Tangles, Twists and Treasures

Romantic Jewelry and Fine Things

A Window Into My World, Build A Line Challenge, Blog Hop #1

Window

A Window Into My World

I’m Gina-Marie Hammer, and I’m honored to be one of 36 participants in the 2016 Build a Line Challenge, hosted by B’Sue Boutiques. I work in paper, paint, thread, yarn and wire, and make everything from toys to small decorative items. Over the years I’ve spent time working as an accountant, a game designer, an advocate for folks with Fibromyalgia and a teacher. I opened my advocacy site Netjera.com (“Art. Games. Life.”) in 2008. (https://www.facebook.com/Netjera-188871454532434/)

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Nonno and Nonna at Mom’s Wedding in 1967

This is my Nonna. Nonna started me with yarn and a needle at age 7. She used to sit me on her lap, where I would watch, fascinated, as she twisted thread around needle, and made something out of nothing. She recognized a hyperactive child with an extensive imagination and a broad sense of curiosity. In her mind, crochet would teach me to sit still and focus – and it worked! I’ve been a crafter ever since, and an artist since age 16.

When I was twelve, I went to a middle school that had a full jewelry workshop. I remember sitting at the lapidary station, trying to facet a raw amethyst. I moved before finishing, but I still HAVE that amethyst – the experience so stuck in my mind! It’s funny how life can come full circle. I’m back to jewelry again!

<I wanted to show you guys a picture of the amethyst, which I just found recently – but now I can’t figure out where I put it!>

I’m lucky enough to have great family; so I live in a shared house where I have a separate room for my studio. It’s cramped, small and alarmingly multi-purpose, but I fill it with things that I love! I’ve always had a love of miniatures and because my Dad is allergic to pets of all kinds, they’ve become something of an audience for me. I put them around my studio and imagine they’re cheering for me. Sometimes, I take them down and use them for inspiration in my work. Of course – not to be denied! – I must often bear the burden of playing with them, as well.

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Various toys and PEZ dispensers.

 

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Movie miniatures and figures, PEZ dispensers, Skinny the Cat and wood carvings from my Grandmother’s collection.

Seeing these photos, it should therefore, come as a huge surprise (to no one!) that I fell in love with these teeny tiny children that B’Sue offers. Aren’t they precious? I’m incredibly fascinated by small details, and every bit is perfect. Tiny fingers, perfect shoes, little pompoms – it’s all there.

pink dollblue doll

When I saw Brenda Sue Landsdowne of B’Sue Boutiques do a video where she placed a tiny doll into a maple leaf as part of a necklace, all I could see were fairy wings. The leaf looked like wings behind the doll, and wouldn’t it be SO sweet if I could make a selection of fairies using the dolls and various leaves, wings and other pieces? When I found out that B’Sue Boutiques was hosting a master-level class, called the Build-a-Line Challenge, I knew exactly what I was going to do! I’ve purchased TEN of those little dolls, and every bit and piece I could find that looked like a wing. It’s going to be an adventure pulling it all together! At the end of the class, I’m hoping to have at least five pieces completed.

In 2013 I decided that I wanted to open my own crafting business. I started in crochet, where it all began. In the process of researching an unrelated project, I found photo jewelry and got hooked through a backdoor. Some of my early pieces use photo jewelry construction to create simple, yet pretty pendants.

Chiyogami75CollageI really enjoy making these, and I return to them often. From them, I’ve evolved a line of hand-painted cabochons, made in a similar way. I went from that to trying to include those cabochons in other pieces, using more than pre-made bezels. It was a year of slow, cautious progress, until I found Brenda Sue and her video tutorials. Since then, my work has taken a serious leap forward!

8cde3-6a00d8348f44da53ef01b7c7e61b54970b-800wi IMG_5617

Collage_WinterSnowflakeBracelet_NoFUFI have a love of dangles, shiny metals, graceful vines leaves and flowers, painted, iridescent surfaces, and delicate wire work. My love of crochet fits in perfectly! As a matter of fact, everything I’ve learned in other fields is useful in jewelry making!

I’m hoping my line, which is unnamed at present but which may be called “Tiny Fairies”, will be a marriage of whimsical, fantasy themes with romantic, Art Nouveau styling. I’m currently at the drawing board, pulling things together in Photoshop, and working with several designs.

