by gwen harlow

craft

Day 8: Date with a bead friend

Posted by on Mar 16, 2012 in craft | 0 comments

Jill doesn’t actually bead but she is a friend and I was looking for beads and we had a date hitting up the local swap meets Saturday. I found a couple old bits and bobs but it was more of an experience than a treasure trove. We did see some good stuff, though.

Little trucker friends

Like this truck we spotted on the way over. Pretty flippin’ awesome, huh.

Strawberry babies

And saw lots of horrible little dolls and clowns.

Oopsy mannequin

And one lady who lost her clothing. OOPSY.

Fusion Beads 30 Day Bead Challenge

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Day 6: Create your own color palette

Posted by on Mar 15, 2012 in craft | 0 comments

palette

Blush and gold and grey and navy.

Fusion Beads 30 Day Bead Challenge

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Day 13: Inspiration Board

Posted by on Mar 13, 2012 in craft | 0 comments

Today’s challenge is to make an inspiration board. I’ve always had a journal, the writing kind, but a couple years ago, my artist friend Karin showed me hers and I was blown away by the page after page of beautiful art instead of a jumble of pointless words. So I’ve been trying to keep more of a visual journal, which is mostly me amassing torn scraps from magazines and occasionally sitting down and gluing them in. I also practice my calligraphy (still working on that) and keep movie ticket stubs and lists of things I want to do this summer and occasionally even draw (still working on that, too). So these are a couple pages from that.

Jewelry

Style

Hair

So we’re not going in order any more, I’m just doing things as I get them done and photographed. Days 6 and 8 are queued up already, 11 and 12 need photos, Day 9 I should have saved that flower for.

Fusion Beads 30 Day Bead Challenge

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Days 7, 10: Different metal and found object

Posted by on Mar 12, 2012 in craft | 0 comments

sea pottery, soldered

I got the correct tape and gave soldering another shot, on a piece of beach pottery I found on the San Francisco Bay. It is not the prettiest soldering work ever, and I am very badly burned, and I managed to use up half the spool of solder, and I couldn’t get the jump ring to stay on — maybe I should practice on something a little more regularly-shaped til I get this down.

Day 7: Use a different metal in your jewelry
Day 10: Use a found object

Fusion Beads 30 Day Bead Challenge

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Day 5: Incorporate chain into a jewelry design

Posted by on Mar 5, 2012 in craft | 0 comments

Day 4 was Organize your bead area. I cleaned up my tote bag. I would take a picture but would just think, lord, her bag is a *mess*. But all the stray little beads got put away and my findings and pendants and grouped nicely and believe me, it is about eighty times better and that’s what counts. If you’re feeling disappointed by the lack of evidence, here is a picture of someone who is seriously organized:

There are many other fly ladies on the Fusion Beads Facebook page, if you like that sort of thing.

. . . . . . . . .

Day 5 is incorporate chain into something. I made a rosary-style long necklace with a mix of gunmetal and brass, vintage glittered and Czech glass and gemstone beads.

It seemed like a nice place to hang my favorite old rhinestone button.

Fusion Beads 30 Day Bead Challenge

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Day 3: Learn a new beading technique

Posted by on Mar 4, 2012 in craft | 0 comments

I tried to solder a piece of beach pottery to make it into a pendant, but that didn’t work out at all — there were many extremely frustrated attempts at making the solder not go flying off the piece and spent an hour turning the internet upside down trying to figure out WHY until finding out I was using the wrong kind of tape. Even though it is clearly labeled as being for soldering. Anyway. I will get some proper tape and redo that later.

So I made a singed-edged flower and sewed a vintage-style cluster of beads in the center, then took a trio of ribbons, did some heavy wire wrapping at a couple points, then tried doing a wire-wrapped finding-end instead of using a crimp. I think I might take the flower off and stick it on a hairpin instead, I’ll probably get more use out of it that way.

Fusion Beads 30 Day Bead Challenge

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Day 2: Use up some leftover beads

Posted by on Mar 3, 2012 in craft | 1 comment

Day 2 Use up some bead leftovers

Amy’s jade drops came in fours so she said I should use the extras for day 2.

Fusion Beads 30 Day Bead Challenge

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Day 1: Make earrings

Posted by on Mar 3, 2012 in craft | 1 comment

Amy lost one of her favorite earrings and asked if I’d be able to replicate it since she’d bought it years ago and the designer had closed up her etsy shop.

