The Reveal… 1st Annual Danse Macabre Blog Hop – Hoarders Corner

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When I read Strega Jewellery’s blog hop announcement back in August, I was intrigued. I loved the idea of the Danse Macabre as a celebration of life.  The fact that I could make something other than jewelry made it that much better.

I primarily make jewelry, but I enjoy branching out from time to time to see what else I can do.  In this case, I knew I would make something that was not jewelry, and would incorporate Dia de los Muertos symbolism.  It took some thinking, but finally I remembered an assemblage project that I had set aside, titled “An Easier Way to Make a ‘Tin’ Nicho” by Deedee Hampton from the Sept/Oct 2014 issue of ClothPaperScissors magazine.

A nicho is a small three dimensional shadow box that is traditionally used for Day of the Dead altars; often using religious imagery or photos of loved ones who have passed on. The imagery and symbolism of Dia de los Muertos has always interested me. I like the idea of creating ways to acknowledge those who are no longer with us, and I love the bright colors and juxtaposition within the art itself.

20151018_124512Lately I’ve been working on modifying my projects to fit with what I have on hand, instead of adding to my already over-sized stash of crafting and jewelry supplies.  In this case, the project called for using aluminum sheeting, but I decided to use card-stock and collage elements instead.

I embellished the nicho using rubber stamps and embossing powder, added some metallic micro-beads and tiny foil stars, and completed the project by setting a Day of the Dead cat and mouse figurine into the shadowbox.

 

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Thank you for checking out my blog hop post, and please be sure to view and comment on the blogs of my fellow participants!


The Blog Hop Participants

Lee Koopman, Hostess Strega Jewellry
Sam Waghorn Pale Moon Creations
Dini Bruinsma Angaza by Changes
Amy Jorgensen Hoarders Corner
Tammy Adams Paisley Lizard
Becca White Morgana Fey Creations
Kim Dworak Cianci Blue
Inge Von Roos Inge’s Blog
Deb Fortin Mohti Studio
Melissa Trudinger Bead Recipes

And I’m back… Just in time to blog hop!

It’s been awhile, what can I say? I was blogging pretty well for a few months, then life got busy, and busier still and now suddenly it’s six months later and I haven’t written a thing!

Well I am back and ready to try again.

Maybe you wonder what brought me out of my slump?

I’m glad you asked. My interest in my blog was piqued when I saw this post come through my feed from one of my fellow Build a Line Challenge alumni, Lee Koopman of Strega Jewellery.

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Ms. Koopman wrote about being in a slump, being done with all that, and being ready to come back to the creative side.  Having been in a bit of a slump myself, blog-wise, her post struck a chord with me.

That combined with the subject matter

It was an open invitation to anyone interested to join an October blog hop titled “Danse Macabre” or “the dance of death”.

From the StregaJewellery  blog post  

“Literally, it means the dance of death and the phrase was coined in Medieval times when artistic types used allegories most of the time.   Danse Macabre illustrates the universal aspect of death.   It comes to all, regardless of station in life.  Paintings were created with skeletons dancing their way to the grave, sermons were preached cautioning people that the material side of life was unimportant, death is a fate we must all meet, peasant, pauper, priest, pope or noble.  So, enjoy life, make the most of it for we are all on our way to the same fate.   Life, after all, is a glorious dance with the grave as the finale, dance through it with joy!”

So I decided it was time to come back to the blog – and here I am!

Be sure to check back this evening for the great reveal and in the meantime check out my fellow hoppers!

The Blog Hop Participants

Lee Koopman, Hostess Strega Jewellry
Sam Waghorn Pale Moon Creations
Dini Bruinsma Angaza by Changes
Mowse Doyle Mowse Made This
Robin Showstack The Crazy Bead Hoarder
Amy Jorgensen Hoarders Corner
Nan Smith Wired Nan
Tammy Adams Paisley Lizard  You are here!
Catherine King Catherine’s Musings
Michelle McCarthy Firefly Designs Studio
Betony Maiden Beadwenches Blog
Becca White Morgana Fey Creations
Kim Dworak Cianci Blue
Tami Norris Tamis Creative Spot
Inge Von Roos Inge’s Blog
Deb Fortin Mohti Studio
Melissa Trudinger Bead Recipes

The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men – Blog Hop 3, Build A Line Challenge from B’Sue Boutiques

So I am here on March 20, 2015, the day of Blog Hop #3, a day late and a dollar short. I could not DSCN1935get my line finished in time because of work constraints.

