Monday, August 31, 2015

The Jenny Monthly Challenge - August Reveal

Hi! If you're looking for the reveal for the Art Jewelry Elements Component of the Month, go here! ...Or keep scrolling down to the last entry. Either way, I hope you enjoy! :)


It's the last day of August--which means that it's time for the second of my four reveals! This time, I get to show off what I made for my August Monthly Challenge... which, as you might recall, is all about paper beads!

...Because I might be a bit obsessed. 

As a refresher: while on vacation, I made the above beads. I picked out a piece of decorated paper, cut the triangles, rolled them into beads, then glued and sealed them.

...And then, last week, I made a necklace out of them!

Oh, right. I made matching earrings, too.

I paired them with cream pearls, antique gold, and brass. The paper beads themselves are extremely light, so I hoped that the other components would give the pieces a bit more heft. And I was right--the necklace lays perfectly when worn, and the earrings are just the right weight.

And a slightly different angle, just for fun.

...But, wait! There's more!

The above picture shows all of the beads that I made while on vacation. While my main goal for this challenge was to make something with the pink-purple-glitter beads (which you can actually see mixed in with the other beads above), I also hoped to use some of those other beads in a design.

And I did! 

In fact, I made two more necklaces. The first one is in shades of green, made to match the earrings that my mum bought me from Paper Bead Girl (also shown here):

...And the second is in shades of sand:

I do think it's amusing that all three of these challenge necklaces have tassels... Different kinds of tassels, granted, but tassels nonetheless. In fact, the one design that I made that didn't have a tassel was ultimately rejected and taken apart (and became the green one). 

So, there you go! That is what I made for my August Monthly Challenge! 

I definitely see myself making more paper beads in the future, and it's inspiring to see what lovely things they can become. My mother-in-law even had the idea of making a beaded curtain with them. Oh, the possibilities!

It is always fun learning new techniques, and then making something beautiful with them! Thank you so much for letting me share my adventures with you! :)

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Art Jewelry Elements - August Component of the Month - Reveal!

It's August 30th... And that means that it's time to show off what I made with the Art Jewelry Elements August Component of the Month! Yay!

As a reminder, this month's components are rustic stoneware coin pendants, made by Diane Ptaszynski of Suburban Girl Studio. Since I didn't win the drawing for a free component, I ended up going to her store and purchasing this beauty...

I love the archaeological-artifact vibe of this piece.

And, without further ado, this is what I made with it! 

I made this set with violet pearls, crystal, brass, and frosty aquamarine nuggets... and, truthfully, it was a joy to make. The pendant arrived in the mail as soon as I returned from vacation, and in less than 2 days, everything was complete. 

It is always so ridiculously satisfying when things just come together!

A quick note about the photos... the aquamarine is actually more blue than shows up in these pictures. The juxtaposition of light and dark in the necklace--coupled with the overcast Ohio weather and uncooperative natural light--made it ridiculously hard to capture the true color of this set. I will try to take better pictures when the light gets better... If I'm unable to, however, please know that this set is truly stunning in person!

I am so, so glad that I was able to participate in this blog hop... It is always a delight to work with beautiful handmade components, and this was definitely no exception. Thank you so much, team of Art Jewelry Elements--and Diane specifically--for making this possible!

And thank you for stopping by! Please check out the
 Art Jewelry Elements blog, and the links below, to see what the other designers made!

Jenny Kyrlach (you are here!)

AJE Team

Have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Wednesday's Worktable

On this week's worktable, I'm finishing up all of my challenge pieces!

And by "finishing," I mean that the pieces are complete (yay!), and now I'm attempting to get good pictures of them. Which is proving a bit difficult, because today is the first cloudy day after a week of gorgeous weather (of course!). Ah well. I still have a few days to get it worked out!

So! In the meantime, here are some more paper beads that I've made...

I made these on Monday.

Those beads are actually made from a flyer, and I just love the colors. Shades of denim. Summer sky. Take your pick of descriptors--I just like how they look. I have quite a few more to make in that color scheme, too, and the possibilities of what to make with them are tantalizing.

Also on my table this week... Here are some more of my Zentangles:

I finished this one last week.

My current work in progress.

...Granted, I should put a disclaimer here: I haven't actually been trained in the official ways of Zentangling, so I have no idea if I'm doing it right. I realize that there are definitely correct terminologies and methodologies associated with it, and I make no pretense of being an expert. 

Essentially, while I was on vacation, I skimmed the literature and just jumped in (my first one ever can be seen in this entry). The urge to create was too strong, and I was entranced by the joy of building beautiful patterns piece by piece.

