Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Finally!  I am very last minute with my Jan 4 a month challenge pieces.  Lots of craziness this month, but I was determined.  My pieces are all something I haven't done before in some way.  The first piece is a byzantine maille piece, and I made it with rings I cut myself!

The next piece is a sterling Viking Knit chain.  I was always afraid to use sterling because I hadn't gotten to that comfort place with the technique.  Sooooooooo, I got brave and did it.  This time the clasp and pendant are purchased this month.  In the new months, I hope to make them from metal clay, polymer, who knows?

The third piece is a copper embossed, beaded focal with a copper Viking Knit chain, purchased clasp.  I call it Ancient Summers.

Another view.

Finally, several years ago, I downloaded a photo of an oil painting, and realized I wanted to do a bead adaptation of the work.  So, I contacted the artist, Shirley Novak, and she very graciously gave me permission to do so.  So, this is not a tracing, it's my own humble bead sketch of her cool painting.  I just now got around to this, so 4AM was a perfect place to share my story.  Here's Ms. Novak's original, titled A Flock of Poppies.

And here's my version.

Another view.

Hope you enjoyed these as much as I did!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Chains and Pendants and Valentine's Day, Oh My!

Well I am working on several chains, one a byzantine maille in hand-cut by me sterling silver rings.  I am also trying to do a dainty box chain, a full Persian and a half Persian.  I am trying to use the 4-a-month challenge to learn new things, cutting my own rings, learning more about rings and wire sizes and AWG, etc., and what works with what.  I'm also playing with air dry porcelain clay, some mixed media pendants and thinking about delving into polymer and metal clay in February.  I'm also thinking about making a few little things for Valentine's Day and Bead Happily Ever After's Bead Challenge.


So, I'll post again soon with pics of the results and January's 4AM offerings!  Happy Sunday, ya'll.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The snowflakes are here!

Well, this blog hop has been interesting for me.  I had tons of ideas, made trial components, a snowdrift, tons of beady snowflakes, only to tear them apart and start again.  By last Monday, I began to worry that I'd never get it together.  So I just sat down and broke down my problems, and I realized that I was trying to make the simple six-sided beauty of snowflakes into something ridiculously complicated.  Then it all came together.  I wanted a simple, symmetrical design with the softness of the beads and the icy coldness of wire, jump rings and handmade chain.  I hope you all enjoy it and am seriously excited to see what everyone else has come up with.  Another fun challenge!  Thanks, again to Michelle Mach and to all of you wonderful artists who make up the beady blogosphere.

Here are the other participants' links!  Enjoy!  If there is no blog link listed next to a person's name, check Michelle's Beads & Books. Participants without blogs will be posting their photos on her blog.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The snowflakes are coming!

There are so many possibilities for snowflakes in the upcoming Secret Snowflake Challenge, I have found myself going here and there, round and round, and I still cannot select a path for my piece.  I have probably made 12 components, and yet they are not coming together in my brain to make a whole.  Maybe I should make a couple more, and they might work as the magic puzzle piece.  Maybe I should stand back and re-think the big picture design.  I dunno. I do know I'll pull it together before the reveal, and then I have to quickly move on to my 4AM (The 2012 4 a month Flickr group) for January, and then I hope to move to the BSBP Challenge, more about that if I get in.

Lots of challenges I'm hoping to do, hoping to learn, hoping to grow, and hoping to be healthy enough to do it all.  It's not that these few challenges are so cumbersome, it's just that I'm that limited.  It takes lots of energy to do just a little thing, like taking a shower, getting dressed, brushing my hair or walking across the room.  Thank God Mark helps me, or it would be even harder.  But like the challenges, I keep doing stuff.  I have to.  Going to live every day to the highest level I can.  I guess it's all any of us can do.