Sunday, January 20, 2013

Pantone Swap Reveal

I've had this prepped up forever, but it never managed to find it's way to the blog until now.  I joined a Pantone swap through one of the Facebook groups I belong in.  The idea was to take inspiration from Pantone's fall colours, and swap with someone else from the group.  It was a very relaxed exchange - you could decide on the number of beads, and whether you wanted to exchange beads for all of the colours, or just a few.  My partner, Maryse, from Luxembourg, and I decided on 3 sets of beads to exchange.  Maryse is also a lampworker, and she had a different style to mine, so I was excited to see what I would receive.

I sent:

- "Ultramarine green" beads with "Olympian blue" highlights
- "French roast" beads with "Olympian blue" and white dots
- "Bright chartreuse" and "Rhapsody" rounds with "Titanium" spacers
 I also sent a set of large holed beads to represent all of the colours in the line-up - French roast, Titanium, Ultramarine green, Bright chartreuse, Olympian blue, Rhapsody, Pink flambe, Rose smoke, Tangerine tango and Honey gold.
 Maryse sent me back a very sweet set of beads in Titanium, Olympian blue and Pink flambe.
 Which got turned into a very awesome set of earrings!
I really enjoyed this exchange, and hope there's one for the Spring / Summer 2013 colours!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Earring Exchange Reveal

It's been grey and blustery this January, and so it's always appreciated when good mail packages turn up.  I'd participated in the Earring exchange over at Lampwork Etc., and the package finally showed up this week.  I know the organizer was trying her best to get everything out before Christmas, but that time of year is especially busy for mail, and the delay meant that I could have something to look forward to in January.

For the exchange, each participant could make up to five pairs of earrings, and would receive the same back.  Because the exchange was on a lampwork board, most participants made their beads, but the exchange was also open to those who wanted to wirework or chose some other form of handmade components. I received back five lovely pairs, and can't wait to match them up with outfits!  My favourite pair are the red and green discs - I love mis-matched earrings, and the maker did a great job of keeping her discs thin and even - not easy when dealing with molten glass.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Memories and Thanks Blog Hop

I'd decided to participate in the Memories and Thanks blog hop hosted by Lori Anderson. Lori decided to host the hop in honour of a friend she lost, and asked all participants to make a piece either in honour of her friend, or someone else we had lost and wanted to honour through a piece.

I decided to make a piece in honour of my childhood babysitter, affectionately known to us as "Mrs. C". She started looking after us when my Mom arrived to pick us up from the babysitting centre of a group function. I guess the level of general calm in the middle of twenty or so kids impressed my Mom, and she'd asked the woman providing the babysitting if she'd help out with us two kids on an occasional basis.

Mrs. C was a remarkable woman. Raised on the Canadian prairies in the early part of the century, she continued to farm and homestead until she moved in to the city in her later years. She always had a story as to what life was like either on the prairies or just growing up through a century that included two world wars and a great deal of progress. When she first babysat us, she drove a white Volkswagen Beetle, which could be described as vintage even then, as the heat was somewhat variable and the Beetle had a distinctive rattling sound. In later years, she stopped driving altogether, and it was a sad day when we could no longer look for the white Beetle to pull up in the front of the house. My brother has since gone on to form a business specializing in Volkswagens, and I can't help but think that Mrs. C. influenced that. The most vivid memory that I have of her is that she almost always wore a cardigan, and in the sleeve of the cardigan, tucked a kleenex, useful for wiping small noses or cleaning up little mouths. When I think of her, I see her retucking the kleenex into the sleeve, making it ready for the next time that her charges might need a bit of cleaning up.

For the piece, I wanted something that read vintage, but was also timeless in it's own way. I wanted the necklace to be appropriate for at least a couple of decades in the last century, in order to honour a woman who had lived through nearly all of it. I love the way that many older necklaces have beads linked by small pieces of wire, akin to a rosary, and wanted to incorporate that look into the piece. I also had a couple of art deco style necklace links that I wanted to incorporate, as I knew were vintage - they'd been with me for at least 20 years, and looked like they'd been around for many more before that. I`d started out designing the piece as three strands, but with a white, blue and black lampwork beads made by yours truly. In the original version each lampwork bead was to be separated by tiny grey pearls.  I've been slightly obsessed in the last few months with creating "white hearts" in my lampworking - a solid core, in this case either white or striated blue, covered with a transparent, in this case clear.  I then etch these to give the beads a slightly etherial look.

