Friday, May 30, 2014

The Jenny Monthly Challenge - May Reveal

For those looking for my bead soup reveal, go here!

Well, it's the last Friday of the month! 

...Do you know what that means?

That's right! It's time for the reveal of what I made for the May Jenny Monthly Challenge! To help jog your memory, here is the May kit that I picked for myself:


And now, here is what I made!

A necklace and a bracelet! :)

I had wanted to make so much more, but May became a lot (a lot) busier than I had anticipated. 

Not only that, but I had forgotten just how much of a time commitment kumihimo really is. It's simple and repetitive, it's true--but, like knitting, it's not exactly something that can be rushed. 

Case in point: I actually started making four things--and only finished two. 

The first design I tried, I ended up not liking. At all. The colors weren't distinct enough--it involved green and black and two shades of purple, and almost all of them ended up looking the same. It wasn't at all what I had envisioned.

So, I actually allowed myself to stop. Instead of trying to solider onward and making myself frustrated, I pulled the threads and started again. And I'm so, so glad I did! The next two designs were so much better.

Below, you can see the truncated first attempt alongside my two finished items.

And as for the fourth design... Things happened, and I just wasn't able to finish in time. 

That's all right, though. I'm excited that I have two finished pieces to share!


So, there you go! Another successful monthly challenge!

I am glad that I got a chance to bring out my braiding discs again... Who knows? If things start to settle down, maybe I'll be making even more pieces. 

Thank you so much for visiting! Now I get to decide what the challenge should be for June! :)

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Pretty as a Button - Reprise!

For those looking for my bead soup reveal, go here!

Just a quick little note to say that I've finally gotten around to posting the last of the button necklaces to my store, paired with matching earrings. 

I can't even explain it, but these necklaces make me very happy. Hurray for being able to share!

I hope everyone is having a wonderful day!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Pretty as a Button

For those looking for my bead soup reveal, go here!

May has, without a doubt, been one of the busiest craziest months in recent memory... In fact, it's been so full-and-exhausting that just thinking about it is making me tired.

So! Instead, I will share these:

Button Necklaces!

I've mentioned these before... Essentially, I turn buttons into pendants, and then string them on special necklaces. 

...And I have been having so, so much fun making them! 

In all the craziness of this month, it's been so relaxing finding the right color combinations and the right design to match each button. In fact, I've been working more on these than my May Monthly Challenge! (Heh, I really should get on that.)

I've even started to list these necklaces in my store, paired with matching earrings. Hurray!

It is definitely nice to have a project to work on in order to unwind... And, once I figure out a way to create pendants without having to remove the shanks, I may graduate to vintage buttons! The possibilities! :)

And now to go be productive! There is laundry to put away, and a craft room to clean, and custom orders to make, and exercise to be done! ...And about umpteen million other things to do. ;)

I hope everyone is doing well! Take care!

Friday, May 16, 2014

(For the actual Bead Soup post, keep scrolling! It's only one post down!)

This year's Bead Soup Blog Hop has been amazing!

It's also huge. 

As such, this is just a quick note to my fellow Soupers to say that I'm slowly working my way through the list... I still hope to visit--and comment--on all of the blogs... It just might take awhile!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Bead Soup!

Hurray, hurray! It's time to reveal what I made for this year's Bead Soup Blog Hop!

As a refresher, my partner was the amazing and talented Keri Lee Sereika of Pink Lemonade, and this is what she sent me:

So talented! That focal, and that clasp, and those enameled beads, and those
etched disks? She MADE all of them!!

And, yeah... I used everything that she sent me!

I started out simply enough--I had an idea for one necklace. Then, I got an idea for another one. And then another one. Overall, I ended up making twelve pieces--four sets. And they are themed! Each set is inspired by one of the classical Elements: Water, Earth, Fire, and Air.

And, since I made a lot of pieces this year, I'll get straight to the pictures!

This set was made using my soup's focal and enameled beads (all handmade by my partner), as well as the pearls and some of the crystals.

This necklace was the first piece that I made--and also what inspired the elemental theme. As I was making it, the colors and the pearls and the patina all made me think of something found in an underwater archaeological dig... like a crown from an undersea kingdom. In fact, I ended up making it long enough to be a crown--it fits very nicely on my forehead--as well as a necklace.

Since I had some of the enameled beads leftover, I then made some matching earrings:

And then some matching hairsticks:

All together, these pieces make up my Water set.

This set was made using my soup's clasp--handmade by my partner.

Since the Water set did not use the amazing handmade clasp that my partner sent me, I tried to figure out another design to do it justice. I mixed the clasp with some thick copper chain and green charoite, and the Earth set was born.

Here are the earrings:

And the hairstick:

...And here is the Earth set all together:

This set was made using my soup's hammered copper discs--handmade by my partner.

By the time that I made the two previous sets, I was committed to making something for every element. That was why I decided to use the hammered copper discs paired with brilliant Chinese crystals for this Fire necklace.

I also used the two smallest discs in the earrings:

And, because I had some of the crystals left over, I wanted to make hairsticks as well:

Here is the Fire Set, shown all together:

This set was made using the last of my soup's crystals.

Since the last pieces of my soup were clear crystals, I thought they would be perfect for the air set. I used them both in the necklace above, and the earrings seen below.

The last item of this set is a little different... Since I had used up all but the last pendant crystal, I didn't have the materials for hairsticks.

So, I grabbed my knitting needles, and created this:

That is indeed a necklace scarf--and, perhaps, the piece that I am most proud of. It is certainly the piece that took the longest... Since I hurt my wrist, my knitting is significantly slower than it used to be. But, it was totally worth it. This scarf looks absolutely fantastic when worn, and there are even crystals and chain hidden in the tassel.

So, complete with necklace scarf, here is the set that I made for Air:

So, there we go! Those are all of the pieces that I made for this year's Bead Soup! Thank you so, so much to my partner for your incredibly generosity--your work is beautiful, and it was a thrill to create with it! And, of course, thank you Lori Anderson for making this possible!

Last, but certainly not least, thank you, wonderful readers who've made it all the way to the end of this epic post. I am honored to share these pieces with you, and I hope you like them. I certainly had a blast making them!


Since this is a Blog Hop, I wouldn't be complete without including a link to the list of participants... Please go here to see the list. There are so many talented artists, I hope you get to check them out!

Have a wonderful day, everyone! Happy Hopping!