Saturday, January 28, 2012

Ready for another challenge!

Well I'm biting the bullet again and I'm going to try another challenge from Michelle Mach.  This one is a spring challenge and the beads are a gorgeous teal blue.  The challenge is to deconstruct a finished bracelet and turn it into a spring piece of jewelry.  My beads arrived yesterday and they are a really gorgeous color.  I can't wait to get into my bead stash to see what I have that will turn these into spring.  I'm thinking flowers and ribbons but I'm not sure yet.

I also saw a challenge on Lorelei Eurto's blog using one of these cute pinwheel components from Jade Scott.  I wasn't lucky enough to get selected for Lorelei's challenge but I went to Jade's Etsy shop and purchased one for myself and I am going to try and play along.    

One of my goals for this year is to get more involved in bead challenges.  I have been beading and making jewelry for over nine years but I just now am getting into the blogging world and sharing what I make.  Wish me luck!  

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Snowflake Challenge Reveal

Today is the big reveal for the Snowflake Challenge sponsored by Michelle Mach.  Here is the original Snowflake kit with a gorgeous ceramic pendant and connector beads by Chinook Designs

This is my first challenge and even though I have been making jewelry for quite a few years working with someone else's preselected beads and components was different for me.  My first step was to look at what came in the kit and categorize the beads.  Since there were several different shades of blue in the kit I decided to use these in different pieces.  I preferred to use the icy blue and snowy white beads with silver in the necklace.  

I wanted to use the pendant and connector beads in the same piece but the asymmetrical design of my necklace did not allow me to do this.  I decided to make  a separate pair of earrings to compliment the necklace instead.  Using the pendant without a bail was a little tricky for me since I usually use headpins when I do my wire wrapping for earrings or charms.   I utilized the internet and found a quickie tutorial on how to wire wrap a pendant at Marsha Neal's blog. I was so happy with the result and the fact that I was able to learn something new in the process.

Another challenge for me was the ring that was included in the kit.  I decided to use it as a clasp for the bracelet  and wire wrap some of the beads inside to utilize the remaining blue beads.  Check out what I came up with and then go to the other blogs to see how they turned the same ingredients into totally different pieces.    

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

What Would you Do Design Challenge

Melissa of Chinook Jewelry  is having a fun blog hop titled "What Would You Do?"  featuring one of her great ceramic pendants.   The challenge was to take one of her pendants and come up with beads, cord, string, clasp, etc that would put together a jewelry piece.   I decided to take up the challenge and put together some beads to go along with her Aurora Borealis stamped pendant.  Here's what I came up with:  

I added some Olive Green Bean Natural stones found here Amelie Talks Etsy Shop

Some green suede leather cord that can be found here Nature Beads Etsy Shop

and a Silver Leaf Toggle Clasp from The Beading Place that mimics the leaf pattern in the pendant.  

To see what other great combos people came up with go here:  

Since this was my first challenge of this kind I wasn't exactly sure how to put this all together.  Next time I will try to go into my extensive bead stash and pull together beads that I already have.  

Friday, January 6, 2012

New Year's Resolutions

Every New Year people are inclined to make New Year's resolutions and most times those resolutions are not kept. I'm not really into making resolutions, I just want to enjoy each year to it's fullest and try and make improvements in my personal health, the organization of my home and self improvement.  I love to learn new things and to improve my overall knowledge of things.  This year  I  have set a goal for myself to learn new techniques in making jewelry and to focus on techniques that I am not as comfortable with.  This might be learning a new beading stitch or working more with leather, waxed cord, other metals besides sterling silver.  

When I first started making jewelry over nine years ago I started out with bead stringing and mainly czech glass beads.  At the time there was only a few bead stores in my city and beading books and magazines were not as abundant as they are now.  I actually had trouble finding a beginners book when I started so a lot of the jewelry I made was very simple designs.   Then I found lampwork beads and I was off on another journey using lampwork beads in my jewelry and a lot of swarovski crystal.  I like to think that our styles change and evolve as we learn any skill. Over the years I have grown partial to natural stones and every vacation that my family has taken has included a trip to any bead store that was in that particular location.  My husband has been a good sport in all this.  

I now like to use a variety of materials in my designs and I love following jewelry blogs to see what other people are doing.  So this year my resolution is to further stretch my skills, continue with the old familiar materials and experiment with some new.  I plan to share this journey here on my blog.   

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Fantastic Camera Totes

Check out this giveaway.  Go to the  Home by Heidi Blog for a chance to win one of her fantastic camera totes.  These totes are made to look like fashionable purses and would be perfect for the photographer in your life that loves purses.  My daughter, Baille, would adore these totes.  

My First Design Challenge

I have decided to bite the bullet and put myself out there by participating in my first beading design challenge.  I purchase a kit from Michelle Mach for her midwinter challenge.  The kit included a beautiful porcelain snowflake pendant and two connectors from Chinook Designs. I am so excited to start putting all these components together but at the same time I am also a little nervous.  I've never shared my work with a multitude of people before.   Look at all the goodies that came in the kit.   Check back on January 15th to see what I did will all these components and what these other 30 people did with their beads as well.  It should be fun.