Tag Archive | Etsy store

Ruffled Wreaths

RuffledEarrings3aThough it’s still the sweltering dogs days of August, my thoughts have been floating over green pine needles and fresh red cranberries like white snowflakes on a calm winter morning.  I like the combination of pine needles, fresh cranberries, and soft flurries; they evoke winter warmth and hospitality to me.   Besides, thoughts of cooler weather do help during this summer heat.

Some leftover lava red rizo and minty green SuperDuo beads were sitting on my studio worktable in a jumbled pile.  I had some creamy white rulla beads, too, so I added them to the pile.  Beautiful!  The colors melded and played off each other so well, that a new tutorial was in the works.

Developing this new tutorial took a few attempts.  However, how I envisioned the final product was different as to how it came out – ruffled, rather than flat.

It wasn’t a mistake – it was meant to be!  The beads seem to burst like little fireworks, or the hodge-podge orderliness of a cluster of snowflakes.  They are like ruffled wreaths.

My new tutorial is now available in my Etsy shop, Miss Poppy’s  Boutique; cliek HERE for more information.

©Designs by Susan Marie Molloy, Miss Poppy’s Boutique, and all works within.

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Nefertari’s Delight

NefertariNecklaceTutorialThose who know me well know that I am an enthusiast of the Ancient World – its political history, culture, art, and subsequent influence on the modern world.

In art and décor, I decorated my bath with an Ancient Egyptian theme: framed vintage post cards of King Tutankhamen’s treasures and furniture, miniature pyramids and a scribe statuette, walls painted with a faux stone look, et cetera. It’s also safe to say that if you put a Babylonian sphinx or Egyptian lapis lazuli ring or Roman gold sandwich glass in my path, I want it. Take me back, Baby. Wayyyy back—

On this theme, I created a jewelry piece that Nefertari would love to wear. Nefertari was one of the principal wives of Egypt’s pharaoh Ramesses the Great (also known as Ozymandias, as in Percy Blythe Shelley’s poem of the same name). Nefertari could read and write; she was highly educated. Thinking of her, I designed a beaded necklace I would imagine she would enjoy.

For my Nefertari’s Delight necklace, I started with a vintage 1920s glass cabochon. It’s roughly the size of a poker chip and embossed with an image of a lady in a pharaoh’s headdress. I bezeled the cabochon with glass seed beads and added a beaded bail to it. This was, actually, the most complex and time-consuming part of this piece. The result is appealing.Green Cab

Then came designing the beaded rope. The cabochon focal deserved more than a basic metal chain – in fact, a beaded rope in complementary hues would be the only way to fit the bill. Plus, the rope had to be fancy, but not take away from the focal. As you can see, I incorporated several different styles of beadwork with glass and jasper beads. It is simple, yet ornamental enough for a pharaoh’s wife.

I am happy with the way the entire piece turned out. I wrote a tutorial for it, which can be found in my shop, Miss Poppy’s Boutique (click HERE).  Please note that this is an advanced tutorial and gives specific directions only for making the beaded beads.  The bezel and focal rope holding the cabochon is a given that the beader already knows, or has the resources to research their construction.

Beads are from Poppy and Gene’s Beadery (click HERE) – fabulous, high quality beads and very affordable prices.

©Designs by Susan Marie Molloy, Miss Poppy’s Boutique, and all works within.

Kon Tiki Earrings

In 1947, Norwegian explorer and writer Thor Heyerdahl organized an expedition via raft to sail across the Pacific Ocean to Polynesia. He posited the idea that pre-Columbian South American peoples could have settled in the Polynesia islands. The raft was named for the Inca sun god “Viracochoa”, and “Kon-Tiki” was an old name for the god.

