Monday, January 27, 2014

ZNETshows Winter Pearl Challenge

As part of the ZNETshows design team, our newest challenge was for the Winter Glossi.  It is a Winter Pearls Challenge.  We were to pick out 3 pearl items and 2 other items, either crystals or base metal.  These are the items I picked:
BDS1868-17 glass pearls teardrop round Beads 0 Raspberry Color K0588  9x7mm 
BDS1894-22 glass pearls round Beads 0 -off white K0822   16mm 
BDS1923-02FIVE glass pearls rice Beads 0 Butter Color K0121(15.5-in-str)  6x4mm   and
RT250-05AB Chinese crystal designer glass cube Beads faceted 05AB-Cherry Red AB (50-pc-str)  4mm
 Base Metal
M0513-AS Base Metal Alloy leaf Necklace antique silver tone Chains-antique silver  about 3-9mm 
I have always wanted some of that leaf chain to work with, so this was a great opportunity.  Now I knew those 16mm round glass pearls would be large, but I guess I didn't realize HOW large. LOL  I had googled the size and it just didn't register, I guess, because when I received them, I was in shock for a little while.  I hadn't ever worked with something that large and round.  So, this has been a little bit of a challenge for me.  Here's a picture of what I picked and received.
I knew I wanted to make a sweet pair of earrings with that leaf chain and some of the small rice pearls and the cherry red glass cubes. I love the way these turned out.

And I finally decided I wanted to make a bracelet with some of the large round Pearls.  During all this time, my son and daughter-in-law have been here visiting and helping us do some work on the ranch, so I've been limited in my time to work on my designs.  But she suggested I use some of my pink silk/fiber in my bracelet and necklace design.  So I got it out, cut it up, accordion folded it and punched through it with a large darning needle and strung it between the Raspberry teardrop pearls and the large Off-white Pearls.  I added a small silver toggle clasp and love the way it turned out.

The necklace has been giving me fits, though. I just haven't liked any design I've come up with so far.  But I finally decided to try this. I strung some of the large Off-white Pearls with the Raspberry teardrops and the pink fiber.  Then in the center I added a section of the leaf chain as the focal with the small Red glass cubes and the Butter rice pearls as dangles.  I think I like the way it turned out.  Hopefully ZNET and Hope will like it too and feature it in the ZNETshows Winter Pearl Challenge Glossi coming out in December.
To see more of my Jewelry or Stained Glass, Mosaics and Fused Glass items for your Home and Garden, check out my shop, KayzKreationz.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Hot and Cold Jewelry Connections Book Review

I recently received this book from Kalmbach Publishing for review. It's written by Kieu Pham Gray.  This is a fantastic book describing how to make jewelry with and without a torch. So many of us don't have the place to use a torch in our homes or are afraid to fire a torch in our homes.  So I love Kieu's approach to this. She teaches you about the materials, tools and techniques in using metal to make jewelry so you can choose which approach works best for you or the piece, with or without a torch. 
She covers connections with wire, metal tabs and other cold connections plus heating your metal with a torch to make the same piece. 
She starts out with the Basics on materials, covering different metals, wire and wire gauge and strength as well as tips on how to save money on recycled jewelry wire and using less expensive metal/wire especially when starting and practicing.  She then covers the Basics in tools, starting out with the 'must have tools' moving on to tools to add over time and finally the 'luxury' tools we all would like to have. Finally she moves into the Basics with Techniques.  This section covers making loops, cutting and piercing metal, riveting with tube and wire rivets, metal stamping, adding color or patina, annealing and soldering, sawing, texturing, filing and sanding, gluing and finally polishing.  Whew!  That's a lot of information. 

Then we get to the 'Projects!'  And what wonderful projects they are.  And my favorite part is that they are always in pairs, made with hot connections, i.e. soldering and cold connections in so many different ways.  The funny thing is, that in each of these projects I had a favorite, but it wasn't always the same. Sometimes it was the hot connection and sometimes the cold connection. So I have my work cut out for me in making some of these projects. LOL  I really like the little Pod pendants on the cover of the book.

And these little Memento pendants are adorable.

But my favorite project is the Flourish bracelet!  And I like it both ways, hot and cold. So I may have to make one of each.  

