There were a couple of comments on my latest necklace asking whether the jewelry I make is for sale. I've been thinking about it, and also put in a call to my brother to find out the relevant tax rules. I don't really want to make a business of it right now, though it sounds like at least the tax part wouldn't be difficult. Possibly in the future, if I have more time and better skills. On the other hand I also have more handmade jewelery than I can wear, I enjoy making more, and I need to keep making more if I want to build skills. So, here is what I've decided. If you see something posted here that you'd want, or if you have an idea for something you'd like me to make you, comment or email me and we can talk about terms. I'm posting this now so I can refer back to it, in case of any future questions. Some parameters:
I've been working on this in dribs and drabs for some time - last night I realized it was nearly long enough so I added on a couple more beads and the clasp and called it done. For those of you following Elise's sale last week or who have seen her work before, some of the inspiration may be obvious. Not that I'm comparing this piece with any of hers. But this is my first real foray into wirebending, beyond the little bit of wrapping I do on pendants and earrings, so it's a learning piece for me. I like its asymmetry. It's comfortable to wear, too; I seem to have done an OK job in getting it to lie flat, and in tucking in all the ends, and it doesn't weigh enough to notice.
I think what I need now is a wire jig, or maybe I can improvise one. I would love to be able to curve wire as beautifully as Kythryne - looking at my wirework and hers, I'm certain a jig isn't the only difference, but it would help.
Thanks to a doctor's appointment this morning, I'm telecommuting today. Working from home, "multitasking" takes on different and far more interesting meanings (including those photos above), and I still get more work done.
Because what do you do with a pair of beads that look like Planet Earth?
Give them moons, of course.
Sure enough, Rudder had the camera. So here are the pieces I was working on tonight. Unfortunately, neither photo shows the flash AB (aurora borealis) finish on the crystals on the earrings.
This last one is just something I'm noodling around with. Some of the work I've seen from other people just leaves me frustrated at how much I'm not doing with my materials, so this is an experiment. Some day it may grow up to be a necklace. Actually, one reason I haven't done much with wire is the worry that it would just be too soft, that the curves would collapse at a slight pressure wherever they weren't firmly wrapped. (I use semi-soft wire, mostly, so I can do the wire wrapping I need, and I currently have a couple gauges on hand.) This piece seems to be relatively firm, though. It's a good way for me to get a feel for what can be done with this wire.
This is the medal Rudder designed and had made for the Arizona Junior Rowing Championship Regatta, along with the necklaces I've made (one last weekend, the rest yesterday and today) to be auctioned off as a fundraiser for the regatta. Those charms from the Mexican guy I went through all the trouble to get haven't arrived (yet), but I ordered four charms from someone on eBay and they worked out well. The necklaces are in the colors of the various crews, one for each. Each is carefully made so that it can be comfortably worn while rowing - no rough edges, not too long or too short.
Below the cut are more pictures and a bit about each necklace. I was experiementing with my bead picturing skills, so these are with flash and without, in the sun and out of it. What I'd really need to do is to use our bette digital camera, but those pics are so large they take forever to download, so I just used my little 3.2 MPix Canon Elph.
Here's the medal alone:
And the necklaces:
Here are the individual necklaces. I made most of them from stuff in my stash, because it's easier for me to let the beads themselves inspire the piece - the variety of beads from Elisem's Bead of the Month Club was a big help in this respect, and I think those beads appear in all five necklaces. The only things I went and bought specially were the necklace clasps and the purple beads, because I didn't have anything in that color. All necklaces are strung on Beadalon, a 7-cable plasticized beading wire that's pretty indestructible.
Ashland Rowing are coming all the way down from Oregon. I was going for a tailored sort of look with their crisp red and lack colors. Their necklace contains glass and sterling silver.
Xavier is a local Catholic girls' college prep, with a very large rowing program. This was the first necklace I made for this series. Their unis are blue with a white stripe; it's hard to tell from the pictures, but I think there's a narrow stripe of green down the sides, and their boats each have a green alligator, so I wanted to include a bit of green in the necklace. It contains sterling and glass including a few Czech fire-polished beads and a cats-eye bead.
Rio Salado is a rowing club that's been around long before there was even a lake to row on. Their colors are green and white, and they sometimes use a bit of yellow. I had only a few tiny white beads and no yellow ones, so I was worried this would be a boring necklace. But I sorted out all my green beads, let them talk to me, and ended up with what I'm thinking of as the Emerald City Fantasy necklace. It contains glass, silver, and Swavovski crystal. I only had four of the Crew charms; this one is a single oar, from an earring of mine. I'd lost one of the pair and this seemed like a good use for the other one.
This is for the City of Tempe rowing program.I like the effect of those long orange sead-shaped beads dangling down. They and the big orange bead (which may be lampworked) are part of my BotMo stash. This necklace contains sterling, glass, and Swarovski crystal.
