Monday, March 1, 2021

Wonder and Whimsy Monthly Challenge - March 2021 Edition

For my challenges this year, I've hit the ground running. 

I've tackled colors I don't use often, I've tackled a shape I don't use often... and now it's time to tackle a design style that I don't do often.

Namely: Asymmetry.

Not my photo!
Photo by Evelyn Bertrand on Unsplash

Now, I will do mild asymmetry on occasion. Sometimes I will make necklaces where the sides are inverses of each other. Or maybe I'll make a dangle with different-length pieces. But, it's not my go-to style. 

So, this month, I'm going to change that. I'm going to stretch my creative muscles and think outside my symmetrical-box. Be sure to come back on Friday, March 26th to see what I end up making!

Thanks for stopping by today... Have a lovely day, everyone! And Happy March!

Friday, February 26, 2021

Wonder and Whimsy Monthly Challenge - February 2021 Reveal

How is it the end of February already? I realize that it's a short month, but I feel like January was only yesterday!

That being said, I do actually have some things to show for this month's challenge. Five things, actually--some of which you may have already seen, if you follow my Instagram. (I shared three things, to be precise... don't worry, I saved a good one for this final reveal!)

So! As a refresher, my challenge this month was hearts.

Not my photo!
Photo by Micheile Henderson on Unsplash

...specifically, making heart jewelry that I would actually wear. That certainly was a challenge, since I'm not big on hearts in general. But! I'm happy to say that I did have success!

Apparently, I just like hearts that are unique and interesting.

The first three pieces that I made achieve this level of interest because, well, the hearts are actually leaves--and I really like leaves.

The fourth thing that I made was a pair of earrings--with vintage hearts made out of lucite. I have never seen hearts quite like these, and they were just cute and dainty enough to make me smile. I kept the design simple to really let the hearts speak for themselves:

..And, lastly, I made a heart necklace with a tassel.

I was super happy to find a cloisonné heart that was both large enough to balance out a tassel and was not in traditional red-and-white heart colors. I really like the pink and green and gold color palette--elegant and delicate, but not cliche.  

So, there you go! Those are the pieces that I made for this heart jewelry challenge. I am actually really happy with what I made... It absolutely was a bit of a stretch for me to find focals that I liked, but it was definitely worth it. It's a good thing to stretch those creative muscles, after all! :)

Thank you so much for stopping by today. Have a wonderful day, everyone!

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Yay! It's Bead Soup Time!

If you've been around my blog for awhile, you might remember when I participated in the Bead Soup Blog Party, many years ago. 

If you're not familiar with it, essentially it went like this: people signed up, swapped beads with another jewelry maker, made something with the beads they received from their partner, and then shared their creations on their blogs. It was a wonderful way to expand your skill as a jewelry designer, and I loved it.

And I am so excited to share that it's back!


I've already been paired with my partner... She is a lovely jewelry maker named Veralynne Malone.

Here is what I sent to her:

Surprise! I'll share the actual picture of what I sent her when she opens my package. (It's been shipped and received, but she's been waiting to open it until she is able to send me my bead soup. She's been super busy and then ill, so I'm still waiting on my package... which is just fine. It means that I get to buzz around in happy anticipation just a bit more!)

I'm so excited!

Thanks for stopping by today. Be sure to come back soon, when I get to share the actual picture of what I sent her. Until then, have a lovely day everyone!

Monday, February 22, 2021

February Reveal - SJ Designs Jewelry Honey Do List Design Challenge

Sarajo Wentling, of SJ Designs Jewelry, has been continuing her Honey Do List challenge this year... In fact, 2021 marks the sixth year that she's done it. How cool is that?

I always love seeing what she makes, and I'm excited that I got to play along thing month. Yay!

Here was the inspiration photo for February:

And this is what her husband, Eric, has to say about this picture:
This was a cool 8-bit looking mosaic in London, along with some random graffiti and chain-link fence.  We saw a lot of cool street art on this leg of our England trip (pre-Covid of course) and this one jumped out at me.  This was taken with my phone, so not as great quality as some of my shots, but still fitting for February!  

I'm usually not one for hearts (as I have previously explained), but I think this 8-bit mosaic heart is really cool! 

However, when thinking about what I wanted to make, I quickly realized that the only red hearts I currently have in my stash are super sparkly Swarovski hearts. While lovely, they don't quite have the same vibe as this rather unconventional street-art heart.

So, I decided to instead focus on the colors--and the general "finding art everywhere" feeling from the photo. That was when I remembered some paper strips I had previously cut from a magazine. 

From there, one thing led to another... I rolled the paper beads, and from them I made these earrings:

Not incredibly complex, I realize, but I'm still really happy with them. After all, I always love the excuse to make and play with paper beads... and I do think they match the general feeling of the inspiration picture quite well. :)

So, there you go! That's what I made for this challenge. As always, thank you Sarajo and Eric for letting me play along... and thank you to everyone who has stopped by to see. I appreciate you taking the time to let me share my art with you!

Have a wonderful day, everyone! 

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Wonder and Whimsy Monthly Challenge - February 2021 Edition

I have a confession to make.

...I don't really like hearts.

Not my photo!
Photo by Micheile Henderson on Unsplash

Okay, okay, I suppose I should clarify. I actually like pictures like the one above. Hearts can be sweet, and genuine, and pretty. I can be a sappy romantic, after all.

I guess I just don't really like, well, standard hearts. Regular hearts. Especially in jewelry. So many high-end jewelry stores make these gorgeous diamond-encrusted heart pendants... and I don't really like them. Maybe it's the rebel in me, I just like things that are a bit more personalized. And please understand, that's not saying there's anything wrong with heart jewelry... This is just my own personal preference, my own personal quirk.

