Thursday, October 27, 2016

Thursday's Worktable

Today is a cold and rainy day--a perfect day for tea and a cuddly sweater. 

...And beading!

You may have noticed that yesterday was devoted to sharing my Pretty Palettes reveal, so there was no Wednesday's Worktable. However, I still wanted to show what has been on my worktable this week... So, now I'm going to do just that! 

...Oh, look! Brass and bronze and green and leaves!

...And wire-wrapped links, of course!

This is a necklace I'm putting together with some of the components from this month's Bargain Bead Box. I love the combination of green and brass, and I'm always a sucker for leaves. Just the right project to keep me busy on this chilly drippy day.

Pardon me while I go get another cup of tea.

Happy Thursday, everyone!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

October Pretty Palettes - Reveal!

There was no set palette for this month's , but rather an idea. That idea is best described in the words of Erin Prais-Hintz, written in her post introducing this month's Pretty Palettes inspiration:

This October create something meaningful – a piece of jewelry, an accessory or decorative object – that you can gift to one or two friends to let them know that they matter to you and to remind them to take time out and be good to themselves.

Now, I knew who I wanted to make something for (one of my best friends), but I was really struggling on just what to make. 

So, I asked her if there was anything she wanted. In response, she mentioned that she was hoping that I could make her a multi-color wrap bracelet. (Or, rather, a "llama bracelet"... named after the awesome fashion sense of one of my Anthropology professors in college, who did ethnological research in South America and thus wore colorful and cheerful llama sweaters to class. Honestly, Anthropologists tend to have the most awesome outfits... I want to be like that when I grow up!)

So, with that inspiration, I picked out some 4mm mis-matched multicolored beads at Michaels:

Then I went digging through my stash, and came up with a few more 4mm beads to add to the mix:

And here is the multi-color bracelet that I made for her! 

And, if you look closely, you can tell that I actually used way more beads than I previously pictured. So. Much. Color!

...I really, really had fun making that bracelet.

So much fun, in fact, that I made one for me, too! It's like adult friendship bracelets! ...or something. Heh.

Her bracelet is on the left, and mine is on the right.

Now, these bracelets are slightly different. For instance, her bracelet is made with brown cotton cord (she is vegan):

And mine is made on black leather:

I also kept almost all of the colors in the pattern the same, but made hers slightly more brown overall:

Here is the comparison while worn... Mine is on the left, hers is on the right (they aren't perfectly lined up, but you get the picture):

I truly enjoyed making these bracelets, and hope that they remind both of us to take time out and take care of ourselves. After all, we're worth it. :)

So, there you go! Thanks so much for stopping by... And thank you, Halcraft blog and Erin Prais-Hintz, for another month of wonderful beading inspiration!

Have a wonderful Wednesday, everyone!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

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

It's been awhile, but I'm happy to say that I was able to play along with this month's Honey Do List challenge! Yay! (And, to be fair, I actually made things for the last few challenges--I just didn't get a chance to blog about what I made. Heh.)

For those who don't know/don't remember, the Honey Do List challenge is the monthly challenge that Eric Wentling has been giving his wife Sarajo over at SJ Designs Jewelry.

This month's challenge was inspired by the following, taken by Eric while he and Sarajo were visiting Disney World in Orlando:

Not my photo!
Photo from the SJ Designs Jewelry Blog.

Oh look--it's a photogenic giraffe!

I honestly wasn't sure what I was going to make for this challenge, but I rooted around in my stash and was delighted (and rather surprised) to find that I actually had a giraffe--and matching beads--in my collection:

The giraffe itself is handcarved wood, and was salvaged from a broken vintage necklace. And so, with it--and the coordinating beads--I made this asymmetric necklace:

Materials include mookaite chips, peridot, wood (green rounds and tan stacked cylinders), clay, brass, and copper. I am personally quite fond of the various shades of the mookaite; I think they do a good job matching the dappled look of the giraffe itself.

Also, I realize that the color scheme is a bit brighter than the inspiration picture... But, hey, at least there's a giraffe! And there's a tassel, which I think mirrors the tree fronds seen in the photo. (Which I also admit is just an excuse to have a tassel, but that's okay too. *grin*)

This necklace went through many, many iterations before I finally settled on the current design. The straight, rigid legs of the giraffe added a whole extra layer of challenge. I wanted to make it into a focal, but the location of the hole (and the aforementioned legs) was hindering it from laying correctly. 

Incorporating it into the side of the necklace seemed to be the answer. Asymmetry has never been my strong suit, but it works! At least, I think so. :)

Overall, I think that this is a whimsical and happy necklace. I enjoy the mix of colors and materials--and how it is rather unlike anything else I have ever made. I also enjoyed overcoming the challenge posed by the giraffe bead--it's always fun to feel clever!

So, there you go! Thank you so, so much for stopping by to see what I made for this challenge... And thank you, Sarajo and Eric, for letting me play along! I look forward to see what next month's challenge will be!

Have a wonderful night, everyone!

Saturday, October 22, 2016

We're All Ears: October Reveal

I'm a bit late, but here we go! This is my reveal post for this month's We're All Ears challenge, hosted by Earrings Everyday!

