Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Wonder and Whimsy Monthly Challenge - September Edition

Egads, this month is getting away from me! 

Here it is, September 19th, and I haven't even posted about this month's challenge--much less the results of last month's challenge! Vacation brain, I'm telling you. (Well, and now I'm sick to boot... ah well. At least I wasn't sick while I was away.)

So! Even though there are only 11 days left in this month, I didn't want September to sneak by without me doing some sort of challenge. And, I think I have found the perfect thing!

Earlier this year, I found an Etsy shop--called The Blue Hutch--that sells really cool orphan bead mixes (Bead Soups, if you will). Since I'm a sucker for collecting projects, I went ahead and bought one:*

Not my picture!
This was from the Etsy listing, found here.

It's a lovely collection of glass and pearl and ceramic, with some handmade components as well. And it's purple, my favorite color. :)

Not my picture!
This was from the Etsy listing, found here.

So, my challenge this month? Make something with at least some of these lovely materials! (I'm not limiting myself to only using them, or having to use all of them... I just want to make sure that a fair number of them are incorporated into something beautiful.)

Be sure to come back in 10 days, on Friday the 29th, to see what I end up making!

And now I'm off to make some tea, and start creating... Have a wonderful day, everyone!


* - Yes, I bought only one! Although I really do wish that I could buy them all... If only money permitted. *wistful sigh*

Friday, September 15, 2017

We're All Ears - September Reveal

Did you know that today is the third Friday of the month?

...Neither did I. Heh. Apparently I still have vacation brain, because I was taken by surprise when my calendar alerted me that today was the reveal for this month's We're All Ears challenge

What's more--I hadn't even thought about making something yet. Oops!

This month's inspiration: sunflowers!
Not my photo... Taken from the Earrings Everyday blog entry introducing this challenge.

Still, this afternoon I was able to sit down at my craft table and poke at my beads. I was rather surprised to find I have a fair amount of yellow beads... And I even had little sunflower charms! Apparently hoarding beads sometimes pays off. ;)

So! For this month's edition of "ack I need to make some last minute earrings," I present the following: 

Pretty little sunflower earrings!

These earrings were made with a combination of glass and brass and 26 gauge wire (thicker wire completely overpowered the dainty seed beads). Even though they're fairly long, they are actually quite delicate and light... Like the petals of the sunflower itself, and just as bright!

So, there you go! Thank you so much for stopping by today to see my last minute earring pair. Be sure to stop by the Earrings Everyday blog to see what everyone else made for this challenge... With such talented artists and a lovely subject, I'm sure everything will be beautiful. :)

Have a wonderful day, everyone!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Allegory Gallery - Kaleidoscope Mystery Competition Reveal

It's been a rainy, grey week here in Cincinnati... and that means that it's a perfect time a jewelry reveal! 

And this is not just any jewelry reveal. This time, it's for the Kaleidoscope Mystery Competition, put together by Allegory Gallery--about as far from "rainy" and "grey" as you can get! 

I mean, just look at these colors:

This kit was truly beautiful. Now, I know I say that about all of the Allegory Gallery kits... but that's because it's true! They have an eye for color and detail, and I love their selections. This kit was certainly no exception.

Sadly, none of the pictures I took of the actual kit turned out well. I suppose I was in a bit of a rush to start playing with the beads! Still, I think you get a pretty good idea of the beautiful components from this picture, taken from the official Allegory Gallery listing:

The colors were bright, full of saturated hues and a fair amount of pink. There were seed beads in two different sizes, a strand of glass chips, and a luxury bead blend much like the one seen above. Oh, and in addition to the handmade clay pendant by Andrew Thornton, there were also two matching polymer clay beads (I'm assuming he made those as well--they just match so well).

I had ideas for two different necklaces, but I only had time to make one.

Let's see if you can guess where this is going (and yes, that is one of the matching polymer clay beads I was referring to)...

...If you said "she's making a tassel," you'd be right!

After I made the tassel, I picked out a random selection of beads from the luxury bead blend and wire-wrapped them together using 22 gauge wire. 

