Friday 30 November 2012

Challenge of Color - UPDATED!

I just couldn't resist joining in with ErinPrais-Hintz's Challenge of Color this year - I've been working hard to create new stock for the Handmade Winchester show this weekend, so I thought the challenge would be a great way of adding more colours to my designs. This year Erin has joined forces with Brandi Hussey who has worked her magic to create beautiful palettes based on amazing pictures from the Earth As Art exhibit from the United States Geological Service taken from the Landsat 7 satellite. You can read more about the pictures on Erin's blog

Erin sent each of us two palettes and asked us to design a piece of jewellery using one of the palettes - or both of them if we were tempted! We could use all of the colours in each palette, or just a few. I was definitely tempted to use both palettes! Well, I did need to create more stock for my stall this weekend!

I took the red and blues from the palette from Colima Volcano (which is in Mexico btw - more here!) in the form of a red lampwork heart bead by Laura Sparling, and turquoise ceramic spacer beads, added in one of my lovebird clasps and some wood saucer-shaped beads to make this sweet bracelet. There's a little heart charm hanging next to the clasp too.

This next design is a slight cheat! All the colours I needed are in a beautiful lampwork glass cabochon by Mindy Macgregor. I kept the setting simple as the cab has enough detail in it, and I've turn it into a flower with silver leaves. The chain is attached to one bail hidden behind the flower and another behind the leaf. Part of my obviously really hopes that this sells at my show this weekend - but there's another part of me that will find it very difficult to part with!

It's probably going to take me all weekend to visit all the blogs taking part because of the craft show, but I'm really looking forward to seeing what everyone has made, especially those who got the same palettes as me! Do make sure that you visit Erin's blog - she has a giveaway planned!

Erin Prais-Hintz
Rebecca Anderson
Kris Auderer
Chrizette Bayman
Lori Bowring Michaud
Courtney Breul
Lynsey Brooks
Stephanie Buss
Iveth Caruso
Shannon Chomanczuk
Lisa Cone
Cece Cormier
Lori Dorrington
Dawn Doucette
Jeannie Dukic
Kim Dworak
Beth Emery
Janice Everett
Pam Farren
Donetta Farrington
Gloria Ferrer
Cherrie Fick
Therese Frank
Patty Gasparino
Tanya Goodwin
Ambra Gostoli
Jess Green
Denielle Hagerman
Mary Harding
Karla Hartzog
Kim Hora
Brandi Hussey
Emanda Johnson
Jennifer Justman
Sue Kennedy
Ema Kilroy
Lee Koopman
Linda Landig
Kirsi Luostarinen
Cynthia Machata
Alicia Marinache
Beth McCord
Mary K McGraw
Karen Mitchell
Cheri Mitchell-Reed
Aimee Moisa
Karla Morgan
Penny Neville
Becky Pancake
Kashmira Patel
Alice Peterson
Kayla Potega
Debbie Price
Bobbie Rafferty
Caron Reid
Nicole Rennell
Cynthia Riggs
Andrea Ross
Sally Russick
Annie Scherz
Pam Sears
Renetha Stanziano
Sandra Stein
Kristen Stevens
Tracy Stillman
Sherri Stokey
Lola Survillo
Kay Thomerson
Jo Tinley
Emma Todd
Cory Tompkins
Pam Traub
Melissa Trudinger
Michelle Tucker
Shelley Graham Turner
Monique Urquhart
Rachel Van-Walsk
Patti Vanderbloemen
Lesley Watt
Lynn White
Joan Williams

Snowflakes - AJE Component of the Month

As this is my first month as a member of the Art Jewelry Elements it's the first time that I've taken part in the Component of the Month challenge. The November challenge was set by Lesley Watt who designed a brand new component for the occasion - bronze snowflake discs.

I love the snowflake that Lesley sent me, but it definitely set me a challenge! As soon as I opened the parcel it screamed "Christmas ornament!" at me - which was not useful as this is supposed to be an art jewellery challenge. So, I sat it on my desk for a couple of weeks, laying different beads, pieces of leather, cords etc etc next to it and did come up with a couple of ideas. My favourite design had an enamelled ruffled disc in the centre of the disc with beads on twisted headpins holding it in place and a bail passed on this one going through the middle - and but the bail just did not sit properly without pushing the enamelled disc out of the way and I was worried that the enamel would get chipped as the wire rubbed against it. So it was back to the drawing board.

And all the time the snowflake kept yelling "ORNAMENT!" at me (in big shouty letters just like that), partly because I make my Mum a new Christmas ornament each year, and I knew that if I did make a piece of jewellery out of it I would only take it apart and make an ornament that's what I eventually did! (I did check with Lesley that that would be ok first though)

I based it on the ornament I made for Mum with Mindy Macgregor's sweet chicken bead for Easter. I've used Lark's Head knots to make the loop at the top and Half Knots for the main section. The cream bead is Czech glass, the small round bead is a ceramic bead that I've had for years so I can't tell you who made it! The red heart is a lampwork bead made by Laura Sparling. I think if I made it again I'd probably leave the cream bead out, maybe add another red ceramic bead instead, but I'll let Mum hang it on her tree for a year first!

