Tackle that stash - Barney the Tiny Octopus

Strictly speaking this is not a stash tackler - it's a let me rip something up and then use the stone in something else tackler. Of course there are pieces I'm not that happy with anymore or I have a better idea for a stone or beads. Those pieces are almost as dangerous as WIPs because they need attention that you don't always have.
From time to time, however, I manage to do a little spring cleaning that can actually be kind of inspiring, too. At the moment there is one or the other cab that has wandered back into my stash drawer.

One of them was this little moss agate that had been sitting in a pendant before which had been asked for by someone who then disappeared. It happens. The pendant stayed, but when I looked for a small cab for some wire weaving, I remembered it and didn't hesitate to rip it up, after all it had been quite a while.

When I fitted the cab into the weaving, I suddenly noticed something. A long time ago a friend had told me a story about how she was in Greece once and about tiny octopuses - and there he was. A tiny octopus with the name Barney both of which came to me out of nowhere, with tiny tentacles and a big head.
That's the reason why the bail is not sitting in the middle. Barney insisted on swimming to the left. No idea what he will find there. Maybe his friend, the fish, is hanging out there waiting for him to go see the Arielle movie or have some, well, seafood together? (Oh, bad pun, bad pun, I know, don't hit me!)
Barney can be found in my shop now, why don't you go visit him? ;-)


Oldies but Goodies - Ceramics

Yes, it's me. A few things have kept me from being online much and even more from blogging, among them the need for a new computer. We all know how hard that transition can be. At least I didn't lose my pictures!

So here we go with a brandnew Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge, this time with the topic "Ceramics". Judging from the entries it seems ceramic beads are not necessarily what any of us use often, except one heroic member who came to the rescue when the challenge was practically over. Otherwise I wouldn't even be able to show you a real collage.
I wonder why that is, and who knows, maybe it's an incentive for us other JAC members to look out for ceramics beads more. Actually I didn't even use a bead myself, but a bit of a tile edging that was cut off from some leftovers for me. You should have seen the face of the man who worked on our hallway tiling when I asked him for that favor and told him I wanted to make a pendant from it ;-)

Time for some pictures.

1 MC Stoneworks
2/3/4/5 VMCdesigns
6 Cat's Wire


Oldies but Goodies - Celestial

This time our Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge had the topic "Celestial" in honor of the solar eclipse on the 21st of August.
While Europe hardly got to see anything of it, there were some stunning pictures from North America.
I remember the total eclipse of 1999 here in Germany and I still feel a little cheated. It was in August, too. I took off from work and my sisters and I stood outside, but all we got were clouds. I have to say, however, that when it suddenly got pitch black, it was a somewhat creepy feeling (one that my sister's cat shared judging from the way she ran).
Unfortunately I doubt that I'll make it until the next total eclipse here that is supposed to be in 2081 ....

You don't have to wait that long for this week's entries, though!

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


Oldies but Goodies - Found objects

"Found object" comes from the French "Objet trouvé" which describes something that is usually not used in art. Found objects can be all kinds of things. The idea made it into jewelry making as well. Washers for example or keys are often seen in jewelry, one can hardly imagine a steampunk piece without some watch gears, and it's not unusual that something that has actually been found in the street or in a drawer inspires an artisan.
Welcome to this week's Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge!

1 and 6 VMCdesigns
2 and 4 Cat's Wire
3 and 5 Jewelry Art by Dawn


Random Saturday - Koko

A few days ago someone mentioned Koko, the signing gorilla, which brought back some memories. I forgot which year exactly it was, but it must have been in the late 80s because my ex and I were still living in our first flat then.
Although I liked our street with its beautiful trees and our flat, I always kept feeling a little homesick for my hometown and my family during those years, especially at the beginning. My little brother visited us for the weekend every, now and then, we took him to the zoo, we played mini golf, or we went into town window shopping.

