I didn’t realize I hadn’t posted in a couple of weeks. I have been making, though. With the Artists for Animals Auction coming up, I generally think about that when going into my studio lately. I’ve made more new things than I thought, and I also have stock that I made before, so I’m pretty well set. I’ll show some of the things I’ve made just lately.
This lovely pendant is by Lora Lunsford. I love making necklaces with lots of colorful Czech glass.
I actually made these earrings eons ago but just with the large drop beads. I really like the long kidney wires but decided they needed a little something and wanted to wrap some tiny gemstones on the wire. Wire wrapping always seems a bit futzy to me, so it took me this long to do it! But it dressed them up nicely as suspected.
It’s always fun to have a horse bead or pendant for the horse lovers. This one is by Foxpaws with some jasper.
Today I used a paw print heart Allegory Gallery wooden pendant, perfect for the auction. I went to get a beaded bead from The Bead Goes On to use with it and I also saw some bamboo hexagon beads I’d gotten from there I had planned to use for a now forgotten project. I thought they’d look great all together, and I was right! A very lightweight and fun necklace.
I have more things squirreled away that I may or may not have shown on the blog. I hope you can take a peek at the Artists for Animals Auction when it is live November 1 – 7, 2021. A variety of artists post their handmade items (not just jewelry) and give all the proceeds to the animal charity of their choice. I donate mine to Madison Cat Project.
The back of the Green Girl elephant charm says “Happy Memories”. I hope I make lots of happy memories while wearing this fun necklace. I really loved these Allegory Gallery inspiration kit materials, and they did not disappoint.
I decided to get myself the Vintaj VIP monthly subscription box. I had thought about it for a while, but hadn’t done it. You can get a good look at what type of things you will be getting because Heather Powers does an unboxing video and project every month on her Humblebeads Facebook page. That is what finally convinced me to get the box. I really wanted the box shown in the most recent video. I love the components and especially the gorgeous Swarovski. Also, they had a deal for half price the first month, so I took advantage of that.
The kits include finished design ideas for inspiration. Heather Powers makes something different in her video, so that gives you additional inspiration if you’d like.
Beads and cabochons. I especially love the two pairs of set glass in the front. They will look wonderful in an Apoxie Sculpt project.
Metal components. Vintaj has all types of finishes, which I love. They show great mixed metal projects. I like all finishes. I’ve turned over one in a couple of the pairs to show the textured side and smoother side. You could use them either way.
Vintaj filigree. I’ve always wanted to work more with filigree. I buy it, but I often don’t know what to do with it. I’ve purchased a couple of Vintaj technique books, so those will be helpful, as will the kit inspiration sheets.
I don’t often make projects designed by other people, but I really loved the idea presented for the Swarovski piece on the Vintaj design ideas card, so I did make that with kit items and a vintage chain I had. Even the back is beautiful with the mirror finish on the crystal and the design on the filigree.
I think I will really enjoy these Vintaj boxes! There is still a lot of stuff to get through this year until there are more forms of support available (visiting family and friends in person, etc.) so I am continuing to find ways to engage in extra self-care.
Lisa Lodge from Pine Ridge Treasures has had many fun blog hops over the years, and here is another one! The Happy Beads Blog Hop reveal is today. Kits came in purple and blue themes, and I chose blue. Blue is a color I don’t use often, so I thought I would challenge myself (although I find I don’t use purple as much either). I’m so glad I did! My kit contains a beautiful array of beads and components.
So many beads here to love in many shades of blue and a variety of shapes. Even those white beads, in a fun drop shape, have a slight coating that looks blueish in certain light.
The variety of shapes and colors brought to mind a necklace I have wanted to make inspired by the cover of the book Create Jewelry: Glass by Marlene Blessing and Jamie Hogsett. I’ve loved it ever since I got the book, and I thought this would be the perfect time and some excellent materials.
From the kit, I used cathedral beads, blue pearls, translucent twists, small turquoise crystals, little blue daggers, grey pearls and large turquoise blue crystals. I added the rest of the beads from my own stash. It was fun to decide which beads to use and in which order. Color makes me happy, so this necklace really fits in the with hop theme, and the little red heart charm that I found in one of the red bead bags to put at the clasp just rounded out that feeling.
I really loved the coated white drops. They look so elegant, and I love the way they fit together. I tried a few designs with those and settled on a bracelet.
I used a Green Girl Studios fine pewter button for the focal/closure. I made a loop of some vintage Czech crystals, also with the AB coating. I didn’t like the look of the crimp, so I covered it with waxed linen and frayed the ends for boho flair. I love the finished product.
