Monday, January 29, 2018

Addendum to Introduction for Swap N Hop

In the next day or two, I should be receiving my partner assignment for the Bead Peeps Swap N Hop. Linda, who runs the group, asks that we do an introduction so our partners have some idea of our style and what materials we enjoy working with. The Introduction that I did last year was pretty concise. But, I figured I could add a little to it.

I've been collecting tins for years, but only recently really began using them in my designs.
Red Tin Heart Earrings from my Etsy shop
And, the tin doesn't even have to be that old. The metal used in the earrings above was from a fairly new gingersnap container from World Market. But, to add my own spin, I love to distress items so they feel like they have a history.

Delicate Key Necklace
Keys also have quite the prominence in my designs. I acquired quite the stash of them some time ago and am constantly turning to them as a quick focal. They make great bases to embellish.

I do love to alter and embellish pieces with assemblage, though do recognize that some things are best left simple.

In my previous introduction, I failed to mention anything I don't like to work with. In general, I have a hard time with very bright colors, too large items, or plastic. Though, I do love a challenge.

I'm looking forward to the opportunity to meet another artist and see what they send me. As well, it's always so much fun to gather materials and see what someone else does with them. Y'all stay tuned to see what happens next!

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Bead Box Restocked

Sometimes I find myself stuck creatively but still want to create. I've tried all kinds of methods to alleviate this conundrum, but the one that seems to be working for me the best right now is my Bead Box. I set up the first one back in October in preparation for sitting in a waiting room. but worked on it over the course of a couple of months to reveal the jewelry made in December. Basically, it's a craft tackle box. Into each compartment, I'm putting the beads/elements for a single design. Basically, I design ahead of time and create when time permits. Since it worked so well for me before, I decided to restock the box. Again, I dipped into my Inspiration Jar to get the ball rolling. 

I'm sure you notice that not every compartment is full. It was actually even less full than this as I had gotten frustrated with designing and had to stop. But, a couple other ideas came to me and got tossed in before I took the pictures. Want a better look at what's in the box?

1: Chinese crystals from ZnetShows.com, a bullet casing (with a hole through it), and a long length of suede cord.
2: Marbled stone beads and two beads from Spirited Earth by Nan Emmett (as received in last year's Swap N Hop).
3: Polymer clay teardrops from a mixed bag from Tree Wings Studio, long bead caps (from Michael's I believe), and a few lovey Czech glass beads. 
4: Brass-colored glass seed beads, a small brass connector, and Chinese crystals from ZnetShows.com

5: Bird charms I altered with the Vintaj BigKick and alcohol inks and a couple of large plastic off-white beads salvaged from old jewelry. 
6: A found, smashed washer with a nice patina on it, a diamond-shaped ceramic bead from Gaea, green-dyed fire agate from ZnetShows.com, and salvaged brown glass beads. 
7: Salvaged blue glass leaves, jade beads, and brass beads.
8: Light blue glass beads, salvaged silver-tone charms, and salvaged light blue sugar-coated-looking beads (unsure of the material, but they are fairly lightweight for their size.)

9: A skeleton key and brown glass pearls.
10: Mother of pearl buttons and amazonite briolettes.
11: A paper-crafting tag that I altered by stamping on a butterfly and sealing it, and a variety of glass and stone beads.
12: A nifty little piece I made with an old keyhole and some tin riveted together, brass beads from ZnetShows.com, and dark blue stone beads.
13: A key altered with the addition of a salvaged rhinestone piece and clear Chinese crystals from (guess where) ZnetShows.com.

As you can see, that's where I stopped with no intention of filling up the rest of the box. However, once I made the first piece (with the crystals, bullet casing, and leather), I had a few of the crystals loose and leftover. I didn't really want to bag them up, so I came up with more designs to fill up the rest of the box!

I got that done late yesterday afternoon and the lighting wasn't great, but I took pictures anyway. Sorry for their poorness.  Also, I numbered these all crazy-like because of where I had stopped and re-started filling the box. I'm all over the place and hope you don't mind too much.
14: I'm not completely sold on this design. I shared these on Instagram yesterday as I was laying them out on my desk. A friend suggested a different design incorporating those little pinecones. I'm letting it marinate for now. In the meantime; those are gold pinecone charms, Chinese crystals, and gold-tone bead caps.
15: Salvaged connectors with rhinestones, Chinese crystals, and brass bead caps.
16: Washers I made ages ago that are embellished with dictionary text embedded in resin (I call them wordy washers), Chinese crystals, and black tagua nut beads. 
17: Salvaged star charms (altered with Iced Enamels), turquoise disc beads, and Chinese crystals. 

Now I just need to pull them all together and get some jewelry made! This method of designing when I feel inspired and making when I don't seems to be working out pretty well for me at the moment. What's your design process like?

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Currently I'm....

Creating a batch of Thank You cards for my Etsy orders since I just used my last one. 

Watching Leeloo run around the bedroom and craft room in full play mode. Catching her still is kinda hard, hence the blur. Her current favorite toy is a balled-up piece of paper (that's what's in her mouth.)


Listing these super cute Red Tin Heart Earrings!

Needing to take care of a few more tasks for my Mardi Gras ball this weekend. 

Feeling a little chilly since it "snowed" last night.

Hoping everyone stays safe on the icy roads.

Baking these Cinnamon Banana Bread Muffins from Together as a Family to warm up the house a little. As a bonus, breakfast for tomorrow will be ready! I'm also about to throw a roast in the crockpot so dinner will be done too.

Looking forward to working on making some jewelry today. My tools are ready and waiting!

So, what are you up to?

Saturday, January 6, 2018

New Jewelry Tools, Member of the Family, and Giveaway Winner

Hello all!!
I've got a variety of subjects to touch on today. The first is a touchy one for me. I'm excited about the new jewelry tools I got for Christmas, but sharing them always makes me feel like I'm showing off or something. That's entirely not my intent. I just like to show you what I'm working with now. So here's a quick collage.
Left to right, top row: An enameling kit, bezeling tools, & Euro Punch
Bottom row: Levered Disc Cutter, Dimpling Pliers, and Leuchtturm1917 journal (for bullet journaling)

I've messed around with all of these, you can see proof of that on Instagram

Other than the new tools, we have another addition to our house. Yesterday, this cutie joined the family!
I've always loved orange tabbies, but this one is a rare female. We're fairly sure we've settled on the name Leeloo (from The Fifth Element (movie)). 

Now, for the winner of my Romantic Christmas Ornament...
Mischelle, I'll be contacting you to get your info so I can send you your ornament. Thanks to all of you who played along. 

I hope each and every one of you had a wonderful Christmas and a fantabulous New Year! I'm looking forward to what's to come and love having you along for the ride. Let me know what's new in your world!

Thursday, January 4, 2018

New Year

How's your new year going? Well, I hope!
First Silverlox Sunrise of 2018
I usually write up something about my goals or resolutions or word for the year by the first, but this year I couldn't decide on something concrete to focus on. 

In the grand scheme of things, I simply want to be a better me. I want to do the things I know I should: eat better, plan better, exercise more, get shit done. 
Stocking the Bead Box with items from my Inspiration Jar to make some new jewelry.

We're only a few days into 2018, and I'm not kicking butt at these aspirations yet, but I'm okay with that. I'm trying to remember that each day, each hour, each minute is a new opportunity to start again. And, if you don't mess up, you don't get the chance to really learn.
My first (failed) attempts and trying out the enameling kit I got for Christmas.
So, learning I am. But, I still hope to get some shit done.
How about you? What are your goals for 2018?