To see what everyone else has created with their snowflakes, please visit:

Thursday 29 November 2012

Handmade Winchester countdown

Just a quick post tonight as I've had a busy day creating the last few designs for my stall at Handmade Winchester this weekend. Well, I say the last few, but I'm sure I'll fit in a few more earrings at least before bedtime tomorrow! Although the event has been running a few years now, and I'm proud to say that I've taken part since the start, this is the first year that it's been a two-day event. It's also the first time that I've done a two-day event for several years, so I'm slightly nervous about the amount of stock that I'll need! If I don't spend all of tomorrow evening in the workshed I'll pop back on here and show you some of the new pieces I'm taking with me, although you'll actually see a couple of them tomorrow as Friday is the reveal day for two challenges that I've been taking part in this month (so many challenges in November!) - the Art Jewelry Elements' Component of the Month, and Erin Prais-Hintz's Challenge of Color.

See you tomorrow, but in the meantime go and checkout the tutorial I wrote on the Art Jewelry Elements blog today!

Tuesday 27 November 2012

Tutorial Tuesday - owls!

I'm cheating slightly for today's Tutorial Tuesday as there's no jewellery in sight! This is a bit of a manic week - as well as my normal teaching commitments at college I'm also teaching at home tomorrow and this weekend is the Handmade Winchester show. It's the first year that the show has been a two-day event, and the first time I've done a two-day event too, so I'm trying to make sure that I've got enough stock covering all the different price points. I'm probably going over board slightly, but as I've got another show on 15th December that's better than not having enough stock! This week I've also got my post-cancer checkup. In fact, I'm writing this sitting in the room waiting for my consultant to come in - well, I've got to keep myself busy while I'm waiting to stop me from getting nervous, haven't I? I'm 99% certain that they're going to be pleased with my progress, but there's always the 1% of doubt niggling away....... I've just had a chat with a woman carrying out research on post-cancer treatment fatigue i.e. how tired I feel after having the treatment, how having and cancer has affected how easily I get tired. I had to tell her that I probably wasn't the best subject for the research as I was diagnosed 6 days after giving birth and had the operation when Jamie was 6 weeks old and it's hard to know where the tiredness from having two lively children, a business and everything else that goes with it ends and the tiredness from recovering from major surgery begins! Not that I'm complaining mind you -after all, I'm still here!

So, today's tutorials.... I'm rather addicted to owls at the moment, which is probably just as well as I spent an afternoon at the weekend making a collection of my owl clasps for a special order. I seem to be pinning a lot of owls of all shapes, sizes and materials on my Pinterest boards at the moment, so I thought I'd use this post to share a couple of the Christmassy ones with you.....

P.S. I've just got round to posting this late this evening after teaching my evening classes - I told you it was a busy day! The consultant was pleased with me - no more hospital appointments for two whole months!!

Friday 23 November 2012

Holiday Open House

Just a quick post to day to direct you over to the Art Jewelry Elements blog, where we're having fun and games all day with tutorials, favourite recipes, tools and art bead wish lists - and discounts in our etsy shops, together with giveaways and auctions!

Use the code "AJEholiday" to get 20% off in both my Daisychain Extra and Daisychain Jewellery shops until the end of Monday 26th November, and visit the AJE blog to see a full list of which shops are taking part in the sale. I will be adding new designs to both shops over the weekend.

Wednesday 21 November 2012

Bead Table Wednesday

For once I stopped long enough today to take a photo of what was on my desk earlier this afternoon - lots and lots of lovebirds! This is also a sneak preview of some special pieces going into the Daisychain Extra shop on Friday. I'm having a shop update with a difference to go with some fun and games we're having on the Art Jewelry Elements blog on Friday

Tuesday 20 November 2012

Tutorial Tuesday - Wrap-around Bail

As promised, here is a tutorial for the bail I made for the focal pendant that Teresa Hulley sent me for the Brit Pack Beaders challenge. I knew that I wanted bail that would allow me to attach another wrapped loop to it easily, and one that would encourage it to lie flat, and also one that would go with the hammered wire links that were part of my contribution to the challenge ingredients. And this is what I came up with....

You will need:
  •  a focal pendant with one hole at the top
  • a long length of fairly thick wire - I used approximately 12cm of 1mm wire, but the amount you will need will vary according to your pendant. Cut off more than you think you will need and trim off the excess later.
  • Round nosed pliers
  • Wire cutters
  • Hammer and bench block
  • Needle file

1. Cut a length of 1mm wire and turn a wrapped loop at one end.
2. Hammer approximately three-quarters of the remaining wire to flatten it and flare it out at the end.

3. Thread the wire through the hole in your pendant and push the wrapped loop so that it is sitting above the pendant with the wire below it folded around the top of the pendant as shown. Make sure that the loop is sitting in the direction you want it to.
4. Start to wrap the rest of the wire around the stem below the wrapped loop.

5. Continue to wrap the hammered wire around the stem so that it covers the wire of the first wrapped loop and wraps back down over itself. Finish the wrapping at the front of the pendant, trimming the wire if necessary. File the end round with a needle file.
6. Push the end of the wire down so that it lies neatly against the wrapping.

7. Carefully hold the pendant so that it is safely out of the way while the top of the first wrapped loop lies on your bench block. Hammer the top of the loop.
8. And there you have your finished bail!

And if you haven't seen how I used this gorgeous pendant by Bohulley Beads in my challenge jewellery yet, come and look here!


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