Monday, February 27, 2012

The Oscar Bracelet

This is the Oscar bracelet, called this because I made it last night while watching the Oscars. It was modified from a bracelet called Lattice Lace Bracelet designed b7y Carolyn S DeGroff. Of course, I made some changes to be more aesthetically pleasing to myself, not that the original was bad, I just felt that I liked it better this way.
I was told by my MIL that it looks like something vintage from the '20s

And Rob said that it has a Art Deco look about it.

I have a lot of these beads and I've had them for a very long time. 

 I only just now, as of my last project before this one, realized that this bead is excellent as a toggle for clasping. It's quartz and I have some clear and some smokey.

It would probably look fabulous worn with a gown at the Oscars!
 I plan to make a couple more of the same type but right now I have to decide on this week’s pattern(s).

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

my new favorite bracelets

Okay so this week, or at least the first half of it, I might decide to work up another pattern before the week ends, I made a bracelet based on the design of Carolyn DeGroff. I say “based on” because I believe parts of the instructions are missing and it’s all in gray-scale so I made it how I suspected it is supposed to be but I’m still not that sure. I think the design is called "Diagonal Embellishment" either that, or that was just the title of the one page of the directions I had. I made 2 of them and now I have a problem… The pictures came out so awesome that I’m having a hard time narrowing down which ones to put in the blog!
Here are the two bracelets together:
keep scrolling, the pics get WAY better!

 This purple one is the first one I made. It took me two days to complete, mainly because I was also dealing with some computer issues at the same time (my poor baby is dying). Also, it took a while to figure out what I was supposed to do at times so I just winged it.

This blue one here, I decided on the colors last night; basically right after I finished showing off the purple one right after it was completed. I started the base of it before bed, got maybe an inch and a half to 2 inches into it. I worked up the rest, making a variation on the closure, and completed this one before 2 in the afternoon. It quickly became my favorite. Probably because it was so shiny!

 The rest of these photos are just me trying to get artsy with my photography. I hope you like them:

I LOVE how this one came out

They're pretty flexible

This one gives a good view of the inside of the purple one

Monday, February 20, 2012

A new kind of earring for me

So this past week, the pattern I chose to do was a pair of earrings designed by Carolyn DeGroff. It was called Blue and white Feather Earrings, but I didn’t go with the color scheme of the pattern. In fact, I think it took me a couple days at least to decide on the colors I wanted to use. Well, the first one was easy: Black and Red. Those colors together almost always look good so I went with that first.
These are already claimed... by me!
  I don't usually do this kind of earring because it wasn't quite my style, but I decided to take a chance and make some anyway. Now I really like them!

I went through most of my seed beads to decide which colors to use and I grouped them together.I made 4 pairs of earrings in all, and I still have a few color groupings that I haven’t worked on yet but plan to use eventually.

 But for now, since it’s Sunday (actually by the time this goes out it will be VERY early Monday, but I haven’t gone to bed yet so it’s still Sunday to me…) I am going to switch to the next project. Sometimes I have a hard time deciding which to work on so I think I’m going to find a way to randomize my decision… or not. We’ll see.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Finished wave bracelet

This is going to be a quick post but I just had to share my finished bracelet. The first project of my challenge to use many of the old patterns I've saved up and haven't done yet.

This was done with a flat, even-count peyote stitch. I've tweaked it a bit from the original pattern, I used different colors and 4 colors instead of three and just used regular seed beads for the edge embellishment. It was from a free Bead&Button online project called Victorian Waves.

Now on to the next project!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

A New Self-Inflicted Challenge

So I’ve been wondering what challenge I wanted to give myself for this time of year. Last year, it was to make jewelry with all the colors of the year's Pantone Spring forecast. While I did that, more or less, I totally bombed out on taking pictures of all of it to share. With that in mind, I was thinking that my challenge this year would be to use the new spring forecast and to actually take pictures this time.  But this week, I was preparing to go to a craft night at a friend’s house and decided to look through some old tutorials to see if there was anything I wanted to make that night. In the process, I realized that I had so many tutorials that I’ve bought or cut from magazines or downloaded online that I really liked but never made for whatever reason. So I decided that my new challenge will be to make something from as many of these patterns as I can. I’m thinking at least one new pattern/tutorial per week. I might have to weed out those that look a bit dated. I've been collecting for YEARS. I'll probably even throw in some of those Pantone colors while I'm at it.

That being said, here is a peek at the first one. 
Looks like I have some Sodalite Blue in there!

 It took me a while to get comfortable with the flow of the pattern when I started it Thursday night. By Friday I got the hang of it and  I worked on it all day. It’s still not finished but that’s due to a problem I've had with sitting this weekend (horrible sacrum spasms or something in that area). I was still working on it off and on today despite the pain. Rob said that I was literally suffering for my art. Hopefully I’ll be done tomorrow and have a really neat picture to share and I'll go into more detail about it. Then on to the next project!

Whoa! I had a serious feeling of déjà vu while writing those last two sentences… freaky!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A thought for beginners in the creative arts...

I know I just made a post earlier today, but I just read a quote that I feel totally fits in this blog. So, because of that, and in effort to make a blog post more often than I do (my blog is dreadfully sparse, I know!), here is the quote:

“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”
Ira Glass

Latest Flower Pin

So because someone asked, here are pictures of the flower pin I was working on when I posted pictures of the carry-all I put together. I can’t wait until I get the room to set up my photo light box so I can take much better pictures. Still with what I had to work with, I think the pictures came out pretty nicely.

I also decided to play around with GIMP to make a photo collage of a close up on the flower pin and then smaller pictures of the flower against 2 different backgrounds, black and brown. I’m going to need a lot more practice with gimp for pictures to come out exactly as I’d like. Great, another project that’s going to take a lot of my time. But I can’t help it. I like things to look good. It would be a shame to put so much work into something and then to put up crappy pictures of it right? Or am I just being a bit OCD?

My "new" beading project carry-along

So this weekend, I had a play date; in other words, a craft day. My friend Becky was having some people over to work on bellydance costumes and invited me to bring my beads or any other craft I wanted to work on. So of course I brought my beads. In my on going quest to try to not bring my entire bead stash to craft days, I set my mind on one project only. Though I showed great restraint, I still brought way more beads than I needed. I was looking around my room for something to put the beads in and I realized that this big glad ware plastic container would work perfectly, but that's not where the genius ended. I knew that I didn't want to bring my usual tray because I didn't know how much room I would have to work with (it's a rather larger cafeteria-size tray lined with a piece of fabric cut from an old fleece throw).

As I was thinking about what I wanted to do, I realized that the lid would make the perfect workspace and promptly cut a piece of felt and glued it to the outside of the lid. This will be my go to from now on when I have craft days to go to. 
It has plenty of room to bring more stuff than I need

The felt makes it a perfect work surface for beads!

 It's also cool that it fits inside of my purse!
It helps that I carry a pretty big purse!

Here's me, using the tray/lid

Plenty of workspace!  I decided to work on another flower pin.