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.



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.

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


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.


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


Oldies but Goodies - May

May. Honestly. One third of the year is already over. Have you made your Christmas list yet? Just kidding, but seriously - May?
Spring, flowers, green, new life, sun, those are some of the things that we think of in May. Okay, so it still is somewhat grey where I am and the sun is a rare guest at the moment, but don't give up hope.

Now here's what the JAC members were reminded of by this topic at the new Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge. Maybe this will get you into the right mood after all!

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


Tackle that stash - Beaded rivoli pendant

Open the window, let some air in and my bead mojo, too!
It was high time to have a look at my stash and do something with it. This time I picked some tiny crystals that I have had for a very long time.

Lately I have been practising peyote bezels for cabs or beads, both with Super Duos and seed beads - Delicas are still on my list. And then there are still the rivolis a friend gave me. I once crocheted a silver bezel for a rivoli and the memory was enough to make me not trust them, slippery little fellows. I still have a lousy picture of it and checked, that was six years ago! I really had to get over that fear ;-)

First I made a pair of earrings for a challenge to practice, and then I went a little further with the following pendant to which I didn't just add "rays" on one side - for that starlike look - but on both sides and filled the gaps up with two rows of the crystals that I mentioned above.
At first I was thinking of just one row, but I had exactly fourteen of the white crystals,  just how much I needed. That was a sign, right?
Voilà, and here it is! Now what next? Stay tuned!


Oldies but Goodies - Asymmetrical

Do you prefer symmetry or asymmetry? Have you ever even wondered about it?
Watch yourself - if you buy flowers, do you go for even or for odd numbers? Do you like symmetrical shapes like a circle or do you like free form? How about colors - a nice symmetrical pattern or rather not?
Asymmetry was the topic of the latest Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge. We had talked about it before and found that we tend to struggle with it.
If I look at my favorite cabochon shop online for example, I always check the round or oval cabs first and I have even been known to take a freeform cab and "fill it up" with silver to achieve a symmetrical shape in the end.
When I was a child, there was a program "for the older generation" on TV. I seem to remember that that was where I learned about Ikebana for the first time, and I still remember how they taught that you always choose odd numbers and how powerful the number 3 is.
In school we did drypoint printing of trees. How I struggled when my art teacher told me that trees are not symmetric and scratched a big crooked branch right through the ones I had done. Even if he was right, I hated my print - but that's a different story.

Enough said, though, now it's time for the photo collage!

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