Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Pretty Palettes - February 2018 Reveal

It's my third reveal today! Woo-hoo... I'm on a roll!

This particular reveal is for this month's Pretty Palettes challenge, put together by the talented Molly Schaller and hosted by the Halcraft Collection. I will probably also be sharing these pictures on my Instagram and the Halcraft Facebook Group, but it's always fun to show what I've made on my blog, too.

The inspiration for this month's Pretty Palettes was this colorful collection of recycled plastic coaster tiles by BOPE:

Not my photo!
Taken from the Pretty Palettes Inspiration Post, who in turn got it from BOPE.

I have to admit, I really love the gradient shown here. Here is the palette that Molly picked out from that lovely collection of colors:

...So cheery! 

Now, this is where I usually show you the picture of the beads that I bought/used to go with this challenge. In this case, however, the beads that I originally picked out didn't get used. At all. My vision kept shifting and changing. Sadly, I didn't get a picture of the final selection of beads that I used. Sorry!

Still, hopefully the necklace I made will make up for it:

Yep! It's a tassel necklace. 

Oh, and if you're thinking that I missed one of the colors (white), look closer at the material I knotted the necklace on... Yep, that's right! White waxed linen. (I felt so clever when I decided to do that. Hah!)

I don't have much to say about the construction of the necklace itself... once I finally settled on the design, everything just fell into place. I'm particularly pleased with the tassel, and the way that it pairs with the focal bead... it has wonderful weight and movement, without being too heavy or cumbersome. 

So, there you go! That is what I made for this challenge, and the final piece that I have to show off today. Thank you so, so much for joining me for all of these three reveals... I always appreciate my readers, and today is no exception! :)

Have a lovely last day of February, everyone! 

Reveal - SJ Designs Jewelry Honey Do List February Design Challenge!

Every month, Sarajo Wentling over at SJ Designs Jewelry hosts the Honey Do List Challenge.

What is the Honey Do List Challenge, you ask? It's where her husband, Eric, issues her a beading challenge--with the intent that she both use up some of her bead stash and get out of her comfort zone. 
I haven't been able to play along the last few months, so I'm super happy that I got to do so this month!

Here was this month's inspiration:

...And here is what Eric had to say about it:
As winter drags on here in Minnesota with temperatures hanging in the single digits, I had to bring a little summer back into our frozen world.  Here's a picture I took at the MN Landscape Arboretum this past summer and am just now getting to editing!  Give us something bright and happy this month!

For this challenge, I made a pair of earrings. I wanted to do more, but time has been a little scrunched this month. 

Still! I'm very happy with what I made:

Those are Czech glass flowers, paired with faceted peridot drops and gold plated brass. 

While the original photo is more vibrant, I decided to make this pair a little more subdued--using a lighter green, and gold to echo the bright yellow. Granted, that design choice was partially due to the fact that I only had those Czech flowers in white, and I really wanted to use them. After all, this challenge is about using what you have in your stash, right? :)

Thanks so much for stopping by today to see what I made! And many thanks to Sarajo and Eric for letting me play along. As always, I love the inspirations that you choose... and here's to hoping that we get to see some of those beautiful flower colors outside soon! 

Have a lovely day, everyone! :)

Wonder and Whimsy Monthly Challenge - February Reveal


Today is the reveal for my Wonder and Whimsy Monthly Challenge for February!

...You might have thought I forgot about it, since I didn't get a chance to introduce this challenge this month. At all. But, I did it--and I'm pretty excited about showing you what I made!

But, first things first... What was my challenge this month?

Well, I'm not a very big sports person, but I have really enjoyed the Winter Olympics this year. It's always amazing to me to see what people can do, and just how connected the Games make us.

The palaestra of Olympia, a place devoted to the training of wrestlers and other athletes.
Also, not my photo! From the Wikimedia Commons, found here.

