Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Happy First Day of Spring!

I'm experimenting with new picture taking tools. Recently bought the Modahaus tabletop photography set I read about at The Beading Gem's Journal and am using that plus a paper cone made from posterboard with a shiny side. The hole in the top is to allow really good close shots of items laying flat on the table (like the tiny charm I accidentally left there). The frosted sides soften the light and shadows. It's small enough to fit easily on my 28x24 inch table. 

I was using a lamp with a full spectrum bulb for these shots, but I hope to figure out a good way to use natural light or get fewer shadows soon.

The following pictures of some recently made/finished bracelets are with the set up mentioned above.  The first one is a new, Spring themed bracelet with a colorized metal clasp. I just used Ranger inks for this one, but I have some new Swellegant dies and patinas I'm looking forward to trying. You can read about the Swellegant products on the B'sue Boutique blog. (say that three times fast!)

The larger matte bead is from The Beadin' Path's sea glass collection and it's an alexandrite color-change glass bead. Looks a bit more lilac in some light and more blue in others. There are also vintage German glass beads with iridescent coatings in a pebbly shape.

This next piece is a bracelet that I finally finished. It was one of the ones I made in Fayetteville last July while waiting for my son to return from his deployment in Afghanistan. The glass pearls are very large and the piece really stands out on the wrist but is quite light.

I think these are some of the best closeup shots I've ever done, even if there's still improvements to be made.

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Monday, March 19, 2012

Is It Done or Do I Re-Do It?

Ever make something that you keep fiddling with for one reason or another? With me it's this piece:

I made it in Fayetteville last year while I was waiting for my son to come home from his deployment to Afghanistan. It's faux turquoise two hole bar beads and coral colored glass. I went to A.C. Moore (I sure wish they had those here in L.A.!) and picked up a couple bags of stuff to keep me occupied while I waited and made several bracelets.

Then comes the fiddling part. First it was getting the right clasp. For some reason none of the two strand clasps I could find were working right. I either had trouble connecting them to the bracelet, or they weren't easy to clasp on my wrist, or they weren't sturdy and kept falling apart. I hadn't spent much on the materials for this bracelet and I wasn't going to put an expensive clasp on it, either.

Well, I found some great clasps at Fire Mountain Gems that were inexpensive, sturdy and easy to work with on the wrist. Plus, they look cool if the bracelet swings around and the clasp is on the top.  But that wasn't enough - I liked the simplicity of the piece, but it just felt like it was calling out for something.

So, last night I grabbed some spacers and bead caps and re-strung the bracelet.  Here's how it looks now:

click image to enlarge
I think it's finally done!

Only 11 days until I head north to Walnut Creek for FogCon. Lots of work to do to get ready, too!
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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Bingle-y Bangle-y!

I have a show coming up at the end of the month and I'm busily working on expanding my inventory. I've been inspired by some wrapped pieces I've seen around the 'net and thought I'd create some simple bangles with memory wire and Czech druk beads. I'm really enjoying the process of making these - it's rather relaxing. 

My goal is to have these in a wide assortment of colors, do some duplicates for mixing and matching in stacks. The bracelets aren't completely slip on like most bangle bracelets, first off they're oval so the clasp side doesn't slide around to the top of the wrist, then I put a clasp and small length of chain so these will fit wrists of many sizes.

What do you think?

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