Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Creating with cabochons challenge & blog hop ~ the reveal

Welcome to the reveal of another of Sally's babies: the Creating with Cabochons challenge.

The idea - as the title suggest - was to pick a cabochon (or maybe two or more if you were brave enough) and create with it. What's a cabochon (or cab on short)? In a strict sense it is a stone with no holes (you cannot string it!). In a more general sense - any item you could thing of that has no holes to be strung through. Technically I would consider a wine bottle cork a cab: you'll need to come up with some idea to attach it to your piece.

I started almost immediately - I had this gorgeous jasper cab, I had picked from a gem show in the spring. 'Easy-peasy' I said to myself, we'll use the antique bronze wire (which, by the way, is pure bliss on one's hand, by the way, soft and lovely to work with) I bought for the Summer blog hop project, wire wrap it and be done in no time.

Well... I started it right then and there (which was waaaaaaaaaay in advance of the reveal)... then, half-way through I had to put it down. Of course that is exactly where it stayed until yesterday - yes, the day before the reveal! Can you spell "procraftinator"?!

The important part is that I finished it, right? The also important part is that... I don't like it! I'll show it to you, but I warned you: I don't like it. It's missing something - and I'll have to figure out what exactly :)

Wire wrapped jasper cab :: All Pretty Things

Wire wrapped jasper cab :: All Pretty Things

Wire wrapped jasper cab :: All Pretty Things

The wrapping is OK (better than other cases), the stone is nice, but the pendant just feels unbalanced for some reasons. It is not a perfectly shaped square or ellipsoid, it has a more 'acute' angle on 2 sides than on the other 2... so I believe I should have done *something* with the wrapping itself to somehow balance it back. I'll try some more :)

While working on last week's project I took out all my Vintaj components and I found a gorgeous filigree butterfly. I simply wanted to use it. I thought of soldering it to some other piece, but there is such a disaster up in the studio I can't even sit anywhere! Then I recalled someone using a filigree piece to wrap around another and had to try it.

You know how when you want a certain piece you can't get it? That was me, rummaging through the cabs trying to get one with a proper size. Nope... one after another they went back in the box: too big, too small, too heavy, too not matching the butterfly, too... And then - there it was, the perfect one! I honestly don't know what it is, I know exactly where I bought it from (I won't tell you for how much, though, it's ridiculous). At the time I picked it to try to solder a bezel around it - but the butterfly worked better, don't you think?!

Flat stone wrapped in Vintaj filigree butterfly :: All Pretty Things

Flat stone wrapped in Vintaj filigree butterfly :: All Pretty Things

Flat stone wrapped in Vintaj filigree butterfly :: All Pretty Things

The edges are not very soft - I was thinking maybe I should throw it in the tumbler a little bit to 'buff' it down. Until then - I really like it.

My cabochon creations: wrapped in antique bronze wire and Vintaj filigree butterfly :: All Pretty Things

Overall - I am good... I challenged myself and managed a 50% rate of success :)

Oh, about the pictures... It seems I am growing on multiple levels: I had the pieces in my hand, walking towards the table as the sun was setting, I wanted to still get that 'golden hour' light. On the floor was one of William's books (a Lego one, opened to a golf cart he was building)... and it just drew my attention... I placed both pendants on the book - and the 'aha' moment downed on me. I knew Lego won't work with my romantic filigree and that soft looking (although still ugly) wire wrapping... that's when I pulled this horses book from the shelves. I must admit - the cabochon pictures suddenly became emotionally charged and gathered depth. I love the effect!

Enough about my adventures - please make sure you visit everybody else!

A deep 'thank you!' to Sally for challenging us (or at least challenging me) and for so lovingly guiding our journey through the Google+ group and conversations.

Your Host: Sally Russick
D Lynne Bowland
Alicia Marinache
Lynn Jobber
Jenny Davies-Reazor
Jo-Ann Woolverton
Marde Lowe
Dawn Doucette
Mary K McGraw
Gloria Allen
Cheri Reed
Sonya Stille
Elizabeth Owens Dwy
Veralynne Malone
Tania Hagen
Lynsey Brooks
Christina Miles
Holly Westfall
Kathy Lindemer
Patti Vanderbloemen
Therese Frank
Adrienne Berry
Liz E
Tanty Sri Hartanti
Ginger Bishop
Renetha Stanziano
Marlene Cupo
Sandi Volpe
Sharyl McMillian-Nelson
Niky Sayers
Mischelle Fanucchi
Tracy Stillman
Skylar Bre'z
Ann Schroeder
Paula Kramer
Jess Green
Susan Kennedy
Stacie Florer
Cathie Carroll

Susan F.
Michelle Caballero
Sabine Dittrich
Kristina Johansson
Kimberly Sturrup-Roberts
Melissa Meman
Cheryl McCloud
Michelle Timms
Cindy Pack
Lynda Carson
Cynthia Machata
Julia Harris
Karin Slaton
Ingrid Anderson
Karin Grosset Grange
Jasvanti Patel
Inge von Roos
Molly Alexander
Toltec Jewels


  1. I love the second piece :)

    I had to back out of this one :( I started off wanting to do some wirework, but it looked real ugly :(

  2. Alicia, I love both of your pieces. (Also love the term procraftinator!) I don't think the first one is missing anything and I bet the right chain might change your mind. Also love the second one - the filigree of the butterfly really contrasts nicely with the stone. Great job!

