Tuesday, July 15, 2014

AND THE WINNER IS......

 Well, first off, let me announce the winner..  

MISCHELLE

 has won this pair of fun beautiful earrings and I am sooooo happy for her.  And I would also like to THANK ALL of you who participated, I really truly appreciated all your shares and comments very much. This has been a fun thing for me to do and I am going to plan on doing more in the future. I hope you enjoyed this and please try again at my next GiveAway..  I also wanted to Thank ZnetShows for those amazing sea glass beads...



Hugs to all....

Chris

Monday, July 07, 2014

FIRST "GIVEAWAY"

Yes, its my very first time for doing a "GIVE AWAY" and I am rather excited about it.  I did some research and checked out other designers give-away so I can see how I was going to do mine. So, this is it..  :-)

For those who are new to my blog, I am a designer for ZnetShows.  We often receive a beautiful handful of beads to create with. Many of our creations are put into their magazines and are also sometimes posted on their blog or website.  This set of earrings was created as part of the recent "Summer Days and Nights" challenge. I did not put them in the magazine so that I could use them as a bonus design on my blog, hence this Give-Away.

These are beautiful cherry red sea glass beads from ZnetShows.   I hand forged the copper wires and added the size 2 rondelle for that extra bling.  These are approximately 2 1/ inches long including the wire.  The copper is sealed with Clear Guard. 

Rules: well, I dont have many..lol.  All I really ask is that you leave a comment on this post.  Below I have a rafflecopter form and would greatly appreciate you filling it out and share the love of my blog.  Its not mandatory, just appreciated. I will put your name in the raffle for each item you fill out and complete on the form. So if you only fill out one of the items along with a comment, I will put your name in twice, etc.

Thank you so much for your interest and your participation...  PS, I do plan on another give away in September...so you might want to join my blog and like my FB page to see what I have coming up next..I will give you a hint, its not jewelry, but you can create something fun with it....and perhaps a few extras fun things tossed in!

***HUGS***





“WINGS N SCALES”






a Rafflecopter giveaway

My New Watermark for my Photos

You know how it goes when you want to leave that special watermark on your photos and you want something that stands out..something that is YOU and represents what you make.  I am constantly changing my watermark signature to find the one that really works and stands out.  

I was looking online one day for who knows what..hehehe and I saw this beautiful signature that was so simple and it had this cute simple flower that was I think blue and the rest of the signature of her name and then her website...I LOVED it...  But you know me, I can not do simple. 

 SOoo, I did the hunt on Graphic Stock where I have found so many amazing graphics already.  I searched for WINGS since my business is Wings N Scales..Wings represent Fairies and Scales represents Mermaids just in case you didn't know... So I found this great graphic that is a PSD file so I can edit it in Photoshop..YAY.


So, this is the image I found and fell madly in love with. This image is a JPG, so what you see is what you get.  The PDS file has all of the layers.  So, I separated the layers and kept just the woman and the wings and got rid of the background. Then changed the colors.

Then once I found the picture I wanted, I needed to find a fun font.  I usually go to DaFont.com, the trick is finding a font that is free for commercial use.  They are there, but take some time to find them.  Most are for personal use.  Always read the rules before you install them on your computer just in case you want to use them for anything that is considered commercial.


I think this turned our rather cute dont you?  Now this is a jpg so its not the file I use for my watermark but I just love the colors...sooo me!  I thought maybe the girl was too large at first, but I think any smaller would have been not as powerful or noticeable.

I would love to hear your feedback on this.. 

If you think its too colorful, or to big.. I can always change it, or leave it alone!  

THANKS...


Friday, July 04, 2014

ZNETSHOW “Summer Days & Nights”..Magazine reveral

Another bundle of pure beachy joy by Znetshows was sent to me along with many other designers to see what we could come up with for the "Summer Days & Night" challenge.  I will tell you this, you will be quite excited to see all the creations in this magazine. We were also asked what our "PERFECT SUMMER" would be like...  Well, you see how I write sometimes...like a NOVEL sized blurp.    So believe me when I say...mine was a bit wordy and really there was no room for it in the magazine..so I am going to tell you what my perfect summer is to me here on my blog.....lots more room to write and probably bore you to death!!LOL

"My idea of a perfect summer would be sitting on the beach with my toes in the sand and enjoying the cool breeze on a hot day. Of course I would have a hat on and some sunscreen slathered all over my body and a huge pair of sunglasses on.  I would be sitting next to my hubby while he reads. Then also, I would have to have my handy dandy camera with me so I can take millions of pictures only to pick out 10 of my favorite ones later. As for night time, sitting at an outside restaurant eating my favorite fish and chips and having a nice glass of wine or ice cold beer with my hubby...yea, he has to tag along just about everywhere I go, he can be fun!"



