“I am completely obsessed with the olive birch leaf hair slide! It is extremely well made and sturdy enough to hold 3ft worth of thick hair. The packaging was carefully and thoughtfully done. I will absolutely be purchasing more of these! If you are thinking about ordering, you will not be disappointed! Thank you!!!”
^This sweet review made me smile. It means so much to see that people are enjoying my work!
Just received this rave review! I love that they took the time to create a collage with before and after photos of their new hair cut.
✩✩✩✩✩ “I love my custom order! I previously bought some gorgeous fall leaf slides that I wore every day, but then as the weather started to turn I knew I needed an icy winter leaf as well. Andrea was very helpful throughout the process, finding pics of other fantasy style leaves she’d made to help me decide what I wanted, offering me options for designs, informing me about stick options. She’s wonderful to work with. And the quality is excellent! I could not be more enchanted with this piece.”
I’ve just added a small “Falling Leaves Collection” of autumn inspired jewelry. This mixed media jewelry collection incorporates leatherwork, semiprecious stones, and wire work. Inspired by the changing seasons, it includes hand crafted leather leaves and feathers, accented with high quality gemstones.
Upon returning from the Thanksgiving holiday, I promptly came down with an epic flu. Two weeks later, I am finally moving and functioning again – albeit slowly. Last night I managed to list most of the goodies that I’d been working on before we left.
But before I get ahead of myself by talking about what I hope to make next, let me tell you a little more about today’s offering: these are small to medium sized hair stick pairs, measure between 5.5″ and 5.75″ long. The shape is a graceful wave that slides easily into a small bun or half up.
The laminated birch options include 3 color variations: burgundy/grey/violet striped, autumn stripes, and summer stripes. The natural hardwoods include walnut, paduk, and cherry. All have been hand sanded down to 600 grit, and finished with a blend of mineral oil and beeswax so the rich color comes through without being too shiny or shellacked.
I’m excited about this new direction, and eager to hear your feedback!
Also included in this update are a handful of my jeweled leather feather pendants. There’s a beautiful mixed media barn owl feather pendant necklace with faceted Botswana agate teardrops and a large copper circle, a barred feather in rich earth tones with dark titanium quartz crystal and semiprecious stones, and six of my classic leather peacock feathers.
Each peacock feather is unique, and they range from about 3″ long on up to 4.5″. Some are low key with simple wire work spirals, while others are more ornate with faceted cobalt beads and Swarovski crystal dangles. For the neckline, you have your choice of an antique copper chain, a glass bead and Swarovski crystal necklace, or a hand dyed ribbon neckline. As always, a portion of every peacock feather sale will be donated to cancer research, in memory of my friend who inspired this series.
These little feather pendants are simple and affordable, but they’re definitely statement pieces! Every time I wear one, it sparks conversation (and compliments). They are striking worn alone, and you can also layer them for a more dramatic look.
There are more semiprecious stone briolettes and quartz crystals, along with some blue jays (in three sizes!), green oak leaves, peacock feathers, red rose vines, and owl feathers.
It’s a small sampling, to be sure. If I’m up to it, I may trickle in a few more pieces before the weekend – but I’m not going to push myself. I hope you’ll enjoy these offerings, and thanks so much for your support this season and always!
These photos show some of the leather hair accessories that I’ve been working on recently. They’re mostly finished, they just need findings (hair sticks, French clips, or alligator clips). I’ll be finishing these up in the week(s) ahead, and getting them all photographed and listed here on the website.
At this point, the bulk of the work is done, but it can still take a while to get the finishing touches done and to get them all photographed. If you spot one that you love, but you don’t see it listed yet, just drop me a line (either via my contact form, or in the messages below).
At this time, I have a variety of leather oak leaves, as well as peacock feathers and birch leaves.
I love to incorporate artisan made sticks into my hair accessory designs. Since I have no talent for wood or wireworking, I prefer to buy or barter with other artisans who have actually honed those skills. The resulting works are fun little collaborations of their handwork and my own.
Over the last few months, I’ve acquired some fabulous handcrafted cedar driftwood sticks, as well as copper, brass and aluminum wire sticks from GypsyMoon Art and Nicholas and Felice. Last but not least, I’ve reconnected with Morgan Reed of Morgan’s Mane.
Long story short, I’ve got some fun pieces to show you in the coming weeks! Stay tuned…
Autumn is my favorite time of year. It is also my busiest time of year, and as much as I love it, there are moments when the flurry of activity and change begin to feel a bit overwhelming. I notice a lot of friends feeling this way as well. Maybe some of this is just an awkward response to the shifting season? Everyone is going back to school or work, and adjusting to changing light and weather. So many changing rhythms at once!
In the midst of all that change, there’s a lot of beauty too; I’d like to remind everyone (especially myself) to stop and breathe it all in. The gorgeous colors of changing leaves, the smell of autumn on the wind, the spectacular quality of light this time of year and of course… pumpkin flavored everything.
May autumn’s blessings surround you, and may everything fall gently in to place.
I’m not doing the “inspiration Wednesday” thing today, cause I’m just not feeling it at the moment*.
Instead, I’d like to reflect on some design progress that a friend recently pointed out. In 2009, I started playing with a new (to me) earring style that makes use of some of my smaller leather scraps. There were several styles of leaves, and of course, lots of feathers — especially raven feathers (if you scroll through this blog, you may notice that I have a thing for corvids ;). These were accented with mixed metal wire, Swarovski crystals, and assorted gem stones. I debated whether or not to add real feathers.
blue jay earrings 2009
When I created their facebook photo album, I asked my fans if they were “Good, Bad or Ugly?” — which hints at how unsure I was about the style. They were well received, and I kept playing with the designs. These were somewhat tricky at first because I’d never really done such small leather projects. They’re simple enough to make, but working with leather at this scale was new and challenging for me; in addition, I’ve never been much of a wireworker. There are people who can do amazing things with wire, but I am not one of them. My knowledge and experience with that type of jewelry design is limited to the most basic skills.
peacock earrings 2011
I’ve continued to play with this style over time, and I suspect that I’ll continue to do so. They’re admittedly simple designs, but I think the little projects tend to be the ones that build your skills the most (see this earlier post on formative work). There are many artisans who claim that every single piece they make is a one of a kind design. That is admirable — though I always wonder if they are actually selling their work as a substantial portion of their income. As a working artist, it seems like it would be incredibly challenging not to repeat designs, and still create enough to support oneself. But I’m getting off track — my point is that I actually find value in revisiting designs. It helps me to hone my skills and also gives me a yardstick for progress.
raven earrings 2012
The current variations are still not exactly what I saw in my mind’s eye when I began making these; I hope there will be more permutations as time goes on. Still, it’s nice to contrast then and now. I often get restless or frustrated because my “creative vision” is usually far ahead of my actual skills. This is probably a good thing in that it keeps me striving — but sometimes it leads to feeling impatient or being hard on myself. When I can stop long enough to notice progress, it motivates me to keep exploring.
* As to the “Inspiration Wednesday” posts, I think they’ll become a bi-weekly thing. It’s a fun theme that challenges me to think about what inspires me, and having a “prompt” does get me to blog more. I love being able to share these things, and to promote other artists and creative spirits — but it’s starting to make me feel pressured and I don’t like that. Every other week seems more balanced and comfortable for me 🙂
In truth, I probably should not have been working on leaves at all. If I were a more disciplined artisan, I would focus exclusively on masks this time of year … but I do love these little leaves, and it’s hard to resist making them when there’s so much inspiration around me!