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!

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Wednesday's Worktable

The first thing on my worktable this week: cookies!

Obligatory cookie glamour shot.

Now, I don't bake a lot. I enjoy it, I just don't often get the chance to do it. Yesterday, however, I had an impromptu Christmas Cookie Day, and I made approximately a zillion (read: 10 dozen) chocolate chip cookies. My best friend came over, we ate pizza and cookies and watched silly documentaries, and it was practically the best thing ever. :)

Which leads me to the second thing on my worktable this week. In the jewelry department, I'm still working feverishly on presents and reveal pieces... but the first present has officially been given (the aforementioned best friend got their present yesterday).

So! That means that I can officially share it here... Yay!

Can you guess what it is from this progress shot:

If you said "that's a five-wrap bracelet made with brown cotton, amber, and a dinosaur charm!," you would be right!

...Now, fully disclosure: I didn't actually buy the amber for this present. Best Friend did that awhile ago, with the intent that I use it to make this thematic bracelet. It actually matches the necklace I made them for Christmas last year:

It may have taken awhile, but I finally delivered! (I also gave them another present in addition to the bracelet--that can't be shown yet, because it's similar to other presents being given this year. But! One show-and-tell isn't bad for today. *grin*)

So... ta-daaaaa! That's what is currently on my worktable. Thanks so much for stopping by today to see what I'm up to... Busy busy busy, and enjoying myself immensely. 

Have a wonderful Wednesday, everyone! :)

Monday, December 11, 2017

Wonder and Whimsy Monthly Challenge - December Edition

It's December! One of my favorite months of the year!

...Although, to be fair, that's heavily influenced by both Christmas and my birthday. Hee. :)

As I was thinking about what I wanted to do for my Monthly Challenge this month, I kept thinking about some of my favorite December traditions. Yes, it's a month where the days get darker and darker... but it's also the time when lights seem to shine brighter, and warmth inside is all the more cozy because of the cold outside, and the air itself almost feels magical.

Now, one of my favorite Christmas traditions is watching The Nutcracker on Christmas Eve... I grew up with the Baryshnikov version, and even though the video quality has definitely aged, I still find it lovely. To me, the ballet--the music, the costumes, the sets, the movement--captures all the magic and dream-like possibility of the season... A beautiful sparkling spectacle, even as the nights grow longer. 

(Disclaimer: all below photos are from George Balanchine's The Nutcracker, preformed by the New York City Ballet. It's a pretty iconic production, so I thought it only fitting to use their lovely pictures. All photos are by Paul Kolnick. No copyright infringement intended.)

Not my photo! Picture by Paul Kolnick.

Not my photo! Picture by Paul Kolnick.

Not my photo! Picture by Paul Kolnick.

Not my photo! Picture by Paul Kolnick.

Not my photo! Picture by Paul Kolnick.

Not my photo! Picture by Paul Kolnick.

And so, for the Wonder and Whimsy Monthly Challenge for December, I'm going to make jewelry based on the Nutcracker--either the ballet itself, or the original story that it's based on. My goal is to encapsulate that feeling of warmth and magic and light... and there will probably glitter. Hah!

Thanks so much for stopping by today to see what I'm up to... Come back on Friday, December 29th to see what I end up making for this challenge.

Until then, have a wonderful December, everyone!

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Hello, December!

'Tis the season to make people shiny things! :)

That's right... on my worktable this week: Christmas presents! Hurray! 

But, sadly, I can't really show any of those here. At least, not yet. Humbug.

So, since I don't really have anything else I can show off, project-wise, I figure I'll share some of my new beadie acquisitions instead... Namely, the beads that I bought during Black Friday sales.

Top to bottom: carnelian, peach aventurine, red aventurine, hessonite garnet

Top to bottom: smoky quartz, smoky lemon quartz,
green aventurine (light and dark), labradorite

Top to bottom: aquamarine, amethyst, rose quartz

...And that's not even including the turquoise!

