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1  Making earrings with large-hole lampwork beads? in Trinkets and Jewelry: Discussion and Questions by ailurophile on: May 17, 2008 08:31:11 PM
At a bead show a while ago, i bought these lampwork swirls from Bokamo and knew they had to be earrings. While at their booth, I saw a finished pair of earrings make with swirls of the same style with a piece of chain hanging down through the middle with a crystal at the end. I loved the way it looked and decided to make something similar with the ones i bought, though in my folly I didn't look close enough to see how they got the beads and chain attached to the ear wires.

I have NO idea how to go about making earrings like I want. I tried some idea involving an eye pin swirled around itself to make it more like a large headpin with a way to hang the chain, though it didn't work.

Here's some pictures:

The beads. They're a bit more than an inch and quarter long with what I'm estimating to be a 3/16 hole in the top.

This looks a little weird because I had to ley it down to take a picture, but this is to display what I want to do with the chain. The crystal is on a headpin that I'll loop at the top once I figure out what I'm doing.

Does anybody have any suggestions on what I should do? I'll be using regular French ear wires with a coil and ball (because It's all I have and I don't have a chance to buy anything soon).Any suggestions are greatyl appreciated, thanks!  Grin
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2  Crystal Earth Bracelet in Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General by ailurophile on: May 16, 2008 07:44:58 PM
I made this a while ago, and I think it came out pretty nice, though unfortunately much too big for me to wear. I used an assorted pack of Swarovski crystals in "Earthtone", Delicas, Nymo, and gold plated findings. I priced it for the art show (which was canceled, oh well) but I don't remember what I priced it as. Take a look:

An assortment of 4mm bicone crystals on a Right Angle Weave base.

The clasp, obviously.

The back. You can see there are 2 beads per side of each 'square' in the weave, which makes it weird and lumpy but I think it gives it a more organic, handmade feel (aka I'm too lazy to fix it because it doesn't' look so bad i guess lol)


P.S. as a bonus I'll show you some caterpillars I made from Diane Fitzgerald's book 'The Beaded Garden'. I want to make a necklace of beaded hole-y leaves and put one of these guys on it once I magic me up some patience.
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3  Ugly Tee to Not-So-Bad Recon for NAHS in Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed by ailurophile on: April 03, 2008 09:04:51 PM
In National Art Honors Society (NAHS) we are going to be reconstructing t-shirts as a fundraiser. I made a pretty cool purse (the Shag Bag in the Challenge 26 Entries) and suddenly everyone thought I was some kind of sewing god, so I got appointed with the VP and others to recon some shirts. I brought in a bunch of supplies and shirts to recon at the meeting afterschool today, though we only ended up making 1 shirt with almost no sewing. Oh, and I really don't have much of a clue about sewing.

I don't have any pictures of the shirt beforehand, but it was the bleh green kind of color and completely shapeless. I made a tree stencil and bleached around it (along with the neckline, sleeves, and bottom edge) turning the bleached areas a kind of purple color. I hated it and hid it in a drawer.

We decided to destroy that shirt first, and Shannon (the VP) came up with some pretty cool ideas for it. I think we did pretty amazingly considering we had no directions or anything.

Btw, some dude named Chris was our model (a dude for a girl's shirt but whatever) but he got called away to help paint a sculpture or something. I have some nice pictures, but I think he would rather appreciate my not posting them on the internet lol. I happened to be wearing an undershirt so I become the model after him.

Shannon wearing the shirt. I think it fits her nicely, though radically different then it fits me. It's a little awkward in the chest area. but whatever. I have no idea what she's laughing at lol. Oh, and you might see some random green spots on the shirt. Those are chalk marks for positioning stuff.

Me wearing the shirt over my black undershirt. Like I said, it fits us much differently. The front is just whatever, but the back got the most work. Shannon took extra fabric from cutting and braided straps. It's kinda cool because theres a bunch of green/purple variation. She also cut and tied strips in the back. The side seams are the original seams. We did no hemming at all, even though we cut off every hem. The straps are sewn on with an ugly yellow thread. Yellow because that was the bobbin in my sewing machine, and I don't know how to change the bobbin. Besides, this is just practice for when people order recons and give us the shirt to work with. ... Oh, and ignore my stupid pose. I was just messing around and she took the picture anyway.

This makes us look like little busy bees. We were messing around most of the time lol. I think Shannon is cutting the strips for the back and I'm sewing the straps on.

