4/29/2016

Tackle that stash - Beaded spring flower necklace

So I have been a little flower crazy lately. I made earrings, a pendant, experimented with more petals, ripped up said experiment. Sorry, guys, I'm afraid this hasn't been the end yet.
Not even today's stash tackler has been the end.
First of all let me tell you the story of this seed bead stash. I have won these beads in a contest. They are seed beads of different colors and sizes. My problem were - the different colors and sizes. I don't work in opaque colors much. I didn't have enough beads of the same size for using them together in a nicely patterned loomed piece and off loom beading is not high on my list. A whole cup of transparent green size 15 seed beads? What on Earth could I make with them?

Over the years I used some of them in wire crochet and knit projects. The others I kept looking at, desperately waiting of a sign from the beady gods.
Once again a rope did the trick. A beaded rope would use up those tiny green beads very nicely, and then I could decide what to do with it. Herringbone. Herringbone spiral. When this was finally done, the flower idea jumped to mind.
One flower, two flowers, speckled flowers. How many flowers, though? After all my choice of color was limited. Leaves. Leaves and vines.
And last but not least ... hm ... a beaded butterfly? Wouldn't that be too much? And what colors? No butterfly, but .... hey wait, why didn't think of that right away? Perfect. A rotund, happy, cute as can be lampwork bee by Izzybeads.


A closer look.


An extra bonus was that this necklace qualifies for the JAC April challenge "Spring has sprung".
The necklace is not available yet because I am still waiting for some findings, but you can tell me how you like it, anyway ;-)

4/27/2016

Oldies but Goodies - It's A Zoo Out There

Time for this week's Oldies but Goodies Challenge at the Jewelry Artisans Community.
As you can easily tell from the post title, the theme was "It's a zoo out there", and isn't that true (although I might have had a different kind of zoo in mind ;-)).
Not only could we submit animals of all kinds, though. There are various stones that are named after animals. Tiger's eye, zebra jasper, crab agate, snakeskin jasper are just a few of them. Items with stones like that were allowed as well which made for some interesting variety.

You know that usually I don't point out a single artist's work in these challenges, but this time I have to say something about the great elephant bangle by our Dawn. I wish we still had access to the contents of the old forum, so I could guide you to a long running thread about how this bangle came to life. Who knows, maybe this will inspire her to put the story on her blog ... oh, and Dawn, when I did a search on JAC to see if there was a post after all that I could link to, I found something else. Let me just say "wolf, wolf, wolf".

Okay. I didn't mean to take attention off all the other pieces completely, so ... have fun.
Oh, forgot to say, click the picture to get a better look, or even better, go to the thread linked above for all the pictures that have been submitted!



1 and 8 Jewelry Art by Dawn
2 and 7 MC Stoneworks
3 and 6 Cat's Wire
4 and 5 Violetmoon's Corner

4/26/2016

One of a kind versus repeating a design

April is almost over and it's time for the monthly blog carnival over at the Jewelry Artisans Community.
This month it's about one of a kind items versus repeating a design.

In the old days of JAC (actually when it still had a different name) there was a time when newbies got a mentor if they wanted to, someone who had been around in the biz for a while, someone who helped out with tips, who could answer questions and offer encouragement.
I remember two things that my mentor told me.
1. You can't milk a dying dinosaur. That one was about my camera that was on the way out when it started to tint my pictures in a lovely soft purple. It had been my first digital camera and it was hard to say goodbye to it, but the purple didn't go away. This dino was dying indeed.
2. If you have sold something, make it again right away. Ah. That one I wasn't so sure about. Even back then I had a hard time making earrings because that meant making the same thing twice.

Time showed that #2 really wasn't for me.
Of course some pieces look similar. A wire knit bezel is a wire knit bezel, no matter if it has a jasper or an agate sitting in the middle. I still like to experiment with that, though. Adding a bit here, manipulating the stitches there. A wire crochet rope is a wire crochet rope, but you can add beads in different ways. You get the idea.