DollTest pinkDollTest1

Stay tuned for more development, and in-progress work reports and pictures! We’ll have another blog hop on Friday, the 26th of February, and our last on Friday, April 1st. Do me a favor and give a little love to my friends below? They’re working hard to make pretty stuff as well, and our sponsor B’Sue Boutiques deserves some major kudos for putting this all together – Brenda Sue has great stuff on her site! Give her a look!

Brenda Sue Lansdowne Jewelry Making Outside the Box

http://www.bsueboutiques.typepad.com

Diana Buynak Butterfly Emporium Ceramic Studio

http://butterflyemporium.indiemade.com/blog

 

Irene Hoffman, Heart’s Dezire by Irene

http://heartsdezirebyirene.wordpress.com

 

Clare Wells Nemeth, Creative Magick

http://www.craftingmagick.blogspot.com

 

Mary Reckmeyer, Afrayed Not

http://www.afrayedknot.net

 

Marcia Tuzzolino, Aurora Designs

http://auroradesignsjewelryblog.me

 

Elizabeth Wilks, Wearable Art by Lizzie

http://wearableartbylizzie.blogspot.com

 

Jeanette Rose Belmont, One Canvas At A Time

http://www.onecanvasatatime.com

 

Lyn Joy Reeve, A Journey From Jewels To Jubilation

http://lnreeve00.blogspot.com

 

Belinda Reed-Ingle, Vogue Rocks

http://voguerocks.blogspot.com

 

Beth Trubman, The Journey of Jewelry

http://thejourneyofjewelry.blogspot.com

 

Carole Carlson, Bead Sophisticate

http://beadsophisticate.wordpress.com

 

Jann Tague, Clever Designs by Jann

http://janntague.wordpress.com

 

Shari Gardner, SLG Jewelry Designs

http://slgdesigns.wordpress.com

 

Susan Bolton, Fern’s Place

http://www.fernsplace.org

 

Chris Kemp, Noodle Pie Bracelets

http://noodlepiebracelets.com

 

Barbara Kelley, Angels’ Keep

http://angelskeepbandbdotcom.wordpress.com

 

Susan Bowerman, Woodside Wireworks

http://woodsidewireworks.com/

 

Pamela Anger, Novegatti Designs

http://novegattidesigns.blogspot.com

 

Joan Donovan, Hailey’s Cottage

http://haileyscottage.com/

 

Alison Huie, Ally’s Baubles

http://www.allysbaubles.blogspot.com

 

Sharon Palac, Sharon’s Jewelry Garden

http://www.sharonsjewelrygarden.blogspot.com

 

Erica Olmos, Beeb’s Closet

https://beebscloset.wordpress.com

 

Erin Whitacre, Shattered Time Jewelry

https://shatteredtimejewelry.wordpress.com

 

Fran Sitton, Sitton Up Front

https://sittonupfront.wordpress.com

 

Ginger Hammond, Lynn Leigh Designs

https://lynnleighdesigns.wordpress.com

 

Paula Gaskill, Lovely LaylaBug Jewels

http://www.lovelylaylabugjewels.com/Blog.php

 

Mary Deis, The Rose Sword

http://theroseswordmdeis.blogspot.com

 

Renee Webb Allen, Small Stuff Design

http://smallstuffdesign.com

 

Valerie Tilghman, ArtJewelsandGifts

http://www.artjewelzdimensions.blogspot.com

 

Chris Cravens, Vintage Cravens

http://christinecravens.blogspot.com

 

Leslie Carver, Adorn Divine Designs

http://www.adorndivinedesigns.blogspot.com

 

Donna Parry, JewelryDonna

http://jewelrydonna.typepad.com

 

Kelly Wymer, Winged Wisdom Enchantments

https://wingedwisdomenchantments.wordpress.com/

 

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78 thoughts on “A Window Into My World, Build A Line Challenge, Blog Hop #1

