Here's my little shrine to Tarina Tarantino x Kidrobot. Back in 2008, we visited the Kidrobot store in Soho (which, alas, has since closed) - I think the little Zoomies figures in the photo, which I borrowed from my son, come from that visit. I remember seeing fabulous quirky and colorful Kidrobot jewelry in the display case, but I had no idea who Tarina Tarantino was back then. I thought about that jewelry for YEARS after. Actually, I'm still looking for that cute Zoomies necklace that was on display at the time. I guess I've been living under a rock, because I've only recently discovered her work. It makes me cringe a little bit - in retrospect, all of those designs I was making at the time with skulls and flowers probably looked completely derivative. On the other hand, thinking about it now makes me want to start making jewelry again. I put a small order in at Artbeads last week - my first beading supply purchase in several years...
Continuing on with my Mardi Gras throw-inspired crafting, here's a glittery wristlet purse. The Mystic Krewe of Nyx throws hand-decorated purses during their parade, so I thought I'd try my hand at making a few to give out to friends. Hail, Nyx!
This is actually the third purse I've glittered, but it's the first that has that over-the-top feeling I'm striving for. Anyone who has followed my jewelry in the past knows I'm all about the theme, and I really like being able to go to town with the shoes and purses in that regard. And the color! That's the one thing I always struggled with when working with the PMC - sometimes there just wasn't enough eye-popping color for my tastes, regardless of what I added to the fine silver. That's no problem with these projects!
Anyway, this was my first attempt to use the transfer technique that Nori discussed in her wonderful blog, Confessions of a Glitter Addict. I did the lettering separately using fabric paint and glitter and then applied it to the bag with E6000. This worked wonderfully, and allowed me to use the best combination of letters out of three tries. I'm eager to try more complex designs (and the cogs have started turning about applying this technique to jewelry-making...).
By the way, all of the feathers in the three purses here come from a set of really ratty-looking marabou boas I bought several years ago from Oriental Trading Company for a monster-making project with the SO. I found they actually worked well here, where the fuller boas in my craft stash were simply too much. This was a nice surprise! Here's the first purse (and very first glitter job, which was a huge mess):
I hand-set those flat-back pearls with tweezers - it was a little annoying. The simple "S" design is supposed to suggest a wave. The dangly shells and starfish are a cut-up necklace, also from OTC. These are from a dozen I bought for a summer Pirate Party for the SO but never got around to actually using (although the SO did get his party).
Finally, here's one I did while traveling during the SO's Spring Break last week (I will say that the purse projects are much easier to travel with than the shoes):
I suppose the whole watermelon-rhinestone pattern is a little overdone, but I hoped framing it in black on a silver glitter background and using the oversized rhinestones would make the design pop more and add some interest. I had left over marabou from the first purse and found the color complementary here.
So, I'm still obsessing about Mardi Gras. It's become pretty clear to me though, while learning about the celebration, that I'm much more interested in the crafting and riding aspect of Carnival! While the waiting list for Nyx is closed, they did have a submission form open on their website last month, and I put my name in. I noticed the other day that the form isn't there anymore. I have no idea what that means, but I'm crossing my fingers and hope to be contacted sometime in the future!
ps. I can tell I really need to dig out my light box...these photos could really use some improvement. It's been a long time...
Hello, anyone out there?!? I have no idea if anyone is still reading this blog after my continuing, years-long hiatus, but I've recently been inspired, so I thought I'd at least go ahead and post. I have no idea why, but after ignoring Mardi Gras for the better part of my life, I suddenly decided this year that it would be fun to celebrate and introduce the Short One (who, after a couple of years, is no longer all that short) in a modest way to Carnival. Naturally, I decided this about a week before the day, but thanks to some very efficient sellers, I had just enough time to order some beads and a lot of old doubloons off of eBay.
I also picked up a King Cake locally. The SO was all "They put a baby in the cake?? Why do they put a baby in there? That's kinda gross, Mom!! No way; I don't want the baby!" After thinking about it, though, I think he decided he wouldn't mind to be king for a day - as my husband would say, "And how is this different from any other day in our house?!" Just by sheer luck he did get the baby, and he was (secretly) very pleased about it - the baby is currently residing with his well-loved doubloons and beads.
