desert rain long drop statement earrings

desert rain creosote plant

Can you smell the rain?

In the desert I can smell the rain.

It’s fresh.  It’s clean.  It’s invigorating.

But of course it’s not the rain but the creosote bush.

This plant is the reason you can smell the rain in the desert.

Come visit the desert

And if it rains, go outside and take a whiff!

That smell has a name — petrichor.

It is the earthy scent produced when rain falls on dry soil

desert rain drops

Inspired by the smell of rain

Inspired by little drops of rain on plants

 a pair of earrings are born

desert-rain-drop-earrings-statement

The long drop desert rain earrings are in the shop – shop them here

The smaller fish hook style is coming soon.  Join my newsletter group to be the first to know

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Cactus Bloom Pendant

A Cactus Bloom is my inspiration

One of the first lampworked beads I made was my rendition of a desert bloom or cactus bloom.  Boy I loved making those beads.

Well, a cactus bloom is still on my mind, but I am approaching this inspiration a little differently now.  

This summer I took a class with Robert Lopez.  If you are not familiar with Robert’s work check him out here.  I love his quirky style and wanted to incorporate the feeling into my work.  I was really smitten with some pendants that he made.  You can see one in the upper right of this collage.inspiration Robert Lopez

 

He collaborated with a metal clay artist for the embossed medallions in the pieces, but what I liked about the pieces was the airy garden feeling, and of course the asymmetry. 

I thought my glass cabochons would set off the idea perfectly.

Most of Robert’s pieces use titanium and Argentium silver.  I decided to stick with sterling silver for my creation.

 

 

So I just finished my first piece.  And I am about 90% happy with it.  Of course I learned a lot and the next one is going to be spectacular.  I would like to have a few in the shop by the end of October.  Anyway, since I use sterling silver I had to solder all of my silver together.  With Argentium silver you can fuse some pieces.  I am very happy with the glass cabochon.  And I am extremely happy with the tube set stones.  The major flaw is a design flaw.  The tube settings are sitting too close to the bezel of the cabochon which made it quite difficult to push the bezel near the tube.  But the glass is in there very securely and will not fall out.  However I would not be happy selling this piece.  The next one will be much improved.  It’s a pendant but I am thinking some brooches too.

cactus bloom

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Yucca Leaf – inspiration for the fall 2017 collection

yucca leaf

Yuccas have long sword-shaped leaves with pointed tips. The leaves are often about 1 to 3 feet in length. Numerous yucca leaves grow in a rosette formation from a thick base.  

 I tell you this because I used the yucca leaf as the inspiration for many pieces in the Fall 2017 Harmony Collection.  I am showing you a photo of a yucca necklace with a handmade glass cabochon.  

yucca leaf necklace

This yucca necklace is a series of links in sterling silver cold connected together to form a collar necklace.  It is lightweight, and very easy to wear.  This yucca necklace has a lampworked cabochon from the Desert Bloom series.

The necklace can be found here

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Road Trip

Road trip

new listings in the shop are delayed

We are on a road trip to Santa Fe.

Check back on Wednesday, August 30

Desert Willow – inspiration for my art jewelry

desert willow

I think this photo is a Desert willow tree.  For a long time I thought this tree was an ironwood tree.  But I spent some time on google today and have decided it’s a Desert Willow.  Anyway….  these trees have been blooming around Tucson now for quite awhile.  The bloom looks tropical and exotic – almost like an orchid.  So what does this have to do with my art jewelry??  Well, there is a necklace in my shop in this Saturday’s sale that was influenced by this bloom.

Desert willow bloom as inspiration for a necklace

The stone is a faceted pink sapphire.  

 

 

Here’s the direct link – click on shop the sale now

shop the sale now link button

 

Second Saturday Sale Day – Bracelets

Bracelet Sale

It’s Saturday August 12th and there is a sale happening

Here’s the direct link – click on shop the sale now

shop the sale now link button

 

Design Element Inspiration

Artists can be fickle

Artists generally love their freedom. They want to experiment. They love a challenge. They crave variety. All that is good.  Except the artist wants their work to be recognizable.

I am very guilty about freedom in my creativity.  I like to try new techniques.  I love taking classes and trying new things.  I tend to get bored easily and want to move on.

But this year the word I chose was “focus”; and that is what I am trying to achieve these days – a cohesive line of jewelry incorporating my glass beads and metal – all inspired by my love of the desert. 

I would like you to see a piece of jewelry and say – “Oh, that’s a Louise Little design”

Repition is Reputation

I have a clear vision for my upcoming “Harmony” collection.  And I can’t wait to share it.

the harmony collection incorporates the sword like leaf of the yucca as a design element inspiration

One of the shapes I am experimenting with for this upcoming collection is the leaf from the yucca plant.  I love everything about this plant.  But the leaf is very special.  It is sword like and distinctive.  And is the basis for a lot of the design elements in this fall’s collection “Harmony”.

