Muffin Tin Challenge – Finished Jewelry

 One Dozen Earrings – Done!

Heather Powers, polymer clay artist extraordinaire, created a fun challenge she named the Muffin Tin Challenge.  The idea was to use muffin cups to organize everything needed to make a dozen pieces of jewelry and to complete the 12 projects in just a week’s time.  I didn’t catch on to this challenge until Wednesday and then I had other commitments for most of the weekend.  For me it pretty much boiled down to two and half days of marathon jewelry design.  I originally had a couple of necklaces and a bracelet planned in 3 of the muffin cups, but earrings are quicker and so I had to put off the more time-consuming projects for another time.  You can view my beads sorted into the muffin tins on the post I wrote this morning.

So without further ado, here are the first half-dozen pairs of earrings.

six pairs of handmade earrings This group includes 1 set of copper metal clay charms by Kristi Bowman of Dream Some.  This pair turned out a bit on the heavy side, so I may turn them into necklace pendants sometime soon.

Here are the second half-dozen earrings.

six pairs of handmade earringsAt the center top are earrings which feature a pair of small cranberry and amber lampwork glass beads by Beads and Botanicals, which I  paired with more charms from Dream Some.    The earring just below them also have very cool copper metal clay charms from Dream Some.  The long rectangular dangles on the two bottom pairs of earrings come from Miss Fickle Media.

I may blog about some of these earrings in more detail in the next few days, but I wanted to at least get out a brief post in time for the challenge.  The challenge was stressful to accomplish in 2 and a half days, but I also think it is good to occasionally push myself outside of my comfort zone.  If you visit the Art Bead Scene you can get links to other participants in this challenge.

Here’s a last look at 10 of the 12 sets.  Whew–mission accomplished!  What challenges have you met recently?

10 pairs of handmade earrings

Muffin Tin Challenge

A Hot One Dozen…

…and zero calories!  I love baking muffins and used to make them quite often.  I find that I rarely make them any more since the kids left home. But this lovely dozen was so much fun that I’m left with an appetite for more.

Heather Powers, writing for the Art Bead Scene, created the Muffin Tin Challenge.  The rules are as follows:

Fill the cup of a muffin tin with everything you need for one project – so the focal bead, accents, chain, findings – whatever you would need to complete one project and put that in one cup.  Repeat with the other 11 cups.  You now have 12 projects in a portable container ready for you to put together.  Grab your pliers/tools and sit somewhere comfy with your muffin tin and put each piece together knowing all your choices have already been made – your mission is to simply arrange those beads in a sassy design and complete those 12 projects as quickly as possible!  …put together 12 projects by June 27th.  Yes, 12 projects in a week – you can do it!

So here are the first half-dozen filled muffin cups.  I keep most of my beads in baggies, so it is a little hard to see what I have gathered up here.  There are a couple of charms from Miss Fickle Media included in this group.  I’ll be mostly making earrings, and these charms have been begging for attention!

Muffin tin of bead projectsHere’s the second half-dozen.  This group includes 2 sets of copper metal clay charms by Kristi Bowman of Dream Some and a pair of small cranberry and amber lampwork glass beads by Beads and Botanicals, which I plan to pair with one set of the charms.  I have the makings for 2 necklaces and one bracelet here–but at this point I don’t think I’ll have time to do the necklaces by Monday evening.  I will probably substitute 2 extra pairs of earrings.  I think I can do the bracelet though, as I’m just revising a previous design.

Well, there you have it!  Come back again tonight or tomorrow for the big reveal and you can see what I’ve done with this.  You can also visit the Art Bead Scene to get links to other participants in this challenge.

Beads in 6 muffin cups

Button Swap Reveal

The Swap

I love buttons and so I am excited to be participating in Michelle Mach‘s Button Swap.  As I explained on Tuesday, Michelle, the former editor of Beading Daily, paired all the button lovers up.  We exchanged buttons and today we reveal what we made with our new buttons. For more details you can read “New Buttons”.

Handmade necklace with castle pendant

My partner, Stephanie LaRosa sent me this stunning castle button.  When I saw the open-work at the top of the button I immediately knew that I wanted to use  the openings at the top  to string the necklace.  Although I wasn’t entirely sure how,  I figured that I could use  the shank in the back to attach sterling silver dangles.  I named this necklace:  Castles in the Sky.

silver colored castle pendant with chain dangles

I selected two lampwork (handmade glass) beads from Beads and Botanicals to set the color theme for the whole necklace.  These organically shaped, lampwork glass beads have fine silver tracings over sea-foam green, turquoise and  swirls of cranberry  and amber.  To highlight these gorgeous beads I placed a beautiful sterling silver bead cap at the base of each bead  and added a sterling silver lentil-shaped bead at the top.

