Friday, February 16, 2018

We're All Ears - February Reveal

I realize that my blog has been a little light on content this month. Still, I hope that this post makes up for that a little bit--because it's time for the reveal of this month's We're All Ears challenge! Woo-hoo! 

This month's inspiration was chandeliers.

Not my picture... From the Earrings Everyday blog.

I really do like chandeliers. I've always wanted to have one in my dining room... That project is a little further down the road, however! In the meantime, I can enjoy making earrings inspired by them. :)

Overall, I made three pairs of earrings for this challenge. The first two pairs are a bit literal, insofar as they feature Swarovski crystals that were actually taken from a chandelier. (Heh, I couldn't help it--I've been wanting to use them for earrings, and this was the perfect opportunity to do so!)

This first pair also features bronze stick pearls and Czech glass:

I wanted to make them feel rich and classic--using brass and bronze and warm goldtones in juxtaposition to the shiny crystal. I also wanted the different textures of the Czech glass and pearl to mute the sparkle a bit, enriching and deepening the overall look. What can I say--I'm really happy with how these turned out!

Since I had some chandelier crystals leftover, I decided to make a pair in silver, too--this time paired with silver Czech glass daggers:

While the first pair feels rich and old-fashioned (I think it's the brass that does it), this second pair feels elegantly modern... The sleek lines of the daggers and the geometric angles of the crystal, all unabashedly bright and shiny. There is no muted sparkle here! :)

The third pair of earrings takes more inspiration from the general sway of chandeliers. In keeping with the feeling of the second pair, I used silver and faceted glass paired with those same Czech daggers:

These really do have such amazing sway! :)

And with that--there you go! Those are the earrings that I made for this reveal. Thanks so much for stopping by today to see what I made! Be sure to hop over to Earrings Everyday reveal to see what everyone else created. :)

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Wednesday's Worktable

This week: my search for color continues!

...Because, honestly, I'm not going to find it outside. February continues to be rainy and grey, and I don't expect that to change any time soon. 

But that's all right, because I have these:

...Those are some of the paper beads I made last week. 

And this week, I have turned them into a necklace:

The lighting is a bit wonky--learning a new phone camera, not having a place to setup my new photobooth, and the natural light stinking due to the aforementioned rain--but I think you get the idea!

I've also been having fun making some pendants...

What did I use to make them, you ask?

A colorful birthday card that I saved!

I look forward to making those into necklaces at some point! :)

So, there you go... That's what I've been dabbling with this week.

Oh! And I have some good news. I have decided to actually do a Monthly Challenge this month. In fact, I've already started on it. Hah! I was all set to just skip it, but apparently my muse was not having any of it. I'll try to announce the challenge soon... And, if not, it'll just be a surprise on reveal day. ;)

Thanks so much for stopping by today... Have a wonderful Wednesday, everyone!

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Wonder and Whimsy Monthly Challenge - February Hiatus

Hello, everyone!

After the craziness that was last month, I really need a break this month... And as much as I don't want to, that includes taking a break from my Monthly Challenge. It may not always look it, but orchestrating the challenge takes a lot of time and energy--and I love doing it, but that's time and energy I just don't have right now. 

Still, I hope to be back next month--for the Challenge's 4th year anniversary. Woo! In the meantime, thanks so much for understanding... I appreciate you all so much. :)

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Hello, February!

...and hello, color!

Outside, it's incredibly cloudy and dreary. (Yep, it's February in Ohio. Woo.) So, to combat the wintry doldrums, my worktable is currently ensconced in color

Namely, this color:

That's a calendar I bought while in Maryland last month. I actually bought two of them... one to use for its intended purpose, and the other to turn into paper beads.

I'm sure I'll be working on those for quite some time. There are 12 wonderful pages to play with, after all! I'm honestly not sure what all I'll be making with all of those paper beads, either... but it's certainly fun to think about!

Thanks so much for stopping by today to see what I'm up to... Happy February, everyone!

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Pretty Palettes - January 2018 Reveal

If you're here looking for my Bead Swap Introductory post, go here! It's an older post, but it's still accurate. Thanks so much! :)

Here it is--the first Pretty Palettes of the year! How exciting! :)

I actually wasn't sure if I was going to be able to join along this month... It's just been so crazy around here. (Sorry if you're getting tired of me saying that. I'm really trying my best not to complain, but golly it's been rough.)

I had actually decided that I was going to sit this month out... But then, around this time last week, I realized how important it was for me to participate. Creating is therapeutic for me, and I realized I was going to be very disappointed if I didn't at least try.

