Friday, April 26, 2013

Focus on: The Wonderful World of Color

Can't resist those scrumptious colors!

The world is a carousel of color,
Wonderful, wonderful color.
The world is a carousel of color,
History, comedy, fantasy,
There’s drama and mirth,
There’s old mother earth
With all of her secrets to see.


 If you are of a certain age, you may remember this as the theme song of Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color, one of the first regularly broadcast color programs on television in the United States. Sadly, we did not have a color television at the time this song was used, but the song made its impression. 

I enjoy color combinations, whether it's in jewelry design, clothing choices, or just watching to world go by. 

When Sally Russick of The Studio Sublime sent us our photo prompt this week "Color/Colour," I thought of the watercolor wheel I made some time ago. 

Could I use the same idea with photography? 
How's this? 


Are you surprised that I chose some of our wonderful spring plants? 

Check here to see what colorful things our friends found!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Do-Over Challenge

Butterfly Fantasy!

Jeannie Dukic sponsors a challenge from time to time, where she offers a piece of jewelry from the early part of her design career to others to "do over." Visit Jeannie's Blog.

Here is what she sent to me.

Frankly, I like the design! But the double strand is rather short,  at least on my neck! And while the butterflies are sweet,they are very insubstantial, and don't seem to interact with the lovely Swarovski crystal beads. I decided to give the whole thing a little substance and expand the color palette a little. 

I colored the butterflies with Vintaj patina. 

Then, I did the earrings too, although they were not technically part of the challenge. I added another crystal when I strung them on a pin. It just picked up the blue a little. 

And here is the finished necklace. It is long, because I used all of the original chain. I added some pink and blue flower and leaf shaped pressed glass beads. I like my butterflies a bit chunkier in the body, so you can see some of the pink crystals wired to the center of each. (And another little bit of wirework, can you see it?) 

Here you see the necklace worn by Sweet Sally Stitch. 

Join the fun by seeing what others have done with their pieces. 

Charlie Jacka
Ginger Davis Allman
Mary Govaars
Penny Houghton

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Spring Fling Blog Hop

The Royal Purple Dragonfly Unveiled

Looking for Focus On Life? Click HERE!

The Spring Fling Kit Challenge is co sponsored by Alenka from Pepita Handmade, and Amy from AmyBeads. Alenka made the amazing dragonfly focal, and Amy is responsible for the beads. And this is the big day! After receiving my kit from Amy, I thought about possible designs. Something simple, to feature the amazing focal. But I wanted to use as many of the amazing beads as possible.  I made the necklace first, but frankly, I was a little scared of making holes in the polymer clay focal. I'd worked with poly clay before, but never made holes after baking! But as you can see, it came out just fine. I have worn the necklace twice, and everyone at work admired it. Especially that fabulous focal!

Unfortunately, I was not able to find the right place for those "crackled" beads in the upper left of the picture. I'm anxious to find out how others used them! I wanted to see if I could make earrings from them, but several broke when I tried to put 20 gauge wire through them! Without futher ado, here is my simple but spectacular, Royal Purple Dragonfly Necklace. 

Almost all the beads, a few of my own,  and the spectacular focal, 

I drilled three holes at the  bottom, and added thee of the dark blue beads as dangles.

See the other treasures made with this same assortment here:

  Maryanne contacted me, and she will post at a later date!) Maryanne • Zingala's Workshop  
Therese • Therese's Treasures
Tanya • A Work in Progress
Alenka •  Pepita Handmade
Kepi • A Little of This, A Little of That
Beti •Stringing Fool
Dolores • Crafty D's Creations
Jenny • Wonder and Whimsy
Cynthia • Created Treasures
Mowse • Mowse Made This
Carolyn • Carolyn's Creations

Friday, April 19, 2013

Focus on Life: Take a walk!

A few pictures you haven't seen yet.

When Sally Russick sent out the photo prompt "Take a Walk" I thought, well here's one I can phone in! But no, I always try to take fresh pictures, so the fact that most of the pictures I have taken for this activity have something to do with my daily walks with Bebop, should not keep me from posting some new ones. 

Here goes. 

Love taking pictures of this bridge that leads across the stream opposite my house

An old cemetery, houses built around it, but it was allowed to remain.
We cross over the same water twice. 
The curve in front of our house. 
Bebop leading the way.
Daffodils pushing through leaves and garbage by the road side.

