Bright Summer Jewelry

My next project from PCA 2017. The tutorial itself involves creating a pendant with canes and gradients. The pendant looks awesome, but if I do make one, I’m doubtful if I (or my sis) would wear it, because it is a tad large for our liking. I really liked the shapes and colors in the piece, though, so I thought I’d make tinier versions from parts of the project. And here’s the result.

Bright Summer Jewelry

Bright Summer Jewelry

Love these tiny things!

Trying to use a gradient for the spheres in these little pieces would not even show the gradient colors much, so instead, I just used glass beads for them.

Shaping the crescents was a bit tricky, but the results are not too shabby. After my last project, I’d thought of trying out sanding for my next project, but the curves in the tiny crescents made it kinda difficult, and I ended up not sanding. I did buff the pieces for quite a while, although I admit it doesn’t make much difference without the sanding preceding it. 🙂 Next project, hopefully…

Dragon Pendant

Another challenge that inspired me to try out something new!

The team at Art Elements launches a themed challenge every month. I’d thoroughly enjoyed working on a sugar skull keychain inspired by their October theme. This month, it’s a winter themed challenge, and Niky from Art Elements came up with a dragon-inspired theme! And who can resist dragons? 🙂 So I tried my hand at a dragon pendant, and then decided to officially participate in the challenge as well. I’ve been inspired indeed! 😀

Polymer Clay Dragon Pendant

Polymer Clay Dragon Pendant

Thanks to Niky for coming up with this theme. I wouldn’t have tried something like this otherwise. I loved making the pendant — from inspiration to design to execution! Someday, when my claying skills improve, I’ll make some different dragon jewelry that does justice to the sheer awesomeness of this magnificent creature. Until then, this will do. 🙂

I originally had a design in mind for a dragon curled around a large bead, but sculpting a dragon was not something that I was looking forward to, especially so soon after sculpting the sugar skull. I have a mold with some paisley vine-like shapes, and I thought one of them could work as the dragon’s body. I changed my design to suit this dragon shape, molded the clay, and made the tail pointier.

Though I’d thought of adding scales similar to the appliqué flower petals I made for my sugar skull, I didn’t think I’d be able to work much on the dragon’s curly body. So I poked dots on its back instead, and made some ridges on its belly.

I set the dragon on a big flat wooden bead, with a large white glass bead behind the dragon. The setup still looked a bit empty, and I cut off thin strips from a gold-and-brown sheet I’d made, and arranged them behind the dragon.

I covered the back with a layer of dark polymer clay, and bent two wires to form loops that I attached to the back. I then wrapped a strip of brown clay along the circumference, marked ridges on it, and added more of the gold-and-brown strips over it at the top.

I kept the piece aside for a few days — just in case I finished more projects, I could bake them all together. I took it out this week to fiddle a tiny bit with it, the behind-the-dragon strips broke off partially! 😦 I didn’t have the patience to remove all of that area, and risk damaging the dragon as well, so I added a few more strips to the broken area. The new strips didn’t work well with the old ones, and no gentle prods could make them do so. I finally poked dots in them to force them to stay. To keep things consistent, I carefully poked dots in the other similar areas too. It’s not as good as the original, but it’s not bad either… Liquid Polymer Clay would probably have helped here, and it’s now gone up a slot in my to-buy list.

Finally, I made two tiny horns and a tiny eye, and attached them both to the dragon’s head. I wondered if I should try to add anything else (wings), but I couldn’t risk the dragon’s body crumbling like the background did, so I went ahead and baked the piece before anything else could break off. It came out of the oven well. Phew! 🙂


Here’s all the beautiful dragon-inspired jewelry that everyone has made —

Guests

Kathy Lindemer
Kelly Rodgers
Shai Williams
Tammy Adams
… And of course, there’s me! 🙂

AJE Team

Caroline
Cathy
Claire
Diana
Jen
Jenny
Laney
Niky
Susan

(My first) Stitch markers

Hopping through my favorite knitting blogs — and even on new ones that I’d discover — I’d come across occasional mentions of bead-based stitch markers, with pictures of the cute ornaments. Seeing that I love both yarn and beads, I don’t know why it took me so long to make some of my own. Maybe it’s the fact that they’re not removable? But I’ve even used rings made of scrap yarn for marking, so that’s not it. Well, whatever the reason, it doesn’t matter now because I made a few stitch markers!

