Athena Magazine

Fashion, lifestyle, passions

Say hi to dbDesigns! August 31, 2009

Submitted by Marjorie Cunningham, owner of Marjorie’s Cracked Plate Jewelry and manager of the Reclaimed to Fame Market at 1000 Markets.

One of our newest merchants in the Reclaimed to Fame Market is dbDesigns of Fleming Island, Florida. Danielle Blumenberg creates beautiful jewelry from antique flatware and coins. She is very aware of her environmental footprint and does much in her work to reuse and repurpose. She also does a lot for charity. Here’s her story! “Hi! I’m Danielle Blumenberg, owner and designer of db Designs in sunny Fleming Island, Florida. I am a military wife (for 20 years), who has had the privilege to live all over the world. The great part has been getting to experience the cultures of different places every 2 to 3 years; the not-so-great part was never being able to have a career of my own… Until recently 🙂 “I started my jewelry design business a little over 5 years ago, and my how it has changed! What began as just a little bit of beading quickly grew into wirework, and then metal-smithing. For the most part, I am self taught (and consider myself very much a novice) with tons still to learn! I have been able to take some great workshops with incredibly talented artisans, but not nearly as many as I need or want! “Much of what inspires me and fires my imagination is trying to use old

commonplace items in new ways. I love working with many mediums, but mostly metal. Specifically, “upcycling” or “repurposing” antique and vintage solid silver flatware and coins into unique wearable art! As I anneal, saw, forge and bend the vintage components into fabulous pieces of jewelry, I wonder about the possible history of the components. For example, while I was working on the WWII era Mercury dime necklace, I couldn’t help but muse about whether any of the coins were in the pocket of an American G.I. as he defended our country.

“I have an environmentally friendly, but VERY messy, studio in my home, and recycle and reuse everything I can. I use natural chemicals, such as eggs for patina, and citric pickle, to try to reduce my environmental footprint. I also make every effort to purchase from fair trade vendors, as opposed to free trade vendors for my findings and beads. When founding db Designs, I wanted to strongly support the community and those who strive to make a difference. In an effort to do that, I contribute merchandise and a portion of all sale proceeds to a variety of charities. As db Designs continues to grow, so will my efforts to make a difference. To date, db Designs has donated over $8,000!!! For a list of some of the charities that have benefited, you can contact me via email at Danielle@designedbydanielle.com or visit http://www.designedbydanielle.com/aboutus.html.”

Check out dbDesigns here at 1000 Markets at http://www.1000markets.com/users/dbdesigns.

 

Le la Moda relaunches with interview with Litter it girls June 25, 2009

litterAfter a long process le la Moda is finally up and working in a brand new layout. You have to check it out for your daily dose of unique fashion, beauty, product reviews and relationships. See it here.

For their launch feature, two sisters with an all American individual style were chosen as style mavens. They are the designers of Litter, Rachel & Mackanzie Mann. Read the interview with them and check out their chain creations. Click here.

P.S. Le la Moda is still looking for guest bloggers/writers. If you are interested email info@lelamoda.com. The current guest blogger lineup includes: beauty/makeup experts; fashion-obsessed readers and professionals; industry experts to share their opinions; boy’s point of view on relationships. Write le la moda here.

 

Glam Girl Hair Clips June 15, 2009

retroglamourgirlJust discovered on these adorable pin-up girl hair clips at retroglamourgirl.com, created by a glam girl model (shown modeling her clips here). The clips are big and floral and absolutely adorable. Plus, you can find other glam girl products for your pin-up personna. See it here.

 

Great Scot: Glass Artist Fiona Macneil October 24, 2008

Floral Glass Pendant by Fiona Macneil

Floral Glass Pendant by Fiona Macneil

By Louise Sleigh, excerpted from her Catwalk Threads blog

Fiona Macneil: Glass Artist

What is your earliest fashion memory?
Wearing the clothes which the band the ‘Bay City Rollers’ made famous in the ’70s.  This involved wearing white flared trousers with tartan up the side, a lilac (yuck) jumper with tartan on the front, and yes a tartan scarf.  Even for a Scots lassie, this was too much tartan.  I haven’t worn tartan since.

What are some of the best things about living in Glasgow?
The museums, art galleries, shops, restaurants, markets, night life but most of all the Glasgow people, they’re unique.

Describe your business:
My business is new and I would describe myself as being a self-employed glass artist.  At the moment I sell fused glass jewellery in my Etsy shop but in the future I hope to be using all the glass skills I learned at college to branch out into other ‘glassy’ areas such as glass panel making, fusing and mosaic work.  I plan to do commissioned work and I would also like to showcase my ‘arty ‘ type glass via exhibitions.

