Tackle that stash - Bead embroidered "Elizabethan" lady

In early November, I have told you why I have been missing from my blog for a while. One of the reasons was der Dekan, my kitten. He has grown to be a little less demonic, but of course still needs a lot of attention, so the only way to get creative is to shut him out or wait until he is very tired and then be prepared for that moment.
If I'm working on something, it can take me a few hours, and at this point, I would really feel bad about locking myself in for that long leaving the little demon outside waiting, especially since Gundel has demanded alone time of her own for some hours of undisturbed sleep. So I tried for the sleep mode time instead. It turned out that I'm never prepared because, well, I never know what I'm going to need when going on a creative adventure. Standing up, however, means that der Dekan is going from sleep mode to "let's play, throw that ball, can I attack you, no, don't pet me, here's the ball back, look what I found, can we play some more" mode.
Of course it's not just a matter of attention. Der Dekan is obsessed with my beads and thread and wire, just as any kitten would be, and he's so fast that I don't trust him around my stuff unless I can tell he's too tired to move. This is a matter of safety, that of the beads, but much more his own.

Yesterday, though, the unthinkable happened. Not only did der Dekan decide to give me hours to play by passing out cold next to me in a way only cats can do it, but I had everything I needed.
It was great. I hadn't even known how much I had missed my beads and the calming effect that playing with them has on me. I have been quite stressed out lately and while beading doesn't make the stress appear, it gave me a much needed timeout.
Not knowing at all where a design will be going can mess things up if you get stuck, but seeing something finished and not having the slightest idea where that design has come from is what I love most about being creative.

This lady started out with a carved face glued to a piece of Lacy's Stiff Stuff and a peyote bezel. This particular transparent dark red with AB finish has become a huge favorite of mine, especially in a combination with the metallic bronze.
I think my first idea was to give her hair, but with the red bezel all around her face it turned into some kind of embellished headdress instead that reminded me of an Elizabethan hairstyle which probably inspired the collar like part which led to the sequins - in a different color in order to add a bit more depth to the design - and pearls in the end.
Is she a little over the top? She sure is, but I guess she - and I ;-) - needed that!


Oldies but Goodies - Neutral colors

Before this Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge, I had never been wondering about neutral colors much. I wear a lot of black and I love grey which are two of them, but beige, taupe, cream, brown, ivory, even white are not on my personal list of colors at all. I even have a very difficult relationship with beige, for example, which is just putting it nicely that I avoid it at all costs.

The definition of neutral colors is that they are not on the color wheel. They are muted shades that look calming and complement the colors well that are on the color wheel, in fashion, but also in interior design.
What about jewelry, though? For me, it's much easier to use neutral colors in jewelry than bright colors because I always feel they can be worn with anything that way.
Let's see what the JAC members have come up with, and don't forget, this is just a small selection.

1 My Bijou Life
2 RioRita Jewelry
3 Jewelry Art by Dawn
4 Cat's Wire


Do you like my decorations?

I'll admit it, it's hard to get into the mood this year. The years before I had always set up my tree by this time, put up the hallway decorations, hung my Moravian stars in the window. This year, however, everything is a little different.

Of course one reason is der Dekan. I still haven't quite decided what to put on the tree, windows, etc. that the little feline brat won't kill, even more important, though, that won't kill him.
The Moravian stars, for example, have long cords. Do I trust him not to try and strangle himself? Not really. And since there are no sockets way up high, there will always be cords in reach for him.
The ball chain around the tree is probably not a good idea then, either. Even Gundel likes to tug on that one every, now and then. The same is with the lights, more cords. Just the tree with the wire ornaments - as the glass ones are definitely out this year ;-) - and the other non-breakable charms? Maybe. Somehow I couldn't muster the energy and motivation for that yet, though.

The other reason is that it's sometimes hard to keep up any motivation for anything at the moment if you feel the world has gone completely crazy now. Who cares, for example, if I haven't cut up my cardboard boxes lately (for which I use den Dekan as an excuse although he's not even that interested in most boxes :-P)? No one will see it these days, anyway, except my family.
Oh no, am I turning into an Ebenezer? :-O Bah, Humbug!

To fight that, I took a deep breath and went decorating my hallway today (and as a bonus I decluttered the cupboard a little where I store my usual hallway decorations while the Christmas ones are out).
Hard to believe, I know, but it actually does look a little different this year!
Of course there are still all the beloved ornaments, those that I made and those that friends gave me.

Where there were always just two little Steiff mice with their Christmas tree and a ball before, however, a whole Steiff crowd has gathered this time, thanks to my dear friend Jennifer.
The ball got hung up, instead a big repro Santa took its place and brought along Gingerbread Teddy, Christmas Tree Teddy, The Little Drummer Teddy, and Teddy in a Gift Box. Aren't they adorable?
They graciously invited my felted and bead embroidered little snowman as well.

As I moved some of the items from here to the sideshow (aka the window sill), there was more space to scatter the gift boxes of the advent calendar. The mice and teddies are already so excited to see what will be coming out of them to hang on the "advent tree" made by Paul from Phoenix Glass!


P.S. The title, by the way, is hinting to this video ;-)


Oldies but Goodies - Geometric shapes

Wow, time is racing and another week has gone by already without me being creative, well, except for a custom pair of spike bauble earrings.
I'm just glad we have the Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge to remind me not only of my own creativity, but more so of that of others.
Our theme was geometric shapes and we really got to see some amazing beauties!