Now for the more exciting part of this post...the Magazine.. 
 You can find me on page 74-76.




 To see all the participants visit Znetshows Blog

So, with all the yummy beads, here are some pictures which are not posted in the magazine.. Remember this picture below, this is what I started out with.


This is what I made for my evening wear...its beautiful.  I am quite happy with the finished piece


 See the yummy Swarovski ravolis?


 I bought these great pewter beads at Beads On Main when they had their big sale, its so pretty and is double sided


 And the fun beaded rope..  I watched a quick video on You Tube and got to work..once I got started it was pretty easy to make...but is a very loose stitch so I put the sari silk in the middle for added strength and stability of the beads.


I added a metal filigree backing to the Swarovski rivoli which gave the beads better support and it made it so much prettier I think.


This red design was just an added piece I had to do.  I made the polymer beads, was lots of fun to see this piece fall into place.  I had no idea what I was going to do with all the red hour glass sea glass beads other than the dangle part.  


 I made the dangle part first and beaded a loop on the top not really knowing what I was going to attach it to.


 I made the large beads first...which I think turned out really well..Then I had all this scrap clay I didnt want to waste, so I ended up making the ring you see here.  Little by little this piece came together and I am in love with it!


 I had this clasp for another creation I was going to make, but then decided it looked really good on this necklace...


 Here are the beads, they are quite big for me, but I am getting used to the larger beads.


This is my day time piece.  Now this one, I am going to keep.  It is amazing and very summery and beachy.  I had these beads sitting on my table for some time...not knowing what I was going to do and the deadline was getting closer and closer.....and closer.


It fits me perfectly..LOL


Here is a close up of the starfish pendent I made with polymer clay



 I actually made the bracelet first.  I love this bracelet too...all the dangly beads...


I kept the cording ends long so I could keep them as part of the design element...


Love this clasp...its rather large, but look how fun it is...and its easy to handle for those with larger fingers


I just love this color combination. Sunny, beachy and bold...


I thought the earrings would look best with the same dangling strands of cord with all the same beads tied on.  


And for a fun pair of earrings for my almost final piece.


I have a perfect top that will go well with these earrings..


This is my final piece.  I made these last but did not put them in the challenge.  I had run out of time.  


Now for the real fun part!  Yup, I am going to do a "GIVE AWAY" with this pair of earrings. I have never done one before and have seen lots of other designers do this and I have actually participated in a few.  If you are interested in my GIVE AWAY, please make sure you leave a comment.  Once I get my rules squared away, I will send you a little message and post it on my blog.

Thanks sooooo much for stopping by and checking out the new magazine!

Chris

Blog Hop Participants:

ChristinaMiles <-----me----->

Monday, June 30, 2014

Graphic Stock review

I was given this gift from Graphic Stock and was asked to do a review of their digital products.  In doing so, I was given full access to their website and was able to pick and choose any of the graphics they have on their site. The beauty of this, is that any of the graphics I download I get to keep for life...and I can use them on my commercial website without paying an extra fee as many other graphic sites charge.  Being that I create slideshows for students who graduate in the program I work at, I can have so much more fun with the variety of designs I have to choose from.  I also do my own website and my sisters so, this is going to be much more fun once I start updating our sites.

So let me begin with how much I honestly love their website.  

Its very user friendly.  Once I logged in, I was able to move around the site very easily.  I am going to show you some screen shots I took of my dashboard and explain what I see.


This is what you will fist see once you log in, you can see on the left are your account management options.  It tells you the date when you opened your account and welcomes you by name.  Just below that are a couple of search engines where you can get to work right away looking for a specific graphic 


This screenshot is on the same page as the picture above only it has drop-down menu's where you can explore the different categories if you just want to browse around and see what the have. The first time I did this, I must have spent hours looking around..so much to see!


