Sunday, November 27, 2011

Vacation Creations

I finally figured out what I needed in order to kick my muse into gear: VAY-CAY-SHUN! Seriously, it took one day of movies, a day of shopping, a day of eating (PIE!), and a day of lying around watching all my DVR'd shows and doing basically nothing for me to finally feel energized enough to get out the beads.

That is one serious de-stress plan!

But I guess I had a lot of pent-up creativity because once I started going...I just couldn't stop.

Here are the results:

I'm in love with these sort of blue-green lagoon-looking Czech glass rondelles. I had a whole strand and I used a few of them throughout the following earrings. This pair was sort of an end-of-the-day afterthought as I was trying to use up some of the leftovers on my work table (better to use 'em than to have to put 'em away LOL) I was trying to go for a sort of "messy" wire-wrap thing on the stick pearls...not sure I pulled it off (or maybe that's just my inner perfectionist griping). I named them "Pearl Lagoon."

And, as long as I was cleaning off the work surface, I thought I'd use up the last two of these purple Czech rondelles (you'll see the rest in a design later in this post) along with some pink chalcedony and some abalone shell beads. I needed to make a couple of pairs of earrings for a charity auction here at the office tomorrow and I thought these "Abalone Dangles" would be perfect for that.

These "Dragonfly Dangles" are another pair for the auction. Some of the last of my brass dragonflies along with a couple of faceted rhodonite rondelles. Simple and classic.

Here's another view of them.

I had these swirly flower disk beads in a dark chocolate brown color and used them in a bracelet and earring set last summer that came out really well so when I saw them in this ivory color, I grabbed them. Initially, I had them as the tops for a different earring design (the re-worked version is coming up), but that design ended up being a little over the top (I can get that way with earrings because I like 'em long or large and statement-making). So, off came the pink polymer clay flower art beads and I popped on these simpler faceted pink ceramic cubes. Less exciting, but more wearable. The flowers on the white beads sort of remind me of dahlias so I called these "Pink Dahlias."

Here's another view.

These flowers were originally going to be the bottom halves of the earrings I just showed. See what I mean about too much? Actually, these flowers were "too much" with a lot of things I tried with them. I ended up with a gigantic pile of "nope, that won't work" beads next to me trying to figure out what to put with them. I finally settled on these ivory shell rounds and some turquoise patinated bead caps from Patina Queen. They are still a little on the wild side and yet have that English vintage feeling, too, so I called them "Tea Party."

Here's a closeup of of the wonderful flower focal beads by Menagerie Studio.

Here's another view.

Similar focals from the same artist, but they are a little more subdued. The color is a bit off in the picture as they are more of a peach hue and not as vibrant. I used the brass dragonflies again and more of those "lagoon" Czech glass beads. Since this pair still reminded me of an English Tea, but in a more subtle way, I called them "Tea Roses."

Here's a close up of the flower focal.

And another view of the earrings.

This may be one of my favorites from this round of creation. I used brightly colored polymer clay squares in pink and green from Floridity, then added some mother of pearl shell flowers and wire-wrapped on some sparkling green lampwork. I have been trying for almost a year to set up a Hawaiian vacation for my extended family so I guess I had that tropical vibe going in my brain and this is how it decided to come out. The white shell flowers reminded me of plumeria flowers that are traditional for Hawaiian leis so I called this pair "Plumeria Leis."

Here's another view of them.

I loved all the earrings I'd made so far, but I noticed that there was a decided lack of glam and sparkle (and, okay, so my December "In Style" magazine had just arrived and I was drooling over the jewelry ads and seeing all the sparkley stones I'll never be able to afford). Had to grab these great 14k gold fill twisted hoop components (I've been seriously hoarding all my gold fill and, to a lesser extent, my sterling silver since the prices have gone so totally bananas...I know I'll never be able to afford some of these materials again!) And to them I added some tiny faceted lampwork nuggets in shades of amethyst and peach and small amethyst Swarovsky crystals as dangles.

The colors reminded me of sunset so these earrings have been christened "Sunset Sparkle."

