10/18/14

8th Do-Over Challenge Reveal

Welcome to the Do-Over Challenge Blog Hop hosted by the talented Jeannie Dukic of Whee! The People blog!

The way this works is Jeannie sends out an old piece of jewelry that she made and challenges us to use the components of the piece in a new piece of jewelry. 

Here is a photo of the jewelry I received:


And here are the pieces I made with these beautiful purple Czech beads:


For this necklace I pulled out my favorite wireworking book, "Totally Twisted" by Kerry Bogert and found the design for these fabulous links.  I also used some beautiful beads from Mary Cobble at Firebabies.


The focal for the necklace is an enameled cross I recently made that worked perfectly with the purple beads.


I decided to use the rest of the beads and the clasp from the original set in a couple of fun bracelets:


This bracelet is made with the larger Czech beads, the silver clasp and black waxed linen thread.


This last bracelet features ceramic links from Cindy Kovar at Captured Moments, and looks great with the purple coiled wire and small Czech beads.

If you have a few moments, take some time to check out the other talented artists hopping today:

5/10/14

Welcome to the Bead Soup Blog Party!

What is a Bead Soup Blog Party?

 Each beader was paired up with another jewelry designer and tasked with sending the following:

- A focal
- A special clasp (not just a lobster claw)
- Some coordinating spacers or beads

Using the focal and the clasp was mandatory, but we could use anything from our own stash to round out the rest, and choose to use the coordinating beads or not.


You can see the picture of all the amazing beads I received from my fantastic Bead Soup partner, Nan Emmett of Spirited Earth Studio in this post.

With so many beads to work with, I barely had to add anything from my own stash, and I didn't even use up all of them!  I actually had a hard time settling my mind down enough to organize designs in my head, so I did something I never do: 

I sketched out the designs I wanted to make beforehand. Crazy - right?  

So many of my beady friends are planners who generally sketch out their designs before they make any jewelry, but I'm not that kind of artist.  I prefer the 'on the fly' method, and have rarely - if ever - sketched out my designs ahead of time, but this time I needed a way to reign in my ADHD brain and create a plan.  

Guess what?  It ACTUALLY worked!  

I was able to create a whole slew of designs, using up nearly all of the beads Nan sent to me, in an efficient but creative way, and I am SO happy with how they turned out!  

So, without further ado, here are the pieces I made with Nan's beads:

"In Flight"
When Nan sent me these butterflies, I knew that I wanted to create a statement piece incorporating all three of them in the same piece.  I felt that if I separated them into individual pieces, they wouldn't make as much of an impact as they do together, and this way they carry so much more visual weight.  I added some of the blue howlite, three of Nan's handmade rounds, some jonquil rondelles and the sweet blue and green Czech beads to bring out the various colors in the glazes of the butterflies.  I made a couple of quick handmade copper links and a handmade copper clasp and pulled the whole piece together with a dark green waxed Irish linen cord.  I decided to make a pair of earrings to go with the necklace:


The necklace hangs approximately 22 1/2", and the earrings are approximately 2" from the top of the ear wires.


I just love how these pieces turned out!

The next piece I made was a fun knotted bracelet using the same dark green waxed Irish linen cord with three of Nan's ceramic flowers:

"Triple-y"
I thought a great deal about how to best showcase these flowers, and decided to go with a simple, casual look.


I added in some small Czech rondelles from my stash and used one of Nan's ceramic rounds for the clasp.  Such a fun bracelet that will go with just about everything in my closet!

This next piece is made to wear as a wrap bracelet or as a reversible necklace.  I used the brass rounds, soapstone rounds, blue howlite roundels, white howlite rounds and focal, one of the brass shields and the brass toggle clasp:

"Elegance"




The next piece is one of my favorites.  I went back through photos of some of my old designs and decided to use simple 'stick' links (like I did in this design) with natural leather and copper to set off the beautiful tree of life bead:
"Roots"
The length of this necklace is about 17", and the focal hangs down an additional nearly 4" - quite a different kind of design for me.


