Saturday, July 28, 2012

HOT, HOT, HEAT and NEW Glass Headpins designs- MAKU Studio and Starry Road Studio

Hello friends!

Yeah, it is a band actually(post title), but this time I am talking about the weather. To say it has been hot is an understatement. You know it's bad when you see church signs like this! LOL. One of our local churches had the same message, but I just copied this one since I didn't get a chance to snap a pic here. 

So due to the weather production was SLOW this week. The one "break" we had in the weather after a storm made the temp drop, but the humidity PEAK. I think humidity is worse than super hot temps honestly. So I opened the window thinking I was going to get a good lampworking day in only to cut it short. 

I did, however, create some GORGEOUS NEW glass headpins. I didn't end up having time to list them this week, but you can expect to see them this coming week!

So how did these new designs come about? Well I had the extreme pleasure of doing a trade with Marianne Kasparian of  MAKU Stuido! Marianne asked me if I could make some headpin pairs for her to use in her work. Below is some of Marianne's incredible clay masterpieces.

Here are some of her AMAZING hearts! I just LOVE the ones with the nails!

This one even has a little heart window cut out! So awesome! You know how I love negative space and look at that COLOR! Wow!

Tiny ones for earrings???! OMG!

You might also recognize Marianne's work by her fabulously funky little birds. Look! This guy is even in my favorite colors! ;)
Maybe you recognize her work by her incredible ammonites. Aren't the just outstanding??!

So with her styles and colors in mind, I got to work creating matches. How often do we get to do this as artists(get to "copy" a style in your medium to match)??! As you may know that answer is, not often. So I put on my designing cap and dug into my glass. I picked out colors, silver leaf, fine silver wire, reactive and heat color changing glasses(raku) to make complimentary headpins.

I remembered seeing this gorgeous heart with that rim of bright lime green. I immediately thought of one of my odd lot glasses!
Here is a close-up of the bright green color along with the gorgeous rainbows in Raku.

I also wanted to create some headpins to match these raku fired beads that have an ivory hue to them with a band of silver around the core. 

Of course, I had to try some ammonites as well...

Here are the results!  From the top middle clockwise: Ammonite shell accents with Raku bottoms, raku bubble button dots with bands of sis and raku bottoms, black with a band of sis and fine silver dots, BRIGHT electric lime droplets with raku and stone bottoms etched, black with raku and stone bottoms etched, black raku stone bottoms etched with shiny bubble buttons, black with sis spirals etched and bubble buttons, black with sis bottom dot and shiny raku hearts, and raku spiral electric lime pods!
Here is the back view.

 WOW! Can you believe this fantastic collection of matching headpins?! I was SO EXCITED by the results!
Here is a close-up of all of that amazing "webbed" Raku COLOR! OMG! It's sooooo pretty!!

My good friend Karen had nudged me to see if I was going to make some more.  She had also asked me about a special design for an idea she had.
Here are the headpins I made for Karen. Some are similar to the ones above except for the 2 sets on the far left. The ones closest to the raku and electric lime pods are black with "curdled" sis dots and roundish. 
The other pair was this idea I had wanted to create especially for Karen. As you may know, her business name is "Starry Road Studio". 
Here is a close-up of the design.  I call these "Galaxy" Headpins.

There is black at the top scattered with far away stars and then some dots of silver for more visible stars. There is a band of "asteroids" next and then a rainbow "nebula" at the bottom! Aren't they just INCREDIBLE?! I just adore them! 

So this is what you can expect to see in the shop coming up this week!

See ya soon!

xo Genea

Thursday, July 19, 2012

More stone texture beads in the shop! New colors and designs!

Hello friends!

OMG is it HOT outside. It is especially hot today. The kind of heat that makes your head hurt after only being outside for a few minutes. It is a sweltering 102 degrees outside today! I sure am glad to be back in the basement under a fan!

You may have seen my shop update on facebook a few hours ago. I got my listings done and then took a break to enjoy some lunch Ricky made this afternoon. I sure do miss eating meals together since he works so much! I then took my dad out for a sundae for his birthday. He is celebrating 62 this year!

So, anyways, here we are with my blog update and a little bit more inside info on the new beads and styles. You know designs are always fun to start out with and add to. I did JUST that for these new beads. I used some more colors, combined styles and did shiny and matte!

