6/21/2017

Oldies but Goodies - Coins

We all know coins. We have our favorites, maybe we collect foreign ones from our trips, or we throw them all into a big glass and forget about them.
When I was a teenager, one of my pen pals lived in Australia. Once she sent me an Australian penny, drilled so I could wear it as a pendant which I did for a long time until the chain broke. Then I set it aside and now it has to be in one of those safe places you put such things. As soon as I find it, I'll turn it into a pendant!

Today's post, however, is almost a spotlight for one of our long time members. Every time Irith shows us one of her coins set in a pendant or ring, we are fascinated which has not only to do with the craftsmanship, but also the coins she uses - they are antique. I wish I could tell you something about the coins in her entries for this week's Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge, but I can't. You can see even more of them if you click through to the challenge thread via the link above.

I mustn't forget the entry that Dawn made just in time. In fact her earrings triggered the memory of my Australian penny.

Let a question end this post - can you find out which coin is not a real one? ;-)


1/4/7 Cat's Wire
2/5/6/8/9 RioRita
3 Jewelry Art by Dawn

6/14/2017

Oldies but Goodies - Cabochons

Welcome to this week's Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge. It is all about cabochons or cabs how they are often called, too.
Cabochon comes from the French and means a gemstone that is usually flat on the back and smoothly polished on top, not faceted.

I remember when I started crocheting with wire. Beads were so much easier to handle for me as a beginner because I could attach them safely with wire. The bezels for cabs had to be just right which was (and sometimes is) even more difficult on free form stones.
Faceted stones were a completely different story because of their faceted backs which don't necessarily work with all of my bezels and you don't want to a pendant to sit crooked all the time or a ring whose focal keeps digging into your finger.
Just imagine there was a time when I looked down on cabochons because they didn't sparkle. Or on opaque stones. Or on opaque cabs! ;-)

Now it's time to stop talking and begin showing some of the entries for this week.
Enjoy.


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

6/07/2017

Oldies but Goodies - Spices

Have you ever been to a market where they sell unpacked spices? I haven't, but every time I see one on TV or in a picture, I think that it must be fascinating and rich, but all those different scents mingling may be also quite overwhelming.
Being single, I don't cook that much, therefore it doesn't make much sense to buy a lot of different spices. They would only go to waste, and that would be a shame.
One time I got a small idea of what it's like was when my ex and I had some people over, and two of his Indian colleagues spent hours in our small kitchen to prepare a fabulous feast for our little group. Excuse me while I'm getting lost in memories for a bit and possibly start drooling a bit.

Spices are not only fragrant and tasty, though, they can also be very pretty in their variety of colors.
Today's Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge is all about spice colors which is a new way to look at jewelry colors that you maybe haven't thought about yet.
I hope we can make you a little hungry ;-)


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

What did you see?
I see pepper in all colors, cinnamon, curry, paprika, turmeric ... mmmm. Now excuse me again, please, there's a jam toast waiting for me - strawberry and rhubarb with green pepper, a gift from my wonderful neighbors and so yummy.

5/31/2017

Oldies but Goodies - Fossils

I live about 11 miles from Holzmaden, a little town which is known for the fossils that are found in the ground in and around the city. There's the Urweltmuseum (Ancient World Museum) with fascinating specimens, some of them very large, beautifully displayed. If you are an amateur fossil hunter, there are two quarries where you are can do some digging yourself. I remember a very hot summer day that we spent at one of the quarries with a guest from India, but at least she found some little shells to take home - although I had hoped for an ammonite myself.

Our latest Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge was about fossils and to be honest I was a little surprised there was so little participation. Coming from a region where fossils are still found, I may be more fascinated by them than others, but in jewelry making fossils are by no means unusual.
Have a look.


1, 4, and 5 Cat's Wire
2 Violetmoon's Corner
3 and 6 MC Stoneworks

If you are interested now what kind of fossils these are, keep reading and don't forget to click the links for more information.

1 and 6 are fossil corals
Actually it's the ancient corals' skeletons that are fossilized and preserved in these agatized stones.
They are appreciated for their often flower like patterns.

2, 3, and 5 are ammonites. Ammonites were marine molluscs that went extinct millions of years ago. The living relatives of these cephalopods are for example octopus, squid, cuttlefish, and nautilus.
Ammonites with their pretty spirals are used a lot in jewelry.

4 is orthoceras, also a cephalopod, but straight shelled.

5/30/2017

Tut-tut

I'm not tut-tutting at you. It's just an early morning attempt to come up with a creative post title. Putting tutorial in the title may have created the idea that I am posting one and this is not happening - and with this we jumped right into today's topic for our monthly JAC blog carnival.

Tutorials.
I only ever made and posted one myself, a little bead and wire crochet flower. Back then I actually thought I would at least try to make more, but that didn't happen. Every, now and then I thought about it, but it's always the same. Once I start working on a piece, that's what I do. Of course I have to take breaks, but not for taking pictures or writing down things. I don't even want to think of making a video. I'm one of the (obviously unusual ;-)) people on the web who don't make videos - not of my cats (I have two of which one shows Ponder under the sheet, so you actually see, well, a moving sheet and the other one a dark room because it's really about the sound), not of my new shoes, my neighborhood, strange people I see on my train, you get the idea.

This really turns out not to be a flattering post of myself. You must get the idea that I don't have any patience, and it's true, for many things I don't have much patience.
That brings me to using tutorials and that is going to be even less flattering. In fact it sometimes makes me feel kind of guilty that I hardly ever use or even read/watch a whole tutorial, no matter if it's written down or if it's a video. The reason for that is not that I'm so immensely talented that I grasp things within the first 40 seconds (although that would be nice!), instead it's that patience thing again. Now if someone shows me something live, that's different.
So I start watching a video or rather single steps - mostly if it's about a beading stitch I don't know - and then fill in the gaps myself or experiment with changes. It's almost as if pick just part of the tutorial makers' brains, and that's where the guilty feeling part comes in.
I may be overthinking this one, though ;-)

So I'll just thank all people who take the time to help others learn something if they are ready for it.

Since a post without a picture always seems incomplete, here's something I made being inspired by a tutorial by Jill Wiseman.


Here you'll find what my fellow JAC members have to say about tutorials. Please drop by and have a look.

Violetmoon's Corner
Jewelry Art by Dawn

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