Thursday, February 27, 2014

February ABS Challenge - A Fish By Any Other Name

Well, it has been a long time since mom and I have done a monthly challenge but we finally completed a piece for this months ABS challenge piece.

To see mom drawing out the piece you can read about it here and to see the enameling session you can read about it here.

We are calling our piece "A Fish By Any Other Name".  We first had a totally different game plan for this piece but a few weeks ago we decided to go in this direction.

Both mom and I wanted a larger pendant and a pendant that had movement - which I think we achieved here.  Mom drew up the pendant and then I sawed out the exteriors and sawed the pendant into four different pieces.  Mom then sawed out the interior of the pendants.  After filing and sanding I enameled it in the colors from the painting.

I wanted to use a set of our lampwork beads in the necklace and I think these worked out great - these are a set of our Rose Bouquet beads (which I swiped from the Etsy shop to use in this piece - improvise, adapt and overcome!).

A few weeks ago mom and I went to our favorite bead store Von's and these beads were on sale - 40% off - so how could we say no to them.  The pink beads are Mother of Pearl and the purple beads are called "Sugilite" jasper beads and then some seed beads and Czech beads.

Mom and I have been throwing names back and forth for this piece.  I was thinking of something that would go with the colors/garden theme and mom wanted something with the fish - so instead of "A Rose By Any Other Name" - we went with "A Fish By Any Other Name".  So, I sort of got my rose in there :)

So, that is our piece for the February ABS Challenge.  I am so glad mom yelled at me to come and string this sucker tonight otherwise it wouldn't have got done.  Thank goodness for nagging mothers!!!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Echo Creative Club - Polarity Beads

Last year Jeannie was looking for artists to participate in her 2014 Echo Creative Club, and I signed mom and I up as fast as possible.  I have been reading what other people have done with Jeannie's pieces and I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to get mom and me back into creating after the last year of nothingness.

Jeannie's explanation:

How it will work
Each month I will exchange art beads of the same value with one bead maker/jewelry designer. Then we will both design a piece of jewelry and write a blog post on the 25th of that month.   My blog post will be a bead maker/designer spotlight about you.  Just by answering some questions so our readers can be introduced to your work.

We received a detailed email from Jeannie asking us:

Next decide what bead of yours you will exchange with me and what bead of mine you want me to exchange with you.    I want to be surprised. I love all colors and all art beads and I can work with anything.  Please send one of equal value and one you are currently selling/in stock through 2014. 
I'd like to have everyone work with something different so choose three different things you like.  Don't mail out anything until you hear back from me letting you know what I'm sending you and when.  Based on that information you can decide what to send me.
So, mom and I headed on over to Jeannie's site to check out all the goodies.  Mom and I had a Word document going of all the goodies we both liked and then of course we had to narrow it down (I thought I kept the email with our choices but I didn't).

What Jeannie sent us was this:
Sorry - swiped from her site because I didn't take a before picture
Her description of the polarity beads:
The look of lampwork without the heavy weight.
These beads are handmade by me in a technique that is very labor intensive.
The infused color is deeply embedded with a hard, gloss finish. Each bead is slowly hand rolled. After the beads are cured they are sanded, hand buffed and then sealed with two coats of hard polyurethane.

Mom and I loved Jeannie's beads - they are so awesome to work with.  Of course, you must be wondering what we did, so here you go.

Here is a better look at Jeannie's "Polarity Beads" - aren't they awesome!  We used accent beads of blue Czech and large brass spacer beads and smaller brass spacer beads.

A look at the full necklace we created with her beads and our enameled copper pendant.

We based our pendant on one of Jeannie's Acanthus pendants.  I tried to get the enamel as close to the bead color as possible but not quite the same, but I think the piece came out great!

Here is another view of the necklace.

Mom and I want to thank Jeannie for allowing us to participate in this wonderful challenge.

You can go to Jeannie's blog and check out what she created with our lampwork glass beads.  And if you are in the mood to do a little shopping (which I highly recommend) go to Jeannie's store and check out all of her goodies!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Enameling Weekend

This past weekend was a big enameling session for us.  We had pendants to enamel for the Challenge of Music, March 1st, and the January and February ABS Challenge.  I also had the bib necklace I have been trying to enamel for almost a year - which I was finally able to complete.

