Definition of "creative", according to my dictionary:
creating; able to create; inventive, imaginative; showing imagination as well as routine skill.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Does this happen to everyone?

I had hardly started The Ladder when the basic idea for the next piece arrived in my head. I've started it now, and despite the fact that three days ago I hadn't a clue what the third piece would be I now know. I had the idea that I wanted three - three is an important design concept to me - but didn't have any idea what they all would be.

It just seems like I'm always finishing something so I can begin the next thing.

Someone asked the size of the piece I showed in my last post. It is approximately 6" x 4-1/2". The new one will be 6" x 4", unless something strikes me.

No photo today. The camera went off for repair, and will be another 5-7 weeks before it is back.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Therapy beading

The Ladder is the first in a series (tentatively titled Back Off - Get Your Own Body, although on more meditative days I think of it simply as Therapy). I found out this summer that I have breast cancer, and for a while I was rather unhappy. Visualization doesn't usually work well for me, but I was talking to my husband about how I felt like I had fallen in a hole, and couldn't get out - couldn't get happy again - and that I thought I might need to find a physical representation of the hole in order to deal with it. He said that I didn't need a representation of the hole - I needed a representation of the ladder. He was right. In the grand scheme the unhappiness didn't last very long, but the image of the ladder helped me climb out of that hole.

Mostly done improvisationally, this is my first completed bead embroidery piece. Miscellaneous seedy-beads, some Swarovski crystals, and one special (to me - thank you Sander!) faceted hessonite garnet.

I'm having camera & photo editing software problems, but I didn't want to wait any longer in posting this. Please believe the colours are much richer in person.

I recently started working on jewellery again too. Just stringing for now, but at least I'm pulling out my stash and playing! This extra-sparkly three stranded bracelet of faceted tourmalines has a tube clasp for added security. Now I just have to decide if I can part with it.

Saturday, July 14, 2007


I know, no-one wants to read an "I haven't posted for too long" post, but I'm posting this anyways. I am going to have to drop out of the Year of Jewelry. Especially frustrating because I would have completed a whole year if I could have stuck it out for this one quarter. Hopefully I'll be able to rejoin next time.

I still owe two pieces for the last quarter. I've done some - just earrings, nothing exciting - but I haven't got my photo setup up right now and probably can't take photos for another couple of weeks. I will get them up eventually.

I'm going to keep this journal going. It'll be updated infrequently, but I'll at least be posting my new work.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

YOJ week twenty-four

A not-quite-finished piece of fingerweaving here! I originally thought I might take photos of this piece at various stages of development, but then didn't. I'm not sure I'll get the gluing of the knots done today, so I decided to photo & post this now, and I'll finish it later.

This lush bracelet combines such a wide assortment of beads that I feel compelled to list them all.
-carved shell flowers in brown
-flattened shell discs in purple
-effervescent boro beads in brown
-multicoloured boro beads in a shape I've seen described as "teardrop swoops"
-Swarovski bicones in 4 different sizes and two different colours
-Czech firepolished beads in 4 different sizes and 3 different colours
-an assortment of seed beads, mostly in purples, ranging in size from 6/0 to 15/0

I'm thinking this series might have to be called "Medley"...

I love these toggle beads as clasps, although they are a little tricky to use as both ends of the bracelet end in a loop. Previously I shaped the loop part of the clasp first and then had to deal with finishing at the toggle end; this time I switched them around and did the toggle end first. I don't know if it was any easier, except that I didn't have to guess how big the loop end needed to be. I'll do it this way again next time.

Friday, June 08, 2007

YOJ week twenty-three

Another finger-woven multistrand bracelet, this time in a metallic mix of browns & bronzes. I just love doing these, although I am becoming fixated on getting them to twist in different ways. This one was an attempt at a tighter twist but ended up with different strands twisting in different ways and different amounts. I like it anyway - adds interest!

