Friday, August 9, 2019

Wonder and Whimsy Monthly Challenge - August Edition

I'm leaving on vacation tomorrow (yay!).

In the midst of the packing frenzy, I wanted to make sure that I announce this month's challenge. It's a pretty straight-forward one... My challenge this month is to finish up some of my UFOs.

UFO stands for Unfinished Objects... namely, these particular Unfinished Objects:

Those are 12 projects that I've had planned--and some of them, even partially assembled--for the last few months. Before I take on any more big projects, I really really need to start clearing out some of the backlog. (This is what happens when there's a month or two where I haven't been able to make jewelry, due to my thumb or my concussion.)

Now, I seriously don't think I will finish all of those... After all, there are at least 3 signature tassel necklaces planned in that muffin tin. So, my realistic goal is to finish up at least 4 of those projects--any more than that will be a happy bonus. (And, knowing me, there will probably be 1 or 2 side projects I take on anyway. Hah!)

Thanks so much for stopping by today to see what I'm up to... Please stop by on Friday, August 30th to see what I end up finishing for this challenge.

Until then, have a wonderful day, everyone!

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Hello, August!

August is proving to be a busy month. 

Not that I'm complaining, though... I get to go on a family vacation next week! Hurray! There is a lot to get done between now and then, but it'll definitely be worth it. :)

As for my current worktable, it's a little cluttered right now with potential projects. Not only am I starting to pick projects to take with me on my vacation, my husband took me on a surprise bead shopping trip last week (yay!!) and I have some new goodies to play with... including these gorgeous 10mm amethyst rounds:

Aren't they just lovely? 

...I am a very happy (and spoiled!) little jewelry designer.

Thanks everyone for stopping by today! I hope to announce my monthly challenge this Friday, so feel free to stop by then to see what I'm going to be making this month.

Until then, have a wonderful day everyone! :)

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Pretty Palettes - July Reveal

I am absolutely in love with the Pretty Palette for July: much so, that I was apparently not about to let a concussion get in my way of participating. Heh.

In my defense, I had actually been planning these two pieces since I first saw the palette at the beginning of the month--but I was only able to start constructing them this past week. I promise that I didn't overdo it... I only got to work once I started feeling a bit better. It's a good thing that I had finished many of the other challenges before I got hit on the head!

But, enough talk! Here are the two projects that I made for this challenge. :)

Necklace #1

This was actually the more challenging of the two projects--because of the seed beads. It was a good exercise in patience, because I could only focus on it in little spurts before needing to give my brain a break. Still, I think it turned out well, all things considering! It was made using Czech pip beads, brass, and glass (both Czech and otherwise). 

Necklace #2

Yep! It's a tassel! ...You're so surprised, I'm sure.

While the larger--and definitely more showy--of the two projects, this one was actually much much easier for me to work on. I have made so many tassels that I didn't have to really focus on what I was doing... I just let my hands get to work doing what they know to do. In fact, it was quite nice to have something I could do while zoning out--my hands were busy, but my brain could just relax.

This necklace has a nice weight to it. While the tassel is made of a combination of glass and stone, the focal is a lightweight vintage Italian moonglow acrylic bead--which gives it enough weight to sway nicely, but not be overbearing.

All in all, I'm very pleased with these two necklaces... especially considering how quickly I was able to get them together. Planning ahead definitely helped me out! :)

Thanks so much for stopping by today! Truth be told, today is actually a pretty hard day for me (it marks the 1st year anniversary of when my mother-in-law passed away), so I really appreciate you letting me share shiny pretty things with you. 

May you all have a lovely last day of July...and be sure to hold your loved ones close!

Monday, July 29, 2019

Reveal - SJ Designs Jewelry Honey Do List July Design Challenge!

It's been about a year since I was last able to play along with the Honey Do Challenge that Sarajo Wentling hosts over on her blog. I love seeing all the wonderful things that she creates for these challenges... and I'm happy to say that, this month, I was finally able to join in the fun!

To start with, here is the inspiration picture that her husband, Eric, picked for this month's challenge:

This is what Eric said about this inspiration:
After returning from our epic UK trip I have something like 8000 pictures to go through.  How to pick a challenge piece for this month?!  I ended up picking this super cute puffin because seeing these little birds was one of the best parts of our trip.  I'm sure actual puffin jewelry components are rare, but the colors should give you some inspiration.  And besides... look how cute this puffin is!