Fusion Beads 30 Day Bead Challenge

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Necklace a Day 6

Posted by on Feb 7, 2012 in craft, St. Valentine's Day | 1 comment

Necklace a Day 6

I’m a little behind, trying to catch up tonight…this one’s just for me because some of the the petals of the vintage red flower earring I used here are coming loose from the metal rims and I don’t expect them to hold up real well. Hooked up to a knotted strand of red coral.

Use coupon code FEBRUARY12 for 15% off anything in my shop through the month.

I’m making a necklace a day through February. See all my daily necklaces here. Then stop by to visit per:cent blog, who’s doing it, too.

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Day 5 Necklace : Teal array

Posted by on Feb 5, 2012 in craft | 0 comments

Day 5 Necklace

Hey guys, it’s Day 5 but I gotta go eat some chicken and drink some beer so I don’t have time to write except that if someone knows what this style of bead is called, leave me a note because I don’t. It’ll be on etsy after some team wins something later on. xoxo.

Use coupon code FEBRUARY12 for 15% off anything in my shop through the month.

I’m making a necklace a day through February. See all my daily necklaces here. Then stop by to visit per:cent blog, who’s doing it, too.

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Day 4 Necklace : Pastel rosary on gunmetal

Posted by on Feb 4, 2012 in craft, photo, St. Valentine's Day | 0 comments

Day 4 Necklace

I am not the best about keeping records about my stock, so when I’m making something to sell, I sometimes have to spend some time hunting down what components are, try to estimate what I spent on it so I can figure that into the price. I can usually tell you the story of where I bought most of them.

For instance, the antique English cut pink milk glass beads on today’s rosary-style necklace? Got those at the Alameda Antiques Fair (Have you been? You really should. Here’s a sample of what you’ll find. The next one is tomorrow.) at the end of a long Sunday. I loved them but the guy wouldn’t haggle down enough and I couldn’t afford what he was charging, so I walked away. He literally chased me down five minutes later and here I am, the proud owner of a dwindling strand of these really fabulous milk glass beads. If you don’t know English cut, it’s like faceted but it’s all imperfect and kind of nubby since they’re so old and a bit rubbed down, making them soft around the edges.

For Day 4 of the Necklace a Day Challenge, I wanted to make something pastel and gunmetal because that is my favorite color combo — the grey frames the beads so they pop more. I was set on the pink and peach, and was looking for a pendant when I found this old teardrop the color of the inside of a lime. I knew where I’d bought it (the giant bead show they hold every fall in Oakland, another event you should check out) and that it was a gemstone but had to spend a little while hunting more info down for my etsy description. Here is what I learned:

Serpentine is also called New Jade even though it is not a jade. It’s found pretty much everywhere and is also used in brake lining and fireproof fabrics. If you’re a Scorpio or Gemini, or down with Saturn, this is the rock for you. It’s a protective gemstone associated with the heart and activates the kundalini while protecting you against snakes (!), diabetes, PMS, and anxiety.

I don’t know how much, if any, of that is true, but you cannot go wrong wearing a calming anti-snake talisman that you can use to fix your car in a pinch.

Plus it’s a really pretty piece for spring to go with all those soft antique-y neutrals you’re wearing.

Special shout-out to Julie’s Coffee & Tea Garden, where I made the Day 4 necklace. Julie’s is the best place in the world to sit around with your #1 americano and pile of beads being super productive with no distractions at all in a gorgeous, cozy setting.

Use coupon code FEBRUARY12 for 15% off anything in my shop through the month.

I’m making a necklace a day through February. See all my daily necklaces here. Then stop by to visit per:cent blog, who’s doing it, too.

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Day 3 Necklace : Red Heart

Posted by on Feb 3, 2012 in craft, photo, St. Valentine's Day | 0 comments

day 3 necklace

Buy this necklace on etsy.

Yesterday was Groundhog Day, which got me thinking about how this year is flying by and it’s almost Valentine’s Day already so I made this red-heart necklace for Day 3 of the Necklace a Day challenge.

The challenge is tougher than I thought it would be — not just finding the time to sit and make the necklace but trying to take a decent picture when the light is so bad this time of year. So today’s batch (which you can see on the etsy page) are not my finest. But that’s okay, I finished. Go, me!

Use coupon code FEBRUARY12 for 15% off anything in my shop through the month.

I’m making a necklace a day through February. See all my daily necklaces here. Then stop by to visit per:cent blog, who’s doing it, too.

Read More