Sunday, January 18, 2015

The circle of love ~ CC7A

While writing my Christmas cards I thought to extend the CC7A for a little while. Luckily for me, the lovely ladies (Christine, Cynthia, Sally, Therese, Monique, and Emma) all agreed so here we are, with the first extension (more to come on another extension, soon).

Unfortunately my plan failed miserably - at least for the US letters. I added in the envelopes these lovely circles of love, meant to create a larger circle of love:


There are jasper, cherry quartz, turquoisite (hematite) and orange calcite doughnuts - not very large, but quite lovely.

The problem, you'll ask? We can only assume there is some sort of machine that squeezed my envelopes when crossing the border (the Canadians received the envelope just fine)... because none of the stones made it across the border.

Since we are all hoarders artists, most of them found a similar item in their own stash or just bought a similar one (I still feel bad at the thought! it was meant to be a gift for a get-together).

This being said - we agreed upon a date, March 28th to show what we all have created with the gemstone doughnuts.

I hope we'll see you on March 28th to see what we made - well, we'll see you at the beginning of March, with a preview of the stone.


Saturday, January 3, 2015

Muffin Tin challenge

Starting the year with an artsy-creative challenge; what could be better?

Right before the year ended (last year, that's it - 2014, of course), Heather Powers of Humble Beads posted a little challenge: you're supposed to fill up at least half of a muffin tin with all the ingredients for a project and then... finish it!

Finishing projects is what I am not so good at ~ mostly because I am still experimenting a lot. I do the experiments, then never add the details to be 'done and wearable'. However, I figured I was behind with some Christmas gifts anyhow, so... muffin tin it is!

Oh, I don't have one - we don't eat muffins :)
Hopefully the doughnut tin will work:

Muffin Tin challenge: angel charms, sterling silver, sea glass, wire wrapping, bookmarks, ooak jewelry :: All Pretty Things

Since this is really a mini-doughnut tin, I could not add the wire and findings to it. The exercise of gathering all the main items for projects together was an excellent one, though. My modus operandi is usual: grab some focal and then start working :) This was completely different: the time spent to figure out how to put the little angels together (as in what goes best where) cut the actual production time by a lot. It really separated the time into 'design' and 'implementation' (I will always be a software engineer at my core, sorry!) and made the implementation so much easier than usual. Funny that after 20 years of doing this in real life I never was organized enough to apply the system to jewelry making. Thank you, Heather, for such a huge eye opener!

As you can see, these are really 8 projects, not all different. One of the sea glass pieces (the one on the far right) has been replaced in the meantime by a shell, I haven't added it. So it's really 7 completed projects, and 3 designs. I hope that works for the challenge :)

Muffin Tin challenge: angel charms, sterling silver, sea glass, wire wrapping, bookmarks, ooak jewelry :: All Pretty Things

The angels are the cutest thing ever! I'm glad I had left exactly 4 pairs of wings to make them, and that I got those large lucite flowers recently (couldn't resist them). At first I wanted to use some of the girls' (the intended recipients) birthday Swarovski crystals... but an angel with a blue or green face is not something I found appealing :)

Recently we have visited a friend, whose wife just published a book for children. A fantasy book. I gifted each pair of sisters with the said book - and what goes perfectly well with a book, but a sparkly, fancy bookmark? Mind you, one pair of sisters got their angels, but I forgot the bookmarks at home :) I'm getting old and I need to start using other ways of organizing myself than my own brain...

I love all the pieces, but that sea glass wrapped in copper is truly special! The colours the glass picks, and those light opaque streaks through... they give it a very interesting aspect.

Muffin Tin challenge: sea glass, wire wrapping, leather, ooak jewelry :: All Pretty Things

This is the story of my first muffin / doughnut tray challenge (and I'm sticking to it!)

Thank you, Heather for pushing me (I thought I'll never be done by today, considering it was a few days before Christmas and I touch almost no artsy anything until about mid-January) and for making me realize the system should be employed (even if not within a muffin tin) with all the projects. I should put more time into designing start-to-finish and I'll probably have more finished pieces :)

Thank you for visiting!

You can check other 'art' muffins at Heather's place, come check them out!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Happy New Year and 2015 Word of the Year!

A new year has just arrived! Are you excited? hopeful? happy to see it here?

New Year's arrival is a special time, a time of renewal, a time of counting your past year's blessings and maybe plan for more in the days and months to come.

