Friday, August 31, 2012

OLIVE My Earring Club Members!

It's the end of the month...which means that my next month's creations for the earrings-of-the-month club gals goes in the mail today.

Having won a recipe contest through We Olive, I roped some friends into joining me and my family at the Paso Robles Olive Festival, an all-day celebration of all things olives. We sipped olive oils, bent olive branches into crowns, spooned olive jam onto olive oil crisps, slathered olive oil lotion onto sun-baked skin, and cooled off with olive oil ice cream – topped with balsamic vinegar. What we didn’t do, that I thought we would: taste olives. You know, the actual fruit. I envisioned tubs of green, almond-shaped cerignola; slightly wrinkled, almost midnight gaeta olives; and the green picholine to the purplish liguria all swimming in their pools of delicious brine.

So, while dreaming of olives, I decided to make that the theme for this month’s Earrings-of-the-Month selection: Olives!

The earrings are made with eco-friendly olive-shaped acai seeds handwired with sterling silver, lava beads, and hematite. Here’s what my vendor writes about their acai beads: “Our beads are made in our small workshop in South America. The workshop is clean and workers receive a fair wage so everybody's happy! Plus collecting and selling seeds creates income for the indigenous people. Without this income, the rainforest is often destroyed to provide for a more agrarian society.”

Monday, August 13, 2012

Olive Love

I recently won an olive oil recipe contest - check out my Malfatti di Ricotta e Bietola (dumplings with chard and cheese) - and, as part of my prize, get to attend the Paso Robles Olive Festival this weekend. I get some other fun perks, including access to the We Olive! VIP tent, wine, beer, a gift certificate, and tickets to the growers' dinner! Woohoo. I love olives.

So, naturally, I had to make some jewelry to wear - to the festival, during my interview...and just to get in the olive mood.

I used a sterling silver olive leaf as the focal point, dangling a deep purple, kalamata-shaped recycled glass bead from the finding. Then I handwired rough garnet nuggets - wrinkled like the gaeta olives - with watermelon tourmaline slabs - with colors of green picholine to the purplish liguria.

The matching earrings have garnets and watermelon tourmaline as well. Can't wait till Saturday!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Water Droplet Earrings and Necklace for They Are One

They Are One is a local non-profit raising funds to provide the Cornerstone Children’s Home - an orphanage in southern Sudan - with a supply of fresh, clean water. And since a friend of mine from high school is one of the founders, I am happily donating to their benefit luncheon and auction this week. Read the Off 68 article about the group and their project.

Inspired by their mission of providing water for the orphanage, I used water-colored glass beads and aquamarine chips in the creation of this one-of-a-kind necklace and earring set. A variety of blue milky glass beads are handwired with sterling silver to form water droplets. The earrings hang from hammered artisan-made ear wires and the matching pendant is suspended on a sterling silver chain.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

A Nice Email

Often I package up my jewelry, send it off, and have no idea what the gal thinks, especially for my earrings-of-the month members. I ask for their preferences (style and length) when they subscribe to my club, then I custom design a pair of earrings - each month - that I think will fit the bill.

It's nice to get some feedback...especially one that tells me that I nailed it!

Hi Camilla, Just wanted to tell you how beautiful the earrings are which you designed.  They have become a "uniform" for me. And, I have received many compliments. Many thanks.

You are welcome!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Wine and Chocolate

When I received an email from a friend of my dad, asking for a donation to her fundraising event, I didn't hesitate. Her event - a wine and chocolate soiree for Girls, Inc. - immediately got my creative gears turning. Wine and chocolate. Two of my favorites!

I created a necklace and earring set with small, deep violet pearls that remind me of ripe Pinot Noir grapes, bronzite and a milk chocolate-hued Kazuri bead.

Years ago a friend invited me to a Kazuri bead party. Click here to read the whole story about Kazuri beads. The short version: these are made by women in Kenya, giving them gainful employment through a marketable handicraft. Kazuri, in Swahili, means "small and beautiful."