It was one of those occasions that I saw Koko in the toy department of one of the big shops, well, not herself of course, but a plush version. I don't even remember if I knew Koko's story back then before reading the description on the tag, I just fell in love with that stuffed gorilla. It was expensive, though, and thinking of our finances I did the responsible thing and put her back (it must have been before the Steiffs made us collectors). After all this was just a toy, even if she fit on my hip so perfectly.
I sighed a lot that weekend because I really wanted this gorilla badly. Finally my ex told me that we didn't always have to be grown up (boy, was that a preview on later years) and that I should go there after work on Monday and just get her already.
So that's what I did. I went there ... and she was gone. I even asked about her and was told there had been only one.
That was a sign, right? It wasn't meant to be. And still I wasn't happy about it. You have to remember that we didn't have internet yet. I didn't even know what brand it was (Dakin 1986, it must have taken a while to come to Germany because it was definitely some years later than that).

Fast forward to at least some months later. It is early Saturday afternoon in my hometown, and the stores are starting to close down for the weekend when my friend and I are walking by the toy store. Just this moment the owner is stepping into the window to put a gorilla there. Koko! I tell my friend I have to go in there. Now! The owner comes to greet me, and before he can even ask, I tell him I want that gorilla. "Oh", he says. "How funny. I just put it in the window." "I know", I say. "I saw you. There's one problem, though. I don't have enough money on me at the moment. (Paying with your card was not that common yet.) I'll run to the bank and be right back." He's obviously amused by my determination and he's even more amused ten minutes later when I come back just in time before the store is closing, put my money on the counter, refuse a bag and walk out with Koko sitting on my hip.
Can you believe that several people thought I was carrying a real little ape? o.O

Koko is still sitting on top of a book cabinet and makes me smile when I look at her although it has been almost 30 year.
For the picture, however, she came down from her cabinet ;-)


Oldies but Goodies - Egyptian

"The archaeological surveys and discoveries that accompanied Napoleon's campaign in Egypt, and the battles between France and Britain that took place there, aroused great public interest. Ancient Egyptian art and architecture provided designers with a whole new range of motifs, such as winged sun-discs, hawks and crocodiles." (From the Style Guide: Regency Classicism of the wonderful Victoria and Albert Museum in London)

Egyptian art does still fascinate us today. I admit there was a time I thought my head was going to explode if there was one more documentary about ancient Egypt on TV although I love watching documentaries. There can be too much of a good thing ;-)

This week's Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge is also about the fascination of ancient Egypt. I hope you will enjoy my little selection.

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


Random Saturday - From a whatever to a mermaid

Two weeks ago I made - something. I couldn't even decide what it was, and when I asked around, I got several opinions on it from dragon lady to bat mermaid.
Although the lady didn't have a fin and I had never thought of making a mermaid - the decision against two separate legs had not been deliberate at the time as this was my first wrapped figure - and although I realized eventually that she had been subconsciously been inspired by the succubus in a computer game, the thought kept following me whenever I looked at her.

So I finally did it. I added a fin. She does look more complete now, doesn't she (see the picture at the end of the post)?
You are free to decide yourself if you see a dragon mermaid, bat mermaid, succubus mermaid or fairy mermaid now ;-)

 As promised, "pre-fin" ...


Oldies but Goodies - Around the garden

Our house doesn't have a real garden. I guess I always think there has to be grass to make a garden a real one. We do have plants, though. Lots of them. They are in pots or in an elevated strip behind the house. It's actually rather nice (as long as I'm not expected to do garden work, you remember I kill flowers by saying hello to them ;-)).

A garden is more than bushes, trees, and flowers, though.
For this Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge there were quite a few entries beside flowers and again I am asking you to have a look at JAC because my selection is very small indeed compared to what you can see if you click through.
What else do you think a garden needs?

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


Oldies but Goodies - Boho

Boho - if we found out something in this week's Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge it's that we struggle with the word.
I remember the first time I stumbled upon the expression Boho Chic, it was when I first started browsing Etsy. Even then I wasn't sure what exactly it was supposed to mean. I always thought of some kind of Hippie style, colorful, fringe, flowing, but didn't quite get why it wasn't just called Hippie then.
Boho is an abbreviation of Bohemian which had originally to do with Bohemian travellers from Central Europe and developed into the description of a certain lifestyle rebelling against the rules of society way before there were hippies. Sherlock Holmes for example had a "Bohemian soul", but I doubt he wore bright colors and fringe (yes, I know he's not real, such a pity), Winston Churchill was "pre-First World War Bohemian" (now I bet that's a surprise for you, I know it was for me).
Today's Boho look does use a lot of hippie elements, so we were not completely off.
You are most welcome to tell me your own description because now I'm still pretty much at a loss what exactly to think ;-)

Oh, and of course I brought you some examples from the challenge, too!

