The UPS guy just delivered a box from the publisher with one of my necklace projects in it. This isn't completely unusual, given what I do with my spare time these days, but the contents today were a complete surprise. I thought it contained two pieces I have slated for an upcoming book, but in fact when I opened the box I discovered this necklace.
This piece, with the completely beautiful ceramic horse focal by Virginia Miska (which, incidentally, I won as part of my monthly challenge prize package back in 2007, through Art Bead Scene), was originally slated for the April 2009 edition of Simply Beads magazine. Alas, that worthy publication's last issue was February 2009. I subsequently completely lost track of this piece (I am embarrassed to say that I didn't even realize it was still at the publisher's office - note to self to get a little more organized about my projects...).
I received the happy news today that the project has been published on ePatternsCentral. If you are not already familiar with this service, ePatternsCentral is an electronic warehouse, of sorts, of downloadable crafting patterns. Looking for unusual, attractive beading, sewing, knitting, crocheting or quilting (among other mediums) patterns? Why not try ePatternsCentral?
"Horsefeathers" (which, with apologies to Virginia, is the title of this necklace) is now available for download here.
The Short One actually has a school supply list this year. I made the mistake of taking the SO with me went I went shopping for paint - with the result that I ended up having to buy two sets of watercolors, so he could have one to use at home, too. Which he has been, very diligently, so I can't really complain. Above is one of his masterpieces.
I'm late with links again this week. I was feeling so wiped out last night that I passed out shortly after putting the SO to bed. Whenever I need a big block of time to make silver components, I really find that I have to do it at night during the weekend. I was up until 4am Saturday night putting together a large focal. I guess it must be age, but I just can't spring back from a late night and spend the next day chasing after the SO - even after arranging for H. to run after him for a couple hours in the morning so I could sleep in. Oh, well. There are certainly worse problems to have.
About.com Jewelry Making Check out my beautifully organized list of mixed-media book reviews and find the perfect book to help you mix up your jewelry making.
Jewelry & Beading Cyndi wants to know, what's the best thing you've made so far this summer?
Jean Campbell Jean's whipped up a free vintage button brooch project for you to try.
The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton Come join the fun in Philadelphia this weekend at Beadfest! Stop by the Green Girl Studios booth to say hello to Andrew and check out all the great new things available!!!
Use the Muse II has officially ended, so I can now show you my entry, entitled "Briar Rose". The Muse this time was an ornate donut shell pendant from Lillypilly, courtesy of Artbeads.com. This was a beautiful, beautiful piece for inspiration, I must say. The winding, vine-like design and the color reminded me of a romantic fairy tale, particularly Sleeping Beauty - whose name, of course, was Briar Rose.
As you can see, I ended up making not so much a fine silver box as a sandwich for the Muse. You can't see the back of the pendant in these photos (and unfortunately the lamp for my light box has a burnt-out bulb, so I can't photograph it tonight), but it's actually one of my unicorne pendants. The front is cut out like one of the compass rose designs I've been working on this summer. I just happened to have a tiny carved coral rose in my stash, which fit nicely in the center of the donut. I ended up using the crystal and pearls from the kit to "encrust" the piece with "jewels":
I used a pale rose flatback crystal to both (practically speaking) cover the hole in the pendant and reinforce the idea of a compass rose - the crystal stands for North, of course, where the heart lies. Also, it's a little difficult to see through the wire-wrapping, but the stringing holes in the pendant are actually cut out heart shapes.
So there you have it - my interpretation of the Muse. For photos of all of the entries, including the fabulous winners (and they are fabulous - once again, the range of entries was both fascinating and stunning), please visit Scarlett Lanson's website.
Here's a shot of a few items, fresh from my kiln. The treasure box is double-sided - my sea change pendant is on the reverse side. I know what it will contain (after, you know, burnishing, patinating, etc.), but I haven't gone to pick the contents yet. Hopefully, by this weekend, I can finish it.
The chain gave me trouble for several weeks. No matter how much I sketched, my drafts just didn't look right. I decided to risk the clay and just sat down to work it out on the table over the weekend. This method makes me nervous, since mistakes can be so expensive when working with fine silver. In the end, though, designing this way helped me work through my block. I wanted chain that looked distinctive but wouldn't overwhelm the large focal I'm hoping to suspend from it. I think this will fit the bill. So I'm now, um, six inches closer to finishing my next big project.
Please everybody visit Kate McKinnon's sale pages and buy the goodies there, if only to save me from myself. I have bought way too much treasure there. It is ongoing (she has been listing new items throughout the day for the past couple days) and can be found here and here.