And bummer that it is, I’m just really excited for the time when I can take all of this knowledge and make it work for me.

 

 

What I know…

  • Time spent learning is never a waste – knowledge is yours forever.
  • Sometimes having the ideas and the will to make them happen are no match for having no time
  • When you have two things that you’ve committed to, the smart money is on the project that pays your bills – practicality trumps creativity.
  • I’m okay with that. A great job is hard to find, and I really enjoy my work.

What I’ve learned…

  • I’m already half-way there. Between the prototype jewelry line I’ve started for this course and the pieces that I have in my Etsy shop, I already have the beginnings of a collection in my shop – some tweaks here, and change in designs there, and I am on my way.
  • The importance of the Pyramid. Not the obnoxious Amway sales scheme, but this one:

pyramid

  • I LOVE the art of fashion! This course has reminded me (again) why I love couture.  It is the art of our time and like good all art, Fashion with a capital “F” can be fun, or ridiculous, or it can take itself quite seriously.  Fashion can make you think, or blow your mind. Sometimes it will just plain piss you off – but it elicits an emotion, and creating emotion is a primary element of art – it makes you feel.dolce-gabanna-spring-2015-milan-fashion-week-02
  • To be successful, it’s important to know fashion – if only to know what you want to ignore. Haute couture is the basis for the choices we are given when choose our own clothes, jewelry and even home decor. Whether you shop at Barneys in New York or Walmart in a small town, your options are informed by capital “F” fashion.  With this in mind, it only makes sense to keep on top of and (hopefully) just a little bit ahead of trends and fashion.

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I’ve learned these things and many more, too numerous to list and keep my blog post a length you’d want to read, and for that I am so glad I made the decision to take the course.

So again, thanks a million to Brenda Sue Lansdowne and all of my classmates for the fun, knowledge and camaraderie of the last three months. It was such a great opportunity, and I’m so glad I could be part of it. Please take the time to hop to the blogs of my fellow Challenge takers and see the always amazing and often prolific work of some amazing artisans!

 


Brenda Sue Lansdowne, B’sue Boutiques Jewelry Making Outside the Box
Marcia Tuzzolino Aurora Designs
Jann Tague Clever Designs by Jann
Judy King Apt to Wander Studio
Linzi Alford Magpie in the Sky, Spoil Heap Tales
Cynthia Wainscott Exotic Peru
Carole Carlson Beadsophisticate
Lynn Stinten Dragonzwench
Marica Zammit Bead Lovelies
Catherine Shattuck VRBrose
Michaele Collie The Vintage Gem
Mary Craig Jewelry Alchemy
Lee Koopman Strega Jewelry
Erin Whitacre Shattered Time Jewelry
Monica Casady MJCasady Copper Works
Leila West Leila Nicole Designs
Cindy Peterson Howling Dog Jewelry
Leila Belcher Leila Bee Designs
Gloria Allen Wings and Beads
Pamela Anger Novegatti Designs
Tammy Adams Paisley Lizard
Lynda O’Mara LOmara Creative
Elizabeth Hildreth MadScientistsDesigns
Dana Hickey Wind Dancer Studios
Janet Calardo Jan Lea Designs
Maria Clark Sweet Willow Designs
Lori Beekman B. Accessorized
Jennifer Kroeger Relic Charm
Amy Jorgensen Hoarder’s Corner — You are here
Robin Reed Artistry: Handcrafted Bead Designs
Ingrid Anderson Lilis Gems
Louise O’Shields Desire Divine Jewels
Susan Killam Killam Creative
Mary Katherine Deis The Rose Sword: Artisan and Vintage Collectible Jewelry
Nike Bottalico Nike Bottalico
Susan Bowerman Woodside Wireworks
Kristy Le Kristy Le Trendy Jewelry Designs
Jan Peters Stylized Vintage
Mitzie Crider Needful Luxuries Occasional Blog
Gina Hockett Freestyle Elements
Linda Anderson From the Bead Board
Alexandra Sefton Imaginary Jewelry and Altered Art
Melida Boman The Journey of Pens and Things
Teresa Shurter TreeZ’s Treasurs
Melissa Latimer Smithed Up
Renee Hong Fine and Dandy Jewelry and Art
Nadine Edris Moondance Jewelry
Lori Meyer Parisienne Girl
Jennifer Merrill Williams Artists of All Stripes
Denise Lussier Poirier Jewelry by Denise
Renee Allen Small Stuff Design
Autumn Adams Autumn Dawns
Elizabeth Owens 1996 Shabby Lane
Kat BarronMiller Midnight Kat Productions Art Jewelry
Sandra Ballard Mama San’s Mojo
Coral Law ab:coraldesign

