The Crafting English Prof…

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What a week!! 11 September 2010

Filed under: Ponderings — Rana Wilson @ 3:12 pm
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My, my, my, what a week it has been!  And you know, this week started out all sluggishly and stuff, what with the holiday and days off and really havin’ trouble getting back into the swing of things.  Some of my students really had a bit of a hard time; and I honestly can’t blame them… Long weekends are nice. But, that all worked out in the end.  And now, it is Saturday, September 11th, and we all have to remember the horrible events of 9 years ago. Not that we could forget.  I mean, come on–the first major attack on US soil in how many years?  Yeah, we’re not gonna forget that.  So, if you haven’t yet, take a few minutes today and think back. What were you doing that day?  Yeah, for my generation, this is like Kennedy’s assassination or the moon-landing for our parents’ generation–we all know where we were and exactly what we were doing when we heard the news.  And we’ll never forget.

Now, on to happier thoughts! And back to my week!  So, this was the last week of Beads-n-Blessings Art with Heart Viewer’s Choice contest, and I have awesome friends who helped me win that!!!  And I have to say, I am in some gorgeous (!!!!) company!  I mean look at those pieces!!!  I want the Twister necklace (well, really, I’d rather know how to make the Twister necklace myself…)  So hey, I have bragging rights now!  And as a friend pointed out to me yesterday, I am now an Award-Winning Artist (yeah, I have trouble really taking that seriously… LOL! after all, I’m still working on considering myself an artist!)

And, I managed to complete 3 projects this week!  The new phone case, the patchwork table, and another piece that I’m still waiting on it drying fully.  I’ll post pics and the story on that as soon as I get it all done.

And, I woke up today to learn that my little table has been featured on Creating the Hive!  How cool is that!!!!! And people like it !

Okay, yeah, I’m having a “They like me! They really like me!” drama moment here…

And I think I’ll just leave you with that.  Have a great day!



OMG I AM SOOOOOOOO CLOSE!!!! Please Help!!!!! 9 September 2010

Filed under: jewelry — Rana Wilson @ 12:06 pm
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Okay, Art with Heart’s Cycle 2 Beading Viewer’s Choice contest ends in exactly 1 day.  I am so close to winning that!  Please help!  Here’s the link:

My piece is #12, the watch, which I had a blast making and I really love. It has danglies, even!!!! And the best part? Well, the best part you can’t see in the pics–it has a magnetic clasp!  So easy peasy!!! No more fumbling with silly clasps that aren’t meant to used one-handed!

So, please, please, please, with cherries (or a fruit of your choice) on top, help me out with this if you can, and ask your friends to vote, if you wouldn’t mind (yes, I’m annoying, I know…)

Love ya!



What have I been working on? 18 June 2010

Filed under: jewelry — Rana Wilson @ 4:13 pm
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Well, mostly, I’ve been working on school. What with four classes, I’m a bit busy at the moment.  But when I’m not doing that, I am still making jewelry.  Still haven’t sold any from the Artfire shop, but jewelry making is something of a reprieve from real-world work for me, plus it’s fun!  I haven’t made any more contest pieces, but I have entered the Art with Heart Cycle 2 contest, and the kit looks great! I should get the kit sometime next week.  I’ve made a number of key chains in the last few weeks. Those were fun.  Actually, I made the first of the key chains ages ago, but they didn’t work out to well.  At least, not yet. I’m not quire ready to give up on that idea–key chain bracelets.  You know, to make things easier when your hands are full. So when that fell through (or, more properly, fell apart), I made the first of the more traditional key chains I’ve been working on.

The first of the "real" key chains. This is mine, with a Chinese dragon focal.

I’ve been using it for a while now, and it seems to be working out fairly well. For the next batch, I started out just trying to make something nifty, then remembered I had the animals from my nephew’s necklace left over, so I started what my friends are calling the “Safari Collection.” I’ve already managed to sell two, both to friends…

On the left, Loving Giraffes, in the center, the Lion!, and on the right, a pretty keychain I made with a fancy jasper nugget, and the Oraphant.

