Thursday, May 25, 2017

JEM's Art Party - May Entry

Last month was the first month of JEM's Art Party over on Tumblr... and I'm happy to say that the mastermind behind it decided to do it again this month! Yay! (My entry for last month's party can be found here, if you're interested.)

As a refresher, the idea behind the Art Party is simple: every month, a series of prompts is posted, and people make art inspired by one (or more) of those prompts. What kind of art, you ask? Well, whatever kind the participants want to make. Writing, sculpting, knitting--you get the idea! 

So! With that in mind, here is this month's series of prompts:

...and, yes, I once again decided to make jewelry. I'm sure you're so surprised. ;)

In fact, I was so inspired by these prompts that I made the following set the same week the prompts were posted--and in addition to showing you pictures, I'll go ahead and walk you through my design decisions, too. 

Prompt: The Object

The shape of flames is what originally drew me to this pendant. My first thought was to use a sunburst pendant in orange--or at least yellow--but I couldn't find one in those colors.

I could, however, find one in blue. That ended up being fortuitous, because that made me expand into the next prompt...

Prompt: The phrase "whether the weather"

This phrase is what made me decide to go ahead and use the blue pendant. To make it fit, I went with the juxtaposition of bright yellow (sunshine) and cloudy blue (rain) for the main colors. The pendant works, since it's a combination of both. So, weather the weather is sunny or cloudy, this necklace matches it.

As a sidenote: I tried to find a yellow raindrop-style bead to hang from the chain extender, to even further the meaning, but alas I could not!

Prompt: The Color Swatch

I added the orange as a nod to the orange in the color swatch. Besides, orange is complementary to blue (on the color wheel, that is), and just seemed like a natural addition. It helps soften the shift from blue to yellow. 

Now for a little bit about the materials and the construction... The pendant is ceramic, the yellow rounds are glass, the orange beads are quartzite, and the blue bicones are crystal (I picked them because they are clear like raindrops). They are all knotted on blue waxed linen. The overall length of the necklace is 18 inches, with a chain extender. 

I had actually planned a second piece for this challenge--one based on the campfire picture-- but alas I couldn't get the pendant in time. If I do end up making it, though, I'll be sure to post it here, too. :)

Thank you so much for stopping by to see what I made for this challenge... Be sure to stop by tomorrow, when I show off what I made for my own Monthly Challenge. Yay!

Have a wonderful Thursday, everyone!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Wednesday's Worktable

This week finds me still working on some of those jewelry upgrades I started last month as part of April's Monthly Challenge

That's right... Slowly but surely, I've now done remakes of 5 of the 6 necklaces seen below:

Specifically on my worktable today, I tackled the one with the green/purple/black pendant...

...which is actually a re-purposed vintage earring, if you'll believe it. The original backing had fallen off, so I had glued on a bail and strung it on a simple cotton cord.

For its upgrade, I gathered together some Czech glass, some paper beads I made, some pearls, and even some vintage crystal, and started playing around:

And since I actually just finished this necklace this afternoon, you get to see the final product, too! It's rainy and glum outside, so the glamour shots are a bit off, but I'm excited and want to share them anyway. :)

So, without further ado: here is the finished result!

Wire-wrapped links are paired with brass and goldtone findings--including a bamboo style toggle clasp, which I thought matched the origami-paper-pattern look of the pendant. I even made a matching pair of earrings! (I'm sure you're surprised, heh.)

...I had not planned this, but this necklace also perfectly matches my outfit today--and, yes, I'm wearing it. Heh. If I was any good at taking pictures of myself, I'd show it off. As it is, though, you'll just have to take my word on it. ;)

Thank you so much for stopping by to see what I've been working on this week... I have a few more upgrades that I've finished, and hope to show them off at some point.

Until then, have a wonderful Wednesday, everyone! :)

Monday, May 22, 2017

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

Every month, Sarajo Wentling over at SJ Designs Jewelry hosts the Honey Do List Challenge. What is the Honey Do List Challenge? It's where her husband, Eric, issues her a beading challenge--with the intent that she use up some of her bead stash and get out of her comfort zone. Luckily for me, she lets others play along, too! 

