5/24/2017

Oldies but Goodies - Bugs

Four years ago I found a May bug on my window sill - in July. I'm aware that the May bug is not necessarily just seen in the month of May, but July seemed a little late to me and indeed the little guy did look somewhat tired to me. Perhaps the reason was that he couldn't walk a straight line due to a missing leg. I took a picture and then tried to help him, but as I had a cat behind me waiting with a sparkle in his eyes, I tried it with my fingers through a small gap - and managed to throw him off the window sill. I couldn't bring it over me to go downstairs and see if he made it or if I had just made him the perfect dinner for some bird out there.
And it had been so long that I had seen one of his kind at all. I still feel guilty about that.

This memory was brought to you by our new Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge, along with more bugs ;-)


1 Cat's Wire
2 MC Stoneworks
3 Jewelry Art by Dawn
4 Violetmoon's Corner

P.S. You are not forgotten, little May bug. Because I'm weird that way.

5/17/2017

Oldies but Goodies - Facets

Never before the topic of the Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge were facets had I wondered about how long those were already a thing. It's amazing how curious I can be about one thing and how I take others for granted, their existence I mean. I am fascinated by the talent of gem cutters to see the possibilities in a stone and to lure out those sparkles and colors.
Not just transparent stones have facets, though, as one of the beautiful items in this challenge will show you.
According to this article from the website of the International Gem Society gem cutting including a rough form of faceting already began around 2300 B.C. in India and was then further developed in different countries - a very interesting article, by the way, if you want to know a little more about the history of lapidary.

Here are some facets from the JAC members. Enjoy.


1 and 9 RioRita
2 and 10 Violetmoon's Corner
3 and 6 MC Stoneworks
4 and 8 Jewelry Art by Dawn
5 and 7 Cat's Wire

5/10/2017

Oldies but Goodies - May

May. Honestly. One third of the year is already over. Have you made your Christmas list yet? Just kidding, but seriously - May?
Spring, flowers, green, new life, sun, those are some of the things that we think of in May. Okay, so it still is somewhat grey where I am and the sun is a rare guest at the moment, but don't give up hope.

Now here's what the JAC members were reminded of by this topic at the new Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge. Maybe this will get you into the right mood after all!


1 MC Stoneworks
2 Jewelry Art by Dawn
3 RioRita
4 Violetmoon's Corner
5 Cat's Wire

5/05/2017

Tackle that stash - Beaded rivoli pendant

Open the window, let some air in and my bead mojo, too!
It was high time to have a look at my stash and do something with it. This time I picked some tiny crystals that I have had for a very long time.

Lately I have been practising peyote bezels for cabs or beads, both with Super Duos and seed beads - Delicas are still on my list. And then there are still the rivolis a friend gave me. I once crocheted a silver bezel for a rivoli and the memory was enough to make me not trust them, slippery little fellows. I still have a lousy picture of it and checked, that was six years ago! I really had to get over that fear ;-)

First I made a pair of earrings for a challenge to practice, and then I went a little further with the following pendant to which I didn't just add "rays" on one side - for that starlike look - but on both sides and filled the gaps up with two rows of the crystals that I mentioned above.
At first I was thinking of just one row, but I had exactly fourteen of the white crystals,  just how much I needed. That was a sign, right?
 
Voilà, and here it is! Now what next? Stay tuned!

5/03/2017

Oldies but Goodies - Asymmetrical

Do you prefer symmetry or asymmetry? Have you ever even wondered about it?
Watch yourself - if you buy flowers, do you go for even or for odd numbers? Do you like symmetrical shapes like a circle or do you like free form? How about colors - a nice symmetrical pattern or rather not?
Asymmetry was the topic of the latest Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge. We had talked about it before and found that we tend to struggle with it.
If I look at my favorite cabochon shop online for example, I always check the round or oval cabs first and I have even been known to take a freeform cab and "fill it up" with silver to achieve a symmetrical shape in the end.
When I was a child, there was a program "for the older generation" on TV. I seem to remember that that was where I learned about Ikebana for the first time, and I still remember how they taught that you always choose odd numbers and how powerful the number 3 is.
In school we did drypoint printing of trees. How I struggled when my art teacher told me that trees are not symmetric and scratched a big crooked branch right through the ones I had done. Even if he was right, I hated my print - but that's a different story.

