Wednesday 31 August 2011

BTW - recent arrivals AND a question to you

Vaseline Beads and Cornerless Cubes from the BeadChest. I won a voucher to be used in their shop over at Claire Maunsell's blog some months ago. (The Next Bend/StillPointWorks). I have not been able to choose which beads in their shop to go for until now. There are a lot of lovelies there I tell you. I am happy with my pick.

A pair of Tronex Round nose pliers. I am planning to update my tools gradually over the coming period. One new tool a month is my idea. I am not good at all with good quality tools. So far that is. It is gonna be a big change there I tell you. I need the good stuff. I wonder if it is gonna do anything to how my jewelry making evolves from now on?

You saw Rebecca Anderson's, SongBead, all lovely tools just casually thrown in her bag? If not you have to go and check out her wonderful vlog immediately. Well worth seeing for a lot of reasons.

What more? Grey Griffon Silk of a thicker kind, hopefully perfect for a project which been waiting in a muffin form for a while now, waiting for the right silk. Some cute green czech glass flowers. Oh how I love those.

From Barbara Bechtel, Floridity, a good bunch of goodies. She's gone wild lately with all her new awesome designs that I can't resist. I can hardly go visit her shop anymore. The Erudite line and lots of other stuff too. I could get everything from her shop really. Pretty pretty pretty!

A question to all you beaders out there. On your round nose pliers, do the jaws come together completely when they are closed, or is there a little gap/space there. If so, is it even all the way or is it growing gradually towards the back of the jaws? Hope you understand what I mean! If you have experience of using differently designed pliers in that aspect, what kind do you prefer, and why? Please feel free to also leave any thoughts on the subject of round nose pliers.

Thank you very much!

Saturday 27 August 2011

Shadow Box Challenge Reveal and Blog Hop

I think Lorelei herself best describe this challenge and what it is about:

"Last month, I held a contest for participants to recieve one of these beautiful enameled Shadow boxes from C Koop Beads. I picked 23 participants randomly, and send each of them one of the boxes. The challenge was to create something with the shadow box and reveal it on their blogs today! A big hug and THANK YOU to Sara for donating these for this challenge! I hope you all enjoy seeing all of the results!"

Boy was I happy when I received this deep blood red one. Oh yes, I think of blood. Beautiful life giving rich and healthy blood. Nothing scary or macabre. The color is absolutely magnificent!

I have had so many ideas ever since the first day, on what to do with it. I even woke up the next morning with a new idea directly there. Must have spent all night dreaming of it. Below you can see some of them.

Another theme that has been there in lot of my ideas has been the use of cord. Preferably waxed linen. I've been thinking of ways to use many strings of it in different colors and work with knots. All along this has been my favourite concept. But I have not done any. Not yet that is. I wish to play around loads more with these bezels and I hope Sara will be interested in making a few more for me, according to a few of my special wishes. But that will be another chapter. Today we are here. And this is what I have done:

Necklace number one:
I wanted to make a simple piece where the bezel would be a very important part of the design without the role of playing solo. It needed some company, a teamwork. I am very pleased with how this turned one turned out. Three colors and three materials that all enhance each other and cooperate beautifully being equally important for the whole.

Necklace number two:
A present maybe? I don't know. I just like how it turned out when I wrapped the wire around the bezel like that. And then adding the dangles. Drops of blood maybe? The super nice lamp worked red mini glass nuggets on a white core are made by Boulder Glass Monkey. The four lamp worked glass head pins by Gardanne.

As I was heading out on the veranda earlier today to take the photos of the second necklace I walked past this cushion in our living room. I love that cushion. It really brightens up which ever piece of furniture it happens to rest in. I don't know about you. But I can see some connection there, with the colors in the necklace ...

Friday 26 August 2011

Instant Love

Can you believe these are glass? They look so gorgeous. Rustic and precious at the same time. By OutWest. And what do you know, lucky me purchased them yesterday :-)

I think a necklace with HumbleBeads beautiful pendant and an antiqued copper chain. And to go with that, a pair of earrings. What do YOU think?

Tomorrow will be the reveal/blog hop for the Shadow Box Challenge arranged by Lorelei Eurto with enameled bezels from C-Koop. Don't miss that. I am one of the lucky participants. And I am so much looking forward to see what everyone else has come up with.

All my best,

Thursday 25 August 2011

Swedish Lesson #7 and Bead Table Wednesday

I didn't mean for this vlog to become this long. But as you will be watching it you will understand it was really not within my power ...