I had so many beads left, so I made more. First, a pair of earrings.
I used beads and ear wires from the kit and cat charms from my stash for the earrings.
I had cut some memory wire for another project I didn’t make. I thought that would be a good way to use many of the beads I had left. I decided to use a cat charm on one end to make it coordinate with the earrings. I used a heart charm on the other end. Cat love!
Thanks for stopping by! Check out what everyone else made from their kits at the links below.
I always love the look of a bracelet stack. (Think Candie Cooper on just about any video.) They aren’t always easy for me to wear, although it obviously can be done. I used to work with a woman who was always wearing a cute dress, a bracelet stack (or two) and what I have come to know as a neckmess before the term even existed – and whenever possible, she had biked to the meeting. How cool is that?
The kit contains all the materials you will need; you just need a few tools. You might have some of the materials already at home, but if you need to order some, I encourage you to order from The Bead Place. Abbi is a fantastic teacher, and she puts so many free tutorials on her YouTube page. It’s nice to support small businesses who give us so much!
There was no detail left to chance in this tutorial. I am usually an eyeball it sort of person, but because of Abbi’s directions, I averted disaster more than once. It’s not a difficult project (and, with her instructions, a beginner can be successful) but it is precise. I was patient enough to do it because it was like beading with encouragement from a friend. I really enjoyed Abbi’s teaching style.
I think my bracelet came out great, and looks fabulous with my stack! There is the three strand bracelet from the kit, two silver bangles I’ve had since I was a teenager, four fabulous polymer clay channel bangles by ArtSci Designs, and a design based on a Candie Cooper project with a Green Girl Studios flower connector.
I think this is a great stack, and the kit was a fun project.
I recently got a Foldio2 light box. I’m so happy with it as well as with the customer service of the company, Orangemonkie. Now that I have good light, I want good backgrounds! I’ve had the best luck over the years with nice papers. I’ve had some good art papers, but during the pandemic, I didn’t want to go to the store to rifle through them (and haven’t found any good ones the last few times) so I turned to online choices.
I got two sheets of white – one because it was 11 x 17 and one because it had some flower petals in it, and I love that. White tends to be problematic, though, so we’ll see how it worked out. The next two are grey which tends to be the best background in my experience (and from what others say). I think of the left one as dark grey and the one on its right as light grey, which I thought would be the better one. I got a brown just to try something else. I figured it would be too dark (it is recycled cardboard) but the shop didn’t have a ton of single sheets.) The last is aged, and I just love it. I wasn’t sure if it would be too busy. On to the experiments!
As imagined, this necklace looks better on the grey. The colors are richer, the clarity is better, and the shadows are fewer. There are other factors at play (my editing, how I placed the necklace in the light box.) But I’m never one to spend a lot of time, so anything that makes a photo better without extra fussing is a plus.
I went back to my original blog post about this necklace because I couldn’t immediately recall the raku artist’s name. Oh, these pictures are so much better! Both due to the light box and the background. I chose this necklace for experiments to have something with darker/brown colors. The aged paper is wonderful here! I like the deckled edge, so I left that showing in the upper right on the aged paper. I’ll have to be cognizant of placement in future to make that easier. This necklace pops on the grey too. Both wins.
Both of these pictures are decent. Probably better than many already on my blog. However, I wouldn’t use either of these backgrounds. My experiments were so random. I didn’t get one on grey of this necklace, but I suspect that would have been the winner.
Again, neither of these photos is bad, but I think the crystals and unicorn pop best on the grey. The light grey is good all purpose. I’d like the other white beads to look better. I think they are Czech glass? But adjusting the light could probably improve that. I cared most about getting the AB coating on the crystals. So lovely.
I do think the brown is a bit dark for many things. I thought that might work for some lighter pieces (like the unicorn) but it doesn’t seem to work for many of them. But I like having it on hand, and it was worth a try. Here the grey is a the clear winner.
Here we have the battles of the greys, and I think the light grey has it. The bead details just stand out better. That could be due, again, to my editing and how I did the lighting, but the darker grey seems to drag the photo down.
I think the brown makes the colors look off. I think the aged has it. I’m loving that aged sheet!
I think I’m out of comparisons, but here are some singles.
Here you can see that it’s not just the background that makes a difference – it’s the editing. I’ve clearly done a better job editing the bottom photo. Taking that extra time makes a difference. I do take a little time when editing multiple photos to get one good one for a post. Editing so many at once made me sloppier!
