Sunday, September 21, 2008

Parallell Crossings Mascot

Well, I turned Kerry's beads into a challenged mascot! He isn't perfect and he wouldn't go together smoothly but by golly, I got him done!

Remember, Kerry sent me various beads representing different body parts and challenged me to create a Parallel Crossings mascot. I was told to add a few beads of my own to help complete the joint design.

I could not take a good picture for the life of me. I'll post this one and then try again tomorrow to get a better pic. His poor blue face is all washed out.

The hurdle I had to overcome was how to assemble the fella with all these loose bead body parts. I took two long strips of silver wire and strung those threw the green body. I bent the wire down and then attached the legs onto the silver wire. That was the easy part.

I made the head and strung it on an additional long wire to accomodate it and the tail. Another easy part.

My battle was with the epoxy!

I swapped some of Kerry's body parts around. The nose became the tail. The bottoms of the feet I could not get glued on and those became spots on his body. Kerry's ears became front paws!

My big problem was that my 5 min epoxy was all dried up and I ended up using my slow drying epoxy. Those darn spots kept sliding all over the place. I couldn't get them to stay put. So they aren't in the perfect location but they are permanent now!

He isn't perfect but he is kind of cute in his own sort of way. It was a fun idea and made me do something that I would never have done on my own. That is a good thing!

I did come upon some ideas to file in the back of my mind for future "what if's" times. I liked the spots idea and glueing them on. Those could be useful in other creations that aren't mascot related!

Monday, September 15, 2008

One Wild Side To Another

My last post introduced Cassie's wild side and over the top zoo inspired beads. Now, let me introduce you to my wild side... this is the "Out Of Africa" necklace. I can't tell you how excited I am that we didn't go with traditional "animal" lampwork beads. You know the ones... they have a white core with black dots and are encased in transparent topaz.

I really just let loose with this design. I wanted all the BIG beads together in one piece. I think I have a fairly large personality... but I don't think even I can pull off wearing this, lol. I don't attend enough "Save The Elephant" gala extravaganzas. LOL. This is really 4 necklaces in one. You have the wire wrapped neckwire style... the intertwined big discs section... the fringed hollows... and they a little bit of my "Playground" style satin cording section. I don't know if they all work together, but I LOVE how they turned out.

I still have a couple beads left. Enough for a slightly "tamer" (pun intended) piece. I'll let you know how it turned out. In the meantime... come back to check out what Cassie did for the Parallel Crossings mascot... and what we'll both be doing for our "Art Inspired Art" challenge.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Cassie's Wild Side

After much ado, I can finally show you the beads that Cassie sent me for the latest Parallel Crossings challenge. I think you'll find these beads are worth the wait! Just as a refresher... the theme is "The Zoo". And let's just say, Cassie went wild with what she sent me.

It is hard to tell in the photos just how large these hollow focals are. They are HUGE. Almost gold ball sized. Most of the beads are extra large and over the top. The colors are rich browns, bright oranges, pops of lime, and soft lavender. A bunch of them have a lush metallic luster to them too. Added to my challenge is an assortment of hot chocolate colored seed beads.

In my mind, I have several projects here. I don't want to give it away yet, but I am thinking a necklace and bracelet to start. I will say that since this zoo theme has gone a little wild and crazy, the design is going to match that. And I think will have to see if I can make some of these gigantic hollows too. I don't think 2 will be enough for what's in my head.

Hopefully... we can get this creative challenge blog back to it's regularly scheduled programing now.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

I'm working on it!

Just popping in to let you know there has been a little snag in my plans to get my July and August projects in on time. If you follow my other blog,, you'll know that I just moved over the weekend. Which means a new studio, YOO HOO!! BUT it at least 3-4 weeks off. So, if you look to the left, there has been a slight shuffle of the monthly themes.

I have my beads from Cassie. They were a BIG surprise :) and I can't wait to share them with you. I will be sure to set my photo area up asap.

In the meantime, I'll be working on projects with the beads I still have from the June project and I will be bouncing around ideas with these new beads. Stay tuned... it'll be fun once we find our groove and kick this into high gear!!


Saturday, July 12, 2008

I Have A Project!