I love puffins, and knew immediately that I wanted to make something to go with this picture. As Eric says, though, puffin jewelry components are rather rare... Or, at least, I couldn't find anything in my stash! So, I focused on the colors instead.

It's a bit of a loose interpretation, but here is what I ended up making:

I focused mainly on the colors of the bird--its black and white feathers, and its orange/grey/yellow beak. (I know that it appears rather brown in these pictures, but I assure you that the orange in the necklace is more of a bronzy pumpkin color.)

I decided to go with a tassel because... why not? Hah. I was going through my stash and picking out different beads to match the colors, and the next thing I knew I had a tassel necklace laid out. Putting it together was a mere formality.

Oh, and for those curious, the materials include: white howlite, Czech glass, pearl, vintage acrylic black rounds, and a handmade lamp work bead focal.

Thanks so much for stopping by today to see what I made for this challenge... and thanks, too, to Sarajo and Eric for letting me play along. As I said, I love puffins--and I really enjoyed making this necklace.

Have a wonderful day, everyone!

Friday, July 26, 2019

Wonder and Whimsy Monthly Challenge - July Reveal

It's the last Friday of July... and that means it's reveal day for the Wonder and Whimsy Monthly Challenge!

As a reminder, for this month I thought it would be fun to do something a little different... namely, I wanted try to create some jewelry based on computers.

The inspiration for this challenge came from my husband, who is an extremely talented programmer (the above snippet of code is from one of his recent projects). I thought it would be fun to try to tackle something usually considered very left-brained and vastly different from jewelry-making, and see what I could come up with. All in all, I made four projects for this challenge. 

So, without any further ado, here is what I made!

Project #1

For this project, I decided it would be fun to make something based on programming languages. While deciding exactly what I wanted to do, I remembered that many of these languages have logos--at least the more recent ones do--and I just happened to have a 3D printed logo lying around in my craft room. (I really do have a little bit of everything in there, hah!)

This particular logo is the one for Clojure--which, also just so happens to be the favorite programming language of one of my husband's good friends. So, while my original design for this logo was actually a tassel necklace, I decided to make it into a keychain... that way, we can give it to said friend. 

To complete the project, I added some faceted glass and a keyring to the 3D printed logo. Simple and fun, this was a happy way to get started with this challenge--and make a special present to boot. 

Project #2

This second project was based more on the hardware of computers... namely, circuit boards.

...and I just so happened to have a circuit board pendant lying around, too. (See what I mean? My stash is a treasure trove of happy randomness.)

My first order of business for this necklace was to make the bail for the pendant, which I did using 22 gauge German wire. Then, to complement the pendant, I made some chubby paper beads using green cardstock. I was particularly pleased with how well the bicone shape of the beads echoes the shape of the pendant itself.

To these components, I added some Czech glass and some aventurine rounds--all wrapped in the same bright silver as the pendant (24 gauge for the necklace strands). A matching toggle clasp completes the look.

I'm actually really in love with this necklace. It looks very elegant when worn. Not only that, but from a distance I don't think people would realize just what the pendant is made from... and I think it's fun to surprise people like that.

Oh, and I also made some earrings to match, using the same aventurine rounds that I used in the necklace:

Overall, I am extremely happy with this set. As I said, it is very elegant--and surprising. Even circuitboards can be lovely. :)

Here is the set all together:

Project #3

The previous two projects are rather straight-forward. The next two are a bit more... abstract. (Which is fitting, I suppose, considering just how much of programming is  abstract. Heh.)

So, first up: hexadecimal.

For computers, everything boils down to a series of 1s and 0s--or, rather whether a switch is on or off. This is called binary, counting using base 2. Binary code is used for various methods of encoding data, such as character strings, into bit strings.

Binary, however, is long and cumbersome to read, so a more human-friendly way of representing this information is hexadecimal... in other words, counting through base 16. It uses sixteen distinct symbols, most often the symbols "0"–"9" to represent values zero to nine, and "A"–"F" (or alternatively "a"–"f") to represent values ten to fifteen.

So, through a long and complicated process that I don't quite feel like explaining right now, the phrase "Hello, World!" becomes this hexadecimal series: 


...Which, I decided, would be the pattern for this necklace. First, though, I had to find sixteen different colors of beads to serve as my "numbers"--and that just happens to be the sixteen bags of beads shown in the previous photo, arranged in rainbow order. I then assembled one bead per number, with spacer beads to represent the break between the hexadecimal numbers.

