Sunday, August 22, 2021

Lucifer was the brightest kitteh earrings

 Just a fun, funky new summer earring kit. I had the kitteh trapped in the light bulb dingles in my possession for quite a while. The sweet, white kittehs seemed so innocent. But I know better: innocent looking cats are the most mischievous.

This is a kitteh who climbs up shelves to puke on books, furniture, rugs, pajamas, bedspreads and sheets all at once, with just one fur ball ejaculation. He pees on shopping bags and baby seats and chews on bead tubes. He only likes one kind of wet food and which one it is changes as soon as you bought a dozen cans on sale to appease the dark lord. He naps on keyboards and beading mats.This kitteh is a master of his evil craft. He is the brightest, bestest boi, the fallen angel and his name is Lucifer.
To make sure the sweet evil kittehs don't look like an afterthought on the earrings, I gave the design some serious thought. Earrings give one very little chance for less then flawless design as there is so little real estate to make mistakes on. Everything matters and elements need to be clean and crisp.

The Lucifers trapped in the bulb are surrounded by stars. He is the fallen one, after all. How do I convey shooting star like movement? I used beautiful white pearl cabochons as my starting point. After bezeling them, I built movement with mother of pearl beads that start out larger and become smaller, going down towards Lucifer, becoming the bright constellations in a dark sky that consists of black opaque drops. The shape of the earrings' bead embroidered portion is a semi circle which is repeated by the rounded bottom of the light bulbs. 

The edges of the bead embroidery are decked out in now extinct Swarovski crystals in 3 and 4mm sand opal AB2X and crystal AB2X. Let's just take a moment to say FUCK SWAROVSKI and the steed upon which they didst arrive. 

The earring findings are sterling silver with cubic zirconia. The way they are designed, there are CZs in the back of the earring too, but those point forward too making the whole contraption shine like there is no tomorrow.

The seed beads are the finest money can buy and the backing is distressed blue metallic Italian lambskin. As usual, no expenses are spared for the finest materials. Except for Lucifer. He is the finest, chintziest Chinese metal dingle dangle any 6 year old would swoon over.Cute as a button.

The earrings measure 67mm from the part that goes through your ear to the tip of Lucifer's bulb. That is almost 2 and 3/4 of an inch, sans 1/16th of an inch. Please remind me why we are measuring things this way in the US. 

 

This is what it looks like on my head. I have a big head and a pretty average length neck. I wish I had a more swanlike neck, but I don't think it's going to happen. Anyhow, it's a lightweight, not too long earring that fits really nice, does not twist and turn and is entirely wearable for the last of this summer's Edison light bulb lit garden parties. 

I will have a very limited number of kits available on Etsy at 10:00 am on Monday 8/23/2021.  If they sell out and all the dark-souled kitteh enthusiasts revolt for their own Lucifers; I will order more materials as an offering on the alter of thy bad cat worship.


Monday, August 2, 2021

The Notes Not Played bracelet

Miles Davis said " It's not the notes you play, it's the notes you don't play." I would like to pretend I know exactly what he was talking about, because I could talk about jazz all night, but I would be lying. It's a subject I know very little about. But the quote has been on my mind because of the way it applies to life. The things we don't say. The things we don't do. How the way they define what we say or do more than our words of place holders of actions.

Not to mention negative space. How what isn't there is as important in defining the outcome of a piece of a jewelry even more than all the things we manage to pile on. How the carefully crafted spaces, absences, missing bits become the most important thing about something. Take this bracelet. Cleverly interlocking circles with a minimal variety of the fine materials take the place of focals and weight.
It' the space between the components that's this composition's most prized part. It's like crotchless undies. It's a frame only, and what is exposed is you. Your wrist.  You are the focal. You are the thing seen.
The Notes Not Played Bracelet comes in The House of the Rising Sun colorway. And....
The Purple Rain colorway.
Both of these will be available as kits, on 8/4/2021 at 10:00 am on Etsy. Purple Rain is going to set you back $85, and The House of the Rising Sun will be $105. ( It has 24 gold plate seed beads.)

