Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken. - Oscar Wilde

Friday, September 30, 2011

Metal Revisited

I have really been liking my new metal embossed earrings.  I haven't touched polymer in several weeks,partly due to a bad case of Blogitis (the contagious BSBP virus), but also because I have been exploring this different media.  I have used several embossing plates but keep returning to the same swirly design. It seems to be the most attractive, at least I think so.

These two earrings are embossed with different plates but made using the same ink combination. 

 The same swirling embossing plate, using yellow and steam inks to color.

At first I was only coloring the front of the metal.  They turned out OK, but on this set I colored the back too. I think it looks better hanging from the ears to be colored on both sides.

The same earrings from only the front

The majority of the earrings were made from a blank about the size of a $0.50 piece.  I did have some smaller blanks which are not large enough to dap into a concave shape.  So they are being left flat.  They are about the size of a quarter.  These are colored on both sides too.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Bead Soup Follow up

I signed up for Bead Soup in order to challenge myself by working outside my comfort zone.  In that aspect it was a huge success for me.  I really learned how to make wraps for dangles - over 60 dangles on  Little Kitty 2 Two. 
  Also I got another bad case of Blogitis.  With 362 jewelery artists involved, it took a long time to visit them all.  I saw a lot of gorgeous piece by some very talented designers.  I found a lot of blogs that I added to my favorites and am following now (have to keep it at a minimum since I find that the more time I spend on line, the less time I spend making.   Oh how I wish there was more than 24 hours in a day). 
The downside was that I was so busy visiting other blogs that I have not touched polymer in over a week and have not blogged since  the big reveal.  How the time flies when having fun.
 My blog was visited a lot.  I know that for those people who are old hands at blogging, this may not be a big deal. But I just started in January, slowly building up a following,  and for me this was a HUGE thing.  I want to say a  big

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Bead Soup Reveal

The day is finally here to show off what I did for my first Bead Soup Blog Hop. As you can see, my wonderful partner, Julie Bean from Beadaholique, sent me a ton of beads.  What to do with them all?

I am a bead maker, not a jewelery designer per se.  One reason I did the Soup was to challenge myself to try something I had not done before.  I have a tendency to over do and the first week I went nuts and worked on the main chain part for hours.  Then life intruded and I only finished it up this week.  I couldn't believe the trouble that I had figuring out how to attach the bead caps to the silk cord.  I had it in theory, but practice left a lot to be desired.

I had seen a lovely piece on line that was composed of charms and dangles and wanted to do something like that.  I went through a lot of head pins and dug into my stash to add to the variety that Julie had already sent me. I had a piece of black silk cord in my stash that I used to extend the chain to necklace length.

The rules of  Bead Soup Blog Party are simple. After signing up with Lori Anderson at Pretty Things (one of my faves), she assigns partners. I can't believe that she has the energy to undertake this but I am sure glad that she does.  Then you exchange a focal, beads and a cool clasp (not lobster).  And you need to have a blog to let everyone know about what you are doing.  On the day of the BIG REVEAL, you get to show off what you made and visit all the blogs of the other designers.  There are a ton of people who signed up for this current Bead Soup and would take up a huge piece of  this post to list them all. The link to the complete list is:

Go ahead and check them all out. Get a jolly case of know you want to.

Are you ready.... Here it is, full monty and the little bits that make it up. (I snuck a pair of polymer clay beads into the dangles: Can you spot them?)

I dub thee "Little Kitty 2 two"

The lovely focal by Golum Ceramics.  Salt and Pepper kitties like my own Eyesis Rue and Prince.

Isn't this clasp lovely.... The detail is delicious.

Trying a "Glamour Shot". Not sure I succeeded

Showing off how it hangs. I really wish I had a better
form to photograph it on

After all this I have beads left over (Julie was sooooo generous), so I had plenty of choices for earring design. 

The little blue flower earrings are my favorite.  I love color of the little rose beads, but were not able to use very many of them.  The bead holes varied in size greatly and not many of them were big enough for the headpin to fit into.  I will probably be able to use them in a piece later that I use string rather than wire. In looking at the final piece I am wondering if it is not too busy? The focal looks kinda lost in the forest, so to speak.  I have beads left over and I may do something simple with the focal later.  I am sure that I will get inspiration from all the wonderful pieces I am sure to see in the next several days as I visit the other Bead Soup Party Members.

Thanks again to Julie Bean  for all the great beads and to Lori Anderson for all her hard work at putting this all together. 

