Thursday 28 October 2010

Man's Bracelet - The Lejonklou and de Koning Challenge

Here we go, this is what I made. A large unusually cut and dubble drilled black Agate makes the focal of this man's bracelet. Two thick black leather strings, triangular ivory glass beads and ghost white coloured copper wire by MissFickleMedia. I thought this task was so difficult, but now I am kind of hooked and maybe I will make a few more man's jewellery. We'll see ...
The last photos of the slide show shows my ever present assistant Charlie. He even worked as a backdrop for a few of the pictures ...

Wednesday 27 October 2010

Wishful Wednesdays #8

I am craving for interesting pendants the last few days, after having seen all of Lejonklou's absolutely wonderful creations. I also wanna make jewellery that nice!!!! So I've been roaming around on the internet on a quest for pendants.

I went to Fusion Beads to check out the Artist's beads's section. Instead I, just by lucky chance, came over this wonderful large hand in bone (40x37 mm). Not at all an artist's bead, but oh so wantable! I just dream of hanging it on some lovely leather string with some nice rustic trade-like beads knotted on. Perhaps even a multistrand necklace. Hmmm ...
Next stop was of course Etsy. Is there ever one day I don't hang out there for quite some time? I like the character of this stone, it's yellow colour with black "dirtyness". The drilled little heart makes it all sweet, doesn't it. AllyBeans.
Sorry guys, but this one is already purchased - by moi. Porcelein pendant with dragonfly by FinnCreations.

The Male Piece - part 1 of the Lejonklou and de Koning challenge

Hello there, I was supposed to post my male jewellery today Wednesday. However it has been slightly delayed (due to health reasons). I hope to be able to make it tomorrow, photograph it and post it in the evening.

Until then I recommend you to go to Birgitta Lejonklou's Blog and see her wonderful contribution. Hurry now!

This is the Lejonklou and de Koning challenge:
  1. Male jewellery - one piece. To be presented Wednesday 27th of October.
  2. Party Necklace (think Christmas and/or New Years'). Made with beads picked by Malin de Koning from her own stash, and divided into two piles with the same beads in them. See which ones I picked here. Other beads or parts can be added, but the beads chosen has to be included. To be presented Wednesday 3rd of November.
  3. Chain Necklace. Made with beads picked by Birgitta Lejonklou from her own stash, and divided into two piles with the same beads in them. See which ones she picked here. We have to use something black, something pink, something white, chain and silk (at least one inch). If it ends up being a lot of beads or lots of chain is a free choice. To be presented Wednesday 10th of November.
See you tomorrow!

Monday 25 October 2010

Charlie - is he an assistant?

I am trying to sort out a lot of my bead stash at the moment. To get rid of things I got early in my beading "carreer" and that I believe I will never use. Here you can see a few bags at the bottom of a plastic box.
Hm, Charlie thought, after having tried to lay straight across the keyboard of my computer as I was working on it, and I didn´t let him. He just had to find another cozy spot, didn't he.
Hm, seems something is going on with this box here. And it seems small enough for me to do one of my famous squeeze-into-a-tiny-space tricks. Yes, it worked! I had to change position about ten times. And quite a bit of my body is hanging over the edge, but hey, there is a plastic cup I can rest my chin on. Do you see how perfectly comfortably my front legs are pushing against the wall of the box? Good thing it is transparent so you can actually see it.

Sunday 24 October 2010

The Lejonklou and de Koning Challenge

Lucky me! I have a new beading buddy - Birgitta Lejonklou, a Swedish lady who makes absolutely wonderful jewellery, check her beautiful stuff at these three places: Etsy, Website and Blog. I strongly recommend it. You will be VERY inspired.

We got in contact thanks to Lorelei's Michael's Challenge, which we both participated in. Thank you Lorelei! And now we have been mailing every day since. Yesterday we decided to have our own personal challenge just between the two of us. We settled on this set up, in three parts:
  1. I pick out 2 piles of the same beads from my own stash for a "party piece" of jewellery (think christmas or new years). I send one of the piles to Birgitta. We make a piece each on the theme including the chosen beads, and present it on our blogs.
  2. Birgitta picks 2 piles of the same beads and a chain/chains for a "chain necklace". She sends me one of the piles. Same as for the "party piece".
  3. We shall make a piece of man's jewellery and present on Wednesday this week. We both find male jewellery difficult ... so it is a real challenge for both of us. And we chose a short deadline for this one to push ourselves.
Just realized we haven't decided on a deadline for piece 1 and 2 yet. I'll have to get back on that.

