Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Color Challenge

I have trouble with color. It's hard for me to branch out from a single color family. I try, but it never seems to work. Brown on brown is a safer, but not as interesting color choice as, say, brown on blue and green. I love it when an artist mixes blue with reds or pinks and makes it look fabulous. I get giddy when I see a sprig of yellow sticking out of teals and greens.

So, when I saw this post from Erin of Treasures Found, I knew it was my chance. Erin asked about 50 of us to choose a single color. After we chose our color, Erin picked a color palette for each of us based on our color.

Let me say, I am an earthtones girl at heart. Give me browns, mosses and coppers any day. However, I wanted to do something different, so I chose gray. I don't work with grey often, but it reminds me of winter, which reminds me of Christmas, so it can't be all bad.

Here is the palette Erin chose:

Could it be more perfect? I love the dark grays, the red and the white all mixed in. This palette and all of the palettes used in this challenge were created by Jessica Colaluca from Design Seeds. If you have a few minutes (or a few hours), check out Jessica's blog. Her color palettes are nothing short of gorgeous. It seems she can take almost anything and pull the most beautiful colors from it.

I started thinking about what I wanted to create. I knew right off that I wanted to play up the winter/Christmas idea. The red and the grays just screamed for snowflakes and flowers. I immediately beaded a few small flower motifs. I envisioned a field of flower motifs blooming in the midst of a snowy night.

A trip to the bead store yielded some light green pearls and stumbled upon this wonderful large link gunmetal chain. Early on, I had decided against gunmetal. This chain made me change my mind. I grabbed some black diamond swarovski crystals from my stash and went to work.

As I tried to add my motifs, I discovered my idea didn't translate well. My imagined field of flowers ended up forming an incoherent jumble.

I left the chain hanging on my necklace display and tried several different things. Then it dawned on me. The chain, crystals and pearls were wonderful together. The necklace didn't need a garden. It needed a single bloom.

Immediately Lisa Kan's Corsage Cuff came to mind. Lisa's designs are both beautiful and versatile. I beaded the flower from her bracelet design and slipped it over the crystal and pearl strands.

Because I can't leave well enough alone, I beaded another flower, this time in red. I also adapted Lisa's netting technique for a 14mm rivoli. The end result is a single necklace with several different looks.

I am really pleased with the way this piece came out. I love the simplicity of it and am excited to wear it during the holidays.

I think I like the rivoli best. What do you guys think?

Oh, in case you are wondering abuot those forgotten flower motifs, I did find a use for them. Come back later this week and I'll show you.

Erin, thank you so much for giving all of us this opportunity to challenge ourselves with color.

Jessica, thank you for providing the wonderful palettes.

Erin, it seems, is an over achiever. She made a piece for each of the twelve colors available. Definitely check out her blog post on Treasures Found. The rest of the challenge participants are listed below. Be sure to check out all the wonderful creations. I've set aside most of my day to do so. :)

18 Tari Kahrs ~ Orange ~ Citrus Tones
23 Amy Severino ~ Orange ~ Winged Tones
25 Tanya Goodwin ~ Gray ~ Pecked Tones (you are here)
28 Linda Landig ~ Green ~ Cacti Dark
35 CJ Bauschka ~ Teal ~ Teal Air
41 Jenni Connolly ~ Gray ~ Paw Tones

Saturday, November 26, 2011

I heart macro Sunday

We generally host a lunch on Thanksgiving day.  This entails an early start for my husband and me.  This year, the kiddo started her day much earlier than we did and was still raring to go after the hubster and I were trying to break out of our collective food coma.

Luckily, it was warm and sunny outside and my in-laws were able to take the kiddo and her cousins outside for a bit.  They were able to run off some of that energy.  What is it about kids and soccer balls?

All of the kids were moving pretty quickly.  I could not get a good picture of the kiddo kicking the soccer ball.  Still, her skirt and boots were pretty cute.

My niece, however, is a natural.

I never did figure out who was kicking and who was the goalie.  I'm not sure the kids did either.  It didn't really matter, though.

Belated Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

studio waterstone

Thursday, November 24, 2011

A quick project

Last week, Marsha Neal Studio  hosted a destash sale in her etsy shop.  These deals were too good to pass up.  As far as I can tell, I wasn't the only one who thought so.  I checked back on the last day of the sale and only a handful of pendants were left.

I received my pendants Wednesday.  They are all gorgeous.  I don't know exactly what I will do with them, but right now, I'm just giddy to have them.

Aren't they just to die for?

I did string one quick necklace.  I had the pearls out for a while, but couldn't find a suitable partner.  Enter Marsha's beautiful clay pendant.  I think it's a match.

 Marsha has even more wonderful pendants for sale in her shop.  I promise, you won't be disappointed.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

I heart macro Sunday

Saturday was "family day," as the kiddo likes to say.  We enjoyed lunch and a movie, then stopped by the grocery store.

While at the store, the hubster decided to make a Thanksgiving style biryani for dinner.  Luckily, we were in the right place to pick up the ingredients.  Biryani is an Indian rice dish.  We don't eat rice very often, but for this, I'll make an exception.

When we got home, the hubster went to work.  He sauteed some onions and mixed them with dried cranberries and pecans.

Then he coated some chicken in a wonderful sauce and, while it was simmering, prepared the rice.

He layered everything in a large dutch oven and baked it.

And an incredibly long 30 minutes, he produced an incredibly rich and flavorful dish.

Why does everything taste better when someone else makes it?

studio waterstone

Friday, November 11, 2011

I heart macro Sunday

I will test for 3rd brown in Okinawan Kobojitsu (weapons) this week.  While getting ready for my test, I've spent some "quality" time with my arsenal.  I've also managed to scare a few neighbors and the UPS man, but that's another story.


Each weapon has its own unique personality and requires a different skill set.  My shoulders can certainly tell when I've been practicing with the nunchaku (as can my husband when he sees the new bruises).  The sai requires a bit of wrist action.  I get to practice fine motor skills with the kama.


My sensei says that, in practice, weapons are extensions of ourselves.  If you watch a master in action, you will see just that.  In a master's hands, the weapons are not cumbersome or bulky.  Rather, they are quick and graceful and follow the movement of the body.


I love karate and take pride in learning a system that has been passed down from teacher to student for hundreds of years.  I can only hope to honor that rich heritage.


DISCLAIMER:  No neighbors, delivery men, puppies, children, or pink boots were harmed during the taking of these pictures.  The photographer, however, is recovering nicely

. studio waterstone

Saturday, November 5, 2011

I heart macro Sunday

I am always amazed at how a 4 year old will view "chores" as fun and exciting things to do. My husband and I have been watching the leaves fall and dreading their removal. The kiddo, on the other hand, has been anxious to help us rake like she did last year.  Well, maybe "help" isn't quite the right word.  Her help usually looks like this:

We spent the better part of the day in the yard.  I have to admit, the kiddo and I didn't do too much of the work.  My husband, however, did amass a big pile of leaves.  It was so big, in fact, I thought we would lose the kiddo.

While my husband was raking, I was snapping away.  I was impressed by one leaf that didn't want to leave the tree.

Our trees do look a bit bare now.  I hope the leaves still hanging on won't amount to much. 

And while I'm talking about leaves, I have to show you my favorite picture of our little dogs.  They really look like they are having fun.

studio waterstone

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Vintaj contest/giveaway

I want to win the Vintajco & Beadaholique Crystal Copper Giveaway!
Anyone else?
Details are here.  Be sure to check out the beautiful array of findings and beads.