Friday, October 26, 2012

Just Peachy ~ Sharyl and Natalie's Design Challenge

My dear friend Sharyl from Sharyl's Jewelry and Reflections sent me (and 10 others) these gorgeous beads to play with.
The ones in the front are ceramic beads handmade by Natalie Pappas of NKP Designs
The others are ones Sharyl used to match up Natalie's beads:

The challenge was to use at least two types of beads, at least one of which is Natalie's artbead.
I loved the colors, yeah, as usual, color is what draws me to anything!

What I made for this challenge is quite a departure from my usual style. Everything in here is very simple. No major designing done here, but it works! I already sold one of the two pairs of earrings I made!

I have had these bead caps for the longest time. I love them but was unable to find the right beads to use with them. They are kind of big and flat. The green beads by Natalie seemed to ask for the bead caps and I complied and made this simple pair :)

This second pair is also simple, but has an interesting twist. You see the silver connector in here? Any guesses what it is? No? They are part of a hook-eye clasp. I still need to figure out what I can do with the two orphan hooks. This is the pair that my friend liked and bought.

And this is the last piece. Its a work-in-progress though. I made a focal out of Natalie's peach swirl bead, the white fossil bead and deep red faceted glass bead. Strung it on a white cotton cord.

I have not finished the necklace yet, but this is one idea I am toying with. Make a looooong necklace with a silver chain. I might scatter peach and/or red seed beads on the chain. Or I might not use chain at all, but make a braid out of white cord with peach/red seed beads sprinkled in. We'll see.

So while I am not quite done with my designing, I think I still meet the challenge requirements with the earrings.

Can't wait to see what the others have made!

--1. Kashmira Patel  (Sadafulee... Always in Bloom)
--2. Sonia Smith (posting on Sharyl's blog)
--3. Alicia  (All the Pretty Things)
--4. Cheri  (Creative Designs by Cheri)
--5. Laren Dee Barton (Laren Dee Designs)
--6. Shirley Moore  (Beads and Bread)
--7 Alice Craddick  (Alice's Beads and Baubles)
--8. Cilla (Tell Your Girlfriends)
--9. Whimsical Monkey  (Whimsical Monkey)
--10. KayzKreationz  (KayzKreationz)
--11. Jean A. Wells  (Jean A. Wells Handcrafted Artisan Jewelry)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

I Partnered With Nina Designs :-)

Back in August, I saw a blog post by my friend over at Antiquity Jewelers about Nina Designs. She had partnered with them and created pieces out of some exquisite components that Nina Designs had provided. I loved her designs and the components and asked her how I could be a partner too. She directed me, and here I am today :-)

Here's what they sent to me:

Clockwise from top: 
I must admit I was a bit surprised with the skulls and snake and was a bit stumped.  LOVED it all! The finishing is exquisite! 

I knew I would end up using the skull and snake since they baffled me ;-)

So here's what I came up with...

First off, the snake. I did not want to use it as just a regular old pendant. Luckily, I found this gunmetal "fabric" at my last trip to Michaels. Its the most wonderful fluid and fun!
I decided to pair it up with my snake. I didn't notice it until a friend pointed out that the "fabric" was a really good choice because it looks like the scales on a snake!

The minimal combination looked striking and I decided not to over-design it further.
The only "trouble" with this piece is that it is hard to photograph, the fabric is so flowy! But I tried, and here it is. I did use the clasp Nina Designs sent me in this necklace too.

The fabric is a square piece, and here's how it looks all spread out.

What do you think? Me loves it!

And now for the star! The skull! I am going to let the pictures do all the talking here. I used two components in this design, the skull and the lotus petals. For the longest time I thought the lotus petals were hearts, I guess we see what we want to see ;-) In fact, I see a heart in the skull's nose too, haha

Those are two chains hanging out of the skull...was hard to photograph in the wind. I love this last picture :)

I still have half the components they sent left over, hoping to get to them soon! Knowing what a hoarder I am of things I like, I think it will be a while before I get to the leather though. Its luscious!!!

 The materials above were provided as part of the Nina Designs blogging program. The author of this blog has not received any payment from above-mentioned company. The post above represents only personal opinion of the blog author. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Mismatched, Asymmetrical Earring Swap Reveal

I am a very symmetrical kind of gal, what I see on one side, I like to see on the other. As a child, one of my favorite things to do was sketch, and my favorite things to sketch is symmetrical designs. Fold a piece of paper in the center, draw thick, dark design on on side (right side to be precise), press it over on to the other. Loved doing it! So yeah, I am a symmetrical gal. (A seamstress once told me I was not symmetrical, which was why the top she made for me didn't fit the way it should have. But I don't believe her, and you should not either)

Soooooo....when Diana from Suburban Girl Studio called for sign-ups for a mismatched earrings swap, I signed up immediately, and broke into a cold sweat seconds after I signed up. What was I thinking! And making mismatched earrings was like putting in the work for two pairs and getting only one! But, I persevered, and made something for my swap partner Lisa of Whimsy's Wonders.
She says she likes what I made, so am happy :)

