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"I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul." by William E. Henley

Friday, October 29, 2010

wondering what I have been up to?

custom bridal hair piece
Originally uploaded by novadesigns by tess

Wedding wedding weddings!

Not so much my own though.. Mostly others :o)

But I do enjoy it. I just finished a big custom order for a lovely bride, including this custom hair piece. I think it turned out wonderful and I hope she'll love it.

This weekend is all studio.. and some metalwork for sure. I am trying to get some new designs added to novaofsweden so hopefully I'll get some finished this weekend!

thank you so much for stopping by!
love ~tess

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

wedding wednesday's

Bridal crown full view
Originally uploaded by novadesigns by tess

yep I am gonna wear a crown.
Why not? It's the only time in your life where you can wear one without looking ridiculous. :o)

I made this one for a dear friend of ours when she got married. She wore her hair in a tussled (sp?) updo with the crown sitting around it. It looks fantastic with her dark hair.

I am going to make a much smaller crown. A little princess crown to sit on top of my head. In silver. Maybe with some filigree roses. Maybe with some flush set stones... I haven't completely decided on how it will look. I have a couple of sketches but I am not ready to share them with you just yet..

To maybe explain the whole crown thing I should mention that it is an old tradition in Sweden for a bride to wear a crown. My brothers wife wore one and she looked so beautiful.

I just have to figure out how it will work with a veil and all.. So much to take in consideration. I definitely do not want to look like I am going to a costume party dressed up like a princess!

I'd love to hear what you guys looked like when you got married :o)
puss & kram (kiss & hug in swedish)

Monday, October 18, 2010

ready to fly

winged ring in progress
Originally uploaded by novadesigns by tess

And I am off!
I had such a wonderful time in the studio this weekend. I felt inspired. I felt free. Not limited and not holding anything back. I just was.. and I just made..

click on the image to go to flickr and see some more pics of my other designs in progress :o)

love ~tess

Sunday, October 17, 2010

coffee on the rocks

Early morning in the nova studio. Coffee shades and stone galore. I am ready to rock! ha ha
The shades? well it's not really sunny in my studio but I adore these shades. They're so much woman, pink and oversized.. what's NOT to love?

I've picked out some absolutely wonderful stones for my next shop update (which should be coming early november). I wanted to have a bunch of new designs for you so that's why I am giving myself a little more time. I know it's been a while since I updated nova of sweden so I want to make it worth your while.

I was drawn to the strong colors of these stones. The patterns and the movement of the lines will work perfect for the ideas I have in my head. Playing a lot with filigree right now. I don't have any traditional training in filigree so the sky is the limit. I just make whatever comes to mind. Shapes, swirls, vines, roses (of course) and wings. Yes I am making little filigree wings! They are really adorable.. Every lady needs a set of wings. I've always been fascinated with fairies, elves and magical creatures. I think every Halloween I have ever dressed up for, I made it an excuse just to wear wings. Ha now my coffee mug makes perfect sense with it's "fly". I think my metalwings are dry and ready to leave the nest! I hope you'll come with me for my adventure.

One thing I am doing different in this shop update is that I am moving away from premade embellishments. Not to say I will never use them again. There is a time and place for everything. But I want to push myself and see what my two own hands will make. So that means making everything 100% from scratch. It's amazing. Right now I am obsessing over my pod/seed little dome. This ring is about growth, about reaching beyond... Like those little plants you see pushing through the asphalt on the sidewalk. Growing and prospering where nobody thought it was possible. Pushing through, reaching beyond what you might think was possible. Showing that there is always growth, evolution and new found realization it what you make, in who you are and what you stand for. There has to be. Otherwise you would never go anywhere. You'd be left behind as the world keeps on moving. And where is the fun it that?

spreading my wings!
love ~tess

Friday, October 15, 2010

how did I get to where I am now with my skills?

