Friday, January 29, 2016

The Jenny Monthly Challenge - January Reveal

It's the end of January! Already! Wow, time seems to be going by quickly.

Still, that means that it's now time to show off what I made for January's challenge... Woo!

As a refresher, here are the pendants that I chose to work with this month--because they are happy and cool and I made them on Christmas Day with my mother:

Creating with my mum is one of my favorite things ever.

...And now it's confession time. I had actually wanted to make something with all five of those pendants, but I ended up only using three. Of course, I realize that I did more than I set out to do--I stated in my introduction that just putting one on a chain would have been enough to complete the challenge--but there is a part of me that still feels like an underachiever.

How silly is that? I did more than I had originally set out to do, but because it wasn't all five pendants I feel like I fell short. Sheesh. Sometimes my view of success gets so skewed that I don't truly appreciate what I'm able to accomplish. 

And why am I telling you this? To give myself a bit of a reality check--because, if I take a step back, I realize that I made beautiful things! And because I need to focus on what I did do, rather than what I didn't do.

So, with that confession out of the way--and my focus again where it needs to be--here is what I made with the first pendant:

It's made using chain and bronze 6/0 seed beads that I bought while on Christmas vacation, paired with gorgeous red pearls that seemed just perfect for the occasion.

...I wish I had more of those red pearls, because they were simply beautiful to work with!

Next up, here is a set with one of the silverish pendants:

Yep, the paper beads have made another appearance! (And the rest of those red pearls, too.)

I thought it would be especially fitting to make and use some paper beads, because it fit the theme... After all, I made the pendant using paper as well. And, an added bonus: both making paper beads and making these pendants were introduced to me by my mother. :)

I'm also extremely fond of the way the clasp echoes the numbers and musical notation seen on the focal. It's the little things that make me happy.

...And, last but not least, here is the third set that I made:

...I realize that the clock is slightly off-center on the pendant.
I will not let that bother me. Nope. Begone, obsessive perfectionism!

And yes, I made a necklace, a bracelet, and a matching pair of earrings... I tried to pick out and echo the different colors found in the watch-face, hence the colors of the three strands.

Oh, and do all of those crystals look familiar? That's because I just blogged about them on Wednesday! 

This set was made completely with beads found in my Bargain Bead Box this month--and was part of the reason that I had to contact them to see if I could buy an additional bargain box, to make sure I had enough components that I needed! (I made more things from that box, too, but I'll show them off at some other junction.)

So, ta-da! 

Looking at these pictures, I'm realizing that I certainly did not underachieve this month. I'm also glad that I didn't force myself to make designs for the other two pendants... When the time is right, inspiration will strike and I will make something wonderful with them.

Thank you so much for joining me for this reveal! It's always a good thing for me to take a step back and look at what I've accomplished--readjust my focus, so to speak--and I certainly appreciate you stopping by!

Happy end-of-January, everyone! I hope you all have a fantastic weekend! :)

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Wednesday's Worktable

It's the last Wednesday in January, and guess what am I working on? 

That's right: my Monthly Challenge! 


I've actually already met the requirements for my challenge, and have two pieces to show... I'm just attempting to get more done, because I'm inspired. (And I'm also an over-achiever, but I'm sure that's not a surprise. *smirk*)

Also on my worktable is the January Bargain Bead Box, as I feverishly work to finish my pieces for that as well. I'm mostly done with that, too, but there's still a bit to do. After all, just look at all the beautiful things that I have to work with!

Such pretty things... So many ideas, so little time!

So, that's what's currently on my worktable... Be sure to come by on Friday to see what I made for my challenge! 

And stay tuned, because at some point I hope to show off what I made with that lovely pocket watch, too!

Have a wonderful Wednesday, everyone... I'm off to go create!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

More Bargain Bead Box Goodies - November's and December's Boxes

I was doing some blog maintenance this morning, and realized that I'm super behind (i.e. two months) on showing off what I've made with my Bargain Bead boxes. Oh, the horror! ;)

As a result, I decided that I needed to do a blog entry to remedy that! Posthaste! ...Especially since I've been working on January's box, and am super excited to share what I've made with that. Heh.

