Wednesday, October 25, 2017

September 2017 Book Club Project

I absolutely adored this month's book, A Marriage of Opposites. It gave me all the feels because it was such a wonderful love story.

Set on the island of St. Thomas, the book details the extraordinary life of the mother to the artist Camille Pissaro who became the father of Impressionism.

The book was full of vivid colors and detailed island life beautifully. Life on the island was tough, and the main character faced a lot of adversity but was still able to love hard and follow her life's dream to go to Paris.

I was inspired to try a new technique with my project. I wanted it to reflect the fiercity of her character and also that of her childhood friend, but also represent the beauty of the island.  So, I whipped out my husband's flush cutters and my Sizzix machine and got to work with some vintage tins.

Part of the fun I had was heading to one of my friend's antique shops to look for tins. I found this beauty but didn't have the heart to cut it up once I got home. So, now I have a new treasure and it only cost me $4!

So this is what I came up with. I have been intrigued with Lorelei Eurto's tin snips, and as this is my first attempt, I am pleased with the outcome, but know that I have a lot of work to do to perfect this outcome.

The necklace has quite a few sharp edges (like the main character) but quite a bit of character. I love how it's a mishmash of patterns and sizes, and I am really happy with how it turned out. I will definitely wear it with a turtleneck so I don't slice my neck open when I wear it, and I may swap out some of the jump rings for smaller ones just for some more variety.
It's a work in progress!
Check us out next month when we read A Handmaid's Tale. Even better, play along with us! Our book club is a whole lot of fun.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Finishing Touches

You know how you start a project and have the best of intentions to finish it?
These projects have been toted around in my bead bag, sitting in my tool box, hanging on hooks, stashed someplace to be forgotten and only because they needed something small done to them to be completed!
So one day, I took some time to just finish stuff.
And it felt SO AWESOME!
Here's a snippet of the stuff that was 99% there. And now they are pieces that I can actually wear and enjoy.
(Excuse the poor photo quality!)

I'm hoping to have a super productive long weekend of making stuff.
Wish me luck!

AG Challenge: Grow

This is my submission for the Allegory Design Challenge, Grow. 
 I had originally put together a ton of pairs of earrings and then it hit me that they would look awesome on a necklace.
Here is the piece that inspired the kit: Mistele Kirkeeng's piece, Grow.
The bead mix was stunning!
Can't wait to play along with the next one!!!
Until then, I see that I am still using this color scheme on rocks we painted for Ligonier Rocks!
You can find more info about that on FB: Ligonier Rocks

Until next time!

August Book Club

I feel like I am doing a quarterly review!
Three Book Club posts in a day. WHOA!
This month's book was Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs. And man! It was GREAT!
The library's copy was out, so I started reading one of his later published books (Lust and Wonder) first and I couldn't put it down. I think I read the entire thing in about a day because his life is so incredible and his story telling makes it so you just HAVE to know what happens next.
I was inspired by this passage in particular, but I am not sure which book it's from. Sorry!!!

Here is what I made, based on this:

The focal is from an old chandelier. I have been waiting for just the right project and I am SO glad I remembered that I had it. The other bits and pieces are actually plastic, from a necklace I had that I didn't particularly like and chopped apart. The blue beads are crystal and the silver ones are Czech glass. I absolutely love this piece!

Side note: I also read the following: Dry, A Wolf at the Table, Possible Side Effects, and This is How- Surviving what you think you can't. I highly recommend every one of them!

While we were having a blast at book club, I made this piece too. I have no idea what these green and red stones are, but they are gorgeous and glamorous and edgy. So I paired them with some turquoise seed beads and these crazy brass toned horns? cones? Call them what you will. I dig them!
Once it has a clasp, it will be ready to wear!
Did you see that we have a new year of books to read?
If you aren't in our book club, you need to be! Tell 10 of your closest friends!!!!

July Book Club: Fahrenheit 451

So here it is, the end of August (now September as I post this), and I am just getting around to updating my blog!
Things have been hectic. But this time, I'm not just saying that, I have been stressed out!

