Monday, August 29, 2011

A little house cleaning

I've had some clay work that has been needing to be done, but every time I opened up one of my clay boxes, I kept seeing this, and it was so frustrating to me, and I never wanted to dig in to find what I needed.

So I decided a little clean up was in order, and this is what I ended up with! I feel so much better.

And yes, that IS my Mango Margarita that I was drinking while I worked. I'm sure it helped, somehow.

And now, I feel like I can really get something accomplished! In fact today (I did this last night), I made a Striped Gecko for my Aunt, 2 charms in copper bezels, and a pink sparkle pendant. And now I'm going to get back to it! I have a snowman ornament to work on, and I think I see a Santa head ornament in the near future as well.

Friday, August 26, 2011

New necklace

I'd been working on this pendant for a few days, off and on, and when it was done, I was stumped as to how I should use it. I had a pretty sterling silver pinch bail all picked out for it, but it just wasn't... right. So I was doing a little flickr browsing, which I do sometimes when I get stuck with a design, and was inspired to use my Irish Waxed Linen cord for hanging the pendant. I think adding in the swarovski crystals gave it a little extra texture, too!

I created the pendant using the Sutton Slice technique, where you fill in the grooves of a texture sheet or stamp with clay, and then carefully transfer it on to a flat sheet. It looks smooth because I also used large amounts of resin (I'm still learning, and it takes multiple applications for me to not "miss" any spots sometimes), but I think that makes it even more interesting! It also gives the necklace some weight, so it hangs nicely.

This is currently listed in my Etsy shop, and would make a unique addition to anyone's jewelry collection!

I plan on doing another pendant using this technique soon, so I'll take some photos during the process to show you all. It's a really interesting technique!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Wrap it up!

If you've walked through any department store lately, or paged through a weekly ad, you've most likely seen any number of styles of "wrap bracelets." In my own personal style, I don't tend to keep up with the trends very well, but I do happen to have a few wrap bracelets in the shop. You can find them here.

This was the first one I made, actually, and as my first attempt, it took so long that I almost didn't make another in this style. I eventually ended up making 2 more with different stones.
This is my newest style of wrap bracelet - it's a little more delicate than the first, but just as easy to wear. And orange is HOT this season!!

I know I said that I don't generally follow the trends in my own personal style, but I really LIKE these wrap bracelets, so I have 3 that I made for myself! I think they look pretty cute layered, but I think the 3 in this picture might be a bit much. Two is probably better...

These represent all 3 styles of wrap bracelets that I currently have listed in my Etsy shop. The top is Braided Irish Waxed Linen with Moukaite beads. The second is crystal chain wrapped on to leather, and the bottom one is Fancy Jasper on Leather.

So, there you have it - my nod to trends. If you really love the wrap bracelets, please check out my shop! If you don't see something you like, let me know and I'll try to make one just for you.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

My new direction

Part of my new direction is to go in a more casual direction with a lot of my newer items. This seems to be the way jewelry is trending lately - casual, shabby chic, or BIG statement pieces. I have a few of these crystal wrap bracelets in the shop. They are super sparkly, but the wrapping and leather allow it to be casual still. I have one I wear pretty frequently myself!

This turquoise one is finished with a handmade polymer clay button. It's a double-wrap style.

This bracelet was strung on waxed linen cord, instead of my standard beading wire. I really like the color combination, and the knots between the beads add a little extra texture.

These are just a few of the things I've been making lately. I will continue to make more classically styled jewelry, much like I have been, but I'm enjoying branching out and challenging myself.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

And the winner is....

Cathy!!!! Congratulations!

I'm sorry I don't have any fun pictures or screen shots (I actually don't know how to even TAKE a screen shot...) of my process. I used a random integer generator, and numbered the comments from earliest to latest, and that was the comment I came up with. I'd planned on writing down everyones' names on a slip of paper for each comment or mention from facebook, and having my little guy draw the name, but the excitement of pre-k is wearing him out, and at 7:25 pm, is already asleep!

Thank you everyone for participating, and giving me some good ideas for my new jewelry line. In case anyone was wondering, I am inspired by the great Gandhi, who reminds us to "be the change we want to see in the world."

I'm working on something new tonight, so I'll blog about it tomorrow!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Giveaway!

Finally! And here is what one lucky person will be winning:

This necklace is the FIRST item in a new line I'm working on called Inspiration. Eventually, there will be necklaces, earrings, and charm bracelets, but this is the very first piece, and it could be yours!

