Thursday, April 30, 2015


Finished it!

...I will post better pictures later (i.e. when it's not almost midnight, and it's not too dark for good pictures, and I'm not posting from my phone), but I was so excited that I just had to share! My final piece for my April challenge!

And now, goodnight! :)

The Jenny Monthly Challenge - April Reveal

...and Giveaway! 
(Which shows up at the end of this post, if you're just dying to see. *grin*)

It's time for me to show off what I've made for my monthly challenge! (Well, I'm excited, at least! *grin*)

As a quick refresher, this particular month was all about pearls...

And what lovely pearls they are!

While any pearls were fair game, I was specifically trying to see what I could make with these lovelies... 

Two different kinds of baroque pearls!
...And white rice pearls, which I didn't actually end up using.

...because I had never used baroque pearls in a design before.

And, honestly, it was a challenge. The irregular shapes proved difficult for me, and required quite a bit of experimentation on my part. Eventually, I ended up making four designs with them.

First, I did some standard stringing:

Ta-da! Both kinds of baroque pearls in one necklace-and-earring set!

And then I brought out the wire-wrapping:

Baroque pearls and Chinese crystal.
If I had had enough materials, I would have preferred not having to use the chain...
But! It still looks nice, so I won't complain too much. :)

And then I thought, why not try adding some leather?

Leather Design #1

Leather Design #2
Also featuring some amethyst, because why not?

...And with that, I used all but 4 of the baroque pearls I had! 

For all the trouble that they were giving me, I'm actually pretty pleased with these designs... I especially like the mix of the leather with the pearls, since it creates a rather interesting texture dynamic. 

Now, you might be asking if I was finished working with pearls.

Not quite. 

Since I like over-achieving, I made two more sets.

First up, I made this silver-and-mystic-blue necklace...

I love this shade of blue,

Again, it's just standard stringing... I thought the simplicity would let the beauty of the pearls stand out.

And then... well, then I went a little nuts. 

I combined the multi-colored mix strands and some good-old-fashioned-wire-wrapping-for-days to create this:

Which actually looks like this when not completely jumbled up:

It's a long necklace that can be worn double stranded, with an awesome multi-colored tassel that sways wonderfully when you walk. 

There are over 200 links in this necklace, including the tassel, and when I was done I had to take a three-day break from jewelry making... It made my wrist ache, and I needed to let it rest.

So, there you go! Those are the sets that I made for this monthly challenge--and my love for pearls has only increased. Now to save up money so that I can buy more! 

And, as promised, it's now time for...

The Giveaway!

Pearl earrings!

Yep, this month's giveaway is this pair of gold-tone earrings, made with the white/mauve patina top-drilled baroque pearls. They are light-weight and stylish, and rather difficult to photograph.

To win this pair of earrings, simply comment on this blog entry, telling me something happy that's happened to you this week. Oh, and be sure to include your email address so that I can reach you if you win! 

The winner will be announced on Friday, May 8th.

Thanks so much for stopping by... And don't forget to come by on Saturday, to see the reveal for the Bead Peeps Swap N' Hop! I have more lovely things to show off! :)

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Wednesday's Worktable

This week, I'm getting ready for two grand reveals coming up--my April Challenge (reveal tomorrow), and the Bead Peeps Swap N' Hop (reveal on Saturday).

Mostly, I just need to finish taking/editing pictures, and then actually write the blog entries. Yet, my creative juices are still flowing... and while I should be focusing on other things, my beading table is still quite full.

And, you guessed it, I'm still working with pearls.

Shades of blue!

That large bead in the middle is a handmade lampwork bead, made by Carol Christensen-Day of GlassyFields... I ordered it on a whim, and am so glad that I did. It's gorgeous! 

Also in the picture are two different size/shape/colors of pearls (9-10 mm ocean blue flat potato pearls and 6-7 mm mystic blue semi-round pearls, for those who are curious), some crystals, and some silver tone beads.

Starting to work out a design...
There will be a tassel, probably, because
I am equally obsessed with both pearls and tassels.

Honestly, I would love to have this piece done for tomorrow's reveal... Because, pearls! 
However, I am also envisioning quite a bit of wire-wrapping in this design, and I don't know if I'll have time to do that tonight. Ah well. 

Yet, regardless of whether or not I finish this particular project, I will have many pieces to show off for my April Challenge--and a giveaway to boot. So, be sure to come by tomorrow to see what I've made! 

...And then come back on Saturday for the Swap N' Hop!

So many shiny projects! 

...And now I really should go be productive. It's just so hard to focus when there are pearls on my beading table! :)

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Did I Mention...

...that there's another giveaway coming up?

