What’s new? Creative Spark Summer 2016

It’s been a long time since I’ve blogged.  I still make quite a bit of jewelry, but the opportunity to write about and show off my creations seems to slip by so quickly before I am on to the next project. Le sigh…

That’s why I love the challenges from Znetshows.

The last time I blogged I was playing a bit with wire and wire-wrapping.  Since then I’ve taken a class and I’ve been practicing more.  I still have a long way to go but I am having a lot of fun and I hope it shows in these projects.

For this challenge, Znetshows was introducing some new styles of their sea glass. I chose some of their fancy drops, large-hole pebbles and free-form fancy ring pendants.  I wanted to make something that was not jewelry.  I have seen lots of beautiful sun catchers on-line and I wanted to try my hand.  Thinking of summer and looking at all the beautiful colors of sea glass, I was drawn to the beautiful shades of red, white and blue.  Woot! I have a theme!

I made my American Tree of Life sun catcher first.  I have made one jewelry-sized so enlarging it seemed to be pretty easy.  I used 22 gauge silver craft wire for the tree and 16 gauge silver craft wire for the frame.  The only thing I would change is I might have used 14 gauge or 12 gauge wire for the basic frames for all of these projects to make them sturdier, but I used what I had on hand.

American Family Tree 4

The fancy drops from Znetshows made terrific leaves.  I wish I had more to fill out those branches. For my tree, about 6″ in diameter, I used most of a single strand of each color of the fancy drops in medium and small sizes.  I could have used a couple of more strands of each color.   I added the blue chinese crystal rondelles to add some sparkle (also available from Znetshows!).  The lava star was a gift from a friend as was the bird charm. This piece is my favorite.

 

The next sun catcher, Stars and Stripes, is more like a mobile. It’s hard to catch in a photo, but the lava stars and the red, white and blue ring pendants are meant to invoke the American flag.  Now, in my head, and with an unlimited budget, I would have had enough beads to make an ACTUAL FLAG out of beads and chain!  …ahem… I am really happy with this mobile, but it was a lot of work.  Each donut-shaped pendant had to be individually wrapped.  The sizes vary a little with each piece so be prepared  to adjust the lengths of the chains to balance the mobile. This piece is definitely my favorite.

stars and stripes 1

What’s the Fourth of July without fireworks? The last sun catcher was difficult for me trying to maintain the wire curves and still give the feeling of a firework bursting in mid-air with lots of shine and sparkle. The large-hole pebbles in sea glass in red and blue were so easy to use.  Some, I wrapped onto the wire, but the large holes made it easy to thread on the 16 gauge wire and anchor that way, too.  These beads are so versatile.  I really want to get some more to make a bracelet using leather or threading them on chain.  It was difficult to stick to my theme.

I ran into some trouble, because my “final” product looked more like a patriotic cloud or a stumpy tree and did not have the pizzazz I wanted.  Digging through my stash, and my friends’ bead stashes, I found a length of funky blue chain.  Perfect!  Using some of the drop pendants I created the streamer trails you expect to see in the best bottle rocket. This is truly my favorite!

 

Fireworks 2

 

Thanks Znetshows for another fun challenge!  Make sure you take a look at the other designers and see their wonderful creations with some of the of the other new products available from Znetshows.  I’ve linked to the latest issue of Creative Spark so you can see for yourself.  Everyone had such great ideas and I plan to try a few of them myself.

CS Cover July 2016

 

 

 

Pssst!  Check out the designer corner on the Znetshows site.  I’m one of the featured designers!!

 

 

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