So today I picked these beads from my excisting stash, and I managed to get two exactly the same piles. Tomorrow I will send them to Birgitta.
2 Chrysophrase diagonally drilled wavy squares 20mm
1 square 20mm green facetted green glass sparkly Swarowsky style (or is it Swarowsky? I don't know.)
34 white Mother-of-Pearl rounds
9 white Mother-of-Pearl teardrops top drilled
4 white Mother-of-Pearl diagonally drilled squares
3 jade teardrops top drilled
2 Cloisonne rice fluted beads goldy, white and a dash of red
2 pale green pearly rounds
4 green faceted large glass beads
1 circular toggle clasp in gold colour
5 Swarowsky bicones
1 small beige picasso faceted glass rondelle
1 green and black picasso faceted glass rondelle
1 green Dupioni Silk ribbon 50 mm wide, 46 cm long (it could be cut into two thinner ribbons)

I am so much looking forward to see what Birgitta will send me. And I think I have a vague idea about what I will do for the man's jewellery. Please get back on Wednesday to see it.

All my best,

Saturday 23 October 2010

Great sale at Two-Scoops!

Hurry! Get some great deals. Two-Scoops have a 40% sale this weekend. And they do have some really interesting beads in their shop.

Friday 22 October 2010

Increasing ones performance?

Very recently I was asked to participate in a project where I have to perform something. I was asked on the basis of my previous performances. And the easiest would of course be to settle on that level, and just make something which would please the runner of the project enough. But this project might be a great oportunity for me. And also for others, that is everyone who will take part of the result, and hopefully get something good out of it for themselves.

So ... Malin gets all philosophical about it ...
The reason for that was that I rather soon after being asked did get this idea for what I would do. But the idea involves a bit of a risk for me, because I will partially enter unknown land. And I might possibly make a big failure. So ... I have spent a few days thinking about it. How shall I go about it? Shall I challenge myself, work kind of in an examining way, and hopefully discover something new and fresh? Something both myself and everyone who will take part of the result will gain from. That is what I wish to do, just also coz my lust is to go down that particular road. I wanna find what is there, have never been there before. So for me that is what is fun. To just make something I have done before does not excite me too much.

But what if I fail? Well, after all this thinking I have come to the conclusion that firstly I don't believe I will fail, and secondly I just have to be prepared that I maybe will. And how would I handle that? What is the worst thing that could happen? I really don't know to be honest, I guess I would either make a fool out of myself, or I would just be withdrawn from the project. The worst thing for me would be if I was still part of the project, but what I did was on an embarrissingly lower level than you could expect, and that in comparission to the others who are participating I would be the one with the absolutely worst result. Like, totally boring and uninteresting. I would get a bad reputation, and no one would ever wanna cooperate with me again. Yes, that would be very bad for me. But to be honest I don't think that is what will happen. I believe I will perform well, that I will please the project runner, that I will develop myself, and that others will benefit from what I have discovered.
So all of this made me think of something I learnt about 10 years ago when I worked in an internet bureau (as an Art Director and Interface Designer). One of the bosses was extremely interested in averything to do with creating a work environment that would get the possibly best out of every one working in the company. Both on a personal level, but also on a team level. I shan't get into many details about that, but I just remeber one lecture I attained. Where it was explained that in order to reach better results, increase your performance, you have to not focus on reaching higher all the time. If you instead focus on allowing yourself on reaching lower on the scale of what is the maximum failure you are willing to accept for yourself, you will automatically reach higher on the performance scale. I don't remeber ALL the details about this theory, and I might have left something important out. So please feel free to fill in any gaps or correct any faults you discover in this post/article in the comments. I have tried to make a graph that explains the theory.

So what is the conclusion then? Will I go for the risky unknown path? Of course I will! I don't think I could ever do anything else. I need challenges and to develop myself. I love to discover new knowledge, and expand my own abilities. That is so much fun. But yes, perhaps I will make a complete fool out of myself. Frankly I don't care in this case. It is so much more worth for me to try this idea I have, I just wanna see how it will work and if I will be able to make something good out of it. If I fail, I will still have learned something. And I don't think I will fail. I think something really good will come out of this yet unknown journey.

PLEASE share your thoughts and experiences on this subject.

All my love,

Wednesday 20 October 2010

Wishful Wednesdays #7

Today my humblest wishes are just a few things that I believe would lighten up my jewellery creating a little bit. Wonderful things that could make the difference in a piece:
Mmmmmm colours! Mmmmmm lots of them! All mixed up Greek 8 mm washers, about 65 of them for 4 dollars from Beadsite.

Ancient looking fake bone. Large vintage buttons made of bone looking celluloid, carved. By ABandC on Etsy.

