I also had some Czech glass tulips from Allegory Gallery, used some clear glass squares from the vintage bead hoard and a few leaves and other flowers from my stash. I thought about making it a double strand necklace but decided to make the strands separate so they would be more versatile. One is a long strand and the other is a shorter strand with a lucky clover pendant by Andrew Thornton. I knew I’d have something perfect in my stash. I actually had a bird pendant Andrew made that I thought was a better color match, but I was really feeling the joy of the lucky clover today, so I used that.
These were fun to make. I love all the pretty reminders of the good parts of summer. I hope there are good things in your day today!
I made two more necklaces yesterday. It was such a productive day! The first one was in response to a challenge from Andrew Thornton, as I explained in my last post. The parameters included using blue, the number six (however we interpreted that) and a natural material. I sketched out a design that ended up having nothing to do with the necklace I ultimately made. Typical!
I got out my box of blue beads and saw these large, organic shaped blue beads. I’ve always loved their grungy look and soft blue color. They are weird in that they are a large hole bead on one side but have a regular sized hole on the other size. I wonder why. I used six of those. I took out a box of natural materials – shell and bone. I chose these carved bone beads. I spied some mixed leftover small African glass beads and a bag of bayong wood beads I got from Allegory Gallery. I really like how it turned out! I didn’t notice until after I’d strung most of it that one of the carved designs on the bone beads is actually a face. One of those is strung upside down. Oh well!
This filigree and “love” charm in the necklace above are from my May Vintaj VIP kit. The kits come with a great inspiration card showing projects made with the materials. There was a necklace showing this large filigree folded over and painted with patina. I loved that idea, so I used it! I added different dangles – the “love” charm from the kit and two vitrail Swarovski crystals from my stash. The chain is from a repurposed necklace I got in a box of goodies from another artist, and I just love it. Each link is three interlocking oval jump rings. I’ll have to find more like this. It’s just delicate enough. I finished it off with a vintage box clasp. I never would have thought to use the filigree this way. I’m so pleased.
I made three necklaces today! I’ll show you two of them. The other is for a challenge next week. I’ve been watching presentations at The Great Bead Extravaganza – Midsummer Market this weekend. Andrew Thornton did a thrown down challenge – make something with blue, the number 6 (however we interpret that) and a natural material. I love that sort of challenge because it’s very specific yet totally open, so it really gets the creative juices flowing. If you aren’t a member of The Great Bead Extravaganza, you can join and watch any of the presentations you missed from this weekend and previous presentations.
This first necklace uses purple flower opal chip beads and a gorgeous connector from Crow’s Cache Supplies. I’m going to keep this.
I came across this Lillypilly pendant in my stash and got out some materials that I thought would go well with it. Here is how it turned out.
This necklace I made for the next Artists for Animals Auction. I like to make pieces over time so I’m not rushing and stressed at the very end. It has horn, glass, and turquoise beads.
I have three pieces in a charity auction right now to benefit Beads of Courage, an organization that brings arts-in-medicine programs to children with serious illness. These pieces are the collaborations with Brenda Schweder I wrote about in an earlier blog post. That auction is through the end of the day on Monday 4/12/21, so check that out. There are 70 amazing jewelry pieces (and some ornaments) by 30 artists. Here are my three.
Then, in a week, there is an Artists for Animals Auction. It goes April 19 – 25, 2021. Funds raised from my item sales will be donated to the Madison Cat Project. I won’t be the only person selling. There are always a lot of people selling a variety of handmade items. I’m going to show a few things I’ve made for that. This first one is a favorite.
I knotted a variety of glass beads on waxed linen with the cutest pewter clasp. (I have the clasp artist written down somewhere, but I can’t find it right now.) The toggle is a dog and the bar is a bone that says “arf.” I love it! It can be worn with the clasp at the back or, my favorite way, with the clasp at the side so it shows!
I made a variety of earrings.
I have a necklace that I showed on the blog recently. I think it turned out really well.
I love that metal piece as the backdrop for Kimberly Rogers‘ polymer shards.
I also have a beautiful cat vessel with knotted beads. I think this turned out beautifully as well.
