Thursday, January 6, 2011

Happy Birthday, Blog! (& The Story of a Bracelet)

It almost passed me by! Today Friday marks the 2nd birthday of this blog, so I just had to take a peek back to remember what I first wrote, my first blog post, here....and I got nary a single comment. Ha ha ha, how times change! I think I only knew one other blogger at that point and was a true novice when it came to art online and all things related.

And what a happy coincidence--it's also the birthday of Blogfire, the bloggers of ArtFire, who have a carnival going on this weekend, which you can check into here-Blogfire.

I left my darn camera at Christmas dinner, an hour and a half from my house, and it took over a week to finally get it back. Which is why I've been sort of quiet here because I cannot seem to prepare a post without photos. I've got a really fun story today about the 2 year evolution of a bracelet idea. Normally, I wouldn't admit to a struggle like this, but since this one finally has a happy ending, I figured why not share the pain?

Two years ago, right after I started this blog, I saw Valentine's Day coming up, dug through all my supplies, and found each and every heart and every stone that seemed it might relate to my idea of love and romance. Garnets were a big deal to me then, a few red pearls, some silver hearts, a real mixed bag. I wire-wrapped (which means added these sterling silver loops for hanging) each item or collection of items and made 7 sets. You can imagine, this step alone was a few days of work. Above is part of this collection as there are a few other bits that didn't need preparation but could be added as is.

At this stage, I had been bouncing back and forth between working with leather in different forms and experimenting with crochet to make bracelets and cuffs. Somehow, the idea came to me that I had to create a black leather crocheted cuff to hold all of these charms. Ugh, what a looser! I could see no way to save this design so I stuffed everything back into a bag and gave up trying to get this edition ready for Valentine's day 2009.

A year later, I dug it back out. I was determined to come up with some way to use all these charms so I turned to black leather again but heavier stuff this time, the kind I use to make the knotted structures for this style of multi-strand bracelet.

In fact, I was apparently so hopeful about this idea, I tried it in 3 colors: gray, brown and black, as you can see here. But again I gave up and as you can see here, I never even added the clasps because it just was not working for me! Looser Number 2 and back into this bag of failed experiments. But there were still a few unused sets of charms.....

Just after the New Year, I repeated the ritual again and got out "the bag." This time, I had some new beautiful red pearls, some red pressed glass roses and a whole new approach in mind. Not as quick as working with leather as this time, each bead is linked to the next with sterling wire, and the charms are added in between. I laid out a design that seemed like fun and hoped that with a double strand of linked beads, I could achieve the fullness I had been trying for with just the charms and the leather. Well, IMHO, I nailed it, finally! I just love the way this has come out the 3rd year around.

And I happened to have a heavy sterling heart shaped toggle to close the piece, which seemed to be the perfect finishing touch. So now you know the story behind this particular bracelet. Not all my failed experiments have such happy endings, but I don't often give up--I just put things away to get out again with fresh eyes and new ideas....later!

This one, however, is in my Etsy shop...finally....two years after I started it! So in that way, it's a perfect "Happy 2nd Birthday Blog" sort of story! So Happy Birthday to Blogfire....and to me, too!


Josep said...

Happy 2nd blog anniversary, Karen! I love that red bracelet, it's a true fine work.

randomcreative said...

I love the final version! It's amazing how long it can take for these things to come together sometimes, but it's so worth it when they do.

Anonymous said...

Love that bracelet and Happy Blogaversary!

Anna said...

Dear Karen,
Lovely bracelet! I have so much to learn about making bracelets!
Happy second blogoversary!

Ann said...

Happy Birthday to your blog.
Love your third try for that bracelet. I would say you definitely nailed it that time.

Sparkle the Designer Cat said...

Happy second blogoversary! Wow, it took you over two years to make that bracelet - but it paid off!

Elvie said...

happy birthday to your blog!

by the way, i followed you through GFC, hope you could follow back :)

Jenny said...

Happy Birthday Bloggie!!! It truely is a nice blog! You've done a great job! The braclets are so pretty to!!

Found you while blog hopping! I'm your newest follower!

Split Rock Ranch said...

Happy Birthday Will Oaks Blog! I love your story of how the Valentine's bracelet came to be - it is stunning!

Thank you for hosting my EC ad today!

Clara said...

Happy Blog Birthday! I'm so glad you blog. I enjoy looking at your nature photos and your jewelry. And my MIL and I both loved the necklaces you made for us!

Silvergirl said...

Happy blog anniversary..i love looking your jewelry..

Lin said...

Happy Blog Anniversary, Karen!! I look forward to more wonderful photos, jewelry, and posts! :)

Anonymous said...

First, congrats on two years, way to go! Secondly, I too love the final revision of the bracelet. I hear ya, sometimes it takes quite a bit of contemplation when your brain is stuck on a particular solution that just isn't gonna work no matter what. You need the fog of time to allow yourself to accept a better way. Good work!

Frugal Invitation said...

I'm your newest follower! Hope you'll stop by and follow back, and also to link up to my Welcome Wednesday hop this week!

Have a great week!

Frugal Invitation

Jen said...

Happy blogaversary! I love this piece! And I love the evolution of it, though I must say I like the second leather rendition as well. Why didn't you like it?

Do you only make one of each piece or do you have several? Basically I'm trying to figure out if I have to purchase this now and maybe have to pawn something to do so or can I wait and still be able to get it a little later?

Anonymous said...

Love the bracelet - the colors are so rich.

CharmN Jewelry said...

Your hard work has truly borne fruit...because the finished bracelet looks amazing which every piece independent falling on either ways you hand is adorned beautifully.
Rembrandt Charms 


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