Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Pretty Palettes :: November Reveal

What a month November has been! I'm thoroughly anticipating winter now that we had our first snow in central Indiana last weekend. That being said, this month's Pretty Palettes challenge had a tropical feel that was very welcome!

Here's the palette and Bead Gallery beads Erin chose for November:
For more information on Halcraft's Pretty Palettes challenge, visit the Halcraft blog. 

I played around with some bead mixes, but ended up creating a faux knotted necklace by stringing tiny beads between larger ones. I used the citrine chips, hematite chips and abalone shell beads like Erin, but I added the simulated amazonite rounds (my favorites) that are made out of glass and have a matte finish. 

Even though this image and the colors are gorgeous, I struggled with the challenge this month. I think if I were to do it over, I'd adjust the proportions of the colors in the piece differently. The purple wasn't my favorite shade, but it ties in really well with the shell bead. Maybe I'll  restring or play around with this piece over the next few weeks. 

To play along with us next month, please visit Halcraft.com! Thank you, Miss Erin! See Erin's post here!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Pretty Palettes :: October Reveal

This is what fall looks like to me. Leaves, warmth, comfort. 
Erin chose the perfect palette for October's Pretty Palette challenge to go along with these "coasty" (the combination of "cozy" and "toasty" my 4-year-old came up with) feelings.
Design Seeds put together a great palette, and Erin chose some beautiful Bead Gallery beads at Michaels. 
Although I loved Erin's bead choice, I had a pair of earrings in mind for the challenge, and I needed some other shapes of beads, so I added a few little faceted rounds and rondelles. I also had some wooden rectangle beads that I'd been hoarding in hopes of finding the perfect project home for them. Because they're so lightweight, wooden beads are great for earrings! Here are the beads I chose for this challenge:
My beads, with the purplish wooden rectangles right in the middle!

I wanted to play around with wire, making frames around the larger beads with smaller beads. I ended up adding some gold faceted rounds because I needed some more smaller beads to use to frame the larger beads. Pretty soon I had some components that I could put together with wrapped loops to make some chandelier earrings with a color palette that appealed to me almost as much as a spiced warm apple cider. 
Pumpkin Spice Earrings by Molly Schaller
Now that I've made these earrings once, I want to make them again with other colors, and make them better. Time got away from me, and I didn't have enough of the small beads to make all of the trips around the red bead that I wanted to. I also want to get more practice using wire this way. I'd never made this type of component before, so my wires are a bit wonky. But when it's reveal time, it's reveal time, right? This time I worked down to the wire! ;)

To see the projects that others have made for Pretty Palettes, just click the InLinkz below.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

30 Words Thursday :: Young Love

You be you and I'll be me,  
and now we'll see how fun life will be.
Because I love you
and you love me,
so together forever we'll always be.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Pretty Palettes :: August 2015 Edition

For this month's Pretty Palettes challenge on the Halcraft blog, Erin Prais-Hintz chose a palette of muted earth tones inspired by the beauty of the landscape in Cappedoccia, Turkey. I'd never seen these amazing earth formations before.
The other-worldly landscape of the Goreme National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
That's part of what I love about this challenge: the way I learn something new and then get a chance to incorporate those new ideas into my jewelry. It's such a great spark for creativity!

I'd been longing for a reason to use these lightweight twine-wrapped beads for over a month, and when I saw that Erin had chosen these as some of the beads that for this month's challenge, I knew this was my opportunity.

Here are the beads Erin chose:

As it turns out, many of these beads are very lightweight. Those great coppery spacers? They're plastic with a copper coating and weigh almost nothing!

I also chose some wooden disks that are some of my favorites from the Bead Gallery collection at Michaels (which happen to ALL be 40% off through Saturday, 8/29/15) as well as some sparkling rhinestone spacers with coppery metal and cantaloupe-colored rondelles to pick up on that almost peach band of earth in the mountains above.

All I needed for findings was a bit of copper chain, some copper Beadalon beading wire and copper crimp tubes, and a clasp with jump rings. You can make this necklace in half an hour, if you're a quick stringer!

Because the beads are large but lightweight, I wanted to make a statement necklace. I've seen so many women wearing necklaces like this with a t-shirt, coat or blazer and jeans. This necklace can totally rock the office to dinner transition.

Thanks for visiting my page! To learn more about the Pretty Palette challenge, visit the Halcraft blog on the first and last Wednesdays of the month. See what the other designers made by clicking the InLinkz images below.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

July Pretty Palettes :: Special Guest Designer!

What an amazing month July is. Around here, it's hot, hot, hot, and lately rainy, rainy, rainy, too. I heard on the radio this morning that June and July both set records for highest rainfall in the history of Indiana. The ground has stayed moist for what feels like forever, sending my handsome husband into fits of chagrin over mowing wet grass; he hates the clumping!