 The look wasn`t really what I was after, so out came the black beads. The tiny grey pearls all got linked together, and created the middle strand. In retrospect, I`m not sure I`d do an entire strand of chain linked 4mm pearl beads again, as that strand took a long time to put together, but what`s a few hours in memory of a loved one! The white beads were combined with some Czech glass and links from a chain I`d picked up a few years before. And the striated blue beads were again strung with some Czech beads and some vintage plastic that was retrieved from a necklace that I picked up in a Seattle market.  This was strung along with a few other links and a lampwork focal featuring the same blue glass with cobalt blue roses. All of this got popped onto the necklace links, and voila - a new necklace. I`m quite pleased with the way the whole thing turned out - the end piece was exactly what I was after - mostly vintage, but something that also looks classic rather than old. I do have a few of the blue and white lampwork beads left over, along with an earlier version of the focal, which I`ll likely put up for giveaway next week.

If you`d like to check out the other participants, the participating blogs are here:

Hostess, Lori Anderson       Pretty Things

 Adlinah Kamsir                   Dream Struck Designs
 Aimee Biondolillo               Aimee's Jewelry Treasures
 Alicia Marinache                 All the Pretty Things 
 Andra Marasteanu               Handmade by Indra Marasteanu 
 Andrea Trank                      Heaven Lane Creations
 April Grinaway                   Brooklyn Bead Goddess
Barb Solem                         Vivi Magoo Presents
Becky Pancake                    Becky Pancake Bead Designs
Beth Emery                         Stories by Indigo Heart
Bonnie Coursolle                Jasper's Gems
Cassi Paslick                       Beads: Rolling Downhill
Catherine King                    Catherine's Musings
Cece Cormier                      The Beading Yogini
Chandra Leitz                     Juniper Goods
Charissa Nesler                   FireStorm Designs
Charlie Jacka                       Clay Space
Christina Hickman              Vintage Treasures Jewelry

Christine Stonefield            Sweet Girl Design
Chrizette Bayman               Bead Soup Mix
Cindy Wilson                      It's My Sea of Dreams
Crystal Thain                      Here Bead Dragons
Cyndi Lavin                        Beading Arts
Debbie Rasmussen             A little of this, a little of that
Denielle Hagerman             Some Beads... and other things I like
Diana Gonzalez                  Arte y Poemas
Diane Hawkey                    diane hawkey
Dita Basu                            ankarshilpa
Donetta Farrington             Simply Gorgeous
Dyanne Everett-Cantrell     Deeliteful Jewelry Creations
Emma Todd                        A Polymer Penchant
Erin Kenny                         beadiful therapy
Erin Prais-Hintz                  Treasures Found
Gina Hockett                      Freestyle Elements
Gloria Allen                        Innovative Dreams Jewelry
Heather Marston                 CSW Designs
Inge von Roos                    Inge's Blog