My friend, Deborah Wear-Finkle, designed a pair of beaded earrings that evoke olden days of the Incas and Polynesia, and she rightly named them “Kon Tiki.” They do have a South Sea isle look about them. I imagine a time long ago, and a Polynesian tribal princess wearing them for a casual cookout with the gang on a beach:

KonTikiPinkBlack2a

These are easy earrings to construct. I made my version with silver and grey seed beads, pink crescent beads, black O-beads, black dime beads (in the picture, they’re the smaller beads towards the bottom), and large beads topside (I used black wood beads from Africa on mine).

You can get the tutorial for Deborah’s “Kon Tiki Earrings” at her Esty shop, Shosin Arts. Click on this link: Kon Tiki Earrings.

KonTikiPinkBlack1a

©Susan Marie Molloy, Designs by Susan Marie Molloy, Miss Poppy’s Boutique, and all works within.

The Plum Branch Cuff Bracelet as Art

PlumBracelet2

Plum Branch Cuff Bracelet by Shoshin Arts

A couple of weeks ago, I finished a single peyote stitch bracelet, and immediately knew that since I enjoyed making it so much, this was going to be my “Summer of Peyote Stitching.”  Well, it appears so.

My friend, Deborah Wear-Finkle is a talented artist, an intelligent woman, and a lot of fun to be around.  She expanded her creativity recently by opening her own Etsy shop, Shoshin Arts, and offering some of her original peyote patterns, among other delightful items.  Her Japanese brushwork-inspired bracelet, “Plum Branch Cuff Bracelet,” was my second peyote stitch work I tackled this past week.

(As an aside, I like things Japanese:  I enjoy reading about their history, politics, culture, and art, and savoring the cuisine.  One of my cousins spent her childhood living in Japan, and in college one of my Bachelor of Arts degrees focused heavily on the Japanese political system, art, and history.  So, this bracelet was one of those excited “I want it!” things.)

Deborah’s pattern calls for 8O round seed beads, but I took my version in a different direction by using 11O Delicas (cylinder beads) instead.  I liked how theses beads make the plum branch very delicate-looking, and the overall look is smooth.  Seriously, I am delighted at how delicate the branch looks, with that almost-paint-brushed-look about it.  Yes, to me it looks like Sumi-e, or Oriental brush painting.

Additionally, it made for a much smaller (4” x 5/8”) piece, and stiffer, too.  I was pleased with my result, although since the piece was about half the length it should be for a bracelet, I was going to stitch more rows to add to the length.  Then I thought I’d add tassels and make it a bookmark.  Then my husband, Gene, suggested I add a beaded loop to one end and hang it as wall art.

Brilliant!

I did that.  I added a row of peyote stitches for the loop, and hung it.  It’s a simple, delicate, and an interesting piece of wall art that reminds me of my friend each time I see it on my foyer wall. 

Here it is on my foyer wall. The wall color maybe isnt' the best against the piece.

Here it is on my foyer wall. The wall color maybe isn’t’ the best against the piece.

You can purchase Deborah Wear-Finkle’s Plum Branch Cuff Bracelet tutorial/pattern at Shoshin Arts through Etsy.

I like it!

I like it!

© Susan Marie Molloy, Designs by Susan Marie Molloy, Miss Poppy’s Boutique, and all works within.

A Small Art Fair

Last weekend, Handsome and I participated in a small art fair at the cathedral in the town in which we live.  This was our first of this type, and we learned a lot from our experience.

We met fellow artists and collectors, shop owners from out of town, parishioners, people from town, and the parish priest.

The art fair was a conglomeration of handcrafted items and vintage collectables. There was something for everyone.

I invite you to enjoy the following pictures I took of the event.  We may even meet one day, but if you can’t make it to one of our shows, please visit my shop, Miss Poppy’s Boutique, or if you’re a beader, our bead shop, Poppy and Gene’s Beadery.

Enjoy!

Here's Gene from Poppy and Gene's Beadery: my husband and fellow artist.

Here’s Gene from Poppy and Gene’s Beadery: my husband and fellow artist.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My view that weekend.

