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! I'll add links as they come in.

Violetmoon's Corner

4/19/2017

Oldies but Goodies - Easter

Easter is over. I hope yours was nice. Our Easter bunny had to wear a raincoat, so most egg hunts were probably done inside this year.
Today's Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge is a small last sum up. We have bunnies, we have pastel colors, we have eggs - and I don't know about you, but I had too much chocolate, and thanks to friendly people there is still more lined up in my kitchen, probably enough to last me until the same time next year (who am I trying to kid here? ;-))!
Now for some calorie-free Easter treats.


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

4/12/2017

Oldies but goodies - Coral

This week has really been running by me so far, and unfortunately it did its best to be annoying all around.
So please forgive me if I'll skip the background story this time and just give you the latest Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge ;-)



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

4/05/2017

Oldies but Goodies - Springtime

There's not much to say, I guess you know enough about spring feelings yourself. Colors coming back to nature, that scent in the air, flowers and the promise of a new beginning.
So it's no surprise spring was chosen as topic for the Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge.
Happy spring to all of those on the Northern hemisphere (and the other half, fall is just as nice if you ask me ;-))!


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

3/29/2017

Oldies but Goodies - Fairies

"A fairy is a type of mythical being or legendary creature in European folklore, a form of spirit, often described as metaphysical, supernatural, or preternatural." ~ Wikipedia
I think what image we have in mind when thinking of a fairy is very much influenced by illustrations in children's books, old descriptions or animated movies. Most of us probably think of tiny creatures with wings at first, ethereal looking, that are living in flowers or something like that.
So when I helped out with the topic for the latest Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge and chose "Fairies", members were not sure because they thought they didn't have anything ethereal to show.
Why, however, should a fairy not wear jewelry inspired by nature's shapes, creations or colors?
I think any fairy would like to pick one of these pieces, and as usual there are more to find if you click the link above.


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

3/28/2017

Artist collaborations

The month is coming to an end (and the first quarter of the year with it, time does fly!) which means it's time for another blog carnival at the Jewelry Artisans Community.

Collaborations are not unusual in the creative world, from paintings to books to, you guessed it, jewelry.
You may expect to see some HeatherCats now as inspired by the wonderful paintings of my friend Heather from Essencestudios. That is not the kind of collaboration I want to talk about today, though. Heather didn't originally paint her cats for me to turn them into jewelry. She painted them and after I made the patterns I showed them to her for approval and then turned them into jewelry. (And I know there haven't been any for too long, but something is in planning because I still love the paintings as much as ever)

Let me go back in time a few years instead. Back then we still had our old forum, the Starving Jewelry Artists, and we had the Starving Artists Team on Etsy.
This team collaborated on two occasions, the SATeam Holiday Wrist Candy Giveaways in 2009 and 2010. We had decided on bracelets because for a team whose members were situated all over the world it was the easiest way to make one piece of jewelry together.
Everyone would make a charm in their own style and then we would all send them to one member who assembled the bracelet and took the pictures. I have to admit I'm not sure anymore who it was, so I rather leave out the name instead of telling the wrong one,  but she did a great job. The results were beautiful - one topic was "Flowers" and the other "Christmas".

I hope the winners still enjoy their bracelets, they were crafted and assembled with love. Just imagine the variety of techniques that went into them! We had lampworkers, we had wire wrappers, we had beaders, we had silversmiths, and more. I was mostly still wire crocheting at that time.
Of course I have some pictures for you to look at, too, if you are curious now.





You know, I think it would be fun to have a collaboration again. It sure has been a while.

Interested in what the other JAC members have to say? Check it out here.

Jewelry Art by Dawn
Violetmoon's Corner 

3/26/2017

Quote of the week

I don't know if it's the same where you are, but when I look at my TV guide, sometimes it seems to me that a big part of TV consists of "reality TV", cooking shows, fashion makeovers and/or shopping, and different kind of quizzes. Well, and sitcoms and crime shows, of course.
What is it about quizzes? Why are they so popular? Is it all about seeing someone crack the million dollar question or do we like to exercise our own brains every, now and then?