1 The Crafty Chimp
2 Jewelry Art by Dawn
3 MC Stoneworks
4 RioRita
5 Cat's Wire


Random Saturday - Taming the bronze?

I know I have hardly posted anything but the Oldies but Goodies in months, so it's about time for something else for a change.

Years ago I got my first bronze wire just wanting to try something new. Bronze is an alloy consisting mostly of copper (94% in this case), some tin and other trace metals or non-metals which often give the bronze its name, like phosphor bronze.
I was not happy with it as a wire for crocheting, but somehow I forgot about that and got some when I started wire weaving. So far it hasn't made me much happier than the last time, but today we had a small breakthrough in our relationship.

Lately I have been a little obsessed with balling up wire ends. I blame my friend Dawn. And my pal who sat down with me to show me the burner in person. I used copper, sterling and fine silver, and then I got curious about using my bronze wire.
What a disappointment! Instead of getting little balls the wire curled up at the ends looking like a little mutant snail - or in some cases a badly manufactured golf club. Now I have to admit that I'm not only obsessed with balling up wire, but also with the urge to find out how big I can make those balls without them falling off (I am a champion at dropping little copper and silver balls into my water bowl and cursing). I managed some big ugly mutant snails. For some reason I can't remember where I put those, so I can't take a picture of them. Maybe they went back to their home planet.
What did I do wrong? Was I too slow, did I wait too long, did I just not find the right point in the flame (bronze is melting quicker than pure copper), did I hold the wire wrong, did I maybe not know about the secret chant you need for success? I tore out my hair, blamed the cats and bit my desk, but that didn't bring me any closer to the solution.
I have been known to lose patience easily with some projects, but I kept coming back to the bronze wire. Then I remembered a blog post by Lisa Yang that I had found. She wrote some people had suggested for her to hold the wire parallel to the flame.
The wire melted just as quickly and wanted to curl up, but I lifted it right out of the flame and that way it was easier for me to control the shape. One length of wire after the other got treated that way on both sides.
The ends look differently for each metal. I found a picture on Nancy L. T. Hamilton's blog showing the result for fine, sterling and argentium silver, for copper and for bronze.

Bronze wire loses its shiny look in the flame and tends to look more like copper, after all that's what makes up most of it. I wanted to see what would happen in the tumbler and let the wire have a nice carousel ride for four hours (with some other pieces of jewelry).
I wonder what a longer ride would do to them, but I'm already quite happy with this result as the ends lost their red coppery touch and look like the wire again even if not as shiny.
I'll let you know if/when I try!


Oldies but Goodies - Over the top

First of all let me say that the topic for the Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge does not at all mean that in a negative way regarding the following pieces. And for that matter it could even be much more over the top than what I'm showing you today! ;-)

Sometimes you feel something is over the top because you are not used to that style yourself. While I don't think any of us can make jewelry that doesn't appeal to us at all, it doesn't have to be 100% us, either - especially when making custom pieces. Maybe there's a color we wouldn't wear, maybe something is too small or too big for us, too colorful, not colorful enough.

What I like about these challenges is not only meeting old friends (as in pieces of jewelry) that fit more than one challenge, but also the inspiration I get by other artisans' and even my own pieces that I maybe almost forgot about, being reminded that you don't have to be stuck in that one groove, that there is open space in all directions and no limits to creativity other than those you set for yourself.

1 and 9 RioRita
2 and 7 Cat's Wire
3 and 5 Jewelry Art by Dawn
4 and 8 MC Stoneworks
6 The Crafty Chimp


Oldies but Goodies - Patina

Patina is not always something that we love. Blackened silver flatware or jewelry, green copper and more that we have to clean don't have many fans if any at all, and of course patina is not only found on metals, either.
Often, however, a nice patina adds to the beauty of a piece, no matter if it developed on purpose or not. Oxidizing and colorful patinas are a part of jewelry making as the selection from this week's Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge is about to show us - and don't forget, there is more to see if you click through!