And a couple more pictures of my bead table today:

All my best,

Monday 22 August 2011

Thursday 18 August 2011

My Soup has Arrived

What a coooooooool soup I got from Susie Hibdon of Vintage Susie & Wings, my partner in the 4th Bead Soup Blog Party or BSBP 4 as I like to call it! For me also very much fun. I do not have anything looking like this in my own stash. It's all just perfectly different and pretty to challenge me in a very pleasing way.

I am very excited to get started using all these gooodies. The number tags are what attract me the most primarely, they are so wonderfully odd and peculiar. I immediately got some ideas there. What I could combine them with from my own stash. Things that's been luring at the back of my drawers for a while. Oooohhhh, all the possibilities ... :-)

Thank you so much Susie!

The party blog hop, when everybody present what they have done, will be launched on the 17th of September. I believe it's more than 300 participants this time! From all over the world!

Wednesday 17 August 2011

BTW - testing testing Cubic RAW rope

Ok, so I can't show you my table at the moment. I have like one hundred projects going on at the same time. That's how it feels anyway. Some of them are secret ones also ... Isn't that exciting ... I've never been in a position when I could say that before ... BUT, the main reason for not showing you my table is that it is soooo messy.

So how clever was I to purchase a tutorial yesterday for a new technique then? Beats me?! I saw it and thought I need it. And I have tried it already actually (feeling proud now).

RAW - Right Angle Weave. I've seen tutorials on RAW that's been nightmare's when you wanna learn. But about a month ago I found this one on Cubic RAW, on YouTube, from InterWeave. It's in two parts. And suddenly I got it. But I didn't try it yet.

Then yesterday this one was on sale on Beading Daily. It's a pdf.

I used FireLine instead of the recommended thread, and I do not have any conditioner or thread wax at home, so I go 'au naturel'. What I found was necessary was to go through all the beads many many times for the first two or three rows/rounds. This was to create some stability to begin with. But then it went super smooth to just follow the instructions. And after a while you just keep going without really thinking about what you're doing ... mmm meditative ...

I think I am hooked. But never can I imagine I would make a whole necklace in this technique. I love them, beaded ropes, really looong lariat style ones. Gorgeous! But to make them is not for me. I'll make a bracelet from this one though.

I also made a ring in good old Peyote stitch with Delica Beads. My own design. I like the color combo and the pattern. Sort of makes me feel like I'm in an olive grove in Israel or something, eating a fresh juicy orange sitting in the shade under a tree. I've never done that in real life, but that's my perception of it I guess ...

All my best,

Tuesday 16 August 2011

Teasing Susie

Bead Soup Blog Party #4. My partner is Susie Hibdon of VintageSusieAndWings. Hope she will like what I send her. All I can tell at this point is that there is no gold included. My parcel will go out tomorrow. Wishing it a safe journey.

Monday 15 August 2011

Recsent Acquisitions

These goodies all arrived in my mailbox during last week.

Stoneware Flower bead caps - Chelle V2

Baloon and Swan pendants - Jade Scott

Ceramic links and beads in custum ordered colors - Clay Buttons

Thursday 11 August 2011

My love affair with Art Bead Scene pt 1

Ooooohhhhh! Look! Another interview with me. This time on Art Bead Scene! I'm excited to say the least. Very honoured indeed. Thank you sooooo much Erin!
Art Bead Scene Blog: Meet the Designer :: Malin de Koning
Art Bead Scene has been an inspirational place for me ever since I first discovered them in early 2010. A leading star! I don't remember how I even came across them. Probably from searching for and about HumbleBeads or Heather Powers who I'd discovered on Etsy about a year earlier. I think it was one of the first times I was actually on Etsy, in late 2008, that I came across one of her Dandelion Beads, in a turquoise color she hasn't done for a while now.
At the time I had no idea of the concept of Art Beads, or of Bead Artists. I was looking for bargin deals and as cheap as possible beads, findings and components. Oh yes, I had not yet figured out some very important things about jewelry making. But I fell helplessly in love with these. I'd never seen anything like it. I mean just look at the picture. So I attempted to make a purchase. My first one ever on Etsy. Imagine that, me who wanted to pay no more than 10p per bead, was suddenly prepared to pay 8 dollars! Don't know why, but something screwed up so it didn't go through. I guess I didn't understand totally how to go about it, being a beginner and all. Then it must have sold to someone else very shortly after, coz I remember keeping coming back to Heathers shop ever so often to look if she put some new ones out for sale. And no, I didn't know of custom orders either yet. Otherwise I would of course have contacted Heather, but ...

