Saturday, February 27, 2010

In my Eyes: The Perfect Marriage

I just posted on Etsy my newest creation. I consider it to be the perfect marriage between both my passions: Fabric and Wire-Wrapped gems.

"Breathless", as I named this mini-bib was created with rolled satin roses in shades of champagne and cream - these flowers are made by me, and have been embellished with an assortment of findings, pearls and rhinestones to complement the colour of the blooms. In order to create texture, I added silk flowers and tiny ribbon rosettes to the mix. Finally, I created "floral branches" by twisting non-tarnish silver artisan wire with quality faceted Fluorite marquise, faceted Kyanite briolettes, Rock Quartz briolettes, Swarovski Pearls, Moonstone and Rose Quartz. A feminine satin ribbon in lilac and champagne completes the look. Unfortunately, the pictures don't quite capture the detail and lustre of the stones, and the richness of this piece.

Spring is in the air!!!

Just found out that the necklace was just included in an Etsy Treasury - Check it out!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Sol Bijou Introduces: Etsy Shop stucktogether

Once you find out what this shop is all about you will see how appropriate the name is!!!! Stuck Together – as her owner Wendy says – "is dedicated to the glory of the magnet”. Indeed, you will find the coolest, cutest magnets in a variety of colors and shapes, and if for some reason you can’t find what you are looking for, just ask Wendy!!

“My name is Wendy Parker and I am a single momma to an amazing four-year-old girl. We live happily in Apex, NC, just outside of Raleigh. I have always been a crafty person and have dabbled in various types of crafts for years. I recently opened a jewelry shop on etsy and made some glass pendants for that shop and really loved the process. Those pendants led me to making the magnet sets and I opened Stuck Together in January. I love looking for images and fun papers to use and get very excited when I find one that I know will look beautiful under glass. I try to create something for everyone because I think they make a universally fun and affordable gift”

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Learning New Tricks!

As much as I love working with wire, I am also very intrigued by fabric. So, slowly I have been immersing myself into a new world...Recently I created various types of Statement Necklaces - Last night I learnt a new technique: how to create fabric roses. I purchased a few yards of organza and ribbon - in serveral colours - and I let my imagination run wild. Below is yet a new style of Bibs. This time, I have incorporated some of my new roses, which I placed in the centre of the necklace. I have to admit that I am pretty happy with the outcome. There is more in the works...I have some night pieces, as well as bridal pieces waiting to be born!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Sol Bijou Introduces: Etsy Shop sweetdixiedesigns

Today, I am excited to introduce to you Etsy shop: “Sweet Dixie Designs”. Jane’s hand-painted frames are unique, colorful and vibrant. The photos below speak for themselves. Thank you Jane for sharing your talent with us!

"I have always loved to doodle and draw. As a child all my mother had to do was give me crayons and paper and I was happy. After graduating from college with a degree in Textile Design I started painting furniture and home accessories that I sold at craft shows and also to local gift stores for a while. Then as I started having children I took some time off; finding time to paint was difficult with three children to care for. Now that they are older I found that I wanted to find my way back to painting and being creative again. I started painting my frames this fall, and became a seller on Etsy in November. My shop is called Sweet Dixie Designs, named after my fourth "child" Dixie, a retired racing greyhound. I love color and I am really enjoying the process of creating new patterns and combination's for my frames. I look forward to adding additional items to my collection as time goes on".

What is Gold Filled?

We all know that gold is not inexpensive, and these days the spot price is going upwards of $500 an ounce. So there is an economical alternative that keeps a solid layer of 14 karat gold in contact with skin! 14 karat gold filled is the affordable solution. Gold filled is an actual layer of gold-pressure bonded to another metal. Gold filled is not to be confused with gold plating, as gold filled literally has 100% more gold than gold plating. Gold filled is much more valuable and tarnish resistant. 14K gold-filled jewelry will not peel or flake and can be treasured as heirloom pieces. By law, it has 1/20th by weight layer of 14 karat gold permanently bonded over a core of base metal. It has far more gold than the few microns coating of gold in gold plate, a hundred or more times the amount of gold.

Gold Filled has been referred to as the "Gold of the Future" because it offers all the same physical characteristics as solid gold such as beauty, durability, and strength, but at a fraction of the cost. Since the gold is on the outer surface area, it is nearly impossible to tell the difference between solid gold and Gold Filled, except when it comes to the cost!

To care for your gold-filled jewelry take a small bowl that will hold about a quart of water and line it with aluminum foil. Add hot water and a tablespoon of Tide washing powder (not liquid or with bleach) and stir. Place your jewelry in the solution for about 1 minute and rinse with clean water and air dry. This works great on Sterling Silver too and it will not hurt any stones. If you have a build-up of dirt in hard to reach places, just put a little dish washing liquid in a bowl of water and soak over night.

This necklace was created using 14k gold filled. It is a mosaique necklace with Aqua Chalcedony, Amethyst, Aquamarine, Citrine, and Czech Glass. I used hair-thin gold filled wire to coil and wrap the precious stones. The results can be seen below.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Sol Bijou Introduces: Etsy Shop “CozyLittleCave”

Today I wanted to “show off” the work of this wonderful Etsy artist. Her shop is called “Cozy Little Cave” and her name is Tess. Her master pieces are vibrant, playful and unique.

Tess started drawing pretty much as soon as her mom gave her crayons.

