Monday, April 29, 2013

Weekend Play

Well, that's not exactly true. I didn't get to play in my studio as much as I'd have liked, but I did manage to make a bracelet.  I cut and filed some metal pieces and used Tiger's Eye rounds as accents. The Tiger's Eye beads came from where you can find a whole plethora of wonderful beads to play with. The bracelet it about 8" in length because I'm "goddess" sized, not "Twiggy" sized and I tend to make stuff that's more fitting for us goddesses than you Twigs (hee). Here's what I made, enjoy:

Thursday, April 25, 2013

AWEsome Earrings!

Leslie from The Gossiping Goddess blog has published a tutorial on how to make macrame earrings over at Art Jewelry Elements.

No, no, wait! I can hear you now; "Oh, Pam, you really ARE the Crazier Sister! Macrame? Really? Not that big a deal."

BUT! Leslie's tutorial is for WIRE macrame! How awesome is THAT!?  I've never really wanted to learn macrame.... well, okay, maybe I did just a little.... but NOW? Now I want to run out and immediately start practising with my wire!  You just HAVE to go look at what Leslie has published, along with a link for learning the macrame knots if you've never done it before (although, I'm the sort of learner who gets more from pictures and words and Leslie's is perfect!)

Go! Go look!
Oh, isn't Leslie a-MAY-zing?!?

Monday, April 22, 2013

More Earrings

I was hoping to get more jewelry made this weekend but, honestly, I was just worn out and decided to be lazy. I only made a couple of pairs of earrings but allow me share them with you:

 These are made with hand textured, markered and Renaissance waxed washers and olive jade donuts. The jade came from and I am trying to make several more designs before the deadline for Round Two is over (see their blog post here).

These were made with copper pennies I hammered the b'jabbers out of and domed juuuuuuust slightly to give the Opal Quartz ovals a little room to hang nicely. I accented them with heat treated Red Aventurine squares on top and Tiger's Eye rounds dangling beneath. They're a little long so you need a long neck (unlike me ~sigh~) but they're cute. I also hand made the head pin the aventurine is on.

Anyway, that's all I managed, but I really do like them. ZnetShows has some awesome beads. Really, go click the link up above and have a dig around!

Friday, April 19, 2013


Okay, so I finished the necklace last night and I learned a few things:
1) Just because someone says "use fixative spray to set" does NOT mean it works for everything (or else I just have a very heavy hand and don't know it)
2) I will, from now on, let "permanent" marker ink cure/set for 24 hours, then rub it with Renaissance Wax to "fix" it in place.

Honestly, I followed directions on the can for the fixative. I even let it dry for 20 minutes instead of the 15 required. Then, I do what I always do to be sure, I rubbed my thumb (rather hard) over the surface and the "permanent" marker that had just been "fixed" by the spray came off on my thumb.


Out comes the Renaissance Wax and to (careful) work I go. In a short time, not only is the whole thing coated, but none of the marker ink came off during the process or after a few hard rubs of the thumb. Since it has in the past, I attribute this to letting the ink set overnight (NOT the "fixative").  As a test, I inked up four more hammered washers and left them overnight.  I plan to test them by waxing one (carefully) and seeing if the ink stays put. If so, yay. If not, then it's a combo of the "fixative" and the wax. Fun.

Anyway, here's the finished necklace:
Full view - haven't decided on a title, yet.
Free form carnelian pendent & heat treated red aventurine
squares are from  Marble composite circles
are from Michael's, donut focal is a (former) washer from Lowe's
and the clasp is from the button aisle at Joanne's Craft Store.
Closer look at the beads

Closer look at the focal....
...and at the clasp.
I had no real design in mind when I started this. I just hammered away at the washer to start with. When it was done, and I recalled I need to finish some designs for ZNet Shows, I just felt drawn to the ruddy red-ish, orange-ish color in the carnelian and aventurine. It didn't seem like enough, though, so I dug through my stash until I found the marble composite beads. They're a pink-ish white/cream color with the ruddy red-ish, orange-ish color of the ZNet beads.  It was perfect, and their shape echoed the chain and washer.  I'll be sending a photo of the design to Bill Zhang shortly.  I have more designs to work on, but I don't want him to think I'm not working with the gorgeous beads he's sent me.

Now, moving on slightly, I also tried my hand at turning my Fishes & Loaves earring series into a bracelet. It worked, and it didn't. Here's the (mostly) finished product:

I got the five beads on for the loaves, four wired to the bracelet and one as a dangle by the fish's tail but I was only able to get one fish (the clasp).  I need to find a way to add the second fish or it won't be right.  I'm also a little worried that there are "snag" trap areas so I think it requires a bit more tweaking. I plan to wear it a few times with various outfits to see if it does snag.  Any suggestion will be gratefully received and, likely, tested out.  All in all, not completely disappointed in this for a first attempt. Will be checking the tutes I've pinned and bookmarked for bracelet making to see what I can tweak.

And now, off to email Bill.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Playing Around - Mixed Metals

So, I mentioned (either in a previous post or an update on FB... I don't remember.... I'm getting old.... what?)