Both have pretty drawstring cords making it comfy for peeps who have 6.5-8.5 inches wide wrists. Do you have a tiny wrist? I have solutions for you too, just message me at the time of your purchase.
I am not going to lie. I am very fond of this design. Its intricate interwoven nature and its ways to be customized a hundred different ways with different beads will keep me busy for a while. These two easy to reproduce colorways have been super fun to bead up, but I have about 8 more varieties hunting me day and night to make as one of a kind pieces for fun. I am really digging this concept.
It's just a concept with an awful lot of potential. I would suspect that peeps who buy the kit would then go off on their own and create their own versions of The Notes Not Played.
Here is what these bad girls look like on. Excuse the worn  off nail polish. Or not. Maybe with nail polish too, it's as much about what isn't there as it is about what's there.

 

Monday, July 26, 2021

7th Book Club Meeting, September 17th, 10:00 AM, Mountain Time - The last Mrs Parrish

 Ahoy Book Club Friends! Our next book is The Last Mrs Parrish by Liv Constantine.

It's the ultimate guilty pleasure of a good summer read. There is absolutely no educational value to this thriller, it's wonderfully entertaining and engaging and at times enraging book that you will just have to read all night because it's worth it. Like eating an entire pint of ice cream, there is a time and a place for such pleasures.

Initially the lonely ways of the whole pandemic is what started the whole book club effort, and while we have been released back to society and are a bit more free range than caged these days, I still see value in it and will keep it going.

If this is the first time you hear about the book club, you might want to read the posts from last year about it.

At any rate, it's free, there is no need to sign up, no need to email me. Just save the zoom invite and show up at the time specified on Zoom. Bring whatever project you are working on and do join even if you haven't finished or started the book, just want some good company and sharing with friends you haven't met yet. Good things come from good gatherings and these meetings indeed have been very satisfying to all of us involved.

Here is your login info:

Kinga Nichols is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Kinga's Book Club, September 17th, The Last Mrs Parrish
Time: Sep 17, 2021 10:00 AM Mountain Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting
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Monday, June 21, 2021

6th Book Club meeting on July 16th

 Hey book club buddies,

Join me on July 16th at 10:00 am mountain time to talk about John Connolly's  The Book of Lost Things.

Not sure what the book club is about? Peruse the blog for previous posts about it. This one is the 6th one, so there is plenty of info here on my blog about the concept from the previous zoom get togethers.

Here is your login info:

Kinga Nichols is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Kinga's Book Club July 16th
Time: Jul 16, 2021 10:00 AM Mountain Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting
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Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Nibette Cuff kit in Spicy Mami and Cool Girl Blue Colorways coming to Etsy June 10th at 1:00 pm mountain time

Nibette is named after Nikia and Babette, my friends who provided me with some of the materials that make up this beautiful bracelet. Babette's family has been in the jewelry business for generations and the glass cabs and enameled bugs and glass pink elephants were from her. At this point, they are about a hundred years old and have seen at least one world war and traveled an awful lot to get to me. They are irreplaceable, precious and beautiful. Nikia gave me the delicate but sturdy brass cuff blanks that give the piece its shape and form. She found them at the wholesale warehouse while she was traveling through Rhode Island's land of plenty (of beads). The red colorway pictured here is called Spicy Mami.
Realizing that oftentimes one size does not fit all, for those lovely beaders whose wrists aren't between 6 and 7 inches, this bracelet is offered with a clasp too. This option is instead of the metal cuff. If your wrist is under 6 inches or bigger than 7, pick the clasp option.
The "Cool Blue Girl" colorway is all bronze and teal and aqua and it features wee enameled bugs. These precious itty bitty critters appear to be hand enameled and most of them were one of a kind. I had a bagful of them and to my surprise most did not match at all. With all my samples I try not to single out a most outstanding focal or the best looking stone or in this case the one matching set of bugs. I picked a mismatched pair to show you that the overall feel is beautiful even if the bugs are not exactly alike. The focals which are the vintage German cabs are all beautiful. They are all striated with sparkly bronze and blue. The same goes for the red ones, which are red and bronze and white.
Such a pretty, pretty bracelet. I could not pick a favorite. I like both colorways equally, I think.
Agent Nancy Mayhem clearly prefers the blue. ( Not actually true: the red wasn't ready yet when I took this picture.😏)
          Gratuitous pug pictures that don't even have the bracelet in focus. I can not help myself.

