August 26, 2013

End of Summer... and a New Beginning

I've been busy for the past couple of weeks, hence my inefficiency at planning and executing posts.  This spring I was accepted into a Ph.D. program (yay!!) with a full fellowship (double yay!!).  So for the majority of June though July and into the beginning of August I've been going in to get reacquainted with the lab, and thus my schedule has gone off the rails trying to readjust to the stressful life of a student.  I am going through with opening my shop and I will try extremely hard not to neglect it.  I know it's going to be a rough couple of years but if by the end of it I have an established shop it will be well worth it.  Here are a couple of new creations that will be making an entry into my shop! Stay tuned Grand Opening will be under way shortly!! 

June 11, 2013

Vacation in New Orleans

First and foremost: the contest.  What have I learned from this contest?? One month is not enough time to design and make a well thought out  piece for a contest, so how am I going to reconcile my discovery?? I'm going to start designing a contest piece for next year, since there will always be a seed bead contest at Fire Mountain Gems.  So color pallets, design concepts, and selecting components for my piece, will be a process this time.  I have one whole year to get it together.  Okay so back on track.... vacation in New Orleans!! Well sort of...

My husband had to attend a Microsoft conference in New Orleans, his company was setting him up in a nice hotel for a week.  When I found out that he was going, I jumped on the band wagon as well, a semi free vacation: YES PLEASE!  My husband's plane ticket was payed for, five days in the hotel was paid for, and his food was paid for; we just had to pay for my air fare and an extra night.

New Orleans was GORGEOUS! The architecture is just breathtaking, and the iron work just left me speechless!
These beauties were hanging in front of a cafe. 

Palm Trees...These could have been taken in Florida!

The Audubon Insectarium, I really wanted to go in but the hubby wasn't into it.

There were so many street artists and each one was as unique as the last!

The Cathedral in front of Jackson Square.

Another view of the Cathedral.

I believe this was a cruise. The harbor/river walk was serene, I was sitting along some steps leading to the river catching
my breath after a two mile walk!

I don't know if you can see the intricacies of the iron work but they are truly inspirational!
Another building with lovely intricate iron work, I could sit and stare at it all day long. 
We were staying at a hotel near the Convention center, so my walk to the French Quarter was about a mile. I would go out in the morning and be back by noon, that's when the temperature was unbearable.  Once the hubby was back from the conference we would go out for dinner, either with our cousin or with his team.  Over all I had fun, it was nice to just get away for  a while and not have to think about what I needed to do to launch my business or the fact that in less than a week now I'm going to be starting my Ph.D. (pounds head on desk). My postings will lessen, but hopefully I'll do a better job at scheduling and maintaining blog posts. Stay tuned for more jewelry!!

May 22, 2013

Blue Statement Necklace for the FMG Contest: Sneak Peak!

It's been really busy for the past week and a half. I've had to do so many things it's not even funny. This weekend my baby brother graduated from Widener University as an engineer!!! So very proud of him. Anyways, we had to leave at 7:30am to get there by 8:30 so that we would be able to find seats and get situated by 9:00am when the ceremony actually started. It was a beautiful day, not too hot and not too cold but there was a chill in the air.

Waiting at Widener University for the Commencement to begin
 We couldn't stay for the whole ceremony, we waited until 12:00pm and when it was still not over we called my brother and told him to come out.  We congratulated him and took pictures with him and left because we had to go to New Jersey. It took us a good two hours to get there: traffic was just brutal.

Ok, rewind to last Monday or Tuesday, I can't remember, I woke up with intense lower back pain.  I was unproductive for a week! The first couple of days it was excruciating to sit, to stand, to lay down and to bend over to pick something off the ground but towards the end of the week I was doing so much better and then Saturday happened.  Sitting on those seats at the graduation, sitting awkwardly in the car for at least five hours and then going to the movies and sitting on those stupid seats for another three hours: IT. WAS. AGONY! But I'm better now, it still hurts but not to the extent that it did, I'm taking better care of my self so my beading has gone down to a minimum.  I have managed, though, to create most of the individual components for my contest piece.

This was my initial sketch of the piece that I am making, it started out with just an encased rivoli at the center and everything else just fell into place.  As I have made each component the piece has evolved. For example the central rivoli should be relatively small compared to the one that I made:

I just love the brilliant and magical blue of the rivoli which complements the subtle bi-cones that embellish it. This was my second attempt at the central component the first was as follows

The same brilliant rivoli but it is completely embellished with pyrite, I had to disregard this for the central component because it was just too subtle and small.

The smaller of the two main components does not have the same visual impact.
The larger of the two central pieces, two more of the smaller rivolis will be set along side the larger component.

 I have to make a couple of more components, six more to be exact (I hope), and then I need to connect everything together, take pictures, and enter the contest.  It's a lot of pressure because the first place winner will recieve a $1,000 to spend at Fire Mountain Gems.  This could possibly jump start my business!!

I was linking up to my usual blog hops and guess what I discovered??  I was featured at the Fine Craft Guild! It truly is a milestone for me!! Hop over to the Fine Craft Guild, she has a great selection on different topics!!

Fine Craft Guild

*Website update: we upgraded that platform that we are going to use so that I can add more items to the shop, however we hit a few snags when we tried to integrate a gallery of sorts.  It might take a bit longer to sort this out, especially since the hubby has started class again*

May 14, 2013

The Adventures of the Beaded Bead: The Bead Cap

As you may have gathered I have a slight obsession when it comes to bead weaving and those tiny little seed beads.  I love how some thing so tiny can be combined together to create something beautiful: the possibilities are endless!!  I'm going to let all of you on a tiny secret, I'm finally working on a piece that will enter the Fire Mountain Gem's Beading Contest for seed beads.  My color palette is steely grey with a metallic bright blue accent, and of course pyrite has to be involved (what would I do with out it!?!). I have the basic layout ready and I was working on the central drop when I decided that a beaded bead would have to be showcased here.  Half way through, weaving the little beauty, I had a epiphany: that lovely half a beaded bead could work so nicely as a bead cap and bail.  That's when I was derailed from my project, I spent two days of precious time trying to figure out the best stone to be captured by the bead cap. Remember those lovely electroplated quartz daggers?!  The thin ones fit perfectly into the bead cap!  And the final product truly does look like an extravagant embellished dagger.  After I made one, I had to make another, this time I used a quartz briolette instead which was just as equally extravagant. 

Electroplated Quartz beaded bead pendant
This beaded bead cap securely displays the beauty and the exotic nature of the quartz dagger. 

Quartz beaded bead pendants
The quartz dagger along with the alluring quartz briolette that sits so comfortably in the bead cap.

Quartz beaded bead
The beaded bead cap with the quartz briolette pendant.
These two pendants are just a glimpse of the piece that I am making for the contest it is slightly similar to my A Peacock in Paradise necklace, but it's going to be more elaborate.  But you can be sure to see more of these stunning beaded bead caps!  On a side note, my shop is almost finished (there are slight glitches I need to fix), I hope to have it up and running by next week! YAY!
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