I wanted to try another necklace with browns on the aged. I’m loving the aged! I didn’t do a great job lighting or editing this; the clarity is not there. But it’s a lovely background for this necklace.
I grabbed these earrings that were sitting on the table just to try something else. The light grey is a nice neutral background. I like the drama of the aged paper. The others, especially the white with floral, will come in handy once in a while. But I’m pleased with what I got. I’ll be looking for some more with interest, like the aged. Feel free to share your tricks and tips in the comments.
I love the Jes MaHarry look – gemstones and precious metals in a casual, organic style. You may have seen it in the Sundance catalog. I like how she styles it when I see her wearing it herself – layering several necklaces together. Lately I’ve been making some gemstone and small pendant necklaces that I think of wearing this way.
I’ve used vintage glass, labradorite, turquoise, rubies, sapphires and pearls. the pendant on the left is by Sweet Rock Candy Beads and the other three are by Green Girl Studios. The Green Girl pendants are double sided. The fairy says “joy” on the back. The dove has a peace sign on the back. The (I believe) gryphon says “the final mystery is oneself.”
I wasn’t quite intentional enough when making these, and they are all the same general length. I will need to make another that is a bit longer (or maybe I already have one suitable). The beads are also similar enough to not lay well together. I’ll need to experiment more to get some I think work well together. I think a longer one on chain maybe. These all work well on their own though, and I’m having fun making them and looking for the right materials.
I had been keeping up with Bead in the New Year, the daily series of prompts from Allegory Gallery during the first half of January. I dropped off a bit to work on some other things, but I got back to some of the prompts this weekend.
Day #21 – Create a piece using only black and white
I love Jon Burgess‘ work, especially his whimsical polymer and upcycled wire pendants. I think this one looks like a robot. To give it the spotlight, I just put it on black linen and knotted between these textured vintage glass beads. I think it’s a great black and white piece.
Andrew Thornton from Allegory Gallery has been in Tucson at the bead shows with his sister Cynthia of Green Girl Studios. They spent some time with Candie Cooper, and I love watching videos of folks and hearing about their finds there. Candie was selling some Green Girl and Allegory Gallery wares in her shop, and held up an AG wooden butterfly pendant. So cute! I chose that one from my stash to use. February can be a pretty harsh month here in Wisconsin. In fact, during recent days, much of the accumulated snow and ice melted with warmer temperatures. Today it is all being replaced with an on-going snow storm. This necklace makes me think happy thoughts of spring to come.
I made one more necklace this weekend, but not based on a prompt. I had ordered this fabulous mushroom pendant from Gaea.
I was probably just going to do something simple with it like put it on chain. Then I got a bunch of tiny mushroom charms from the Famous Vintage Bead Hoard Liquidation Destash. I wanted to make a really fringy chain, but that proved harder than I thought. I probably should have looked at how fringe chain is put together. Anyway, I settled for this more modest fringe of mushroom charms near the bottom of my pretty yellow chain from Sondra Jackson’s Estate Beads Destash Depot.
I look forward to doing more creating. When I saw that the morning snow continued all day, I thought maybe there would be a snow day, but it doesn’t look like it, so back to work tomorrow!
Madison Cat Project is an adoption guarantee organization that finds a home for every cat that comes to them (including cats who prefer to live as barn cats and still have food and shelter), runs a spay/neuter clinic, and has an extensive network of fosters to rehabilitate and care for hard to place cats in order to get them ready for their forever homes.
I’m going to show a few of the things I’ve made for the auction. I hope you will join us next week to take a look.
Here is a sweet kitty necklace with all sorts of lovely Czech glass.
I am in love with this next necklace called Favorite Things.
Beads, cats, coffee and color! It features two vintage moonglow lucite charms, a kitty pedant by Green Girl Studios (that says “kitty comfort” on the back) and a patterned coffee cup by Inviciti. I used silver chain in the front and sections of a variety of colored chain in the back for a surprise pop of color. If you read this blog, you know how I love chain sections. I hope someone else loves this necklace as much as I do! (The kitty charm is pewter; the slight greenish cast on it is a reflection from the moonglow charm!)
Although I usually make necklaces for myself, I think earrings are easier for people to buy, so I make more of those for the auction. Here are four pair.
Going clockwise from top left: German glass and vintage brass, African glass and donuts by Yvonne Irvin-Faus, anodized aluminum and skulls by Andrew Thornton, vintage glass and hollow metal drops.
I have lots more, and there are many other artists participating too. I am off to finish up my descriptions and make sure I have all the pictures I need. Hope to see you at the auction!