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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

BlueberriBeads & Thea Elements Challenge Hop!

For this exciting challenge, Caroline of BlueberriBeads and Lesley of Thea Elements combined and sent us all a package of some of each of their creations! The pieces I got weren't my usual color scheme, but that's why this is a challenge, right? Fortunately, there was a gem show in town between when I received my package and when it was time for the reveal. I picked up some beads that worked perfectly in one of my pieces. I created three.

The first, and my favorite piece, is the bracelet.


I just love Lesley's bracelet focal! And I am a copper girl, so this went well with a clasp I'd previously made. Caroline's sea urchin bead is adorable, so I wanted that to be in the front. Also Caroline's are the dotted bead, which matches the colors of the focal perfectly, and the cream colored bead to its left. The new beads I got are the three coppery glitter quartz beads. But for the fact that I just don't wear this color scheme, I would probably wear this bracelet constantly!

Next up is Necklace #1.


This one's all Caroline. I added a vintage gold spacer and a matching newly purchased crystal and hung her raku bead and pendant from a vintage gold chain. It's a simple design, but I thought the focal was ornate enough that it didn't need a flashy design. It's very pretty and delicate, and would be great for daily wear.

Lastly, I stepped WAY outside of the box with Necklace 2.



I didn't feel like this focal went with any of Caroline's ceramic beads, and I was happy with the way I'd already combined them (in my pre-making trials). I didn't want to just hang the focal on chain, and I REALLY lack a big assortment of beads these colors. Finally, I realized that yellow sea glass I'd been wondering what to do with for so long was actually just the right color. In the same box those are stored in, I have a collection of Tagua samples I ordered last year. The orange ring is actually Tagua Nut. I also used some new copper glass spacers, and voila! I had a very modern-arty looking necklace. I love when something comes together that you would never dream up in a million years had you not been given such a challenge. 

It's been really fun, and I can't wait to see what everyone else did. Please make sure to check out all the other blogs, and thanks for stopping by!



Saturday, July 13, 2013

Recently

Nigel is getting to be ever more difficult when I'm trying to make jewelry.


And if he's not there, he's climbing up my lap onto my work table, or chewing on wire?!?!! I've managed to work around him a bit though. Here are some pictures of my latest efforts. Most of them are still available if you see anything you're interested in.















Friday, May 31, 2013

I was one of the lucky winners for this month's Art Jewelry Elements blog challenge! Susan SueBeads Kennedy made some colorful lampwork ruffle discs. The one I received was aqua & mango. It's probably the one I would have picked if we'd been allowed to pick. Thanks Susan!

My immediate thought was some elaborate stacked sort of pendant, but then most of the bead would have been hidden if I'd done so. I pulled out a few beads and tried a few ideas until I came up with this. It took me longer than normal to make it, because I'd just adopted a kitten - and he stole just about all of my free time.

I selected some small aquamarine beads, a large faceted amazonite round I'd been hoarding for some time, and some mango Czech glass. I think this necklace would be perfect with a sundress. It's so colorful and cheery.



Make sure to check out the other challengees:

Lorelei Eurto   http://www.lorelei1141.blogspot.com/
Birgitta Lejonklou   http://lejonklou.blogspot.com/
Lola Surwillo   http://beadlolabead.blogspot.com/
Kay Thomerson   http://kayzkreationz.blogspot.com/

And the Art Jewelry Elements Team:

Jennifer Cameron  http://glassaddictions.com/
Jenny Davies-Reazor   http://www.jdaviesreazor.com/blog
Susan Kennedy   http://www.suebeads.blogspot.com/
Linda Landig   http://www.lindasbeadblog.com/
Melissa Meman    http://melissameman.blogspot.com/
Rebekah Payne   http://www.treewingsstudio.com/
Kristen Stevens    http://kristen-beadjourney.blogspot.com/
Jo Tinley     http://daisychaindesignsjewellery.blogspot.com/
Francesa Watson    http://francescawatson.com/
Lesley Watt    http://thegossipinggoddess.blogspot.com/

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Long Overdue

It's been a very long time, but I have a pretty good pile of excuses. At the end of February, my sweet little dog, Crazers, who's been featured on this blog many times, got very sick. I spent a few weeks trying to get her better. Many trips to the vet, working half-days from home, cooking her meals, numerous meds several times a day, but alas, there wasn't really anything that could help. She was just old and had too many health problems. So I had to say goodbye to her on March 9.

