Thursday, August 6, 2009

Fun With Wire and Beads from the New Studio

I can't tell you how good it feels to have space to create after having to stifle inspiration for lack of a space to create! Whew! I spent the whole afternoon/evening yesterday getting my ya-yas out, and except for not being able to find my burr cup (I'm in the city tomorrow and Saturday, so I'll go get another from my favourite shop, Bedrock Supply), it was bliss!

In addition to the stitch markers I told you about yesterday, I finally got to use some gorgeous sugalite rondelles I have been just DYING to use in these earrings inspired by a design by Char Jorgensen that I found in the Summer 2009 issue of Step by Step Wire Jewelry magazine. The rondelles are 6x10mm on 22ga sterling silver, and the swirly ear wires are 20ga sterling silver. I can't wait to get that burr cup so I can file and wear a pair of these babies!

I knew these lampworked beads I had on hand would go really nicely with this bracelet inspired by Cassie Donlen's wire wrapped bangle from the same issue of Step by Step Wire Jewelry magazine. I didn't have the wire called for in the tutorial, but I made do. The bangle is 14ga sterling silver wrapped with double-twisted 22 ga sterling. The beads are glass and silver plated spacers, and on 16ga sterling silver wire.

I wonder what I'll make next!

Thanks for stopping by!

Now playing: Blue October - Sound of Pulling Heaven Down
via FoxyTunes

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

More Soda Bottle Beads

Down in my lovely new studio space today, I finished using the last of the soda bottle beads I made earlier this year.

Back in April, I posted about these beads I made from 2L soda bottles. I made many more and today, I turned them all into stitch markers by adding wire, headpins and some silver plated beads. The rainbow and blue-green striped sets of 5 are on hooks that can open, so they could be used to mark crochet stitches if a person was careful enough not to snag the yarn at all with them. The set of 10 star ones are on wrapped loops, which are only good for knitting stitch markers.

I made a few more things today and have the itch to make more, so watch for more posts to come!

Thanks for stopping by!

Now playing: Angelique Kidjo - Congoleo
via FoxyTunes

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


Over a year and a half ago, I arranged a nice little desk in my basement laundry room to serve as my jewelery-making 'studio' space. I could hang strings of beads, packages and earrings-in-progress on racks on the wall my desk was up against, and the drawers held all kinds of beads, wire, jigs and finished jewelery. My tools were hanging off a wire magazine rack next to the desk, which was also home to a few books and numerous issues of BeadStyle, Art Jewelry, Step by Step Wire Jewelry and the odd Bead&Button magazines. All in all, it worked all right until my first craft show, when I disassembled it to bring product, displays and a working kit to my tables. After the first year's shows, I reassembled it and continued. It worked well enough in the summer when I wanted to escape to the cool basement to create. In the winter, well.. I could always wear polar fleece (I practically live in fleece in the winter anyway).

We have a small bedroom in the basement that's warmer in the winter due to a wide vent in the middle of the ceiling that brings warm air in from the furnace on the other side of the wall. When we don't have a guest, we block the vent to redirect the heat to the upstairs rooms, since there's no point in heating a room no one's using. It also has a subfloor and my vast collection of PEZ dispensers. We don't get a lot of guests who use it, and the bed isn't very good anyway, so I decided to make the space a little more useful.

I got a great folding table on sale last week at Canadian Tire. It's sturdy but can be folded away in case I need to make some space in a hurry. Here's the progress as of today:

I was so excited to see table-top that I pulled out my working kit and immediately started unpacking so I could make some jewelery. I've been itching to make stuff for weeks and unable to face my little desk, so this was a real welcome relief. The table is wide enough for one of the kids to sit on the other side (on the drum throne) and make some jewelery with mom. I can pull in another chair for that so they can both join in, if need be.

I still have the futon, futon frame and double mattress to dispose of, but that will happen soon. Also, there's a little drum kit under there that we're taking to my brother's kids later this month, and boxes of the kids' out-grown toys that we're going to put in a garage sale at some point. There's boxes of 'gift stash' items (we Christmas/Birthday shop for friends and family all year round) stacked on and in a cedar chest too, but there's light at the end of the tunnel and I'm happy to have a comfortable place I can go to make stuff.

I even managed to rescue some space in the cupboards we salvaged from the previous owner's basement layout when we tore two rooms into one for our music room. I can fit a few clear plastic shoeboxes full of miscellaneous craft supplies and books in there.

I'm excited. I can't wait to get in there and make stuff, but I wanted to share the progress with you and give you the heads up that I'll be posting some more jewelery in the future. FINALLY!!! YAY!

Thanks for stopping by!

Now playing: Pixies - Monkey Gone To Heaven
via FoxyTunes