Friday, January 29, 2010

Letter pendant

I got my order from Paper Wishes a couple of days ago, and prodded by that, I finally got around to trying the Amazing Glaze I bought from Ornamentea before Christmas. The result wasn't perfect but it came out pretty cute, so I'm happy with it as a first try!

The picture is a little out of focus but at least you can get the idea. This is a pendant made by Nunn Designs - it's heavier and deeper than a lot of the bezels you see, and I really like them. This piece is about 3/4" so it's small enough that you could put it on a charm bracelet, if you wanted, but I'm thinking I'm going to wear it as a pendant.

This is what I did: first I cut a piece of background paper and glued it into the bottom - but then I eventually covered that up completely and I don't think it ended up being visible at all. The initial is one of these - I glued it down, too, and then I put more glue on top and on the sides of the paper initial and poured some Delicas in (mostly brown with a few pale ones) and pushed them towards the outside edge. I didn't worry too much about which way the Delicas fell - some have the hole visible and some don't, I just tried to get them distributed more or less evenly around the edges. But I didn't try to make everything perfectly even, either. All of that moving stuff around, and the wetness from the glue, ended up distressing the initial a little bit, but that was fine with me. After I gave the glue a while to dry, I started pouring in Amazing Glaze - it's a powder, like really, really fine grains of sand. I baked it for about 10 minutes at 275F, until the powder had melted completely. (I didn't set the timer, I just checked it every couple of minutes.) The glaze wasn't deep enough on the first try, but I put more in and tried again, and second time I mounded it up a good bit and it came out just about even with the top of the bezel, once it was melted, and I decided that was fine. There's one tiny little bubble over the bottom of the letter but I can live with that. I probably wasn't careful enough with how I added things. Anyway, it's cute and it was awfully easy, so I call that a definite win!

(Looking at the website, apparently Nunn Designs is the same as what's called Patera jewelry - I wasn't sure.)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Beader's Color Palette

This isn't a new book and I'm sure y'all know all about it already, but I wandered by Margie Deeb's website and was interested to see that The Beader's Color Palette: 20 Creative Projects and 220 Inspired Combinations for Beaded and Gemstone Jewelry had been chosen as one of Library Journal's Best Books of 2009. It is a really good book.

(I love books about color, anyway, and I suppose I'm sort of a color junkie in general. I'll have to do a post about color one day.)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

True Blood

I've gotten really hooked on the HBO vampire series "True Blood" - to the point that I've also been reading the novels (most of which are in the box set which will be pictured at right if I can get all this to work right - just in case here is the link: Sookie Stackhouse 8-copy Boxed Set ). I like these books so much that I read all eight of them already. But I'm still in the middle of watching the series, and while googling fan sites, I discovered that there is also a "True Blood" branded line of jewelry. The jewelry itself didn't so much blow me away, I was more interested in the fact that it existed at all. I imagine that there is more of this kind of thing around, but the only other movie/tv tie-in jewelry that I could think of right off was the Lord of the Rings line, which was mostly copies of pieces actually featured in the movies - Arwen's pendant, for example, and the One Ring itself. (People apparently use the One Ring as a wedding ring, sometimes, which I think is really weird, considering that the ring is supposed to be evil. But y'know, you can't tell fans anything.)

(And I know, it's a little weird of me to mock fans when I was just burbling about my own fannish tendencies above. I'm a huge Tolkien geek, too, but I still wouldn't use "the ring" for my wedding ring. I try to keep my  fannishness to a fairly reasonable level. Plus, I don't even wear rings, normally - I don't even wear my own wedding ring, actually. I've been told that's kind of weird, too, but that's another subject.)

Anyway, here's one of the True Blood pieces:

It's pretty, but I wouldn't pay nearly $900 for it. (I guess that is a real ruby, though.)

A quickie

I made a Twitter account just for jewelry stuff - under, rather predictably, deliciousbeads. (If you really adore me and want to see the non-jewelry stuff too, the old account is mellicious. Lots of rambling on various subjects there.) I added a few jewelry makers and related businesses and such but I will have to work on that some more!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Barnes & Noble, part 2

You know, I had mostly forgotten about it, but I'm pretty sure my copy of Bead Simple: 150 Designs for Earrings, Necklaces, Bracelets, Embellishments, and More got wet in the hurricane. (I was just discussing with another ex-Galvestonian at Christmas how hard it is to be sure what become of specific items.) Now that I looked at it again tonight, it makes me want to go buy another copy.

