Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Mail Fairies

The mailman delivered some fabulous beauties today.  Look what I unopened.  I can't wait to play with them!

 I love these ceramic beads I got from Marla's Mud.  Aren't they fun?  I have a great idea for that big focal.  I'm thinking mix it with a couple of red lampwork beads and amethysts with a handmade set of copper bead caps. 

 I love these sets of ceramic beads by Jenny Gholsan-Morris aka EclecticPrarie.  I have some fabulous necklace and bracelet ideas for them.  Add in some semiprecious beads and handmade metal components and we have some gorgeous accessories

These are just fun polymer clay beads from ArtyBecca.  These will be a lot of fun by themselves on a long copper chain.  I might add in a few copper beads or citrine.  I love how light they are.  I'm expecting some more beads soon in the mail from another fantastic artisan.  As I buy them, I'll post my fantastic finds as well as what I make with them.

Monday, February 25, 2013

New... Shiny! Beads Everywhere

This past weekend was jam packed full of things and I didn't stop going.  I think total I had about 5 hours of sleep for the entire weekend, but it was a blast.  Ainsley had her final regular season basketball game, basketball party, clay and art time at school, a movie and dinner.  That was Saturday.  Now SUNDAY, I spent at the Fort Worth Intergem Show.  The past two years, the show has been small, but it's doubled in size in such a short time.  I came out with some fantastic buys.

Lot of fused glass - I love this stuff.  I think I'm going to set some of the small rounds as the center of various shapes including flowers.  I think that'd be adorable.

Onyx - hand faceted - cushion squares.  I LOVE these.  Super sparkly.

I think these skulls were kind of cherry.  But seriously - I plan to do a copper charm bracelet out of them.  I had someone in mind when I bought them.  I believe they're dyed Howlite. 

Fun black agate beads.  Different shape.  I should have bought two strands.

Ruby in Zoisite.  I love this stuff so much that I hoard it.  I have numerous chains that people keep offering to purchase off my neck, but I just can't part with it.  I think I have a problem.
Various stone pendants - charoite, random funky blue stone, quartz, shell, onyx, picture jasper and unakite

Pile of wood beads.  I've been drawn to a lot of porcelain beads and I think these would go beautifully with them as well as offset the weight of the heavy beads.

Turtles!  Onyx and Lapis Lazuli.  I thought they'd be cute on some bracelets.

Tumbled Glass rings.  I'm not entirely sold on these anymore, but I bet I can figure something out.  

White Agate - they look like Calla Lillies to me.  I think I'm going to put a tiny crystal in the middle and then bunch them up as a pendant.  I also bought some matte black ones which did not photograph exceedingly well.
I don't normally buy finished jewelry, but I loved how this one looked on me.  Just some dyed $3 Howlite, but it will be fun with a tshirt or a denim shirt. 
31 bags of various copper and sterling silver filled beads.  I dug around in these bead piles for about 30 minutes, but man... I came away with some fun things!

Here are some samples of my favorites.  I can't wait to rivet the large one to a ring.  I think it's be a ton of fun.

I adore these - so natural with a fun shape.  Picasso Jasper.

Lots of matching beads.  I have some beautiful cabs that match these perfectly.  I would have bought another strand of tear drop, but that was the last one she had.

Amethyst - aren't these fun? I think I'm going to build up a bail around them or make some fun 3D pendants.  A couple of them are small enough to be some unusual rings.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Bead Soup

I got my bead soup last Thursday and I completely meant to put up a blog posting with what I received.  I'm so incredibly excited to be working with Patty.  It all came neatly packaged.  Below is what she sent me:

Aluminum clasp with Vintage patina handmade by Patty
Gorgeous lamp work beads by Patty
Vintage silver & glass beads
New Jade chips
Dragon Vein Agate
Tibetan Silver spacers
Recycled Sari Silk - Mud Hound Studios
aluminum sheet
AND as a nice bonus - she sent a lot of recycled computer parts that I can twist into some fun components. 

Patty did a fantastic job!  In fact, I had a moment of inspiration late last night and worked into the wee hours created a really fun bracelet and necklace.  I have an idea for another bracelet and some earrings plus a few other fun components.  I can't wait to reveal.  :)

She's revealed what I sent to her on her blog -- http://patricialjohnsonglassart.blogspot.com.  She was much more on the ball than I was and already posted what she received.  In fact, she took much better pictures of them than I did so I'm shamelessly stealing the picture she posted on her blog.  I can't wait to see what she makes out of what I sent.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Envelope Tabbed Pendant

Last summer, I spent some time at my Mom's and learned how to make fused glass with one of her friends.  I love the way it looks and this one has some gorgeous blue and gold tones that I thought would go nicely with brass.
However, I didn't just want to wire wrap it as I accidentally made the glass sides way too thick so I came up with this half envelope type tab system.  I love the way it turned out -- Now I just need to figure out if I want to make some kind of a necklace for it or if I just want a simple chain.  It's certainly bulky enough to handle some fantastic wire wrapped chain or several. 
I don't stamp much, but I thought I'd try it with the thought that if I messed up - I can always texture the metal more.  I should stamp more.