So, the SO enjoyed our little celebration and moved on to other things, the way you do, but I started learning more and more about New Orleans (which I have never had the good fortune to visit) and the history of Mardi Gras. I got interested in the krewes, especially the all-female ones, like the Krewe of Muses. For anyone reading this who doesn't already know, during the Muses' parade, they give out highly coveted, highly glittered, hand-decorated shoes as their signature Mardi Gras throw. The designs can be over-the-top wonderful, and I have rapidly become obsessed with these iconic shoes.
After reading Muses' member Nori's wonderful blog, Confessions of a Glitter Addict, I became increasingly inspired. My design book, which is still languishing with many unfinished jewelry designs, has been filling up again. I decided to try creating a few shoes of my own. Here's my first attempt. Honestly, I'm not sure if it's done yet - I'm thinking of putting "ABRACADABRA" lettering down the side. Also, I really wanted a white rabbit popping out of the hat, but the only one I found that was the right size was a cute plush finger puppet - the plush just didn't look right with the glitter (in my opinion, anyway). So, anyway, I used the doves instead, but if I could find the right rabbit, I'd totally try this idea again.
Being a novice glitterer, I'm having a tough time showing the sparkle. Here's another shot - not so great on detail, but it sparkles better:
As with any first try, I learned quite a bit making this. First, yeah, the glitter really does get everywhere, just as every Muse whose blog or interview I read said (fancy that). I tried as hard as I could but the extra fine glitter, while it looks beautiful when applied, is very hard to contain. It was all I could do to keep it from being an ingredient in dinner.
Second, you really do need to paint the shoe white before starting, if you plan on using a lighter shade of glitter. It's probably difficult to tell from the photos, but there's white glitter under the rhinestones. The original shoe (I'll have to post a photo of it later) had a silver and black snakeskin pattern on the heel - it took me 5 coats of white glitter to obtain even moderate opacity over that pattern.
Third, I found it extremely difficult not to cross-contaminate the glitter when applying each new color. There was always a little glitter loss after one layer dried, so my white, for example, has just a tiny bit of red in it. I haven't figured out how to avoid this. I used Aqua Net (recommended in Confessions of a Glitter Addict) to seal the shoe but didn't apply it until all of the glitter was on the shoe. Perhaps applying it after every layer would help?
Which brings me to my next issue. The Aqua Net works just fine on this display shoe, but I'd like to eventually make a pair of wearable shoes (well, probably boots - the irony of all of my crafty activity here is that I don't actually wear heels). I'd like to find a sealant that will work for a wearable shoe but will not dim the sparkle of the glitter. If anyone reading this has any suggestions, I'd really love it if you'd share! I'm thinking of trying Aleene's Spray Acrylic Sealer Gloss...
I haven't had so much fun on a project in a long time. I already have my second and third shoes lined up with sketches for three more developing. And I'm making purses à la Mystic Krewe of Nyx as well - although I've had a harder time finding inexpensive suitable purses. It's definitely on my bucket list now to ride with one of these wonderfully creative krewes once in my lifetime! In the meantime, thank you to the Muses for the inspiration.
Here's the first piece of jewelry I've made in over a year. (My son really loves LEGO, can you tell?) It's a neck cuff assembled from my son's stash - a completely temporary affair, but it was fun to construct. Hope all is well with everyone.
I went to Target this morning for sundries and discovered that the store has marked down all Easter supplies to 90% off original price. The section was mostly picked through, but they had a ton of plastic Easter eggs left for a whopping $.09 per bag. Hmmm, I thought, Martian figures? (one of the bags had a nice selection of eggs in greens and blues) Caterpillars? I picked up a bunch and put on my thinking cap when I got home.
