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Saturday, April 28, 2012

Attempt #387

I swear this flower pendant will be the death of me. I'm guessing from the few honest comments I got last blog and the otherwise silence, that you all agreed (except for LeeLu, thanks :) that the necklace was, as the kids say, an Epic Fail. Ugh. I don't know what is so darn hard. I don't even trust my judgment at all when it comes to this pendant. Here's what I did last night.

Rebecca Anderson, I'm pretty sure the big ceramic bead came from a random goodies stash I won from you a while back.

I tried the all white and the all white with one/some cherry quartz as mentioned in the comments last time. It just didn't work. This is definitely better than last time, but like I said I really don't trust my judgment about this focal.

Don't forget to enter for your chance to win the next stop on the Art Bead Love Tour!!!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Finally Used the Flower Focal

Remember how two entries ago, I was trying to work with a Round Rabbit flower focal and instead I wound up with this fairy necklace?

Over the weekend, I decided come hell or high water that I was going to use that focal. I don't know why I was so dead set on it, but I was. I'd gotten some fab cherry quartz at the AKS Gem show 2 weeks ago, and I couldn't stop picturing it with the flower. Probably because it reminded me of this necklace I made a couple of years ago. Since I eventually removed it from etsy because I couldn't stop wearing it (I'm wearing it right now!), I didn't want to make something so similar. But I couldn't help myself from using the cherry quartz. I paired it with some Czech glass and strung it on turquoise waxed Irish linen. It's fun and colorful and springy, though I'm still not sure it was the best use of that flower. I think it's just my matchy matchy neurons twitching because the matchiness of the blues/turquoises don't seem to be close enough to draw it together. Like the focal's just the wrong shade of blues. Or am I being ridiculous?

EDIT: I am not being ridiculous! Kashmira's comment below is convincing me it should be paired with all white. Next question. White beads, but what color cord? Turquoise like it's already on, white for the sake of matching, or red in case someone who digs red, white & blue wants it?

Don't forget to enter for your chance to win the next stop on the Art Bead Love Tour!!!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Art Bead Love Tour!

It is time for the next stop on the Art Bead Love Tour!!! The winner could be you -- read the details below, copied from Love My Art Jewelry's original blog.

The winner will be chosen Saturday May 5th. 
(Both Cinco de Mayo and my dog's arbitrary birthday!)

We here at Love My Art Jewelry are always trying to think of new ways to spread the love of handmade, and the message to create handmade with handmade. So we put our brains together and came up with this idea, the Art Bead Love Tour.
The Art Bead Love Tour is an ongoing project to spread the love of handmade to new and exciting places. It’s a way to reach people who may have never stumbled upon our blog on their own, and give them a chance to share the love of handmade. We chose to use a chain to link beads as a symbol of how this project links us all together ~ in our unity to stand behind handmade.

We have filled one and a half feet of chain with handmade beads, charms and pendants, donated by our own Love My Art Jewelry Group. There are 60 beads on this chain, worth approximately $450. It includes ceramic, glass, polymer, various metals and metal clay beads. It’s a true tribute to handmade in all its beady glory! These beads are ready to go on tour…….the Art Bead Love Tour! This tour is basically an art bead swap, which will go on and on and on.
Here is how it works.

....please read the entire post before entering).

We will have a giveaway for this chain (how to enter is explained at the end of the post)
The Details:

1. The winner of the chain will be allowed to take up to 30 beads from this chain. They will then replace each bead they took, with another handmade bead, charm or pendant of equal quality. It is so important that the quality of the beads be maintained, so that we can keep the Art Bead Love Tour alive. We want to share consistent quality with the next winner. If you make your own handmade beads or components, it’s a great way to get your beads into the world for people to try them out, or, if you hoard collect art beads, it’s a great way to share your collection and get some new additions as well. (Art Beads should be handmade by an artist, and not mass produced, such as Hill Tribes Silver beads or others like them). Remember the focus is on creating handmade with handmade and beads/components taken should be replaced with beads/components that are made by an individual not an organization.

2. The winner will post pictures of what was taken and what was added, in order to keep an account of the chains progress and to keep our followers drooling. Please be sure to give credit to the bead artists as well.

3. The winner will then have a giveaway, just like this one, to keep passing the chain on and on. Rules can be copied and pasted from here.

4. When you re-post your giveaway (remember you can copy and paste from here)-a list should be added to show where the chain has gone, with links to each previous blog. Ultimately, this will end up being a very long list!

5. Chain must be shipped to its new home via Priority Small Flat Rate box with delivery confirmation. Please package it carefully.
6. There will be a button on the Love My Art Jewelry Website that links to the current blog and giveaway- so if you have the chain, it will link to your blog, that way our followers can have another chance to win it.
7. You MUST exchange your beads and have your giveaway completed within two weeks of receiving the chain.

(Please please please, if you can not adhere to the above rules, do not enter the giveaway at this time. It will go on and on and you can always enter at a later date.) There will be a button on the side bar of our blog so that you can track where the chain currently is.

Look where the chain has been……


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Surprise Fairy Necklace

Ever sit down fully intending to make one thing and then come away with something completely different? That's what happened last night. I've got a Round Rabbit flower focal I've been trying to use, but nothing ever seemed right. I figured surely I would be able to find the solution in last weekend's gem show haul, and I thought I did. I had the strung part of the necklace done, but it just seemed to overwhelm the focal.