When DI Lewis and DS Hathaway are called to a murder of a quiz participant in an Oxford college, Lewis has a question for his sergeant.

Lewis: What do you think about quizzes?
Hathaway: Terminally pointless. Right up there with slugs and black pudding.


Lewis, UK, 2006 - 2015


P.S. I sometimes miss the pub quizzes we used to go to. Even if we couldn't win a million bucks there, we always had fun - and were quite tired the next morning!

3/22/2017

Oldies but Goodies - Home

One of the magnets on my fridge says "Home is where your cat is". That may be true for me, but what's home to you? If you had to pick an item to depict where you are from, what would that be?
This was the question of the new Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge. It didn't mean just our houses, but our towns, states or countries - and we struggled a little with it because not everything that says home is easy to translate into jewelry. I mean can you imagine me making a spätzle necklace?
And so the group was a little smaller this time which doesn't mean I don't have anything to show you, though.


1/3/5/8 Jewelry Art by Dawn

1 - Dawn found this fall leaf during one of her walks in town.
3 - Lunaria flowers are also called "money plants" because their seed pods remind of silver dollars. The original name is Latin from luna, the moon, because the pods also resemble the moon.
5 - The froggy that inspired this painted cutie lived in one of Dawn's potted plants.


8 - The pine tree outside her studio gave Dawn the idea for this pendant.

2/6/7 MC Stoneworks

2 - Michele has a beautiful garden which attracts butterflies.
6 - The boot reprents Texas, the state where she lives.
7 - The orchid reminds of the lovely orchids in her bathroom.

4/9 Cat's Wire

Well, I said it already. Home is where my cats are ;-)

3/18/2017

Random Saturday - The Laurin mark

It was a Saturday night after dinner, my sister and I were hanging out in front of the TV when she showed me a silver ring of hers that she had bought at one of her favorite fleamarkets many years ago. She had got herself a loupe some time ago and was curious what the marks in her ring meant.



Of course we both knew the 835 meant the content of silver. Nowadays jewelry is usually sterling silver which is marked 925, but I still have 835 silver jewelry myself from my teenage days. It means that 835/1000 silver was used, the rest was copper and nickel.

Next was the F with the star which we found online as the mark of W. Frey & Co. from Pforzheim, a city which is famous for its jewelry manufacturing and is even called "City of Gold" because of it. The company itself does not exist anymore, however.

What was that last mark, though? It was hard to read and it took me several attempts turning the ring this and that way under the loupe, taking my glasses off, putting them back on until I suddenly had the luck to get just the right angle to see it was a cursive "Ln" with a semicircle around it.
You know it is, once you know what you are looking at, it springs out at you, and my sister saw it, too.
And what did it mean? An online search took me to several sites - and to the Laurin mark.


The Laurin mark was a seal of quality that was used on jewelry manufactured between ca. 1934 and 1938. It got its name from Laurin, the King of Dwarves.
The campaign was supposed to instill trust in the marked jewelry and thus animate people to buy. It was not meant for cheap jewelry for which buyers didn't expect a guarantee nor expensive pieces, but for those in between.
All German manufacturers who accepted the given quality standards were allowed to use the Laurin mark on their jewelry.

Back to my sister's ring. The stone in the beautiful blue of an aquamarine is quite probably synthetic which obviously wasn't unusual for these times and until the 50s. To be able to tell the date and place of the ring's manufacturing like this, however, was really something, and above all it's a beautiful ring after all.
Now I wonder what stories it would be able to tell us if it could speak .....



Sources

While I found several pictures and short mentions of the mark, on auction sites for example, this was where I have found the most information so far (thank you to Antikschmuck Hofer for that!). For those who are not familiar with German and don't want to use an online translator - there are two advertisements for jewelry with the Laurin mark - one of them depicting the above mentioned King of Dwarves - and an article from a journal explaining the meaning of the Laurin campaign.