I've decided they'll make great kids' maracas for cinco de mayo. I obtained the go-ahead from the SO's teachers at lunchtime and mocked this up. Cute, eh? I made the design with Sharpie markers on a white plastic egg. These eggs conveniently have 2 holes on either end, so I simply threaded 2 long pipe cleaners through the holes and then folded them (so the pipe cleaners are in quarters), twisted them, then secured the join with hot glue. Add a spoonful of rice and beans (and maybe hot glue the egg closed to avoid accidents), and you have a simple schoolroom craft. I think the kids will go for it - what do you think?
I finally decided that hauling the SO out to collect geodes in a riverbed was not realistic, at least for the next year or two given his age, so I gave in and we picked out one at the local rock shop to crack open. The helpful advice we received there: "The bigger they are, the lighter they are, the better they are." We found a nice light US (as opposed to Moroccan) geode - and sure enough it was full of dense but delicate quartz crystals.
My husband used a chisel and hammer to open this - I can see we will need a little practice to open these more cleanly, but I think it's not a bad first try. The SO enjoyed the results (and now has something for his next Show-and-Share day at school).
Here's the before photo - this guy weighed in at just about one pound:
I'd like to say I've been working like mad on jewelry behind the scenes, but this would be a complete lie.On the other hand, I finally spent part of my prize money from last year's Fire Mountain Gems and Beads contest yesterday - I can hardly believe I've had that $750 gift certificate just burning a hole in my pocket for the past 8 months! (Thanks again to Fire Mountain Gems and Beads and sorry I was a weenie and missed the contest deadline this year.) When my treasure arrives (and I mean it - I picked up a big strand of graduated sapphire rondelles among other things), I'm hoping it will inspire me to start working again.
Oh, how I love this... (The artist is painting between layers of resin, fyi.)
(Yes, I'm still alive - I even have new work to show, if I can get my act together to photograph it. You know you've been gone too long when you log onto your blog and no longer recognize the interface.)
My original concept was a substantial cuff - something that would take up a large portion of the lower arm - combined with one of my cabinet of curiosity pendants. It's a little difficult to tell in these photos but this bracelet is huge. (There is a photo of the piece being worn by a model on the Fire Mountain Gems and Beads website that gives a better idea of scale.)
As always, the chain and box were all handmade by me using silver metal clay. In this piece, I've included a beautiful fossilized urchin, polished half geode, fossilized polished trilobite, fossilized ammonite and a vintage glass taxidermist eye. The bracelet has been weighted so that the focal will sit properly on the wrist.
Thank you to Fire Mountain Gems and Beads for showcasing my work. Please visit the company's website to see the other award-winning designs from this contest (I am personally quite smitten with Rachel Justina Fleming's cufflet "Robotic Take-Over" which won the Silver Medal in the Bracelet category and Michela Verani's piece "The Dragon's Hoard" which took the Grand Prize Winner Employee's Choice Award.)
My in-laws were visiting, and they took the SO (and me) to the Museum of Science and Industry. Ironically, he wanted to spend most of his time there in the 727 they have as a walk through exhibit on the top floor - this is the same child we can barely get to sit still for a two hour flight... Of course, he did have some fun with this exhibit - the outlines were all generated by his bouncing around in front of a projector.
Life is good, but I'm still not making any jewelry! Hope all is well with you.
Okay, I admit it, I'm steaming mad. My son, about whom I often write, is 5 years old. He adores superheroes. Simply adores. For his age group, I am quite certain we have one of the biggest superhero toy collections on the planet. One of our favorites used to be Fisher-Price's Imaginext. The Short One, who plays with these toys every single day, always regretted the fact that they didn't make any girl superhero toys. So, he decided to write to the company to ask them to make some - so he could buy them, of course. Unfortunately, he wrote the letter in pencil, so it's a little hard to read (read: impossible), but I'll transcribe it below:
or, in other words:
Dear Imaginext, I really like your toys. Please make a wonder woman figure because a different company makes a different kind that I don't like. And can you please make an Artimus (sic) figure Green Arrow's helper. And can you please make a Miss Martian Toy.
Sincerely, The Short One (okay, he really wrote his name) Age 5
This is the wonderful response that we just received, a week later:
Actually, here's the whole letter, if you have any interest in reading it.