This one does double duty: the colors for the local Tempe Junior Crew and the Tri-City College Prep school in Prescott are close enough for them to share this necklace. (Maybe that will send the bidding up!!) I saved this necklace until last, because while black and purple have some drawbacks as rowing colors (hard to see on the water) they're great colors for jewelry, and I knew I had a lot of beads that would work. This necklace contains sterling, glass, and freshwater pearls.
I finished this a few weeks ago, after mulling over it and ocasinally experimenting on it for a year or more, but I don't thik I've posted it here before. It's based on a necklace of mine (that was inspired by some I saw in Alaska; I liked how the varying colors worked together to intensify the perceived color of the necklace as a whole. Everytime I've worn my necklace around my mother-in-law I've thought of giving it to her because it so well matches the colors she wears and looks good in, but I decided to make her one of her own, a bit longer than mine. I couldn't find anything I really liked to be the centerpiece of this necklace, until that large lampworked bead with a little dichroic in it arrived in the mail in one of Elise's Beads of the Month shipment (the stones in the matching earrings came with it). That changed the scale of the necklace; I tend toward tiny, delivate jewelry, but that bead required bigger ones around it. We're going to give her this set for Mother's Day.
The second picture is my MIL's necklace again, along with two I finished today. The middle one is the pearls Rudder gave me when we got engaged. The silk gave way during my flight home a couple of weeks ago. (Does anyone really get their pearls restrung every year?) Fortunately I didn't lose any. I decided to try restringing them myself instead of having someone else do it, after a local jeweler informed me they'd charge $64 and would have to send it to Florida. I think my first effort in pearl-restringing was reasonably successful, but it took me several hours to first cut all the old ones apart and then get every knot in the right place. It did get faster after a while, but there was one pearl I couldn't reuse; the old silk somehow got stuck in the drilled hole and I couldn't clear it. I saved it, and if I decide to get them restrng proessionally the next time I can take it in with the others.
The blue beaded necklace is the first of a series. Rudder's doing a lot of work organizing the Arizona Junior Championship Regatta, and we (the Outlaws) are donating the medals. As a fundraiser for the regatta, there will be an auction (prizes are listed here) and I'm going to donate necklaces with rowing charms made in the participating crews' colors. This one is for Xavier high school's rowing program.
This last picture is a bookmark I pt together this evening, while I had all the beads out. I've been wanting to play with some of those briolettes (the teardrop shaped bead on the bottom). The hole is drilled horizontally so it's a little hard to figure out how to use them in something vertical like earrings.
Here are some of the things that have kept me busy this vacation. Actually, the knitting kept me busy; the beadwork has just been a product of today while my sweater parts are drying from their blocking. I had a small sweater emergency last night: as soon as the knitted parts got wet, they stretched out entirely; the knit was see-through and the ribbing laid as flat as the stockinette section. Banff is supposed to be roomy, but I don't want the sleeves to be gorilla-length! I've got it drying outside today to speed the process (it's 65 degrees or so and sunny) with the ribbing squinched together and the rest of it sort of pushed together a bit, and now that it's almost dry I think it's regained some elasticity.
Most of the beads in these earrings are from Elisem's Beads of the Month program; you can't tell, but the top left white earrings are quartz (November, Quartz and its Imitators), and the top right silvery glass ones have a tiger-eye effect (December, Optcal Phenomenon). The middle ones are lampworked (Sepember, maybe), and will go to Bozoette Mary, who won them for her contribution to JournalCon, unless she tells me those colors aren't good for her. (Mary, if you prefer, you could have either of the top pair, but I'm afraid I'm being selfish and keeping the bottom ones. Or I could make you something different.) The lowest ones are a style I haven't tried making before. I'm very happy with the way they turned out. The silver pieces are from a local bead store; I had some of the Swarovski beads, but the others, as well as the inspiration, are from Elisem's Colors of Fire package.
*Pout*. I want to make myself this or this. (Maybe from this, holding a couple of strands together to get gauge and give me a more tweedy effect.) But it's damned hard to justify when you live in Arizona. I could make it for my mom, I guess, but neither looks like something she'd wear. Pooh.
Rowing yesterday. Flying this morning. Erging tomorrow, or maybe rowing. FLying Saturday. Flying or ground lesson Sunday. Might row first. Also work's been very busy lately (but at least more interesting), all of which may explain why I haven't had much to write about here lately.
Also, I've still been mulling over that whole trading idea I mentioned a week or so ago. I have beads that will neer turn into anything I'll wear. I don't want to sell my stuff, because I don't know what the legalities are and don't really feel like mucking around with 3Bay or whoever. I can't think of any downside to offering things for trade, as long as I get to pick what I'd trade for and refuse nonreasonable offers. So, two questions: can anyone else think of reasons this might be a bad idea? Also, if I were to offer one or both of these pendants for possible trading, what sort of things would you offer? I'd be interested in other handmade goods (especially if you have a skill I don't), or in books, because books are always good, especially if you find yourself with a spare copy of something I might like, or in materials for my crafts, if you have yarn or beads in your stash that you don't want but think I might. This is not an exhaustive list, so if you have other ideas to trade, those might be OK too. And again: is this a stupid idea?