This is a screen shot of the images on the DESIGN ELEMENTS category.  You can see that I have it set to 48 images per page and look how many pages there are..OMG..I could not even look at the all.  One thing I do want to know you can search by file type too...look where it says VECTOR, RASTER, PHOTOSHOP near the upper middle area.  You check off these boxes and it will refine your search for these file types.  


This is what you see when you type in jewelry, you see all the different ways you can search for something you are looking for.


Here are some examples of what they have when I looked up Jewellery. Pretty designs.


These are GREAT! I love banners, and these are perfect of blogs and even websites.


I love these too...LOL  now as I mentioned earlier, I create slideshows...and one of the best parts for me is how to make the slides FUN for the students...so with this picture, I would take it apart and use the mustache on one student, put a pipe in their mouth..or maybe add the glasses to a teacher...anything to make the pictures stand out...  I will eventually add more examples of this particular image later..  :-)


One thing I really like about Graphic Stocks images is they give you a variety of designs using some of the same elements.  Look at the difference here... and again, I could use the graphic above and put it in my own background or maybe one of the other backgrounds I find here...

As for my conclusion of this review, I will say this... Graphic Stock is AWESOME..and I am not saying that because I am being partial to them.  I have used other graphics from other sites and have had to pay per item, and had to pay more for commercial rights.  Some graphics I have paid up to $30 just for that license plus the price of the graphics.  With Graphic Stock, that is not so.. You pay an annual fee, you get full benefits of their graphics including commercial rights without an extra fee.  And as always with any graphics on line, they are copyright protected, so your only limit is to not make money off of them, claim them as your own and a few other limitations which you can read in the Support Center before you decide you want to join in.

So, what are you waiting for?  Check out their website.

I promise it will be worth all 7 days to explore everything they have :-)

Thanks for reading this post and I hope you take advantage of their offer..

HUGS
Chris








Friday, June 27, 2014

Flight of the Dragonfly Challenge

I love dragonflies, they are so amazing to watch and a little scary when they buzz by your head if you are not expecting it.  I decided to join in on the Dragonfly challenge presented by KraftyMax on the Bead Soup Cafe Facebook group I belong to.  Not one design is the same in this challenge.  I decided to paint up my dragonfly.  I have 2 paintings, one I actually was able to finish before the cut off date. So here are the examples of my creation..This is a Blog/No Blog Hop, so those who have a blog to share I have listed them below my images..


I found these awesome beads at Beads On Main, its one of our local bead stores and she has some amazing stuff there...I also got the square link/connector which is beautiful!


I started to make the bead-work on the sides and didn't like how it was turning out, maybe 3 times I had to tear up the pieces I started to make.  I ended up using the glass cylinder beads and just love how it finally fit into place.


Before I put the bead work on and tightened it all up to fit both sides nice and snug, I glued a nice peace of leather on the back side.


And finally the sari silk was the last thing I added.  I made the J hook clasp and beaded up a little band around the wire which is wrapped around the silk that is looped around the end of the hook. Phew...that was a mouthful!  Hehe

This is a better view of the pendent.  You can see now where the word DRAGON is written and FLY, and the heart.  Now, see if you can find my signature...LOL


Here is a close up of the clasp, simple and does a nice job!  Its quite comfortable too.  Its made with blackened steel wire and I sealed it with some really good spray..sorry, too lazy to go find the brand name...LOL  I will get it later.  :-)


Finally another cabochon I painted for this challenge but didnt have enough time to get it finished.  I think this one turned out quite lovely.  It is painted with watercolors and sealed with resin.  It is still in the works and hope to finish it soon.  I struggled a lot with this pendent.  I am not all that experience at beadwork, I consider myself a beginner/intermediate beader.  I wound up being a tad too loose once I got to beading the upper half, but I found a way to tighten it, and I am quite pleased with the finished work..


I am very happy to announce that I am FINISHED with the second dragonfly.  I need to start naming my pieces.  I think it would be great if I had the wits to come up with some fun names...but no..I just am not all that good at it...Hmmm...I think I need to call my BFF in NY.


