Saturday, March 29, 2008

YOJ: Week 12 not on topic...

Not on topic this week, and I'm actually late with this entry.. time is an issue right now.. but I really liked how this necklace turned out, it has a very romantic, vintage feel to it. Course the button is actually a vintage button! I'm not sure how old it is, I got it at an estate sale years ago. I have a bead show to sell beads and findings at next weekend, and in the process of sorting beads and such I re-found this in my collection, and I just had to make something using it. I used gold filled wire to make the button into a pendant, used some vintage blue iris fire polish I had handy, and 5 different colors of seed beads for the necklace part.
I had in my stash this very elegant goldfilled clasp, which I think goes along with the whole vintage feel.
I've been trying hard to improve my photography, and I'm very please with the first picture... I've been playing with angles and I think this turned out great !

I recently had a home jewelry show hosted by my sister ( HI Gretchie!! ) She took these pictures for me, I thought the set up looked great in her basement! If you are in the Des Moines, IA area and would like to host a show just drop me a line, I'd be happy to work out a date with you! As the hostess you get free jewelry and a great excuse to gather friends and have a great time!
Last picture, playing around with leaf shaped earwires.. however with the choice of colors, this make me think of Easter eggs instead...

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

YOJ: Week 11 off topic "Garden Trellis"

I just couldn't come up with anything for this week's theme, partly because the theme doesn't grab me, and partly I"m so unfocused the last few weeks. I mostly blame my cold/ear infection/sinus infection/ whatever the heck it is .... Since Saturday 3/8/08 I feel like I stuffed 2 ever lasting and buzzing kitchen timers in my ears and packed them in with cotton. I hear a very loud buzzing constantly in my ears, and all other sounds are muffled to the point I can't really hear. I have occational sharp pain, dull pain and incredibly strong pressure in my ears. Since my day job is working at the phone company, and what a surprise!-- I'm on the phone alot... work has been such a joy this week! (really heavy sarcasm )

So I've not been very productive in my studio this week. I finally broke down and went to the doctor today, and in addition to the 2 antibiotics I'm already on, she added 3 different discongestions and steroids for the next few days. I'm hopeful my hearing will come back in a day or 2, and maybe the buzzing will stop before I go postal.

So back to the subject... we are going out of town and I didn't want to be late for week 11, especially since I'm still working at Week 9. Hopefully next week I'll get it done, assuming I feel better by then. So I present something I made just before I got sick, 2 weeks ago: "Garden Trellis" The lovely colorful hollow bead was a birthday present for me from a dear friend, Jodi Brindley. I'm sad to say, it was a birthday present from 2 or 3 years ago!! Sometimes you just don't know what to make something into. It's been sitting around the studio either put away or in the " I really need to do something with this " pile. Part of the problem is I wanted to keep the bead, and sometimes I have a hard time sitting down and just making me something other than quick earrings ( I have lots of earrings!! ) I don't want to take the time out of my limited stock and "waste" it on me I guess... Part of the problem is with the bead in the normal direction it is almost clear.. all the great limes and purples are on the sides of the bead by the holes. (if you look in the 3rd picture you will see what I mean) So I knew I wanted to mount it somehow that would show off the great swirls of color.
I was goofing off making something like a star pendant out of spirals and realized it would make a great base for a focal bead... I started digging around my stash and re found Jodi's bead and I know I had it !! I added crystals, little hooks and a chain and boom! first necklace I made for me in a long long time. I call it garden trellis because I think positioned this way the bead looks like a really kewl flower, and the wire makes me think of a trellis fence to hold the big heavy flower up to the sun. It's a keeper!!

I just wanted to add a plug of sorts: Janet Brown of profiled some of my work, it's her march 09, 2008 entry. Thanks Janet!

A couple of other items of recent vintage: another pin, I think I'm getting better at these. This is bone bead with cloisonne on the ends. Another pendant and earrings made with great 2 holed garnets. It's hard to see in the photo, but the garnets have this great hand bezeled look to them. Last, a pair of earrings with handmade earwires.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

YOJ: Week 10 Pisces

OK, I'm temporary skipping Week 9 (Hidden meaning) as I'm not done with that piece... it involves soldering, which haven't got set up yet to do.. I've got the equipment and materials but due to RL and the bloody cold and flu fairy visiting my household over the last 2 weeks.. repetitively... I just haven't gotten it done. Besides, with a massive ear infection (in additional to the worst sinus cold I can remember) , I'm having dizzy periods, and I just don't think I should handle a torch at 2000 degrees if I'm not steady. Or sneezing. Or coughing uncontrollably. Fire + illness = bad.

I'm not terribly pleased with Pisces either, but just like the Kat I am, I only like to eat fish.. thinking about them doesn't really do much for me. Still for a quickie wire pendant, I think this works. I used sterling silver in 16ga and hammered and wrapped them. Finally I got the size right, it's maybe 2 inches across. Despite my diseased state of late, I've managed to work on other pieces... below is sterling silver and amethyst and this one I"m quite pleased with. I love the flowing of there sterling silver.. it's 16ga hammered and textured, and then I bent it into the shape it's in.. and wired the huge ( it's like 20mm) amethyst bead in. It's very hard to shape wire when it's hammered to death like this, unless you anneal it, which is something I hope to set up to do shortly... see above about illness and RL and general lack of time. Once I"m set up I want to play with making textured "ribbon" some more... For those not up to date on metal working terms, Annealing is the process of softening the metal up via heat. When you work with metal, especially with a hammer, you work harden it. You work it too much and you can break it.. think about a paperclip repetitively twisted until it breaks, same idea. While I like how this turned out, I know if I annealed it first, making it softer, it would have been easier to bend where I wanted it, and make the curves more natural. Last piece this week is a bangle bracelet, made on 14ga sterling, and 20 ga twisted wire.