Sunday, August 19, 2012

Women We Love

I'm a day behind schedule, but this one's going to be a 2-weeker, so there's plenty of time.
Open 8/19/12 through 9/1/12

Inspired by Women We Love
This week, take inspiration from the women in your life- your mother, sisters, friends, mentors, aunts, cousins, anyone you know in person. We may not all have fashionista friends, but we certainly have people we think of when we're out shopping and come across items that are so them. Think about what colors, patterns, shapes, styles and themes make you think of the women you love and try to see your jewelry supplies through their eyes. What would they be drawn to?

Leave a link in the comments to your "Women We Love" creations, and be sure to tell us a bit about the woman who inspired the piece. I'm making this one a two-week challenge for those of us who can't decide on just one lady to model a piece after. I'll show off your work (as well as my own) on the first of next month before announcing the next prompt!
Last week's prompt was to make over an old piece. Again, I was the only participant. Don't make me have to say that 3 weeks in a row, people! Play along with me!

I took apart a necklace leftover from a collection I made for Valentine's day, and made 4 new pieces out of it, adding new elements and altering some of the old ones.

Notes on each piece~

All the beads on the original necklace are handmade (by me) out of polymer clay.

1. I took 2 of the disc beads that were just spacers on the original necklace (and other pieces in the collection) and carved designs into them, then paired them the spotted red beads and some vintage glass waved discs.

2. I transfer printed a bunch of vintage Valentine images onto clay to make lozenge-shaped beads for the collection. This one that remained was not Valentine-specific, so I was able to really update it by adding some carved texture and a contrasting green around the edges. I added wire and a ton of danglies (including a hand-painted bead, a little plastic heart bead I've had since I was 5, vintage buttons, and a fantastic vintage heart key) to upgrade it from bead to pendant. I haven't created the rest of the necklace to go with it, but I plan to have it clasp with a hook in the front.

3. Bracelet # 1- Pink and white beads from the original necklace along with oxidized silver beads, wood disc beads, a large oxidized lobster clasp, translucent pink glass dangles, and antique pink glass rectangle beads.

4. Bracelet # 2- Red, yellow and pink beads from the original necklace with added coral cube beads, bronze chain, glass beads and a wooden button clasp.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Makeover Time!

Time for a new...
Open 8/11/12 through 8/18/12
Take this week's prompt as an opportunity to breathe new life into old work. Pull out your creations from way-way back or, if you have a shop, pick out an item that has had it's listing expire. Re-imagine and re-work old pieces , whether it's adding on or simplifying, to take them to a new level of fantasticness.

Leave a link in the comments to your "makeover" creations, and be sure to include before and after pics. I'll show off your work (as well as my own) next Saturday before announcing next week's prompt!

Last week's prompt was called "An Unlikely Duo", and we had a grand total of one participant. Me. It's cool, I'll just keep doing this until it catches on.

So, my randomly chosen components were these two:

 Both are made by me over a year ago. Experimental things that went pretty well but never found a home in a finished piece. The "pod" bead I made from a tutorial in the book Ancient Modern, and the toggle I think was intended to go with the spotted beads that eventually ended up in the Desert Sands necklace. I'm really happy to have finally used it, because I'm kind of proud of some of the features of it's construction. The ring has a big brass washer inside to keep it super sturdy, and somehow I managed to do that braiding around the washer and get all 3 strands to meet up seamlessly. I'm not sure I could replicate it if I wanted to. The bar of the toggle is equally tough- it's got 16 gauge steel wire inside it.

So, here's my creation.
 I haven't listed it yet because I'm not sure how I feel about A) The mix of symmetry and asymmetry. And B) The hangy wire part. I like it, I'm just not sure I want to leave that much exposed wire. I feel like I should wrap it in some fibers or hammer it or something. Helpful ideas would be much appreciated.

 I dry-brushed some ivory paint on both the pod and the clasp to make them a wee bit more matchy. And I got 3 doodlebeads into this design. That's the most doodlebeads on one necklace ever, unless a customer has made a mega-doodlebead-necklace and not shown me.

