Fuchsia earrings  

Friday, August 31, 2007

If you're curious what is the second chainmail weave I was talking about that can be downloaded for free (see the bottom of my previous post), here is the end result.
Finished this pair of earrings this afternoon, took me no longer than 20 minutes. Very easy and fun to make.

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Chainmail again  

I found somewhere mentioned a website (culturejewelry.com) where they sell some chainmail patterns for download and got curious to see what they have available. For registering for their newsletter you get to download a free pdf of the spiral weave. Here is below the result. I was pleasantly surprised as it's very easily and nicely explained in the pdf file. Made this small chain last night while watching tv. I think this even surpases the boxchain or the byzantine in how easy it is.
These rings gotta be the smallest I've ever worked with! The chain is really thin on my wrist, even though the camera magnified it enough to show all the non-perfectly closed rings, lol!

Btw, if you register to their forum (members.culturejewelry.com), you get to download a second free tutorial. You can see the tutorial on this link only after you're registered there.

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Jewelry Blog Cruising  

Thursday, August 30, 2007

I love visiting various blogs, besides looking at the beautiful jewelry, I also click on some of their links and get to some other goodies. Sometimes I completely forget where I started from and I'm just amazed at the wonderful pages my clicking on various links brought me to.

Some blogs and pages randomly selected, in no particular order, from my latest blog cruising...

Something Sublime
Nomadic Creations
Textures Online
Sherry's Jewels
Paradigm Jewelry

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More herringbone  

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Ok, I think I got the hang of the herringbone weave. My main problem here is making decent loops. Since Eni's tutorial is based on loops upon which to build the herringbone with thinner wire, they always look loopsided and just plain ugly. However I saw now a tutorial by Nix where he built up the herringbone on the plain wire, not on the loops. The little basket weaves are much nicer an much more uniform. So I guess until I win the battle of loops, I'll do these on plain wire.

The first picture shows some plays with copper wire (one is coated, one is plain).

The second is a copper set with some interesting non-uniformly shaped red stones. Have no idea what these stones are, but they're darn cute.

Hm, I guess I'll know what color outfit I will wear tomorrow at work, huh?
Love the little wrapped bail of the pendant, I've done it from a Eni tutorial and whenever I have some spare wire, instead of cutting it off, I make a loop with it, quite nice.
Let's see if I'll say the same ("quite nice") in one year's time when looking back at this, shall we? *grins*

Another things I've realised today is that I was forcing myself to do stuff so I can add them to my Etsy shop. I was looking at each piece as a potential seller. And I was losing my creativity in the process. As soon as I was working tonight on these copper pieces, thinking of wearing them tomorrow at work, I started enjoying again making jewelry :)

One other thing I learned today: how to work with the chasing hammer and not mar the wire (or at least mar it with the minimum of marks). It was in the way I was holding the hammer, I need to have it perfectly parallel with the bench block, not at an angle. I only had to change the angle of my arm at about 20 degrees and voila, my first hand-made ear wires with flat side and no marks, yayy!

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Herringbone earrings - SOLD!  

I made yesterday this pair of earrings with silver and cats eye beads in herringbone technique. As usual, I'm not quite satisfied with them, I don't like the loops and the herringbone also leaves to be desired. I did wear them at work today, for me they are ok but if i wanted to sell, noway :-(

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Some more trials...and errors  

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Played a bit more today with wire wrap. Tried my hands and two wrapping tutorials by Eni Oken, with relatively sad results (see on the left) and then decided to change gears a bit and make a coiled wrap pendant from a tutorial by Remy (below).

Not the best results either, but it was fun to make. Actually everything I made today was fun, but my fingers do hurt a lot from the wrapping :-D

Still a long way to go *sigh*...

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Just testing the waters  

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Not much from me these days. Too much stress at work, people are leaving, I have too many things to do, to also deal with angry and frustrated boss...I come home from work and I'm sitting in front of the tv like brain dead, not in the mood to do anything creative anymore. This has to change soon, else I'm not gonna get ahead with my jewelry dream.

These days I played with a new technique from a tutorial by Eni Oken, the herringbone weave. Here are a few beads covered in herringbone, from triangle shaped (the cream one), to flat (turquoise), to round and faceted. I'm not quite happy with any of these yet, but they're better than my first few attempts *grins*. Plus I get to feel the wire behaving around the different shapes of stones.

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Practice does make...better  

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

And my wire wrapping learning continues... this time with a wrapped briolette from a free tutorial by Eni Oken. You can find the tutorial, btw, here. And like I said, it's free! Funny me buying all - or at least 99% of Enis' tutes, and then working on a free one, lol! But this one at least didn't feel so intimidating! I think my skills are still so basic, that I'm afraid to tackle them!
I made as usual 3 attempts. The first went directly in the trash bin, and the second and third are here. The second is still pretty horrible, wraps are very far away from each other and overall I don't like it.
While working on the second piece, one thing I learned is that if I can do it with the fingers, try not to use the pliers that much. I used the round nose pliers to form the top loop from the wrapped wire, and this is when all came apart in big gaps. On the third I only used my fingers (and sore fingers I have!!) and the loops stay rather nicely together.
Once again showing my third attempt in my hand, to see the size of the stone, it's rather huge :)

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Monday, August 20, 2007

...African pendant? Trash bin pendant?
My creativity took a break today...better me too and go read a bit...can't do wrong there...