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


Oldies but Goodies - Personal birthstone

When you found out what your birthstone was, did you like it?
As a child I was quite disappointed about the pearl. A pearl wasn't even a stone. It didn't sparkle. Little old ladies with purple hair wore pearls. Pearls belonged to coffee or tea parties and crumbly cake in the afternoon. We were happy if we got a faceted "gemstone" ring from the gum machine. A pearl wouldn't have been the same.

Luckily I grew up and grew out of those prejudices. Today I am thinking differently, and then there is of course the moonstone for us June babies, too ;-)

It is nice that the members who participated in this week's Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge don't share the same birthstones because that means you'll get to see even more variety. Not always is it the real thing, but if it isn't, at least the color is right, and it doesn't take away from the beauty of the pieces.
Enjoy all the colors of our personal birthstones!

1 and 5 Cat's Wire
2 and 9 RioRita
3 and 8 Violetmoon's Corner
4 and 6 MC Stoneworks
7 Jewelry Art by Dawn


Oldies but Goodies - Spirals

When I started out making wire jewelry, one of the very first shapes that came to me naturally was the spiral. A spiral is fascinating, it draws you in, it can be hypnotizing and it's no wonder so many optical illusions revolve around spirals - spinning ones for example.
Just give me a moment until my head is feeling normal again ... whew.

The spirals that I'll show you now are much easier on your eyes and head ;-) They are some of the entries for this week's Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge. Maybe their beauty will be hypnotizing, though ....

1 and 6 Jewelry Art by Dawn
2 and 7 MC Stoneworks
3 and 9 Violetmoon's Corner
4 and 10 RioRita
5 and 8 Cat's Wire


Oldies but Goodies - Sky colors

Don't expect a physical explanation from me why the sky looks blue or grey. There was a time when I almost had to comfort my physics teacher because of a bad test (I had mostly been average at physics, but this test, oh my), so I'm definitely not qualified. The web is full of scientific information both for adults and children about it.

There's no doubt we are fascinated by the sky if it is light blue with fluffy looking white clouds on a spring day, if it looks almost black on a stormy autumn day, or if it seems to be a deep midnight blue with twinkling stars during a crispy cold winter's night.
Sky colors are this week's theme for the Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge. Enjoy - and don't forget to click the link for even more pictures!

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


Oldies but Goodies - Coins

We all know coins. We have our favorites, maybe we collect foreign ones from our trips, or we throw them all into a big glass and forget about them.
When I was a teenager, one of my pen pals lived in Australia. Once she sent me an Australian penny, drilled so I could wear it as a pendant which I did for a long time until the chain broke. Then I set it aside and now it has to be in one of those safe places you put such things. As soon as I find it, I'll turn it into a pendant!

Today's post, however, is almost a spotlight for one of our long time members. Every time Irith shows us one of her coins set in a pendant or ring, we are fascinated which has not only to do with the craftsmanship, but also the coins she uses - they are antique. I wish I could tell you something about the coins in her entries for this week's Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge, but I can't. You can see even more of them if you click through to the challenge thread via the link above.

I mustn't forget the entry that Dawn made just in time. In fact her earrings triggered the memory of my Australian penny.

Let a question end this post - can you find out which coin is not a real one? ;-)

1/4/7 Cat's Wire
2/5/6/8/9 RioRita
3 Jewelry Art by Dawn


Oldies but Goodies - Cabochons

Welcome to this week's Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge. It is all about cabochons or cabs how they are often called, too.
Cabochon comes from the French and means a gemstone that is usually flat on the back and smoothly polished on top, not faceted.

I remember when I started crocheting with wire. Beads were so much easier to handle for me as a beginner because I could attach them safely with wire. The bezels for cabs had to be just right which was (and sometimes is) even more difficult on free form stones.
Faceted stones were a completely different story because of their faceted backs which don't necessarily work with all of my bezels and you don't want to a pendant to sit crooked all the time or a ring whose focal keeps digging into your finger.
Just imagine there was a time when I looked down on cabochons because they didn't sparkle. Or on opaque stones. Or on opaque cabs! ;-)

Now it's time to stop talking and begin showing some of the entries for this week.

