This weekend I managed to drag Kim out to estate sales with me. I'm trying really hard to get her excited about making jewelry again, but the whole day she didn't buy anything. She does, however, have some supplies coming in the mail, so let's all cross our fingers for some new Kim creations.
I, on the other hand, bought plenty of stuff. Here's my loot:
Up at the top there are 2 pieces of a broken sterling silver bracelet. I get really excited about broken stuff because then I know for sure that whatever I do with it will be an improvement. I'm not sure if the stones there are real sapphires. If so, I got way too good a deal on it ;) The cameos are really cool, too. They're a little bit primitive, which leads me to think they're hand-carved.
The butterfly pendant on the left is way prettier than this photo shows. It's got a bunch of intricate Asian designs on it. It really deserves nicer presentation than that weird shoestring looking cord it's on.
The next 2 necklaces, and the last one in the row are all pretty nice as-is, but I'm going to take them apart anyway. It occurs to me that lots of those beads might compliment the butterfly really well.
The one with the pearls and the red stones (or, probably glass) is broken, so It will be re-purposed. It looks like it was a strange design to begin with. You don't often see dangles like that in even numbers. Maybe it's lost a 3rd part. The red stones are destined to become part of a pair of earrings.
Lastly, the purple one. It's plastic. I hate the plastic stigma. Those beads are just as gorgeous as they would be in some other material, but the fact that they're plastic probably means they'll be passed up by most. I'm going to try to use them anyway. Paired with the right things they could be stunning, and they're certainly better off in my hands than in a landfill.
Kim and I also stopped at a couple of "craft" stores in our excursion. We don't actually have a real craft store in our town, but we have a lot of shops that offer an aisle or 2 of crafting supplies, and between them all, one can get most of the essentials without having to leave town or wait for an order to ship. We hit up the party supply store and a funky old fabric shop downtown that has areas containing stock that has clearly been sitting there since the 70's.
Here's my loot from those 2 places:
Star-shaped boxes and organza bags for packaging our pretties. Various cords and a bag of ribbon scraps, because you can never have too much of that stuff. Well, I can't. A bag of silk scraps and a rhinestone applique, which I have already taken apart to use the individual rhinestones.
I got the silk scraps to attempt making my own ribbon so I could try out Heather Powers' ribbon rosettes tutorial on the Art Bead Scene blog. I am a complete imbecile when it comes to all things involving thread and a needle, but I thought this project seemed pretty simple. I had no idea how to make my own ribbon, but I knew I wanted it to be rough-edged and a bit disheveled, so I just started ripping and making a huge mess. Eventually, after de-tangling lots of frayed threads, it actually worked out pretty well.
See how my name is on my scissors? Those are from the party supply store I mentioned earlier. I worked there when I was a teenager, along with several other teenage girls. None of us got along and there were many catfights over who-stole-whose scissors, so our boss got us all new ones with our names on them. They are the nicest scissors I've ever had. Still super sharp many years later.
Anyway, onward to the rosettes. The silk one came out OK, but then I decided I should practice more with some cheaper fabrics, so I tried it out on a strip of cotton jersey from an old polo shirt and a piece of some stiffer fabric with crazy neon designs on it.
As you can see, you get totally different results depending on the fabric. I think the jersey was a mistake, though. It basically looks like what it is- rolled up fabric. The stiff fabric is fun because I could manipulate it as I went along to give it more deliberate "petals", but there was a slight issue with getting the needle through all the layers. Pliers had to be used. I guess I'll stick with silk in the future.
Also this weekend I got a request for a black version of my bunny beads. I failed to ask how many were desired, so when I got out my supplies I just decided to make a whole bunch. They came out super cute, but I wouldn't feel right sharing them before their recipient gets a chance to see them, so here's a progress pic of what they looked like before ears, faces, tails and feet. Yeah, I'm showing you what a bunch of lumps of clay look like. Hahaha.