Friday, January 31, 2020

Inspiration for the February 2020 Honey Do List

2020 marks the fifth year that my husband Eric has been giving me a design challenge each month to get me out of my comfort zone and to help clear out my bead stash... it's the Honey Do List 2020!  I know that I'm not the only one who loves a good design challenge, so I'm hoping folks will continue to play along with us!

Here's this month's inspiration and what Eric had to say about it:



This month I had a hard time coming up with a good challenge. I have plenty of bird and flower pictures but still within the icy grips of Minnesota winter these just didn't seem right for February.  I ended up going monochrome with this cool railing and shadow from atop Herman the German in New Ulm. Hopefully the design will supply some inspiration!

The reveal date will be Monday, February 24th.  To make it super easy for you to participate and share your creations, I'll set up an Inlinkz link up so folks can add their blogs as they are ready.  Just stop by my blog starting on February 24th and join the fun!  I'll leave the link up open for a while... so you have plenty of time to add your links.  (Last month's is still open... check it our HERE.) No blog?  No worries!  Feel free to send me a picture of your creation and some brief comments and I'll happily share in my blog post.  You can reach me at sjdesignsjewelry@gmail.com  The more the merrier, so I hope you'll play along with me this month!

Monday, January 27, 2020

Honey Do List January 2020

2020 marks the fifth year that my husband Eric has been giving me a design challenge each month to get me out of my comfort zone and to help clear out my bead stash... it's the Honey Do List 2020!  I know that I'm not the only one who loves a good design challenge, so I'm hoping folks will continue to play along with us!

Here's this month's inspiration and what Eric had to say about it:




This past New Years holiday we spent some time up north at some friends' cabin.  The last day of the trip we spent the whole day up in the frozen bogs of the northland looking for owls to photograph.  This hawk owl is the only success!  Show me your owliness this month!

I have a fair amount of owl themed beads in my stash... but most of them are colorful and not really realistic looking.  For this month's inspiration from my hubby, I wanted to stick with more neutral colors.  Never fear... I found a few likely suspects in my stash.  With a big trip to Walt Disney World this month, I was a bit crunched for time but after our trip I got down to business to make a couple of necklaces to show you!

First up, amid the lovely blue and teal owls from Cathleen at Blue Hare Art Wear, I did have one more realistic little hoot owl!  I loved the mix of grey, brown, and mustardy yellow on him!  I went for a strung design that is a mix of Czech glass, Smoky quartz, and Mookaite with a couple of tiny faceted Ocean Jaspers near the front.  As I was gathering bead possibilities for this and my other necklace I found a little container with some orphaned beads including the Smoky Quartz... this necklace used all those up!  (Now to fill that little container with some new beads!!)


Next up is one I may decide to keep for myself... a long necklace with a lovely polymer clay owl pendant that I bought from Jenny Davies-Reazor last year at Bead & Button.  I fell in love with this little guy when I saw him and had to bring him home with me!  To complement his little spotted chest, I chose a Montana Moss Agate with some little speckles in it to dangle from the pendant.  Apparently I was in a stringing mood still, and I went with a mix of Czech glass, Dalmatian Jasper, and Pyrite for this long design.



Now it's your turn!  Please add links to/photos of your own creations below.  I love seeing what everyone else is making too!  Check back on February 1st to see what Eric has in store for us next month!  Here's to the start of what I hope will be a happy and creative year!
You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter

Friday, January 17, 2020

We're All Ears January 2020: Pantone Color of the Year


Each January, my friend Erin Prais-Hintz challenges us to make earrings using the recently announced color of the year for the We're All Ears challenge over on the Earrings Everyday blog.  I don't know about you, but this is the first time in ages that I've actually liked the Pantone Color of the Year!  Happy days are here again!  Not that I normally pay much attention to color trends and whatnot... I tend to just make what I want to make. 

I had a surprising amount of earring-appropriate blue beads in my stash to potentially play with this month... this picture doesn't even capture all the art beads!  As is often the case I had more options than I had time.


I have to admit that I wasn't really considering the different color palettes featuring Classic Blue.  Probably because I have a strong tendency toward more monochromatic designs!  I did pull together a couple of things that I think fit with specific color groupings though so I'll start there.

First up, a little take on the Ponder color palette.  I had some fun abstract enameled moth shapes from Gardanne that just needed to fly into a earring design.  The picture doesn't do them full justice, but there is some great color and texture on the solid side of the moths from the silver she used.  I decided to go for a slightly larger bead dangle than I might normally, but these faceted labradorite teardrops were too perfect to pass up.  The stone has some nice flashes of blue fire that was difficult to capture.





