Sunday, November 27, 2016

Sebèkolo collection


At all times, throughout the history of the world, men and women of all cultures, whatever their origins, their locations, their beliefs, have always possessed a symbolic object to protect themselves from evil spirits and/or to attract the good graces of the spirits.  The object commonly referred to as: an amulet, a talisman, or Gris-Gris depending on the name given in the region of the people who wear them, has various meaning and significance for whoever wears them.  Whoever wears the object is free to interpret the meaning of it from their own beliefs and traditions.  The symbolism of the object is associated to them.

It is on this theme that I created the Sebèkolo collection.
Sebèkolo is a malinké word, which means protection.

I have always thought that both amulet and talisman offer protection to whomever wears it. I was quite surprised to learn that there is a subtle difference between them.

First let's explain this difference !


"An amulet is an object whose most important characteristic is the power ascribed to it to protect its owner from danger or harm.  Amulets are different from talismans as a talisman is believed to bring  luck or some other benefit, though it can offer protection as well."

Source wikipedia

I made this necklace with an antique key which is archeological dug, on which I dangled a fossilized Orthoceras, also known as "Straight Horn" from Mother Earth's underwater garden,



tied with Tibetan mala seed, bone and Dzi beads, petrified rainbow wood, a leather bag (reused from a tibetan necklace) and handmade ceramic drop bead.


Each of these gemstones have their own properties, but when associated together, they have a protective and healing power.


I wire wrapped handmade ceramic egg shell  crackled tube beads with pure copper wire, then, used vintage rusty metal skeleton key with  patina as pendant and I dangled a variety of artisan beads, intricately handmade leather bag with a cowry shell, handmade tribal ceramic drop,deer antler, wood bead and silk ribbon.


Amulet vary considerable according to their time and place of origin.


I made this simple and elegant amulet which has a powerful healing resonance to them.  It has African turquoise, mixed gemstones, handmade lampwork bead etched with tribal Sgraffito design.
   

Dangled from the necklace is a vintage Ethiopian camel bone pendants which is also known as medicine stick pendants, as they were used by the tribe's Shaman for healing purposes.
The circular pattern was believed to protect from the evil eye.


Amulets are like magic charms, worn by people to protect themselves from negative energies, evil and injury, and also to bring good luck.


As always, thank you so much for stopping by!




Sunday, October 30, 2016

October Component of the Month Reveal - Sugar Skulls

I rarely enter a giveaway challenge, but I took a chance this time, because autumn is my favorite time of the year.
I am not very familiar with the holiday, Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead so I researched it and this is what I found:

"Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead is a holiday celebrated in Mexico (and by people of Mexican decent living in other countries) to honor the dead.  While it used to be celebrated centuries ago in the beginning of Summer it is now celebrated on October 31 - Nov 2.  The families get together and pray for family members and friends that have passed away.  Typically they build personal alters to honor the deceased by putting a photo of the deceased along with their favorite food and beverage, some of their belongings, marigold  flowers, and the notable sugar skulls. The sugar skulls have really become very popular these days as well as sugar skull beads and other decorations. The sugar skulls that are placed on the alters are handmade by the families using sugar, meringue powder and water pressed into skull molds and then decorated using bright colored paints or dye. "

I am from Africa, we celebrate a person's death during their funeral and the funeral used to last a month or more in the old days. Now, it only last 2 or 3 days and on the first anniversary of their death, we will celebrate the person's life by doing what they like. We don't have any particular day of the year to honor them like Dia de los Muertos.

I was Lucky to be picked and I received this beautiful sugar skull lampwork bead from Jennifer Cameron  


 I made a necklace using a recycled vintage key, on which I dangled the sugar skull lampwork with colorful ribbon, irish wax linen, bright colorful czech and Greek ceramic beads.



Very colorful, like Mardis Gras in New Orleans!


Please check out the other designers post

Guest Designers

As always, thank you so much for stopping by/ Merci


Sunday, October 16, 2016

Tergiversation!!!

I am still undecided about my photo background.
I really like the one I am using: It's coconut tree bark, I collected it in Ghana and brought it all the way from there!
The problem is that it is too small for necklaces and bracelets.
Anyway, I love the warmth that wood brings to the pieces.
I am trying out this backgroung with a piece of driftwood for a little touch of nature, which I think is okay but my daughter loves it!

I made a simple yet sophisticated pair of earrings with my rustic kyanite soldered head pins with a large lightweight horn,that I have had in my bead stash for a very longtime. I can't believe, I have finally used them. It is time to let them go to find a new home and start a new story!


