Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Pink Orchid

I have been following the Art Jewelry Elements blog since its debut in mid-April.

It is started by a very talented group of artists...they all create handmade elements to be used in art jewelry. Recently, they started the "Inspired By..." series where they put up a picture every month as inspiration. Today is the reveal day for the first challenge. The participants list is at the end of the original post on the AJE blog: Inspired By...Reveal and Blog Hop

The first inspiration photo is of a very beautiful, vibrant orchid...

Orchids photo taken by jennifer cameron Glass Addictions

I fell in love with the colors, I wanted something that could show the whites around the petals, the darker veins in the middle. And I knew exactly what I could use for it!

I had a few agate slices of this color, each one different from the other...I found the perfect one! It had the exact pink color, and a transparent border that would take on whatever color I set it against, and darker pink coloring in there too.

I made a pendant and let it sit for a few days, not sure what I wanted to do next. I met an old friend for lunch during that time, and among other things, told him about my new shop on Luulla http://sadafulee.luulla.com/). He went home and checked out the site, and liked my work. And asked me if I could make something for his wife. Her birthday is on June 3rd, and he wanted something in agate...her birthstone! And her favorite color was purple. Perfect timing! I had made another necklace with one of these chips and sent him the picture. It's not purple, but he liked the color. So now I had extra motivation to finish this. And knowing who it was going to helped me decide what I wanted to do next.

Here's the necklace.

I had originally planned on using a pink ribbon around it, but I think the chain is better suited for her. The ribbon would have made tooo pink. My friend also wanted earrings to go with it, so here's what I made. Simple...matching, and hopefully not overwhelming along with the necklace!

I have sent him the pictures to make sure he likes the set, so the jury is still out on it. In either case, I love them :-)

Friday, May 25, 2012

Cocktail Hour Blog Hop - Manhattan!

Its Friday night, time for another challenge reveal :-)

This time it is "The Cocktail Hour Blog Hop" by Amy Freeman of Copper Diem.
She sent us all the name of a cocktail which we were to use for inspiration.
Her instructions:
"Google the cocktail, and use the ingredients, image, color, season it's usually enjoyed, era it became famous (I'm looking at your absinthe), or whatever else to inspire any piece of jewelry."

I got, you guessed it, Manhattan!

I had no idea what it was made of. But the first thing that came to mind was skycrapers, and uber-chic people! Like Carrie Bradshaw. I wanted to make something SHE would wear, lol :-)

I did look up the drink itself, to see what the ingredients are and what it looks like.
Ingredients: Whiskey and Vermouth. Hmm...not inspiring anything really :(

What it looks like...what's the color? Kind of a dull orange. See..like this

And here's the Manhattan skyline....

Ok, I think I had my inspiration...that orange colored drink, this building from the Manhattan skyline, and something Carrie Bradshaw would wear!

Off to the stash we go. I wanted to make an orange triangle. Luckily, while rummaging through my stash, I found a pair of earrings my friend had given me to upcycle. They were PERFECT for this. I used one of them as the focal, added a large antique brass split ring, and sprinkled some orange beads in it (that is the cherry on the drink ;-))

Made it super long...Carrie would like it that way, I think! And added some orange-ness on the chain as well. And here we have it...the Manhattan necklace! It has the skyscraper, with a cherry on top, made for a fashionista living in Manhattan :-)

I need to get a picture of the "full" necklace. Its so long, I am not able to find a good background to put it against.
This was fun! Researching the drink, and being able to represent it exactly the way I wanted it was a lot of fun!

Here are the other participants! What makes it more interesting is that we don't know what everyone got. So its going to be a fun surprise to visit all the blogs.

