Boo!

•September 26, 2022 • Leave a Comment
“Macabre” Carved Skull Ring

Halloween is fast approaching and I’m getting ready for it! I’ve just finished this sterling silver ring composed of a carved Labradorite skull, a blood red Garnet teardrop, and Onyx gemstones. I’ve titled it “Macabre” and you might wonder, who would wear a ring such as this? Well…it would have to be someone who is slightly (if not totally) irreverent with a somewhat wicked sense of humor. Someone who, as an impressionable child, was fascinated with and couldn’t watch too many Frankenstein, Dracula, and Wolf Man movies. That person would be me! I remember my grandmother babysitting for my cousins and me when the old 1939 film starring Boris Karloff as Frankenstein aired on TV that night. We started to watch the movie and became so frightened that we ran into our bedroom crying “Grandma, turn off the TV!” And five minutes later, “Grandma did you turn off the TV?” We were SO scared! I was probably seven years old when I saw my first Dracula movie starring Christopher Lee. For months afterwards I slept with a glow-in-the-dark rosary hanging over the headboard of my bed and I would only sleep on my right side because in the movie, Dracula only bit the right side of the victim’s neck…I wanted to make sure he would have a difficult time biting mine should the rosary fail to keep him away! Years later I read Bram Stoker’s Dracula and was still frightened by that story…I think that to this day, there probably are people living in Transylvania (if not around the world!) who still believe in Dracula! And have you read Anne Rice’s “Interview with the Vampire”? That 1992 read was one I couldn’t put down! At any rate, as I rapidly approach three-quarters of a century, I’m still fascinated! Safe from those fictional characters, sadly it’s the present day living monsters in this world that are all too real.

Play Day…

•September 19, 2022 • Leave a Comment

I’ve been gathering small gemstone cabochons with the intent of creating long, draping earring collections. When I don’t have a particular plan in mind, I like to bezel the stones with fine or sterling silver…it’s one less step to take when I’ve finally decided on a design. Laying them out like this gives me the opportunity to move the stones around and make decisions on balance and whether they will be asymmetrical or matched sets. I seldom, if ever sketch my designs beforehand…sketching is something I’ve never been comfortable with. I need to work with the components “in the flesh” so to speak and physically move them around. It’s just my modus operandi. Rather than working from brain to paper, I move on to the real thing, the object(s) that will compose a piece. I know I’d probably save time if I sketched, but it’s not in my makeup…can’t do it. And that’s just fine.

The Third Eye…

•September 13, 2022 • 2 Comments

What with having surgery on both eyes this past month, the concept of the Third Eye has been on my mind. I started making this pendant before the surgery and have just finished it. I’ve titled this pendant “Awareness and Clarity”. According to Wikipedia, ‘The Third Eye refers to the gate that leads to the inner realms and spaces of higher consciousness. In spirituality, the Third Eye often symbolizes a state of enlightenment.’ Although Indigo is the color that is associated with the Chakra Third Eye, I’ve chosen a faceted Lemon Quartz for the focal stone as it helps the mind find clarity and reduces distraction. Small Garnets sit above and below the Third Eye. Garnet is said to create energetic and emotional balance in the body. The ornately embellished sterling silver cross shape represents a compass symbolizing the directions one can choose to follow in life.

I’m So Delighted!

•September 5, 2022 • Leave a Comment

Good Time Beading is a page on Facebook and it’s devoted to (you guessed it!) beading and bead related topics AND I’ve been chosen as the Featured Artist for the entire month of September! Each day a photo or collage will be shown accompanied by interview questions and answers. This is very exciting! If you’re a beader or interested in all things beading, be sure to join this FB group where you’ll be in good company! Today my “Marine Life” Bead-Embroidered Brooch design is being shown. This design features a focal handmade resin cabochon, Delica, dagger, drop, and seed beads. Available in three colourways, you’ll find the tutorial and beading kits for this design in my Etsy shop.

Woohoo!

•August 29, 2022 • 7 Comments

The second eye is done! OMG…what a difference it has made! Even dreary overcast days look bright now and colors are so vivid. It’s lovely to awaken in the morning and not have to reach for glasses so as not to stumble around in fuzziness! I’m told my eyes will be adjusting for several weeks to a month and then they will be tested and a new prescription will be issued for closeup work. I don’t like to tote around sunglasses or hang readers around my neck so I plan to have Photogray progressives made up that have reading strength at the bottom and clear vision at the top. I’m still not up to beading or doing much work in the metals studio, but I was able to attach charms (garnet, onyx, fossil walrus tooth) to groups of bangles I had finished before having surgery. Baby steps!