The soapstone beads were a perfect compliment to the colors in the bead, and I wanted to let the simplicity of the design take a backseat to the focal.

This next piece is one I've already worn and *may* not be selling - lol!  I loved the dove pendant and wanted to find a fun way to use it, and a long tassel is what I came up with.

"Belief"
Sari silk is the perfect way to finish the cord of this necklace, while bringing in some deeper teal tones to the piece.



I was trying to figure out an unusual way to construct the tassel, and decided to cut up an antique sterling silver knife from one of my crazy collections.  The hollow handle is a perfect way to hide the innards of the tassel and also to create a matching bail.


This next design is just plain fun!  I used the house pendant, the remaining flower, the shield from HumbleBeads and a whole lot of Nan's ceramic rounds:

"Happy Home"
I used  some of my handmade enameled headpins as accents and for the wire wraps on the focal:


The antiqued copper is a fantastic finish with all of the beautiful ceramic finishes Nan used, and the olive green leather cording sets off the greens in the ceramics:



This last piece is right up my alley:
"Simplicity"
I had some of the beautiful ceramic rounds left, and wanted to use them in an organic, simple design, so I created a 'bead stick' that I did a messy wire wrap around.  I finished it off with a long piece of olive green leather and tight copper wire wraps, and I have my new weekend t-shirt necklace!


I have to say, I was VERY spoiled by my amazing soup partner.  If you only go out to see two other blogs in this hop, make Nan your first stop and our fabulous hostess extraordinaire, Lori Anderson your second:

Nan Emmett:     www.spiritrattles.blogspot.com

Lori Anderson, Hostess     www.PrettyThingsBlog.com

And then you can hop from Lori's blog to see the rest of the amazing 'soupers'!

Thank you so much for stopping by, and enjoy the rest of your weekend!

5/8/14

Deep Waters Challenge Reveal

Welcome to the Deep Waters Challenge reveal hosted by Andrew Thornton!  The guidelines for this challenge are to create pieces using beads from the fabulous kit we purchased from Andrew.

Here is a picture of the beads in the kit:


So many possibilities!  And here is what I made with them:

The first piece is a free-form peyote stitched necklace featuring the 'mystery component' - a beautiful ceramic seahorse focal made by Andrew:


I love the colors that weave together through this piece, and the copper is a perfect compliment to the blues of the beads.


For the second piece, I used a focal I had enameled together myself a while ago that I decoupaged sheet music tissue paper to:


For the connecting links, I used my own enameled headpins to wire wrap different bead combinations together.

I finished the piece off with some lovely sari silk that is perfect with the beads.

The third piece I made is a *very* long necklace that can also be worn doubled up or as a wrap bracelet:


I made about a gazillion wire wrapped links that I attached together using links from my favorite antiqued copper chain.



I made the final piece using the turquoise waxed linen thread and an eclectic mix of beads from the kit to form a netted, knotted necklace that I wear with just about everything in my closet.



Thank you so much, Andrew, for hosting such a fantastic challenge!  Take a few minutes to check out the fabulous artists participating in this challenge:







Andrew Thornton, Marian Howarth, Julie Katz, Crystal Farrel, Laurel Ross, Alison Herrington http://andrew-thornton.blogspot.com/2014/05/deep-waters-challenge-reveal.html

4/19/14

7th Do-Over Challenge Reveal

Welcome to the Do-Over Challenge Blog Hop hosted by the talented Jeannie Dukic of JKD Studio!

The way this works is Jeannie sends out an old piece of jewelry that she made and challenges us to use the components of the piece in a new piece of jewelry. 

Here is a photo of the jewelry I received:

Iris Green Freshwater Pearls and Czech Glass Rounds
A sweet necklace /earring set just waiting to be given new life. 



Here's what I created:


Adding in some smoky iridized droplets, I made 125 tiny dangling charms that I paired with an industrial-feel chain and clasp.