True, sometimes I like to make a series. There are the Rainbow Fairies, a series of wire crochet ropes in different colors with matching bead mixes. To be honest, I don't think these days I would still have the patience to make ten ropes in a few days, not mentioning that my wrists would be very unforgiving about that. There are the single pearls in wire crochet settings. There are wire knit bracelets with lampwork beads for buttons.
That doesn't happen very often, though. How many times have I said that I need to make this or that in a different color or with different beads and how many times have I found something else I wanted to try before getting around to it?

Another thing is that I almost never use patterns and I don't write patterns except of course for my bead loomed items.
Many times I simply don't know how I made something. It's that adding a bit here and manipulating there again. I often say I let the hook and wire take over, and that means that afterwards I have no idea how those two have been taking me to where we ended up. Often it's impossible to tell from the finished piece what exactly I have done, and I definitely never count stitches because that would break my concentration during the process. Well, unless I make earrings. Don't even ask how often an earring got made into a pendant because I suddenly noticed that I stopped counting.

Mind you, I'm not saying at all that it is wrong to repeat a design, and I'm also not saying that it is better or more artistic to make one of a kind pieces.
I think everyone has to find their own way, and my way is mostly not to repeat the exact same design.
No rule without exception, though .................... ;-)



You'd like to know what other JAC members have to say about this?

Violetmoon's Corner
Echoes of Ela
Jewelry Art by Dawn 

4/25/2016

Zibbet finds of the week - Australia

I remember the first presentation we had to do in English class. We were allowed to pick our own subject, and since I had been checking out books about Australia from the library for a long time, the choice was easy to me.
Those books were mostly about the flora and fauna, though, and I have to admit that I concentrated on the fauna. So to get more information - you have to remember, those were the early 80s and there was no internet - I wrote to the Australian Embassy and they sent me a wonderful big package of brochures and things which might even still be around somewhere. I worked through them and through library books and put together my presentation.
There was also to be a short Q&A session at the end, and not only the students could ask questions, but also the teacher who would usually ask the class to make sure they didn't drop off sleeping. A friend of mine asked me if I could tell her just one thing, so she could make a good impression, so she prepared to explain what marsupials are.

Back to the present ... today's finds of Zibbet are in honor of Australia's unique and wonderful fauna.


Koala bear crib mobile by ZooToys


Boyd the Bat and his Pink Teddy original Flying Fox painting (read the story, please!) by Puffin's Pictures




New Holland dingo vintage engraving at Le Petit Poulailler




Great White Shark security blanket by BBs for Babies



Resin earrings with vintage Kookaburra stamps by I Walk With My Heart


Duck billed platypus by Suzi Q Designs
 
Vintage Australian dollar coin pendant by Traveler's Treasures Lorinda 3 L Jewelry

Australian animals wine glass charms by Catching Angels

4/24/2016

Quote of the week

What do you do when you are on a spaceship and there's a polymorph on board? What a polymorph is? Well, it's this creature that can change shape to evoke a deep emotion in someone, so it can feed on that emotion.
In this case the polymorph has already had a delicious emotion meal made up from guilt, anger, anxiety, and vanity that it sucked off the four spaceship staff members. Now they are discussing plans how to get rid of it.
Rimmer who has lost his anger comes up with this plan.

Rimmer: Um, but here's my proposal. Let's get tough. The time for talking is over. Call it extreme if you like, but I propose we hit it hard and hit it fast with a major, and I mean major leaflet campaign. And while it's reeling from that we follow up with a whist drive, a car boot sale, some street theatre, and possibly even some benefit concerts. Ok? Now if that's not enough, I'm sorry, it's time for the t-shirts. "Mutants Out." "Chameleonic life forms? No thanks." And if that's not enough, well, I don't know what will be.


Red Dwarf, UK, 1988 -

4/22/2016

Tackle that stash - Beaded Tudor Rose pendant

First of all let me say this. I know that this pendant is not an exact replica of the Tudor rose. It is, however,  inspired by it.
The other day I made a pair of flower earrings that reminded me of Kanzashi flowers (which are actually Japanese folded fabric flowers) when I had finished them, and this time I wanted to see how I could make a variation that was maybe a little larger and more three dimensional.

