Sunday, January 31, 2010

A Year in the Making, day 150

Today, I worked on the dress I'm planning on wearing when I vend at this year's Vampire Ball. I found this dress, a vintage Gunne Sax wedding dress, at a thrift store a few weeks ago. It was a bit worse for wear, so ripe for alteration, yes? I added a slit in front, finished the slit with some nubbly trim from the stash, then put it in a black RIT dyebath. It's always a mystery how these dresses will react to the dye. I had two dresses once, that according to their labels were the same fabrics, that came out two completely different colors. One was more purple, the other bluer.

This one turned out a wonderful smokey lavender shade, with the lace turning a charcoal grey. The pearls and the trim I added stayed white.

My dress for the 2010 Vampire Ball

Of course looking at this picture, my very first thought was "Good god, I need to redye my hair! Look at my roots!" Vanity, thy name is Goth.

I put together another bracelet today while babysitting the dyebath. I've had these beads for years. I fell in love with them at a gem show and spent entirely too much money for them, and haven't ever used them because I spent so much money on them. Silly kitty. They're discs of faceted smokey quartz that have been electroplated with an aurora borealis finish, truly stunning beads.

Aurora Borealis Electroplated Faceted Smokey Quartz Bracelet

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Tea and Twilight

Just got back from a birthday celebration at the sumptious Queen Mary Tea Room. OM*urp*G.

I normally go for the black teas, like Darjeeling, or Lapsang Souchong, but today I decided I needed to try something new, so I went for the Royal Rose, which they don't seem to have listed on their website.

My friend, whose birthday we were celebrating, is a huge Twilight fan, and while cruising around on Etsy one evening, I found her the perfect gift, from the shop MyMagicMe, a personalized New Moon poster!

This is the second digital portrait I've gotten from Etsy, the other being one for myself, a zombified me from CustomZombie.

Zombie Me!

Ah, the wonders of the digital age!

A year in the making, day 149

Off shortly to enjoy high tea with a birthday girl, so I wanted to make sure I got this done before I lapsed into a finger sandwich coma. I'm pretty sure she's going to squeal when she sees what I found for her on Etsy - I'll post a picture later.

Two new necklaces already today, because I woke up at "Oh my goodness it's what time?!?" today. It's truly frightening, all the little odd bits I've got stashed away in my bead kit that I've completely forgotten about and been discovering in the course of this project.

First is this carved agate pendant that I finally strung:

Carved Red Agate and Matte Black Onyx Necklace

And here's one made with another of those metal loops I re-discovered when I made the stitch markers I mentioned a few posts back:

And I've listed the black and pink set today too:

Black Glass and Pink Crystal in Sterling Necklace Bracelet Earring Set

Friday, January 29, 2010

A Year in the Making, day 148

So I went through and counted, and as of today, I'm at 206 items! That counts my cooking projects posted here, but doesn't actually count most of my digital photography that I've posted. So I'm a bit ahead of the game, what?

I was chatting with a friend a couple of nights ago about creating and being inspired, and I had a bit of a realization, that I neglect bracelets. I used to wear them regularly but have gotten out of the habit in recent years. It's time I remedied that. So expect to be seeing more of this kind of thing in the next few weeks:

Smokey and Clear Quartz Bracelet

I also listed this brass piece I made some time ago tonight:

Vintage Filigree Brass Charm and Chain w/Strawberry Glass Y-Necklace

I'd made a matching bracelet originally, but I think instead I'm going to work in a few more beads to offset the lack of chain which kept me from doing a necklace originally. We'll see how different the two variations turn out.

