Thursday, November 13, 2014

Miss Hannigan

I recently designed a really pretty unique necklace.  It looks great with the style of long shirts and long sweaters.  Even the blanket coats.  It is a wonderful bohemian, shabby chic feel to it and includes some of my favorite things - wire-wrapped beads, Czech glass beads and handmade artisan beads.
Lovely, if I do say so.  *Pendant by Humlebeads.  Lampwork glass by Kimberly's Corner.

And then, I was watching Annie with my daughter.  The original 1982 version.  I loved this movie when it came out and love it now.  I loved belting out "The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow" in the shower as a kid and my girl scout troop did a rendition of the "It's a Hard Knock Life" (in Scouts).  Much to my daughter's chagrin, I can still sing all of the songs from this wonderful movie.  I was so into the movie, that at the time, I had the doll, the record and even for Easter one year, got the Annie locket (and still have it - well, I gave it to my daughter).
 See?  Quite awhile ago I added the pearl necklace instead of the original gold chain.  I was making jewelry before I even knew what jewelry-making can all encompass.

So, back to watching Annie with my daughter.  I couldn't help noticing Miss Hannigan's (Carol Burnett) wonderful jewelry collection.  Even in her scanties, she always had an abundance of costume jewelry.  Long chain and beaded necklaces.  The kind that are popular now.  And I was thinking how the necklace I made might fit into her wardrobe.---It just made me laugh.
How To Get Through Monday, By Miss Hannigan From "Annie"
 **Image from:

*Image from:

Seriously, though, this is more an idea of the outfit I was thinking of wearing with this necklace:

  Goodness, aren't these pretty?  and much better than walking around in underwear and feather boas.

This shirt can be found here: Anthropologie.   and the sweater here:  Anthropologie sweater

One last thing, for the Annie fans - did you hear a new one is coming out in December 2014?  With Cameron Diaz as Miss Hannigan?  She is supposed to much more edgy?  (She has big shoes to fill!)  Can't wait to go with my daughter!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Halcraft November Pretty Palettes Challenge

I participated in the last two month's Pretty Palettes Challenge hosted by Erin Prais-Hintz on the Halcraft blog.  And I was already planning to participate this month (I need some challenges to get my creativity flowing) when Erin asked me to be her partner!  Yay!!!!!  I was so excited.  How fun it is to get free beads in the mail!   

So, then I saw the Inspiration blogpost and the original palette:

Gulp!  What to do with these colors?  I'm not a huge orange fan.  And man are those pumpkins bright!  But then I saw the beads she picked out and all fear went to the side.  
 Our November bead palette!
I mean look at these beads - shell and stone and metal.  These are more my speed.  I really like the shell beads - anything to remind me of summer!   The black and white beads, I thought from the picture just had the light reflecting the white and would be more black and grey.  They are indeed striped with white, black and grey.  And the copper beads have a richness to the color.  So, now the challenge begins.  I must put my thinking cap on and move forward. 

See you back on November 26th for the reveal! 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Halcraft October Challenge

Another challenging color palette.  For this month's Halcraft challenge, I could pick either of the paintings on the Halcraft blog by Erin Fitzhugh Gregory - and both were full of color!!!  Check them out here:
I kind of chose some colors from both pictures:
The dynamic and color artwork of Erin Fitzhugh Gregory captivates me with the brilliant colors!

 There is no way to be unhappy when looking at the artwork of Erin Fitzhugh Gregory.

I really like the 2nd picture color palette more but I think the green is what's getting me.  I'm not a huge green fan in jewelry - and this green is .... a little interesting.  I like the red and the blues and even the yellow (from the first picture) and pinks.  So I chose the green from the first picture and the navy, turquoise, pink and red from the second picture. 

Once I saw other people making chevron necklaces, I have wanted to make my own.  So this is the time:

 How hard can it be, right?  Just simple loops hanging on a chain.  I had to make the pink row twice because at first it was too short and the green row 3 times, because it was too long, then too short!  It finally worked out.  I like it - a bohemian cowboy - isn't that a trend now? 
And I also made a bracelet: 

 The green is definitely a softer color. The small green beads in the chevron necklace are aventurine and the larger oval green beads in the bracelet are 'green stone'.  I love the flecks in them.  I think it gives the beads some dimension.   The toggle clasp is supposed to be a flower and leaf combo and the charm is a feather. 

Here is the necklace and bracelet on.  The chain for the necklace is actually much longer, but I like to wear necklaces up a little higher. 
Together, what a nice color combo!  I really like this one. 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

We're All Ears October Challenge

I love this inspiration:

 **Picture from Earrings Everyday blog.

The  marbleizing effect is so pretty.  I love the swirls and mixing of the colors.  As soon as I saw these inspiration pictures, I knew what beads I wanted to use. 