Star Pendant

Did you study arts? What was your course, where did you study and for how long?
I studied design, fine art and architectural and decorative glass at the Glasgow Metropolitan College.  I studied for four years, the last two years were spent learning all about glass.

Did you have any work experience in arts and crafts prior to setting up in business?

I’ve always loved art but I didn’t get interested in crafts until I was married though I had been taught how to crochet by my Granny when I was a little girl.  I enjoyed teaching myself various crafts and got really into salt dough modelling and used to sell my creations at craft fairs.  More recently I’ve been working at the local youth club teaching the children arts and crafts.

When did you set up in business and what inspired to you do that?
I set up my business this year after completing my glass course.  The course was geared to teaching students how to set up their own business because of the nature of the work they do.

What advice would you give someone who was thinking about setting up in your type of business?
My advice would be to first of all learn all you can about running a business and research whether there is a market for your glass work or service.  Decide whether you are dedicated enough to cope with the business side of things (and all which that entails) and not just the ‘creating’ side as this could make or break your business.  If you apply all you have learned thoroughly then your business has got a good chance of succeeding.

Leaf Earrings

Where do you get your design inspiration from?
Design inspiration for my jewellery comes from my interest in abstract forms which involves looking at shape, texture and colour. I am also inspired by nature.

Approximately how long does it take to design and make one of your glass pendants?
It depends on which type of pendant I am making.  Cutting the glass and placing abstract pieces is a fairly quick process.  This can take from 10-30 minutes.  The glass has then to go into the kiln to be fired.  With my kiln the process takes approximately one hour.  If I am painting the pendant, waiting for the paint to cure then baking it again this can take a further day and a half.  Further time is spent putting on the bail and making the necklace, this takes one day due to curing time.  So really a pendant can take from 1 -3 days to make.


You are a supporter of work HANDMADE IN SCOTLAND.  Is there a website for this?  How can readers find out more about it?

You know the internet is a big place and Scotland is a very small country.  Small, yet talented. Like all other small countries in the world including our neighbours within the UK …. England, Ireland and Wales I feel strongly that our arts and crafts should be promoted to the rest of the world.

Abstract Fused Glass Pendant by Fiona Macneil

If you are interested in supporting small countries then I suggest using search engines for specific crafting areas which interest you within the country of your choice.  There is also a facility within Etsy which allows you to shop “locally.”  Again, just type in the country of your choice.

Although I do not work for the ‘Scottish Tourist Information’ service … lol … their website can be found on-line at http://www.visitscotland.com/

I am also a member of the only ‘Scottish Team ‘ on Etsy.  It’s called McEtsy … great name!  If you want to find work from Scotland from this group of ladies then just type McEtsy into your search whilst on the Etsy site.

Glass Pendant by Fiona Macneil

Purchase Fiona’s products at http://www.fionamacneil.etsy.com.

 

Jewelry At Sea September 24, 2008

Filed under: Baubles,Worldly women — rebmas03 @ 2:29 am
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If you want to see wire crochet jewelry taken to a whole new level, check out the creations on Miriam Grafer’s blog. Even more amazing is that fact that Grafer runs her business from a boat! “We bought a boat about 6 years ago and spent 2 1/2 years working on it. It is big enough to live on and we have been doing that for the last 2 1/2 years. We travel on the eastern seacoast, in the south in the winter, and we go back home to New York in the summer.” What a life, right? And that joy is certainly reflected in her intricate jewelry. To see more, click here.

 

Beads, Glorious Beads September 22, 2008

Anastasia of Anastasia Beads does the most extraordinary glasswork, whether it’s her fabulous focals, her gorgeous jewelery sets or her amazing beads. Each piece, no matter how large or small, is like an intricate, glass-spun universe unto itself. Although I’m a creative person myself (I design clothes and sew), I simply can’t imagine fashioning glass into these objets d’art. See it for yourself.

 

One Hour Beaded Felt-Flower Brooch August 30, 2008

Filed under: Goddess-Sanctioned Pastimes — rebmas03 @ 11:00 pm
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By Heather Lewis

This project is super easy and only takes about forty-five minutes to one hour, depending on how quickly you sew. You will need the following supplies:

•    Beads or buttons
•    Felt
•    Scissors
•    Thread
•    Needle(s)
•    ¾” bar pins (for the back of the brooch-can be found at any craft store)
•    Paper towels

First: You cut your felt into cute little “U” shapes, above right. For a really full flower, cut about 15 pieces. I cut five larger and three smaller pieces.


