Turquoise and Leather

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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.

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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.

 

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Allegory Gallery Design Challenge Reveal – Kaleidoscope

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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!

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Evolution

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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.

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Patina Day

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It was patina day for me and my mom. I bought some Vintaj patinas at Bead & Button.  My mom recently had an idea for changing a pin she had with patina. I recommended Vintaj so she got some patina as well. So we decided to have a patina day, and it was a ball.

I had seen one video by Heather Powers of Humblebeads about using Vintaj patina, and my mom and I watched another.  Thank you, Heather!! It was wonderful to get a little view into how the patinas worked. I was especially happy to see how fast they dried. Impatience drives a lot of my design style! So, on to the show.

I did not get a before picture of my mom’s pin, but it was all black and too dark for her. She had wanted red and bought garnet. It was more pinkish than red, but my mom made it work by layering it with white gold. She had planned to leave the middle black crystals but decided to use white gold on those as well. Definitely the right decision!

The first piece I worked on was a bracelet. I had some really heavy, textured vintage chain from B’Sue Boutiques. I thought I would patina it and then add a bead dangle. After I use the verdigris patina on it and the Vintaj reliefing block to take some of the color off the high spots, I loved it so much I didn’t want to add anything else. My mom had the perfect clasp to go with the heavy chain, so I used the verdigris patina on that too.  I love the outcome. Here is a picture with some of the original chain. 

This picture doesn’t show how the metal sparkles through the patina. It’s the best! My mom also used the verdigris on some brass in the form of ball chain for a multi-strand bracelet.  It turned out great as well.
I had also seen a post by Candie Cooper with a tutorial for a Mod Podge cuff bracelet. I had a much smaller channel bangle form, but I decided to make something similar. My bangle was just plain silver (forgot to get a picture) so I decided to randomly paint some patina on it to make it look like old metal on the parts that would show. I combined the colors earth and white gold. I didn’t rough up the metal much (the impatience, you know) so it’s streaky. But it works for my purposes. Earlier this week my dad got a package with some great, thick paper packaging. I decided to use that as the base in the channel.

I added several coats of Mod Podge. You can see what now looks like aged metal on the inside of the bangle.

Then I added some vintage rhinestone chain. Very cute!

I also used verdigris and white gold on some vintage flat brass chain that I have plans for later.  Here is a picture of some original and patina chain.

I also did just a few trials on a couple other brass pieces.

Here is the front and back of some random pieces.  On the top left I used garnet and then the front of that piece has white gold. On the right I used verdigris and reliefed it back on both the back and front.

Although it has nothing to do with patina, the other project on the docket today was to put a little more interest on a leather and metal bracelet my dad made. He took a thick piece of leather and paired it with a nice metal slider. It seemed a little plain, so I suggested some rivets. My dad was impressed that I had a leather punch and a rivet setting kit. (The kit is from my card making days!) That’s just what it needed. 

I leave you with a picture of my two finished bracelets together. If you haven’t tried Vintaj patinas yet, I recommend it.  My mom and I plan to get more colors and do more experiments.

 

 

 

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Bird Queen

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I saw this bird queen pendant when Gaea showed a preview of some upcoming listings recently.  I really wanted it and was a little amazed when I got it.  Her pendants (not only the birds) fly right out of her shop or Facebook almost as soon as they are listed! 

Soon after, I was doing a little shopping with Allegory Gallery and saw the perfect periwinkle shade of Czech glass beads to go with it. I found some orange/red Czech glass in my stash along with a few bone colored German glass beads that would look great in the design as well.

I was taking my materials on a visit to my parents, and I had some fabric and wire components from Anna Pierson of SagaHus.  As soon as I showed her my choices, my mom picked these out as perfect, and they are.  She gave me a few antique ivory beads she had lying around and ta-da!

I also used a clasp by Gaea.  I really love how it turned out!

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Allegory Gallery Design Challenge Reveal – Grow

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Today is the reveal for the Allegory Gallery Design Challenge – Grow edition. This kit was inspired by a painting by Mystele Kirkeeng who recently had a show at Allegory Gallery. I love her work; what a wonderful color mix this kit is!  I even remembered to take a kit picture, along with the inspiration.  

Yum, right? The same day I got the kit, I got my first order from Candie Cooper. Some of the things in my order from her were perfect for this challenge. I ordered some felted balls thinking of this necklace that I saw long ago. I stacked a few of the felt balls and combined kit beads with some bright beads from my stash to make this necklace. I used a yellow glass ring to connect the two. 

I love all of these bright colors together. I always like to use some of the fun individual beads from the kit that I find charming.  Near the clasp, I tied a yellow flower and a blue heart. There was also a small striped lampwork ring that I used between the yellow and purple beads near the blue heart.

Then I made another necklace using the beautiful chip beads from the kit.

