Wednesday, November 30, 2016

November's Pretty Palettes - Reveal!

It's reveal time! This time, it's time to show you what I made for the Pretty Palettes challenge hosted by the Halcraft inspiration blog.

The inspiration for this month's Pretty Palettes was a lovely photo taken by Susan Conaway, featuring a combination of lamb's ears and maple leaves:

Not my photo!
Picture by Susan Conaway, and matching color palette by the Halcraft design team.

I love how this mix is unconventionally Autumn. When I think Autumn, I usually think russet and brown and red and yellow--the colors of the trees outside my window. This palette reminds me that there are more colors to take into account... Morning frosts and evening mists, the last green of summer turning into the first brush of winter. 

So! Inspired and armed with that palette--and the list of beads chosen by Erin Prais-Hintz--I went shopping at Michaels and picked out this selection: 

A collection similar to the official beads... but not identical.
I'll let you spot the differences.

...And then I promptly ran out of ideas.

I tried so many designs that just didn't work. I tried tassels. I tried multi-strands. I tried tassels with multi-strands. Nothing seemed to work.

Eventually, however, I started playing around with some silk-knotting...

...and settled on a design that I liked.

By that, I really mean that I just made it up as I went along... After trying so hard to make something work, I decided to just wing it and enjoy some randomness and asymmetry. 

The result? This bracelet: 

And it's not just a bracelet... It can also be worn as a necklace! Four different ways as a necklace, actually--all depending on what side you put the toggle clasp (in the front, in the back, or on either side): 

...You may have also noticed, in that last picture, that I made some matching earrings, too. After making the necklace, it seemed like the thing to do.

All in all, I'm pretty happy with how this set turned out. I really do enjoy the combination of colors. I also enjoyed the randomness of it--and, after struggling so long to make something happen, I'm grateful to have something to show for my efforts!

So, there you go! Thanks, as always, to Erin Prais-Hintz and the Halcraft team for organizing this challenge--be sure to check out the Halcraft blog to see what everyone else made! 

Thank you, too, for stopping by to see what I made for this challenge!

Happy Wednesday, everyone!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Wonder and Whimsy Monthly Challenge - November Reveal

Well, here it is, my reveal for my November Monthly Challenge--better late than never! I keep forgetting just how busy the end of November tends to be... Ah well. Still, I'm thrilled to finally get a chance to show off what I made for this challenge!

As a refresher, November's challenge was to make jewelry inspired by a recent trip to the Baltimore Museum of Art. (All sorts of pictures, and links, and an introduction to the challenge, can be found here.)

Entrance to the BMA.

...I really loved this challenge.

In fact, I had more ideas than I had time. There are quite a few more pieces I have in the works; we'll see when I get a chance to make them.

What I did make goes into two categories: jewelry inspired by the Antioch Mosaics, and jewelry inspired by the works of Louis Comfort Tiffany.

First up:

The Antioch Mosaics

Rodin's The Thinker, the guardian of the mosaics. 

First, I went through my stash and picked out beads that matched the color palette present in the photographs I took:

...And then, I got out some pendant making supplies! :)

I had purchased a few postcards while visiting the museum (multiples--one to keep, and one to cut up), and thought it would be fun to use them in this challenge. The above is one of the mosaic postcards, which I turned into this:

...Yep, that is an Antioch Mosaic pendant with matching earrings! It's coupled with pearl, glass, crystal, and labradorite.

I also made another pendant, which I turned into this necklace:

Wire-wrapped links of brass, pearl, citrine, and labradorite complete the design.

I also made one more set. While I didn't have any more handmade pendants, I did find some white howlite beads in my stash that I thought matched the antique aesthetic of the mosaics. And so, using many of the same materials, I made this:


Again, the necklace uses brass, pearl, crystal, citrine, and labradorite--and the aforementioned white howlite. After all, it wouldn't be one of my challenges if I didn't figure some way to make a tassel necklace. ;)

So! Those are the pieces that I made to go along with the Antioch Mosaics found at the Baltimore Museum of Art.

Here are all of the pieces together:

And here are the two pendant necklaces, posing with the intact postcard... I think they do justice to the original source material, don't you agree? :)

Louis Comfort Tiffany

Next up, as you probably guessed: the pieces inspired by the work of Louis Comfort Tiffany.  