In a crazy desperate attempt to mitigate my sadness, I adopted another dog right away. But after a few days, it was clear that she was way too aggressive toward our cat. Perhaps with time and patience and a month off work, I might have been able to teach them to get along, but I was in no state to do that. Not to mention, the shelter neglected to test her for heartworms until AFTER I'd filled out the paperwork and went back to pick her up after being spayed, and it turns out she had them. They said they'd pay for the treatment, but she'd be on a waiting list for a couple of weeks. It really was more than I could handle, so I decided to return her. At least it didn't take long for someone to foster her, because she really was super cute and sweet to people. Anyway, after that, I was very depressed and totally unmotivated to do anything at all. So I took some time off from jewelry for awhile. We've since decided to get another kitten instead, and worry about another dog (in trainable puppy form) once we don't live on the 3rd floor of a condo. Kitten searching commences next weekend. I can't wait!

So in the last couple of weeks, I've managed to make a few things that I like pretty well. I've become a little obsessed with making this particular style of earrings:






A few days ago, I ordered some more lampwork pairs, and plan to make plenty more in this style. 

Next month, I'm going to be a vendor at the New Orleans stop of the national touring Sugar Art Fashion Show, which I'm excited to do! There's only going to be a handful of vendors, so hopefully I'll do pretty well and maybe make some good contacts with buyers, shop owners, etc.

Here are a couple of bracelets I've done this week:



I will do my best to update my blog more regularly at this point!

(Sorry about the Captcha for comments, but I was seriously getting 5-10 spam comments a day for awhile, so I had to.) 

Friday, January 18, 2013

I'm on Fiyah!

I am an embarrassingly bad blogger!!! So to recap since whenever it's been... I had shoulder surgery shortly after Christmas. All went well, and I should be pain free in about 2 more months. My doctor was so impressed today with my range of motion, he's not even sending me to physical therapy. Hooray!

I've still been keeping up with my jewelry, though maybe not at the speed I have in the past. I've got a bunch of new stuff to deliver to the salon tomorrow - I've had nothing there since the beginning of December, which is inexcusable.

Now I must show you what the wonderful and uber-talented Susan of Libellula Jewelry did. Several months ago, she offered to make me some copper tags for my jewelry. I know she did it for a couple of others out there too - Keirsten and Brigitta at least. She sent them to me before Christmas, and I have neglected to blog about them. They're wonderful and I can't wait to start using them! I just haven't made any copper necklaces that hook in the back since then. She sent them bright and shiny, and I immediately dunked them in the LOS. I've buffed a couple, but figured I'd do the rest on an as-used basis. Pardon the indoor, Ott-lit, iPhone photo of them, but you can see how fabulous they are! And if you are tempted to order some of your own, she would be happy to design some for you!


I also had the chance to meet and hang out with her over the holiday season. She's super cool and so easy to get along with. She was in town again last weekend doing a table at an Art Market in the hipster part of town, and she asked if I wanted to split a table with her next month. Apparently that market encourages people to split tables; so I agreed to do it. It's a weird weekend to do a market, i.e., Mardi Gras weekend. So I'm not sure how many people will be attending it rather than parades, or if those who do go will even be looking for jewelry - since it's touting that weekend as Last Minute Costume Sale - the Bywater hipsters are massively into fabulous DIY costumery. No matter what, it'll be fun and it'll be good exposure for both of us. I also kinda sorta think some of the artsy folks who attend that market will likely be more my demographic than the last several markets I've done. So crossing my fingers and toes for that!

Did I mention that I got a torch for Christmas? Of course that led to: oh, and I need pickle. and a pickle pot. and crosslock tweezers. and copper tongs. After I finally managed to get all that, I spent the better part of last weekend making ball end headpins and a few clasp hooks. It was SO MUCH FUN! And another friend who has a tumbler offered to tumble it all for me, and of course I let her keep some for her trouble. Weirdly, they all curled up in the tumbler. I guess I cut them too long? Or is that the usual?


