Thursday, June 30, 2011

Bottle Cap Pendants

I made a few more bottle cap pendants last week.  I like hwo they came out, and think I'm going to keep a few of them for a change.  Probably the TARDIS and the Lady of Shalott.

The Lady of Shalott

Mucha painting
Ravenclaw pendant for Gracie

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Across the Universe - Nearly There!

More and more charms have been arriving every day.  I'm sure the postman thinks I'm odd.  I mean, how many of the people on his route receive 3-8 packages a day, most of which are from China?  Anyway, I'm just waiting for the last two charms to appear.  In the mean time, here are the latest ones...

Clockwise from top, a light bulb, sheaf of wheat,  'block of ice' bead, koi, star shaped toggle clasp, rabbit, drop of water, the Earth (or Sol-Earth), and a paint palette.

Meanwhile, I'm *nearly* done with my package for the Decked Out for Deathly Hallows Swap.  I was hoping to get the accessory completed today, but instead I had a sudden brain wave about 9 new charm bracelets I want to make, and I spent too much time researching ideas for them.  Plus the very awesome UnholyCookies stopped by work yesterday to have lunch with me, and while he was there he came up with about 4 more ideas that the accessory need to have added to it, so I spent time working on those additions.  Tonight I'm looking to finish up some surprise mini-packages for Grace, Pinkleo UnholyCookies & PirateColey.  

Monday, June 27, 2011

Queen of Space Bracelet & Earrings

I recently participated in the "I Really Need a Friggen Crown, or other Lofty Headwear" Swap on Craftster.  I was partnered up with the lovely Innaura, who has been named the Queen of Space by an old friend.  For her actual crown I used the Gilded Lace Crown Tutorial on Bitter Betty Blogs to make a giant black lace confection, trimmed with AB glass and crystal beads, jewels, and a large Goddess of the Dawn medallion.  Sadly, I forgot to take pictures of the crown before I sent it, and Innaura's having to rely on her camera phone at the moment, so there are only a few blurry images posted over on Craftster. 

But, I really wanted to make something else for Innaura, who sent me the most lovely beaded wire crown.  So I created a Queen of Space bracelet and earrings to go with her crown.  Thankfully, I did manage to get pictures of them!
The beads are a mix of jet black glass, black AB, black star shaped shell bead frames, soft smoky lavender pearls, slate, and Montana blue fire-polished glass.  The charms are a collection of fairy tale and celestial themes, including suns, moons, stars, key, dragon, crown, castle and fairy.  The bracelet is finished with a star toggle clasp.  (The same ones I purchased to use on my Across the Universe bracelets soon!)

Friday, June 17, 2011

I thought this Blog was about quilting?

Dear Jennie,
I thought this blog was supposed to be about making quilts.  I was under the impression you started it to keep you accountable to yourself for making the quilts for friends and family who can't seem to stop getting married and having babies.  What's up with that?

Oh Jennie,
You are absolutely right.  I did start this blog to keep myself working on the MANY quilts on my current list, and I am certainly behind on that front.  I can only say that with quilting, like every other craft I enjoy, I go through phases.  But, there is hope on the horizon!  I got a good kick in the butt with the birth of my beautiful new niece Mia, and finally decided on a quilt pattern and fabric for her.  I'm going to be making the Frames pattern, from Oh, Fransson's Simple Modern Baby Quilts pattern out of Michael Miller's Strawberry Tea Party line.  They remind me of Strawberry Shortcake from when I was little.  Aren't they cute?
In addition to that, I have to start working on my sister-in-law's wedding quilt for September, and thanks to a kind donation of fabric bits and pieces from alwaysinmyroom on Craftster, I have a TON of new food fabrics to start work on a Jar Quilt.  I'm not sure who this will go to yet, or if I'll keep it for myself, but I just can't resist the lure of all the cute food fabrics out there. (These are two of my favorites: I love the labels and fallen over jars in Quilt Cookies Jar Quilt, and the baskets and crates in Judy Wright's Bountiful Blessings Quilt.)
So yes, I promise to work on quilting more very soon.

The Doctor's Companion Earrings

I worked my tail off on some more Doctor's Companion bracelets last night, but I fell short of actually completing any of them because I ran out of the fob watch & Earth charms that I make out of resin.  Hopefully I can get a large batch of those done tonight.  Meanwhile, I wanted to get some more Whovian goodies up in my Etsy right away, so I whipped up a few pairs of earrings before bed last night.

Friends of the Ood Earrings
The Circle Must Be Broken Ood Earrings
Impossible Astronaut Earrings
Love the Doctor Earrings

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Pureblood Pride Charm Bracelet

I'm still on a Harry Potter crafting kick.  Despite working on what seems like an unending string of Doctor's Companion bracelets that I just can't seem to keep in my Etsy, starting the Across the Universe project, and working on the Decked Out for Deathly Hallows Swap, I am apparently unable to stop making more Harry Potter themed jewelry.  