Anyway, to jog your memory... This was November's Box:

And, with that selection of shinies, I made these two sets:

Falling Stars and Golden Holly Boughs 

The above two pictures really don't do these sets justice. I'm especially fond of the way that the Falling Stars set looks... The way that the hairstick turned out makes me very happy. And, considering that I made these sets while doing my Super Crazy November Challenges(TM)--making earrings everyday and doing NaNoWriMo--I am happier still!

So, that's what I did in November.

Now, to show off what I did in December! You know, in addition to making all of the presents. (Heh, I need to write a blog entry about those, too. The last two people have gotten their presents, so now I'm free to show them off. So many entries, so little time! *smirk*)

As a reminder, this was December's Box:

And here is what I made with it:

Silver Snowflakes Set

Those round beads make me think of snow globes.

I originally had only made the earrings, thinking that I wouldn't get time to do anything else. Then, on my birthday at the very end of the month, I was able to finish the Snowflake Set. After spending so much time making presents--beading with an agenda--I greatly enjoyed just playing around and letting the beads inspire me.

So, there you go! That's what I've made with the past two month's worth of Bargain Bead Boxes. The pieces that I didn't use have now been incorporated into the rest of my stash, and will be sure to show up in my later projects.

And, since you've made it this far, here's a quick sneak peak at what I received in January's Box...

I am in love with that pocket watch focal.
It even opens and is even fully functional! *swoon*

Thank you for letting me show off some of the things that I've been working on... I love working with beads, and I truly appreciate having an outlet to share my pretty things. Hurray!

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Blog Hop Announcement!

So, first, a bit of a disclaimer... when I first wrote this blog post and queued it up, I was going to announce two different upcoming Blog Hops. 

Sadly, that is not the case anymore. 

Still, I've decided that I want to mention the first one anyway--because it was such a blast the last few times that I did it, and it definitely deserves attention. Which hop am I talking about? The Bead Soup Blog Hop, of course! Ah yes... The original gateway that really took me to the next level in my jewelry design. (Want to see what I made with my first Bead Soup ever? Go here!)

And, while I am super super bummed that there won't be one this year, I completely understand and respect why it was canceled... and I hold onto hope that it will be back at some point. So, here's the badge for it... because, while the dates might not be right, hope springs eternal! :)

So, that was blog hop #1.

The other Blog Hop that I'm part of is still going on... And that is the Bead Peep's Second Annual Swap N' Hop.

Our partners will be announced next month, and I'm pretty darned excited. After all, last year's hop inspired my ongoing love for pearls, and can't wait to see where this one leads me!

So, there you go... An upcoming event here at Wonder and Whimsy! Stay tuned for more developments! (And if you're interested in last year's Getting to Know Me post, just click here!)

What fun to play with shiny things... Happy Beading, everyone!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Snowy Photoshoot, Part 2

See yesterday's entry for the Snowy Photoshoot, Part 1.

I am very happy to report that I've been making some good progress towards some of this month's earlier projects. Hurray! Not only that, but for fun I decided to take pictures of them with the Cincinnati snow as a backdrop. After all, why not? Snow can be pretty, too. :)

So, first up: the pink tassel necklace that I started two weeks ago, for the first Wednesday's Worktable of the year. 

While I'm still not done, I have finally finished the tassel part:


Now I just have to make the rest of the necklace to go with it. Heh.

And now to share what the tassel looks like, against my wintry-white backyard:

As with all the tassels that I make, I just love the way that it drapes--and I love the way the pink looks against the snow. :)

Next up, the paper bead necklace that I started last week. 

I am very happy to report that I finished this project. In fact, I ended up making both the paper bead necklace and a pair of matching earrings. Here is the finished picture compilation that I shared on Instagram:

And now, here are the snow pictures!

Feel free to click on them to make them bigger... And, while some of them have a wonky color-balance, I really like way that the light shines off of the beads. And the way the paper beads look against the snow. And, well, this is just a hard necklace to picture, and these shots just make me happy.