As she grew up, she expanded her love of the arts into dance as well - What painter wouldn't love dance? Movement, color, line, expression, emotion, and striking images - A perfect fit! Eventually, some grown up made her pick a "career path", and for a brief stint she considered the very practical "petroleum engineer". Five minutes later, she realized she'd rather be poor and happy and settled on Environmental Design & Visual Studies at the Texas A&M College of Architecture. A minor in dance and one Master's in Art Education later, she found herself married and with the perfect opportunity at following a love of creating beauty and sharing her vibrant view of the world with others. Her work is expressive, bold, colorful, and figurative - directly swayed by her love of painting and dance. She opened a little shop where she sells mostly fun, mod little paintings, helping make original art just a little more affordable!

Spring is in the Air!

I am not sure if spring is in the air...but it surely is at my studio! Lately I have been thinking about flowers. So many ideas, so little time!

Here is my latest creation - "Nostalgia": A lace applique "Bib" necklace. This romantic statement necklace features a handmade hand-dyed lace applique in champagne, which has been adorned with a variety of handmade silk flowers. Each flower is highly detailed and tatesfully decorated with sequins, faux pearls and rhinstones. A delicate velvet ribbon in orchid purple completes the look. The lace applique is 9 cm / 3.5 inches at its widest point. The necklace is 100 cm / 39.4 inches long. There is plenty ribbon to tie a bow, although it looks best at the collar bone. Wear it tied high, low or in between, with your favorite outfit, this unique piece will earn endless compliments!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Sol Bijou Introduces: Etsy Shop Riorita

Etsy has some of the best talent I have ever encountered. As such, I will be dedicating every Wednesday and Friday to feature some Etsy artisans and their creations. Today I wanted to show off RIORITA. Irith handcrafts beautiful silver and gold jewelry. Her designs are unique and her creativity is endless. Below is some of her beautiful work. Thank you Irith!

"My name is Irith Rita Mashiah but I call my Etsy shop Riorita. I have been handcrafting silver and gold jewelry for the last 15 years or so. I live on Mount Carmel in Haifa, Israel, and travel everyday to my jewelry workshop in a small artists “colony” in Kibbutz Ein Carmel, not too far away from Haifa.
I design jewelry in silver and gold. When designing my jewelry, I like to be a little inventive but also create jewelry which will make women feel elegant and feminine. I like to search for various gems, unique pieces of glass or semi precious stones, and then I try to combine them in my jewelry. I call some of my items " ancient style". I do so without copying ancient designs, but try to craft a new idea which reminds us of jewelry which was created centuries ago. Other items are free form jewelry and natural forms, such as leaves, flowers etc., side by side with classic, symmetrical shapes."

Monday, February 15, 2010

Win a Necklace!

I will be having a draw on Sunday February 28. The lucky winner will get this necklace

To enter the draw become a Sol Bijou Facebook fan, then go to the "Discussions" section of the fan page and type a reply. Good Luck everyone!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

The BIB - a Statement Necklace?

From time to time I enjoy putting my wire, gems and wire-wrapping techniques aside to try something different. This time I used a gorgeous lace applique to create this one-of-a-kind necklace.

Though it has a rather infantile name, celebrities and tastemakers alike are going ga-ga for a decidedly grown-up accessory: The Bib Necklace. Although I am working on some "Night Out" bibs, I wanted this one to be fresh and romantic, so I used hues of pink and purple. Tiny handmade silk flowers, as well as wire-wrapped Chalcedony and Czech Glass (to form one of the larger blooms) went into making this lace applique quite unique. To complete the look, I attached a feminine lilac velvet ribbon, which ads versatility to this piece. Wear it tied high, low or in between, with your favourite outfit, this unique necklace will earn endless compliments!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Inspired by Butterflies!

Today my husband and I took our 5 year-old to "Wings of Paradise",a butterfly conservatory in our town. The place features 2000-3000 live free-flying butterflies and over 12 bird species on exhibit year round. The tropical butterflies are raised in Costa Rica and the Philippines. These colorful species are kept in tropical gardens, which create a lush and colourful backdrop to the free-flying butterflies. This tropical experience was a wonderful contrast from the frozen temperatures we have been experiencing in Ontario-Canada.

While at the conservatory, the most beautiful butterfly - in hues of purple and pink - caught my eye, and became today's inspiration for my most recent creation: "Sigry in Purple", which I haven't posted in Etsy yet.

Here is a shot of the necklace before it was oxidized. I really like the colour contrast between the darken sterling silver and the purple/lilac of the gems

Here is the link for more information on "Wings of Paradise"

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Doing My Part

I am very happy to announce (and in my first post!) that Sol Bijou is a proud member of Etsy Toronto Street Team. We are a group of Etsy sellers located in Toronto, Ontario - Canada. We have just set up a shop to support various charities. All the proceeds are donated to charity. The charities will change from time to time. Our current charity is "RELIEF FOR HAITI". Please visit our shop to view beautiful and unique handmade items donated with love by members of the team

One of the items I donated is a floral necklace with a hint of vintage. Anybody who visits Sol Bijou can tell I am in love with flowers - That is true! Nature inspires me at all times

This evening I decided to craft a similar necklace - This time using a different colour combination.

Here are some shots - I will be posting it in my Sol Bijou Etsy store tomorrow.

The focal point of this necklace is a handmade silk flower with tiny hand-sawn seed beads in the centre. On either side of the flower I created a cluster with twisted wire, Czech Pearls and Czech Glass. One side of the necklace is a double strand of lustrous Czech Pearls in Pink and Purple, while the other side has a single strand of larger purple pearls. I must admit that spring is in the air - well at least in my studio!