Tuesday, December 18, 2007

YOJ: Week 50, 51 and 52 end of the year, but not the road....

I'm cheating alittle bit here, all of the stuff I'm posting I've made in the last month or 2. It's not that the topics don't inspire me, it's just between sickness, shows, work and family, and the freaking holidays, I don't have time and I"m stressed out, and I've hardly done any jewelry in the last few weeks.. mostly plug inventory leaks type stuff. So I"m going to take the pressure off and just post the last three weeks worth, and I"ll bet money then i"ll be wanting to play and create.. and if I do, I"ll post better stuff then. Week 50: Beneath my feet, ocean floor and warm and fuzzy. Here is a lovely pendant made out of ocean Jasper. I love the triangle shape so I did the spirals to match it. Well call this the ocean floor and call it a week.

Week 51: Sleeping earth, O Christmas Tree, and Decorating. Well what is more sleeping earth than fossils? so here are 2 fossil pendants. Again dig the crazy triangle shape! and the long drop shapes. The fossils are soo kewl, I thought they speak for themselves so only the simplest of embellishments were needed.

Christmas tree.. this is a pin in copper, I think it's 16 ga, I really like this, it's a half tree, trying for something really artsy.. thought this would look cute like on a winter scarf. No one else seems to get it through. I have to keep explaining it.
decorating: I love this star!! It's very colorful.. used 20 ga wire on the frame, and used a jig to make it.. I"ve got like 3 jigs and I hardly ever use them, but I"ll have to consider them more in the future, it made making the frame really fast! And the star is very even.. then again I'm more of the freeform star type but still, very fun!! I'm thinking this technique would make great flowers also.

Week 52: Renewal of life, Fertile Valley, and promise of the Sun King. OK, total miss on this one, unless you count fertile as imagination. Here are 4 earrings I've made recently. Banded onyx, lovely stuff, just totally free forming on these. Lots of ideas are still playing in my head for the rest of the strand. Next, from a bead mag, different style of ear wires. Not sure about how much I like these, but it's a kewl idea. Then heart earrings, these turned out great! Last, another shot at different type of earrwires, I like these better than the triangle ones. There you have it, the last of Year of Jewelry 2007!! I can't wait for 2008!!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

YOJ: week 48 & 49

Here is a quickie, I've got 2 more shows and then I'm done, so I'm just trying to catch up. First is a watch made with triangle shaped pearls. They Have 2 holes, so I bought them thinking "watch". Worked up nicely! Then I played to make the earrings. I really liked the earrings, I thought it hi-lighted the 2 holes... someone agreed with me, as they were stolen at a recent show. Nope not bitter, as Karma will catch up to them. (Ok, my snarky side is thinking ear infection would be nice!!! Karma should be poetic don't you think??)

This piece is called Earth Doodles. Each link is different. I used 20 ga and fancy jasper. Matching earrings of course.

Here are just a couple of other items I've made recently, another fancy jasper piece. ( I just love fancy jasper! The colors! ) Another example of 2 holed beads, this time just in a bracelet. Love the matching earrings to this one!! very colorful, and a spiral to boot! My favorite things!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

YOJ: Week 47: earthy contemporary

This is fossil jasper, with some pearls and sterling. I made the necklace first, really liked it, decided it needed the full treatment, so bracelet and earrings followed. Now it seems lately with sets I"ll sell the earrings 1 or 2 times before someone has to have the whole set, so I've been making 2 to 3 earrings a set, but the earrings are different. Hard to make the same thing twice!! Usually 1 fancy set, and 1 simpler set. I really like the earrings I made last in this set, with the silver hammered loops. I used 18 or 16 ga for them, and textured them with this great hammer I got at Bead & Button.. I made the hoops tear shaped to echo the shape of the necklace drops. The card is leaning against something, but they are perfectly balanced when you wear them... they swing freely in the hoops.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Week 46: ok, so I"m not on topic.... and odds and ends