Though I'm a Gryffindor, I seem to most often craft for Hufflepuff & Ravenclaw friends, and don't often craft for any Slytherins (except for the lovely SevsOnlyGirl on Craftster).  In an attempt to even the score I've been trying to create a few new Slytherin themed pieces.  This one is sort of an ode to Miss Cissy & Miss Bella. A Pureblood Pride bracelet if you will.
The beads are a mix of Druk & fire-polished Czech glass, Swarovski crystal, freshwater pearls, and hematite.
 The charms include: Evil eye for protection, textbooks and an apple, key...
...Celtic knot, dragon, wand, castle, snake..., inkwell & quill, owl, shield, skull, moon & spider.

 Meanwhile, I listed a new Doctor's Companion bracelet yesterday morning, and it sold last night.  I listed another this morning around 10:45.  It sold at noon.  Despite my best efforts, I just can't seem to keep them in my shop!  I know it is a good thing, but I'm running out of companion themed charms. Many of the ones I do have left are being reserved as part of custom orders, leaving me waiting on more supplies to come in.  Cross your fingers and sacrifice a box of bubble mailers to the postal gods for me.

Across the Universe Update

Some of you may be wondering why I haven't said anything else about my Across the Universe project lately.  I'm wondering the same thing, since I have in fact been working on it.  To be honest, I just got too caught up in working on it to take more time to write about it.  I flew through the book in about 2.5 days.  I just couldn't seem to put it down.  Most of those hours spent reading were with Moco tucked up in my lap.  If I didn't know better I'd swear she was reading along.  Between our book dates, and the number of hours of Star Trek TNG she's watched with us, the dog clearly enjoys sci-fi. 

I kept one of my craft notebooks nearby while reading and soon had a whole page full of charm ideas.  When I told dear friend Pinkleo about the project she jumped into the fun and read along too.  Her charm suggestions were a wonderful addition.  Between the two of us and Beth, we soon had more than I could possibly use!  I don't want to list them all at once, since I'm afraid of giving away plot points, but for now here is a picture of a few of the charms I've already acquired.
Nearly all the rest have been ordered, and I'm now in the process of searching for beads to complement both the bracelet and the story.  I'm honestly of two minds as to how to I want to go with this...  I'll be pondering on it a while longer and probably send both ideas to Beth and Melissa for their opinions too.  Can you tell I've worked in theatre too long?  I can't help but want to collaborate with other creative folks on this project.  I'm just  itching to call a bracelet "Production Meeting".  

As I receive more of the charms in the mail, I'll be posting more pictures.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Shiny New Browncoat Charm Bracelet

While chatting with the lovely and talented Beth Revis, I came to the rather shocking realization that I had somehow never made a Firefly themed charm bracelet.  That's when I started plotting this one. I know I posted my Kaylee bracelet already, but this one was conceived of and started before that.  While I was waiting for many of these charms to arrive, I managed to make the Kaylee bracelets out of charms and beads I had on hand.  Anyways, onto this little bit of shiny...
I wanted a less fancy feel than some of my other bracelets, so I stuck with all glass beads, no pearls or crystals.  Amber, brown, opaque red-brown and black beads fill it.  There are 17 charms, each a nod to a character or episode.  They include: 
Cow, who sadly may have forgotten how to be a cow
Chinese coins (x4)
Dancer for the ever graceful and sometimes deadly, River Tam
Space suit
Caduceus for the good doc, Simon Tam
Strawberry for sweet Kaylee

Vera, the man they call Jayne's very favorite gun
Shepherd Book's bible
Guitar, for the often nomadic feel of the show's score
Horse for the ranch where Mal grew up
Inara's fan

Zoe's pistol
Apple, for the many war stories the crew shares
Dinosaur for Wash
Star, one of many out in the black
All in all I'm pretty darn happy with how it turned out.  Hope some of you fine folks enjoy it too.  

Steampunk Mermaid Expedition & New Hampshire Matchboxes

I'm a little behind in posting these.  They were created for Round 5 of the Matchbox Swap on Craftster a few months ago.

My first partner, cackle, loves mermaids, the ocean, shells, Victoriana, steampunk, and Pre-Raphealite art.  I tried to combine all of those loves in my Mermaid Expedition Matchbox.  I pictured an adventuresome and very scientific Victorian heroine setting out on the Nautilus in search of the elusive mermaids of the sea.  With a log book in hand and her bustle firmly in place, she would no doubt bring back proof to all of London society that these beautiful sirens of the deep do in fact exist!
The box was made of cardstock.  The cameo frame on the front was found in the scrapbooking section of Tuesday Morning, and I just couldn't resist them.  It came with a circular one too, that I thought looked more like a porthole on a ship, but alas the circle shape didn't fit onto the matchbox. The image of the Mermaid came from the Graphics Fairy
The back of the cover has some Tim Holtz gears on it, held in place with oxidized brads.  The contents are a melange of bits and bobs.  I admit I was trying to channel craftster friend Wulf in my choices, as he always picks such fun items to fit inside his boxes. 
Some of the items inside include an envelope of watch parts given to me by april again, a wing and shield charm, brass swivel clasp, compass charm, glass vial filled with tiny shells and clear resin, square brass beads, brass chain, freshwater pearls, mini shells, brass and copper gears, shell buttons, mermaid earrings, pocket watch charm, brass key charm, carnival ticket, and some bits of fun paper.

