We’re All Ears Design Challenge: Strawberries

rustic strawberry flat_wm

Strawberry-inspired earrings.

This month on the We’re All Ears earring design challenge, the inspiration is all about strawberries.  Summer is the season for berries and melons.  Unlike me, they seem to thrive in the heat.  They’re also the perfect thing to eat when it’s too hot to even think about cooking. Continue reading

Does Crafting Count as Exercising?

FitBit and polymer clayLast month I joined the FitBit Nation when I received a lovely turquoise blue FitBit Charge for my birthday.  I was not in the market for a FitBit for many reasons, not the least of which is I tend to run the opposite direction from any fad or trend.  If “everyone” is rushing to get one, it’s the last thing I want. I think that makes me what the technology industry calls a “late adopter.” Continue reading

We’re All Ears Design Challenge: Ferns

Fern earring drops

Some ferny components

The inspiration for April’s We’re All Ears earring design challenge was images of fiddlehead ferns. There are many design elements to choose from in the images, from the spiral shapes of the coiled fiddleheads to the feathery unfurled green leaves.

I’ve had fiddlehead ferns in salads and stir fry when I lived in Alaska. They’re quite tasty. I’ve looked for them in the produce section of my local Whole Foods here in the Mid Atlantic and have not seen them. Maybe I need to visit an actual farmer’s market for something so exotic? Continue reading

Art Jewelry Elements Design Challenge: Eye Love Beads

Evil Eye necklaceI’m so glad the Art Jewelry Elements design team is continuing the open challenges this year. I had a great time with the themes last years challenges. And the theme they chose to kick off 2016 is another fun one: Eye Love Beads.  As in, jewelry with eyes.

No, not actual eyes. That would be a little too Silence of the Lambs. Rather, the challenge is to design a piece of jewelry, an art bead, or a component with eye symbolism.  I had been hoarding an “evil eye” component and this was a perfect opportunity to set it free from my stash. Continue reading

We’re All Ears Design Challenge: Arabesque

Dangle earrings

Arabesque-inspired dangle earrings.

The inspiration for the We’re All Ears earring design challenge this month was arabesque architecture.  Our hostess shared photos of the elaborate ceiling designs and precise geometric structures in a variety of mosques.

The colors and repeating shapes within shapes were mesmerizing.  At first I wasn’t sure how I was going to interpret that for earrings. Should I focus on the geometric shapes? The colors? The patterns? Continue reading

Etsy Shop Redesign

Apparently, changes are coming to the way shops look on Etsy.  When I logged in this afternoon I saw this bright orange invitation to preview how my shop will look come April 5. I haven’t kept up with the Etsy forums so this was the first I knew of these changes. I have a few weeks to make updates before the changes go live.

etsy appearance notice

This bright orange box showed up at the top of my shop home page. The way my Etsy shop looks is about to change. Again.

Continue reading

We’re All Ears February Earring Design Challenge

copper flowers earring flat

Faux copper earrings from polymer clay.

The inspiration for the February “We’re All Ears” earring design challenge was a photo of a statue on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  The statue is an 18th century standing Buddha.

The Buddha statue is copper alloy with gilding. It has a rich assortment of textures, shapes, and symbolism to inspire earring designs. Continue reading

Buried Treasure: AJE Jewelry Challenge

boxes with art beads

This is a slightly out of date photo of my art bead collection. I have since filled every compartment in these four boxes, and moved into a fifth and six boxes.


The first challenge of 2016 for the Art Jewelry Elements blog is called “Buried Treasure.”  We were challenged to dig into our stashes of art beads and components to create jewelry.

It seems I am not the only one who has an easier time collecting art beads than using them. Why are they such a challenge to use? Continue reading

We’re All Ears: Pantone 2016

Winter tree silhouette by sunset

A midwinter sunset in Pantone’s “rose quartz” and “serenity.” I took this picture on my way home from work a few days before the reveal date for this challenge.

The inspiration for this month’s We’re All Ears earring design challenge was the Pantone 2016 color forecast. This year Pantone announced a pair of “colors of the year” rather than a single color.  That pair is a pastel pink called “Rose Quartz” and a pastel blue called “Serenity.”  Our hostess challenged us to design earrings inspired by these colors or the rest of the spring palette. Continue reading

Art Jewelry Elements Design Challenge – Winter Sun

Ceramic sun moon pendant
The theme for the winter design challenge on Art Jewelry Elements was the rebirth of the sun, including mythology about the winter solstice.

The Winter Solstice, which marks the longest night and shortest day in the Northern Hemisphere, is something I learned to celebrate while living in Fairbanks, Alaska. There’s nothing like having just short of four hours of daylight per day for months to make you appreciate the mid-winter event that marks the gradual lengthening of days. Continue reading