Just a quickie to get caught up. I don't have a name for this one, I made it a couple of weeks ago out of copper. One of the mags recently had a scrolled project in it, this is my take. I've done it in 16 ga copper, I slightly flattened with a hammer before wrapping the coils, and then lightly afterwards. I added a vintage crystal from a chandelier. The finish on the crystal has turned slightly yellow with age, which in this piece I think really adds to it! I really like how it turned out, really need to play with this style of wirework more! I'm counting this as week 46. I will be on topic for 47, it's done, just haven't gotten the photo's ready yet, and with the holiday this week I probably won't have a chance til Sunday. I've also got a few pendants and one pair of earrings to show also. The first is a heart pendant, a quick and easy one with a vintage crystal, fun to make though. The 2nd is carnelian agate with black crystals. Earrings are based on an earring I found in Israel, before I made jewelry. It was a broken earring I found on the streets of Tel Aviv, and like a mag-pie I scooped it up. The earring had black glass bead from India instead of the vintage starlight crystal I used. I made my earring longer also, and added the extra scroll/spirals.... again another style to play with more.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

YOJ: Week 45 Interconnections

Let's start out with 2 of my babies. Today Jupiter (18 lbs) and Jezzibell (19 lbs) are guarding the dirty laundry. Now why the are guarding the dirty laundry, I don't know. I asked them, this is the look they gave me. Cute though! The knee is of one of my other babies, my real baby, Jesscera.

OK, what can have more interconnections than chainmaile? Nothing!!! Last month I took a class in byzantine chain. I took it with my good friends from South Dakota on a road trip. We met in the middle, Omaha, NE. (Hi Cathie, Hi Sue! ) We had a blast! We set up a mini bead convention /sleep over in our hotel room. It took 3 carts ( one for each of us ) to get our stuff in the hotel room, the hotel staff thought we were nuts ( we are) and even asked us how many people were staying in the room. I'm not sure they believed us when we stated only 3. We stayed up too late, talking, beading and eating. Good fun by all! Anyway we start out the adventure with this class because Cathie wanted to learn it, and Sue and I were certainly agreeable. Here's the funny... I've sort of knew how to do it already, but I'd not tried it in 3 years. Sue likes to play with wire already. Cathie was sort of the wire "virgin" as she's not tried much as of yet. So of course she aced the class and caught on faster than the rest of us!!!! LOL. We all got the hang of it, it's actually one of the easiest to learn, and they showed us a couple of variations in class. We all ran out of rings finishing up projects in the hotel room that night! I ended up doing the variation. This bracelet is a keeper -- I made it with my good, good friends on a wonderful weekend (talk about connections!!!!) and it's darn gorgeous to boot. I used 8mm 5000 swarovski rounds in jewel tones. I made matching earrings, but I guess I didn't get a pic of them.. Also here is the 2nd bracelet I made that weekend, in black crystals. Aha! I have a pic of the earrings for that one! The black one is for the table. I can't wait until the next BeadCon with the gals!!
I've been wanting to do more with rings since.. I ordered some rings, but I got the AR (Aspect Ratio) wrong, but they worked great for another chain, called Queen's Link. Since I"m getting ready for the Waterloo Holiday Arts show ( tomorrow! ) I've been in a Christmas mood... watching Christmas favorites ( White Christmas, Love Actually, Holiday Inn, etc) and making mostly Simple Christmas items. Anyway, I used Aluminum rings to make this bracelet I call it "candy-cane" and it has a small pewter charm of a candy cane to boot. I'll be making more of these. Here are some pics of other holiday jewelry I've been working on the last few days! Wish me luck on tomorrow's show!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

YOJ: Week 44 "Moonlight"

This is one of the most frustrating weeks of YOJ for me, and one of my finest. Let me explain. Last week, completely without good inspiration, I googled for a cheat. What I mean is when the subject doesn't conjure pictures for me, I 'll go to google's image search, drop in the phrase for the week, and see if the visuals kick start me somehow. OK, this week I had 3 choices. Cities of the world, lots of pretty cityscape's, but not really my bag. Midnight Stars seems to be the name of some rock group and at least 3 different books. Not a thing for me. So Moonlight Sonata ( which sounds darn pretty but I couldn't get any specific images ), being third was the third search I made. Imagine my surprise when several pics of sheets of music came up, so it's like, oh, it's a song.. alittle research and a quick side trip to You Tube, and I realize it's just about my favorite piece from Beethoven!!!! Gosh I felt stupid. I'm horrible with names, but with the first 3 notes I knew I knew it!!! And boy did that set off a whole cascade of thoughts and images!!!! I made about 5 sketches in rapid response, and scurried up to the beadroom to find the beads I needed to make this wonderful idea a reality.
Time for the frustration. I, who my hubby thinks I own every bead ever made, or at least thinks I've made him carry them at least 3 times, couldn't find the right beads!!!!!!!! argggh!!!!!! I spent a couple of hours on the net trying to find the beads to make this vision of wonderfulness come to life, to no avail. I won't go into the details, because this idea will now lurk in the back of my head until I find the right beads, and whatever the cost, the beads will be mine, and my homage to Beethoven's 14th Sonata will be made!!!!!!!
However this left me up the bead creek without a needle, and I finally just gave up on doing that piece on Saturday. The rest of Saturday, after all my normal chores and all the made up ones that my family comes up with, which means about 3pm, I go up to the bead room and start goofing with wire and such, trying to come up with something, anything for this weeks' theme. (At the bottom of the blog you can see a few of them.) I gave up, and decided I didn't have to be on topic this week after all... it's not mandatory, it's just a guide to get the creative juices flowing, which it had done.. it's not the topic's fault I didn't have the right stinkin' beads to get the job done. (yet!! )