Enough said, though, now it's time for the photo collage!


1 Jewelry Art by Dawn
2 RioRita
3 MC Stoneworks
4 Violetmoon's Corner
5 Betoj Designs
6 Cat's Wire

4/26/2017

Oldies but Goodies - Tribal

Another Wednesday, another Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge - and another post in which I let the picture speak for itself. Enjoy the variety of items from our talented members!


1 and 8 Jewelry Art by Dawn
2 and 5 RioRita
3 and 10 MC Stoneworks
4 and 7 Violetmoon's Corner
6 and 9 Cat's Wire

4/25/2017

The other craft

Believe it or not, there was a time when 1. you couldn't cross a street here without seeing a yarn store, 2. when I couldn't pass a yarn store without at least checking out the sale items.

It was the 80s and knitting was very en vogue. I had never been a friend of yarn myself, but being surrounded by friends who were avid knitters - those were the days when half the class was knitting during the school lessons - I eventually tried my hand at it, too.
My first attempt was frustrating. Not only did a few of my schoolmates make fun of my color choice, but there was a mistake at the very beginning, too. That combination did it, I tossed the whole project.
I started again when I was in library school, and this time things worked out just fine. I would knit like crazy, mostly sweaters (still have one of those, too, and wear it from time to time), for myself, for others as gift and made even a few custom orders.
 I had stacks of knitting magazines, and as mentioned above, I was addicted to yarn that I could afford. I remember one sweater whose sleeve had a stripe of grey at one end because I didn't have enough red left. Some people even complimented me on that thinking I did it on purpose.
And then there were the outlet stores of a few companies not far from here. One of them was just amazing. There was a part of the store with the regular outlet shelves. Much more interesting was the room with the bags. There were leftovers of all kinds. Small bags, mix bags, huge bags. Even I who never handled big crowds well was right in the middle of it. Bags were being tossed around and every, now and then you could hear happy yelling. Ah, good times. Nowadays I would probably have a panic attack.

Then I would suddenly stop and not knit for years. It always came in phases, my last one being after a big surgery when I couldn't sleep much and had too much time on my hands.
You may have noticed that I didn't mention crochet. That's because I didn't crochet. I hadn't liked it as a child in elementary school and that didn't change.

Then I discovered wire crochet. I still can't explain why crocheting with wire was so much more fun than doing it with yarn. So my yarn went into hibernation once again until I finally gave the whole lot away. I thought the addiction was over, and since knitting in general had started to disappear again, there was only one yarn shop left in town, anyway.
Eventually, however, both knitting and crochet came back with a vengeance, and I found myself peeking at yarn again. I don't buy at the mentioned one shop, however, and hardly get to the department store which makes it easier for me to resist. Most of the time at least ...

A post is worthless without pictures.
Here's my latest yarn creation. Not only is this hat crocheted (I didn't find a knitting needle set in the right size at home, so I was brave and went for my biggest crochet hook), but also felted in the washing machine as I happened to stumble upon a few balls of "wash and felt it" yarn. I had never tried it before, had no idea about the size and when I had finished felting, I let my muse take over to make something of it that I could actually wear (meaning I just fiddled here and there without knowing what I did) - and it worked! That is not always necessarily the case with hats for me. Often enough my big head and my hair gets in the way, the hat gets pushed up in the back and over my eyes in the front which is terribly annoying.
My muse did some folding and sewing and more folding and sewing and added some blue pearls and metallic AB seed beads for a small accent in back. You will have to believe me about the fitting part, though. I'm not a selfie taker, you know, and my doll Jo is doing a much better job as manikin even if she could look a little more enthusiastic ;-)



I'm proud - okay, I admit it, I think I was very lucky, especially with the size!
Oh, and I forgot to mention that this post is part of the Jewelry Artisans Community blog carnival. Do you want to know what the other members do beside making jewelry?
Have a look here!

Violetmoon's Corner

Jewelry Art by Dawn