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).

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Crazy for Bracelets

Flower of the Southwest
Short-sleeve weather always makes me think of bracelets, so I've gone a little crazy making bracelets. I have this hoard of bracelet bars from Captured Moments on Etsy, and I've always adored the embossing and glaze on these "copper brown" ones--just like tooled leather! I thought, well, tooled leather--has to be Southwest. So I hauled out my bin of turquoise, and my small stash of Hill Tribes silver paraphernalia, my silver wire, sheet, and torch and got to work. This is what transpired! I tossed in a little Red Creek Jasper, Wood Jasper, and Tiger Eye to repeat the coffee/caramel browns, as well as a sprinkling of sterling silver freeform nuggets that I cannibalized years ago from a Coldwater Creek bracelet I had bought.

I have been really into knotting lately, and my remaining stash (which is generous) of drilled beach stones seemed made for waxed linen cording, so I went for an all-neutrals palette with this bracelet below, and what is more neutral than Botswana agate? I love the grays, and taupes, and creams, and almost-pinks.
I love love LOVE the striping on the agate, and I was doubly thrilled to have a chance to use some more of my Silverleaf Jasper rondelles. I love these sweet little beads. I found several strands of "donut heishi" Botswana agate that were perfect for covering up termination points at clasp areas--it's like a little stone bouquet!

For the next four bracelets, I decided to go back to a style I used to use a lot--a curved focal piece, with either a beaded strap, some chain, or a solid metal "underbar" that fastens with a toggle closure. This bracelet was designed around some delicious "wing dings" by Geneal Crivello-Knabe of Genea Beads. I LOVE these colors.
Sweet Tarts
I did them up in copper, as I thought it would compliment the fall colors, and accented them with lampwork spacers in pale apple green and olive from The Spacer Bead Shop (Etsy), and lampwork rondelles in amber from Happy Mango Beads. I couldn't help dangling a few things from it--A little pale carnelian donut, a Picasso Czech glass teardrop in variegated olive from Stinky dog Beads, and a funky copper bead from Jewelry Supply. I made the toggle closure from a couple of my embossed copper rings, and one of my hand-forged wrapped toggle bars.

Then I dipped into my stash of recycled glass from Happy Mango Beads. Creature of habit that I am, I couldn't stay away from the sea green and azure beads. The bracelet below was built around some tulip-shaped recycled glass beads--the first time I have used these. Perfect size for the focal on a simple bracelet.
Art Deco Tulip
I got all clever and added a couple triangular copper beads to echo the shape of the glass bead. The chain is one of my favorites from Lima Beads. I love the Art Deco shape to these glass beads--this stylized lotus/tulip shape is so iconic to that era.

For this bracelet, I harkened back to the hinged bangle bracelets I used to make with lampwork--this one sports a rectangle of recycled glass flanked by two donut shapes, with one of my wrapped "underbars." I love the rustic feel of these beads! I like how they look with glossy, burnished copper.
I love how this semi-matte glass glows--there's nothing more luminous than etched glass! Except maybe a light bulb.

This bracelet was constructed around some recycled glass tablets from Happy Mango--one in transparent azure, one in solid teal, and another in a lovely robin's egg blue. I went dual-metal with this one--sterling/fine silver and copper. The underbar is heavy-gauge copper wrapped with 22 gauge fine silver wire, and the focal section is also wrapped with fine silver wire (its pliability is so nice for wrapping).
Caribbean Dreams
I love how the light comes through that glass! I adore the bubbles and flaws in it--just more things for the light to reflect off of.

Well that's all I got for now! Hope you are all enjoying your Sunday evening.

Monday, June 1, 2015

The Bird and the Dragonfly

The Bird
I have my own stash of Czech, Mykonos and other fabulous goodies from Stinky Dog Beads--I have been hoarding these Czech bird and dragonfly coins, trying to think of a design that would really showcase them. They're a smaller size--perfect for a modest choker-length necklace, bold earrings, or a layered set of necklaces--but I wanted to make a giant pendant out of them. I swear I wracked my brain for weeks (but my brain wasn't working too good at the time so it wouldn't have normally taken that long) trying to think of how to construct a bead frame (never did that before) and hang the coin from the inside. When my brain started working again I came up with this design.

I combined the lovely persimmon-hued bird (with subtle greenish Picasso effect) with pale carnelian, ivory bone, poppy jasper, a little more Czech glass, and my oval link chain.
My Stinky Dog Coin Stash
I went with same design with a gorgeous green and lavender dragonfly bead, matching it up with white shell, faceted glass in deep amethyst, green opal, olive green snakeskin agate, and Czech glass roundels in olive and periwinkle.
The Dragonfly
I used the rest of my oval chain, and one of my poppy caps on the long agate spear.

I really like how they turned out!

I would love to turn the little yellow bird up there into a knotted choker, with silver and turquoise blue beads. It would be part of my Yellow Desensitization therapy (I seem to have a psychological aversion to canary-type yellow colors, and I am trying to overcome it.)

Stop by Stinky Dog Beads and check out the delectable offerings!