What We Have Here Are…

•August 22, 2022 • Leave a Comment

More goodies to play with when I finally return to the bench in my metals studio! Dig this whopper 2.5 pound hammer from Buffalo Rutland Co. for creating shot-plate components! It will certainly give my biceps a workout! In fact, I’ll have to take great care swinging this massive tool so as not to injure my arm. Having had shoulder problems in the past, I will need to make sure that I grasp the handle close to the head and let the weight of the hammer do all the work. Susan Lenart recently added new gemstones to her shop and I couldn’t resist these collections…they are so beautiful! I am very much looking forward to creating with them!

One Down, One to Go…

•August 15, 2022 • 4 Comments

I had cataract surgery on my left eye last Wednesday. Post surgery I had quite a bit of discomfort. My follow-up appointment the next day revealed that I had a 4mm abrasion on my cornea. How it happened I don’t know, but fortunately, corneas heal rapidly. A contact “bandaid” lens was applied, which eased the discomfort immensely and within 24 hours the cornea had healed by 85%. The contact lens was removed to allow faster healing. For now, my eyes are somewhat fighting one another and my eyeglasses are pretty useless at this point so I am using readers when necessary. But at six days post-op I am amazed at the clear, bright color I now see with my left eye opposed to the dull greenish tinge my right eye sees. If I close my right eye and just use my left eye I can see the words that I type on my computer screen clearly while the right eye sees everything fuzzy. I look forward to having surgery on my right eye…that will happen on August 24. Obviously, I won’t be doing any beadwork for a while…such fine detail work is presently not advised. But I do have a lot to look forward to once I am able to see clearly with both eyes. I have a fresh supply of bezel wires, pancake dies, and texture plates to play with as well as some beautiful new gemstones! I’m one lucky lady indeed!

New In My Shop…

•August 9, 2022 • Leave a Comment

Even though it’s still summer, I feel a hint of September approaching rapidly! The rich colors of autumn are inspiring me so I have assembled four bead embroidery component kits in luscious fall tones. All kits are the same colourway, except each kit contains a one-of-a-kind handmade resin cabochon (made by me!) that is unique. Everything is tucked into a 3″x 5″ travel tin along with instructions for bead embroidery basics…you supply the glue, needles and thread of your choice, and your creativity! Go to: http://barbarabriggsdesigns.etsy.com to nab one before they are gone!

Taking My Time…

•August 1, 2022 • 2 Comments

Last week flew by and I didn’t really get anything accomplished and that’s okay. Today, I’m back to designing the beading project I started weeks ago…geometric warped square asymmetrical tiered drop earrings. I’ll be offering several colourways…bright tones and subtle tones. I’m writing the tutorial as I go along. I’ll finish one pair and then make a second pair that will be photographed every step along the way. The tutorial and kit will most likely not be ready until late September as I’m having cataract surgery in August…left eye on August 10 and right eye on August 24. I doubt I’ll be doing much that requires close-up work during the month. Over this past year I’ve had difficulty with cloudy vision. I’d clean my glasses again and again and I finally realized that my glasses aren’t getting dirty with smudges more frequently. Instead, it’s my vision that is blurring and I’ve noticed that colors appear to be less bright than they once were. The old grey mare ain’t what she used to be…it’s time to ‘get ‘er done’!

Sufferin’ Succotash!

•July 23, 2022 • Leave a Comment

It has been miserably hot this week, but today has been really insufferable! Last night we had a tremendous storm with a deluge of rain driven by wicked winds. Stepping outdoors this morning to surmise any damage that may have occurred, my thoughts drifted to what the climate might have been like millions of years ago when dinosaurs roamed the earth stomping through jungles of overgrown vegetation, steam rising from the ground, and swamps dotting the landscape. It was so hot and humid this morning as I cleared debris that had been strewn about by gale-force winds. Several trees that had fallen, but fortunately nothing of significant consequence was amiss. This weather truly makes me lethargic and I can say without reservation that I have accomplished absolutely nothing this week. My creativity is at a standstill and frankly, I’ve just been vegetating.

But, timing is everything…while I have been lackadaisical, to my delight Susan Lenart’s latest book “Intentional Metalsmithing” arrived in my mailbox last Monday. I’ve had a very pleasant time perusing pages that are rich with beautiful photographs of jewelry accompanied with IM course instruction. Each page is a delight to behold! Rings, pendants, bracelets embellished with gorgeous gemstones and surface decoration…oh, my! Honestly, if this doesn’t get my creativity flowing again, nothing will!

 
%d bloggers like this: