Wednesday, August 1, 2018

A Month Off, Semi-Retirement, and a New Project

I turned 65 last month.  I got my Medicare card.  It felt momentous.  Much more so than my birthday itself, which was very nice.  But after a while, they begin to feel redundant, lol.

SO...  the bigger news is I took July off entirely from my ballroom costume business.  I managed to leave a huge and tangled mess in my studio, which it will be today's task to unravel.

Yup, about half the mess is beads. I have not wanted to be in the studio, so I have just carried beads down and dumped them.  I've been re-working my storage... and some decisions need to be made.


I have a new project, with jasper and a lovely antique-y feel. It should be ready for release next weekend, if all goes well.  Here's the original prototype, which I have been re-vamping. No one but me likes orange, so I will not be using the matte copper.  I find when I am working out a new idea, I am best served by using things I love.  :D  Although I chose the weakest of the cabochon sets, saving the best ones for you!

And below is one configuration I have illustrated, and one of the colorways I will kit.

You'll notice I moved the upper cabs one link further away from the focal.  I am a smallish person, and rarely wear a necklace longer than 18".  But for taller women, it might be nice to be able to spread and lengthen the design. (I like this version on my smaller body too, lol, I can pretend I am taller with impunity!) So I will explain both in the tutorial.  I also rounded the edges of the rectangle embellishment, to better sync with the upper cabs which have rounded edges to begin with.  I also lightened and lengthened the bottom of the focal, which felt a little weighty to me, and I have another finial attachment I am going to try for the bronze colorway, and if I like it, I'll include that choice in the pattern as well.  I'll kit so the necklace could be almost any length up to 22"

Although the cabochon sets are widely varied in color and pattern, I will kit them with either this silvery colorway, or a bronzy version, which I will work on today.

Here's a quick peek at the sets...

Some of them are simply spectacular in and of themselves, and the simpler, less patterned ones allow the bezel to shine.

I'm calling it "Vintage Jasper" and working toward a sense of something found in an attic trunk.  I think the rectangular shapes and diamond chain have a nice Deco reference, and I wanted the end result to feel like a handed-down or re-discovered heirloom.  I have kept the color soft and gently tarnished in feeling, both to aid the antique quality, and to make the piece comfortable in daily wear.  So keep your eye on my Etsy shop, and hopefully, these will be available on August 11th.

A few final words about my month off.  I loved it.  I walked off 3 pounds.  On my now 113 pound frame, that is substantial, and feels good!  It was great to work with beads without feeling the need to rush off to a costume studio deadline.  I feel substantial eyestrain with illustrating, so I am learning to pace myself and take sufficient breaks.  I have nearly got my "Garden of Shame" ready for re-planting this month, and that is a huge weight off my back, figuratively and literally.

I'm going to like retirement.  I find it suits me.  And I see room in it for beads.  

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