I can't wait to get started with my projects, inspired by her love of connections and teaching in this book.  Plus, she's coming to my local bead store in Killeen, Texas, Bead Bistro!  So, I'm planning on getting my book signed AND hopefully taking a class from her. I can't wait.  So, if you've been unsure about how to use Connections in your jewelry to enhance it or weren't sure of which way was best, be sure to get over to Kalmbach books and get your copy of Hot & Cold Jewelry Connections.  You'll love it.
For some of my wire-wrapped and beaded jewelry I've already made, check out my shop, KayzKreationz.  I also have Stained Glass, Mosaics and Fused Glass kreationz for your Home and Garden.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Into the Forest Blog Hop

A while back, Lisa Lodge of A Grateful Artist sent out a challenge. She was providing beads for a blog hop with the theme, "Into the Forest".  The challenge was to see how we would interpret that theme with these beads. I signed up and love the beads I received. They look to me to be a jasper of some kind with the dark green donut that reminds me of deep into the forest.  I immediately thought of my red jasper beads that would help bring out the greens of the forest along with the changing colors of the forest as it moves into the fall months.  I love fall and the colors it brings, although we don't really get much color here in Texas.  But I grew up in the Ozarks of Missouri and miss those colors every fall.   I also had this great copper leaf chain that I thought would be wonderful with all that fall color and remind us of all the leaves, falling or not, in the forest. Here's the beads I received and my beads I added.

However, in the last 3 months, I've been gone on trips 3 times, had company for a week or more twice and ended up cutting fingers on both hands.  So my creating has been a little challenged.  But I finally got to start yesterday, so hoping I get both the pieces I envisioned finished in time.  The first thing I wanted to make was either an anklet or some more boot jewelry.  I'm not sure this is long enough to wrap around your boot, although I could add more jump ring links and make it long enough. I need to measure it.  But as an anklet it turned out great. I cut off a small piece of the leaf chain, wire-wrapped three of the stoned I received and six of the medium size jasper beads and interspersed them with the leaves. I wire-wrapped the small jasper with brass headpins so it would look like small shafts of light shining through the forest. I'm not real pleased with the closure yet, but I can always change that later.

My next piece is this necklace. I wire-wrapped some of the green jasper beads with the small glass seed beads. Then I wire-wrapped 2 small jasper beads with one of the green crystals. And finally I wire-wrapped a medium jasper bead. I joined all these links with copper jump rings to the green wire-wrapped donut bead. On the opposite side I added some more of the copper leaf chain with medium jasper beads wire-wrapped and interspersed in between the leaves. I really like the way this necklace turned out, although for the life of me I can't find my copper leaf toggle bar clasp I had for it. So I'll be switching that out when I can find it. LOL

And finally, here's a pair of earrings I made with some of the larger green jasper beads, the green crystals and the small and large size red jasper beads I had.  I wanted the large red jasper beads to dangle. I tried them on these gold toned ear wires.  But I'm not sure I like them, so I may be changing out the ear wires for copper ones as soon as I get a chance to make some.  And another pair of earrings with 2 more of the larger nuggets and the crystals and my medium jasper beads. I love wire-wrapping the nuggets and the jasper beads.  I have plans for a bracelet, but ran out of time.  Hope you like all my designs. Let me know what you think.

Here's the rest of the participants.  Be sure to check them all out and see how everyone developed the theme, Into the Forest with the beads they received. If the links don't work, go to Lisa's blog for the full list with links.

Your hostess:  Lisa Lodge, A Grateful Artist

Melissa Trudinger, Bead Recipes

Kathy Zeigler Lindemer, Bay Moon Design

Eleanor Burian Moore, The Charmed Life

Jo-Ann Woolverton, It's a Beadiful Creation

Chris Eisenberg, Wanderware

Christine Stonefield, Sweet Girl Design

Carolyn Lawson, Carolyn's Creations

Janine Lucas, Esfera Travel Blog
Jasvanti Patel, Jewelry by Jasvanti
Shaiha Williams,   Shaiha's Ramblings
Kay Thomerson, Kayz Kreationz
Karla Morgan, Texas Pepper Jams
Veralynne Malone, Designed by Vera
Toltec  Jewels, Jewel School Friends
Christie Searle Murrow, Charis Designs Jewelry
Molly Alexander, Beautifully Broken Me
Monique Urquhart, A Half-Baked Notion
Janet Bocciardi, Honey from the Bee
Dini Bruinsma, Angaza by Changes
Heather Richter, Desert Jewelry Designs
Christina Miles, Wings n Scales
Elizabeth Engriser, Bead Contagion
Alice Peterson, Alice Dreaming
Alicia Marinache, All the Pretty Things
Kay Mallery,TBD
Catherine Yvonne King, Catherine's Musings
Alice Craddick, Alice's Beads and Baubles
Ema Kilroy, Ema K Designs

Looking for these designs to buy and wear?  Check them out soon in my shop, KayzKreationz.  Or looking for some great Stained Glass, Mosaics or Fused Glass kreationz for your Home or Garden? They're in my shop, too.  Enjoy.