I still think the original shirt is ugly as freakin anything. This shirt doesn't look too great, but design wise, what do you guys think? We came up with this randomly, though Shannon has Generation T or some book she was supposed to bring in I think. Well, I hope you guys don't think this sucks too, too bad.
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4  My first (and only) ATCs in Artist Trading Cards (ATCs) by ailurophile on: March 14, 2008 09:49:22 PM
I got really into ATCs about two years ago (according to the dates I put on my cards, I don't remember it being that long ago) but school and my short attention span killed that passion. The materials I'd bought didn't go to waste though, as my mom is an avid cardmaker. I will probably never make another ATC, despite how I love getting mail. I felt a want to share my designs and hopefully inspire those of you who will be making more ATCs. Anyhow, I will try to keep this brief as I tend to be wordy. Onto the pictures!

My very first ATC for a challenge called "Moody Blues". The local scrapbooking place (which was awesome, but closed down a while ago) would give a monthly challenge and serve as the host, collecting and distributing cards to the participants. It's hard to see because I had to use a flash but it says "Art is emotion dancing from the heart of one to the eyes of another". I stamped a background stamp on vellum and let it dry. The quote is stamped and embossed on the vellum and secured on Bazill paper with brads (the blue circles and the face/word)

I made a bunch of these for no purpose other than I loved the papers and the punches I used. All three flowers (stacked) are from the same double-sided paper called "Mauve Towel" or something. Background is light blue, dark blue was torn and glued on. I traded these, among others, online and people apparently liked them a lot.

Another from a purposeless set. White rose paper on cream cardstock, white rose embellishment, and vine-like ribbon.

For "Hats Off To You" challenge (by challenge, I mean a challenge hosted either at the local store or the ATC trading site I used to frequent, not here on craftster) I made the background on the computer and printed it on cardstock. I cut lots and lots of individual mannequin heads from cardstock (the sets had to be of like 15 or so, lots of people traded) The hat was a QuickCutz punch from scrap paper (all hats were different for each card).

Not particularly fond of these. It was for a Set of Three challenge. Base is sticky felt? It was a sheet of stiff felt with a sticker backing that I stuck to cardstock. Mini-cards are Josie's(I think thats what they're called?) embellishments. The "deck" is an upside down card on dimensional sticky squares to make it seem thicker. All the chips are punched from images I printed out on sticker paper.

Don't remember why I made these. I printed the image onto the flowery paper and glues the ribbon with button on. Simple, but I like it. I think I made only 3 or so.

I think this was from a challenge, because I remember making lots of these. Of course, I could get off my lazy bum and go look at the backs but whatever. I found the image somewhere and altered it before printing it on cardstock. I punched the tags and stamped each letter.

This was from an ATC Night challenge. ATC night was a once-every-two-months deal held at the local scrapbooking store and they gave us all soemthing and we had to make cards for everybody to trade. We were given the image of the woman with some things in the background.

Another ATC Night challenge. We were given scrap paper from demonstrations, and this is one I made. Its just paper on cardstock with a brad and a copper embellishment.

I love this one, though it was the most tedious to make. It was for a Madame Butterfly challenge and I had to make like 10 or 12 of them. The butterfly I cut out from cards that were from a glitter-card-making kit. The butterfly was insanely hard to color, I used glittery gel pen after much trial with other mediums. I glued the green paper to this awesome natural paper that had flower petals in it and used a template to cut it out. I stamped the fairy and the individual letters. I used color gel pens, clear silver glitter pens, and "Twinkling H2Os" to color the fairy. Making it over and over sucked, but I do love it so.

I hope you enjoy, despite my annoying wordiness.
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5  Anatomical Heart Batik! (pic and word heavy) in Dyeing: Completed Projects by ailurophile on: March 05, 2008 07:23:01 PM
Ok, I know I'm going to end up typing a lot so I'm just warning you. Go ahead and skip all the words if you want, I'm just going to explain what all I did in detail because I don't know how to summarize anything. Enjoy the pics anyway!

Oh, and for those who do not know: a batik is the technique of dyeing fabric and using melted wax to resist the dye and create a design. You melt the wax off when you're done though so you just have the dyed fabric.

