Monday, July 29, 2013

Of Earrings & Puppy Dogs

Yes, I managed to get back into my Craft Studio for a wee while this weekend. Not long, mind. Three & 1/2 month old puppies don't like being ignored. And when it's time to play (they think) then they'll do whatever it takes to get your attention. Including teething on the roll of 16g steel wire you have on the floor beneath your work table.

So, I managed to get a few pairs of earrings made before Zack-attack decided he'd been ignored enough.  Here they are:

I used red glass "bamboo" and round
black crystals for the body and olive
bicone crystals for the dangles. Took
the shot with my Galaxy S3 phone.

Saw these daisy-like crystal units in
Michael's and they reminded me so
much of my Mimi (maternal g-ma) that
I bought two sets of them and made these
earrings for Saner Sister, Mom, & myself.
Mimi loved the color red and loved this
style of jewelry. I can remember playing
with her costume jewelry whenever we'd
go up to her place to visit.

Got on a red kick, what can I say? But, these beads
also remind me of Mimi. Again, the glass beads are
in a style she would have loved.

These are made from two sets of silver spacers,
some cross-stitch threads, and some double
headed copper pins I made. The larger spacers
just called to mind Japanese lanterns so I
made these earrings. I'm thinking of making more
and tweaking them juuuuust a bit.
  And, because I can't leave without an update on mein liebchen: at his last vet visit (last Monday) he was three and 1/2 months old and weighed in at 39 & a bit pounds. I'm sure he's over 40 lbs by now! It can be hard to remember, as big as he is, that he's still only a baby. When he wants to play, he wants to play! Not to mention... did any of you dog lovers out there know that dogs can back talk? Well, Weimer's can. Believe it!

Our Little Toad after a hard day of making everyone play
with him.  (for you non-German speakers, "mein Liebchen"
does not mean "little toad", that's just one of Zackery's
nicknames. "Mein Liebchen" is "my darling"... which
he is. You can't not love a puppy who loves you first!

What a face, huh? Seriously, how could you
not love this face!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Weekend Bangles

This weekend I spent only a short time in the craft room (still have a puppy to take care of!) but I managed to make these memory wire bracelets. I'm not usually a bracelet person so I was a bit surprised at (and pleased with) myself.
moonstone chips, pink & white square beads, one
murani style glass bead (just peaking from under
the moonstone in the center, there) and sea blue
glass beads as accents. I like this one. I'm actually
wearing this right now. 
made with crystal pearls from, silver
spacers from Michael's and a faceted black rondelle
as an accent. Like this one, too, but I let Saner Sister
have it, along with the one below.

black beads, square silver spacers, and one black swirl
glass focal bead. Really, I'm going to have to do this
again.... do I have enough beads? Hmm....

rose quartz chips, pink round beads, hot pink pressed
glass beads and a few glass moonstone beads as
accents (the glass moonstone are also from Znet)

And, suddenly, PUPPY!!

at 12 weeks... He's a Weimaraner (or Weim if you
want to shorten it) Also called the Gray Ghost
because of their coloring and style of hunting
(they're sight hunters)
1st visit to his new vet. He did SO well!

Waiting to see the vet... who came out and said,
"Oh! I see you have a pair of ears with a puppy attached!"
(snork) Yes, Weims usually have huge water absorbers
on either side of their heads.
exhausted from a hard afternoon chewing end tables

Learning that sleeping with Crazier Sister does not mean
IN THE SAME BED as me. Crazy, maybe, but not
insane! He's gonna be over 100lbs one day!!! Train 'em
now in the way you mean to go on! (13 weeks, 36.5 lbs)

And now you know what's keeping me busy!
What about you?

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Black & White Challenge Blog Hop

Sally over at The Studio Sublime challenged us to a hop wherein we made jewelry using only the colors of black and white (not counting wire). Y'know, I've got black beads and white beads all over but I've never (except once) sat down with the express purpose of putting them together. So, here's my contribution to her unique (to me, at least) hop challenge:
had some black chiffon that worked beautifully
I'm really getting more into mixing in ribbon or
fabric into my jewelry. Love it.

going for the asymetrical style with this pair
It was really difficult not to add in red. I
wanted to SO badly!

