Friday, September 7, 2012

My New Love...

It's Copper!  I have been really playing around with copper lately - wire, sheet, I don't care - it all works!  I am inspired by the many artisans blogs and facebook pictures.  So today's post is about what I have created lately with this marvelous metal.

My niece had a Home Party in July - she sold her Thirty-One line of bags (I bought a ton!), and I sold some jewelry.  Rachel is a teacher, and many of the attendees were also teachers.  Well, one of the teachers brought her sweet 11 year old daughter, who has a blood disorder called Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura, or ITP. Commonly referred to as Low Platelets, ITP can lead to an increased risk of severe bleeding.
Her daughter is a what I like to call a "girly-girl".  She had on a pretty dress and wore a pearl bracelet (the total opposite of how I dress)!  Anyway, her mother asked me if I could come up with some sort of a design for a Medical ID bracelet for her daughter, who did not want to wear a medical ID bracelet.  I could certainly understand not wanting to call undue attention to oneself by wearing a bracelet emblazoned with a caduceus.  So, I told her I would look online and try to find something appropriate.
I am an avid online shopper - I would rather pay shipping than walk into a store.  That makes me sound lazy, which I am not, I just don't enjoy shopping.  I searched everywhere and could not find anything even remotely close to an design that did not scream "look at my medical ID bracelet".  (I thought about posting photos and links on my blog of some of the bracelets I found, but the thought of copyright infringement stopped me). So I came up with my own.
In searching through my endless jewelry supplies, I found some 22 gauge copper sheet metal, bought a caduceus stamp, and stamped away.

I intentionally DID NOT line up the lettering - I wanted it to look "wonky".  I textured the sides and ends of the blank, gave it a bath in  liver of sulfur, buffed it, and tumbled it for 2 hours.  A coat of Renaissance Wax and some final buffing really made it shine.  Then I set off to make the bracelet portion.  The bracelet has two lobster clasps on each end.

To entice her to wear it even more often, I made a few extra bracelets - one can never have too many bracelets, right?  I was sure to include lots of different colors, as well as silver and copper - variety is the spice of life.
I love the idea of having options.  And, though not cheap per se, I made sure to use inexpensive beads - I did not want her to feel bad if one of the strands broke.  I am told she likes her gift and I hope she wears it!

I have also been playing around with my disc cutter - I replaced my old one (which I gifted!) with a Swanstrom Disc Cutter - WOW!  This thing is awesome!  I spent an entire day at my bench just making bead caps and discs.  Here is what I have actually put far....
I added some ceramic charms by Elaine Ray and Marsha Neal to these earrings
Beads by Diana P. at Suburban Girl Bead , small ceramic shard by Marsha Neal, and handmade bead caps and claps.

Gorgeous ivory/neutral lampwork by Glass Bead Art - handmade bead caps and clasp.
Porcelain beads and pendant by Yolanda's Clay - handmade bead caps and clasp.
Wow - I just noticed that there is a definite woodsy, earth-toned theme to all of these favorite season (next to winter) is almost here!
Thanks so much for stopping by!  I love to read your comments, if you are so inclined to leave one!  Have  a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

More Donated Bracelets for the Rare Project Organization!

I am sharing more pictures of the completed bracelets I made for the Global Genes / Rare Project Organization's Gala to be held at the end of this month.  All of the lampwork beads used in the bracelets below were handmade by Sue Kennedy of Sue Beads.  This batch of pictures also includes pearls and lots of man-made sea glass beads.

Click on pictuures for a larger view
Man-made sea glass and two sterling silver beads.
This was the first bracelet I made - sterling silver chain and LOTS of wrapped pearls.
I punched holes in this "Hope" ring and attached Sue's beads, along with some coordinating tiny Czech glass beads.  I really love the shape of these beads that Sue made, and the colors are so bright and pretty!
Sue's beautiful pastel beads went well with some sea glass, two pewter heart-shaped beads, and a sterling silver "heart" charm.  I added a handmade, sterling clasp.
Man made sea glass beads, a Bali silver bead, and a sweet sterling PMC charm by the lovely Lesley Watt of THEAtoo
Sue used a beautiful deep green in these lampwork beads - I wrapped them in sterling silver and added a handmade sterling silver clasp by Joanne Tinley of Daisy Chain Extra.
Along with lampwork beads, I added some wrapped clusters of Czech glass flower buds, and a handmade sterling clasp and "Believe" charm
Turquoise glass beads and fringe chain
Man-made sea glass beads, and a handmade bronze sea-shell charm by Lesley Watt
Sue etched these lampwork beads - I love this effect - which coordinated well with some man-made sea glass beads, and a handmade sterling clasp
Two sets of Sue's lampwork, with some sterling spacers, chain, and a handmade clasp
Sue's pale lampwork beads, flecked with silver, looked so pretty with some turquoise chunks.  I added a Green Girl Studio pewter "Guardian Angel" charm.
More of Sue's etched lampwork beads in varying hues of soft blues, wrapped in sterling with a handmade clasp.
Sue's lampwork beads, a sterling Bali bead, and light blue glass beads, with a handmade sterling clasp
Beautiful deep green lampwork beads by Sue - these beads have flecks of purple and are so pretty in person!
Well, that it my picture show for today!  As always, my thanks to Sue Kennedy, and the other artisans noted above, for making my bracelet-making project so much fun!
If you would like to find out more about the Global Genes / Rare Project Organization, please visit the link below.
Thank you so much for stopping by - I love reading comments!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Pay It Forward

I was reading Cilla's Blog (Tell Your Girlfriends) and I found this great blog game to play..

Here’s How It Works

I’ll send a surprise gift to the first three commenters on this blog post. The gift will be a handmade surprise by me and will be sent to you some time in the next 365 days (yep, mystery gift at a mystery time).

Here’s what you need to do, leave me a comment and make sure you include your email address (if your profile doesn’t include it). I’ll email you for your snail mail address and a ask a few questions (likes/dislikes, favourite colours, sizes general stuff like that).

To complete signing up you MUST play along too. To do this you must blog a similar post and pledge to make a surprise gift for the first three people who comment on it.

So, do you want to play? Comment below and I’ll sent a thoughtful handmade gift to the first three people who do.

Let the fun and games begin!

Happy beading!