Friday, January 30, 2015

The Jenny Monthly Challenge - January Reveal

If you are looking for my "getting to know me" post for the Bead Peeps Swap N' Hop, go here! Or keep scrolling, since it also happens to be the previous entry. :)


Well, here it is... January 30th, the last Friday of the month. 

That means that we're already 30 days into 2015--where has the time gone? It also means that it's time for the reveal of this month's challenge! And I'm so excited to share!

As a reminder, here is the kit that I put together...

Handmade lampwork and agate and jade and Chinese crystals, oh my!

And from those extremely promising materials, I made this:

Jupiter Necklace!

As well as these:

Matching Jupiter Earrings!

I cannot even begin to tell you how much fun I had making this set.

This was one of those times that I had the idea in my head, and it turned out exactly how I had envisioned--except only better, because it was real and tangible. It was absolutely thrilling to have everything just fall into place.

The necklace itself is big and bold and extremely fun to wear... the tassel has wonderful movement and weight, and the piece is so long (I'm guessing that the tassel is about 6 inches and the rest is about 30 inches, even though I haven't actually measured it) that it actually makes me feel quite confident and emboldened. 

The earrings, too, are fun to wear... Surprisingly lightweight (I don't like very heavy earrings), they have just the right amount of dangle to accent the necklace but not be overpowering. They can even be worn by themselves as statement pieces--they are definitely lovely enough to stand on their own.

So. much. wire-wrapping.

All in all, this is definitely one of the biggest sets I've ever made (or worn), and not something I'd wear everyday... But good for when the occasion strikes. Especially since I know that I have a skirt that matches it perfectly.

And nothing can match the thrill of saying "why yes, I did make this."

So, thank you for stopping by and seeing what I made with my Jupiter beads! I had a blast! 

...and now, to think about what I want my February challenge to be. 

So, while I do that, have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Getting to Know Me...

Something exciting: I just signed up for a blog hop! 

The Bead Peeps Swap n' Hop, to be precise.

Bead Peeps is a Facebook group that I'm part of--and it's a collection of wonderful, talented people. The hop itself is pretty straight-forward: the participants get paired up, send each other beads (hence the "swap"), make something with said beads, and then post pictures of what they made on the reveal day (May 2nd, for those keeping track).

It was requested that the participants introduce themselves and their work on their blog... and that's what I'm going to do! 

So, sit back, relax, and enjoy my quirky answers to five jewelry-related questions! :)

Bedtime Stories Necklace

1. Why or how did you get started making jewelry?

I have been making jewelry since I can remember. I have memories of being in fourth grade, walking with my mother to the nearby craft store (Frank's Nursery and Crafts), where I always gravitated towards to bead aisle. We also occasionally made special trips to an actual bead store, called Beadazzled (which is still in business, and has a website!). 

So, as a result, I made jewelry all through grade school--even wearing my own pieces for my 8th grade graduation, my junior prom, and my school pictures. Still, it was only after college that I really started to push myself and learn more... and when I realized I was making so much that I had to sell it or be buried by it, because I certainly wasn't going to stop!

Made with beads purchased from Beadazzled!

2. What style(s) of jewelry do you like to make?

I honestly have no idea how to define my style. Eclectic, maybe? I go from making delicate, dainty earrings to making bold, colorful statement necklaces... from making complicated and intricate Victorian-style chokers to making simple and modern hairsticks. I'm always experimenting and learning and pushing myself to learn more, and that comes through what I make. 

That being said, however, I do try to capture a sense of elegance or fun in what I make... And that is why I named this blog Wonder and Whimsy.

These are hairsticks--used for holding up longer hair and keeping it out of one's face.

3. What materials do you prefer to use (and which ones do you avoid)?

I have been known to use everything and anything I can get my hands on. I am just as likely to use handmade lampworked artisan beads (so lovely!) as I am glow-in-the-dark pony beads that I salvaged from a children's basketball net I found in a clearance bin (true story--that happened). Or fossils that I found in a nearby park. Or Roman Glass beads that I splurged and purchased because I wanted to own something that old and beautiful. Or buttons from a coat that I loved but had turned threadbare. Or lace.

Granted, I don't tend to use all of those materials in the same design... but I do think they all have their time and place. So, long answer made short: I honestly love using everything! :)

Made with copper, gemstones, handmade book, and Czech glass.

4. What techniques do you prefer (and are they any you don't like)?

Based on my previous answers, this is probably not a surprise... I am eclectic, and like trying everything. While I tend to lean most on the things like stringing and wire-wrapping (intermediate level?), I have been known to try other things as well. I've dabbled in seedbeadery (I fail at peyote stitch, but have had moderate success at beadweaving and bead embroidery), as well as kumihimo, polymer clay bead making, and even creating things via 3D modeling/printing.

Necklace made for last year's Bead Soup blog hop... wire-wrapped links for the win!

5. What colors do you use most, and which do you run screaming from?

I think it's safe to say that I use jewel tones the most--blues and teals and burgundies and purples are all my favorite. (On a related note, they also make up the majority of my wardrobe.) I have also been known to play around with bright red and sunburst orange and the occasional lime green--and I have even had fun with earth tones (coppers and greens and browns). 

In fact, I would say that the colors that I avoid the most are pastels. I'm not opposed to them, I just look horrible in them... They wash me out and make me look sick. As a result, I own absolutely no pastel clothing, and have no need for pastel jewelry. I also tend to forget that there are people who actually look good in them... I'm just not one of them, so I never think to use them. 

So, there you go!

That's a little bit about me, and my jewelry-making tendencies. I hope you enjoyed! Thank you so much for stopping by, and be sure to stop by later to check on my blog hop progress!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Hello, January... And Hello, 2015!

I had such grand plans to write a profound and eloquent beginning-of-2015 post, but it appears that time has gotten away from me. 

Ah well. 

Yet, even though January is more than halfway over, I wanted to pop on here and wish everyone a Happy New Year! Life here is still settling into normalcy after a busy holiday season (and my birthday, and dealing with a bad bout of the flu)... I'm still getting the new house set up, but am also getting more of a chance to do creative things. 

...And, because I had such fun with it last year, I am continuing my Jenny Monthly Challenge!

I've actually already started work on January's challenge, and this is what I'm using:

The inspiration for that palette is the large bead up in the right corner... It's a handmade lampwork bead by Openstudio Beads, and I've been lovingly calling it my Jupiter Bead. For such a cold and grey month, I figured something bright and cheery would be in order.

My goal is to post a reveal on Friday, January 30th... We'll see what I end up making!

...And, in the meantime, have a happy January everyone!