Saturday, November 26, 2011

Eye Candy! Art Every Day Month (III)

Welcome to another Saturday at Saturday Sequins! Art Every Day Month continues, and for me it's gotten a little... beady.

OK, it's gotten very beady! I continue to love, love, love beading cabochons.

I'm not just beading cabochons, though! I've discovered that I like the way buttons look. This piece is made of seed beads, a button I had in my stash of sparkly things, and lots and lots of sequins.

I love how this one turned out! I've discovered a way to make adding fringe easier, which is to add it before, and not after, sewing the backing on -- which cuts down on having to weave so many threads through the beads. There wasn't a single broken bead in this project.

I also found, by happy accident, that putting a layer of clear packing tape on the back of leather and vinyl makes them stiffer, sturdier, and easier to bead. Such a good thing for me, because I don't have any Nicole's Bead Backing or Lacy's Stiff Stuff lurking around.

This is my favorite piece so far. It features faceted glass beads, another button, seed beads, and lots and lots of sequin fringe.

I made the front of this one pre-tape, so it's a bit domed, but I don't mind so much. I'm thrilled with the colors, and I love how the sequins look. This makes me want to make a pair of sequin fringe earrings.

And finally... beady, but not jewelry. I made this at the art party Mr. Sequin and I hosted last weekend. It's a little tree ornament for Mr. Sequin's mom, Mama Sequin, and I made it from felt, sequins and seed beads.

I don't do much in the way of holiday decoration, and I prefer to see trees outside, and not in my living room. That said, I can see myself making a ton of these because they're so cute! In fact, if enough people are interested, I would be happy to do a tutorial. You could make a pendant as easily as an ornament.

And that concludes today's show and tell! While you're here, check out Shana's work in my latest Featured Friday post.

Also, read about the 50th post giveaway I'm doing! This is 42 out of 50, so the winner will be announced... 8 posts from now.

Thanks for reading! Have a sequintastic day.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Featured Friday: Shana Astrachan

Welcome to another Featured Friday at Saturday Sequins! Today we'll take a look at the work of Shana Astrachan.

I found Shana through one of The Beading Gem's posts on sequin jewelry. I was immediately impressed! Shana does a great job of showing how versatile sequins are as jewelry components, using them in interesting and unexpected ways to create spectacular pieces. Such as....

Her sequin lace earrings, available in several colors here! I would never have thought of connecting sequins like this, and I just love the idea.Link

Her pink scoop ring. Felted mohair and silk in a sterling silver setting. I love this piece! It reminds me of strawberry ice cream.

Her sequin bib necklace, also available in a variety of colors.

Her sequin diamond necklace. Can you tell that the pink sequins are my favorite?

Her felted band rings. Such an unexpected, yet completely gorgeous, combination of materials!

Shana was also kind enough to send me a photo of her wall installation. A creative and attractive way to showcase her work. So clever.

She doesn't just work with sequins, though -- she's also an accomplished metalsmith. Stop by her Etsy shop to see the rest of her fantastic work and give her some love!

While you're here, check out my previous featured artist.

Also, we're on post 41 out of 50! Remember to enter my 50th post giveaway. Win a box of sparkly things! You know you can't resist.

Thanks, and have a sequintastic day!

Miscellaneous Monday: 40!

40! And a giveaway.

Hello, everyone!

Is it my birthday, you ask? The big 4-0? Nope! That won't happen for a few years.

As I write this entry, however, it's my 40th blog post, which means I'm just 10 posts away from the 50th.

This is exciting to me! When I started this blog, I had no idea if I would like blogging. I certainly had no idea that I would love it, or that Saturday Sequins would become such a huge part of my life and my identity.

Which is why I've decided to do a countdown to the 50th post. Not only that, but when I get to 50, I'm going to do a special post! There will be reflection, lists of various types, pictures, and even a giveaway... as in, one of you darling readers will receive a repurposed video cassette case full of sparklies.

(Who doesn't love sparklies?)

There will be sequins, rhinestones, ribbons, glitter... whatever I can cram into the cassette box! Expect more details soon. And in the meantime....

How to enter:

Leave a comment on this or any post I make between now and the giveaway. Enter as many times as you'd like. Extra points if you tweet about the giveaway, post about it on other social networking sites, or mention it on your own blog -- just make sure you let me know about it, because I'm easily distracted by shiny objects and might not know, otherwise.

Each time you enter, your name will be written on a piece of paper and put into a hat -- and by hat, I actually mean a repurposed oatmeal container decorated in sequins and paint. The winner will be chosen at random.


Giveaway is restricted to residents of US and Canada.

Family members/spouses of Sarah Sequins may not participate.

Friends/adopted family members of Sarah Sequins are welcome to participate.