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


Oldies but Goodies - Spices

Have you ever been to a market where they sell unpacked spices? I haven't, but every time I see one on TV or in a picture, I think that it must be fascinating and rich, but all those different scents mingling may be also quite overwhelming.
Being single, I don't cook that much, therefore it doesn't make much sense to buy a lot of different spices. They would only go to waste, and that would be a shame.
One time I got a small idea of what it's like was when my ex and I had some people over, and two of his Indian colleagues spent hours in our small kitchen to prepare a fabulous feast for our little group. Excuse me while I'm getting lost in memories for a bit and possibly start drooling a bit.

Spices are not only fragrant and tasty, though, they can also be very pretty in their variety of colors.
Today's Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge is all about spice colors which is a new way to look at jewelry colors that you maybe haven't thought about yet.
I hope we can make you a little hungry ;-)

1 and 6 RioRita
2 and 7 Jewelry Art by Dawn
3 and 5 MC Stoneworks
4 and 9 Violetmoon's Corner
8 and 10 Cat's Wire

What did you see?
I see pepper in all colors, cinnamon, curry, paprika, turmeric ... mmmm. Now excuse me again, please, there's a jam toast waiting for me - strawberry and rhubarb with green pepper, a gift from my wonderful neighbors and so yummy.


Oldies but Goodies - Fossils

I live about 11 miles from Holzmaden, a little town which is known for the fossils that are found in the ground in and around the city. There's the Urweltmuseum (Ancient World Museum) with fascinating specimens, some of them very large, beautifully displayed. If you are an amateur fossil hunter, there are two quarries where you are can do some digging yourself. I remember a very hot summer day that we spent at one of the quarries with a guest from India, but at least she found some little shells to take home - although I had hoped for an ammonite myself.

Our latest Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge was about fossils and to be honest I was a little surprised there was so little participation. Coming from a region where fossils are still found, I may be more fascinated by them than others, but in jewelry making fossils are by no means unusual.
Have a look.

1, 4, and 5 Cat's Wire
2 Violetmoon's Corner
3 and 6 MC Stoneworks

If you are interested now what kind of fossils these are, keep reading and don't forget to click the links for more information.

1 and 6 are fossil corals
Actually it's the ancient corals' skeletons that are fossilized and preserved in these agatized stones.
They are appreciated for their often flower like patterns.

2, 3, and 5 are ammonites. Ammonites were marine molluscs that went extinct millions of years ago. The living relatives of these cephalopods are for example octopus, squid, cuttlefish, and nautilus.
Ammonites with their pretty spirals are used a lot in jewelry.

4 is orthoceras, also a cephalopod, but straight shelled.



I'm not tut-tutting at you. It's just an early morning attempt to come up with a creative post title. Putting tutorial in the title may have created the idea that I am posting one and this is not happening - and with this we jumped right into today's topic for our monthly JAC blog carnival.

I only ever made and posted one myself, a little bead and wire crochet flower. Back then I actually thought I would at least try to make more, but that didn't happen. Every, now and then I thought about it, but it's always the same. Once I start working on a piece, that's what I do. Of course I have to take breaks, but not for taking pictures or writing down things. I don't even want to think of making a video. I'm one of the (obviously unusual ;-)) people on the web who don't make videos - not of my cats (I have two of which one shows Ponder under the sheet, so you actually see, well, a moving sheet and the other one a dark room because it's really about the sound), not of my new shoes, my neighborhood, strange people I see on my train, you get the idea.

This really turns out not to be a flattering post of myself. You must get the idea that I don't have any patience, and it's true, for many things I don't have much patience.
That brings me to using tutorials and that is going to be even less flattering. In fact it sometimes makes me feel kind of guilty that I hardly ever use or even read/watch a whole tutorial, no matter if it's written down or if it's a video. The reason for that is not that I'm so immensely talented that I grasp things within the first 40 seconds (although that would be nice!), instead it's that patience thing again. Now if someone shows me something live, that's different.
So I start watching a video or rather single steps - mostly if it's about a beading stitch I don't know - and then fill in the gaps myself or experiment with changes. It's almost as if pick just part of the tutorial makers' brains, and that's where the guilty feeling part comes in.
I may be overthinking this one, though ;-)

So I'll just thank all people who take the time to help others learn something if they are ready for it.

