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All Dressed in White - Wedding Season is Here

Wedding season is upon us.  Most weddings are held in the months of May through September.  I was surprised to learn that September is now the most popular month for weddings -- actually surpassing June in number.A few weeks ago, I discussed a bridal necklace I was working on.  At that point in time, I had just created the tulle flowers I planned to use in the design.  This week, I finished the necklace.  I created three separate strands, each using different types of fiber and glass beads, and the loosely wove the three together.  Here is the finished necklace:I have a few other items in my Artfire shop that I created s... » Read More

Experiments in Bloom - Color, Texture, Element Combinations

If you've looked at the body of my designs, you've probably figured out that I am partial to flowers.  Over the last two weeks I've been working on three new designs, all of which feature a floral focal point and feature a variety of textures and fibers.  Each piece plays on combining colors in the green and red families.These are the "blooms" in my garden of spring experiments:HOW DOES YOUR GARDEN GROW CROCHETED BAGFeatures 4 different fibers, all of which come together in the strap,which is long enough to wear cross-body.Back and front envelope flap worked in pink, 100% cotton.Flower is worked in a cotton blend sequined yarn  and the pa... » Read More

Hoops and String

Well, not string exactly, but cotton embroidery thread ... or metallic yarn ... or blending filaments ... or ?  Over the last few weeks, I've been designing and creating new earrings that utilize metal hoops of various sizes for their bases.  I then crochet around the edge of the hoops, progressing to the inside of the hoop to create a particular motif or pattern.  Experimenting has been a lot of fun.  These are some of my newest ... each unique:Crocheted Beaded Pink Green Floral Hoop EarringsMy Lucky Stars Crocheted Silver and Blue Hoop EarringsCrocheted Beaded Purple Lavender Floral Hoop EarringsSwirling Sunset Flowers Crocheted Hoop... » Read More

Not Playdoh! Playing Around with Polymer Clay

I decided to try something new (again).  I saw some very pretty polymer clay accent beads in one of my favorite bead stores, and thought I would try my hand at creating my own.  I discovered that it really is fun to play with clay, and I created a few sets of beads that I was pleased enough with that I think I will try to incorporate them into some of my jewelry and bag designs.I used Fimo brand clay. I just mixed some colors that I thought might work together and played around with shapes.  Once I had what I wanted, I just had to bake the beads.  I applied a clear sealer once they cooled.Here are some of the results:I already incorpor... » Read More

Artists' Market to Benefit Cass Community Services

I'm very excited to announce that Gossamer Tangles has been accepted to participate in the upcoming Leon & Lulu's Artists' Market.  About 40 artists have been chosen to participate on Sunday, March 4, 2012, from 11 am - 5 pm and Tuesday, March 6, 2012, from 3 pm - 8 pm.  Leon and Lulu's is a unique shop located in the historic Ambassador Roller Rink on 14 Mile Road, just west of I-75, in Clawson, Michigan.  They sell an eclectic mix of furnishings, art, accessories, and unique gifts, including many one of a kind items.Leon & Lulu's has been a great supporter of the creative community in the Metro Detroit area, as well as ... » Read More

The Copper Rainbow

On almost every listing on my Gossamer Tangles ArtFire site, I make the following statement: "As with all the items I make, if you think you might like this in another color combination, please get in touch.  As materials allow, I am happy to accept custom orders."  IOne of the reasons that I can include this statement is because of the very wide range of colors that the materials I use for my designs come in.  For example, in many of my jewelry creations I use 28- or 30-gauge permanently colored copper wire.  The number of colors and shades of colors that this wire comes in is incredible. I usually use Artistic Wire, as I'... » Read More

Valentine's Day: Heart Notes

My husband always discounts Valentine's Day as "another one of those Hallmark holidays", but I disagree. Valentine's Day officially dates back to 496 AD when Pope Gelasius  proclaimed February 14 to be a feast day in honor of St. Valentine, a Roman martyr of the third century. The Christian feast was to replace the pagan Roman feast of Lupercalia, a fertility celebration observed annually on February 15. There are many versions of the story of St. Valentine, but most agree that he was a bishop of the early church who held secret marriage ceremonies for Roman soliders who wished to marry after the Emporer Claudius II declared it to be ille... » Read More

Works in Progress

It seems to be that time of year -- a time for projects and plans in-the-works. We find ourselves doing things like gathering things together to do taxes, getting into new school terms, starting a new home improvement project, and trying to carry out our New Year's resolutions.  Speaking of New Year's resolutions, did you notice that my blog was updated on time this week?  Yes, I made my Friday weekly deadline!At Gossamer Tangles, I find myself in the midst of working on a couple of new pieces for Valentine's Day.  I am hoping to finish some hand-embroidered heart earrings, a necklace that will basically match them, and a hand-felted wool... » Read More

