Category: Inspira

500 Followers and 300,000 hits :)

The Blue Brick has 500 followers! Watching the stats on this blog grow has been a very neat experience, we also just passed the 300,000 hit mark. I’ve been wondering about whether it was due for a refresher.

©Shireen Nadir 2013

When I post about crafts sometimes I worry that the content isn’t interesting to photographers, and vice versa – that my photography posts are of less interest to crafters. I thought about whether it was time to start a separate blog to feature photography related material only.

©Shireen Nadir 2013

But then I realized that, variety is what my blog is about, not a specific outlet for one hobby but a celebration of creativity in general. In my day job I’m the Art Director for a design firm in Toronto, and one thing I’ve realized is that cross-pollination is what creativity is about for me. I think my pottery contributes directly to my feel for advertising, and that graphic design influences my knitting. Being creative in general is the journey (though photography will always be my first love)

©Shireen Nadir 2013

BUT there is a new first love emerging. I love when someone takes something I’ve done, and takes it a step farther. I love the idea that a photo of Newfoundland is on a wall in Istanbul, that a photograph of the aurora is now a bat of roving, and the idea that my work in the Bay of Fundy has helped educate people about the tides in physics textbooks in Austria, a museum in Northern Quebec, a magazine in California and many others. I love when work travels, and can inspire others. I really love seeing the projects of people who’ve knitted a design of mine!

©Shireen Nadir 2013

So, I am going to make one little change. Rather than make jewellery for sale on Etsy any more I’m going to write tutorials so folks can make their own. In particular, I’m embarking on my first book, a comprehensive how-to of using resin to turn flowers into jewellery. I will still accept commission work, but my days of creating large quantities for sale on Etsy are over  (There will be one last update, in late April though, because I just can’t resist making jewellery during tulip season :)). I am looking forward to the creative writing process, to creating my first book and most of all, to seeing what others make!

©Shireen Nadir 2013

All the leaves are gone…

Well, not quite. There are still leaves up there but I’d say the sweet spot for leaf preservation has passed.

Leaf jewellery ©Shireen Nadir 2012

And that’s the ‘why’ of the matter for me – Autumn is beautiful and magical because it passes. The trees give us a treat for a few weeks and then it’s over. More than spring, more than summer, there is a nowness to autumn – you’ve got to enjoy every beautiful, colourful jewel of a day because, well because winter is on it’s way.

Leaf jewellery ©Shireen Nadir 2012

This is why, of all the things I’ve preserved in resin, autumn leaves are the most precious to me. I have taken something transitional by nature and preserved a piece of it. No matter how many times I do it, it always feels a little bit like magic, especially when my stash of leaves begins the inevitable – turning into dust.

Leaf jewellery ©Shireen Nadir 2012

Another reason I love these pieces is that they’re pieces of home. They’re Canadian maple leaves, collected here in Ontario. The fact that we have 4 seasons is one of the things that makes life up here so beautiful and inspiring and I love being able to create something not only inspired by, but made of, seasonal change.

Enough babbling :) I’m in a romantic mood this morning, maybe because tomorrow is the big wedding day for Kris and Kev! We all got our mendhi (henna) handwork done last night, and we’re all excited for tomorrow!

Leaf jewellery ©Shireen Nadir 2012

There will likely be only one more round of jewellery coming after this one, and then I’ll retire the resin until tulip season in the spring. Check out my Etsy shop to see what’s available :)

Flower Petals and Butterfly Wings

A few more additions to the Etsy site tonight – still in the resin zone! Last summer we found a monarch butterfly in the grass that had been eaten by a bird. The bird left the wings behind. I know it sounds kinda gross, but I folded the wings into some paper and slipped them into my wallet, knowing I would do something with them later.

butterfly jewellery ©Shireen Nadir 2012

butterfly jewellery ©Shireen Nadir 2012


I would never hurt a living thing to make art – so I couldn’t pass up the chance to get my hands on perfect monarch wings! I also put in a few floral pieces based on some tulips I preserved last spring. I had taken the summer off working with resin… clearly I missed it!

flower jewellery ©Shireen Nadir 2012

flower jewellery ©Shireen Nadir 2012flower jewellery ©Shireen Nadir 2012

An Etsy update at last

I’ve finally updated my Etsy site with jewellery made from the leaves collected on our road trip. If you followed my travels around North Ontario you might have seen this picture:

autumn leaves ©Shireen Nadir 2012

During the trip I made sure to be collecting leaves along the way – looking for anything that caught my eye including small ferns, and strips of birch bark. We didn’t hurt any trees though ;) everything I used was collected from the ground. We slowly dried  and preserved the leaves over the trip so when I got home I had all kinds of beautiful material to work with.

Real leaf jewellery ©Shireen Nadir 2012

Every necklace is made with jeweller’s grade resin; it will never yellow and it won’t scratch easily. Little compositions of leaves and bark have been created in each 1″ bezel.

Real leaf jewellery ©Shireen Nadir 2012

They come in a variety of finishes; copper, bronze, hematite and silver. Each one comes on a matching 18″ball chain.

Real leaf jewellery ©Shireen Nadir 2012

If you like what you see then head on over to my Etsy site to see more :) These one of a kind pieces are crafted with love and are a great way to celebrate this beautiful time of year.

Real leaf jewellery ©Shireen Nadir 2012

What’s that? Dragonfly inspired jewellery?

OK :)

Dragonfly bracelet

  • Sterling silver oversized dragonfly clasp
  • 4mm bicone Swarovski crystals in Aqua
  • 3mm bicone Swarovski Crystals in Caribbean Blue
  • 4mm Deep brown Swarovski pearls
  • 2mm sterling silver seed beads
  • Smoky Quartz finish Japanese delicas
  • 2 Sterling silver filigree cone ends

Dragonfly Bracelet


Le Pop – Quidi Vidi Lake

Le Pop! Was on the weekend, and I think we can say it was a success. I got to enjoy the other booths and artists, a super tasty brunch at Nyood Bar and chat about creativity all day long. Lots of people stopped at the booth and admired the photography and asked me where my favourite place in the world to shoot was. And I told them “Newfoundland”. Here is the bracelet created for Quidi Vidi Lake:

 Quidi Vidi Lake, Newfoundland

Inspired by a lake just outside of St. John’s, Quidi Vidi Lake is a beautiful, serene spot. I took this long exposure, capturing the movement of the waves and the rocks and it gave birth to my last bracelet:

5 different sizes and colours of Swarovski are paired with charcoal and earth coloured Japanese glass delicas, and strung onto 7 different strands that cross cross each other to form this organic little bracelet.

It was fun preparing for the show, but I’m definitely ready to re-focus and move onto other projects. And summer is in full blast here… maybe I should even take some time off to have some fun!

Le Pop! Florence

This is the last one in my short series of delicate little charm bracelets, and for my last one I’ve chosen the beautiful city of Florence. The Ponte Vecchio at blue hour, that perfect sky colour and the Arno river so still and reflective inspired me to create this last bracelet – with a deep blue Swarovski in antique copper, filigree charms and one beautiful piece of Italian Murano glass to set it off.

I’m tired, but very pleased with how this latest round of Inspira jewellery has worked out. Now to see how they do at Le Pop! this weekend!


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