I also found this thread in a silver forum, this one's in English.

If I can find more eventually, I'll update this post.

3/15/2017

Oldies but goodies - Aquamarine

Aquamarine is the birthstone for March, so it became the topic for this Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge.
With this name which translates from the Latin into "water of the sea" it's no wonder that the GIA describes it like this "Named after seawater, aquamarine’s fresh watery hue is a cool plunge into a refreshing pool." What do you think comes to mind when looking at this week's choices?


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

3/08/2017

Oldies but Goodies - Beach

When I'm thinking of a beach, it will always be the one that my Californian friend took us every time we visited her. I loved the ride from Oakland going north on Highway 1. I am not an avid photographer, so I don't have many pictures, but when I close my eyes, I see all the spots we used to get out, Jenner, Point Reyes National Seashore, Bodega Bay, but also the spots on the way that didn't seem to change from year to year. The boarded-up building that used to be a restaurant, the trees on the side of the road, it's quite strange which memories the brain holds on to.
And then I see us of course, on the beach, me in my favorite shorts (one of the garments I'm holding on to for sentimental reasons, together with the otter t-shirt I got at Bodega Bay), the birds - some of them quite curious, no wonder, we had food. The walks through the sand looking for shells.
Okay, okay, enough memories now. They were triggered by this week's topic for the Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge. Here you are - the beach.


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

3/01/2017

Oldies but Goodies - Victorian

The Victorian era from 1837 to 1901 is of course named after Queen Victoria and her reign during that time. I found an article in Collector's Weekly which explains what Victorian jewelry looked like if you are interested.
As you know the Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge is not that strict in its rules. I don't think any of us members made something with specifically having the Victorian era in mind, so our challenge master put it like this "Most anything that is ornate will work".
Here's a little selection from what was shown, as usual you will find all the entries under the link above. We hope you'll have a look!


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

2/28/2017

Trying something new

Peyote stitch and I - we are still no real friends, but we are trying to get along. At the moment we are working on a project that is supposed to prepare us for another project that is supposed to take us to new heights together in turn. The jury is still out on that one. We won't know before we finished this one, and we are still in a very early stage (as I am not quite over my obsession with knitting Easter eggs yet).
This month's the blog carnival at the Jewelry Artisans Community, however, is about what new things we'd like to try this year, so I'm forced to drag our collaboration out in the open already. After all it's about what we'd LIKE to try even if it may not happen due to one or the other reason.

At least I can show you my little WIP and tell its story.
Every, now and then I like to have some gin and tonic. Two friends know that and gave me some Black Forest gin for different occasions, one bottle being a miniature, one the normal size. The bottles look so cool, like old medicine bottles you would find in a pharmacy, with a little cork. I knew I would finally want to try beading around them, and the mini bottle would be perfect for a first attempt until the big bottle - which holds ten times as much - is empty.

As for the beads, I didn't think this through. I guess I was influenced by the February challenge on JAC which had the topic "pink". Not only will I not be able to finish the bottle today to make the challenge, but I don't even have enough beads in these colors to try at all.


I see a bead order in my future .... and of course I will be back once this project is finished, and hopefully I will be also be back with the big bottle eventually, maybe even still this year!

Curious what the others have on their lists for this year? Check it out here.

Violetmoon's Corner
Jewelry Art by Dawn 

2/26/2017

Quote of the week

The stories were a part of my childhood (this is important to give you an idea of the time setting) and I own most of the books, but I have to admit I had completely forgotten what little anarchists Nicolas and his friends could be. They have words and they have fights, they let their fantasy run wild and they have fun, not always to their parents' and teachers' delight.
Sometimes they are sad, they are afraid, they are children and Nicolas is telling their story - like the time he went for a visit with his mother and had to play with Marie-Edwige, the daughter of the house.
When Marie-Edwige suggests to play nurse and wounded soldier, Nicolas tells her he prefers to play cards.