I haven't watched Beads Baubles & Jewels lately, because I'm pretty sure I've seen just about every episode of the last five seasons, many of them several times - but looking at Wrap, Stitch, Fold & Rivet: Making Designer Metal Jewelry (Lark Jewelry Book) makes me remember how much I always enjoyed Mary Hettmansperger's segments. It looks like a good book. And I think Margot Potter's Beyond The Bead: Making Jewelry With Unexpected Finds needs to go on my "to buy" list, too.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Barnes & Noble, part 1

So I went to Barnes & Noble to look at mixed-media-type books. I looked at some straight scrapbook kind of stuff too (did you know there are at least two books called The Joy of Scrapbooking?) but here are some things I liked from the jewelry section.

(I'm gonna put the links in in two formats in case the ones with the pictures don't work right.)

Amulets and Talismans: Simple Techniques for Creating Meaningful Jewelry
This one had some good technique information as well as really cool ideas.

Custom Cool Jewelry: Create 200+ Personalized Pendants, Charms, and Clasps
I know this one isn't new or anything (I didn't look at dates, I don't know that any of them are) but I hadn't actually looked at this book in person before, and it has some really good ideas.

(Hmm, I can't tell what's going on with the formatting, maybe I'll break this up into a couple of separate posts so it won't be completely confusing.)

Mixed Media

I don't think I really want to go and open my own store, but I was thinking in a daydreamy sort of way that I would like to open a store that was not quite a bead store and not quite a scrapbook store, but sort of a combination of both, and maybe more. I keep wanting to play with mixed media kinds of things and I know I'm not the only one, so I guess that's what I'm thinking of, a mixed media store! I don't think there's anything like that around here. Wouldn't that be fun? I don't think that I have the right personality to be a store owner, or I'd be a little more tempted to really do it. (Or if I thought my sister and I could do it together without killing each other!)

Friday, January 8, 2010

Ornamentea and steampunk

Remember back before Christmas when I said I was going to post pictures of the stuff I got from Ornamentea, and then I didn't? I never got around to taking the pictures at the time, but I finally did this week. I knew if I waited any longer it was going to get scattered all over the place.

Here is the contents of the Amazing Glaze kit:

Besides the jar of glaze itself (which is sort of a crystally powder) and the instructions, the kit had several bezels, the assorted colors of cord, and an assortment of stamps. After looking at the instructions, I have some fun ideas for what to do with this - some layered things with objects in them, maybe? We'll see what I come up with.

This next picture is part stuff from Ornamentea and part stuff from Loew's. I think you can guess which is which, really.

(Hint: the Ornamentea stuff is at the bottom.) The little round tin - which includes what seem to be shell casings - was the kit that came with a pre-order of the Steampunk book, and since the book has been released, I guess that means the little kit is no longer available. I really like the book, by the way. I was very impressed because a lot of people seem to use the term "steampunk" without really knowing what it means, and if you read through this book you'll come out of it with a pretty good idea, I think. Jean did her homework. (Which is what an author ought to do, yes, but unfortunately you can't always entirely count on it happening.) There's some great jewelry in here, but in between, there are short pieces about steampunk books - which is the original origin - as well as steampunk art, steampunk clothing, and more. It's really interesting, and I really think it's something that anybody trying to make anything that they're going to call steampunk ought to know.

I went to JoAnn's this week and bought alcohol ink, because I knew it was supposed to work on metal, and I got this idea that I would try to color the washers I bought at Loew's. I tried it last night, and the results so far are fairly encouraging, although I haven't taken pictures yet. (And actually the lid of the Amazing Glaze, seen in the picture above, got used as an experiment, too. It's no longer white!)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Post-holiday blues

Sorry to have been all absent lately - I've been sick, so I haven't done much of anything for the last week or so. (I did go visit my dad one day, though - we never spend Christmas in the same place any more so a post-Christmas visit has become traditional.)

I know I haven't gotten out much in the last year, but I have yet to see anybody actually wearing one of these gigantic necklaces, have you? (You have to scroll down a ways go see the examples I'm talking about in that link - but many of the other things on the way down are interesting, too!)

After Christmas I sometimes get in the mood for pink, thinking about Valentine's Day. (I guess that might be a good color for things to sell, too, come to that.) Last night I started a bracelet with fuchsia Swarovski bicones, we'll see how it comes out. The other thing, color-wise, that I'm in the mood for is blue - lovely cobalt mixed with paler blue. I am going to have to see if I have anything in my stash that picks up on that!