I liked the off-center focus of this one.

Of course, I realize that these aren't exactly professional photos--the aforementioned wonky color balance, for instance--but I really enjoyed taking them. Experimenting with new backgrounds is always fun... And it's also fun to have such pretty things to work with!

So, there you go! Thank you for joining me for this update/excuse to show lots of pictures... I always appreciate it when you stop by.

Have a great day, everyone!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Wednesday's Worktable... and Snowy Photoshoot Part 1

The items on today's worktable are all about snow.

...Because it's January, and that's what it does here in Cincinnati. 

Snowy backyard is snowy.

Okay, granted, January in Cincinnati can also mean random warm weather and sunshine. There's a saying that if you don't like the weather here, just wait 5 minutes--it'll change. It's been known to be over 50 degrees Fahrenheit one day and then below freezing the next. 

For the purposes of this blog entry, however, I'm talking about snow... Because that's what it's doing today. There's about an inch of it out there, and we're supposed to get more this weekend.

And that's why my worktable is covered with all things snowish:

Snowflakes in both bright and antique silver,
coupled with crystal--both white AB and clear.

From the above, I made a simple necklace and pair of earrings. I actually have two more pieces planned; we'll see when I get around to making them.

And, because I'm silly, I decided that it would be fun to take some finished-piece pictures outside. Now, I realize that it's probably not normal to look outside at snow and go, "ooooo, I should stand in the cold and take jewelry photos!"

I, however, have never claimed to be normal--so, outside I went.

Here are some of the results:

A simple necklace with a simple snowy dangle--bright silver paired with
white crystal AB bicones.

White crystal AB bicone earrings to match.

Drama shot!
...It didn't turn out exactly like I wanted, but still fun.

I did take more jewelry pictures, too, while outside... I decided to photograph my progress on the two necklaces I've featured in the last two Wednesday Worktables (the pink tassel and the paper bead necklace). I'll be posting those tomorrow, in Snowy Photoshoot Part 2, if you're interested.

...I wanted to take even more pictures, but my feet were starting to get cold and I decided it would make more sense to come inside and have some tea. 

And maybe start on another snowflake necklace, once my hands warm up. 

So, there you go... That's what I'm working on this week. Happy Wednesday... and stay warm, everyone!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Wednesday Worktable

I have a confession to make... I actually haven't made much jewelry since last week. 

In fact, I'm not even finished the pink necklace that I featured last Wednesday. Life has just been super busy (Monday was the worst day I've had in a long time), and I've decided to give my wrist a break from all of the wire-wrapped links I've been making.

So, what have I been doing instead?

Well, one thing I've been doing is writing. I just bought a new set of journals, and am getting back into the habit of journaling long-hand.  

One of the new journals, matched with one of my favorite purple pens.

The other thing I've been doing is making paper beads.

...And I really, really like making paper beads. 

I've thoroughly enjoying measuring and cutting the paper strips...

All sorts of colors! Whee!

...and organizing those cut strips in a drawer...

These are mostly organized by intended project. Mostly.

And I've most certainly been enjoying making them into beads!

After a flurry of bead-making these past few days, this morning I decided to play around with some of my new beauties, matching them with other beads I currently have in my stash:

Pink and purple and blue...
And I just now realized that they sort of match my new journal.
Heh. That wasn't on purpose.

And what am I planning to do with those beads? 

Currently, I hope to turn them into something like this:

A tassel necklace in the making!
Not the best lighting, but you get the idea.

...To be fair, though, that's the fourth design I've played around with. Although I'm pretty sure that's what I'm going to go with, we'll have to see what it actually becomes.

So, there you go. It's been a week of making beads and planning projects... And once again enjoying all of the wonderful things that can be done with paper. (You can write on it! And make things with it! How versatile!)

Thanks for joining me for this rather late Wednesday Worktable... I hope you have a wonderful rest of your week, everyone! May it be much, much better than my Monday was!