10/21/2019

Zibbet finds of the week - Bats

Welcome back to my Hallowe'en countdown!
Today I'll introduce you to some bats on Zibbet. I love bats. The only bat I didn't love was the one I had to make from screws, nuts, bolts, and nails when I was in 5th or 6th grade. We had to glue those onto black cardstock. Yes, there's the bad word. Glue. No wonder mine sucked. It's amazing I'm doing anything creative at all because art class wasn't exactly encouraging to me throughout all of my school years ;-)

The following bats, however, do not suck at all.
Believe it or not, I only just noticed that this could be understood as a joke regarding vampires, but it's really not although none of these do look like vampires to me.
I wish we had more of these fascinating animals around my neighborhood. Years ago I kept seeing a few, but after a few weeks they had gone. Maybe they had just visited from the nearby woods.

These bats would gladly come to live with you.
I hope you'll enjoy my selection.

Flying fox painting by Chris Wrinn Fine Art

Bat print bow tie for cats or dogs by Sebby's Corner

The Night Fairy 1985 Amelia Jane Murray vintage lithograph at Le Petit Poulailler

Itty Bitty Bat lacework hair grip by Angels Cave

Bats and moon patchwork kitchen towel by Sewlicitations

I love bats bead loomed pendant by Cat's Wire

10/17/2019

Oldies but Goodies - Non-white pearls

When did you last have a dinner Cleopatra style? I'm not talking about nightingale tongues or whatever extravagant meals we think were served there. I'm talking big money.
You remember the story? According to Pliny the Elder Cleopatra bets Mark Antony she could serve the most expensive single meal - 10,000,000 sesterces worth. Mark Antony can't imagine that that is possible, but Cleopatra just drops one of her enormous pearls in a glass of vinegar and drinks it.
Do pearls dissolve in vinegar? Obviously they do, scientists, pearl dealers and ordinary people have tried it out in various combinations. They don't do it quickly, though. I'll leave it to you if you want to believe the story of the Queen's extravagancy, look up articles or videos about it or even try it yourself.
The first time I read about this was in a Scrooge McDuck story. Scrooge put 1,000 pearls into 1,000 cans of pickles for a giveaway to raise interest in his pickles, those cans never made into the stores, though. When he opened them up to get his pearls back out, they had all gone, a just punishment for trying such a dirty trick.

That's not the only story about Scrooge and pearls. I remember his search for rare black pearls, for example. This is a nice bridge to this week's Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge which is all about pearls that are not white.
Although there are natural pearls that aren't white, most of the colored pearls are dyed or glass pearls in the first place, and there are huge differences in luster and quality.

Here's a selection of jewelry with pearls from our JAC artisans. Be prepared for color!


1 Ganison Atelier
2 RioRita
3 Bijou Bead Boutique
4 CymberRain
5 MC Stoneworks
6 Cat's Wire
7 Jewelry Art by Dawn
8 The Crafty Chimp

10/14/2019

Zibbet finds of the week - Witches

Yes, it's true. It has been more than three years since I last posted the Zibbet finds of the week, but I thought it would be fun to bring them back on Mondays.
What better way to start with than some posts leading up to Hallowe'en? I still wish it were a big thing here in my town, with dressing up and all that. I don't live in the countryside where turnip ghosts (instead of pumpkins) are still a tradition in some places, and actually it's not a tradition I ever got to participate in myself. I don't know if they did it here in town before I was born, but I can't remember ever seeing any.

Let's start this Hallowe'en countdown with some witches and their gear that I found on Zibbet. Ready? Then grab your broomstick and fly!

"Witch" etched fonts cuff by Feathered Gems

Beaded witch boot earrings by Chickamoo

Mother Goose songs and stories antique lithograph at Petit Poulailler

Little calico witch by Kilkenny Cat Art

Silver witch on a broomstick ring by Zahour

Halloween sign by Sleepy Hollow Prims

Flying witch and cat on a broomstick pendant by Cat's Wire

10/10/2019

Oldies but Goodies - Downton Abbey

I don't go to the cinema a lot anymore. One reason is that I like to watch my movies in small groups or even alone, in the comfort of my home where I can put up my feet like I want to, where I don't have to deal with the tall people always sitting right in front of me, where no one shines the light from their cell phone onto the screen thinking it's funny. Okay, I am exaggerating, but even if that doesn't always happen, it does from time to time.
Of course seeing a movie at the cinema is different, there's the big screen, and depending on the audience and its reactions there can be the perfect mood.
A little over a week ago I spontaneously went to the cinema right after work. There was just one little problem. It was the early afternoon showing and I was by myself, but was told they have a two person minimum. Why didn't I wait, maybe someone else would turn up. Somehow the parent and kids groups that did turn up didn't want to see Downton Abbey. What a surprise. I finally went to the guy behind the counter, not to complain, but to ask what the difference between one and two persons was for a movie showing, and he pointed at his boss who happened to sit there. I'll cut it short, in the end I was so lucky to sit in this big room all by myself (and it had been a polite conversation, I assure you, I'm not a fan of pushy people myself), and it was a very special experience.

