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).

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Clean Your Plate, Then You Can Have Dessert

The "dessert" being NEW designs--so I "cleaned my plate" and turned these etched tabs that had been lying around into more tube bail earrings (even though I was already bored with the idea, kind of like being bored with your peas):
Hippie Princess
The wonderful blood red dotted ovals are Czech glass from ArteBellaSurplus, and the rustic striped multicolor beads are Indonesian glass from Happy Mango Beads.

The damask pattern on these earrings makes me think of wallpaper in a posh old-timey Hollywood hotel. I decided to go monochrome, with champagne-colored beads--the big citrine ovals have the barest hint of color, and the pearls are a lovely pale sand color.
Champagne Cocktails with Grace Kelly
For some reason these make me think of Grace Kelly.

These below were more of a "foldover" bail I call it, that I flipped upside down for earrings. There was something sort of Incan about them (I'm sure an Incan would disagree, don't ask me how my mind works), so I added some chrysocolla. That seemed kind of Incan. Somehow.
Just sold, sorry
I seem to have a vague memory that some ancient Central American kingdom made their king wear a hat like this. Maybe that's what I'm thinking of.

I knew it.

Not so crazy after all.

These are the same design as the first two, but lightly colored with gilder's paste. These have fluorite and hessonite from Lima Beads. I really wish I had gotten a full strand of the fluorite.

Sold to a Canadian, sorry
These are hessonite and amethyst, also from Lima Beads. I am now a huge fan of hessonite. These remind me of a Chinese dragon.
Lilac Dragon
These turned out very girly. Pink and blue! The beads are angelite and moukaite, with Czech glass on the earwires.
My Grandma's Quilt
This last pair feel very Art Deco to me--like an Art Deco sunset!
Also gone, so sorry
So now I am done with the tube bail earring and I can move on. I did my usual thing--when I made the first couple pair, I was so excited about them I cut out a zillion of these tabs thinking I'M GOING TO MAKE A MILLION OF THESE!!! and then promptly lost interest. But after leaving them lying around forever I decided to do the grown-up thing and finish what I started. Now if only I could do that with my Roman shade project.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Clouds and Keyholes

Kimono Clouds
I created this double sided focal eons ago, and this is the third color scheme I've tried on it. The first--a traditional patina--didn't take at all, so I went to gilder's paste. I didn't like the first thing I did with that so I took it all off with paint thinner and sandpaper and started over. I heated the metal to a deep orange with my clothes iron, and applied just a light wash of color over that with the gilder's paste using my finger. I was thinking of clouds when I designed my shape, and these traditional Japanese wave and cloud patterns seemed just perfect for it!

The beads include (from the bottom) bronzite, rainbow moonstone, angelite, copper beads, blue sponge coral, tiger iron, more angelite and moonstone, and then little roundels of denim lapis. Finished off with round leather cord in a rich cocoa and short lengths of chain. I've had the bronzite and moonstone forever, and discovered today I also had tiger iron! I vaguely remember buying it. I like using forgotten beads from my stash.
I am really enjoying etching, and making these double-sided, tube-riveted focals. I get to color TWICE! I am trying to think of new shapes to do. I am thinking of some house shapes.

I also finished these earrings yesterday, using the first pair of charms from my Gardanne Beads haul I told you about yesterday. Little tiny pumpkin keyholes! With the striped Indonesian beads they feel Gypsy-like to me (of course those striped beads are from Happy Mango Beads; blue etched lampwork spacers are from Julie Miller Glass on Etsy). I don't know why, whenever I use those striped beads I think of Gypsies. Do Gypsies wear stripes? Where did I get that? Maybe I'm thinking of striped circus tents. The little keyholes could be on the door of Cinderella's pumpkin coach.
Pumpkin Keyholes
Well, that's all for now. I'm tuckered out, time to hit the couch!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Giving In to Temptation (Again)

GardanneBeads Booty
Look at this fabulous haul from Gardanne Beads! I've always loved enamel but have never really taken the plunge and bought some. So glad I did! I'm blown away by the colors, patterns and shapes of Anne's work. Look at the sand dollars!!

Beadcaps!! I love colored beadcaps, and these are divine. I love the glassy depth of enamel, it's unlike anything else.

Fabulous focal elements! I couldn't resist that azure and lime butterfly. I am thinking peridot and lapis...

Glorious lampwork too! I especially love the organic-looking encased ones. Like northern lights captured in ice!

Be on the lookout for lots of earrings with enamel elements, and a few necklaces with this fabulous lampwork!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Yes, I Do Actually Still Make Jewelry

Sometimes you just can't see it because it's going straight to Italy. Or to my Mom's house.
The Celtic Abbess
This one is a custom creation for my good friend and customer in Italy (the only person I do custom work for, so don't get any ideas. What can I say, she's special). It was a collaboration, based on an old design of mine that morphed into something different. I created the medallion from 26 gauge sterling silver sheet, creating three stylized poppy blossoms, texturing them with foreign coins, and riveting them together. The stones include moss agate, prehnite, and quartz. The gorgeous "avocado" hand-dyed/sewn silk ribbon is from Jamn Glass.

I created this bracelet to go with it:
Sterling silver button from Cathy Dailey.

I created this bracelet to coordinate with a necklace that I made a LONG time ago that is finally finding a home. I used aragonite and apple jade (I'm not exactly sure what kind of stone that is, but the color assortment is definitely apples--well, apples and caramel apples):
I made the brass button myself--I made a bunch of them! In copper too. I can't wait to use them all.

(Here is the unloved necklace, with golden jade, from eons ago--re-antiqued, tumbled and lacquer-sealed):

And here is another of my etched, double-sided pendants colorized with gilder's paste:

A dragonfly! The little transparent teal glass beads are Indonesian, from Happy Mango Beads. The three big black and teal beads are long-hoarded lampwork by Kelley Wenzel. I have a few more that I am still hoarding. This is the first design that seemed worthy of them! I touch them regularly. I made some ladder chain for it, I haven't done that in a while.

The pendant is reversible, there are different patterns with similar coloration on the other side:

This li'l dragonfly is going to live with my Mommy.

This pendant was made to coordinate with a bracelet from my shop (etched brass pendants by me):

I am in LOVE with these lampwork beads. They are from Lampwork by Amy. Amy lives in Canada. They're like confetti inside!! She has more like this in her shop and I WANT THEM. And I want all the other stuff in her shop. Except maybe the cremains beads. Not those. I'm like a dragon with gold. Sleeping on a big fat pile of lampwork beads. Or like a crack ho'.

Look at them:
"Straw Fire"
Just look at them. I want to re-buy them now.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Technically It's Still Spring

Spring Leaves
I created these three double-sided etched leaves EONS ago, and couldn't decide whether to simply antique them or add color. They went through a few iterations--putting the finish on, and taking it off--before I settled on this light wash of color via gilder's paste. (The trick to durability is to first give the surface a lot of tooth with coarse-grit sandpaper, degrease thoroughly (I like a mixture of citric acid crystals and Dawn dishwashing liquid), and apply verrrry light films of the paste. I sealed these with multiple coats of Permalac and then Renaissance Wax).

In the meantime, during my most recent (apparently ongoing) bead-binge (what is WRONG with me), I acquired these celery green chalcedony ovals and rustic little robin's egg Indonesian blue glass beads from Happy Mango. They were perfect for my leaves! Here's the other side of the leaves:

These leaves are based on a template I had previously used for another necklace, and I wanted to use the same asymmetrical configuration again. I etched them this time instead of embossing them, and added some color.

I have some dragonfly wings I prepared similarly, in different colors, that are awaiting their debut. Stay tuned!