Okay, I will 'fess up. I totally and completely ripped this design off from Shannon Levart of Miss Fickle Media. I couldn't help it - I fell in love with it on her site and had to make my own pair using her hammered copper flowers and patinated hummingbird charms. I did add my own creative touch by popping a sparkling Czech glass rondelle at the top. Originally, these were going to be for the charity auction (not for sale - I don't sell other people's designs), but frankly, they just came out too darned cute so I am keeping them for myself and hoping Shannon will not hate me too much for the copying. I decided that hummingirds could only be these color in a fantasy world so these earrings are called "Hummingbird Fantasy."

Here's another view.

And finally, here's the bracelet I wrote about in the last post - the one that was "on hold" while I figured out a solution to what I didn't like about it (plus, I didn't have a clasp that I thought would work with it). Shannon came to my rescue on the clasp issue as she included a wonderful freebie one in the package with the flowers and birds from the above earrings. It matched PERFECTLY in both color and sized. The rest of the bracelet is built around a polymer clay focal from Floridity, some gorgeous pink and brown "wheel" Czech glass disks, bleached wood slices and, of all things, brown shell dangles that used to be the "buttons" on ladies' shoes around the turn of the century. Years ago I bought a bag of these at the L.A. Gift show and have been hoarding them ever since. I thought it was time they made themselves useful. I call this design "Rosewood Bird."

Here's a closeup of the bird focal from Floridity.

I've been watching (and, yeah, okay, drooling) as LeAnn from Summer's Studio, Etc., started playing with bronze clay, but I was waiting for just the right design to strike my fancy. I finally found it with some pretty snowflake charms like this one and I turned the first one into this necklace by wire-wrapping some purple Czech glass rondelles (the same ones from the Abalonge earrings) onto patinated brass chain. The bronze is a bit tricky because it's darker than my normal gold findings, but not as dark as the brass. I got around this by using the darker brass chain and wire and then adding some brighter seed beads that are not quite gold, but still play up the highlights in the bronze. The purple beads reminded me of wintry shadows on snow so I named this "Twilight Snowfall."

Here's a closeup of the bronze snowflake pendant. I bought a second pendant from her with a slightly different snowflake and I made a necklace out of that one as well, but ran out of time to get it photographed. Hopefully, it will make its debut later this week.

Here's a closeup of the clasp...with my signature dangle.

And one last view. I'm loving this simple, but elegant design.

Whew! That was a lot of creating...and yet I'm sorry I ran out of time because I had more ideas and I know it will probably be a month before I get any more time to play. I'll have to hold out until then!

Hope everyon had a great Thanksgiving!



Kristi Bowman said...

Goodness you have been busy. I love them all but I have to say those abolone blow me away, I love how you pulled the soft pink and purple out with those little beads!

SummersStudio said...

Goodness, it's like the dam burst on your creativity. Yummy earrings, one and all. I love what you did with the snowflake. Just the right amount of beads and chain in my humble opinion.

lunedreams said...

Holy cow, don't hold the lady back!! That is an impressive pile of gorgeous stuff! I especially like the second to last pair of earrings, with the pink and green squares and shell flowers--utterly charming! I love the luminous shell with the matte clay. I love your dragonfly earrings too. The necklace is beautiful--I love the tiny shiny gold beads with the dark brass, that was a good call! Your recipe for creativity sounds good to me. Recreate until you get bored and then make stuff!

Marie Cramp said...

Oh my! You really were keeping all that creative energy bottled up weren't you! Good thing you let it out! You might have exploded! Lol!! Great stuff! Hope you find more time sooner that you expect!

Barbara said...

Wow, that's a ton of stuff, lady! I'm uber-impressed! Love how you layered those shells on my squares....hadn't thought to do that yet!


Sharyl said...

Every single thing you do is so creative! How do you do that?! (Is it the great stash of beads and findings you keep on hand...or the week of de-stressing?) Somehow, I still think there is something more to it--like perhaps incredible skill and talent!

Lovely earrings, and I'm really loving that snowflake necklace, but I don't find anything here I don't really, really like!

SueBeads said...

Wow! You did do a lot! Glad you got the time to have a relaxing weekend! Good for you!

TesoriTrovati said...

You got your creativity going on, girl! I love the Plumeria Leis earrings. Those are sweet little flowers that look like, what else, pansies to me! And I love those sparkly sunset earrings. Hoops are too cool! And that bracelet is beautiful. I have a bunch of those buttons too that I am hoarding. Must be a sign I should use them....
Enjoy the day.