And so, at the last minute, I dragged my husband to the store (with a gift card in tow!). Here are the beads that I picked out:

Now, there was another added challenge this month. When I finally decided that I was going to participate this month, my hand was already out of commission.... meaning, no wire-wrapping. 

(Sidenote: I'm happy to report that my hand is doing much better today! I have no idea how I managed it, but somehow I had bruised my palm. Huh. That's why it hurt when I tried to hold the pliers. Oh well. In any case, I will happily resume my wire-wrapping ways soon! Yay!)

Anyway, due to my hand mishap, that meant that I could only make something using stringing methods.

...And I am very, very happy with the results!

...Yep, I went all out! It is a six-strand strung necklace, dripping with pearls, Czech glass, crystal, and glass--all paired with gunmetal and brass. 

I really loved the way that the original palette shifted from black to white, and I wanted to echo that movement. Construction-wise, each side of the necklace is a mirror of the other--just using the different color combinations.

It's also rather long. I was having some issues getting the whole thing photographed in my current photo set up. So! I was finally able to set up one of my Christmas presents from my parents--a brand new (larger) lightbox! 

I'm still figuring things out with it, so I realize the next few pictures aren't the best. Still, they give you an idea of the size and flow of the entire piece... Since the inspiration itself was opulent--champagne and caviar--I figured something extravagant was in order!

...Not sure if you noticed, but the gold-and-cream side has a brass end cap, and the black-and-silver one has a matching one in gunmetal. I was having fun in the details. :)

So, there you go! Apparently when I can't do wire-wrapped bead chains, I go all out and make giant strung necklaces. Hah! As I said, I really am happy with how this turned out... Thank you to Molly Schaller and the Halcraft blog for hosting this challenge, and thank you so much, readers, for stopping by to see it!

Have a wonderful day, everyone! Here's to hoping that February is much calmer than this January has been! :)

Friday, January 26, 2018

Wonder and Whimsy Monthly Challenge - January Reveal

When I was deciding on what January's Monthly Challenge was going to be, I knew that I was going to have limited time to devote to beading this month. That's why I decided to focus on finishing up some UFOs (Unfinished Objects)

...What I didn't realize was just how little time I was going to have. Oi.

Still! For all the craziness that this month has thrown at me, I do have one project to show off! And it's purple, which makes me happy. :)

This particular Unfinished Project hasn't been on my desk for too long. I picked up those Imperial Jasper beads last month, and immediately knew I wanted to pair them with brass. After a little playing around, I came up with this:

Now, it may not be the most complicated thing I've ever made (yep, still on a no-wire-wrap rest for the sake of my hand), but that doesn't make it any less lovely. In fact, I really like how the beauty and variance of the stones are showcased... They take front-and-center, and don't get drowned out by anything super dramatic.

Sometimes I think I get so caught up in making things elaborate (I'm looking at you, crazy tassel necklaces) that I forget the beauty of simplicity. Heh--and things don't always have to be wire-wrapped to be lovely. ;)

Thank you so much for stopping by today to see what I made for this month's challenge! It's always a pleasure to share my creations with you--a little bit of loveliness, even though the world can be crazy. :)

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Thursday's Worktable

...or, an alternate title: My Recent Adventures with Labradorite.

I really love labradorite. It's probably tied with amethyst as my favorite gemstone. (Although, honestly, I'm rather hard pressed to think of a gemstone that I don't like. Heh.) 

Imagine my delight, then, when this month's Bargain Bead Box came full of labradorite--mixed with copper, even! I love the juxtaposition of the warm brown of the copper and the cool greenish grey of the stone... And it's that juxtaposition that I decided to play around with this week.

Overall, I've made two sets with the components from the box. 

The first one was made with the awesome tree pendant that came in the box (no, sadly, I can't take credit for that beautiful wire-wrapping on the pendant!):

...and the second set focuses on the larger 10mm labradorite rounds:

So much fun!

...And, sadly, also the last wire-wrapping I'm going to be able to do for awhile. Apparently I have done something to upset my left hand--tweaked a nerve, maybe? Regardless of what exactly I've done, I've learned that when I upset my hands, I need to rest them. And that means no holding pliers in my left hand until things calm down... Bah humbug! I suppose I'll just have to find something else to keep my creative side busy. :)

Thanks so much for stopping by today to see what I've been up to... Oh, and if you're here for my Swap N' Hop introduction, go here! It's the one that I wrote a few years ago--and, honestly, it's still quite accurate! (If I'm able to write an updated one, I will... but, if not, that one is still pretty spot-on! *grin*)

Have a lovely Thursday, everyone!