All you have to do, is leave a comment here on the ole' bloggy blog with a word or phrase that you find inspirational. It could even be a quote! You can earn more entries by blogging, facebooking, or tweeting about the giveaway, as long as you come back here and leave a link to that in a separate comment.

I will choose a winner Next MONDAY - so that is August 22, 2011. You will have until 5pm Central to get your comments in, and GOOD LUCK!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

A challenge to myself

One of my challenges to myself was to step out of the box in terms of symmetry and "matching" in my jewelry. I knew I had these agate disc beads, and began to look around my gemstone boxes (yes, boxes - I have 3 boxes full of stones, not including my boxes of glass, wood, crystal, etc.) to see what would work with them! I had ONE green aventurine bead left from another project, and it think it all worked well with the moss agate nuggets, and purple web jasper for an extra pop!

I feel pretty good about how I rose to my personal challenge with this one. I'll have better (as in not taken on the dirty windowsill) pictures soon, and will list on Etsy ASAP!

As far as my other challenge areas, I have some supplies ordered, and they should be here soon, so I can get to work. I'm taking a break from clay work (*sob*) while my back heals from minor surgery. It just hurts too much to have to use my pasta machine to work the clay still. Hopefully I'll be up to it in a few days, but in the meantime, beading doesn't seem to bother me so far.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Some new stuff

Something I had been wanting to try this summer was making carved Polymer Clay nuggets. They were actually a little easier than I thought they were going to be, once I got the right blade for carving. I had started out trying to use some wood-carving tools I had, but they weren't quite sharp enough, so I switched over to a much sharper blade, and that made the process move more quickly.

When I envisioned this project in my head, I had always been planning on making some sort of rainbow bead project, so I came up with this bracelet and necklace!

The bracelet beads had somewhat bigger holes so I was able to easily string them on leather, and finished with a button closure. This is almost EXACTLY what I had in mind when I was designing this bracelet in my head!!

And the necklace... *sigh.* I apparently have a weakness for this style, with the ribbon, but I think it is just such a great contrast between the rustic clay beads and the finished silk ribbon. I couldn't decide how to finish it off, so I'm leaving that up to the customer! You can just tie it at whatever length you choose!!

I'm layed up right now after having a fatty cyst removed from my left shoulder yesterday. It makes it hard to use my left arm much right now, but I can tell this is going to help a lot with my overall should pain I've been having. Already, I haven't been experiencing some of the "pins and needles" that I had been having frequently, so I'm really hopeful that this will be a good thing. In the meantime, I've been getting a LOT of inspiration, and making a lot of plans for new projects. (I also ordered some new supplies from Etsy last night - I'm really excited!!).

If you are a Facebook fan (and if you aren't, why not?!?), you have seen that I'm going to have a 200 fan giveaway. My plan was to have the piece (it's a necklace) done tomorrow, so I can announce the giveaway, but my recovery is a little more painful than the doctors had anticipated, due to the amount of muscle involved. Hopefully I'll be able to work on it tomorrow or this weekend, so I'll try to announce the giveaway by Monday!!

Friday, August 5, 2011

We went out of town again

But alas, there was no time (and no place!) for any bead shopping. So, I spent a lot of time perusing the interwebz (after my son was asleep at night, of course!), and finding new, fun supply shops and design inspirations.

I love making jewelry, but lately, I'd been feeling a little bit restless, and frankly, a little bored with my designs. I've decided that it's time to branch out and try some new things with my designs. I haven't had a chance to work on much yet, as far as new designs go, though, but hopefully soon I'll have time.

I'm going to be incorporating more clay in to my designs, and I'm going for a more rustic look to my pieces, as opposed to the symmetrical and clean designs I've been creating lately. This may or may not involve taking apart some of my jewelry that I've already made, and re-purposing the components.

I'm also planning on utilizing different metals - sterling silver is just so stinking expensive, so pewter, brass, copper, and aluminum may be making appearances in my jewelry. I'm even thinking about trying my hand at some toggle clasps made from polymer clay. That would be fun!

I think the last part of my new business path will include some sort of re-branding. So if you know anyone who is handy with creating web graphics, can you send them my way, LOL?

I know this post was completely lacking in photo goodness, but I do have some things I've been working on, so I hope to have something to show you all soon!