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).

Friday, August 30, 2013

Baubles and Beads Design Team

I was recently invited to join the Baubles & Beads Design Team--if you haven't checked out the Baubles & Beads online store, you must! I especially like their selection of faux sea glass beads, vintage-style metal flower elements, glass domes, and floral collage sheets (they carry a lot of Nunn Design items, so their supplies present tons of creative possibilities!)

The design team completes design challenges using a surprise packet of items sent to the participants. Here is a little sneak peak of some of the items I received:

The reveal of the participants' designs will be September 18 on the Baubles & Beads blog--stay tuned!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

New Stuff

I've been having fun with color and metal!

One of my favorite ways to bring color into my jewelry is with enamel. Anne of Gardanne Beads is my new favorite enamel artist!
I just love these little butterflies, and the color scheme was divine: soft lime and juicy berry. I didn't even have to think about what beads to use, it's like cheating!
I'm in love with these keyhole charms too. I keep gravitating to this green/yellow and berry color combination. These are more of a pale lemon yellow with berry:
I combined them with moukaite ovals from Lima Beads, handmade lampwork spacers in pale apple from The Spacer Bead Shop, and Czech glass (on the earwires) in pomegranate--that is my current favorite color of Czech glass bead!

These earrings below are in another color combo I can't get enough of--butternut and fuchsia! I made a bunch of these aspen-leaf-shaped etched copper components and paired them up with lampwork and gemstones. These lampwork beads are from my stash, made by a local lady, Pat Redinger, and the gemstones are pink quartz from Fine Gems. The etched damask patterns on the metal focals for all four pair of earrings below came from a digital file from Aesthetic Addiction.
I also did these, with lapis and green aventurine. The wonderful lapis sticks were a gift from Lori Anderson--she has sent me all kinds of fabulous beads!
These earrings were made with some gorgeous snakeskin stone roundels, from a bead swap with Alice Peterson. I just love the soft green and subtle patterning. The sticks are of shell, and I put little white pearls on the earwires.
These are in the same style, with new jade sticks, impression jasper roundels, and green aventurine nuggets on the earwires. This is the same pattern as above--it's a lovely damask, and I just use different parts of the pattern.
I have been wanting to try a kind of folded beadcap for a while. These below were my first experiments. The first pair is with Czech glass drops in transparent red, with an interesting, mottled golden finish. I just happened to have just purchased some Czech glass roundels from BobbiThisnThat, in the Same. Exact. Color. Go figure. It was fate! Or just one of the many, many upsides of compulsive bead shopping.
These are also Czech glass, in their "Picasso" style--I really love the colors in these beads! I THINK these beads, and the ones above, are old stash from one of my first purchases from Happy Mango Beads (if you are a fan of Czech glass, you MUST check out Happy Mango--they have a GINORMOUS selection of Czech glass right now. I just looked (dammit, why did I look...)) The etched glass seed beads on the earwires are "glass tile beads" from Fire Mountain Gems--I have tons of these in different colors and I just love them.
These are Crazy Lace Agate--I got them locally at Powderhorn Trading, and I couldn't resist all the purple in them! You don't see that much vivid purple in that stone very often. The wonderful Czech glass roundels on the earwires are also from BobbiThisnThat--they're an amethyst color with an awesome coppery finish.
This an old design of mine--I found the metal components all finished and ready to go in one of my boxes, and I thought well why the heck didn't I finish them? I decided to use some of my new gemstone ovals from Lima Beads--these are azurite malachite, and I've combined them with Czech glass in emerald. The greens and blues in the stones are quite vivid!
I just finally finished this necklace couple nights ago.

I got a strand of these fabulous fossilized coral agate rectangular beads from Happy Mango, and they never cease to inspire me. They range from deep ochre all the way to pearly gray and white (THEY HAVE MORE!!!). (They're way more impressive in person, by the way.)

I love the patterns in them, like fireworks or dandelions (look at them! LOOK at them). I've paired this one with every buttery golden/butterscotch/Grand Marnier bead in my stash--crazy lace agate, opaque butterscotch amber roundels (locally from Powderhorn Trading), golden jade, yellow jade, red creek jasper, bone (Happy Mango), golden lip shell, moukaite, and transparent amber ovals (from Fire Mountain Gems). I went monochrome crazy with the yellows! The dangling coil beads were based on a tutorial by Kharisma Sommers (Popnicute jewelry--you MUST see her work!! You will GASP.)
(Everything above is sold or otherwise spoken for, except for the fossil coral agate necklace, which I haven't listed yet).

I don't feel like doing anything at all today, and I'm trying to decide if I'm going to go with that. In spite of all the activity above, I'm kind of in a funk. And feeling funky. And not in a good way.