Marie-Edwige: Well, what can you play?
Nicolas: Old Maid?
Marie-Edwige: I know a much better one.
Nicolas as narrator: Marie-Edwige's game was very difficult. She was allowed to look into my cards and also swap for hers. I wasn't. Also the cards didn't have the same value as usual. She took the King from me with a Three.
Nicolas: But ...
Marie-Edwige: Something wrong?
Nicolas as narrator: And the winner could make a wish. I never won.

Tough break, Nicolas. I think there has been something not quite right about this game, or you wouldn't have ended up as Marie-Edwige's horse or her makeup manikin ...



Petit Nicolas, France, 2009

P.S. I read that Sempé who did the drawings to go with Goscinny's stories said he wanted to catch the childhood he would have liked to have for himself. No idea if it's true, but I wouldn't be surprised.
P.P.S. Not having access to the English version, this is a translation of my own from the German one.

2/22/2017

Oldies but Goodies - Valentine's Day

I know Valentine's Day is already over, but today's Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge happened to be in the week of Valentine's Day, so that's what it was all about.
Of course the first thing to think of for this day are hearts, but these pieces are so much more than just simple hearts, in fact a gift doesn't always have to be a heart and still be perfect for that day ... You'll see what I mean.


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

2/19/2017

Quote of the week

True in 1960, true today. When will we learn?

"The tools of conquest do not necessarily come with bombs and explosions and fallout. There are weapons that are simply thoughts, attitudes, prejudices to be found only in the minds of men. For the record, prejudices can kill, and suspicion can destroy, and a thoughtless frightened search for a scapegoat has a fallout all of its own for the children, and the children yet unborn. And the pity of it is that these things cannot be confined to the Twilight Zone."

 

The Twilight Zone, USA, 1959 - 1964

2/15/2017

Oldies but Goodies - Amber

Many years ago a lovely lady from California showed me her amber collection, both of genuine and faux amber. It reminded me of a showcase I had seen at a natural history museum, also with specimen of genuine and faux amber.
With amber being a desirable stone for jewelry it's not unusual for amber imitations to be sold as the real thing. In fact that's how I got a little bag of cabs myself, as a gift from someone who had bought them as real ones. If the seller did it on purpose or not, we'll never know.

My choices from this week's Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge are a mix of amber colors, again both genuine and faux. I hope you'll like what I picked.


1 and 6 MC Stoneworks
2 and 5 Cat's Wire
3 and 7 Violetmoon's Corner
4 RioRita

2/12/2017

Quote of the week

Some time ago I introduced you to Hedwig Courths-Mahler, an author who wrote - as she put it - fairytales for adults. That means she wrote stories that are full of tragedy, love, betrayal, heroism, misunderstandings, secrets, you probably know the kind.
In the 70s five of her novels were turned into movies, full of tragedy, love ... well, I mentioned that already. You do get the feeling, however, that the directors and actors didn't always take her work too seriously (how very strange ;-)). Can you say overacting? And then there is of course the narrator, the flowery language, and the music. It's hard to describe really, but you have to keep in mind that the novel to this was written in late 1914. If you like a good giggle and are in the right company with the same kind of humor, it's fun.

The young, poor orphan Rose von Lossow lives with her wealthy relatives. She is in love with her cousin Hasso, a military man, but he proposes to a Russian lady. Unfortunately this lady is a spy who is after his latest invention for military aviation and who uses Hasso's "holiest feelings" to gain access to the plans and then even mocks him calling him an "interesting intermezzo".


Luckily Rose's entry at the right moment had prevented worse, but nevertheless Hasso quits the service to work on his airplane designs at Falkenried, the family manor, instead.


Hasso's mother dies, then the war breaks out. Hasso decides to marry Rose to ensure that she will still be cared for in case he will die out there. Only when it's time for him to go, he realizes that he loves Rose, has loved her for a long time - but does she love him, too? He needs to know.


