Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Sterling and hematite necklace

I started this necklace several weeks ago, but kept running into trouble about what to do for the chain.  I made a sterling link chain for it initially, but it was too big for the pendant and looked terrible when I added it.  So I used that chain on the shapes necklace I posted earlier this month and kept messing around with this one.

Martha Stewart says to plant bulbs in threes and fives (or maybe she didn't, but someone told me she did), and I tend to think about that when I am mapping out a project.  I don't always stick to it, but I definitely start from there--the odd numbers do generally look better.

I used scalloped bezel wire and cut the back plate to mimic that pattern. I planned on putting a rivet at one end and hang the pendant vertically, but I couldn't shake the image of a snowman when I looked at it that way.  See it?  That made me think for one fleeting moment that maybe I should try sketching my ideas before I cut the silver.     

So I turned it horizontally, added sterling rivets, and used a scribe to add some random lines for texture.

After trying a couple of chain options, I finally settled on a leather cord instead. 

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Side trip: Monarch Watch

One of the perks of living in a college town is that the school often has fun events for kids in the community.  Last weekend was the annual Monarch Watch weekend at KU, so Ben and I headed over to campus fairly early to make sure that we were there in time to get a chrysalis before they had all been given out.

The students of some science-y class take families through little centers in the building where they can hold caterpillars, watch a little video on the life cycle of a butterfly, hang out in a big screened-in area full of plants, caterpillars, and butterflies, and run the "seed separator" machine to comb the milkweed seeds away from the...well, fluff. 

 They even had little games with themes like "make the egg stick to the leaf".  Gage and I went to it several times when he was younger, and I've always been really impressed with how not-boring those college students can make science for the younger kids.

See how FUN it is??

They give each child a chrysalis of their own to take home and watch until the butterfly emerges.  (Each child, no questions asked.  I struggle with this a little bit, because I had to pass a background check to get my dogs from the pound.) 

Ben and I came home and hung the chrysalis in the window and went about the rest of our day. 

The next morning, Ben went straight to the window to check on his little buddy.  The chrysalis was split in two and a monarch was sort of clutching the window trim, trying to find something to hold on to.  Ben said that he remembered from the movie that the butterfly wouldn't be able to fly yet--the wings needed time to dry.  We took it outside and put it on a flower in the garden.

It stayed there for several hours, then finally flew away.  I know it's a little bit silly, but the whole process made me feel sort of weepy.  Pretty awesome though, really.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Shapes necklace

When I was in Junior High, I had a silver metal belt with alternating geometric shapes sort of like this one that I wore with an over-sized teal button down shirt. Often paired with an almost white denim skirt. It was a pretty incredible look, especially when I added the green eyeshadow to the mix.

Anyway.  I made the chain on this necklace for a different pendant, but it just looked very wrong when I put the whole thing together.  So I took it apart and made this pendant from 14 gauge sterling wire that I hammered to give it some texture.  I didn't think of the 80's belt when I was trying to decide what to do with the chain, but the memory certainly slapped me in the back of the head when I stepped back and looked at the finished necklace. 

I wonder if that means I didn't learn from the past and I am condemned to repeat it?  I do have a pair of pretty awesome leg warmers waiting for an appropriate occasion in the back of my sock drawer.  And I can still rat the hell out of my hair.


Thursday, September 2, 2010

Test drive results

I wore the double ring for a week to see if I wanted to make more of them.  It was extremely strange to have my middle two fingers connected like that at first and took a while to get used to, but it was really very comfortable. And I got a lot of great feedback about it--people really noticed it and asked to see it or try it on.

So now I have a problem.  I don't have enough fingers to wear all of the rings I would like to.  I am waffling about it...I really like it and want to keep it.  But I can't wear it AND the other rings I already wear...

Not a terrible problem to have, but still...I'm on the fence.  So I'll polish it and put it aside for now.

Meanwhile, I made another one with a tube set faceted peridot (you had to see that coming, right?).