Now, I am an intellectual property lawyer with a decade of experience, so I know exactly who wrote this letter - especially the paragraph I highlighted above - and why. What I would like to know is whose good judgment decided this rights letter would be a necessary thing to write to a child who is not yet in kindergarten (and, yes, the letter was addressed to him)? Intellectual property rights? Royalties? Licensing? He just wanted a new toy.
We appreciate your timely response. Based on said response, it is clear that you need better legal counsel and more common sense.
The complimentary Mattel magnet with the slogan "Inspring Kids' Imaginations" enclosed in my son's original envelope that you returned to us was quite a surprise. You have certainly stimulated our creativity and imagination while we consider how best to use this gift.
Thank you so much for destroying my child's dreams. We can tell you must be the world's largest toy company simply by the level of sensitivity with which you handled this request.
I just received my author copy of the magazine in the mail today - it was a fun trip down memory lane. The bulk of the projects I wrote for Creative Jewelry are reproduced here, as are many of my favorites by friends and colleagues (one of my absolute favorite designs by Lorelei Eurto, "The Kiss", is on page 61). It's on the stands now, so please check it out when you have the chance!
My local bead store, Chelsea's Beads, has just brought in a really nice shipment of Roman glass beads. (I took a look, and some of them are available on-line. In fact - hey! - I didn't even see those cute fish shaped beads when I was in the store.) It's difficult to tell from the above photo, but these beads are actually pretty big - the focal pendant is about 2" in diameter. Look under the " Large Circle" section on-line for similar-sized strands. Ack - since I first drafted this, they've already sold out! On the plus side, the barrel shaped beads are now 50% off, so you may want to check them out (soon!).
This photo is pretty terrible, but I really loved these two strands - the blue is a beautiful cobalt blue and the smaller beads come from broken bangles and are very colorful. For those unfamiliar with this great, family-owned store, Chelsea's Beads does have wholesale accounts - please contact them for details. (By the way, I purchased all of these beads myself, and the store does not know that I am blogging about them.)
Last year, I had this great idea to expand my "Love is a Puzzle" series of pendants - a big rebus with "Eye Love You". I have been cackling with glee over this one - I thought it was a really original, graphically appealing design. In fact, I was just getting ready to sketch it out and make it for a contest later this year, when I checked out Anne Choi's newsletter this morning and found the above bead - a design I am sure has been in her stable of beads for ages.
Damn it. I always hate it when a design I thought was very creative turns out to have already been better executed by a more talented artist. (Anne Choi is one of my heroes - who can resist her work? I mean, really?)
This is an object lesson to me to do my homework. I've had this happen once before. Several years ago, I was working on a metal clay window design. I was still in the sketching process when I came across Noel Yovovich's fabulous bracelet (you can see a photo of it on her blog, here). I got depressed and shelved the piece. Of course, many people have been playing with window design beads since then, and I have since come up with an original twist on it (knock on wood), so it is actually back on my list of things to do - but it's taken a few years in between to reconsider the design.
This one I think I'm going to have to scrap altogether, though. The originality is in the rebus itself, and I think Anne's bead is beautiful.
Has anyone else had this experience? Because, you know, misery loves company, and I am feeling seriously disappointed right now!
Here's the view from my window this morning. The Short One was mighty excited (you can see his tracks in the bottom left of the photo). Me, less so! I fear our prime bunny real estate is no longer so prime...
Beading Arts The final chapter of Cyndi's e-book is now available! "Fibers, Fabrics, and Beads" challenges you to integrate all the fiber arts that you already love with your bead embroidery!
Earthenwood Studio Chronicles Melanie introduces a new egg themed design and wonders what the Earthenwood Design Team will hatch up in jewelry designs.
Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done! Jean is still taking part in the April A to Z blogging challenge: "L" is for "L"isa Niven Kelly, and her "L"ovley book Jean loved and previously reviewed http://prettykittydogmoonjewelry.blogspot.com/2011/04/to-z-blogging-challenge-l-is-for-lisa.html
The Bead Dreamer A vintage belt buckle takes center stage in a bold necklace designed by Charlene Strands of Beads Melissa is back and is wondering if anyone else has trouble using materials that are "too special" in their projects?