Jacqueline Marchant          Fiddledeedee Jewelry
Jami Shipp                         Celebrating Life!
Jean Yates                          Snap Out of it Jean, There's Beading to Do!
Jennifer Reno                     Musings of a Crafty Jenny
Jenny Robledo                   Peppa's Dream
Jennifer VanBenschoten    Jewelry, Art and Life
Jessica Klaaren                  Cellar Door Jewelry
Jessica Murray                   Whimsical Monkey
Joan Williams                     lilruby jewelry
Jo-Ann Woolverton            It's a Beadiful Creation
Joanne Browne                   josjewels1
Jodie Marshall                    Jodie Marshall Lampwork Beads Wearable Art
Johanna Rhodes                 Fire Phoenix Creations
John Rasmussen                 Rasumussen Gems and Jewelry LLC
JuLee Wolfe                       The Polymer Penguin
Julie Bean                           Blue Pig Blog
Karen Mitchell                   Over the Moon Designs
Karin King                         The Sparklie Things Blog
Karin Slaton                       Backstory Beads
Kat Douglas                       Washoe Kat's
Kay Bolton                        Toodles and Binks
Kelly Hosford Patterson     The Traveling SideShow
Kim Ballor                          Vitamin C ... A Daily Does of Creativity
Kim Dworak                       CianciBlue
Kim Houston                       The Pink Martini
Kym Hunter                         Kym Hunter Designs
Laren Dee Barton                Laren Dee Designs
Lea Avroch                          LA Jewelry Designs
Leanne Loftus                      First Impression Design
Lena Adams (Mari's daughter) -- TBA
Liddy McLaughlin               Liddy McLaughlin Art
Linda Florian                       Lily's of the Valley Jewelry & Creative Creations
Linda Inhelder                     Must-Haves Jewelry
Lisa Hamilton                      Simply Irresistable Jewelry
Lisa Suver                            Fancee That
Lori Bowring Michaud        Artfully Ornamental
Lori Poppe                           Adventures in Creativity with Lorillijean
LouAnn Elwell                    Southpass Beads
Mandi Effron                       Craft-o-licious
Marcia DeCoster                 MadDesigns
Marcia Dunne                     The Alternative Foundry
Marie Covert                      Creating Interest
Marjorie Savill Linthwaite     bennubirdrising
Marlene Cupo                        Amazing Designs by Marlene
Martha Aleo                           Ornamento
Marti Conrad                          Marti's Buttons -n- Beads
Mary Ellen Parker                  BeeTree by m.e.
Mary Govaars                        MLH Jewelry Designs
Mary Lindell                          Mary Lindell Artisan Jewelry
Maureen Connolly                 Mrs Beadsley's Workshop
Maybeline Tay                       The Jewelry Larder
Melissa Elgin                         The Addicted Beader
Melissa Mesara                      one-eared pig beads
Menka Gupta                         Menka's Jewelry
Michaela Pabeschitz              la mar de bonita
Mischelle Fanucchi               Micheladas Musings
Mona Rae Baroody               Who Does She Bead She Is?
Nan Emmett                          Spirit Rattles -- Spirited Earth
Nancy Pedersen                    Something Heartfelt by Nancy
Natalie Davidson                  NorthShore Days
Nikki Douglas                      Bead It and Weep
Pam Farren                           re-maker
Pam, the Crazier Sister        The Crazy Creative Corner

Priya Krish                           Hellopalz 
Rebecca Anderson               Song Beads
Rebecca Sirevaag                 Becca's Place
Robin Kae Reed                   Artistry HCBD
Rochelle Brisson                  a creative chelle
Sabine Dittrich                     perlendschungel
Sandi Volpe                          Sandi Volpe
Sandra McGriff                    Creative Chaos
Sarah Goode                         Pookledo
Sarah Singer                         String a Song of Sixpence
Serena Trent                         All Things Made Jewelry
Shai Williams                       Shaiha's Ramblings
Sharon Palac                        Sharon's Jewelry Garden
Sharyl McMillian-Nelson    Sharyl's Jewelry & Reflections
Sheila Davis                         Stone Designs
Shelley Graham Turner        Fabric of My Life
Sherri Stokey                       Knot Just Macrame
Sherry Baun                         Unicorns Jewels
Skylar Bre'z                         Brising Beads
Stephanie Haussler              Pixybug Designs
Tania Spivey                        Moobie Grace Designs
Terri G.                                Blooming Ideas
Terry Carter                         Tapping Flamingo
Terry Matuszyk                    Pink Chapeau Vintage Jewelry
Toltec Jewels                       Jewel School Friends
Tracy Kruse                         Goldkisses Art
Tracy Martin                        Nutkitten's Jewelry
Zia Parks                              Anzi~Panzi's Work Shoppe
Zoe Marcin                          Beads, Tea and Sweets

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Christmas projects

I had several days off over Christmas, and thought I'd make use of the time by finishing a few projects. I've had some enamels for a while, and usually use them on glass, but thought I'd give metal enamelling a go. A trip to the bead store for supplies for the upcoming "Memories and Thanks" blog hop yielded some great brass rings, which now have a coat of striking blue enamel on them. I'd also picked up a couple of bags of vintage jewelery in Seattle, and had always meant to do something with it, but never found the time. One of the necklaces held the plastic ovals found at the bottom of the earings and throughout the necklace. Add in some really funky coloured chain from a fall trip to New York, a few other goodies purchased for the blog hop, and a new lampwork focal, and voila - a necklace and earring duo!