The rules of the swap were simple, make a pair of mis-matched earrings, both of them should have at least one art bead. Lisa and I exchanged notes about what we liked. I asked for something subtle, not too over-the-top as some designs may get. She listened to me for sure! She made these for me:

Aren't they gorgeous! She made it all by hand too! Love all the copper work in here, I can only hope to be this good at it some day! And love the colors, and the subtlety of the design. I was wearing these yesterday while I FaceTimed my sister. First thing she said was, can I have your earrings? She lives across the country, so these are still safe with me :)

Lisa did send me information about the artist who made the lampwork beads, but her card is inside and my sleeping beauty hubby is, well, sleeping, so will come back and update the post with the information.

You are going to have to visit Lisa to see what I sent her :)

Now hop on over to see what everyone else has made!

Charlene Jacka

Saturday, October 13, 2012

History Blog Hop! I am Etruscan Today!

Go here for the My Bead Table blog hop.

Back in early September, I saw this on Beady Eyed Bunny's blog:

Are you inspired by history? If you said yes, then this could be the blog hop for you! The History Hop is a chance to immerse yourself in a period in history and create jewelry with that inspiration.

While I am not a history buff, I was intrigued enough to join because of the different eras that she had listed out:
I was not able to pick an era, since they all sounded interesting. Except maybe Victorian and Art Deco, since we do see quite a bit of those. So I asked Leah to pick and she said I was to think like I was an  Etruscan. Innnnteresting. I had never heard of that :-) So was really happy with her choice.
Here's what wikipedia says about this period:
Etruscan civilization is the modern English name given to a civilization of ancient Italy in the area corresponding roughly to Tuscany, western Umbria, and northern Latium. The ancient Romans called its creators the Tusci or Etrusci.[1] Their Roman name is the origin of the terms Tuscany, which refers to their heartland, and Etruria, which can refer to their wider region.
So now onto find out what their jewelry was like...turns out a lot of different styles of metalwork!
I really like this style
But there is NO way I can make something like this. So I settled for something less elaborate. Like filigree like this one.

Again, no way I can make something like this. Thankfully, this was only supposed to be an inspiration that I can take and make into something different.

So I started with a piece of flat filigree I had in my stash, folded it over to make a pendant. (Apologies for super bad photo!)

Once folded, I thought a LOT about what I wanted to do with it then. I kept going back to search for Etruscan jewelry, and came back not quite liking anything. Then I remembered that it does not need to look Etruscan. Just inspired. So then I started thinking of adding colors!
I was still to start working on the My Bead Table Blog Hop which is also to be revealed today, and thought I should put those beads to use!I used some colorful pinkish-purple (or purplish-pink!) beads to make this pendant.

 Attached  a simple rollo chain and a few more beads to the end of the's the final necklace
And now for a confession. When I realized the reveal date was looming large and I had NOTHING even planned, I thought, for a short short time, that I can cheat and use something already made. I guess it would be ok if I had made it. But what I wanted to use was made by my husband for me. The logic being...he made-she made, same difference ;-) But, like I said, I thought of it for a small, fleeting moment. But the earrings are truly beautiful, so I would like to share a pic (a bad one, he will cringe and crawl into a hole never to re-emerge if he sees this picture posted on a public blog, but I think he does not read my blog). So here it is:

Pretty, eh? Nope, these are mine, not for sale :-)

Do visit the other participants of this very interesting back into whichever era you wish! So hop on!

Ahowin - Art Nouveau
Alicia Marinache – Victorian
Becca's Place – Renaissance
Beti Horvath – Ancient Egypt and Art Deco
Cherry Obsidia – Ancient Mecynae Greece
Cooky – Renaissance
Jennifer Davies-Reazor – Medieval
Kathleen Douglas – Indus Valley
Kashmira Patel – Etruscan
Lady Grey – Victorian
Laney Mead – Pre-Columbian
Leah Curtis – Ancient Roman
LiliKrist - Persia
Melissa – Mesopotamian
Melissa Trudinger – Art Nouveau
Micheladas Musings – Ancient Romans
Sandra Wollberg – Art Nouveau
Sharyl McMillian-Nelson – Art Deco
Tracy Stillman – Victorian

Friday, October 12, 2012

My Bead Table Blog Hop

Oh wow! Is it October 13th already??? I had signed up for this blog hop by Lisa of A Grateful Artist - Pine Ridge Treasures a long long long time ago. When I received the beads, I was super excited and a bit bummed that the reveal was not until October 13th. So the packets were put away, "safely". We all know what THAT means. It means I got them out only a week before the hop, in a panic!

And turns out I have another reveal today, for the History Blog Hop as well. And when did I get to working on that? Yup...last week!