So, my husband showed up at the dinner table tonight with the above photo - have you ever seen cuter bunnies nestled up together? Neither have we (I particularly enjoy the little hind leg and bottom on the right hand side of the photo). There's really only one problem with this scene:
Yes, it seems the mommy bunny that lives in our back yard took the initiative this year and set up her nest actually inside our garden box (right where the tomato and green bean seedlings are slated to be planted in a few weeks).
Each year, I watch our local rabbit wander oh-so-nonchalantly up to our garden boxes. Honestly, I can almost hear her whistling while looking in the opposite direction and gradually sidling up to the box in the most innocent manner. So, I just have this picture in my mind of her thinking, "Yes, prime real estate at last - maybe he won't even notice we're here!"
Not being the serious gardener in the family, the Short One and I are quite excited by our new neighbors. The Gardener, however, is somewhat tearing his hair out. Based on our extremely careful (ahem) internet research, though, it seems the babies should be leaving the nest in the next couple weeks, so the G. has agreed to wait until then. At which time, I'm sure he'll be seen spraying the box with fox pee (or whatever he thinks will actually keep the local wildlife away this year) - but that, as they say, is another story.
So, I've had this "problem" rattling around in the craft closet.
A while ago, when I was relatively new to metal clay and the Short One was more interested in reciting the alphabet than talking our ears off about Marvel superheroes, I toddled off with a 40% off coupon to purchase a packet of PMC3 from a local art supply store. When I went to check out, the nice young lady at the register asked me if I had seen the metal clay that they had marked for clearance. She took me over to the locked cabinet where they kept the clay and handed me the box, above: 10g of fine gold clay, marked down to 50% off. The price? $103.00.
Now, this seemed hideously expensive for a small lump of metal clay, but, even then, I knew it was a great price for gold, so I decided to splurge and picked it up. Because I felt like (and was) a neophyte with working with the clay, I set it aside until I felt more technically competent to deal with such a precious material.
I'm not even sure they sell this type any more - I haven't seen it around in catalogs for a while. This is the kind that actually fires to 24k. Despite the fact that it's several years old, the lump still seems perfectly malleable in its little sealed packet. I check this periodically while I debate what do to. (Of course, I could be wrong and the clay is completely unworkable now, which would make the whole issue moot. I try not to think about this possibility. A lot.)
Every few months after purchasing it, I would take the box out, think hard, and decide that my technical skills still weren't up to snuff for using it.
After I finally came off of my seven month hiatus in February and started working with the clay again, I was determined finally to get the gold clay out and use it (before it really gets too hard, and I have no choice but to turn it into paste). Then I checked the current price of precious metals and nearly fainted. 10g of PMC Gold, the 22k version currently on the market is now selling for over $600.00. Gack!
As stupid as it is, I may never get the nerve up to use this clay. Which I know would be a complete waste, but I find the whole situation paralyzing. Does anyone else have this problem, like buying particularly nice beads and then never finding a project "good enough" for them?
I just finished my Bead Dreams entry yesterday, as usual, running right down to the wire - but I did make the deadline. Barely. Anyway, working on any contest piece means I've been getting out my high end strands for stringing inspiration. I didn't end up using the above in the Bead Dreams piece, but it's such a stunning strand that I thought I'd post a pic on the blog. Here's some malachite I picked up last year. Isn't it gorgeous?
The more I design, the more attracted I am to the less processed stone beads - raw tourmaline, rough-sliced garnet, and this gorgeous rough cut malachite. Mm-mmm.
Here's a little art project the Short One recently completed at school. I have to admit, I like it quite a bit. It reminds me of a similar project I made when I was his age (although, times being what they were, mine was an ashtray, not a coaster).
But I also really like the colors, the shapes, the spacing. In fact, I think this combination would work very well as a necklace. It's just another reminder to me that most of my inspiration comes from the grubby little muse in my house, the one who's glued too much to his Dad's iPod and enjoys conducting "experiments" (his latest involved sticking gum in his hair and, when it wouldn't come out, taking his safety scissors and cutting it all out - Sandra, the lady who cuts his hair, said that she's seen worse and that it ought to grow out after the next two cuts or so. But I digress...).