And that is how I created this necklace:

...Oh, and as a fun fact: the pendant is made up of a combination of two fishing lures. It doesn't have anything to do with computers, but it's still fun. :)

Oh, and why did I pick the phrase "Hello, World!"? Because it is one of the very, very first writing programs that aspiring programmers write... and it certainly makes for a bright and cheerful necklace! :)

Project #4

So, remember I said about binary code--that computers understand 1s and 0s? Well, as my final project for this challenge, I decided to "write" something in binary as well.

For this project, the os are labradorite, and the 1s are amethyst... and I decided to write my name.

Jenny Kyrlach translates into this series of binary:

...And this is what it looks like as a necklace:

I used 26 gauge wire to wrap the stones individually. This construction, and the sheer number of 1s and 0s in the pattern, make this is an exceedingly long necklace, so I decided to make it a lariat. The end with a loop represents the beginning of the sequence... and the loop just happens to be large enough for the other end to go through.

Because of its length, this was also a ridiculously hard necklace to photograph with my current set-up, but hopefully you can still get an idea of what it looks like. The stones are gorgeous and sparkle really nicely in the light--and it has a lovely drape.

Oh, and why did I pick labradorite and amethyst? Because those are my two favorite gemstones, and it is my name after all. :)

So, there you go! Those are the pieces that I made for this month's challenge! It was very, very fun trying to tackle a challenge that was a bit more "out there"... I have always found the world of computers to be fascinating, and it was neat trying to find ways to combine them with my love of jewelry making.

Oh, and as a sidenote: I do hope that my description of binary and hexadecimal was adequate... if you want more information, I am sure my husband wouldn't mind trying to explain it better. (He actually started to help me write an explanation, but when my eyes started to cross I decided for the sake of my addled brain to not include it. I'm definitely healing nicely from my concussion, but I guess I'm still not 100%.)

Thanks so much for stopping by today... I really appreciate the chance to share these creations with you.

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Wednesday's Worktable

This week has been a busy one for creating... I'm definitely starting to feel better, so I'm trying to catch up on all the projects I want to finish before month's end.

Those projects include my Monthly Challenge (making jewelry based on computers), as well as the We're All Ears challenge and the SJ Designs Jewelry Honey Do List challenge. Oh, and I'm still working on that confounded Swarovski Rivoli chainmaille project that I posted about earlier and still haven't figured out (I don't have the right size rings for what I want to do--aaaargh).

And I'm also hoping to make something for this month's Pretty Palettes challenge, using these beads:

...That doesn't even touch on the pieces from last month that I wasn't able to finish. Gah! So much to do, and so little time! And, honestly, I probably wouldn't have it any other way. I love it when the creativity is flowing, and I'm in the condition to actually do something with it! :)

Thanks for stopping by today to see what I'm up to... Have a lovely week, everyone!

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Wonder and Whimsy Monthly Challenge - July Edition

It's time for a little bit of blog catch-up! I had been wanting to post this particular challenge introduction last Friday, but I ended up getting a concussion instead. Ugh.

Now that I'm doing just a little better, though, I wanted to take the opportunity to post this. You know, before anything else can happen. :)

So! My challenge this month is a little bit different. In fact, it's one that I've been wanting to do for awhile now. It's abstract, it's more left-brained, and I think it's going to be a lot of fun.

In short, my challenge this month is to make jewelry based on computers.

Snippet of Scala code, written by my awesome and talented programmer husband.

...and I mean any aspect of computers. Programming languages. Computer hardware. If has something to do with the world of 1s and 0s, it's fair game. 

The inspiration for this challenge comes from my husband. He's been writing some really awesome code recently, tackling extremely hard problems and basically being a programming rockstar. (At least, that's how I see him!) I thought it would be quite the challenge to turn something so technical and mathematical into jewelry--translating abstraction into something physical. 

Heh. This should be interesting... Come by on Friday, July 26th to see what I end up making! 

Until then, have a wonderful day, everyone!

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Wednesday's Worktable

Hello, everyone!

Work on my beading table has been put on hold this week, as I'm recovering from a concussion.

Yep, a concussion. As those who follow me on Instagram know, I was at a bead show/expo on Friday and a display lamp fell on my head. Ow. 

Thankfully, I'm healing up quite nicely. Nicely enough to pop onto my blog and post a picture of some of the African brass beauties I bought while at the expo:

I look forward to playing with these once I'm fully recovered. Until then, per the doctor's orders, I'm spending limited time online and getting a lot of rest. What can I say--never a dull moment around here!

Have a wonderful week, everyone! Watch out for lamps!