Sunday, February 28, 2010

Who is "Ahtee?"- Week 9

My friend posted a picture on Facebook of Marilyn Monroe in a bathing suit. And you know what? She was not a twig. That made me smile.

I certainly am not a twig. I'm closer to a tree trunk than a twig. But I want to believe that I'm beautiful. My boyfriend says I am. My mom says that there is no such thing as an ugly person (physically, she means... my mom made that point clear- there ARE ugly spirited people). My dad, though he does say that I'm fat, says that I'm pretty. Why is it so hard for me to see it?

I am going to love myself a little bit more. I think that I can be pretty. I don't wear make-up but I think I can still be pretty without it.

I'm going to close with five things about myself that I think are beautiful:
1) My smile
2) I think I have a cute nose (that is obviously Filipino...hehehe)
3) um... my ears are... shaped... like... ears? Lol.
4) I have deep brown eyes. I like my eyes.
5) My hands. I know you can't see them, but they're pretty small. Not slender, but small. They match me. I'm small but not slender...

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Romance in Brass

My latest piece is an asymmetrical necklace featuring a large brass flower pendant. Dragonflies, flowers, pink glass beads, and peach colored seed beads make it very feminine (so says the designer :P).

Below is a different shot of the whole set. Also, I've taken close-ups of different parts of the necklace.

Adventures with Rod- Volumes 1 & 2

The past three Thursdays, Rod and I have had the day off together and we've been going on mini-adventures. What's wonderful is we get to spend the day together and more often than not, we're talking about creating and what projects we're working on... and we go off in search of random things.

Last week, we went to the Old Barn Antique Mall in San Juan Capistrano. So much vintage jewelry! I couldn't afford any of it, but it certainly was beautiful and made me want to go home and play with my beads. I also loved looking at the jewelry stands and boxes. Rod gave me one of the catalogs that got sent to him at work that's filled with fixtures and displays... It makes me want to open up my own little shop.

We also saw LOTS of Pyrex. My sister-in-law collects old Pyrex. They're really pretty, I think. And make food look even yummier. But maybe that's me...

This week, we went to Laguna Beach. We walked past a jewelry shop that was featuring the work of an artist named Enric Torres. The pieces reminded me so much of Mucha. So pretty.

We sat by the beach and had a little picnic. I sketched and he did a little watercolor painting. It was a really good day. I hope we have more adventures together...

No Two Pair Are Alike...

On Sunday, I made these two pairs of earrings. The first is a bit more "classic" with the big white porcelain bead and dark glass pearls. The other is a bit more "fun" with the seed bead hoops and copper flowers. One feels a bit cold and the other warm... colorwise anyway.

I'm not sure if I'm developing a "style" like a painter develops their style... but I feel more confident when I'm going into a piece. Perhaps that's what its about... confidence.

Who is "Ahtee?"- Week 8

Before I start, I just want to say, I can't believe how much I miss the internet when it's not available at my house... A remodel of sorts is going on in the living room and the internet has been down at my place since LAST WEEK! I thought my cousins had given it up for Lent without telling me!!! Lol.

Ok. Now. On to my late picture. I was told, when I yawn, I look like a panda. So. Here is my best "yawn face." And there is Beckett... one of my Valentine's Day presents.

Me? Panda?... Maaaaybe.... Haha.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Purple Pillars

Glass crackle beads are fun. They're even better when they're in a shape that isn't just a sphere. These amethyst colored glass crackle beads were sitting in my stash and, I believe were a buy from around Thanksgiving. I remember making earrings for someone with them for Christmas. I still had some of the copper components and tried to make them again.

This is what I came up with. I think it's close to what I made for Christmas.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Handmade Watercolor Sketchbook

For Valentine's Day, I made my boyfriend a watercolor sketchbook. On my last birthday, I taught myself how to bind books. Well, really, I bought myself a book and some simple tools and started binding.

Now, there is some debate as to whether girls should get their significant others presents on Valentine's Day. At work on the 13th, some guys were telling me they weren't expecting anything, others said that they thought that if they were getting something for their girl, their girl should get them something too, some girls were saying that its a holiday for themselves and we do a lot for men, and other girls said that of course we should. They deserve love presents just as much as we do.

I have been with my boyfriend for over a year and a half. He has stuck by me and supported me when I had to leave school and was forced to start supporting myself. He's my sounding board for all my creative endeavors and can take away my bad days with his laughter and a hug. I feel very lucky to have found someone like him so young and hope that we continue to walk through life together.

My boyfriend is a watercolor artist. And, just like me, he can never have too many sketchbooks. I made this one pretty small (4"x6") so he could carry it with him and paint wherever. I covered it with blue paper as his favorite color is blue. The image next to the image of the sketchbook is of the detail of the paper I used for the covering. And it worked out very nicely. I hope its as durable as book cloth.

My boyfriend got me "The Art of Princess and the Frog." It's my second favorite Disney movie ("Beauty and the Beast" being first). I have such a great respect for animators. I remember watching the animation majors at LCAD and the work they put in for just a few seconds of animation... its intense. And I am a huge fan of behind the scenes details and the process artists go through to get to their finished piece. LOVE the book.

We had a wonderful dinner at Mimi's Cafe and watched "Wolfman," which made me jump and cover my ears because I was scared (I'm told that's a little odd because most people cover their eyes). I hope everyone had a wonderful Valentine's Day!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Who is "Ahtee?"- Week 7

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!

