Sunday, June 20, 2010

New Listings on Etsy and Bead Soup Swap Blog Hop Party!

Okay, that's a really long title.

Yesterday when Colden went down for his nap, I FINALLY got around to listing some of my new finished work on Etsy! Yay! Here are the items that I listed - if you click on the picture, you'll be taken directly to that item in my Etsy shop:

First, this was one of two handmade recycled glass and stoneware cabochons that I bought at Bead Fest Philadelphia last summer from Kristie Roeder of Artisan Clay. This one was totally my colors - I loved the warm browns with a little hint of yellow. I stitched a peyote bezel around it and then added a bail in the form of a peyote stitched tube. I threaded a few strands of imitation suede lacing and hand dyed silk ribbon through it, but those can easily be removed and replaced with a chain, silk or satin cord, or piece of leather.

This was the other recycled glass and stoneware cabochon that I bought from Kristie. It's in colors that are so outside my comfort zone, I just had to buy it to see what I could do with it! An artistic challenge to myself, if you will. I actually had to go and BUY beads that would match it, because believe it or not, I didn't have any cylinder beads in my stash that actually matched the colors in the cabochon. I couldn't believe it, and it took me weeks of trips to the bead store with that cabochon to find the right colors!

The next piece that I finally managed to finish this week was one that I actually started last summer while sitting at a farmers' market. It was a new market for me, and it was excruciatingly slow, sales-wise. So instead of stressing out about it and sitting there twiddling my thumbs, I broke out the beads and started working on this exquisite piece! The center stone is a piece of brown gold stone, and it is accented with lengths of vintage brass chain and more faceted brown gold stone beads.

In case you don't know what brown gold stone is, it is a man-made "stone" that is made with glass and copper shavings. The copper shavings are sprinkled into molten glass, and when the glass cools, the copper shavings take on the same sparkle as real gold. I could easily stare into the depths of this focal cabochon forever, which is why I named it, "Hypnotize Me".

Have I mentioned that I'm addicted to those wonderful handmade stoneware cabochons by Lisa Peters Art? I think I might have said something about it before.

This cabochon necklace is called "Blue Moon", and it was made by stitching a peyote bezel around this gorgeous textured midnight-blue cabochon. The texture on it reminded me a little bit of steampunk/Beadpunk, so I decided to accent it with some wide-link gunmetal colored chain that I actually had purchased for use on another project! I made a peyote stitched toggle clasp for this one using the same cylinder beads that I used for the bezel.

And continuing with the industrial/handmade theme, another gorgeous cab by Lisa Peters is the focal point of this piece, called "Progress Marches On". Again, I used some gunmetal colored chain as fringe and for the strap. I also found some gorgeous vintage German glass pyramid beads that I used to attach the strap to the cabochon.

The industrial look of the cabochon, and the fact that it is handmade and not mass produced, made me think about what "progress" really means, particularly in the light of the catastrophic BP oil spill in the Gulf. I started to think, "What is progress? Is it doing something just because we can? Or is there another layer to it, where we should be thinking about the long-term ramifications of an action on society and industry?" Just a few deep thoughts for ya there...

And, last but not least, The Philosopher is finished, twisted fringe and all! This one had me inspired from the first time I looked at it while I was watching the series "Medieval Lives", written and hosted by former Monty Python alumnus Terry Jones. In Medieval times, doctors, philosophers, alchemists and scientists were all collectively referred to as "Philosophers", and the original title for J.K. Rowling's first book of the Harry Potter series was "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone". (It was changed to "Sorcerer's Stone" in the U.S., most likely because readers would be confused by the reference to a Philosopher.)

At any rate, the medieval philosopher worked to find what was called The Philosopher's Stone, a magical stone that had the ability to change base metals into gold. It would also create a magical substance called The Elixir of Life which they believed when drunk would render someone immortal.

I thought to myself as I looked at this cabochon, if ever there were a Philosopher's Stone, surely this is what it would look like. Awash in mystical symbols with tiny hints of gold and a beautiful, soft mother of pearl glaze, it made me believe in the power of magic.

So, that's what I've been doing with myself this week. In addition to cranking out these finished pieces, I've also been putting the finishing touches on a series of simple embroidered cuff bracelets with gemstone cabochons and working on my Bead Soup pieces! Lucky for me, I don't have to reveal my Bead Soup Swap pieces until Saturday, so I still have another week to finish them. Good thing, too, since I need to spend a good part of this week trying to finish enough inventory so I don't have an empty table at the Keene Farmers' Market next Sunday...

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