I hope you're as excited as I am! Thanks for reading, thanks for participating, and have a sequintastic day!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Eye Candy! Art Every Day Month (II)

Hello, everyone! Welcome to another Saturday at Saturday Sequins!

Today's topic? More show and tell from Art Every Day Month. I was a busy, busy girl these past few days. My novel fell completely by the wayside as I discovered a new passion... bead embroidery.

This is one of the first beaded cabochon projects I've ever made. I used a sew-on rhinestone, layered sequins, lots of seed beads, and some terrific black vinyl fabric I got from JoAnn Fabrics.

I love the design and the colors, and I learned a lot from this project -- including that I should leave some room for extra thread in my beads, because otherwise, they can break when I add the necklace portion! Fixable, but not fun.

This is the second cabochon I've ever done, and the first time I've ever put the backing on (I did the backing on the other piece when I knew what I was doing). It was intimidating at first, but when I got going, it turned out to be fun and easy!

I love the colors on this, and the back of it is so clean and flawless. I'm very happy with this project, and I can't wait to try another one... with some sequin fringe.

If you're wondering where I learned to bead cabochons, it was from Jamie Cloud Eakin's book, Beading With Cabochons. I love this book! I don't want to return it to the library, and I want her next book for my collection.

And finally... one of my WIP Wednesday necklaces is finished! I love how it turned out. The little red sequins at the bottom were the perfect finishing touch. I'm happy to have this project finished, and I'm itching to do another one with the first neck wire I made. I'm not sure what direction I'll take it in, but rest assured, it will be sparkly.

Thanks for stopping by! Have a sequintastic Saturday, and while you're here, check out my very first Featured Friday post. Believe me, you'll be glad you did!

(Also, be sure to see what the talented Artists in Blogland have been up to.)

Featured Friday: Empress Eccentric

Hello, everyone! Welcome to Featured Friday at Saturday Sequins -- a series of posts in which I'll share jewelry from some of my favorite jewelry artisans.

As you know, I make sequin jewelry. I'm also a fan of it, and of people who make it. When I found UK-based Rachel of Empress Eccentric on Etsy, I was beyond thrilled, and I knew I just had to have her as my first featured artist.

Link(Rachel's pink chandelier earrings, available here!)

As a designer, Rachel believes that jewelry should be bright and vibrant. The inspiration for these gorgeous earrings comes from Bollywood films and culture. They're eye-catching and lightweight, perfect for dancers.

(Her sea green chandelier earrings, available here!)

(Absolutely precious blue heart chandelier earrings.)

(Gold chandelier earrings... aren't you just drooling?)

(And my personal favorite... the red chandelier earrings.)

If I were a dancer, I could see myself wearing any of these sequintastic pieces. Sequins catch the light in just the right way, adding extra drama to movement. I could also see pairing them with my favorite t-shirt and jeans for a little extra pizzaz or at a formal occasion... like a holiday party, when it comes to the red and green ones.

Thanks for stopping by for my very first Featured Friday! Many more to come, I promise. And while you wait for the next one, I encourage you to stop by Rachel's Etsy shop and give her some well-deserved love.

Thanks, and have a sequintastic day!

Would you like to be a Featured Friday artist? Let me know! I now have a Contact page.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Share with me Sunday: Artsy/Crafty Blogs!

Hello, everyone! Welcome to another Share With Me Sunday.

One thing I love about blogging is finding other blogs to read. I love meeting artists, seeing their work, and getting to know the people behind the fantastic creations. I currently follow about 70 blogs, and I'm always looking for new ones.

Here are some of my favorites! Listed alphabetically, just because.

Crafting Rebellion is an awesome source of crafty projects and DIY. So many cute things!

Craft. You. Here's a relatively new blog by the wonderful and talented Margot Potter, The Impatient Crafter. No matter how I'm feeling on a particular day, she always seems to have a blog post that cheers me up. It's like she has a direct view into the collection of sequins, wire, ribbon and rhinestones that is my brain.

Margot make all sorts of beautiful things. She's also a writer, and a fabulous one at that.

Jenibellie Studio. I've mentioned Jenny's amazing work before. She inspires me every day with her gorgeous art journals and tutorials and drawings. She even makes paper beads!

My Bead Therapy. Heidi makes these adorable birdhouse pendants. I also love the thought and care she puts into her packaging.

Plays with Needles. Oh my gosh. Susan's work. She does embroidery like I've never seen before! So many sparklies.

Stripes and Sequins. Grace is a girl after my own heart. She features a lot of great DIY projects and inspiration, and she shares my love of sparkly things.

Thanks, I Made It. Erin does some fantastic DIY projects. And look! She loves sequins, too! I'm especially in love with the pink sequin collar she made.

