Tag Archives: lilruby

5×5 Challenge

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This past month I participated in a very intriguing challenge, along with 4 other Artisan Whimsy members. It’s called 5×5 Testers, and works like this: five artists are chosen each month and each are given five identical components to create with. At the end of the month, all of the pieces are revealed and are featured in the beautiful Bead Chat e-magazine. To see it, click on the “Glossi” link on the right side of the page.

The results are fascinating, as each artist interprets the pieces in their own unique style. I wish I’d have thought to take a picture of the components before I used them (d’oh!), but I do know that some of the other team members did.

Here’s what I came up with-

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I decided to work with this filigree piece first. This was the easiest piece for me, since I work with this style so often. I enhanced just the center of the filigree with Vintaj patinas, and curled the ends under at the sides. At first I was going to join the chain with jumprings, but instead I inserted a headpin with tiny brass beads to work as stoppers. Some absinthe green Czech glass drops swing from the filigree.

Next came the X shaped piece of brass. I gently shaped it with bailing pliers so that it fit the curve of my wrist, and carefully wound hemp cord around the legs and over the center, adding a few African trade beads as I went along. Some vintage cuckoo clock chain and a lobster clasp was added to finish.

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When I saw this large, kind of open weave brass ring I knew I wanted to make a bezel with it, but wasn’t really sure how to go about it. After reading about the process on the ICE resin website, I decided to attempt a backless bezel with resin. I set the frame on a piece of packing tape and poured just a little resin in to cover the inside of the frame. After the first layer was dry I cut a piece of heavy scrapbook paper and laid it in for a background, and continued to add several thin layers of resin, letting it cure between layers. To finish, I painted a brass bird charm and glued it to the front. A couple of tiny bead caps painted with Vintaj patina became little flowers to hide the holes in the bird’s wings.

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Next I tackled the little square of copper. The edges were pretty sharp, so I filed them a little, and then coated the square with Vintaj patina. Once it dried I sanded it here and there for a distressed look, and added a rusty metal flower layered with a bright Czech glass flower bead. It’s strung on bright turquoise suede cord.

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Finally, the domed copper disc! This pretty much had me stumped, and I put off dealing with it until the very last minute. I thought about somehow winding wire through the slots but couldn’t come up with anything I liked, so out of desperation I just started punching holes in it. I had some bright colored embroidery thread laying on my table so I used it to make knots in the holes, and glued a flower shaped Czech glass bead to the front. It’s a little weird, but I kind of like it!

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This challenge was a great exercise, and forced me to think outside my normal creative box! Thanks so much to Melinda Orr for letting me participate, to Alicia Marinache for moderating the challenge, and to Heather Kelly Marston, who generously provided the materials!

Here are links to the rest of this amazing team’s blogs and their fabulous creations –

Charlene Bausinger Jacka     http://www.clay-space.com/blog

Lesley Freedom   http://www.sweetfreedom-designs.blogspot.com

Heidi Kingman     http://www.heidikingman.blogspot.com

Sharyl McMillian-Nelson  http://www.sharylsjewelry.blogspot.com

Heather Kelly Marston      http://www.cswdesignsbyhehe.blogspot.com

 

Oh, the possibilities!

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It’s Bead Soup time again – I’m participating in the 7th Bead Soup Blog Party hosted by Lori Anderson. This is my 2nd year for Bead Soup, and my reveal date is March 30th.

If you haven’t heard about this wildly popular and fun blog hop, here’s how it works: Lori assigns each participant a partner, and you each choose a mixture of beads and findings (a soup) from your stash and exchange them. On reveal day, you post what you created on your blog. Creating with beads you didn’t choose yourself is a good way to stretch your creativity, and is lots of fun – especially since my partner, Gretchen Nation, sent me an absolute treasure trove of goodies – so much it takes two pictures to see it all! Check this out-

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In this pic you can see vintage beads and buttons, found objects, a strand of fire agates and more!

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Here we have more great buttons and beads, and best of all – Frozen Charlottes! There were five of these little beauties, but I’ve already started creating with one of them. Be sure to check back on March 30th to see what I come up with!

love life

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jewelry 563When I started to make this bracelet, it was with the intention of just making a fun piece to sell for Valentines Day. But as I was deciding how to etch it and what the text would say, instead it became a reminder – to love life – no matter what challenges it holds. My husband and I have experienced some doozies over the past couple of years – illness, the loss of both of our mothers, job loss followed by extended unemployment which in turn has caused financial hardship…all of which equals stress levels that are off the charts! But – love endures – for each other, and for the life we share.
So, instead of a holiday sale piece, I think I’ll keep this one…or at least make another one for me! 🙂

Remembering Clara – Memories and Thanks blog hop reveal

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When I saw that Lori Anderson was hosting another of her great blog hops I was ready to sign up, especially since this one has to do with memory jewelry – that is, jewelry that’s created to honor the memory of someone who has played a special part in your life.