Close up of lampwork glass by Beads and Botanicals

The remainder of the necklace includes lovely carved jade beads, aventurine and glass.  Visual interest is added with parts of the necklace designed with a single strand of beads and parts of the necklace displaying clusters of three strands.

green necklace with castle pendant and chain dangle

Castles in the Sky and it is now available in my ArtFire studio.

Blog Hop & Giveaway

Itching to see more great button creations?  Here are the links to all the other artisans who are participating the button exchange.

And, as an added bonus:  Michelle Mach  is having a giveaway!  Here’s how it works:  if readers comment on any (or all) blogs, they can win a set of buttons.  The full rules are on Michelle’s  blog, but basically, each comment on a different blog gets you one entry.  So if you comment on all posts, that would be 25 entries!  But if you comment 25 times on my blog, that only counts as one entry.  The giveaway is open to everyone.

Have fun visiting these blogs and discovering all the cool things that people  made with their buttons.
1. Cat – Boo Beads

2. Cindy – Sweet Bead Studio

3. Cory – Art with Moxie

4. Cyndi – Beading Arts

5. Dita – Alankarshilpa

6. Donna, Marti, and Michelle – Beads & Books

7. Erin – Treasures Found

8. Hope – Crafty Hope

9. Inca – Zerenity Design

10. Katrine – Army of Sock Monsters

11. Krista – French Elegant Jewelry

12. Kristie – Artisan Clay

13. Linda D. – Lutka and Co.

14. Linda L. – Linda’s Bead Blog  ✿You are here!✿
15. Lody – Lody’s Beadworks

16. Lori – Pretty Things

17. Loretta – Loretta’s Boutique

18. Malin – Beading by Malin de Koning

19. Mary – MK’s Creative Musings

20. Maryanne – Zingala’s Workshop

21. Melinda – Melinda Orr Metal & Clay Jewelry Designs

22. Saskia – Perlendistel

23. Shannon – For My Sweet Daughter

24. Shirley – Beads and Bread

25. Stephanie – Confessions of a Bead Hoader

News Bits

Off To The Art Fair

Tomorrow I’m heading to La Connner, WA  with my friend, Rose, to check out their holiday Art Fair.  I’m not a participant in this fair, but you can be sure I’ve packed my new camera, in case I see any inspiring booth designs.  I’ve got my focus on my up-coming shows the first two weekends in Dec.  I’ll also be doing some Christmas shopping.  I firmly believe that unique artisan-made gifts are the most fun to give and receive!

New Job

Today I received word that I’ll be supervising student teachers for the University of Washington!  This will just be part-time work, so I’ll still have plenty of time to devote to my jewelry.  I’m truly excited to be able to mentor the next generation of teachers.  I feel very passionate about education, educational reform and the rights of impoverished students to have a stellar education.  I guess 4 months was about as long as  I could keep my fingers out of the pot!

New Jewelry

I just added this pretty bracelet to my shop today.  Its chock-a-block full of beady goodness: lampwork glass, faceted gemstones, Swarovski crystals, freshwater pearls and sterling silver.  Despite that long list, its light, feminine and lovely!  Don’t forget that everything in my shop that is $25 and above is now 15% off.  Just use the coupon code:  Grateful.

Bracelet of lampwork, amethyst, Swarovski crystal and sterling silver

Lampwork glass, faceted amethyst and blue lace agate, Swarovski crystal, sterling silver, freshwater pearls

Earrings Galore!

All my lucky stars must have been in perfect alignment 2 days ago.  I went outside with my camera and earrings and almost all my pictures came out clear and true.  That almost never happens.

I’ve been researching new cameras to help push my luck in the right direction. I visited a very helpful camera store on Thursday, where I got to try out different models and I spent much of today researching cameras online. If you come back in a day or two I will have posted which camera I have finally chosen.   I can hardly wait!

In the meantime, here are several earrings that are new at LindaLandigJewelry.  Some of the earrings were just made this week, some are a little older, but I didn’t have pictures of them until now.  Enjoy all the pretties!  (click on the picture for more info)

faceted amethyst earings with purple and blue Swarovski crystals

Deep purple amethyst earrings with lavender and sky-blue Swarovski crystals

These are so glam! And purple is a hot fashion color just now!

Art Glass, Bali Silver and Coin Pearl Earrings

Luminous Lampwork Glass, Bali Silver and Coin-shaped Pearl Earrings

I love the luscious amber and cranberry handmade glass in these earrings.  I highlighted it with matching Swarovski crystals.  The coin pearls are just pure lux!

