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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August Art Bead Scene Challenge

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The August Art Bead Scene Challenge inspirtation is Twelve Princesses on the Way to the Dance, an illustration by Kay Nielsen.  

I really love so many things about this piece.  The colors are wonderful, the textures of the dresses, and the almost eerie, fantasy style of the trees.  I tried to capture some of that in my necklace. I used small lampwork beads by MayaHoney and a larger clear and gold lampwork bead by Leah Kelly

I also used some Vintaj patinas on a tulip bead cap with strands of sari silk (and one strand of rhinestones) for a tassel to echo the trees.  At the back I used a mix of metallic peanut beads that rounds out the colors in the art and a hand forged black iron hook clasp from Creating Unkamen

I feel like my necklace captures the colors and mood of the illustration. Art Bead Scene is updating its website and how people add their entries this month.  I’ll add a link when the site is up next week. 

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On the Bead Table

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I was looking for a pendant to go with some beads I had chosen to make a design I sketched.  So of course I won’t be showing you anything made with those beads.  But I did come across a butterfly pendant by Tracey Seder Donoughe. The butterfly has some dark red spots, and I had some red beads on my table from a project I had just made. 

I also had a strand of light yellow beads on my table that I thought would look nice.  The pendant is a tile with no hole, so I needed some sort of bail.  Also on my table was a small, textured ring by Patricia Healey. I thought that would make a great bail, so I glued it on.  Perfect! I added a copper clasp by Gaea. This is quickly becoming one of my favorite clasps. 

I like the chunky way it turned out.

Then I went back to the original design I had in mind.  I had some London blue quartz and black tourmaline faceted beads on my table. I thought they would look good together and wanted a two hole pendant to use with them. I was looking through my stash (always fun) and found a couple of possibilities. But when I came across this tube bead by Erin Prais-Hintz of Tesori Trovati, I knew I’d found the right thing. This bead, Night Landscape, is what Erin made based on the art for the January 2016 Art Bead Scene challenge. The necklace looks different than the knotted one I had in mind, but I really like how it turned out. There are gold accents in the bead, so I added some gold spacer beads and a gold toggle clasp from TierraCast

I like having all different style and lengths of necklaces so I have something to go with every outfit!

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Saturday Success

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I’ve had the materials for this necklace sitting around for a short time and this morning I put it together.  I love these hand drawn pendants by Staci Louise Smith.  I also love pink, so I especially love this one.  Then I recently got some wire wrapped fabric components in a variety of pink and red (including one pair with tiny mirror elements!) from Anna of Sagahus Components and thought they would look good with the pendant. 

I used those components with some faceted red beads and large jump rings to create a chain.  I didn’t especially like my wire wrapping near the pendant, so I covered it up with some WoolyWire in a colorway that works with the necklace.

I’m pleased with how this turned out. Now to find time for some of the other hundreds of ideas in my head to come to fruition!

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Allegory Gallery Design Challenge – Evening Serenade

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Today is the reveal for Allegory Gallery‘s latest design challenge – Evening Serenade. I actually remembered to take pictures of the kit this time!

Above are the larger bits of the kit, including the gorgeous pendant made by Andrew Thornton. I was extra thrilled with those bead caps. I’m so focused on beads, I rarely have a lot of findings, spacers, clasps – more practical things. So it’s fun to get some in a kit. A picture of the bead mix is below. Lovely beads and spacers!

I love using the single and unique beads I find in the bead mix. In this first necklace I’ve made with Andrew’s lovely pendant, look at the little metal piece above the pendant. So cool – from the kit!

In the front of the necklace, all the beads are from the kit. I thought both of the larger beads I used with the bead caps were polymer (I’m guessing made by Andrew) but I believe only the larger one is. When I worked with it, the smaller blue one seemed more like ceramic. I added some colored glass beads from a mixed strand I had in my stash and used all the peanut beads dark and clear (those were fun!) to make the necklace long enough to fit over my head.

Next I wanted to use the gorgeous tube of seed beads for a tassel. The color and shine on these beads remind me the most of Andrew’s summer nights inspiration for this kit.  (You should read his description; it’s really beautiful and evocative.) I imagined the last streaks of pink, yellow and orange across the sky as the sun set, turning it hazy grey and then inky blue-black.  I chose a patina bullet casing from this shop as the tassel cap and thought the Venetian glass bead on my table looked great with the combination. I used a black crystal from the kit on top. I found a variety of Czech glass beads in my stash to complete my vision. I love it!

I had more ideas – for earrings, another necklace – but no more time. I’ll have to make those items another time. Visit the Allegory Gallery Design Challenge Facebook page to see what other participants made with their kits. Thanks to Andrew and William for another wonderful challenge!

 

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