Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Franciscan Crown Rosary in Pink and Silver

Piece Name: "Franciscan Crown Rosary"

My husband's aunt is a Franciscan Nun. She just celebrated her 70th birthday. I wanted to do something really special for her. So I made her a rosary, but not just any rosary but a Franciscan Crown Rosary that is favored by that order (Google it for more info). It differs in construction from a standard rosary in that the beads on the drop differ slightly and there are seven decades rather than five. We give it to her this Saturday! Can't wait. Just need to have it blessed before that!
This was made with 8mm Rose Quartz round beads, Sterling Silver medals and bead caps, and Argentium Sterling Silver 20 gauge wire. Piece completed 12/12/2007.

Pillowcases A Plenty!

Piece Name: Fun Kid Pillowcases

I went to a Love Apples Saturday Sew In for Charity. We made fun, child themed pillowcases for the charity ConKerr Cancer, an organization that gives bright pillowcases to kids undergoing cancer treatments in hospitals. We ended up making 54 that day!!! I enjoyed it so much I made these two for the children of a family friend for early Christmas presents. Boy were these a hit! Pieces completed 12/02/2007.

Pink In Every Window!

Piece Name: "Pink Cathedrals"

I took a Love Apples Cathedral Windows workshop taught by Linda Victor. What a blast! I decided to use the class sample we made to knock something off my to do list! So this pink, white, and buttoned baby pillow creation was born and is for Mikaela a new cousin to the family. This is really a fun one and the buttons hide a multitude of transgressions! The picture is me at my guild's Show and Tell. Piece completed 10/28/2007.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Feathered Birthday Wishes

Piece Name: Untitled Postcard

This is the final postcard I made for the 2007 RCTQ Birthday Postcard Swap. This is for my online friend Jean. Happy Birthday Jean! The postcard is all machine embroidered and the design can be found at (NAYY). This took about 2 - 2.5 hours to do. It is very bright and cheery in person. Piece completed 10/28/2007.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

"S" is for Sandal

Piece Name: "S" is for Sandal Postcard

This is a VERY BELATED postcard for my quilt guild's summer postcard swap. The postcard swap theme was the "S's of Summer" and had to use a ribbon in some way. I was inspired by the decorations in the cottage of our vacation home when we went to the beach in Corolla, NC for a week this September. The ribbon is 3D...though I am sure it will be squished in the mail. Piece completed 09/30/2007.

Friday, September 28, 2007

I See Pink!

Piece Name: Allie's Baby Pillow

I make baby pillows as gifts. My husband's sister had a baby girl named Alexandria Genieva earlier this year. As they live in Georgia and we live New Jersey we don't get to see them very often. I met Allie for the first time this past week and of course showered her with lots of spoiling as any aunt should do. This was among the gifts. The size is a 20" pillow and the designs are by Hatched in Africa. Pillow completed 09/22/2007.

Argentium Sterling Silver and Rolled Gold (aka Gold Filled) Earrings

Piece Name: Various Argentium Sterling Silver and Rolled Gold (aka Gold Filled) Earrings

Along with my sister's birthday this week it was also her mother-in-law's birthday as well. She recently had a break in at her house (thankfully she wasn't home!!) and lost her jewelry box with all her beloved earrings. While I can't replace what she lost, I thought I'd soften the blow a bit by making her some new ones.

I literally spread all my beads out before me and went to town mixing and matching combinations. It was quite fun actually...though it is hard as a beginner getting the earrings to turn out the same length!! I can't remember the guage wire I used for them or what all the components are, but ultimately three were Argentium Sterling silver and three were Rolled Gold (aka Gold Filled). I am quite happy to report that they were very well received!! Earrings completed: 09/20/2007.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Blue Lace Agate & Argentium Sterling Silver Jewelry Set

Piece Name: Argentium Sterling Silver & Blue Lace Agate Jewelry Set

Finally a new post!! That's what happens when you are working on birthday and Christmas gifts! You can't post about them until they are given!!! Anyhow, I made this set for my sister Cindy for her 30th birthday earlier this month. What is funny about this is my sister was pretty sure she was getting jewelry because we went to a BeadFest together in April and she picked out beads she liked and said make it a birthday gift. I will make those beads into a jewelry set for "a" just wasn't for this one. So she was totally suprised when she opened this set up. I am very glad to say she loved it! Now for the nitty gritty...