Hand faceted lampwork glass in pink and clear earrings with coin pearls and sterling silver

Earrings of beautiful hand faceted artisan glass in pink and clear with coin shaped pearls and sterling silver

The handmade glass beads in these earrings simply glows with layers of colors in pink, fuchsia and clear.  When combined with the white coin-shaped pearls, the earrings are really elegant.  The glass in both pairs of  earrings, above, comes from Beads and Botanicals.

Carved serpentine earrings with poppy jasper and sterling silver

Carved serpentine and poppy jasper earrings

I grabbed this carved serpentine right away at a bead show a few years ago–it is so unusual.  I’ve never seen beads carved like these again.  I love the serpentine paired with the brick-red of the poppy jasper.  Cool!

Black porcelain earrings, hand painted with pink and white flowers

Black porcelain frames, with hand painted flowers and pink Swarovski crystals

Just check out those pretty hand painted flowers.  Aren’t they adorable?  Always being on the look-out for the most unusual beads is half the fun of designing beaded jewelry and the thrill of discovering a “find” is like a little rush for me.   I want you to feel  unique and treasured when you wear my designs, so I go out of my way to find those unique treasures for you.

As photo-luck was with me, I took lots of earring pictures.  But I think this is enough to share for today.  I’m sure there will be a steep learning curve with my new camera, but hopefully, then,  I’ll have photo-luck almost every day!

Straight From The Heart

It started like this:

Lampworked heart by Dan and Jenelle Caracas

Jenelle gave this lovely lampworked heart  to her mother for Mother’s Day, and shortly after we met, about a month ago, her mom asked me to design a necklace to go with it.  When I picked up the heart, yesterday, I knew immediately that it was crying out for amethysts and garnets!  I could hardly wait to get to work.

I found amethyst rounds and pretty faceted garnet tubes in my stash.  I added some small silver rounds and some Swarovski crystals for bling.

Amethysts, Garnets and Swarovski Crystals

Next I wired the pendant to a sterling silver bail and added a pretty little tassel at the end of the heart with more Swarovski crystals and a single garnet.

Pendant with Tassel

I finished the necklace with a sterling silver heart-shaped clasp, to echo the beautiful lampworked heart pendant.

Sterling Silver Clasp

I love doing custom work.  It gives me a chance to make something that is meaningful and special.  The whole time that I am designing, I have a specific person in my mind.  I hold an image of them, as well as of their jewelry.  It’s a deeply gratifying process for me .

Now, here’s the finished design.  I hope she likes it!

Beachy Keen!

It is fascinating to ask jewelry designers how they arrive at their final designs.  You hear everything from the slightly New Age-ish, “I let the beads tell me where they want to go.”,  to people who draw out detailed plans on paper first.  Some people have a definite color scheme in mind, others get out a color wheel and use it for guidance or inspiration.  Some people just start grabbing beads and somehow create something lovely with a seemingly random process.  None of these approaches is right or wrong.  They are just a reflection of our individual styles — just as each designer’s  jewelry reflects  their individual artistic voice.

Most of the time my designs are inspired by the focal bead(s) I have selected.  This was the case when I started working with the sand dollar beads I purchased from Jenelle and Daniel (see yesterday’s post).

I like to work on a Vellux bead mat, because it keeps the beads from rolling around.  So I laid out my 3 sand dollar beads on the mat, with the largest in the middle.  Four small spacer beads came with the set: two in turquoise, with sterling silver tracings and two in green.  I place the two turquoise beads on either side of the largest sand dollar.  I knew I wanted clusters of Swarovski crystals between my beads, but first I had to choose a few larger beads to go with the sand dollars.  Initially I decided to go with blue and green, but when I looked in the drawer where I keep all my green beads, I just saw the dark, dense greens of malachite, jade and serpentine.  I realized I needed the light, airy colors of sky, water and beach glass.  Looking in my drawer of turquoise beads I spied lots of pale turquoise amazonite:  Perfect!  I had amazonite in rounds, faceted ovals and carved tubes.  I can’t seem to compose jewelry in my head or on paper.  I just have to try it out.  I laid each possibility between the sand dollar beads.  It was clearly the carved tubes that looked “just right”.  I discovered, however, that using  two amazonite tubes on each side of the center bead made the bracelet too long, so I went searching in my stash for some smaller coordinating rounds.  Do you like my pick?

These beads are sometime called sugar beads because the texture on them looks like the tracings of melted sugar.  My last step was wiring it all together.  48 sterling silver wrapped loops on the Swarovski crystals took awhile, but I was so excited about how it was looking that  I could hardly wait to finish!  What do you think?