Saturday, April 27, 2013

Soup's On! (the big reveal!)

Please visit my partner Christine's blog, Sweet Girl Design, to see what she created with the Bead Soup I sent her!

Here they are - my finished Bead Soup pieces - at least the ones I have finished so far! I've got another *this* close to done and beads pulled for yet another piece featuring Christine's lovely alternate focal. I'm still reeling from how much beady goodness she sent to me - it was such a lush, generous package filled with all kinds of gorgeous!

Note: I'm having a really difficult time loading pictures to the blog tonight - tried to load pics of the soup Christine sent, but it's just not cooperating. You can click here to see what she sent me.

When I first opened Christine's box of Bead Soup, I really wanted to turn some of the briolettes into a pair of dangly sparkly earrings - but wound up shelving that idea, because the holes on the labradorite and sodalite briolettes were just sooooo teeny tiny. It was impossible to get sterling wire of a sturdy-enough gauge through those holes, so I just went with super fine beading wire and made strung pieces instead - and I'm thrilled with the results!

Christine's handmade vintage rhinestone and filigree focal is absolutely stunning, and I really wanted to do it justice. I sketched out 4-5 different ways to work with it - I wanted to try it with everything, but in the end, I had to pick one and roll with it!

I wound up taking inspiration from the vintage Czech enamel necklaces pictured in one of my favorite eye candy jewelry idea books, Fabulous Fakes, by Carole Tanenbaum. The necklaces each feature a lovely large embellished filigree pendant, accented with dangly bits, suspended from lovely beaded strands. I thought about making it symmetrical like the necklaces in the book, really I did - I laid it out so everything matched, but it was just, well, just *too* symmetrical, and really kind of boring.

I decided to play up the blue and brass tones, so I found some great brass chain at Shipwreck Beads, and dangled Christine's lovely blue rondelles from every third link. On the other side, I used some of my etched handmade lampwork beads in a "brassy" color (transparent light brown) and strung them with a bead soup mix I already had on hand from a prior project. (A while ago, I used this same color scheme on a lanyard, and I really like it - it's elegant and stylish without being fussy.)
The grey-blue of the sparkly briolette crystals Christine included in the alternate focal package were perfect for the dangles from the filigree pendant. I used 22 gauge annealed steel wire to wire them to the dainty brass chain (also found at Shipwreck Beads). Let me just state for the record that I LOVE briolette/drop shape beads, but goodness gracious, they sure are nerve-wracking to wire-wrap, aren't they? Christine's lovely filigree toggle clasp finishes off this necklace perfectly.

This next piece is actually the first one I finished - the result of one of the many sketches I made based on Christine's soup.

This one features the afore-mentioned lovely labradorite briolettes with tiny holes, as well as some smaller blue rondelles that Christine sent, the brass rounds and dyed impression jasper, and one of my own handmade lampwork Nebula Series beads in a dark oceany blue. I used one of the "woven" round links Christine sent as part of the clasp, with a brass S-hook for the other part - had to bend the S-hook though, so it would lay properly.

The final pieces are a set of three stacking bracelets, all based on the color scheme that  Christine sent, and incorporating as many of her beads as I could manage.

The first bracelet features one of the four vintage chandelier crystals that Christine sent me, which I combined with two of my etched lampwork beads, brass chain, some milky white faceted Czech beads and some of Christine's brass rounds. The second bracelet is very simple, but I love it: Christine's bright blue freshwater pearls and more of those yummy blue faceted rondelles (have I mentioned lately how much I LOVE faceted rondelles? No? Well, I *do* love them!). The third bracelet incorporates mixed media - wire, recycled sari silk fiber, one of my Desert Dreams series lampwork beads, and more of those great milky Czech faceted beads, with some cool brass spacers. I suppose you *could* wear just one bracelet at a time, but so far, I've worn all three bracelets together - I think they are happiest that way.

