Friday, June 21, 2013

Better Late than Never... Summer Elements Blog Hop

Even though this is five days late, I think it's appropriate that this be posted on the first day of summer! Summer is all about easy for me. A more relaxed schedule, soaking in the sun,beach trips, colorful and cool outfits for our steamy hot Florida summers, and cute little earrings. One of my favorite toys to play with is my Vintaj machine and when I thought about the Summer Elements Blog Hop,hosted by Toltec Jewels, the combination seemed like a winner.  Thank you, Rita, for being such a gracious hostess. The guidelines for the hop were to focus on an element of summer that we loved and how the jewelry reflected that.

I indulged in my Vintaj Big Kick machine at Christmas time, and love it. It was on clearance at Michael's but I've seen it at Hobby Lobby ( and yes, you can use their wonderful weekly 40% off coupon). It's a great machine to emboss designs on metal blanks. You buy the dies separately and then go to town. I've used both the Vintaj blanks as well as blanks from both Hobby Lobby and other suppliers. The main thing to remember is not to use anything thicker than a 24 gauge metal. Knowing my love for Pinterest, I'm sure you won't be surprised to know that yes, there's a board for that! Can't wait to put it to use for Christmas ornaments this year- but that's another season.

This was my inspiration picture ( courtesy of Photobucket)
summer beach photo: Beach summer-beach_zps6c8a08e8.jpg
The colors are amazing- the beach is gorgeous and there's nothing I'm ready for more than soaking in the sun!
So, without further ado, here are some summer inspired earrings using the Vintaj Big Kick:
These are the antiqued brass round blanks by Vintaj embossed with the Wildflower Vines pattern. I used a royal blue crystal and then buffed them so the raised part would stand out.
These lovelies were done on copper and then combined with lucite flower caps and orange crystals with the Wildflower Vines die but on another section. Because the copper was shiny, there was no need to buff it- in fact, I should have antiqued them but it's summer!
I've had these flower beads for ages. A friend who's an airline stewardess, picked up an assortment of beads in Turkey for me and they've been waiting for the perfect partner!  The embossing on the hearts is actually the top part of the butterfly from the Butterfly Swirls pattern. When you use the dies, there's so much versatility depending on where you place the blanks.
And last, but not least, are these little guys. I used an etching die for these- it doesn't make quite as deep of an impression and while I like the pattern, I prefer the embossing dies to the etching ones. These were little strips of butterflies done on small antiqued brass strips.

Here are a couple of other things I've previously made:
 This illustrates one of the major drawbacks of the Big Kick. I cut out the star from copper sheeting but because the dies are only about 2x2 I wasn't able to get the middle of the star covered completely.It does do a great job of showing you the entire Butterfly Swirls plate though. This is a project that still needs some work, but I'm intrigued by the possibilities- especially for Christmas ornaments.

Consider the Lilies

This is a set I made using the Wildflower Vines once again. Paired with antique brass and green crystals, it's my favorite project using the Big Kick to date. Vintaj keeps adding wonderful new designs- Beadaholique is a great place to see all the wonderful choices.

So, here's to summer and all the wonderful memories and things that await. Here's hoping your summer is filled with many splashes of grace and dashes of joy~


P.S. Before you go, stop on by the other bloggers to see their creations:

Summer Elements Blog Hop Participants: 
Toltec Jewels (Hostess)
Marlene Cupo         
Cheri Reed              
Ailsa Cordner          
Nan Smith               
Sherri Stokey           
Christie (Charis Designs)
Carolyn Lawson       
Susie Harris              
Andrea Glick-Zenith 
Nelly May                
Melissa Trudinger     
Dini Bruinsma           
Kathy Lindemer       
Cory Tompkins        
Robin Reed             
Gina Hockett           
Karen Martinez       
Jasvanti Patel           
Solange Collin          
Karla Morgan          
Anindita Basu           
Alicia Marinache      
Andrea Trank          
Mischelle Fanucchi   
Tanty Sri Hartanti     
Shaiha Williams        
Mary Govaars          
Becca Sirevaag        
Lennis Carrier          
Regina Wood           
Sue Kennedy           
Kathleen Breeding   


  1. Love what you have done with the embossing, it's such a versatile tool!

  2. Christie, your post is filled with many splashes of grace and dashes of joy! Thank you for sharing such a cool Summer Celebration with your beautiful earrings! Like the Florida sunshine we share, your post makes me so happy :)

    I'm sooo excited you shared your jewelry art and the Vintaj Big Kick in action. I've been thinking it would be a wonderful tool, especially because I love creating with metal discs and chainmaille. If I could create and emboss and etch with patterns and patinas, I thought to myself, it would be heaven.

    Your earrings are fabulous and I'm totally inspired by your empowering, helpful post. Thank you! I'm delighted!

    Your wildflower brass and blue crystal earrings are chic, and must move and look so pretty worn -- as are your copper hearts with lucite and crystal. The soft peachy and orange colorway is warm and looks great with bright copper.

    The beads from Turkey are so cool! You created beautiful jewelry with them; the butterfly swirls on the hearts make perfect compliments to the special, lovely beads.

    I had no idea embossing and etching can be unique, yet made from the same die in various places. Thanks for sharing your star challenges - I'll keep them in mind as I learn. I agree, you are on to a great idea for Holiday star ornaments!

    Your etched earrings are beautiful. I like the look as much as the embossing because I thought etching had to be done with harsh chemicals! I had decided I'd never etch.... How delighted I am to to see your pretty turquoise and antique etched earrings! I love the linear style. Awesome :)

    "Consider the Lilies" -- a fabulous name for the set and a simple, yet sophisticated ensemble. The antique brass and green crystal is gorgeous together, and your embossing is superb.

    I'm so grateful for your post! You've given me the courage to follow my heart. I know I want to create with the Vintaj Big Kick now! I'm very excited and thank you again, Christie xxoo Happy Summer!


    1. Thank you, Rita. Such kind words. I just saw some of the Patinas that Vintaj sells yesterday that would add a whole other element to this. Happy summer to you as well. Christie

  3. I was late in posting too! I love your lovely pieces of jewelry- just gorgeous!


  4. So many beautiful♥ earrings to wear during a lovely summer...the butterfly earrings are my favourites! If you visit my blog, you will understand why :-)))Have a nice weekend!

    1. Thank you, Dini. Your butterfly necklace was SPECTACULAR!!

  5. Replies
    1. Thanks, Kathy! I had looked through your magazine and loved the designs. Always looking for a good key lime pie recipe too :)

  6. Well, I was trying to type a bit more there but my PC took a dislike to me and threw a hissy! What I wanted to say was how bright, breezy and beachy your designs are. Love them to bits. Grwat choice of inspirational photo too!

    1. thanks, Nelly. Isn't it a great picture? I'm dying for a beach day.

  7. Love my Vintja Big Kick too! I think the first pair of earrings with the blue crystal are my favorite because the design you used reminds me a seaweed! I love your inspiration picture.

    1. Thank you, Lennis. I'd love to see some of your Big Kick creations. Are you on Pinterest?

  8. I got one of those 40% off Big Kicks a while ago and you have inspired me to get back to it. Great summery earrings!

  9. I soooo love the first pair of earrings you made with the orange flower on top... too cute. I am going to have to check out what a Big Kick is. Great designs :) have a wonderful summer.

  10. all of your pieces are beautifull... ^_^

  11. all of your pieces are beautifull... ^_^