Why did the butterfly flutter...oh, you know the rest! These past 2 weeks, I seem to have developed a real thing for butterflies. Don't know why - yes, I am often drawn to 'things with wings' but butterflies can sometimes be a little saccharine - a bit 'wee girly' and sugary for me. Certainly to be the focus of a piece. But somehow, they've ended up in my designs again and again, whether I like it or not recently. I've also seem to lost all ability to make anything other than earrings. Whatever - I'm going with it. Often, I find my earrings can be cute but a little pedestrian, so I'm quite enjoying creating slightly more exuberant earrings for once. Let's see where this takes me.
Here in Butterfly Dance, I've stacked a whole heap of elements together. Pressed glass, recycled glass, Fallen Angel Brass, Vintaj Brass, Gunmetal caps, more pressed glass, copper hoops, vintage brass butterfly charms, handmade lampwork rondelles (some of Julie Wong Sontag's infamous 'weenies'), and my own oxidised silver earwires. I love how the butterflies are framed by those copper rings - and I love the real mix of metals. Even the brasses - the three varieties here are each so different, and each a naturally developed patina. Brass really is a beautiful and under-appreciated metal. I'm also usually not particularly keen on brass and copper - something about the yellow and orange tones being too close to one another - but the 3-tone brass, the gunmetal, the oxidised silver - I think it's safe to add the copper in there too, it only adds to the multi-mixed-metal-ness. You can find these for sale in the shop.
Admiral are a pair I am particularly pleased with. I received these gorgeous wooden buttons as a lovely little gift from Claire who owns Smitten Beads, as part of a challenge she offered up in her shop. They really are rather special, don't you think? Now, as I said before, sometimes my earrings can be a little, well, safe. Simple. Pedestrian if I'm being particularly hard on myself! When I have a long craft fair, or a short deadline, then I definitely go into earring-making machine mode. I don't make earrings that I don't like or wouldn't wear, but I don't make earrings like these or these or these. Also, I don't/can't call my earrings things like I Rose From Marsh Mud. I would really like to, but I call my earrings things like Butterfly Dance. You see - 'safe'! I am just not edgy [nor do I know enough about poetry!] I guess - *sigh*
Anyway, I digress. Quite often my earrings have 2 or 3 parts to them. And they are simply stacked. Here's a good example:
Don't get me wrong. I like these. I like the colours, shapes and contrasting textures; I like their neatness. They're some of my favourites from my Summer earrings haul. But they are simply stacked - there's no engineering, so to speak, to them. And quite often when I try to wrangle a non-beady/round element into a pair of earrings, which of course have to hang 'just so', they droop limply and unconvincingly and simply don't work.
But here, as you can hopefully see, the buttons hang just as I wanted them too. And the slim chains swoop down below, the leaves don't tip as they could, but hang down nicely - all in all, I'm rather pleased with these. More cute lampwork from Julie Wong Sontag, by the way.
This last pair for this post are a pair which I *think* I may have to keep for myself. There's something about this combination of turquoise, darkly textural brass, this particular shade of red and the polka dots that I find hard to resist. I love that the holes in the centre of Helen Chalmers' discs have plenty of room for several slim-gauge wire wraps. I've used 0.6mm wire here and as you can see, they comfortably allow 4 passes at least per disc. This allows me to suspend them facing outwards, which, as Helen's beads really do stand looking at front-ways (sideways?) on, is a lovely bonus. These earrings also have a little touch that I've been adding to quite a few pairs recently - the embellished earwires. I used to do this relatively often but sort of fell out of the habit - I've been
stalking reading a favourite blog recently, right from the beginning (a trick I picked up from Julie), and was reminded just how much I like decorating earwires - and so have resolved to do it more often. Julie's tiny lampwork beads are just the perfect size for this. If I do decide to sell these, I'll pop a link back here, but in all honesty, I think they'll be staying with me!