                                           top to bottom: grayish crystals, milky grey/white
pearls trapped in a cage-like finding (Michael's)
and black faceted crystal dangles.

                                              Going for simple with these: the longer pair,
I used some cream/white glass pearls from, the wire is copper that I
heated to ball up and dumped in cold water
to cause that rosy pink coloring. (hope it
still falls within the rules!) I did two pair
because I just wanted simple as well as
simple with a touch more elegance.

                                                 these are major shoulder sweepers! again,
I used material for the lower part, black and
white batik/African style print from a fan
that broke so I salvaged the cloth. It went
perfect with the round black and white beads.

again, top to bottom: cream/white glass pearls
from ZnetShows, white(ish) man-made blister
pearls, cones from Michaels and inside are a
small black bead, white pearl and larger black bead
(to keep things from pulling up too far into the cone)

                                           recycled white glass/sea glass from ZnetShows
strung with a silver finding and black seed bead.

                                          top to bottom: black bead, end caps from a small
set of vials I decided not to use, white glass beads
white man-made "shell" rounds (Michael's again)

So, that's my contribution to this challenge. Thanks, Sally, for the kick in the pants to get the ol' Muse thinking and creating again.  Please visit the other participants to see what they've done!

Sally Russick  (HOSTESS)
Pam Sears  (**YOU ARE HERE**)

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Znet Shows Beachy Challenge

Well... I know I work best under the wire but,,, sheesh!  Anyway, I once again am part of the design team for and this time they paired us up. My Beachy Beady Partner is Suzette over at Ellie's Bijoux.  What we were supposed to do was choose beads for our partners! Wow! Talk about mixing it up. I loved what Suzette sent me:  Here's a peek at the scrumptious pile of goodies I received:
Aren't they just awesome?  Gotta tell ya, though, I had an interesting time figuring out how I was going to use those lovely pearls!  BUT!  Here's what I came up with, enjoy:
Chinese Crystal Bling Ball in Olive
BDS1912 (BDS1912-22)
I wasn't sure, at first, how to use those "bling balls" but I remembered I had some cupped glass in my stash that I'd been hording saving and they worked wonderfully. I think they look a lot like artichokes (I'm sorry, I see things a weeeee bit differently) so these are Artichoke Heart earrings.

                                                     1) Cultured Sea Glass center-drilled
                                                       bottle lip-style P28 (P28-B30)
                                                     2) Sponge Coral twig beads
                                                         CB158 (CD158-05)
                                                     3) Glass Pearls BDS1617
                                                     4) Synthetic Calsilica Donut
                                                          BDS1746 (BDS1746-03)

I call these Boat & Buoys. Can you see why?  And I added the sponge coral twigs and glass pearls because they just seemed to work. (that's how I roll!)

                                             1) Base Metal alloy Bead - Twisted Vine
                                                 Wreath Charm M0111 (M0022-AB)
                                             2) Syntheti Calsilica Donuts BDS1746
                                             3) Chinese Turquoise Barrel Beads - bamboo
                                                  shape w/rondelle spacers TQS24 (TQS24-04)

This is Turquoise Skies.  The only part that doesn't come from ZnetShows are the washers in back, there. I hammered the bejabbers out of a couple washers, dabbed them with "Stream" alchol inks and buffed them with Ren-Wax to seal.  I like how these turned out. I am having a hard time not keeping them.  Of course, I have more of these components so I could always make myself a pair!