There are so, so many other blogs I read and love. I'll share more of them in another post, of that you can be certain. Now I'd like to hear from you! Are you an artist whose blog I haven't discovered? Do you have a list of artsy/craftsy blogs you'd like to promote? This is the place!

Thanks for sharing, and have a sequintastic Sunday!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Eye Candy! Art Every Day Month.

Hello, everyone! Welcome to another Saturday at Saturday Sequins.

I've been seriously slacking on my Art Every Day and NaNoWriMo projects these past few days because I've been getting things ready for my Etsy store. But here are some of the things I mentioned in my last post!

This is my pinwheel pendant, made out of copper wire, seed beads and faceted glass beads. It took me awhile to make, but I love how it turned out! Next time I'd like to connect the spokes with jump rings instead of wire -- this will give me room to attach danglies. We'll see how that goes.

LinkHere are some earrings I made out of copper wire, faceted glass beads, and purple sequins. I had this idea in my head for a few weeks, and it's wonderful to see it complete. You might not be able to tell from the photo, but these are very large earrings! Next time I may use less 18 gauge wire to make the ovals.

I didn't make this one for Art Every Day Month. It's actually one of my creativity challenges, but I'm so excited to finally have a photo of it, I just had to share it with you. This necklace is called Atoms and is made with tiny aluminum and rubber jump rings from Blue Buddha Boutique. I also added some sequins to the bottom -- of course -- and some Swarovski crystals on silver headpins that I torched. Sadly, these rubber rings have been discontinued, but I'm looking forward to the day they return.

And that wraps up my finished pieces for Art Every Day Month! In between photographing and tagging and writing descriptions of the jewelry I'll sell, I hope to have more pieces to show off.

Thanks for reading, and have a sequintastic day! If you're participating in AEDM, I'd love to see what you've been working on.

PS: Also, check out what the talented and wonderful people at Artists in Blogland have been up to! You won't be disappointed.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Work in progress Wednesday! Part II

Happy Wednesday, everyone!

I've been busy, busy, busy with two November challenges. The first is National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo. That particular work in progress is coming along nicely, with 12,590 words, and counting. So far, there have been wicked stepmothers, portals to other worlds, and butterflies. Many more fantastic things to come.

The second is Art Every Day Month, which has been a ton of fun. While I haven't made a different piece every day, I've made some lovely things, including a pinwheel pendant, a pair of sparkly, dangly earrings, and a sequin charm bracelet. I'll share those later on this week, but for now I'd like to share something else I've been working on. You may recognize it from the previous WIP Wednesday.

After a false start, I'm on the right path with this project! I love the beaded links, and I love the color scheme. I can't wait to finish it, which will mean getting out my jeweler's saw and my copper wire and making some more jump rings so I can add more sparkly components.

Are you participating in either of these creative challenges? What are you working on?

(Even if you're not doing either of these, I'd love to hear about your latest project.)

Thanks, and have a sequintastic day!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

On failure and rejection.

This summer I applied, for the first time, to be a teacher at a bead show. About a week ago, they returned my jewelry samples, along with one of the kindest, gentlest rejection letters I've ever read.

It was still a rejection letter, though, and it was disappointing to get it. I was hoping this was my Big Chance to break into jewelry instruction... and to earn more money to buy beads from BeadAlgo.

Sad, right? But not the end of the world. In fact, it might even be good for me in the long run.

I remember the second semester of my infamous chemistry class. After a successful first semester, I was a little bit cocky, and I didn't study as hard as I should have. I got a 75 on the first exam. I was upset at first, and embarrassed, but I realized it was a wake up call to study harder and better.

I went beyond the easy problems in my textbook and focused on the practice tests the instructor had given us. I did them until I was sick of them! The next exam was brutal, but while the top students in the class got scores in the 60s and 70's... I got an 87.

And the test after that? I got a 98. It would have been 100, if only I hadn't changed one of my answers on the multiple choice.

I learned two important lessons from that experience. One, working efficiently is just as important as working hard. Two, failure can be a good thing because as long as you let it, it can be a stepping stone to even greater success.

The classes I submitted to the bead show were fun and original, but they weren't my best. For reasons both outside of and within my control, I did a rushed job. Now I have time to make my good classes great. To polish the instructions, add photos, and present bigger, cooler projects. I have a humble goal, which is this: to send in such an awesome application, the lovely folks at the bead show beg me to teach. At which point I will cheerfully and enthusiastically accept. And perhaps bake them cookies.

So if you've been rejected, if you've failed to reach one of your goals, it's OK to be disappointed and sad. For a little while. But then, pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and know that you succeeded where it's most important -- in putting yourself out there. Failure isn't a reflection of who you are, because you are awesome (I am a Doctor of Sparkly Things, so I must be right).

And who knows? It might be the kick in the pants you need.
PS: There is now a second part to this post, which you can read here!