Then in the summer of 2009 I went into a magazine shop here in Stockholm. I found a whole section of magazines on beading and jewelry. Bought a bunch. One of them was Beads 2009. And there I saw Heathers Turqoise bird. Ooooohhhhhhh! Instant love again! Same artist! Went to her Etsy shop to buy the bird instead. None there. :-( I kept coming back, but no luck. Then somehow I found out BelloModo was also selling Heathers beads. Voila! I made my purchase from them. And early 2010 or if it was late 2009 I had bough my first Art Bead.

That's what I thought anyway. But actually I had bought some other ones before, without even knowing they were art beads. By Maureen Thomas Designs, in May '09. At the time I had gotten a larger sum of sort of backtracked money, and I went a bit crazy with my bead shopping for a period. Building up quite a bit of my stash. But mostly still looking for cheap deals ... (if I'd only known then what I know now, but I gues you can only live and learn). These ones I couldn't resist though. I still have the necklace I made from them in my drawer. I never wear it, and I don't want to sell it either, so maybe it's time to take it apart and reuse the goodie goodie goodies. YUM!
Anyway, back to Art Bead Scene. In early 2010 I first came across the blog. And their challanges. Oh, there were beads one could win. Oh, there was a possibility to be featured. Oh, Heather Powers was one of the contributors. Oh, and Lorelei Eurto too (I will come back to her later). Oh, I really like what people are doing for the challenges. Oh, there is something called flickr too. Discoveries discoveries discoveries! Art Beads!?! What is that? Artisans!?! Learning, exploring, incorporating, expanding. A whole new universe had opened for me. Inspiration! WOW!


So I dared! In March '10 I submitted my first piece to an Art Bead Scene Challenge. I was sooooo nervous. I had to open a flickr account. I had to add to the group. Name the piece and tag it correctly to be accepted. I even named the piece "Take A Chance" after a Magic Numbers song. And I wasn't refused! Happy happy happy!
So with my newly achieved confidence, I submitted a new piece again the next month. This was fuuuuuun! It is so great to interact with others. To get feedback, and to give feedback. But guess what happened?! Lorelei picked my piece for Designer of the Week! I was astounded! That was kind of never on my agenda to happen.
She said:

"That curved focal is what draws my eye into this piece, as well as the curved
lines in the Klee painting. I love the bright and happy colors Malin uses to emulate the painting. Bead placement is so great, and draws your eye around and around, so many interesting things to look at here!
Always a fan of mixed media, Malin throws in some soft silk too, and that
addition makes this divine!!"

(Or check here for the featured article on ABS).

So now I was definitely hooked. I had started my own blog in the beginning of 2010, and more people started to visit it regularly. I was in flow sort of. Art Beads, Art Beads and mooooore Art Beads! I just couldn't get enough. I still can't to be honest. Oh, how they make jewelry making fun and exciting. I am collaborating with people from all over the world when I make my pieces. I LOOOOOOOOOVE IT!

Now, I have so much more to tell you about how I feel about Art Bead Scene, Heather Powers, Lorelei Eurto and more things related. I think I will have to make that into a part two of this story.


Don't miss out on reading the interview with me on Art Bead Scene.
And here's a link to another interview with me on A Jewelry Accord.

Please come back soon!

Monday 8 August 2011

Props and Partner

"Props and Partner", sounds like a cool name for a Hollywood based business. Doesn't it?!

Anyway, first let's talk about props. I am not much for using them in my own photography of my jewelry. It is not that I dislike them in general. On the contrary I really like when others use them. But for my own things I often appreciate just the piece on it's own being nicely placed on a surface. And then I try to create an interesting composition. It does happen I use props. When I happen to have something suitable, and it helps to tell something. It also happens I feel I miss a suitable prop for a piece, and then I think I should build up a bigger "library" of props for different needs.

This morning after breakfast I walked in to our living room to open the back door and let in the fresh air. Guess what I suddenly saw?! Some pretty cool props for jewelry photography! They were just standing there on a stool leaning against the wall. They were not there yesterday daytime I tell you. So, what are they? Well, of course they are laser swords! Isn't that obvious! Anyone with children into Star Wars can see that instantly. Wooden branches painted with metallic blue-turqouise kind of semi-transparant paint. Oooohhhhhhh! Pretty! So I want to borrow them, and try them out directly. What piece could I use? Oh I have this semi-finished necklace, that I started a couple of days ago, but haven't finished yet, coz I haven't decided how long I want it to be.

