Friday, January 30, 2009

Experiments In Resin

I have been playing with resin for a while now and decided I had to get some beautiful butterfly molds for (link coming soon!). Yesterday I played with them a little, filling each mold with seed and bugle beads. Personally, I was not a pleased with them as I hoped I would be, but I think they aren't too terrible for a first attempt. The sizes range from 4" to 2.5" at the widest part of the wings. I'm off to get some glitter which will hopefully work a little better for the next experiments!

Happy Crafting!

Trying Something New

A crafting forum I love has started an Artistic Doll Challenge. Now I haven't done anything like that before, with the exception of an ugly little bear I did out scrap fabric (and stuffed with yarn) when I was about 7 or 8 years old. It was the ugliest little thing ever - mostly because I had no concept of seam allowances.

Anyway, I figured this was a good time to try something new so I decided to take part. The rules were simple - no more than five inches tall, could be just about any shape and embellished pretty much any way you could imagine. I struggled at first because there was no theme to give my ideas directions. After lots of thought, I came up with this design - keep in mind this is a work in progress. This is after she was handsewn and stuffed:

The lines you see are the pattern lines I drew on so I would know what to paint where. As you can (hopefully) see I went a Spring theme. I miss the beautiful blooming flowers and all of the colors, and thus, Rose was created. She is probably a little more intricate of a design than I should have tackled for my first doll. There are some details that didn't work and she was a pain to stuff.

The next step was to paint her, give her some pretty spring colors:

Next will be to add the embellishments. She is still a work in progress. There is a bunch of beading that needs to be done, some pretty trim to add, and such. I'm actually experimenting with a lot of techniques I've never used before.

I'm hoping to have her close to finished next week. Wish me luck and comments are welcome!

Monday, January 26, 2009

I Finally Found...

... orange and yellow beads that I like! I was so thrilled that I would be able to experiment with some new colors. Finding the beads was a challenge in itself as most of the local places I looked didn't have much of a selection beyond shades of amber, which was too brown for what I wanted. Of course, designing something with colors I'm not particularly fond of was another challenge all together.

But I am very proud to say that I came up with two designs that I am pleased with. They are both made with faceted orange beads, crackle glass beads and silver-plated findings. The chain version also include lovely cream Druk beads. Hope you all like them!

Friday, January 23, 2009

What a slow week....

....but still incredibly busy! I was able to get one new design made, which is pictured below. I was desperately wanting to do something in yellows and oranges, but for the life of me couldn't find very much in my stash'o'beads. So yesterday it was off to Michaels, and they (surprisingly) didn't have much of a selection either. I was bummed. Those are two colors I've never really worked with because I'm not particularly fond of them. But this is a year for change and growth! So I will keep searching, and maybe I will find what I want somewhere else (keeping my fingers crossed anyway!).

As promised here's the picture of the new design:

It is made with pale pink and white glass pearls with iridescent crystal rondelles and beautiful pink Rhodonite. It is a short 16" long but can be adjusted to about 17.5" long. I think it is perfect for both casual and formal spring functions. From garden parties to weddings, it is simple and elegant. And just screams spring!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

As Promised...

...Pictures of my most recent projects. Sorry they aren't the greatest pictures in the world, but my camera was dying and I really wanted to get them taken and posted! I will keep the descriptions short:

First up is a lovely necklace made with chalk turquoise, clear glass beads, and moonglow beads in a pale spring green tone. A silver lobster clasp completes the elegant look that can easily go from office to garden party!

Next is a more dramatic look in serpentine and moss agate. The serpentine focal point has interesting natural lines and veins that are mimicked in the moss agate. The moss agate is presented in two different shapes to bring a little more dimension to the necklace. It is all brought together with simple black rondelles to keep the piece from being overpowering.

I fondly refer to this pink and silver necklace as "Pretty in Pinks." Pink is not one of my favorite colors so I tend to be rather proud of myself when I can actually make something in pinks that I like. The focal piece is a piece of rose quartz accented with small Swarovski crystals. There are pink crackle glass beads complimented with tiny pale pink glass and Swarovski crystals worked into the silver-plated figaro chain.

And finally is my Lavendar Orchid necklace. This one is designed to be a very delicate looking necklace. The painted porcelain focal bead is adorned with a lovely purple orchid and complimented with small lavendar glass beads dangling below. Integrated into the silver-plated chain are lovely silver flower cut-out shapes and lavendar glass and lavendar faceted Czech beads.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Keeping Busy!