So this months topic for the Handmade division team is: How did you get where you are now with your skills..
I missed last month cause I was crazy busy but this one I really wanted to do. It's always good to pause for a minute and reflect on the journey you're on.

I started making jewelry when I was 12 years old. Polymer clay. Fun stuff. I made necklaces that I would sell at my mothers art shows. As I grew into a cool teenager (read: nerd with glasses) I put the jewelry making aside to focus on more fun stuff (read: homework and reading books. yeah I was super cool LOL).

It wasn't until a couple of years ago that I was growing incredible antsy with my day job. Although graphic design is a creative profession it can get rather boring when you work for the same company for 10 years and have to stay within that brand identity of that company.. So I needed a different outlet. Something that I was in charge of. Where there was no boundaries. Something where I was free to explore and let my imagination run wild.

I got a bunch of beads and pliers and started making jewelry again. I made my own beads in polymer clay and made little guardian angel bracelets (I still have a bunch them, I have to take some photos and show you).
I have a very high learning curve so my appetite to grow and develop is very strong. I quickly realized that polymer clay and beads wasn't going to cut it. I wanted a bigger challenge. Metalwork seemed to be the natural path to take.

I ordered some silver sheet, wire and a little torch. I had no idea what I was doing. I got online and read everything I could find about soldering. I learned to do basic things.
Later I stumbled upon Etsy where I created the first nova shop. Nova Designs . I created a modern but fun line of jewelry including my famous pinwheels. Suddenly things took off. I was actually selling. It was amazing. I loved every minute I spent in the studio making little pinwheels and flowers. But I wanted to grow. To get better. To expand my skills. I started playing with torch enameling. Loved it. So much fun. But very hot in the little studio...

I started bezel setting. Once again I searched the internet for tutorials and I taught myself how to do more intricate metalwork. I fell in love with stones. Jaspers, agates.. you name it.. I love it. Bought a gaziljon of stones. They all spoke to me.. I just had to take them all home :o). Started experimenting with larger bezel set pieces. Bringing in the nature elements that I love so much. Flowers, vines, leafs and whimsical details. I love details. I started using a lot of commercial components as embellishments but as I continue to develop I am more and more drawn to making everything from scratch. I love working with filigree and in my own and not very traditional way I can see myself continue to explore the possibilities of filigree wire.

So I guess to sum it up.. I got where I am with a lot of blood sweat and tears (and laughs of course). Trial and error for sure but every little victory makes it worth it. But I am no where done learning. Just as I think I've finally mastered something I'll melt a bezel or mess up something else. You're never done learning. But that's the beauty of making things. There's always something to look forward to. I see challenges everywhere. I think my weakest side is also my strongest. Since I am self taught I really don't see any limitations. I approach my metalwork and designs with a fearless and sometimes naive enthusiasm. Sometimes with great results. Sometimes with a pile of melted dreams... But I never give up. I just keep trying until I get there. And I am having so much fun along the way!

thanks for stopping by!

check out my friends blog posts on the topic

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

wedding wednesday's

bridesmaid jewelry
Originally uploaded by novadesigns by tess

Of course I have to make the jewelry for my lovely bridesmaids!

So many choices. So many gorgeous delicious stones to choose from...
But I finally landed on sea foam chalcedony. I just love the color and the transparency of the stone. There is something wonderfully glowing about it. I am drawn to it. And I bought a ton of them. I just couldn't help myself. They all spoke to me..

And no I don't have THAT many bridesmaids! Only four wonderful ladies :o)

I am thinking of making 4 different but similar necklaces. Maybe I use four different shaped stone? I have pear, teardrops, marquise and ovals. I am still sketching out designs that I have to show you another Wednesday. I am definitely thinking some rose, vine embellished design. Something whimsical yet romantic.

