Tuesday, January 31, 2017

DIY The Room - Iris Simpkins' Living Room

Recently, Cat from Cut Out + Keep asked me if I be willing to DIY a room for their series, which I must say is an incredible one. The idea behind the DIY a Room is that bloggers and members put together style-boards for what they'd imagine celebrities, fictional characters or their own dream homes would look like and use tutorials on the site to recreate those rooms.

I jumped up at the request, knowing immediately what room I was going to recreate. You see, the minute I saw the film "The Holiday" I fell mortally in love with Iris Simpkins's (played by Kate Winslet) English cottage. If you haven't seen it - I recommend it. It is a nice, lovely romantic comedy.
So I recreated her living room using tutorials I found on the site. See the tutorials I selected here.
What inspired me to choose this room?
As I previously said, I immediately fell in love with the warm and captivating English style that this room breathes with. I can imagine myself in one of the big and cozy armchairs, all snuggled up, with a good book and a cup of tea or hot chocolate, while the wood in the fireplace crackles away long into the night. Can you?


Monday, January 30, 2017

Avant Garde Jewelry & Accessories

Hello all! Today I have an interesting designer over for a chat and I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Nadica Biceva is the founder of the creative jewelry & accessories brand "Kreacija". Playing with different textures and types of textiles she creates the basis that is the nesting point for all her creativity, inspiration and imagination that satisfies the criteria for higher aesthetics, uniqueness and extraordinarity found in her textile jewelry that includes necklaces, bracelets, earrings and brooches, then there are hats, fascinators, plastrons, bow ties, bags, capes, etc.

Why the name Kreacija (Creation)?
The name by definition is what reflects my work,my process of creating something exciting, something new. The logo resembles a round stamp with the symbol "N" of the Glagolitic script  (the oldest know Slavic alphabet) inside that signifies my intention to leave a stamp, a mark with my designs, while the symbol stands for the first initial of my name.  


Your most popular jewelry is the tube necklaces. What do you incorporate, mix and match when you create one such piece? What is the style you are most drawn to?
I use different colors, shapes and textures to make them, then add semi-precious stones, metal findings and pendants that I make out of polymer clay ad crystal epoxy resin employing different techniques in their creation. The offer of new solutions and pieces is enriched daily as a result of the never ending possibilities for creating and execution of new designs that follow the trend but not the pulse of commercialization.  


You make scarves, ties and other accessories that you use as canvas to draw and paint your ideas on. What materials are your favourites and what is subject of inspiration when painting?
Besides jewelry, I also make accessories using different types of textiles depending on the season they are made for. I am highly attracted to a mix of contrasts like for example silk and leather or wool and georgette. I adore denim because it offers numerous possibilities for experimenting, designing, painting and printing / stamping.

Is there a favourite place to work?
Of course. That would be my studio. At the time when I designed the interior and the work place, I was lead by the idea to make an inspirational, creative corner where I could create and enjoy my work at the same time. I wanted the place to radiate and enchant my customers with its creativity and functionality and I am proud I succeed in that, because when the artist  manages to transfer his imaginative place in reality, he then has the world that inspires him in his hands.

Is there a technique or some other skills you'd like to try?
I am constantly attracted to new ideas so  if I get hit by an idea that would stick with me - maybe then I will have a concise answer to this .... haha....

A new collection soon?
My new collection with the working title "Metallic Mix" is in the beginning phase. It will offer jewelry sets composed of a necklace, bracelet and a brooch. The collection will have its own fashion editorial and a catalogue.

I already showed  Nadica's phenomenal studio here, if you missed it, and you can see all her jewelry & accessories in her shop here.


Saturday, January 28, 2017

Make Jewelry: Leaves and Flower Earrings - free tutorial


Hello to a beautiful Saturday!
We have the perfect weekend project for you and if you are looking for something to fill in your afternoon with, you are in the right place.
Today, we are making crochet speckled earrings :)
What do you need to make them:

1. Crochet flowers (2) and leaves (6) - (pattern given below)
2. Pearl beads (2)
3. Bead caps (2) and head pins (2)
4. Eye hooks (2)
5. Jump rings (12)
6. Metal chain (10 cm long (3.9") / 5 cm (2") for each earring)

Crochet flowers and leaves  pattern

To make the flowers and leaves, I used embroidery floss and a 1.7 mm hook.
Ch 5 and join to make ring.
Rnd1: sc 5 in ring
Rnd2: ch3 and sc in the next st. Cut floss, tie a knot and weave ends.

Ch 7. Sl st in 2nd st from hook, dc 3, hdc1, sl st 2 in the last stitch. The second sl st is to make the beginning of the other side of the leaf. Work the pattern in reverse from here, that is hdc1, dc3, sl st1, and sl st again at the top of the leaf to end it.

Next,  insert the head pin through the bead cap and insert it through the bead.
Cut the excess pin and use pliers to make a loop.


1. Put jump rings on the flower's top and bottom and attach fish hook and metal chain accordingly (see picture).

2. Attach jump rings to the leaves and hang them onto the chain, leave about 2 chains' space between leaves.
3. Attach a bead onto a jump ring and add it to the chain.
And that is it! I hope you like it and make it for yourself (or as a gift).


Thursday, January 26, 2017

Not Your Usual Jewelry Holder

This past Christmas I wanted to refresh the Christmas decorations with some new additions and found this lovely rustic deer. I wanted to paint it white, but when I got home I simply discarded the idea and left it as is.
As it is put on a dresser facing my working table, it is there in my view all the time, and whilst looking at it, it occurred to me that its horns and tail would be just the perfect place for my new rings. I tried that and here you can see how perfectly they have fitted there. The burlap and lace ribbon are also quite suitable to pin (and hang) earrings, while bracelets can be also hang / put around its neck.
I don't think it'll ever be used for what it was intended for, and being a jewelry holder I can use it all year round, not just for Christmas :)


Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Unique Valentine Cards

This unique Valentine collection is a collaborative project of a mutually complementing husband and wife duo. They portray what love, admiration and reverence towards one's soul mate looks and feels like as seen through their eyes.