I beaded it from silver lined red and golden seed beads and experimented with how to sew the individual petals together for the best effect.
At first I wanted to leave it at that, but you know me, I love my dangles on earrings or pendants, and this pearl drop makes such a great one.
I was tempted to add something green to it, but then I found it would have been too much here, especially because the green beads in my stash are also silver lined. This is one shiny pendant!



4/20/2016

Oldies but Goodies - Diamonds

This challenge is not just about diamonds. Not many of us work with diamonds, and not even all of us like diamonds.
So this Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge gives you diamonds, but also quartz, clear crystals or sparkly glass. They can be just as good friends as diamonds. Really.


1 and 7 Cat's Wire
2 The Crafty Chimp
3 and 5 MC Stoneworks
4 and 6 Violetmoon's Corner

4/18/2016

Zibbet finds of the week - A quick snack

Sometimes it just has to be a quick snack, for example when I grab something at the train station where I transfer from one train to the other and think all the people around me can hear my stomach growling like a big dog. Or when I go grocery shopping after work and don't think I'm gonna make it home without starving on the spot. Or when I'm out window shopping and just can't resist the scent coming from the hot dog vendor's booth (ok, so that doesn't happen to me as I'm vegetarian, but there used to be those times ;-)). Or when I am craving French fries twice a year.

You can have it all without any calories at all. Granted, you will still be hungry, but these items I hunted down for you are still so much fun!


Pizza burlap pillow cover by Amore Beaute


Vegan sudsy fries soap by AJSweetSoap


Peanut butter and jelly sandwich necklace by A Lil Bit Of Cute


Felt food hot dog by Bailey's Little Bites


Pizza My Heart card by Amazing Grace Handmade Art


Vintage Hamburgers and Deli Sandwiches neck tie at Vintage Intent


Hot dogs bow tie (also as hair clip, pet bow tie, headband) by SunFlower Freckles


Pizza slice potholder by A Little Geeky

4/17/2016

Quote of the week

15th century. Prince Edmund, also known as The Black Adder, is made Archbishop of Canterbury by his father, the king, who wants to make sure no more rich people leave their land to the church hoping they make it to heaven after all.
It wouldn't be The Black Adder, however, if he didn't think of making a little money of his own from the job. His servant Baldrick put together a little collection of what's possible.
How about a nice little curse, for example?

Edmund: Ah. Curse. "Dear Enemy, I curse you and hope that slightly unpleasant happens to you, like an onion falling on your head."
Baldrick: Well, that's the bottom end of the market.


The Black Adder, UK, 1982 - 1983

4/13/2016

Oldies but Goodies - Living on the Edge

This week our challenge master was inspired to choose the topic for the Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge after a song she listened to.
Living on the edge - huh. She left it to us to interpret this the way we wanted. That was not as easy as some of the other challenges, but in the end us members came up with these edgy items (and more in the original thread linked above).


1 Violetmoon's Corner
2 Jewelry Art by Dawn
3 RioRita
4 MC Stoneworks
5 Cat's Wire

4/11/2016

Zibbet finds of the week - Needle felting

I don't know if you have noticed it yet, but usually there is one needle felted item among each week's finds. I have never tried it myself, but I am so drawn to the creations that can be made by sticking a barbed needle into wool fibers (if you want to know more, check out this introduction by Felt Alive) that I decided that it was time to give needle felting a little more room and dedicate a whole post to it.
Enjoy!

Spot the Dog and his ball by ConchyGemDolls

Captain Sigurd the Pirate Troll by In Another Life Designs

Hamlet hamster by Mythillogical

Painted turtle by Fox Wool Designs

Westie dog by Fibre Heart Wool Studio

Baby Emperor penguin by The Needle Felt Menagerie

Baby chick by The Purple Rat

4/10/2016

Quote of the week

Years ago my little brother stopped reading my blog. In fact all he had ever looked at was the quote of the week, but on April 10, 2011 he stopped altogether. Why, you want to know?
It was the first time (not the last) that I didn't have a quote ready "due to absolute emptiness of my brain".
April 10 happens to be my brother's birthday, and he thought this called for one of THE biggest movie quotes (and one of those that get quoted wrong the most) ever from one of his very favorite movies. My feeble (but true) excuse that I wanted to save this one for a special occasion didn't go down well. How could it? Of course he thought his birthday was a special occasion.
Today's post is in your honor, little brother. You have waited long enough. Happy birthday and here it goes.