                                                    used the aforementioned sponge coral
                                                    twigs and Chinese glass pearls for this

Those of you who follow me know I can make earrings all day long and no problem.  But I can never make a necklace and leave it at that. The necklace MUST be accompanied by a pair of earrings.  So, here's a set I call Silver Beaches using the sponge coral and glass pearls.  I wire wrapped the pearls to the coral and hung it and some gorgeous recycled sari ribbon from a washer I hammered. I'd actually worked on the washer for another project but had set it aside. The hammering on it just made me think of a sandy beach (don't ask why.... did I mention I'm not really a beachy person?  I am much more a mountains and forest person... Saner Sister is the beachy person)  Anyway, paired with the ribbon it just all seemed to go well together.  The necklace is approximately 18" long and the earrings not quite 2" long. I also added a blue glass bead from the sea glass to the earrings so it had that touch of blue in the necklace.

And there you have it.  I still have plenty of beads and glass left so I'm sure there will be more stuff coming.  I also finally bought my ferric acid and have plans to try some etching soon (for why I've been absent, check out my previous post here).  To see what my partner in crime, Suzette, did go here and be prepared to ooh and ahh over her jewels!   Also be sure to check out the ZnetShows Blog as they are having a give away! With all the yummy stuff they have available, you'll want to be sure to hop on over and enter as well as see what other pairs have come up with in their challenges.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Loss and a Successor

A few weeks ago we had to put our sweet Weimaraner, Jackson Kramer (yes, there was a good reason to call him Kramer) to sleep.  He hadn't been eating well for a few days, although he'd eat the little treat/snacks we had for him and drink his water, so we took him to the vet. He felt a firm tenderness in Jack's stomach and gave him a shot for pain and said to take him home and watch him. If he still didn't eat that night, call in the morning and let him know. Well, he didn't eat and Doc had us bring him back in for tests and an x-ray. Jack, it turned out, had a fast growing cancer and it was already the size of a grapefruit. It grew so quick, in

Jack letting me practice my macro photography

fact, that what Doc felt as a firm tenderness the day before was now an obvious lump/growth. It was also obviously visible in the x-ray as it pushed his intestines aside. Considering his age and the pain he was experiencing, we made the decision to put him to sleep. A very hard choice to make when you love something that much. But love doesn't mean making it hard on the object of your love.

Well, we found that the house was much too quiet and that we needed a dog in our home. We just have never been without one in our family from the time I was a kid and so began our search for Jack's successor (never replacement!).  We found Von Greyson Weimaraners about two hours away from us (in the backside of just past the middle of nowhere!) and, after asking both him and our vet numerous questions, made the decision to buy one of his pups.  Our vet was impressed with the care William takes of his animals (starts taking them to his vet as soon as they're old enough) and William was impressed by (and glad of) the fact we'd already had a Weim.  (he, apparently, doesn't sell his pups to just anyone who calls... another plus in his favor). 

We travelled the two hours into the back of beyond to meet and, hopefully, retrieve, our newest family member.  I'll tell you this, the man has TWENTY-ONE  Weim's running his place (it's a ranch) and they are great dogs.  Some snarls as Alpha-order is established and defended, but no fighting and all are sweet, healthy, happy animals who love him.  Another plus in his favor.  After an hour in his (and the dogs') company, we came home with our own sweet fella.  May I present our newest family member (and the reason I've not been crafting or blogging for two weeks), Zackery Tillar Sears:

1st day home... who wouldn't love this face!?
But,  look at those PAWS! Only 10 weeks and
already weighing in at 25+ pounds

A week and a 1/2 later. We could almost SEE
him growing!
This was taken at our vet's office just yesterday.
You can see how calm he is. And another glimpse
of those huge paws.  Yesterday (12 weeks of age)
Zackery weighed in at 29.5 pounds.

Yes, he's going to be a monster. William breeds his Weims to the original German standard and his dogs are larger and sturdier than most American lines.  The dam was about 85-90lbs and the sire was well over the 100lb mark.  I don't doubt my little Kraut is going to be a solid 105lbs at least

And now you know what I've been doing and why I've been absent (and may still be sporadic in the blogging and creating until this not-so-little one doesn't have to be so closely watched, the chewing little sneak).