Clara was my paternal grandmother, and was special not only to me, but to our entire family. Christmas Eves and family birthdays were always spent at Grandma’s house on Hendee St.

Grandma was gentle and soft spoken, but also very strong. She’s been gone many years now, but I can still see her in her dress, apron and cute little old lady shoes. She always wore a jeweled pin on her apron or a necklace, and had tea and cookies every afternoon at 4:00. To this day I think of her everytime I see a box of Lorna Doones!

God only knows what I was jabbering at her!

God only knows what I was jabbering at her!

I’m the youngest child in our family by over 10 years so Grandma was already 70 years old when I was born. I knew her as the adorable elderly lady she was at that time, but I’ve always been fascinated by the lovely young woman she once was. So much so that way back in high school I painted this portrait of her –

Grandma's portrait

The image I chose to use for my memory bracelet is from her wedding picture. I photocopied the photo, inserted it into a lovely brass stamping piece from B’Sue Boutiques and coated it with ICE resin. After that it was just a matter of adding a few crystals and a length of chain that I threaded with some tea dyed ribbon.

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I like to think that Clara would have approved!

Thanks so much for joining me on my little trip down memory lane! Now go and check out all the talented artists and their beautiful creations on this blog hop –

http://www.prettythingsblog.com/2012/11/participants-for-memories-and-thanks.html

Challenge of Color reveal!

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When I saw that Erin Prais-Hintz of Tesori Trovati Jewelry was hosting the 3rd Annual Challenge of Color blog hop I jumped at the chance to participate. I was intrigued by the premise of the challenge, which is to create a jewelry piece using color palettes that were created by Brandi Hussey from satellite pictures! The images of places all over our planet are from the Earth As Art exhibit, and are breathtakingly beautiful. The other thing that makes Erin’s blog hop challenges so interesting is that she encourages you to go beyond just the jewelry creation part of it and to actually learn a little something about the topic.

Of the two palettes I received, the one I chose to use is called “Lake District”.

Here’s what I learned:

The Lake District, also known as The Lakes, is a mountainous region of Northwestern England. The area is famous for its lakes, forests and mountains, but also for being the home of poet William Wordsworth and children’s author Beatrix Potter.
The highest mountains in England are in the Lake District as well as the two deepest and longest lakes. Designated as a National Park in 1951, it’s the most visited National Park in the United Kingdom. Something that made it all the more interesting to me is that it happens that some of my husband’s ancestors are also from that region!

Another good thing about this challenge is that it forced me to delve into my stash of “stones I couldn’t resist buying but have no idea what to do with”. This pendant was the first thing I made-

Pretty close match, isn’t it? By the way, does anyone know what kind of stone that is?

Next, I thought I’d try to pick up on some of the dusky pink and rose brown tones. I had a strand of large picasso jasper rounds and two of these striped stone beads that I thought would work well for a chunky bracelet. I don’t know what those striped beads are either, but they have a wonderful silky smooth texture! I bent a couple of little gears to make bead caps for the picasso bead and wired everything together along with a few Czech glass beads.

So there you have it – I managed to use some of my mystery stones, learned about something new and had a great time doing it! 

As I was writing this post I was having tons of computer issues so I apologize that I wasn’t able to include the list of other blog hop artists here – but please click on the link below to go back and visit them all – thanks for looking!

Erin Prais-Hintz    http://treasures-found.blogspot.com

It’s here!!

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My husband and I love Steve Martin movies and we dug out “The Jerk” to watch a week or so ago. One of my favorite scenes is when the new phone book is delivered to the gas station where Navin is working and he leaps with joy at seeing his name in print. I felt much the same way when I came home from work one day last week to see that the new issue of Belle Armoire Jewelry had been delivered-

Because – alongside the work of so many really talented artists – is this article!

This hinge bracelet is my all time favorite found object piece, and was also the easiest to make. From the moment I saw that old hinge with its chippy red paint I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it – it’s too bad inspiration doesn’t usually come that easily!

This wasn’t the first time I’ve had one of my jewelry pieces published, and happily I know of at least a couple more to come, but that jumping up and down joy is always the same – along with a sense of wonder that something I used to only dream of has actually happened. So, if you make jewelry or knit or paint or write – whatever it is – don’t be afraid to send it out into the world for others to enjoy!

