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).

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


A new treasury highlighting Etsy artists who have a way with words:
Stop by, click and comment! There are some awesome items here, full of both humor and thoughtfulness. My favorite is the Sanford and Son t-shirt--"You big dummy". Gotta love it.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

A Little Custom Work

I did this bracelet today for a regular customer; she had requested a bracelet similar to one I had done before, but in different hues. I just happened to have recently acquired some beads in those very colors (ivory, tan and gray) and had been wanting to do something in those colors. I went and found some fabulous wooden jasper barrels on Ebay and was thrilled that they worked in the bracelet like I hoped they would. Here's how it turned out:

"High Sierra"

Pewter sun totem, little sun-looking bead and pewter toggle clasp from Happy Mango Beads. From left, crazy agate, ivory bone, one lampwork spacer bead in vanilla by Beingbeads, pewter sun totem, labradorite, wooden jasper, more bone beads, and some little mystery beads which I think might be scenic jasper. Sterling silver beadcaps from ArtBeads.

Monday, December 20, 2010

All Day Freshness

I was trying to get my Fresh on in the Etsy shop--lotta old stuff in there. I've wanted to make a pile of earrings to try to give it a boost, since I've been so lax on making new stuff. I guess this last weekend was the weekend for the earring muse. I just started throwing stuff together. Some of it I like, some not so much.

Here's what I did:
Javanese Glass Beads with Sterling Silver

Ceramic Beads with Javanese Glass Discs and Sterling Silver.
(Polka dotted Javanese glass beads and Chinese ceramic beads from Happy Mango Beads).

Ceramic beads in blue green with copper

Blue and White Ceramic Coins with Copper

Toast and Turquoise Earrings with Artisan Ceramic Beads
(Ceramic beads above by Macarroll on Etsy).

"My Wicked Heart" Earrings with Copper Kidney Earwires

Boro Glass Lampwork in Cobalt and Amber with Sterling Silver Earwires
(Lampwork by Beingbeads on Etsy).

Phew. There's a few more pairs half-finished at home. I'm getting spoiled with this instant gratification--not looking forward to spending all day on a pendant!

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Challenge of Color Big Reveal!

I've been looking forward to this day! I could barely contain my excitement. Yes, Moi, hater of all blog jewelry challenges. My inner toddler ("NO!") just comes out when I see a design challenge issued on some blog--yeah, like I'm gonna run out like a good little girl and make exactly what you tell me to make. Thing again, sistah! Take THAT! (flip double bird). Obedience is such an ugly word. Unless you're talking about a black or chocolate lab, and then it's all good. Although rare.

Erin Prais-Hintz of Tesori Trovati jewelry issued a color challenge on her blog, explaining she'd been experimenting with color chips from the paint store to stoke her inspiration. The challenge was simple--let her know what color family you'd like to work in and she'd send you a few paint chips. You could use as many or as few of the colors as you wished. That sounded broad enough to me that I could participate and still maintain my self-respect and not damage my credibility as a Rebel. Heck, I do that all the time anyway with stuff I see--nature scenes, buildings, stuff in my house, cars going by. I see some colors together and think, hmm, and then I go make something in those colors.

I admit, I did not love any of the paint chips when I first looked at them. Huh, I thought. I let them sit for a few days, and then finally one day I was idly pawing through my bead stash to see if I even had any of those colors, and wouldn't you know, I had them all EXACTLY. Even in art beads (lampwork). When I put the beads together with some metal, and then some leather, I started to really like it. I would probably never have put these colors together before (mixing reds? Ewww!). But now I'm even thinking of getting my own paint chips. But alas, I was only able to conjure something out of two of them. I just couldn't bring myself to do the third chip (see below). Without further ado (i.e., prattling), here they are.

"Strawberry Wine"
Red lampwork beads (in both wine red and crimson) by Beingbeads on Etsy, and "feather white" lampwork spacers by Studiorent, with brecciated jasper saucers, red bamboo coral barrels, hand-formed copper rings, toggle bar, beadcaps and coil ends, and some red Greek leather. On Softflex in "copper". I was going to antique the copper crimp covers but then I decided I liked them better bright. Here's the paint chip:

Look at what a good girl I was. I matched the colors exactly. I'm almost ashamed of myself for being so pliant. (Notice I named my piece after the colors too. Next thing you know I'll be flossing every day).

The next chip didn't give me the horrors quite so much; for some reason mixing yellows was less scandalous than mixing reds. Again, I pretty much had all these colors, in both art beads (lampwork again) and gemstones. The match wasn't quite as exact, and other shades are included in this piece as well.

"Yellowtail Debutante"

I love the cryptic and artfully abstruse (I'll give you a second to go look that up) name I chose for this piece. And it was on the card. (See below).

Large variegated lampwork and dark red lampwork by Beingbeads again, with Soochow jade in deep berry and buttery parchment colors, accented with smaller aragonite in an apple flesh hue, with Dzi-style etched red agate and garnet heishi. Copper rings with brass wire wrap accents, copper beadcaps, oval copper chain, and brass toggle bar, all hand-formed; deerskin lacing in buckskin. Also on copper color Softflex. I had some Soochow jade that was closer to the "antiquity" color on this card (had some green in it), but I didn't like it with the other beads. I went with the more buttery tones.

And lastly, the ugly stepsister that didn't get to go to the ball because her shoes were too small (what?):

"My Little Pony"

I just couldn't do it. The lavender and the blue were too much for me. Some Rebel. I'm a phony. A charlatan. I could have just made something with that nice berry color (I had asked Erin for plum/berry colors) and some other colors, but that seemed kind of lame. So I skipped it all together. I just don't think I will ever make anything with pink AND blue in it. Unless a friend ever gives birth to a hermaphrodite and no one else is available to make her a baby blanket.

To see what the other participants have done with their paint cards, click on the links below: