#Makeover Monday – Gummy Fish

Tags

, , ,

In my past, I often had good ideas that I wasn’t able to execute as well as I would have liked.  I didn’t have a lot of design knowledge, but mostly I didn’t know where to get the best beads (or even what they were.) There are pieces from that time that I don’t wear (and didn’t wear much then) but that I didn’t take apart because I really loved the idea of them. One such necklace is the gummy fish necklace. 

That is the necklace there on the right made many, many years ago – like maybe 15 or 20. I have no idea where I got the Czech glass fish; I didn’t even know the term Czech glass at that time. I’m not surprised I bought them; I like beads that look like candy. Also, I can see that I often loved just the strand of beads as it was, as I still do, and tried to change it as little as possible. Back in the day, that usually involved just separating things with seed beads. That can look a little skimpy, as with these larger fish beads. My designs are still often simple, which I like, but they are more balanced and pleasing.

When I got the chance to get these gorgeous vintage Czech glass light blue rondelles from Andrew Thornton of Allegory Gallery on his destash page, I jumped at it. I just love the shape and, like my previous set of blue rondelles, I loved that it was a long strand. I know I mention Andrew and William and their shop and the destash often, but I’m so thrilled with the variety and quality of beads I can get. When I saw these and thought what to do with them, my gummy fish necklace came to mind. I could finally make it something I would like to wear.  

It’s not really that different. It just has a bit more heft and a quality, finished look. It is true to the original concept – my lovely gummy fish swimming through a bead sea of blue water. I’m so thrilled with the makeover and can’t wait to wear it.

SaveSave

Advertisements

Artists for Animals

Tags

, , , , , ,

Artist Michelle Ann McCarthy of Firefly Design Studio makes beautiful pottery. I love her ceramic beads and other creations.  She also has a heart for animals. In the past, she has done fundraisers for animal rescues and now she has invited others to join in. I have never sold my jewelry before, but I could not pass up the opportunity to raise funds to help animals. I think how little they ask for and how much they give. 

This is my sweetie girl, MooKitty. She was born a barn cat and then lived in a home where she was abused before she found her way to my sister when she was 6 months old. She came to live with me about a year and a half ago, and she has enriched my life in so many ways.

Michelle blogged about the Artists for Animals fundraiser on the Art Bead Scene Studio blog. November 6 – 12, 2017, artists from around the world will auction off their handmade items to raise money for their favorite animal charity.  The sale of my items will benefit Madison Cat Project, a no kill organization dedicated to finding a home for every cat who comes to them. I like that they work extra hard to find homes for cats with behavioral or medical issues who might not have a chance in a different shelter environment. They have creative solutions to finding a good outcome for every cat.

I wanted to whet your appetite with a couple pictures of pieces I’ve made so far for the auction.  I hope you like them!
Here is a necklace in lovely fall colors with a peek-a-boo cat pendant by Michelle herself! I love her peek-a-boo animal pendant series.  So cute!Here is a bohemian style necklace with wood and colorful clay beads and a brass lizard pendant.

I’m also planning to make some earrings.  I was excited to get these lovely kitty drops by Anna Pierson of SagaHus Components for this project.  I haven’t designed them yet, so I hope they turn out really great!

I have more made and have more to make, but I’ll leave you with just this preview.  Not all of my pieces will be animal themed, so if you are not an animal jewelry person, there will still be things for you. Please join us November 6 – 12, 2017.  Maybe do some holiday shopping or just get yourself something.  There will be lots of artists (not just me) and the animals thank you!

SaveSave

Foxy

Tags

,

I got this gorgeous resin fox pendant by Andrew Thornton from Allegory Gallery. I loved it on sight.

I knew I would use some agate or jasper with it. I ended up using both! I used Botswana agate and red creek jasper with dark red seed beads as spacers. I strung it all on waxed linen.

I love being able to use special pieces of art to make jewelry so I can wear them. It adds a bright spot to every day.

SaveSave

Blue

Tags

,

I’m a pretty equal opportunity bead lover, especially colors. I do really like pretty much all colors. I will say that I think blue is my least favorite color, though. However, sometimes the perfect beads come along and a least favorite shape or color or size doesn’t matter.