Here is the finished result:

The beads include clear and frosted glass, shell, pearls, and the occasional gemstone. Almost all of the components were from the kit... only the 4mm brass rounds, iridescent rainbow rounds, and two-tone glass rounds were from my personal stash.

I debated between using antiqued silver or brass as the metal. As you can tell, I ultimately chose the latter--the necklace colors are incredibly rich, and I thought the brass deepened them and gave them more visual weight. 

...Honestly, it makes them look like jewels.

Now, I know that I've been making this style of necklace quite a lot recently... and I don't regret it one bit. In fact, my only regret is that I ran out of time and couldn't make the other necklace I had planned (which is actually different, and hence a bit more time consuming as I figure out the design hurdles). Hopefully I'll get to it soon, and it goes well--when I do and if it works, I'll be sure to post it!

So, there you go! That is what I made for this challenge... Thanks so much for stopping by to see my reveal! 

Have a lovely day, everyone!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Wednesday's Worktable

Well, I'm home! Woo!

I'm honestly still reeling a bit from the whirlwind of it all... I really do like traveling and visiting people, but I also enjoy sleeping in my own bed. I also enjoy sitting at my very own craft table--I didn't do much crafting on my vacations, so I was very excited when I got a chance to sit down this morning and create.

What am I working on? One word: postcards!

I picked up several postcards while I was on my various vacations, all with the intent of turning them into pendants. 

And so, that's what I've started to do!

So far, I've made four pendants. Two are from my stay in a cabin with my family in Western Maryland, and the other two are from my week on Maryland's Eastern Shore (one of them is for me, the other is for the friend who I went traveling with). 

Oh, and in case you don't follow my Instagram... Twigs and Teacups is a delightful little store in Chestertown, MD. I fell in love with it while I was living on the Eastern Shore more than 10 years ago, and I was delighted to see that it was still doing well. And what better way to remember it than making a custom keepsake pendant! :)

I still have more postcards to go through, but I think this is a good start. The next step is to make necklaces with them... what fun! 

It was good to go on vacation... and it is definitely good to be home.

Happy Wednesday, everyone!

Friday, September 8, 2017

Hello, September!

Hello, everyone!

I'm still on vacation for a few more days... Visiting the Eastern Shore of Maryland, with a few forays to Delaware and Washington, D.C. 

Washington Monument... photo taken by me this past Tuesday.

I do hope to resume my regular posting next week... I've missed this happy bead-y place, after all. 

So, thanks so much for stopping by today! Have a wonderful first week of September, everyone! :)

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Best Laid Plans...

Well, my original plan was to post my reveal today for my Monthly Challenge. However, I have gotten three hours of sleep and have traveled over 500 miles today, so that I can attend a friend's wedding this weekend... and I'm tired.

So! My pictures are edited, and I will post them when I am able. I'm bummed that I won't get them up today, but thanks so much for understanding.

Have a wonderful last date of August everyone!

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Pretty Palettes - August Reveal

Last month's Pretty Palettes was centered around the bold, primary colors of Marimekko. This month... well, this month is a bit more subdued.

Don't believe me? Well, here is the inspiration picture:

And from this picture, here is the beautiful palette that Molly Schaller picked out:

To go along with those warm and earthy colors, here are the beads that she picked to go with them:

Aren't they lovely? 

For my creation, I picked out almost the exact same beads... Well, with a few substitutions, based on the design idea I had in my head. :)

Now, because I've been so busy this month with travel (I'm not kidding--I just got back from a vacation with my family, and now I'm headed back to Maryland for a friend's wedding), my necklace isn't completed yet. 

Still, I didn't want to show up today empty-handed, so at least I can show you what I have made so far!

Here's a hint:

If you guessed that I'm making a tassel necklace, you're correct!

So far, I've only finished the tassel part. It's a combination of Czech glass, crystal, ceramic, shell, wood, and red tiger eye--all wire-wrapped together and made to cascade like a waterfall.

Oh, and I chose silver-plated findings to echo the light-ness of the sky in the original picture.

I'm taking the rest of the beads with me on Vacation #2, so that hopefully I'll be able to finish this necklace soon... We'll see how that goes!

