Oldies but Goodies - More hearts

Wait ... we already had hearts before, didn't we? Indeed we had, last year in the week of Valentine's Day. Believe it or not, there was another Valentine's Day this year and another Oldies but Goodies Challenge on JAC ;-) None of these hearts were in last year's selection, however.
Hearts don't go out of style, not only on the 14th of February. They come in all colors and, well, not in all shapes obviously, but in variations. There are the symmetrical ones, there are the embellished ones, the ones that lean to one side, there are even lifelike looking ones (none of those came up in our challenge, though).

Let's see what the Jewelry Artisans Community members came up with this time.
I give you the Hearts of JAC - episode 2.

1 Echoes of Ela
2 MC Stoneworks
3 Jewelry Art by Dawn
4 Cat's Wire
5 Violetmoon's Corner
6 The Crafty Chimp
7 2 Fab Fristers



"I have been stuck on the squares for a while, just love them. Do you ever get into creating with certain kinds of shapes and that's all you do for a while? Sure seems to be the way it goes with me."
That's a quote from Jewelry Artisans Community member Karin which became the inspiration for this month's blog carnival.

What shape am I drawn to? Have I made the same shape over and over?
Actually I don't really have to think about it. I am drawn to circles and their offspring, ovals.
I wonder if it is connected to my being so fascinated by a full moon. I have made several pendants and bracelets which show a full moon and writing this I seriously feel the urge to go for another one.

When going to my favorite cab store online, I always check out the round and oval cabs first. I made several rectangular bead loomed pendants, but after I discovered the fun of taking away those corners, I noticed that I often do a round outline first when brainstorming for a new pattern in bead looming or that even a square cab can end up with a round setting.

Of course that doesn't mean I can't do corners and angles at all, and you know I like my free form bead looming, too. It just doesn't make me as happy a circle, though, I guess.
Now I wanted to say that I never really thought about that before, but then I remembered that wouldn't be true. Once on deviantART I spoke to someone who asked me about my bead loomed "shaped" pendants. She said she always loved triangles while I told her I loved my circles.
I bet out there in Web World is some kind of game or quiz that tells you what it means if you like a shape more than others ;-)

What do other JAC members like? See here!

Violetmoon's Corner
The Crafty Chimp
Jewelry Art by Dawn
Echoes of Ela 


Ice cream

I'm sure you have seen the recipe floating round. I don't remember where I saw it first or I would give credit for it.
I made this before, only with just banana and cocoa back then.
Now a friend and I agreed on avoiding chocolate and cookies until Easter, well, at least give it a try.
Time for some healthy ice cream!
This time I took a banana, sliced it up and froze the slices in a funny ice tray I happened to have on hand (thanks, sis!). I chose frozen strawberries for this that I didn't slice. Maybe I'll try that next time to see if there's a difference. 
The frozen banana and strawberries went into my little food processor, together with a little cream and a little honey which was what I had on hand. I intend to experiment with that as well.

That's what it looked like after a while. It's a tad soft from being whirled around in my food processor of course, so it's back in the freezer for a bit now.
Doesn't it look great?
Of course I had to try it, and it tastes just as good as it looks!


Oldies but Goodies - Geometric

I have talked about my most impressive geometry abilities before. I'm practically a geometry wizard.
Yeah, okay, no, I'm not. I think I disliked it even more than algebra if that's possible.
I do like geometric shapes, though - ever since elementary school when we were introduced to the basics of set theory. We had these little plastic things in the shape of circles, triangles, rectangles and more which had different colors and surfaces, and I liked playing with them.
Don't ask me what I learned or if I learned anything at all, after all that happened in the last millennium ;-)

Geometric shapes were also the topic for this week's Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge.
Here's a selection of what our members came up with, and I think it's a really great mix!

1 The Crafty Chimp
2 Echoes of Ela
3 MC Stoneworks
4 Jewelry Art by Dawn
5 Violetmoon's Corner
6 RioRita
7 Cat's Wire


He came from outer space to save the human race

You know what's best about living alone?
I can do whatever I want. Whenever I want. Okay, of course there are always limitations. I try not to disturb my neighbors with loud music or the TV. I don't run up and down the stairs in the middle of the night. I don't fuss around in my kitchen at 3 am (which is something I have done before when I was much younger) or turn on the vacuum cleaner at all hours of the day (which is something my former neighbor has done before when I was much younger).
I can listen to what I want, though. I can watch what I like. I can plaster my walls with animal pictures, painted, drawn or photographed. I can keep my beloved Stairs to Nowhere and decorate them with hats. I can even keep my little artificial Christmas tree standing as long as I want to (because I still want to take pictures of my handmade baubles).