Andrew Thornton of Allegory Gallery has a Facebook destash page where I am able to get some really fabulous beads. Recently he had some vintage Czech glass beads in extra long strands. I’m always thrilled when I can get a really long strand because I love the look of a long necklace made primarily of one fabulous bead. When I saw these beads, they were the perfect shape, size and color – yes, blue! Cobalt blue. I love everything about them. So this is one of the many times when I wanted to keep the original strand of beads mostly as I saw it and fell in love with it.

I strung the beads, that have a wonderful weight, on waxed linen with tiny dark red seed beads in between. These have become some of my favorite spacers. I added a lampwork bead for interest. (I got it in a different destash and don’t know the artist.) I think it kind of looks like an owl!

I really love how this necklace looks with these beautiful, luminous blue beads.

SaveSave

Turquoise Discs

I got a strand of graduated turquoise discs over two years ago. I was so thrilled! I thought I’d use them right away, but it turns out I had a more difficult time using them than I thought. This will sound odd, but I think it is because they were so smooth. I needed to use them in a different way than I originally had in mind for them to look right. Then, the other day, I showed my mother this necklace I liked from the shop Charoosha. She reminded me of some organically shaped silver discs, similar to those at the front of that necklace, that we had bought together and said she would never use them, and I could have them. I decided to try them with the turquoise discs and some other beads.

I also used a couple of horn beads and some African glass and strung the whole works on leather for some structure. I ended with a cute elephant toggle clasp. It looks really great on and has a nice weight to it. I’m glad I was finally able to successfully use the turquoise. It is my strongly held belief that if I buy beads I like, eventually they will find the right project.

 

SaveSave

Darn Good Beads – September

Tags

,

I got my September Darn Good Beads of the Month shipment recently from Darn Good Yarn. They had been sending kits with beads, supplies and instructions for a specific project. I liked the projects but the company recently decided, based on some customer feedback, to send more beads for people to just use as they’d like. I enjoy that too!

This month we received two strands of lovely matte glass beads from Nepal. Each strand came in a pretty, reusable organza bag.  

I love etched beads. These colors, shapes and textures are so pretty, and I was thrilled to have enough to make a nice, long necklace. I knew the look I wanted right away. I started to knot them on waxed linen, but some of the beads had larger holes and needed more than a knot to keep them securely in place. I got some dark red seed beads and realized if I used those I didn’t even need to do any knotting. It was nice to give my wrist, which has been hurting lately, a rest from knotting.  Although holding tiny seed beads and trying to get them strung on the waxed linen is no easy task for one’s wrist either! I added at least two seed beads in between each glass bead to get the spacing I was looking for.

I love making this kind of necklace with beads that are the same yet different – all matte glass but in various shapes, sizes and textures. It’s so fun deciding which bead to string next and discovering that some have the texture of raspberry filled candies we used to get every Christmas when I was a kid, or that there was only one square bead. Also, my mother said it looks very different depending on what color I’m wearing it against.

The finished necklace is just the casual, bohemian style I love. It’s also an excellent necklace for layering; I wore it with this turquoise and leather creation the other day. Thanks for another great kit, Darn Good Yarn!

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

Turquoise and Leather

Tags

,

My mother got a Sundance catalog the other day.  We were looking through it, and I was trying to get her to play the “if I were rich” game and say everything we would buy. She’s practical enough that it wasn’t quite her game, but I excel at it! However, both of us agreed on a number of things, including this simple yet beautiful necklace. So while I was playing in the studio recently, I decided to make my own version. 

Of course I had to add my own little touch, so I used a dangle from SagaHus Components.  I often get my connections not quite to my liking. I wanted the flat side of the leather to show where it connects to the pendant instead of the suede side. I might change it, but I’ll wait and see if I’m going to untie it anyway to shorten it. 

The necklace is very long, but I see that is the style these days. I like it when I see it, but I’ll have to decide how practical it is for me. I see this banging against things at work. But it’s worth trying because I think it’s very chic. UPDATE: I wore this to work, and it was wonderful! I’m going to leave it as is.

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

Bronzite

I wanted to make a piece for the Art Bead Scene challenge, but nothing was working out.  So I decided to move along. First I fixed a necklace for someone at work (always happy to have that done and turn out well). Then I decided to make a simple necklace for myself. I like to make simple things when I’m struggling with a design so that struggle doesn’t get stuck and rattle around in my head, causing me to feel stuck.