Hostess:  Copper Diem

Stefanies Sammelsurium
My Bead Journey
Adventures with Kelly
Mama's Got To Doodle
Wait Just One More Bead
Cynth's Blog
Palm Coast Art
Green Shoot Jewellery Designs
Cianci Blue
Dreamin Of Beads / SAS Jewelry Designs
Beads for Busy Gals
Oregon Made Jewelry
My Addictions...Handcrafted Jewelry by Patti
Moods by Mari
Soul of Mine Embodiment
Uniquely Yunikua
Fabric of My Life
Firefly Visions
Indigo Heart
The Peaceful Bead
Casa de Everly
Heaven Lane Creations
Sue Beads
Durga Jewelry
Honey Bijou
A Bird in the Hand Art
Rainy Day Designs
Tell Your Girlfriends

Monday, May 21, 2012

Sharyl's Bead Packet Challenge

Here I am with another challenge reveal :-)

This time it is for a challenge my dear friend Sharyl had posted on her blog. Sharyl was curious to see what people with different skills, different design aesthetics and different styles would make out of the SAME set of beads. With this in mind, she picked 5 of us and sent us 16 beads. Enough to make anything at all...earrings, bracelets, necklace, anklet, rings...anything at all. Here's what she sent us:

The rules were quite simple. We needed to use at least two styles of beads she sent us, and then we were free to add whatever we liked to it.

I loved the teardrops. From the moment I saw them! So obviously, those are what I used first. Then to pick the second bead, I needed to decide what I wanted to make. I didn't feel a necklace idea forming. Bracelets are still hard. So I went with earrings.

Ok, one decision made. I glanced into my work-tray and saw a silver chain with a white crystal attached to one end, and a green crystal to the other. Part of another something that never happened, I couldn't remember what it was supposed to be. I decided to use that idea..crystal and chain. And I thought I will experiment using the silver chain, although the beads clearly asked for something brown or antique brass.

Back to picking the second bead...I picked the teal ones. Just like that :-) And then assembled everything together. I liked the design, but the silver tone bothered me. I put it aside, and it stayed that way for a LONG time.

A couple weeks ago, I met with my "crafty" friends at our monthly craft meet. I took this piece along to get an opinion. My friend suggested gold. I was a bit reluctant at first, only because I was trying something unconventional with the silver, and antique brass was my next choice. But she insisted it will look MUCH better than antique brass. I relented and this is what we designed together :-)

She was ABSOLUTELY right! The gold brought out the colors so much better than antique brass would.

While I was making it, my friend said, oh, I want something like this too! So I told her I could have this very pair...and thus this pair got sold during the creation process itself! Then she asked me if I could make her a necklace to go with it as well. Sure, I had all the beads right there, and agreed to do it. She was giving me pointers about what she wanted, all the while making sure it adhered to the rules of the challenge! So very sweet! I told her not to worry about the challenge, since the earrings are enough for the entry. But we did keep that in mind, and added one more bead from Sharyl's packet in the necklace. She wanted something asymmetric, so here's what we came up with. The thirs bead-style is on the chain. The necklace design is completely hers...although she refused to take credit saying it was simply inspired by the earrings.

The photographs do NO justice to this set. The colors just don't look right :( I had given it to her before I looked at the pics I had taken, so I am going to have to live with these. I really need to work on my photography setup and skills!

My friend proudly wore it for her wedding anniversary, which of course makes me beam with pride :-)

I still have a few beads left from Sharyl's packet, hope to use them with something soon!
Thank you Sharyl for hosting this and for sending out these beauties.

Here's the list of all participants, can't wait to see what they have come up with!

Marie-Noel Voyer-Cramp (Skye Jewels)

Kristi Jaro (Curiosities by K)

Shirley Moore (Beads and Bread)

Therese Frank (Therese's Treasures)

Kashmira Patel (Sadafulee) <== You are here

Sharyl McMillian-Nelson, Host (Sharyl's Jewelry & Reflections) http://www.sharylsjewelry.blogspot.com/

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Finally!!!! I have an online store! Someone pinch me!

Yup! Sadafulee finally has an online home!

Here....Sadafulee...Always in Bloom!

I was supposed to start one on Etsy, on my birthday on the 18th of April. Things got in the way (all of which can be clubbed into one category: procrastination!), and that did not happen.

