Oldies but Goodies - Green

This week's Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge didn't ask for Christmas green specifically, but I thought I'd pick the ones that fit the season best colorwise - and the frog. Because I love the frog. The one in the bottom row, that is.
As a bonus I added some Christmas frogs. No, don't ask me why Victorians felt a frog killing another over a bag of money is a good image for the season, but they came up with many more hilarious ones, believe you me (or if you don't, go ahead and google for some Victorian Christmas fun ;-)).

1 RioRita
2 Cat's Wire
3 Bijou Bead Boutique
4 Jewelry Art by Dawn
5 MC Stoneworks


Zibbet finds of the week - Christmas lights

This year I didn't manage to make one of my blog advent calendars, but I'll try to bring up something for the holidays every, now and then when I can make it.
I put up my hallway Christmas decoration up today and also my little tree with my handmade ornaments, and like every year I have been struggling with the lights. I don't even have a long cord to wrap around my tree, but I'm not sure if that is the problem or if it could be even worse ;-)
The lights make me happy with their soft glow in the darkness. My little Moravian stars are in the windows and I also have some LED candles (I don't trust the furry mister with real ones) on the window sills.
Of course Christmas is not the only holiday connected to lights. Diwali which took place in October this year is the Festival of Lights and for Hanukkah the Menorah is lit, but unfortunately I didn't find much when strolling through Zibbet, so my topic for today's finds of the week is Christmas lights.

Christmas light bulb earrings by Nataliya Cute Ceramics

"The little snowman decorates the tree" card by Torn Paper™

Cross stitch pillow ornament by Lexidh

"Baby hanging Christmas stocking" collage card by Cards by Colette

Wooden tree shaped Christmas lamp by By Lamp
"The Christmas Story and The Dear Old Tree" 1927 antique illustrations at Petit Poulailler


Oldies but Goodies - Topaz again

At the Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge we have been showing you topaz as the birthstone for November before.
I still can't get over the fact that there are topaz crystals that weigh kilos. Why exactly don't I have some of those?
They would make nice pendants ... ;-)

The entries for this week don't weigh kilos. Again. And again I don't have topaz for you, but topaz colors. I hope you'll love my little selection, anyway.

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


Art Elements Design Challenge and Blog Hop - Fossils

The first thought when Niky announced "fossils" for the new Art Elements design challenge in November was obviously to look into the mirror.
I have been calling myself a fossil for a long time as I sometimes have the feeling I don't fit into this modern world very well ;-) Now that I'm sitting here I think I should have tried to do something with the idea, just for the heck of it, but the days have been slipping through my fingers in a most unproductive way, so it was much too late for it.
In fact I was late, anyway. Somehow I thought the month was much longer and that the reveal wouldn't be before the end of the month. When I was reminded of the actual reveal date, I almost panicked. It meant I HAD to make something on the weekend before because there was no chance for a last night action this time.

I did have several ideas, but a problem with the execution. Do you know those days when you feel time is running out and you just keep messing things up? Believe it or not, I started three pendants and cut all of them up again because I didn't like the asymmetry here and the setting there and why didn't that ammonite want to stay in there the way I wanted it to? I think I was just pushing it too hard, so I put both wires and the fossils away - ammonites in different sizes and a beautiful fossilized coral cab.

When the reveal date started hanging over me like a Damocles sword, I gave up on the wire.
Instead I took out a bottle and my Delicas. I have been making quite a few of those little beaded bottles lately, but the pattern I had in mind needed a bottle that was a little bigger.
I have been fascinated by dinosaurs forever. Which kid hasn't been? One of my favorite books was "Mamal" by Niels Meyn, a Swedish children's book from the 40s about one of the first mammals on Earth. I can't say how often I checked this book out and I was devastated when the library took it out of their stock. Thanks to the internet I own it myself now and can take a look at my favorite illustration, the fight between the T. Rex and the Triceratops. Sorry, Triceratops, children can be cruel and I know I didn't show enough grief for you having your belly ripped out by the T. Rex in the end.
Then there was Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World from 1912. I read it back and forth and all over again.
I don't remember the title of the book with the girl and the German Shepherd that I think I got for Christmas. I do remember that the dog was supposed to be taken away, but wasn't in the end because he helped the girl finding some kind of fossil, not the crocodile she had hoped for, though.
You see, dinos and fossils everywhere!

I love only 10 miles from the Urweltmuseum Hauff, and my area has a lot of fossils to offer. One of the most amazing exhibits at the museum is the world's largest colony of sea lilies, but of course there is more. Even a crocodile! ;-)

So instead of using a fossil for a design, I decided to bead a fossil, inspired by my dino fascination and by the Jurassic Park logo showing a T. Rex skeleton.
Unfortunately I didn't stand a chance to finish it in time, so all I have to show today is a WIP. I'm still happy I got that far considering that I only had Sunday evening and a little time after work on Monday and Tuesday.

