Monday, August 29, 2016

Brief Hiatus

Hi, all.

I had three things I wanted to post this week: the reveals for the August SJ Design Honey Do List and the August Pretty Palettes, as well as the bonus reveal for my own Monthly Challenge

...But I don't think I'm actually going to get them posted in time. 

The jewelry is all made, the pictures are all taken... But life has tackled me to the ground, and I simply don't have the energy or time to do any of them justice. (Before you get worried: everyone in my life is alive and mostly healthy, my relationship with my husband is going well, and I have a lot to be grateful for. However, life happens--and that can be very overwhelming.) 

And so, I'm going to take a step back from blogging this week. 

I don't do this lightly... I've worked hard to get these reveals ready, and this blog means a lot to me. Still, I am learning my limits--and I desperately need to recharge.

So, I will check in next week--hopefully refreshed and renewed, and ready to share more lovely things. In the meantime, thank you so much for your understanding and your patience... I truly appreciate you!

Until I return, have a beautiful week everyone!

Friday, August 26, 2016

Wonder and Whimsy Monthly Challenge - August Reveal, Part 2

All right! It's time for the second part of August's Monthly Challenge reveal. 

I have now shown you the random--and beautiful!--beads that I received for this challenge... 

Want to see what was in this box?
Go to my previous entry, found here!

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


A quick overview: I made five necklaces overall, four of which have matching earrings, and three of which are going to be featured in this entry. They were all finished this past week--despite my grand plans to work on them over vacation. (Which is just as well--gave me something to look forward to, since coming back from vacation is never fun.)

So, without further ado: here they are! 

Necklace Set #1

Me on vacation--hard at work, or hardly working? 

This first set was the one and only piece I worked on while vacationing--although I didn't actually finish it until after I got home. 

Of all the beads that I received for this challenge, the golden bronze pearls were my mum's favorite... And so, I wanted to make a necklace for her. I matched them with garnet (also from my random FMG order), and knotted them on ivory silk.

I then made some earrings using the same materials, and thus the set was complete:

The overall length of the necklace is 17 inches. I made it that way specifically for my mother, since that is her preferred length--a nonstandard length that is particularly hard to find. It's always fun specially-making things for those I love! 

Necklace #2

This second necklace has a very similar colorway to the first, and was made using some of the tigereye and garnet seen above. Brown and burgundy, check!

The tiger eye focal is also from the random mix I purchased for this challenge--specifically, the collection of gemstone donuts.

The links are wire-wrapped with 26 gauge goldtone wire, making this a very delicate little 16 inch necklace. 

In fact, this delicate nature is why I haven't made a pair of earrings to match it... I couldn't settle on a design that wouldn't be too overbearing. After all, not everything has to have matching earrings. (I just like making them, hah!)

Necklace Set #3

This third necklace set was finished just this morning--and is definitely not a color combination I usually work with.

And why is that?

I have one word for you: pastels.

As with the previous items, this necklace and earring set was made exclusively with beads from the random mix I received. The materials include glass and quartz, as well as the mystery stone of the focal. (I can't remember what my father and I decided it was, sorry!)

Unlike the two previous necklaces, this one is quite long--with long earrings to match!

The construction is fairly straight-forward: wire-wrapping with a bit of chain thrown in. Even so, it is quite elegant when worn... and I am very fond of the shape of the focal!

So, there you go! Those are the first three sets that I made for this Monthly Challenge!

And I actually have two more sets to show, but I am running out of steam. I do hope you will forgive me if I post them over the weekend... Just think of it as a bonus!

I truly had fun doing this challenge. This has been a particularly rough week, and working on these pieces helped keep me sane. I do look forward to showing you the other things I have made, when I am more awake!

Thanks so much for stopping by... Have a wonderful Friday, everyone!

Wonder and Whimsy Monthly Challenge - August Reveal, Part 1

Hi there! 