These awesome calsilica beads fit the bill.  But what to pair with them?  A few Czech glass beads and a small lampwork glass bead.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

ABS October Monthly Challenge

I've frequently looked at and ogled the Art Bead Scene blog - look at all those pretty handmade beads and the talent of the artists on there!  Pretty awesome!  And last month I really liked the monthly challenge inspiration but ran out of time to make any jewelry related to it - too many home improvement projects going on!  So I decided before the month started that I would do this month's challenge.   And boy, what a challenge it is.
This color palette is very different.  I like bright but wouldn't normally pick this choice of colors.  Here's the inspiration art:

**image is from the Art Bead Scene blog.  Read about the artist and challenge here:

But I did have to say that there was a suggestion to use a colored gemstone like purple turquoise in making the jewelry. --And I happened to have some kind of costly purple turquoise that has been sitting in my collection for awhile, so I thought it would be a good use of it.  I fiddled around with all sorts of combinations and first didn't even notice the blue tree in it - somehow my mind was just fixated on all the other color!!!  And finally settled on this. 

A mix of orangish gemstones, some beautiful purple turquoise and amazing handmade beads.  They are all hand-knotted on navy blue nylon cord.  I wanted the front lampwork disc to be seen from the side so I added an extra nylon cord for the front beads and ended it around the focal area. 
The handmade beads are:
** orangey-yellow chicklet bead from SueBeads
**blue lampwork spacers from Kimberly's Corner (  She always sells at our local Intergalactic Bead Show and makes some amazing beads!
**Elaine Ray navy blue teardrop beads.
 I'm thinking about redoing this with another more magenta - purple beads.  The turquoise ended up looking kind of dark and the necklace seems a little overbearing dark with all the navy beads too.   Hmmmm.... I may have to think about this. 
And if I thought this color challenge a little off, a little different for fall well, as I was waiting outside for my son to get off the bus, I happened to notice the beautiful mums in my neighbor's yard. 
These colors together really reminded me of this challenge! 

Friday, September 26, 2014

Pretty Palettes September Challenge

Have you checked out this cool challenge?  Erin Prais-Hintz picks out a beautiful picture for the Halcraft website, a color palette is developed and then, you use either your own beads or get some from Michael's to make some jewelry with that palette.  This is the color inspiration. 

Doesn't this dessert look heavenly? From Jessica Colaluca of Fresh Hues

I did purchase all the beads and chain from Michael's for this necklace and even had to go back to get some more of those silver balls - not enough came on one strand!
Can you see the raspberries in the necklace?  
 A bib necklace to add some glam to any outfit.   And finished off with a heart toggle. 

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Silver (Pewter) Vintaj Blanks - part 1

I made a pair of earrings with the silver Vintaj blanks this past winter.  And I wore them a ton.  Very pretty.  I love the Vintaj etched look and that I can create my own designs and that they are in silver (which I prefer to wear).  But I found some things that needs to be worked around when making silver Vintaj embossed or etched earrings, or pendants.  I call them silver, but the Vintaj blanks are actually made with pewter. 
***A good pair - front and back.

First, the silver/pewter blanks are really thick (compared to the brass and copper blanks).  Although I haven't measured them, the copper and brass blanks seem to behave similarly.  I have not attempted any embossing with the silver/pewter blanks.  

The embossing folders for the Vintaj Big Kick are metal inside a plastic sleeve.

After using a non-Vintaj brass blank, that felt the same thickness as the Vintaj ones - this happened (below) to an embossing folder.    I can only imagine what the thick silver blank would do. 
 *They look and feel like the same thickness and both companies say they are 24 gauge.

The etching folders are what feels like a piece of heavy duty felt - one-sided.  So, when you etch with them, the plastic sheets that go into the Vintaj Big Kick machine get imprinted as well.  The instructions clearly say to lay the etching piece down with the blank and put the clear plastic sheet on it with no protective barrier. 
This etched plastic sheet then transfers to the back of the silver blank that I am working with. 
*See the skinny lines - they are not supposed to be there.

So I have to constantly move the etching piece with silver blank around so that it is on a clear part of the plastic.  And then, basically all of the plastic sheets are getting imprinted all over. 

(This does not affect the embossing because the blank goes between 2 pieces of metal and then in between the plastic sheets).
As you can see, the silver blanks also make a pretty good indention in the etching piece - which can be good if you are making earring pairs, so you can get exactly the same image on both pieces but not so good if you want to make a different image on the same etching piece or use a different size blank with the same image.

When making the silver blanks, you also have to be careful of where the hole in the top of the blank is placed.  The earrings that I made in January have some etching surrounding the hole in the top of the blank.  This basically weakens the metal and eventually the earrings broke.  Whoops!
These are just my experiences.  Maybe someone more expert with these materials would have better or different experiences with these.  And even with these caveats, I keep plugging away with the Vintaj BigKick and the pewter blanks because they are fun to work with and I like the outcome.

Has anyone else worked a lot with these pewter blanks and had similar experiences or better experiences?