Seriously, all of my favorite designs were inspired in some way by time I spent with my son. The dragon in the keyhole pendant photographed in my header, above, came to me after we spent time reading books about dragons and dinosaurs. The maze pendant I designed for the 2010 Bead Dreams competition (there's a great photo of the piece on the Bead & Button website, here) was inspired by my son's love of puzzles.
When the SO was a baby, I used to dream of a time when we would be able to make collaborative artwork, but really, there are already little, metaphorical (sticky) fingerprints all over my pieces.
So, how about you? Who/what are your muses, grubby or otherwise?
It took me ages to track them down in the U.S., but I did finally manage to get copies of Issues 27 and 28 of Bead Magazine - with full coverage of the 2010 British Bead Awards. With the winners split between the two issues, I had one piece in each magazine.
The photography of the winners is really spectacular, and I enjoyed seeing all of the pieces from the various categories. Vanessa Walilka's garment (which she calls a "first scale mail armor piece"), in particular, is incredible - kind of a female-warrior-industrial-age-of-dragons jacket. If you can't find a copy of the magazine, you can see the piece on her website, here - and I strongly encourage you to check it out.
Thank you, Bead Magazine, for making my work look so good - I loved the photo of "Geology"! (You can see my much less impressive entry photo here.)
Sarah Moran sent this photo to me ages ago, but, of course, since I haven't exactly been lively on the blog, it got buried. We traded beads a while back, and here's what she did with one of my skully pendants. I can't imagine any silver bead not looking spectacular when strung with Sarah's fantastic lampwork, but I particularly love the way they all look on this heavy sterling ring. Thanks, Sarah!
I just thought I'd drop in quickly to say that, yes, I am still here! I've received such wonderful, kind messages from friends and colleagues over the past months. Thank you all - I really appreciate it. All of my time in the real world has been spent taking care of the Short One over the past few months (who is doing very well, I hasten to say). However, as a result, I've just been too tired to keep up with the blog and really haven't created any new jewelry recently (although you should see how crammed with ideas my sketch book is these days).
Here's a piece that I created earlier in the year that I thought would be timely to share. Despite the stark color combinations, I think it has a bit of a holiday vibe going. What do you think? Pearls, rubies and lava rock, all tied neatly together with a beautiful pendant by Saki silver.
We're slowly getting ready for our annual celebration, here. This is the first year the SO has been really excited about Christmas. He insisted on handling most of the tree-trimming himself this past Sunday - which, of course, means that 80% of our ornaments are now hanging from the three bottom-most branches of our rather large evergreen.
I hope you are doing well, too. Thanks for stopping by!
I am so very pleased to announce that my piece, "Geology", has won First Place in the "Other Finished Bead Jewellery" category of the 2010 British Bead Awards. This piece is a personal favorite of mine, so I couldn't be happier.
I'm also quite happy, as this is actually a piece that failed to place in a different contest earlier this year (followers of my blog may recognize it).
In the past couple years, there has been a lot of interesting writing in the blogosphere about jewelry design contests and what it means for artists to put themselves out there to enter contests - and how it feels if their pieces do not make the cut. Most of this dialogue has been in connection with the Bead Dreams competition (in fact, if you are not already familiar with it, I highly recommend you visit "Didn't Make it into Bead Dreams - But Still Winners!" on Facebook which contains photos from interested contributors of the most jaw-droppingly gorgeous designs I have ever seen), but I think what these artists have to say ring true for any contest or submission process.
I don't think there could possibly be a person out there who doesn't feel at least a little depressed to receive a notice of rejection, whether it be for a magazine project, book proposal, contest or what have you. An artist always has an investment in what she creates and a sense of pride (or at least she should!) - it's hard not to take it personally when someone tells you that the piece doesn't fit or isn't exactly what they're looking for. I think it's so important in these instances to remember that judging any design is subjective and that not all judges will agree on what makes a piece outstanding or even use the same criteria for what makes a piece suitable for a particular category of design.