I really love these chip beads.  I’m not sure what they are – maybe serpentine? – but they have a creaminess to them that is beautiful.  I used waxed linen the same color that came with the kit (I might have cut up the linen that came with the kit trying to string those felt balls several times).  I like the bright pops of color peeking out from the chips.  For the pendant, I used a Venetian bead with colors from the kit. I used its twin in a design for the Evening Serenade challenge.  It goes with everything!  Then I dangled two kit beads and a bead from my stash (I knew that orange bead with stars would come in handy!) in little brass cages from the bottom for a fun look.

Next I decided to use Andrew’s amazing handmade pendant.  Gorgeous, happy, bright flowers.  This is the type of color combination I love.  I used a green bead above it from the kit and then used two long green beads from the kit with a variety of Czech glass from my stash to string a flowy necklace on waxed linen. By the clasp I used two more of the single charming beads from the kit – a yellow moon and a peacock dagger.

There are a ton more beads left from this kit that I didn’t have a chance to use. This was a beautiful kit.  Thanks, William, Andrew and Allegory Gallery!  To see what others made with their kits, visit the Allegory Gallery Design Challenge Facebook page.

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Tiny Gem Wire Wrapping

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I have long admired the technique of wire wrapping tiny gems.  I think I first became aware of it by (at that time local artist) Sarah DeAngelo whose work I saw at art fairs. This was years ago when that technique seemed a thing of mystery.  More recently, I see it used to great effect by Loralee Kolton and Suhana Hart of Buttoned Up Beads.

When I saw a pair of earring charms (one above) by Terri Del Signore of Artisticaos, I knew immediately I could use one with some excellent bone beads with similar designs and coloring for a necklace. When I thought I had finished the necklace, the part with the large charm wire looked more naked than I was expecting. So I decided to try the tiny gem wire-wrapping with some beautiful faceted pyrite that was on my bead table. 

It’s not perfect, but it went better than I expected. I also wanted a gemstone to hang from the hole at the bottom of the charm and found this wonderful, rough diopside nugget.

The bone beads with designs (I picked out mostly ones with an “x” pattern to echo the charm) are what I had in mind, and I added some apatite spacers. That was completely “these are on my table from another recent project, so I’ll use them.”  But I think they are perfect.

I love this necklace. Sometimes skill progress is so gradual that it’s almost imperceptible, but I do feel like this design is really pretty and a bit more sophisticated than I often make. It was simmering in my brain since I saw the charms, and I guess I gave it just the right amount of time to come to fruition.

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Two More Necklaces

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Last night I went up to my studio to clean up a little bit.  There is always cleaning to do.  I usually do some cleaning but also end up making as well. Which is still cleaning because I am using materials.  So, here is what I made.

Not long ago I got an adorable cat pendant and a couple of whirligig charms from Linda Landig Jewelry in the completely fabulous mid-century modern color combination of turquoise and orange.  Love!  So I did not want to add much because they are perfect just on their own.  When I have pieces like that with a really bright color, I know what to do. Head straight over to My Elements because it will have exactly what I need in the color I need it to make a piece that will highlight my beads. So one order of orange ball chain, orange jump rings and turquoise O rings later, here is my necklace.

This is one of those what I call “floppy” necklaces. Not a lot of structure, maybe a big jump ring that makes it lay weird when flat.  Hard to get a good picture. And I see one of my cute O rings is askew above.  Here’s another shot.

I fell in love with this cat pendant the second I saw it.  My vision was to put the O rings on the ball chain so there would be a pop of turquoise between each orange round, but I need either slightly bigger O rings or more patience.  Or I could just leave it as it.  It’s pretty darn cute now.

Next I got a lovely bird pendant from BlueberriBeads. I didn’t have anything particular in mind for it, but while I was cleaning up, I was putting away the bird as well as several strands of a favorite yellow plastic beads I get from Allegory Gallery. I really love them and keep buying them even though I haven’t used that many. But I saw the yellow on the bird and thought they’d go nicely together. 

I used other beads on my table to round things out.  One random Czech glass to hold the bird on (it has a large hole).  What I believe to be a Gaea bead above the bird, and then some apatite rondelles as spacers.  

I used a hand forged black iron hook clasp from Creating Unkamen. I have to get more of those. I love them.  Ok, so I didn’t spend as much time cleaning up as I might have, but I look at it as fewer beads to put away (and more fun jewelry to wear)!

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Amethyst and Moonstone

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Amethyst is so pretty.  I tend to always like a red stone – garnet, ruby – but every time I see the purple of amethyst I remember how much I love it. Especially a rough cut.  So I love this amethyst slice pendant I got from Classic Elements.

Look at all the gorgeous colors in there – purple, white, blue, grey!  I wanted to highlight not only the beautiful purple tips, but the gorgeous druzy-ish white crackle in the middle.  I paired it with some moonstone cubes and semi-rough amethyst nuggets.  As soon as I got the nuggets (from Allegory Gallery‘s recent gemstone haul) I knew they would be great with the pendant. I separated each bead with silver delicas and used a silver snap clasp.  I love this beautiful necklace and will enjoy wearing it often.

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