  3. You filigree butterfly necklace works wonderfully with the stone cabochon, its a perfect choice...I envy anyone who can work with wire and pull it off!

  4. "Procraftinator" - love it! Must be because I can relate to it as I started mine two days before the challenge...

    Congrats on your first piece. That wire-wrapping technique looks challenging for sure. I don't think it's bad at all.

    The butterfly filigree does look nice on that stone. From front or back you have a lovely look!

  5. I wish I could take a class with you and learn how to wire wrap like that! You are too hard on yourself .. that first one is gorgeous! I do like the look of the butterfly wrap. I still need to try that style - love it!

  6. I love your coined term, "Procraftinator"!!! Your wire wrapping is SUPERB, and I love all jasper! I think this is perfect the way it is - don't change it!!! I have wrapped one filigree to a Marie-Noel tile and I love this look!

  7. Both pieces are great...I love using filigree pieces like your butterfly. I agree that stone is perfect.

  8. Love the term - procraftinator. I know that I work better with a deadline sometimes.

    Butterfly piece is fab.

  9. Great use of the butterfly- I commend you on the wire wrapping. I looked at a few tutorials and knew I didn't have that kind of patience.
    Great hop!

  10. Love them, it was great to read your story behind them.

  11. Love your butterfly filigree wrapped stone! Makes the front and the back so interesting.
    I had the same idea in my pieces, too! Hah, great minds...


  12. Wonderful wrap on the Jasper! And the butterfly is perfect on the other stone. I love the contrast of the stone and metal. Really pretty!

  13. I do love both of those stones, Your wire wrapping is great on the first one and the butterfly wrap is a great idea on the second one!

  14. I think the simple wire setting really does the jasper justice - we can see the lovely stone! I like the dual sided aspect of the butterfly piece as well.

  15. They are both wonderful pieces. The stone looks great with the butterfly.

  16. I like both your pieces...your wired jasper is beautiful. I think really all it will need is a leather strap and maybe some fun natural beads mixed in with some crystals.. your wire wrapping is far better than mine..LOL

  17. I love both designs...but I'm crazy about butterflies so I have to say that one is my favorite.

  18. "Procraftinator"! :) you can put me right in that group too! The way that you set both cabs is beautiful, and I really admire the wire wrapping! I think that the jasper would go great on a necklace strung with either turquoise blue or vivid purple natural beads, I think you need a little contrast of color to bring it all together!

    Alicia, thank you so much for participating in the challenge!

  19. Gorgeous pieces, both! But I do in particular love that butterfly piece - what an amazing cab!

  20. Both your pieces are gorgeous! I especially love the wire wrapped piece, great work!

  21. Alicia both of your cab pieces are beautiful.I like the wire wrapped cab best.

  22. Wow Lady, those are some great pendants. I love the butterfly one though they are both beautiful. I love the colors of the stones you chose so much.

  23. Hi Alicia, I love what you did with your stone cabs. The wire wrapping on the first on look pretty darn good I agree with Sally a spash of color in the neck strap would bright it up a little or a few jewel tone crystal dangles from the swirls at the top. Using the butterfly to wrap around the stone slab was a perfect and they compliment each other well. I believe, but I could be wrong I am just learning about the different stones, that the slab is a Lace Agate.
    Gorgeous job!!!

  24. I know I'm late when the post I'm looking for is buried under other posts. Lol. Both of your pendants are lovely, warm and inviting. I can see myself holding them in my hands running my fingers over them. If the first pendant doesn't hang quite right I can appreciate your thought of needing to add something, but just from the looks perspective it seems perfect. Using the horse book was fun. I immediately noticed the picture with the horse's eye staring at the cab. People underestimate the importance of trying new things and I think the horse book was great.

  25. The butterfly piece is my favorite, but I love the wire work you did on the first one.

  26. Your wire work is just stunning. I love the first piece. Well done!

  27. Your wire work is stunning . I love the first piece. Well done!

  28. I am going to have to try a little wirework. I like both pieces and would wear both of them in a heartbeat.

  29. Love both pieces! I see what you mean about the first though. Needs a pop of color maybe. Great Job! Thanks for sharing.


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