Friday, January 20, 2017

We're All Ears: January Reveal

This month's inspiration for the We're All Ears challenge (yep, the one hosted by the Earrings Everyday blog), was the 2017 Pantone color of the year.

What color is that, you ask? 


...And considering how cloudy and wintry and grey it's been here in Cincinnati, it was a delightful change of pace!

Now, when I dug through my stash, I was surprised my apparent lack of beads in that particular shade. Apparently, I gravitate towards darker greens--evergreen and dark aventurine and the like. 

Thankfully, though, I was able to find some bright green glass to use. With them, I made this pair of earrings:

As you can see, I paired them with silver findings--which do an excellent job of reflecting light and making the entire pair feel light and Spring-y.

I had hoped to make more earrings for this challenge, but sadly time got away from me. Still, I'm glad that I got a chance to make these... I really do like the lively green color!

Thank you for stopping by today. Be sure to stop by the Earrings Everyday reveal to see what everyone else made... I appreciate each and every one of you, and hope you all have lovely weekends!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Wednesday's Worktable

The Muffin Tin Challenge might be over, but my craft table is still overflowing with projects. In fact, I've emptied out my muffin tin and filled the cups with more things to work on... We'll see if it helps me stay organized. ;)

I'd show a picture of said muffin tin, but some of the finished pieces are for later reveals... So, instead, I'll show you the current project I'm tackling: this month's Bargain Bead Box.

The box this month focuses on copper and roses, and here are some of the beads from the mix:

Carved synthetic coral with copper and dyed Malaysian jade.

And, for fun, I present: my thought process, shown in three pictures. :)

Step 1: Stare at components.

Step 2: Shift around components until I find a possible design.

Step 3: Assemble possible design, and stare some more to decide if I like it.

...I haven't quite gotten to Step 4: finish necklace yet, but it's getting there! We'll see if the final design changes much from where it is now. Sometimes I go into necklace design knowing exactly what I want to make, and sometimes I just go with the flow. This is definitely an instance of the latter!

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

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Muffin Tin Challenge 2017

I'm super excited that I was able to join in the HumbleBeads Muffin Tin Challenge this year! I found out about it too late to participate last year, so I made sure to keep an eye out for it this time. 

The general idea is that you gather up everything you need for a jewelry project (beads, clasp, findings, etc.), and put them in one of the muffin tin cups. Repeat until all cups are full... and then sit down and create!

These are the projects that I gathered together for my challenge:

...Yes, I was ambitious and picked out 12 of them--only three of which were UFOs (Unfinished Objects). I honestly thought that I was biting off more than I could chew... After all, I have a habit of making things more complicated than they necessarily need to be.

Imagine my surprise, then, when I finished everything! Not only that--I made more than I originally bargained for. And here they all are!

Project #1

The pendant is hand-crafted ceramic (artist unknown, sorry!), which I wanted to pair with Czech glass and clay. My original plan was to knot it on the silk shown above, but the holes on the clay beads were too big. So! Waxed linen it was:

Project #2  

Design-wise, this necklace is pretty simple: lots of wire-wrapped 5mm garnets, with a little mini-tassel. It took an entire evening to finish, though--mostly spent on the couch watching my husband play video games while I worked. What can I say... Muffin tins make projects portable. :)

Project #3

This project was a UFO--I had finished 1/4 of it, and it had been sitting on my table for more than 6 months. I have no idea why I hadn't finished it... it's truly gorgeous in person, and none of the pictures I've taken of it does it justice. It's a mixture of silver glass and smoky quartz.

Project #4

This was actually the last piece that I made for this challenge. My original plan for these components was a simple strung necklace... But, as I started working on it, it began to morph into a tassel necklace. I'm thrilled that I was able to finish it on time! The focal is coral, and it's been paired with pearl, Czech glass, and more coral.

Project #5

For Christmas this year, I made many hand-stamped pendants as presents (but that's for another blog entry!). I made one for myself, too, and decided that I wanted to pair it with iolite. Sadly, my original idea for a necklace didn't quite look right... But that's all right, because I was able to split it into two necklaces instead. I love the way they turned out:

Project #6

And now for something completely different! In one of my muffin tin cups, I had gathered a huge conglomeration of random beads... and, from those beads, I was able to make two necklaces and 4 pairs of matching earrings. Hah! After doing a lot of wire-wrapping, it's always fun to let loose and do something random for a change.

Project #7

I have had that pendant for quite some time... It's lampwork, handmade by Julianna Cannon of Julsbeads, and I love it. I've been having a hard time settling on a design for it, and am very happy with the results. It's paired with dyed cerulean agate and bronze/brown glass.

Project #8

This project was another UFO... And, you might recognize it as the unfinished tassel necklace from my December Monthly Challenge. Here it is, in all of its winter-white-and-silver-bell glory!

Project #9

I've been interested in trying my hand at making my own leather-lace tassels, and this project seemed like the perfect opportunity to do so. I had gathered up an agate focal and paired it with a mix of random blue beads leftover from some of my other projects, and decided that a tassel was exactly what I needed to finish the look. The leather used in the tassel is the same as the leather entwined with the wire-wrapped beads. 

Project #10

The focal for this project is very special... Hand-made ceramic from Mexico, and over 50 years old. When I saw it, I fell in love with the quirky owl. As you can see from the picture above, I was having a hard time deciding whether to knot it on waxed linen, or use wire-wrapped links... And, in the end, I decided to go with both. The ceramic is paired with quartz, clay, and Russian serpentine.


Project #11

This project was the third of the UFOs. Long-time followers of my blog might recognize it from this blog entry--from last year! I had made the tassel, but had never gotten around to making the actual necklace part of it. So, guess what I did! ...Yep, I made the actual necklace part of it. This lovely tassel can now be worn. The focal is by Carol Christensen-Day of GlassyFields, and is paired with: pearl, rose quartz, vintage acrylic, and glass.

Project #12

...And, last but not least, here is my final project. It's a rainbow hemalyke crystal pendant paired with matching rainbow-sheen glass. I love the fact that it looks either pink or green depending on which way you look at it.

So, there you go! Those are the pieces that I made for this Muffin Tin Challenge. Here are all of the pieces, shown in their respective cups:

I am so happy that I was actually able to finish these pieces, ambitious as they were. It also feels good to actually finish some of the projects that I've been putting off for quite some time... I may need to do this again, to clear off more of the planned projects I have sitting on my crafting table!

Thanks to Heather over at Humblebeads for hosting this challenge... Please stop by her blog to see what everyone else made. And, as always, thanks so much for stopping by and letting me share my jewelry-making adventures with you.

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!