... I still have to figure out what I am wearing as far as jewelery... funny how that seem to be so much harder to decide on... I am thinking earrings but probably not a necklace.. I usually don't wear a lot of necklaces... with the exception of a fantastic little jointed brass tail/claw thing I got in a charmswap on Etsymetal, ( made by the amazing Vic from ). But as much as I love it I think it will clash with my dress LOL

Today I'll also be shipping out one bridesmaid dress to Sweden! The dress is a peridot green (which is more like a cross between the sea foam and sage green) and I think it will look amazing on her. Johanna is one of my best friends and she is expecting her first baby and it's due around my birthday (which is coming up quickly)! So we'll see if the dress or the baby arrives first! :o)

Have a wonderful day my lovely friends!
Thank you for taking this wedding journey with me.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

nova of sweden resting in the chilly autumn weather

victorian lady
Originally uploaded by novadesigns by tess

So you might be wondering what is happening in nova of sweden?

Well to tell you the truth I have been working on custom orders lately and found that my time for exploring and making new things for the shop has come to a complete halt. Which is no good!

I need to get all those ideas out of my head and onto some silver before it explodes! I have some great ideas for more handmade filigree pieces that I want to try out. Some new concepts. Some versions of older concepts.. Fun stuff. You just have to take my word for it :o)

And I know that you are dying to see some new designs. And so I am. The shop is looking a little tired right now. So I decided that I need to get to work and turn my ideas into tangeable, soon to be cherished (by you maybe) pieces. I want to make a bigger shop update than I usually do. I am aiming for the end of the month but I'll keep you posted. And as always you can follow my blog for previews..

So to make room for some new blood in the shop I'll be reducing the price on some of my existing pieces in the hopes of finding them a good home. As you know the price of silver is at an all time high and poor little nova of sweden need to replenish it's stash of silver.

So head on over to the shop and maybe you'll find a new silver baby to take home.

lots of love ~tess

Monday, October 4, 2010

Etsymetal is turning 4!

I am also a member of an Etsy Street team called EtsyMetal and we're turning 4 years old and we're gonna celebrate that with some amazing giveaways and offers on select members shops.

For all the details read this:

Etsy street team, EtsyMetal, is turning four years old! The juried jewelry and metals organization will celebrate this anniversary the entire month of October by giving away four $50 gift certificates redeemable at any EtsyMetal member’s shop. In addition to the give away, several EtsyMetal members will be celebrating by having individual sales!

One $50 gift certificate will be randomly drawn on October 8th, 15th, 22nd and 29th. To enter the drawing, one must sign up for the EtsyMetal newsletter . In addition to signing up, one can increase their chances of winning (four times!) by spreading the word via twitter, facebook or their blog and then letting EtsyMetal know by leaving a comment on our blog .

More information and rules regarding the giveaway will be posted on the EtsyMetal blog on Friday, October 1, 2010. A list of members who are celebrating with sales will be posted each Friday, beginning October 8, 2010. A current list of all EtsyMetal artists can be found on our website

EtsyMetal is an international collective of artisans who create jewelry and works of art in metal. The group carries the traditions of handmade craftsmanship into the 21st century, often using the same tools and techniques that have been part of our trade for thousands of years. The EtsyMetal mark is your assurance of hand made craftsmanship, quality, and that the artist follows ethical trade practices.

Have a great day!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Days in shades of gray

shades of gray fabric flower shoe clips
Originally uploaded by novadesigns by tess

it's been pouring rain down for the past couple of days..
a little depressing but refreshing all at the same time.

Work has been insane (day job) and I struggle with keeping my focus. It's hard when you are being pulled in every direction and your work load is growing by the second.

I find peace in my studio. Even if it's only for an hour or two every day. Surrounded by familiar and loved tools, materials and inspiring objects. I am so happy I put in the time to get my space cleaned up and organized. It make s a huge difference.

This weekend we didn't make a ton of plans. I think David is going to work in his studio and I in mine. I am working on a custom ring for a very patient lovely woman (thank you!) so I want to finish it so I can send it off to it's new home.

I hope you have a wonderful, productive and inspiring weekend :o)