Thursday, December 21, 2006
This one has a mix of Thai Karen Hilltribe heart charms and sterling silver puffed heart charms. The beads are a combination of two different types, the bicone beads are milk glass beads, and the round pink beads are Czech druk beads. It closes with a silver heart shaped lobster claw clasp. This was the more challenging design because I had a hard time getting the design to work out and having the bracelet be the right length. It took three tries to get it right and of couse it was the one I worked on last on the day I had to get it delivered to Mom.
This one has a mix of silver charms with an enameled silver charm as the centerpiece. All of the glass beads used for this bracelet are Czech druk beads, but they all have slightly different finishes and the black beads are somewhat triangular along with being a bit longer. This one went together much easier but it took a bit to get the design to balance out well.
I won't know until Christmas what the recipients think of them, but Mom was very happy with the designs and they were fun projects. I just need to remember I work better if I have a bit less pressure.
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
This is the actual entry. It is a bone panel with facted onyx beads, charoite ovals and silver beads and findings. There is a story that comes with the bone panel, it was originally part of a bracelet that belonged to my mother. The bracelet was made of a set of these panels strung on elastic cord that had broken a long time ago. (I remember looking at the pieces in Mom's jewelry box as child, so it had broken by that point.) The bracelet what a gift an employer had brought back from a trip to Hawaii and they had ben told that it was ivory. I've done some research, mostly because of the mahjong tile beads I had found, and these panels are definitey bone. High quality craved bone, but bone none the less.
This is the design I had originally started with for the challenge. I had thought that it would be cool to combine the bone tile with fire opals and pearls because of theconnection to Hawaii. Unfortunately it turned out to be too delicate of a combination to work with the bone panel and I had to step back and come up with an alternate focal bead. I had picked up the bone flower bead recently and itended up fitting perfectly.
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
It made out of blue Czech druk glass beads, black glass beads I found I had hanging around, silver tube beads, silver findings and the silver plated swivel hook. I wore it to work today and the reaction from my co-workers just blew me away. I think I am going to be a very busy girl making these for a while. The only change for those will be that I am going to use silver plated brass beads to keep the costs down. I will, of course, post pictures as I get those made. I also may try to do a step by step on how I make them.
Sunday, November 19, 2006
Other good news is that I got a really fantastic deal on more glass beads for the lanyard project so as soon as the swivel hooks come in I can get going on those too.
Saturday, November 18, 2006
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
Monday, November 13, 2006
Once I get it all sorted out maybe I'll do an entry showing the process from start to finish.
Sunday, November 05, 2006
I'll post pictures when I'm done.
Sunday, October 22, 2006
This one was a lot of fun to make. I've had the bone frog bead for a while and it seemed like the perfect centerpiece for a bracelet. I used kyanite and labradorite with it because both stones shift color in the light and have teal highlights which went well with the frog inlay. This is the bracelet out of this seeion that I'd make a copy of for myself if I could find another frog bead.
This bracelet is lepidolite (the beads in shades of purple) and rhodochrosite (the raspberry sherbert colored beads). It was another experiment in combining colors. I think the combination worked well, but I may end up thinking of it as the sherbet bracelet because of the color of the rhodochrosite.
I wasn't sure if this design would work at all because it is onyx roundelles and turquoise coin beads, but it worked remarkably well and ended up being a very elegant bracelet.
Saturday, October 14, 2006
This piece was a commission for someone over on the snopes messageboard and really ended up being a theme piece. The mahjong tiles are (from left to right), summer, six of bamboo and bamboo flower, and the color requirements were to use blues and/or greens. I was really struck by the idea of two of the tiles having to do with bamboo and decided to use that as the unifying idea for the piece. With that in mind, I chose to use light green aventurine, partially because it matched the greens in the tiles and partly because they look like foliage, and then chose bamboo shaped silver tube beads to use as spacers. I'm really happy with the way it turned out, although I designed it flat rather than curved so the top strand is longer than the lower strand and will drape over or under it. I was afraid that would be a problem, but it ended up creating a really nice effect.
I found a great new tool to use with this project. Usually I start off by finishing one end of a piece because then I don't have to worry about shifting a cord wrong and having beads everywhere. Since this had a central element I needed to be able to work from both ends so that I could keep the design even, plus it was double strand so I was looking at having to come up with a way to keep the beads on the threads that was easy to remove. Fortunately, I found the Bead Stopper in the directions for a project. They're fantastic and I highly recommend them to anyone else who works with beads,
Friday, October 13, 2006
The only problem I ran into is more of a personal problem, I just feel really inadequate now. I'm not hip and trendy at all and while I don't do strictly traditional crafts (beyond canning) I'm not wildy innovative or cutting edge either. I feel like I'm in some sort of odd no man's land between hip, edgy and innovative crafters and grannies making tea cozies and things out of needlepoint canvas to hide Kleenex boxes. It's an odd feeling and I'm not quite sure what to do about it.