"May all your dreams come true". The cutest teeny tiny leather bag that I would like to use as a pendant. From Onlyee on Etsy.

Tuesday 19 October 2010

I have copied Gaea!

I have participated in Gaeas challenge "Copy Me".
So this is what I made. I believe I have stayed rather true to the original, if I compare with what some of you others have done.
I got the idea almost immediately. To exchange the chain and the tag with a bent wire forming the words "dreams". And started scetching and then bending the wire.
Now you know why I HAD to buy an anvil recently.
If you look thouroughly at the pictures it is clear that at the first part of the bracelet I was a total rookie at hammering on wire, but that I gradually got better, and at the last letter I was a pro. :-)
Great fun it was! And I keep hammering whenever I get the chance.

Here is a list of some more people who has participated:

Sunday 17 October 2010

Lorelei's Michael's Challenge

I just love the whole concept of this project, and I am so much looking forward to see what everyone has done with the same beads. At the bottom of this post you will find the list of all the other participants with links to their blogs.

The set-up:
This is the lot we all started with. Pale green jade rounds, brown cinnabar carved coins, ivory cinnabar carved coins, white big pearls, small green pearls, wooden carved cubes and a white enameled chain. From the shop Michael's in the USA. (Mary Harding was so wonderful and got me the beads and sent them to me by post, since Michael's don't have an online shop.) We were supposed to make a necklace with all of these beads included. And we were allowed to also add two more kinds of beads from our own stash, a focal and a clasp of our own choosing.
Lorelei, I just love what you picked for us to work with! It is a wonderful combination of colours, materials, sizes and structures. So very very appetizing! I also love the fact that you arranged this whole thing. I certainly wish there will be more of this kind of design-sharing-challenges.

This is what I made:
I have decided to describe my design process rather thouroughly on this one, I don't normally do that, but I really appreciate to read when others do, so I thought I would have a go aswell.
The basic design:
A three-strand necklace, with two beaded strands and the white chain as its own strand. I quickly got this idea with the three-stranded necklace. The two beaded strands have their own repetetive "pattern", one is symmetrical, the other assymetrical. This is so there will be more variable and interesting meetings between the beads when they hang around the neck. They are strung on soft flexible beading wire. Almost all of the beads have been used, not even a handful is left.
The focal:
The wonderful big bead by HumbleBeads was just too good to be true to go with these beads. I recieved it only a couple of days before the parcel from Michaels, as a part of a "grab-bag" purchase I had made from HumbleBeads. Was that a lucky chance or what? Because the focal in itself isn't so big or standing out in comparision to the many different kinds of bold and expressive beads in this necklace I decided the focal would sit assymetrically to the side instead of centrally. I wanted it to merge in with the rest but just create something unexpected and extra. I exchanged one of the green-blue-green sections on one of the strands for the focal together with some blue seed beads (just to make the same length as the other sections). This didn't fit well with the brown cinnabar coin that happened to sit on the other strand just there, so I decided to take that one away and put some pearls there instead. This way the focal became more visable than it otherwise would have been.
The two extra types of beads:
The blue in the focal made it easy for me to pick the blue rice-shaped beads as one of my own additions. And I wanted the necklace to be a bit longer so I also added some small white pearls the same size as the green ones from Michaels.
The clasp:
Beacause I wanted the necklace to come further down on the chest than the chain allowed I created this solution for the clasp. Two dark wooden rings to which the three strands are attached, and then just a long wide brown silk ribbon through them. You simply tie a knot and a bow to make the necklace as long as you wish. I realize some of you might think I have stretched the rules slightly with this solution, adding more elements than said. But hey... if everyone always followed all rules we would still be in the stone-age. Anyway, to attach the chain to the wooden rings I made two horse-shoe shaped jumprings in bronze coloured 18 gauge wire, and I also did some hammering to make them sit nicely on the rings. Very pleased with that little detail, since I bought my teny tiny anvil just very recently and am very glad whenever I need to use it and actually have it right there in my studio. And yes Gaea, you were right, I like to hammer on loads of things.

The other participants with links to their blogs:
On Lorelei's blog you will find her own result and also the photos from a few more participants who don't have a blog (she forgot to list herself in the list below...). So make sure you also check that one out thoroughly.

