am in love with her raku pieces!



Karen Totten of Starry Road Studio. Karen creates beautiful metal clay jewelry components. I see so many beautiful pieces I would love to add to my stash. 



Marla Gibson of Spice Box Design. As I understand it Marla has had some health concerns so her Etsy shop is on vacation but you can  visit her blog. I'm sure she will be back in full swing in no time.




Keirsten Giles of Lune Designs. Keirsten has gorgeous jewelry in her shop! These earrings are perfect for Fall.


Many thanks to the admins of CBC for creating an open environment which gives us all the potential to support each other and grow along side each other.

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