In the mean time, Etsy got into some controversies about allowing resellers and a bunch of other issues. A lot of folks I knew in the beading community had started taking their business elsewhere. One of which was Luulla. The site is still very new, and is much smaller than etsy, but I liked their interface, and that we could link directly to other social networks (blog, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, etc). And their pricing structure was very attractive to me. So the decision about "where" was made.

I still needed to get better pictures, set up my accounting software, and a whole of host of things (all those that we have already put under "procrastination"). Since I was not making any progress on those in any case, I decided to jump the gun and just list something, have something out there, and let people know. Knowing folks are looking at it would make me clean up my act ;-)

So...in the wee hours of May 15th, 2012, I listed a pair of earrings, emailed my friends and family, and pinned it on Pinterest. I listed these:

A few minutes after I pinned it, I see an email from Luulla....about a transaction! I was shell shocked! This was too good to be true! And well it was. Will tell you why in a bit.

So I went around bragging to everyone, that I have a store, which is well, empty because it sold-out ;-)

I was loitering around in Facebook and I saw Melinda Orr asking to list a photo and store link. Now I had a store. I could post, woohhooo! She wanted 4 links. I was the 4th one! We had NO idea what it was for. Later...I found out, those first four stores were going to be the "featured stores" on that forum! Woot! Oh! But wait, the store was empty! So I scrambled to find a good photo of something else I had ready for listing, and added it. The spotlight stayed on for a few more days, so I got to add a few more listings. Still not done, I need to take better pictures and all that, but I am on my way!!!

And now...about why that first sale was too good to be true: it didn't happen. The buyer didn't complete the payment, and didn't respond to my messages. So I cancelled the transaction. But I was not as upset as I would have been. Because well, what are the chances of this actually happening, right! And...one of my friends had already asked me to make another pair for her, so I did have another buyer lined up already. So all good. This friend was my VERY first customer in so many ways: The first thing I ever sold was to her, the first thing I ever sold after I got my business license was to her. And she bailed me out this time too. But since she didn't buy via Luulla, that "first" title goes to someone as dear to me as her...read on to find out!

That non-paying transaction actually turned out to be a blessing in disguise. I did make my first sale yesterday...to my cousin. I take this, as per my Indian values, as a very auspicious beginning!

So...this is my big story for this month :-) New beginnings for Sadafulee, and I hope I get to make a difference to the kids at Project Why!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Vocal Focal Reveal!

Today is also the reveal day for Bonnie's Vocal Focal Swap

The idea was to choose a unique, cool focal bead and swap with a partner that Bonnie would arrange for me.

I was paired up with Shirley Moore of Beads and Bread, an amazing bead weaving artist. I still have a great fear of bead weaving, and even greater respect for anyone who does it! I requested (err...it was more like a demand...I WANT!) Shirley to make me a bead woven focal in bright colors. I gave her a few choices, and also dropped a hint that I liked stripes. Sweet Shirley made me exactly what I was hoping for! A lovely black and yellow chevron striped pendant!
I took a pic of it, but her's is better, so will show you hers...

Only after seeing her picture I realized that THIS was the front side, lol :-) I liked the other side better, it has more yellow. There are so many different shades of black and gray in there, it is mesmerizing!

Now I have never used bead-woven anything before, so scratched my head quite a bit about what I should do with it. I knew I wanted to extend it a little bit with something dangling at the bottom...no idea what. Was trying out different things when I spotted this washer...and I knew that's what I wanted to use :=)

Here's the picture of my necklace...I added the washer at the bottom and strung a simple satin ribbon through it.

Am still debating whether this is the final version or not. I like it in its bare version...simple string that is tied in the back. Other "finishing ideas I have right now are...adding a chain and clasp in the back, or leaving the ribbon all the way and just adding a clasp. I do like it like this though.

Here's how it looks on the mannequin/bust...

See? Looks nice, right?

Bonnie, am glad I participated in this challenge and was paired with Shirley :-) She is going to help me get started with bead weaving! Excited much!