Each card bears a simple word, yet the message it is trying to convey is powerful.
All the cards are made using high quality water paper and acrylic paints.


You can find their work here.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Forgotten Crafts: The Icon Maker

For today's inspiration Monday I chose to write something completely different from what I usually do. Once in a while I'd like to present and dwell on crafts that are fighting oblivion; crafts from the past that are still treasured by a handful of artists. One of those is icon painting. The purpose of the icon is to stimulate praying atmosphere. Its role is far from being solely decorative; its most important role is to spread  the evangelical truth. It is the means through which we send our prayers to God.

I have had the pleasure to meet an incredible icon painter - Tome Steryev. Tome has been painting icons for 7 years now, using  two painting techniques - tempera and acrylic.
It usually takes from two to five weeks for an icon to be made. He shares the process of creating one:

"I make the icons strictly following the church canon laws, starting by applying the primer on a wooden foundation which is most often linden wood. After carefully spreading the primer and making it even, I start outlining the contours of the Saint. After that I apply the golden foil and start painting the robe first and the face in the end. The face should radiate peace and light representing the numinous state of the Saint. The icon has its own symbolism. The wooden foundation represents the material - the creation. The golden foil represents the holy spirit, while the robe stands for the purity of the Saint."

 Archangel Michael and St. Nicholas    
 St. John the Baptist

Steryev Art accepts custom orders if you are interested in buying an icon or some of his incredible paintings.  

Friday, January 20, 2017

Flower Rhapsody Necklace - crochet pattern

This is my newest pattern for a flower necklace with lush flowers giving a rich appearance to the whole piece. I have been toying with the idea of making a crochet necklace with wooden beads for a while now - haven't made one in ages...

While I was adding the beads to it, it occurred to me that this would also be perfect as a flowery wall hanging. That is an attractive idea I might try next.

The pattern is in my etsy and  ravelry shops.


Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Granny Square Brooch

As a lover of granny squares I always try to find other uses for these cuties aside from their enthroned function of blanket makers, so this is not a first.

This is what I made using a puff granny pattern. A kind of a cone shaped brooch although the pattern was a square. But, I didn't make it a full square. I left one side off and instead I alternated the pattern to make a kind of a crown to it.

With some pearls added it does have a royal glam:)
I made a crochet circle for the back, so along with the lovely shape and pattern, it also gained fullness.

This brooch is part of {my never ending in growth} Treasure Box Jewelry Collection which will soon eventually see the light of day!
I would love to have you stop by on Friday for a new crochet pattern. See you on Friday!

Monday, January 16, 2017

Eliza Inspiration - Copper and Felt Jewelry

Good morning all!
We woke up to a snowing morning! I was as happy as a child! I don't know about you, but for me it is a great source of inspiration. Talking about inspiration, I have a story to tell you about a retired psychologist who designs magical  wire wrapped and felt jewelry. Her name is Elizabeta Kostova and she revealed her inspiration during our little talk.

A word or two about you Eliza - when did the love towards this kind of jewelry develop and did you first start working with wire or felt?

My beginning in jewelry design was not at all accidental- just something I would use to fill my free time with. With me, it was out of a great, strong love, a passion for art since I was a little child. I loved painting - especially aquarelle, which I moved to a next level - painting on silk. Then there was a period I made icons. About 7-8 years ago I discovered the wool as an extraordinary material that can be blended with silk and other natural fabric and transformed into wondrous and unpredictable creations.However, the processing of wool is quite laborious and I also paint the wool myself.

Making felt brooches I needed pins for them and I tried making them out of copper wire. For me, the copper was another novelty and an extraordinary discovery and I am still exploring its possibilities. Especially its characteristic to change the color and get patinated. For several years, I have been simultaneously making copper wire and felt jewelry. My focus now is to combine felt jewelry that can be incorporated into a wire frame.

Is the making  of copper jewelry difficult?
I have been making this kind of jewelry using copper wire taken mainly out of electric cables and copper plates. It takes time to shape the wire and combine it with semi-precious stones or crystals; afterwards it is patinated and protected from  atmospheric influences. It is a several phases process and I try hard to make the final result radiate beauty and be unrepeatable.

Have you visited classes for metal / felt jewelry design?
No. My primary source of knowledge was and still is the internet. When it comes to the technical part, I also repeatedly consult other craftsmen and I try to learn and implement their suggestions.  

Where do you draw inspiration from? What kind of beads / stones do you like to use in your jewelry the most?
I love to research a lot and history of art is an inexhaustible source of inspiration. However, the greatest inspiration comes from the colors in nature, the colors of the rainbow, the sky, the colors of the semi-precious stones and crystals.
As a psychologist, I was intrigued to find out what kind of emotions do certain colors awake and what is the meaning of affinity or aversion towards a certain color and what it means for the person. As a psychologist I was also interested in the creative process and loved to view the world through the eyes of the creative people, the artists and not get stuck in the labyrinths of analysis. I strongly believe that every man has a potential to create, and sometimes it takes time and effort to be able to find the right thing. I also believe that in order a man to evolve as an artist or a designer, he should first evolve as a human being.

Creating something out of our vision by using our hands is a great gift and we should cherish it and use it to beautify the world.

Some of the pieces shown here are from her latest collection and they will be available soon in her shop.