Art Elements Design Challenge and Blog Hop - Moon

I love the moon. It is not the first time I've said this on my blog. In 2009 I talked about my favorite perigee ever, a magical event that I never forgot - a HUGE moon and we were heading right into it. Well, we weren't, but it felt like it. I had never seen the moon that big and I haven't ever since, and no, although it was around 5 am, I know it was not a dream.
So there was no question about participating in the Art Elements Design Challenge for which Lindsay chose the topic Moon. This time I wouldn't just be participating, though, I would master this challenge like a boss by starting early. I had loads of ideas.

The cow jumping over the moon was the first one, even before I saw the picture in the post. My inspiration came from a different source, Mary Poppins. It would have to be a big moon for me to manage a cow in a good size, and how would I attach it? I'm still thinking about that one.
Then there was Little Peter's Journey to the Moon by Gerdt von Bassewitz about a May beetle taking two good children to the moon. Hans Baluschek's illustrations would have made for great inspiration. I didn't have the book, though, but would have wanted it for the details. Another one for the list.
Theodor Storm. The Little Haverman. Little Hobbin. The Little Häwelmann. I found all these titles for the fairy tale about the little boy who doesn't want to sleep and uses his cradle for a little trip on a moonbeam. Another inspiration. Ugh. This was getting more difficult than I had planned.

Should I even go for the full moon yet again? When I was a kid, I turned the C from my first name into a waning moon (under which I was born, by the way, which I looked up for the first time today) with a big nose, a googly eye and a wide grin for a signature. That would be fun to make once I got better at soldering, but not now. Did I even want to use wire?
Decisions, decisions!
I kept thinking and waiting for the perfect idea, but then I realized I didn't even have a moon I could use. Rather small magnesite beads were the closest I had and they didn't convince me. Polymer clay was out of the question, I wasn't in the mood for light colors and black cat hair. I had a rose quartz cab. Was there something like a pink moon? A song by Nick Drake, Pink Moon, from his third and last studio album with the same name. Never heard of him. What was I doing?? I was going into the wrong direction and time started running out.

Then I got lucky (was about time, too!). While looking for something else I found the cab I had had in mind all the time, a carved moon face with closed eyes. It called for a night sky, craters and stars. Finally I was getting somewhere!

First I beaded a simple peyote bezel with my beloved gunmetal AB and clear AB seed beads in size 11 and 15.
Next stop - moonstones. I didn't have any, but I had a ring that I had been wanting to rip up for some time, anyway. I created "craters" by adding seed beads around the moonstones that I sewed on the bezel. Last but not least there had to be a little fringe with a mix of all the beads.

Another last minute project finished, I am getting good at this! ;-)

Please pay a visit to all the other participants in this challenge, too. I promise it's going to be worth your time.


Jenny - Melissa - Kathy - Sarajo - Hope - Sarah - Rebecca - Divya - Anita - Rozantia - Raven - Cat (that's me!) - Evia - Alysen - Beth - Tammy

AE Team

Claire - Laney - Caroline - Cathy - Sue - Niky - Jenny - Jen - Lindsay

P.S. Do you know the moon from The Mighty Boosh? That one could provide me with more ideas ...


Oldies but Goodies - Wings

This week I have felt a little like the white rabbit from Alice in Wonderland. "No time! I'm late!"
It has been like a constant attempt of catching up.
So I'm sorry, I have no fascinating story about wings for you (not that I'm saying all of my stories are fascinating ;-)). I could tell you about Icarus, but you probably already know THAT one.
Instead I will let the wings in my collage from the Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge do the talking. So many different wings (more in the original thread over at JAC, please have a look!!), I hope you'll love this challenge as much as I did.

1 and 5 and 9 Jewelry Art by Dawn
2 and 6 MC Stoneworks
3 and 7 RioRita
4 and 8 Cat's Wire


Random Saturday - Vinyl

I'm a dinosaur, that's no secret. I don't stream, I watch DVDs. I don't own a smartphone, but a mobile phone that turns eleven in June, and I don't use Wi-Fi at home even though I have a notebook. Alexa - no, no, no chance! I still have my video recorder although I have to admit I haven't used that one in a long time, I have a record player and my old collection of vinyl records. My CD player has two tape decks, maybe trying out my old tapes will be another Saturday post eventually ;-) I still own a CD shelf and I actually do buy new CDs every, now and then.

For example I got myself a four CD collection of Sam Cooke songs from 1957 to 1960 which I am listening to at this very moment.
Don't get me wrong, I like my computer and the possibilities that come with it, but I like even better if I can choose what possibilities I'm going to make use of. Instead of writing my to-do lists and more with the computer for example, I have gone back to mostly write with my fountain pen at home (recycling old bills etc. for it) and enjoying it although I suck at refilling and get purple ink spots on my fingers ... well, and sometimes on my desk, but that's okay, it's an old dinosaur just like me.

I'm easy to amuse with some things, for example it made me smile to see the Sam Cooke CDs are made up to look like small vinyl records and underneath the CD there is even "... a word about HIGH FIDELITY" telling me how to care for my records, and never forget "... use a good needle - one that is the correct size and not worn. Diamond needles are most durable and cost less in the long run." ;-)
Isn't that cute?