Last night's earrings:
I gave away the dark stars and kept the auburn columns.
This evening I made a couple of pendants (pics later, it's bedtime). I guess I'm on a roll.
With a lot of luck and preparation, two weeks from now I will have completed the erg marathon and passed my instrument checkride. I keep reminding myself to live my life as it happens and not wish time away, but someimtes that's difficult. And how sad is it that I'm looking forward to the month before a marathon (the "real" one, on the water) because I'll be able to rest more?
Last night, inspired by Elisem - both the earrings she's posted pictures of and the jasper that was part of her Bead of the Month club - I put together a couple pairs of earrings, one from brecchiated jasper stars and another from picasso jasper in an oval cylinder. One has gone to a coworker, because it's too dark to show up against my hair, but I took pictures of both and will try to post them tonight. I'm very pleased with the way they came out, especially the elegant picasso jasper pair I kept. I've got ideas for another pair of jasper earrings, with small striated disks (though those may wait, because they'd look wonderful dangling from long polished wood cylinderbeads in mahoghany or dark cherry, if I can find such a thing), and a pendant from a smoothly-shaped honey colored piece of jasper. I haven't decided whether to keep those or give them away; most likely I'll keep the pendant and give away the earrings if they seem to be right for any particular person I know.
Or maybe next time I make something that's not right for me, I'll offer it as a trade and see what people are willing to swap for it. That might be fun. I could list the cost of materials and amount of time, so people have an idea of what would be an appropriate value trade item - not that time and material would have to match precisely, but so that I don't get offered, say, a vase made of a soda can, masking tape and shoe polish (like one I made in summer camp!) for a silver necklace that took hours to make. Certainly material value could be traded for time value, too. I wonder what a fair selection process would be? Elisem's Artist's Challenge sparked the idea, but I would expand it to include handcrafts as well as art, basically bartering something I can create for something I couldn't. She takes the first respondant to those challenges I think: I'm not sure if I'm brave or trusting enough to do that. I would probably only ever do this with jewelry; I'd feel odd trading writing instead of publishing it freely, and my knitting takes so long to do that I only keep those pieces for myself or give them to someone I love. I might trade photos; I could show a low-res sample, then enlarge and mat one if someone liked it. Also, I'd have to commit to being prompt at sending out pieces. I don't know if this is something I want to do or not, but I do like the idea of bartering my handwork for someone else's. Also, I have some beads that are very nice but aren't likely to become something I'd wear. For example, I have some dichroic beads that seem to want to be a bracelet. I don't wear bracelets much, especially chunky ones, so these beads are languishing until I can find some other way to use them. At any rate, it's an interesting idea to play with, especially as the gift-related holidays approach. Maybe I should just try it once with an easily-mailable pair of earrings to see how it goes.
It's been an unusually quiet weekend here. Yesterday morning I flew, eking out alittle more cross-country time and practicing instrument approaches with the autopilot. (It's still easier without the autopilot, if you ask me.) Yesterday afternoon we went to see Howl's Moving Castle, which was good but not great. It doesn't still especially closely to the book, except for when it does. Given all the things they changed - Sophie having no magic, to name one large omission - I was surprised at some of the little things they didn't, like Howl's emitting green ichor in depression over a bad hair day. The animation was wonderful. My biggest complain is that of the parts of the story that got changed, too many of the new story points didn't have enough explanation to make sense. I realize this isn't unusual in anime; however, that may be one reason I don't spend much time watching anime. I am not really a subtle audience, and far less so in watching movies than in reading books. (There are some advantages to this, in the matter of rereading; every time I reread Pride and Prejudice, Mr. Darcy falls in love with Elizabeth earlier in the book. I am on tenterhooks to see what I find when I'm ready to reread Lord of the Rings.)
Today, we attempted to eat breakfast out, but had forgotten it wa Fathers' Day, so we did a few errands and then picked up bagels. (One pleasure of national chains is that Breugger's actually comes up to my East-Coast-Jewish standards , as long as I don't order lox.) Since then I've gotten a lot of craftwork done. Here is the tank top I'm knitting, with about half the lower body redone since I ripped it out:
This is a necklace that's been laying dormant a long while; I've finally fnished it. It's Swarovski crystals wire-wrapped )for one value of that word) and hanging on a silver chain; I'm including two pictures because, though the Cooldeck background isn't ideal, some details show up better against it.
This is a necklace I did a few weeks ago, intended for wearing to regattas - it's in Arizona Outlaw colors. Actually, I made two (the other is blue), but I forgot to take a picture of the other before giving it to She-Hulk.