My knight in shining armor

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During one of my late night internet searches recently I fell in love with this tiny vintage brass watch fob –

When it arrived in the mail I set about finding something that would transform the little guy into a pendant. After rummaging around awhile I found what I was looking for – an old piece of scalloped amber glass that I acquired years ago.

As I had hoped, it fit in the watch fob bottom perfectly! After that it was a simple matter to add some filigree, a matching crystal and some brass chain. I just love this little guy!

I was really tempted to keep this one, but I decided he’d make a great gift for someone so into my Etsy shop it went. Here’s the link to my shop if you’d like to take a look-
http://www.lilruby.etsy.com

I do still make jewelry….sometimes

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Lately my blog posts have been about anything but jewelry, as my creative urges in that area have kind of gone through a lull. I used to get stressed out about that, but now I realize that channeling my creativity in other ways – like taking pictures of cows or the moon! – helps me to get a fresh perspective that really helps when I sit down at my little workbench again.

I’ve kind of been obsessed with these angel wing stampings lately – I just love the exqusite detail of the feathers, and the way they look in different finishes or with an added patina. That got my spark lit again, at least enough to make a few things!


By the way, the fabulous brass wings are from B’ Sue Boutiques – if you make jewelry and haven’t visited her store yet you really should! www.bsueboutiques.com

 

The Challenge of Travel – blog hop reveal!

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I so enjoyed this blog hop challenge! We were instructed to choose a part of the world other than where we live and then create something inspired by it. I chose Africa, because for years I’ve been fascinated by tribal jewelry and love to collect African trade beads. Here’s a picture of part of my collection-

Those beads in the center of the tray are kiffa beads, and they’re the reason why I specifically chose Mauritania as the African country I felt inspired by.

Mauritania is an interesting land of contrasts on the Western coast of Africa, and is bordered by both the Atlantic Ocean and the Sahara Desert. The northern part of the country is inhabited by nomadic Arab and Berber tribes, and by black African people in the southern portion.

Making kiffa beads

African women make the colorful kiffa beads by hand, using traditional methods and very simple ingredients – ground glass, gum arabic –  sometimes even saliva! The beads are made in pans over an open fire. Modern kiffa beads look much the same as ones made long ago. I think they’re so beautiful!

I have a handful of kiffa beads that I’ve been hanging onto for a number of years, and I used them in three separate jewelry pieces for this challenge.  First is this pair of earrings made with hammered brass hoops, batiked bone beads and a couple of small kiffas-

Next is a bracelet with beads that remind me of Morrocan silver,  a large copal amber bead and small kiffas.

The final piece is a necklace made with antiqued brass, czech glass and more kiffa beads, including my favorite – a triangular focal.

Thanks so much for joining me on my little tour of Mauritania – I hope you enjoyed it!

Be sure to visit all the other countries and artists on this wonderful trip around the world!

