Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Artistic Endeavors

ZentangleOne of my newest artistic endeavors is doodling and it's taking off like wildfire.  When I started, I was just doodling during my work meetings as a way of keeping my mind and hands busy.  My doodles were pretty good; I started posting them on my Facebook page.  I got so many great comments and several people associated my work with Zentangle.  I had no idea what Zentangle was so I did a bit of research and loved what I found.  I won't go into detail about the Zentangle method but you can go here to learn more about it.

Most of what I do is not technically Zentangle but rather Zentangle inspired art (ZIA).  A true Zentangle has no top or bottom, no right or left.  You can look at it from any orientation.  One it becomes a picture with top and bottom, it becomes ZIA.  Either way, tangling is one of the most relaxing, enjoyable activities I've every done.  I can get lost for hours in the shapes and patterns.

My new artistic endeavor has opened so many product avenues, I'm frankly a bit overwhelmed. Etched jewelry components, postcards, cell phone covers, texture plates; the possibilities are endless.  Oh, if I only had more hours in the day.  I've been working with a printer to begin exploring some of my new ideas and hope to have a few items in my store soon (Cheryl Foiles Designs).

Now you know why I changed the name of my blog.  It's not just about jewelry any more, it's about art, jewelry, and co-mingling the two.  I can't give away all my ideas just yet but I hope to have lots of surprises to share with you soon.

Monday, June 3, 2013

I'm Published

One of my goals for 2013 was to have my work published in a magazine.  I'm happy to report that I've achieved my goal!!  While not a print magazine where I would have to submit my work for acceptance into the magazine, I am still excited about being published in the online magazine, Creative Bead Chat.

Several weeks ago, I saw a call for participants in a 5x5 test group.  Five people would be sent the same five components and would design a piece for each of the components.  When I saw that the components were from Elaine Ray, I threw my hat in the ring.  I simply adore Elaine's ceramic components.  It was a happy day when I received notification that I was selected for the test group.

It just so happens that Elaine and I live only a few miles apart and she offered to bring the components to my house.  I was thrilled when I opened the box to find some very unique pieces, items never before offered.

Elaine Ray Components

Elaine's components really challenged my design skills and made me think outside the box.  I was excited, motivated, satisfied, and frustrated -- all at the same time.  Some of the designs came together nicely and some were made, torn apart, remade, torn apart again, etc. until I found a design I liked.  All in all, it was a wonderful experience - one I would gladly participate in again.

The Final Designs:

The loops in the cone pendant are wrapped with waxed cotton cord.  The pendant is hung on blue waxed cotton cord with a bail of lampwork beads.
This is my favorite piece.  Blue leaf headpins with handmade copper flower bead caps and blue enameled beads make up the pendant.  The pendant is hung on copper chain with a hand made copper clasp.
Another pair of Elaine's leaf headpins, this time used as dangles on a pair of earrings.  The leaf dangles hang from hand embossed and hand forged copper tubes.
As soon as I saw the orange, square component, I knew it would be perfect as a focal clasp on a multi-strand necklace.  The strands include seed beads, freshwater pearls, and copper beads.

And last but not least, the piece we testers dubbed the "stop light".  This one took me awhile and was re-made probably 5 times before I came up with this design.  I love how it turned out with the various copper components to enhance the ceramic focal. 

It was such a treat to see the other designs - such creativity, imagination, and skill.  Visit the Creative Bead Chat magazine to see pieces from the other designers.  You can also visit their blogs to read more about their design process.

Host: Elaine Ray  http://elaineray.blogspot.com/
Designer: Cory Tompkins www.tealwaterdesigns.blogspot.com
Designer: Marcia Dunne www.thealternativefoundry.blogspot.com
Designer: Robin Showstack hosted by www.allprettythings.ca
Designer: Sharon Palac www.sharonsjewelrygarden.blogspot.com

Saturday, April 13, 2013

BSPB 2013 - The Big Reveal

Another great Bead Soup Blog Party and I'm so excited to finally reveal my pieces.  My partner, Hope Smitherman, sent me a wonderful soup full of a little bit of everything:  glass, ceramic, wood, stone, metal.  It was so much fun to open all of those goodies and I was anxious to get started right away.  The first thing that jumped out at me were the wavy brass spacers and the green Picasso rondelles.  Most of my designs are simple but I try to make them each unique - things you won't see elsewhere. In this first necklace, I used the beads and spacers along with brass chain and the beautiful brass clasp Hope sent me. This necklace has become one of my favorites and I get lots of compliments every time I wear it.

BSBP 2013 Brass Necklace

I started on a copper necklace next but due to a mishap, I had to set it aside for a bit and regroup.  In the meantime, I made a pair of earrings with the ceramic and nut beads along with brass wire beads, Thai silk cord, and brass ear wires.  I love how the nut beads are light on top and dark on the bottom.  It adds depth and character.

BSBP 2013 Earrings
It was time to get back to my copper necklace and finish it up.  The chain for this necklace has copper horseshoe links with gemstones.  Each link is hand forged.  The clasp for this necklace is also handmade - I love my metals!!  The focal for this necklace is a beautiful Tagua nut and needed something to set it off.  I decided to make a simple copper bail that would also serve to link the chain together.

And that's it - my pieces for this year's BSBP.  

2013 BSBP Pieces

I've had such a fun time working with the goodies Hope sent me and I can't wait to see what she did with the soup I sent her.  Please take a minute to visit the other participant blog sites and enjoy the beautiful pieces made by a wonderful group of talented artists around the world.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

7th Bead Soup Blog Party

I'm so excited to be participating again in Lori Anderson's Bead Soup Blog Party.  This is her 7th event and there are over 600 people from around the world participating this year.  My partner for this BSBP is Hope Smitherman and she has put together a soup for me that has my head swirling with ideas.

But, first things first.  Let me tell you about the package I received.  When my soup arrived in the mail, it was in a bubble envelope just like any other package.  And when I opened it, I found a treasure of goodies all wrapped up so pretty -- there were so many little packages, it felt like Christmas.

Bead Soup all Wrapped Up
My first instinct was to rip into all those little packages but I didn't - I took my time and enjoyed opening each one. Here's a pic of all the wonderful goodies Hope sent.

Bead Soup from Hope

Notice the beautiful pendant in the lower right corner?  I treasure that piece most of all because it was handmade by Hope and sent as an "extra" gift just for me.  Please take a moment to learn a little about my BSBP partner:  Hope's Blog, Hope's Etsy Store, Hope's Facebook Page.

Wondering what I sent Hope?  I decided I would make all of the beads and components for Hope's soup so I got out the copper and enamels and came up with this:

Now to go dig into all those goodies Hope sent me!!  I am part of the second reveal and will be posting my finished piece(s) on April 6th.  Be sure to check back then to see what came of the wonderful bead soup I have to play with.