Tuesday, January 6, 2015

New Art

I recently received a piece of art that hung over my Grandmother's (and Grandfather's) couch since as long as I can remember.  My grandmother moved out of her house several years ago and my mom acquired the piece because as many of us do, she has a hard time getting rid of items with sentimental feeling attached and possibly practical use.  So my mom asked me if I wanted it, which I did - for the frame and Mom was okay with me switching up the picture.  Even a frame this size would cost $20-$30 at our local thrift store.
So, I perused Pinterest A LOT looking for the perfect art to fill this frame.  I really can't paint birds very well, which is what I would have like to fill the space with, so I instead choice a bright and lively piece.  If you google search or Pinterest search DIY art, you are sure to find many versions of the Scrapbook Flower art, but I guess that's because its popularity is enforced by how doable it is for anyone and how nice the result is (and maybe how we all hoard art supplies, like scrapbook paper -- just me?).
Here is my version:  (and I still get to see the frame that I remember in my Grandmother's house).
Here's the original:
This is actually a famous painting "Summer Landscape" by Fritz Muller Landeck of Munchen.  I learned something in the process.  He made a lot of landscape pictures - usually much brighter than this one.  Of course, the one I had was a print that had badly darkened and browned with time.  So, no value lost!  

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Michael's Beading Challenge with a Twist Blog Hop

Okay.  Now I was 2 days late with the last hop but this one takes the cake.  The hop was actually December 18th and I actually finished making the jewelry a few days post hop but just unable to get to the computer for several days.  And since these beads were in colors that I naturally gravitate towards, I was determined to blog about it. 

The info about the hop is from Heather Powers, of Humblebeads, and Lorelei Eurto.  You have to check out what they made - truly beautiful pieces, I especially like their necklaces. 
I took even more of a twist on the initial "rules" to use the specific beads plus an artist's bead or beads and instead supported another artist by using their tutorial.

I made several bracelets using an Infinity leather link with a tutorial by Tracy Statler.  And on one of the bracelets, included a bead by (I think!)  Jera Luna Designs.  Some of the bracelets are stretchy and some are knotted with button closure.  And one pair of earrings.  Really love the drop beads - the color and shininess are brilliant!

 Cool leather links, aren't they?

Friday, January 2, 2015

Halcraft December Pretty Palettes Challenges

I'm running a bit late on posting for this challenge.  (A Whole Year Later!)   Ha!Ha!
All right, the holidays are quite hectic and in fact, we just celebrated our last Christmas yesterday.
So, I didn't peak at anyone's reveal until after I completed my own jewelry with these beads.  And what fun beads - I wish I would have completed before my New Year's Eve party.  They certainly would have looked sparkly for my night of dining, bowling and (a little) partying.
Awesome color palette again!  You can check the Halcraft blog for the inspiration.  
Here is my reveal:
 Super sparkly earrings. Just wanted to add one thing - the earring hooks are stainless steel, which is awesome for my touchy ears.  My ears start hurting with regular earring hooks and stainless are a great (mostly hypoallergenic) alternative to the more expensive sterling silver. 
And a stretch bracelet - what bling!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Bead Hoarders Blog Hop

I pondered which beads to use in this blog hop, because, like I'm sure many bead hoarders, I don't just hoard handcrafted beads.  I hoard any type of nice beads and findings - afraid to use them because I think I may not do the beads justice.  Which is quite the irony, because I'm certainly not doing justice to the beads (or the people who made the beads) by keeping them in my bead drawer.
So, today I made two pieces.  The first is with a beautiful heart lampworked bead from RachelBeads (by Rachel Goetz).  I looked for her website but it doesn't seem to be working.  I bought the lampworked bead at the Bellevue Beadery in Kentucky, which has undergone a change and no longer sells loose beads (only jewelry) and Rachel was at the last Intergalactic Bead Show in Cincinnati.  I like the simplicity of her 'kits' that are simple silver spacers to go with her more detailed and beautiful lampworked heart and flower beads.  Click here for some of the only information I could find online about the artist.
A friend who got me into the craziness of the beading world actually made me a necklace with one of these beads in the past.  And I was happy to find the beads at the store and really liked the multitude of colors she offers.  Such pretty hearts!  I kept the necklace simple to highlight the focal bead.  3 strands of purplish seed beads braided.
**When the lighting is better around here, I will take a picture that does this bead justice.

--Each side of the heart is special.

The second necklace comes from my bead hoard of gemstones.  I really like gemstones but don't generally like to make expensive looking jewelry - I generally wear workout clothes most days.  So, the beads stay in my drawer.  And my favorite gemstone is tourmaline.  I've purchased both really nice tourmaline and really cheap tourmaline - what a difference.  This necklace is made with glistening, very nice stones that I got at one of the first bead shows I went to.  The internal shiny striations of the briolettes are just gorgeous in the light.  Even the small disc tourmaline is crystal clear and so colorful.  
Unfortunately,  the light around here has been absolutely depressingly abysmal.  Horrible cloudy, grey, rainy and even foggy days have abounded.  So the pictures are taken under lots of lights and an Ott light - which is not ideal, but will have to do.   No matter what, this necklace adds a ray of sunshine to the day - I may even have to wear it with my workout clothes.

