Friday, May 31, 2013

Art Jewelry Elements May Component of the Month Reveal

Every month, Art Jewelry Elements does a Component challenge and giveaway.  One of their talented contributors makes up a number of components, people comment to signup and then they pick from among the commenters a number of people that will receive one of the components and design something with it, along with their AJE Team.  This is actually the second time I've been chosen as one of the participants. This time around the component was from SueBeads blog.  I love her beads and discs.  Check out her Etsy shop, Sue Beads. As usual, I was so excited when I got my package, I forgot to take a picture of my Ruffled Disc. Now most of you know, I don't do blue. Just not my thing. But she asked us to let her pick the disc for us and not ask for a specific color or disc.  So, when I got my disc, guess which one it was? LOL  Yep, all blue.  But I immediately knew what I wanted to do with it. (Well, kind of, because it was either going to be a brooch/pin or bracelet) But the bracelet won out.  I'd won a slider bracelet using the Cousins new slider bracelet finding recently and really liked it. One problem, I can't find their slider bracelets anywhere around where I am and didn't have time to order one. But Hobby Lobby had something close.  So now I needed to decide on colors to add. I decided to basically stay with the main colors on the color wheel, i.e. reds, blues, yellows, greens. So I got out a piece of copper/brass metal I had, textured it and a piece of green leather/suede I had.  I had just read about using my Big Kick to texture leather and wanted to try this, so I ran it through my Big Kick and it turned out great. Although you probably can't see the texture here in the picture, you can see it well in person, close up.  I made my 4 stamens for the flowers, using copper wire, punched holes in the metal and the leather, ran the 4 lengths of wire through all three pieces. Then I wrapped the longer piece of wire from one of the stamens around the other 3 to wire them all together, curled the shortest piece of wire to keep it from coming out and proceeded to wrap the other 3 pieces of wire around the band of the bracelet.  I was going to do curly-q's with the wire but decided against it.  I finally got my measurement for the leather, cut it and glued the clasp on to it.  It's not quite like I first envisioned, but I think I like the way it turned out.  Thanks so much Art Jewelry Elements for sponsoring this giveaway and reveal. And thanks SueBeads for the wonderful component and picking me to be one of the challengers.  At long last here's my bracelet with my SueBeads Ruffle Disc.  Tell me how you think I did.
 Here's the list of the AJE Team participants and the guest bloggers/participants. Be sure to check out what everyone did with their disc.
Guest Bloggers 
Birgitta Lejonklou
Kay Thomerson (you are here)
AJE Team
Jennifer Cameron
Jenny Davies-Reazor
Francesa Watson
Looking for other Jewelry, Stained Glass, Mosaics or Fused Glass Kreationz for your Home or Garden?  Check out my shop, KayzKreationz.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Multistrand Jewelry Secrets for Success Book Review from Kalmbach Books

Last week I received 2 great books from Kalmbach Books. The first one is Multistrand Jewelry.  It has a variety of contributors featured in it, like Brenda Schweder, Linda Hartung, Naomi Fujimoto and Andrea Marshall, to name just a few.  If you're looking to branch your jewelry making out into Multistrand pieces, this is a fabulous book. Each project/section has a box for Techniques, Supplies, Secrets for Success and Design Alternative. I really like the Design Alternative box, since it holds additional tips about supplies, bead colors and alternative ways to create the design that may appeal to you more. It covers Basic Techniques as well as Tools and Materials and a part on Multistrand Secrets for Success for things you might not think about when moving from single to multistrand projects.  Then it gets right into the meat of the book, the projects.  It is packed full of awesome designs/projects to make you drool.  It starts out with a Multicolored, Multifaceted, Multistrand project that is gorgeous. Although the main project uses gemstone strands, pearls and spacers, it also gives you a design alternative using one type of gemstone, but in different colors, textures/shapes that changes the whole look of the piece. I love this one.  It goes into using seed beads in multistrands with a large focal with the ability to swap out focals for a different look. There's a great bracelet made with paper beads (can't wait to try that one) and then a gorgeous Ribbon Style necklace that uses different ribbons, knot tying, large hole beads and actually was the inspiration for one of my Bead Soup Blog Party necklaces. I love this one for it's romantic feel.  There's a Gilded Cuff bracelet that I'm really anxious to try using beads, memory wire and a brass filigree flower that you patina with Gilder's paste along with some of the bead caps.  All in all, if you're wanting to expand your jewelry making to multistrand pieces this is a fabulous book.  Although I've been trying to do more multistrand pieces in my jewelry, I learned so much from this book and got so many tips and ideas, it was fantastic.  You can purchase this book from Kalmbach books HERE.  You won't be sorry. Here's a picture or two to whet your appetite. Then RUN (SURF) to Kalmbach books to get your copy.