Not really a problem, as I can straighten them easily enough, and some of them are halfway to being earwires anyway! Notice the two sterling ones in the bottom of the picture. They did not curl. All of this is 20g.

So yeah, I'm gonna need a tumbler now. All because I wanted a torch! How it grows. Surely it'll be a kiln soon, and a new place to live so I have room to store/use all these things.

Here's a necklace I made last night featuring one of my fancy new hook clasps!


I love it! The heart, in case you didn't know, is from Nancy Schindler of Round Rabbit fame. So that sorta matching bead on the side there? It was all white carved cinnabar so I took some black acrylic paint and rubbed it in there, and sealed it with renwax for good measure. How perfect is that? I suspect I'll be doing that again, 'cos I got another one of these hearts in teal.

Now for some earrings made with my exciting earwires:


Note the teeny 24g headpins holding the green garnets. I am awesome. Haha. Really though, I'm so excited about all this.

I will be back to blog again soon, I promise!


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Gossiping Goddess / Cheeky Cherub Challenge Reveal

For some wonderful reason, Kaz from Cheeky Cherub Designs decided to bestow a heap of leftover lamp work beads on Lesley Gossiping Goddess Watt. In a very fun and generous move, Lesley decided to share some of her treasure with her readers for this challenge. I was one of the lucky winners! I received a heart and two coordinating round beads. I forgot to photograph them before I utilized them, sorry!

This year, we got a bigger Christmas tree than we have in years past. That meant the ornaments were a bit sparse, so I decided to make one out of the heart. I combined some coordinating beads, sari fabric, and cranberry leather, and made this beauty. I like how the fabric looks like the heart's wings! And it looks lovely on the tree. I'll get to admire it for years to come.




For the round beads, which are admittedly an unusual color, I managed to find matching beads, and made these adorable swingy earrings. I'm very pleased with them - they turned out much better than I'd initially imagined. I love when that happens!



Please make sure to check out what everyone else has done!


Rebecca Anderson - http://songbeads.blogspot.co.uk/
Sharyl Macmillan-Nelson - http://sharylsjewelry.blogspot.co.uk/
Caroline Dewison - http://blueberribeads.co.uk/
Purple Cobwebs - http://www.purplecobwebs.co.uk/

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Back in the Swing

Finally, after what seemed like eons, I am inspired and making jewelry like a crazy person! I can only do so much at a time; I do not care to go through all that back pain again. But slow and steady wins the race right? The keyword being STEADY. Of course I also have my upcoming Craft Fair in 2 weeks to be lighting a fire under my derriere. But who cares why I'm back? I'M BACK!

I've posted most of these photos to my Facebook page, and at least two pairs of earrings here sold as a result (and another request for something similar sold as well).

Top: Focal by Bo Hulley. Bottom Right: Focal by Julie Rowe of Beads Birds & Bones.


Pendant by Julie Rowe of Beads Birds & Bones.


 Polymer Buddha head by Second Surf.


 Bird pendant by Kylie Parry.


Root beer pendant by  Lynn Davis.


Owl pendant by Round Rabbit Extra.


Lots of earrings (with some bits by Round Rabbit and Bo Hulley, as well as some upcycled vintagey things). The Day of the Dead earrings are always a customer favorite - these sold right away, and in fact were even blogged about! I made a custom pair for someone else who fell in love with these.

MOAR EARRINGS! I've been an earring making fool. These are perhaps less inspired than the ones above, but they're nonetheless pretty and will likely be a hit at the craft fair.


And the best thing I've done in a while is make this super fantastic wonderful earring display. I am bursting with pride over this one. Almost as much as my dog is bursting with tired in the background ;) And if you are interested in making something similar for yourself, I'll be doing a tutorial for Art Bead Scene all about it! I'll be sure to let you know when the post is up.

Thanks for dropping by, and I apologize for being such a bad blogger - but like I said, I'm back!
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