It also amazes me just how old the idea is. While the modern Olympic Games have only been around for a century or so (with the official First Olympics being in the late 1800s), the idea of people coming together for large athletic competitions goes back thousands of years. Honestly, while the Ancient Greeks were the ones who coined the term "Olympics," I wouldn't be surprised if the idea was even older than that.

It is that ancient heritage that I decided to focus on for this challenge--specifically, those games held by the Ancient Greeks, and the symbols associated with them.

Carry the Torch

The Olympic Flame is used in the modern Olympics, but the idea itself was derived from the games in Ancient Greece, where a sacred fire was kept burning on the altar of the sanctuary of Hestia all throughout the celebration of the Games. 

In modern times, this is embodied in the idea of the Olympic Torch Relay--where the flame is transported from Olympia, Greece to that year's designated site--and the lighting of the Olympic Cauldron.

So, I wanted to make a pair of earrings that was represented that flame... with bonus points for matching the idea of the Torch, as well!

The earrings are made with a combination of two colors of acrylic flowers, paired with Swarovski crystals and torch-shaped bead caps. I'm honestly really happy how they turned out--with the two colors of flowers really giving the "flame" some dimension and depth.

Olive Wreath

The second piece that I made for this challenge was inspired by the olive wreaths that served as the rewards for the victors of the Ancient Olympic games. The olive branches themselves grew from sacred trees near the Temple of Zeus. There is an anecdote that says that the Ancient Olympians did not compete for possessions, but for virtue... and, with a prize like an olive wreath, that certainly does make sense.

So, to make something to go with this symbol, I thought it would return to my roots (hah, pun intended) to make this hairstick:

For those who don't know, I actually started my professional jewelry-making career by making hairsticks and selling them on Etsy back in 2008. Nowadays, I don't really make them much at all... but, since the ancient Olympic victors would wear their olive leaves on their heads, I figured a hairstick would be a perfect representation of this symbol.

...And, well, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to use that lovely (and substantial) brass finding!

The green bead is ceramic, and the other metals are all brass as well. My hair has gotten long enough that I can actually wear hair sticks again... and this one looks lovely peaking out of my mass of curls. (I'm not very good at taking pictures of the back of my head, though, so I'm not going to post that here!)

So! There you go... those are the two pieces that I made for this month's unannounced Monthly Challenge.

Here's one last picture of them together:

Thanks so much for stopping by today! I really appreciate your time, and your readership. I hope to be a bit better about communication next month's challenge! :)

Have a lovely day, everyone!

Monday, February 26, 2018

Bead Peeps Swap N' Hop - The Beads I Sent My Partner

In my last entry, I introduced Karin King--my lovely partner for the Bead Peeps Swap N' Hop. I also posted a teaser picture of the beads I sent to her for the swap.

And now, since she has officially received the package, I get to show you the actual picture of what I sent to her! Yay!

Below is the teaser picture... to see what it actually shows, just scroll down! :)

Ta-da! That lovely collection includes a pendant by Andrew Thornton (of Allegory Gallery), a handmade clasp by JCLwire, paper beads by me, copper stick pearls, Czech glass, unakite, and adorable little peridot rounds.

Here's another glamour shot, just for the fun of it:

...But, wait, there's more!

I have a history of making too many bead soups, and this year was no exception. 

In her introduction, Karin says that she really likes black and white mixed with primary colors. And, well, that inspired me put this together:

That mix includes more paper beads by me (I rolled soooo many paper beads, lol), lampwork glass by Jules Mounteney (TheGlassGoddessUK), freshwater pearls, and a whole bunch of different types of glass. 

And, well, after I put that all together, I just had to send it to her! *grin*

So, there you go! Those are the beads that I sent to my partner for this year's Swap N' Hop. I'm absolutely thrilled to see what she makes with them!

Thanks so much for stopping by today... Have a wonderful day, everyone! :)

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Bead Peeps Swap N' Hop - Introducing My Partner, and a Sneak Peek!

I haven't really gotten a chance to talk about it, but I'm very very happy to announce that I'm taking part in this year's Bead Peeps Swap N' Hop. Yay!

