Saturday 25 August 2012

Tribal Steampunk

I recently entered a challenge on a forum I go to. The theme was Steampunk, and after a lot of deliberating and switching plans, I came up with this.


Now, I know it's not totally Steampunk, but it's definitely getting there. I couldn't help but add a bit of the faerie, tribal style I've been playing with.

In all, Tribal Steampunk took about 4-5 hours to make. That was the work alone - I can't bare to think about the design process. There were so many beads a textiles that I'd pick up and would match...others wouldn't, no matter how much I wanted them to. You know how it is.

For this necklace, I started with the tiny, copper book. I made the cover out of copper sheet and cut out 12 tiny pages from sketch book paper. I antiqued the pages with a tea patina, and bound it all with copper wire. On the front cover of the book, I added an old, Irish coin with a beautiful bird, a vintage Swarovski crystal, and a wire wrapped LED.

From the bottom of the book hangs my very first wirework key. I'm really pleased with how it came out. And for a bit of extra detail, I wrapped two faceted emeralds onto it.

Next, I added some repurposed green velvet, amethyst drops, and more copper wirework reminiscent of feathers to carry the bird theme. The focal area hangs from a piece of sea glass I found in the River Thames in London, England. The chain features vintage glass beads from Old Bicycle Shop, lampwork by Tan Grey, silk, and frayed, feathery fibers. The fabrics were dyed with tea to match the antiqued pages.

And the really cool thing? You can open the book - you can write in it.

I used an old brass clasp I recycled from a vintage necklace to close the book. Just an extra touch to keep your secret notes safe.

Friday 17 August 2012

A giveaway and a challenge...

A few days ago, I received a beautiful pair of  Sterling Silver swan earwires from La Vidalerie. They're hosting a number of giveaways, and for this one, everyone who wins a pair of these earwires will create a pair of earrings. Each one will then be voted on, and the winner will receive a £25 gift certificate. La Vidalerie has beautiful gemstones and findings, so I hope I have a chance!

La Vidalerie is doing other giveaways - check them out here! And keep an eye on their Facebook page for all of the great entries and voting.

Saturday 4 August 2012

Curtis the Teddy Cat

There is a special glass artist who lives in the Netherlands. Her name is Christina, and one day, she made something amazing. From fire and glass she formed the most beautiful teddy bear. He had a sweet face, cute little ears, and his little arms and legs moved like a doll's.

Someone saw this teddy and loved him. She thought he was beautiful and how wonderful it would be if Christina could make a cat. On that alone, Christina went to work with her flame. And created Curtis the Teddy Cat. A Teddy Cat? You ask. He looks like a cat, but with no tail, still like his teddy friend.

Christina sent Curtis on a long journey by air and by land. And finally, he was taken in his cozy box to his new home.

Curtis started to wake and looked a little bit sad. (I think he missed Christina.) 

But I called for him. "Curtis" I said. With his little lilac cheeks and his pink nose, he looked up at me.

Curtis began to play and forgot his long journey. He knew he was safe in his new home.


But Curtis will never forget that artist in the Netherlands. Nor how lovingly she made him, or how carefully she packed him, or what a wonderful person she is.

Thank you SO much to Christina for not only sending me this adorable work of art, but also naming him after me. I am truly touched!

And if you want to see more whimsy and charm, visit Christina here.

Thrift Store Blog hop - Reveal!

With everything going on - the BSBP, the Olympics, the fleeting summer, life in general - it seemed like I joined this hop ages ago. And in case you've forgotten, here's a little reminder.

Sarah Goode of Pookledo started a great little challenge. We were meant to buy an item for £1 ($1.50) or less from a thrift shop and use it in a piece of jewelry. I found this sweet copper ring.

After fiddling around with it a bit, I decided on what other components to use. I chose some ceramics in pale purples, blues, and pinks by Tania Grey. I wrapped, strung, and tied them to some sage green silk I hand frayed.

Once I decided how, but not where to use the ring, I made a copper clasp to match.

The closure works surprisingly smoothly, but finishing off the bracelet took a bit of effort. I had to make everything just the right length, or else it would be too loose and flop on the wrist.

Even though I'm not big on hearts, I made a copper heart link to keep the theme going. The pastel colors are gentle on the eye, the hearts add a touch of sweetness, and the style is refreshingly bohemian. And that silk is SO soft.

Don't forget to check out what everyone else has made. The full list of participants is below. Happy hopping!

Sarah -
Deb -
Kimberley -
Skye -
Ambra -
Beti -
Emma -
Shelley -
Tammie -
Leah -
Denielle -
Keri Lee -
Rochelle -
Pam -
Ingetraud -
Audrey -
Julie Anne -
Sharyl -
Micheladas - 
Lo -
Kala -
Dee -