Thursday, July 17, 2014

Good Earth Challenge...Reveal Time!

Looking for my Bead Soup here.

While my jewelry design muse has been madly creative writing muse has completely deserted me! and all I can say to that is WTH! Did she not get the memo that we'd have blogs to write for all these fabulous design challenges I've signed us up for? I mean really I have been so inspired to create lately...uncharacteristically ahead of schedule with my finished pieces and cranking out tons of designs...then I sit down to write and whitty quips...just blah, blah, blah! So for now I'll just apologize for not being quite so entertaining and remind myself you've really come to look at the pretties anyway...hopefully I'm dazzling you with that and you don't even notice my sudden lack of writing. But enough about that!

Andrew Thornton has put together another fantastic design kit and I was lucky enough to grab one up! I love his kits. They are FULL of all kinds of pretties and always a wonderful mystery component...we don't know what it is until we receive our package and it's always something wonderful! I have participated many times and I am always inspired. This time was no on the the Good Earth Reveal...

I love how this necklace came together. I used one of my new ephemera tiles created from the new boho images by Calico Collage. Similar tiles are available in my supply shop Asbury Avenue Designs. This image was perfect with the large brass feather included in the kit. The gold waxed linen and all beads are also from the kit. Vintaj brass clasp and jump rings complete the design. Next is a close up of the entire necklace.

Next the entire necklace laid's a long style with mismatched beads on each side.

Next up another necklace using one of the mystery components...

I fell in love with this polymer pendant as soon as I saw it! It coordinated perfectly with a strand of the czech beads included in the kit. Everything is brought together with sage waxed linen.
This design has no clasp...another long style, easily slipped over the head.

I wore this necklace layered with the next necklace and another from my own collection a few weeks ago and received several compliments on the grouping.

This one is another no clasp design...for some reason lately I'm loving the long, slip over the head layer lots of them on style. This one has the luster glass beads and square seed beads from the kit. Everything strung on natural, undyed  waxed linen. It's a double strand and the seed beads move freely between their knotted spaces just for fun.

Next up...bracelets and yes...they are perfect for layering!

The glass in this bracelet didn't photograph well for has more yellow than the picture shows and to me looks much prettier in person. Anyhoo...I don't work with gold findings much but the kit included this gold clasp and it was too perfect with this design not to use it. Everything is from the kit except the waxed linen and the gold jump rings, handmade by me, some of my first!

and another bracelet...remember the theme is layered...

I picked through the premium blend for this kit for enough red and metallic coated rondelles to fill out this design...they really complimented the amber colored acrylic chips...luckily I managed to find enough of them! A combination of my large and small handmade jump rings provided the additional length needed. The asymmetry of this bracelet layered with the symmetrical bracelet is a very nice contrast.

and now some earrings...

There were only 2 of these little beads in my kit but I was really drawn to the blue hue on them like streaks on a window. I know weird but they had to be earrings...with blue waxed linen to match the streaks :)

and last but not least...

These were actually the first thing I made when the kit arrived. They are acrylic so very lightweight and there were only these 6 in the they had to be graduated earrings, right? I am very behind on listing items for sale but I am hoping to have these listed this weekend. So if you are interested in purchasing stop back then and hit the shop tab at the top of my blog. If you would like to purchase something before I get it listed feel free to email me or message me on Facebook so we can work out the details.

I hope you enjoyed your stop here today. I love to read your comments. I also hope you will take some time and visit the other participants. I'm sure there will be lots of pretties you won't want to miss! 

A big THANK YOU to Andrew! I love all the inspiration and beady goodness you manage to pack into these design kits!

Andrew Thornton, Alison Herrington, Laurel Ross, Kim Griggs, Deb Floros

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Michael's Beading Challenge Blog Hop...Reveal Time!

A big thank you to Lorelei and Heather, our co-hostesses for putting together a fun bead challenge and blog hop. I was looking for a good reason to procrastinate when I saw the share on Facebook to join the hop and there's never a better reason to procrastinate then a design challenge, right?