Hasso: No, I can't leave you like this. First I have to tell you that I love you. My shy, proud Rose. In this hour only it became clear to me what has been rummaging inside of me lately. I have loved you for a long time, I know that now. I loved you before I knew it myself. Fool that I am! A blind fool I am! Tell me just once, in this bittersweet hour of parting, what lives for me in your soul. Tell me the truth, Rose.
Rose: In my soul no one lives but you. I love you, have always loved you and will love you for eternity. You are taking my heart with you, and if you are taken from me, I do not want to live anymore.
Narrator: It was as if their souls wanted to wed in this kiss for all time.


Die Kriegsbraut (The War Bride), Germany, 1974

P.S. You guessed it, there is a happy ending. The Russian spy is caught after all, and Hasso comes home to his Rose (again, keep in mind, this was written in 1914 when the war had just started and no one knew yet HOW terrible it would be).
P.P.S. Again this is my own translation because obviously there is no English version. I hope I managed to capture the mood at least a little.

2/10/2017

Tackle that stash - Beaded pendant with crystals

Remember last week's stash tackler?
Although I had more plans for this week, I didn't make it due to different reasons. What I managed to make last weekend, however, is inspired by the Bollywood bangles by Jill Wiseman. Again the word Bollywood doesn't really fit because I used almost the same colors for this pendant as for one of the bangles I made - minus the brown seed beads.
A gold tone chain added, here you go :-)
I also got some silver and red out, so stay tuned!

2/08/2017

Oldies but Goodies - Nature

I don't think I have to say anything about this week's Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge topic. Nature has always played a role in jewelry. The materials mostly come from nature, jewelry depicts nature and often celebrates it, too.
Of course animals and plants are at the top of the list as my choices today will show you.


1 Betoj Designs
2 Cat's Wire
3 MC Stoneworks
4 Violetmoon's Corner
5 RioRita

2/05/2017

Quote of the week

Once upon a time there was a station called Nickelodeon. And once upon a time there were Fridays. Okay, there still are, but they are different now. Let me explain. The year Nickelodeon started in Germany was also the year I started dialysis. Three times a week I would go to dialysis right after work, except for Fridays. Fridays I always tried to take off early. That was my little private time window when I would come home and enjoy some Nick shows, enjoy the weirdness, laugh and wind down for a bit before I had to leave again.
Today's quote is from one of those shows.

Ickis, Krumm, and Oblina are young monsters going to school learning how to be good monsters and scare people. Of course they stumble from one adventure into the other, like that time they ended up in the countryside.
All they want to do is scare some humans. The humans, however, think they are aliens, so finally one group is chasing the other. Finally the little monsters make it home again (after successfully scaring everyone) and two of the humans are wondering about the events.

Human #1: You know, I was thinking.
Human #2: Really?
Human #1: Maybe those creatures weren't aliens at all.
Human #2: Really.
Human #1: Maybe they were monsters.
Human #2: Monsters! Noooo. Who'd be stupid enough to believe in monsters when there are so many aliens around?
In the back a cow gets abducted by a spaceship.
Human #1: I guess you're right.
Human #2 (shaking his head): When will people learn ...


Aaahh!!! Real Monsters, USA, 1994 - 1997

P.S. Yes, when will people learn ... once again this post is dedicated to my favorite alien friend ;-)

2/04/2017

Random Saturday - Ponder and Harry

Usually this would have become a post on Ponder's own blog, but he is too busy running around the house and practising his new aria for the midnight performance, so I'm not hesitating to steal it right from under his nose.

So who's Harry? Or should I say who was Harry?
Let me explain about my relationship to spiders. First, I have them in my flat. Second, I don't mind. Of course that is easy for me to say, after all we don't have really dangerous spiders here. I have to admit that I didn't use to be as cool about bigger black ones as I am now. Just the other day my sister reminded me of the time she and I worked hard on evicting one of those from her flat many years ago using a TV guide, a sieve, and a glass if I remember right. I hardly have those now, though. Most of my spiders are named Charlie (after Charlotte, the spider, one of my favorite characters), sometimes called Chuck, or Harry.