I enhanced the soldered rustic kyanite head pins, with large flat cylindrical horn beads along with orange czech glass beads and then topped off with blue seed beads.This pair of earrings have a vibe of a warm autumnal day.  

And will certainly brighten someone's life.

A Simple design with a lightweight domed brass circle, on which I dangled my rustic kyanite soldered head pins. Again, I bought the domed brass circle nearly a decade ago, if you can believe it!  It's a simple design with beads that beautifully complement each other. 

They are ready for another Journey


Exquise and Confident!


Like always, thank you so much for stopping by.  
Merci beaucoup 

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Venturing onto unknown field. Soldering Bead and Head pins Part II

Sometimes, you will go through moments of solitude and frustration.
Friends you thought would be there will walk away from you.

Things  that you thought would change by now have only fidget a little bit but really
never change.


When the sadness fill me inside, I sit and stay there silently and let all the hurt
and frustration that swirl in my head and surround my body come out.
I talk to myself and sometime I burst into tears and I feel comfort.
I am human!!!

As I was writting these paragraphs, I received an email from my very dear friend Linda who, no matter what, is always there for me.
I appreciate each of our conversations so much, even if, at the end we both can no longer hold the phone.
I am so thankful for such amazing friendship from the botton of my heart THANK YOU!

Here is what the email said: "One of the many gifts that nature offers us is a clear demonstration of the interdependence between all living things. Earth is home to a web of living things that are connected to each other through a spinning kaleidoscope of relationships. We need each other to survive and thrive."

I have always thought this myself, for we are all connected on this planet but when I read the words, it was fantastic and it comforted my belief in human beings.




Here,  I played with  handmade ceramic beads from Petra


Kyanite, kyanite has always been one of my favorite stones. Seems like I have a bunch of favorite stones :).  It was so fun to turn these rustic kyanite into head pins. I made a pair of earrings with them, which I will share here or on Instagram soon.


Here are one pair of rainbow mystic titanium AB Quartz and two pairs of rainbow blue mystic titanium AB quartz crystal point rock pendant.  I even tried with MOP


Phantom quartz head pins, this stone is so beautiful and add a perfect rustic and tribal or even modern finish to any design.


After the simple pendant, I could not resist to turn the rainbow titanium AB quartz gemstone into head pins. I am kind of obsessed with head pins. :)

It was a long painful process due to my condition but I enjoyed making them with love and care!
I have protected each of the items that I made with renaissance wax so that it will be more durable and protected from the elements.

Like always, thank you so much for stopping by.  
Merci beaucoup 





Saturday, October 1, 2016

Venturing onto unknown field. Soldering beads and Head Pins Part I

I have always wanted to make something of my own (beads, chains, shape copper sheets...) that I can include on my finished handmade jewelry. 
Of course just wanting to make something doesn't mean you can! 
A few years ago (about 4-5 years), I bought 3 tutorials and 2 of them were about soldering tins and copper sheet. I painstakingly studied them.  I bought and even ordered some of the supplies that were needed. 
But for some reason there was always something missing, something else that needed to be ordered from the other side of the Atlantic!
I could have started it anyway, but something else kept holding me back and now 5 years have passed.  
I think, I was scared that I would not succeed so I let the little voice inside my head win that party! 
I could no longer accept it. So lately, by meeting some people who motivated me, I tried several things.  I finally tried the soldering and I will tell ya...I am so happy I did because the result is not bad at all.  Especially for my first time! 

I am selling what I made for others to use into their projects.


I will also start slowly to sell some of my other stuffs, because I am dealing with some health issues. It is becoming hard for me to work on my jewelry, and when I do, I am so much in pain.  So as a result, my small business is suffering and I can't spend as much time on it. 
So, if you need something here or any of my other beads,  please let me know! 



Czech glass and vintage glass beads tranform into head pins for your pleasure.


Here are Ocean Jasper Pendant and earrings, Antique green kyanite and moss agate gemstone Earring
that I soldered to be used as they are, or on your own creative way.



Rhodocrotie drop and crab agate, I turned into headpins


Raw Citrine crystals included with Goethite boughs and Amethyst gemstone soldered into headpins.

It was a long painful process due to my condition but I enjoyed making them with love and care!
I have protected each of the items that I made with renaissance wax so that it will be more durable and protected from the elements.  
Like always, thank you so much for stopping by.  
Merci beaucoup 



Tuesday, August 30, 2016

AJE August Design Challenge - Art Headpins. Reveal day!

