Saturday, October 3, 2015

Shotgun Shell Vessels and Lace & Rhinestone Pendants

This has been a fun week for me. I received my contributor's copies of Belle Armoire Jewelry and Jewelry Affaire. I have work in both of them, which always makes me so happy. Here's one of my two articles in Belle Armoire Jewelry. They always make my work look so much better than I do. I love Stampington.

Belle Armoire Jewelry Autumn 2015

Last week I made some lemon-scented soaps in a thrift store Madeleine pan. This week I designed some simple packaging for them:

Lemon-Scented Shell-Shaped Soap

I used a roll of grass cloth wall paper, some torn lavender-colored cotton cloth strips, and sprigs of lavender from my friend Karen's garden.

I have always admired the cargo vessel necklaces that Lynn Suprock made for Belle Armoire Jewelry a few years ago. She used shotgun shells and some sort of glass or plastic tubing. Last week my friend Brooke Bock made some in her own style, and did a post on her blog Inspired by both of these talented artists, I decided I needed to join in on the fun. First I tried plastic dime-sized coin holders, but they didn't fit into the caps. Neither did any of the glass vials that I have in my vast collection. As luck would have it, Mr. Bees was doing a project last week, using some plastic tubing. He had about a foot of it leftover. Eyeing it, I thought it might just work. It turned out to be the perfect size!

Shotgun Shells And Plastic Tubing

I filled some of them with tiny seashells and micro glass beads. Others were filled with dried rose petals. I enjoyed making them so much that I became a tad obsessed. I made 8 of them.

With that project finished, I decided to try my hand at a technique borrowed from yet another talented artist, Becky Shander. I have long admired her lace and rhinestone pendants. Reading her description, she used the eye parts from hook-and-eye fasteners. I didn't have any of those available, so I manufactured reasonable facsimiles using round-nose and needle nose pliers, and reclaimed steel anchor wire. Mine ended up being quite a bit bigger than hers, so to give them a bit more body and structure, I glued pieces of suede onto the backs, letting some of it show from the front. this is a great way to use bits of scrap lace and vintage rhinestone dress and shoe clips!

Lace and Scarf Clip Necklace

After finishing those necklaces, I gave myself a challenge. I have a huge problem, and I mean HUGE problem, putting things away. I always have little trays of things that I set aside, thinking I am going to make something with them. I need to remember that I usually start fresh every day, but I rarely remember that. Instead of being sorted back into their proper bins, my beads and components end up getting dumped into trays. From there I dump them into a train case that I have beside my work table. They can sit in there for months. I decided to go into that train case and pull out things with similar color and feel to them. I made this triple-wrap assemblage necklace from my train case components:

I Love You More Than Tongue Can Tell

I loved making chain from my train case beads and findings. It felt like I was recycling. 

So changing the subject a bit, I want to talk about my Christmas tree. I know, I know, it's way to early to talk about Christmas. Or is it? 

I've been collecting vintage ornaments for years. I really want to make my own tree this year, a big one. That's why I'm starting early. Mr. Bees has pledged his help, which is a good thing, because I am thinking I might ask him to weld parts of it for me. I feel  comfortable with the small spot welder, so I can make the branches myself, but I might need help with the superstructure.

Anyway, in anticipation of my handmade tree, I bought myself a small group of vintage ornaments this week, to add to my collection. 

Vintage Christmas Ornaments

So that's my idea. I have two months to design and fabricate a tree. I haven't decorated a tree for 4 years. I'm excited about the idea, so I thought I would share it. I'll post photos of the progress.

Until next time, leaving you with this quote:

"...freshly cut Christmas trees, smelling of stars and snow and pine resin - inhale deeply and fill your soul with wintry night." 
-John Geddes, A Familiar Rain

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