I first did a Batik in my Crafts2 class, and I hated my design but loved the technique. I decided I want to make a batik for an art contest, and came up with the idea for an anatomical heart. I didn't want it in red, and I wanted it monochromatic because I didn't want to take the time to figure out how all the colors looked. I decided on purple, though I don't remember why lol. I drew the entire thing in Paint Shop Pro, using layers to denote different steps, to make sure I had everything straight. On Valentines Day we had a snow day, but nobody told me so I woke up at 7:30am anyway and took the day to make a mini version to test colors and techniques (i draped it over a fan to dry between steps). It ended up looking more like a squashed beetle than a heart because I was using too big of a tool. I don't have a pic of that though. I had planned to start a week before the due date so I would have 1 day for each step (to let it dry overnight because it was way too big to drape over a fan). I can't do basic math though (despite having an A in calculus) so I figured our on the second day I didn't have enough time and needed a way to dry the batik because you can't apply the wax when the fabric is wet. My Photo2 teacher suggested using my dryer on fluff/no heat. I have this rack for drying shoes or something so I used that to keep it from tumbling around and breaking wax off. Whatever, I should learn to control the enormous volume of words that I always end up typing. I guess it's because I like providing the how-to to others. Onto the pictured (and some more words lol)!

The finished batik! I intended it look to dark and creepy, and I think it looks like it's decaying. I chose horizontal stripes for the background because I didn't want to leave it plain, I like stripes, and the horizontal-ness at to the static feel of the image.  Grin (the lines are straight, the pic was taken at an angle)

The setup. My little design from the computer is on the right and I enlarged the lines and traced them with sharpie onto large paper, which I traced onto washed cotton fabric (not seen here). On the far left is a pot of boiling water with a small coffee can full of melting paraffin (with this metal ring under it to keep it off the bottom of the pot, from my sister's candlemaking stuff). Some people add beeswax to make it crack less and stick better, but i like lots of cracks. And a toaster, napkin holder, salt/pepper shakers, tart warmer, and spoon rest because they had nowhere else to go, and I had nowhere else to work. Oh, The dye washed away my design so I worked over a paper-covered light desk thing for the outline and shading and freehanded the rest.

The first step. I dyed it, dried it, then waxed the outline. Originally, i wanted the shades in reversed order of what i did here but that didn't so well on the small scale but I ended up liking this better. Sorry, I have no pics of me applying the wax because it takes both hands (one to hold the tool, one to hold a paper towel to catch dripping wax) and nobody would take pics for me. Oh yeah, I used tools called "tjantings" or something that I borrowed from school in small medium and large. I used the small for outlining here.

Here's me dyeing the fabric. I used a big turkey pan in one side of my sink, and wore gloves. I got some on me once and did not come off easily. The dye I used is some kind of permanent fabric dye from Joann's. I was supposed to mix it with salt and lots of water or something, but that made a lot more (and less concentrated) dye than I needed so I made up the amounts of salt and water. I stored the dyes in spaghetti sauce jars with press'n'seal under the lid just in case.

Second step, i waxed the shading after I dyed over the outline. The outline looks whiter here because it got really cracked when I wrung the fabric dye out (not the best thing to do, but I didn't have much dye to use). I used a small tool to outline the edges of the shading and a medium tool to fill in.

third step, I filled in the heart with a large tool. The second pic is the back, and it shows that I used WAY too much wax. but the large tool runs really fast, so it doesn't take as much time but it lays down a ton of wax. Oh well.

I don't have any more pics of the other steps, sorry. It was getting late, like 1 or 2 AM, and I just wanted to finish (I still managed to procrastinate to the last minute). I also had to battle my 4 cats. My oldest wanted to lay on my batik, which was still covered in melted wax.The other 3 wanted to catch the wax I was spilling all over the floor while I made the striped. I made sure nobody burned themselves (except me, the klutz). I do remember my dad telling me before he went to bed "I hope you can scream loud enough if anything goes wrong."  That was creepy, I mean its just melted wax lol. Everything was fine anyway. Oh yeah, I used black to make the background (some stripes rinsed, some not) because I already had the darkest purple I could get.

It's me ironing my batik between layers of paper at 2AM. I put the batik between blank paper so the newsprint wouldn't transfer. I replaced all the paper every time it got soaked, which was often. My cats loved to play in the waxy paper I had scattered all over the kitchen lol. This is how I was taught to remove the wax in class.

Then I was all done! I didn't quite get all the wax out but I was too tired to care. Here are dome detail shots, I love the crackled effect and the batik-ness  Cheesy:

I love this. I just wished it had cracked more i the darkest areas of the heart.

In school I mounted it for the contest using matte-board. I cut the board a little small and wrapped the edged over and secured it with masking tape  (a matte would have been better, but no mattes allowed in the contest) The winners are announced at some big party thing March 31. I also entered 4 photographs from Photo2 class (I got an honorable mention for photography last year, I hope I get something this year).

