Monday, March 31, 2014

More earrings using Sharyl's components

I mentioned in this post that I have been working with Sharyl's components.  A few people mentioned that we made a good team.  I think they are right.  :)

I was able to meet Sharyl again for lunch and shopping.  Well, Sharyl was gracious enough to allow me to shop in her studio.

I came away with several goodies, which I promptly turned into earrings.

The two pairs above use metal links from Miss Fickle Media.

I ran out of links, so I tried making my own, using this tutorial from Miss Fickle Media.

They turned out pretty well.  Next time, I might try to patina the links.

I really love how Sharyl's metal and clay components work so well together.  The colors really play off of each other.

Definitely check out her shop.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Rondo à la Byzantine

I'm still on a chain maille kick and, this time, I went for a hefty necklace.

This necklace combines helm and byzantine and makes a wonderful statement necklace.

I'm not sure if you can tell, but this version uses brass and copper rings.

The difference is subtle, but I love the earthy look.

It is a bit weighty, due to the metal rings.  An aluminum version would be lighter and look amazing.

The pattern is in Rebeca Mojica's book, Chained.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Shibori Ribbon Blog Hop Challenge Winners

First, I would like to extend a big "thank you" to everyone who left a comment.  This will be my first time hosting a blog hop and I was a bit scared that no one would want to play.

I am so grateful to all of you that picked six winners instead of five and give away the ribbon I was going to keep for myself.  (I ordered another for me to play with.)

I picked the winners the "old fashioned way":


Congratulations!  I have your packages ready to go and will send them out as soon as I get your addresses.  (If you don't have an email from me already, please let me know.)

Also, a few people commented that they had ribbon and wanted to play:

Christine (I sent a ribbon to Christine after our email conversation)

I am so excited to see what everyone does with their ribbons.

Stay tuned for the reveal -- April 14!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Shibori ribbon blog hop challenge

Last week, I shared a pendant I made with shibori ribbon.

I had never worked with that type of ribbon before and really enjoyed it.

A few people commented that they had not seen shibori ribbon before and were interested in trying it out.

After an email conversation with Christine Altmiller, I decided to host a shibori ribbon challenge.

If you haven't played with shibori ribbon, you are in for a treat.  Shibori is a silk ribbon with accordion like folds running down the length of the ribbon.  You can stretch it (width wise) or scrunch it or both.  I've seen it used mostly for bead embroidery, but I think it could be used in many other ways.

I have 5 pieces of shibori ribbon up for grabs.  Each piece is 9" in length -- perfect for a bracelet or for a couple of pendants.

The rules:
   *  Leave a comment below if you would like to play -- be sure I have a way to contact you
   *  You do not need to have a blog.  I would be happy to show your work on my blog
   *  You do not have to be a bead weaver or learn to embroider.  I would love to see different ideas on how to use the ribbon.
   *  You have to use the ribbon in some way, but you don't have to make a piece of jewelry if you don't want to.
   *  I will pick winners randomly from the comments the morning of Monday, March 10 and (hopefully) send the ribbons out the next day.
   *  If you are not chosen, but have shibori ribbon, you are welcome to play along.
   *  The reveal will  be Monday, April 14.
   *  Above all, have fun and try something new!

If you've never worked with shibori ribbon and are wondering exactly how to use it, I found this link helpful when I started working on my pendant.

I have also started a pinterest board to spark our imaginations.

I hope you can join me!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Starbust Pendant in Bead Me Magazine

Last year, Allison from Bead Me Magazine asked if I would be part of their Bead Soup feature.  I never have to be asked twice and said "yes."

I made this pendant using a bead soup from Fusion Beads that featured superduo beads, crystal bicones, pearls and seed beads.

Allison liked the pendant and asked me to write up instructions.

I am please to say that my pendant was published in issue 6 of Bead Me Magazine.

It's even inset on the cover.  :)

I was bowled over to see the page featuring my pendants.  They look so yummy!

Right now, issue 6 is free from Apples's app store.  There are several great projects in it.  Definitely check it out.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

3rd Annual Challenge of Music

For my She Made/She Made entry, click here.

Miss Erin gleans inspiration from many different places: her hometown, music, hunks of rust, literature, and, of course, color.

Many times, she invites her readers to join her on an inspiration blog hop challenge. Some of my favorites creations have stemmed from Erin's challenges.

For this year's challenge of music, Erin asked us to pick a seminal year in our lives or a year that impacted our lives in some way, then pick a song from that year to inspire us.

This year marks my grandparents' 70th anniversary. They were married in February of 1944. I decided to pick a song from 1944 in honor of them.

"My Heart Tells Me," sung by Glen Gray, was top of the charts in February, 1944, but that song didn't seem to capture 70 years of marriage. I opted instead for "Swinging on a Star," sung by Bing Crosby. It was top of the charts in August and September, 1944.

I liked the playfulness of the lyrics:
Would you like to swing on a star
Carry moonbeams home in a jar
And be better off than you are
Or would you rather be a mule?

The part that really struck me was "be better off than you are." The right person makes you be better than you are. My grandparents spent a lifetime making each other -- and all of us -- better every day.

This is one of my favorite photos of my grandparents, taken by Mae-Belle Photography.

To celebrate their 70th, my mom and her brothers and sisters threw a party. I may have mentioned before, but my mom has 12 siblings. There are 32 grandchildren and over 30 great grandchildren.

Not everyone was there, but it was quite a party.

Words can't express how lucky we all are to have my grandparents still in our lives.

But, back to my song.

I wanted to capture the playfulness of the song and, at one point, wanted to bead a swing to hang from a star. Well, you can probably guess how that turned out.

After a few ... several ... too many tries to mention, I settled on this bead from Genea. I love the star on the front and the moon on the back. It was meant to be.

Speaking of Genea, she creates jewelry with a playful style. How she combines colors, textures and her beautiful beads in such a fabulous way is beyond me, but I decided to give it a shot.

I started with a celini spiral.

I added a few copper swirls and mixed some of Genea's wingdings with clay beads from Staci Louise and a glass bead from Sue Beads.

I am pretty enamored with how it came out.

If you haven't already visited these ladies' shops, please do so. You can find Genea here, Staci here and Sue here.

While I was fiddling with the necklace, looking at this focal or that bead, I also made earrings.

I paired small lengths of chain maille with these cute charms from Miss Erin herself.

Copper didn't work so well with Erin's charms, so I used a bit of patina and gilder's paste to give the rings a (hopefully) celestial look.

As a side note, I finally got the hang of the violet patina from Miss Fickle Media. The color is just swoon worthy, though too purple for my earrings. Hence the gilder's paste.

I love the movement of these earrings.

You can find more of Erin's creations here.

Erin, thank you for another wonderful challenge. I love that these challenges push me out of my comfort zone.

Please take some time to visit Erin's blog to see what songs the other participants chose what how those songs inspired them.

Or, you can click the links below.