Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Still Crazy After All These Years

Hey most people agree that I'm crazy.  Usually they say in a good kinda way, so I can live with that.  I've always thought that Different was good.  But perhaps you wonder how did I come to do little stuff, how long have I been doing beads and jewelry type things.  So for any of you folks that might wonder any of these things I decided I would make this post and remove all doubt.  Yes I'm crazy and no its not a recent occurrence.  I've pretty much always liked little things.  I've done beads and small things pretty much forever.  And included in this blog are some photos of some really old things.  These items were all made back in the early 70's or maybe a bit earlier.  Some of them I remember exactly when others not exactly just sort of. 

This belt was one of the first beaded projects I ever did.  It is a belt that I loomed around 1970.  Did anyone show me how?  Well not really my mom basically said you put thread between the coils of the spring and string the beads on a thread go under the threads on the loom, push up the beads between those threads and then take the needle back through.  That was it.  I figured the rest out on my own.  How to do a 30 inch beaded project on a 10-12 inch loom, how to finish it off, attach it to leather, the pattern.  It took awhile but I had fun with it.

As I recall this was the second thing I did on the loom.  As you can see from this piece I've had an interest in my Native American Heritage pretty much forever.

Then about a year later or there abouts my dad and I took a lapidary and silver smithing class that was sponsored by the Gem and Mineral Club that he belonged to.

This star piece was the first piece I did in this class.  The cab is the first cab that I ever cut and polished.  It is a mexican lace agate.  It is also the first sterling silver bezel setting I ever made.  I remember the teacher trying to talk me out of the star points in the wire saying they would be very difficult to get soldered on right, but I was not deterred.

This turtle was the second of the projects that I did in the class with my dad.  The stone is a jasper.

Again I didn't choose a simple structure for this piece.  Not only is it a pin requiring pin components be soldered on but again a bunch of separate pieces to be attached to the edge of the bezel.  I've always sort of liked this turtle I think he came out cute.

I also made a ring with a jade cab but don't know where it is so no picture of that.

Later on perhaps that same year or maybe the following year I decided to make earrings to sell for Christmas money.

These I decided to made from Bread Dough.  This was way before Fimo or polymer clay came on the market and bread dough was the craft clay of the time.  These earrings were painted with acrylic paints.

The photos shown here are the ones that I had left.  I also made bears, mice and a few other things that I sold all of.  Here we have Hot Dogs 'n Sun, magic mushrooms, Baby Birds in nests, snails, light bulbs, woodchucks, and penguins.

The light bulbs are 75 watt as you can almost see.  I had lots of fun with these and I did make a bit of money for Christmas with them.  Yes tiny detailed pieces go figure I've been doing it forever.

 As a sophomore in High School I took another jewelry class this time in school.  This Belt Buckle was one of the first projects I did in that class.

It is a pierced copper piece on a brass base.  The copper part was sweat soldered onto the brass base then the piece was curved.  As you can see from this piece I've liked scrolly bits forever too.

This piece was a project where we had to texture the piece and dome it.  There are also earrings that match.  After I was out of school and no longer had the tools to mess with it I decided that it sort of needed something a bit extra on it and my good friend Patty added the beaded drop to the bottom of it.
 This piece and the next one were part of a rebellion that I pretty much led in the jewelry class.  The teacher we had never liked any of the designs we came up with.  This was supposed to be one of those nice red mushrooms with the white spots.  But the teacher said that design was too trite and that I couldn't do it.  She also had told one of the other students a similar thing.  So I still did a mushroom but had to alter the design.  This is copper enamel and as you can see by the chipped off places it hasn't held up so well.

The last photo was one that me and the other gal in the class brainstormed on to come up with something so weird that the teacher couldn't possibly say it was trite.  Something that was just strange enough that she would like it.  Can you guess the teacher loved the modern art type of things.  This one was designed based on cracked eggs because we both thought the teachers ideas were pretty cracked.

Ok there you have it a collection of Jewelry and beading from my past... the far far distant past.  Yes I've always been a bit odd a bit out there and definitely different.  I've always said "if unique is what you seek"

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Kumihimo Slider Necklace

Today I have another example of a necklace utilizing the New Porcelain Slide and Cone sets available in my Bead Shop I have designed these new slides and cones for use with kumihimo, viking knits, beaded cords and other cord type necklaces. 

This lovely necklace was made by Linda Roberts of Beads Forever on Etsy.

The previous examples showed the slides with bead woven ropes. This necklace, however,  utilizes a beaded kumihimo cord with the frilly fibers showing throughout.  This gives the cord some added interest and shows you how they work well with the kumihimo.  This elegant necklace is finished off with a lovely green crystal drop from the small leafy slider.  Such an easy to make but elegant necklace.  This is a perfect combination for some of your holiday gift projects.  The kumihimo cords work up quickly and the necklace ends up very elegant.  Wouldn't this one look great at a holiday party?  I think this is yet another beautiful example of what you can do with these slider and cone sets.  Please view Small Leafy Slide Necklace in the gallery on my website to see more photos of this necklace including shots of the whole necklace showing the cones.