This post is not about single life, however. It's about my fan wall, something I know would have been frowned upon in the old days of not being single.
On my page I said that it's a gut decision who will end up on the wall, just as much as I let my gut decide what I like and what I don't like.
Guess what ... I'm not a Harry Potter fan and I would never watch Game of Thrones (these are just random examples that came to my mind first). I like (some) Bollywood movies and the music, and the next moment I may listen to Queen, The Beatles, or Mozart. My comic hero is not Batman or Superman, but still Donald Duck. I like some fashion on others, but can't be bothered to look beyond my t-shirt, jeans, and sneakers myself.
I don't like someone or something just because it's popular, but it also doesn't mean I dislike something just because it's popular - although I do tend to be stubborn at first about things that get pushed into my face, by people, commercials, or trailers. I don't have to see a movie just because "everyone" loves it. I am not a fan of most action movies and even though I enjoy weird movies, there are weird movies I think are, well, too weird for me, and that's okay.
I listen to others' opinions and maybe I let them convince me and maybe not.
I could go on and on like that, but I think you got the idea ;-)

A few years ago I happened to stumble upon The Nomi Song on TV, a documentary about countertenor Klaus Nomi. I do love documentaries of all kinds and recorded the re-run because I had missed part of it the first time. Watching it I remembered having seen him once on German TV and the song he performed was actually quite familiar to me even though I can't say why.
I got interested and started browsing a little more.
Nomi was Avantgarde, New Wave, unusual and outlandish and not everyone's cup of tea, but when a friend suggested  him as one of the portraits, my gut told me to go with it.
And now he's #25 on my wall :-)


Oldies but Goodies - Girly

What comes to mind when you hear girly? Spontaneously I thought pink, flowers, bows, sparkle, sweet, dresses, makeup, pretty much everything I really wasn't. Then I started wondering what makes one girl girly and another girl not girly. It is kind of a strange word, isn't it? I decided, however, that I didn't want to start a big discussion about it here.
Let me just say that there are different definitions out there of what is considered girly, some of them derogatory which is of course not the intention of this week's Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge.

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



I haven't talked about my spike baubles here yet. My addiction to spike baubles, that is. Team up Christmas baubles, wire and spike beads, and you get the coolest mace like looking ornaments or earrings. And since there are so many beautiful colors, it's really hard to stop making them. Okay, not kidding anybody here, I never stopped.

Had someone told me that I would browse the net for black Christmas baubles in the middle of a January night, I would have told them that I am crazy, but not THAT crazy.
Obviously I am after all. Think gothic spiky earrings and ornaments. I couldn't resist and I was so looking forward to my order (which might have contained some other colors as well *cough cough*).

Black and red is one of my favorite color combinations, so when the order arrived, I grabbed one of the bigger baubles, my black wire, beautiful transparent red spikes and my hook.
Bigger baubles with the big spikes are harder to make. You don't just have to get the wire tension right, but also have to try and catch the spikes in the wires of the top and bottom row from avoiding them to fall over, all of that while holding a spiky ornament in your hand which doesn't hurt, but makes working a little awkward.
The goth ornament seemed to be jinxed from the start, though. For some reason black wire is hard to see on a shiny black bauble, believe it or not, and the spikes tended to stand in all directions, just not where I wanted them. I gave up when the ornament was about halfway done. When I got it out again a few days later, I decided to give it a fresh start and unraveled it.

It was a good decision. I could see the wire better, I had the spikes under control, everything looked right. I felt very smug, and that was a mistake.
Bam! It was that thunking sound of glass breaking, but not flying around everywhere. Of course not, it couldn't because there was a wire cage around it. I still had that bit of hope when I picked up the ornament. How did I drop it in the first place? Wait, it did look okay? Had I imagined the sound because it was what I had expected to hear? Then I turned it around and saw the hole in the glass bauble.

Oh well :-/ Can't help it now.
By the way, would you like to know what a spike ornament looks without its "guts"? Like this.


Oldies but Goodies - Lariats

What is a lariat necklace?
A lariat is a very long rope without a clasp. It can be from chain, it can be wire, it can be beaded, and most important of all it can be worn in different ways. You can tie it, knot it, loop it, wear it long, or drape it around your neck a few times. There can be small embellishments all along the rope or just on the ends, but there can also be some kind of connector which allows one end to be pulled through it, like in a lasso for example.
When I looked around, I found several Y-chains being called lariats, too. Y-chains, however, usually have a clasp and can only be worn one way. They are chains with a long rope hanging down from the middle of the rope that goes around the neck.

It seems that the Jewelry Artisans Community has not embraced the lariat style yet, for this week's Oldies but Goodies Challenge we only got entries from three people. Who knows, maybe it's going to turn into one of our monthly challenges eventually to make a lariat. I think that could be fun.
I hope you enjoy the entries I do have to show you.

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