Stitch markers

These are real simple ones that just involve stringing combinations of glass beads and seed beads through head pins, making an eye loop and adding a jump ring. That’s all a stitch marker needs, right? Here‘s one of them doing its thing with a shawl that I knit for my mom. I don’t know if I’ll make more anytime soon, but I saw quite a collection of markers in a blog post by Bethany (Orange Swan), and most of these markers don’t have a jump ring in them, so I’m gonna try my hand at least a few.

When I showed these to my sis, she was mildly disappointed that they weren’t earrings like she’d first thought, so I went ahead and made some earrings to match. Happy, Sis? 😀

Stitch marker earrings

Macramé owl

Macramé owl

There was this macramé ornament that I made, and I thought that I could hang it in my car, but it turned out to be a bit large for that. It’s also been a while since I made any jewelry stuff. So I decided to make another macramé owl that could turn out to better fit my car. I used the same little bit of scrap yarn that I used for that earlier owl, and almost the same beads — the green ones as earlier for the eyes, but a different, disc-shaped bead for the beak. I also followed mostly the same directions as I did earlier, deviating to cover up a couple of mistakes from simultaneous TV watching. 🙂 I probably should have stopped a row or two before I eventually did, because the owl looks slightly elongated… I still like it, though, and will see how it fits in my car. 🙂 I especially like that it looks kinda scatterbrained because of the yarn strands in the ‘horn’.

Wire-wrapped chunky beads chain

I’d always wanted to make a chunky beads chain, and now that I own some thicker gauge wires, what better than wire-wrapped chunky beads? 🙂

Wire-wrapped chunky beads chain

I got the chunky turquoise beads to remain in place with the wire open inside. That is, there’s nothing attached to something else to keep the placement tight. It works fine because the wire is pretty thick and strong. I then made the eye-loop-like loops with the same wire strand — these loops would be used to connect to the other beads in the chain. I continued to wind the wire around the beads, turning it around the eye-loops. I’d intended the wraps to come out neater, but when the first one began to get untidy, I thought “Why not?” and made them kinda messy. I actually like how it looks, though I need to get better at making tidy wraps. 😉

For the rest of the chain, I used glass beads — flat, translucent white ones and round ruby-red ones. I used smaller gauge wire for these, stringing them on the wire and forming regular eye loops at both ends for the chain connections.

I absolutely adore this chain!

Mix-n-match necklaces

Mix-n-match necklacesTired of not having matching necklaces for the myriad saris that my sister and I own, I made these mix-n-match ones. We’ll combine one or more of these to suit the colors of our saris better.

Each necklace has 3 strands of related (or opposing) colors in it. The strands are made of seed beads randomly interspersed with a bigger glass bead or two of a similar color. They’re all secured together using crimp ends.

Just to keep it fun, I also made a slightly shorter single-strand necklace with a lot of glass beads in it.

Mix-n-match necklacesOf course, to really complete a mix-n-match combination and turn it into a necklace proper, it still needs split rings and clasps, which I’ve conveniently omitted here. 🙂

Tiny bead earrings and not-so-tiny charm

Tiny earrings and charmTiny earrings — they have their own kind of charm, don’t they? 🙂 I made these earrings using small head pins, and each of them has one seed bead, one brown-and-crimson glass bead and one faceted bead. Nothing special here, I just strung the beads onto the head pin, made an eye loop and snipped off the extra wire. For the findings, I used a limited set that I own; these findings are shorter than the ones I usually use.

Of course, I feel earrings without other matching adornments get kinda lonely, so I made a bracelet / pendant charm. I didn’t really like how it turned out when I used the same kind of beads I used for the earrings, so I changed things a little and used a large(r) faceted bead instead of the smaller ones — I added it as the center of the charm. Since the small faceted beads were not in the picture anymore, I added a couple more seed beads for length. I strung them all onto a wire, made eye loops at both ends, and bent the wire into a curve.

They look so happy together they’ve formed a smiley face. ;P