Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Playing with Fire and Leather

It's been a bit busy around here this last week and as a result I missed my blog post. Busy is a good thing around here though and I am not complaining!

I played a bit last week. Picking up scraps of this and that, little bits of things I twisted up, sawed off, and bought. Put flame to some and wire to others. All in all a productive week and I enjoyed myself to boot!

Originally I had thought I might just play with an idea I got from this tutorial over on the House of Gems Pinterest board. I had two pieces of leftover copper I had sawn off another project and I thought it might be fun to dangle some chain from them.

Since I was playing, I thought why not emboss them? They're a slightly heavier gauge metal so I knew I'd have to anneal first. I lit the torch and thought.... why not play a bit with fire painting, I have to torch it to anneal it anyway. (You're getting a real good look at how my brain works here) So I torch and get some really pretty purples YAY! And I emboss and get great matching imprints for a pair of earrings. Next up we'll drill holes to hang the chain from. Zip zip zip and done woohoo.

I'm really liking the iridescence of the purples.............. I think I have some daggers with that color.
Yup! Then I notice a little piece of wire I had looped up and it fit so nicely into the arc of the shield, so I made another and I really liked it. At this point no matter how I played with that chain I just didn't like it. Too bad too, I had planned on suspending the whole thing from that chain....hmmmm

I really like the rib bone chain I made for my Dia de los Muertos piece and the bars Dana sent for bead soup... I could make some bars to hang these from! So I did....  I played a little too long before sealing so I lost a bit of the deeper shades but they're still really pretty!

flame painted copper shield earrings
Flame Painted Shields


Next up I decided to play with my leather scraps. Rebeka Payne of Tree Wings Studio has these leather feathers that I absolutely adore, I though I might play some and make my own feathers. I even got the kiddo in on it and gave him a piece of leather to play with while I cut and designed a few things. He LOVED it!  and I loved it.

The color of the first feathers I made were the exact shade of the stone I've been playing with the woven bezel for the last couple weeks and I just happened to have one wire left I had no idea what to do with, and tadaaa!

Copper and Leather Wrapped and Woven
Alex claimed this one just as fast as I was able to get those feathers on it.
I've made up several more feathers and have many more ideas for them already. 

Thanks for stopping by!
We'll see you next time!



Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Trees and Branches

It seems I've been on something of a tree and branch kick lately. Must be wishing for the cooler temps of Autumn and the colors it brings as I seem to have also been in something of an orange mood too. More of a pinky/coral orange than a pumpkin orange but still an orange.

pearl & coral necklace with copper cherry blossoms
FW Pearls, Peach Coral & Copper Necklace
Instead of a full on Tree of Life this time I opted for a branch of twisted copper cherry blossoms.
This one is something of a convertible, being wearable at different lengths. The vintage style hook closure allows for an 18 inch length when hooked at the first cap, a 22 inch length when hooked at the flower and a 25 inch length when hooked at the end of the extender. I love the soft colors of the coral I got from House of Gems and how sweet it looks combined with the FW pearls I picked up from Fire Mountain Gems recently during their Dutch auction sale. Perfect as we head into fall and will still be awfully sweet when he head into spring.

copper end cone cut lines

                                      

I took pics as I made this one thinking I might do something of a tutorial. Then I found this paper plate cookie basket tutorial by One Good Thing by Jillee and darn if it wasn't exactly what I did to make my end "cones" well minus the tape!

One Good Thing by Jillee
*I punched mine out of copper and ran them through the Big Kick to match the cherry blossom focal first.
*I used my flat nosed pliers for spacing and marked the back side with a sharpie so I knew where to cut to. 
*Punched a hole dead center then followed the fold and cut pattern to make the box. 
*Instead of cookies we have crimped bead ends on an eye pin inside a nice neat little open ended copper box that matches the focal, giving it a special one of a kind touch. 

Isn't it fun to think outside of the "box"?! These can be made to any size you need. I love taking techniques I learned from other crafts growing up and applying them to jewelry.  This will even work for a flower petal bead cap if you use a smaller circle or a larger bead. Just be sure to file those edges and corners, they can be a little sharp if you don't.


Thanks for stoppin by!
Feel free to post any "Out of the Box" techniques you use in the comments.
See ya next time!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Septembers Birthstone = Sapphire

Ever have one of those weeks where you seem to be incurably busy, just getting everything done but absolutely nothing is on schedule? lol I'm having that kind of week now. I feel incredibly productive but my schedule was blown to bits!

