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 29, 2011

Challenge of Color Blog Hop

This is the second color challenge I've done--the first one was with Erin too! I don't think I've ever done any other challenges. There's something about the way Erin structures this one that doesn't tweak my inner rebel. I'm OK with it.

I've been intrigued by purple lately, and wanted to do something in the purple family. My palette was "Mineral Brights" (I read the word "brights" and groaned inwardly, but it was all right after all):

I wanted to use brass in it, rather than silver, and I started with that and some heavy gauge leather cord that got me to the cafe au lait color.
Then I hauled out virtually every bead I own in shades of violet, periwinkle and putty. I strung and restrung and strung again. Changed my mind about a pendant twice. And this is what I finally settled on last night:

Indonesian glass beads in ivory and periwinkle (I interpreted that center color as more blue than gray, mainly because I don't really have any gray beads, so I fudged on that one just a little) from Happy Mango Beads, matte glass tile beads in violet, glass seed beads in a deeper violet, little wooden spacers, tiny lilac seed beads, and a brass-over-pewter Ethiopian Coptic cross, also from Happy Mango Beads. (I actually had some other small glass tile beads that were a closer match to that center color, but I just couldn't make them work.) Just didn't have anything in that deep indigo, so I fudged on that too.

This will eventually be for sale in my Etsy shop, probably tonight or tomorrow evening.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

They Grow Up So Fast

It seems like one moment they're just lying there, all inchoate and full of possibilities, and the next moment they're all dolled up and hanging off the neck of some exotically gorgeous model at a glitzy party. Sigh. You want to keep them all to yourself forever, but they have to grow up eventually.

My Baby All Grown Up
And I imagine, or at least I hope, that my coppery little bundle of joy won't be under our roof much longer. It will be winging its way across the country somewhere, destined for romance and excitement. With its white stick pearls, garnets, periwinkle glass and deerskin leather to remind it of Mama.

I'm not even going to tell you how long I was in labor. It seemed like forever. Like two whole days. But it was probably more like two half-days. Because I did other stuff yesterday too, and it's not even 2:00 yet today and I finished it a couple hours ago.

Exotically Gorgeous Model
I suppose I should get dressed. It's almost 2:00.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Hearts and Flowers

I haven't made bracelets in a long time. Here are a couple I made yesterday and today. The one above features one my flower clasps, with pearls, turquoise lampwork spacers by Meital, and some kind of mystery stone I can't remember the name of. I'm guessing it's a jasper (if anybody recognizes it, let me know! It has a lot of turquoise veining in it, along with the brick red and cream.)

For the one below, I started out with my double-sided heart charm and stared at it for a long time. Slept on it (not literally). And this is what I had decided when I woke up.
A little handful of ceramic beads by Gaea Cannady (that I have of course been hoarding forever), a couple of Czech glass beads in lilac, and a smaller copper-plated pewter heart lock charm. I love the combination of matte and shiny finish beads in Gaea's bundles, I love to put them together. I used one of my hook and eye clasps (kind of experimenting there) for it, and a bunch of my tiny beadcaps.

Here's the other side of the charm:
I'm in love with rivets. Functional AND decorative!

I'm pretty excited that it's only Saturday. Hopefully the rest of the weekend will be productive. Really hoping that the day job will slow down like I think it will and I can take a few days here and there to add some things to the shop. I've been so focused on trying to figure out how to make things from metal that I'm out of practice actually putting a whole piece of jewelry together.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Hearts and Rivets: They Go Together

I've been wanting to do some riveted heart pendants for some time. Today I got busy. I LOVE doing these hearts because I don't have to use my saw on them! I hate sawing. I cut them out entirely with my metal shears--my straight cut and my left curve shears. I cleaned up the little tooth marks from the shears with fine grit sandpaper, they came right out. Voila! No sawing. I love the sort of blocky edges I get with the shears--the hammering with the texture sheets then softens that out a bit.

I layered these hearts using rivets (actually, copper tacks from the hardware store!), and then created a loop by attaching a wire figure-8 with the rivet. (I learned that from a Sharilyn Miller DVD, Ethnic Style Jewelry--lots of handy stuff!)

On a couple of them, I only used one rivet to attach both the second heart and the figure-8; on the big one, I used two rivets to attach them separately.

The smallest heart I will use as a bracelet charm--I'm always a little frustrated using one-sided charms on bracelets, because with the way bracelets move around, you see the wrong side of the charm as often as you see the front. I wanted to make double-sided charms, but you can't really do that with a single sheet and the texture sheet/hammering method, because hammering the second side takes the texture out of the first side. So I thought I would just use two separate hearts, attached with a rivet, with the figure-8 loop in between. (And now I like that "3-D" look so much, I wish I had put the figure-8 in the middle with the other two too. I think I may do that from now on.)
I also textured and antiqued some copper strips to turn my copper flowers into clasps or usable components. I just have to rivet the strips to the flowers now, and decide how to configure them.

Then I have to use them in something. That's the hard part! I'm thinking of opening a second shop for components--then YOU would have to figure out what to do with them. :-)

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Ceramic Gear Links!

I recently got these super cool ceramic "gear link" rings from Karen Totten. I got them in shiny dark pomegranate and matte celadon.

I started with the pomegranate ones for earrings. I pondered and pondered. I wanted to wrap something onto them but it took me a few days to come up with the engineering.

Just listed them all grown up:

With kyanite and antiqued copper.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

From Ping Pong Paddles to Tiny Bowls

One of my metal experiments recently became earrings. The little ping-pong-paddle shaped things below

became these:
Copper bowl earrings

With micro-faceted Czech AB-finish glass beads.

One of my bail experiments also finally grew up:

Aqua terra jasper and leather

It started out a lot fussier and I just wasn't happy with it. So I scaled it way down. "Sandstone" lampwork spacers by The Spacer Shop (formerly The Spacer Queen. I guess she's come down in the world).