I hope you all enjoyed despite my extreme wordiness!  Grin
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6  Pearls and Chain - What could be better? in Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General by ailurophile on: February 05, 2008 03:23:58 PM
I got a new BeadStyle in the mail today and was inspired by the project by Karen Burdette which was a 2-strand necklace made with potato and blister pearls. It reminded me of these rise and blister pearls I've had sitting around for a while. I didn't have nearly enough pearls for the necklace in the mag but I did have this awesome chain that I thought went well. I used a length of chain cut for a bracelet that didn't work out and the longest length I could find (about 17 or 18 inches), as well as 12 inches of rice pearls and 20 blister pearls. I love the asymmetry and that it matches a shirt I have. Grin

The necklace, obviously. Most of the blister pearls are in that one spot, but there are pairs of blister pearls beside the chains because the links are so big (I don't know if you can see, but there are two random-ish blister pearls up by my left shoulder where the short chain is). And yes, that's me and a bit of my crazy hair (which is actually my icon lol).

The clasp. I'm not too happy with it, I don't think it matches well enough because it's too shiny, but I don't have any satin or tarnished clasps. It's pretty nifty though. I used twisted crimps and spacer beads (because the holes in the pearls weren't big enough to put the tigertail back through)

It's pretty simple and didn't take long. This is one of maybe a few projects I've completed in a long time because of school, probably because I really don't want to write my 7-page English paper of Huckleberry Finn controversy. Anyway, I hope you like!
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7  Re: New Flamework Beads! in Glass Crafts: Completed Projects by ailurophile on: January 19, 2008 11:26:32 PM
Wow, I can't believe I forgot a bead! I though my count was off, but I don't trust my basic math skills. Anyhow, here's the bead I forgot to post.

This turned out really well. The holes are nice and I'm actually pleased with this color combination. This is begging to be made into something.
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8  Another flower in seed beads in Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General by ailurophile on: January 18, 2008 08:23:13 PM
I love this necklace! It's probably the only project I've finished this school year, and it took quite a while. The cattleya orchid and the "bud" are designs from The Beaded Garden by Diane Fitzgerald. I used Toho 11/0 seed beads to make the flowers and Toho and Delica seed beads for the vine, which is leaf fringe. All was made using Nymo threads. The chain made of wood is from Michaels and there is a glass pearl in the orchid. The clasp is copper and there are a few copper crimps hiding up by the clasp somewhere. It was loads of fun to make, and the pictures were fun too because I got to play with the photo studio box I got for Christmas.  Grin 

This shows the whole necklace, including the extra bunch of fringe to the one side of the clasp. I don't remember how long the whole necklace is but the wood chain is 14".

This is necklace on a display. It really doesn't do justice to how nicely it sits when worn, but i don't have pictures handy of it being worn. I love how organic and asymmetrical this came out compared to all my typical symmetrical and structured designs.

I hope you like!
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9  Seed beaded commissions! (Cherry blossoms and roses, super pic heavy) in Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General by ailurophile on: January 17, 2008 10:27:40 PM
There's a woman who own a large barn that she converted into a kind of art gallery/show for high school and college students who can display and/or sell their work at no cost. There is a show once a month in the spring and fall (because it's too cold in the winter and no one is really around in the summer). The woman's husband asked me to make her a birthday present. We discussed designs and I came up with two major ideas. He liked both and said he'd buy both if I'd make them. It took my months and months to make the entire thing between school and sleep. I sold him the rose amulet set (an amulet bag necklace, bracelet, and earrings) for $95 and the cherry blossom lariat for $85. I priced them before I made them based on materials because I had never made anything so big and complex before. Now I know better. She was very happy with her gift, and I am honored that her husband asked me, of all the artists he knows, to make a gift for her.

The Cherry Blossom Lariat:

I made a lariat to look like cherry blossoms entirely out of Miyuki Delica seed beads and thread. It is 40-something inches long and took FOREVER to make. It must've seemed longer because it was so repetitive. I mixed many many grams of 3 colors of brown seed beads for the base. I used tubular herringbone, it came out a little lumpy because I didn't work it around anything like I should have, but hey it looks more natural like a branch and less factory-perfect.

A closeup of one of the fringes. I used branch fringe to attach all of the flowers. The flowers, and little buds, were all made individually. I modified circular peyote for the flowers and made up some kind of brick stitch deal for the buds. There must be over 100 flowers in the whole deal. I used Silamide and Nymo threads for the project.

Earrings made in the same manner as the fringe of the necklace. The ear wires are niobium and bronze. Once ended up a little longer than the other, but oh well.

This is the whole thing coiled up, the flash kinda killed it though.

This just it laying straight down on me to shot how long it really it. Remember, I'm only 16 so I'm not the size of an adult but you can still get the idea. Bleh, I hate that shirt.