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Pendant and musing on self-development  

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Today is Sunday and I'm in a creative mood!
This is my third pendant (see below for the second one *sigh*). Do you see any improvement?
I am actually excited as I kind of like this one. It's all brass wire and some funky beads.

Anyway I was just musing on how we change our perspective of our work once be become better - and even better.
I remember when I made my first 2-3 pairs of earrings. I was totally over the moon, loved them, hey I managed to actually do something wearable! Was very proud of myself. After a dozen or so earrings, I assume I got better, BUT I also got more critical of my work. Now when I create a pair, instead of becoming excited, I become all critical - are the loops equal on both sides? are they wrapped nicely and tight? do the ends stick out? is the earrings form skewed from top to bottom? When I compare my first pair of earrings with the latest ones, I am totally confident that the new ones are better. But at the same time I'm also more disappointed with my work, the excitement of the first is all gone...go figure... I assume my eyes have now the training required to know what to look for, how to find faults immediately...
So I guess the same will hold for the next pendants as well. The better I get, the less excited I get upon finishing an item ...
/ramble mode over, lol.

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Wrapped mess!  

Saturday, August 18, 2007

I really want to learn wire wrapping, the true form of it - what I've been doing until now is working with wire but not actual wrapping, unless I count the wrapped loops for earrings.
So I'm taking baby steps. The first step was a disaster, the second step is a wrapped mess! (mess > disaster I say, so I dare show it here, lol). Nobody ever shows their bad pieces, so for us beginner folks it always seems that the expert were instantly born with the wrapping knowledge! I'll keep this one to look back at when I'll be a wrapping guru myself, to see how far I've come (or gone!).

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Etsy shop opened!  

I finally took the plunge and opened my Etsy shop. Not much there yet, bu I really wanted to bring my name out there. I know how hard is on Etsy to sell something, particularly in the jewelry department, so I'm not holding my breath for now. Nevertheless this is something I wanted to do for a while now. Please visit my shop at MarikaJewelry.etsy.com and let me know how you find it, or how to improve it!

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And more earrings  

Thursday, August 16, 2007

I spent my day reading, cooking and researching on receiving Paypal in Cyprus. It seems that there is way for now, until Cyprus is also included with full options, through Auctionchex. Not sure yet how the whole thing works, but I am opening an Etsy shop and I do need to receive Paypal as payment, so I'll figure it out somehow.
So tonight I made this pair of earrings. Not sure if the beads are tiger eye or just simple glass, but they are gorgeous. Wrapped them in sterling silver. Not very pleased with how I wrapped the loops on one earring, I might have to re-do it. In the meantime I'll just wear them and see how they feel.

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Purple set  

I have off from work today and tomorrow so I decided to tackle a rather bigger project than just the earrings I've been making recently.
I made this bracelet using the same beads and silver wire as the earrings shown yesterday. The bracelet measures 20 cm, or 8 inches.

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Some more earrings  

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

I'm in earrings frenzy! They're relatively easy and fast to make and you can ask anyone who is a taurus -we all like instant gratification!! LOL!
So here are a few more earrings I made today.

The first one has a dark green bead with shades in it that the camera didn't manage to capture, and a small plastic bead. All wire is sterling silver.

The second pair is turquoise with sterling. To make the earrings I used the idea from one of Metallique's books. One earring shows the front and one the back. This pair will go to a friend on a jewelry forum, as thanks for a reading she gave me a few weeks back. Yes, I know, usually making jewelry and spiritual subjects just don't match well together...or do they? I guess they do, my blog is a RL example of it.
Now I just hope she won't check out my blog before she gets the earrings, lol.

The last pair is all purple glass beads (very cute from one of my previous trips in Czech Republic) and little bone beads. Again, all wire is silver.
I love working with silver wire!

Today is my name day (the day of the Virgin Mary), and hubby was thinking hard what to buy me as gift. He went to a jewelry shop to a friend of his thinking to buy me something, but then he gave up, as he said I won't wear them anyway, and besides now I make my own 'semiprecious' jewelry, LOL!. So he just gave me money instead (which I will put aside for helping me purchase a new computer towards end of the year).
In Cyprus people celebrate namedays even more so than birthdays. For Mary's day (Aug. 15), we even have a public holiday. If you want to know more about namedays, here is a good wiki about it.

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Catching up  

Saturday, August 11, 2007

What I've been up to lately?

I made this Japanese 12 in 2 chainmail bracelet about a week ago, using bright aluminium. Took me a while but it really looks great.

Today I made these pairs of earrings, all silver with different beadies. The pair in the middle looks to me awfully like a little person with a hat :D
For the top pair I used for the first time my wig-jig to create the earwires. Not bad, still takes some practice to master the jig, but I'm getting there.

Finally my Koil Kutter arrived from Dave, yeppee! Besides the $200 (incl. shipping to Cyprus), I had to pay additional $30 for taxes, arghhh...Life before entering the European Union was so much easier for simple folks like me, no taxes to pay on any packages coming from abroad :( Now I only don't pay for packages arriving from within EU. Where of course, everything is way more expensive than buying from The States *sigh*...one way or another we always lose...
Anyway, the good news it, now I can finally cut my own rings (hopefully one day silver as well) for the chainmail. Have to learn first how, of course...

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