Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Pretty Palettes - May Reveal

It's the last day in May! 

It just so happens to be the last Wednesday in May, too, which means that it's the day of this month's official Pretty Palettes reveal! Woo!

For this month's palette, the inspiration was succulents:

Not my picture!
This lovely collage is by Molly Schaller, and can be found here

What lovely shades of green! From that picture, this palette was derived:

...And here are the beads that I picked out to match it:

You'll be so proud of me! I actually stuck with the official beads this month! (Well, except for the white shell beads--I chose rounds instead of coins. Ha! Still, I suppose four out of five isn't bad. *grin*)

From those beads, I made two very different sets. Instead of just telling you about them, though, I'll go ahead and show you! :)

Set 1

The main inspiration for this first set came from the succulents themselves. While I was at my local Michaels, picking out my beads, I happened upon these lovely paper succulent cut-outs. While they are technically stickers, as soon as I saw them, I knew I wanted to use one of them as a pendant.

So! Once I got home, I got to work making them strong and sturdy enough to be a pendant.

...Satisfied with my handiwork, I glued a bead in its center, and then started to design the necklace around it. 

Here is the final result:

To augment the pendant, I used the 6mm white shell and aventurine beads, plus the 10mm jasper rounds. They are wire-wrapped with 22 gauge aluminum wire, and the look is finished off with a toggle clasp (whose swirly design reminds me of the succulents themselves).

Interesting enough, this was actually my first time working with aluminum wire... it caught me off guard with just how soft and pliable it is. I found myself going slower while getting used to it. Not complaining--not at all!--it was just different. It's always fun trying new things... And I'm very happy with how this set turned out as a result.

Oh, and I made matching earrings, too. ;)
They can be worn both with this set, and with the next one.

Set 2

After making the first set, I had a lot of beads leftover. Most of them, actually. While deciding on what to make next, I remembered this paper--the swirl of which really reminds me of the design seen in the succulent collage shown at the beginning of this post. (Go ahead and look again--the resemblance makes me happy.) 

So, I decided to turn it into beads.

...And then I decided to just start stringing everything randomly on a very long piece of tigertail, and this lariat was the result:

The lariat uses the paper beads, the aventurine and white shell rounds, the quartizite chips, the seed bead mix, the leftover 10mm jasper beads--as well as a few things from my stash (namely, the triangle leaves and the vintage green bicones at the ends of the lariat). 

The design is a mix of a set pattern and random stringing, and can be worn with either the earrings shown below or with the previous set:

Now, I don't usually make lariats... They definitely aren't my go-to style, and sometimes I forget they are an option. The combination of the long slender paper beads and the seed beads just seemed to ask for it, however... And having such a long piece enabled me to use all of my leftover beads. I greatly enjoyed playing around with so many different shades of green, and really like the overall look of the finished piece.

So, there you go! That's what I made for this month's Pretty Palette's Challenge... Thanks so much for stopping by today to see my creations! Be sure to stop by the official Halcraft blog to see what everyone else made, too.

Have a wonderful last day of May, everyone!

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! :)