Turns out I thought I had the Mismatched Earring Swap reveal today as well. Luckily, since it was a swap, I had to finish it much before the reveal day. It was photographed and all. And as luck would have it, I realized that the reveal for the one challenge that I was sort of prepared NOT today, its on the 16th :-) Oh well! I did manage to make something for both of today's reveal, with some not-so-satisfactory photos. Hubby's reaction when he saw the photos: don't add the photos, just write about the pieces and let the readers use their imagination! Now I can't ask you to stretch your imagination THAT much! So here goes.

So for this hop, Lisa sent a pack of beads from her bead table to the participants, and the challenge was to make something using only beads from our stash. No buying new stuff! Which was easy for me. I never buy new stuff for challenges. The difference here though was...that most of the beads she sent were "filler" kinds, whereas in other challenges, I was given focals to work around. So it was not AS easy as I thought it would be. I managed though :-) Sadly, I don't have pics of all the beads Lisa sent me. But I will tell you which ones are hers...

The first thing I made, was actually for the Bead Soup Blog Hop. I used some of the beads in this bracelet:

You see those cute, round, dotted beads at the end of the strands? Those are from this bead selection.

Next up, I made this necklace:

and these earrings

All the glass beads in this set are from Lisa's collection.

Next, I made these earrings...the beads are all from Lisa. I LOVE this pair!

And finally, we have this pair of earrings. The teal bead is from Lisa. Am really very happy with this one too!

Oh wait, I think I have one more, unfinished necklace, that I am not sure whether I like enough to finish! Would like some honest opinions! The leaf and the blue beads are from Lisa.

Apologies for a very "wordless" kind of post (quite opposite of what the hubby had suggested), but I gotta move on to write up my post for the History Hop!


Oh! And here are the other participants :-) Seeya!

Molly Alexander, Beautifully Broken Me
Audrey Belanger, Dreams of an Absolution
Ginger Bishop, lilmummy likes...
Tanya Boden, Fusion Muse
Michelle Buettner, Mishel Designs
Eleanor Burian-Mohr, The Charmed Life
Mikala Coates, Maybe Just Perhaps
Marlene Cupo, Amazing Designs
Kathleen Douglas, Washoe Kat's
Mary Anne Klinglesmith Flesch, Hand Crafted Serenity
Therese Frank, Therese's Treasures
Mary Govaars, MLH Jewelry Designs
Tanya Goodwin, A Work in Progress
Tina Holden, Polymer Clay Bytes!
Shelly Joyce, Au jour le jour
Carolyn Lawson, Carolyn's Creations
Kathy Lindemer, Bay Moon Design
Susan Lloyd, Designs by Susan
Cynthia Machata, Antiquity Travelers
Kashmira Patel, Sadafulee .. always in bloom! <== You are here!
Inge von Roos, Inge's Blog
Kristen Stevens, My Bead Journey
Sonya Stille, Dreamin' of Beads
Christine Stonefield, Sweet Girl Design
Toltec Jewels, Jewel School Friends
Norma Turvey, Moonlit Fantaseas
Sandra Wollberg, City of Brass Stories

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Flower Power!

Back in July, I had participated in the "Link Challenge" by Peggy Johnson of the Charm Barn.

I met Terri through that challenge, we started to talk, and found out we had both got our first designs published in Stringing magazine, mine in the Fall issue, and hers in the Winter issue. Both were earrings, so Terri came up with an idea for an earring swap! Both our stores are "flower" themed: hers is Blooming Ideas, and mine is Sadafulee, Always in Bloom. So she suggested we make one flower themed pair, and one "surprise" pair.

I got my package from her a couple weeks back. Chock full of goodies it was!!!
Let me begin with my "bonus" items!

This sweet set of earrings and bracelet! I had told Terri I liked earthy colors and boho style, this is a perfect example of that! I wore these a couple times already!

Next up, is this cute keyring. Noooo idea how she found out how much I love polka dots, but I guess she found out :-) Its sooooo cute!!!! Its a large purple shell with big white dots. Lurrve it!

 She also sent me a pack of gum, which I ate, and hence no pictures :-)
Now for the "surprise" earrings, the one I didn't know the theme of:

These are a gorgeous teal color with little birds in the focal. Very cute! I have not worn these yet, looking for the perfect outfit to pair them with!

And now for the star, the flower ones:

She made these silk flowers by hand! Its a lovely peach color, and have already been worn and shown off :-)

Here's a close-up of the flower and the cute little spiral on top.

And since this is a swap, I think I need to show you what I made as well ;-)
Sheepishly I admit, I didn't make any extras, just the ones we had decided on :((

Will start with the surprise pair:

 I used tiny greek ceramic gears (they are so tiny, they look like little daisies :-)), with bright yellow waxed linen cord (source: White Clover Kiln) and washers (not exactly sure what they are made of)
Love the yellow in this pair :)

And finally, the flower power:

I did have a bit of a hard time coming up with a floral design...simply because the possibilities are endless! I don't remember exactly why I decided on this, and the original design I had in mind was also quite different, but I like the outcome. Especially love the color combination :)

So that was our little Flower Power swap!