                                                            My pug is just way too cute.


Here we have them side by side. Do note that the red one has a clasp and no brass cuff blank inside, so if their shapes are not the same, it's because of that. The red kit comes with dark purple metallic leather for the inside lining while the blue has a bronze- teal lining.

 This lovely kit is available in very limited quantities due to the fact that the Weimar Republic no longer makes glass cabs or tiny enameled bugs or delirium tremens inspired mirror like tiny pink elephants. Neither can I get more cuff blanks. Life is such. Some of the nicest things are rare.

The kit will be posted on Etsy on the 10th of June at 1:00pm mountain time.

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Summer 2021 Inspiration Box (Volume 19) is coming to Etsy on June 1st at 10:00 am, MT

 As time goes by and all sorts of color combinations I love have been visited and revisited again, the inspiration boxes become harder to curate. What haven't I done yet?  This time the starting point was a gorgeous focal from an artist who I just discovered.

Ruzanna Carter is the name of the artist. So far she has only made components for her own gorgeous finished jewelry, but she kindly agreed to make me a couple hundreds of these lavender and bumble bee tiles.

These are such delicate wonders. The polymer clay has a warm, almost alive like feel to it. The busy little bumblebee on the sprig of lavender served as the idea the rest of the box was built around. 

Because Ruzanna hasn't made these in large quantities before, there is a small glitch, which did not bother me a bit and hopefully, dear beader if you are reading this, you will agree that it is a small matter. The back of the tiles is hand painted. This paint might peel away when you pull the tile off the card it's attached to. 


 It was my idea to attach the tiles to the card with balloon tape, but the paint on the back can't entirely handle it. However, since we are using it for bead embroidery and that side is glued to a piece of foundation, this will not effect the quality of the beadwork or the focal itself.


 


Once I settled on going with the bee and lavender feel of the box, I got very excited. Because bumblebees and honeybees are super fun components to shop for. Take the above pave set CZ encrusted 24K plated component. It's chonky and sweet and elegant too. Has so much potential for cool bead embroidery designs!


Then I got some enameled honeybees too. These are a bit less detailed and sort of cute. Everyone will get 5 of these in their box, and they will be a random assortment.

 There is one more bee in the stash as you see:  a brass stamping. Really fun. This looks like a queen bee.  The seed beads are color coordinated to go with the honey-lavender feel. there are 3 colors in size 11 and one size 15. Besides the 5 tubes pictured here you will get an additional tube which is the repeat of one of the 5 you see on the picture. There is a tube of lentils (one hole) that I mixed myself. The inspiration was golden honey. Everyone will have two clasps. Either the type pictured here which is a gunmetal colored box clasp and you will get two of these. Or, the other type is the same color but a trailer hitch type clasp. They are randomly distributed into the boxes, so you can't pick which one, but both are really nice quality.

The vintage German glass cabochon in glacier blue is another remarkable focal in this stash. So pretty. Even though it is glacier blue on jet, in person it looks really purple.


The sea sediment jaspers are nice too, they vary a great deal though in color.  Mine on the picture (one before the above) which I randomly picked is on the lighter side. Some are much darker and have more depth. I try to avoid picking the prettiest natural stones for my own sample when I include such items in the box. It would be unfair to pick one out of almost 200 that is prettier than all the rest and set people up for disappointment. Mine was pretty average. Here is a good picture of the rest, as you can see some are much more purple.


You will also get the pretty glass rings, the resin focal , the Czech rounds and beyond what you see on these pics, you will have gorgeous purple leather and pretty velvet.

The box will have this pretty picture on the front and another one on the inside. A note from my Sammy Dog as usual too. 

If you have been getting these from me in the past, you know that the box does not come with instructions on what to make with the components. This saves me time and keeps the cost down for you, as the assortment contains a lot more than you would get in any kit. 

However I tend to have inspiration pieces to go with each box. I keep a random box to myself and see what I can make with it. Sometimes I have more time, sometimes I have less. This time around- lucky me- I had time to make not one but three inspiration pieces for you.