 

Here is a sneak peek at a pair of earrings……

these earrings use a design element inspired by the sword like leaf of the yucca plant

Harmony is set to launch on September 6th, 2017

in a brand new shop

Hope to see you there

creating the desert in glass and metal

Do you ever wonder why lizards do push-ups?

lizards

This is just one of the juicy local wildlife questions that keeps me awake at night -tossing and turning, kicking the covers off, – and making it impossible to rest.  I need to get to the bottom of this mystery.  

So thanks to the Discovery Channel I discovered it’s the male lizards that engage in this push up activity (of course it is); and all he wants is attention.

Every morning I open the garage door – this is where I do my morning weight routine arm exercises.  And there he is sitting on a rock on all fours pushing and bobbing  – up and down and up and down.

I imagine all the lady lizards are out there swooning.  Yeah, we see ya big boy!

So aren’t you glad you came over to read my blog today.  Now you too can rest well tonight.

 

Lampworked beads for my artist jewelry

So you all know that I have a real passion for creating glass art in the flame of my torch.  (20 years and still torching)

To show off these exquisite glass beads and cabochons I soon branched out to jewelry design.  Simple pieces.  The glass was the star. 

Well as all things in life change; my artistic jewelry designs have really evolved too.  I still create jewelry designs that show off glass, but I also create jewelry designs that show off my expression of the deserts of the Southwest.  Which means sometimes it’s just the metal that speaks to me and sometimes gemstones and sometimes glass and sometimes all three.

I started adding metals to my glass in the torch to give the glass an earthy feel and to create colors that were totally mine.  The colors become more muted, and I can actually make the glass look like the stones and rocks found in the desert.  

Adding pure silver to the glass (in the form of silver leaf and foil) is a favorite thing I like to do.  I take a glass rod of ivory.  Wrap silver leaf around it.  Burn the leaf off.  And then pull a stringer.  Then I use this stringer to decorate the beads in the flame.

Here is a favorite design using that “silvered ivory stringer”.

artist jewelry

I love 

creating the desert in glass and metal

 

I have been working on how to banish her

banish

 

 

A Bead Journey

Beads – How my passion got started

I have always done something crafty or artsy.  I wanted to go to art school but my parents thought that an art degree wouldn’t be practical.  

My grandmother taught me sewing.  She was a seamstress and worked in a sweatshop mill in upper state New York sewing clothing for a manufacturer until the mill moved south.  I even designed some clothing patterns.  She also taught me knitting.  And being me, I also taught myself to design some knitting patterns – pretty easy ones.  I took a painting class and it didn’t inspire me.  I loved doing needle work in the form of needlepoint and cross stitch.  I was designing cross stitch patterns for a shop in Las Vegas when we lived there.  The owner coaxed me to “name” my business and I chose Desert Bloom. Of course, I instantly designed a pattern in cross stitch for the business.  I showed it to Shirley, the shop owner, and she said “why don’t you add some beads to the design?”  

So I walked into a bead shop….OH MY!

bead journey

Beading can be overwhelming.  What technique did I want to start with?  I chose seed beads for the Desert Bloom cross stitch.  You might not be able to see them in the photo but they are there. And as soon as I finished that project I taught myself how to stitch designs and jewelry with seed beads. 

This is one of the first bracelets I made. (designed the pattern too).  And sold several hundred copies of this pattern online.  I decided that trying to sell the finished product was not feasible.  It takes a long time to complete, and I would never get the price to compensate for the hours of work.

bead journey

I designed more patterns, but I was having a hard time finding button closures.  In the meantime my youngest daughter was in college in Portland, OR and I went up to visit.  I had some time that weekend and decided to attend the Embellishment conference at the Convention Center.  And that is when I saw my first lampworked bead.  Of course I was familiar with Venetian beads.  But the lampwork beads I saw at this convention were tiny works of art.  And I was hooked.  And my journey with glass began in 1997.creating the desert in glass and metal

Druzy – do you like it?

druzy

What Exactly is Druzy?

Druzy quartz is made up of many tiny crystals and it has a velvety and soft appearance to it. There can be large formed crystals or many medium crystals with the formation. Treated colorful crystals are sometimes coated with a film of gold, platinum, sterling silver, or titanium. When the Druzy has titanium on it, this adds cobalt, purple, or various rainbow colors.

In geology, druse refers to a coating of fine crystals on a rock fracture surface.  Druse occurs worldwide; the most common is perhaps quartz druse.  Generally, it is possible to find druzy natural gemstones in any location in which there is a place for water to collect and evaporate on rock. It most often appears along river beds and shorelines. 

Using Druzy in Jewelry

I really love druzy for the sparkle it adds.  It is very distinctive.  And sometimes it adds a flair in the piece of jewelry I’m creating.  It is also cheaper than some other gemstones, so that is also a benefit.

druzy

These are earrings I made a few years back.  I just got some more druzy so this fall I’ll have them in my shop again.

creating the desert in glass and metal