Archive for February, 2010

Brass and Ceramic Necklace

February 17, 2010

Something complementary, but a little more subdued and earthy… which was a challenge. I like to wear that, but find it hard to pull off in my own creations. I also love ceramic, but I rarely use it. It would be so much fun to create my own, but unfortunately I don’t have the possibility – so I had to settle for the beads I could find for now. I like the result – I will definitely keep this one.

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Turquoise Colour Challenge

February 16, 2010

OK, I don’t even dream of winning this one. But I love a challenge, and participation is everything, right? Here’s a little peek at what I’m working on:

The polymer clay leaf connector is actually the focal, so now you know most of the design already, lol. Nothing special, and a little bit too bright, but fun! I will make a charm necklace as well, just to make it a set. I am still wondering whether or not to use copper chain as a second strand. And you can see the weakest point of the design as well: I didn’t have copper or bronze crimps. Will need to get some…

Retail Therapy…

February 15, 2010

Had a bad day. Now, I’m not usually an impulse buyer or a fan of self-medicating my bad moods by buying stuff I don’t need… But today I felt that I needed a serious dose of bright, cheerful colour, so I stopped by the secondhand store around the corner to get these mother-of-pearl chips that they’ve had on display in their window for a few days. They now look like a heap of rose petals, sitting on my window sill.

I’ve also been working on the extra colour challenge for Art Bead Scene – more bright and contrasting colour! Actually, the colours I used are even somewhat brighter than the example colour scheme, but I hope it still works as an entry. It’s a bracelet (because I needed a challenge), and I will show a sneak peek tomorrow, although the design still needs some work.

Colours, Contrast and a Dragonfly

February 13, 2010

I made that enameled dragonfly when I was a kid – does it count as an art bead? Doesn’t matter, I love it because it reminds me of a perfect holiday and a great time I had. I have been wondering for a while what kind of beads I could team it up with, and wasn’t able to find anything like it. And then last week, in the bunch of red glass beads I ordered, were these orange-red spotted ones that were the perfect match! I also used blue and orange stones to pick up the colours of the dots on the dragonfly (the orange discs line up when worn).

The result is an unusual piece for me, but I’m rather fond of it. Cheerful and happy, and also kind of a keepsake.

Paua Shell Necklace I

February 11, 2010

Among the glass hearts I ordered last week, two stuck out: pink glass, but with a very intense bluish iridescence. I found them kind of fascinating and started wondering what I could make of them. My first idea was earrings, naturally, as they were a pair. However, I couldn’t think of anything to pair them with. I though of iridescent swarovski, but all I had was white opal and a shade of blue that didn’t match at all. But then I thought of my paua shells, and that blue seemed to work. But now I needed more of the pink! So I got out the pink/red stash, and surprisingly enough, I found some faceted glass beads that did not only have the exact same shade of pink, but also the same iridescence (which means I have too many beads I don’t even know I have)! They were perfect! But now I had too much pink… then I remembered the mother-of-pearl teeth I had. And because the paua shell had some dark structure, I also added black seed beads. I love to work with bright, complementary colours lately, can you tell? (There’s more of that coming soon!) I’m sorry for the dark picture of this one, it was quite late when I managed to finish the piece.

The pendant actually gave me the most trouble – I would have liked to wrap it in wire, but unfortunately I can’t do that and don’t know anyone who can. So a polymer clay bezel had to do:

FEBABS – first monthly challenge entry

February 10, 2010

I spent most of the evening admiring the results of the “Bead Soup Party” over here. Kind of surprising that I actually found time to work on my own stuff, but seeing all of this was so inspiring… I finally had an idea that pulled my Art Bead Scene entry together, which had been lying around for days waiting for inspiration to strike. I don’t have much time right now, so I’m glad that the deadline for the “Universe” challenge has been extended at least. So go check it out and participate!