You remember this design, right?
Well if tit looks awesome on clear, surely it will be awesome on black! 
Oooo dont' you just LOVE this design on black with that wonderful "lava" texture?! A little band of some silvered ivory and BAM! A wonderful mix of organic design and texture!

So a funny thing about these new black beads. JUST today Staci was posting some of her new work. I about crapped a brick when she showed me her new beads! It was like our beads were planned to match except we had not see each others beads at all!
Can you believe this?! Our beads are like a match made in heaven! I am not totally sure if these beads are going in her shop or if they are getting submitted for a bead mag. We could always harass Staci and see if she is listing them ;)

I began to play with the placement of the ivory and raku bands. I thought I would crack out the Coral odd lots I had to mess around and see what I could get.
Here you can see the Peach Coral on the top with stone texture and matte and on the bottom left shiny. One has a rainbow band across the center and one has the silver thread band across the center. I just love the different look of them! You will notice that etched they are a little less saturated in color, but have this glow to them.

Sooooooooo I had to try ALL of the odd lot batches of coral to see how they looked ;)
WOAH! Awesomness!

Then I had to try a few other colors. Some odd lot limey greens, EDP aka "Evil Purple", and of course, BLACK. You know the black ones look AMAZING with the new wing dings! 

So I wanted to do some more in the peachy coral since I really liked the results. 
So I started out in the "regular" lentil size, but tweaked the design a bit. I used the "leopard spots" on the side instead of the "rainbow ribbons". Sooooo pretty!
You know a set always could use a nice focal as well ;) I just love that band across the center where you can see the spiral come through. Look at that texture! It kind of has the texture of pumice stone ;)

So before this focal I actually made one before it. This one had a gorgeous rainbow band across it. It was SO stuck on the mandrel it BENT and CRACKED the corner off of the bead! What a sad day! :'(

You all know my very favorite color is lime green, right? So I HAD to try it out in green(as you saw in the little color sample I did above) BUT... why not stone texture and make them matte?! 
So here you will notice another funny thing. sometimes etching makes the beads BRIGHTER. As you can see, that is the case for these beads. Amazing huh?! The green and coral really like to let the ivory glass web and curdle. I LOVE the look!
Ooooo look at that COLOR! I just love the details on this bead! Check out that amazing rainbow color fade on the left side! Wow!
So when doing this focal in black I thought I would lay a fat ribbon of rainbow right in the center! Oooo look at how pretty it is! Look at all of that color, webbing and that amazing ripple in the spiral! 

So you know when you create something and you don't know if you should do another step. Well this was one of those instances. I thought about etching these, but just LOOK at all of that VIVID color! I LOVE the contrast of the sharp shiny black, the amazing "silver thread" band and the webbed rainbows up the sides! I just HAD to leave this set shiny!

Thanks so much for stopping by to see my latest update!

I hope you are staying cool! See you soon!

xo Genea

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Wire-Wrap Connector Tutorial

Hello friends!

I have another quick little tutorial for you! I always learn so much while I am working on things. I found this method to work so well I wanted to share it with you! 

round nose plyers
cutting plyers
bent chain nose plyers
6" 22 gauge dark annealed steel wire
Renaissance wax
clean cloth(use a scrap of a rag)
Patinated Ring in black- Karen Totten


Begin by coating your 6" piece of wire in renaissance wax. You can do this by taking a piece of cloth, rubbing a small bit of wax on the cloth and placing your wire in the waxed cloth. Pinch your cloth around the wire and run it through a few times. Allow a few minutes to "dry" (you can't really see if it's dry, but a few minutes will do). Then run it through a clean area of cloth. 

Grab your wire in the middleand fold it over your round nosed plyers to form a loop in the center(think like a bobby pin).
Next  with your round nosed plyers grab flat across the wire with just a little bit of the loop sticking out of the end of your plyers(use a little less than what you see in the photo). This loop only needs to be big enough to fit a small wire wrap dangle. 
Now curve the wire right until it just about folds on top of itself.
Now take the wire and slip your folded over "bobby pin" and slide it over the ring. This bend should "hug" over the patinated ring.
Now  pick up your bend chain nosed plyers and gently squeeze the bent over "bobby pin" to give it a more snug fit to the ring. 
Grab your round nosed plyers and grab across the patinated ring and the "U" shaped loop for stability.  This hold will give you some nice stability as you do your wire wraps. Dark annealed steel wire is MUCH stiffer than copper, brass or silver wire. 