But this happened one night. 
Along with this:

It was spectacular. 
Our garden doesn't seem to mind, though, as we were able to harvest all of this near the beginning of the month.
Our bumper crop!
I always look forward to time in my studio with my daughter, Annika, in the summer. No school, but as she's grown (she's 13 now), she's acquired a schedule of her own, so it was especially nice when this month she had the time to devote to making her own project for the Halcraft Pretty Palettes Challenge. She's been wanting to participate all year!

Here is this month's inspiration image that Erin put together for us. It's based on the aurora borealis video you can find on the blog
The July Pretty Palettes 
Annika set to work one day and put together something that I found pretty amazing. She didn't ask for help once, and made a multi-strand necklace that is balanced but asymmetrical and works perfectly with the color palette, which is tough for even some adults to do! Not only that, but her loops are beautiful, and I love how she interpreted the warm grey color by using chain that has a similar hue.
Not only can she make jewelry, but she can cook one mean cheesecake!
This girl has skillz, I tell you!
Isn't Annika's clasp cool? It's chunky and perfect for the weight of three strands!
I love how it all comes together!
I made a set of bracelets and chose to use gunmetal instead of the warmer copper tones that Annika used.
The oil-spill finish of the hematite beads in the bracelet on the right look though they were made for this project!
This set is perfect for stacking or wearing individually! 
To see the rest of the Pretty Palettes Challenge pieces, visit the Halcraft blog or click on the images below! Playing along is so much fun. Next Wednesday Erin will reveal the August Pretty Palette with another really special guest from "across the pond"! Don't miss it!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Pretty Palettes :: June 2105 Sunshine & Saltwater

Oh, how I love June in Indiana! The kids are able to enjoy going to the local pool and the days are long and filled with lots and lots of hot weather fun, like exploding water balloons on the trampoline!

Erin chose a really fun palette for this month's Halcraft Pretty Palette challenge (here's a link to learn how you can play along!), and it is centered on these cute illustrated surfboards out of the Pottery Barn Teen catalog:
Beachy fun from the PBTeen catalog inspired this month's Pretty Palettes challenge
I wanted to mix things up a bit this time and decided not to go with a jewelry project this month.  I figured these surfer girls might need something cool to use to keep their stuff together while they're out and about. I'd seen so many cute large totes at Target that were just begging for a tassel, so I made a project that can be a key chain (just attach your keys on that ringy thingy) or you can attach it directly to a strap on a bag. 
Color inspiration for Pretty Palettes
I love the large lobster clasps with the swivel mount. They're great for things like this, and they're relatively heavy duty, so they can stand up to a surfer girl's abuse. I actually use one on my purse and just hook it onto the loop of the zipper pull. I never have to search for my keys that way! This is also perfect for a beach bag, as everything small (and important!) seems to fall to the bottom, and who wants to use up beach time searching for your keys? Not me!

To make the tassels on these I used various materials. The first on the left uses natural hemp , the second and third both use bamboo cord. I love the look of the variegated cord in the second tassel. The third tassel uses different colors off the same card of cording.

I used 20-gauge Artistic wire to connect the tassel to the clasp and string the beads. I've seen these made with cord, but wire's stronger, and these little guys are going to get heavy duty work done at the beach, where the corrosive elements will eat up fiber. 

I stacked up some of my favorite Bead Gallery beads, starting with the large wooden disks. These were especially nice because their large holes cover the wrapped loop of the wire, making it easy to cozy the beads right up to the tassel.

To finish it off, I found sea life charms in the Charm Gallery area of Michaels. On the end cap near the beads there are a bunch of sea life charms as well, which is where that sweet sand dollar on the right came from. They're a great deal, as you get quite a few charms all connected to a chain. 

Just open the jump ring and BAM! You've got a pendant! Be sure to check that out, as these charms might not be around in the fall.

I love what Erin and the rest of the gang have been doing with their versions of the June Pretty Palette challenge. To follow along, just click the link here! 

Monday, June 1, 2015

Tassel Crazy!

I've had a LOT of fun lately making necklaces.

I'm not sure if it's the knotting, the tassels, or the gorgeous focal beads, but these things are a blast.

Today my knotted tassel necklaces were featured on the Halcraft USA blog!  I made a step-by-step tutorial with photos to help everyone learn how to make these beauties. All you need to do is start with some of Beadalon's silk, your favorite round beads, a few focals, and some leather or embroidery floss to make the tassels. Bang! Instant fun!

You've got to get out there and make some of these yourself, I tell you. Just the tassel making alone had me. I want to make tassels out of any and every fiber I can get my hands on!

To make your own tassel necklaces like these, visit the Halcraft USA blog!