Oh, and I had sent her a polymer clay focal from ClayHappy. Why? Because I like polymer clay and don't have anything too pretty yet, so I decided Shirley should have it :-) Silly, I know.
This is what I sent. You HAVE to visit her blog to see how she transformed this into something completely out of this world!

Here's a list of other participants:

Friday, May 4, 2012

One Crayon Color Challenge - Black!

So...Miss Sally from The Studio Sublime decided to play with crayons...and she invited us to play with her. But she had a rule...I could only pick one color and that's all I can create with!

I picked black. This was a tough one! Made this a REAL challenge for me. If you have followed my creative journey, you probably noticed...everything I make is spilling and bursting from the seams with color! And lots of different ones too.

So designing with black, and only black was HARD.
I had just finished the Wrapped, Stacked and Layered Challenge and was really inspired by all the bangles I saw there. I did not have the right kind of wire to make my own bangle. So I decided to use memory wire. But I had already made one (yeah, just one so far :D) bracelet with memory wire, so wanted to make it a bit differently. So, here's what I did:

I strung some "ribbed" black beads, gunmetal seed beads and a "mayan" print focal bead on half a length of memory wire. Then I wanted to make something multi-stranded to add some interest to the other half. So I attached a length of gunmetal chain, and strung together gunmetal and clear seed beads for a second strand. Was thinking of adding a strand of plain black seed beads as well, but I think I like it this way.

It looks pretty, but has a technical problem. It is heavy on one side. I wish Lori Anderson had published her post about stringing a bit sooner. I would have thought of balance then while designing this! So, now I have to figure out how to fix this problem.

When I designed this bracelet, I remembered I actually completed a whole set for the very first time! I now have a complete set of necklace, earrings and bracelet! Here are the other two pieces I had made a few months back.

I don't like this picture. Probably because of the background. The necklace looks amazing when worn :-)

And here are the earrings...

These I like :-)

Thank you, Sally for hosting this challenge :-) I wish I could have made more pieces, but am glad I could finish at least one!

Here's the list of other participants in the challenge. Time for some more eye-candy :-)



Bobbie Rafferty   http://beadsong.blogspot.com


Rebekah Payne   http://treewingsstudio.com



Charissa Sloper   http://blog.obsidiansoda.com


Jenny Davies Reazor   http://www.jdaviesreazor.com


Jennifer Judd Velasquez http://jenjuddrocks.blogspot.com


Diana Ptaszynski   http://suburbangirlstudio.com


Birgitta Lejonklou  http://lejonklou.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

For a little baby

Well...no actually its for his mom :-)

My friend has a 9 month old baby boy. This is a nursing necklace I made for her...so that the little one has something to play with during dinner time, and doesn't scratch mommy's face!

I had a few questions when she asked me to make it. What material would be safe, what length, should I make it totally baby friendly, or something she would like to wear once the kid is weaned. What colors...etc.
Finally, I decided to go with Mommy's favorite colors, and use no, or as little, metal as possible.

So..I used some satin ribbon, a wooden ring I salvaged from a wind-chime I broke apart to use parts of it for jewelry, and some bright red round beads and a few turquoise wooden beads. I used the ring thinking the baby would find it easier to hold on to. I hope that's the case. He finds the red very attractive :-)

Here it is:

I had wanted to try this technique for tying beads around a ring for a very long time. Explored lots of macrame websites and figured I would use the half-hitch knot. Not completely happy with the first knot, but I guess its a good enough experiment. I also wanted to make a better strap...something thicker out of square knots maybe. But I had no idea how to make it. I did see tutorials for that as well, but wasn't sure how much cord to cut to get the exact length that was needed for this necklace. And of course, I needed to get it done quickly...before the baby grew up ;-) So stuck to what I knew already for the strap.

Here's a close-up of the focal...

My friend likes it, and baby likes to chew on it too :-)
I'd say this was a successful mission! I need not have worried about making it something Mommy could use even later, baby is busy eating it up, haha :)