  1. Thank you so much for sharing a ‘window into your world,’ Gina! It has been nice getting to know you this past month and I love your ideas coming together for a fairy theme. I cannot wait to watch them fly!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I loved visiting your blog Gina. The picture of your Nonno and Nonna is precious. I adore the choice you made for your build a line challange. I think it will be great, and I look forward to see your work!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Love your inspiration! Have enjoyed this class so far, glad to have you sharing this journey.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Gina, Gina, Gina…I love your story and I love your blog and I’m looking forward to the magic you are about to make. Your line is going to be awesome.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Gina, I love your fairies and can’t wait to see the line develop! I love the story of your Grand ma. Mine also taught me to embroider at a young age. Have been thing about doing it again. Best of luck.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Terri! It’s funny how those grandmas and great-grandmas can have such an effect, right? I created my first piece of doll’s clothes when I was 7, and have done everything from bedspreads to clothes. It’s such a gift when someone can pass that sort of joy down to us! I say, if you’re thinking about Grandma, and you’re thinking about embroidery, that now is the time. You can even use it in your jewelry-making!

      Like

  6. Sharon on said:

    I love your story and the theme you’ve chosen. I do believe in fairies, I do! Everyone should!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. haileyscottage on said:

    I think your work is lovely – your crocheting technique is awesome – that is one craft I could never get the hang of, so I’m impressed! Your line idea is adorable, makes me think of those Anne Geddes portraits of naked babies in flowers – so cute.
    Looking forward to your next installment.

    BTW your blog looks awesome!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for all the compliments. 🙂 I just love working in crochet. Funny thing is that I never really liked the way crocheted wire looks… not tidy enough, lol. I guess I had to learn to relax and play before I could see how wonderful it is. It’s funny you mention Anne Geddes – you’re right. I used to love those babies! I couldn’t figure out what the dolls reminded me of, lol.

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  8. Great blog post Gina-Marie. Love the idea of the Fairies theme. Will be adorable. Cant wait to see your creations.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Gina, I loved reading your story. And your theme is wonderful. As a miniaturist I have always been fascinated by the idea of fairies and elves and leprechauns. Really excited to see what you create!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I never thought of it that way, Ginger. They *are* miniatures, in a way, aren’t they? In that light, it makes perfect sense. 🙂 I hope you’re going to put more pictures of your miniatures on your site. I find the fact that you’re a miniature artist just incredible!

      Like

  10. Thank you for sharing your story. We share a love for miniature things as well as pez despenser collection. See you in class 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. JewelryDonna on said:

    Great job!! Really enjoyed reading it! You sound like your a pro at this.
    We both share a fondness for Pez dispensers.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That means a lot coming from you Donna. 🙂 I’ve been devouring your blog, and I kept thinking, “Wow.. I wish I could write like Donna!” Your style is so fun and easy to read! If you still have any, you should put some pics of your collection in your blog, too. 😉

      Like

  12. Val Tilghman on said:

    Love the Fairy theme! and they are always around us too….I am sure that your Nonna is always watching over you and beaming with pride!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Elisabeth Wilks on said:

    Wow the theme for your line is pretty cool! Can’t wait to see how it turns out. I love the silver bracelet you have pictured in your post.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Elisabeth Wilks on said:

    Wow what a cool theme for your line! Can’t wait to see how it turns out. I really like your silver bracelet you have pictured in your post.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I love the idea of a “fairy” theme. I can’t wait to see the adorable little babies you come up with

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Gina, I can’t wait to see what you do with these little people. I love them. I haven’t had a chance to use them, but oh yes, I will sometime in the future. You should do great with your line.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. GREAT Blog Gina .. loved your story and the direction you are going with your line .. it’s going to be a fun journey ..

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Shari Lynn Gardner on said:

    Hi Gina, thank you for giving readers a little glimpse into your world of Jewelry. It seems so many of us have done alot of the same things to bring us together into this class with Brenda teaching. I’ll admit I haven’t decided exactly what I’m going to do with my theme, but hopefully I’ll have some things more fleshed out by the next hop and have a portion of my line completed. You seem to have your ideas already thought through. I can’t wait to see what your finished pieces look like. I love fairies too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m less-prepared than you might think, Shari. lol I know that I want to put the dolls and “wings” together, but when I look at them together, my mind is going blank on what to do next. I’m doing all kinds of drawings and stuff and nothing is really catching my fancy.