My view that weekend.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The busiest part of the side of my table.

The busiest part of the side of my table.

The show was held in the school gymnasium.

The show was held in the school gymnasium.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our booth sign.

Our booth sign.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

©Designs by Susan Marie Molloy for Miss Poppy’s Boutique

Heartfelt Art Show

You never know how an artist will touch the lives of others.

Sure, an artist might create art with someone particular in mind.  The artist might do it, with the hopes that someone will like the creation enough to buy it.  And then the artist might create the work for the love of art and not give a second thought as to the who or why.

My latest passion, as it were, is designing and creating rosaries.  For years, I wanted to learn how to make them but was intimidated by wire wrapping.  The closest I ever came to making devotional prayer beads was sacrifice beads.  In fact, when I was teaching at my parish school, one of the art classes I taught in conjunction with religious education was showing my students how to make a string of sacrifice beads with cord, pony beads, and a religious medal.  (My inspiration came from one of my favorite saints, Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, who used such beads to count off her sacrifices and good deeds.)

Here's a sample of sacrifice beads I taught my students how to make.

Here’s a sample of sacrifice beads I taught my students how to make.

Then, after all these years, something dawned on me.  My confidence with wire wrapping came, I had a lot of beautiful and unique beads, and why not?

I created a couple of rosaries and showed them to my friends.  Before I knew it, I was taking custom orders.  This portion of my studio and shop was taking off, and it still is going like gang busters.

This past weekend, I was in an art show held at The Sacred Heart Cathedral in Pensacola, Florida.  I was happy to sell some of my beaded/sewn jewelry and wire key chains.  What I didn’t expect – but was thrilled nonetheless – was the popularity and selling strength of my rosaries and chaplets.

What touched me greatly were two sales in particular.  One became a gift for a little girl who is making her First Holy Communion this spring.  Her aunt told me, “You can never have enough rosaries, and this one will be her first.”

A young married couple with a several-months-old baby girl bought a rosary for their baby for her christening, which is being celebrated today at the Cathedral.  They were happy to find just what they wanted to present to her.

I felt happy, and frankly, sentimental about those particular sales.  I have every rosary I ever received – from my first plastic glow-in-the-dark one to a real silver one Handsome bought for me in Mexico.  I can only hope that the two little girls who will receive the ones I made will treasure them and remember for what occasion they received them. And I hope they will use them.

And you never know how a buyer will touch the life of an artist.

©Designs by Susan Marie Molloy for Miss Poppy’s Boutique

Creating Anew

Since February 2016, I have been creating something a little out of the ordinary in my studio:  rosaries.

This is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time and finally got around to doing.  The whole idea intimidated me and sometimes overwhelmed me, but one day, I just said, “Do it!”

One of the things I discovered is that it’s not as difficult as I imagined.  Sure, it takes concentration, a good understanding of counting beads, and patience.  These rosaries take hours to create.

I sold a good number of them so far.  Being the flexible artist, I accommodated about half of those sales and created rosaries according to my customers’ wishes.  One of the requests was to use 6mm bicones for the Hail Mary beads, and 8mm round Czech pressed beads for the Our Fathers.  I didn’t think the size, nor the color combination, would result in an attractive piece.  Yes, I was unconvinced, but as the old adage goes, the customer is always right.

I went ahead and made the rosary.  Starting off, I had a lot – a lot – of trepidation.  Yet, as each decade of beads grew, I started to like what my customer wanted.  He had some good foresight as to what the final product would look like.  Even his choice of a centerpiece – a fleur de lis – was the pièce de résistance.  I couldn’t have guessed how beautiful this rosary turned out.

I like it.

SWRosary53

That is the conundrum of artistry:  order and balance is good, quirkiness is in the eye of the beholder, and create what you feel that expresses your soul.

©Miss Poppy’s Boutique, Designs by Susan Marie Molloy, The Rosary Shoppe, and all works within.