My partner for the swap is the very talented Karin King of The Sparklie Things Blog (with a blog name like that, you just know that we're going to get along!). She's tried her hand at most everything--from seed beading to lampwork--and when it comes to creating jewelry, she considers everything fair game.

Just look at some of the beautiful things she's made:

None of these are my photos! All are taken from her blog, again found here.

And, for this swap, these are the beads that I sent her:

...except her package hasn't arrived yet, so she hasn't seen them. When she does get them, I'll be sure to show the actual picture here. :)

Thanks so much for stopping by today to see what I'm up to... Have a lovely day, everyone!

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Wednesday's Worktable

On my worktable this week: challenge pieces!

I have three reveals coming up next week: the SJ Designs Honey Do List, Pretty Palettes, and my own Monthly Challenge. My only problem is, I can't show those to you yet. 

So, instead, I'll share more pictures of--you guessed it--more paper beads:

...because making paper beads has been my Happy Place this month. I'm not even sure what I'm going to make with these specific beads--I'm just rolling them because I enjoy it. Imagine!

Thanks so much for stopping by today, and for being patient with me this month as I get everything back to normal.

Have a lovely day, everyone!

Friday, February 16, 2018

We're All Ears - February Reveal

I realize that my blog has been a little light on content this month. Still, I hope that this post makes up for that a little bit--because it's time for the reveal of this month's We're All Ears challenge! Woo-hoo! 

This month's inspiration was chandeliers.

Not my picture... From the Earrings Everyday blog.

I really do like chandeliers. I've always wanted to have one in my dining room... That project is a little further down the road, however! In the meantime, I can enjoy making earrings inspired by them. :)

Overall, I made three pairs of earrings for this challenge. The first two pairs are a bit literal, insofar as they feature Swarovski crystals that were actually taken from a chandelier. (Heh, I couldn't help it--I've been wanting to use them for earrings, and this was the perfect opportunity to do so!)

This first pair also features bronze stick pearls and Czech glass:

I wanted to make them feel rich and classic--using brass and bronze and warm goldtones in juxtaposition to the shiny crystal. I also wanted the different textures of the Czech glass and pearl to mute the sparkle a bit, enriching and deepening the overall look. What can I say--I'm really happy with how these turned out!

Since I had some chandelier crystals leftover, I decided to make a pair in silver, too--this time paired with silver Czech glass daggers:

While the first pair feels rich and old-fashioned (I think it's the brass that does it), this second pair feels elegantly modern... The sleek lines of the daggers and the geometric angles of the crystal, all unabashedly bright and shiny. There is no muted sparkle here! :)

The third pair of earrings takes more inspiration from the general sway of chandeliers. In keeping with the feeling of the second pair, I used silver and faceted glass paired with those same Czech daggers:

These really do have such amazing sway! :)

And with that--there you go! Those are the earrings that I made for this reveal. Thanks so much for stopping by today to see what I made! Be sure to hop over to Earrings Everyday reveal to see what everyone else created. :)

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Wednesday's Worktable

This week: my search for color continues!

...Because, honestly, I'm not going to find it outside. February continues to be rainy and grey, and I don't expect that to change any time soon. 

But that's all right, because I have these:

...Those are some of the paper beads I made last week. 

And this week, I have turned them into a necklace:

The lighting is a bit wonky--learning a new phone camera, not having a place to setup my new photobooth, and the natural light stinking due to the aforementioned rain--but I think you get the idea!

I've also been having fun making some pendants...

What did I use to make them, you ask?

A colorful birthday card that I saved!

I look forward to making those into necklaces at some point! :)

So, there you go... That's what I've been dabbling with this week.

Oh! And I have some good news. I have decided to actually do a Monthly Challenge this month. In fact, I've already started on it. Hah! I was all set to just skip it, but apparently my muse was not having any of it. I'll try to announce the challenge soon... And, if not, it'll just be a surprise on reveal day. ;)

Thanks so much for stopping by today... Have a wonderful Wednesday, everyone!