Chief Brody (ha, that gave it away already, didn't it?) who is not comfortable on all on boats is throwing fish parts out into the sea as bait when the big white shark they are after comes out of the water ...


Brody (backing up into the cabin in shock):
You're gonna need a bigger boat.


Jaws, USA, 1975

4/08/2016

Tackle that stash - Patience and pearls

Do you remember my Bead Eaters? Long wire knit bead scarves with glass beads?
Today's stash tackler is not quite as long, though, because it is meant to be wrapped around your wrist instead of your neck. Pearls, pearls, pearls. So luscious ....

4/06/2016

Oldies but Goodies - Southwest colors

To be clear about that, we are talking about the Southwest of the USA when we look at this week's Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge.
I am from Southwestern Germany, but I don't think we really have our own color palette ;-) The USA's Southwest has a rich and bold color palette of blues, terracotta tones, orange and yellow which stand for the sky and the desert, but of course you mustn't forget about turquoise and coral and more if you think about jewelry.
The latter were the colors for the challenge, and this is what JAC members had to show. Take a look at the whole thread which is linked above, once again there is so much more to see!


1 MC Stoneworks
2 Jewelry Art by Dawn
3 Violetmoon's Corner
4 RioRita
5 Cat's Wire

4/04/2016

Zibbet finds of the week - Rain or shine

Can you believe it's April already?
Are you prepared for sudden weather changes, freezing in the morning, throwing on your shorts in the afternoon and always have your umbrella ready?
Maybe you are a pluviophile like me. A rain lover. Or maybe all you want is sun, sun, sun. It doesn't matter because these finds are for both kinds. Have fun!

Original acrylic painting "Rain in the City" by Sunbele


Sunshine cookies by Cake It To The Limit

Crystal Rain earrings by Azteca Designs Boutique

Wooden charm "Sunshine" by Breath of the Dragon

Wooden sign by Mockingbird Primitive

Crochet sun by Miniature Monkey Creations

Cross-stitched bookmark Rainy  Days by FarAway Designs

Sun-catcher Happy Sun by Dancing Rainbows

4/03/2016

Quote of the week

I saw a documentary about the Appalachian Trail once. As someone who struggles walking home the fifteen minutes from the train station without having several rests including meals and naps I was very impressed. While having another drink, some snacks and cuddling up with my cats I cheered those people on the screen on, and I was devastated that the one couple didn't make because of an injury.

Today's quote is not exactly from a documentary, though. It's from a movie about two not so young guys deciding to do the Trail together before it's too late.
At one time another hiker keeps them company and drives them nuts. It's night, they have all retreated to their tents, and the young lady sings ... loudly, but not very well.
Katz sneaks into Bryson's tent.

Katz: I swear to God, I'm gonna rip her larynx out.

Bryson: Ah. Yeah, I'm not sure that's gonna do it. I got a better plan.
Katz: Ah, let me hear it.
Bryson: According to the map we get to Hiawassee tomorrow.
Katz: Yeah.
Bryson: We get an early start, we hike hard and put some distance between us.
Katz: Yeah, it's probably better than my plan.
Bryson: What's your plan?
Katz: Kill her, take her Pop Tarts.


A Walk In The Woods, USA, 2015

4/01/2016

Tackle that stash - Pink wire crochet earrings

It was not the first time that I have been told I should wear more color, and once again I told the story of the friend who said "I love all colors provided they are black". It's true. I tend to go for black, maybe a dark blue and whenever I actually do wear a brighter color, people notice, even those who don't notice when I get new glasses.
You want color? You'll get color.

These two beads were part of a surprise parcel. Because of the stick shape my first impulse was to just put on jump rings and earwires, but you know me, that's something I hardly ever do. So I wondered what could replace the jump ring and decided to make some of my wire crochet rope rings instead.
My second impulse was to use silver wire for those rings, but I wanted more color than that, so I added pink seed beads, too.
Told you you'd get to see some color ;-)

The earrings are in my DaWanda shop now.