8. Andrew Thornton
10. Raida of HavanaBeads (I need a correct link for this blog!)
Erin of Treasuresfound

Friday 15 October 2010

Time for Tea-Party #1

Hey! Didn't I say I would have my Teaparties on Tuesdays and/or Thursdays? Yes I did, because they start with a T. Today is Friday, and to be honest I don't give a toss about that it starts with an F. Beacause I long for you and I want to hang out with you - now today! I will bake these Date & Lime Slices from the book shown in the picture above, so we will have something nice to nibble on while we are drinking our tea and chatting about stuff.
So this means it is Time for Tea-Party #1. The first one ever. The person I am inviting to hang out with today is a person who will continue to be a honorary guest on all my Tea-Parties from now on. Simply because she has made a big difference for me in the beading world. She kind of drew me in in the first place, not to beading itself, but to this whole international scene with bloggers, flickr-friends, BeadSoupParties and so on. Who am I talking about? It is the lovely and wonderful Barbara Lewis of PaintingWithFire. The Enamel Queen. The Portobello cup from Villeroy & Boch, the one furthest up to the left in the top picture in this post will be reserved for you Barbara. I hope you will like it. I have one myself, got it on my 18th birthday, but today it has a crack in it so I never use it for tea. It also appeared in the Woody Allen film Hannah and Her Sisters.
Anyway, it all started back in January. Somehow (I can't remember how) I found out about this giveaway of some gorgeaus hand-enameled beads someone had on their blog. It was Barbara Lewis. I had never participated in anything like that before. I had to write a comment on her post, and also make a post about the give-away on my own blog. And oddly enough, only about three weeks before my husband had suggested to me to start blogging as a way of telling about my beading and jewellery. And he had helped me set up a blog for me (so easy really, but I needed a kick in my butt just to get it done). So I had my blog and could put a post there about Barbaras give-away. My first one ever actually! I also left a comment on Barbara's blog. I wrote:

If I would be one of the lucky ones, your absolutely wonderful beads will go on a journey all the way to Sweden. And they will end up being part of some great looking jewellery sitting on some supercool person walking the streets of Stockholm ...

I am a follower of you and I have posted on my own blog.

I so much hope to win."

I wrote that because that is how I think about beads. Like they have some kind of life, and go through different things in their life. All beads are kind of their own individuals with their own experiences. That's how I am. Barbara thought I was a funny one speaking about myself as the super-cool person (I didn't mean myself, but just any of my friends or their friends) and wrote back to me on my private mail, and from there it just went on. It just felt immediately like we would be great friends, with the same kind of little silly and quirky sense of humour.
You have always been very supportive, and I sometimes feel not worthy. But I must say it means a so much to me. Somehow you manage to give me confidence when I mostly need it. You were actually the first follower on my blog! You signed up even before my husband did! It was you, and Shannon LeVart, who supported me when I was considering starting my Etsy shop, but was a bit unshure if I really was on the level where I could start selling my things. You often make me laugh! And smile. You make the most gorgeaus beads! You are incredibly generous! I imagine you are a great teacher. When I finally end up going to the USA on my beads-odyssé (hopefully within 1-2 years) I wish you to be the first person I meet up with.
After we have had our tea and cakes I will take you on a walk in my neighbourhood. This is the view of our backgarden with the little wood next to it. Behind the wood is a paddock for horses and behind that again one for cows. I think my two cats Alice and Charlie will follow us on our walk. And when we get back in again we can have another cup of tea to warm us up.

The slide-show shows ome of Barbaras own work, and some work made by her students in the classes she has in enameling:

Did I say I just love what you are doing Barbara! Beads and jewellery!

Links to Barbara and PaintingWithFire:
Website PaintingWithFireArtWear - from here you can reach all of Barbaras other pages, her blog, her Etsy shop and so on.

Wednesday 13 October 2010

Wishful Wednesdays #6

I wish to have you, all my international beading friends, over on a "nice cuppa" (=nice cup of tea). I thoght I would start to invite you one by one on tuesdays or thursdays on "Time for Thursday/Tuesday Teaparty" here on my blog. Starting tomorrow or next tuesday. You will find out more about that on the day. But NOW today I just wish I had the loveliest tea porcelain. Look at this one for instance. Acapulco from Villeroy & Boch. I love it!

Wednesday 6 October 2010

A new bracelet

Chain by MissFickleMedia
Purple coloured copper wire by MissFickleMedia
Paintbrushes resin bezel clasp by Amanda Davies
Facetted black and ivory polymer bead by Gaea
Small ceramic dark bead by Gaea
Small ceramic blueish bead by Elaine Ray

Green Variscite squares
Ivory Magnesite square
Facetted Rose Quartz
Rose Quartz barrels
Rose glass rounds
Strands of recycled Sari

Sunday 3 October 2010

Magical Musical Mondays #8

I love this song. Makes me so happy. I even have it as the ring signal on my iPhone. :-)
K T is supercool!