Wow...are you feeling the love???  This dragonfly looks grumpy though, but when I had a nice close up picture, that is really what their faces look like...those frowns...  Its hard to see in this picture, but the yellow beads I bought to match the body of the dragonfly.  The yellow and black beads were mixed on the strand and I just knew they would match quite well.  And those huge lavender beads...wow..to see them in person they are beautiful and add some magic to the dragonfly.


I went shopping the other day at Michaels, and found these great dragonfly pendents.  I thought...hmmm..I might use this sometime, and they were on sale..which is always a benefit! I didnt know I was actually going to use the pendent in my design, but when I finished the beadwork, it looked a little naked still..so yea, the dragonfly looks really nice.  I added some patina to kind of match the dragonfly painting.


I struggled some with the clasp...wasnt really wanting to make the J hook, but I did.  I refused to go to the bead store one more time...cuz you know you cant just buy one thing there...  So after I wrapped the wire around the fabric and leather...it still needed something to tie into the design...it was just too plain for me.  Then, the flower spoke to me...and I put it all together and it was done.. Ahhhhh...   The fabric, just so you know, came all the way from Ireland.  When hubby and I went there several years ago, I saw this fabric in one of their side shops..  I love how it shimmers, and being that at the time I was making lots of mermaid dolls, I thought this would be a great piece to bring home.  Funny thing is, I never used it to make any of my dolls yet..and that was probably...hmm...10 years ago now...maybe 8.  It is a purple fabric with a blue shimmer, perfect match!


You can visit my flickr page to see all the photos I have taken of my designs

Thank you very much for stopping by and please take a peek at some of the other participants...




Thursday, June 12, 2014

Bead Soup final piece

Well, since my time has been a little limited on creating over the past few months, it has taken me a little bit of extra time to complete my bead soup creations.  I had enough beads left to play a little more...  Again, I appreciate ALL of the beads and findings from my bead soup partner Christine...

So, here it is, I hope this piece is liked as much as my other pieces..  I used hand blown glass beads created by Modern Trails who's Etsy shop is no longer available.  I hope to find her again, I just love her beads...


Friday, May 09, 2014

8th Bead Soup Reveal - UPDATED

Wow...another soup has been created and ready to show off.

Lori Anderson has done it again with an amazing blog hop with some very talented jewelry designers.

I am so very thankful for my partner Christine for all the amazing beads she sent me.  Christine has 4 young men and really enjoys spending time with them.  She told me she now sells her jewelry in 5 local shops where she lives.  I am sure that keeps her quite busy... She loves vintage and creates many of her pieces with that old antique look and feel. I love the stuff, but really have not ventured into this area with jewelry making.  So this was a bit of a challenge for me at first.  I did some drawings, some I liked and some I didn't..  If you want to take a peek at the soup she gave me before I created the designs out of them, you can find them here.

So, here is my first creation...  I think I am going to redo this piece.  I am not totally happy with it.  I love LOVE the pendent and the leaf below it..which was made by Jeannie K Dukic of JKD Studio. I drilled two more holes in it so I could put the leaf below it.  I know I can do better with this pendent, but for some reason, I didn't have the vision.  You know how it goes when you don't have the visual idea in your head...  It will get there eventually...the AH HA moment...
As you see, the pendent is beautiful and the leaf is perfect for the pendent.
I really do like how this part of the necklace turned out.
I decided to use the wooden beads, but it makes the necklace really light in weight. I used wire, perhaps that is why I am not totally in love with the necklace.  I thought the wire would be a good mix, but I think that may be the problem...  I do like the sari silk and that I added the seed beads to it to spice it up some...

UPDATED NECKLACE
Ok, So I did something a little different...I thought I would try using these fun backgrounds I got from GraphicsStock.  Let me know what you think of the updated necklace. I took off the wire and used some nice heavy CLon thread and strung on the beads.  I made some bead caps with the really pretty drop beads.  I wanted to use them and just couldn't figure out what I was going to make with them.  So finally the light came on with this necklace.  I think its much better, fits nicer and has a little more pizzazz. I made a beaded bead using the same drop beads and put it in between the beads on the left side.  I also added more of the sari silk knots and beaded those up too.  I am now happy with the results.
This may not look a whole lot different, but believe me, its much nicer...

