Friday, March 28, 2014

The Jenny Monthly Challenge - March Reveal!

It's time to reveal what I made for the March edition of the Jenny Monthly Challenge! Hurray!

(What is this, you ask? Simply put, it's the challenge that I've come up with to keep myself on my creative toes. For a more full explanation, go here.)

So, for March, here are the components that I challenged myself with... 

Fordite pendant, Swarovski bicones, and silver-plated findings. 

...And this is what I made!

Oh, look... Also a Fordite pendant, Swarovski bicones, and silver-plated findings!

...Truth be told, I'm rather surprised that I used everything that I laid out for myself. My original design didn't involve using the chain, but the Swarovski links by themselves were a bit too dainty for the size/weight of the pendant. Also, they almost seemed a bit too, well, blingy for the more industrial-turned-art pendant.

So, yay, chain!

I absolutely love the way this necklace feels and looks while being worn... Just the right mix of sparkle and color, and solid without being overbearing.

All in all, I consider this challenge to be a success! The necklace turned out nicely--and now it's something I can actually wear, as opposed to the separate pieces languishing in my bead storage.

And, it felt nice to have a challenge. In fact, it was fun. I'm already excited about my upcoming April challenge, so you'll just have to see what I come up with!

So, there we go... Thanks so much, everyone, for stopping by and joining me on this silly little adventure! I enjoyed working on it, and I enjoyed sharing it.

I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The Color of Dreams is... Pink

Look what came in the mail yesterday!

That's right: it's my bead for the Color of Dreams Blog Hop


...And it's pink. 

(Well, a pinkish mauve really--a mauvish pink?--but yes. Pink.)

Pink and I have a rather interesting history... As a little girl, I loved it. Then, as a young adult, I shied away from it and preferred darker colors.


I think it's kinda awesome. It's bright and unabashedly cheerful... And I'm excited to make something wonderful with this bead. 

Come back on April 6th and see what I create!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Bead Soup - What I Sent to My Partner

Well, you've seen what my Bead Soup partner sent to me... Now it's time for you to see what I sent her!

Yesterday, I posted this sneak peak picture:

...Here's what that picture actually shows!


The focal and clasp are both handmade by CC Designs, and everything else is a mix of copper, glass, ceramic, and crystal.

...But, wait, there's more!

With its etched metal focal and clasp, I realized that mix is actually not too far from what my partner usually works with--she is a very talented metalworker, after all. But it was just too happy not to send it.

So, I went with a rather simple solution: just send an additional soup!

Ta-da! ...Take 2.

This soup has a dichroic glass focal... You can't quite see it in the picture above, but it has a wonderful shimmering mix of teal and black and royal blue. So, those are the colors that I decided to pair with it! The other components are glass, silver-plated metal, crystal, or lampwork.

So, those are the two soups that I sent to my partner!

I had soooo much fun putting them together, and it made me so happy to send her both of them! I'm really excited to see what she makes! ...I just have to wait until the reveal on May 3rd to find out.

Let the creating begin!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Bead Soup - What My Partner Gave Me!

Guess what was in the mail yesterday!

Okay, so perhaps today's blog title gave it away, but it's still exciting! I got my Bead Soup from my partner... And, it's absolutely awesome! 

As a refresher, my partner is the lovely Keri Lee Sereika of Pink Lemonade. She makes beautiful things... and I am so, so lucky, because she decided to include some of those beautiful things in my soup. Wow!

So, without further ado... What's in the bag?

Photo taken for dramatic effect...
Everything was originally packaged carefully in tissue paper and nestled neatly
inside that bag. I just happened to be too excited to take pictures beforehand. :)

This is what's in the bag!

As I said: Wow!

And now for close-ups! 

There is a gorgeous handmade focal:

The colors are simply stunning.

A gorgeous handmade clasp:

Elegant and functional.

Gorgeous hand-enameled beads:

I love the mix of colors.

Gorgeous handmade etched metal discs:

I am so excited to use these.

And, last but not least, gorgeous crystals and pearls:

I repeat: Wow!

I am spoiled, spoiled, spoiled!

I absolutely love the color scheme that she picked out... It's not one that I usually use, but that's part of the fun! For some reason, I just never really paired grey and teal together--much less grey and teal and green and cream. Looking at this mix, though, I'm sure it won't be the last time!

I already have ideas floating around in my head about what I want to do with this beautiful soup. In fact, it took all of my willpower to take pictures before I started diving in!

Thank you so, so much Keri for such an awesome mix!

...And, for the curious, here is a sneak peak of what I sent her:

To see what I really sent her, tune in tomorrow, when I show what that picture actually shows! :)

Woo-hoo! This is going to be so much fun! 

Friday, March 14, 2014

Just a Few Days Left...

...of the Wonder and Whimsy March Sale!

Get 30% off your total purchase, using this coupon code: YAYMARCH8845

The last day of the sale is this Sunday, March 16th... Be sure to stop by before then!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Introducing: The Jenny Monthly Challenge!

The Background

I've been having a great deal of fun putting together my Bead Soup to send to my partner... I've been looking at focals and clasps, and playing around with matching colors and textures. 

And, well, that made me start thinking.

While the Bead Ruckus is on hiatus, I've been wanting something that I can do to keep myself on my designing toes. Something to push me, to inspire me, to make sure I don't become complacent.

...Something to help me use up some of my awesome (and overflowing) craft stash.

My solution: The Jenny Monthly Challenge!

About the Challenge

Although that's kind of a goofy name, it seems to be the one that has stuck. Ah well.

