Saturday, February 28, 2015

Make a Statement Reveal

After reading Sally's announcement of the Make a Statement challenge, my initial thought was that it probably wasn't for me. My pieces tend toward the utilitarian-not-too-glitzy-or-time-consuming. But then I thought that might be the perfect reason to challenge my comfort zone. The next hurdle was inspiration so I went through some photos of my older pieces thinking that there might be something statement-ish to work with. And aha - I found one from several years ago that I still love to this day - the Sunflower Power cuff by Merle Berelowitz from the April 2010 BeadAndButton. I learned so much about the engineering process from making this cuff and the beautiful sunflower centerpiece just shouted "statement" to me. Here is original design that provided my inspiration.
Sunflower Power Cuff Design by Merle Berelowitz

And here is my statement piece.

I used the sunflower motif as the centerpiece and built around it starting with a brass collar which I covered with ultrasuede and a ruffled herringbone strip attached to the ultrasuede. Then came the focal bar using right-angle weave, which was connected to the collar, not the herringbone since I thought the collar was better suited to hold the extra weight of the focal plus the sunflower. Last I made the sunflower.

The photo below shows a clasp I added more for security than anything else. The piece was fine with just the collar form but it is a bit heavier than most necklaces and I didn't want it slipping. So I made a toggle and bar out of embellished right-angle weave.

In the diagrams below, you will see the sequence and overall construction process.

I think this would look great with a black dress or even dressy black top and pants. Hubby and I are celebrating a special anniversary this year so who knows - maybe it will be my night-on-the-town statement!

Thanks for encouraging me out of my normal comfort zone, Sally! Let's take a look at some more amazing statements:

Monday, February 16, 2015

Fifteen Days of Photos: Days 7 Through 15

Sally's prompts for this session were definitely influenced by the proximity to Valentines Day.

Day 11: Macro
I went with the heart theme for this macro and featured a few of the items I bought in Tucson last week-end. More about that on Day 12! These cute little copper pieces are from The Lipstick Ranch. You can see more of their pieces in the lower left of the day 12 photo.

Day 12: Temptation
Temptation was not something I avoided when I drove to the mecca of all things beading in Tucson last week-end. Below is a collage of a few of my purchases.

Day 13: Sweetness
I made my sweet hubby a customized chocolate bar from Chocri, which is a very cool web site that allows you to select your type of chocolate, fillings, toppings and any decorations. They are located in Germany so if you are tempted to order something, be sure to leave enough time for shipping. (Not an endorsement - I just think they are clever as well as sweet!)

Day 14: Love
For love, I pulled out an old photo of our son that my husband had taken many years ago. I know these are to be limited to photos we take but I did have a hand in editing this to mellow out its colors and add the frame. I just love his enchantment with the seagulls.

Day 15: Togetherness
I found this cool tutorial by Easy Digitals about how to use Photoshop to look like you carved initials on a tree. I modified it for the saguaro in our backyard. Hubby and I have a big anniversary this year so I may turn this into a canvas as part of his gift.

Let's see how everyone else spent days 7-15:

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Fifteen Days of Photos: Days 6-10

Wow, for some reason I thought our post dates were all week-ends. This one might be a little scant since I am on business travel this week. I loaded a few photos from home before I left but had to use both my camera and Blogger on my phone for the rest - thus they look a little hodge-podge. Sorry about that! I will also be a little late to check out your posts but will get to them when I return.

Day 6: Minimal
Just what my post will be for this series!

Day 7: Daily Chaos
This week my daily chaos included airport travel. Ugh.

Day 8: Words
This one was easy since I am an obsessive collector of words in any form: books, movies and quotes. I like the below quote so much I asked an Etsy artist to make me some bracelet links. I haven't finished the bracelet yet but here's the link.

Day 9: Night Time Calm
Here's my little beading buddy, Harold. Each night when I treat myself to some beading time after dinner he sprawls on the table and looks longingly at the enticing beads and thread.

Day 10: Outside
I did travel to a beautiful spot: Sonoma, California, where the weather was amazing. Here are a few photos taken at the hotel where I stayed.

Let's see how everyone else spent days 6-10:

Friday, February 6, 2015

Fifteen Days of Photos: Days 1-5

Thanks to Sally for inspiring us to snap and smile. Without further ado:

Day 1: Reflection
The song should say, "It never rains in Arizona - except on Super Bowl week!" I felt sorry for the thousands of football fans who thought they were escaping cold, gray weather only to visit - er - cold, gray weather. We locals sure enjoyed it though and here is a look at the rain reflecting a happy tune in our pool.

Day 2: Wrapping
Here I refer to wrapping part of my daughter-in-law's birthday gift. I made her this sweet kitty bracelet, since she is a cat-lover like her Mom-In-Law.

Day 3: Kitchen Ritual
It has been one year since I have adopted a paleo food plan. I give a shout-out to Rita from The Coffeeshop Blog who first introduced me to the Whole30 which is an introduction period where you limit your foods to meat, vegetables, certain nuts, certain fats and fruit. That's it. And it is the best change I have ever made but does require a commitment to shopping and cooking. Here you see my groceries from a recent shopping trip.

Day 4: Paper
Here's the wrapping paper mentioned in Day 2 - the gift wrapped for my daughter-in-law. You also get a little peek at the repetitive pattern, which takes us into the theme for Day 5.

Day 5: Repetitive Pattern
For repetitive pattern, we have the wrapping paper above but also something very cool I was able to capture last night. Here you see the pattern created by the decorative stones in our front yard. Even better is the triumvirate of javelinas that come to visit most evenings. They are such curious creatures - like porcupines on legs! It was tricky to get the light just right without spooking them so I drew a rectangle pattern around each one so you could find them more easily.

Let's see how our other correspondents spent Days 1-5.

© Cave Creek Beads