The biggest reason, I tiled half of my laundry room ALL BY MYSELF! Half, because I didn't move my washer/dryer/freezer was actually doing laundry while I tiled lol I'll need the hubs for the rest, he's got the saw tucked away where I can't get to it by myself and I'll need to cut some tiles. The part I got done looks amazing! I am really proud of myself  "pats self on back and GRINS"

It's the last week of September and I haven't managed a Birthstone post yet so I guess I'd better!

Septembers birth stone is Sapphire. Sapphires come in a rainbow of gorgeous colors but September focusses on the Blue variety.


A maiden born when September leaves
Are rustling in September's breeze,
sapphire on her brow should bind
`Twill cure diseases of the mind.



From the 15th to 20th centuries Chysolite was Septembers birthstone. (ahem  Peridot! I told you we should give Moonstone another shot...just saying....lol...) Sapphire became the go to stone in 1912 and has remained so ever since.

Frosty Blues on Etsy

I definitely need to consider adding the finer gemstones to my list again, I have none in the shop but I do have some beautiful blues.

Wind Dancers Blues
Previous months Birthstones:

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Less Than Wordy

I try to post on Tuesdays. I even have the monthly Birthstone posts to make sure I always have a topic, but sometimes there just are no words to write.

It's not that I'm not feeling creative, I've been busy working away. I just finished up a necklace I'm hoping Stringing Magazine will like. I'm just not feeling terribly wordy.

So...... um.....let's see, something worthy of posting about.... I hosted this month's giveaway in the forum. Or basically in our group on FB. Since about.com changed everything up AGAIN the forum has pretty much been dealt its death blow. Sad, it used to be a hopping place. You could barely keep up with all the posting, now crickets, crickets dropping pins.  Anyway, I used random.org very cool little website I let it pick a number based on the entries and then listed all the entries and had it randomize those and ..... Anne won!  I'll be sending her these little beauties. Pendant made by moi - that little tree of life kick I was telling you about :) A pair of agate hearts, some freshwater pearls, and some moonstone, in grays and peach. Not a huge prize package but enough to get a little inspiration going and I'm sure Anne will make something beautiful with it.




Maybe a kitty post next week or birthstones, who knows?

Thanks for stoppin by!
We'll see ya next time!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

25 Sketches: Number 8

On the desk I have beads pulled for several sketches, beads pulled for commissioned pieces and then the spin off designs that develop as I work on these things. Now, my brain needs clean for numbers, but it thrives on having beads everywhere for creating. The ideas come fast and easy when the beads are out, but there is a fine line between inspirational and overwhelm.

I received a couple packages from The Hole Bead Shoppe and House of Gems in the mail this last week... YAY Me!! Most of the beady goodness was placed with projects just waiting for this or that and then a couple new ideas sparked and beads came out for that and I crossed that line into overwhelm. I can work with a lot of beads out, but I couldn't even see my desk anymore! This is what it looked like AFTER I cleaned and put some things away. What you don't see are three stacks of trays to the left and two to the right or any of the tools that live on my desk! No the file doesn't live there, it lives in a drawer to the right.

messy messy desk
There IS a desk under there somewhere!

Completely overwhelmed I had too many ideas, too many projects I wanted to play with right now and all my trays were in use. So I decided, I would work on one small sketch for earrings (they had been waiting on the Coral and Sterling Silver beads I got from House of Gems), then I'd play with the awesome kit I got from The Hole Bead Shoppe and then I could get to work on my idea for Stringing Magazine (that's one of those spin off/sparked ideas lol)

The small coral beads I got from House of Gems were perfect for the earrings I had drawn in sketch number 8. I had some Bali style silver drum beads I thought would look just gorgeous paired with some turquoise and coral and I think I was right, but I'll let you be the judge of that. I think these will be the matching earrings to an embroidered piece I'm getting ready to work on with lots more coral and turquoise! If it lives up to the design in my head it will be a stunner!! At the very least gorgeous :)


One of the things I ordered from House of Gems was a divided bead tray/organizer. I have several triangle trays and they are perfection for pouring beads back into their tubes or baggies but I have the really bad habit of setting tools down right next to them while they're full of beads. You guessed it, I flip a tray pretty much every time I use one, sigh. I've seen the little egg trays and water color paint trays used but I just knew I'd have the same problem of flipping them only multiplied! So when I saw this little gem I had to give him a go!

A Lidded Bead Tray from House of Gems
It's Lidded!! 

Yes, I am beading on top of the MacBook. You saw, I have NO room on the desk!  However, I did move the beads over on top of the sketch book right after I took this pic. I dropped a 2mm czech fp bead and it headed straight for the keyboard and gave me 2mm palpitations.