If you know my work, then you will know that this challenge is for me!!! :)
I haven't been on electronic devices for quite sometime now. And all my work has been in slow motion since then, especially my poor blog, which is my main way with Instagram to connect with other designers.
Last week, I was checking my blog when I came accross this challenge and it was like a "Calling" for me to get caught up with other designers!
The purpose is to create your own Art headpins component or use Art headpins in a finished piece of jewelry. 
I am a crazy lover of headpins and over the past years, I hoarded plenty of them. But like most beadalcoholics, I can't have ENOUGH headpins.
I even tried to make my own headpins with polymer clay, it wasn't a big success but they said "Practice makes perfect" so I will give it another try.
I used different styles and various headpins, from ceramic, polymer clay, paper to glass, all from very talented bead Artists.


Uche

When I first saw these headpins, I knew I must have them!
I really love the combo of the boro lampwork and gemstone.


Ifeanyi


This asymmetrical pair of earrings, evoke what is left of the encounter between the ocean and volcano, slag melting of the material, etc...
Organically shaped, these twisty headpins are adorned with vintage coconut roundelle beads, organic black tektite, handmade mismatched ancient looking ceramic bead with hole,tumbled lava beads all dangling from handmade rustic Kazuri sterling silver finding.


Here is a glance of my own headpins. I painted some of them with Swellegant paint, acrylic paint and some are not painted.

Efe

I used the headpin's wire to shape the earrings on which I strung tiny seed beads and Rainbow Mystic Pyrite nugget beads. I finished them by wire wrapping with flattened antique copper wire to give them a more rustic look.

Ife

Beautiful combo of red artisan ceramic bud headpins with a unique organic pattern, adorned with handmade lampwork and red agate gemstone all dangled from artisan made antique copper finding.
This mismatch was not intended!
 By trying again and again to make it perfect, I broke the wire ( that happens sometimes when you work again and again with wire) I left it this way because I did not want to do some additional unintended things. I finally like them this way!

Bantu Efua


I made these gorgeous pair of earrings with dark charcoal  glass headpins which have a highly rough texture with very little bits of shine on them with tiny silver specks. I like how the brass caps topped with lava beads balanced so well together to make them so elegant.
 A year ago, I used the same caps in one of my earring designs and the result here is completly different!

Ifem

I started with the flattened headpins that I made with dark annealed steel wire.  I told you, I am a crazy lover of headpins and I am always happy when I can achieve to make one myself! Not very fancy headpins but I love them!
This pair of earrings is sure to be a show stopper! :)
I used weathered looking turquoise crackle bead caps all the way from South Africa, balanced with turquoise, petrified wood, Indonesian glass, etc...

Abla

I simply adorned the polymer clay headpins with handmade lampwork and my own coiled wire topped with gemstone beads.

Efia


I find that by shaping and simply dangling the headpins with these lovely Tibetan beads added a Southern accent to this design.

Eya

This unusual pair is a result of one headpin refusing to be like the other. That's what Kim wrote about the headpins but  she decided to pair them anyway.
I emphasized this difference by using handmade mismatched ceramic beads ,
which balanced so well and bring a very delicious harmony to these asymmetrical earrings.
If we all were alike, the world would have been so monotous!!!


Well, I really tried hard to limit myself, otherwise I was going to show you all of my headpin collection! :)


As always, Thank you so much for stopping by!


Please check out the other designers blogs.

Guests:


AJE Team Members:


Tuesday, May 10, 2016

After Beach Collection


It's been a while since I stopped by!!!
My inspiration for these designs came  from the ocean , sea, river, lakes, and the waters of our planet! 



I made this pair by sorting all my kuchi belly dance charms that I have been collecting for 6 or 8 years now. I used a pair of glazed hooped connectors which were hand formed in earthstone and fired with bronze clay and raku lime glaze.  I then dangled a variety of beads, from vintage to modern.


I love the indigo colour on this pair of earrings!


Yellow brass is hammered against an old railroad spike for a unique texture that is slightly curved then tumbled and treated with an indigo patina.  I simply topped the 2 inch by 9mm hammered Brass spears with a rustic blue denim handamade lampwork and a Tibetan pearl. 



Larimar stone and handmade sea inspired lampwork beads along with antique silver beads and chain.
I like the fresh tranquil soothing blues of Larimar, it reminds me of the Caribbean sea.
Did you know that Larimar can only be found in the Domican Republic?



