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).

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Here Comes that Desert Feeling Again...

Whenever the weather turns cold (or damp, or damp and cold, or rainy and cold, cloudy, dark, etc.) I start yearning to be in the American desert. (Other deserts around the world do not appeal to me). Hence, these two bracelets. (Mostly got sucked in by an email notification that Studio Rent had reopened so I ran over there and she had a bunch of lampwork spacers in a pale sage green (opaque AND transparent), and some in "egg blue" and "feather white." These appealed to my subtle and refined nature.)

This bracelet features Studio Rent lampwork spacers, fabulous porcelain beads by Macarroll (they look like the abandoned homes of little creatures) in sage, cream, and cinnamon, a plump lampwork roundel by Kelley Wenzel in swirling cream, sand and sage, and rainbow Soochow jade in a coffee hue. (Proud of myself for making a relatively simple bracelet. Normally they turn out looking like part of Cher's "2016 World Tour"  wardrobe. And is she not looking AMAZING?)

This bracelet is sort of similar, but I took my cue from the large lampwork beads by Pat Redinger of Being Beads--they have a pale yellow base, with patterns of caramel and sky blue, all in a snakeskin pattern. I wanted to design a bracelet around the lampwork bead pictured at the top of the photo.

The whole desert thing seemed like it needed some leather (I guess it was all those spaghetti westerns I watched as a kid that were filmed in the California desert--holsters, saddles, boots, chaps, Clint Eastwood's hat, etc.), and I just can't get enough of this buckskin colored deerskin. I needed to weight the bracelet all around to keep interesting (i.e., heavy) parts from settling under the wearer's wrist, so I used another sort of similar lampwork bead (also from Pat) to form the toggle clasp, and added a white brass acorn charm at the bar end of the toggle. The acorn is amazingly heavy. (I have no idea what white brass is, but I like it). The iceberg blue beads are the "egg blue" beads from Studio Rent (and one vanilla from an old set), plus some caramel colored moukaite barrels, and little Larimar Blue Crazy Lace agate roundels. And more Soochow jade in coffee.

And that's all I have to say about that.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Three New Labor[ing] Day Weekend Bracelets

My goal for the holiday weekend was to address the slimness of the bracelet section in my Etsy shop. I managed to create three new bracelets. I stopped getting dressed on Saturday (I think that was also the last time I left the house), only changing my underwear. Once. I think I washed my armpits Sunday. I finally changed out of my pyjamas this morning to go to work. It seemed best.

Here's what I did.

Pewter Salmon Totem Bracelet in Teal Quartz and Carnelian.
Teal-dyed quartz, moss agate, carnelian and faceted red agate are joined with 20 gauge sterling wire, accented with my hand-formed nickel beadcaps, and attached to a pewter salmon totem from Happy Mango Beads. More moss agate and carnelian are attached to the links with jump rings (I couldn't help myself. Those carnelian are like bon bons, and I must have been a testicle in a former life because I'm addicted to dangling). I was pleased with how the toggle clasp turned out, I think wrapping it made it more of an element in the design.
Pewter Salmon Totem Bracelet in Teal Quartz and Carnelian.
Then I recycled a pendant design into a bracelet design.
"Yucatan" Bracelet in Chrysocolla, Turquoise, Brass and Wood
I like to call it "Reinventing My Wheel and Pretending It's New." I don't feel bad because I invented this wheel. I call it "Yucatan," because it makes me think of some artistic Pre-Columbian kingdom. The Maya, I guess that would be. The chrysocolla is like...potato chips. I had to add...just...one...more. Love it with the brass. It's the most unearthly color, I just love it. I got these fat little roundels locally. These are my favorite wood wheels from Beads and Pieces (temporarily out of stock!!! OMG, somebody pass the Xanax and Chardonnay). This is the last brass toggle clasp of this sort that I have and I cannot for the life of me remember where I got it. I think I got it from Dry Gulch Beads but they don't have them anymore. :-( If anyone has found these anywhere else, please let me know. They remind me of old portholes. Or machine parts. There's a little African turquoise roundel on there too, and a couple moss agate.

Finally, I did this vaguely floral number.
These are, I think, commercial lampwork beads from Bead Outlet on Etsy. I've combined them with Rainbow Soochow jade in deep peony colors, a little ivory bone bead from Happy Mango, and more of those OUT OF STOCK wood wheels from B&P. My hammered beadcaps hopefully keep it just this side of frou-frou. I didn't have any suitable antiqued brass charms so I made my own heart charm out of wire. There's some garnets on there, some smaller Soochow jade in bubble gum colors and a little fancy jasper roundel in an antique rose color. I like to think of this as a fusion design--Woodsy Victorian Gipsy. Perhaps a Roma living in the Black Forest in about 1880.

I did some earrings too but I haven't photographed them yet so you'll have to wait. I was hoping to do more but I just couldn't go any faster. Next time I'll skip the underwear change and the pit-washing and maybe I'll get in another pair of earrings.