Build A Line Challenge from B’Sue Boutiques, Amy Jorgensen – Ameme Designs at Hoarder’s Corner, Part 2

6a00d8348f44da53ef01bb07c05e1b970d-800wiWelcome to Blog Hop Number 2! This is the second of three blog hops for the B’Sue Boutiques Build A Line challenge, hosted and taught (for free!) by the fabulous, knowledgeable and very generous Brenda Sue of B’Sue Boutiques.

 

In Blog Hop Number 1, I introduced myself and my Etsy shop, Ameme Designs, and I showed the evolution of my design skills since I began making jewelry.  I also gave a quick view of my ideas for my line, and the components I was considering.

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Fast-forward to Blog Hop Number 2, and my line is shaping up in my mind if not actually on the work table.  I’ve dropped the ribbon, added in rhinestone chain around the cabochons and I’ve started giving serious thought to chain – a necklace has to hang from something, after all.

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The move away from using ribbon in my line changed the aesthetic slightly, and as I experimented with adding the rhinestone chain, the name of my line came to me – “Simply Luxe” – the designs are simple, but they look quite rich due to the custom-finish brass cameo stampings with turquoise and gold cabochons, the rhinestone adds the bling they need.
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In addition, I’ve been joining into conversations with my classmates, and reading and watching videos that cover all aspects of fashion and jewelry design and marketing. I’ve learned so much.  One of the things I’ve learned?  That I need to learn so much more! But now, thanks to this class and challenge, I know what I need to learn more about.

While I had hoped to have one piece to show you today, real life had other plans for me this week.  So you’ll need to pop back next month for the final reveal – Blog Hop Number 3!

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I hope you enjoyed my second blog hop article, I hope you have a little time to “hop” around this list of blogs below, and give them a like or a comment.


 

Brenda Sue Lansdowne, B’sue Boutiques Jewelry Making Outside the Box
Marcia Tuzzolino Aurora Designs
Jann Tague Clever Designs by Jann
Judy King Apt to Wander Studio
Linzi Alford Magpie in the Sky, Spoil Heap Tales
Cynthia Wainscott Exotic Peru
Carole Carlson Beadsophisticate
Lynn Stinten Dragonzwench
Marica Zammit Bead Lovelies
Catherine Shattuck VRBrose
Michaele Collie The Vintage Gem
Mary Craig Jewelry Alchemy
Lee Koopman Strega Jewelry
Erin Whitacre Shattered Time Jewelry
Monica Casady MJCasady Copper Works
Leila West Leila Nicole Designs
Cindy Peterson Howling Dog Jewelry
Leila Belcher Leila Bee Designs
Gloria Allen Wings and Beads
Pamela Anger Novegatti Designs
Tammy Adams Paisley Lizard
Lynda O’Mara LOmara Creative
Elizabeth Hildreth MadScientistsDesigns
Dana Hickey Wind Dancer Studios
Janet Calardo Jan Lea Designs
Maria Clark Sweet Willow Designs
Lori Beekman B. Accessorized
Jennifer Kroeger Relic Charm
Amy Jorgensen Hoarder’s Corner — You are here
Robin Reed Artistry: Handcrafted Bead Designs
Ingrid Anderson Lilis Gems
Louise O’Shields Desire Divine Jewels
Susan Killam Killam Creative
Mary Katherine Deis The Rose Sword: Artisan and Vintage Collectible Jewelry
Nike Bottalico Nike Bottalico
Susan Bowerman Woodside Wireworks
Kristy Le Kristy Le Trendy Jewelry Designs
Jan Peters Stylized Vintage
Mitzie Crider Needful Luxuries Occasional Blog
Gina Hockett Freestyle Elements
Linda Anderson From the Bead Board
Alexandra Sefton Imaginary Jewelry and Altered Art
Melida Boman The Journey of Pens and Things
Teresa Shurter TreeZ’s Treasurs
Melissa Latimer Smithed Up
Renee Hong Fine and Dandy Jewelry and Art
Nadine Edris Moondance Jewelry
Lori Meyer Parisienne Girl
Jennifer Merrill Williams Artists of All Stripes
Denise Lussier Poirier Jewelry by Denise
Renee Allen Small Stuff Design
Autumn Adams Autumn Dawns
Elizabeth Owens 1996 Shabby Lane
Kat BarronMiller Midnight Kat Productions Art Jewelry
Sandra Ballard Mama San’s Mojo
Coral Law ab:coraldesign

