Thursday, April 30, 2015

Beaded Links

I have a "studio" in my basement.  Considering the size of our house and that 5 human being live in it, it's actually quite a nice space. (And more space than my husband gets to himself).  
 But I also have two wooden trays that roam around the house with beadweaving projects.  (Wooden trays from Melissa and Doug toys with a felt pad work great!)  These projects are easily transportable and don't quite take as many tools as some of the other wirework I like to do. 
 Last fall, I started using the tutorial for the 'Nesting Bracelet' from October/November 2011 Beadwork to make some beaded links.  Every once in a while getting back to it with different combinations of different beads. 

Now, I have a few beaded links but haven't decided if I would make them all into bracelets or use them for focal beads in other items.  Either way, I think I'm finally ready to move on to a different beadweaving project. 

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Art Bead Scene February Month Challenge

Somehow I actually finished on time this month.  I usually have the intention in joining in on this challenge but seem to rarely finish.  I even finished all the components I wanted to make for last month's challenge but have yet to finish the bracelet I was planning. 
Check here for the lovely inspiration: 
The picture has Flowers and Butterflies - I can't wait for Spring!  Color!   I'm already tired of the snow and the winter blah-ness and we've only had real accumulation for a week and 2 days.  Nothing to complain about this winter but still very much disliked!

Here is my entry:
I used the Carmine bead in Marsala with Daisy Pattern by Cindy Kovar from Captured Moments.  Isn't is wonderful?  The color and pattern are just so cheery.  It looks like something that can be worn with a lot of outfits. 
 I had a lot of debate with how to do the chain.  At first, I was making a beaded chain by wire-wrapping the beads but the beads were a little thick and, frankly, I like the look of big chunky bracelets but they seem to get in the way unless I have a day of total leisure (with 3 kids, Ha!, wouldn't that be extraordinary?!).  So, I was looking for a low profile chain but something to balance the size of the focal and then I remembered the links I had made awhile back from Cindy Wimmer's 'Missing Link' book.  They attach together terrifically.  Some Vintaj jump rings and Czech beads to add in some of the other colors from the inspiration piece and a flower lobster clasp and...  completed on time. 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Pretty Palettes February Challenge

I think I'm more on board with spring challenges because of the colors and the promises of warmer weather, of flowers, of being outside, of not wearing 3 layers all the time!

This month's Pretty Palettes Challenge doesn't have flowers (and the person in it looks pretty cold), but the colors are so very nice - soft and warm.
Here is the inspiration:

Feb_SkyPortal_horalek_960 copy

Surprisingly (or maybe unsurprisingly), I already had 3 of the bead strands from the ones chosen by Erin Prais-Hintz so I stuck with those. 
I was struck by two things in this photo.  First, the way the sky image is in a circle.  This reminded me of a necklace that a person wears on another blog I follow (in this post).  Her necklace has 3 semi-circles.  Her necklace is by baublebar and when I checked out the website, it didn't have this particular necklace but from the looks of the others, I guessed that the necklace I like is probably made with 3 metal fan or semi-circle shapes with swavorski-like crystals embedded in them or with crystal casings soldered together to make the shape.  Well, my metalwork is limited to wirework and the occasional stamping.  With 3 little kids (and two rough and tumble boys), a torch in the house is not currently approved.
So, I worked with wire and chain to make my version, plus the pink faceted rounds, glass bronze crystals and bronze plated rondelles and some green grey faceted rounds. 
Here's the result:
 This necklace took a lot of fiddling to get the right amount of loop in the semi-circle without puckering.
 When I tried it on, the necklace definitely has more of a circular drape and looks great- maybe it just needs a thicker neck than my prop.
The second thing that caught me about the picture was the use of color and the way it seems to move you around the circle of the sky.  So, the second piece was made with some beautiful lampwork beads (I think by Kimberly's Corner).

The colors very much remind me of the swirling sky and do you see the toggle bar?  These toggle bars where you can add beads are awesome.  There are some AB pink/orange seed beads in there.  And the toggle circle is a Vintage piece that has been slightly buffed.
Thank you Erin for a great inspiration!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Spring Flowers Earrings Everyday Monthly Challenge

I worked on making some earrings last night that were inspired by the Earrings Everyday 'We're All Ears' monthly challenge.   The pictures are wonderful - so colorful, especially during such a dreary wintery month.

The colors are just phenomenal.  This 'Whimsical Flower Art' by Lim Zhi Wei.
Definitely inspired.  Probably a little too literally.  As you can see the earrings are very flowerful.  If I had real flowers, I may have included those too.


Sunday, February 15, 2015

Goody! Goody! Golem Beads!

These beads just make me happy to look at.  Such fun designs and fun colors.  Almost all art beads are like that.  Such fun looks.  I appreciate the time that has been put into creating the little pieces of art.  But sometimes there is so much going on that I'm not sure what else to pair with the beads.
So this bunch of Golem beads have been made into earrings - to let the design on the beads shine.  Look for them at my etsy store.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Happy February!

I feel I have to start out with something happy, because if I really titled this what I thought of February than nobody would want to read it.  Another winter month....(sigh!)
I may not have been active on here (even missing my two usual monthly jewelry challenges), things have been moving swiftly at home. I recently submitted some jewelry to a magazine, for the first time!  That alone is a little exhilarating.  There is quite a lot of information and work needed for submitting jewelry.  And I got some accepted!!!  I am so thrilled!  I'll post more as soon as I can.

Although I haven't made as much jewelry as usual this past month, I have been working on learning some new techniques and so, have been making components.

These are the leather infinity links from Tracy Statler's tutorial.  There were some used in a previous post.  But I just couldn't stop and made them in different colors and sizes of leather, too.

And then, on to some wirework.  I received Cindy Wimmers' Missing Link book two Christmases back and have finally started making the components.  Some are just awesome!  As seen here:

And some, I still need some practice on:

I really like the look of the links with coiled wire around them and since decided that I needed to get a coiling gizmo because all of those coiled wires were done by literally hand-coiling a thin piece of wire around a thick piece of wire, which is kind of time-consuming!

And then I started working on these components for a piece for the ArtBeadScene January challenge.  I had a vision of a bracelet with dangles of these wire components and links of some loupiac glass beads.  I think I might still carry through on this challenge.

But all chaos broke loose in our basement and I decided to clean and organize the entire 800 square feet of it.  And in the process, I moved my "studio" to a new area, which of course adds a layer of confusion every time I sit down to make jewelry.  All of my drawers are not in their usual space.
It's finally settled though, so I hope to be back in the swing of things. 

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!