Yes, Bead Box Bargains is wonderful. Their stock is variable due to the overstock nature of their business model, but it's always a good deal. (They currently have some tourmaline rondelles in stock that I want... *looks at them longingly*) In any case, they have filled my worktable with all sorts of gemstone possibilities... happy things to poke at, once all of the Christmas presents are done.

Thanks so much for stopping by today to see what I'm up to... Happy December, everyone!

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Wonder and Whimsy Monthly Challenge - November Reveal

Well, almost a week late, but here we go... it's time to reveal what I made for November's monthly challenge!

Since this month has been dedicated to writing (hurray for National Novel Writing Month... I literally squeaked in under the wire this year!), I decided to go with a writing-themed challenge for November. Namely, I wanted to make jewelry that was somehow connected to my stories.

Overall, I made three things for this challenge. I had more planned out, but life has a habit of being more complicated than anticipated. Ah well. Still, I'm very happy with what I made... And, without further ado, here they are!

A Gift of Garnet

This first bracelet is fairly simple--as was the scene that inspired it. Made of plump garnets and antiqued brass, it resembles the bracelet my main character is gifted while she's visiting the Noble Court (which is essentially the Capitol of the Land of Fairy Tales). 

In the Noble Court, there is a very complicated language of fashion--which extends to jewelry. The color, the metal, the person who buys it... it all has meaning. 

While this can lead to all sorts of subtle social intricacies, in the case of this bracelet, things are much more straightforward. It shows that the person who buys this for my main character considers her as a sister. 

...But I won't tell you who it is, in case one of these days I get this silly thing published! :)

Sea King's Daughter

This second piece is a necklace that is also connected to my series of novels where an Anthropologist goes to study the land of Fairy Tales (called the Landus Fantasticus, or the Land of Happily Ever After). 

While this year's NaNo was dedicated to writing of her adventures in the Noble Court (hence the bracelet above), last year I wrote of her adventures on the Coast. While there, she ends up visiting the Sea King.

This particular necklace was made with the Sea King's daughter in mind.

I chose the silvery peacock pearls for three reasons. First, the way the lights shifts and shimmers on them make me think of the sea. Secondly, they're pearls, which connects them even more to the ocean. And thirdly, because Syranne herself has a fondness for silver. 

I then paired them with matching crystals, and added a clasp that made me think of an underwater flower. The result is a necklace that, while perhaps not the most complicated necklace I ever made, perfectly matches the character I had in mind. 


Rose of Aniad

This third necklace is a bit of a cheat, as it's not connected to my Landus Fantasticus novels. However, it is connected to my writing--specially, to a story that is very near and dear to my heart, and was featured here--and I couldn't help but show it off. 

...Besides, it has a tassel, and we all know how much I like tassels. *grin*

Copper, plum-purple, and forest green are the colors of Aniad. 

What is Aniad? 

It's one of the Four Houses of Elenan--a land I made up, where the story takes place. This land is currently being overrun by an invader from the North, a Tyrant, who essentially is taking over by force. There is a Resistance that's fighting him... and at the heart of the Resistance is the Storyteller of Aniad.

Her name is Cedar. 

Her son, Mannesh, is actually the main character of that story--but this necklace set is more dedicated to her than to him. 

For that reason, I chose not only to go with the colors of Aniad (and the leaves--it's a House mainly located in the forest, so trees and leaves are a bit part of their House symbolism), but also the rose focal as well... One of Cedar's many titles (or nicknames, if you will) is actually the Rose of Aniad.

I'm actually in love with how these pieces turned out... I've always loved the Aniad colors, and I'm thrilled with how well they came together for this particular set.

Well, there you go. Those are the pieces that I made for this month's writing-inspired-jewelry challenge. It's late, but hopefully still worth it! (And hopefully not completely riddled with grammatical errors... I'm still recovering from the Stomach Bug of Doom, so my apologies if any of this doesn't make sense... Oi.)

Thanks everyone for stopping by today... Thank you so much for your patience, and I hope you have a fantastic last day of November!