Yesterday, to keep the Short One occupied while I wrote a short email, I asked him to trace his hand on pieces of construction paper. After I finished my note, I cut out the hand prints for him. It took me a moment to realize that - One of These Things is Not Like the Others. It's definitely a sign of his artistic talent. Definitely.
Anyway, I goofed, and forgot to post these last night. Here are your intriguing links for the week:
So, yeah, I did a little shopping this past week. Kate McKinnon is currently having a "Soul Clearing Sale". She is listing not only a truly marvelous selection of her metal clay works of art but also some truly beautiful lampworked beads from her personal collection that she has decided to release to the world. This amazing yin/yang bead is by Sage, and it's now mine. I just can't get over the level of beautiful and precise detail in this focal. This will be the first of Sage's work in my little collection of beads, and I'm quite happy to have it.
I also just bought this fabulous ring by Kate herself:
Amazing, no? (Not only did this piece blow me away when I first saw it, it's also just the right size for the middle finger of my right hand. I have somewhat skinny wrists and fingers, so I figure the fact that this will fit me must mean something.)
I love this sale, not only as a client, but also because the variety of work - both her own and those of other artists that have been in her private collection - provides an interesting glimpse into Kate's life as an artist and teacher.
Kate is adding new listings to her sale shops daily and will continue to do so until August 20th. I encourage you to take a look, as it's well worth it. She has two shops set up - one for components and one for finished objects.
Here's another piece I designed using Soft Flex's super-cool "Renewal" Trios wire and beads by Sarah Moran. (To see my original "Spotlight On" article for which I created this necklace, please go here.)
After months of successfully ignoring my little Etsy store, I finally gave in and added a couple pieces. I have one more to finish up and list - then I expect the rest of the month will be spent on another big concept piece. I've been thinking a lot about...chain recently (and the Aretha song "Chain of Fools").
Here are you bead & jewelry links for the week:
A Bead A Day Do you use buttons in your jewelry designs? Stop by A Bead A Day to share your experiences and ideas.
About.com Jewelry Making Is the under 20 crowd crafting more or less these days? Take the quick poll & see the results of what other crafters are thinking about this issue.
We finally had a seasonably warm weekend where we live - probably the first one all summer. It was sweltering, so naturally we ran around and complained about the heat.
I found out by chance that the Midwest Buddhist Temple downton was holding a Ginza Festival, so we dragged the Short One with us to attend for a bit on Saturday. The classical dancing was a bit too slow and girly for the SO (although he coveted and eventually came home with a painted fan), but the taiko drums actually held his interest for a good five minutes, which isn't bad for him. I hadn't seen a live taiko performance in many years (and I'm not sure if H. has ever seen one), so it was quite fun. The group that performed, Kogen Taiko, has video clips on its website here, if you are interested.
Today we took the SO to the beach to collect a few rocks and dig in the sand (see blurry pic, above - the best I could do before the SO woke from his nap). I must say, I was impressed by how many nice, smooth, flat stones were on the beach. I'm thinking of collecting a few myself and trying to drill them for jewelry. Anyone have any experience with this? At this point, I have this vague understanding that the stones should be drilled in water, but that's about it (I know - scary, right?). Any advice would be appreciated.
For my part, a little beachcombing yielded a few miniscule pieces of sea (lake?) glass:
Cute, eh? I've put them aside for a future bezel.
Okay, I am being hauled away to play. I will be back later with this week's bead and jewelry links.
The Bead Dreams publication, displaying the winners and finalists of the 2009 competition, is now available. For the first time this year (I believe) it is only available on-line through the Bead & Button website, here. Needless to say, I already have my copy, and it is completely beautiful (not that I'm impartial, of course). Also, if you click on the link above, you will see a preview video, which has, as it's screencap:
(this is not the actual video, it's just a JPEG of the screenshot) ta-da! - my "Natural History" belt buckle. Needless to say, I'm pleased as punch.
Seriously, though, the photography for the e-booklet is quite stunning. As I mentioned before, apart from metal clay, my favorite category this year was beaded objects (I particularly liked the sense of humor in many of these pieces) - but all of the works are really quite inspiring to view.
I picked up a strand of mosaic turquoise over Mother's Day weekend this year. The colors and pattern reminded me very strongly of the way sunlight filters through water, so I decided to combine the stones with some small drilled pieces of shell and finished the piece with one of my sea pendants and a rough cut ceramic bead by Diane Hawkey.
Can you believe it's already August? And we've only had a handful of days where I live that were really hot enough to spend at the pool.
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.