A chronicle of the meanderings, false starts (which in retrospect, while sort of embarrassing turned out to be highly instructive), epiphanies, selective apathy (still evolving), wild mood swings, opinions (subject to frequent change), and life lessons of an inveterate dabbler (and her latest dabblings).

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Phobic No More

Nothing like some custom work, with the color palette dictated to you, to help you overcome a little temporary, inexplicable phobia about making stuff. I was practically paralyzed for at least the last few months, filled with dread at the thought of making anything original. So I made components instead. Beadcaps and connector rings. Got lots of those now. And of course I continued buying all manner of supplies I was too anxiety-ridden to use. Those who can't do, shop.

So, this is one of three pieces that seemed to get me over my weird little hurdle. I'm doing a large custom bridal order (5 bridesmaids, a best lady, two moms, two flower girls, and the bride).  This is the first of the bridesmaids' pendants, which will all be a little different.
Black Labradorite (also known as Larvikite) and Czech Fire Polished Glass.

Her colors are pewter gray and dark apple red (cool, huh?) I wanted to use a few different pendant shapes, and took a spin to the next town to a bead shop to see what they had. Nada. But they did have some awesome moukaite roundels with lots of mauve and pink in them (which I had been casually looking for here and there), so I picked up a strand of those and ended up making this:

Moukaite roundels with baby garnets and brass leaf medallion from Ghana.

I was originally going to have the garnets hanging as a second strand, and then put some leather on it or something, but then the strand of garnets accidentally flipped up as I was working on it and I thought that looked even better, having the strand of garnets form the top part of the necklace. So i took it apart and did that instead. I would have preferred not to add those little rose matte glass beads, but the beading wire wouldn't fit back through the itty bitty holes in the itty bitty garnets and I couldn't find anything more suitable to finish the ends off with. I do have an electric bead reamer but I was afraid the garnets would break if I tried to make the holes bigger. I think it's all right like that. (Brass leaf medallion from Happy Mango Beads.)

I had these little pearls and beadcaps sitting around for awhile, wanted to make earrings. This is them, all grown up:
(Anybody have any hints for achieving a consistently plump, non-dented ball headpin? To quench or not to quench? Too hot? Not hot enough?) Tried a little bigger, rounder earwire with these.

Got these little millefiori eggs over the summer at a bead sale, not really my style but I like the way they turned out with these funky little ruffled flower beadcaps and antiqued earwires:
I hammered the headpins a little on these since they were sort of deformed anyway.

I made a bracelet too but I don't like it so I'm not going to show you. Probably cut it up and redo it.

I started on this other thing, but it's not quite right. Once I decide on this one element it'll go together pretty fast and I'll show it to you. Maybe by the end of the week.

That's all I got. Time to go hang with my Squeeze. Peace out.


  1. I make components and little parts when I am stumped for what to do, when the muse abandons me. There is something about making parts that can let your mind rest long enough to have a new idea. Nice commision and a lovely colour scheme with a beautiful interpretation. You know those milfiori beads wouldn't be me either but they look great the way you added the bead caps.

  2. LOVE pewter and red. Your components are so nice, I keep meaning to start making my own and keep not doing it GAAAHHH!!!

  3. When is the wedding? Love that color scheme - have never seen it before?

    When you make your head pins do you hold the wire straight up and down w/ the flame at the bottom and let the ball climb UP the wire OR do you lay the wire down on the block and fire that way?

  4. Fabulous job on the bridal piece!! And I am loving that moukaite...such gorgeous colors. Perfectly paired with the garnets on TOP. Way to pull out of your funk!!!

  5. I love all your components. I think you should sell some. To me. Those ear wires are da bomb!

    I am digging that funky bridal piece. The first commission I ever got was 8 bridesmaids, three special friends and the bride. All different but in the same lagoon and chocolate color scheme. It was amazonite, apatite and bronzite all the way baby. And vintage brass buttons for the clasps. And the bride's piece was the very first thing I ever had published... had to take it off her neck as soon as the reception was over because they were holding the deadline for me!

    You do such great work.

    I am working on some etching experiments right now. Yours is cookin'. Keep your fingers crossed that it will turn out good enough for me to share with you!

    Enjoy the day!

  6. I really love all the pieces you made! I am looking through your stuff and I am really impressed! I had a tough day and this is the first thing to make me smile all day! Thanks! BTW if you are interested in any of the coloured discs you saw on my blog, let me know and I can list them for you :)

  7. I'm glad your phobia is no more because you truly do beautiful work. I know what it's like to doubt yourself-as long as you keep moving. Making "parts" is also what I do when I'm feeling paralyzed.

    As for the headpins, mine look the same way. Let me know if you figure it out!

  8. Glad you kicked your phobia out the door - such beautiful work! Love the moukaite necklace.
    Sorry, can't help with the headpins - mine look the same.

  9. everything is gorgeous! very sorry that the phobia took hold - i understand that completely... but am glad you are shaking it loose... just let it flow, your work is gorgeous... always...
    ditto, my headpins come out the same way...

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  11. LOVE the bridal set! Such an unusual color palette and I would never have thought of putting red with labradorite, but it totally rocks! Love the mookaite (or however the hell you spell that word) necklace, too. I always look at that stone and then pass it up because I can't figure out what to do with it. You did a gorgeous job!