Be sure to head over to the official reveal on the Halcraft blog to see what everyone else made... My thanks to Molly for putting this challenge together, and letting me play along! And thank you for stopping by today to see what I'm in the process of making! :)

Have a wonderful Wednesday, everyone!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Wednesday's Worktable

Happy Wednesday!

In the midst of packing for vacation and general life craziness, I've been attempting to finish up some beading projects. I'm coming to the realization that I'm not going to be able to do my normal amount of reveals this month... Between vacation next week, and then coming home only to immediately head out of town for a friend's wedding, I just am not going to have time. 

And that's okay. 

So! I'm doing what I can, and not stressing about what I can't finish. For the purposes of this blog post, however, I do get to show off something that I have finished... Something that started off like this:


Bright, in-your-face, unapologetic pink. I bought those beads on clearance sometime last month... They just seemed bright and happy. 

Oh, and confession time: I'm slowly coming to realize that I have a lot of pink-and-black-and-white clothes. Who knew? Every time I go to wear them, I realize that I don't have anything to match them... So! I wanted to make something to fill that accessory gap.

And that is what lead to this:

...and also this:

...which ultimately turned into this:

That's right! I now have two different pink options to wear with those clothes... One that is bright (pink and clear) and one that is edgy (the pink and black). And, of course, they both have tassels!

They are both made with 22 gauge wire (gunmetal for the black necklace, bright silver for the clear one), and a combination of crystal, glass, and antique silver beads. Oh, and if you look closely, you can see that the earrings are sporting some of the headpins I made last week. :)

Hmmm... You know, maybe I'll actually pack these sets to take with me on vacation. Because even though I'm going to be in the middle of a forest in a cabin, I might want to look fashionable. Hah! (Really, I'm just thinking about showing off my handiwork, heh.)

Thank you so much for stopping by today... I'm not sure when I'm going to be able to post next (I'm going to be gone next week in the Land of No Internet), but know that I appreciate all of my readers!

Have a great Wednesday, everyone!

Friday, August 11, 2017

Giveaway Winners!

Here it is... Time to announce the winners of my Giveaway!!

As a refresher, I offered a Giveaway at the end of my Monthly Challenge last month... the prizes were two pendant-and-paper bead sets that I made, based on the works of Vincent van Gogh.

To pick the winners, I went over to RandomResult.com and plugged in the names of those who commented. And so, without further ado, here are the results!

So! Based on stated preferences in the comments themselves, that means...

Winner for Set #1: Cynthia

Set 1: Flowering Almond Branch Pendant and Paper Bead Set

Winner for Set #2: Becca Jackson

Set 2: Village Street and Steps in Auvers with Five Figures
Pendant and Paper Bead Set

Emails will be sent to both winners, so that I can get their mailing addresses... Thanks to everyone who entered! And for those who didn't win, never fear... I hope to do more little giveaways in the future!

Thanks so much for stopping by today... Have a great weekend, everyone! 

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Wednesday's Worktable

In two days, I get to randomly pick my giveaway winners! Interested? Go here to find out more!

I've been doing enough of these worktable posts to realize that I have a monthly creative rhythm. This week? Well, it's the second week of the month, so that means I'm focused on preparation and brainstorming... Gathering materials and considering designs, starting preliminary work--this time with a little bit of vacation planning thrown in.

That being said, I'm also trying to take time just to play around... And that's what lead me to bringing out my hammering tools, and making some headpins: 

 You know, just for fun.

Now, I know I'm not exactly the world's best wire-worker, but it is good to continue practicing and learning. Besides, those bits of wire were leftovers from another project... And what better way to put them to use than create something with them?

I did some digging around in my odds-and-ends pile and came up with the above collection of beads: wood and copper and glass, mixed with some paper beads I made from a magazine my mother was re-purposing.

So, eventually, some of those leftover wire scraps became this pair of earrings:

Fun and long and extremely light (wood and paper really are great earring materials in the weight department), these earrings actually match none of my other current projects--and that makes them even more playful. I'm a firm believer in the importance of experimentation and play, after all--it stretches abilities and ideas while giving permission to fail... And is just plain fun, too. :)

Thank you so much for stopping by today to see what I've been working on... Have a lovely Wednesday, everyone!