Saturday, July 17, 2010

Bracelets & Bling...
July 17, 2010

I have gotten in to the swing of things and started stringing TWO bracelets tonight with another still in the creative mode. I have made silver lentils, silver beads, textured silver discs that I have started dapping into bead caps. I'm having a blast!

Here's a sneak peak...

The bottom one (blue) is right now, my favorite - I was loving the pink til I started the blue!! And then when my new BLING! arrived (swaros... lovely, lovely swaros!) I love these Chintz Lampwork Beads from Bastille Bleu and Swarovski Crystals!! I couldn't resist using the Montana rounds.

I played with the silver tube beads and I just adore the urchin texture and how it came out. I planned to use transparent enamels on that bead so you can see the color, the texture and ... well, I'm just excited!
There are two charms that will be added to this - more later.

The pink one will have the tiny little pink rose as a charm from the closure. I adore the silver lentil bead focal w/ the carnation texture. I can't wait to make more of these little beauties!

While I was working I 'NEEDED' a 5/8" round cutter to complete the sand dollar lentil for the blue bracelet so I ran to Hobby Lobby. MISTAKE! :o) I found some wooden pegs that to me say "LENTIL SHAPER!"
I was so excited. Then I came home and said how in hecks name am I going to keep these upright with two little 4-legged boys who like to "help" and often leap to the top of the studio to sleep on the bed up there?

POLYMER CLAY! Voila - my new Lentil Shaper Peg Caddies! (Isn't it interesting that when I make something from polymer clay that won't be a part of a piece of jewelry I do NOT burn it? ::grumble::)

Wanted to share :o)
Ok... back to the table! :o)

Monday, July 5, 2010

Creativity Flows
July 5, 2010

NOW... creativity is flowing! I've finished the Charms for Charity and become what one of my friends calls a 'bead hoard'. I saw a set created by Bastille Bleu Lampwork Beads and the juices started. It was a blue 'chintz' set that made me think of my grandmother's house, my two great aunt's cottages on the beach in Maine and shabby chic all rolled into one.
I'm pretty bad at remembering people's birthdays... correction - I REMEMBER I just don't always get the gifts/cards, etc out in time and this set made me think of my god mother and the fact that her birthday was in May and yes, I still hadn't sent anything.

She has a cottage in Maine and I thought ohhhh this would be pretty for her! So the ideas started flowing. Definitely a bracelet. I just finished one for a friend to give to her friend and I love how it came out. I need to make more!

Problem! How could there be a problem? Some other lucky soul picked up the Bastille Bleu Lampwork Beads before I did!! Yikes! So I sent a note to Nikki and said - next set has my name on it. She convo'd me back and sight unseen I became the owner of a pink set.

The next day I had hollow form class at the Memphis Botanic Garden with Brandy Boyd (my silver clay deal... ahhh teacher). Instead of the typical class with burn out cores we did lentil beads. How exciting!! I wanted to create a big focal lentil bead and have been thinking about it for months! Now I had a chance to make small ones as a test... AND it clicked something else in me ... HAND MADE SILVER BEADS for the charm bracelet!! Plus... did I mention that she's into antique swarovski beads??? Well, she's got me hooked on those too so I picked up a bunch of square rose swaros, some pretty green and dusty blue bicones and rounds. Woo hoo - creativity flows...

THEN... (you knew there had to be a then right?) my beads came in from Bastille Bleu Lampwork Beads - O M Gosh! they are beautiful! Now I'm on a roll - I read Kate McKinnon's book Sculptural Metal Clay and have come to the conclusion that I HAVE to have a dapping block so that I can make bead caps - yep... bead caps! So off to Harbor Freight I went in search of said dapping block and the metal clay gods were with me... they had two in stock in the store so no waiting for me!

On the way home I swung by BB&B (coffee needed! ;o) ) and Hobby Lobby. Not a safe place either of them but I lucked out and found some AWESOME cutters!!! Larger rounds (they are for biscuits actually!) for my big focal lentil I want to do and some smaller size cutters that will make great shapes for bead caps that I can then carve and add designs to.

I've spent time the past couple of days texturing and cutting pieces of metal clay to be fired into bead caps. I also created a smaller version of my carnation lentil bead to see if it's the correct size for charm bracelets. I also created a little larger one of a sand dollar for the shabby chic bracelet. All that's left now is to fire the pieces "full fire 1650 for 2 hours" as instructed by Kate's book so that I can dome the bead caps with the dapping block.

I know that the beads I've purchased for this bracelet probably will not need (nor work) with bead caps - the cool thing about these beads is they have the bumps on them that people associate with lamp work beads but the location are around the holes in the beads leaving the center decoration visible and lovely! :o) BUT I'll need them for another project also floating around my head! :o)

OK, enough yapping, I'm off to fire the caps and lentils!
Have a great week!!

PS... look at some of the beads I've scored over the past few months... now you'll understand why my friends call me a 'bead hoard'. (These are only the ones I've shot... "Hi my name is Cindy and I'm a bead addict"

Charms for Charity Done
Tickets Still Available - July 5, 2010

My Charms for Charity have been shipped... the hope is that they actually DO hit the PO Box they were sent to tomorrow as expected. The charm bracelet making party at Gage Design is tomorrow (6th) and I hope mine make it there in time.

Some where along the line I thought I read that a 'description' card w/ picture and name to help people identify the charms was required so I made these - I like how they came out so I'm posting them here ... the pics are a bit better than the ones I posted earlier.

This shows the first design with a bit of the second design added in. If you recall the ribbon was going to be plain silver. But you know me.. pretty things that are repeatable must be repeated! LOL So when I saw how lovely the hammered flake and the aquamarine translucent enamel looked I had to use it on these too. I sent 2 of this design in for the bracelets.

This one is the second design. Without the birth stones you can see the words clearer. I really liked how the enamel worked and I expect to do more of it in the near future! (IF ONLY the garage wasn't as hot as it is! ;o) Nothing like running a kiln in a 90 garage!!)

Now that the charms have shipped I simply have to finish selling some more tickets - $5 each or 5 for $20 people! ALL the money goes to the charity of your choice (The American Cancer Society or the Marrow Foundation) AND you get a chance to win a bracelet that has to be worth over $500!! Imagine owning a bracelet with a charm created by some of the best metal artists in the world!! I'm so excited to have a chance for my charms to be included with these great artisans!! You can bet I'm buying a bunch of tickets for me!!