Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Pink Pachyderm Earrings

These are some funky earrings. I usually don't incorporate fiber into my beadwork, but I decided to do something a little different this go-around. And what goes well with copper wire, wool yarn, and seed beads?
Elephants, of course!

I've had these beads for so long, I'm glad I finally made something with them. These earrings are constructed using a lot of copper wire (20 gauge in the centers of the yarn, and holding up the elephants; 24 gauge wrapped around the yarn); hand-dyed bits of wool yarn, glass elephant beads, size 4 swarovski bicones in Topaz (at the top of each earring), and size 11 seed beads scattered throughout.

Saharan Earrings

Goldstone is so incredibly sparkly, I love it. I'd had these beads around for a while, and finally decided to make something out of them-- they're simple, but the swarovski crystals and bits of chain really add a lot to the design, I think.
Let's see... these are made from copper findings and copper chain, tiny size 11 seed beads, goldstone beads, and Swarovski size 4 bicones, in Indian Red (I think). These earrings are Earth-ier and Fire-ier than most of my creations (I am definitely a Water person when it comes to beadwork, and probably to art in general), and the goldstone reminds me of sparkling sand, hence their name.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Photo Post: Pretty Things

These are from a Japanese-style garden I visited over the spring-- a little too late for most of the sakura, so I focused more on the scenery.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

On a non-crafty-related note...

Researchers working on understanding the way our brains process visual images have published a remarkable study. Participants were hooked up to an MRI and shown a video. The MRI information was sent to a computer which mapped the way the participants' blood flowed to different parts of their brains as they watched the video.

Then, (and this is the interesting part!) the computer used that data (and a library of of YouTube footage) to RECONSTRUCT what the participants had seen. The results were surprisingly accurate.

It seems like we're one step closer to being able to being able to watch videos of our dreams, or reconstruct our memories onto DVD. Interesting, isn't it?

Check out the article and watch the videos here:

Also from Geekosystem: an adorable puppy with a torso deformity has learned to walk, with lots of help from her loving owner. The pictures are one of the sweetest things I've ever seen:

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Herringbone Stitch Tutorial

Herringbone is the last of the major off-loom beadwork stitches. Sometimes known as Ndebele, it's a very old stitch, and it's a popular way to create a beaded strip or swatch of beaded 'fabric'. Like the herringbone stitches you see in knitting or other crafts, beaded herringbone consists of a series of beaded columns that tilt towards one another, creating a slight zigzag effect. It's a beautiful stitch, very versatile, and particularly effective in its tubular form.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Industrial Lantern Earrings

I have a whole set of 'lantern' earrings going: somewhat-spherical beads, topped by bead caps, and ending with chain. These are the most austere and modern of the group. I love all the different chains involved. Yay for chains of multiple metals all grouped together!
The beads are snakeskin agate, the beadcaps are gold (I got them as a gift... what, you though I actually bought any non-copper findings?... actually, my partner has talked me into purchasing some gunmetal, so, yes, yes I have... but no gold, yet...) the hooks and headpins are copper, and the chains are copper and silver (and probably some aluminum-- I deconstructed some necklaces I had as a kid and that's where the non-copper came from!).  

Industrial Archaism Necklace

This is a collaboration between me and my partner-- he wrapped the big chunk of 20-gauge wire in smaller wire and gave it to me to do something with. I stuck some chain on both ends and added some wired swirls and pretty gray beads, and, voila, instant necklace!

I like jewelry with an industrial component (gray, lots of non-gold and non-silver metal, geometric shapes), and this necklace successfully gives me that vibe-- however, the copper-wire swirls and the shape of the front piece remind me of ancient Greek jewelry, hence the name.

This necklace is short and delicate, sitting just around the collarbone. It's made of copper chains and findings,  size 20 copper wire, size 28 copper wire, size 22 copper wire (going through the beads and making the spirals), and czech glass beads.

Omoi Earrings

More of a descriptor than a name, omoi means "heavy" in Japanese. These earrings are actually quite heavy to wear, but, more than that, their weight-like structure and metal components give them an overall feeling of heaviness, hence the name.

These earrings are pretty long, and they're constructed of copper findings and copper chain, with tiger's eye and ruby quartz beads. I'm not sure of the metal of the hardware bits-- I'll have to go back to Home Depot, heh.

I really like these earrings-- they're modern, vaguely Steampunk, and they make a bold statement. It just goes to show that you don't need to just use metal made for jewelry when you make your jewelry!

Everything But The... Necklace

Shamelessly inspired by some of my favorite Ben and Jerry's ice cream, the Everything But The... Necklace is a strange mishmash of awesomeness. It sprung into being when my partner, a former library putting-books-in-order guy who's very sensitive to detailed organization, decided to take it upon himself to organize my (hopelessly jumbled) bead trays.

Thanks to his hard work, I had a bunch of beadwork components- unfinished earrings, extra bracelet bits, things that I wire-wrapped just for the fun of it- that I didn't have anything specific to do with.

What does any self-respecting crafter do in that situation? She puts them all together!

Thusly was this necklace born.

Again, I can't give you the size right now, but it's pretty long. I haven't had the opportunity to wear it yet, but I think it would go well over some very simple clothes, to give them a bit of an artisty spark.

Autumn Cascade Earrings

I've been wanting to try constructing jewelry with wire a little more, and these are the result. They were inspired by a photograph of maple leaves in the fall, and I tried to catch both the color and the feel of a shower of cascading momiji.
I don't have them on me, so I can't give you the size specs right now, but you can see by the standard hooks that these are fairly small earrings. They're very light, too. They're constructed with 20-gauge copper wire as the base with size 8 seed beads strung onto it, a variety of copper chains, and some czech glass AB red and yellow beads.

I can't wait for autumn when I can wear these more often!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

On a non-crafty note...

What a journey the last few months have been! I won't go into the details, but suffice it to say that I began this blog as an Anthropology grad school hopeful and I'm writing today as an Art (Graphic Design) major undergrad. Or at least I will be when the fall semester starts.

Crazy, right? In a good way.