This month's inspiration was a photo taken by Eric on a recent trip to Virginia and D.C.:

Here is what Eric said about this photo:
For this month's piece I wanted to use a shot from our recent trip to Virginia and D.C.  With the recent big storm, most of the cherry blossoms were long gone, but we found this single tree with some pink flowers!  I liked the movement of the dried grasses, the metal scrollwork of the sculpture, and the pop of color from the flowers.  

When I first looked at this picture, I was struck by the pop of magenta against a backdrop of creams and browns--and so, that's what I decided to focus on for my jewelry. (Obviously, there are other colors there... those are just the first ones that jumped out at me.) 

Luckily for me, digging around in my stash yielded just the right beads for what I had in mind--and so, I made this necklace:

In addition to brass and gold-tone findings, the materials are shell (the light cream rounds), pearl (the magenta beads), Dzi-style agate (brown patterned rounds), and coconut shell (the leaf pendant).

...I was particularly pleased with how the patterning on the agate reflected the patterning on the sculpture in the inspiration photo.

I picked the leaf pendant both because of the trees in the photo, and because its curve echoes the curves of the sculpture.

Also! A fun fact about the pendant: it's actually a button. The beads dangling in front of it hide the holes. I honestly debated about adding the dangle or not... I ultimately decided that the extra pop of color brought the design together, and reflected my initial response to the photo.

And so, there you go! That is the necklace that I made for this month's Honey Do Challenge. Thank you, Sarajo and Eric, for continuing to let me play along... And thank you, readers, for stopping by to see my creation! Be sure to swing by SJ Designs Jewelry to see what everyone else made!

Until next time, have a wonderful day everyone!

Friday, May 19, 2017

We're All Ears - May Reveal

For this month's We're All Ears challenge, the inspiration was Trash Transformed.

...In other words, we were challenged to take things that we would normally discard, and breathe new life into them.

Now, I love making things out of unconventional materials, and immediately I thought of paper beads. After all, they can be made from pretty much any form of paper... And, I don't know about you, but we're always getting fliers in the mail. 

So, when the inevitable advertisement showed up in our mailbox, instead of putting it in the recycling, I snatched it up and took it to my craft room instead.

I cut the pages of the flier into strips...

...and then rolled them into beads:

In this form, you can't even tell that they were originally listings for sofas and home organization solutions. ;)

Once I had the beads, I played around with a couple different designs involving glass crow beads--and ended up with these three pairs:

Two of them, I strung using waxed linen and large jumprings:

The other, I used silvertone spacers and headpins:

As a bonus, I also made a necklace-and-earring set, pairing the paper beads with glass, magnesite, and crystal:

...And that sneak peak will have to do, because I actually took the set over to a friend's house to show her what I made--and ended up leaving it there. Oops! 

But, wait, there's more!

Also in the mail, I received a wonderful package (of beads--are you surprised?) that had been wrapped in brilliantly orange tissue paper. Instead of throwing the tissue paper away, I decided to pair it with some wooden beads I had salvaged from an old necklace...

...And, using Mod Podge and additional sealant, I made these:

You can't quite tell, but these beads are practically luminous--and I knew that I wanted to make something bright and cheerful with them. For that reason, I dug out some of my dyed magnesite, and made these:

Like the other earrings I made for this challenge, this pair is quite lightweight... And they are so dangle-y and swing-y and fun. I'm apparently really enjoying bright colors right now, too... I blame the warming weather. :)

So, ta-da! That is what I made for this month's We're All Ears challenge. Be sure to head over to the Earrings Everyday blog to see what everyone else made!

I really enjoyed this challenge, and am excited to make some more paper beads with the next set of fliers that shows up... And who knows? Maybe I'll be inspired with some of our other discards, as well. :)

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

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Wednesday's Worktable

Quick little entry today... It's getting rather late, and I still have quite a bit I want to accomplish before this evening is over. Still, per my custom, I wanted to share what's on my worktable this week--and it's all shades of blue and orange and copper.

In other words, I'm working on this month's Bargain Bead Box.

Sneak preview of the necklace, with the earrings in the background.

Ta-da! The earrings!

