Monday, 26 March 2012

New jewellery

I don't wear a lot jewellery. And when I do, I nearly always opt for something simple and not too flashy. Last week, I made myself a simple wire-wrapped ring with an amethyst nugget. Amethyst is my birthstone and I love the colour purple. 

See? Simple. Purple. Mine. 

I also got around to making a bracelet with a metal blank I had stamped some time back but forgot all about. 

The quote is from Shakespeare's Cymbeline. As someone who struggled with shyness as a child and who is averse to taking risks, the quote really speaks to me. 

I wire-wrapped some Swarovski crystals in a minty-blue and added a vivid red bloodstone (although I suspect it might be dyed agate or jasper, but 'bloodstone' is what the supplier told me, so 'bloodstone' it'll be) for that dash of 'boldness'. In another attempt to be bold and not-me, I also resisted the urge to use gold wire to match the metal blank and opted for dark bronze artistic wire. A Czech pressed glass flower and Swarovski crystal pearl were added as dangles to pretty up the bracelet, which is now listed in my  Etsy store.  

I'm hoping to make more 'message' or literary bracelets. I find tremendous power in words.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

I went online shopping?

Two posts in 1 day? Inconceivable! 

I had to share this though. You know how sometimes you get gripped by a sort of fever or mood and end up doing something that's completely strange or weird or just not you? A bit like being taken over by a pod person like in Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Well, I think I was visited by some pod people yesterday. Apparently, Pod-Me went on a mini online shopping spree and bought these:

Pod-Me seems to have had some idea of making her own beads. Clearly, Pod-Me has more creative ambition than Real-Me. Real-Me doesn't even have the patience to wait for Mod-Podge to dry before adding resin. I can just see Real-Me grappling with and swearing at the 2-part clay. Honestly, what was I thinking? I need these products like I need a hole in my head. I don't even have enough storage for the beads I already have. 

I'm off to find Pod-Me and give her a talking-to. 

In the meantime, if you've ever played with Apoxie Sculpt and/or gilders paste before, please do share your experiences and tips. It would help. A lot. Thanks.

More resin jewellery

As promised, here are photos of the resin pieces that didn't turn out so well.

You can see how the resin seeped into the paper in the corner of that pendant and in the top bit of the earring. I was really disappointed with the earring, especially since the other half of the pair turned out great. You can see that below:

My take-away from this? Make sure the paper is completely sealed before adding resin. I guess I was too impatient to check. Sigh. 

Anyhow, I like the round pendant and the purple flower earrings (shown in my previous post) enough that I'll probably be listing them in my Etsy store

I also made some bottlecap samples. I haven't decided what to do with them quite yet. I might turn them into simple fridge magnets, or maybe glue on some bails for pendants. What would your preference be? 

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Resin - my new best friend?

After all my trepidation about creating with resin, I find it pretty funny that I actually quite like playing with it. Especially now that I seem to be getting the hang of it. I made a few new pieces on the weekend - some of which turned out OK, and some of which didn't. 

These are some that turned out alright - a pendant and matching earrings:

I'll try to post pics of those that didn't turn out so well soon. 

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Party's over! Thanks for visiting!

Phew! I'm finally done with the Bead Soup Blog Party visiting! It took me an entire week, but it was well worth it. I saw tons of eye-candy and was suitably impressed by the creativity and talent on show. I think everyone did a fantabulous job with their bead soup. I also did my best to leave a comment at each blog I visited. If I missed you out, I'm so sorry - drop me a comment to let me know, and I'll hop over to read your post. 

I want to thank everyone who popped by, read my post and commented. I appreciate the time you took; your kind words mean the world to me. I was tickled that most of you liked my funny little egg best. You may not know this, but when I design and make a piece, I try my darndest to ensure it comes out as 'perfect' as possible. You wouldn't believe the agony I go through when I realise my earrings aren't exactly the same length or when my stamped letters aren't spaced evenly. Your response to my 'Faberge' piece was a reminder and an encouragement that I should stop being so anal retentive about these things, and to embrace the flaws and imperfections that come with making something by hand.

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Finally! It's March 3rd!

Happy BSBP Reveal Day everyone! Since there are 199 other blogs to visit, I'll do my best to be brief and not ramble as I'm prone to do. I'd hate for fatigue to set in so soon :-).

So to recap, these were the beads I received from my partner Hajer, who works primarily with seed beads. Hajer, btw, was busy with her university exams during much of February. 
She sent some beaded rings she'd made, seed beads, glass and ceramic beads. I rarely work with seed beads and have never used bead-woven components in my designs, so I was initially stumped as to what to create. I was also worried about what to do with that egg-like ceramic bead, which was a little larger than what I'm used to. 

Since I didn't have a clue as to what to make, I set Hajer's package aside and didn't touch it for a couple of weeks. But clearly, my subconscious must have been working overtime, because when I started making my pieces about 2 weeks ago, they came together pretty quickly. Which is rather rare for me. I'm a great one for agonising and over-thinking designs. 