As with the mosaics, I decided to use one of the postcards that I had purchased during my visit.

Not the awesome Baptism of Christ window seen above, but very cool nonetheless.
And in the same colors!

And, from that postcard, I made this!

...Yep, even with matching earrings.

The pendant is made from the vase's central design, at the center of the postcard. I decided to couple it black glass and aqua shell.

...And that's not all! As with the Antioch Mosaics, I also made a pendant with a brass backing. Using it, I made this second set:

This set is made with brass, turquoise, glass, citrine, and reconstituted stone. Oh, and of course, the pendant.

I think this set captures the beautiful play of color seen in the postcard, as well as the large window shown above. I love the combination of yellow and blue and iridescent black... and I was thrilled at the way the reconstituted stones have patterns reminiscent of the glass panels!

And, just for fun, here are the two necklaces with the source postcard:

Oh! And I also have one more piece in the works... Here's a sneak peak!

Reconstituted stone paired with amber, hand knotted on silk.

So, there you go! Those are the pieces that I made for this monthly challenge... As you can probably tell, I really enjoyed myself. Thank you so much for stopping by! 

Have a wonderful evening, everyone!

(And please pardon any grammatical errors in this post... I just finished writing my 50,000 words for National Novel Writing Month. I am triumphant, but my words are tired.)

Friday, November 25, 2016

A bit of a delay...

I was, perhaps, overly ambitious in citing today as the reveal day for my Monthly Challenge. 

Thanksgiving was an awesome whirlwind of food and family, and now I'm in a bit of a holiday-daze. And, while I am working on the entry in question, it's very possible that it won't get published until later this weekend. 

So, in the meantime, I wish you good food, good company, and a cozy day.

I'm thankful for you all!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Wednesday's Worktable

This is going to be a quick little entry today... It's an understandably busy week, considering the fact that tomorrow is a national holiday. 

In good news, though, my wrist is starting to feel better. Hurray!

So, what am I playing around with, to celebrate my wrist's recovery?

Purple and brown!

If you follow my Instagram, this might look familiar. :)

The materials, from left to right: amethyst, crystal, glass, shell, Czech fire-polished glass, and more amethyst.

I am in love with this color palette, and am pretty excited to see how this project turns out. In the meantime, though, it's time to get ready for family festivities.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Friday, November 18, 2016

We're All Ears: November Reveal

The inspiration for this month's We're All Ears challenge was candy.

...And not just any candy, but the delicious drop candy made by the Tallahassee-based company Public Displays of Confection using vintage equipment, as shown in the following video:

Everything about that process is fascinating to me--and not just because the secret recipe used to make said candy was created by a shop that was based in Cincinnati. How cool that the rolling machines are still in use, and that you can essentially taste pieces of history?

...Tasty tasty history. 

Not my picture!
Nectar Candy Drops, on sale at Public Displays of Confection.
Also, they have an entire YouTube channel dedicated to candy-making, in case you're interested.

So, that was the inspiration. 

And from that inspiration, I made two pairs of earrings!

These pairs are essentially two takes on the same theme: citrine (yummy yellow like the candies), and gears (industrial and vintage feeling like the rollers).

First up is pair #1:

With my wrist being upset, I tried to keep the wire-wrapping to a minimum. The result was a pair of brass/copper/bronze earrings with lemony citrine drops. The movement of these earrings is wonderful, and they aren't heavy at all.

Next up, pair #2:

When I saw those citrine rectangles, I immediately thought of the nectar candy drops--and I knew exactly what I wanted to do with them.

Now, this pair may have been a little more ambitious than my wrist was allowing... The citrine doesn't lay completely flat on top of the gears, and probably could use a little tweaking. Still, you get the idea! I'm pretty happy that they look almost identical to what I was imagining.

I really enjoyed the inspiration for this month's challenge... I'm even planning on ordering some of those nectar drops--they sound so delicious.

As always, thank you to Earrings Everyday for hosting this challenge! Be sure to go there and see what everyone else made.

...And thank you for stopping by! I appreciate my readers so much, and am glad that you could see what I created for this challenge.

Have a lovely weekend, everyone!