Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Wednesday's Worktable

Hello, everyone!

I don't really have any cool beadie things to show off this week... Shocking, I know! I have been doing some beadwork--mainly working on some challenge pieces, to varying levels of success. Other than that, though, mostly I've also been doing other things--hanging out with my husband, spending time with family, re-sorting the box of seed beads that I dropped and spilled everywhere. Heh.

So, in lieu of bead pictures, here are some lovely tree pictures I took today while having a lunch picnic with my sister-in-law and nephews:

It is such a lovely day! I'm grateful for the people in my life--and for a chance to step away from my bead table, and enjoy time with them.

...And now, it's time to sort more seed beads. Heh. Wish me luck!

Have a wonderful week, everyone!

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Wednesday's Worktable

Happy Wednesday, everyone! My week has been busy and delightfully creative so far... I've been organizing findings and working on my Monthly Challenge, primarily--you know, in addition to regular life things.

And I have things to show off! Imagine!

First things first, it's time for a necklace update... Can you guess what this chain goes to?

If you guessed the Queen of Hearts key necklace I posted about a few weeks ago, you'd be correct! 

Here's the finished necklace:

It's a combination of Swarovski crystals and vintage glass and black plated metal... A wonderful mix of elegance and whimsy and industrial charm. Thank you everyone for your kind words about the key when I first posted about it... I really do have the best readers ever. :)

My next project on my beading table also continues the red theme... this time, matched with different shades of purple:

It's been too long since I made a beaded tassel, so I remedied that. Still working on the chain, but you get the general idea of what it's going to look like. So fun! I have a few more necklaces like this planned, in different colorways... hopefully I can make some time to finish them in the coming weeks.

Thanks for stopping by today to see what I'm up to... Life is busy, but thankfully my creativity is back in full force. Yay!

Have a wonderful week, everyone!

Monday, July 9, 2018

Wonder and Whimsy Monthly Challenge - July Edition

For this month's challenge, my focus is going to be...


I collect buttons. All sorts of buttons--vintage buttons, new buttons, acrylic buttons, mother-of-pearl buttons. It's only been recently, as I've been going through and organizing my stash, that I realized just how many of them I have.

...And I have also been realizing how little I actually use them.

So, for July, I want to change that. For this challenge, the only rule is that I make something that incorporates buttons somehow. 

I have absolutely no clue what I'm going to do, but this should be fun!

Thanks so much for stopping by today to see what I'm up to... Be sure to come by on Friday, July 27th to see what I end up making.

Have a wonderful day, everyone!

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Hello, July!

Happy July, everyone!

No new bead things to share this week--it's been full of festivities with family and friends, and a fair bit of relaxing (with a side of melting in the heat, oi). I'm still finding the balance between creating and organizing, but overall seem to be crawling out of my creative slump. Woo-hoo! I'll take it!

Thanks so much for stopping by today to see what I'm up to--or not, as the case may be. :)

Have a wonderful month, everyone!

Friday, June 29, 2018

Wonder and Whimsy Monthly Challenge - June Reveal

Here it is... the reveal for this month's Wonder and Whimsy Monthly Challenge! Yay!

As a reminder, the theme for my challenge for this month was Creative Chaos

This challenge was roughly based on the Bead Ruckus--the fun challenge that I was part of several years ago, which involved five designers picking a random jewelry-making component and then making something incorporating all of those components. 

To emulate the randomness of the designers picking different beads and findings, I just reached into my bag of to-be-sorted-beads...

...and came out with these random selections:

Here's what they look like outside of their respective baggies:

...Heh. Yeah, not things that I would normally put together. That mix includes paper beads (not made by me), vintage acrylic, and glass. 

Now, four out of six of those components are super chunky, so I struggled to find a way to balance them all. Add to that the fact that the color combination was a bit tricky... While quite a few of the colors are actually rather similar--the vintage acrylic, the large glass beads--the red really threw me off. 

Still, I persevered... and here is what I made!

Knotted on waxed linen, this necklace incorporates all six of the random components. I only added the findings, the central ring (in an attempt to balance the focal) and a few other sizes of the vintage acrylic beads (they were salvaged from a vintage necklace, so I had a few sizes to choose from). 

...And it is a very, very chunky necklace.

Honestly, though, I kind of love it. It is certainly not my normal style--and I would have never dreamed of putting those components together--but it was so much fun to experiment and play... and it is super satisfying to take things that I didn't think went together, and make something that looks pretty cool. :)

...and now, it's time for the bonus round!

Yesterday, I had a little free time, and decided to do another random bead drawing. These are the selections that I drew from the bag:

That is a collection of vintage acrylic (the purple saucers and pearly potato chips), Czech glass, India agate, and glass.

...And, honestly, I was feeling pretty confident with that collection until I drew out the purple. Gah! Everything else is sort of in a similar colorway--golden, rich colors. The purple, though? It's pastel and bright and doesn't match

Yet, in the spirit of the challenge, I pushed on. After all, it's supposed to be random. :)

After some putzing and designing (and re-designing), this is what I made: 

This necklace is made completely with the random components, with only the findings and two mother-of-pearl rounds added (one in the focal, and one in the dangle).

