Sunday, April 25, 2010

Tangible Tidbits 2010 #15: Stay Tuned...

There's a good chance I'll have a BIG announcement to make next week, but I don't want to say anything until it's official, as it might not work out. Fingers crossed! ;)

A good friend ordered one of the Zodiac cameo bookmarks I made recently. I made it on a lark...I had bought two Capricorn cameos, but I wasn't sure what I would do with them. Once they arrived, I wasn't really thrilled with how they looked (one of the perils of ordering materials online). One happened to fit in a filigree setting I had lying around, so I decided to put them together on a gunmetal bookmark, which I also bought a short time ago with no specific plan in mind. It looks really great! Unfortunately, shell cameos are a bit pricey and so the bookmark costs a bit more than most people would probably pay for a bookmark. Since I'm a Capricorn, I may end up keeping it for myself! LOL

Luckily for me and my friend, is having a sale on cameos this weekend! Sometimes, Lady Luck just smiles on you, eh? :D

Almost finished with the St. Petersburg Medallion bracelet from my workshop a couple of weeks ago. I'm not happy with some of the medallions, particularly the center one, so I may take them apart and start again now that I know more what I'm doing. ;)

I'm also making a presentation binder with photos of all of my pieces to loan a coworker. She asked me for one to take to an Eastern Star meeting, How could I refuse that kind of opportunity? I'm pleased with how the binder is turning out, but it's very time (and ink!) consuming. :p

Two coworkers are working hard at convincing me to register for the a craft show being held at Nomahegan Park in Cranford, NJ next month. I have enough pieces, but the cost for a table is a bit steep. Still, my friends assure me that I'll make it back easily. Since I have to reduce my inventory due to storage space. My sister gave me a huge wooden jewelry box that you can hang on the wall like a medicine cabinet for my birthday last year. It's FULL. That's how I know I have enough pieces for the craft show. LOL I'll keep you posted if I decide to do it.

I also heard back from the Bead Dreams 2010 contest and my Welcome Back Spring! necklace was not accepted. That's okay...I didn't really expect it to be. So, it will be up on the site for sale in the next couple of days (I have a number of additions/edits to make, so I will hopefully get to them one night this week). :)

Enjoy your week!
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Sunday, April 18, 2010

Tangible Tidbits 2010 #14: Busy, busy, busy!

Hey, everyone! I went to an all-day workshop yesterday taught by Linda Gettings and presented by the Bead Society of New Jersey (BSNJ). She's pretty well known in beading circles...her work is published pretty regularly in magazines. I learned how to make St. Petersburg medallions. My background is mostly in wire work, so I'm not familiar with the basic beading stitches like Peyote and St. Petersburg chain. I thought it would be good to get started with this one, since the opportunity presented itself. I still have to finish my bracelet, but you'll see it once I've finished it. Apparently, my brain doesn't work like other people's (not a big surprise to those who know me well! LOL). I made a number of "artistic" choices that Linda herself had never considered! It's nice to know that I can inspire people who have much more experience than I do. :)

Looks like we've FINALLY got the Facebook application up and running again! Many thanks to Jesús J. Ortega Weffe and Omar TheOne for posting instructions on the "My app is not working" thread at the Gift Creator forum! :D

I have three more weeks of classes at MSU, so I'll be under the gun to get my projects finished for the final critique. My cuttlebone casting piece is finished, but the rest are in various stages of "almost there." And I still have to make a container from scratch! :p

Fire Mountain Gems and Beads has a jewelry-making contest for designs featuring gemstones with a May 3 deadline. I've had this on my To Do list for a while, but I didn't realize the deadline was coming up so soon! I hope I can carve out some time to work on a piece for that. I haven't really figured out what I want to do yet... :0

We're scheduled for website updates this week. I didn't bother to change the Focal Piece of the Month in March, since it went up so late due to technical difficulties. Look for a new one by the end of the week...I hope! ;)

Have a great week!
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Sunday, April 11, 2010

Tangible Tidbits 2010 #13: I Used My Muse!