      Like

  19. Sue Shade on said:

    Those little dolls are so sweet. They will make great fairy jewelry. It’ll be fun to see how you pull this together.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. fernsplace on said:

    Thanks for sharing a part of who you are with us. It is inspiring….. Also thanks for sharing in class. Many times you express what I am feeling. I am really looking forward to seeing your line of fairies. How fun!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Interesting theme and I love how you digitally made up a design. Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Love reading you post! Your theme sounds like it will be fun to create and I am sure it will be beautiful. Looking forward to seeing more! Ingrid

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Gina, well done, and who can’t fall in love with Nonna and Nonno. You are obviously in the middle of a very loving family, supportive of your work and your goals. Thank you so much for joining the class, we are happy to have you and your participation. Thank you, too, for following thru with a fine blog post. It’s good to know more about your world. Keep up the great work! XOXO

    Liked by 1 person

  24. beadsophisticate on said:

    Gina, we have a lot in common; I have a miniatures collection too. Love your fairy theme.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Beautiful blog and I love your little fairies.. Looking forward to seeing them come to life.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Very nicely written blog, Gina! Those little dolls are the sweetest, aren’t they? :*
    – Catherine S.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. jenniferfromny on said:

    So interesting to follow the story of your creative life! I look forward to experiencing the magic of your next chapter with the fabulous tiny fairies.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. beetique on said:

    I love your blog and the fairy theme out of those little dolls. What a great idea.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Wonderful photos, I love the window!
    Trying out ideas in photoshop is such an awesome idea; I wish I had the patience for it.
    I love the “cap” on her head in the picture, hope that idea makes the final cut. 🙂

    Like

    • Thanks, Leslie! That photo was from a friend’s house. She had that charming garden in the window, and I loved it so much that I wanted to remember it, so that I could do it myself one day. It’s perfect for a bathroom ledge! I got extremely lucky. That picture actually looks JUST like that! I have no idea how the sky came so perfect through the window. The only touch-up I did, was to crop the picture so that the window and its contents were more noticeable. 🙂

      Like

  30. Nice introduction. Especially like your pink frozen charlotte fairie at the end!

    Like

  31. Love your fairies! I love the whimsical and magical in all things. Looking forward to seeing your line.

    Like

  32. Beth Trubman on said:

    Gina, I too love all things miniature, and these little dolls are adorable, and with wings, OMG! love it.

    Like

  33. WOW! I love this blog it has so much love and sharing of yourself and your loves in life, thank you for being so open hearted, it trully does show in your jewelry. The love of what you make and I am a minature lover as well.
    I am really loving your doll idea, I am sure they will be fantastic fairy’s oh and I have a love of Fairy’s as well. So excited to see more

    Like

    • Thank you so much for the kind words! I have a tendency to want to help and teach, and while I know I should probably avoid doing that in my jewelry blog, I just can’t help it. I’ve been through so many things, and jewelry is what helps me get through. If I can help even one other person by sharing my experiences, I count myself lucky, indeed! I really think the bunch of us who love miniatures should do a Miniature Challenge using all B’Sue things – just to see if we can do it!

      Liked by 1 person

  34. Beinda on said:

    Loved your blog Gina, your work is truly beautiful. I love your theme with the little mini. dolls. I think they will make beautiful fairies. Can’t wait to see what your pieces evolve into. Looking forward to your next blog.

    Like

  35. Thanks for sharing with us Gina!

    I think fairies are magical and often imagine they hop, skip and dance around my garden. Your line will definitely be fun!

    I look forward to seeing what you create.

    Like

  36. Nice post, Gina, and what a fun idea for a line theme! It’ll be interesting to see how your lovely fairies come to life. Great being in the BALC with you. 😉

    Like

  37. Janet Calardo on said:

    Loved reading your blog. Always like seeing pictures….its like looking at brief areas of your life and your jewelry making. What a great idea using the little dolls. I really will look forward to your BALC designs.

    Like

  38. You’re awesome Gina!!! An accountant plus game designer plus advocate plus teacher plus jewelry designer, very cool!!! I’ve never known someone in this event as talented as you. Will definitely add you on my reading list on your next update.

    Like

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