It was my husband's idea, really. He suggested that when I post my Monthly Challenge reveals, I offer the opportunity for people to win something I've made. I thought it was such a good idea that I gave it a trial run last month.

...And I enjoyed it so much, I'm doing it again this month!

What am I working with this month? That's right: PEARLS. :)
So, remember to stop by on April 30th!

You'll get to see what I made with my pearls, and see what I'm giving away this time!

Friday, April 24, 2015

It's Not Easy Being... Orange

It's been quite some time since I've done a treasury post, so here you go!

One of my Silmaril pendants was recently featured in this lovely treasury, so I thought I'd share...

Can you find the pendant? I'll give you a hint... it's orange. ;)

If you're interested, the treasury itself can be found here, and the pendant can be found here. This gets me excited to make more treasuries of my own... Maybe I'll get a chance to do that here soon.

Happy Friday, everyone! Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Wednesday's Worktable

I have three projects on my worktable today, all in various stages of completion...

The first can be seen on the left of this picture: my attempt at making a wrap bracelet using flat-sided pearls. And by "attempt," I mean "complete failure." Because those flat sided pearls just don't lie right. I actually got halfway done with the bracelet before I just took it apart. Now to figure out something else to do with those pearls!

The second project is in the planning stages--playing around with fine gemstones. I hope to make earrings (possibly also a necklace and hairpin) using those ametrine flowers--either paired with the amethyst teardrops or citrine briolettes. Or perhaps both.

And the third project is complete, seen on the opposite side from the pearls. I finished a necklace out of those giant clear dice beads--beads that my husband actually picked out on our last trip to JoAnns. I usually don't work with beads so--well, so large. I thought I'd challenge myself and see what I'd come up with. The final product is pretty cool. I even made matching earrings (still needing earwires).

So, that's what my worktable looks like today! My style is all over the place (boho wrap bracelet meets classic gemstones meets modern dice necklace), but I enjoy being eclectic.

I hope everyone is having a good Wednesday!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Songbird Tribute - Again!

I briefly mentioned last month, in passing, that I was working on some more pieces to go along with L.S. Baird's novel, Evensong's Heir.

I originally made pieces to coincide with the book's launch in 2013 (some of the pieces are still available here). This time, I decided to make pieces to go along with the launch of a new blog dedicated solely to art inspired by the novel and its world.

And! Now that the first set has been shared on the official blog, I wanted to share it here...

Sing Down Heaven
Set for St. Alveron

These pieces were made with labradorite, garnet, and crystal. The pictures don't even do them justice... the labradorite shifts and shimmers and seems impossible to photograph (especially since I can't find the battery charger for my Nikon and have been relying solely on my iPhone).

...I absolutely love this set.

Now, there are two other sets that I made as well, and I will be sharing them as they are revealed over on the Blossomnight Blog

It was fun creating for this world again... and, since the author is working on a sequel, I'm sure that this won't be my last time doing so!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Wednesday's Worktable

This is the first Spring in our new house.

We bought the house in November at the tail-end of Autumn, when the leaves had mostly fallen and overnight chills brought frost. We had no idea what the state of the landscaping would be like come warmer weather... We just had to wait and see.

And now... Now, the wait is over, and I can say that the former owners were wonderful gardeners. 

At first, I was surprised by the daffodils that sprouted at the end of the path. And then the grape hyacinth started popping up. And now, there is a blanket of these little purple flowers near the front porch, and the hedge on the side of the house is covered with buds.

I have always wanted a garden. And now, suddenly and unexpectedly, I am surrounded by growing things--things that are green and yellow and shades of purple.

My soul is happier than I can say.

So, today, I took a break from all of my pearls and challenge pieces, and started making something for the sheer enjoyment of Spring.

It's an amethyst wrap bracelet. (I wanted to use green leather, but black will match more of my wardrobe. And I don't actually have any green leather, so black was the more possible choice anyway.) When it's done, I plan for it to wrap around my wrist three times, with that purple button as a closure.

A purple bracelet to remind me of purple flowers. 

Happy Spring, everyone!

...I am hoping to do more worktable posts, because there are so many things that I'm working on that I never get to share. If I remember, I might even post the finished products! 

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The Jenny Monthly Challenge - April Edition

So, did you think I had forgotten about my April Challenge?


...I just haven't gotten a chance to blog about it yet. 

April has been a busy creative month so far... I've been focusing on making wedding jewelry prototypes for a friend, finishing up the pieces for the Artisan Component Marketplace Kit Challenge, working on my Bead Peeps Swap N' Hop offerings for next month, and catching up on a backlog of projects that I've started but not finished.