Oh, and that friend I mentioned earlier? She makes amazing jewelry with bone bits, metal clay, and other fun materials. I've got one of her pieces, a fox pendant that I strung with pearls, that I adore:

Happy Fox with Pearls

Her Etsy shop is Kind of Strange (on vacation at the moment, but check back!), and you can check out her recent creations in her blog.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

A Year in the Making, Day 146 & 147

The internet misbehaved last night, so I couldn't post yesterday's creation, so you get a twofer today. Here's Wednesday's piece:

Garnet and Burgundy Swarovski Y-Necklace

And today's won't be listed for sale, because I accidentally "stole" a bead from my daughter. I was going through the two smaller tupperware boxes that I keep my overflow in, the stock that doesn't fit in the main kit. I'd taken out a bunch of bags, and as I was putting them back in, I found this large glass teardrop on a piece of nylon cord. I didn't remember where or when I'd acquired it, but that's not an unusual circumstance. When my daughter saw it this evening, she got very upset with me, because I'd used "her" bead.

My husband recognized it, as a present she received from her grandpa, his father, several years ago, that she normally kept in a little porcelain cat box. She'd taken it out and left it on the dining room table yesterday, apparently. So I'll be holding this necklace in trust for her, as it's a little grown up for a six-year-old, or maybe I'll replace the teardrop if I find another focal stone to put in its place and return her treasure to her. We'll see. Anyways, here's the piece:

Glass Teardrop and Vintage Glass Bead Necklace Earring Set

Glass Teardrop and Vintage Glass Bead Necklace Earring Set

Glass Teardrop and Vintage Glass Bead Necklace Earring Set

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A Year in the Making, day 145

A quickie today, as I can hardly prop my eyes open. Sleep eluded last night, and I'm trying desperately to fend off a nap now because then I won't get to sleep again tonight. It's a vicious circle.

I must not nap.
Nap is the sleep killer.
Nap is the little sleep that brings horrible insomnia.
I will prop open my eyelids.
I will permit it to pass over me, not through me.
And when it has gone past I will have not turned the inner eye to dreamland.
When the urge to nap has gone there will be happiness.
Only I will remain awake till bedtime.

New tonight:

Butterfly Y Necklace with Caramel Swarovskis

Monday, January 25, 2010

A Year in the Making, day 144

Two necklaces, in different greens, turquoise and peridot, today. Entirely coincidental that it worked out this way, as these are mine and my daughter's birthstones, as I didn't realize it until I was just getting ready to hit the publish button!

Turquoise Birthstone Y-Necklace and Earrings Set

Peridot Birthstone Y Necklace with Pewter Celtic Knot

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Goth Girl Meets Geek Boy

It was right about this time of year, 15 years ago, that the husband and I had our "first date," so here's a treasury in honor of us!

Goth Girl Geek Boy Treasury

A Year in the Making, day 142

Today, another post brought to you by the Beaders who Blog program from ArtBeads***!

They’ve put together a special section of Valentine’s Day beads and components. I picked out a piece from the precious metal charms section as a focal piece, and some pale pink button pearls from the pearl section, as well as some sterling and crystal beads from the sterling silver bead section, and a hand/heart charm from the base metal charm section.

The pearls were too pale a color to go well with the silver/crystal beads, so I ended up making two different sets this time, one light, one dark, each perfect for those who have different opinions on the day, yes?

I mixed the pink button pearls with some white rice pearls and silver heishe for a multistrand necklace/bracelet/earring set.

Pink and white pearls set

Pink and white pearls set

Here's a few close-ups, of the charms and beads:

Pink and white pearls set

Pink and white pearls set

I especially like the hand charm - I don't normally work with base metal findings in my silver-toned pieces, but it was too cute to pass up. The button pearls had some slight variation in color, as you can see in this picture, but that's part of the charm. They were a lovely shade, and pretty much exactly as depicted in the website picture.

For the silver beads with crystals, I paired them with black glass bicones for contrast. I'd originally planned to put them with some cotton candy pink pearls, but I waited too long to place my order and they sold out! It worked out well, though. I was turned onto the black and pink color combination by the gracious headmistress of the Gothic Charm School several years ago.

How can you not adore this color combo after seeing her?

(p.s. - the photographer, Angel? Check out the rest of her wonderful work at her website here!)

