Friday, May 26, 2017

Wonder and Whimsy Monthly Challenge - May Reveal


...Not only is it a lovely color, it's also the basis for this month's Wonder and Whimsy Monthly Challenge. Woo-hoo!

Not my photo!
From Unsplash, credit Paul Green.

For those who didn't see my post introducing this month's challenge, here's a recap. At the beginning of this month, I realized that I don't really make yellow jewelry. Sure, I use it as an accent color... but a necklace that is almost pure yellow? I had never really done that before. So, since it's May--and the days are getting longer, and the sun is shining more--I figured that this would be a great month to change that.

And I had success! For this challenge, I made two sets--and I'm very happy to report, they are very yellow indeed.

Set 1

This first set is made with glass--vintage pressed glass ovals and two shades of glass pearls, to be precise. They are strung on beading wire, and matched with bright silvertone findings. This makes yellow the dominant color (yay!), with white and silver serving as the accent colors.

To be honest, this set was actually a last minute addition to this challenge... I hadn't planned on making it, but I ran across the vintage pressed glass and it just knew I had to use it for this purpose. After some playing around, I decided to keep the design simple to show off those beads (and because the next set more than makes up for it, ha!). 

All in all, I'm very happy with how bright and cheery this set is... Indeed, perfect for this challenge. :)

Not my photo!
From Unsplash, credit Aaron Burden.

Set 2

Now, while the previous set is beautiful in its simplicity, this next set... well, it got a little out of hand. But in a good way, I think!

So, would you believe it if I told you that the necklace seen above is the same as the necklace seen below?

It is! 

But, how can that be, you ask? Well, let me back up.

This necklace is made with two strands of wire-wrapped yellow beads interspersed with gold metal rounds. The yellow beads range in materials from glass to lucite to wood, randomly shaped and randomly spaced.

It can be worn over-the-head, with the toggle clasp and dangle hanging down in the front:

However, if you remove the dangle, double it up, and add the piece of silk, you can wear it like this:

 Oh, and did I mention that I made matching earrings? I suppose I should mention that here. :)

 Now, if you want to wear the double-stranded necklace a bit shorter, you can add this piece of chain instead of the silk:

...Or, you can wear the necklace as the over-the-head style, and wear the silk and chain as a bracelet: 

...Or, if you like super dangly bracelets, you can add the dangle and wear it like that:

...Or, if you have a smaller neck than I do--and like things that are a bit asymmetrical and funky--you can wear that as a necklace, too:

So! Confused yet? All in all, there are five mix-and-match pieces for this set... Here they are together:

Necklace, earrings, silk that can be worn as an anklet,
and dangle that can be added, well, to whatever you want to add it to.

The five pieces include: a strand of wire-wrapped yellow beads, a piece of silk with a toggle clasp, a piece of chain with a toggle clasp, a dangle that can be added to any part of the piece, and a pair of earrings.

And, you know, I'm honestly probably missing a few different options on how to wear this set. (I mentioned that the silk can be worn as an anklet... but did I mention that, depending on the size of your head, you could also probably wear it as an over-the-head necklace too? Oh, the possibilities!) 

...What can I say? I got inspired!

Not my photo!
From Unsplash, credit Natalia Luchanko.

I think it's safe to say that I had a lot of fun playing around with yellow this month. It's such a bright and cheerful color... it looks rather horrid against my skintone, but it's so fun! It even managed to sneak into some of my other jewelry designs... Apparently this was a month for creating unabashedly bright and happy things!

Thank you so, so much for stopping by today to see what I made for this challenge... I really enjoyed myself creating these pieces, and I hope you enjoyed seeing them. Be sure to come by next month to see what the challenge for June will be. :)

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

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!