How many basic geometric shapes are there? Obviously people don't necessarily agree on the number, some say there are four - circle, triangle, square, and rectangle - others say six and add rhombus and trapezoid. As the math genius that I am not, I'll stay out of that.

I do remember, though, that we once had to make a piece of jewelry in school. The plan had been for us to learn how to use a simple tin-lead based solder. I made a pendant consisting of a triangle, circle, and a square if I remember right. It came out pretty lousy, but had a definite mod vibe which worked well as we were still barely in the 70s.
Anyhow, I guess geometric shapes in jewelry had already fascinated me then.

These following examples are so much better than my pendant was. Enjoy!

1 Cat's Wire
2 Jewelry Art by Dawn
3 My Bijou Life
4 RioRita Jewelry


Oldies but Goodies - More bracelets

Do you like to wear bracelets? In that case, you will love what I have brought along from this week's Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge.
Once again there is such an amazing variety in techniques, materials, and style, and yet my selection isn't even showing everything that has been entered.
Which one is your favorite?
I am in love with the fantastic hand painted elephant bangle (whose design process and WIP pictures Dawn had shared with us while working on this years ago), but I would also gladly wear any of the other items!

1 and 2 Jewelry Art by Dawn
3 and 8 RioRita Jewelry
4 and 6 Cat's Wire
5 and 7 My Bijou Life


Oldies but Goodies - Breaking out

Although I had taken a timeout from blogging, the Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge has been kept going over the last few months.
Now it's time for me to share my selections with you again.

Our topic in the last week was "Breaking out".
Artisans and artists are only human. Many of us like their comfort zone, and it's always tempting to stay inside it, especially if the result is something you have already had success with. It can never hurt to take a little step outside the box, though.
The challenge was to show something that was unusual to make, because it was different in color, shape or style we are used to, for example. So we got shown some first attempts at new designs or techniques, and now I'll be sharing some of them with you.

1 RioRita Jewelry
2 Jewelry Art by Dawn
3 beYOUteous
4 Cat's Wire
5 My Bijou Life


Welcome back to me! ;-)

Yes, I'm still alive!
It has been 4 1/2 months, I know. A few things have happened during that time that had robbed me of my motivation to blog, even put together the Oldies but Goodies. One of them took up a lot of my time for a while and when I was done with that, well, once you have stopped doing something, it can be hard to get started again.
And then something has happened that has changed my daily routine and that needs a lot of my attention. That wasn't helpful, either.

That doesn't mean I have stopped making things, but lately I have not been able to make things as much and especially as spontaneously.
Enough with the vagueposting.

Number 1 was that I lost my online shop. Zibbet where I had my shop for more than ten years, suddenly announced that they had sold the marketplace to a mysterious buyer, one of the big ones in the business, and that we sellers had two weeks to download everything before Zibbet would be shut down "temporarily".
If I hate something, it is not having information or feeling ignored. If I sit on a train that has stopped in the middle of nowhere, don't just let me sit there, but at least tell me that you don't have any information yet, either. If you have information, let me know about it (seriously, as someone who has been commuting by train for 35 years, this is one of my big pet peeves). It's even worse here. On the train all I can do is wait, but how am I supposed to make a decision in this case if I'm not told what's going to happen?
To be on the safe side, I started listing all my items, including descriptions, a picture, tags, materials, in an own file, so I would still find things easily and have them available for transfer to another shop. While doing so, I decided on items to get ripped apart or given away.
As you can imagine, this took me so long that my anger had plenty of time to bloom.

I still haven't decided on a new platform to sell on and at the moment I have no idea how long that decision will take me. So for now, I'm selling in a few Facebook groups and of course you are always welcome to contact me if you see something on my Facebook page, on DeviantArt or here on my blog, for example on my new gallery page which I have set up to show at least some of my available items while I'm shopless.

Number 2, the attention seeker, has entered my life at the end of June and was quite small and very cute. His name is der Dekan (English: the Dean, after one of the wizards at the Unseen University from the Discworld books).
He's 6 1/2 months old now and still not suitable for a university job, I'm afraid. He's half angel, half demon like every good kitten, some days it's more like 75% demon - we are having one of those today why I'm hiding behind a closed door right now with him having the run of the other rooms. I can hear him. He loves the computer and this post would look very different with him helping ;-)
He's also quite the master thief already which means I can't leave anything out (I have already begun packing a lot of things into cupboards and drawers) that may be a toy to him - so, anything from a piece of felt to bead tubes, tools from crochet hooks to pliers, and of course loose beads or cabs.
Sometimes I even have to lock myself in to have a few undisturbed creative minutes. Only when he falls asleep and I have already everything on hand, I can work for a longer time.
Gundel can't believe I let such a brat into our lives, and honestly, I have never appreciated her more than now although I thought that wasn't possible. Gundel is an angel cat and she deserves wings ... if only to get away from the demon quickly! ;-) She will also keep you up-to-date on that once she starts blogging again, by the way, about his addiction to trash, for example ...

Ok, that's the long-winded explanation for my absence, and I will probably not be around that regularly for a while, but I'll be trying, promise!