My Build-a-Line Challenge Progress – Getting Ready to Hop Again

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Where does the time go?! I feel like I just blogged, but it’s been over three weeks since I participated in Blog Hop Number One for the B’Sue Boutiques Build A Line challenge!

Although I’ve been quiet on the writing front, I’ve been busy on designing front – participating in discussions, asking questions, reading blogs and watching videos.  All in all, I’ve been thinking out my line, choosing elements and components, and then choosing again in the parameters of the challenge.

The process isn’t new to me – I do much of my designing in my head before I ever start to build a piece, but the scope of it is. Creating a line means thinking how the pieces will go together, and how they will stand out within the line while complementing each other.  Each individual design impacts the whole of the line.  It’s a new approach for me, and so far, I’m enjoying it and learning a ton.

Here is my progress so far. I’ve created the focal cabochons and attached them to their cameos:

Now I’m just working out some final details:

Be sure to check back on Friday, for Blog Hop Number Two of the B’Sue Boutiques Build A Line challenge! In the meantime – check out my Etsy shop, Ameme Designs.

Build A Line Challenge from B’sue Boutiques, Amy Jorgensen – Ameme Designs at Hoarder’s Corner, Part 1

My workspace - Ameme Designs

It’s here!  Blog Hop Number 1, the Grand Entrance, the First Reveal… It’s finally here and I hope you are as excited as I am!  This is the first of three blog hops for the B’Sue Boutiques Build A Line challenge, hosted and taught (for free!) by the fabulous, knowledgeable and very generous Brenda Sue of B’Sue Boutiques.

So what exactly is a Blog Hop?  A blog hop is a virtual social event, often based on a challenge or theme. Blog authors share links to other blogs – and then “hop” from blog to blog, reading, liking and commenting on all of the offerings while encouraging their readers to do the same.

I am Amy Jorgensen of Ameme Designs, and I’ve been making jewelry since the late nineties. When I started out, I dabbled in a little bit of everything with fairly simple designs and materials. My first attempts were nice and great work for a beginner. Here is some of my work from 2000-2001:

But  I always wanted to know and do more. As time went by, I continued to work on my skills, and my designs became slightly more complex, moving beyond just stringing or weaving beads to wire-wrapping and semi-precious gemstones and unique beads. In these pictures, spanning 2005-2009, my techniques are improving and my design skills are beginning to emerge

And then between 2009 and 2013, I stopped making jewelry. During my unintentional break I met my husband, we got married and bought a house. But when things got back to “normal” I was ready to start creating again.

In 2013 I joined the BSue Creative Group on Facebook and that’s when really began to find my style. Being a part of the B’Sue community was encouraging. I felt challenged to make new items with real design ideas.

All of this has led to now – January 23, 2015.  I like to think I’ve brought my favorite techniques with me while learning new ones and finding ways to put the Ameme Designs stamp on each piece I make.

For the next three months, with Brenda Sue’s help and instruction, myself and over fifty other designers and artists will challenge ourselves to move forward.  We’ll do this by stepping back, slowing down and really thinking about what our style is, and how to incorporate that style into a cohesive five-piece line of jewelry that can be reproduced and falls within impulse price-points. In other words, she is going to teach us how to make a line of jewelry that sells!