Friday, September 16, 2011

What a difference the undercoat makes

Making a new pair of metal earrings using the Vintaj metal blanks.  After painting the first side, I washed the paint out of my sponge brush so it wouldn't cake up while waiting for the blank to dry.  When it was time to do the other side, the brush was still damp, so the paint thinned out when applied.  What the heck, I thought, it is just the back side.

Well, when I dropped on the inks, I discovered that the consistency of the paint makes a BIG difference in the look. Believe it or not, the same inks colors were used on both sides. Lesson learned.

Front (good layer of acrylic)

Back (watered down layer of acrylic)

And just a reminder, the Bead Soup Party Reveal is tomorrow, September 17th.  Whooo-hooo.

BSBP is almost here.

This is just a little note to remind you that the Bead Soup Blog Party blog hop begins 

September 17th.  

I am so excited to be involved!  Watch for my reveal this Saturday morning.  

Not sure what the Bead Soup Blog Party is?  Read about it here.

There are over 360 talented participants this time around!

Blogistis here I come!!!!!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Christi F update

For those who are Christi Freisen Fans (and if you aren't you should be IMHO), she recently did a little demo for Polyform.  It is a cute little Steampunky bird. 

Check it out at

I had a really good start on my bead soup project.  I finished almost 80% of it the first weekend, then life intruded and I was not able to get back to it till this week.  What I thought would be very easy turned out to be the most frustrating part.  I finally finished it up last night and spent this morning making some companion earrings.  The 17th will be here before I know it, so will be photographing and writing it up after work tonight. 

I am getting so excited about seeing what my bead partner Julie Bean did with the beads I sent her and hope she likes what I did with hers.

 I loved visiting all the blogs on the last Bead Soup Blog Hop and will probably succumb to Blogitis again, but it will be worth it I think. So many people are involved this time that it will take DAYS to read them all.  I started at the bottom of the list last time and will be doing the same this time.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Gift for a good friend

Today is a bittersweet one.  My supervisor and good friend is leaving for a new job.  While I will miss her greatly, I am very happy for the advance in her career.  She is leaving the clinical side of laboratory medicine for the computer side, and will be come certified to help set up laboratory computer systems.  Quite a change but an exciting time for her.  It is not really goodbye, as we are close outside work and will be seeing each other on weekends. 

One of the things about her new job, she is updating her wardrobe from scrubs to office clothes.  And she needs jewelery updates too. So to start things off, I made another pair of earrings using the same technique I used for the last pair.   This time though I used a smaller blank, so did not tap it into a concave shape and I colored both sides so they look good coming and going.  She wants me to design and make her jewelry and of course, I am delighted to help my friend out.

Earrings view from the front
Earrings view from front and the flip side

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Not everything is Polymer

Autumn Wind

My latest earrings are NOT Polymer... can you believe it?

 I saw the technique on line earlier this summer and finally got around to trying it out.  Don't think they turned out too bad considering this is my first attempt. 

Opps, I was reminded that I forgot to let people in on how these were made (thanks Davina).  If you are interested, the instructions are at Bello Modo's site.  Here is the link to the page with the video (it's near the bottom).  Check out the rest of the site too while you are there.


Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Weekend that Was

I have been out of town for the labor day weekend plus a few.  My sister (who I found out reads my blog - hi Cheri) is the caregiver for my mother.  She moved in with Mom at the first of the year and was reaching burn out.  So a trip across the mountains after work Friday night was in order (never again, driving through construction on I-90 in the middle of the night with semi trucks careening all over the place was NOT fun).  Cheri left for a well deserved break Saturday and I had Mom all to myself in a very hot house.  Mom is very thin so she likes it hot, I am not so thin and like it cool.  I find this very ironic as when I was a child it was just the opposite.  I would stand over the heat registers in the house to get warm while Mom was running around turning the heat down. She warned me about "the Change" and how it would "see" what hot is.  I see already ... please let me turn on the AC!

The bad thing about Mom's is that she does not have Internet access.  Now I can remember the time before computers were everywhere but it is so surprising how dependant I have become on it.  I actually had to read to entertain myself. Don't get me wrong, I read all the time, but a lot of my reading is other blogs, interesting websites, tuts, on line.... not so much a physical book (and my book is an e-reader - hundreds of books at my fingertips). One of my goals for the weekend, as I did have a lot of enforced spare time on my hand, was to photograph my jewelery for inventory and blogging purposes.  I got two boxes done so will have a lot of pix to post in the future.

Wind Farm outside Ellensburg Wa. I drove past on my way home
These things are HUGE

Hubbie is trying to get my attention. Apparently there is a new episode of The Guild posted on line and I HAVE to check it out.  More later.