Since a post without a picture always seems incomplete, here's something I made being inspired by a tutorial by Jill Wiseman.

Here you'll find what my fellow JAC members have to say about tutorials. Please drop by and have a look.

Violetmoon's Corner
Jewelry Art by Dawn


Oldies but Goodies - Bugs

Four years ago I found a May bug on my window sill - in July. I'm aware that the May bug is not necessarily just seen in the month of May, but July seemed a little late to me and indeed the little guy did look somewhat tired to me. Perhaps the reason was that he couldn't walk a straight line due to a missing leg. I took a picture and then tried to help him, but as I had a cat behind me waiting with a sparkle in his eyes, I tried it with my fingers through a small gap - and managed to throw him off the window sill. I couldn't bring it over me to go downstairs and see if he made it or if I had just made him the perfect dinner for some bird out there.
And it had been so long that I had seen one of his kind at all. I still feel guilty about that.

This memory was brought to you by our new Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge, along with more bugs ;-)

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

P.S. You are not forgotten, little May bug. Because I'm weird that way.


Oldies but Goodies - Facets

Never before the topic of the Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge were facets had I wondered about how long those were already a thing. It's amazing how curious I can be about one thing and how I take others for granted, their existence I mean. I am fascinated by the talent of gem cutters to see the possibilities in a stone and to lure out those sparkles and colors.
Not just transparent stones have facets, though, as one of the beautiful items in this challenge will show you.
According to this article from the website of the International Gem Society gem cutting including a rough form of faceting already began around 2300 B.C. in India and was then further developed in different countries - a very interesting article, by the way, if you want to know a little more about the history of lapidary.

Here are some facets from the JAC members. Enjoy.

1 and 9 RioRita
2 and 10 Violetmoon's Corner
3 and 6 MC Stoneworks
4 and 8 Jewelry Art by Dawn
5 and 7 Cat's Wire


Oldies but Goodies - May

May. Honestly. One third of the year is already over. Have you made your Christmas list yet? Just kidding, but seriously - May?
Spring, flowers, green, new life, sun, those are some of the things that we think of in May. Okay, so it still is somewhat grey where I am and the sun is a rare guest at the moment, but don't give up hope.

Now here's what the JAC members were reminded of by this topic at the new Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge. Maybe this will get you into the right mood after all!

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


Tackle that stash - Beaded rivoli pendant

Open the window, let some air in and my bead mojo, too!
It was high time to have a look at my stash and do something with it. This time I picked some tiny crystals that I have had for a very long time.

Lately I have been practising peyote bezels for cabs or beads, both with Super Duos and seed beads - Delicas are still on my list. And then there are still the rivolis a friend gave me. I once crocheted a silver bezel for a rivoli and the memory was enough to make me not trust them, slippery little fellows. I still have a lousy picture of it and checked, that was six years ago! I really had to get over that fear ;-)

First I made a pair of earrings for a challenge to practice, and then I went a little further with the following pendant to which I didn't just add "rays" on one side - for that starlike look - but on both sides and filled the gaps up with two rows of the crystals that I mentioned above.
At first I was thinking of just one row, but I had exactly fourteen of the white crystals,  just how much I needed. That was a sign, right?
Voilà, and here it is! Now what next? Stay tuned!


Oldies but Goodies - Asymmetrical

Do you prefer symmetry or asymmetry? Have you ever even wondered about it?
Watch yourself - if you buy flowers, do you go for even or for odd numbers? Do you like symmetrical shapes like a circle or do you like free form? How about colors - a nice symmetrical pattern or rather not?
Asymmetry was the topic of the latest Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge. We had talked about it before and found that we tend to struggle with it.
If I look at my favorite cabochon shop online for example, I always check the round or oval cabs first and I have even been known to take a freeform cab and "fill it up" with silver to achieve a symmetrical shape in the end.
When I was a child, there was a program "for the older generation" on TV. I seem to remember that that was where I learned about Ikebana for the first time, and I still remember how they taught that you always choose odd numbers and how powerful the number 3 is.
In school we did drypoint printing of trees. How I struggled when my art teacher told me that trees are not symmetric and scratched a big crooked branch right through the ones I had done. Even if he was right, I hated my print - but that's a different story.

