Thursday, April 3, 2014

And the winner is....

One of these days, I will figure out how to grab a screen shot of my Random.Org selection...but in the meantime, the winner of my pink bracelet is...

# 6 - Maryanne!!

Maryanne, please email me your address (pattivan@verizon.net) , and I will send this bracelet out to you pronto!

Thank you to everyone for all the lovely comments!!!

PS: I have been in touch with the actual Designer/Engineer of my 4-drawer steel cabinet and he has determined that I have defective parts.  Duh!  I hope to receive the parts in the next day or so, and look forward to getting my studio "complete"!

Thanks for stopping by!!!

xo
Patti

Sunday, March 30, 2014

I am FINALLY back...and a Giveaway!

I cannot believe it has been over 2 months since my last post...it actually feels more like 2 years!  I finally moved into my new home.  It's only 9 miles from my "old home", but it may as well have been outer space! It's been 4 years in the making...bought the property, lamented over buying the property, bit the bullet and hired an architect, and it took over 1 1/2 years to construct.  BUT IT IS DONE!  Yippee!

I have to say, my new "studio" is my favorite place in this entire house!  I have everything - and I mean everything - in one room and my poor old legs could not be happier!  Only one kink in this puzzle of putting my space together...  

I have been planning this space for well over a year.  While I am re-using lots of great shelving, old dressers and cabinets from my old basement, I purchased a "big girl" jewelers bench - so happy with this!  I also bought a 6 foot stainless steel table that is much more "fire friendly" than my old plastic craft table that was covered in ceramic tiles.  But, I also purchased a 4-drawer steel cabinet to store my tools.  I don't pat myself on the back very often, but one thing I have always been able to do is put ANYTHING together.  Grills, dressers, desks - if it had directions, I could do it.  Not this steel cabinet!  I even dragged my Construction Manager for my home back over here to take a look at this and there is something integral to the design and function of the drawers that is just plan and simple "missing".  This puppy is still in pieces on my floor.  I have been in contact with the manufacturer since the middle of last week.  The Director of Who Knows What is supposed to get in touch with me tomorrow. So, until I get this mess out of the middle of my floor, no pics.  

I have been a good girl and NOT purchased beads during this "move period".  I knew for sure if I ordered something, I would put it in a box "that I would surely remember" and promptly forget.  But, in late January, I did order some beads from Maryse of Glass Bead Art - these are some of my favorite lampwork beads!  Little organic lampwork nuggets in the softest pink!  

I was scared to sit at my Big Girl Bench and start working - what if I forgot how to wrap a bead?  Seriously???  So, before I venture into trying anything new, I made a familiar style bracelet that I would love to give away!


Aren't those beads beautiful!!??  I wrapped them in sterling and paired them with a lovely, enameled lentil from the ultra-talented Melissa Meman of Melismatic Art Jewelry.- I have had this lentil for some time now - waiting for the perfect match - and I must say, it complements the pink in the lampwork perfectly!  The explosions of colors on this lentil just makes me so happy!


I was so excited to pull out my saw and cut jump rings again! I know...silly girl! I made the toggle from 20g sterling sheet and textured the heck out of it with one of my hammers.


I did not even mind stinking up my new studio with Liver of Sulfur! :)  A quick bath in my tumbler, and I was done!  It has an inside diameter of 6 1/2".





I repeated the phrase "Pink is my signature color" in my fake southern drawl while creating this, with visions of Julia Roberts, Sally Field, Dolly Parton, Olympia Dukakis, and my personal favorite - Shirley MacLaine - gossiping in the beauty parlor.  Loved Steel Magnolias!

Okay...enough!  On with the giveaway of this bracelet!!

How to Enter
1.  Leave a comment on this blog post - equals 1 entry
2. Post a link to this blog post on Facebook- equals 1 entry
3.  Pin an item from my Etsy shop to Pinterest - equals 1 entry.

For each task above, you must leave a separate comment on my blog !  I will pick a winner sometime next Thursday!