The final pieces - that I can share with you :)  The piece on the left, looks like a rocket, is for the February ABS Challenge.  Mom and I will be assembling that tonight so I can take pictures and post.  Then you have the bib necklace, the bib necklace from the January ABS Challenge that we didn't complete and an iris pendant.  I am really, really happy with the way everything turned out!

These are the pendants for the Challenge of Music pieces - mom has a piece and I have a piece.  The challenge is on March 1st.

Another thing accomplished this weekend was that I straightened up the garage some - we could barely move around with everything just stacked up.  While I was cleaning up I came across several cookie sheets of pieces that need to be re-worked or fixed.  I need to get on that before our show at the end of March.  I guess mom and I need to clean up more often :)

 Mom assembling the piece for the Echo Creative Challenge.  She is really intent on what she is doing.

While I was enameling on Sunday mom was assembling our piece for the Echo Creative Club due on February 25th.  I am really happy with the way this piece turned out and I can't wait to share it with you all tomorrow!

Mom also laid out her piece for the Challenge of Music - need to string it and finish it off.  I am still figuring out what beads I want to go with mine.

 Mom yesterday afternoon after we had completed everything we needed to get done.  She has Zola and Sasha laying on her and Lilly is next to her. 

That is a recap of this weekend.  More pictures will be coming this week for each of the challenges we are participating in - and I can't wait to share!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Sawing, Schedule, Bead Goodies and Full Moon

Mom had me find our dry erase board this weekend so we can write down what we have going on so we don't drop the ball on anything that is due.  I think it was a good idea so we have an idea when challenge pieces are due.  Yay mom for a good idea!!!

Mom and I didn't like the idea we had going for the February ABS Challenge piece and I told her my idea I had.  We focused on one of the objects in the painting - the fish.

We sawed the fish out in four separate sections - going to enamel the piece and the hook the pieces back together with jump rings.  I think it is going to be interesting - even if does look like a rocket ship :)  I can't wait to enamel this weekend - it is supposed to be up to almost 40 degrees - it is a heat wave!!!

We did saw out the pendants for the 3rd Annual Challenge of Music.  I think mom is really excited to see how the pieces turn out - just the sawed the sawed out pendants are nice.  We sawed out two pendants - one pendant mom has a color scheme and the other pendant I have a different color scheme.  Mom has an idea on the direction she wants to go and so do I - so this should be interesting to see how the pieces turn out.  I can't wait to share on March 1st.

On Saturday mom and I sent to our favorite bead store - Vons.  We ended up buying some brass spacers to go with our Echo Challenge piece that is due on February 25th.

These babies were on sale - they are some sort of Jasper (I think).  I love the colors.

 Another type of Jasper that was on sale.

Vons has a back table with lots of strands of beads that you can buy 3 strands for $10 - so we bought some blue beads. It was fun looking at all the beads that were on sale because we are on a budget right now until our show at the end of March.

I noticed the full moon outside my bathroom window for a couple of days - so I took a series of photos with the phone.  I am pretty happy with the way these turned out and I even have the second one as a screen saver on my phone.  I really love that window in the bathroom - never really paid much attention at what was outside until I was standing there looking out.

So, that was our weekend in a nutshell.  I can't wait to enamel this weekend because I don't think I will be freezing my behind off - can't wait to share all the goodies too!

Monday, February 10, 2014

More Snow, Cats, Challenges and Set Up for Pictures

via Google images
Last week we had more snow fall - Purdue University actually closed down on Wednesday.  That morning I got up at 5:20 to start shoveling - it was deep!  We got the text a little after 5:30 that Purdue was closed until 1:00pm - needless to say I stopped shoveling and went back to bed :)  I got up around 10:00 am and talked with mom for a bit and then started shoveling again around 11:00am.  Got another text around 11:20 stating that Purdue was officially closed.  I went ahead and decided to stay out and finish shoveling - as it was still snowing (I AM SICK OF SNOW!!!).

After shoveling, went inside to take a shower to warm up - mom and I spent the whole time on the couch reading.  It was a really relaxing day for us - plus we had fun watching the fur babies as they tried to capture the snow.