Enough said, though, now it's time for the photo collage!

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


Oldies but Goodies - Tribal

Another Wednesday, another Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge - and another post in which I let the picture speak for itself. Enjoy the variety of items from our talented members!

1 and 8 Jewelry Art by Dawn
2 and 5 RioRita
3 and 10 MC Stoneworks
4 and 7 Violetmoon's Corner
6 and 9 Cat's Wire


The other craft

Believe it or not, there was a time when 1. you couldn't cross a street here without seeing a yarn store, 2. when I couldn't pass a yarn store without at least checking out the sale items.

It was the 80s and knitting was very en vogue. I had never been a friend of yarn myself, but being surrounded by friends who were avid knitters - those were the days when half the class was knitting during the school lessons - I eventually tried my hand at it, too.
My first attempt was frustrating. Not only did a few of my schoolmates make fun of my color choice, but there was a mistake at the very beginning, too. That combination did it, I tossed the whole project.
I started again when I was in library school, and this time things worked out just fine. I would knit like crazy, mostly sweaters (still have one of those, too, and wear it from time to time), for myself, for others as gift and made even a few custom orders.
 I had stacks of knitting magazines, and as mentioned above, I was addicted to yarn that I could afford. I remember one sweater whose sleeve had a stripe of grey at one end because I didn't have enough red left. Some people even complimented me on that thinking I did it on purpose.
And then there were the outlet stores of a few companies not far from here. One of them was just amazing. There was a part of the store with the regular outlet shelves. Much more interesting was the room with the bags. There were leftovers of all kinds. Small bags, mix bags, huge bags. Even I who never handled big crowds well was right in the middle of it. Bags were being tossed around and every, now and then you could hear happy yelling. Ah, good times. Nowadays I would probably have a panic attack.

Then I would suddenly stop and not knit for years. It always came in phases, my last one being after a big surgery when I couldn't sleep much and had too much time on my hands.
You may have noticed that I didn't mention crochet. That's because I didn't crochet. I hadn't liked it as a child in elementary school and that didn't change.

Then I discovered wire crochet. I still can't explain why crocheting with wire was so much more fun than doing it with yarn. So my yarn went into hibernation once again until I finally gave the whole lot away. I thought the addiction was over, and since knitting in general had started to disappear again, there was only one yarn shop left in town, anyway.
Eventually, however, both knitting and crochet came back with a vengeance, and I found myself peeking at yarn again. I don't buy at the mentioned one shop, however, and hardly get to the department store which makes it easier for me to resist. Most of the time at least ...

A post is worthless without pictures.
Here's my latest yarn creation. Not only is this hat crocheted (I didn't find a knitting needle set in the right size at home, so I was brave and went for my biggest crochet hook), but also felted in the washing machine as I happened to stumble upon a few balls of "wash and felt it" yarn. I had never tried it before, had no idea about the size and when I had finished felting, I let my muse take over to make something of it that I could actually wear (meaning I just fiddled here and there without knowing what I did) - and it worked! That is not always necessarily the case with hats for me. Often enough my big head and my hair gets in the way, the hat gets pushed up in the back and over my eyes in the front which is terribly annoying.
My muse did some folding and sewing and more folding and sewing and added some blue pearls and metallic AB seed beads for a small accent in back. You will have to believe me about the fitting part, though. I'm not a selfie taker, you know, and my doll Jo is doing a much better job as manikin even if she could look a little more enthusiastic ;-)

I'm proud - okay, I admit it, I think I was very lucky, especially with the size!
Oh, and I forgot to mention that this post is part of the Jewelry Artisans Community blog carnival. Do you want to know what the other members do beside making jewelry?
Have a look here!

Violetmoon's Corner

Jewelry Art by Dawn