Thanks for stopping by today - I'll be back with a winner on Thursday!

xo
Patti



Wednesday, January 22, 2014

My Last Creations....for a while

It is a very sad day for me today...I am beginning to pack up my jewelry "studio" ...well the huge mess in the unfinished basement that I lovingly call my studio.  I begin moving into my new home late next month, and it's time to pack it up.

I want to pack the correct way - I don't want to shove things in a box where they will sit for the next 2-3 months.  I want to separate and label accordingly.  Let's see if I can do that!  I figure I need at least a week to accomplish this task...maybe more.  Beads are small! :) Ugh...

I will be excited about having room to call my own.   A room with overhead lights, a painted concrete floor, an exhaust fan to help with soldering fumes....but most importantly, it will have HEAT! But, until I am there, my excitement wanes... 

So, these are the last of the items that I have posted to my Etsy this morning until I am able to resume creating in 2-3 months (sob...)

First up are these earrings.  I played with my oval disc cutter again and made oval "washers"!  Not an easy task, but it worked!  I put some texture on the rings with my rivet hammer, and wire wrapped these gorgeous, sunshine orange lampwork headpins by Sue Kennedy (Sue Beads).  These weigh next to nothing and are so comfortable!  I hope I remember to make more when my new studio is up and running!


Next up is this sterling silver  bracelet - gorgeous frosted glass from Lyndas Lampwork - I am totally in love with these colors! I added a bit of texture to the clasp with my hammer.


I just had to add that teeny tiny spacer bead by Pinocean as it perfectly matches the blue swirl in Lynda's frosted glass beads.

I pulled out these beads I purchased from Donna Millard - 10 months ago!  I am a hoarder, what can I say!  While they looked perfectly lovely sitting in my ceramic bowl on my jewelry bench, they needed to be made into a necklace.


All the colors of the rainbow here, embedded into her perfectly formed, transparent glass discs.


At my craft shows last year, longer necklaces were desired.  So this one is 33" round with no clasp - easy peasy - just slip it over your head.

Every other bead in this necklace features a double wrapped, sterling link, with large loops.


In my last post, I mentioned that I purchased a pound of 18 gauge square wire, when what I needed was 16 gauge.  So, I played around with this square wire yesterday and ended up creating twisted wire with my drill and vice. Oh my....now this is texture!  And strong wire to boot!


I actually used 16 gauge square copper wire for the jump rings and the clasp, and 18 gauge to swirl around these lovely beads by Spawn of Flame.  These beads are awesome by the way - small, but that webbed silvered ivory packs quite the punch!



Because I am moving (my last move EVER, before I hit the grave), I am having a huge sale in my Etsy shop, beginning at 12:00 today (January 22nd).  All items will be automatically marked down 30% - 30%!!!  I don't want to have to move it to the new house, and risk losing track of where it is!

During this sale, 100% of all proceeds will be donated to Miracle Horse Rescue!  I appreciate any "shares" you may do for  me on social media when I start photo-bombing my ads on Facebook.  :)

Hope everyone survived the winter storm - we have about 4 inches of snow that has decided to permanently affix itself in the form of ice around here - wicked cold!  Sarge DOES NOT like it! :)  Stay safe and warm!

Thanks for stopping by!

xo
Patti


Saturday, January 18, 2014

Wrap It Up

I have been having tons of fun creating with the beads generously donated to me by Maryse of Glass Bead Art - all proceeds from the jewelry made with her beads are donated to Miracle Horse Rescue.

First up is the this bracelet, which features an awesome lampwork focal in blue and white - with silvered ivory webbing swirled throughout the glass.



I may have mentioned that Santa brought me an oval disc cutter for Christmas - and I have been putting it to use! I cut two ovals and hammered them with the flat edge of my riveting hammer - love this texture...it reminds me of tree bark for some reason.  Anyway, after annealing and softening the copper, I folded them over for bead caps.


The colors in this bead remind me of ancient Chinese porcelain - so pretty!  I added a few swirled links with coils.


I dressed up the hook clasp with two coiled layers as well.


I am very happy to report that this bracelet has sold - thank you! (The equine residents say "thank you", too)!