So I soldiered on and added the sari, not sure what I would really do, because the way I designed the front - it needed a focal. I left a space for it between the beads. Once I was done with the sari bit, I poked through my growing, but still not massive, focal collection. Jessi's ceramic fairy pendant jumped right out at me and it was perfect!

I was slightly disappointed, in that it wasn't the necklace I set out to create, but by the time I woke up and looked at it again this morning I was quite happy with it.

My friend Jessi's fairy pendant, sari silk, Swarovski crystals, pyrite, apatite, waxed Irish linen cording, and upcycled pyrite rings (they were finger rings from Nine West!)

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Gem & Bead Overload!

I just went a little bit crazy at today's AKS Gemshow.

Just a little bit.

Click to enlarge and see them in their fully glory!

 Agate. Metal. Glass. Faceted Mother of Pearl. ? and ?

 Black Tourmaline. Green Garnet.

 Bone. Java Glass. Red Coral. Carnelian. Root-beer Garnet. Golden Coral.

 Kyanite. Apatite. Pyrite. Prehnite. Dyed Jade. Resin.

 Faceted Pearls.

  Chalcedony. Peruvian Opal. Aquamarine. Chalcedony. Green Kyanite.

 Tagua nut. Lava.

Chrysoprase. Cherry Quartz. Muscovite x 2.

Amazonite. Baltic Amber.

Lapis Lazuli. Gold Sheen Obsidian.

Aquamarine. Lodalite. Chrysoprase.

I am just that much further away from a down payment for the new car I'm trying to save up for. Unless of course I make so much awesome jewelry that people buy it like there's no tomorrow.

Now. Time to sort! I stopped by Michael's on the way home to buy some new sorty bins :)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

April Flower

New stuff! I made this bracelet last night. It's a bracelet! It's asymmetrical! Two things I usually fail at, but I think this one's a winner. I've had this vintage red flower button for a couple of years. I loved it, but never knew what to do with it until last night. Actually, I could say the same about the green & red dot lampwork bead and the green bead - it's made like a cotton pearl, but differently coated. I guess asymmetrical bracelets are the way to use up those cool singular beads I've got lying around. Now, if the salon customers would just embrace bracelets. Not once have I ever sold one there, and there have been a few really cute ones, albeit symmetrical...

I posted a quick iPhone snap of this necklace on Facebook the other day, but here it is in all its glory. Round Rabbit focal, Czech beads, opalite beads, vintage lavender seed beads, silver spacers and waxed Irish linen. Of course I missed Easter, but rabbits are cute all year. Not just on Easter!

Friday, April 6, 2012

With a little help from my friends...

Ever have one of those pieces about which you just CANNOT make up your mind? I'm a huge fan of Lynn Davis's gorgeous connectors (btw, she's currently having a 10% off sale). They always beg me for pearls, wire wrapping, and sparkly beads. Two of my favorite pieces I've ever made are with her connectors. This and this. So in this latest piece, I was going for more of the same, but I wanted to mix it up a bit. I was relatively happy with the main part, but I was fairly certain that the dangle was all wrong.

It's hard to tell, but that's a teeny faceted ruby above the rhinestone. I often wish those rubies were redder than pink. And I didn't have any garnet cut the right way. I was hearing various fellow bloggers' voices in my head, "don't be a perfectionist! don't be too precious! don't stress over every little detail!" and it was late and I was tired, so I just let it go. But every time I looked at it, it disappointed me more than it thrilled me. But then I didn't know if it was just me or I was being too picky.

So I snapped this photo with my iPhone and emailed it to Rebecca and Malin, who have become good friends whose styles I love and opinions I trust. They both agreed that they liked the idea of a group email confab to help when someone's stuck. I'm so glad, as I didn't want to seem a pest ;)

They both offered completely differing ideas, but they also both agreed it could be improved. Obviously, my inner voice was correct - and I was so glad to have their input. Rebecca suggested dangles (which she liked from another recent necklace I'd made) in either moonstone or ruby or both, as well as adding more to the dangle at the bottom. Malin suggested getting rid of the ruby altogether, and stacking some pearls and moonstones as a new dangle.

I thought about it and combined both of their ideas - but not necessarily exactly how they were describing them. Of course I can't picture what was in their minds and they don't know my stash, but I had a plan and I got busy. I stayed up a little later than I wanted to to finish it (who here hasn't done that a million times?), et Voila! I think it looks a lot better!

Thank you so much, ladies, for your input!

(Click to enlarge!)

Monday, April 2, 2012

Lorelei's e-book & more

For those of you who don't already know, Lorelei just released an ebook called Asymmetry Made Easy, which I just had to buy. It was way too late last night, and I didn't have the time this morning - but I can't wait to read it! A quick peek revealed that it's going to be very fun & helpful. I really struggle with asymmetry and while I get the concept, I have a hard time doing it. I can't wait to see what the master has to say about it! Get your own copy here:

Meanwhile, I made this necklace over the weekend with one of my long-hoarded Golem pendants. I figured since I just got a few new ones, it was time to let one of the older ones go. This is the first time (but surely not the last) that I've put waxed linen cording together with sari, and I like it.

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