Necklace and Pendant: The pendant is inspired by a Lisa Niven Kelly design and instructions were featured in the Summer 2007 edition of "Step by Step Wire Jewelry". The chain wire is 20 gauge argentium sterling silver. The pendant wire is 24 gauge argentium sterling silver. The stone is a faceted blue lace agate flat tear drop. The beads are 4mm bicone Swarovski crystals in three colors. The 22" chain is woven in the "byzantine" (aka "bird cage") pattern.

Bracelet and Earrings: The earrings and 8" long bracelet are of my design. The wire on both is 20 gauge argentium sterling silver. The stones are faceted blue lace agate. The chain maille weave is "byzantine" (aka "bird cage").

I worked on this set on and off over the summer, but it was ultimately completed 09/18/2007 when I made the pendant (which took 3 hours!). I thoroughly enjoyed making this and giving it to my sister! I really wanted to do something special for her 30th. :)

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Ocean Friends Bracelet Swap 2007

Piece Name: "Starfish Waves" Bracelet

I created this bracelet for Debbie (a fellow New Jersey-ian) for the Beadingaholics Yahoo Group 2007 Bracelet Swap. The swap theme was "Ocean Friends". The design is my own and *kinda* resembles the original idea in my head! It is 8" and is made with round gold filled wire in guages 16 and 20, cloisonne beads, starfish beads, and small beige beads. I went for a crazy, sloppy wire wrapped look that is supposed to emulate the chaos of waves in the ocean. I made a pair of matching fish earrings. It is a very bright, tropical bracelet that will fit right in on cruise vacations and at beach parties!

If I were to make this again there are a few small design and execution changes I'd make to neaten everything up a bit. But you don't learn if you don't try!!! I tried and I learned! It was fun creating something of my own that wasn't from someone else's tutorial.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

"Grandma's Lace"

Piece Name: "Grandma's Lace" Postcard

This is a fabric postcard made in the crazy quilt style for the 2007 RCTQ Crazy Quilt Postcard Swap (a group I belong to of online quilters who swap fabric postcards). Went all out on this one for my friend Flossy! I used vibrant green and purple scrap fabrics, fancy stitches in colorful coordinating thread, and lace trims that I received a few years ago from crazy quilters as thanks for running a velvet swap. This one was not difficult to make but was labor intensive. Took somewhere between two and three hours to make. I call it "Grandma's Lace" because it sure looks like it could be things raided from a beloved grandmother's sewing stash!

I can't savor my creation for long...this one is bound for jolly ol' England tomorrow!!!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Quilt Show Follow up...

Went to the quilt show yesterday with my mom. We had a lovely time and it was as well a put on show as ever! I did not win a ribbon, BUT.... I did improve since previous years. Let me tell you why. The items I put in ranged from being started 2003 (finished 2007), 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007. Like any craft you work and practice at I have improved and those pieces reflected it. The judge's comments on each piece (which were awesome by the way) were so kind with their praise and the constructive criticism was spot on. One thing that I am still struggling with is to get a very nice binding done by machine (I won't do it by hand). The four earlier pieces had comments (deserved) on the binding. The 2007 piece (red and white) was the first time ever I didn't get a word on the binding from the judges at this show. YAHOO! BUT it still gets better. Three of my five entries never got out of the general pool for ribbon consideration. But two did (you could see extra checkboxes filled out on the form) and had a special "participant" ribbon included with the comments. They didn't ultimately win anything...but I consider it a personal victory that something I made got a little further than the general pool. YAY!!!!

Now if only I could convince my husband to let me be a kept woman so I could quilt and make jewelry all day everyday instead of finding time for it on night and weekends...I would be set!!! Think of all the improvement in my craft being made if I lived and breathed them every moment. Oh least now working pays for the fabric and pretties! It will have to do! ;)

Monday, June 4, 2007

Quilt Show this Weekend...