Maryse sent me quite a few focal beads in her batch of lovelies.  I don't want to sound like a broken record, but I wanted to continue on my quest to make every link in Cindy Wimmer's new book, The Missing Link.  One of the links uses square wire, which I have never used before.  I bought the wrong gauge - I needed 16 gauge and bought 18, so I told myself, "that will be one link you will never make, Patti".  I mean, I have a pound of 18 gauge wire here! I have made a few clasps with the 18 gauge wire so far, and I must come up with other ways to use it up!

But then, I read Mary Harding's recent post, Inspired by Reading.  Mary made an absolute work of art inspired by a book - and she made those same links.  Her necklace is drop dead amazing!  I immediately logged on to Rio Grande and ordered the 16 gauge square wire! (Thanks for this inspiration Mary!) :)


Mary stated in her blog that it took "countless hours" to make this chain - and I can attest to this first hand!  Mary called it "The Magnificent Chain"...and it is! :)  Square wire takes getting used to- at least for me!  The hardest part was winding the wire around a mandrel for the jump rings - that wire just wants to twist and turn and "unsquare" itself! :)  


This link is fabulous - even though it did take a full day to create enough links and jump rings for the chain! 

Note:  I am experimenting with backgrounds for my photos.  The photo above was taken on a sheet of 18% Gray photo paper - you can truly see the actual colors of the jewelry using this background!


I have self titled this focal Root Beer - it has a lovely caramel colored, translucent glass, with a froth of foam on the top - Yum!  Thank you again, Maryse!!

Image above also using the photo paper.  I am in a quandary, as I like both images.  But, the photo paper, in my eyes, makes my jewelry feel cold and naked - yet 100% true to color.  I dunno...I am at an impasse!  I swear, I took about 60 photos of this necklace - 30 on the photo paper and the other 30 on my natural granite slab.  


I also  keep forgetting to put clothes on Lolita before I take pictures!  But Lolita stands in my basement and her clothes are two floors up.  'Nuff said!

It is a glorious day in Northern Virginia - the sun is shining so bright and it is cold! Yeah for me - my favorite kind of day!  I hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Thank you so much for stopping by!

xo
Patti

Friday, January 10, 2014

Cabochons

I LOVE cabochons - gemstone, lampwork, polymer - all of the them.  In my attempts to practice my bezel soldering, I acquired some beautiful lampwork cabs from Sue Kennedy at Sue Beads.  Two of the classes at ArtBliss this year focused on soldering, one of them included cabs. It is so much easier to do with a teacher there!

This lampwork cab below- made by Sue - features a beautiful, transparent green glass with swirls.  In our class last year, we added silver embellishments to the design.  While I kinda like how this turned out, I see so many flaws.  I sawed around the back plate free form - intentionally. It's not perfect...I will freely admit that sawing is also something I need to work on!  I kept wishing I had a Beth or Evie McCord (EB Bead and Metalworks) as my neighbor, as I am convinced that either one of them can expertly saw anything in their sleep!


I also wanted to experiment with solder paste.  I will not be using that again too soon! LOL!  I made the silver balls from scrap fine silver and added what I thought was the tiniest amount of solder paste to the balls....there is excess solder on this backplate near those decorative balls that I just cannot remove - and I have tools for this! :)  


I am pleased with the bail, though!  Dear sweet Mom loved it - so I had some jade beads in my stash that matched this cab perfectly. So, Mom got a new necklace and earrings.







I have more cabs in my stash and I WILL GET BETTER! :) 

The next one I made is a very simple design. The colors in this glass just POP!


This was a gift for another person I know who was very recently struck with Cancer.  Have I mentioned how much I HATE the "C" word?   In November, she had a bad cough..thought it was a cold.  It was not a cold.... Prayers to her please!

This necklace had to be 100% handmade...so the link is another one of Cindy Wimmer's designs from her new book, The Missing Link.  I have made this necklace design before...for another woman struck with Cancer, and her friend whose father also suffers from this horrid disease.


I added a heart to remind her that she is loved by many.


Life is good...life is short...hug your loved ones!

Thanks for stopping by!

xo
Patti