My next pair features some fabulous polymer clay charms by our gracious hostess Erin Prais-Hintz of Tesori Trovati.  With the fun metallic foil accents and the super dark blue, these were perfect to go with the Desert Twilight palette.  I chose metallic coppery English cut Czech glass beads and some bright blue dyed agate for the dangles.


The last two pairs that I made for this month focus just on the Classic Blue itself!  I had a couple of fun spiral swirl beads from Marsha Neal that decided to come out to play.  I just added some small dark navy Czech glass beads and a bead cap at the bottom and a little silver toned bead at the top.  These are on sterling ear wires.


Next up, I salvaged some faux tin pieces from this past fall's Inspired by Nature Retreat.  The colors were perfect, but the original rectangles were a little flawed on one end.  No problem!  I just trimmed them down smaller and then got busy filing the edges down.  After punching holes at top and bottom I just wire wrapped some adorable little Czech glass flowers with crystal centers on the bottom.  Tiny, simple, and cute!


Not made specifically for this challenge, but still celebrating the 2020 Color of the Year, here's a few more.  These were all made at the end of December for the Art Bead Scene Art Journey #9 challenge.


From left to right:  polymer clay charms by Humblebeads and cocoon beads by Saga Hus; ceramic charms by Artisticaos, polymer clay discs by Humblebeads, and dyed agate; porcelain charms by Kiyoi Design.

Hope you all have a fabulous weekend!  As this posts, I'm at the tail end of what I hope will be another fabulous Disney World vacation.  I'll catch you on the flip side!  For now, pop on over to the Earrings Everyday blog to see what everyone else was inspired to make HERE

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Inspiration for the January 2020 Honey Do List

Happy New Year, Everyone!  Sorry for the delayed start to this first challenge of 2020... We've been busier than normal and actually took a little mini retreat to ring in the new year.  

2020 marks the fifth year that my husband Eric has been giving me a design challenge each month to get me out of my comfort zone and to help clear out my bead stash... it's the Honey Do List 2020!  I know that I'm not the only one who loves a good design challenge, so I'm hoping folks will continue to play along with us!

Here's this month's inspiration and what Eric had to say about it:




This past New Years holiday we spent some time up north at some friends' cabin.  The last day of the trip we spent the whole day up in the frozen bogs of the northland looking for owls to photograph.  This hawk owl is the only success!  Show me your owliness this month!

The reveal date will be Monday, January 27th.  To make it super easy for you to participate and share your creations, I'll set up an Inlinkz link up so folks can add their blogs as they are ready.  Just stop by my blog starting on December 30th and join the fun!  I'll leave the link up open for a while... so you have plenty of time to add your links.  (Last month's is still open... check it our HERE.) No blog?  No worries!  Feel free to send me a picture of your creation and some brief comments and I'll happily share in my blog post.  You can reach me at sjdesignsjewelry@gmail.com  The more the merrier, so I hope you'll play along with me this month!

Monday, December 30, 2019

Honey Do List December 2019

This is the fourth year that my husband Eric has been giving me a design challenge each month to get me out of my comfort zone and to help clear out my bead stash... it's the Honey Do List 2019!  I know that I'm not the only one who loves a good design challenge, so I'm hoping folks will continue to play along with us!

Here's this month's inspiration and what Eric had to say about it:




I decided to get a little arty with this month's shot.  I like the deep colors in it as well as the statue and architecture.  I took this in our hotel in Milwaukee this past summer for Bead and Button.  Good luck with this one...I'm looking forward to seeing some fun interpretations!

I'm going to be real honest here... this one had me kind of stumped for a while.  I'm hoping some of you guys had quicker flashes of inspiration!  Luckily, some of my leftovers from the faux tin portion of Heather Powers' Inspired by Nature Retreat from this November were still floating near the surface of my beady mess and I realized that some of the William Morris patterns reminded me of the rug that is reflected in the crystal ball in Eric's photo.

Whenever I go to a jewelry making class or retreat, I always end up coming home with extra bits and bobs and unfinished projects.  I had several pieces of faux tin that I hadn't yet cut into or filed that were going to be great for some earrings.  First up, some little faux tin rectangles to which I added brass filigree teardrops.  The ear wires on these are niobium in a nice bronze finish that plays nicely with brass.



Next up, I punched some circles out of our practice sheet of faux tin that is actually an aluminum product.  Because of that, these are super lightweight!  This first pair combines my faux tin discs with some hammered brass rings from Vintaj for some fun and flirty dangles.




For the second pair I used some fun charms from Anna Bronze that I had sort of forgotten I had.  (Amazing things happen when you start trying to clean up!)  The ear wires on these are the bright Vintaj Vogue brass.   




