Monday, October 28, 2013

Halloween/Day of the Dead Blog Hop

My post for the Rolling Blog hop is here.

Diana Ptaszynski, from Suburban Girl Studio, is hosting a fun, Halloween inspired blog hop.  How fun is that?

When Diana posted the sign-ups, it was a no-brainer for me.  I knew immediately what I wanted to do.

About a week before, I purchases these cute little ghost charms from Nancy Schindler.  I knew exactly what they needed and asked my friend Sharyl to make a few components for me.

Sharyl created two sets of round charms -- one set similar to a harvest moon and one set more "Halloweeny."

I used the "Halloweeny" set with Nancy's ghosts.

The charms turned quite a bit when I used jumprings to attach them to the earwires.  To solve this, I made custom earwires so I could attach the charms directly to them.

I love how these look together.

Nancy periodically adds beads and charms to her shop.  Watch her blog for updates.

I wanted to make something special to compliment the harvest moon charms Sharyl made and was excited to see this pattern from threadabead.

These little witches beaded up quickly and look perfect with Sharyl's moon charms.

You can find more of Sharyl's components in her artfire store.  She creates beautiful components in all shapes and sizes  AND she has finished jewelry as well.

In addition to the earrings above, I made two Halloween necklaces for Christine Altmiller's Rolling Blog Hop.  Christine sent us vintage spools, asking us to make something with them.

I'm never sure how beadwoven charms or beads fit into the "art bead" category, but I love how the spools turned out and wanted to show them to you.

For a closer look, check out this post.

Diana, thank you for this challenge.  I had fun getting into the Halloween spirit.

Please take some time to visit the other participants to see what they created.

Diana Ptaszynski - our host
Kathleen Breeding
Dianne Miller
Lisa Liddy
Toltec Jewels
Laura Medeiros
Veralynne Malone
Jenny Davies-Reazor
Stephanie LaRosa
Nicole Valentine Rimmer
Tanya Goodwin - you are here
Sarajo Wentling
Dawn M. Gallop

Friday, October 25, 2013

A Rolling Blog Hop

A few months ago, Christine Altmiller, of One Kiss Creations, found a few times at an antique store and decided to host a blog hop.

She asked several of us if we would be interested in using the items she found, but didn't tell us what the items were.  Always up for a challenge, my answer was an enthusiastic "yes!"

When I received the package, I was a little mystified and a bit excited.  Christine sent us vintage wooden spools along with other beads she thought we might like.

(Of course, I had painted one of the spools before I remembered to take a picture.)

Here are the other beads Christine sent.

In a note, Christine mentioned that she liked "the idea of spools and thread and how we all have that common thread running between us in the blog world."  I thought that was such a sweet sentiment!

As I was looking for ideas, I came across this craft, which uses thread and spools to make cute little monsters.  I immediately started playing around with the idea and came up with these.

I started with Frankenstein's monster and used Gwen Fisher's DNA double helix tutorial to create the beaded portion of a necklace.

I thought the DNA helix was perfect for the monster.  Luckily for me, Gwen's video tutorial was made using Doceri software and it is so easy to follow.

I also wanted to incorporate a bit of chain maille, so I made a variation of Rebeca Mojia's Lancelot bracelet.

 This is a fun way to embellish helm weave.  The instructions can be found in Rebeca's book, Chained.

I used brass rings when I made this and could not get the brass to patina with liver of sulfur.  I then opted for an ammonia patina.

(By the way, ammonia, salt, and annodized aluminum do not mix well.  I had to replace most of the purple and pink rings and chalked this up to a learning experience.)

It was worth it, though.

I made the pendant removable, for those non Halloweeny occasions.

Next, I added some orange to the seed beads Christine sent to make a cellini spiral.

I matched the spiral with a helm weave chain.

This finished product is another great Halloween necklace.

I really love this one.

I have a few ideas for the last spool, but it's getting close to Halloween and I wanted to show these to you while they were still seasonal.

I'll probably have another spool post for you in a month or so.  :)

Christine, thank you for the opportunity to participate.  I had a blast with these.

This is a rolling blog hop, so the posts will be sporadic.  Christine was generous and gave us two months to complete our pieces and post.

Janet, from Honey from the Bee, posted her creation a few weeks ago.  If you are interested, you can see her beautiful necklace here.

Hope, from Crafty Hope posted her creations here.

Keep an eye on Christine's blog over the next few months to see what the other participants made.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Focus on Life - 42 of 52

This week, Sally asked us to take a closer look at one day.

My days usually start like this:

Then, I might get in a little of this:

I usually try to visit this at least once during the day:

My husband is generous enough to allow me a bit of time for this in the evening:

Please visit Sally's blog to see what everyone else accomplishes in a day.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Seed Bead and Metal Blog Hop

Sharyl, from Sharyl's Jewelry and Shirley Moore, from Beads and Bread teamed up to offer a special blog hop.

Sharyl specializes in metal components, while Shirley does wonders with seed beads.  These ladies combined their pieces into a kit and invited their readers to play along.

Of course, I didn't think to take pictures when I received my components.

The beaded component I received was the "d" shaped one in the top left of Sharyl's photo.

The metal components I received were the dark copper circles in the top left of Sharyl's photo.

Sharyl also sent a clasp component that I'll show you below.

I'll be honest.  I had no idea what to do with these components.  I knew I wanted to use them all in one piece, but wasn't sure where to even start.

The copper circles were slightly domed.  I put them back to back and wondered if I could attach them somehow.  Then it hit me -- I could bezel them.

I chose colors that complimented Shirley's component.