Kerry and I exchanged our beads for the month of June which is a zoo theme. She has been really busy with moving to a new house and getting ready for a show. Things are crazy so she decided to come up with a simple idea (in her words:-) but I love it and think it is very clever!

My mission is to design a Parallel Crossings Mascot! She made some beads, wrapped them up in cute little packages and labeled what each body part the beads are supposed to be. Then I get to design the head and a tail. Hmmmm.... wonder what I will create! We will just have to wait and find out! Did I mention that she also did a cute penciled drawing on my card to help give me a better visualization. That was a big help too!

So... I need to ponder over the following week to see where the creation will lead. I'm thinking silly cute but since I never sketch out designs and do it in my head... I won't know until I sit down at the torch.

Here is the photo of the beads all wrapped up! Can you imagine how much fun I had opening up each package!?

Here is the front of the card with Kerry's pencil sketch. It kind of reminds me of the elephant in Horton Hears a Who... Hmmmm.... maybe I will follow along that path. I loved that movie!

Here is the reveal of each body part. So what do you think? You will just have to come back and see won't cha!


Wednesday, July 2, 2008

I'm not late!

June really turned into a crazy crazy month at my house. So, even though it is no excuse, I have only gotten to scratch the surface of the June Challenge. I still have a wonderful pile of beads that need using. I just need to find which box I packed the materials in that I need to make my ideas.

BUT, I did get one project done!!

I have tried several times to make a spring/tension style bracelet. One where there was a focal on top with the clasp hidden right next to it. But, I never had the right beads for the project. UNTIL NOW!! Cassie's floral focals are prefect for this!! You get a big blooming bold design that gets attention and at the same time is feminine and light. I love it.

You know what else I love? OH MY STARS!! I LOVE WHAT CASSIE DID WITH MY BEADS!! I have wanted to create a ring like that for years! I tell you, years. But lack of a proper metal smithing class has kept it just out of my reach. Cassie, you read my mind! (again)

And speaking of mind reading... just wait till you see the new bracelet Cassie has been hinting at on her personal blog. Yeah... it had us both cracking up... "Parallel Crossings" couldn't have said it better.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Cassie's finished June project

Well, I did it. I have quite a fine selection of jewels! I rarely design entire sets of matching jewelry. Not sure why because when I see the group all together, it flows so nicely. There are a lot of pics as Kerry was generous with her beads. These aren't colors that I normally work with so it was really fun to try something different. Kerry did a great job capturing the feel of the book. I wasn't sure what I wanted to create when I first received the beads. It was fun because the designs popped into my head over the days. I've never been one to sketch out designs. Probably because my drawing skills are horrid! But while on vacation, the necklace design with the black leather cord, came into being.

My favorite is this ring. She made a cab bead that was just begging to be turned into a ring that fits my finger perfectly! I love it! It's big and cool. Around 3/4" wide.

I must admit that I've already made a few other rings in other colors. They are just too cool. Especially the pink one!

So the bracelet design is kind of fun and different. The dagger groupings idea came from a kit that I bought from Gail Grossman Moore at Bead and Button. I've always LOVED dagger beads and this is a fun new way to use them. Then, the 3 blue lampwork beads all have silver strips with my three boys names on them. How perfect that Kerry sent me three identical beads! This silver strip is not my original idea. My girlfriend had seen this done and explained to to me over a year ago. She brought the idea up again a few months ago and I played around with it and loved it! Then while at the Bead and Button show, Joan and I were talking to Kriss Silva at the http://www.beaducation/ booth. She had a necklace on that had a strip of silver wrapped around a bead. We commented on it and she had said she taught a class on how to do this a few years ago. It just seemed like strange timing that this all came about at the same time. It is really quite simple to do as I figured it out with just a description. I paid a fine price for two sets of custom font stamps and I always get excited when I can find new uses for them.

My second favorite is this necklace.
I love the big funny shape lampwork beads Kerry made. And those ceramic discs she included in my package were perfect. The colors totally flowed with
the book theme.

Finally, I still had that yummy big hole bead that I wanted to play with. So I decided to have it match the flow of the bracelet. It doesn't show all the chain but I made it into a necklace.

I love necklaces and seem to wear them more than bracelets.

To top it off, I still had about 3 beads that I did not use. They aren't forgotten. Sometimes they just need to sit there and let my mind think about how to use them.