I'm wearing the jewelry I made last night, but I think maybe I should have a longer necklace... hmm.

Anyhoo, I've discovered I like smiling, but when I smile big, my cheeks get bigger! (DUH ROSE!) But, I dont like it. Lol. I need to learn to accept it.

Ok. My Valentine is waiting for me. Tomorrow, I'll show you what I got him! :D

Because Every Girl Should Have A Set...

... of pearls...

I found these fantastic 10mm glass pearls at Michaels. They're described as being black but they're really a midnight blue (the picture doesn't do it justice). Pairing it with Crystazzi crystals (in violet... AND on sale, thank you very much) and these butterfly clasps (which is what I used my 40% off coupon on) makes it dressy and fun. There were enough pearls and crystals to make a princess-length necklace, a bracelet, and a cute pair of earrings (they're dangling on the flower in the background).

Its pretty simple, but I've always wanted a simple pearl necklace. Thanks to glass pearls, I have one now, plus a matching bracelet and earrings!

Yay! I know what I'm wearing to Valentine's Day dinner.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Steampunk Princess: Filigree Bracelet

Here is a bracelet to match the Mechanical Butterfly necklace I did a little while ago.

I'm not sure if you could consider the style I'm using here "steampunk." Would people who love and cherish this style be offended that I call this "steampunk?" I think that the combination of the elegant filgrees and sparkly Chinese crystals with chain and dark copper pieces makes it steampunky, but I'm not sure. I see what other designers are creating and get inspired to make things like that but with my own twist. And this bracelet, like the necklace, came to me by looking at the book "Steampunk-Style Jewelry," by Jean Campbell.

Here's a close up of the filigree piece! A little coiled wire makes me think of a machine... just like the butterfly in my necklace design.

I'm hoping someone likes the bracelet. This piece will be up on Etsy sometime this weekend. I'm excited :)

Iced Copper

Such a pretty blue!

There were full strands and half strands of these pretty icy blue glass beads at my bead store. They're bigger than the beads I usually use. And I'm not a big blue lover (reds and purples, sure... blue's pretty... just not on me...) but something about the pale blue just made me add them to my basket.

I'd been wanting to try making post earrings using these filigree pieces I bought, but my bead store didn't have any glue-back posts (is that the proper term?). I found some dark copper hypo-allergenic ball posts with loops and decided that was better than nothing. I think it looks better than ear wires would've.

I think I may be obsessed with copper...

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Who is "Ahtee?"- Week 6

I missed last week. I took a picture but just didn't have the will to blog about it.

This is the picture I took. I'd been crying quite a bit and you can just make out the bruise I apparently gave myself on the bridge of my nose from squeezing my face while I cried. It was an interesting week and has continued on into this past week. A lot of unwanted drama and hurtful words exchanged. I will end with this. My life is my life. No matter how much I want to do for others, if I do not and am not able to take care of myself, I cannot help anyone. I wish other people could see that.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Leaves and Flowers

This is my third post of the day. Family drama has drawn me away from blogging, but hasn't stopped me from creating (creating was one of the things that kept me sane...). Two more earrings to share.

I bought these hammered copper links a while ago from JoAnn's. It was in their clearance section and I just had to have them. I've been loving copper lately and I just itched to make something with them. But that was in December when I bought those links! Finally, I saw these copper leaves at my bead store and thought of these Czech glass flowers I had at home and how wonderfully they would go together! Hopefully I was right...

Following the nature theme, I saw these golden flower bead caps today at my bead store. I don't usually make gold jewelry. I'm not sure why. But these flowers were so delicate and sweet, I had to buy them and make something out of them. I found some blush pink, frosted glass beads and thought the color went well with the gold. Hanging them off of 18K gold plated earring hooks and voila!

Note: I've been trying a new photographing... technique? Is that the word? Sometimes the color looks great, sometimes not so great (like in the second image of the second pair of earrings). Photoshop doesn't help much. Hopefully I can get it to work better soon... it's driving me nuts!

Valentine's Day Earrings

I don't usually make holiday-specific jewelry. I own some, but I'm afraid what I make would be garish and draw laughter instead of smiles. BUT, I saw these glass hearts and thought I should try making some earrings out of them.

I chose gunmetal as the metal finish of the findings to contrast against the white hearts. Also, Czech glass beads add just a little sparkle and the filigree beads give it a bit more elegance. I wanted to add two bows to the earrings and thought of leather, but didn't think the knot would hold so I went with a cord. But the fibers frayed. Hmm... maybe I should try and re-work them...

Not-So-Traditional Pearls

Browsing the sale rack at Michaels, I came across these HUGE glass pearls and instantly remembered Lisa Crone's post over on her A Bead A Day blog about her find of huge glass pearls at JoAnns. I've never done anything with a bead this big at all before, and thought I should be daring and try something out! Afterall, how can we create something new and exciting without pushing ourselves into the uncomfortable?

Driving over to my bead store as soon as I made this purchase, I found big silver hammered rings and I could clearly see the design in my head.

I think I would wear these with my hair up, just to make sure everyone could see them. I love the delicate filigree beads against the boldness of the pearls. And the colors just make me giggle.

Maybe I should have tried another design with the other pair of earrings... oh well. I still have four pearls left to play with! Yay!!!