So, what does that have to do with my challenge this month? 

Well, this month, I'm going to challenge myself to make heart jewelry.

...Specifically, heart jewelry that I like and would personally wear. I figure that's a good Valentine's Day challenge, and sure to get me to spread my designing wings a little bit!

Thanks, everyone, for stopping by! Have a wonderful day, and be sure to come back on Friday, February 26th to see what heart-inspired jewelry I end up making!

Friday, January 29, 2021

Wonder and Whimsy Monthly Challenge - January 2021 Reveal

It's hard to believe that January is already almost over. Time has just flown by!

And, since it's the last Friday of the month, that also means that it's reveal time! Yay! I'm excited to show what I made for this month's Wonder and Whimsy challenge. As a refresher, I decided that I would try to make something with the Pantone 2021 Colors of the Year:

Not my photo! 
This, and a description of the thought process behind the color choices, can be found here.

All told, I made three items. Not bad, considering this was definitely a bit of a stretch for my designing muscles! 

And, for fun, I'll share them in the order that I made them. And I worked right up to the end--the last necklace I just finished this morning! *grin*

Necklace #1

This is the first necklace that I made for this challenge. I kept the design simple, to really showcase the colors. 

Speaking of colors, this is also the project where I was most careful to stay as true to the inspiration colors as I possibly could. The materials include pearls, black shell (focal), yellow Swarovski crystals, faceted glass, and silvertone metal.

All in all, a promising start to this challenge!

Necklace #2

For this one, I took a little bit of liberties with the color. After reading the comments to my introduction post, I decided to take Divya's suggestion of substituting silver for grey and gold for yellow, and this necklace just came together. (Divya is a very talented designer and has a blog over at Jewels of Sayuri--do check her out!)  

Oh, and I did make the chain. 

I've been playing around with Viking Knit this month, and had a lot of fun weaving this together. Looking at it, I can see some imperfections--but it's not bad for my second attempt at this technique. Ever. And I think this is one of those skills where you just get better and better at it the more you do it, so that just means I need to do it more. I think that can be arranged! *grin*

So, yes. I'm very proud of this necklace. 

Necklace #3

And, yes, I made a tassel. I do love making tassels, and this color scheme just asked to be made into one. I couldn't help it!

The focal bead is lampwork made by Carol Christensen-Day. I know I use her beads a lot, but I can't help it--they're just so cool! And, honestly, it just matched the color scheme too perfectly. 

Other materials include: vintage acrylic, wood, Czech glass, regular glass, and silvertone metal. 

The result is a surprisingly light necklace. Given its dimensions, you'd think it would be super heavy... instead, it's lightweight and full of movement--and incredibly striking, and modern, when worn.

So, ta-da! Those are the three projects that I made for this month's challenge. 

As suspected, yellow and grey proved a little challenging to work with for me--but I think that was mostly due to the beads that I had on hand. (I definitely had to buy more yellow beads, hah! Most of the yellow that I had was more pastel, and not sunshine-bright.) 

Also, it really was a bit of a balancing act. Those colors are so opposite... that shade of yellow is such a dominant, bright color and that shade of grey is so subdued. Finding the right balance took some time, where neither color truly out-shone the other. But that is the nature of jewelry design, isn't it--finding an aesthetically pleasing balance? At least, that's how I approach design. *grin*

Thank you so, so much for stopping by today to see what I made... I really appreciate you letting me share the things that I've been working on.

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

Saturday, January 2, 2021

Wonder and Whimsy Monthly Challenge - January 2021 Edition

Happy 2021!

I figured I would start the new year by jumping straight into it... and that includes announcing this month's Wonder and Whimsy challenge. Woo-hoo!

Continuing with my color palette trend from last month, I decided that this month I'm going to tackle the Pantone 2021 Color(s) of the Year.

Not my photo! 
This, and a description of the thought process behind the color choices, can be found here.

Now, it should be noted that I really don't combine yellow and grey all that often. I find a lot of my jewelry design decisions deal with color balance, and getting it just right... and, to me, these colors are hard to balance just right. It can be done--and it looks great!--but it is not something I find easy.

...Which means that it's perfect for a challenge! :)

If you want to see what I end up making, be sure to come by on Friday, January 29th for the reveal!

Thanks so much for stopping by today to see what I'm up to. Have a wonderful day, everyone. Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 31, 2020

Wonder and Whimsy Monthly Challenge - December Reveal

Well, here it is: the last day of 2020.

So, why not end the year with a blog reveal! :)

At the beginning of the month, I shared that December's Wonder and Whimsy challenge was going to be playing around with two different palettes I dreamt about in November. (Literally, they were from a dream I had.)

Now, I didn't really make much--finished one necklace and started one other--but I still had a lot of fun designing with such bright cheerful colors.

So, without further ado... Here is what I made!

Palette 1

This necklace is one that I actually started thinking about in November, right after I had the dream. Still, it wasn't until this month that I started actually assembling it. Complete with dyed agate, amethyst, both Czech glass and regular glass, and goldtone metal, I am really pleased with how it turned out!

Palette 2

You will notice that this tassel necklace is incomplete... I just ran out of time, and wasn't able to finish. (Well, and I also got distracted by the gorgeous Swarovski crystals I got for Christmas. Hah!) The materials for this tassel--and the rest of the necklace, when I get around to it--include glass, Czech glass, dyed quartz, and pearl.

So, there you go! Those are what I created from the palettes I dreamt about. I am certainly not done poking at them, either... I look forward to playing around with them some more in the future!

Thank you so much for stopping by today to see what I made!

Have a lovely end of your year, everyone! See you in 2021!