Other ways to wear it, of course there are probably more ways but those are just a couple. It's flexible, though I will confess it snapped in the middle when I was testing the flexibility. I fixed and and it was fine for the whole rest of my work with it, and she hasn't told me it broke yet so all should be good.

The cherry blossoms might be my favorite project every, despite the tediousness of making it. They're so pretty! I wanted to keep it, but I'm too lazy to make myself my own one.

The Rose Amulet Set:

Sorry the picture quality is fairly bad, I had to use an older camera and I didn't have time to set up much of a photo set. This is the entire necklace, 22" long. I used Miyuki Delicas in 3 colors, peridot gemstone teardrop beads, Silamide thread and polymer clay roses. I made every single tiny rose by hand with Sculpey III and glossy glaze. I don't know how long the whole thing took, but I remember I made the whole base of the amulet bag while watching the Matrix trilogy 3 times in a row (of course, that means I was distracted and not at my full efficiency).

Closeup of the amulet bag. In retrospect I think I should have made more fringe, but I really didn't want to make that many more roses. I think the bad was 2.5" by something. I don't know, it was average I guess.

A closer-up of the bag to show the detail of the vine. It's not just a rose in the middle of the bag, it's on a vine with peridot "leaves". I should've used one color for the five to make it stand out more, but I couldn't tell it blended in so much at the time.

The "vine" of the necklace. I made 2 strands and twisted them together. One strand was only peridot and seed beads and the other had some roses in it.

The bracelet. It came out too small, but that was only realized once it was done. She hasn't told me there was a problem so it must be okay. It's 3 strands with a central rose bead.

Back of the bracelet. I bought the nephrite jade clasp from Fire Mountain Gems (along with everything else). I don't like the way the thread it, but there was no other way to attach it. I used some knots and a bunch of CA glue. That thread will never ever come off that clasp, I can guarantee.
I don't have any earrings pictures readily available though. I made a pair which, in retrospect, were hideous. I don't remember what I was thinking when I made them. I eventually did replace them with much better earrings later. The new earrings are on a sterling silver French ear wire with 3 branch-fringe strands with seed beads, peridot, and roses.

I hope you like!  Grin
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10  It's about time I stop lurking and post my jewelry (super pic heavy) in Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General by ailurophile on: January 17, 2008 09:48:24 PM
This only the tip of the iceberg, I've made much more since I started beading 3 years ago at the age of 13. I've tried just about everything, but I like beadweaving the best. These are just some projects I like, what do you think?

I made this for a contest at my not-so-local bead store. We were given the freshwater pearls and allowed to use anything else. I used sodalite chips, Toho seed beads, Nymo thread, a mother of pearl focal, and a sterling plated clasp. I used a double scallop technique from some book on the bade and a circular netting technique from some website (I probably should be able to cite these, but I know I could find them if I looked). The mother of pearl disc is 75mm or something. I was surprised at all the similarities between entries, 3 or 4 other people used sodalite also, and another person used the same MOP disc (but it was still radically different). I didn't win the contest, but I still love this necklace. This was probably my third biggest project ever, but I don't remember how long it took.

This is a series of beaded cabochons I made. I fell in love with a bunch of dichroic cabs at my not-so-local bead store and had to make something out of them. These pictures really do no justice to the colors, especially of the pink and blue cabs. The purple-ish set was actually a gift to my mom because, well, she just never gave it back she liked it so much.

I don't like this much, but it was fun to make. I used peyote and 4 hours of when I should have been doing homework to make this bracelet to fit over the hand without a clasp. It came out a lot live those silicone bracelets everyone wears nowadays. The strength bead came off an old broken bracelet.

Hey, it's not seed beads! This is pretty cool, considering I'm not much a fan of blue. It makes the most awesome jingly sound I've ever heard! It took just about forever to make all the little charms and attach them.

I made this with right angle weave out of rhyolite ships and embellished it with freshwater years and a pewter Tree of Life charm. The clasp is sterling plated. One of my favorite necklaces.

I made this in a class that taught the basic spiral stitch with accent beads. I used black Toho seed beads and 4mm chrysocolla rounds. I think the clasp is pewter. I love this bracelet, it took 2.5 hours.

This is the only good picture I have of this necklace right now. I'm not sure what the stone focal thing is, but I fell in love with it. I also have a brownish one somewhere waiting to be made into something. The faceted stones are smoky quartz with 11/0 Toho seed beads and 15/0 Rocailles. It had a square sterling plated clasp, but the male end of the toggle wasn't big enough so I need to find a better clasp.

These are my best projects that had pictures readily available. They're all pretty old because I haven't had time to make anything with 3 AP classes this school year. I hope you enjoyed looking at my stuff! Cheesy
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