Another thing that I brought back from the fall retreat was a not quite finished faux tin pendant in the same William Morris pattern.  I had cut and filed the piece but hadn't yet attached it to the hammered wire frame that I had made using the Now That's a Jig!  There's no time like the present, so I finished the pendant up and started to plot my necklace design.

I had several different shapes of Czech glass in ivory with a Mercury glass finish to choose from that have a nice creamy, pale yellow color perfect for the faux tin.  I chose some English cut grey/brown beads to round out the design.  There's a subtle mix of copper and brass in this one that I really love.



Now it's your turn!  Please add links to/photos of your own creations below.  I love seeing what everyone else is making too!  Check back on January 3rd (slight delay since we're taking a mini trip for New Year's Eve) to see what Eric has in store for us next month!  Wishing you all a happy and healthy New Year!!


You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Art Elements Theme of the Month December 2019: Handmade Christmas


First off, let me just say that I hope that each and every one of you has had a delightful holiday season... whatever holidays you choose to celebrate.  Our Christmas holiday was spent making and eating tons of yummy food including my very first (and thankfully, quite successful) attempt at making gougeres (also known by me as cheesy poufs!), spending some quality time with good friends that we don't see nearly enough, and finally getting to the new Star Wars movie!

I love the idea of sharing all the handmade goodies that we create this time of the year.  Seeing what other creatives have been up to and how they respond to each theme of the month is always fun, but I especially love seeing the special holiday treats that everyone dreams up.

For me, this handmade holiday challenge reveal isn't too very different from what I did last year, but I thought I'd share what I've been up to anyway since I do have some new designs!  Once again, I went a little bit overboard with the saltwater etching.  I had a friend who has a guillotine cut down a bunch of copper sheet for me into manageable rectangles.  I stamp my images on the copper pieces using rubber stamps and StazOn ink and then etch them using batteries and a hyper-saturated kosher salt solution.  Fun mad science times!!

After the pieces are done etching, I antique them with liver of sulphur, cut my desired shape out, sand and file the edges.  When that's all done, I punch any holes I want and add beads and/or charms and a ribbon to hang them.

Some of the ones I made this year are designs that I used last year and some are totally new for 2019.  Here's what I've managed to make:

Three brand new designs!  

Happy Christmas was new this year... I love the leaf charm and red "berry" beads on this one!

The middle one was new this year and the first one I sold.



I added all of the ornaments that didn't sell in my holiday shows into my Etsy Shop (you can see what I still have for sale HERE).  From that I ended up with a special order for a very specific saying... "Deck Them Halls Y'all!)  Since I didn't have a rubber stamp for that, I had to get creative!  Luckily, Heather Powers had shown us an image transfer technique at her Inspired by Nature Retreat in 2018 so I went to work trying to figure out how to use that for the desired results.  I played around with the words and some holiday graphics in PicMonkey and then got them printed onto transparency film.  From there I was able to transfer the image onto my prepared copper and proceed with the etching and ornament making process.

Special order ornaments.  I'll be making more of this design for next year!
Last but not least I'll share an ornament that's doing double duty for this reveal as well at the last Art Bead Scene Art Journey challenge of the year.  I had pulled a large porcelain snowflake pendant by Nancy Adams of Round Rabbit thinking that I might make a necklace with it for the ABS challenge.  The more I looked at it, the more I thought that it was just too big for me for a necklace.  I switched gears and whipped up a little Christmas ornament that currently is gracing our tree.


That's all that I have for this month, but this is a blog hop.  I hope you'll check out what everyone else created for a Handmade Christmas!

AE team: 

Guests: 

Friday, December 20, 2019

We're All Ears December 2019: Use Your Leftovers


This is the fifth year of the We're All Ears "Use Your Leftovers" challenge!  I haven't looked back to last year but I expect that I'm doing something similar since I've been knee deep in salt water etching for the second year in the row!  I honestly have made much of anything else this month... I knew had good stock built up of everything other than Christmas ornaments for my holiday shows.

If you want to see most of the ornaments I made this year, I have them for sale in my Etsy shop.  You can see them HERE.

Anyhoo... for my contribution to the Use Your Leftovers challenge I present you with the pieces that I made from the etched copper sheet left over after I cut out my ornament shapes.  I used my handy dandy disc cutter to cut as many circles as possible out of the extra copper then gave them a good tumble to help smooth any rough edges.  Then it was time to match things up for earrings, punch holes, and dome them.  Yes, there are some necklaces in the mix too, but that's just how I snapped my pictures as I was making things.    






This is a blog hop.  Pop on over to the Earrings Everyday blog HERE to see what everyone else made with their personal craftermath!