Here's the first piece of jewelry I've made in over a year. (My son really loves LEGO, can you tell?) It's a neck cuff assembled from my son's stash - a completely temporary affair, but it was fun to construct. Hope all is well with everyone.
I went to Target this morning for sundries and discovered that the store has marked down all Easter supplies to 90% off original price. The section was mostly picked through, but they had a ton of plastic Easter eggs left for a whopping $.09 per bag. Hmmm, I thought, Martian figures? (one of the bags had a nice selection of eggs in greens and blues) Caterpillars? I picked up a bunch and put on my thinking cap when I got home.
I've decided they'll make great kids' maracas for cinco de mayo. I obtained the go-ahead from the SO's teachers at lunchtime and mocked this up. Cute, eh? I made the design with Sharpie markers on a white plastic egg. These eggs conveniently have 2 holes on either end, so I simply threaded 2 long pipe cleaners through the holes and then folded them (so the pipe cleaners are in quarters), twisted them, then secured the join with hot glue. Add a spoonful of rice and beans (and maybe hot glue the egg closed to avoid accidents), and you have a simple schoolroom craft. I think the kids will go for it - what do you think?
I finally decided that hauling the SO out to collect geodes in a riverbed was not realistic, at least for the next year or two given his age, so I gave in and we picked out one at the local rock shop to crack open. The helpful advice we received there: "The bigger they are, the lighter they are, the better they are." We found a nice light US (as opposed to Moroccan) geode - and sure enough it was full of dense but delicate quartz crystals.
My husband used a chisel and hammer to open this - I can see we will need a little practice to open these more cleanly, but I think it's not a bad first try. The SO enjoyed the results (and now has something for his next Show-and-Share day at school).
Here's the before photo - this guy weighed in at just about one pound:
I'd like to say I've been working like mad on jewelry behind the scenes, but this would be a complete lie.On the other hand, I finally spent part of my prize money from last year's Fire Mountain Gems and Beads contest yesterday - I can hardly believe I've had that $750 gift certificate just burning a hole in my pocket for the past 8 months! (Thanks again to Fire Mountain Gems and Beads and sorry I was a weenie and missed the contest deadline this year.) When my treasure arrives (and I mean it - I picked up a big strand of graduated sapphire rondelles among other things), I'm hoping it will inspire me to start working again.
Oh, how I love this... (The artist is painting between layers of resin, fyi.)
(Yes, I'm still alive - I even have new work to show, if I can get my act together to photograph it. You know you've been gone too long when you log onto your blog and no longer recognize the interface.)
I had to place an order with Oriental Trading Company recently for some party supplies. As usual, I got sucked into the website and ended up buying a few more things, including these super-cute foam robot beads. Now, the Short One, whose favorite color is pink, could care less if the beads he strings are girly looking or not, but I thought he'd still get a kick out of these little boy-friendly robot designs. Best of all, they were on sale - $4.00 for a bag of 500 beads. I noticed today that the price has gone down even further - 66% off at $2.39 for 500 beads. Not a bad deal, especially if, like me, you have other things you need to pick up. I foresee a date with the above and a big bowl of colorful pony beads in our near future. Visit Oriental Trading for further information. (Please note that the designs are only printed on one side.)
My original concept was a substantial cuff - something that would take up a large portion of the lower arm - combined with one of my cabinet of curiosity pendants. It's a little difficult to tell in these photos but this bracelet is huge. (There is a photo of the piece being worn by a model on the Fire Mountain Gems and Beads website that gives a better idea of scale.)
As always, the chain and box were all handmade by me using silver metal clay. In this piece, I've included a beautiful fossilized urchin, polished half geode, fossilized polished trilobite, fossilized ammonite and a vintage glass taxidermist eye. The bracelet has been weighted so that the focal will sit properly on the wrist.
Thank you to Fire Mountain Gems and Beads for showcasing my work. Please visit the company's website to see the other award-winning designs from this contest (I am personally quite smitten with Rachel Justina Fleming's cufflet "Robotic Take-Over" which won the Silver Medal in the Bracelet category and Michela Verani's piece "The Dragon's Hoard" which took the Grand Prize Winner Employee's Choice Award.)
My in-laws were visiting, and they took the SO (and me) to the Museum of Science and Industry. Ironically, he wanted to spend most of his time there in the 727 they have as a walk through exhibit on the top floor - this is the same child we can barely get to sit still for a two hour flight... Of course, he did have some fun with this exhibit - the outlines were all generated by his bouncing around in front of a projector.
Life is good, but I'm still not making any jewelry! Hope all is well with you.
I am an intellectual property lawyer by training and have a background in English Renaissance literature. I love science fiction. I primarily watch Sesame Street these days and find myself humming "Pop Goes the Weasel" at odd moments (guess why). I can happily eat ice cream in the middle of winter when the wind chill is 20 below 0. I have been making beads and designing jewelry since 2007.
2010 - Winner, First Place, British Bead Awards, Other Finished Bead Jewellery 2010 - Winner, Second Place, British Bead Awards, Metal Clay Jewellery 2010 - Winner, Second Place, Bead Dreams, Metal Clay
2010 - Grand Prize, Gold Medal Winner, Fire Mountain Gems and Beads, Metal Clay, Metal Beads, Wirework and Chain Jewelry-Making Contest
2010 - Finalist, Bead Star, Stones, Plastics and Designs with Heart Categories
2009 - Winner, First Place, British Bead Awards, Metal Clay
2009 - Winner, Second Place, British Bead Awards, Beyond Glass, Handmade Beads and Components
2009 - Winner, Second Place, Bead Arts Awards, Necklace
2009 - Finalist, Bead Dreams, Metal Clay
2008 - Finalist Fire Mountain Gems and Beads Beading Contest, Metal Clay
2008 - Finalist, Bead Star, Pearls
A quick note
Welcome to my blog (my "virtual home") and thanks for visiting. I love to hear from people, so please do feel free to leave comments. I'm also quite open to friendly discussions and even constructive criticism. Please note, however, that I will not approve of any rudeness or profanity here and any comments containing same will be deleted. Thank you!
A word about copyright
As indicated in the copyright notice, the contents of this blog are copyright by me. To the extent that instructions to make jewelry, beads, knit items or other instructions are included in this blog, they are free for you to use to make the projects for personal use. They should not be used for commercial purposes, ie, to make items for resale.