The idea for this is pretty simple and straightforward. Essentially, at the beginning of the month, I'm going to post a picture to my blog and challenge myself to create something using the materials presented.

For example, I might post pictures of beads that I want to use together in a piece of jewelry. Or pictures of fabric that I want to turn into a skirt. Or pictures of yarn that wants to become a scarf. After all, the Jenny Monthly Challenge is not necessarily going to be jewelry oriented--although I'm sure my beads will make several appearances! The only rule that I'm setting for myself is that I have to use at least one thing from whatever picture I post.

Then, at the end of the month (I'm aiming for the last Friday), I'm going to post what I came up with!

...If it's a particularly good month, I might even post progress pictures during the middle weeks. And, if it's a particularly bad month, I'll bemoan my "failure" and try again the next month. Either way, it gets me creating--and that's the whole idea!

March Challenge

Obviously, it's a little late in the month to start this (I had hoped to post this last week)... But I'm too excited to wait until April! 

So, to kick it off this month, here is my March challenge! 

It's like a mini Bead Soup! ...Sort of.

That pendant? Is Fordite. I bought the cabochon almost a year ago, attached the bail, and then subsequently did nothing with it. I'm in love with it, though, so I really want to do something cool with it.

For those curious: what is Fordite?

Also called Motor Agate, it is actually old automobile paint--built up layers of enamel paint slag, leftovers from when cars were hand spray-painted, which became hardened through repeated heatings. It is hard enough to be cut and polished, and can be turned into lovely pieces of art.

...Just like this pendant.

My current idea, as seen in the above picture, is to pair the Fordite pendant with some chain and some leftover Swarovski bicones. 

...That's the plan, at least. We'll see if that's what I end up doing!

Again, the plan is to reveal what I make on the last Friday of March! So, stop by on March 28th to see what this becomes!

I realize that this idea may be a little bit silly, but I'm excited at least to give it a try!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Meet My Bead Soup Partner!


The Bead Soup partners have been announced! I've gotten in contact with mine, and she's simply lovely!

Let me introduce: Keri Lee Sereika of Pink Lemonade!

She makes beautiful things--in all different formats, ranging from papercraft to metalwork, and pretty much everything in between. Here are a few examples of her jewelry work, all featured on her blog:

She made this for the Thrift Store Blog Hop
Photo courtesy of Pink Lemonade

She made this for the Bead Soup Blog Party #6
Photo courtesy of Pink Lemonade

She made these using her own enameled beads
Photo courtesy of Pink Lemonade

...And she made this for the Echo Creative Club in July 2012
Photo courtesy of Pink Lemonade

Simply lovely! 

She also has a Facebook page, with additional updates on cool things she's working on.

I'm thrilled to have such a talented and delightful partner, and I am so excited to see what soup she sends me! Hurray!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Well, I've Done It Again...

I've joined another Blog Hop!

This one is being hosted by the lovely and generous Toltec Jewels, and it's about dreams.

...The Color of Dreams, to be precise. 

If the name Color of Dreams sounds familiar, it's because I've recently blogged about it

Namely, I blogged about Patricia, who runs The Color of Dreams Etsy Shop--and who makes bright and cheerful polymer clay beads. (In fact, it's serendipitous that I came across this Blog Hop so soon after writing that piece on her beautiful work--it's almost like it was meant to be!)

For this blog hop, each participant is going to be sent a bead made by Patricia.

The idea is to create with the bead, and show off our dreams!

The only rule is to focus on dreams as possible things--not something amorphous and unattainable. The idea is that "if we can dream it, we can achieve it." As such, it is suggested that we try creating "from the end," as if the dream has already come true, using the jewelry design to do so.

Ooooo, I wonder which one I'm going to get!
Picture courtesy of Toltec Jewels.

I'm so excited to see which bead I get! I'm already thinking about which of my dreams I'll tackle... I suppose that might just depend on the bead! ;)

Thank you, Toltec Jewels and the Color of Dreams for making his possible!

And thank you, my wonderful readers, for stopping by for the reveal on Sunday, April 6th to see what I make!

Monday, March 3, 2014

March SALE!

Wonder and Whimsy is having a sale!

Get 30% off your total purchase, using this coupon code: YAYMARCH8845

Recently Listed
Three Rogues Necklace

Recently Listed
Pretty as a Peacock Earrings

Recently Listed
Evergreen Flowers Hairsticks

Recently Listed
Butterfly Maiden Hairsticks

This sale ends on 3/16/2014... And, as always, kindly remember to use the coupon code before checking out, as it can be rather difficult to apply it afterwards. 

Thanks so much for stopping by... I hope everyone is having a great day!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Hello, March!

February was actually a very good month. 

Looking back over everything that has happened in the last 28 days, I am grateful...

...for sunshine! After all the snow and winter weather, sunshine is a wonderful wonderful treat.

...for a friend who lets me hang out at her place when my water is turned off for maintenance purposes--and she even feeds me cookies!

...for modern dentistry, for those times when I randomly drop my phone on my face and chip my tooth.

...for adventures! While waiting to go to the dentist, I chilled out at Panera and did some writing. For five hours.

...for chocolate! (and beads!)

...for having the desire to write again (and doodle, too!).

...for yummy treats (this is an adult milkshake, being modeled in front of my friend's awesome fridge).

...and for living in a place that looks lovely, even when it snows (it makes me think of Narnia).

Thank you, February, for being a nice month... and, now, to see what March holds!