I have made minor decorations on previous clasp loops, but this time I made the decision to put beads all the way around the loop. I like the richness it adds - I'll be doing it again.

The clasp bead is one of my own lampwork. There is no metal in this piece. I almost kept this one (and still may), but listed it on Etsy today.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

YOJ week twenty-two

I've had a productive week, but I'm not caught up on photography. I wanted to get this week's entry in on time - I've been late a lot lately - so I'm putting up these simple summery earrings. Dyed shell, iridescent glass beads, and sterling. Fun, simple, and lightweight - perfect for hot summer days.

Friday, June 01, 2007

YOJ week twenty-one

Another multistrand finger-woven bracelet, this one combines chartreuse with gold-green and cream. I like the way these feel on, and I'm working on the next one already. The closure bead on this is palmwood, which has very interesting markings.

I was tagged on my last post. I shall try to get to that this week.

Monday, May 21, 2007

YOJ week twenty

I had the opportunity to spend several hours in the garage today, so I decided to tackle my first bezel. I knew I didn't have any appropriate tools to set the stone, but I didn't actually expect to get to that point and thought I could just get the piece ready for setting.

It turned out that I've misplaced my file too, so I had to sand the bezel down. I thought it might be a bit high, but I was tired of sanding, so I stopped too soon. The first time I thought I soldered the bezel to the back plate it actually didn't, but the second time worked just fine! Woo hoo!

I didn't have anything that let me strike the tube rivet on the front without damaging the bezel, so I basically didn't. That worked okay, but isn't ideal. And the lack of a file meant that finishing the edges of the piece wasn't done as well as it should have been. Oh, and when I soldered the jump ring I almost undid the solder on the bezel... But aside from that I thought it was all going well!

So I foolishly decided to try to set the stone. I had read that you can use a cut-off old toothbrush to bezel set fragile items so I thought I would give that a try. I couldn't hold the piece steady, and although the toothbrush worked, it didn't work easily. I ended up using my hammer to push over the bezel. This created a very rustic look that I almost like, but it does need some refinement.

All in all this was an entertaining and educational experience, even if the piece is far from perfect. Very far...

Sunday, May 13, 2007

YOJ week nineteen

This was my first time tackling viking wire weave. I was pleased with how it turned out, although I was adding in new wire incorrectly at first and my joins are quite obvious. Got that figured out though, so next time will go more smoothly.

I used some sterling cones and a clasp I had on hand, but I want to make my own for future chains. This is a nice technique to become a piece that I can say "I made that all myself".

I tried to patina this, but it just turned yellow. Since it is partially fine silver and partially sterling I suspect I either need to treat it more or not at all. I shall clean it up and wear it shiny for a while, I think...

Friday, May 11, 2007

1000 Jewelry Details

Exciting news! I just found out that my Caged Bangles have been chosen to be included in the upcoming book 1000 Jewelry Details. It will be a new picture in the book, but here is one I submitted for consideration. I know I've posted this before, but I'm thrilled and want to show a picture anyway!

Monday, May 07, 2007

YOJ week eighteen (WIP)

This is a close-up of a bracelet I am working on. It is not finalized - I like the look of this arrangement but four sections is too short and five is too long, so I need to come up with something different.

I have been struggling with a pair of earings that were intended to be this week's entry. I have given up for the day, but perhaps I can make them work tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

YOJ weeks 15, 16, and 17

I thought that I was going to have to skip a couple of weeks in the Year of Jewelry, but then I had a couple of productive days (and a new camera card) and decided that it was better to put something in rather than leave those dates blank. So, here are a bunch of Swarovski and sterling earrings. A couple left for new homes before I could get them photographed, and a couple are waiting on earwires. I am not happy with photo quality on these but didn't want to get any further behind.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

No camera!

I'm currently without access to a camera. Hopefully I'll be able to replace the card in the next few days, and I can get back on track. I think I'm going to have to skip a couple of weeks of the YOJ. Either that or whip up a bunch of earrings and use them.