I borrowed this picture from Lorelei's original post about the challenge. I was able to get all but 2 of the strands at my local Michael's store...for those 2 strands I looked around and was able to find similar styles to substitute. Here's the group of beads I used, including a few additional items I considered as I was thinking over possible designs.

Sorry my photo is a bit dark...I took it in one of my design trays, under my desk not optimum photo conditions. I really love the color selections Heather chose, the jewel tones and bright colors with the dark wood...very gorgeous and really spoke to my creative muse!

I've had this tile stashed from one of the first batches I ever made! I love the colors in this butterfly but I never had quite the right combination to make it into a design...until now. The bright colors in this challenge were perfect!

It's a long style, no clasp slips easily over the head. It's also a very rare (by me) symmetrical design.

In addition to the rare symmetrical design, I also made matching sets for this challenge, something I rarely do but for some reason felt compelled with these designs. Here is the bracelet...

and the earrings...

Next up another necklace design...I'd been saving this tile for just the right beads too...

Beautiful isn't it?

and I'm back to my asymmetrical style...and of course when I couldn't find the flower etched wood beads, I substituted with the same beads in the dragonfly version. Had to get my dragonflies in here somehow! and the coordinating bracelet...

and earrings...

I do love how this set came together...and dragonflies! Next I made 3 bracelets styled to be worn separate or together in any combination that suits your mood!

They are all adjustable too...I prefer whenever possible to design bracelets this way for best fit on anyone.

Did I mention they are great simple styles for wearing alone or stacking together or even with other bracelets? I really love how they turned out for the simplicity of the design.

I included one of my scrabble size tiles on this one. I love the colors in this bird and he just fit with these bracelets. Don't you think? Here's a picture of all of them together...

Wonderful colors together and the beads are all a nice size but not too much on the wrist. and yes there's earrings...

So that's everything...I used up almost all of the beads purchased for this challenge and added just a few findings, spacers, ribbon, waxed linen and the ephemera tiles. It was really fun to challenge myself with just the beads in the challenge and not add a lot from my stash. Thanks again to Lorelei and Heather!

We'd love it if you would hop along with visit the other participants please visit Heather's blog by clicking the link. She is having everyone provide a link on her post to keep things simple. Happy hopping!

I will be listing these designs for sale later this can visit my shop by clicking the shop link at the top of my blog page. If you are interested in purchasing something before I get the listings done you can email me or send me a message on Facebook to work out the details. If you are interested in purchasing similar tiles to the ones seen here, please visit my supply shop, Asbury Avenue Designs.


Thursday, July 3, 2014

Mastering the white photo background and ...has it really been a month since my last blog post?

I know I've been busy but until today I had no idea it's been over a month since my last post...I was doing so much better trying to post regularly...dang it! Oh well, it has been a hectic month...still working on the last touches for the studio space and here realizing how many beads I have and wondering where they will all go... I've also been busy fine tuning things as I prepare to really get my feet wet in wholesale. I'm very excited about this new direction for my business, even if I feel overwhelmed by the changes some days. part of this new direction it has now become more than necessary to mater the white background photos. Can I just say, UGH! This has been my quiet struggle forever! As jewelry designers I think we all struggle with photos in general...constantly second guessing our photo abilities...then when we finally get a set up we are moderately happy with...we are more than resistant to changing it, starting back at the beginning of the struggle. But here I the beginning...again... On the bright side, I think I've got it figured out and in only a day! Go team me! So here's a few side by side photos of my old set up and the same item on white...I think it works! I also test printed a few pages of my catalog, it looks so much more professional now. :)

All photos were taken using my iPhone camera (because that fancy $400+ macro camera sucks taking white photos) and Picmonkey free photo editing for brighten and contrast. I always try to follow and read tips people offer and I will say thanks again to my fellow beady/Facebook friend, Kristin Oppold...she has shared much information on using her phone and apps in the quest for a good white background photo.

I love to read your comments or if you have any tips or tricks to share please feel free to leave a comment below! I'll be back in a few days with the first of several design challenge reveals happening this month...I hope you'll stop by and join the fun!