I chose a black background for the contrast as I used a mix of two slightly different beige colors for the fossil itself. I liked the look better than the idea of bleached white bones.
With more time on my hands I might even have tried a Triceratops fossil on the back to honor the fight from Mamal! ;-)

This is a blog hop, so please hop with me to all the other participants' blogs, so we can check out their posts and "fossil creations" together.


Beth and Evie - Cat (that's me ;-)) - Dawn - Divya - Kathy - Michelle - Sarajo - Susan - Tammy  

AE team members

Claire - Jennifer - Jenny - Lesley - Niky - Susan


Tackle that stash - The Leopard

Usually I make a pendant first and then put a bail on it. In this case it was the other way round.
When I took some shorter wires out of my leftovers baggie the other day to turn them into a pair of earrings - in the end they became sparkly butterflies - I found a wire woven bail, so now I had to find something to put on there. I don't even remember putting it in there. Had I cut it off a different piece or was it one of those leftover wire projects I did in the hope of finding the right piece for it eventually? No idea.

I went to my stash drawers and tried a lampwork tree bead first, but it was too long. Then I thought a bigger mookaite bead would be nice, but the bead holes were too small on all of them.
Then I found the leopard. The leopard was another of those beads that I thought would never make their way out for lack of a good idea. I got it from Babs Beads & Design many years ago. I remember falling in love a whole group of "animal print" beads. I used one of them in a wire knit pendant in combination with some jasper, but the others patiently waited for their turn.

Sometimes things can suddenly be real easy. The wires on the bail had the perfect length, so why not let this little beauty shine on its own?
The funny part is that I had thought the exact same thing a few years ago. I used the bead in a ring with a wire woven band then which I had completely forgotten about. When I happened to see the picture in one of my folders just now, I remembered that I hadn't been all around happy in the end with the way the ring sat on my finger.
I like the bead much better in a pendant and think this could even be unisex, maybe on a leather cord. Now I just have to decide if I'll oxidize the copper to an even darker color although it is not as light as it comes out in this picture.
What do you think?


Zibbet finds of the week - The Color Red

It's raining outside and it's hard to tell it's actually morning because it's so dark in here. As I said before, I don't mind the rain or darkness myself. I have a big black furry head on my left wrist and hand that keeps purring away, apart from that it is quiet, all I hear is a car splashing through the rain outside.
I know people, however, who hate this side of the season, and for those I want to brighten up the day and give it some color - red.
So here's a selection of items that I found on Zibbet and which show you the amazing palette of autumn reds.

Autumn fox wedding cake topper by Anna Clay Creations

Early Victorian garnet locket brooch at Clan Kelly Designs

Burgundy slouchy crochet hat by Vikni Designs

Autumn red wood and metal wall sculpture by Diva Art69 Studios

Burgundy embroidered autumn beret by Zora Art

Large custom red leaves tree acrylic painting by Nathalie Van

Boho red wool coat by classydress

Copper cage necklace by Cat's Wire


Oldies but Goodies - Timeless

This week the topic for the Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge was "timeless".
What kind of jewelry is timeless to you? Are there any stones, metals or other materials that never seem to go out of style? Designs, patterns, combinations?

My first thought are always pearls - a single knotted strand of beautiful pearls. Such a classic design, and even if some may think such necklaces to be the style of grandmothers, you will always see them. They go well with a more conversative look like a costume, they spruce up the famous little black dress, but they will look just as beautiful with a shirt and jeans, maybe in a smaller size.

Another possibility are diamonds. I'm not going to start the discussion about how diamonds were only pushed by the industry with the notion that an engagement ring should cost three months salary, I find that just as ridiculous. I also often hear friends of mine say that they don't like diamonds at all. So I'm outing myself here now. I do like them, but I like the look of a classic ruby, aquamarine or amethyst solitaire as well, too. I have chosen very different - also in price - stones on purpose, and that is not the complete list, either.

There is so much more, though. Eternity rings are timeless, many chain designs are timeless, hoop earrings are timeless, necklaces from round stone beads - graduated or not - of all kinds are timeless, and I could go on and on.
Beading, wire or metalsmithing techniques have been around forever (almost ;-)), and many designs are so old, it's incredible.

Here are some challenge pieces now that we JAC members think are timeless.

1 Jewelry Art by Dawn
2 Bijou Bead Boutique
3 RioRita
4 Cat's Wire