That's all for tonight, and I'll post pictures of my most recent project tomorrow and then some other jewelry pictures on Sunday maybe. (I'll have to see how things go, I also tend to post the pictures and a bit on the projects on MySpace so it depends on how much time it takes me to do that on top of my weekend chores. and repairing a bracelet.)
Sunday, September 24, 2006
This is the first pair I tried, they are loosely based on a pair of earrings that a co-worker has. These are made with 26 guage silver wire, pearls, garnets and garnet briolettes. The most interesting aspect was trying to work with the pliers that we had on hand. By the time I was done my hands were very stiff and cramping up pretty badly. I've invested in pliers with ergonomic handles which should help. One thing to note, I spread the drops out for the picture, when on the shift around quite a bit.
This pair of earrings grew out of a mistake. I closed the top loop on the drop before attatching it to the rest of the earring and rather than redoing it I thought I'd make a second one so I could make a pair of earrings out of it.
Sunday, September 10, 2006
These are the dill pickles I put up yesterday. It was hard finding pickling cucumbers so I had to make do with smaller ones, which means that I ended up with 11 quarts of small spears and chunks.
And since I had the camera in the kitchen, this is a picture of the relish I made last winter. This is what happens to the dill pickles from previous years. If I feel more energetic later in the week I'll post the recipies.
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
The cover of the book is made of 6-7 ounce tooling leather, and I used a wood stylus to transfer the device and engrave it deeply. I beveled around the device to give it a bit of dimension and then painted with acrylic paint. The rest of the book was antiqued with a medium brown leather antiquing and then finished with a matte acrylic finish.
The book is lined with a golden oak garment pig suede and the pages are acid free light weight cardstock in cream. The pages are laced in with deerskin lace and the closure is a stubbed lace made out of deerskin scrap.
I tried a few different things with this book. The first is that I increased the number of holes to lace the pages in since this book will be traveling and will need a bit more stability. Second, because it will be traveling through the mail, I used a tie closure rather than a buckle or a bone button that could get broken. I liked the stubbed lace closure from the satchel so I made one to close this book. The other different things are more refining my techniques. I usually put the finish and antique into a bowl when I get to the point of applying them. I do this for two reasons, the first being that I use large brushes and it's hard to get them in the mouths of the bottles. The second is that it in the case of the finish there will be color transfer and this way I don't contaminate an entire bottle of finish. The problem has always been that I can't leave a bowl of finish or antique unsupervised or I'll have at least one cat in it. This time around I realized that the baby food jars I had kept are perfect because they have a big enough mouth to fit my brushes in and they have lids so they can be closed up. I also discovered that it works well for glue as well because it allows me to apply it with a brush.
Sunday, September 03, 2006
Last weekend I also did a bit of experimenting with making earrings using silver wire and gemstone beads. They're kind of hard to explain so I'm going to be getting some pictures tomorrow to post.
I'm not sure what to start on next. I'll keep going on the jewelry of course, but I've got some large sewing projects that I need to work on along with trying to rearrange my craft supply stash.
Sunday, August 27, 2006
I ended up being able to make 5 quarts of dill pickles from the cucmbers that E harvested from the garden. I think I like doing that way. It was a good amount of pickles to make but it didn't take me all weekend to do it and I wasn't wiped out when I got done. E suggest that since A is considering doing a garden at her house maybe we can look at planting a bunch of pickling cucumbers next year. I think it might be a good idea because it would allow me to make pickles at a nice relaxed pace.
In other project newsI got the paper cut and punched and the leather cut out for the sign in book. I don't think I'm going to get a chance to do any tooling today since I need to finish up housework and get a shower in, but I should be able to on e of the next few nights after work.
Friday, August 25, 2006
And I will post pictures once I get the sign in book done.
Monday, August 21, 2006
This was a design that I came up with as I was drifting off to sleep one night. It isn't exactly the way I first imagined it, ut it is a very elegant style. Once I get more of the silver tube beads I'm going to make a similar bracelet for myself, although I may use different stones. Unfortunately, it'll be a few weeks before I can work on it because I have to wait for the beads to get here from Thailand.
After getting a few inquiries I decided to try to make some anklets. This is the first one and it is rainbow fluorite and silver. I like the way the design turned out for the most part, but I had a hard time coming to terms with the idea that it had to be so much longer than a bracelet. I decided it was going to be too long, took a bead off each side and then realized I didn't need to. I think as time goes on I'll get a bit more comfortable with making them.
Friday, August 11, 2006
This was a fun one to design. I saw the S-hook clasp with the rose on it as part of a mixed lot of clasps and just had to get it. I then found rose charms that matched it and leaf charms that looked a bit like rose leaves and designed the bracelet. The fun part is the way that the clasp is part of the whole design, that than just a closure.
This was an interesting experiment because it is braided. I'd like to try that again, but I think I need to work out a better technique for the braiding. The beads in this bracelet are labrodorite disks and dyed freshwater pearls.
I really love the charms on this one because they are also bells. It makes it a fun little design.
We had picked up the rainbow fluorite bear beads last year and hadn't used them so I decided to try to work out a design for them. I decided that something simple would be bed to focus on the bears and I think it worked out well.
