Tears for the crocodile

We all know crocodile tears, but I call this new pendant "Tears for the crocodile" for a reason.
Since I had been a kid, the "Great White One" (you can find a picture of him from the local newspaper here) at the Wilhelma, the Zoological-Botanical Garden in Stuttgart, had been one of my favorites. No, he was not a shark, he was a saltwater crocodile who lived at the zoo from 1967 until his too early death in 2000. He was an absolute magnificent beast.
I never caught his feeding time, but I saw him jump out of the water once, maybe because a visitor looked too yummy, and I'll never forget that incredible power that literally made me gasp.
While I loved to see him, it also made me sad (zoos do that to me or rather did, I haven't been to one in years).

The tiger eye was another rock from my stash. Because of its slightly weird shape, I had never had an idea for it, but I loved the color.
Once again, bead embroidery came to the rescue. Only when I had beaded the bezel, I got this vibe of an eye. The eye of a crocodile ...

Then I remembered the Picasso Tila beads that had been in one of my bead orders. Sometimes the bead shop I buy from offers surprise packs with leftovers at a sale price. It takes me back to the "Wundertüten" (literally: Miracle bags) of my childhood. I love surprises, but I also love the challenge of unknown beads. Sometimes I get a color or a shape or a size I would never have thought of buying. Honestly, who can keep up with all of those beads?
Now the time for the Tilas had come because the color reminded me of the "Great White One". I used them at a slant around the bezel for depth and added another flat row all around. I know crocodiles rarely wear gold ;-) but it fit both the tiger eye and the Tilas so well, and so do the "tears" which also happened to be from the surprise pack, by the way.
I did contemplate adding a pupil to the eye for a bit, but decided against it in the end.

You may see something else in this pendant, but for me it was a real trip in the past although that hadn't been planned at all from the beginning.


Diving into fall

If you asked me, I would tell you that fall colors are not really my thing, but only in clothing that I wear myself.
Fall colors in nature or jewelry? Wonderful.

This red jasper definitely says fall.
There are stones in my drawer that I just keep staring at for years and there are stones that had more settings than my FB account.
The jasper rock has gone through a few in wire crochet and knit, but something was never right about it.

Sometimes I'm stuck creatively, usually not for lack of ideas, but because I have a hard time to get some things started. It may be something difficult, a big project, something on my list that needs the right moment, something that I haven't worked out completely yet, something I am missing some beads for, there are many reasons. And sometimes I am just not feeling it, because of the heat (I had that a LOT this summer), because I'm not feeling well and don't manage to push myself, or because I'm simply too lazy.
For me, one way out of this is to crochet one of my little baskets. Or two. Sometimes I fill them up right away, sometimes I don't. It's the only design I don't mind recreating and still there's the moment of surprise because the filling isn't always the same.
Another way has opened up for me when I started doing bead embroidery. Glue something on some beading surface and see what happens.

So what happened to the jasper after I glued it on?
First step, the bezel. I still had some beads in my "workbox" from working on another pendant and they were perfect.

Now what?
The jasper had always reminded me of the 50s, not just in color, but also the one line going across the stone which makes me think of curtains with a pattern like this one (only thrown together quickly to give you an idea)?

I would make the pendant into a rectangle with rounded corners and embroider a pattern like that.
Well, it wasn't really a surprise that I went slightly overboard with the lines, both in number and how wavy they became.
So after filling the fields up with some of my favorite seed bead colors, it reminded me more of abstract stained glass which made me just as happy.
The golden edging can only be seen from the side and even the beaded bail is hidden in the back because I didn't want to disturb the "window" look.

I think my little jasper may at last have come to rest after all those years. That was a long journey.
Now can someone tell me to finally get started on my project procrastination list?


A history of broomsticks (and a staff)

Are you ready to say goodbye to summer?
I welcomed September with a bead embroidered pendant in fall colors, but my mind has already wandered off to October and Halloween.

Today's design is not new to me. I have used it in one of my very first bead bracelets, even if it was a mix of beaded and bead loomed then.

Later I beaded a staff for my Fairy Queen, in this case the stick was beaded around a wood skewer.

That finally led to the broomstick for my little snowman in which the handle is again beaded around a wood skewer, but as the "twigs" are up in the air, I had to give them more substance by putting the beads on wire.

There is another broomstick, but that is for a future post because it's a WIP.
When the idea for today's item came to me, I was surprised myself. How had I not thought of that earlier?
Let's go for a ride, my friends ... with these broomstick earrings!