The inspiration for this month's challenge was weather. Cloud formations, wind patterns, precipitation--all were fair game. And, trust me, I certainly didn't have to look far for ideas. 

You see, it's been really really rainy here recently. True October rain, too... Drippy and cold, raindrops and fallen leaves pooling on the ground, green-grey sky set against golden amber trees. 

It's probably no surprise, then, I was inspired by the mixture of swirling clouds and raindrops. 

...I was so inspired, in fact, that I ended up making three pairs of earrings along that theme. 

This first pair focuses on clear raindrops and swirling silver components. They are even mildly asymmetrical. (It just seemed like the thing to do. *grin*)

For the next pair, used a similar construction--albeit with different components. 

I mixed some labradorite with Czech glass AB teardrops--adding a touch of green-grey Autumn sky to the crystal-clear water drops. They are also asymmetrical--mirror images of each other.

For the third pair, I used labradorite only--again with swirling cloud-like components:

Here they are, all together... All variations on a cloud-and-raindrop theme:

So, there you go! Those are the earrings I made for this month's challenge.

But! I'm not done yet. I also wanted to add a quick update on those pendants I posted about on Wednesday

Namely, I've already made one of them into a necklace set!

This is the blue mana symbol from Magic: the Gathering.
I made the pendant this week.

I figured this was fitting for this particular post due to the waterdrop. ;)

Thanks for stopping by, everyone... I hope you have a wonderful weekend--whether it be raining or no! 

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Wednesday's Worktable

Guess what! It appears that I've successfully gotten out of my creative rut! 


And, wouldn't you know it, inspiration struck from a rather unexpected source:

...Namely, sorting Magic cards.

Some background: my husband and I have played Magic: the Gathering, on and off, for several years now. Recently, though, we've been playing it quite a lot... and while he is certainly better at it than I am (it appeals to the pattern/synergy/interaction logic part of his computer programming brain), I definitely still enjoy it.

...Heh. Yep, we're nerds. You can even see part of our binary welcome mat up in the top left corner.

I also really enjoy organizing the cards--which is a good thing, considering our collection is quite extensive. 

In fact, I've recently taken on the massive undertaking of re-organizing the cards (read: bringing order to chaos), which is why they are in piles on our table.

Oh, and what you see here? Isn't even a third of our collection.

Now, what does that have to do with my beading worktable? How did sorting Magic cards serve as the spark for jewelry inspiration?

Well, Magic is a trading card game. That means it is very easy to get multiples of the more common cards--especially basic land cards. 

...We have so many basic land cards.

So! Last night, with the help of a friend who lent me some cabochons and bezels, I took four of those duplicate land cards and turned them into these:

Ta-da! Oh, and don't worry...
no super expensive cards were harmed in the making of this project.

That's right... I made pendants!

...Granted, I didn't do the best job making them--there are little imperfect spots where the image separated from the glass and then smudged back together. That's all right, though... I'm allowing them to be imperfect, and am just happy to be making something. It's all part of the learning process, after all.

I even have some necklaces already in the works:

And! I also made a pendant from my current favorite card, from the most recent Magic expansion: the Tasseled Dromedary.

Why do I like this card? Because I was the precocious first grader who knew what a dromedary was. Because I like tassels. Because it's just so bright and cheery. 

...And because it's a common card (we have more than 15 copies of it!), which means that I could cut it up without feeling too guilty. (Honestly--it costs less than $0.25... Definitely not a $125,000 original high quality Black Lotus!)

I have a really fun necklace idea for my dromedary... Now to start gathering the beads for it. :)

So, there you go! That is what is currently on my worktable this week... Being geeky, and finding inspiration from an unlikely source!

Thanks so much for stopping by today... Happy Wednesday, everyone!

Friday, October 14, 2016

Wonder and Whimsy Monthly Challenge - October Edition

At the beginning of October, one of my best friends asked me if I wanted to go bead shopping with her. 

Now, to be clear, usually it's the other way around... Usually I am dragging along hapless people on my shopping escapades. Bead shopping is one of my absolute favorite things, after all--and, thankfully I have very loving and patient friends.

This time, though, bead shopping was her idea. 


Well, her workplace is holding a silent auction (a silent auction of handcrafted goods, specifically) this month to benefit select charities, and she wanted to buy beads and make some jewelry for it.

...You can probably guess where this is going.

I asked if anyone could contribute. She said yes and, well, my monthly challenge was decided. 

My goal is to make at least 5 items to enter into the auction, although I may end up making more. The beads pictured in this entry are just a few of the projects I've picked out... We'll see what I end up actually making!

(Heh--between my friend and myself, we may end up taking over the auction with jewelry. Hah.)

I've been trying to make my Monthly Challenges more open recently, so that my readers can join along if they wish. Playing along this month is super simple... It boils down to giving of yourself to benefit someone else, so there are all sorts of options. Donate to a charity of your choice. Give something you made to a friend. Or even just give someone a compliment. There is so much negativity in the world today... I hope that, through this, I can use my love for jewelry making to make this world a little more happy. 

So, there you go! That's my October Challenge! Come back on Friday, October 28th to see what I've made! 

Until then, have a great weekend, everyone! :)