Thursday, August 10, 2006
This was an interesting experiment. The design is based very loosely on a pattern I saw in Beadwork magazine. The original pattern used glass seed beads and small silver beads, and had more strands, but I liked the effect and the use of the cones so I gave it a try in this bracelet using small freshwater pearls and carnelian beads.
This ia another somewhat experimental design, I saw jewelry in a catalog where briolettes were used like normal beads rather than as focal points and I thought I'd give it a try with these small garnet briolettes and the larger white potato pearls.
This is a slightly different design for me. I had been looking for ways to use the cognac sapphires and thought I'd see how they worked with the pearls and silver. I think it works well especially with the silver beads separating each of the other groups from each other.
And this last one is proof that I do make something other than bracelets. This is a set of pearl and cognac sapphire earrings that somewhat match the bracelet above.
Monday, August 07, 2006
This one is a single strand silver bracelet with heart charms. All of the silver beads and the charms are made by the Thai Karen Hill Tribes.
This one is blue quartz roundelles and black lace agate interspersed with silver beads. It's definitely a design I'm not too sure about, but I expect there is someone who would like it.
Saturday, August 05, 2006
Thi sone is mahogany obsidian and dark honey amber with Thai Karen silver tube beads. I love the interplay for the different browns in it and it is a simple design that works well if you want to wear it with other bracelets. This is actually the second one I made for myself, the first one I sold to a co-worker because she liked it so much.
This bracelet is rhodochrosite, platinum pearls and Bali silver. The pearls work really well with this I think because they are understated so they don't overwhelm the rhodochrosite.
More dark amber, but this time with carnelian roundelles and Thai Karen wrap beads. I love these particular beads for the texture they can add due to the wrapping.
This one is african plum rubies and lavender pearls (the color doesn't really show up well in this picture, but they are pale lavender) And Thai Karen knot wrap beads. This is another silver bead I love and I'm really impressed with the intricacy of them, they are strips of silver that have been stamped and then woven into knots.
More pictures to come, I grabbed the camera this week and got a bunch of pictures of various pieces I've made and I'll be adding them over the next week or so. Mostly bracelets but I did get pictures of a few pairs of earrings too.
Sunday, July 16, 2006
It's gard to tell in this picture, but the the space past the leaf beads on each side is double strand. The flower charm is flipped over too, it looks like a poppy. (Unfortunately I can't get new pictures because this bracelet was part of the big sale to the Museum store.)
Another double strand bracelet , this one has a large melon bead with a flower stamped on it as a centerpiece.
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
This one is amazonite and labradorite with Karen Hill tribe silver beads. I wasn't sure if they would work together, but in the end it is a nice combination. The iridescence in the labradorite is similar to the color of the amazonite and that brought it all together.
This one is cherry pearls with faceted garnets and silver. We use a lot of freshwater pearls a lot because they are inexpensive and you can find a wide range of colors (either dyed or irradiated). This is another one where I wasn't sure about the combination but it worked really well.
This one is pink coral and white quartz with silver. It's a fun little bracelet, especially with the silver butterfly beads. I love working with the Karen Hill Tribe beads because they have shaped beads like that. I think it really adds to a design.
Saturday, July 01, 2006
Sunday, June 18, 2006
Sunday, June 11, 2006
As you can see above they are pretty simple things to make. You take a length of cord, tie a charm on one end, string around a inch worth of beads on that end of the cord, knot it, and then do the same on the other end. The big advantage is that it's very difficult to pull these out of a book.
Friday, June 02, 2006
Saturday, May 20, 2006
The toy is made of a green polyurethene cord called Paulie cord tied onto a metal ring, with plastic pony beads and foam beads strung on it.
Saturday, May 13, 2006
Below is a close up of the center of the bracelet and the hammer. It is a sterling silver reproduction of a Thor's hammer that was found in Birka. I like it because it is small enough to fit in a bracelet and it has a simple design. It was amazing how hard it was to find it too. The trend in Thor's hammers appears to be big, and highly decorated. I did find out that there is a wide selection of sterling silver charms out there for a lot of other religions though, so if I ever get a commission that includes a charm like that I know where to look.
The beads are silver beads made by the Thai Karen hill tribes and are just amazing. All of the findings and the fly charm are sterling silver.
Thursday, May 11, 2006
It's a bit hard to tell because the pictures are a bit blurry, but the toy is made out of thin strips of leather which were tied onto a solid right, then pony beads and little wicker balls were strung onto them. It was really easy to make, and as you can see the girls like it quite a bit. I've gotten some more ideas for other bird toys and I'll probably try to make them up and give to A to try out in their regular cage at home.
Sunday, April 30, 2006
Saturday, April 08, 2006
Sunday, April 02, 2006
I just gave in and laced the strap together and onto the satchel tonight. Finished the strap is long enough that I can wear it across my body and the satchel is at about hip length which is perfect since I intend to use it to carry my wallet and so on in it at events.
Now I have to find something else to work on.