This little tray is cool! Not only is it a solid bottom with very little chance of flipping but it's lidded! That's right, I can close the lid and walk away without putting my beads away or worrying about the fur babies flipping trays while I'm not there to protect the little beadies.   It has 8 compartments so I can have beads for more than one project in it, say like now while I'm waiting for an order of more of those sweet beads, and I get to work on that necklace idea for a submittal to Stringing Magazine. AND because the compartments are triangular they pour back into baggies pretty nicely themselves. I haven't tried a tube yet but I've got several pulled for projects on the desk....

Design by Rae Burns of The Hole Bead Shoppe

Well, I'd better get going! I'm pretty sure there was one more thing on the to do list today if I can just remember what it was!! .....

Thanks for stoppin by!
We'll see ya next time!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The Only Thing I Melted This Week....

was something I meant to! Yay Me!! I finally got my earrings finished, plan B came along quite nicely. Good thing too, melting those earrings really hurt my feelings and my confidence. I didn't realize how much until I finally finished them. Thankfully Plan B actually came out much cuter than the original.

I've always thought of these types of happenings to be fortuitous. If I hadn't melted the first pair, they might not have been quite as cute. I really do prefer the copper background over the brass. But it sure can make you feel a little "less than" and cause a little struggle while you push through. But persist, you must, in the end it's always worth it.

tree of life earrings, copper, bronze, rose gold and shell
Commissioned Tree of Life Earrings

A jewelry acquaintance of mine Heidi Kingman decided it was time to declutter her supplies. A little make room for more of what I want kind of thing. She had quite a few really pretty stones up for grabs and I managed to pick up a couple. 

My son was sitting at the table as I opened the package. He picks up one of the stones, holds it for a moment, turns it over and holds it again. Finally stating, this one is mine. When the stone speaks to you in this house, you listen lol

Last night I sat down and turned that stone into a little something for him. Now, I'm a Virgo and I really like nice and neat and symmetrical, it is hard for me to leave a wonky wrap or an unbalanced anything. I wince and cringe when I notice something in a photo that you will not see in the hand. 

I had created these nice, neat, wonderfully matched little loops as I netted around that stone. Then my fingers started cramping and it got hard to hold the stone as I worked. I flipped it and dropped it, muttered something under my breath. Stretched my fingers, straightened the netting and started again. 

Again my fingers cramped up and then locked, the stone went flying through the air and I smashed the netted bezel in my hand. Flustered I might have muttered something a little stronger this time. 

I stretched the netting back around the stone. I stretched my fingers. I started again, one more time. I felt my fingers start to cramp, stopped before they locked. I thought that might save the stone but no, fingers locked and stone flew.

I only needed two more loops to finish the round and I'm fighting back the tears of frustration. Stretch my fingers, make two loops, bind off. Stretch the bezel around the stone, it's not as neat as it was - BUT it looks appropriate. It looks as if I planned it. It's asymmetrical and organic and somehow looks so much better than those neat little rows of perfect loops. Whats more, I like it! My hands hurt too much to do anymore though so I put it aside until this morning.

Leather, copper and fine silver feather, netted stone pendant
Alex's Feathered Stone
This morning I cut a piece of copper into a feather and fused some fine silver into it for the finishing touch. He's quite happy with it and already has it hanging up next to the dagger pendant and his cross.

I'm this month's host for our small group giveaway so I'd better get busy choosing a prize. Considering making a pendant if my fingers will let me o_O if not I'll take a peek into that stash of glass and rocks I have right over there.

Thanks for taking a peek and for visiting with me!
We'll see you next time!



Monday, August 25, 2014

Quickie Post Today....

The kids head back to college this week. It's bittersweet. Yay for them, they like being around the friends they don't get to see during the summer..... but the house is always so quiet once they go back. Not that they're loud, but people make noise you know. Water running while brushing teeth, taking a shower, doing laundry. Various sounds from phones, computers, stereos and game systems. Teasing.  Me because they're so much taller than I am, each other because they can. It just gets quiet.

But because it's back to school, it means I've been busy with birthdays and paperwork and melting things lol

I had the pleasure of being featured in a treasury and one of the other featured shops featured the treasury on her blog and of course me too :) Yay me!  So...... go take a peek!!!

http://poetesswug-thewugsbackyardblogspot.blogspot.com/2014/08/monday-rainbows-and-treasuries.html

Thanks for stoppin by!!

We'll see you next time!