Back on topic – Art Bead Scene. Well, hopefully, it is the first and simplest of three very different entries inspired by Vestie Davis’ “Luna Park”. But I’ll have to create special focals for the other two, and that usually doesn’t turn out as planned, so I used what I had and could plan with. I wanted to use one of a heap of star charms I had made a while ago, because there’s hearts in the painting. I wanted it to be red and gold. Just now I received a package with a set of assorted red glass beads – I had hesitated to buy them, you never know what you get in those – but these are pretty, and I actually kind of liked the surprise. I also got a bunch of tiny red heart beads – not specifically for Valentine’s Day, but seeing so much heart jewelry everywhere these days probably made me want some of my own 😉 I used just one here, so I have a whole lot more. And I also used golden glass tubes, which I have owned for a long time and was about to throw away, because I couldn’t think of anything to do with them. Now I’m so glad that I didn’t – they were just right to space the red glass beads a little more lightly.

I had planned the necklace to be asymmetrical, but for some reason, I had not yet though of putting the charm anywhere else than the centre. Boring. Now it’s at the side, worn like this (actually, you could turn it around any way you’d like, for a different look):

Steam… I mean, Bead Porn

February 4, 2010

I just received these lovelies in my mail – my bonus prize from the “Hardware Store” challenge over at Treasures Found. Five of Earthenwood’s awesome steamstones – if you like these, you can see (and order) more of them here. Mine are:

  • a steamgear charm in “rusty engine”
  • a steam bit accent in “rusty engine”
  • a round bolt bit in “desert pine” (I think, not entirely sure about the glaze colour)
  • an oval black pendant with a white key
  • and last but not least my favourite of the five: a gear disc with a centre hole, nice and smooth like a pebble, with an earthy matte brown glaze

I love them all so much! Thank you, Erin! And I will definitely show what I’ll make with these!

No post yesterday, because I spontaneously decided to watch “Avatar” with some co-workers… and afterwards spontaneously decided to have a drink or two. Haven’t been at home before midnight. Probably no post tomorrow either, since we’re headed for the pub again… so, see you on the weekend!

Inspired by… the Universe

February 2, 2010

As you may have guessed by the title, the long awaited next challenge is up on Treasures Found – and the new inspiration is nothing less than… the entire universe!

Isn’t that awesome? I love the stars… I even used to have a little telescope on my balcony (right now I don’t, for lack of a balcony). Nevertheless, I was a little overwhelmed at first. Erin mentioned in a comment that googling the Universe brought up some really colourful pictures, and so it did – but in my experience (that is: for the naked eye, not Hubble), the nightsky is all black and silver. Nothing against that, actually. But I had been creating colourless all the past month for the Art Bead Scene challenge, and I was tired of it. So, colours then. My first idea was to create an Art Bead specifically for this challenge, inspired by a particular picture. But, I will have to try a new technique to achieve what I want, and I have no idea if it will work out at all. And that means that this project will take time – but I wanted to start beading immediately!!

I had sorted my polymer clay charms in the past few days – mostly stuff I made out of leftovers, or trials for a new technique. I rarely used any of them, but now there was a whole heap of little, colourful stars. Really colourful, actually. Some mokume gane experiment, one block of green and blue, and one of blue and violet, turned out a lot more… intense than I had expected it to. It looked like candy, really, except that it was sparkly as well.

Consequently, the little necklaces I made look quite a bit girlish and cutesy:

Bronze Connectors – New Style

February 1, 2010

Okay, they don’t really look that different here – I should have put them side-by-side with some old ones for the photo. The effect is actually quite nice, they turned out to look very antique. I used a little greenish-blue eyeshadow in addition to the copper powder. It also looks more metallic this way… or at least it did before I put glaze on it. I didn’t want the glossy effect I had on the last batch, so I tried liquid polymer clay this time. Well, it’s not as glossy. It stinks awfully unhealthy when baking, though – I don’t really feel comfortable using that stuff in my kitchen oven. And the effect is just the same as before – it looks like glazed ceramic now *sigh*.

On a happier note: I love the owl! 🙂