Edited to add better pictures:

Monday, December 1, 2014

Art Bead Scene November Challenge

I know this is late, but I already had the beads out and knew what I wanted to make and well, this holiday weekend was busy so it didn't quite happen on time.  That's how things seem to fly right now. 

Isn't the picture the Art Bead Scene picked out so nice to look at:

I would love to have this painting in my house.  Or better yet, to cross stitch this beautiful image. I couldn't find a cross stitch pattern for the exact pattern, but found some others on the Scarlet Quince website, just as beautiful.  

Instead it is used as a muse for my jewelry.  When I first saw this picture, the only thing that stood out to me were the pretty pinks and purples in the big flower with a very muted background.  That's all I could picture in my head. 
So here is where this inspiration led me:

A necklace inspired from the painting and from the book Bohemian Inspired Jewelry by Lorelei Eurto and Erin Siegel. 
 The pretty pink focal is from Gaea.  The rondelles are some kind of stone that I've had for a long time and it varies in color from muted pinks to deep purple pinks to pink green and then a deep forest green.  These are braided onto a grey waxed linen cord and finished with a flower pewter button.  I recently, before this challenge, got the cute hummingbird charms and thought they fit in well.

A soft pretty necklace.  Very different from last month's challenge!

Friday, November 28, 2014

Yuletide 2014 at 1305 Gallery

Once again, this year, I will have items at 1305 Gallery during the holiday season.  My items are part of the Cincy Craft Cartel's display of Christmas and art-y items for sale as part of Yuletide 2014.  I wish I had taken some pictures of what will be there but have been in such a rush with family and other obligations, that I totally missed the boat.

1305 Gallery will be open from 4pm - 10pm on Black Friday and  you can check out their facebook page for additional hours.

From me, there are a lot of leather bracelets with handmade artisan beads and earrings.  Wonderful gifts for the holiday!  The Cincy Craft Cartel is a conglomeration of local (really talented) artists and also includes knitted and sewn items.  They also have an Etsy page - Cincy Craft Cartel Etsy

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Halcraft November Pretty Palettes Challenge

Time for the reveal for the Halcraft November Pretty Palettes Challenge.  If you'd like to see more info about this challenge, check out my post from this post or the Halcraft Inspiration Blog
I used this color inspiration:

And received these beads to play with and come up with something fabulous!!!
Our November bead palette!

I hope I did this color scheme justice.  Orange and grey were difficult for me to jive in the same pieces.  I liked some jewelry with the orange color and I liked some jewelry with the blue grey color but the colors together were just not working well for me.

So here it goes.  First, two bracelets. 
The first bracelet has the round orange dyed jade, hematite and natural shell beads.  Finished off with a gunmetal clasp.  Perfect for fall.  Perfect for Thanksgiving.  Definitely within the color palette.  I like thick bracelets - I figure if I'm going to wear a bracelet, especially when I have long sleeves on, then it better be big enough to stand out.  And this one works great with my cream sweater and black shirt. 

I feel kind of like I cheated on this second bracelet.  And I also love this bracelet.  I wore it at a party with my Cousins that I haven't seen in quite awhile and got lots of compliments.  The colors are a little subdued from the color palette.  The second bracelet has the black and white shell lentil and some Czech glass beads in tortoise, blue-grey seed beads and some small white shell beads (coincidentally, also purchased from Michael's).  The chain I got from the recent local Intergalactic Bead Show and wish I would have bought more - love the detail on it.  If you try to make a bracelet like this, here's a few hints:  1) make sure to pick chain that turns like this one and has even links.  I tried another chain that continuously turned and it was not good.  2)  make sure to loosely wire-wrap the links or else the bracelet will not move organically with your wrist. 

Next, a necklace.  Hmmmm..... Still think it needs work.  I like the front beaded part on it, but the circle links are a little big and don't seem to go with the leather quite right.  I think I will have to bring it back to the drawing table.  I was trying to keep it from being too heavy.  I have a problem with wearing necklaces that are too heavy.  But, man, those beads - banded onyx faceted beads - how pretty!  Such awesome stones!  I really wanted to make some kind of necklace with them.  This one includes the banded onyx and bronze plated beads and some copper washers.

And some earrings.  These include the white shell lentils and have been worn a few times already.  I like mixing the metals.

And a failed attempt, but I thought I'd show anyway.  I was trying to make a different type of link earrings with these, but the onyx beads, although the right size, are just a little too heavy for this design.  They just distorted the circle links.  But a good try. 

And all together.

Thank you Erin for including me in this month's pretty palettes challenge.  It was so much fun!   Can't wait to see what next month brings. 

Check out what Erin did with these beads here