It all started, I think, with Barb Lewis' "Painting with Fire" tutorial. The instant gratification (I wish ALL online purchases could be emailed), the new (largely theoretical) vistas opening up...After that it was Shannon LeVart's "Color Drenched Metal" and "Hand Formed Links." And that softened me up pretty good for the next email I got from Eni Oken Jewelry Lessons--by now I had an unquenchable thirst for tutorials, even if I wasn't even going to do them (indeed, I have no immediate plans to do enamel, I just wanted the tut)--and I stumbled headlong into the Jewelry Lessons site like a broke drunk who just found a fiver on the sidewalk stumbles into a liquor store and started snapping up whatever I could find that seemed remotely do-able.
Well, that's maybe an overstatement, I bought two. I bought one on making wire-wrapped briolette flowers, because I was so inspired by Melissa Meman's gorgeous flower earrings but couldn't figure out how to do it (I don't have the engineering gene), and one on how to make little calla lily-shaped beadcaps out of thin metal sheet. (And then of course I had to buy the metal sheet). And somewhere in there I also acquired a tut on making kidney earwires from Natalie Girard, a Canadian jewelry artist on AtrFire. I've wanted to do those too but didn't have the patience to figure it out on my own. Sometimes I just like to be spoon-fed. Especially about measuring things.
So this was my fourth (or fifth?) attempt at the briolette flower. (I was a little alarmed with attempt no. 3 because I seemed to be getting WORSE with practice, but I stopped and thought about where I was going wrong and kept trying). I've had these kyanite spears FOREVER, they were one of the first things I bought when I started making jewelry but they didn't fit into my initial designs and I didn't know what to do with them after that.
This one below is also using the briolette wrapping technique (mine is still kind of messy, can't figure out how Melissa gets hers so perfect! Have to keep experimenting. I got a little wild with the one below and forgot where I was at with the over and under). Little sea opal drops and rounds, with copper rollo chain, and some great tiny ladder chain in antiqued copper. I can't remember where I got either chain--it was either Ornamentea or Lima Beads.
I'm pretty excited, this means I will have a way to use all those top drilled teardrop beads I keep buying but don't know what to do with. I have PILES of such beads so you will be seeing lots and lots of flowers. I may open a second shop called "All Flowers, Every Day, All Day Long."
This last thing didn't require any new tuts at all, just knots. A casually-shaped cube of boro lampwork glass by Bebesglassbeads on Etsy in "Ocean and Sand" hangs from cold-forged copper rings and a strand of knotted matte denim glass beads, with a few amber glass beads thrown in to tie into the lampwork. Front closure toggle clasp with hand-forged toggle bar.
Well, that's all I got. I got through about half my to-do list this weekend. And oh, gee, it looks like I didn't get to the icky stuff. Golly darnit anyhow.