Sunday, September 26, 2010

Still a UFO

I really do hate creating UFOs (UnFinished Objects). But sometimes they happen. Unlike a lot of jewelry designers, my process rarely involves much planning. For someone who plans almost every other aspect of my life, I suppose it's strange that I don't plan my jewelry designs. I just find it somehow freeing to create jewelry that evolves as I make it.

The bad part of that method of jewelry design is that I wind up with way more UFOs than I might if I charted out the path for each new piece. I know I'm not the only one, but I cringe at the prospect of even counting how many UFOs I have stashed away. And now there's another one. Well, it's not stashed yet because I still have hope that I can come up with a solution to my design dilemma.

This particular piece began with a drop-dead gorgeous bead by my friend Lisa Peters. Lisa makes the most incredible clay pieces - beads, cabochons, buttons, pendants, and all sorts of other goodies - and I have quite a collection of them. I was going through my stash of Lisa goodies (it's quite a large stash, and it always seems to be growing) and found this bead. I realized that I had the perfect beads to complement the colors in it in my stash of Czech glass picasso beads. And I was right.

So I made an ndebele rope using four different types of beads. The rope is PERFECT for the bead, which has a kind of organic look to it. There's a slight twist in the rope, and I think the curves in the rope look so nice with the little craters in the bead.

Ah, but here's the problem. I don't know how I want to hang the bead from the rope. I thought of making a bail using some of the same beads from the rope, but the hole is too small for a strand of ndebele. I tried using just a single strand of the larger beads, but I didn't like the way it looked. I keep thinking I might try my hand at making a big swirly bail with a piece of heavy copper wire... but I don't do much wire work.

I had a few suggestions from fans of my Facebook page, and although some of them were promising, I still have this UFO sitting on the table next to me.

So what do you think? Any ideas? I could use some help here! :-)

Friday, September 10, 2010

Fabulous Friday Finds for September 10

Welcome to another episode of Fabulous Friday Finds! I had a whole batch of sites and goodies bookmarked to post about this week, things I collected during this past week, but I've changed my mind and decided to do a "themed" set of finds. Change is good, right?

I'll start off by saying that the reason for the theme is that I am so pleased with the way my newest peyote design turned out! Sometimes a design that looks great on paper (or on the computer screen) just doesn't look the same when it's beaded, but I was so happy with this one. I've actually been working on this design for awhile, since back when Queen Anne's Lace was in bloom, but it took some tweaking to keep it from looking to "regular." I had to fiddle with it to get the blooms to be random enough to suit me, and then I had to figure out how I wanted the design to be on the cuff so I wouldn't wind up with a 4" wide cuff (not that there's anything wrong with that).

Anyway, this week's Fabulous Friday Finds are all around one thing: Queen Anne's Lace. It's considered to be a weed, but it's such a pretty weed... :-)

As soon as I decided on this theme, I knew right where to go for the first Fabulous Friday Find that shows off Queen Anne's Lace.

The embroidered cuff you see here is the creation of an Etsy artist called Waterrose.

Rose has a particular affinity to Queen Anne's Lace, so when you visit her shop you'll see several variations. The French knots she uses in her embroidery versions of this flower are the perfect way to illustrate all the tiny blooms on the flower.

You can read more about Rose and her artistic journey on her blog or her website.

And if you like to embroider, be sure to read her latest blog post about her Queen Anne's Lace challenge!

I've only known of one name for this plant, so I was quite surprised when I came across this listing for a Cow Parsley Lamp!

This lovely lamp is the creation of an English artist named Hannah Nunn. It's a free standing table lamp made from paper which has been laser cut with the Queen Anne's Lace design and then laminated.

It has such a lovely glow. I can just see this sitting on a hall table or in a guest bathroom. (I'm going to have to remember to visit Hannah's shop again when we finally get our new house built and are ready to decorate.)

It's quickly becoming obvious to me that I could have an entire room dedicated to this flower! Just look at these lovely resin coasters that have pressed Queen Anne's Lace flowers in them. Even though they're coasters, I could see these mounted onto a dark cloth, framed, and hung as a piece of art.

These pretty coasters, as well as lots of other goodies, can be found in the Etsy shop called Zipper8Design. The shop is curated by a recent architectural school graduate, Allison, and she has way more goodies than just these resin coasters.

Be sure to check out her unique Drinking Straws Wall Sconce. What fun!

The fourth Fabulous Friday Find is by another English artist, whose Etsy shop I've had in my favorites since the very first time I spotted one of her creations.

The shop name is seaurchin, and Lisa Stevens is an amazing porcelain and ceramic artist.

I'd love to be able to watch her work, as she creates the most incredibly intricate designs in her jewelry and home decor pieces. As if that weren't enough of a reason to watch her work, she's a model maker for Aardman Animations - the creators of Wallace and Gromit! I loooooove Wallace and Gromit!!! Lisa's so lucky to be part of the creative genius behind that.