I made this necklace very simple, which is not in my usual style, but this gorgeous lampwork bead didn't need much. I added red agate gemstones here and there to keep it simply stated.




As always, Thank you so much for stopping by!

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Spring Summer Collection Next!

Normally, I like to work in silence but from time to time, I like to listen to my favorite music which is Jazz but sometimes I found myself listening to some other musicians, I really really like. This time, Jerry Garcia smooth voice were calling me and I was really inspired by him and his voice, not to mention, when he played his guitar. It's so gracious, so deep, so wonderful. You lose yourself in Jerry's music!
Nostalgia of San Francisco and the good old times!!!

I think, my Instagram friends will recognize the heavy gauge salvaged copper wire I shaped and oxydized on which I dangled spiny oyster beads that I bought on our way to Monument Valley.  I added primitive, rustic,  lampwork beads below a vintage soldered bulb.


When I came acrossed these lovely leopard skin stones, it remind me of a modern art painting!
Nothing can beat Mother Nature's art, that is for sure!
These have beautiful splash of many colors: orange, purple, burgundy, red with hues of navy blue in this leopard skin jasper.  They are simply wire wrapped with recycled sari silk fiber, adorned with Indonesian recycled glass and lava beads.


I started this pair of earrings with handmade ceramic buds in a unique shape with a transparent oriental greenish blue glaze.  Topped with pastel lilac beads and adorned with Tibetan bone, an unusual ruffle spiral lampwork discs in shades of blue and aqua, then beautiful purple sugared beads and finished with charoite gemstone beads.  

Simplicity is needed here because of these huge Serpentine gemstone, I simply topped it with rhinestones, African turquoise, yellow topaz and  my signature copper wire wrapping.  


As always, Thank you so much for stopping by!

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Spring cleaning studio!!!


I don't have much to say this time! Well, in fact, I must limit my time on the computer in order to be able to heal my longtime wounded shoulder and backache.

However, I would like to talk a little bit about my unorganized "so-called" studio.
Normally, I am a very tidy person, with a place for everything and avid about putting each thing where it belongs, my family even always said that I am too meticulous.
I don't get it, because when it's comes to my studio, it is so hard for me to keep it tidy!
I won't show any pictures of it, because you guys out there will be afraid! ;)
I won't hide that I spend a lot of time searching for items or particular beads each and every time I design which leaves me feeling lost a lot of time.  My beads are lost...I'm lost.
Sometimes I clean and rearrange everything but it never lasts. For some reason, when I'm inspired, I need to mess up my bench with all kinds of beads because I have so many ideas at the same moment that I need to have those beads to make all of the designs in my head right then and there!
And here we go, the mess is back!
We all know that a well-organized studio makes it easy to work on any project, so I have decided that
I need a real studio that looks neat and tidy with a great bench to work, so maybe then I won't mess up it .
Well even in the chaos of my studio, I am happy to see all of these evocative materials, those that I have hoarded for so many years and also the new beads all of which work very well in my aesthetic vision. 

My Spring - Summer collection and so many more to come...


African Turquoise, lampwork beads, unique organic pattern artisan ceramic headpins all the way from Russia and vintage African glass from my Grandma


A pair of diamond shaped earring shields made from dark clay embossed with an African ornament
dangled below Greek ceramic spacers and  African brass cage rice shape beads, topped with  Lemon Chrysoprase gemstone beads.


I started these earrings with another design in mind but my initial plan fell apart and I didn't want to waste my copper wire. So, I improvised with these hybrid Picasso turquoise I had on my messy table within easy reach. My mistake lead me to this perfectly imperfect design which I finally love.


 Petra's ceramic dangles always make a statement. Hand formed rustic pair of wrapped loosely with nichrome wire spikes dangled below vintage coconut roundelle spacers, tribal yak bone mala Inlaid turquoise and coral chips and topped with  chrysocolla gemstones.


Another one of my favorite ceramic artist. Happy Fallout, I can't get enough of her beads!
I used handmade lampwork headpins (I love all kind of headpins) then, I enhanced them with stunning genuine ancient Roman glass roundelle fragment beads with green and blue color. These Roman glass beads are over 1000-1500 years old and were found in Afganistan. I also added unusual textured ceramic beads with printed letters on wet clay using an old typewriter, matte aquamarine gemstone and 4 mm gold olive green Czech glass to make this magnificent perfectly imperfect statement pair of earrings.



Stay tuned!!!

As always, Thank you so much for stopping by!