Common Threads: My Grandmother's Legacy

"No cord or cable can draw so forcibly, or bind so fast, as love can do with a single thread." (Robert Burton)  The "single thread" of love was and is a strong bond between me and my Grandma Smith.  If you've read the "bio" section of this blog, you know she had a huge influence on my love of needle arts.  I doubt I would have have ever picked up a crochet hook, had it not been for her demonstrated love of that art form.  Gossamer Tangles probably would not exist.But in addition to the metaphorical common thread of love that binds us, my grandmother also left me a very tangible gift of "common thread" when she passed away several ye... » Read More

Beyond the Necklace - Unique Neck Wear Ideas for 2012

Sometimes that plain neckline just needs a bit of ooomph, or you just want to dress things up a bit, or go for something truly eye-catching.  Traditionally, the choice is a scarf or a necklace.  But sometimes, a scarf is too heavy or bulky, or just won't lay quite right.  And sometimes a necklace just doesn't have the drape or the coverage that you want.Is there a third possibility?  I think so. I've featured three creative neck wear pieces in my Gossamer Tangles studio on ArtFire for the New Year that fall into a category that I would call "Beyond the Necklace, Beyond the Scarf".  In fact, I created a new category in my studio list... » Read More

Decorate with Children's Christmas Art - Bring back the warm memories

"Glory to the new born King ..." sings the angel on the Christmas triptych that my autistic son created over a decade ago.  This year, that triptych was the focus of my Christmas decorating -- occupying the place of honor on my family room mantel.A triptych is a picture on three panels, usually hinged together vertically, and traditionally used as an altarpiece.  When I first saw Tony's triptych portraying the nativity and the accompanying block figures of the Holy Family, I was overwhelmed with emotion.  He was a fifth grader at the time (now he's in college). Always plagued with coordination problems, the three panels are inexpertly car... » Read More

Hand-Embroidered Jewelry Featuring Handmade Fabrics on Felt

Shimmering and light, but substantial -- this new technique of creating a translucent fabric and then bonding it to felt allows for beautiful, intricate designs that will endure.  Recently, I created fabrics using Angelina fibers, embroidered designs on the fabric using metallic threads, and then bonded it to wool felt.  I then embellished the edges with hand-embroidery as well.  I also added crocheted embellishments in metallic thread to some of the pieces.  Here's the result:Festive Hand-Embroidered Holly Leaf Earrings with Red BerriesFrosted Purple Ash Leaf EarringsHand-Embroidered Holly Leaf Earrings with Red Glass Bead BerriesSimi... » Read More

Playing Around with Old Dryer Sheets ... Again

Back in March of this year, I wrote about recycling used dryer sheets to create jewelry and at that time, I created two pair of earrings.  Both of them sold, so I thought maybe I should try playing around with dryer sheets again -- try to see what other kinds of design ideas I could come up with. First, I prepared some used dryer sheets by giving them color. The cranberry and butterscotch sheets with colored by brushing them with alcohol-based inks.  The color saturates both sides of the sheet.  The blue sheet was painted with metallic blue acrylic paint, which also shows through nicely on both sides.  The green sheet was c... » Read More

What Became of the Blue Recycled Dryer Sheet? Blue Moon Ruffles

Blue Moon Ruffle Earrings! That's the design I came up with for my third recycled dryer sheet.  Utilizing both used dryer sheets and recycled bottle caps, this is an eco-friendly creation.   This was the sheet that I painted using an iridescent/metallic blue acrylic paint.  I used dye on my other sheets.  The pain gives the sheet more body, and like the dye, it permeates through both sides.   I cut four strips from the painted portion of the sheet to use for the earrings -- two for each.  They were each about 1/2 inch wide.  I used a very fine, metallic aqua, filament thread and sewed a tiny running stitch along the to... » Read More

Hearts, Stitching and Shine in New Recycled Dryer Sheet Earring Design

Yesterday, I finished the second pieces in a new series of jewelry created by recycling old dryer sheets.  For this design, I used the sheet that I died with cranberry-colored ink. After thinking for a while and looking at available materials in my stash, I decided to go with a heart motif.  I think it was probably the color of the dryer sheet that put that image in my mind. I decided to use the cranberry as a backdrop for the design and make the heart, almost like an applique, from Angelina fiber.  Choosing gold, deep magenta, a bit of teal, and a bit of transparent iridescent fiber, I used my iron to meld them into a small fab... » Read More

Bright Colors of Summer Inspire New Design Ideas

Each season offers its own pallet of colors inspired by the world around us.  Autumn offers the bronzes, reds, yellows, and jewel tones of the forests.  Winter neutrals of whites, blacks, grays, and  browns reflect the muted, snowy landscape of that season (except for the holidays with their burst of bright, cheery color).  Then there is spring with its budding greens and pastels; colors just beginning to awaken.  But summer -- glorious summer -- offers the bright and bursting colors of a world that is filled with blooming flowers, lush green foliage, sunny skies and many-shaded blue waters. As the shades of summer ... » Read More
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