Saturday, June 26, 2010


When I was in New Zealand I took most of my photos looking at the textures and colours. The fabulous scenery was purely the bonus. Here are some of my pictures of the water. It's amazing how many different textures and colours there are.

A crater lake:
Acid pools:
Huka Falls:
I love photos and Valerie from Everyday Inspired puts words and photos to inspire and help with creative ideas regularly on her blog. From clocks to raindrops and pebbles. The photos and sayings are great to read and look at.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

I Won!!

One of our enterprising Australian beaders has begun a series of design challenges. These challenges are run through a Facebook page called Australian Beaders. The challenges are run very similar to the Design Quests that I enter except that a focal piece is included that must be used. This first challenge was named 'Bushranger's Bounty'. The focal was a Hummingbird. Here is what I came up with.

Beautiful beads as you can see. The focal began life as silver but I didn't like it at all and set about covering it up. I put a layer of Faux Dichro Liquid Glass and stuck copper/gold foil to it that I had left over from my card making days. I put around three layers of the foil on. It looked messy and bumpy and so I looked through my stash and found some gold coloured dry gouache. I sprinkled that on the top layer Liquid Glass and let it dry again. (The Faux Dichro takes a few hours to dry so I added a new layer every couple of days) When I came back to look the bird was no longer gold but blue! Not quite sure how that happened. Perhaps it reacted with the liquid or maybe somehow the dye in the cutting process had joined into the fun I don't know. Luckily the colour matched beautifully with the other beads. Don't you love it when complete accidents end up helping you out.

As for the design. That came about as my designs often do. I started playing and then decided if I'd keep it or not. I began with the green squares and black seed beads and worked out a simple weave. Underneath that diamond weave I added a frill so that I could use the pearls and swarovski beads. After that I needed a background for the bird and still had some beads left over so I added some fringing.

I like some aspects of the necklace and am not so fussed about others. How cool is it that I won.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Photo Inspirations

Also while away in NZ I took some photos of patterns and colours in nature - bark, flowers, leaves etc. I don't know if I ever will use them but I'd love to incorporate some of this beauty somehow in my jewellery. There's no rush. Here are some of the things I spotted.

Julie from JulieChats also uses photos for inspiration. Last year while stuck for ideas for her scrap booking, Julie photographed details from her garden. Here is one of them; a gorgeous mushroom straight out of a fairy story. The colours and textures are lovely. You can also look at some of the other pictures she took on her post.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Playing with Photos

When I was in New Zealand recently for a holiday I took so many photos. I have such a great camera (Canon Power Shot). Most of the time I just guessed what I was shooting as there was so much glare I couldn't see what was in the window. With the setting set onto landscape I took photos of my holiday.

Most of the week was spent at Rotorua. One of the days my friend B and I drove around the lakes and stopped at the Buried Village. Hadn't really wanted to go there but gosh, was it interesting. Loved it all and there was a walk down steps to a waterfall that was so pretty. I 'Gimp'ed my photos of it today to see if I could join them together.

People always sigh when they get their holiday snaps back because the shots never do the scenery justice. I always take several photos and then arrange them together David Hockney style in my photo albums.

Here are my photos:

And here are the photos put together. Not too bad. Tell me what you think.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Rose Quartz

Rose Quartz is such a pretty stone. If I wore pink, I'd make so much from this delicate pink crystal. You may remember a couple of years ago I came second in a Designer Quest. That pack included three lovely double drilled rose quartz pieces. You can see a picture of it here. One of the favourite pairs of earrings I have made are also rose quartz. I wire wrapped them with sterling silver wire.

Annette Piper is an Aussie beader I was lucky enough to meet at a Bead and Gem show a few years ago. Annette has a background in gemology and gives a wonderful description of rose quartz on her blog 'Under the Loupe'. I encourage you do read it and see her beautiful rose quartz bracelet.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Re-Using and Re-Purposing

I love to take apart older pieces that are no longer worn and remake them into things that I love anew and give new life to the old. I've already shown a couple of things I've made for others from pieces they've been given and not worn that I've remade. You can see them here and here.

I still have lots of my mother's old stones and pendants that I want to make into pieces that I will wear. I also have her gold watch given to her for her 21st. The face is so small you can hardly see the time but it is a memory of my mum. She wore that watch for years and along with the wedding rings of mum and dad, I'd love to incorporate them into something I can wear myself.

This necklace was made using one of the old coral chip necklaces so popular in the early 1980s. I hadn't worn it for ages so took it apart, added some colour and some wood beads.

Cate from the blog Heart on My Sleeve has re-purposed a turtle necklace. She loved the beads but never felt comfortable wearing so used the turtles in other ways. Cate shows both her re-purposed work and that of others in her blog. It's worth a look. Here is one she made into a brooch using an old earring loop.

If you'd like me to link to your re-purposed works then provide the link in the comments section.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

My Latest Designer Quest Entry

At long last I'm in enough semblance of order to put up a post. How long this will last, who knows. The first term and a half of the year has been one of the busiest I've known. I'm not even sure why but I've not kept up with anything I ought.

Just before the Easter holidays the first of this year's Designer Quests was due. I bought myself a pack and it sat there for so long as I had no idea what to do. There just weren't that many beads if I was to make something without adding anything. Eventually I decided to add.

I've never tried fringing and have wanted to so I figured I'd fringe and add in the beads given. I plaited a kumihimo braid that blended the colours of the pack and set off. My goodness! I had no concept of how much time fringing takes. I think in the end I must have put around 50 hours into this. The last day I worked 13 hours straight just to get it done. I also ran out of beads and had to unpick a previous piece to scavenge the beads. I think it will be a while before I make another fringed masterpiece.

A masterpiece this is. I love it. Am really happy with it. Of course I didn't win as you can hardly see the original beads at all. It did get a few votes in the open poll though.

What do you think?