Thursday, July 17, 2014

We're All Ears - July Challenge Reveal

Wheee!  Summer vacation is awesome!  And okay, so I don't really get summer vacation any more now that I'm all growed up, but it is still my favorite time of year.  The weather is great, I get to go to the beach more often and some of my responsibilities lighten up since Ryan is out of school.  Oh, and sandals...I get to wear sandals every day and go crazy with my pedicure colors!

So, when I saw the photo for this month's Earrings Everyday - We're All Ears challege, I was super jazzed about it. 

It's everything good about summer:  sun, water, fresh air and bright colors!  Of course, who knows, maybe that photo was taken in December, but I'm choosing to believe it's summer.  Even the colors on the sails reminded me of a summer ice cream treat - bomb pops (if you've never seen one - they are red, white and blue striped popsicles).

I had to bring in ocean elements for my first pair of earrings:

So, I selected some light blue faux sea glass squares, shell leaves (yes, I know, they look like hearts, but they are actually leaves), and tiny white freshwater pearls.

I added some darker blue Swarovski crystals and a few touches of silver for some extra sparkle.  I'm calling these "Leaves on the Water."

Really, though, when thinking about this challenge, I kept getting overwhelmed with mental images of birds and feathers and flying - I guess because of the wind power behind the sails and that gorgeous blue sky. 

And then I remembered that I had just bought these amazing carved bone feathers and I knew they had to be part of this. 
I wanted to show how they look hanging up, too.  To bring in some movement and color, I added red waxed linen cord with ivory howlite spacers and some blue seed beads.

I thought that would be it, but then I was shopping for some other items at a craft store and came across some Vintaj brass sailboat charms and while that is a pretty literal interpretation of the photo, they were so cute and I really needed an excuse to break out my patinas and alcohol inks again so I thought I'd paint them.  


I painted the boats with Vintaj patina inks in "Marble" and "Garnet."  Then I sanded them a bit so they'd have that "weathered boat" look going on.

They looked good, but kind of dinky on their own and I realized what was missing was a background for them so I found these large white shell disks and I was going to use them as is when it occurred to me that...what the heck, maybe I could paint them, too. 

I roughed up the surface with a sanding block and added some Ranger alcohol inks in white, denim blue and dark blue and then blended them a bit with some blending solution and a small brush.  Voila!  I have my own sea-and-sky-scape for my boats to sail on!  I'm calling these "Come Sail Away" after my favorite Styx song.
I thought I was done at this point, but then I was at Michael's picking up a new pair of pliers and I came across this unusual strand of tiny crystals...all in shades of red, white and blue and I knew they had to be part of this challenge! 

To keep up the nautical theme, I figured what is more boat-related than ropes and knots?  So, out came the white waxed linen cord and I repeated on of my earlier techniques of doing the knotting around a hoop.  I added bright red cherry jade rondelles at the top and then tied off and fringed the cord ends. 

It's only now that I'm posting them that I realize they look like super-sparkly life preservers LOL.
That's it for July...hope you enjoyed my finished pieces.


Anonymous said...

There's nothing like inspiration! What a wonderful collection of earrings you've created from just one image! I'm really drawn to the interesting bone feather pair. Great design!

Kathy Lindemer said...

Wow! All of your earrings are so cool! Great designs that captured the photo!

Divya N said...

The painted sailboat earrings are my favourite it represents not just the picture but the free spirited theme perfectly

Kristi Bowman said...

Wow you really went for it. They are all so different yet fit the inspiration so well. Beautiful work!

OksanaB said...

Wonderful designs! I really like the pair with the cord. They look so unique and playful! Great idea!
Do you have a tutorial? I would love to make them.

Fiona Robertson said...

Wow,this month's reveal really did inspire you! I love them all but the feathers are my favourites and I love what you did with the shells. I would never have thought of colouring them. Lovely xx

Shaiha said...

Wonderful designs! I think that my favorite has to be the feathers. I just love earrings with movement.

Marybeth said...

Wow! Beautiful designs! I love them all, but I think the feathers are my favorite too. I love the movement in them.

Bijoux Gems Joy said...

You are amazing! I love these, especially the little sailboats with the backers. Amazing colour effects

Alice said...

Wow so many great earrings! I like each and every one of them but the sail boat pair is my favorite.

Shel said...

Wonderful collection - they're all so inline with the prompt! Love the painted sailboat ones especially.

Shel said...

These are all perfect for this month's prompt - I especially like the painted sailboat earrings!!

Nuit said...


TesoriTrovati said...

You are on a roll, Miss Kelly! They just kept getting better and better! I thought I loved the feather ones the most, then I saw your hand-painted seascape and I was all like, damn that girl has it going on! And then you did a nautical rope life preserver!? You rock! And of course, great minds think alike... Come, Sail Away is the name of my earrings... and MY favorite Styx song (did you know that Tommy Shaw has the smoothest baby-butt cheeks evah? I know because I kissed him there! ;-) Thank you for joining in the We're All Ears Challenge for July! Enjoy the day! Erin

Cindy Martin-Shaw said...

Lots of inspiration for one photo! The bone feathers with the waxed linen are very cool. Those sailboats are fantastic! I love that you used alcohol inks on both the charms and the shell discs. They turned out to be very dramatic and unique. You covered all of the nautical elements with the rope aspects of your life preservers. You are so clever!

Becky Pancake said...

Great job Kelly, I like all of your designs. The sailboat earrings are my favorite. They are very unique and creative.