Trying something new…built on something old

Well, my friends, I have made a decision…one not made lightly but with much thought. I’m taking a vacation from making jewelry. Please don’t get me wrong…I adore creating jewelry, each piece unique unto itself, playing with various supplies from antique beads and papers to vintage hardware and jewelry pieces to modern beads of glass and semi-precious stone and vintage style brass, etc.


I have had these yearnings to get messy with mixed media art again. This is how my creative business began…making ATC’s (Artist Trading Cards) or ACEO’s (Art Card Edition Originals). For those of you who aren’t familiar with them they are cards about the size of a playing card that feature a small work of art. It can be any art medium or style, but I focused on altered and mixed media art. Then I started using vintage cabinet photos as a starting point and had great fun with them. Here are a few pieces of my early art:

Image   Image    Image

My first jewelry piece I made was an extension of my altered art. I altered a small photo of a little girl by adding decorative paper wings to her and coloring her a bit with watercolor…I then put this in a vintage woman’s pocket watch case:


Sorry about the blurry photo of the back of it, but that’s the only photo I have of that view. A friend of my mother’s ended up purchasing this necklace, which was very sweet for me. Then I had a shop owner who carried my art for sale ask me if I could make jewelry for her to sell as well. Having done this one piece didn’t give me great confidence, but I said I would give it a try. Here are some of my early pieces:

Image ImageImageImageImage Most pieces are quite simple and I have grown quite a bit as a jewelry artisan, I believe. ( I have also acquired a new camera and more experience taking photos since then! ) There is something to be said for simplicity, however, and when I return to making jewelry I think I will add some of the simple pieces back into my repertoire.

So, back to what I’m working on currently….Several months ago I started making an altered book called “All About Women” when I got the urge to create mixed media again. Unfortunately, after just a few pages I was brought back to making jewelry and everything got packed up in an industrial metal lidded box. I’ve brought the box out of storage and have been trying my hand at some new layered mixed media techniques. This project is a learning process for me, an opportunity to grow as an artist and an adventure into something new…the world of altered books. The book I’ve chosen to work with is a vintage 1921 French novel measuring about 6 1/2″ x 4 1/2″, which I feel is a very good size for my first book.  The french text makes a great starting background for all the pages…sometimes I cover it completely and sometimes only partially or with a semi-transparent covering. So, I unveil to you the first few pages of the book and will appreciate any constructive feedback you all can give me.


The title page for “All About Women”



This spread makes up the first two pages and was created several months ago when I first started on the book. Not my favorite pages but I do like the tintype photo with the muslin behind it and how I covered the very old schoolbook page with tissue paper and gesso


This is pages five and six….I don’t seem to have a photo of three and four yet. This is a true experimental page. In the end I think it’s too busy, but I tried some new techniques with using acrylic paints, the washi tape on the far left and using paint on top of the gessoed tissue paper (far upper right). I love the paint on the tissue!

I have several more pages completed but I think I’ll save them for another post.  As for when I will return to making jewelry I’m not really sure. I am started with a month’s vacation but could extend it if I feel the need. I’ve come to believe that giving myself a break from it and exploring other creative endeavors will only be something positive for future jewelry pieces.

Peace to your hearts,


About artsychicksw

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