The little bowl you see here was one Lisa created for a Dish-a-Day project (one of those ventures which excites and frightens at the same time). You can see more of her creations in her flickr photostream. Definitely worth an ogle. :-)

Hillary Burkett, the curator of CameraSHYphotography, has captured a wonderful picture of a couple of Queen Anne's Lace blooms, mounted it onto a polymer clay base, and then covered the image with resin - wearable art!

Of course that picture would look just as great hanging on a wall... don't you think so? Hmmm. Maybe a themed room.

You can see more great photographic pendants, earrings, rings, and other goodies in her Etsy shop. Her style is simple and elegant and wonderful.

Having watched episodes of Beads, Baubles, and Jewels and That's Clever on TV, and having seen how tedious it is to work with a jeweler's saw to cut a design out of a piece of silver, I have a lot of admiration for the people who practice that art form.

Jane E. Roberti creates simple and modern designs featuring metal and wood. This pendant features two Queen Anne's Lace blooms that look as if they're floating away on a breeze.

You can find this pendant and more of her designs in her Etsy shop, janeeroberti; and check her flickr photostream to see some pictures of her studio (don't you love having a peek into someone's workspace?).

It's getting late here, and I've managed to find quite a few Queen Anne's Lace pieces to show you. Before you go, though, check out my newest peyote cuff design!

Happy Friday! :-)

Friday, September 03, 2010

Fabulous Friday Finds for September 3

Holy cow. September! The year's gone by really quickly, and I honestly think it's speeding up. Despite the fact that most of this week was spent looking for kitchen cabinets, lights, bathroom vanities, sinks, faucets, flooring, counter tops, and all the other things we'll need to build our house, I did manage to find a few Fabulous Friday Finds that AREN'T building materials.

My first Fabulous Friday Find is a great sale, from now through September 6, being offered by my friend and fellow Bead Art Originals teammate, Darcy Horn (aka TheJadeDog).

I was cruising around on Facebook earlier today and saw Darcy's post advertising the sale: 50% off all supplies on her website! Woo hoo! And there are LOTS of supplies from which to choose, including handmade cabs and toggles, vintage beads, vintage brass, sequins, and all sorts of other goodies. (Even though the sale is for supplies, I thought you should see one of Darcy's incredible embroidered pieces - you can see more of her artisan jewelry on her website and in her Etsy shop.)

Darcy's original post:
In observance of the long weekend, making some big decisions, hitting my 9 year work anniversary at International Bead Market, 4 year anniversary on Etsy (art-to-wear), 3 year anniversary on Etsy (supplies), the big 4-0 birthday, etcetcetc....From right NOW until midnight Monday September 6th, all supplies at are 50% off. If you are in RO, you will get the same discount, just make an appointment.

Fill up your shopping cart, check out, and Darcy will email you the revised amount plus shipping charge.

My next Fabulous Friday Find also came about as the result of my cruising around on Facebook. One of my friends posted a link to an incredible polymer clay creation by Jon Anderson.

I've actually seen some of his pieces in person, and they're amazing. Intricately patterned creatures covered with hundreds and hundreds of polymer clay cane slices. The slices are laid out in such wonderful detail that the animals almost come to life.

There are loads of them to look at on the FimoCreations website, but these horses are my favorites.

I mentioned earlier that we're shopping for materials to build a new house, so we've been looking at lots of wood. My husband and I both like the look of wood, so we'll have cabinets, doors, trim, flooring, and even a ceiling all made from wood.

When I go poking around on Etsy, I'm always on the lookout for unique wooden pieces; and this little table, called Fufluns, is great. It's one of those things you just like but have no idea where it would be used.

Maybe a plant stand? But that would hide the top of it. Maybe it should just sit there in the room and be art. Yep. That's it. It doesn't need to "do" anything other than reside. :-)

The table is the creation of an artist from Hungary, and you can find this and more in her Etsy shop, designlipe.

Without intending to do so, I guess my mind is on building materials this week... the next Fabulous Friday Find is made from concrete!

Can you believe that such a gorgeous red heart is made from one of the staples of the building industry? It also has some recycled glass in it to add some shine, and the whole piece is framed in stainless steel.

This piece, as well as lots of other unique pieces -- all sorts of shapes and colors -- can be found in the Etsy shop called DrCraze.

The artist's name is Jeramiah Clark, and other than his having a sense of humor (evidenced by his avatar, which is of an adult male wearing flip flops and riding a tricycle), I don't know anything about him. I just love these concrete pieces. And I might have to have one some day. :-)

My final Fabulous Friday Find for this week is in another language...

I took two years of French when I was in high school. Despite the fact that I received straight As in the classes, I barely remember anything about the language (of course, that was MANY years ago). Now I have to rely on online translators.

Even without being able to read or translate French, though, this tutorial on turning polymer clay into artisan pieces that resemble leather is great. You can follow along with the pictures to see how this artist (Martine) takes polymer clay and transforms it into a gorgeous necklace that looks nothing like polymer clay in the end!

The piece you see to the left is another creation by Martine -- be sure to look through her gallery when you visit her blog.

That's it for this week's finds! More shopping next week, as we haven't made final decisions on hardly anything for the house. I may have to do a Fabulous Friday Find post that features lights, sinks, counter tops, cabinets... :-)