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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!



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