Monday, October 31, 2011

New Bracelet, New Clutch

Here comes "Golden Age". It reminds me of Klimt. Lots of gold, lots of texture. With it's substantial size, this is not for the faint of heart.
The cabochon is hugged by antique matte golds of many kind, a nice Swarovski rivoli, pearls and tila beads. The backing is distressed gold lambskin.
Very fancy, makes me think of celebrations, and the season for those is just around the corner.
Then we have something new here. Now that I am done with the circles, I figured I would venture into baggies.

I am not a purse designer, and in general I don't care for purses. I like useful baggies to stash my jewelry in, or toiletries, or business cards, whatever I need to stash, the baggie needs to be functional and simple.

So why not just a piece of incredibly luxurious gray sheepskin, folded neatly, stitched with sinew, with a simple flap and magnetic clasp, big enough to put your phone in, wallet, camera?
Sometimes simplicity is all we need.

No lining, no edging, no extra stitching, just a minimalist design with the right amount of embellishment.

With this piece I want to go back to a more organic sort of design idea, simple lines, simple materials, all the function with a pleasing form, nothing extra.

There are more baggies on the way!

Beads East Challenge 2011 -My Entry

I decided to participate in the 2011 Beads East Challenge. This picture shows what came in the challenge kit. There were 50 of these kits, and I know Sharayah is participating, because I got her a kit too, and I can't wait to see what she has done with it. I can't wait to see the other 48 entries too!

Anyhow, the deadline for this challenge is December 8th, and then they will post pictures of all the entries on their website. All the pieces will be sent into their retail store where they will be exhibited and photographed. That part makes me excited because I am not very happy with my pictures, but hey, they will do for now:))

The biggest part of the challenge to me was to design with the colors of the kit. There were lots of purples (love those), greens (love those too) blues (not sure what to do with those), cream (definitely a challenge), yellows and golds (I felt a headache coming on), and then I did not even get to the textures...

Well, I wanted to use as much of the kit as possible, but also wanted to create a design that has a somewhat unified appearance. Not an easy task when there are no matching cabochons, no endless amounts of pearls, crystals, and you have to work only with what's in the kit.

It was allowed to use any backing, any chains, findings, but only the beads provided , so I thought given all that, I would go for something really asymmetrical and something that uses mostly purples, some cream, very little green, and left the blues and yellows out all together.

The kit also featured sequins, and a very unusual multi colored fiber, that had to be used too.
So I spread the fiber out to cover my pellon and used the brass thingy from the kit with the holes and attached the sequins to it.
Then of course I went for the circles again. I think by now, I had my fun with all the negative space and stacked circles and such. After this piece I will venture into new things... But I thought the design suited the materials, and I had fun with this challenge.
The materials were very different from what I normally use, and it was fun to play with them.
I feel like the outcome is festive , girly and fun, and very bubbly.
So Ladies and Gentleman, I give you "Bubbles".

Yes, just like the great man's ape companion....

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Ohm, Oh My!

First of all, as You can see , snuggling is a favorite family activity in the Nichols household.
I HAD TO include this picture, it was so darn cute.
Then we have another Ohm bracelet. This time, my sister, Georgina asked me to make her one of these. She promised to make me some organic felted soap bars in return , because,
Dear Reader, in our family creativity is that abundant.

(Now if we could just make a living off of it, I could not wish for more...)

Her wishes were simple: include matte turquoise, some lined drops.
I know I wanted to keep the color palette simple, I might be into crazy peacock shades, but I know she wanted something she could wear with just about anything.
So I did not let the peacocks run away with me:))

My previous Ohm bracelets, The Nicole Yogini style were made with larger Ohm medallions.
I could not find those anymore. Life would be too easy if beady resources were that consistent, right?

So I got smaller round ones. I think they did the trick.

If you look close, there is also a very simple pendant on a teal leather cord. Slightly different colors, but very similar.
That is a birthday present for a very good friend, Brookey.
I hope both ladies will like their goodies...

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

If I had a real camera, these would be the kind of pictures I would be taking

I good friend of mine owns an awesome camera, and she kindly took a few pics of my most recent pieces, plus of course Sammy.
(Doesn't she have the most beautiful face in the whole wide world?)

And some with Sammy modeling my new necklace too.

It's interesting how my camera never got the shade of the red necklace right, on my pictures it all shows up as orange. So here , dear world, I give you the Red Necklace in it's original color!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Reveal Day

I have three entries to share with you for the " Harley Davidson Inspired" Challenge.
They are in chronological order of completion.
The first one is mine.

It's another experiment with negative spaces and making bead embroidery lighter looking and feeling, and including the wearer to become part of the "exhibit" by showing skin thorough the cutouts of the jewelry. It's a simple bracelet with my pave pattern of fresh water pearls and tiny size 15 charlottes, with an oval cutout partially filled with a large pink oval Swarovski stone.