Today's Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge asked for pieces that were inspired by the era of Downton Abbey.
Please keep in mind that our rules are quite stretchy. For example I don't remember having seen a Flapper dancing the Charleston at Downton Abbey, but both of them belong in the era. No one entered a diamond tiara inspired by those Maggie Smith wore (I wonder why ;-)). Nevertheless I can't imagine you won't like what you see.



1 Cat's Wire
2 CymberRain
3 The Crafty Chimp
4 Ganison Atelier
5 Jewelry Art by Dawn
6 RioRita
7 Bijou Bead Boutique

10/09/2019

Wanna go for a swim?

I have been annoyed by a head cold for almost a week now. I'll spare you the details, let me just say that I have been quite knackered. I didn't feel like getting up much, so mostly I slept, watched TV, and played with wire or Delica beads every, now and then.

The little bottle was a spontaneous idea. I have several of them that I got from my sister. They used to hold beads, so it somehow made sense to bead around them. My first plan was to make something for one, possibly two challenges, but that got put on hold when my muse decided to give me a new idea.

I have been a shark fan since I was a child, thanks to my oldest brother's fascination with sharks. He showed me pictures and told me about them, and in 7th grade when we had to make a kind of magazine for German class, he wrote a whole article for me about sharks (it was a magazine about animals, what else). Keep in mind that these were the 70s, we didn't have internet and it wasn't that easy to find suitable pictures - which is why I think that the shark pictures in the local library's "Grzimeks Tierleben", volume 4 from 1970, were probably missing because someone else did a report about sharks. I didn't get to see those pictures before I started my training at the University Library in 1983!

In an article I read that no one can forget when they saw Jaws for the first time. I guess I'm "no one" because I have no idea. I know it wasn't at the cinema, I was too young, but I remember my brother coming home and being all excited about it. He didn't see it just once. I also remember reading about people's reactions to it, for example the father who wrote that his daughter first refused showers because of Psycho and now swimming in the ocean or the lady that saw it 20 times and threw up each time.
At any rate, half my family are still fans, we often just call it "the fish film".

Enough talking, here's a picture now. Not perfect, but the best I could do in such a small space (the beaded part is not even 1 1/2 inch) and with such a fried brain ;-)

The idea for the sea foam - I don't like the decreases and thought about covering them with small pearls, not a peyote expert here, people - came from my friend Caroline, thank you for that!!


Bruce, this is for you :-D

10/03/2019

Oldies but Goodies - Summer is over

Summer is over in the Northern Hemisphere, and to honor it a last time for this year, it was the topic in this week's Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge.
This is a selection of what participants chose to enter. You'll see water, summer colors and flowers - a worthy homage to summer, I think.


1 and 8 Ganison Atelier
2 and 6 Jewelry Art by Dawn
3 and 7 Cat's Wire
4 and 10 RioRita
5 and 9 Bijou Bead Boutique

9/29/2019

Art Elements Design Challenge and Blog Hop - Foliage

"Foliage? I can do that!"
When I read the September topic for the Art Elements Design Challenge that Caroline gave us, I was completely confident that I would rock this. I have made leaves and leaf patterns both in wire and beads before, and I even thought that this time I would be able to make more than one piece.

BAM! Unfortunately this is not a "I did it" BAM, but a "life gets in the way" one.
So this is the part where I'm getting to the cheap excuses, in this case work and health or rather a combination of both which tends to kill off not my creativity, but the ability to transfer my ideas into actual pieces. For example I saw some wire crochet leaves in fall colors before my eyes, but after ripping one up twice I didn't feel like another attempt.

I even forgot that I had started making something that I put on my manikin head to decide about a clasp and embellishments.
Just a few days ago I happened to see it again (and I walk by that head all the time!) and had planned to work on it some more yesterday after coming home from work, but due to a stranded train it took me three hours to get home, and all I wanted there was something to eat and sleep.
This morning now I wasn't even sure if I liked it at all anymore without some major changes. Now I'm afraid it's going to move to the Drawer of Eternal WIPs which is not a good place to be, I've heard ;-)

I'm glad that I'm not standing - well, actually sitting - here without having anything to show.
I love making these kind of leaves, they are great to use in earrings, pendants or necklaces, and it's always fun embellishing them with what I can find at the moment.
Here I used chocolate brown freshwater pearls and matte carnelian beads for that perfect fall feeling. After all fall is my favorite season!


Now here's the good stuff, a list of all the other participants in the challenge, and I'm sure they'll be showing a lot more. I'm already looking forward to going through all the posts and pictures!
Please have a look, I know you won't be disappointed!

Guests

Alison - Alysen - Anita - Beth and Evie - Cat (that's me ;-)) - Dawn - Divya - Hope - Jill - Karen - Kathy - LaurieMary - Michelle - Sarah - Sarajo - Tammy 

AE team members

Claire - Cathy - Caroline - Jenny - Lesley - Marsha - Niky - Susan