Monday, May 28, 2012

Custom Upcycle Reveal

A couple of weeks ago, one of my customers gave me the opportunity to revamp a necklace she inherited from her aunt, into a new piece for her to wear at her son's wedding.

Inherited heirloom?  Son's wedding?  Pictures that will last forever in the family?  No pressure, right?  (insert panicked scream here...)

So after a lot of thought and more than a few nerves when I first cut off the clasp from the rhinestone chain, here's the final product.

The original rhinestone necklace was too short for the neckline of her dress, so I added some chain in the back for length.  Her dress has a gauzy jacket with some beading, so I had to make something that wouldn't compete with the jacket, but wouldn't disappear into blah if she took the jacket off at the reception.  So for that extra little "sumpin sumpin", I added a bracelet of faux pearls and faceted Czech glass that she also had in her jewelry box (how lucky a match was that?!?)

There was a technical challenge in figuring out how to attach the rhinestone chain to the extra chain without soldering (we'll have a little chat someday about the wisdom of trusting me with open flame), but a little wire wrapping took care of it:

And as a bonus, she asked me to try to convert a headband into a bracelet.  My brain went on fritz and I forgot to take a picture of the headband before I performed surgery on it to remove the beaded motif, but imagine this on a skinny black headband:

A little chain, a little thread, and voila! 

I hope my customer is pleased with the final product!  Maybe she'll save me a piece of wedding cake...

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Wherein I Do What I Should Have Done Weeks Ago

Do you ever have days when you wake up and go "Whoa, where the heck did that month go?!?"  These moments are typically accompanied with (a) panic, (b) massive doses of caffeine, and (c) a list of things you need to catch up on.

This counts as one of those things I needed to get done several weeks ago.

The lovely Raida of Havana Beads had a giveaway of some of her fabulous lampwork beads, and I won!

I was thrilled, because Raida's beads always look so gorgeous on the computer screen.  Let me tell you, the pictures don't really do them justice.

Y'all, it took all the strength and patience I could muster to take a picture of the cute package before ripping into it like a wild madwoman.

And look what deliciousness was inside!

Seriously, click on the picture to get a closer look.
The surface decoration is yummy!

Thank you, Raida!  These are going to live on my bead table for a while -- I want to hoard them, stare at them, and fondle them a bit before using them.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Stretching Those Creative Muscles

Here comes a confession.  I am terrible about exercising.  Not just a little bad, but pure, downright pathetic.  I'll get on an exercise regimen and be very good about it for a while, and then something (injury, illness, I want to sleep a little later one morning) happens and the discipline is out the window.  Then four or five years later, I'll start up again, whether I need to or not.

However, I do love to flex my creative muscles on a regular basis.  And let's be frank, moving the beading needle back and forth between the piles of beads and whatever I'm working on HAS to burn some calories along the way, right?  Right?

A lovely lady in town sometimes presents me with a different kind of creative exercise -- taking vintage pieces she has inherited and repurpose them into something she can wear on a regular basis.

This is FUN.  And a little daunting, especialy since the most recent project is to create a necklace for her to wear at her son's wedding.

Here are the starting pieces:

I do think I'll remove the jewelry box lint. 
It does add a little extra something, but not for a wedding!

This is a bracelet, not an enormous necklace as it looks beside the other photo. 
It, too, will lose the jewelry box fluff.
Maybe I can make a second piece just from fluff and lint...

Because this is such an important and personal piece, she and I spent a lot of time discussing and trying different ideas before I grabbed the tools and started the revamping.  Luckily, we had similar visions.

I can't wait to get started on the new creation.  Perhaps I should put on my workout clothes first?

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Karen Williams is Officially A Rock Star!

Folks, the internet is a spectacularly wonderful thing.

Okay, yes yes yes, I realize that it's also a cesspool of weirdness, depravity, stupidity and time sucking memes like cats playing piano, foosball, and/or rugby.  Work with me here....

But if you're really lucky, you stumble into a great community of people who become an important part of each day, sharing their wit, artistry, triumphs, frustrations, and the minutiae of daily life.  People with whom you feel unexpectedly, fantastically, gratefully comfortable.

Blogging has opened up a portal into that wonderful world for me, and the latest demonstration of the Awesomeness of the Internets arrived in my mail today, in the form of a surprise package from the extraordinary Karen Williams of Baublicious.

I opened the package after dark (having done day one of a weekend show, stories of which I'll share afterwards), so I wasn't able to take photos to document the awesomeness.  Pictures will come as soon as the sunlight permits....

Until then, I still feel like I've got my own little personal ray of sunshine from far away.

Thank you, Karen!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

One Crayon Challenge - The Reveal!

Sally Russick, the fabulous lady from the Studio Sublime is hosting the One Crayon Challenge - the idea is that each participant chooses a color from the original Crayola box and creates a piece with ONLY the shades and hues of that color.

I chose red, mainly because I'd just gotten this fabulous red lampwork disc and wanted to do something to feature it.

And as if working within one color wasn't challenge enough, I decided only to use things in my stash.  That's right, friends, no shopping after choosing the color.  (Insert horrified scream of disbelief here)

I wanted to echo the swirl of the focal disc in the rest of the piece.  So here, in honor of both the challenge, and because the Kentucky Derby is happening about three miles from my house today, here is The Run For The Roses:

Thanks for looking!  Go check out the others who've been playing with crayons:

Hosted by:

Sally Russick


Bobbie Rafferty


Linda Landig
Renetha Stanziano
Tanya Goodwin
Amy Severino


Heather Powers


Rebecca Anderson
Hope Smitherman
Alicia Marinache
Charissa Sloper
Sandi Volpe


Jenny Davies Reazor
Elizabeth Auld


Jennifer Judd Velasquez
Lori Anderson


Diana Ptaszynski
Janice Everett