I have a really beautiful necklace I made for an earlier auction, but didn’t feel I could get a great picture of it, so I didn’t include it. I just love it, though, so I’m going to offer it up. I always admired the jewelry that the character Phoebe wore on the show “Friends.” This is a “y” necklace that reminds me of some of her pieces. It has little claret colored glass rosary chain with a bronze heart pendant by Andrew Thornton. I think it would look so good with a low v-neck (if you need me to style it for you – ha!)
I often look through past issues of jewelry magazines. Different project appeal to me at different times. I made two pair of earrings based on a project by Mary Jane Dodd in Belle Armoire Jewelry.
I used fancy fibers from Stitch Whimsy Market with amazonite beads and fiber from Allegory Gallery with tourmaline beads. I used really thin wire to wrap them, which was different than the project. I’ll have to try it with thicker wire too. The forms are from a repurposed necklace. I have more!
Even if you just want to browse, visit both auctions. It’s always fun to see what people make.
I was cleaning my work surface and there was a jasper pendant. I remembered I also had some mookaite beads that I thought would look good with it. I found those, and instant necklace! I wanted to add one other element. I had been ready to put away a box of polymer clay beads by Erin Prais-Hintz when I knocked them to the floor. One had hidden, so it hadn’t gotten put back, and it was also on my table. I thought it worked well with the stones, so I included that.
I knotted it on grey waxed linen and added chain extenders on each side to make it the right length. I got the stone pendant and beads from Allegory Gallery.
I think the necklace is really pretty. I can’t wait until I feel comfortable wearing jewelry out of the house again.
Today is the reveal for Allegory Gallery Design Challenge Fairy Garden Kit. Click on the link to see the beautiful materials (minus the Mystery Component, which you’ll see later.)
This reveal snuck up on me. I had lots of ideas, but didn’t get them all made. However, I loved the kit and made the idea I liked best first, so there is that!
I recently got some vintage French glass butterfly buttons. Oh, swoon! I just love them and want to use them on everything. This definitely felt Fairy Garden appropriate.
I used a bracelet form and wrapped it with different fibers from an Allegory Gallery mixed fiber card, Stitch Whimsy Market, and a piece of the luscious pink/purple silky strand from the kit. The more peachy pink fiber at the bottom of the bracelet was so soft; it felt like a cloud. I wire wrapped and dangled beads from the kit at the bottom to counter balance the weight of the butterfly and keep that at the top when worn (as much as possible.) I’m pretty in love with this bracelet. A mix of boho and fantasy that I love. I have a scene in my head of the fairies wrapping these fibers around the bracelet like a maypole in a little dance and then their friend the butterfly alighting there.
Next, I used the Mystery Component in a necklace. I wasn’t thrilled with the design, so I was going to live with it for a while and decide. But then I checked the date of the reveal, and I haven’t had time to live with it yet. I can always redesign it later.
Andrew Thornton made the Mystery Component, this pretty floral pendant. I liked that this rosary chain had the same colors and iridescence, but I feel like the design is a bit simple. I do like that I was able to use the lucite flowers and leaves as well as sequins from the kit.
One of the first designs I thought of was ladybugs on leaves. Sweet earrings. Those ladybug beads are so cute. I got a couple in a different color in another Allegory Gallery kit a while ago. Everything in the earrings except the findings are from the kit.
Last but not least, I made another bracelet. I had a rhinestone connector that just screamed fairy dust to me. It matched great with the strand of crystals in the kit.
I thought this butterfly box clasp was perfect not only to balance the connector, but don’t you think a fairy garden would have lots of fluttering butterfly friends?
There were tons of good beads in this kit. A couple strands I haven’t even touched, as well as a pouch of larger beads and yummy bits from the luxury blend. But time is out, so you’ll see more of those things in later designs.
I sure had fun with this kit. Half of the fun was dreaming about it after I ordered it! Thanks for visiting, and check out what other people made on the Allegory Gallery Design Challenge Facebook page.
It has been a little while since I’ve done an Allegory Gallery Design Challenge reveal. But I was extremely inspired by the Dark Rainbow kit. Once I got it, I started to work with it right away. My favorite things were the matte beads, and I designed and laid out a necklace using those first. Then before I finished it (I had to work on sizing it a bit) I made two other necklaces, finished the first one and then made even more.