Close up of beaded  bead...this was not an easy to make bead...it looks nice, but what a challenge...I used right angle weave to make a cube, then beaded the drop beads in between each side. 
These fun bead caps were very easy to make...I just made a simple ring with seed beads then went back around and added to drop beads. I considered making them for both ends of the beads but then they didn't hang right on the coin beads.


For the second piece, it took me some time to figure this one out, but when the idea hit...it hit in full speed!
I just took this picture today. Natural lighting is always better to show off the true colors...I think it shows off the necklace a lot better.  You can really see the two different chains I used and all the beautiful beads... Christine has a good eye for bead soups...  :-)
Love this necklace.... I used two types of leaf chains, one which Christine gave me and one I have had for a long time and I guess I was waiting for the right time to use it.
I wire wrapped the beads onto the chain.  Used the large green magnetite bead for the end bead.  This gives it the nice balance in weight.
I found this ribbon at Sams Club which was on clearance from Easter...I love clearance stuff...who doesn't?  SO, I cut it up and made a kumihimo braid out of it for the back half of the necklace... Glued the ends and added the caps and wire...  The kumihimo braid is a bit thick but I think it fits this piece rather well.  If it was thinner, I think it would not have felt right when its worn..

Look at this awesome clasp!  I love it...  At first I wasn't sure what I was going to do with it, I don't usually use large clasps... then as I was browsing through some magazines...that...OH YEA...now I know what I am going to do...I wanted to make a lariat.  I have never made one before and it was time I did!  I laid out the beads and chain and got to work.  First though I had to attach the clasp.  It weighs down the necklace enough that it fits nicely.  The large bead fit perfectly through the hole of the clasp so I knew this was going to work for what I had in my head...  :-)

See how pretty this looks...
The colors were a perfect match for me.  You know how you can have that mental block on certain colors...well, I get that with certain colors of beads...guess I need to get past that some day...LOL
I know I know...the colors of the bead look slightly different..Well, I had to use my older camera to take the pic...so it didn't quite make the lime green pop...they are beautiful beads...
YUM!

Ok, I think you are really going to love this next piece... I am not sure if its my favorite or if the necklace is my favorite...but its quite yummy..
Now this is probably the toughest design I came up with.  Not that it was hard to make, it was more like...what the heck do I do with those amazing antique buttons!!!  I wanted so bad to put them in the right place in the design and to have them pop out somehow.  This was my biggest challenge I think.  It was the last piece I made.  First I made the bracelet...I love it...I love how it fits but...it was a tad loose.  So, I had to do some brain storming and finally I decided to use the sari silk.  Well... I didn't want it to be attached to the bracelet so I then remembered in the back of my head how one of the FB members made these great leather clasps with snaps. (Jean Campbell???)..well, mine are not as pretty, but I think the set turned out ok after 2 attempts...I used heavy gauge wire for the connection parts...the j hook and the end it hooks on.  I need to take a better picture so you can see what I mean...  :-)

See the beautiful pendent...its a vintage button glued onto a filigree backing...LOVE..
I used a flower chain I had received from ZnetShows which I took apart and re-attached. I wire wrapped the vintage diamond buttons into the center of the larger metal flower, then attached the smaller flower to the bottom of the larger flower.
I attached the small leaf beads to a ring and then put it in-between the beads.
Here is another view of the other side.
See how pretty this turned out...  
Here is the close up of the clasp I made.  I worked out fairly well through trial and error.  I used a regular ole tiny hole punch to put holes in the leather.  I didn't even need to glue anything down.  I am not a heavy fan of using glue in jewelry, but I do if it is necessary.

UPDATED

I wanted to share another bracelet I made with my soup mix...  I really like how this one turned out even though it is quite simple.  Sometimes simple is the best way to go... 
This is the same necklace I put on a background graphic I got from GraphicsStock.  I used the beautiful green beads from my soup and some really pretty agate rocks from our local rock store...I really like the greens, blues and purples mixed in.  I made the claps from heavy gauge copper.  

Thanks once again Lori Anderson for this awesome Bead Soup Blog Party...  Please check out her blog to see the list of all the FANTASTIC jewelry designers... You dont want to miss out!