A rather wordy way to get around to posting the next set:

Black glass and silver beads with pink rhinestones

Black glass and silver beads with pink rhinestones

Here's a closeup of one of the beads - love the pink!

Black glass and silver beads with pink rhinestones

I still had some of the button pearls leftover, so they became another set, with my beloved Celtic knots:

Pink Button Pearls and Champagne Swarovski Crystal Necklace and Earring Set

Pink Button Pearls and Champagne Swarovski Crystal Necklace and Earring Set

Ready, set, love!

***Disclaimer: I have received the products showcased in this post free of charge from ArtBeads, and I am honestly reviewing the products and have not been paid for my endorsement of the products received.

Catching up - new listings on Artfire

I was house-cleaning today, and part of that is tagging, bagging, and storing all the pieces I've been making the last couple of months. And as I was doing this, I realized there were more than a few pieces I'd forgot to list! So here's the work of the afternoon:

Garnet Freshwater Pearl Multistrand Necklace Earring

Grey and Purple Bracelet Earring Set

Vintage Glass Necklace

Grey Freshwater Pearls and Celtic Knot Necklace

My Shiny Black Heart Hematite and Sterling Silver Necklace

Bronzed Green Glass and Brass Choker Adjustable Necklace

White Freshwater Pearl and Garnet Glass Knotted Necklace

Frozen Teardrop Necklace

The Windrow-Ravenswood Deck

I'm anxiously awaiting the release of this project, from the creative depths of Tormented Artifacts, the Windrow-Ravenswood Deck!

From the website:

Long thought lost in the annals of history and urban legend, this simple deck of playing cards has long been thought to be something more than its simple nature seems. Replacing the standard four suits with a much more strange and macabre set of artwork, the Windrow-Ravenswood Deck's imagery alone seems to set the stage for a much more intense game than the usual diversion that playing cards provide.

I've already pre-ordered my set, and am watching new pieces being unveiled daily.

Friday, January 22, 2010

A year in the making, day 141

Love is in the air! Although it should be wafting around all year, it's especially prevalent this time of year, so I've been making a few romantic pieces for the occasion.

Here's two for today:

Precious Pink Glass & Swarovski Crystal Necklace

Amethyst Purple Faceted Glass Y Necklace

Valentine's day in our household always involves chocolate covered cherries and skulls. "Skulls?!?" you say? Yes, skulls. When the husband and I first started dating, shortly before Valentine's day 15 years ago, we were on one of our "first dates" wandering around the French Quarter in New Orleans and he pointed out this carved skull he liked in the window of one of the shops we passed. So I got it for him for Valentine's day, along with a box of chocolate covered cherries. And so the next year I got him another skull and another box, and it kept going.

It was the running joke that he could always remember how many years we'd been together by counting the row of skulls. In later years, they got scattered throughout the house, and that's his excuse now why he can't remember!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A year in the making, day 139

It's not finished yet, by a long shot, but here's a picture of the second knitmonster - just starting the 5th color:

Knitmonster #2 - a work in progress

I was planning on working on this some more this evening, but my left arm is very sore from a shot I got today - I'm participating in an HIV vaccine study through Fred Hutchinson and the University of Washington. Today was my first vaccine injection, and it looks like I'm having one of the common reactions, as my arm feels like it was punched hard by someone that knows what a punch is. To call it a shot is a misnomer, as it was actually applied by a compressed air delivery system, but saying "shot" is so much easier.

So tonight, instead of making the sore muscles twitch, I will baby myself and eat Oreos. Mmmm ... Oreos. Milk and cookies - it does a spirit good.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A year in the making, day 138

Back to digging around through the bag of watch bits today. I said goodbye to a couple of my absolute favorite pieces I've ever made this evening, which is a happy and sad thing, because they deserve better than to sit around in my stock box. But I'll still miss them. So here's a new one, simple and delicate:

Steampunk Grey Glass Pearl Y-Necklace on Sterling Wire and Chain OOAK

Monday, January 18, 2010

A Year in the Making, Day 137

I am typing impaired, making this post, as the cat has my left arm completely pinned. She's also making things interesting by reaching out with one of her paws to pat the back of my one free hand, which is guilty of the most incredibly unthoughtful crime of not petting her. As she does this, her paw has the tendency to slide off and graze the laptop mousepad. So a short post today, a simple necklace, made with another one of those focal beads I've had forever, that I finally got inspired to do something with this morning.