And I've also developed a new obsession... An obsession that, not surprisingly, corresponds with my challenge this month.

What is this obsession? In a word: PEARLS.

What does over $200 worth of pearls look like?

At the beginning of the month, one of my favorite bead supply websites had a major pearl sale.  And it was a serious sale. A $20-strand-of pearls-on-sale-for-$1.50 kind of sale.

...I may have gone a little nuts. 

Overall, I was able to get over $200 worth of pearls--and a few other things, like some strands of amethyst and red aventurine--for $36. 

(Sidenote: And they are still having a pearl sale. I want ALL THE PEARLS. ...Seriously, if anyone wants to randomly send me money for pearls, I doubt I'd turn it down. Because I'm obsessed and pearls are awesome.)


Above is a picture of some of the pearls I purchased. They are top-drilled baroque pearls in shades of mauve, peach, and white. 

My challenge? To make something with them.

Why is that a challenge, you might ask?

Simply because I have never used anything like them. In fact, I hardly knew what baroque pearls were before this sale. So, I thought it would be fun to play around with them--and, at $1.00 (originally priced $12.50), I couldn't pass them up.

Pearls come in such lovely colors...
From the top: dusty rose, mystic blue, blue iris, lavender, spruce,
golden olive, thyme, multi-colored, mauve/peach, and white.

Depending on how the rest of April goes, I may tackle some of the other pearls, too... I have some big plans for the multi-colored strands. And one of the dusty rose strands. And all of the pearls, bwhahahahaha... Ahem. I keep getting carried away.

I usually set my reveals for the last Friday of the month, but this month I'm going to have it on the last Thursday... So, come back on April 30th to see what I make!

Yay pearls!

...And yay for creative obsessions and inspirations that keep life exciting and fun!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Artisan Component Marketplace Design Kit Challenge - Reveal!

Well, so far I have shown you the lovely components that I was sent in the Artisan Component Marketplace Design Kit...

And now I get to show you what I made with them!

As the above picture shows, there were five components that we had to use, including the sari ribbon. We could either use them all in one piece, or separate them out--but we had to use all of them. I know, what a hardship... I have to use all of these beautiful pieces? :)

For my part, I decided to separate them out.

So, first I took this beautiful ceramic component made by Marla's Mud...

And made this:

Not surprisingly--and true to my regular modus operandi--I made an entire set. I chose the colors based on the main colors of the ceramic focal, and used a combination of amethyst, pearls, and crystal.

Next, I took this wooden clasp, made by Asbury Avenue Designs...

And made this:

As you can see, I also used the bright pink sari silk ribbon... In fact, this was my first time working with sari ribbon, and I enjoyed it immensely. There is nothing shy or apologetic about this set... It is bright and bold and wonderful. It is made with crystal, large blue agate druzy rounds, pearls, and magnesite (in the bracelet).

And then, last but definitely not least, I took the copper piece made by Kristi Bowman Design...

...and made this:

Complete with sari ribbon tassel! 

Also featured: labradorite, garnet, copper, and red cylindrical glass (the three large beads, featured in the tassel and the earrings). I had purchased the labradorite for a different project, but it matched the sari ribbon so closely that I just had to put them together! 

So, there you go! Those are the pieces that I made for this challenge... And not only did it stretch me as a designer (making the sari ribbon tassel lay right was more of a challenge than I care to admit), but it was a great deal of fun.

And now, for links!

Artisan Component Marketplace Blog

The Participating Designers
Brandy Haag 
Jenny Kyrlach (You Are Here!)
Kelly Hosford Patterson 
Lori Poppe 
Rachel Mallis 
Robin Kae Reed 
Terri Arcas 
Gloria Allen 

The Artisans' Shops
Copper Component, from Kristi Bowman Design 
Ceramic Component, from Marla's Mud
Wood Toggle Clasp, from Asbury Avenue Designs

Please feel free to visit the other participants to see what beautiful things they made... I know I'm excited to see what they've created. And do check out the Artisan Component Marketplace and the wonderful artists featured there... So many talented people making beautiful things!

So, to sum up... Thank you to the coordinators over at the Artisan Component Marketplace for putting this together! Thank you to the artisans for contributing such lovely pieces for us to work with! 

...And thank you for joining me for this adventure! I've had a blast!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Guess What's Coming on Saturday!

That's right: the reveal for the the Artisan Component Marketplace Design Kit Challenge! 

What lovely things!

I cannot even begin to tell you how excited I am to show off the pieces I made for this challenge... I had such lovely components to work with, and they made it a joy to create!

For more information about the challenge itself, hop on over to the Artisan Component Marketplace Blog for details.

...And be sure to come back on Saturday for the grand reveal! :)