My second partner was jmiller614, who after some messaging back and fourth, I discovered is also from New Hampshire!  She is equally "stuck" in another state, far from home too.  As I adore - and greatly miss - NH, I couldn't resist the idea of creating a Granite State themed box for her. 
The box was again made of cardstock.  The letters on the back of the cover are chipboard pieces I found in a "travel" set at Dollar Tree.  I liked how they mingled with the green box to give it a woodsy feeling.  Sewn along both sides of the box are green buttons.
The front has our state motto on it, the legendary "Live Free or Die", penned by Revolutionary War hero (and NH native) General John Stark on the anniversary of the Battle of Bennington.  Poor health kept Gen. Stark from attending the reunion, so he sent a toast by letter to his friends.  The first layer of goodies inside the box includes glass leaves in green and brown to represent NH's beautiful fall foliage, a bottle of flower petals from my last garden in NH before I moved to KY, a baseball glove for jmiller's love of the Boston Redsox, a compass button for her love of hiking and outdoor sports in New England, a Tim Holtz "Unique" token.
  Digging deeper into the box there is a piece of tartan ribbon for all the Irish & Scottish immigrants to New England, a bottle cap pendant with an image from a vintage postcard of NH, a cookie fortune that reads "Fortune sides with him who dares" for our rather strong Yankee spirit, paper butterflies and flowers for NH's flora & fauna, a piece of velum with out state flower, the purple lilac on it, a ring clip, a sketch of Fort William Mary from 1705, some bits of pretty paper, and a scroll of the poem Stopping By the Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost. 

Friday, June 10, 2011

Deathly Hallows Bracelet 2.0

While working on Krafty_Karasu's Deathly Hallows bracelet, I knew I wanted to create one for my Etsy as well.  Version 2.0 varies slightly from the original in terms of the charms within the bracelet, but the concept is the same. 
 It contains 20 charms, in a mix of pewter, Tibetan silver, crystal, brass, and handmade resin filled vials and bezels. The beads are a mix of Druk glass, fire polished Czech glass, and Swarovski crystals, river shell bead frames, and freshwater pearls.

The Charms include:
-Harry's Rucksack
-Deathly Hallows symbol, (handmade charm)
-Helga Hufflepuff's Cup
-the Tent that Harry, Ron & Hermione camp in while on the run
-Vial of Snape's Memories (handmade charm)
-Gate from the Cemetery at Godric's Hollow
-Tales of Beadle the Bard
-The Silver Doe 
-The Elder Wand
-a Crystal from the chandelier at Malfoy manor
-Dragon released from Gringotts
-Lightning Bolt for Harry
-Spade that Harry used to dig Dobby's grave
-Slytherin's Locket
-Diadem of Ravenclaw
-Alastor Moody's Glass Eye
-Hogwart's Castle
-Golden Snitch from Harry's first Quidditch Match
-The Sorting Hat 

I'm really pleased with how this one turned out, and quite honestly I'm loath to part with it. I might just have to break down and make one for myself later this summer, after I get some other projects and orders taken care of. 

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Journey Begins... with a recipe. (Across the Universe Part II)

I finally had some time to myself this afternoon to dive into Across the Universe.  Since this is Kentucky in June, it was intensely hot and miserable when I left work at 3:00.  Thankfully I got to come home to an adorable Moco, a loving husband, and some blissful air conditioning.  I was about to curl up in my favorite chair when I decided that I could really go for a delicious treat with my book time.  Inspired by the beautiful cover of the novel, I created a Blue Banana Smoothie.  And really, is there ever a time when a whole wheat bagel with cream cheese and lox is a bad idea?
Want to make one of your own?  Here's the recipe.  I assure you, it's a great plan on a hot summer day.

Blue Banana Smoothie
1 ripe banana
1/3 cup frozen blueberries
1 cup of milk (or almond/soy/lactose free, etc.)
1/2 cup of frozen yogurt (I used peach!)
dash of honey
dash of vanilla

Add all the ingredients into a blender and liquefy.  Serve with a happy bendy straw.  You'll be glad.

As for the book, I flew through the first 50 pages.  With a puppy firmly planted in my lap.  I actually had to hold the book and turn the pages with one hand so the other hand could keep petting her.  Finally I got up just to check the book's website and get a better idea in my head of the ships layout.  (Though the descriptions within the text are excellent.  Being a visual artist however, I really just like looking at pictures.)  I want to go right back to the chair and keep reading, but dinner is waiting to be made, and I have to get at least one Deathly Hallows bracelet done for my Etsy tonight.  I think more reading will be my reward to myself for finishing the bracelet.  Wish me luck.  Or rather, Godspeed?

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Elder Wand Pendants

I just got the most beautiful wand pendants in, and I've been itching to make something with them.  They are actually much longer than I anticipated when I ordered them.  (They didn't have size listed on the website.)  My original plan had been to make earrings with them, but when I saw how big they are, I knew I wanted to make pendants instead.  So here they are, Elder Wands, in each of the four House colors.