I’ve also been making lanyards, which has been a LOT of trial and error.  he first was actually one of my very first projects as a beader, and admittedly, it wasn’t very good.  Hadn’t ever used thread, didn’t know how to make a necklace without a clasp, it was heavy, and the silly thing kept coming apart.  I remade that one a few months ago with actual chain (bright copper, very cool looking, totally impractical) and it actually FELL apart in the middle of the hallway at SPC (managed to find all the beads, though… go me!) By that time a friend had requested a lanyard, and I had already been using thread for bead-weaving, so I much more comfortable with it.  And really, for lanyards, it works SO much better than anything else…

The top images are the lanyards I created for a friend, and the bottom are mine--on the left, the frog focal, and on the right, the flowers...

Since those lanyards, I’ve made a few more, and I’m actually designing one for my best friend now (who just got a new job, go Ame’s!), and I have a plan I want to try for my other BF–Sara the nurse.

I’ve also been working on some earrings, and hope to get pics made and have the pieces posted on my Artfire page.  And I’m in the middle of an African Helix bracelet.  I found a tutorial for it from Auntie’s Beads designer Karla Schafer (here). Here’s some pics:

On the left, the current bracelet in progress (you have to build it on a pencil or dowel); on the right, a completed bracelet I made for my sis-in-law...

I love this stitch.  It’s kind of a pain in the butt to work, since you have to build the bracelet on a wooden dowel (I used Karla’s suggestion to use a pencil, and I’ve since marked out the inches on the pencil, so I can more easily control how long the finished product is.  A full bracelet, though, takes the whole pencil.) And, you have to pull each stitch WAAAAAAAAAAAAY tight, so when I get to finishing off the bracelet, I’m going to try wrapping my index finger in medical tape, to protect it from the thread (yeah, I got thread cuts… in fact, I had to stop working on it to let my finger heal up, and then got sidetracked by homework… :() I’ve also tried a pair of earrings, and I’m going to continue that effort, since the first pair ended up being completely different lengths (that’s why I scored inches on the pencil…)

So there ya have it–the major projects I’ve been working on… School’s out in  about a month, so I’m hoping to have more time to work on some things. I have a lot of ideas floating around inside my head, and they tend to not leave me alone until I get them created. Very annoying….

Have a great day!



Art With Heart Viewer’s Choice Contest!!!!! 9 June 2010

Filed under: jewelry — Rana Wilson @ 7:16 pm
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Hey there!  Please vote for my piece in the Art With Heart Viewer’s Choice Contest!  There are a lot of gorgeous entries, and I’m a bit humbled by the company I get to keep… but hey!  You’re reading my blog, so vote for me!!! 🙂

The voting page is here, and my piece is number 17. I’ve included more pics below.  Voting ends on June 16th!




End of Term Mania 1 May 2010

Well, the end is nigh. the end of the session, that is.  And as usual, I can’t get motivated.  So instead, I started working on a beading project!  Cuz, you know, I don’t have ENOUGH work, let’s make more! I mentioned in my last post that I had finished the piece for the Art with Heart contest, but the piece I ultimately created wasn’t AT ALL what I had originally planned.  Normally, I’m okay with that.  But this time, the idea of the original design just will not leave my head! The original plan was to have the cab-and-filigree focal hanging from a beaded arrow-shaped bib-type necklace thingy… I can see it in my head, I promise. And it was awesome!  But as I worked on that piece, as will often happen, I just kept changing my mind and redesigning. So I ended up with the crazy cuff-type bracelet instead (speaking of that piece, I still need to name it.  I suck at names…)

So, this idea is stuck in my head, and I’m trying to realize it in actual beads.  I’ve started with a square stitch, done in sections to make it good and tight.  It’s about 4 inches long, and every few rows, I’m decreasing it by a few beads.  The kinda fun part about this one, though, for me, is that I’m literally using every color seed bead in size 11 that I have.  All of them.  Even the black.  Initially, I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it, but the more I play with it, the cooler it looks. Now, to consider the focal.  I have a vague idea that I’d like to play with the skulls (I have a lot of skull beads.  I love them… apparently, it’s kinda my thing…), but I really want to do all the shades of pink with my little wooden skulls.  Another project I can see in my mind, and let me tell ya, it looks cool.  But what to do with this one?  Since I’m totally not sure, and I have a feeling this will be an ongoing, evolving project, I’ll just have to keep pondering. In the meantime, I have a request for a lanyard I need to ponder, and several sets of essays and whatnot to grade over the next week.  Oh, and lets not forget getting ready for summer session! oi….



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