Second: You take your needle and thread and slowly gather the flat end of the “U” shaped piece (not the curved end) as shown, left. You will want to continue and sew all of your pieces like the photo at left. Once sewn together, they will look like these pretty little petals, below.

Third: After you have finished gathering all pieces with your thread, you will want to sew all of those pieces together to form a flower shape, one petal at a time, above. I sew the larger pieces together first and the smaller pieces last.

Fourth: Once all pieces are sewn together, you will add either beads or buttons on top as shown, left. You can use sea beads or any type of beads you like. I used three red beads that look like jelly beans.

Fifth: Once you’ve sewn your beads onto the front of the flower, you will take your ¾” bar pin and sew that on the back, as shown above right.

WaLa: You have a really pretty felt-flower brooch. This can be worn a combination of ways: on a jacket or a skirt waistband. I purchased a vintage silk belt at an estate sale that was pretty plain and added this cute lil’ brooch to the front of it to jazz it up a bit!

This item and others can be found at: MattieReidChicago.com.

 

Make a little keepsake box from vintage trims August 23, 2008

By Heather Lewis

This project is super easy and only takes about one hour to an hour-and-a-half. You will need the following supplies:

• Acrylic paint
• Paint brush
• Rhinestones, tear drop shaped glass beads and some type of plastic beads. Vintage beads work best however, if you can’t find those, any beads from the craft store will work (they need to be round like a doughnut).
• Little wooden box (I found mine at the dollar store). They have these at any craft store. It does not matter what size. Mine measures 4” x 4”.
• Hot glue gun and hot glue sticks.
• Water
• Paper towels
• Felt
• Scissors
• Seam binding

First: You have to paint your little box. Choose whatever color you like best. I painted my box a darker blue color and went over it with a lighter blue. Once the lighter blue was painted on, I took a paper towel and blotted the paint. This gives the box a bit of a weathered look. It turned out really nicely.

Second: You will take your little plastic doughnut beads and space them out on the top of the box before gluing them down. This will give you an idea of how many beads you will need for your box. Then you will glue those on with the hot glue gun one by one. This is a very tedious process however it’s the only way to do it. You will want to repeat this step on the top of each side as well. Once the doughnut beads have been added, you will glue on your rhinestones one by one. Again, this is a very tedious process but it’s the only way to do it.

This is what the box will look like once you have glued on the rhinestones and beads:

Third: You will take your rhinestones and teardrop shaped glass beads (can be plastic as well) and glue those onto the sides in the shape of a flower. My box only allowed for three on each side:

Fourth: You will cut your felt to the size of the bottom of your box. You will also need to cut two pieces for the inside top and bottom. Glue those on with the hot glue once you have determined what size the pieces need to be. Here’s a pic of the bottom of the box once the felt has been added:

Fifth: You need to add binding to all inside corners. I suggest taking the binding and gluing down each side you are working with until you have covered all sides. Once you’ve finished the binding, you will make four additional flowers on the inside top of the box. You will also add a teardrop bead to each inside corner:

WaLa! You have a lovely keepsake box:

You can find this box and many other handcrafted items at www.mattiereidchicago.com or http://mattiereidchicago.etsy.com. You can also click on the banner below.

 

Don’t cry over broken china: Recycle it into jewelry! August 19, 2008

Did your heart break just like your favorite vase did when it slipped out of your hand and fell to the floor?  Has the handle broken off of that beautiful tea cup that your grandmother loved so many years ago?  Would you like to do something really special for your teenage daughter’s graduation—maybe something with that Beatrice Potter bowl that she used as a child?

Just give Marjorie a shout at Marjorie’s Cracked Plate Jewelry Store.  She designs unique handcrafted jewelry using smoothed shards of beautifully decorated china, porcelain and ceramic, all intricately wire wrapped. You’ll find pendants, necklaces, bracelets, anklets, earrings, rings and brooches.  For instance, here’s a pendant designed from a lovely Limoge plate:

Broken china Limoge pendant

Broken china Limoge pendant

Marjorie also crochets with wire, creating unusual and striking necklaces and bracelets that go so well with her broken china work, such as this lovely copper bracelet designed using Richard Ginori china from Italy.

Richard Ginori broken china crochet wire bracelet

Richard Ginori broken china crochet wire bracelet

To go along with her “cracked” theme, Marjorie now also includes sea glass and unusual broken shell jewelry in her repetoire.

Each piece is a one-of-a-kind creation—beautiful and affordable.  Choose something from her extensive inventory, or she will work with you to create a custom-designed piece.  Wearing Marjorie’s jewelry is like wearing a bit of history and is a totally “green” experience.