The first necklace is a mash up of the Dark Rainbow kit and a Vintaj inspiration kit. This Vintaj star and blue bead were on my table. I had been trying some beads from my stash in the Vintaj design, and they weren’t working. It occurred to me that the blue bead looked like it belonged with the Dark Rainbow kit, so I chose some beads from the design kit and they were perfect! I wanted some great chain to finish it off, but didn’t find just the right thing on my chain wall. (I have SO much chain; I’m always surprised when I don’t think I have the right thing.) But then I had an aha moment. In a great mixed box of supplies I got from Lennis Carrier, there was a necklace to repurpose.
Each section had two types of chain. I chose the one with interlocking ovals, and I think that looks perfect in my mash up necklace!
Next I used the Mystery Component. That is the only thing you didn’t see if you clicked on the link to the photos of the kit. It is a surprise until you get your kit or it is publicly revealed. It is handmade by Andrew Thornton. It is perfect for the kit’s theme and also has a 70s vibe. If you know me, you know I love a 70s vibe!
With it, I used one of the organic grey/rainbow beads and the lentil drops from the kit along with some metallic rondelles and spacers and grey vintage glass from my stash.
Then I finished the first thing I designed. I used many of the matte beads (so gorgeous!) with a dichroic glass connector I have had for 20 years or more. I also had little rounds that looked very similar to the connector, so I added some of those in and jet rondelles to bring out the black frame in the connector.
I was thinking of how the multicolor metallic coating of the kit beads reminded me of AB crystals. I thought of a black circle studded with AB rhinestones I had. I thought the crystal would work well with the kit, and the circle would give something it hang the other large grey organic bead from. I love those! I also used some other beads from the kit and had a nice black chain that reminded me of the material of the circle.
From the time I saw the kit, I loved the multicolor chain that was included and knew I’d use it for something. It is a fine chain, so it lent itself to a delicate necklace. I was putting away some more destash treasures and really wanted to use some beautiful purple pearls. I didn’t have an idea, except the purple was perfect with the kit! So I used a swirly blue rondelle from the kit, a rhinestone spacer that was on my table for a pair of earrings I was making and one of the pearls. Pretty pendant on the chain! This picture doesn’t show the lovely colors of the chain that well, but it’s really gorgeous.
The idea of this last necklace I’m going to show came to me as I was falling asleep. It helps me fall asleep to design jewelry in my head. For some reason, I thought of a pair of earrings I’ve had for over 30 years. I bought them at a thrift shop when I lived in Chicago and wore them with a white shirt with big orange polka dots, which I also got at a thrift store. It was the ’80s; this was a happening, funky ensemble.
Isn’t the prism perfect for the Dark Rainbow kit? So I employed one for a pendant.
I used a gold bead that was sitting on my table, the grey triangle from the kit. I used more of the purple pearls I used in the necklace above, some of the coin beads and small matte spacers from the kit. I liked the idea of the bigger beveled rounds from the kit because the gold tones in those played nicely off the pendant, but i felt like the size overwhelmed the pendant a little, so I went quieter. I added Czech glass beaded chain made of black cathedral beads with a bronze accent to keep up the sparkle in the necklace. This piece has happy memories of the past.
I did made one more piece: earrings! I don’t make a lot of earrings because I find my wire work lacking, but the only way to get better is practice! So I started these and had one on my table. I finally decided to finish a second one.
From the kit, I used two paddle beads and rainbow rounds and added a couple of AB crystals from my stash. I do love the AB crystals with the rainbowy beads from the kit.
I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing what I made with my kit. If you’d like to see what others have made, visit Allegory Gallery Design Challenges to see all the beauty and creativity!
I’ve had this gorgeous little charm by Andrew Thornton, a set gemstone, for a while waiting for the right project. I was cleaning and putting things away today when I decided to try a design. I recently got some tiny gemstones from Allegory Gallery – black tourmaline and multi tourmaline. I wanted to see how those looked with the charm. There is one of the multi tourmaline beads that has a beautiful pink spot, so I put that right next to the pendant.
