Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Just Under the Deadline....

I knew kind of what I wanted to do for this month's challenge from the A Creative Dreamer blog. The creative prompt was "Transitions"....which basically is moving from one state to another.

So...I had some drawings, long on my fridge, drawn by my youngest granddaughters...one age 10, one age 6. They were each so like the child-artist that created them that I wanted to find a way to keep them forever. I decided that the transition would be from paper art to a lovely piece of beautiful jewelry.

The beginning.....the drawings themselves:

The above drawing was from the older of the granddaughters - when she was learning to use the computer. She created this wonderful colorful design, which I have always loved!

This one created by the younger granddaugher-artist, is more pastel, but equally beautiful - and she even put "Grama" in the design. A treasure indeed!

I took the designs, shrunk them WAY down - til they were just over an inch high and wide. I placed pretty twisted silver links over them, glued them down, and then filled the interior with glaze. It didn't turn out as 'raised' as I would have liked, but still made the designs even more vivid.

I colored the backs of the paper, then glued the two drawings, with the circle links together, to make a two-sided pendant. I then took a needle tool and made a hole just large enough for a sterling silver jumpring - and viola! Ready to put on a chain, ribbon, leather....whatever I decide to complete the look for the mood I'm in when I wear it.

This is the one side.....the ruler is there so you can see the actual size....

And this is the other side - I don't think that either side is the "front" or "back" - they are equally lovely and will be such a joy to wear!

I think the "Transition" went really, really well!!

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Couple of these going on this week! Both of them are also unintended consequences (I think) from the Lymphoma that was conquered (thank YOU God!) last month....so now I have a running start on the rest of my life!

The health milestone was the repair (yesterday) of a small but very painful hernia that dates back to a surgery years ago, and brought to the painful forefront by my swollen spleen earlier this year. Thankfully, this was taken care of in record time, and although it is still sore, I know it's just a blip on my radar this week, and I'll be back to total health by next week! God has blessed me so much getting me through every single health problem this year, that I know there is smooth sailing ahead!

The other milestone was more of a 'crafty' one, and one that brings me much renewed joy! All through the sessions of chemotherapy, one of the 'unintended consequences' of that was the persistent 'tingly' feeling in my feet and fingertips. The feet....is ignorable and is slowly improving, but the fingertip thing....oooh, that was a problem. I love working with tiny beads...the tinier the better. Seed beads to me are on the large end! I love Delica beads, and we are talking very small.....and I have now purchased my first tube of size 15 beads...the very smallest of all.

And, why, do you ask? Because .....joy oh joy.....the tingling has dissipated (again thank YOU God!), and now I can feel the little beads as I pick them up, and I can hold on to them, and again created little 'pretties' with them. I cannot even tell you how this just filled me with happiness! So....my test for myself was to make a couple of my little 'hope-levopes', just to see if I could...these are made with Delica beads in a peyote stitch, and in the end, there is a tiny envelope, just big enough to tuck a Bible verse into, or other tiny treasures. They are meant to be the 'focal' bead on a necklace - haven't gotten to that part yet, but wanted to share this 'milestone' with you!

Here is the first one.....made with white and grey beads....the white ones have a 'rainbow' finish on them, and the grey ones are a matte finish. This doesn't come through as well as I wish in the pictures, but the contrast in texture is very pleasing to me....I ended it with a 4 mm black diamond Swarovski crystal bicone bead....a bit of sparkly to close the envelope!
I will be attaching it to a chain (still working on the design of that), but it will hang from a corner....I like things on the diagonal!

This shows the 'hope-velope' opened up, so you can see the relative size...one can slip a dime in there with just a bit of room left over!

The second photo shows this little beaded pretty in the closed position - the weight of the little crystal bead keeps the flap closed, as well as the natural way the bead pattern falls - it folds naturally on the horizontal.

Once this one was made, I thought...hmmmm.. want to make it a little smaller! So, using less beads, and going to a random mix of four different shades and finishes of purple beads, this one was so pleasing to my eye! I love the mixture of colors - all in the same palette - in this random stripey pattern. This time I used a 'purple velvet' crystal bead as the closure, and this will be the first on to be put on a chain....a dime will not quite fit in this little guy, but Bible verses are always the right size!

Such a joy to be back working with these little beads....! More to come.....stay tuned!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

More Goodies and the Give-away!

I made one more version of the fringe earrings - and needed to post them first....for it might have a bearing on the rest of the post!

These are a combination of chalk white bugle beads, and pale yellow seed beads...with alternating crystal AB finish and jonquil yellow crystal bicone beads - a nice light, lemony look, and I like it! No earwires yet..when they sell, I'll add the sterling silver french earwires.
At any rate....here they are:

Now...to the give-away, and the result of the suggestions.....

My last post asked for ideas on what to do with the tiny pearl beads I had purchased....and the winning suggestion would win a pair of fringe earrings - sent to them at my expense as a 'thank-you' for the suggestion! I am so pleased that my dear friend from around the internet - Barbara Y. - is the winner. I am again reminded that it IS possible to be very good friends with folks you have never met 'in person' - just based on like values and compatible character. I have emailed Barbara, and will send off which ever of the colors of fringe earrings she would like, soon as she lets me know!

Now....her suggestion was intriguing.....it was to make a 'multi-strand' bracelet with the beads. Wow! I had never tried anything 'multi-stranded' before, so this was going to be something new! I am not much of a fan of stringing beads - have never really mastered the art of crimping the skinny thread that has to be used to get thru the holes in pearls.

So...how to approach it? Ah....I would make individual components of wire and connect them together. I did have some nice double strand ends I could use....and in looking around...came across another of my favorites, tiny little hummingbird beads. I have used these before, and they lift my spirits just looking at them!

I alternated the components - three pearl beads on one, a hummingbird bead fromed with the pearl beads on the next.....connected with Argentium sterling silver jump rings.

Being a bracelet, and not being too heavy, I decided to go with a magnetic clasp - making it very easy to put on and take off. Nothing worse than struggling with a clasp you have to open and then hook to a tiny ring....grrrr...been there, done that!

Now that it is done, I am really pleased with it....and liking the look of the double strands...so, thanks to Barbara, I have a new design, tried a new technique, and made a piece I don't make very often.....and that's a very good thing!

Without further ado.......here it is... the picture does not really show the slight iridescent shading on the pearl beads....navy and purple and flashes of silver....tiny....but pretty!

Have more goodies to show....but they will have to wait for another post....it deserves its own....as it is a bit of a milestone!

Stay tuned!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Challenges and More Goodies

It was SO cool the other day to find the "Big Reveal" of all the folks who were part of the "Dream" challenge on A Creative Dream I was astounded at the variety of expressions of the prompt, and was thrilled to see my own creations there! Go over and take a look at all the wonderful things!

She also sent out the prompt for August - it is "Transition"....and I already have an idea to make for this one!

Meantime - even though I have lost the tumbler and my magnifying lamp - I donned a pair of 'Dollar Trees' glasses, and did a couple more variations on the Fringe earrings....here are a couple of different colors.....sans findings...they will eventually have sterling silver french earwires....but I wanted to share the beadwork now!

Then I had another idea.....born of necessity....I ran out of the little 'dagger beads' that form the 'fringe' part of the earrings - and thought.....hmmmmm...what if I replaced the dagger beads with 4mm Swarovski bicone crystal beads....so I did!
Here they are:

I am totally loving how this looks! Makes them a tad more expensive - adding the 14 crystal beads - but also upgrades the entire look, from casual to more elegant!

So that's the skinny from the studio today.....now, back to work on other things I put off to do this!