Zola must have really wanted that snowflake!

Thursday it was back to work and plus mom had to take Zola back to the vet for another surgery.  This time they removed four of her teeth.  This is her zonked out on mom.  This is about the only time she sits on either one of us - when she is on drugs :)

She was feeling better Saturday night - she was having a lot of fun with a box that mom unpacked.  That is her with the glowing eyes.

Now - I did do some stuff that was jewelry related this past weekend.

I signed mom and I up for the 3rd Annual Challenge of Music. Last year we did the challenge of music about me, so this year I thought we would create something about mom.  Mom has already come up with a design idea - just need to saw it out and enamel it and then assemble the piece.  I think that is the fastest we (I mean mom) has come up with an idea for a challenge piece.  I am really looking forward to this challenge and posting what we have created!

Yesterday morning I was up at 4am to sign mom and myself up for the 8th Annual Bead Soup Blog Party (I was up already feeding the cats).  Mom and I always look forward to the Bead Soup Blog Party and we are excited to see who Lori pairs up with this time around.  If you want to see what we have created in the past click on the Challenges tab.

Sunday was picture taking day - this time of jewelry.  I almost have all the pictures taken of the jewelry we want to post on Etsy.  I have also started using new props for the picture taking.  I can't wait to see how the pictures turned out.  Tonight is the editing, resizing and posting of pictures on Etsy.  Not sure how much I will get done but I do know I want to post two new pendants at least.

This week needs to be a sawing week also - I need to have pieces to enamel this weekend.  So will be sharing those pics throughout the week on our Instagram.

I hope everyone has a wonderful and productive week!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Recap of Past Two Weekends and Enameled Pendants

Can you guess what this is?
This is what mom and I see every time we go into the computer room to saw or take pictures.  It is the paw of my cat Koshka - she really wants to come in and see what all the fuss is about in the room.  I think it is so cute - just hope she never gets her paw stuck :)

Mishka and Reveille
Mom and I finally got the garage cleaned out last weekend - which meant moving the cat trees into my part of the house.  Boy are the fur babies in heaven now that I have their favorite toy back in the house.  It is fun to watch to see who ends up on the top of the tree - one gets down and another one gets up to the top.

While cleaning up the garage came across two copper sheets that mom glued patterns on - more plates to saw out!  I need to get the perimeters sawed out so mom can saw out the interiors (my least favorite part besides filing and sanding!).

Mom started drawing up a kokapelli pattern for one of our large shadow boxes - it will be three different kokapelli dancing.  I can't wait to enamel them - I have color ideas running through my head and I want to get them on the copper to see how it looks.

We had piles of pendants to file and sand.

Angel metal print
I finally got all of our metal prints out on the Etsy shop.

My next project is start to post the jewelry out on the Etsy shop.

The temperature in the garage before I got the kiln and heaters going.  I think by the time I finished enameling the garage was up to 52 degrees.

The heaters set up around the board I put the pieces on to help cool them down.  Also to help keep me warm too - the exhaust fan is just above the heaters.

Pendants getting ready to be put in the kiln.

A bib necklace I have been trying to enamel for almost a year.  There is transparent colors under the opaque colors - kept cracking so I though I would try the opaques.  I love, love, love how it looks but the enamel cracked when I went to take pictures of the piece.  Mom and I are going to have to break off all the enamel and start from scratch - third time is the charm.

The finished pendants - finally!  I can't even remember the last time I enameled and I am scared to go back through past posts to see.  It felt good enameling again!

I also had to enamel because we had a customer ask if we had any turtle pendants.  He wanted a turtle pendant for his wife for Valentine's Day.  He also asked if we could enamel the turtle in teal and purple - we don't have teal enamel but I hope this is close enough.  I really like how these turned out.

A hummingbird pendant in my favorite "Peacock" colors.

An oak leaf pendant in reds, orange and yellow.

A pendant for a project that we will post on the 25th of February.

This photo doesn't do the colors justice!  The enamels I used were various transparent purples - they look fantastic but not under this lamp.

So, that was a recap of the last two weekends.  I seriously need to do better on the blogging!  I hope you all had a great weekend too!
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