I have five of my quilted creations entered into the NJ State Quilt Guild's quilt show this upcoming weekend (June 7 - June 9). It is a non-juried (meaning any quilt sent in is accepted) and judged (has official judging and awards) quilt show. It is a large show and if you win an award here it is a top notch accomplishment. The quilting talent displayed ranges from children and beginners up to the masters in the art. It is amazing to see all that talent assembled in one room. That being said I have entered quilts many times and have never won. LOL! Don't worry I don't feel bad and never expected to win. I am just glad to hang the quilts in public once in awhile. And I admit to casually standing near them to eavesdrop on what people are saying about my quilts!! These are the quilts that I am entering in this year's show. The only one that has the tiniest, slimmest chance of possibly ribboning is the jacket.

This one I made in 2005 for my parent's 40th Wedding Anniversary.

This one I made for the Love Apple Quilters Guild 2007 Challenge.

This one was a "just because" Christmas gift for my mom in 2006.

This one is shown unfinished (have to find my finished pictures!) and was made in 2007 just because I wanted to do it!

This one I made for the Love Apple Quilters Guild 2004 Challenge.

If for some amazing reason I do actually get some kind of award (I doubt it highly!!!) I'll keep you posted. :)

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Denim Coils...

Piece Name: "Denim Coils" Bracelet

Created with 16 and 22 gauge copper wire and eight 10-13mm polymer clay beads (made by ArtisticJen on Etsy). Design is by Wendy Witchner and is from the Bead and Button Wirework Special issue 2007. Created 05/25/2007.

Boy this one was kind of a bugger. Not a hard technique to understand or do, but hard for a newbie wire jewelry maker whose hands don't feel totally comfortable yet working with wire. I cannot wait until my wire working feels second nature like my quilting does. It's all about growing and learning isn't it!!!

Copper Beaded Ring...

Piece Name: Beaded Copper Ring

Created with 20 gauge copper wire, two 6mm cat's eye beads and two 4mm bicone Swarovski crystals. Design from a member created tutorial on the Beadingaholics Yahoo Group. Created 05/25/2007. NOTE: Sorry about the blurry photo. I really liked that shot of it and just couldn't get it to turn out! I am going to read my camera manual for tips on close up pics. If I can get it to turn out I'll replace this photo.

This was a quick ring but it sure does look elegant on my finger! This will definitely be done again with many wire types and beads.

There be Dragonflies...

Piece Name: Dragonfly Postcard with Copper Wire

Made for a dragonfly themed postcard swap. One of the rules was that I had to use the color green. Not only is the fabric green (and have dragonflies), but the copper will tarnish to a lovely greenish color over time. Created 05/10/2007.

This was fun and it combined my love of quilting with wire work! The dragonfly was my own design and it was freeing to just create something of my own and not follow a tutorial or a book. I am looking forward to when my wire jewelry skills advance enough to the point I can get the designs in my head out and into reality effectively!

Copper Waves...

Piece Name: "Copper Waves" Necklace

Design came from the Spring 2005 edition of "Step by Step Wire Magazine". The design is by Marie L. Carter. I followed the tutorial pretty closely using several gauges of copper wire and 6mm faceted tanzanite colored cat's eye beads. I varied my necklace from Marie's by using larger beads and much much larger jump rings. I like the airy look the larger jump rings give the necklace. Completed 05/14/2007.

I LOVE cat's eye beads. I NEED to get more and more. I really really enjoy wearing this necklace. It has great weight and wears beautifully. I will definitely be using this technique I learned in Argentium wire.

Swirling Copper...

Piece Name: "Swirling Chain" Necklace and Earrings

The second (Necklace) and third (Earrings - left over links) pieces of jewelry I ever made. The design is from "Wire & Bead Celtic Jewelry" by Linda Jones. I added beads to the design. Made with 20 gauge copper wire and glass beads. Made 04/30/2007.

What I learned from this piece and what I would differently is skip the beads, use a larger gauge wire, and hammer it flatter. This would give the necklace a bit more substance. It is a pretty necklace as I made it, but it gets all tangled easily. A little more "heft" and it would be perfect.

And the Wire Jewelry Making Begins...

Piece Name: Ornate Ring

This is the first piece of jewelry I ever made using wire. The design is by Eni Oken, a tutorial I downloaded from her website. This was one labor intensive ring! Made with various gauges of copper wire, glass beads, and a common purple stone cabochon. Made 04/30/2007.

I'll definitely be making this one again, but I want to try it in Argentium and I have a gorgeous stone I picked up at a Bead Fest in mind for the second try.