Friday, December 29, 2017

Wonder and Whimsy Monthly Challenge - December Reveal

It's the last Friday of the month (and the day before my birthday!)... That means that it's time to reveal what I made for this month's Wonder and Whimsy Challenge. Hurray!

As a reminder, for this month's challenge I decided to make jewelry based on The Nutcracker--either the ballet, or the original story that the ballet was based on. After all, watching the the Baryshnikov version is one of my favorite Christmas Eve traditions.

All in all, I made two necklaces for this challenge... I had another one planned, but time got away from me. Ah well. There's always next month. :)

And now, without further ado, here are the necklaces!

The Nutcracker Prince

Not my photo! Picture by Paul Kolnick.

This necklace was actually my husband's idea. He suggested that I make a necklace to represent the Nutcracker Prince himself--perhaps using nut shells, and the iconic colors of deep red and off-white. 

...What can I say? I took the idea and ran with it. :)

I love the relative simplicity of this necklace. It's made using wood, brass, and red suede lace. It honestly looks like something Clara might have made to remember her dream, using bits of nuts cracked by her beloved Nutcracker, and the ribbon used to fix his broken jaw.

Dance of the Snowflakes

Not my photo! Picture by Paul Kolnick.

If the previous necklace is very natural and earthy feeling, the necklace for the ballet's Dance of the Snowflakes is exactly the opposite. To make this necklace, I brought out the bling--to capture the beauty and ephemeral shimmer of the dancing snow. 

Here I am, working on the necklace on Christmas Eve (yes, while watching the ballet):

And here is the final necklace:

My original plan was to make this a short, choker-length necklace that could be part of the dancers' costumes. However, as I worked on it, it developed into something long and draping. Still, I'm quite pleased with it... I think it conveys the movement and the dream-like shine of the ballet!

Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy

Not my photo! Picture by Paul Kolnick.

This was going to be this challenge's tassel necklace. 

However, time got away from me--and after making all of the Christmas gifts that I did, my wrist decided that I needed a break.

So! Here is a progress shot of this necklace... like the one for the Dance of the Snowflakes, this one is not skimping on the sparkle factor:

So, there you go! Those are the necklaces that I made (or planned to make) for this challenge. Thank you so much for stopping by today and letting me share my creations!

...And now, it's time for me to go upstairs and get some tea. My desktop is currently set up in the basement, and it's quite chilly down here. Hah! You'd think it was winter or something. :)

Have a wonderful day--and rest of 2017--everyone!

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Pretty Palettes - December Reveal

This last week has been a whirlwind. 

There was last-minute beading, and then packing and traveling 9 hours to visit my parents for Christmas... and then turning around and coming right back home after only 4 days. I'm in a bit of an after-Christmas stupor.

Imagine my surprise and chagrin, then, when I remembered that today is the reveal for December's Pretty Palettes. As of last night, I hadn't even started making anything! But, miracle of miracles, I actually have something to show for this reveal. Woo!

First things first, though... Here are the beautiful palette colors for this month--perfect for December:

Not my photo! Courtesy of Molly Schaller, and the Halcraft blog.

I had actually picked out beads for this challenge at the beginning of the month... I came upon them while I was unpacking from my trip, and they are what prompted me get started on my project.

Here are the official beads that Molly picked out (on the left), and the beads that I picked out (on the right):

And here is my last-minute, how-quick-can-I-wire-wrap necklace!

I have been wanting to experiment with shorter, less ornate tassel necklaces... This seemed like the perfect opportunity to do so.  The necklace itself is 19 inches long (instead of 28+), and the tassel has 5 strands (as opposed to 10). 

It still has a wonderful amount of movement, but is more of an more everyday necklace and less of a special statement as my regular tassels. And with those colors, it's too bad I didn't have it finished in time for Christmas!

Oh, and I chose the toggle clasp because it reminded me of the poinsettias in the inspiration picture. :)

So, there you go! That is what I made, under the wire, for this month's Pretty Palettes. I am once more amazed at how quickly I can work given a deadline. Ha!

Feel free to hop over to the Halcraft blog to see what everyone else made with these lovely colors... And thank you so much for stopping by today to see what I made!

Have a wonderful day, everyone!

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Wednesday's Worktable

Christmas is less than a week away! ...and guess who is still only halfway done making Christmas presents?

Hah, that's right: this girl! 


Since I'm in the midst of the Christmas Crunch, this is going to be a short little post. And, since I can't share what I'm currently creating (hello, presents!), here's the project that I'm looking forward to making once the holiday rush is over:

The color combination is courtesy of this month's Bargain Bead Box. I would normally pair silver with those cooler colors, but I admit that I really like the way it looks with the bright copper.

I'm excited to see what this turns into!

And I'm also excited to get these presents done! I told myself that I was going to just do something simple this year... Heh. These things always seem to have a habit of getting away from me. 

In any case, I need to get back to them... Thanks so much for stopping by today to see what I'm up to.

Have a wonderful Wednesday, everyone!

Friday, December 15, 2017

We're All Ears: December Reveal, Use Your Leftovers Challenge

It's time for the 3rd Annual Use Your Leftovers Challenge over at Earrings Everyday! Hurray!

I participated last year, and had a wonderful amount of fun. Something really appeals to me about taking little bits and pieces of miscellany and making them into pretty things. And I certainly had a lot of miscellany on my table this year! (My golly, my projects really do add up... the term "craftermath" really applies to my work area. Hah!)

But, before I get to that, I need to show you what I started with. Be warned, what I'm about to show you isn't pretty. You see, for the first part of the challenge, I had to actually unearth my table enough to use it. 

So! I turned this:

...into this:

Ha! It's not perfect, but it's so much better than it was. 

All of my loose beads that had been sitting on the mat were sorted... the paper beads and focals went into one container, while everything else went into a green vintage bowl:

...Now we're getting somewhere! From there, I was able to start picking out different earrings combinations:

And then, I was able to start creating! In 15-minute spurts over the course of a few days, I came up with these:

What can I say... I enjoyed myself! (And had a lot of beads to work with. Heh.)

And now, it's time for close-ups! I do apologize... this is a very picture heavy post. I guess it's what happens when I end up going overboard and making 17 pairs of earrings. (Yep, 17!)

And here they are, all together:

There are tassels and crystals and paper beads. And, interestingly, 7 of the pairs are asymmetrical--almost half of them. For someone who likes symmetry so much, I'd say that's pretty good!

Thanks to the talented Erin Prais-Hintz for once more challenging me to use my leftovers. Be sure to hop over to Earrings Everyday to see what everyone else made for this challenge... I'm sure there will be some lovely things to see!

Thanks so much for stopping by today, and letting me share my creations with you... Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!