Lots of people make 'resolutions'. I explained before I am not, simply because making one is a sure recipe or ensuring I am 100% not going to achieve the goal :) Instead - I decided to choose a word for the year. 2013's word was 'Bloom' and it sure was a good word to focus on: emotionally and physically (surrounding your life with real, fragrant blooms is always wonderful). 2014's word was 'Attain'. Oh, my, was that a good focus for my first year returning to academia. Sure, I worked my behind off, and sure, it wasn't easy at times. However, it was fun and exciting, and I attained most (if not all) my goals for the year. Yeah!

In the last week of 2014 I started to think what should my word for 2015 be? I didn't have any ideas yet, just left the thought at the back of my brain, it (the brain) does a great job of subconsciously working on background tasks.

Then we left to spend New Year's Eve at our friends' house - a tradition we started 4 years ago and we managed to keep (with one exception). The child plays with the girls (his age), and we have more than 24 hours of chatty-chatty-chatty. We don't see each other very often (work and training schedules are crazy for all of us), however they are the type of friends you simply pick the conversation up where you left it months (or a year) ago and it's like not a blink has passed. A rare friendship we all cherish (including the kids! they are amazed how they are able to do exactly the same - and it's hard at 12-14 to have such gasps in contact and still feel you just saw each other days ago).

A., whom I know since we were kids (we grew up in the same small town back in Romania), loves coffee. So much so that he gets himself all sorts of appliances - the latest being a semi-manual Espresso / Cappuccino machine. You have to watch him preparing the coffee ~ Starbuck's barristers are nothing compared to A.'s art :) He's even making those fancy decorations on top, with the foamed milk!

And I finally arrive at my point for the post - my first coffee of the year looked like this (after I stirred it a bit, it was fancier before):

 
Do you see the bird flapping her wings?! I do... and so my focus word for 2015 is:


What do you do in terms of New Year's resolutions / plans / goals / focus?

Do you have a list? do you accomplish it? Would you prefer a word? What will be your personal 2015 word?

Whatever your tradition is:

I wish you a very 
Happy, Peaceful, and Brilliant 
New Year in 2015!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

2014 Holiday Ornament Exchange

Welcome to the 2014 Holiday Ornament Exchange reveal, hosted by the lovely Sally Russick of The Studio Sublime.

The idea behind this event is quite simple: Sally is tasking us with creating an artistic holiday ornament and sending it to our partner. This year I have been partnered with Susan Kenedy of Sue Beads, who makes awesome glass beads!

Look at the pure beauty she sent me:

2014 Holiday Ornament Exchange, red lentil with gold leaf by Susan Kenedy of Sue Beads


Red and gold - perfect for Christmas! It will take a place of honour in my special table tree (which is, in fact, a jewelry tree, made of iron), very soon (I am finishing decorating the big tree and the house).

In making her something I scrapped many plans. I wanted this and that, or this or that, and nothing 'clicked' with me. So I went back to wire and a beautifully green-bluish seed beads, plus some pearl lentils, added 3 coral beads and, voila!

2014 Holiday Ornament Exchange: Holy leaf, copper, wire work, pearls, coral, ooak :: All Pretty Things

A holy leaf :) One can wear it as a pendant or have the tree wear it as an ornament, whichever they choose. I hope Sue likes as much as I love her gold-leafed red lentil! We both went for lentils and leaves - minds thinking alike, isn't that funny!

A big thank you to Sue for her awesome ornament and an equally big thank you to our hostess, Sally. Please make sure you visit everyone in the group (it's a cozy get-together) and let them know how you like the ornaments we have created this year!

Wishing you all a wonderful Holiday Season: Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Holidays to you and your loved ones!

1.  Sally Russick  and Tanya Goodwin
2.  Veralynne Malone  and Sally Russick 
3.  Melissa Trudinger  and Elisabeth Auld
4.  Erin Prais-Hintz  and Lesley Watt 
5.  Jenny Davies-Reazor and Patti Vanderbloemen 
6.  Kim Bender-Hora and Beth and Evie McCord
7.  Becky Pancake and Lynne Bowland 
8.  Therese Frank  and Karen Williams
9.  Melissa Meman  and Linda Hanes 
10. Sandi Volpe  and Linda Landig 
11. Alicia Marinache  and Susan Kennedy