And, regardless of whether I'm correctly tangling, I have been enjoying it greatly. It's wonderful stress relief, and has been filling that part of me that likes to draw. And more than that, it reminds me to take things one line at a time. 

One line at a time.

Life is crazybusy right now, and I have a lot on my plate--not just bead related. My mind has been racing, and it's nice to have a way to focus and recenter. One line at a time.

...So, there you go! Paper beads, challenge pieces, and Zentangling... that's what's on my worktable this week. Thanks so much for stopping by, and have a wonderful Wednesday!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Two More Projects...

Usually after I go on vacation, it takes awhile for me to ease back into productivity.

...Not this year, apparently. 

Instead, I have hit the ground running. In addition to my Monthly Challenge and the Art Jewelry Elements Blog Hop that I've already blogged about, there are two more projects that I'm working on. And, well, it's about time that I wrote about those, too!

So, first up... 

Leather feathers!

Aren't these so cool?
If they look familiar, it's because they made a cameo appearance
in last week's Wednesday's Worktable.

These feathers are part of a blog hop hosted by Rachel over at MintMonarch. Being super talented, she made them out of leather. For the blog hop, she sent each participant a pair of those feathers, and we get to make something with them. Hee. I asked her to send me a pair at random, and I really like the ones that I got!

(Side note: she has a bunch of them on sale on her Etsy store, if you want your own--I have my eye on a few more pairs.)

So! Come by September 5th to see what I make with these lovelies.

And, secondly:

The August Bargain Bead Box Challenge!

...That's quite a mouthful!

If this sounds rather familiar, that's because it is... It's quite similar to what I did for last month's challenge--except this time, it's a challenge put forth by the people in charge of the Bargain Bead Box

The idea is to make something with the lovely components from the Bargain Bead Box shipment I received this month. There's even an added bonus: if I send them a picture of what I make, I get entered into a drawing for some free beads. Free beads? Count me in!

Here is the official picture of what was in the shipment, to give you a better idea of the colors involved... 

Copper and crystals--how luscious!

After I submit my picture to the challenge (the deadline is August 31st), I'll be sure to post it here, too. 

So, that sums up what projects I'm currently working on... Many exciting things to do! 

...And now, off I go to work on them! Have a lovely day, everyone!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Jenny Monthly Challenge - August Edition

Here it is, August 21st, and I'm just now revealing what I've chosen for my August Monthly Challenge. That's got to be some sort of record for me.

Ah well.

Still, I'm quite excited about what I'm working on... And I can sum it up in two words:

Paper beads!

While on vacation, my mum reintroduced me to the joys of rolling paper beads.  I've actually made some before (first attempt can be seen here, second attempt can be seen here), but this time I really took off. 

The secret to my success? That bright green contraption you see there in the front of the picture. It's actually a 1/16 bead roller that my mum bought me from PaperBeadGirl--and that thing is awesome. So much better than using toothpicks.

I started off using the paper strips that my mum bought me (also from PaperBeadGirl), and then I expanded to cutting my own from 12x12 decorative paper. Although I have a stencil (again, from PaperBeadGirl), the above strips were cut by me using the tried-and-true eyeballing method. Heh. Apparently I got a bit tired of measuring.

All told, during vacation, I made this wonderful pile of beadie goodness:

Heh... I can tell my earlier beads from the ones I did later.
Just a little bit of a learning curve.

And the paper strips that I cut myself? Turned into these:

Pink! And purple! And snatches of white!

So, by now, you might be wondering just what my August challenge is going to be.

And the answer is simple: I want to make a piece of jewelry using those pink-and-purple beads in that last picture. 

Of course, if I get time, I want to do stuff with the others beads, too... I already have a growing idea of what I want to do with the eclectic mismatched ones. But! My main goal is to make something with those pinkpurple beads specifically--so that I can have the satisfaction of making something from start to finish: picking the paper, cutting the strips, rolling the beads, and then assembling the final piece of jewelry.

So! There you go! Come back on Monday, August 31st, to see what I make! 

...And now it's time for me to go start creating! :)

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Art Jewelry Elements - August Component of the Month

Over at the Art Jewelry Elements blog, they have what is called a component of the month. As the name suggests, each month a talented bead artist offers something awesome that they've made, and then a handful of designers use that something awesome in a creation.

This month's components are rustic stoneware coin pendants, made by Diane Ptaszynski of Suburban Girl Studio.

Aren't they gorgeous?

This is not my picture.
Taken from the Art Jewelry Elements blog, to showcase the loveliness and variations of these components.

