Friday, October 30, 2009

Head Out On The Highway

Had a really enjoyable day yesterday. Svetlana and I went on a secondhand/antique shopping expedition to York. She had been there a few weeks previously and saw a piece of antique furniture that she wanted to buy and needed some company on the 95k trip. Set off at 9.00 and had to pass through Guildford and of course we had to stop at the shops there for a quick browse. An hour later and we were on our way again. Arrived in York and called into the shop only to find the piece she wanted was sold. But she managed to find something else, so it certainly wasn't a wasted trip.

Next to the shop was a yard filled with all sorts of interesting bits and bobs and I saw this old washing machine. The name Hotpoint rings a bell with me, maybe my mum had one of these at one time. If my sisters are reading this they'll probably remember because they are much, much older than me, ha, ha (hi sisters..... waving).Now who new there was a road called The Rabbit Proof Fence Road. I thought it was just a movie. Kidding!
I didn't leave the country side empty handed. Some of my stash I bought at various shops, ready to be recycled into glorious pieces of jewelry.

And just so you don't think I've been unproductive this week, here's a few bracelets I made. Below is one with shades of green (nothing like the colours in the photo I might add) with antique gold.
Black and white.
More unrealistic shades of green.
And some wall paper earrings.
So now it's back to the real world of laundry, vacuuming and bill paying.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

When Designs go Pear Shaped

See this.....this started life as a bracelet. Pale yellow pearl beads with silver beads and spacers. First it was too big so I pulled it apart, re-arranged things and removed a couple of beads, put it all back together and it was too small. Fiddled around with it some more and got thoroughly frustrated, had a little tanty, stamped my feet and said swear words then added some chain and now it's a necklace and a pretty boring one at that.
See that clasp. I blame that clasp for all my troubles. It just didn't want to be part of a bracelet. It wouldn't play by the rules and just decided it wasn't going to do up properly when it was part of a bracelet.
I like these and I think I'll keep them for me. The reason is they exactly match a shirt I own. I know, pretty bright and larey, so is the shirt. I call it my Couture Hawaiian shirt and it looks good on me. Well I just keep telling myself that.
Spot the mistake? I didn't until I had taken the photo and uploaded it to this post. It's fixed now. That will teach me to rush things.
This is an earring pattern from a magazine called Beginners Guide to Beading. It's an Australian magazine and has quite a lot of info in it, especially for newbies like me. Both of the above earrings are the same design, just different beads.
Must away......Svetlana is coming over for a play date so I'd better tidy up and get organised. If we make anything exciting I'll take photos. The melting pot and wax could be involved.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

It's a GB and WP Free Zone Today

Well no grungeboard or wall paper in this necklace. Just traditional beads and baubles and me practicing my stringing. As you all know the photos never do justice to the colours. Shades of deep purple and green with some silver thrown in for contrast.These beads were given to me by my friend Debbie (thanks Debbie).
Silver spacers and what not.
One very large purple fabric bead.
So this next set of photos are of a couple of mandrel sets I bought because I've been wanting to make my own oval jump rings. They seem to be very hard to get here in Perth and I know I could order them on line but I'm one of those people who want it and want it now.
This set has quite a few different shapes of mandrels. Oval, square, triangle and round. I love the square one.
I bought a set of metal Beadolon oval mandrels and commenced my adventure into jump ring making. Ok, wind on the wire as much as you need, slip it off the mandrel and start snipping. Easy peasy, you think I could slip that wire off the mandrel? No way Jose. It was stuck fast. I don't know if I wound it on too tight but I struggled for about 30 minutes trying to slide if off the mandrel. In the end I had to grip the whole thing with a piece of rubber matting and pries it off.
But I love these rectangle jump rings I made with the Artistic Wire worker and they are perfect for joining my pieces of grungboard/wall paper discs together. It sits nice and flat but with room to move about.
Think I need a manicure judging by that picture of my thumb.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Jailbird Earings

Not much to show for the weekend. In fact a very poor showing. Just one pair of earings.
Silver wall paper with a black stripe. Decided to try a different shape so settled on this oval shape which is about 3.5cm long (approx. 1.5"). Black eyelets and silver earing hooks.
Had a go at doing a wire wrap. Mmmm......back to the drawing board on that one. Added a small black crystal to give them a bit of weight and draw attention away from my wire wrap, ha ha!
Off to work soon so just a short post. This week doesn't look like being terribly productive really. Wednesday is Chas' birthday so tomorrow is shopping for a present, Wednesday is housework and tidying up (the rels are coming) Thursday is work again (yay, money for beads). Tuesday night I have a class with Kelsey. Decorating small dominoes to add to ATC's so maybe something to show on Wednesday.

