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!!!


Thanks for stoppin by!!

We'll see you next time!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

My First Spinner/Fidget Ring


It's been a torching kind of week around the studio as I've been working on a pair of commissioned earrings. Sometimes when I get to a point where I'm really happy with the progression of a design I need to take a step back and work on something else. Sounds a little backwards doesn't it?

Honestly when I'm really happy I feel the need to psyche myself up to take the next step when it involves the flame. Fire melts metal. I know this because that's how I make all those balled headpins.

This weekend as I psyched myself up I made several rings, a couple twisted copper rings and my first spinner ring. I have a chart around here somewhere that gives lengths and ratios and all that really necessary stuff for getting the proper fit but I didn't pull that out, noooo I had to wing it! Which really isn't as bad as it sounds, I have a pretty good memory I just didn't remember the difference in length between the wide band and the spinner band so the first band was too small and the second tried to scare me by sliding off as I checked the flare haha! Bad spinner!

Even though I managed to split the seam a little, just as I was finishing up flaring the band, I am really happy with the results. Alex has claimed this one for his own, I wore it for awhile and it really is pretty comfy to wear and since I do fidget with my rings it was right up my alley.

What about those earrings you ask? Well, my fear of melting something is actually well founded. I got the first earring put together and started soldering the second. I got too aggressive with the flame and poof she melted. So now instead of having a pair of gorgeous earrings, I have a very cool pendant. I'll start pair number two here in just a few. Plan B involves no flames, I think I'll work on those first and then maybe I'll come back to Plan A. After all, a full set would be really pretty!

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

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

August = Peridot

Rough start to the month, my in-laws seem to be imploding, 'nuff said.

AUGUST! The month of my birth! Peridot and Gladiolas.  As you can see though, Peridot was not always THE stone to wear......

Wear a sardonyx or for thee,
No conjugal felicity;
The August-born without this stone,
`Tis said, must live unloved and lone.

For most of the 15th through 20 centuries the stones for the month of August were as follows: Sardonyx, Carnelian, Moonstone and Topaz  ......hmmm I like Moonstone! As long as we're on the subject, I like Topaz too!.......
Then in 1912 all save the Sardonyx were dropped and Peridot was added.
Finally in 2013 Peridot became the sole stone for the month of August.

I like Peridot, I do, I'm just saying maybe we could give Moonstone another chance GRINS

collection of Peridot Green gifts
August Gifts in Peridot Green

I have in my shop TWO items in peridot, and many more green in color.

Copper & Peridot Gothic Pendant w/Beaded Chain
Copper & Peridot Gothic Pendant w/Beaded chain

smokey quartz and peridot gemstone earrings in 14/20 gf
Smokey Quartz and Peridot Earrings in 14/20 GF
pssst I have Moonstone too! and Topaz!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

An Homage to Best Friends

I've finally finished up my hopping for Bead Soup!! But, if you're still hopping - click HERE.

When I was growing up I rode and showed Western Pleasure and Trail (trail is an obstacle course for horse and rider) my best friend Cindy was a barrel racer and a pretty darn good one. Many of our afternoons were spent either riding trails through the orchards and countryside or training poles and barrels at her house, after homework of course......  maybe not always after..... ok ok maybe mostly before.

We did almost everything together. When I found myself grounded during song leader tryouts, I gave her my routine and cheered when she made the team. She became Rodeo Queen and I  1st runner up Miss Antioch. Her show schedule was busier than mine and I went with her to quite a few of hers. I cheered her on when she raced at Nationals in San Francisco at the Cow Palace. Together we admired the "assets" of bull riders and ropers while waiting for her events to begin. We wore moccasins, we wore boots, and finally we wore high heels. Even as we grew and found ourselves busy with life we still managed to do things in tandem and our daughters were born just weeks apart, even giving them similar names.

We managed to keep in touch for many years. When my husband and I moved to Arkansas we knew we'd still find time together as the rodeo circuit came our way and she and her husband could stay with us. When the girls started school, the decision was made to cut the circuit out here and though we didn't get to see each other we traded school photos and Christmas cards. When she moved I figured I'd get the new address with the Christmas card, when the card didn't come I decided I could call her Mom and get it, but kids and PTA, volunteer work and housework and a new construction business took up a significant amount of time and I could always make the call tomorrow.

Tomorrow in fact, turned into several years. But, she was still a large part of my life as most of the stories I told my children about growing up involved Cindy and her family. Then last week I ran across her brother on Facebook and was devastated to learn she had passed. It was if I suddenly had a hole in my life, I cried and mourned my loss, and then a realization hit me. She had been with me in my heart and memories even though she was no longer of this earth for the past several years, the only difference was I was now aware. I took solace in that, knowing how alive she felt in my heart.

This morning Amy of Modern Outlaw on Etsy contacted me. The idea she had was to cross promote each other and I thought that was a great idea. As I poked through her shop I thought a Polyvore type  collection could be fun and pulled together some of her vintage finds with my jewelry and then started filling in the outfit from a few other shops creating a treasury that breaks all sorts of Etsy rules! As I finished pulling it together I realized I had actually pulled together an Homage to Cindy and our friendship with an outfit for each of us fitting of our personalities.

It offers a small glimpse into our friendship and I hope I have managed in some small way to honor her memory. If you see anything that strikes your fancy please visit the shop, I know they will be absolutely pleased to have you shop with them.

Since the original idea started out as a sort of self promotion/cross promotion collection of our two shops I opted not to make it public on Etsy but to take screen shots to share on here and on Facebook. It does no good as a promotional tool if not clickable so I'll include the shop names in a list and make those clickable.

Best Friends = A Modern Vintage CowGirl

Horseshoe Hearts = Rustic Designs by Riley
Long Sleeve Shirt = Fae Aura Design
My Jewelry = Wind Dancer Studios
Vintage Clothing = Modern Outlaw
Blinged Out Cowboy Hats = Time Two Change
Moccasin Boots (Love these!!) = Bastets Closet
Tooled Leather Accessories = Delos Leather
Horse Photography = Wild Hoofbeats
Leather & Crochet Bag = V and H
Vintage Wranglers = Beta Apparel
Barn Photography = Feng Shui Photography

Thanks for stopping by and more importantly, indulging me!
We'll see ya next time!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

25 Sketches = Number 6

I know we're going a little backwards here but number seven beads were whispering such sweet nothings that I had to play with them first ...grin

Number Six of 25

the Backside & Clasp
I won the focal beads on the jewelry forum. My friend Anne was the host and she was sweet enough to call several of us winners!  As you can see I refined the sketch even more and cleaned up the lines. I actually have one more sketch where I worked out these lines, I'm a little more cautious with gold than I am with copper because when you're working with gold you ( read I ) don't want mistakes. Granted this is gold filled but it was over $100 an ounce there for awhile and I just assume not waste any.

gemstone, gold, and crystal necklace
25 Sketches #6

The earrings from Sketch number 7 have found their way into my Etsy store, I still have to wrangle the numbers for this one before it can go. And maybe a couple more photos. I think I may have finally got all the sugar taken care of on the camera so better photos are back! ::::knock on wood:::::

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