No pictures to share today, but I will definitely have some soon! I've had a productive few days. Saturday I made a total of 8 new necklaces - 4 new designs, 2 of each design. I am waiting on my order from Fire Mountain Gems to come in so I can work on a whole new group designs I've got floating around my brain!

Today I poured resin for a bunch of pendants and components. I am hoping they will be dry and ready to photograph tomorrow. Tomorrow will be my day to upload new pictures and descriptions to my shop and they will get added here as well. And if I'm lucky I will have time to play with my new pieces and (hopefully) make something really cool out of them!

Wish me luck!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

A Birthday Present

Yesterday was my mother-in-law's birthday and she is one of those incredibly hard to shop for people. She has just about everything she could want or need. In about a week, she will be going on a Caribbean cruise with my father-in-law. I think it is sort of a Happy Retirement/Happy 44th Anniversary celebration.

Anyway, DH and I have been stressing about what to get her. Last weekend, as he was faithfully following me around Michael's (the only really good local craft store), DH noticed a beautiful tiger eye pendant. He should it to me and asked if I could do something with it for his mom. After some more searching, we found the tiger eye round beads, faceted sterling silver beads and the perfect chain to bring it all together!

The necklace ended up being 24" long, which is the perfect length for my MIL. Since we figured she would be wearing this on her cruise, I decided to make a pair of matching earrings with the left over beads and some lovely clip-on findings I already had.

My MIL was thrilled when she opened the present yesterday! She put on both the necklace and earrings and had the biggest smile on her face! I was really happy to be able to find make something that she enjoyed so much and I think she was genuinely touched to have something made exclusively for her!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Finally - The Pictures!

This will be a relatively short post, I just wanted to share some pictures of the Christmas gifts I made for this past holiday season. The only thing I didn't get pictures of were the scarves I did for my nieces.
This is a huge blanket I crocheted for a dear friend of the family. I used about 65 ounces of Red Heart Baby Clouds Yarn ( I think that's the right name) and it was heavy!! It's overall size was in the neighborhood of a five foot square - I really should have measured it, but I finished it just in time to deliver it! Everyone in the family loved it, and I think there may be some debate among them as to who gets to use it the most! LOL

This is the necklace I made for my 8 year old niece. She loved it! I used white Druk Glass pearls, crystal quartz, and various sizes of Aurora Borealis beads. I strung around the focal point, only about 4 inches of the 16" necklace. For the rest of the necklace, I used a simple white organza ribbon.

When I finished it, it occured to me that the necklace looked like something a bride might wear. Hopefully she will be able to keep this for a very long time - she is incredibly active little girl! It was just really nice for me to be able to give her something no one else would ever have. It made her feel very special, which is exactly why I make jewelry!

This necklace was made for my step-son's girlfriend. He is a great kid and I have made jewelry for his last three girlfriends! LOL (Of course he is only 17, but the fact that he likes giving jewelry is a good sign! hehe)

He asked for something very simple because his girlfriend is a very down-to-earth type girl. So I used a beautiful Swarovski heart pendant, with the AB finish paired with deep purple glass Druk beads for the focal point. A few inches up the silver chain, I added a couple of Swarovski crystals with another of the purple Druk beads. The goal was for simple yet dramatic - an understated necklace that could make a very bold statement. (And the best part is she loved it!)

I have to finish up a necklace and earring set for my MIL's birthday on Wednesday and then I am going to be working on some really fun resin projects! I will post again later this week!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

New Year - New Opportunities!

Ok, I still don't have pictures to upload. They are all hiding on my camera. But the holiday season is over and I will soon be able to get back into a normal work schedule, with set days to post to my blog and lots of new projects to write about!

Coming up this year I will be doing a lot more promotion for my online shop, maybe starting an Etsy store and I already have a craft show set up for April that I need to get a bunch of jewelry ready for. As for the jewelry, I am going to be stringing some beautiful new pieces, as well as trying my hand at resin pieces. I am so excited about working with resin - it is so versatile and light weight, so I should be able to get some truly amazing pieces made utilizing it.

Speaking of work, I must be off to pick up some supplies so I can get more work done next week. Good luck to all you intrepid crafters, I wish you a fabulous and successful 2009!