So ... what do you think? Nice prop? Nice necklace? How long should it be? Any opinions on the design?

Important update:
My kids just got home from school, and they told me about the props. Of course they are not laser swords at all. Anyone with kids who are into Star Wars can see that ... ;-)
"They are wooden swords perfectly made to brake other sticks or branches if you are in a wooden stick fight or war. Their names are Hogo and Bogo." Well there you go. Sorry for misleading you at first.

And now over to the partner bit. My Bead Soup Blog Partner's name is Susie Hibdon, with the blog Vintage Susie & Wings. I only checked her out very briefly so far. I need a bit more time for a more proper presentation of Susie. Her blog is about not only her jewelry. When I scanned through it I saw a lot of what I believe is called "Americana", so I suppose I will learn a lot about that too. However, my instant impression is that she has this wonderful hippiesh approach to life. Right down my own alley. Now - I don't know - possibly a lot of people don't associate hippie with something positive. It depends of course on from which angle you are looking. For me it means liberal values, an openess to differences, casual attitude to general "musts", and so on. I need to explain a lot more of what I mean of course, but this is not the right time or place for that discussion. Susie Hibdon seems like a nice lady I would easily get on with. Here's a few of her designs.
She has this quote on her blog. Wise words! That's how I try to live my life.

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
Mark Twain

Friday 5 August 2011

Obladi Oblada - Life Goes On

"Life goes on, yeah". A lot is going on right now. It's an intense period for me in many different areas. So, I thought I'd share some stuff with you. Very diverse things in this post.
I am going through a period when I come up with new ideas and designs easily. I feel very inspired artistically. I play around a lot, and see what happens. A lot of the things I come up with I don't end up using. And that's just how it should be I think, when you are experimenting and trying new things. Then again, some I don't want to show yet, if I will send them to magazines. But above here are two maybes for ending up in my shop. Earrings. Made tonight, and hence no natural light for the photograpghy. The hooks are really really big.

Cording is involved in a few of my latest ideas. I want to find clever and ingenious ways of using cords so that they both function as a necessary component for holding a piece together, but also become one of the main design features of it. Sort of instead of a focal. It is rather difficult I think, and I tend to simplify by the end of my processes. Guess how many variations that earring to the left have gone through. I don't know honestly. Probably 20 if I count all the different directctions and placements of different knots, or the trying to use wire and so on. And guess what, I am having great fun!

Well, to be honest I kind of ripped off the style of he green one from the Mustard Yellow Button Earrings by Mandy Shaner. Aren't they attractive?!
So, I am in the mood for buttons. Below some nice ones you will find on Etsy.

Look at this lovely new design from Ornamentea. I think I will have to make something along these lines any day soon. Here's the tutorial for Duet Bracelet at Ornamentea

And finally, something of a more heavy nature, that I feel the need to share with you - anyone - humanity - the universe:

Today I have had a new assistant introduced to me. And a lady from the counsel, who I have never met before was here also. At one point near the end of the meeting, she said "Malin, YOU shall not think about that. It's not your responsability to think about how you shall say things, or to make things work well for the people helping you. YOU shall not think that you need to change, or adjust to them. It is YOU who need help. Otherwise we wouldn't be here, would we."

You know what?! I started crying!

No one has ever said anything like that to me ever since I started getting assistance two years ago. All I have ever heard is that I must understand how difficult it is for everyone else. (And believe me, that has been said a lot.)

My own reaction was a bit chocking to myself, and I understand how tense I am about the topic. No one has ever said anything like that to me before. Can you believe that? Of course that is how it should be. But all the emphasis has been on that I must understand everyone else. And how difficult it is for them. Never a word about that things are difficult for me. It's been more demands on how I should be, and lots of questions where I need to adjust to others needs.

I don't know what more to say about this. I am just still affected by my own reaction, it was so sudden, and I was so unprepared. I think about how helpless I feel. And how I can't bare to carry myself as well as everyone else. I just can't bare it.

It is strange to be in the middle of a very strong emotion, that you have not fully grasped yet. But for some reason I feel I want to share this with you. I don't know why. It just feels big. It's life. And life goes on, obladi oblada.

Bless the Beatles. I should of course have a YouTube clip here of that song. But it's getting late. I am tired. You will have to find it yourselves. I will look tomorrow for sure. :-)