Either way, I have caught up on a bunch of sleep- it's how I deal with stress. I sleep it away!
And I had a few good days of finishing up projects and playing around with my pretties.
But that's a whole other post! (You already saw my organizing of the beads, stay tuned for the reorganization of my basement - lol!)

So back to book club...

July's book was Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury.
I'm also pretty sure that I had the most tattered copy the library owns!
Look at this poor thing!

I'm not sure that I finished the book, but I did have a passage on my phone that I snapped a pic of, so I must have been inspired!

And finally, here is what I made:

These were some of Andrew's handmade components that I scored on a Destash and some other cool beads that fit the peachy, orange-y, gray color scheme.

This piece was just a quick "whip-together." I used my looper tool to make some connector pieces that I connected with some gunmetal colored jump rings. The black and white rounds were leftovers from a necklace that I made and wore to Beadfest last year, in addition to some black sea glass squares and some black and white pumice. I quite like it!
Since I am on a roll- stay tuned for the August Book Club post too!
Thanks for stopping by!

June Book Club: The Bees

Looking back, I never posted what I made for this book!
It's odd because I remember making something after reading and loving the book...
Oh yeah---- it's probably because I finished the book while I was sitting outside waiting for the power to turn back on.
After we had lost power the night before in a heavy rainstorm that caused some flash flooding.
And said flooding affected my basement when the generator quit running in the morning and the cats woke us up to something along the lines of- 'we are hungry but we can't get to our food bowls without getting our feet wet, so get up and deal with this'
Which turned into my husband getting up to feed the cats, and wading through about 1 mm of water and coming back into the bedroom to tell me that the basement flooded....
Now if anyone knows me well, I can sleep like it's my job. That statement, along with the noise of an animal barfing on my carpet, made me jump out of bed like it was Christmas morning.
Although, this morning consisted of triaging my off-season clothes and boots and handbags, etc that I store there to see what took on water and what didn't. And then came the cleanup....
Which I am STILL dealing with. But that's another blog post!
What a great book!!!!! SO many visuals, and SUCH a tough gig to be a bee. Who knew?
Here's what I made:

I started this about a year or so ago when we got these really pretty Lucite flowers in at Allegory Gallery. The beaded links take some time (and a lot of patience) but the repetition of it all made SUCH a pretty piece that I had to finish it up and use it for the book.

I also scored these very cool honeycomb shaped buttons from an Andrew Thornton Destash, and I knew exactly that they would be perfect for this book! Again, same sort of seed bead chain connector concept with some crazy braided jump rings that I got at Pat Catans one day. I really like it! It's classic but it's funky! (Not your grandma's mother of pearl you guys! HA!)

I was also really taken by this passage in the book. Who would have guessed that with all the violence in the book that there was an underlying love story? SO lovely!


And here are some thistles that I salvaged from an arrangement that I may have pirated from my class reunion but were oh so fitting!

  And here is something that I found that I thought was SO appropriate but pretty funny given the storyline.

Stay tuned for my (also late) and upcoming book club post for July!
Thanks as always for reading. (And relating to my crazy life....)

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

The great bead reorganization project! Finding my inner zen- inside my toolbox...

So this is the contents of my tool box as I was sorting.... What a mess!
Doesn't that photo totally stress you out????
It was totally making me crazy when I knew I had something but it took me forever to find it.
 I made a bunch of piles to go through everything. I'm sort of anal that way because I needed to touch and feel and look through everything. It's the sorter in my hoarder personality...
I have a bunch of clear plastic boxes that were leftover from wood mounted stamp sets. (A project of mine a few years ago was to un-mount them from the wood blocks, and set them on a different medium that lets you use them on acrylic blocks instead. The storage space that gave me was incredible. I went from having a cabinet of stamp containers to my entire collection fitting inside (2) 6-inch binders. Totally worth the time and soooooo glad I did it)
I typically use these clear boxes to sort my beads by color. It's sort of like bead soup in a box because I hate keeping my beads in strands- unless they are really long. But a lot of these bead boxes are remnants from projects or bead mixes, so it works for me.
(I know it kinda kills my bead buddies, but that's just what works for them and their storage methods)
I also like to organize by color. So there is a ton of browns, greens and oranges.
I guess that's my flavor. lol
So here is everything allllll laid out. Looks so good, right????