The pendant is reversible.  Unfortunately, I didn't take full advantange and use different colors on the front and back.  I will next time, though. :)

After a while of staring at the pendant, I came up with the idea to connect it to Shirley's component.

The beads I used don't quite match, but it's hard to tell.

I *loved* the completed pendant and really wanted to showcase it, so I made a simple chain of half persian 4 in 1 to complete the necklace.

You may not be able to tell, but I changed the way the chain attaches.  In the close up above, the chain attached at the sides of the pendant.  In the photo above, it attaches at the middle.  I like the second way better.

I used the other of Sharyl's components as part of the clasp.  I created the hook on the right side and was able to slide it into the middle of Sharyl's component on the left.

I love the way this turned out and will be calling on Sharyl for more of her domed circles.  I can see several of these in the future.

Sharyl and Shirley, thank you so much for the components and the challenge.  I had fun and am so happy with how it turned out!

Please take some time to visit the rest of the participants.

Sharyl McMillian-Nelson -- Sharyl's Jewelry & Reflections (*Co-Host)
Shirley Moore -- Beads and Bread (*Co-Host) 
Candy Wham -- (Participant posting on Sharyl's blog
Angi Mullis -- (Participant posting on Sharyl's blog
Laren Dee Barton -- Laren Dee Designs
Beti Horvath -- Stringing Fool
Tanya Goodwin -- A Work in Progress - you are here
Marybeth Rich -- Forest of Jewels
Amy Severino -- AmyBeads
Carolyn's Creations -- Carolyn's Creations
Toltec Jewels -- Jewel School Friends

Friday, October 11, 2013

Focus on Life - 41 of 52

This week, Sally asked us to find connections.

I spent most of the week connecting with and catching up on prompts for the last month.  If you are curious, you can find them here, here, here, and here.

When I was able to sit down and think about connections, this is the only thing than came to mind.

Luckily, the kiddo and her cousin were more than happy to pose for me.

Please visit Sally's blog to see more connections, or take a look below.

Focusing on Life - 40 of 52

I am about a month behind on Sally's focus on life challenge.

This week, I will be playing catch up.

For week 40, Sally asked us to show a smile.

With the kiddo around, there is no shortage of smiles.  In fact, she surprised me a few days ago with these -- balloon portraits of the two of us.

Can you tell which is me and which is the kiddo?

Please visit Sally's blog to see other awesome smiles.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Focusing on Life - 39 of 52

I am about a month behind on Sally's focus on life challenge.

This week, I will be playing catch up.

For week 39, Sally asked us to find our best shot.

I took a several photos of the kiddo in an attempt to capture a smile for the week 40 prompt.  When the kiddo presented me with an alternative smile (you'll see it tomorrow), I thought I would use this as my "best shot."

It's hard to go wrong with the kiddo's beautiful face.  :)

Please visit Sally's blog to see other best shots.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Focusing on Life - 38 of 52

I am about a month behind on Sally's focus on life challenge.

This week, I will be playing catch up.

For week 37, Sally asked us to find a quiet moment.

With the kiddo starting first grade, quiet moments seem to be much easier to come by.  I generally find myself giving the puppies a bit more attention.

With these quiet moments, however, come the contemplative ones.  I wonder how the kiddo grew up so quickly.

Please visit Sally's blog to see other best shots.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Where have I been?

Wow .. it's been a few weeks since I posted.

Not only am I several weeks behind in Sally's focus on life challenge, I'm behind in posting a few of my recent projects.

I wish I had a good excuse, or any excuse at all, but I have nothing.  The days seem much longer with the kiddo in school full time, but they still pass too quickly.

I've productive, though.  For the past few weeks, I've traded in my beading needles for pliers and have been having a blast with chain maille.

I finished another version of  Rebeca Mojica's "Intricate Chain Maille."

I had originally intended to make this a necklace, but it was just too big for my taste.  It is a stellar bracelet.

I finished this one a bit differently than my other versions.  You can see them here and here.

"Intricate Chain Maille" builds around a slightly bigger version of Rebeca's "Coiled Butterfly" pattern.  (You can find "Coiled Butterfly" on Blue Buddha Boutique's website here or in the Fall 2012 issue of Wirework magazine.  To weave the "Intricate Chain Maille" bracelet, you need both patterns.)

"Coiled Butterfly" is beautiful on its own.

It uses smaller rings than "Intricate Chain Maille" and produces a smaller chain.  Since my other necklace became a bracelet, I decided to make this bracelet a necklace.

It drapes beautifully.

I took time to make Kat Wisniewski's "Illuminated Tunnel" bracelet, also from Blue Buddha.

You can barely see the lime green rings peeking out of the copper.

Finally, I made Rebeca Mojica's "On the Edge" bracelet.

This was featured in the Spring 2013 issue of Wirework and is also sold on Blue Buddha's site as "Zeela."

I'm still on a bit of a chain maille kick, but I want to try incorporating it into beadwork, so stay tuned.

Speaking of beadwork, I have a few upcoming challenges and even have a non-challenge necklace to show you later this week.  :)

Focusing on Life - 37 of 52

I am about a month behind on Sally's focus on life challenge.

This week, I will be playing catch up.

For week 37, Sally asked us to capture motion.  I found this easier said than done.  Photographing something moving usually results in a blurry photo, though it can generate a cool effect.

I took several pictures in an attempt to capture motion and this one was the best.

A friend and I have been practicing for our upcoming weapons test and this is her twirling a nunchaku.  I love how you can see the movement of both her hand and the nunchaku.

Please visit Sally's blog to see how the other participants captured motion.