This is one of my favorite kinds of bracelets to make, even though they are very labor-intensive.  I love the movement and sound of all those tiny danglies as they hang from your wrist. 


So cute - and it will go with so many things!

Below is a list of all the participants - take some time to see what everyone else did with their makeovers:

4/16/14

More Bead Soup...

Yesterday I shared the unbelievable Bead Soup mix my awesome partner, Nan Emmett, sent to me (you can read that post here).

Today I wanted to share the bead soup mix that I sent to Nan:


I sent her two etched copper focals, some enameled copper beads, toggles and bead caps and a handmade chain, all made by me.  I also included some antiques copper chain, Czech crystal rondelles, and a set of fabulous lampwork beads made by Mary Cobble of Firebabies.

I can't wait to see what Nan makes from this mix! Check back on May 3rd to see the final pieces and for a listing of all the participants!

4/15/14

Meet My Amazing Bead Soup Blog Party Partner Nan Emmett

I want to take a minute to introduce you to my Partner for the 8th Bead Soup Blog Party taking place on May 3rd:


Nan is a phenomenal ceramic bead artist, and I couldn't have been more excited to find out we had been partnered for this hop - woo-hoo!

Here is the unbelievable soup she sent me:
Everything came in these super-cute handmade packages with the sweet cardinal notecard.
Nan doesn't know this, but cardinals are one of my favorite things - I love them!
There are so many handmade components in my soup, so I'll start with three of the most beautiful
 butterfly focals I've ever seen.
Check out these complementary components to go with the butterflies.
Here are even MORE handmade goodies: gorgeous beads in the same color scheme.
The lovely brass filigree toggle and accompanying beads and shields will look amazing with the ceramic components.
And as if that wasn't enough, Nan included these lovelies to incorporate into my pieces as well.  Can you see the cool polymer shield at the top of the photo made by Heather Powers of Humblebeads?
Here's a picture of the whole kit and caboodle.
Honestly, I'm the luckiest girl in the world.  It was just plain serendipity that Nan chose the components she did to send to me.  I have a very personal attachment to butterflies and the hope that comes from life change they symbolize, and daisies are my very favorite flowers in the world.  And to have a cardinal on the notecard too?  So cool!

Nan, from the bottom of my heart, thank you for being such an amazingly generous and talented partner.  I can't wait to get started!

3/31/14

Up-Cycling Housewares Into A Fun Windchime

Our Prima Bead assignment this month was to use their products in a non-jewelry craft project.  As soon as I received my box of goodies, I knew what I wanted to make, but had to figure out exactly how to make it.

For a few years now, I've been collecting wind chimes that I hang in the huge tree outside my workshop window.  I love the colors that bounce around when the sun shines through the glass, and the sounds they make are so soothing.

For Christmas my good friend Penny gave me the coolest wind chime that was made out of old silverware, and when the wind hits it, the sound is absolutely beautiful.  I loved this idea, and wanted to build on it for my project by using more beads and kitchen items.  

What I came up with is this up-cycled housewares wind chime:


To make the wind chime I used the following materials:

One antique colander
4 antique / vintage / mismatched forks
Lots of 14g copper wire and 19g steel wire jump rings
A huge assortment of Prima beads and charms
10 inches of copper chain

Trying to get a great photo of the wind chime just wasn't in the cards, but I think you'll get the idea if I include some other pictures here (it is warm here in Phoenix, but a bit windy at my house, making it a little difficult to take a non-blurry outside picture):


Here's a close-up of the curled fork tines and the fun beads and charms.  I also used an antique key on the longest fork, keeping with the vintage feel of the piece:





This was such a fun piece to make - it may become my new favorite!

As always, thank you to Prima Bead for their generosity!

** Necessary Legal Stuff: I am honestly reviewing the products above which I have received free of charge from Prima Beads, and I have not been paid for my endorsement as it pertains to them.