Friday, July 29, 2016

Yay! Football season is underway

Steelers training camp starts today.

And our season tickets arrived yesterday.

And I am ready with some new finery, with the below necklace made using a technique I first learned about from a design called Multiple Choice by Annette Mackrel from the April 2010 BeadAndButton. When I first posted about this design way back in 2013, I had a comment by Aleta Ford, who shared that the spiral is her design and Annette used it in the variation that was featured in BeadAndButton. So thanks to both ladies for such a unique treatment. So let's get ready for some football.

Spiral technique by Aleta Ford

Friday, July 22, 2016

AJA update and aqua delights

I enrolled for a year's worth of online jewelry technique classes called the Art Jewelry Adventure and have been periodically writing about my experiences. It's been a bit quiet on that front with my last update on Tina Holden's polymer clay Aloha Necklace and I wanted to provide an update. Since then there have been three classes:

  • Csilla Papp teaches Soutache
  • Brooke Bock teaches working with molten metal to make charms
  • Amy Davisson teaches mold making

The classes have a been well done but I skipped the actual practice work for a couple reasons. I am not a great fan of soutache. I think it's gorgeous but just don't enjoy the process of making it so I skipped that one. For Brooke's class, I really don't have the right kind of set-up for molten metal and it's a bit toasty in our garage this time of year in Phoenix. Plus, I found purchasing the starting materials was more than I wanted to invest - around $150 for the equipment and tin bars. And while mold-making looks like a really fun process, it just didn't grab me. But that's the great thing about a year's worth of classes: you can pick and choose. There are 11 more classes between now and the end of the year and I'm sure I'll find at least a couple that appeal to me.

On the creative side, I've been hanging out in an aqua neighborhood and made the following necklaces.The first was built around the Our Lady pendant I found on Etsy. The necklace is Ogalla stitch based on a Jill Wiseman pattern.

This is the necklace I made for my niece's wedding.

And here's a picture of hubby and I at the wedding. It's nice to get gussied up every now and then!

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Doctor Sweet Niece

How is it possible that this precious baby has turned into an accomplished young woman who just earned her Psy.D. from Duquense University? Pardon the time out for bragging but she is my god-daughter so that should cover it.

It's no surprise since hard work and striving are just what she does. Here she is running in the Pittsburgh Marathon.

So to commemorate her doctorate and her move to begin a new job, I made the below embellished wall art.

We can do hard things

I first saw this quote at my brother's house where it is on a plaque over the kitchen sink and serves as a daily reminder to his five children. How perfect. So it seemed even more perfect to mark such a terrific accomplishment.

I edited the picture on Photoshop using a technique from Linda Matthews who has a terrific web site called the Creative Cloth. After transferring to fabric using Artist Transfer Paper, I stitched it to a piece of cloth I had quilted, then added some ribbon embellishment, the beaded heart and cloth flower.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Here's to great beady engineering

One of my favorite things about trying new designs is seeing just how the bead artist engineered the piece. Even if it's not a design I would wear, I learn so much and often incorporate bits, pieces and techniques into later pieces I make. Such was the case with the All Buckled Up Bracelet by Donna Sutton, from the February 2016 BeadAndButton.

I've been loving super duos this year and had a bit of a stash from other projects. Be aware that this design also uses 130 3mm bicones, which I did have to order. The clasp is super-cool - how's that for a technical term?

Here we see a close-up of the clasp which consists of a right angle weave buckle unit that is secured onto the bracelet with a peyote strip.

And when you open it, you see the hook and eye unit that enables the closure. This hook and eye is one that you typically find in sewing; I have not seen it used in bead work before and thought it was ingenious!

Here's to a very clever piece of engineering by Donna Sutton!

Monday, July 4, 2016

Wedding bells and baubles

Our niece's wedding was here and gone in a blink of an eye, a whisper of tulle and the tinkling of cutlery against water glasses. It was everything a wedding should be.

The day was clear and warm but not too warm. Mariah was beautiful and Josh was handsome. Here are Mariah and her parents before heading to the church.

Both musicians, they decided that music would play a prominent role in their ceremony and featured a choir made up of 13 talented friends and family members. The performances were so stirring it was difficult not to break into spontaneous applause.

There were so many special touches. Instead of live flowers, framed paintings of flowers made by my brother, Paul - the bride's father - sat in the front of the church on either side of the aisle.

Pansy Painting by Paul Seymour

Mariah carried a jewelry bouquet, shown below, created with trinkets and gems donated by friends and family.

The Bridal Bouquet

My donation featured a beaded rivoli made from the same beads as those I used in her bridesmaids' necklaces and two photo charms: one of my parents, Mariah's grandparents, both who have passed away, and another charm with a photo of the bride and groom.

And then Mariah came down the aisle escorted by my brother Paul looking composed but also slightly stunned that his little girl was old enough to reach this milestone. Mariah and Josh read each other vows they composed. Josh told the story of knowing his love for Mariah in the sixth grade when they became friends and he impulsively recorded his adoration on a napkin vowing that he would marry her one day.

Mariah and Josh in Grade School

Here is a photo of me with the bridesmaids in the sets I created.

I used a design by Panda Hall and replaced pearls with Swarhovski crystals.

I made two sets of earrings so the girls could pick their preference and packaged them in anti-tarnish bags. I really like these boxes from Nile Corp and customized them with inserts created on Photoshop and personalized with a note of thanks from the bride to each bridesmaid.

The reception brought together all the members of our family, which is a miraculous event, especially with many nieces and nephews attending school or working in other far-flung locations. But we were all together, enjoying the celebration and each other. Here we see this unruly mob doing our  best to settle down for a family photo.

Family Mayhem

Congratulations to Josh and Mariah for a perfect event to commemorate their love and commitment to each other!

Married at last!

© Cave Creek Beads