Think I'll name these Jailbird Earings, the stripes make me think of prison garb. Or mattress ticking....thinking about that now I'm not sure I like them anymore...oh dear.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

I Have No Bead Knowledge

I really should get to know the names of all the different shapes of beads and also what they're made of. I just go in the shop and pick out whatever I'm drawn to and I always forget to ask what they are, I'm too impatient to get home and start making something. I'm failing 'Bead Knowledge 101 '.
The colours in these beads drew me to them, green, yellow and black flecked small squarish ones and larger oblong faceted ones. See....I have no idea what I'm talking about here. But this I do know, the little black ones are crystals.
Now this pair have some recycled silver plastic beads, small black crystals and olive green drop crystals. Am I starting to sound knowledgeable yet?
Ok, small round yellow ones, silver pumpkin shape ones, silver filigree bead caps and small black crystals.
Now here I know what I'm talking about. Cream coloured wall paper glued to grungeboard, black hand stamping and gun metal eyelets and earing hooks. I made another pair last night and included them in with some bracelets I made for a work colleague of Brighita's. I just loved them so much I made another pair for myself.
They've got a sort of faded vintagey look to them. It's so gratifying to be able to use elements other than beads and I'm starting to use a lot of my mixed media stuff of which I have heaps.
Dinner preparations call (damn it). Chops and salad tonight because I'm struggling to come up with something creative and delicious. Wish I was Oprah, then I could have a full time chef!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Visions and Vampires

Lying in bed the other night and trying to get images of vampire babies and werewolves out of my head (I'm reading the Twilight series). So the next best thing to think about was jewelry and I had a vision. I could see this necklace draped around the slender neck of someone tall and willowy. That's not me by the way, I'm short and wallowing in my own flubby fat!
Now the thing about visions is this.....the vision and the reality are sometimes two different things and turning the vision into reality is something else again.
Out came the trusty cuttlebug.
I cut out 28 small, medium and large grungeboard discs.
Then I cut out 56 small, medium and large wall paper discs. Ok, this is taking a bit longer than I anticipated.

Edged all 84 pieces with a brown sharpie. No white edges, thank you Kelsey, you taught me well.

Glued the wall paper to the grungeboard on both sides. By this stage I'm getting a over the whole 'vision'.
Out came the cropadile. What a lifesaver that thing is. Proceeded to set 56 eyelets.

Then slowly worked out the design. Had to add some other elements to it to give it some weight.
Antique gold chain and some embelishments.
And here you have the finished piece. I started this on Saturday afternoon and finished it today, 4 days later.
I didn't end up using all the discs, if I had, the necklace would be about knee length, but that's ok because the leftovers can be used for other things.
Next time I have a vision I think I'll mull it over for quite some time before I decide to give it a go.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Well I Feel Like The Cats Whiskers.......

......and it's pyjamas too.
Dawn from Dawn's Beaded Badge and Lanyards & Jewelry has been adding my humble little blog to her weekly roundup for a few weeks now and that led to Lisa from A bead Day to read my posts on my wall paper jewlery. A couple of days ago Lisa sent me an email asking if I would mind if she featured me on her blog. MIND!!! are you kidding. I was thrilled to bits.
So this is just a shameless, bragging, blog post, with no pictures.
But I do hope to have something to show tomorrow taking my wall paper into a new direction I hope.
So a great big thank you to Dawn and Lisa.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Spas are Over Rated

Things have been quiet in the jewelry making department over the last few days. My head has been consumed with holiday plans for Christmas. Spending time with 3 of my sisters who are interstate and catching up with my girlfriend of 38 years (yikes! is it really 38 years Sherryn?).
But it's the big trip to Tasmania that I've wanted to do for many years. Now I had visions in my head of swanning around a swanky hotel suite, strolling around the city, lots of shopping and sight seeing and then strolling back to our swanky suite and possibly having a spa to relieve the aching muscles and then order room service. Who was I kidding?
You see we forgot to factor in the Sydney to Hobart yacht race and every hotel, motel, apartment, bed and breakfast within coo-ee of the city is booked out. So after 3 days on the internet, many emails begging for accommodation and pulling my hair out we finally found a place.
Forget about spas and room service. The only luxury this place has is tea/coffee making equipment, also it's a 10 minute drive out of the city or in our case a 20 minute 'hop on the bus Gus' ride unless we hire a car.
One redeeming feature it has though is it's very close to the Cadbury Chocolate factory. Actually thinking about that now, it's possibly not a good thing. Anyway we'll just make the best of it, I keep telling myself as long as we've got somewhere to sleep that's the main thing. Spas are overrated anyway.
So this is my very poor effort in jewelry making over the last few days.
Still on the grungeboard kick but this time no wall paper. Painted the GB then embossed the disc in the cuttlebug. Gently smeared silver rub n buff over the raised areas.
I used Folk Art black metallic paint. Sorry about the glare.
So now all the holiday plans are made I can concentrate on other stuff and that's just made me realise I better start making some Christmas presents to take with me. Guess what the sisters are getting!