Here is a sneak peak of what will go into my upcoming line. I can only tell you that it will be contain five necklaces and use the supplies you see here and few others I will reveal next month when I have some items to show for my hard work.

Lastly, if you enjoyed my post here, please take some time to “hop” around this list of blogs below, and give them a like or a comment.  Better yet, start following them and watch them progress over the next three months. I will be doing the same, I can’t wait to see what they’ve been up to!

Brenda Sue Lansdowne, B’sue Boutiques Jewelry Making Outside the Box
Marcia Tuzzolino Aurora Designs
Jann Tague Clever Designs by Jann
Judy King Apt to Wander Studio
Linzi Alford Magpie in the Sky, Spoil Heap Tales
Cynthia Wainscott Exotic Peru
Carole Carlson Beadsophisticate
Lynn Stinten Dragonzwench
Marica Zammit Bead Lovelies
Catherine Shattuck VRBrose
Michaele Collie The Vintage Gem
Mary Craig Jewelry Alchemy
Lee Koopman Strega Jewelry
Erin Whitacre Shattered Time Jewelry
Monica Casady MJCasady Copper Works
Leila West Leila Nicole Designs
Cindy Peterson Howling Dog Jewelry
Leila Belcher Leila Bee Designs
Gloria Allen Wings and Beads
Pamela Anger Novegatti Designs
Tammy Adams Paisley Lizard
Lynda O’Mara LOmara Creative
Elizabeth Hildreth MadScientistsDesigns
Dana Hickey Wind Dancer Studios
Janet Calardo Jan Lea Designs
Maria Clark Sweet Willow Designs
Lori Beekman B. Accessorized
Jennifer Kroeger Relic Charm
Amy Jorgensen Hoarder’s Corner — You are here
Robin Reed Artistry: Handcrafted Bead Designs
Ingrid Anderson Lilis Gems
Louise O’Shields Desire Divine Jewels
Susan Killam Killam Creative
Mary Katherine Deis The Rose Sword: Artisan and Vintage Collectible Jewelry
Nike Bottalico Nike Bottalico
Susan Bowerman Woodside Wireworks
Kristy Le Kristy Le Trendy Jewelry Designs
Jan Peters Stylized Vintage
Mitzie Crider Needful Luxuries Occasional Blog
Gina Hockett Freestyle Elements
Linda Anderson From the Bead Board
Alexandra Sefton Imaginary Jewelry and Altered Art
Melida Boman The Journey of Pens and Things
Teresa Shurter TreeZ’s Treasurs
Melissa Latimer Smithed Up
Renee Hong Fine and Dandy Jewelry and Art
Nadine Edris Moondance Jewelry
Lori Meyer Parisienne Girl
Jennifer Merrill Williams Artists of All Stripes
Denise Lussier Poirier Jewelry by Denise
Renee Allen Small Stuff Design
Autumn Adams Autumn Dawns
Elizabeth Owens 1996 Shabby Lane
Kat BarronMiller Midnight Kat Productions Art Jewelry
Sandra Ballard Mama San’s Mojo
Coral Law ab:coraldesign

Hankies and Hatpins

Something awesome arrived the other day!  My mom told me she was sending me some stuff for Hoarder’s Corner and to be on the lookout for a package from her.  When the package arrived, I was excited to see what was in it.  Turns out, I had a reason to be excited.

Among the contents of ribbon and other collected bits for a collage project or mixed-media jewelry, she had packed in some family heirlooms — from three generations of maternal Grandmothers.  Like I said, awesome!

There were hatpins from my grandma, which may have been from her mother, who was a milliner and made hats. Hankies – two of them, one a unique hexagon shape on a soft floral print, and the other a white square with lovely tatting along one corner.  My mom can’t remember if they were my grandma’s or great-grandma’s, she’s had them since high-school.  From my great-great-grandmother – an embroidered silk collar to be worn with a “fancy dress that had a lower cut neckline” (from the note in the package).

And last but not least, a small cloisonne locket, whose cover slides aside to show an engraved Virgin Mary.

All that family history in some unassuming hankies and hatpins. Knowing my family, there’s probably a story (or more) to go with each of these pieces. I’m not sure why I love this stuff, but I do, and I’m very glad they joined the collection.