Christine, thank you SO much for being my partner for this Bead Soup Blog Party - I really appreciate it, and had a wonderful time designing with all the lovely treasures you shared with me! (And I'm pretty stoked that I got a new friend out of it too!)

Lori, thank YOU for hosting this incredible project. This is such a labor of love and life-force, and you handle it with style, class, kindness, and love. You are putting good energy into the world. Thank you!

As soon as I get the other pieces finished, I'll post pics and write-ups for them. In the meantime, you've got plenty more eye candy to check out - here's the link to the rest of the (more than 200) Third Reveal posts. Please visit as many posts as you're able, and do leave comments!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

What she got/What I got

My fabulous partner Christine and I rescheduled our reveal for #3, this coming Saturday, April 20.

Find all of the other Second Reveal folks here.

Which means I should probably get pics of our respective soups posted without delay, right?

Here goes:
First up is what Christine sent to me - she very generously sent two soups! (and a delish chocolate bar!)

The main soup has a blue/brass/crystal color scheme. The focal is a scrumptious vintage rhinestone/filigree piece that she made herself (!!!) (anyone who knows me knows how I feel about something handmade! swoon!), a lovely brass filigree-style toggle clasp, 4 chandelier crystals, dyed impression jasper, sodalite briolettes, tiny shimmery labradorite briolettes, brass accent beads (plain and fluted), blue dyed freshwater pearls, and lots of blue crystal rondelles, along with four brass "woven" ring links, some cool blue big-hole beads, some blue/white/light blue plastic star spacers, and a couple of lengths of fiber cord - blue silk and brass-tone satin cord. WOW! What a pile of lovely stuff to play with!
The second soup Christine sent has a purple/red/blue color scheme - the focal is a decoupage tile, which I just love, accompanied by dyed red and blue agate beads, and some gorgeous sparkly blue/grey brolette drop crystals for some serious bling. I've decided to use gunmetal findings with this color scheme - hoping I get this piece finished before the big reveal!

Christine - thank you thank you thank you for all the fun new beads I've gotten to play with these past few weeks! I hope I'm doing them justice!

OK, now for what I sent to Christine:

Here's the sneak peek pic I posted a few weeks ago:

Here is the unaltered view of the "sneak peek" pick:
And this picture tells you what everything is:
DO be sure to check back on Saturday, April 20, 2013, to see what Christine and I made with our piles of beady goodness!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Introducing my BSBP partner, Christine Stonefield!


Breathing new life into vintage finds is Christine Stonefield’s favorite approach to making jewelry. “I love to make pieces that are unique, but not so extravagant that you couldn’t wear it with anything,” says Christine, whose elegant work has a timeless appeal.

Christine’s grandmother and uncle started her on the creative path early in life, with painting on china and canvas. As she got older, she began 4H and ceramics, followed by additional painting classes.

Christine’s art jewelry journey began in the spring of 2008, with a pearl-knotting class. In order to experiment with new techniques and materials, and to build her skill set, she’s taken many more classes including chain maille, wire wrapping, and kumihimo.

Early in her journey, Christine’s niece Erica fell seriously ill. Wanting to cheer her niece, Christine focused on making jewelry for her. Years later, Christine still finds inspiration in Erica’s spirit. “She was beautiful and delicate,” says Christine.

Christine’s favorite techniques are stringing and wirework. “My next goal is to learn how to make my own clasps and toggles,” says Christine. Her close attention to quality and detail is evident in the pictures of her work. In fact, Christine reports that her biggest challenge is that she’s her own worst critic. “Often, I’ll drop off some jewelry at Zodiac, only to go back the next day to pick up a piece or two, in order to “tweak” it. I’ve even done this to friends and family!”

Christine sells her work locally at Zodiac, in Gahanna, OH (near Columbus), and she’s in the process of opening her Etsy shop, Sweetgirldesign1. Keep up with her latest adventures through her blog, Sweet Girl Design.