Hey, all! Tomorrow is the deadline for's Use The Muse IV contest, so I spent most of today making my piece for it. I decided a while ago what I wanted to do, but I just never got around to it. This morning, I realized today was my last shot if I wanted to enter...and since I paid $40 for the kit, I figured I'd better get my butt in gear and do it! :p

I can't post a photo of my piece until "the big reveal" of the Muse on in a few weeks, as the muse is supposed to be kept secret. It's a cuff bracelet, but a bit different than what you've seen me do before. The kit contained walnut wood components, Swarovski(R) crystals, Hybrid TOHO™ and other seed beads, brown Tiger's Eye, and blue turquoise Picasso Czech glass roundelle beads, plus I mixed gold-colored aluminum wire with bronze wire and added my own Lava Stone, some faded rose/gold square seed beads, and some large faceted round AB finish black beads. It all came together quite nicely, if I do say so myself! ;)

Aside from that, I've got one school project basically done and two others pretty close to completion. You'll be seeing a sterling silver pendant made from a cuttlebone cast very soon. I just have to decide what to hang it on and find the right bail for it. The silver that leaked out of the bottom of the cast and fused itself to some stones in the pan below will become a pin. It looks pretty kewl...I just have to figure out how to affix a back to it. And I have a brass bangle bracelet that needs some finishing touches added to it. I haven't decided just what they are yet, so that's still "in progress." Two other pendants will be done, hopefully, during next week's class. They have to be cleaned up and have stones set in them. One will have the stone set in a gear steampunk-style. The other will be set in a bezel cup made by me. As I am not such a master with the torch and solder, it's a challenge. :p The last project I am required to complete is to make a container. I've decided to make a brass box with steampunk gears, watch faces, and keys affixed to the outside with rivets. I ordered some watch faces and antique keys from eBay today. :)

Still working on earrings for a coworker and I have a couple of bracelets to do. I've ordered a few DVDs to help me advance my wire-working skills over the summer. In particular, I want to learn wire-wrapping stones, as I have a couple of stones (well, rocks, really!) here a friend sent to me months ago and I've been trying to figure out what to do with them. She said she wasn't in a hurry, but I think I should probably get them back to her before the seasons change again! LOL

BSNJ has its monthly meeting on Thursday and I'm attending an all-day workshop with Linda Gettings on Saturday. I'll be learning how to make a St. Petersburg chain as a circular medallion. I believe there's sewing and seed beads involved. :o LOL

Enjoy the spring weather! I know I am! :D
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Sunday, April 4, 2010

Tangible Tidbits 2010 #12: Welcome Back Spring!

Happy Easter and a belated Happy Passover to those who celebrate; Happy Spring to everyone else! :D

I've been busy working on a project for Bead & Button magazine's Bead Dreams 2010 contest, which has an entry deadline of Monday, April 5 (tomorrow). I got inspired by some Crazy Lace Agate round beads I bought earlier this week in ruby and larimar blue, paired them up with lavender and royal blue irregular Mother of Pearl squares I already had, added some of my own handcrafted wire "spring" beads in sapphire blue and pink, plus 1mm azure and merlot WireLace(R) accents to create a two-strand Welcome Back Spring necklace for the contest. I also made two pairs of earrings -- I liked the idea of a mis-matched set, one blue and one ruby...but decided to make a pair of each color in case some people didn't "get" that concept -- and a bracelet to match. Pictures will most likely be posted tomorrow, since I have to upload the photos of the necklace for the contest application. ;) I can't sell the necklace until after the contest is over, since they may want the original for the next round of judging, but I'll add it to the Facebook Fan Page and the Something Tangible website GALLERY so you can see it. :)

Still working on earrings for a colleague at my office. One pair of clip earrings has turned into four so far. :D I've come up with a kewl design with 6mm WireLace(R), seed beads and one larger focal bead that looks like a flower. You may have seen the pink version on the Facebook Fan Page or in the GALLERY this past week. I'll be making another pair in blue and possibly yellow [the WireLace(R) colors marigold and pale gold aren't very "yellow," so I'm not sure about that pair yet...we may go in a different direction altogether]. I like the design a lot, and I want to find a way to make it more versatile.

Had my first client offer to keep me "on retainer" today! :D I repaired a charm bracelet for an old friend that she's had since she was a child. She adds a charm whenever she travels somewhere new. I replaced all of the jump rings for her because the ones she had didn't close properly, most likely due to years of repositioning the charms. So, she's decided she wants me to maintain the bracelet for her, since it's such a prized possession! How kewl is that? It may not ever be a very lucrative project, but loyalty definitely counts for something! ;)

Have a great week everybody! :D
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