Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Inspired by Winter Challenge

As if Sally Russick of The Studio Sublime did not have enough on her plate with the 52 Week Focus on Life Challenge, she came up with yet another one... "Inspired by Winter".  Sally instructed us to create a piece of jewelry that reflects the beautiful shimmer of newly fallen snow ; the muted colors of nature as it awaits Spring; the yummy browns of hot cocoa, the deep greens of the evergreens, or the bright red berries from the holly bushes.

I love Winter - it is my favorite of all the seasons.  I was born in Chicago and vividly remember The Chicago Blizzard of 1967 that literally shut down the City.  Over 23 inches of snow fell in less than 24 hours on January 26th.  To this day, it is the worst blizzard in Chicago history.  COOL! My Mother remembers it too, though her memories of this week were not as fond as her 6 year-old child who did not have to go to school!
Just say the word Winter to me, and this is what my mind sees:
So far this season, Mother Nature has basically forgotten about me, as there has been but a smitten of snow in Northern Virginia...sigh.  Oh well, still inspired, this is what I created:
GORGEOUS beads by Sue Kennedy (SueBeads)  aptly named "Winter White Sparkle Beads" adorn this bracelet wired in Silver. 
I added some tiny Czech glass bead dangles
Had to make earrings to match!
Look at this absolutely stunning lampwork bead by GlassBeadArt!!!  It just shimmers and shines and screams Winter!
I had fun playing with these pictures in PicMonkey - I added my own frost, since Nature could not provide it for me!
Thank you, Sally, for hosting this Challenge!  I at least got to visit Winter in my mind!  Now, go visit all of the participants who have been Inspired by Winter!

Patti Vanderbloemen <--That's me!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

I am so sad...

This morning, I got to my computer at my normal 5:30 am and realized that today was the very last day of Kerry Bogert's Aspire to Wire e-class!  30 new projects in 30 days!  Kerry is truly a wizard with wire!  This class was so full of wonderful, creative techniques and I have thoroughly enjoyed every single project!
I have incorporated some of these techniques into some pieces I have made in the past week.  This post is pretty picture-heavy, for sure!
These earrings are a spin-off design from Kerry's class.  Beautiful boro lampwork beads that I have had FOREVER.  They were the last two in a set of 10 beads that I have slowly incorporated into other designs.  I am afraid I cannot remember the maker of these lovelies...
Just a simple necklace and matching earrings - but these artisan beads are from two separate bead artists and I thought the beads complemented each other well.
I am so in love with this green lampwork bead by GlassBeadArt - I attached tiny Czech glass dangles - doesn't this color remind you of peridot??
I also used a sweet handmade clasp by Joanne Tinley
Is this not a fun color?!!!  Beads by GlassBeadArt
These are tiny lampwork beads by Mallory Hoffman- I am happiest when I get to bang my hammer and make these, my favorite earring style to create.
This necklace was made using a link style technique highlighted by Kerry Bogert, and beautiful ceramic beads by Natalie McKenna.  The next 3 pics are of the same necklace.
I was inspired by Kerry to coil...coil...coil!
At my last craft show, if I was asked once, I was asked 100 times..."do you have earrings to match??"  Why yes...I do now!
More beautiful ceramics by Natalie McKenna-this time a bracelet.
I won a gorgeous "bag of beads" by leaving a comment on Alice Peterson's blog a couple of months ago.  Her bag of beads included this beautiful Silver Mist Jasper..yum!  Alice is having health issues right now and has taken a temporary sabbatical.  I include her in my daily prayers - she is a sweet lady-and I wish for her a speedy recovery!

Twisted chain again..this time in silver.
Gorgeous beads from Unicorne - this shape is so beautiful and there is  just a touch of dichroic glass in these beads.
I made this necklace nice and long...there is that link again!  Can you tell how much I enjoyed making handmade chain!
This last picture is my FAVORITE!  Kerry gave some fabulous tips on riveting with WIRE - this is the result!  I was so pleased!  I have only ever used actual rivets before!  I made a few of these in silver it!
Have you tried any new techniques lately? 
Thanks so much for stopping by!  I love to read each and every comment!