Here is a shot of one of the clear boxes. I made a few piles of stuff to make projects in the future. Sort of like the muffin tin concept. I'll keep you posted.

These boxes hold all of my components. So, things like headpins, eye pins, crimp beads, crimp covers, clasps, jump rings, etc.

 This was a pile of onesie-twosie fancy gemstones that I put in a pile to store in my drawer of just simply gorgeous gemstone strands. And yes, they went into a plastic box and out of the bags. YUCK!

Here's some more fancy gemstone strands that were just floating around in with my stuff. They went into the gemstone drawer, which yes, is also organized by color....

 Lastly, here is a big pile of completed projects that were being drug around. I need a better system of organizing all my finished work and maybe an Etsy site to liquidate them.... but I get so attached to this stuff! It's hard to say goodbye sometimes.
I'm trying to- really!
 Here's a look at what the trays look like all nice and organized.
 This is my component drawer. Still sort of a mess, but I am not putting this stuff in boxes. It's easier to sift through the stuff as it is.
 Here's my drawer of seed beads. These mixes stay in the bags, as they were from Andrew's Design Challenges and I like to keep them like this for posterity. Also, who color codes their seed beads??? That's wayyyyy too much {ahem) fun for me.
 This drawer is my favorite one of all. My husband has specific instructions to call Alison and Andrew in the event that I get hit by the proverbial bus. Lots of $ in this drawer and it is one of my favorite things to look at when I am having a bad day. My pretties!!!!
 This is another one of my favorite drawers. It has a whole bunch of vintage beads and stuff that I have collected and cannot wait to repurpose. Some day!!!!
So, thanks for taking a tour of my stuff with me.
I'd bore you with a trip through my bead bag, but, that's another time!

Creating a maker's space


That title got your attention, didn't it?

So, I have been in the process of getting my maker's space set up, and getting organized in general now that the big move is over.

The hardest part abut the move for me was that all my crafty stuff didn't get to move into the space I had intended it to. We have a detatched garage at the new place that has 'an apartment' above it, but in actuality, the space isn't really what we imagine it to be. Yet.

So we gutted it and we might end up taking the whole thing down and rebuilding from scratch. Whatever. That's YEARS away (if it even happens) and I need a place to get crafty, like, RIGHT FREAKING NOW.

So- after months of my toolbox being in said garage, wrapped in saran wrap, I unwrapped it and rolled it into the house. Pretty epic right? Not really, because there it sat, in disarray. just waiting for me to get inside and reorganize it.

Before: Sad toolbox in garage- sad closet in the house....

After: Happy Unwrapped toolbox and happy fresh clean closet!!!!
My next post will feature the process I went through to organize my beads and make things easier to find! YAY!

The Stunner

OK- so I have been telling everyone about this necklace that I made.

I feel like it was one of those moments that people say are 'epiphanies.'

But let's be real and say that 'the lightbulb went off in my head' at one point when I was going through my bead bag and I found some really gorgeous onesie/twosie sets of faceted yumminess...

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Bead Soup Bracelets

So I got the opportunity to get back into the classroom last week when my Aunt and some of her friends came to Allegory for a fundraiser bracelet making class.

I was a little bit nervous, because I was making a bracelet that I had never made before but always wanted to try. And it was also completely out of my comfort zone- it used waxed linen!!!!!

If you know me, I HATE waxed linen, because I can't stand the feeling of the wax on my hands....

But the results of the project are awesome. And the ladies were so much fun to work with, that I forgot all about it!

Here we are having a blast:

I had some time on my hands last night and I felt the need to get creative. So here's what I came up with:

It was dark and the lighting wasn't super great, so I took pictures 3 different ways.
These were SO much fun to make, and I will definitely be making some more!