So, I mentioned (hehe) that I had pounded the b'jabbers out of a washer over the weekend. Very therapeutic.  But, I think I may invest in some of those ear plugs swimmers use. In a small space like my craft room (which also echos amazingly) pounding on metal can bother the ears. I think I actually felt my eardrums twitching! 0_o*  Anyway, after annealing, hammering and drilling holes, I colored the whole darn thing with black permanent marker and sanded off the hi-lights. I really do like it!  See?
See? SEE!?  Doesn't that look AWESOME!?
I have plans to spray fixitive over it, but I couldn't the other night because it was windy like I was about to visit Oz!  Not really a time when you want to go outside and spray anything!  So, I'll take it out in the next day or two and spray the surface to set the color then finish the necklace.  Which will look something like this:

Using beads from ZNet shows, again. I actually was invited
to join "Level (round?) 2"... shoot, I didn't know there was
more than one level/round! I was thrilled! And I got to pick
more beads to play with! Woo HOO!
Little more of a peek. The
marbled beads were already
in my stash and I'm mixing
them in with the ZNet beads
And this is the clasp.  This is actually something I bought at
Joanne's in the sewing section. I thought it would make an
excellent clasp for a necklace! I'm not wrong :)

But, you know me, I couldn't make the necklace and not make earrings.  These actually lean a little to the "tribal" side of things because I already had the moonstone-looking dangles and the little bells on the ends. I just thought they would go so great together and, again, I wasn't wrong ;)

Heat Treated Aventurine pillow squares from ZNet; dangles from
my stash. I even used 22g steel wire and managed NOT to
stab myself in the thumb! SO proud! (heee)
I have plans to expand slightly on this earring design for my Ren-Faire alter ego. I really do like them and Zarqa wants a pair of her own. She likes the gentle chime from the bells.

So, I have more ZNet beads to put together (have another "tribal" style necklace in the works but I'm keeping that one under wraps for the moment as Zarqa is also drooling to add it to her collection... it involves beaten coins as well as ZNet beads)

What have you managed to turn out recently?

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

A Clean(er) Studio & More Fishes-n-Loaves

I am one who creates in the midst of chaos.  I pull out beads from here, and findings from there, and wire/chain from the other place and just play until a design seems to shape itself.  Sadly, I have a hard time putting the leftovers back where I found them.  I tend to leave them out because, hey, they sparked one idea already they might cause another one!

But, even I finally couldn't take it anymore.  I picked up the bigger pieces, moved things around to get at the smaller pieces, and swept the lot of them into a large bowl I usually have water in to quench my metal work.

Then it sat there, all forlorn, for two days while I worked up the nerve to finish cleaning without stopping to play.  So, here's a few shots of the clean(er) studio:

The "main" area, table with drawers (you can get them
at Lowe's!) and you can see the bits & wood support for my
drill along with various boxes for other equipment underneath.
Left side table where some of the mess went until I could rearrange
it better.... it's been further cleaned but it still needs some work.
Let's see, leather roll, beads, findings, brushes, clay carving tools,
barrel for my rock/metal tumbler, pasta maching, notebooks
for inspirational pictures I love, box full of magazines (for a future
destashing contest.... which is coming soon, keep watching!)
Bookshelf that's, mostly, used for more bead and
findings stashes as well as other accessories for
beading and metal work. One smaaaall area for
books... 2nd shelf, far left side you can see some
bead books next to the findings stash. Boards
on the side of the shelf for holding earrings and,
on the floor under a book, is my toaster oven for
when I'm brave enough to play with poly-clay.

It's actually even cleaner than what's pictured but I doubt it'll last long! (hahHA!)

After finally getting the worst of it cleaned up (yes, there's still somewhat of a mess there), I sat down and began banging on some washers.  Those are still in the "Come-Along" process and I will show you when they're ready. I will tell you I'm using more beads from Bill @ in the design.

BUT!! Since it's not nice to tease, (usually ~snerk~) I will show you some pics of the earrings I made while my metal was tumbling.  I'm still working to refine (and, I hope, expand) my Fishes & Loaves series. Here are the earrings I made this past weekend:

Sorry for the blur on any of the pics. Low light and iPhone cameras don't always cooperate.  My next piece will be (I hope!) a bracelet incorporating the fish sign and the beads. Check back, I'll let you know if it worked ;)

Monday, April 1, 2013


The Magic Frog has reached deeeeeeep into the Naming Bowl and drawn out the winner of my Magazine De-Stash contest:

The Prize:
Just a reminder ~ and a tease for those who
didn't enter.... there will be another De-Stash
not too far down the road, here. Check Back!
And, (drumroll, please) the Winnah:
Hooray For Blaize Rockett! Woo Hoo!  Blaize, I need you to contact me with your snail-mail addy so I can send these jewelry 'zines off to you (I went to your blog but didn't see a "contact" email). Congrats!

Keep watch. No telling WHAT the Magic Frog will do next!