You might have thought that I forgot that today is the reveal date for my Monthly Challenge... but you'd be wrong! I'm just going slower at posting, since my desktop computer is, once more, not working. (Don't worry, it's in the computer hospital--hopefully it will be up and running again soon!)

As a refresher, this month's challenge was all about using random bead mixes purchased on mega-sale from FireMountainGems... and, I just realized that I haven't actually shown the beautiful beads I received! Oops. I got them right as I was leaving for vacation, and didn't have time to post them. 

So, before I share what I made, I need to share what I got to work with!

Ooo, what's in the box?

I bought a lot of beads... At super sale, it's really hard not to!

In my order, I received some stone donuts:

Some beautiful mixes of glass and semi-precious stones:

Some hand-cut gemstones from India:

...And pearls! Lots and lots of pearls! ($100 worth of pearls for $9? Yes, please!)

...Right before I left for vacation, I also ordered a package of random stone pendants--which I didn't get to look at until I was actually at the cabin. Here they are, along with all of the other beads:

Sorry for the rather crummy lighting...
Taking pictures in the cabin usually isn't the best option, but it was super cloudy outside that day.

Most of the beads came unlabeled, which meant that my family and I had a great time sitting around trying to figure out what the materials were. And I'm not kidding--we greatly enjoyed ourselves! My father collects rocks and minerals, and has a pretty epic collection of the same, so his insight was invaluable. :)

The bottom six strands are ones that I realized I hadn't actually photographed previously. Oops.
So much bounty, it was too much for my vacation-brain to keep up with!

So many wonderful things to play with!

...And I hardly did any beading while I was away last week. Hah. 

Still, after returning home, I settled down and got to work--if you can actually call it work, since I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

So, those are the beads that I received for this challenge--a beautiful collection of all sorts of colors. (And pink. Lots of pink.) Stay tuned, because later tonight, I will be posting what I made with this bounty--and I have hardly scratched the surface of what I received! Woo-hoo!

...Now I need to go write that entry. I'll be back in a bit... Until then, enjoy all of the pretty bead pictures! :)

Thursday, August 25, 2016

We're All Ears: August Inspiration

Almost a week late, but here it is... My reveal for this month's We're All Ears challenge! Yay!

For this month's challenge, the inspiration was campfires.

...How appropriate, since last week I was vacationing in a cabin! (Not exactly roughing it--the cabin was complete with a microwave, indoor plumbing, and a coffee pot--but hey, it was in the woods!)

Not my photo!
From Unsplash, credit Tirza van Dijk

Now, when I saw the inspiration photos, I immediately thought of agate. Red and black banded agate, to be precise--where its bands capture the hues of both the ash and the leaping flames.

With that in mind, I went rooting through my stash. (And, heh, I might have ordered one or two pieces online. Like I need an excuse to buy beads! *grin*)

I had the materials picked out and a design in my head when I left for vacation, and within a day of returning home, I made these:

They are made with waxed linen, copper findings, and agate--specifically red and black banded agate (nuggets and rounds) coupled with yellow agate trapezoids.

I didn't stop there, though! 

Not my photo!
From Unsplash, credit Luke Porter

Inspired by my week in the woods as well as by the materials on hand, I made a matching necklace, too:

Oooo, look! They match! :)

Just like the earrings, the necklace is knotted on waxed linen and paired with copper findings. The stones are identical to the earrings as well--a yellow agate trapezoid coupled with red and black banded agate (again, nuggets and rounds).

The shape of the yellow agate makes me think of kindling.

I am truly happy with how this set turned out--both the earrings and the necklace. The natural variation in the stone is exactly what I had in mind when thinking about campfires--burning embers in the ash mixed with dancing flames.

Not my photo!
From Unsplash, credit Wil Stewart

So, there you go! Thank you so much for stopping by... Be sure to stop by the Earrings Everyday blog to see what everyone else made! And thanks, of course, to Erin Prais-Hintz for the wonderful inspiration--the campfire motif was perfect for this month!

Have a wonderful day, everyone!