I had a strand of long bronzite bicone beads that by itself was almost a necklace. It was separated by small bronzite rounds.  I just added some Czech glass baroque pearls. It’s a lovely choker style necklace.

 

SaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSave

Allegory Gallery Design Challenge Reveal – Kaleidoscope

Tags

, , , , , ,

Today is the reveal for the Allegory Gallery Design Challenge – Kaleidoscope edition.  This kit is gorgeous and rich with materials.  Here are the pictures.Here are some of the bigger beads in the kit, a couple tubes of seed beads, handmade beads, a gorgeous multi-color strand of chip beads and some colored floss.

Here is a close up of the pendant, handmade by Andrew.  Below is the luxury bead blend. 

I first wanted to use some of the handmade components, including the pendant Andrew made. I’m assuming he also made the two kaleidoscope looking polymer beads. I love all three of these beads. They are so rich in color and pattern. I used two together in my first necklace. 

For the pendant, in addition to those two polymer beads, I used a tiny ceramic bead in the same colorway by Ragged Robyn and the carved rose colored bead from the kit.

I have been collecting furnace glass (a.k.a. art glass, a.k.a cane glass) for a while to make a necklace, and I thought this could be the necklace to do it. Each piece of glass is like a little kaleidoscope. There were also a few pieces of furnace glass in the kit’s luxury bead blend.  

I’ve already decided to restring this!  I want to add seed beads in the rose color to make the piece more cohesive and give the space between the furnace glass beads a little more heft.  I just haven’t had time to do it yet.

Next I started a necklace using the green kaleidoscope-esque bead from the kit. This went through a variety of iterations. I had planned to include a tassel, but in the end I separated those ideas. In looking for more beads to use in the necklace, I came across a set of green hollow lampwork beads I got in a destash.  I’m sorry; I don’t know the artist. I combined those with the clear beads and some of the larger seed beads from the kit. I like how this picture shows the AB effect on some of the clear beads. Very kaleidsocope-y.  

I love the chunky fabulousness of this necklace.  This piece seems the most kaleidoscope-y to me. I was actually looking through a kaleidoscope the other day, and what I saw wasn’t a bunch of different colors but a bunch of the same thing, each one slightly different, all clustered together.  That’s what I see in this necklace. I finished it with a Green Girl Studios swirl hook.

Lastly, I made a bracelet. As I had the furnace glass out, I used a large rainbow piece by David Christensen.  I added a clear plastic bicone bead from the kit, one strand of chip beads from the kit, a strand of various beads from the luxury blend and a strand of my own mauve seed beads with some of the kit large seed beads. 

I enjoyed this kit very much. This challenge is also a competition!  See what others have made by visiting the Allegory Gallery Design Challenge Facebook page. Thank you Andrew and William!

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

Evolution

Tags

, , , , ,

I tried Vintaj patina the other day, and colored some chain I really like.  

I had an idea for it, but when I tried it, I didn’t think it came together that well despite using wonderful components.

While I love these beads by Ragged Robyn and wire and fabric component by SagaHus Components, the necklace didn’t work the way I thought it would.  So I tried something else.

I liked this version with dagger beads by Slate Studios Supply better, but it still wasn’t quite right.

As I pondered what the issue was, I realized that most of my beads are more rustic and this chain is more refined in style, even with the patina.  So I thought about what I had in my stash that would be a bit smoother for it.  I have pictures of many of my beads, so I looked through those which is a way of going through my stash (at least part of it) without making a big mess.  I envy people with things like printer cabinets where they can open a drawer and see lots of things. I have to paw through baggies and small boxes in bigger boxes I then can’t close properly to stack.

Anywho, I thought a lampwork bead with lovely colors from Uglibeads would be just the thing, but really, it was a bit rustic as well. So I looked at some other lampwork beads and found this set of orphans by Dean Abner of BubbyMcGurk Beads

I decided these go best with the chain. Each part lets the other shine, and there is plenty of interest with the different colors, sizes and patterns. They have relatively large holes, so I used some thicker 7-ply waxed linen to attach the beads to the chain. The knots are a bit bigger due to the ply, so I’ll have to decide if that bothers me.  But I’m pleased I found a way to use the lampwork orphans and the chain that I think works and will gives me a necklace a bit different than things I often make.

SaveSave