I haven't gotten much time at all this past week to do beading... Lots of other things to work on. (Perfecting a banana muffin recipe, undertaking a new exercise routine, that sort of thing.) That being said, though, I'm pretty happy with the things I've made for some of the jewelry reveals coming up... And I'm even working more on my poor neglected Etsy store. Imagine!

So, off I go to be productive... Those banana muffins aren't going to make themselves, after all. Heh.

Have a wonderful Wednesday, everyone! :)

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Wednesday's Worktable

I have a confession to make: I collect projects.

In fact, that seems to be my modus operandi... I find bead pairings that I really like--usually while I'm working on something else--and I put them in baggies to keep them together. That way, everything is all in the same place and ready to go when I get the chance to work on it.

African trade beads paired with gold coil spacers and
a handful of matching bracelets given to me to repurpose.

Premade tassel paired with a variety of purple glass beads.

So, why is that a confession? 

...Because I'm also pretty horrible about finishing those projects. (Just ask my friends who have been waiting for months for me to make things for them--sorry!)

Leftovers from a previous Monthly Challenge.
Featured: size 2/0 Czech seed beads, Czech faceted tube beads,
and glass bead strands in matching colors.

Part of that is due to the fact that the baggies multiply exponentially. By the time I'm done the initial project that I was working on, I've accumulated several other projects--and when I start the next project, I get even more ideas, and the cycle is perpetuated.

The end result is that my craft room is filled to the brim with project baggies--and the ideas just keep coming!

Handmade lampwork focal paired with faceted firepolished Czech glass.

Raku-style ceramics paired with metallic glass.

So, on my craft table this week, I'm going through some of those project baggies. Mostly, I'm organizing them (i.e. remembering what I have)--but I'm also prioritizing them and making it easier for me to get to them. Who knows... Maybe soon, instead of showing you collections of beads, I'll be able to show what I made with them!

Thanks so much for stopping by today to see my beadie ramblings...

Have a wonderful Wednesday, everyone!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Wednesday's Worktable

Guess what! It's that time of the week that I share my current projects. (I'm sure you're surprised.)

So, what's on my worktable this week?

In a word: purple!

I'm actually continuing my challenge from last month... I had quite a few projects leftover that I didn't finish, after all. So many necklaces I want to remake!

The beads above, for instance, are part of my remake of this necklace:

What fun... Three-strands of amethyst-hued glass bicones to play with! The original necklace is quite lovely in its own right, but I thought it would be fun to give it upgrade. :)

Now, I've actually already made one necklace with them--I almost shared it for last month's reveal, but I wasn't able to get good pictures of it. (Hopefully I will do so, and post them soon!) In the meantime, I've now moved on to a possible lariat idea using the rest of the bicones. We'll see how it turns out! :)

Thanks for stopping by today... Have a wonderful Wednesday, everyone!

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Wonder and Whimsy Monthly Challenge - May Edition

The Wonder and Whimsy Monthly Challenge for May is inspired by a color that I hardly ever, ever use when making jewelry.

Want to guess what that color might be? 

Well, here's a hint:

Not my photo!
From Unsplash, credit Paul Green.

That's right: yellow.

Bright and cheerful, unabashedly happy yellow.

Not my photo!
From Unsplash, credit Paul Morris.

Not my photo!
From Unsplash, credit Aaron Burden.

Now, don't get me wrong, I do use yellow as an accent color. It goes well with so many things--green and orange, which are next to it on the color wheel, as well as its complementary color, purple. 

But I rarely, rarely ever use it on its own.

Not my photo!
From Unsplash, credit Natalia Luchanko.

Not my photo!
From Unsplash, credit Kaye Hanson.

So, that's my challenge for May: to use yellow. 

Any shade is acceptable... and there are so many to pick from, from the brilliant color of sunflowers to the amber hues of the sunset. My main goal is to make something where yellow is the dominant (if not only) color... Although I'm sure I'll make something where it combines with other colors as well. :)

Not my photo!
From Unsplash, credit Jeremy Bishop.

I'm pretty excited about stretching myself and giving this lovely color the attention it deserves. Come back on Friday, May 26th to see what I end up making--and feel free to play along, too, if you'd like!

Until then have a wonderful Tuesday, everyone!