I've done pretty well by the contests I entered in 2010, but, believe me, I've had my fair share of rejections, too, including the one for which "Geology" was originally entered. However, as I said, I really like this piece - I had and continue to have a positive feeling about it. So, when I had the opportunity to enter it in the British Bead Awards, I moved forward. And I think the award is much more meaningful to me, as a result of this history.
As if that weren't enough, I have also earned Second Place in the "Metal Clay Jewellery" category of the 2010 British Bead Awards for "Words of Love". I created this piece specifically to enter the British Bead Awards. As I mentioned earlier, the design was pretty experimental for me - one of those concepts I wasn't sure anyone but me would actually like, so I'm quite excited to have placed with this design as well.
Thank you so much to Bead Magazine and to the judges of the British Bead Awards. I'm so grateful to have been a part of the Awards this year, and - my favorite part - I can't wait to see the other finalists' designs when they're published later this winter!
The winners will not be announced for a few more weeks, but I can now share the news that I am a finalist in the 2010 British Bead Awards. Here's one of my two pieces. As you can see, I've continued with my "Love is a Puzzle" series, here, this time with a word search design instead of a maze.
I called it "Words of Love", but that's actually a bit of a misnomer, as there's only really one loving word in this piece. Can you find it? I've designed mazes before (at least on paper - "The Way to My Heart" was my first attempt to translate one into silver), but this was my first attempt at putting together a word search. I wanted to ensure that there was only one solution to this puzzle, but I found it was irritatingly difficult to prevent myself from unintentionally spelling words when putting this together. I think I managed it, though. I think. (If you find any others, don't tell me - I don't want to know!)
As usual, this piece was inspired by my son's love of puzzles. As a preschooler, the Short One's spelling is still pretty shaky, but it doesn't prevent him from poring over word search puzzles and making up his own words. As for me, I just thought the display of letters had nice, graphic appeal and tried to translate that into a piece of jewelry. I made this piece specifically to enter this year's British Bead Awards. I wasn't really sure anyone else would agree with my point of view on this one, so I'm particularly pleased that "Words of Love" was juried into the finals. Winners will be announced at The Big Bead Show in England on October 30, 2010. Wish me luck!
Go here to find out more about the British Bead Awards and to see a photo of my prize-winning piece from 2009 ("Cabinet of Curiosity", pictured at the bottom of the page on the right hand side).
ps. For anyone interested, the beautiful, rough crystals I strung with the pendant are green garnet.
I am an intellectual property lawyer by training and have a background in English Renaissance literature. I love science fiction. I primarily watch Sesame Street these days and find myself humming "Pop Goes the Weasel" at odd moments (guess why). I can happily eat ice cream in the middle of winter when the wind chill is 20 below 0. I have been making beads and designing jewelry since 2007.
2010 - Winner, First Place, British Bead Awards, Other Finished Bead Jewellery 2010 - Winner, Second Place, British Bead Awards, Metal Clay Jewellery 2010 - Winner, Second Place, Bead Dreams, Metal Clay
2010 - Grand Prize, Gold Medal Winner, Fire Mountain Gems and Beads, Metal Clay, Metal Beads, Wirework and Chain Jewelry-Making Contest
2010 - Finalist, Bead Star, Stones, Plastics and Designs with Heart Categories
2009 - Winner, First Place, British Bead Awards, Metal Clay
2009 - Winner, Second Place, British Bead Awards, Beyond Glass, Handmade Beads and Components
2009 - Winner, Second Place, Bead Arts Awards, Necklace
2009 - Finalist, Bead Dreams, Metal Clay
2008 - Finalist Fire Mountain Gems and Beads Beading Contest, Metal Clay
2008 - Finalist, Bead Star, Pearls
A word about copyright
As indicated in the copyright notice, the contents of this blog are copyright by me. To the extent that instructions to make jewelry, beads, knit items or other instructions are included in this blog, they are free for you to use to make the projects for personal use. They should not be used for commercial purposes, ie, to make items for resale.