Check back soon, please!

Sunday, April 08, 2007

YOJ week fourteen

I used memory wire as the core of this caged bangle. The additional strength of the steel is the main reason for the choice, but it is also more economical than silver. I found that the wraps all go the same way, which surprised me, and while I chose to continue that way I think I like it better when they spiral in both directions, so I guess I'll have to figure out a way to do that next.

This next photo is of several of my Caged bangles in a stack. I think they look fabulous that way, although it would be rather heavy on the wrist to actually wear them like this. Still - might be worth the effect to do so sometime!

Monday, April 02, 2007

Altar is up on Etsy

I bit the bullet and listed my Altar print on Etsy.
I really want to get one of my ammonite prints up too, but I don't have the packaging to ship it when it sells. Need to get that first.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

YOJ week thirteen

A claspless caged charoite bangle, with a single Thai silver bead. As always, the caging wires are sterling. The centre wire is also sterling, although I am planning to try memory wire next. I bought some, so now I just have to figure out how to joint he two ends invisibly. I am hoping the memory wire works, because it will decrease the cost and should increase strength, and because it won't be visible it shouldn't make an aesthetic difference.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Wooden beads

This is another fingerweaving bracelet. I was taken with the patterns on the palmwood beads, and wanted to showcase them. I think I actually made this bracelet too full - not something I realized was possible - so in the end it reminds me constantly of a caterpillar with wheels.

The wooden beads are marvellously lightweight, and blend nicely with the assorted seed beads. I especially like that this technique allows for no metal, which makes it perfect for people whith metal sensitivities. I am enjoying the process, even if this one doesn't please me. Had to happen sometime!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Another linocut

These are three colour variations I did for this print. It is a reduction linocut, which means the block was destoyed in the process of printing the various layers. It is a detail of an altar from the Mayan ruins of Copan in Honduras. This is the smallest print I've done so far at 2-1/2" x 3-1/2". (edited for spelling)

Sunday, March 18, 2007

YOJ week eleven

This week's YOJ entry is a caged iolite bangle. I've been working for a while to try to make this in a claspless style without an obvious join. This one hides the join using a thai silver bead in a size and shape that echos the stones. I am quite pleased with it, although I do want to try a variation using memory wire that should be stronger.

The other photo is a pair of earrings made for an informal contest on WetCanvas. African turquoise, amethyst, and sterling. Simple little earrings but with a compelling colour combination. I have been hoarding the amethyst, but I really have to start using some of my stash.

Friday, March 16, 2007

YOJ week ten

This is another of my custom made "dog tag" necklaces". Etched copper, sterling rivets, stamped brass. I made and patinaed the clasp to match.

Thursday, March 15, 2007


Last week we went to the Vancouver Aquarium. I took too many photos, most of which didn't turn out. This is a jellyfish - there was an awesome jellyfish display. The dog trainer in me also enjoyed watching the beluga training session very much.

I'm struggling with motivation to work on jewellery these days. My YOJ piece is overdue, and only requires about two minutes to finish, plus the time to photograph and publish it. Instead I use my free time to work on my latest print - I'm tackling a reduction linocut. Today I am going to force myself to pull out the jewellery first, and only allow myself to work on the linocut after a reasonable effort.

Monday, March 12, 2007

YOJ weeks eight and nine

These were done early, honest, but I didn't get them posted.

The week eight entry is a multistranded bracelet using Robin Atkins' instructions. I seem to be typing her name a lot, and getting it wrong a lot, so I've added her as a link (see the column on the left) to save myself the typing. I encourage everyone to have a look at her blog as I find her very inspiring!
The rich range of pinks in these seed beads seemed to want to be combined with the plain cream and brown in this bracelet. The closure bead is one of my own lampwork.