I have a full box of charms, and I decided I'd not made any jewelry lately with the charms, so rummaging through them, I found this double sided moon. That got me thinking about Midnight stars actually.. as in, how do you tell the stars are at night? why, because the moon is out, silly! ( yes, I talk to myself when I create. Yes the beads answer me, the Capri 8mm Roundel Bead on the left has the next question....) So I started to play around with that concept. Somewhere around 1am I got this idea to put the charm on a huge Labradorite bead I had, which then made me remember some wonderful Labradorite beads I bought at Bead & Button this year, and I scribbled a design in my sketch pad. It looked like a moon on a circle for the pendant, with little circles for the necklace. Since my drawing ability sucks, my little circles looked like 2 or 3 circles on top of each other, which made me think of spirals, and a-ha! I'll do spirals on the necklace!!! ( for regular fans, spirals will not be a surprise. For first time readers, I really love spirals in wire.. it's just so much fun and earthy and organic feeling, and they are just plain fun to make!! ) I should have taken a picture of the sketch, it really doesn't resemble the final piece at all, but that's what makes this week's piece so fine!!!! Sometimes the idea in your head is better than what you actually make, and sometimes its so much better than what your head originally says, your not sure how it happened. I got both this week, with the idea I can't do (frustration) and the idea that turned into "Moonlight" (finest)

The spirals on the pendant component are made with 18 GA sterling with crystals ( I've been wanting to try that variation for ages, I love how the double spirals look plain and now I like how they look embellished)

The link components are also 18 GA, along wit the clasp. I like how the matching earrings ended up, fun to design them, I also made a "plain" pair which I don't have shown here, it's just the lentil beads on a ear wire. Also shown this week are the 2 pairs of cross earrings I made, 1 pair made with 21 GA wire and the other are the vintage crystal crosses. Last is a pendant in bloodstone, I hammered the wire before I put it on the bead, I like the look, but it looks incomplete to me.. like it needs dangles or something... hum.... I wonder what's in the bead stash that would look good with Bloodstone........

Sunday, October 28, 2007

YOJ: Week 43: Queen of the Harvest

It's soooo nice to be on topic!! I actually started this a few months ago, lost interest, and then thinking of topics remembered the color scheme of this piece, which is just perfect for this time of year! "Queen of the Harvest" has 4 different pearls, and 6 different types of seed beads. Gorgeous drape! Originally, I was going to add a 2nd row, but I really liked how this looks and lays with just 1 row, so 1 it is!! Matching earrings of course.

Since Queen lacks wire working here are a couple of other things I've done recently from the shop. These lovely cobalt earrings have just the right amount of wire work on them, and then this brown glass pendant was another experiment that didn't quite go as planned, but I like the results. I think this linear design would look great with crystals, say 6 or 8 mm.

Since the season seems to be influencing my color choices right now, here is yet another brown item, a 2 strand bracelet. I have a huge stash of large sterling silver beads, and most of them I never even look at... so most of this bracelet was hmm.. time to use up some of those holdouts!! It was fun to use up some of my larger guys... and I think I will do a few more in this vein. Yes it makes them expensive, but it looks great!! and feels great to make. Sometimes I look at the cost of my materials and it inhibits me... I'm afraid the final piece will be sooo pricey no one will buy it. I am trying to get away from this, as anything that acts as a brake on the creative process is a bad thing. With this in mind I used a very expensive but definitely kewl clasp that I think goes perfectly with it!! I'll tell you something else, I am normally hesitant to use brown with silver, but now that I've made several pieces in the last few weeks with brown and silver, I think it looks great! I just wish the picture was better... it's got petersite, pearls and a few vintage crystals. What fun!