Powerful, ultra feminine, for the lady who likes to ride hard.

The second one is Therese Frank's Harley Cuff. Here she describes it in her own words:
"I made a leather cuff with a Silver Lace Agate cab. I beaded around the cab using size 11/o delicas to match the colors in the cab. I also used silver size 15/0 seed beads, black size 6/0 seed beads, black size 8/0 seed beads, silver tone base metal 3 mm round beads, 4mm Czech silver fire polished crystals, and black size 11/0 seed beads for trim around the cuff.
The closure is a heavy duty snap.
Making this cuff was quite a challenge for me, because this is not the kind of thing I normally do, but i had fun making it and I am looking forward to another bead embroidery project to do."

I love that Therese, who makes awesome beadwoven jewelry took this as a personal challenge and ventured into the unknown land of bead embroidery.
And what a debut Ladies and Gentlemen, this is a powerful statement of a cuff.

Therese, keep the eye candy coming, you rock!

Please visit Therese's blog, Therere's Treasure including the new pieces she created with the boro beads she won at my give away last month.

The third one is Sharayah Sheldon's pendant, here is her description of it:
"The focal polymer clay is stamped with an "industrial looking" appearance.
The "V" shape is known in the Harley family as their signature engine.
Most of the beads used are real metal reminding me of the tour with all the scrap metal recycled.
I sued antique silver beads... wrapping them around the copper beads.
The clean layered appearance represents the workplace...clean and layers of tasks done to complete the engine.
Finally the multicolored metallic beads remind me of the many colors of Harley bikes."

Remember Dear Reader, when I visited my friend Sharayah back in August, we took a tour of the Harley factory. So part of the inspiration is from that trip.

Sharayah's work never ceases to surprise me. Her colors are always in perfect harmony, and her shapes and textures always show a brand new side of bead embroidery, pushing the limits with every new piece.
Her store on etsy, 4uidzne is full of wonders.

In a way, even though we only had 3 entries this month, this was a total success.
All three of us tried something new, I got to play around with how turn turn a traditional bead embroidered cuff into light and airy floating thing,
Therese got to try her hand at bead embroidery, and ended up with a gorgeous , very powerful piece, and Sharayah made a pendant that is truly inspired by Harley in more then one ways, making the challenge very much her own.
Great job Ladies:))

Let's see, what do you have to show us?-Last day for the Harley Davidson Challenge

Here is Sammy and her Aunt Ruby waiting to see all the awesome entries for the Harley Challenge. Today is the last day, and tomorrow is reveal day. I have my piece and two awesome entries . If there is anyone still working on theirs, let me know, I can always wait for you a little longer:))This should be fun.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Etsy Beadweaver's October Challenge

Yupp. I did it again and entered another challenge. This month the theme was "Inspired by Picasso".
One of my least favorite painters.

I know, I know. He is great, right?
Well, it just so happens that I have spent about 4 years of my young life stuck in a classroom with a heavily faded horrid reproduction of Guernica.
I know it's supposed to represent the horrors of war, particularly the Spanish Civil War.
My mind understood that, but at the same time, every time I think of Picasso, I think of the feelings that staring at that picture evoke in me. Which were mostly very very dark.
I can't help it. Every time I think of Picasso, to me it's desperation and misery.

So how do I counter balance that, so to speak?
By thinking in abstractions, so to speak.

Let's see.
What does he really represent, what is the first thing that comes to mind if I try to block out Guernica?
Boldness. Brigth colors, right out of the tube. As if he was rushing, and did not have time to mix a pleasing shade, just went for it, and abused that tube of paint.

Here is the outcome.
Not very Picasso. But then again, like I said, I don't care for him....
The voting for this month's challenge will take place at the Etsy Beadweavers' Team blog between the 9th and 15th of October.
Go vote for your favorite if you have a chance:))

I am back!

....From vacation, that is.
And from being seriously overworked. So I should get back to posting more often. Let's start with some new pieces I created while on vacation.

These bracelets are the continuation of the Harvest Home bracelet, that was the first one in this "collection". If one could call it that.
The truth is, I just loved the first one so very much, that I have worn it to the point I don't think I should sell the piece anymore, so I made more.

Autumn Oak is the one with the chocolate colored grain stone center, and Pumpkin Bliss is the one with the orange coral vintage Swarovski cabochons.

Paul, Sammy and I spent our vacation in Minnesota, and some of that vacation was spent (mostly by me, definitely not by Sammy,and somewhat by Paul) by gazing at the ever changing deciduous trees switching their green summer frock out for their celebratory harvest garb in the loveliest shades of orange, yellow red , purple and possibly The Colour Out of Space ...

So while the shapes remain similar to the first bracelet (shown on the picture that features all three together), the colors are changing like the trees, and since I am having so much fun making these, I think there will be more...