Two days ago Ponder and one of the Harrys met. Ponder had been excited for a while and like most of the time I had no idea what he wanted from me. I should find out soon enough after I went to the bathroom to brush my teeth. Singing loudly Ponder jumped into the bathtub.
When I checked, all I could see was a leg, probably from a Daddy Longlegs that seemed to be trying to escape into the drain. I heard a munching sound, but that doesn't mean anything. It wouldn't have been the first time for Ponder to nibble on a (not very juicy) "Longleg" and then let it go. He kept hitting the drain and I almost thought he was going to try and stick his paw in.
Instead he retreated one level up and kept watch in case Harry came back.

"Where did he go?"


"Honestly, where did he go???" (Doesn't it look a bit from far as if he has lost his head?)


"He's gone. He didn't want to play with me."


Needless to say that I had a hard time helping Ponder to get over that loss ... until the next Harry or Chuck turns up!

How are your furry masters around spiders? Do you have a story to share?

2/03/2017

Tackle that stash - Beaded bangles with crystals

It was pure coincidence that I rummaged around in my "various beads" drawer and received the YouTube subscription email in the same week. That way I was not only reminded that I still had some tile beads in my drawer, but I also got an idea what to make with them. I had only worked with tile beads once before and that had been inspired by my ribbon and bead bracelets (that are made using a loom, but are not bead loomed). While my tile stash wouldn't have been big enough for another one of those, the Bollywood Bangles design by Jill Wiseman worked perfectly.

Only my bangles are so not Bollywood at all. My tiles were silver and a marbled lavender and beige, I only have two colors of size 15 seed beads (for a different project), black and gunmetal, and my Twin Beads are limited in color choice as well. I could have used some bright colored crystals to make up for that, but for now I decided to stay subtle.

For this bangle I used the marbled tiles with brown and gold lined seed beads in size 11, matte metallic golden Twins, but instead of using size 15 seed beads and smaller bicone crystals as in the video I chose these bigger beautiful firepolished crystals (originally I had got them to use them with a tutorial that I lost patience with). Actually I think they sit better than the bicones, and I don't mind that you don't see as much of the tile beads.


Then there is this set of bangles with crystals in grey, pink and a light burgundy. They are very sparkly in the light and they do look great stacked!


I already have some more ideas for small variations, but that will mean a bead order which is not in my plans for the moment as I really have to finish up some WIPs first. Remind me, though, if I forget! ;-)

2/01/2017

Oldies but Goodies - Paris

What do you think of when I say Paris? The City of Lights, the City of Love, the Eiffel Tower, Mona Lisa in the Louvre, spring, fashion ... that are just a few things that come to mind.
The question had been asked at the latest Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge, and these are the pieces with which we replied.
Enjoy!


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

1/29/2017

Quote of the week

Why do people spell words if they don't want anyone else to understand what they are saying? Take a cat that has to go to the v-e-t for example. Believe me, neither spelling nor whispering helps with that one because the furry masters feel the vibrations coming from the human. It's unnecessary around babies, but okay, there might be a chance that it helps if you have toddlers around.
Or maybe sometimes it does work to make things sound less harsh ...

Maryann has just been told that all of her credit cards have been blocked. Being used to spending money without thinking about it she doesn't react well to that.

Cybill: Okay, Maryann, here. Breathe into this bag. It's Chanel.
Maryann is whimpering.
Zoey: What happened?
Cybill: We just came from a meeting with her business manager. She's b-r-o-k-e.
Zoey: Oh my God. She's illiterate?
Cybill: No, she's broke!!! (Maryann starts screaming and trying to strangle herself with the bag strap - maybe spelling it was better after all? ;-))


Cybill, USA, 1995 - 1998