Sunday, October 22, 2006

Some more bracelets

I worked on jewelry yesterday so I have a few more pictures to post here.

This was a bit of an experiment, because I wanted to use the green dragon tiles but I wasn't sure quite what to use with them. In the end I used two different colors of jade which worked well.

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

Bamboo Aventurine Necklace

As promised, here are pictures of my most recent project, one on the display bust and then a closeup with the flash.

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

No really, I'm still alive

Yes, it's been a while since I last posted and I swear I have project pictures to post. I plan on putting them up over the weekend when I'm a bit more awake and a bit more coordinated. I just thought I'd post a quick note and do a quick little magazine review. I had a meeting at Barnes & Noble last night and ended up wandering over to the magazine racks. I was looking for the fall issue of Stringing but it isn't out until the end of the month. What I did end up picking up was a copy of a new magazine Craft. I'm not sure if I'm in the target demographic at all, I don't feel quite hip and edgy enough, but I think it's good to have something marketed to the younger crafters out there. There were definitely a couple of projects I am interested in, one on making hard cider which is something I really want to try one of these days and there was also directions on really cool wall mounted cat furniture out of corrugated cardboard. There's also a couple projects that have techniques that are amazingly creative, but not things I would try or come up with. One is the holders for the tea lights for the Random Screen which are made out of drink cans and are designed to turn from the heat of the tea light. I'm just blown away by this, I could never come up with something like that. I'd love to see that in action, but large number of cats + fire = many bad things.

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.)