Truth be told, I'm still not completely sold on the purple... but, otherwise, I think it works. (Something interesting? Looking at this necklace now, I realize that I put complementary colors next to each other without realizing it--the reds are always next to a green, and the purple is always next to the yellowish cream. My subconscious apparently likes color theory. Heh.)

So, ta-da! That's what I made for this month's Creative Chaos challenge. It was so extremely fun to play around and stretch my designing muscles--working with different sizes and color combinations, and just allowing myself to not make something perfect. And who knows? Maybe I'll even do a few more of these, while I work on sorting through that giant bag of goodies.

Thanks so much for stopping by today to see what I made... I really appreciate all of you who take the time to read my blog.

Have a wonderful weekend, and end of June, everyone!

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Reveal - SJ Designs Jewelry Honey Do List June Design Challenge!

Every month, Sarajo Wentling over at SJ Designs Jewelry hosts the Honey Do List Challenge... It's where her husband, Eric, issues her a beading challenge with the intent that she both use up some of her bead stash and get out of her comfort zone. Luckily for me, they let other people play along to!

This month, the inspiration was fresh and green and fern-y:

Here is what Eric had to say about it:
This one is a macro shot of a fern palm from our trip to visit my dad at his place in Florida.  I thought about using a pretty sunset picture but decided the green and the curl in this one just spoke to me!  

I agree with Eric--the green and the curl are really inspiring. I was hoping to make a design that incorporated both of those elements... but then I happened upon the perfect Czech glass bead in my stash--and it was blue! 

Undeterred, I decided to just go with it... After all, there are blue undertones in the above photo. So, here is what I made with the blue bead:

I absolutely love the fern-curl on that bead, and the way that it matches the photo perfectly. I also love the fact that I had matching blue Czech druks in my stash, too... What can I say, all of my organizing is finally paying off. :)

Design-wise, I decided to keep it pretty simple... just a mixture of chain and glass, and a little dangle reminiscent of the dewdrops seen on the fern curls. Honestly, I'm really happy with how it turned out.

Thank you for stopping by today to see what I made for this challenge! And thank you to Sarajo and Eric, as always, for letting me play along. I'm excited to see the inspiration for next month! :)

Have a wonderful day, everyone!

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Pretty Palettes - June Reveal

Where has this month gone? Can you believe that it's the last Wednesday of the month already? I know--me neither!

In happy news, though, that means that today is the reveal for this month's Pretty Palettes challenge. Woo-hoo!

One of the fun things about doing these challenges is that they push me to think outside my regular, comfortable color palettes... and this month's Tutti Fruitti collection was definitely a push! I like the colors together, but honestly I'm not sure if I would have put them together on my own.

Still, I think I did justice to the challenge. Here is the necklace that I made:

It's made with paper beads (not made by me), acrylic pink rounds, and iridescent golden glass, all knotted together on white waxed linen. Although it's chunky, the materials mean that it's also super lightweight--perfect for summer. 

And what can I say--I was super excited when I realized that almost all of this month's color were encapsulated in the paper beads! :)

So, there you go! That's what I made for this month's Pretty Palettes challenge. 

Thanks to the lovely Molly Schaller and the folks over at Halcraft for letting me play along... and thank you for stopping by to see what I've been up to! Be sure to come back later this week... I have two more  reveals that I'm working on for you. :)

Until then, have a wonderful day, everyone!

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Wednesday's Worktable

On my worktable this week: more Queen of Hearts projects!

Seriously, I had so many different ideas last year that I'm still catching up on them. Although, for this particular project, it's fun seeing how it morphed over time in my head. What I made this week is a bit different than what I had originally planned.

You see, originally, I was just going to use a collection of beads and a skeleton key. Pretty, but rather simple and straightforward. But then, this past weekend, my mother-in-law gave me some of my father-in-law's leftover wire (he's an electrical engineer who is fascinated by magnets, so he has all sorts of bits and bobs around the house).

...And, well, one thing led to another, and this happened when I sat down at my beading table:

Now it's a steampunk Queen of Hearts key! The key itself is from a Tim Holtz collection, which I then wrapped with my new wire and some Swarovski crystals (both some bicones and a heart).

My original plan for the necklace chain is also changing. The wire from my father-in-law is much too thin to wire-wrap the links with, but I might use it for more detail work... We'll see!

What can I say? I have quite a bit of wire to work with:

Oh! And I have something else to share. 

My husband's birthday is tomorrow, and I was actually able to pull off a surprise party for him this week! Yay! 

To give you some background: I am the most un-sneaky person I know. Really. I tell my husband pretty much everything--it's natural and comfortable, plus I'm a horrible liar so I don't bother trying. For this party, then, I had lots of help in planning and organizing... In fact, my main job was to make sure that I didn't tell him about it. 

Trust me, that was a hard job for me. But I did it! He was surprised, and it went wonderfully.

Sadly, the only thing that I took pictures of was the cake. My best friend, who works in a bakery, was the one responsible for getting it... While they didn't make it themselves, they coordinated with the cake decorator to make sure it was awesome. 

And awesome, it was! And so I'm going to share pictures of it, to commemorate its awesomeness--and the fact that I successfully pulled off a surprise party! Yay!

Thanks so much for stopping by to see what I'm up to this week! As you can probably guess, my plate is quite full... but at least there's cake on it! Woo!

Have a wonderful Wednesday, and rest of your week, everyone! :)