I also had mixed chain sections from Candie Cooper. I just used the gemstones in front so I could use the chain on either side. I wanted a little cover for the connection points, plus, I love the look of Cynthia Thornton‘s creations which often have lots of lovely wire wrapped gemstone, pearl and crystals and dangles. So I did a little bit of that on each side.
I really love necklaces that do more than look good; they have a good feeling imbued in them. Andrew often talks about this – working from head to heart to hands. I try to use materials that have that good feeling and also keep that feeling as I work on pieces. I was looking at my studio last night before bed and thinking, “It’s like magic in there.”
I hope you’ve been getting some magic in your life lately.
I’m starting to take stock of what I have for the upcoming Artists for Animals Auction. I had made a bunch of things for the spring, but that one ended up being canceled due to the pandemic. I’ve made a few more things and will combine them all to have a decent showing. Let’s take a look.
These happy mod earrings with vintage hoops are so fun. I hope someone likes them as much as I do!
This turned out so great, I kind of wanted to keep it. But I hope it can raise some good funds for the kitties! All of my sales will go to Madison Cat Project, a great organization that rehabs cats and finds them home as well as provides affordable spay/neuter services. The kitty charm is from Inviciti.
I could not get a good photo of this necklace; I’ll have to keep trying. But it is so pretty, especially on. I’ve noticed a lot of people on TV wear “y” style necklaces, and I always like them. So I made this one with a lovely bronze heart by Andrew Thornton. So sweet.
Speaking of Andrew Thornton hearts, here are some pretty polymer clay ones with metallic highlights. I love this charm and have used it several times in different pieces. I’ll have to decide if these need something else, but a favorite earring style of mine is hoops with art beads. Simple and beautiful.
Here is another simple pair of earring, but the kind of thing one could wear all the time. These gorgeous hoops are by Miss Fickle Media and the gemstones are from Dakota Stones.
Here is a lovely cat necklace with a bunch of mostly Czech glass beads, just the sort of thing I’d make for myself. The bone pendant is from Allegory Gallery.
These funky earrings are cool with the vintage colored and textured metal. I feel an ’80s moment coming on!
Last but not least, here is a sweet wooden paw pendant from Allegory Gallery with some gemstones – I think jasper and moonstone.
That isn’t the last of what I have for the auction, but the last of what I have easily found to post here! I’ll work on getting it all together and ready for the auction. Tune in on the Artists for Animals Facebook page starting November 2nd. There are a lot of artists participating and a variety of handmade things (not just jewelry). It’ll give you something pretty to focus on that week!
I had so much fun yesterday making projects inspired by Anne Potter‘s most recent Travelogue e-magazine that I went and looked through some older issues. I was really enjoying the France issue, so I made some projects inspired by that. I would even call it a mini-collection!
For the Laos issue, I made a couple of necklaces inspired by elements of several projects. This time, I made two necklaces more closely based on projects in the magazine and then two pair of earrings more inspired by.
This first necklace is based on the Adoration Necklace.
Everything in the France issue is so elegant. I had similar elements, so I was able to make a similar necklace. I like all the interest the different beads introduce. I had been saving this Andrew Thornton pendant for something special, and this was it! The clear glass flower beads are vintage.
This necklace is based on the Sacrament Necklace. One thing I think people looking to replicate the projects will like is that the sources are cited, so many times you can get the exact items. I have components in my stock that are similar enough to suit me, like this gold piece.
These earrings are not based on any project. I just really liked the white rectangles that I came across while looking for white beads for the first necklace. I also found the two disc pearls in the same baggie. I had some black rosary chain on my table from one of my Laos projects, I felt like these fit the feel of the other projects.
These earrings are based on the Antoinette Earrings. I repurposed the gold connectors from some broken old jewelry. My components for these weren’t as similar as I would have liked, but they are fun. I think these look a little like Mardi Gras!
It was so fun making a mini-collection. There are several more projects from the France issue I may tackle. They are all so beautiful. The Jeanne d’Arc set is clever and amazing!
This also reminded me that I want to go back to a number of projects in Anne’s book Global Style Jewelry.