I have more pictures in an album, HERE

See where other participants go on their walks, On Sally's blog, The Studio Sublime.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Bead Soup 7: Second Reveal!

Bead soup pieces, for your entertainment. 

Lori Anderson's Bead Soup Blog party is a structured bead swap, that gives hundreds of jewelry artists around the world the opportunity to happily create pieces that challenge and engage them.  Lori matches the participants with people who have a bit of a different style, and then we exchange beads. 

I participated last year for the first time, and I was hooked. My partner this year is Jennifer Reno, who blogs at Musings of a Crafty Jenny. She also has an Etsy Shop at JenRenJewelry. I looked over her work, grasped a few themes, and then, well, dipped into my stash. Found a beautiful Red Creek Jasper pendant as a focal, then picked up a few things. Adding in a patinated vintage key, a clasp, some jasper beads -  I popped it all into bags, into an envelope, and off it went to Jenny. Ooops, forgot to pretty up my package, sorry Jenny!

The package Jennifer sent to me was much prettier - and what treasures it held!

And opening it up we find:

 A beautiful "Gin Blossom" focal by Jeannie Dukic, glass and Lucite leaves, some yellow glass teardrop shaped beads, a silver flower shaped clasp, square pillow beads in cool floral designs, red glass flower beads, and some green and white round beads. I loved them all, and the colors were very welcome because we were still in the thick of the winter weather. I got the box on Valentine's day, and there was chocolate (sorry no pics!) 

But as I went to design with these beads, I saw where my challenge lay - size. And, to some extent, the colors, which were so bright and varied. I guess I usually play with a more limited palette. And oh yeah, the leaves had holes at the stem end. I don't do well with that. 

But, after studying the beads and the focal, I added some larger ivory glass pearls, some greenish freshwater pearls, and some leaves that combined very well with the green of the focal. Using the clasp in this one as well, I could have been finished. 

You can see the clasp on this one, as well as the beautiful focal. I supplied the green and brown leaves, and the ivory pearls. Love he way the colors set off the focal.

I got more relaxed and playful made some earrings, and then made another necklace with most of the other beads. Never did find a place for the Lucite leaves. 

I made a toggle out of the yellow beads. I love it!
Here is the full second necklace. It is strung on black waxed cord. 
Please join the rest of the second reveal participants by clicking  here.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Focus on Life: Beautiful Old Thing!

Sally Stitch Comes Home to Stay.

Sally Russick, of The Studio Sublime sends us a prompt every week to inspire our photographic explorations. This week's was "Aged Beauty." Here's how she described it: 

There is always something so intriguing about old things.  Whether an heirloom or flea market find we are always intrigued by the back story of the piece that has caught our eye and the thrill of a possible story of family history, lost love or travel to forgotten worlds.  In the rust is character, scratches and dents are their badges of courage and the bare metal exposed by peeling paint is acceptance of time. 

Last week I was cruising Craig's List for yard sales, and standing off to the side in one of the pictures, was this beauty. Not so beautiful you say? Well and girl can dream, can't she? Think what she once was, and what she can become!

To see what others have done with this concept click here: The Studio Sublime.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Seventh Bead Soup Blog Party

Second reveal- a little late!

Last Saturday was the scheduled reveal date for people who were in the second reveal group of the Bead Soup Blog Party. Lori Anderson, the host, was under the weather last Saturday, so we are all posting the second reveal this Saturday, April 13!!!!

So excited to see what Jennifer Reno has made with my soup, and hope she likes what I did with hers!

What I sent Jennifer.......

What Jennifer sent me!

Come on back on Saturday and check it out!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Focus on: The Close Up

Sempervivum Tectorum

When Sally Russick sent us our latest photography prompt. "Up Close"she may have anticipated a large number of shots of flowers and plants - and why not? They are gorgeous in macro!

Last year I started planting Hens and Chicks in some of the decorative planters I collected. Here are a few, that not only made it through the winter, but flourished. The close up photography actually gives us a glimpse of what they will look like to the naked eye in a few weeks. 

You can read more about Sempervivum Tectorum or Hens and Chicks HERE. And to see others' close up pictures of who-knows-what, go to Sally's blog, Studio Sublime