Saturday, May 31, 2014

Ocean Blog Hop

This Ocean blog hop is hosted by Lisa Lodge. You can find the other participants on her blog, A Grateful Artist.

I decided to join the challenge because I love ocean blues and greens.
So imagine my surprise when I found these lovely oranges in my mailbox...

I will admit the package sat on the shelf for several months while I contemplated what to do with it.
Finally, the inspiration hit me.

The two large pieces cultured sea glass screamed lariat. So I went in search of the right cord. I found the great orange cord locally at Island Bead And Jewelry. It was the only component I had to go out and purchase.

I colored the starfish charms with alchol ink and sealed with glaze.

Lisa encouraged us to use all of the beads in the kit. So, I crocheted the czech glass beads with copper wire to make a bracelet.

I finished it off with bead caps and a toggle clasp from my stash.

I finished up with a few pairs of earrings...

More alcohol inked starfish and orange crystal dangle from sterling silver chain.

This time I dug into my staff for these adorable pewter puffer fish from Green Girl Studios.
I picked these up in Tucson. It was so much fun to finally meet and chat with Cynthia Thornton. I've been a big fan of her creations for years.

Once again, I altered the starfish.
This time I coated front and backwith Vintaj patina in "lapis" (and sealed with glaze).
They're topped by sterling silver rings that I soldered and textured.

I hope you'll visit the other participants. Click on the link to Lisa's blog above.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Bead Soup Blog Party

Party Time!!!
Lori Anderson's done it again ~ Today is the reveal for the the 8th Annual Bead Soup Blog Party!
Somehow she's managed to partner up a few hundred people to swap beads. We had to send a clasp, a focal and some coordinating beads.
This is my second time participating. It's great to meet jewelry desingers across the country and work with new and different components. You can check here to see what I did last year... BSBP 2013

This year my partner is Jayne Capps from Oklahoma. I had already "met" Jayne during one of Andrew Thornton's destash events. We had a great online chat and I learned more about Jayne through her blog. I especially related to the post about fixing up her workspace. Make sure you check out what she created with the beach glass I sent her. Jayne's Blog
It was so much fun to get find this package in my mailbox!

And look what I found inside...

Don't you love the way she tagged everything?!

I want to know how Jayne drilled the bakelite mahjong tile.

The group of glass beads told me they had to become a bracelet. I grabbed a few bead caps and spacers from my stash, whipped up a toggle clasp and wire wrapped it all together.

The mahjong tile has so much character on its own that I decided to keep it simple. Jayne's linked beads are now connected to chain and hang from the bottom of the tile. A few spacers, some sloppy wraps and an extra long chain ~ it's good to go!

I combined several different components for this final piece. The hammered tubing is really cool. (so cool that I almost picked some up from Home Depot last week. I love their plumbing and electrical aisles for supplies!)

My original plan was to hook the necklace in front in the smallest ring. When I headed outside for photos, I realized you could actually hook it in any one of the rings. I think I like the hook in the middle ring best.

Anyone who follows me know that whenever I participate in a challenge I have to try something new. My Artistic wire was too shiny, so I torched it to add color and age. (I'm not sure if that shows up in the photos.) It was also a bit tricky to solder the jump rings connecting the copper tubing and chain.

I still have plenty of turqoise nuggets to play with. Earrings!
Thank you so much Jayne for this really fun soup!

And.... huge thanks to Lori Anderson for organizing the group once again!

Please visit some of the other participants!!!
You can access the extensive list on Lori Anderson's post - Welcome to the 8th Bead Soup Blog Party

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Deep Waters Challenge

Today is the reveal for Andrew Thornton's Deep Waters Challenge. (You can click on the link for more info.) And here I am, once again posting at the last minute. As usual, I bit off more than I can chew.
This time Andrew provided us with a kit of lovely ocean blues.  
As usual, he included a "mystery component" - one of his delightful ceramic pieces. I truly enjoy Andrew's challenges because they encourage me to use materials I probably would not pick out for myself. And because I always challenge myself to try new techniques.

As soon as I saw the waxed cord, I knew I'd be tying knots. I decided to make a lariat. I love the versatility of lariats - they can be tied anywhere you want for different looks.

Aren't these aqua blues so summery???

I just had to highlight Andrew's seahorse pendant, so I made silver circle to frame it. I.m having so much fun with my torch and metal stamps! I used the 6mm swirl from Impress Art. Then I wondered how Vintaj patina would work on silver (here's my new technique!) I chose lapis from my supplies, put it on pretty heavy and wiped it off. Yay! The patina stayed in the stamped impressions. After steel wool and the tumbler, I was thrilled with the results!  

I wasted a lot of silver figuring out how to get it to all hang just right, finally settling on chain and jump rings. (Don't worry, scrap silver is Never wasted.)
As an afterthought I strung the rectangular seed beads with some round spacers and Bali beads. I really like the way it brings out the blue in the silver ring and Andrew's pendant.  The two parts can be worn separately or attached like I have them.

Don't forget to visit the other participants!
It's always fun to see how different artists approach the same materials.
Kari Asbury
Shay Williams
Christina Porter
Molly Alexander
Andrew Thornton, Marian Howarth, Julie Katz, Crystal Farrel, Laurel Ross, Alison Herrington
Carolyn Lawson