Take the wire "tail" on your right and wrap a few times around the the patinated hoop.
This is how your wrap should look. See the nice tight coils to the right?

Now take your round nosed plyers and grab the patinated ring and "U" loop and wrap your other wire "tail" to the left side. You only need to do 2-3 wraps on each side, but you can do as many as you like. 

**Designers Note** You can also do some fancy wire wraps with the remainder of your wire "tail" after making your securing wire-wraps! Play around as you feel more comfortable with this technique and see where the design takes you ;) **
Next take your cutters and gently snip the wire "tail". 
You can now pick up your bent chain nosed plyers and gently "tuck" the snipped "tail". Repeat on the opposite side.
Here you can see how the wrap looks finished. See how you have a "U" shaped  dangle loop that hangs on the inside of the ring? This is where your wire-wrapped dangle will hang. 

**Designers Note** You can do a wire wrapped dangle that will hang in the bottom of the "U" shaped loop, but you can also add a jump ring around the patinated ring and through the top of the "U" in the "U" loop as well for an earring!(See last photo with necklace and earrings for a demonstration of this).

Here you can connect a wire-wrapped dangle to the "U" loop you just created. For instructions on that technique, please see my other tutorial here. 

Here is what the patinated ring looks like with a dangle hanging from the "U" loop you created :D

Remember my new necklace and earrings? This is where I came up with this wonderful technique while designing my new piece!

 Center patinated ring, toggle, and "Clay Ding" beads by Karen Totten.
Black Loopty Loops and  Batik Style Hippy Girl focal by Staci Smith
Enameled hoops, "Wing Dings," glass headpins and design by Genea C-K

I hope you enjoy using this technique in your creations!

xo Genea

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Box of treasures- Beads, Components & Jewelry- Staci Louise

Hello friends!

I am SOOOOO excited about the most recent box I received from Staci! Wow, does this girl SPOIL me! Our most recent exchange came about from one of our conversations. Staci was talking with me about us creating some designs with our special LIMITED ADDITION collaboration sets. I was telling her I really needed to get some new chain and findings since it had been AGES since I really spent a good amount of money on beading supplies(my main sink hole is glass ;P ). She was such a sweet heart and offered to send me a fun little package of some chain and other goodies to help get me inspired. She said she was really excited to get a box together for me since she loved picking out goodies to send. YAY! Well I couldn't leave my girl empty handed so I got together a box for her as well! You can see what she received from me here.

Oooo just look at this mix! Some of Staci's wonderful Sea Urchin charms, a patinated star with a face and one of her lovely wired swirly connectors she has used in her jewelry.
Here is one of her necklaces she made with a similar one :)

Oh look at all of this AWESOME chain!! I love these antiqued copper and brass chains! 

Look! She even sent me some of the SUPER CHUNKY chain she has! I just LOVE it!

She actually sent me 2 of her BEAUTIFUL  Batik Style "Hippy Girl" focals, but I already used on in a necklace! He he!

Awwww! She even MADE me jump rings! Now that is love! I can't imagine winding all of those up and cutting them all! Blegch! What a sweet girl!

Ooooo just look at this beautiful leaf focal and some wonderful metal shells!

OMG she even sent me some of her amazing Loopty Loop focals and her wonderful spiral s clasps! I just LOVE these!!

Awww fresh water pearls in my colors :) and some mop sticks, a large oval coral? barrel and a mop hoop.

Some more sea urchin spines! Some red(thank God, I have like NO red beads at all!) some wonderful kind of  fossily looking gray stones, some copper beads, and some other wonderful stones in oranges, and browns!

Look! She even sent me one of those gorgeous wire worked sea glass rings she had made for her shows!! I just LOVE it when she sends me jewelry too! I even have some pretty nails to show it off ;) 

Here are those rings I was telling you about...
Aren't they amazing?! I just love mine!!

I love black labradorite, turquoise  and amazonite! She even sent some dark green stones and some mixed ones!

Awww! she sent me some leather and suede as well! 

Staci makes these amazing cuff bracelets! You can see one below.
Sweet huh?!

OMG! Love these! Little texture stamped and patinated spirals and some little bronze organic dangles! They are SOOO sweet!

Oh here is my other batik style "Hippy Girl" focal that worked up perfectly into a design I had sitting on my table along with some of Karen's amazing "Clay Ding" beads

Staci, words can't fully express my gratitude for your kindness, inspiration and friendship! 
Thanks so much!!

xo Genea