I will soon be listing some of the pieces I've made from the inspiration in this book in my shop, KayzKreationz so check it out.  I also carry Stained Glass, Mosaics and Fused Glass Kreationz for your Home and Garden.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Earring Swap Blog Hop Reveal!

About a month ago, I signed up for a different blog hop. Jessica of Whimsical Monkey was wanting to know who would be interested in an earring blog hop.  You would sign up, get a partner and then find out what they liked/disliked, what their favorite colors were, if they liked short, long, dangly earrings, etc.  It sounded like fun, so I threw my name in the hat.  I got paired with Jessica McMullen of Pheonix Gate Arts.  She does leather work and is working on some armor for her hubby.   When I contacted her, she said her favorite colors were blue, black and silver, and that she wore mainly lightweight earrings.  Now, I don't do blue, so I don't usually have much blue in my stash.  But I had just won a stash of beads and wouldn't you know it, there was some great blue beads and coordinating beads in the stash. There was some porcelain/ceramic, some onyx, some glass and Czech glass and more.  There was also the great pewter (in black and silver) earring findings to hold five different dangles.  So I got to work picking out all the beads I wanted to use and then laying them out in different patterns.  I wanted to make sure they weren't too heavy for Jessica, though.  I also don't have much silver in my stash, but I had this great Non-Tarnish Silver wire from Artistic Wire and made my own 'Tumbleweed' ear wires to match. I hope she likes them.  But then, I wanted to do something fun for her, too. I had these cute bottle caps from Guiness Black Lager beer that my son likes. So after cleaning them real well, I folded the grooved edge of the caps up all the way around to look like a ruffle.  Then I punched 3 holes in the bottom of the ruffle and one hole in the top and went back to my stash. As it happens these bottle caps are BLUE with their gold logo, which to me looks like a harp.  (The only problem with bottle caps is getting them off the bottle without bending them all up.  But that makes them unique.)  So this time I used more gold toned beads with the blue and then had some dark brass/bronze ear wires I attached to the top hole to make some fun earrings.  These are light weight also.  Hopefully she'll like both pairs of earrings.  If you'd like your own pair of beer cap/drink cap earrings feel free to contact me here on my blog or in my Etsy shop, KayzKreationz.  I've got several pair I'm going to be listing soon. 

Now, here's what Jessica decided to make for me. I told her I love metal, mixed media, wire, leather, stones, etc.  And then I told her pretty much, just surprise me.  I also told her I usually wear long dangly, chunky earrings.  Aren't these great? (Well, due to postal problems, I haven't received my earrings from Jessica. They were supposed to be here Saturday, but I was out of town for a wedding Saturday and Sunday.  As soon as I get home, hopefully they'll be here and I can be surprised and get pictures.  So stay tuned/come back later Monday or Tuesday and you'll be able to see what Jessica sent me. I know they're going to be fantastic.)
Here's the rest of the participants. I know some hadn't gotten their earrigs yet an were waiting on them to post, so be sure to check back and forth for the next day or two. Hopefully everyone will have their reveal and posts up then. If the links aren't clickable, check Jessica's blog, Whimsical Monkey. Thanks.
Inge von Roos:
Nancy Smith:
Miranda Ackerley:
Shelley Graham Turner:
Ginger Davis Allman:
Nicole Valentine Rimmer:
Stephanie Weiss:
Spun Sugar Beadworks:
Beccy Peterson: Beccy's Baubles
Ani Forsyth: Veil Dancer
Marde Lowe: FanciMar Designs
And if you're looking for more of my Jewelry or Stained Glass, Mosaics and Fused Glass Kreationz for your Home or Garden, check out my shop, KayzKreationz.  Be sure to come back to see my earrings.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

ZNETshows Design Team-Round 2-Diamonds in the Rough

UPDATE:  Voting has started and 2 of my designs got picked for their contest. the 2 on the bottom left. my Herringbone wrap bracelet and earring set and my Shel/Pink Rhodonite necklace from my BSBP reveal! please go to their page and click 'like' on the pictures to vote.