I made 4 pieces in total. Below are 3 of the pieces - a necklace, a stretch bracelet and a pair of hoop earrings. 
Hajer sent me such a truckload of beads that I used very very little of my own stash - just some beading wire, crimp beads and covers, stretch cord, artistic wire and some gold seed beads with an iridescent finish. The pieces are all very simple. I think my brain registered the bright colours and decided "hmm, this calls for something summery and casual and non-fussy". I think the pieces are something you'd wear on a beach holiday - with a tank top and a  long, white floaty skirt.

The 4th piece turned out quite, quite different. It involved this guy below:
He's all big and tough and kinda scary looking. Well, I don't know what came over me, but I turned him into this:
I know, I know. Christmas is over and Easter isn't here yet. I was really aiming for a Faberge egg feel but my execution wasn't as great as my idea :-). In making this ornament/decorative item/watchamacallit (which features Swarovski crystal flatbacks, and lucite leaves and moonglow beads), I learned that glue and tiny crystals are not my best friends and that I also need to have a better relationship with wire. That said, I think I like this piece best. It's the oddball out of all the items I made, and the most flawed. 

Well, that's it from me! Thank you for reading all the way through - I'm sorry I wasn't as brief as I said I would try to be. I'd like to thank Hajer for being such a generous partner, and many many thanks also to Lori Anderson for putting this wonderful blog party together. It took an enormous amount of work and what with all the pain she's been in these past months, this BSBP was really a superhuman effort on her part. So, thank you Lori! I had such a fun time playing and can't wait for the next BSBP!

Now, let's go visit the others, shall we?

Hostess, Lori Anderson

Special Book Sneak Peeks, Cindy Wimmer
1.  Adlinah Kamsir (Singapore) (<-- you are here) and Hajer Waheed (Kingdom of Bahrain)
2. Adrienn Lukacs (Hungary) and Agata Grygiel (Poland)
3.  Agi Kiss (Hungary) and Carolien Muller-Genger (the Netherlands)
4.  Agnes Asztalos (Hungary) and B.R. Kuhlman
7.  Alicia Marinache (Canada) and Dita Basu
15.  Bonnie Coursolle (Canada) and Fay Wolfenden (Canada)
16.  Carmel McGinley (Australia) and Tracy Stillman (Australia)

21.  Cheryl Brown (Canada) and Diana Ptaszynski
22.  Christina Stofmeel (the Netherlands) and Eva Kovacs (Hungary)
24.  Cilla Watkins (Canada) and Elaine Robitaille (Canada)
25.  Sabrina Straub (Switzerland) and Kathy Combs

32.  Dee Elgie (UK) and Joanne Lockwood (UK)
33.  Dian Hierschel (Germany) and Eniko Fabian (Austria)
37.  Doris Stumpf (Germany) and Eszter Czibulyas (Hungary)
39.  Elke Leonhardt-Rath (Germany) and Marjolein Trewavas (UK)

41.  Erika Nooteboom (the Netherlands) and Giorgia Rossini (Italy)
43.  Evelyn Duberry (Canada) and Gaea Cannaday
45.  Ginger Bishop (military, Okinawa) and Martina Nagele (Germany)
48.  Helene Goldberg (Australia) and Karen Vincent
54.  Joanna Matuszczyk (Poland) and Julianna Kis (Hungary)
55.  Joanne Tinley (UK) and Michaela Pabeschitz (Austria)
65.  Kristina Johansson (Sweden) and Penny Neville (Canada)
66.  Krisztina Erlaki-Toth (Hungary) and Nicole Keller (Germany)

76.  Lori Finney (Canada) and Marie-Noel Voyer-Cramp (Canada)
78.  Marta Kaczerowska (Poland) and Milla Starchik (Canada)
83.  Michelle Jensen and Sandra Young (Canada)
92.  Rosa Maria Cuevas (Mexico) and Tejae Floyde
93.  Sabine Dittrich (Germany) and Sally Russick
95.  Shanti Johnson and Tracy Mok (Canada)
97.  Sonya Stille and Traci Zeller (Canada)
98.  Stefanie Teufel (Germany) and Tania Hagen (New Zealand)

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Eye candy of the bead-y kind

I know everyone is probably anxiously waiting for the BSBP Reveal Day on Mar 3. To help you while away the time till then, I thought it might be fun to post some eye candy. The pics below are of beads/findings that are currently winging their way to me. I'm embarrassed to say that what you see is just a smidgen of the boatloads of beady goodness that I recently succumbed to. Etsy is the devil, I tell you! In  my defence, I had a milestone birthday last week, so the lovelies are my way of indulging myself. At least, that's what I consoled myself with. I might feel differently when my credit card statements arrive LOL.

Clockwise from top left: daisy headpins by Midgetgems, glass flower beads by Mandrel2, enamel bead caps by Suebeads, glass fairy disc beads by Mermaidglass

I've been eyeing those fairy discs by Mermaidglass for the longest time and finally gave in to temptation. They're just soooo pretty! I also went a little crazy and bought Sue Kennedy's enamel bead caps in various colours. I might go back and buy some more :-).

Of course, this doesn't mean I'll actually be making any jewellery with the beads. I suspect they'll go into my stash, where they'll live in solitude much of the time - periodically being brought out to be gazed at and admired. Perhaps I should stop saying I make jewellery and start admitting that truthfully, what I am  - is a bead collector.