Tackle that stash - Magnesite drop pendant

This must have been one of my favorite stash tacklers lately. The reason? Not only did I manage to use a whole magnesite bead from my nine hundred magnesite baggies (yes, I may exaggerate just a little here), but I found the perfect one right away.
You may wonder what is so perfect about a simple drop bead. Actually this started quite a while ago. I don't even remember what I had started making this setting for, but it didn't work out. Too small, too big, a cab that was too slippery maybe? I kept the setting, though, to rip it up eventually, so I could use the wire again. Somehow I never did, though. It ended up in a little compartment of one of my storage boxes where I collect small wire leftovers for jump rings etc.

Today I went for my magnesite beads because I knew there were some hearts in there and I wanted to use one for a challenge. Then when I was looking for a headpin as well, I found that setting hanging around with no purpose. Not any longer, however. I remembered a drop bead in that baggie that might just work, and it did. Perfectly. The size was just right.
I wish things would work out like that more often!


Oldies but Goodies - Necklace favorites

Personally I often find it difficult to pick favorites ... favorite actor, favorite movie, favorite music, favorite piece of clothing, even to decide on a favorite color can sometimes be hard.
Nevertheless the new Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge asked us to name favorites from our own work, necklaces in this case.
I probably feel the same way as many others, the project I am working on at the moment is my favorite. Maybe it has to be that way to help us concentrate on it completely. Yet, looking back over the years I guess we all have those pieces that our heart belongs to even if they have made their way to someone else a long time ago. Perhaps we had a hard time letting them go at all or were not even able to let them go after all.

Now I had to pick from all those favorites for my collage which is never easy. I hope you'll like my selection.

1 and 5 Cat's Wire
2 and 6 MC Stoneworks
3 and 7 The Crafty Chimp
4 and 8 Jewelry Art by Dawn


Oldies but Goodies - Round and round

It's funny, just the other day I saw a programme on TV where a lady who emigrated from the UK to Japan a long time ago talked about her children's and grandchildren's old toys, one of them a red London bus that had lost its wheels, so she took it to a woodworker to have the wheels replaced (and now you know why I watched it, too). When she got it out of the cupboard, she started singing the old children's song "The wheels on the Bus go round and round, round and round, round and round. The wheels on the bus go round and round, all day long." You are welcome for the earworm.

And right after that the topic for the Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge was announced which goes round and round with items that are, you guessed it, round! ;-)

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


Small and ugly yet a big step for me

I'm not a friend of fire. Fire makes me nervous, always has, which is why some people think it's funny I have a gas stove. I've also had a torch for a long time, but I was simply too wimpy to try it - until my friend Dawn challenged me by making headpins on her gas stove which didn't work on mine as our gas is different from the one in the USA.
Finally my pal came along with his burner, sat me down and gave me a lesson, and voilà, I could make headpins.

Then I took a beginner's class in silversmithing, and while I didn't get to solder myself because it would have taken too long to let each one do it, I had a good look and got determined to try it myself. Which I haven't done yet because I'm too wimpy to do the first step. I can't help it, it's just the way I am with some things, and tools are among those things. I do have the solder, though, and silver and some tools, so I could get started with a snap of my fingers. Excuse me for a moment while I go and have a good laugh at myself.

I couldn't get soldering out of my head, however, so I finally sat down at my computer during my Christmas vacation and ordered some solder for copper, thanks to Oksana from Ursula Jewelry, a blog post and a video of hers, to be more precise. I also needed a bigger wire cutter because wow, this solder is some tough stuff! I thought I'd break my wrist to get the tiniest bit off. That was also the part that took me the longest, I hadn't expected that.

This doesn't look exciting, just a small ring from copper wire, not polished, with a nick. I know I used too big a piece of solder, but I had lost a few already during cutting, and as this ring didn't need to be pretty, I didn't care. Important was only if I could do it. It may seem nothing to you, but it's a big step for me, my very first own soldered copper jump ring! :-D


Oldies but Goodies - Garnet

This week's Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge is all about garnets and garnet colors. Garnet, the January birthstone, can come in all kinds of colors as there are different types, for example hessonite, tsavorite, rhodolite, spessartine and more, so there are shades of yellow, orange, red, and green.

Most people, however, probably think of a more or less deep brownish red when thinking of garnets.
For me garnets always came in clusters set in gold when I was a child, and it was jewelry that looked vintage and that old ladies like my grandmother used to wear. Those times are long over, although, to be honest, some of that "old" jewelry actually looks rather nice to me today!

As you can tell from today's selection, the JAC artists also think of garnet as red first ;-)

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


Oldies but Goodies - Color burst

I know it's a few days late, but I don't want to forget to wish you a Happy New Year.
The topic for this week's Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge is a little ironic to me because I'm looking at snow through the window, the first "real" one this winter - I don't count the bit that was gone in not even a day. That means we need some color all the more now, and this is what it's about today.
What's your favorite color?

1/6/8 MC Stoneworks
2/4/9 Jewelry Art by Dawn
3/5/7 Cat's Wire