Monique Urquhart http://ahalfbakednotion.blogspot.ca/ Africa Burkina Faso
Niky Sayers http://silverniknats.blogspot.co.uk/ Africa Egypt
Therese Frank http://www.theresestreasures59.blogspot.com Africa Kenya
Raychelle Heath http://abeadloveaffair.blogspot.com/ Africa Lesotho
Joan Williams www.lilrubyjewelry.wordpress.com Africa Mauritania
Sherri Stokey http://www.KnotJustMacrame.com Africa Senegal
Regina Santerre http://reginaswritings.blogspot.com Africa Seychelles
Raida Disbrow http://havanabeads.blogspot.com Africa Tanzania
Kristi Wodek http://livedinlife.blogspot.com Africa Zimbabwe
Sally Russick http://www.thestudiosublime.com Americas Brazil
Melissa Trudinger http://beadrecipes.wordpress.com Americas Mexico
Tracy Stillman http://www.tracystillmandesigns.com Americas USA
Sandra Wolberg http://city-of-brass-stories.blogspot.de Asia India
Tanya Goodwin http://pixiloo.blogspot.com Asia Japan
Susan Kennedy http://suebeads.blogspot.com Asia Japan
Beth Emery http://storiesbyindigoheart.blogspot.com Asia Japan
Lisa Cone http://inspiredadornments.blogspot.com/ Asia Japan
Tanya Boden http://fusionmusebangkok.blogspot.com/ Asia Japan
Inge von Roos http://ingetraud.wordpress.com Asia Laos
Erin Prais-Hintz http://treasures-found.blogspot.com Asia Nepal
Dee Elgie http://cherryobsidia.blogspot.com Asia Phillipines
Carolyn Lawson http://carolynscreationswa.blogspot.com Asia South Korea
Lisa Stukel http://carefreejewelrybylisa.blogspot.com Asia Sri Lanka
Elly Snare http://themagicsquarefoundation.wordpress.com Asia Thailand
Shelley Graham Turner http://www.shelleygrahamturner.blogspot.com Europe Austria
Mallory Hoffman http://rosebud101-fortheloveofbeads.blogspot.com/ Europe Bosnia Herzegovina
Paige Maxim http://www.pmaximdesigns.blogspot.com Europe France
Jenny Davies-Reazor http://www.jdaviesreazor.com/blog Europe Germany
Sharyl McMillian-Nelson http://sharylsjewelry.blogspot.com Europe Greece
Evelyn Shelby http://raindropcreationsbyevelyn.blogspot.com/ Europe Iceland
Holly Westfall http://silverrosedesigns.blogspot.com/ Europe Ireland
Rebecca Siervaag http://www.godsartistinresidence.blogspot.com Europe Ireland
Toltec Jewels http://toltecjewels.blogspot.com Europe Ireland
Lee Koopman http://StregaJewellry.wordpress.com Europe Ireland
Laren Dee Barton http://larendeedesigns.blogspot.com Europe Italy
Cindy Wilson http://www.mommysdreamcreations.blogspot.com Europe Norway
Kathleen Lange Klik http://ModernNatureStudio.blogspot.com Europe Poland
Shaiha Williams http://shaihasramblings.blogspot.com/ Europe Portugal
Jennifer Justman http://soulsfiredesigns.blogspot.com/ Europe Romania
Elsie Deliz-Fonseca http://ladelizchica.blogspot.com Europe Spain
Lola Surwillo http://www.beadlolabead.blogspot.com Europe Sweden
Kim Hora http://www.kimmykats.com Europe Switzerland
Leanne Loftus http://firstimpressiondesign.blogspot.com Europe The Netherlands
Patti Vanderbloemen http://myaddictionshandcrafted.blogspot.com Europe The Netherlands
Marcie Carroll http://labellajoya.blogspot.com Europe Turkey
Marlene Cupo http://amazingdesigns-marlene.blogspot.com Oceania Federated States of Micronesia
Ine Vande Cappelle http://jewelsbyine.blogspot.com Oceania Fiji
Tammie Everly http://ttedesigns.blogspot.com/ Oceania Guam
Alice Peterson http://www.alice-dreaming.blogspot.com Oceania Kiribati
Elisabeth Auld http://www.beadsforbusygals.com Oceania Nauru
Susan McClelland http://mistheword12.wordpress.com/ Oceania New Zealand
D Lynne Bowland http://islandgirlsinsights.blogspot.com Oceania New Zealand
Denielle Hagerman http://somebeadsandotherthings.com Oceania New Zeland
Rebecca Anderson http://songbeads.blogspot.com Oceania Papua New Guinea
Mischelle Fanucchi http://micheladasmusings.blogspot.com/ Oceania Samoa
Kari Asbury http://hippiechickdesign.blogspot.com Oceania Solomon Islands
Cece Cormier http://www.thebeadingyogini.com/ Oceania Tonga
Emma Todd http://www.apolymerpenchant.com Oceania Tuvalu
Debbie Price http://greenshoot.blogspot.com Oceania Vanuatu

The Big Reveal!

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Yay! It’s finally time to reveal the pieces I created for the 6th Bead Soup Blog Party so graciously hosted by Lori Anderson at http://www.prettythingsblog.com!

My partner is the lovely and talented Lori Poppe of http://www.lorillijeanscreativecorner.blogspot.com.  Here is the bead soup she sent to me:

My first project was to create a necklace using the beautiful sky blue pendant and the lampwork beads. This was a bit of a challenge at first, as I don’t usually work with pastel colors. Once I picked up on the black background of the lampwork beads I was able to bring a little of my “darkness” into the necklace with some black chain. I think it turned out to be an interesting combination!

Lori included a terrific handmade copper toggle clasp and I used it for this necklace of magnesite slabs and copper wire beads-

I found a use for the wonderful horse head beads by combining them with turquoise magnesite and a black lava bead in this bracelet and matching earrings-

It was so much fun being a part of this event, and I can’t wait to see everyone else’s creations! Here’s a link so you can follow along-

http://lorianderson-beadsoupblogparty.blogspot.com/2012/06/participants-of-6th-bead-soup-blog.html