Here is the smallest thing. A tiny bracelet. I like wearing smaller bead embroidered pieces like this. It's easy for everyday stuff, pretty and goes well with everything. This piece also showcases the lentil assortment really well. It's a mix of 3 colors and they go so well together. I used them as petals around the  bezeled  German glass focal.  All the beads and the chonker bee are from the box. The draw string cord is from my own stash. This would be really pretty on a leather cord too.


Here is what I have done with Ruzanna's tile. It's a very simple little bracelet too. I covered my foundation in one of the velvets you will be getting in your box. This is such a beautiful fabric: easy to work with because it does not fray. It changes colors from a greenish greyish shape to a red. I did not want to cover much of the velvet up and did not go crazy with embellishing it; instead kept it simple. Used 2 of the enameled bees on the side and just two glass rings to symbolize flowers and stitched down some size 11 purple opal like seed beads individually all the way around the bracelet.  Simple and sweet. Besides this pretty velvet, you will also be getting a color changing purple velvet piece too.


Here we have a necklace on which I have used my brass stamping queen bee and the pretty floral resin cabochon. I glued a piece of leather behind the bee and also behind the resin cab. Please keep in mind that your box will have 1 of 4 different shades of metallic purple leather I have on hand, so your leather may be a little different. All of them would look good used this way.  Those light, minty opal looking Chinese crystals above and to the sides of the bee add such a lovely splash of color. 

All the beads and focals for this came from the box, however the silk ribbon and the toggle clasp were from my own stash.

As far as bead embroidery necklaces go, this is a good size too. Not too big, fits nice. I am happy with all three of these pieces. My aim with the inspiration pieces is to show you some cool, simple ways of using the beads in the box. If you like them, please, by all means, feel free to make your own version of these from your box. 

Or, perhaps join the challenge making your own design out of these components. I have a dedicated Facebook group for the whole inspiration box idea. With every box there is a challenge. The challenge is always in a spirit of mutual support and sharing. It's not a contest. Not a battle. While I do have prizes that vary every time depending on what I can hustle up from my stash, the best part is just to think outside your own box by thinking from within my box.  To participate, you have to be in the group , link here:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/167448567218765

As to what the challenge is, well, your piece needs to be mostly bead embroidered. And with every box, I pick a component that must be used. Very simple rules. In this case, the component will be Ruzanna's  tile. There is always a deadline. just before the next box comes out. In this case I don't have the deadline  just yet, but will post it in the group soon. Then you have to add your pictures of your entry to the challenge album. Then you vote. Every member in the group can vote, but to keep it fair, the votes of the participants themselves count towards winning. And everyone has three votes, but they can't use them to vote for themselves, because after all ,the idea is to uplift each other and share and care like the good beady care bears we are.

So that's that. This box will be available on Etsy on June 1st at 10:00 am mountain time. Right here: 

https://www.etsy.com/shop/crimsonfrog?ref=si_shop

 







Tuesday, April 27, 2021

5th Book Club meeting info with zoom invite

 Ahoy lovely Friend! I can't believe we have read 4 books together! When I started this effort at the end of last year to offer companionship and something uplifting to do that doesn't cost you a thing, I was afraid it would fizzle out and become obsolete quick. But as the pandemic keeps on draggin' butt, it turns out we still need each other's virtual presence, thoughts, kindness and hugs.

Our next book is Victor LaValle's  The Changeling. A magnificent piece of literary fiction with elements of wonder. The story sucks you in and there is so much to it, I am not going to give anything away, go get your copy. I have read this once and listened to it twice on Audible.

Here is a link to the book on amazon.

Our meeting will take place on June 4th at 10:00am mountain time. Bring whatever you are working on, or not. Beads, knitting, cupcakes.... Please feel free to join even if you will have not finished/started the book. All are welcome. We end up talking about a lot of other things besides to book. It's a very nice place to spend some quality time with friends who you may have not met yet.

In case this is the first time you read about this book club thing, it started last year, right here

Well, I hope to see you on June 4th, Friend. Here is your zoom invite:

Kinga Nichols is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Kinga's Book Club
Time: Jun 4, 2021 10:00 AM Mountain Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting
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