Ruby in Fuchsite Necklace with Garnets on Sterling Silver Chain

Sunday, January 17, 2010

A Year in the Making, Day 136

Red and Gold Steampunk Lolita Parasol

Red and Gold Parasol by *dbvictoria on deviantART

When Madeleine was a child, she was always drawn to bright colors, in part because her clothing was always so drab. Her mother took in washing for ladies, some of them of the "soiled dove" variety.

Madeleine was fascinated by their clothing, and made the mistake of telling her mother that some day she would have clothing like this. Her mother, horrified, told her that they were not acceptable wear for "proper ladies." Madeleine earned a thorough thrashing and was sent to bed without dinner when she announced that if this was the case, she had no interest in becoming a proper lady.

As she grew, she showed a good hand at mending and sewing, and managed to apprentice herself to a seamstress. She turned part of her wages into cloth, out of which she made herself outfits in the bright colors she so loved. Brightly garbed, but still in a stylish and modest fashion, she began earning commissions, and was soon living quite comfortably. In time, she was able to open her own shop, and earned modest renown in the area for her work.

Her mother, of course, was quite willing to capitalize on her daughter's success, despite the fact that it was dependent on those resplendent colors that she had professed to abhor.

This parasol was one of her early creations, and while well-loved for years, it has fallen into disuse, and so she has asked me to market it for you here.

A Year in the Making, Day 135

A bit late, but better than never, right?

My Shiny Black Heart:

Hematite Heart Necklace

I should be asleep now. Really I should.


Friday, January 15, 2010

A year in the making, day 134

I went entirely two different ways today. Firstly, I started doodling in photoshop. I'd taken this picture of a friend and fellow craftsperson a few weeks ago at an event we both attended:

Professor Shamus Tinplate, before

After a bit of photoshop fun, here's the result:

Professor Shamus Tinplate, after

And yesterday while I was poking through my boxes deciding what to make, I came across some metal loops I'd bought who knows when. A friend of mine, who's quite the knitting fiend, had told me months ago that I should try my hand at some sets of stitch markers, so I decided I'd give it a go:

Red Glass Flowers Stitch Markers Set of 5

Pink Freshwater Pearl and Rose Quartz Stitch Markers Set of 5

And for your viewing pleasure, the newly released flyers for the Vampire Ball!

2010 Vampire Ball flyer front

2010 Vampire Ball flyer back

Thursday, January 14, 2010

A year in the making, day 133

New book love! I'm in the middle of a trilogy the husband picked up a few months ago, and he's been nagging me to read it ever since he was about halfway through the first book. It's the Night Angel trilogy, by Brent Weeks, and it's a fantastic read. I stayed up till 2am last night to finish the second book, and had to forcibly make myself go to bed and NOT start the third book.

The books did nearly cause a major tragedy, though. Because of the shortage of sleep, and an impending PTA meeting, I decided a little caffeine was in order. The cat is still alive because the bottle of Coke she jostled when she missed jumping off the sofa wobbled and fell to the right onto the living room carpet instead of to the left and all over the laptop keyboard.


Another Steampunk necklace today - I've got a bunch of lovely watch parts stashed that I should be doing something with, as they're entirely too gorgeous to languish away unused and unappreciated. And I seem to be on a pearl kick again, but that's alright, yes? Who can resist pearls?

Steampunk Y-Necklace with Antique Watch Part and Freshwater Pearls

I also listed the multi-strand piece from earlier this week:

Steampunk OOAK Gray Pearl Antique Glass Multi Strand Necklace Earrings