Well, they must have liked my designs for Round one with their Cultured Sea glass, because about a month ago, Bill Zhang of ZNETshows e-mailed asking if I'd be interested in participating in Round 2 of their designing.  They were asking us to pick up to 10 different beads/stones/focals from their supplies that often times get overlooked in designing and jewelry making.  They would add a few extra things to go along with our picks and mail them out for us to start designing with.  He knew a lot of us were involved with Lori Anderson's BSBP party with our reveal this month (mine is on the 27th) so we were to get him our designs after that and in time for their May newsletter.  Unfortunately, I got so excited when I got my box and wanted to start designing right away and forgot to take a picture of the stash before I started. But as I go through my designs I'll let you know what I used from ZNETshows and then have a picture at the end of what's left that I didn't get used, YET.  But my goal is to use everything they sent me.  So here goes.  I actually was able to use some of their stones and focals with my Bead Soup Blog Party designs, so this was great.  My first piece used this fantastic Square Shell MOP focal (code PDG257-05)  along with the Pink Rhodonite puff beads (code BDG44-16)  hey sent me. I also used some pink and white freshwater pearls and the clasp my BSBP partner sent me to finish off my Sweet Sixteen necklace.

Next, I used the Green African Silver Leaf puff beads (code BDS1517-09) along with their Pineapple Glass Quartz Oval puff beads (code BDG46-52) and a great Fan Shell pendant/focal (code PDG78-03).  I added some Bronze colored chain I had and wound some green leather and pink rattail cord through it for a pop of color. Then I attached an adorable Bronze dragonfly toggle clasp I had to finish it off. I also used the African Silver Leaf beads and Pineapple Quartz with a piece of the chain for a pair of earrings and a bracelet to match and finished off the lobster claw clasp on the bracelet with a bronze key.  I haven't decided what to call this set. Any ideas?

After that I tried a new technique and did a herringbone wrap with silver wire on the Purple Dyed Mexican Zebra Jasper oval puffed beads (code BDS1577-17) for a bracelet.  I don't think it turned out too bad for the first time.  I added some purple/white onyx beads I had as links in between the wire wrapped Zebra jasper and added a silver colored toggle clasp.  Then I wrapped a pair of the Zebra jasper beads for a set of earrings and added more Onyx beads and some purple glass daggers I had as drops.  Don't have a name for this set yet either.  Do we see a trend here? LOL
After that I used some more of the African Silver Leaf beads, this time they were round (code BDS1517-14) and some more Pineapple glass, also round (code BDG58-45) and made a 3 strand graduated bracelet and pair of earrings.
And finally my favorite and my husband's.  This necklace used their Agate Oval Focal (code BDS1216-07) and some Heat treated Carnelian free form beads (code BDG98-12).  I wire wrapped the beads with copper wire, trying to make the copper wire match a line in the Agate.  Then I made my own Copper wire wrapped beads to go in between each of the Carnelian and the Agate.  I also made all my own jump rings and added a little pop of color with some gold seed beads on the jump rings on either side of the Agate Focal.  Then I made my own Copper Spiral links and clasp to finish off the necklace. I'm still working on some earrings to match and probably a bracelet, but I ran out of time.  Although this one was a lot of work, I love the way it turned out.  Not sure if I'll sell this one or not.  The others will be available in either my Etsy shop, KayzKreation, here on my blog, or my facebook page, KayzKreationzGlassKreationz.  So watch there if you're interested in any of the pieces.

If you're interested in any of the beads shown here that ZNETshows sent me, be sure to check out their site, ZNETshows.  They sell mostly 'wholesale beads', but you can get a retail account.  Don't forget to check out their znetshowsblog on Friday with all the participants and links to their blogs/posts. And after that they'll have a contest on their znetshows facebook page. You can vote for your favorite and the winners get a prize! Yay!
And finally, here's what I had left, that I haven't gotten to use yet, but I have plans for it all. I love that shell flower focal and the fire agate beads. I have ideas for them, just need to implement them.