On the left side is a strand of abalone shell buttons, which I recenly procured a ton of. I like them because they're totally different on each side. The fronts are all shiny and pearly, but the backs are rough and rustic, which is equally attractive to me, because I'm a grunge-aholic.

The right side is all tube beads that I made from Bettina Welker's wildly popular (amongst the polyclay community) tutorial. I have more that will go up in the shop soon, as well as some round ones with the same pattern and colors.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Announcing: Weekly Creative Prompts!

Hey! I have an idea!

I've been wanting to host a blog hop/challenge for a long while, but it never seems to be the right time. It's always interfering with something else. So, I thought something more casual might be about weekly creative prompts? I'll just come up with some little exercise to kick start creativity each week, announce it here, and leave it open for anyone who wants to participate.

So, here's one for the upcoming week...
Open 8/4/12 through 8/11/12
"An Unlikely Duo"
Choose 2 beads or components from your collection at random. The method is up to you- close your eyes and point, do eenie-meenie-miney-mo, come up with a complex algorithm...whatever you like. Combine the 2 components into one piece of jewelry. If they compliment each other, great. If they don't- find a way to make them look good together. Choose other beads that bridge the gap between the colors, styles, or sizes of the 2 chosen beads. Alter one or both of them to make them go together. Stretch your imagination and have fun!

Leave a link in the comments to your "unlikely duo" creations, and be sure to specify which 2 components were your randomly chosen ones. I'll show off your work (as well as my own) next Saturday before announcing next week's prompt!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Bracelets and their unusual inspiration sources.

Guess what? Next month we turn 2! I was going to say that time flies, but I actually thought we were close to turning 3, so I guess I just have a bad grasp on time in general.

Guess what else? I've finally got my whole re-organization project done! So, that's one less thing standing in the way of the creative process... not that there aren't a zillion other things that keep me from my dream of making pretty things all day long every day.

Nevertheless, there are some fresh creative juices flowing, and some new bracelets in the shop.

We've got some fantastic plastic here. There weren't a lot of takers on the big plastic destash, so I had to show y'all how awesome plastic can be. The focal is a vintage brooch that I cut the back off.  

Shakti bracelet
I originally had in mind that I would keep with the whole vintage feel and for some off white or clear beads and bronze chain.

I was watching Charmed while I worked, and it was the episode where Piper turned into the Hindu goddess, Shakti.

Can you imagine all the accessorizing options you'd have with 6 arms?

That got me thinking about Indian art and the pretty colors of saris and stuff, so I pulled out the purple beads and some orange ink to tint the strands of smaller beads. Yay color!

 Once the orange and purple paired up, all the colors in the iridescent crystals on the brooch started to really pop. There's all kinds of greens and pinks and blues in there.

 Oh! And I even roughed up the oxidation on the hook and then inked it up, so theres some hints of orange-ness in there, too. You can click on any of the pictures to go to the listing....I think. Linking pictures is sometimes tricky.


Golden Shatter Cuff
 Have you guys seen all the cool "shatter" nail polishes out there right now? I bought some for like 11 bucks back when OPI was the only brand that made it, but now you can find it in a bunch of different colors by a bunch of different cheaper manufacturers.
That was my inspiration for the surface effect on the cuff.

It's got 2 chains, one with the hook for closure and a second, longer safety chain. I thought it was too long at first, but then I tried it on and I liked how it was just long enough to play with in the palm of my hand. I  can always shorten it if a customer wants it shorter.

And thirdly...

This one's not new, but it is freshly listed.

She Ra Cuff
Yep, I named it after She Ra, Princess of Power.

I know, I'm a total nerd. But- Kim was over the other night and she tried it on and instantly went into this pose:
And I'm compelled to do the same when I try it on, so I figured naming it after her was appropriate.

I've got a bunch more stuff ready to get listed in the next few days, so check back soon!