You can go here and read about how she makes them! 

Now, these components are usually offered as a giveaway--you win one, you get to join the challenge. I didn't actually win the giveaway--or even enter it, because I didn't find out about it in time. Still, I wanted to play along.

So! I went to her Etsy shop, Suburban Girl Studio, and bought this:

Again, not my picture.
This is from the Etsy listing for my pendant.
I have to use this one, because I forgot
to take a picture of it before I started creating with it!

And, oh, I'm excited! 

...In fact, I'm almost done my piece.

So, want to find out what I make with it? Stop by on August 30th! And be sure to stop by the host blog, to see what everyone else makes, too!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Wednesday's Worktable - Vacation Edition

It's Wednesday! And my worktable is currently being used for a few challenge pieces that I can't reveal yet.

So! Instead, I'm going to show you last week's worktable--yes, when I was on vacation.

...After all, the scenery was quite lovely! Definitely more photogenic than my usual surroundings.

The first thing on my worktable: Zentangle! 

My mum borrowed a few books from the library regarding this topic, so I thought I would give it a try. The above is my very first attempt at making one... And I'm quite happy with how it turned out. Very relaxing. I do hope to do more.

Oh, look. The second thing on my table: red feathers made out of leather.

...You'll have to wait a little bit more for me to tell you about those. ;)

(Although, to be fair, that's about as far as I got with them while on vacation... Definitely need to start doing more with them now!)

And, last but not least, I started work on another tassel necklace--all in metallic shades of black and silver. 

The central bead is a beautiful lampwork piece made by GlassyFields... And, yes, I decided to use bells in this design. They have a soft jingling sound--not overpowering--and I'm so excited about how it's going to turn out once I'm done.

Oh, and I also made another wrap bracelet while on vacation, but I didn't take a picture of it. And I also started work on my August Monthly Challenge (more on that soon, too).

...That was in addition to swimming and shopping and reading and doing other various wonderful vacation-y activities. Like sleeping. Lots of sleeping.

Overall, it was a very fun, very creative vacation... and I wouldn't have it any other way!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Back from Vacation...

...and, oh, what a vacation it was!

Truth be told, I'm not quite ready for it to be over. Home is wonderful, but it's also the realm of responsibilities and bills and house maintenance and adulting. Coupled with the fact that it's always hard to say goodbye to family, I could use about another month hidden in the trees!

We stayed in a cabin in the middle of a state forest, nestled in the mountains of western Maryland. For a week, this was my home away from home...

Side of the cabin, including entry to the porch.

My mother certainly has a way of making things welcoming and cheery.
The guitar was our addition to the decor. 

View from the cabin driveway.

Artistic pine needles.

View from the ranger station's porch swing.

A beautiful day at the lake, which is just down the hill from the cabin.

Green trees, blue sky, blue water... Peaceful and calming and all that I have been craving.

Yet, despite my grousing, I admit that it's good to be back. I'm having fun assimilating my new treasures into my craft room... And it's always wonderful returning to my own bed.

And! I have a few jewelry making projects coming up, and that is always fun. I've signed up for two blog hops, figured out what my Monthly Challenge is going to be for August  (more on those things later), and have a bunch of beads I acquired on vacation that I can't wait to work with.

So, here's to a wonderful vacation!

...And here's the being back! It's time to start creating!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Hello, August! ...and Wednesday's Worktable

It's the first Wednesday in August!

...And I would much rather be asleep. I seem to be bumbling towards productivity today, running on autopilot while my brain happily gazes off into space. It's the sort of day where I get easily distracted; I start something, and then ten minutes later realize I've moved on to something else. And this is after coffee. 


In any case, here's a look at what's on my worktable:

Green! And pink!

I picked out those beads quite some time ago... The beginning of the year, I think. It's nice to finally sit down and get a chance to work with them. My goal? Make something without a tassel. ;)


For those who actually keep track of such things, I may or may not be able to post my normal update next week.

Why is that, you ask?

Because it's time for family vacation, and I'll be here:

Picture courtesy of my mother.
The land of mountains, beautiful trees, and a distinct lack of internet. :)

I am so looking forward to it. A chance to spend time with people I love, far away from the distractions of everyday. If today is any indication, I am in need of a break! 

Happy August--and happy Wednesday--everyone!

P.S. And, in regards to my August Monthly Challenge... I actually have no idea what I'm going to be doing for it. Hopefully I'll be inspired by something while on vacation. I try to vary things up... If you have any requests or suggestions for what I might do--something that you want to see--let me know!