Friday, July 28, 2017

Wonder and Whimsy Monthly Challenge - July Reveal and Giveaway!

You read that right! There will be a giveaway at the end of this post. Hurray! :)

Well, here we are. I have been working very hard this month, and I'm thrilled to show you the pieces I've been creating for this month's challenge.

As a refresher, this month I've been focusing on making jewelry inspired by none other than amazing painter Vincent van Gogh:

Self-Portrait, 1887
Not my photo! From Wikimedia commons, found here.

Now, for more about him as an artist, feel free to check out my Introduction Post--or any of the other numerous internet sources that cover him. Van Gogh is certainly a popular artist, and there has been a lot written on him... As well there should be! He is pretty remarkable. 

For the purpose of this entry, however, I'm going skip that background information and immediately dive into what I made. I have a lot to show, after all!

Oh, and as a quick sidenote, there are many pictures of his artworks that I show (and use) in this entry... they are all from a book that my mother rescued from a discard-headed-to-the-recycling pile:

Yep, this is from last month. You can even see the journals
that I made for last month's challenge in the top right corner.

Well, rescued with the intent of re-purposing! We both went through and claimed pages--her for her mixed media art, and me for my jewelry. There are quite a few pages that I saved to be framed at some point... But, honestly, it really was too good of an opportunity to pass up--even for someone like me, who likes keeping books perfect and intact. 

So! Now that you know one of my resources... It's time to get started!


Flowering Almond Branch



This first necklace was inspired by, you guessed it, the above painting.

So inspired, in fact, that I used it to make the pendant:


Once the pendant was done, I paired it with glass (both Czech and otherwise) and two tones of magnesite (turquoise and white). I then wire-wrapped it all together, and this was the end result:



I really like the gentle palette of this necklace (and the inspiration painting, of course). It's so different from the bold-bright colors so often associated with Van Gogh, and I think it highlights both his versatility and talent. 

...It also makes a very light and airy necklace that would be perfect for Spring. :)



The Sower


For this second necklace... Well, it's time to go back into the famous Van Gogh bright and saturated hues. 

I used the above print to create some paper beads:


And when they were done, I was struck how the predominate colors are yellow and purple. I've always loved that combination (especially since they are complementary)... So, those were the colors that I focused on for this necklace.

I was also inspired by the large round sun seen at the top of the painting, so I decided to use that as the basis for the pendant. 


The swirls inside the circle seemed quite appropriate, given how swirls show up a lot in Van Gogh's work. 

As far as the wire-wrapped beads are concerned... Well, this may be a bit too abstract, but I was going for the feel of a solar calendar. After all, the painting depicts a man sowing seeds... Each yellow bead represents a month passing until it's time for harvest (which could be represented by the amethyst diamond bead--why not?). In any case, that was the inspiration for the pendant... Whether or not it really works or not from an abstract standpoint, I still think it looks cool! :)


Once the pendant was  done, I created the rest of the necklace using the paper beads paired with iridescent shades of glass--bright yellow fading upwards into evening purple, a reverse of the painting.




I absolutely love this necklace. It turned out even better than I imagined it, which is always a fun feeling. There are times when creating that things just fall into place and feel right... I'm happy to say that this was one of those times. 

I also think it did a fair job representing the original artwork--from the yellow/purple ombre to the focal sun. Besides, I got a chance to use a lot of yellow--and, as I wrote in my introductory post, Van Gogh was very fond of yellow! :)



Starry Night

The Starry Night
Not my photo! From Wikimedia commons, found here.

I couldn't let a Van Gogh challenge pass by without making something inspired by Starry Night. So, this last necklace is just that--an homage to one of my favorite paintings.

I knew that, for this necklace, I wanted to go Full Tassel. As such, I started by picking out colors to match and then arranging them in a gradient, much like the swirls seen in the inspiration painting:


Once all the tassel strands were assembled, I paired them with a layered lampwork bead by Carol Christensen-Day of GlassFields... And this was the result:



The materials include crystal, two colors of freshwater pearls, brass, and two sizes of lapis lazuli rounds. The findings are either brass or goldtone--including the goldtone beadcaps on either end of the focal that I picked just because they remind me of Van Gogh's cloud swirls.



This necklace took quite some time to get right, but I'm very very glad that I spent the extra effort to do so. I think it captures both the color and the swirling-bright-and-dark-contrast feel of the painting... And I am very happy with how it turned out!



Works in Progress

My paper bead and pendant making station.

So, I've shown you three necklaces that I made for this challenge. Believe it or not, I had at least three more planned. Since I didn't finish them in time, I'll just give you a sneak peak... And who knows? Maybe I'll finish them soon and shared pictures! 



The Weaver





Giveaway!

You made it this far in this post! Yay! 

While I was making pendants and paper beads for my various necklaces, I realized that I wanted to share in the bounty of what I was creating... And so the idea of a giveway was born. 

For this giveaway, I have two different collections that I want to share. Each has a pendant and some paper beads--all made by me, using a page from the book I showed you above.

Giveaway #1
Flowering Almond Branch Pendant and Paper Bead Set

Giveaway #2
Village Street and Steps in Auvers with Five Figures
Pendant and Paper Bead Set

To enter, just leave a comment on this blog entry! Oh, and be sure to leave an email address, so that I'll know how to contact you. In two weeks, on August 11th, I'll draw two names out of a hat. I'll post the winners here, as well as contact them via their provided email addresses. If you have a preference on which one you'd like to win, let me know... If possible, I'll try to accommodate you (although I can't guarantee it!). 

Thank you so, so much for stopping by today to see what I created for this challenge... I really had a fun time, and am excited to share.

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

4 comments:

  1. Jenny these pieces are BEAUTIFUL!
    Not to mention, I think you did an amazing job of representing each of the original pieces. The focals on all of them are perfect. (So are the rest of the beads, but I felt the need to specifically call out the focal in the Sower piece, and then I thought 'All of the focals are perfect, though.' And then I thought 'Well so are the rest of the beads.' And here we are.)
    You are so talented and awesome!

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  2. I really like all your creations, but I will admit that I really, really liked the first necklace, inspired by Flowering Almond Branches! Beautiful palette and necklace! And you are actually giving away that set!! I'd L.O.V.E to win that! Thanks for the chance!

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  3. Amazing as always! I love how you use paper in a lot of your designs. You sure have found your niche. I like to make wire-wrapped flowers and I was thinking I would try making the teardrop paper beads for some flowers.
    You are very talented and may God richly bless you.
    Tina
    tkbeadz@yahoo.com

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  4. Wow, I love the the pendant in the first set. Your paper beads are great too.
    phandschuh@hotmail.com

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Thank you so much for taking the time to comment! :)