Another piece in progress Tuesday, Mar 27 2007 

I saw a cute tutorial for a needlefelted charm/pendant on the craftedby.us podcast yesterday, and decided to try making something similar. Here is my piece in progress – it still needs some finishing touches and a bail, and probably a little bit more felting.

felt pendant in progress

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Getting back on track Tuesday, Mar 27 2007 

Completing a project & posting it every day has proved to be too difficult, with my full time job and other commitments – of course I could make a very simple pendant every day, as I was doing on busy days when I started the project, but that isn’t very fulfilling and doesn’t really get me any closer to my goals.

So my new goal is to work on a project every day. I want to make more of the beautiful, complex pieces that I can feel truly proud of. I also want to focus on making more of the things that I tend to sell the most of, since these pieces help my bottom line and keep me in business.

And since this blog is outside of my jewelry business website, I want to continue posting experiments and in-progress pieces, even when they aren’t things I plan to develop as products. I like the idea of documenting my journey as a designer/artist, even when it doesn’t quite fit into my business plan.

So: here’s a picture of some resin pendants I’m working on. Some are nearly finished, and others will need several more layers of resin and/or objects added before they are ready to be drilled and made into pendants.

resin pendants in progressI’m pretty sure that most of these are going to be really nice when completed. I made good, rich colored backgrounds, and kept the additional elements simple, but textured, because these are the kinds of designs that tend to “pop” the most when complete. I plan to have all of these finished in time for my first show of the spring, a trunk show with the Pleasanton Craft Mafia on April 7th. I’m ordering supplies and displays today, to revamp my booth/table design for my spring shows, and really show off some of my best pieces. I’ll photograph some of the new displays once I get them.

My Process Monday, Mar 19 2007 

stamp pendants in progress Here are some stamp pendants in progress. I’ve been having some computer troubles, but wanted to post *something* even though I haven’t been able to edit my latest images yet. The pendants shown here have the images sealed and are awaiting their resin coating (which I actually already did, but I don’t have a picture of them finished).

More resin and fiber projects Tuesday, Mar 13 2007 

(photos coming soon)

After last week’s resin experiments, I’ve been working on some new ideas for the resin that I think will be even better – but they are in various stages of curing/layering right now. I think a few more stamp pendants should be all cured and ready for me to finish when I get to my studio tonight though, and some other resin pieces just need the final resin layer applied and they will be finished.

I also made some really cute crocheted earrings that I need to photograph. They actually need to be stiffened up with resin too, which is going to be fun, and has my head spinning with all the ways I can use resin and fiber together to make unique pieces. I learned how to use resin with fabric at a class with Susan Lenart Kazmer a while back, but haven’t come up with any designs that needed that particular technique until just now. It occurred to that it’s the perfect technique to use for finishing my new crocheted earrings, and it means I can add all kinds of fun elements to my fiber work now.

So anyway – lots of (hopefully good) pictures coming soon!

Finished Resin Experiments Tuesday, Mar 6 2007 

resin stamp pendant, art by Christophter YbarraAs promised yesterday, here are some pictures of my resin experiments. I’ll be writing up tutorials for a bunch of my knitting, crocheting, and resin experiments (the more successful ones, anyway) soon. I love how this postage stamp pendant turned out – the art is from a small print of a painting by my husband, Christopher Ybarra.

Another piece, the domed circle, also has some of his art in it. The picture of that one isn’t great, but it’s a very interesting look in real life. One thing I need to work on is not trapping bubbles under the images – the way I created these is a bit different from how I normally work with resin, and it didn’t occur to me that there might be bubbles I couldn’t see – so out of six pieces, only half came out without really big bubbles, and none of them were up to my standards, to be honest – but they still look pretty cool, and I plan to work out the technical details and make more soon.

Finally, the round blue thing was cast in a mold I made of a carved rose quartz bead I had. I love how it came out, except that there’s a flat piece from leaving the top of the mold mostly open, so that’s another technique that I’ll have to refine a little. I’m open to suggestions, if there are resin experts reading my blog, on how to salvage it. I’m sure there’s some way I can set the piece so that the flat side doesn’t show, and I’d definitely like to hear suggestions!

blue bead - resin

resin pendant with art by Chris Ybarra

February 27 – March 5 Monday, Mar 5 2007 

I did a lot of experimenting this week with knitting and crocheting in jewelry-scale, which is really fun. I also finished a sweater, under the mistaken impression that I would be able to design something gorgeous with no experience whatsoever in garment design – let’s just say it’s not something I’d buy if I saw it at a store!

After spending lots of hours on a project that didn’t turn out as well as I could have hoped, I wanted to try some instant-gratification projects, so I got out my samples of Vickie Howell’s new yarn line, Craft, Rock, and Love, which are natural-fiber sport-weight yarns that I thought would be great for making jewelry-sized objects.

First, I tried knitting some cords, and ended up with a necklace length “chain” made from the Craft yarn. Then I decided to try crocheting. I had a really bright pink color in the Rock yarn, which honestly is not my color at all – I’m not a bright pink kind of person – but I figured flowers come in bright pink, so I made a flower pendant to hang on my red chain. As you can see, the finished product is definitely not subtle!

I also had a sample of the Love yarn in a much more subtle, soft pink, and I used it to knit a lacy chokeer – which used up exactly all of what I had. Love is my favorite of the three, I think – it’s really nice and soft, and the color happens to be one that would go nicely with all the pearl jewelry I make, so I might make some pearl dangles to hang off of the choker (in the picture here, it is draped over my leg, but you get the basic idea of what it looks like. It has a button for a closure, that could be worn in front as a pendant, or in back if I decide to add embellishment with pearls and silver wire).

I also snapped a picture of a little pendant I made with some leftover beads and a chandelier earring component – nothing fancy, but I think it’s cute.

I have a bunch of resin pieces that should be nicely cured and ready to de-mold tonight, so I’ll have a lot of pictures (hopefully!) in the next few days. I’ve been trying some different things with the resin so I really have no idea how they’ll turn out, but I will take pictures if they aren’t hideous.

crocheted flower pendant

pendant made from chandelier component

pale pink lacy knit choker (detail)