Friday, February 8, 2013

Trailer Hitches and C Clamps

I love Home Depot and can literally spend hours there.  Today I had a few minutes in the afternoon and I went in to wander where I found some fun brass rounded tacks that will make a nice rivet.  I just need to figure out what drill bit is the same size. 

My big find though?  A trailer hitch and a c clamp.  Look what I put on the side of my bench.  This is a poor man's forming stake.  All in all it cost me about $10 to put this together instead of the 60 for the bracelet forming mandrel.  AWESOME.

The next thing I need to set up is my big torch so that I can anneal metal easier.  The micro torch is fantastic for quick projects, but it doesn't quite get things hot enough for heavy gauge wire which only means I hurt my hands.  Also I need a sturdier table and...  perhaps some more hammers and such. 

This is what I've made today --

The neck wire is made out of 10g copper tubing and filled with 12g copper wire which is extremely heavy and thick.  It's can be a bear to work with especially after you've spent a ton of time work hardening it with the trailer hitch and a ball peen hammer.  I may decide to wear the choker by itself or I might fashion a couple of removable pendants for it.  More to come.

Next I played with drilled river stones and riveting to copper.  I like them, but I'm not sure if I'm going to keep the stones like that.  I love those little earrings.  They're nice, swingy and light not to mention incredibly easy to create.  I might put something similar on Etsy, but include a little sparkle to them perhaps. 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Bead Soup Partners!

I'm so excited!  I received my Bead Soup Partner this week and I cannot wait to work with her. 

And drum roll.....

I'll be working with Patty Johnson who has several years of amazing experience in a wide variety of mediums including bead and glass making.  I admitted my admittedly love (OK, obsession) with lamp work beads.  She's done some great work as you can see below.  :)

I also love that she uses all sorts of materials -- not just the traditional.  Just take a look at her work below which she created from upcycled computer parts.  Amazing.  In fact, she said that things have come full circle because as a child she took bits of things like soda tops to make jewelry out of.  That's awesome.

I love how creative these both are - I would have never thought of either of them.  You can find her information below:
Now... I've put together the Bead Soup for her.  Here's a teaser of what I've sent. 
I know - a BUTERFINGER tin.  I usually love tins like this because they can be punch, sawed and drilled into so many nifty jewelry components.  I've put in some of my favorite things.  I know she'll come up with something completely different than I would.  I'm looking forward to being able to show you WHAT I sent as well.  I hope she likes it as much as I do.  

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Bead Soup!

While I've been making jewelry for about two years now, I lurked on blogs reading and digesting to incorporate techniques into my own work.  I never thought about making a blog until I decided to participate in Lori Anderson's blog hop which I'm stoked to be a member of this year.

More information on it here.

The list for the first reveal is out and I've put together a soup for the most part.  All I have left to figure out is the clasp.  :)

Rings & Earrings

I love flames.  I really enjoyed playing with my torch with annealing and adding patina.  Tons of fun.

Here's what I came up with today:

I riveted the hand forged shank after adding some nice patterns to the copper and an adorable handmade lampwork flower bead that I picked up at a bead show. 

After cutting out two equal strips of 24 gauge copper sheet, I annealed and added heat patina with patterns.  Then I added the gorgeous lampwork beads on the bottom with hand made silver ear wires.  They actually look a bit heavier than they are.  They are super comfortable to wear.  I love them so much!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Copper Forged Bracelet

I was so excited to have a few minutes of free time to myself today that I spent my lunch hour making a bracelet which was supposed to fit me, but... alas... I mismeasured and it's way too small!  I'm sure I can find a home for it.

I'd seen these types of bracelets at bead shows and, after examining them, figured out how to make them.  I realized a couple of things.  First, I really need a better mandrel to make it into a better shape.  Second, I really need to find some really tiny sterling tubing to make some cute rosette rings with the tube as the shank.  I think that'd be completely awesome!

I love... adore... hardware stores.  There are so many things there to play with that aren't traditionally meant for jewelry construction.  For instance, I found aluminum and brass sheets that were already patterned.  They're meant to be some kind of decoration on a cabinet, but they'll be beautiful cut out and inserted into stacked and riveted pendants.  What do you think?