The week nine entry is a simple little pair of earrings. They are a gift for a woman whose dogs are mostly black and white. I've had the charms for a while, waiting for inspiration to strike, and this happened. I think I'll have to make a pair for myself, in brown, to match my own dogs. Or maybe in blue or green - I don't tend to match well.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

No photos, just an update

I am away from my normal computer right now, unable to post photos. I'll have several catch-up posts next week, so please check back then.

I'm messing around with my template, trying to get things the way I want them, so don't be surprised if this page looks different from time to time.

Monday, February 19, 2007

YOJ week seven

My local bead store has started to get in their Tuscon stash. This strand of african turquoise called my name, so I brought it home. Combined with tiny faceted rubies and bali silver, these earrings are a smidgen too heavy for me so won't be staying here. They aren't HEAVY, just not as light as I prefer. The colours are fabulous though (she says modestly...)

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

YOJ week five

Another piece using Robin Atkin's finger weaving technique (you can see her blog here). I made multiple errors on this one, although I think I've fixed all but two. One, just discovered during photography, is that the glue on the knots got a little blobby (technical term) and needs to be tidied up. The other I plan to leave, and we'll see if anyone but me notices. The closure is one of my own lampwork beads, and slightly wonky, although not too much for this use.

This was fun, all in all. I have two more flowers, intended for earrings, and enough seed beads to make a colour coordinated bracelet. They may happen next.

Sunday, January 28, 2007


My newest semi-obsession: an approximately 9" x 11" ammonite linocut. This is a test print on newsprint, just to see where the image needs to be cleaned up. I'm about as thrilled as I can be with how it is turning out.

YOJ week four, and Etsy

These simple earrings combine lepidolite with Bali and new jade on one pair and with Thai silver on the other. They dangle nicely to provide the right amount of movement, with is important to me.

I ended up signing up for three Daily Showcases on Etsy. Last week I had a spot on the Gifts for Girls Valentines showcase, which resulted in all my items being viewed (between 3 and 21 times each), and a sale. My 3-strand tourmaline bracelet, pictured earlier, has gone to a new home. Thank you C, if you read this!

Yesterday I had my Naked Lady in the Gifts for Boys showcase. No sales yet, but she was viewed a whopping 68 times, so I'm happy with the decision none-the-less. I have another Gifts for Girls showcase coming up, so I need to make sure I have several more listings between now and then.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Etsy promotion

I signed up for the Daily Showcase on Etsy. Actually, I signed up for two dates on the Valentine "Gifts for Girls" special event daily showcase. My dates are January 20th (this Saturday) and February 9th (a Friday). I have done some revision on my store in preparation but need to really focus on that over the next two days.

Monday, January 15, 2007

YOJ week three

Pink peruvian opals, tiny faceted rubies, sterling. What more could you want? I am trying to use what I have, using what I know. This piece does both.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

YOJ week two

I bought Robin Atkin's Beaded Treasures book on the weekend and just had to give it a try right away. This is the result. I am calling it "And Now For Something Completely Different" because it is. I don't know when the last time I used seed beads was, and I've never used cord of any type before. This was fun, if rather a lot of work, and I'm very happy with how it turned out.

My own lampwork, in camo colours, along with czech firepolished beads, seed beads, pearls, and some little mystery-metal spacers. The toggle is wood. This isn't something I'm goign to do a lot of but I do have a couple of other ideas floating around in my head now so it probably won't be the last in this style either.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

2007 YOJ week one

My first submission to the new and improved Year of Jewelry was not particularly a success. I got sloppy with this one, and I'm going to have to do something to fix it, but for now it is staying as is until I've reviewed my options.

Amazonite, sterling, and one spiffy twisted cage Thai silver bead. I made the S-clasp along with both soldered rings (soldering is still new enough that I'm pleased with that).

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

FSOJ week 13

I made these two little bracelets to go with my kids' Christmas dresses. They were done and photographed on time but I couldn't get them posted until now. Here they are in their fancy new clothes. Didn't get much in the way of pictures of them as the older one fell asleep on the couch before dinner, and ended up with the flu.