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Esprit Studios

esprit (noun); liveliness of mind or spirit; sprightliness.

January 16th, 2012

Today it's the 16th, so this entry is coming a few days late... but! On Tuesday, January 3rd of this year, 2012, my very first niece was born! As January 3rd also happens to be my birthday, I was pretty tickled over the entire thing. And though things started off a little rough for baby Leah, now everything is mostly back on track and she's home from the hospital with my sister and brother-in-law. ♥

Now, I did get Leah a gift for our birthday; a couple of plush animals (a sheep and a dinosaur) and some books and a dvd for when she's a little older, but on top of that I sat down and put together a necklace for her, even though she won't be able to actually wear it for over a decade. There was a lot of meaning behind the piece I made, though, so I thought I'd share it here, too. :)





First thing's first, I wanted to do it in pink because Leah is a little girl. While that doesn't necessarily hold much significance to me, I know that my sister is probably going to go pink-crazy with her first daughter, so I figured she would appreciate it.

The other reason I chose pink is because it matches the bicone swarovski crystals I wanted to use.

When I decided to make the necklace for Leah, as I was going through my (very numerous) bead cases, I came across the little blue case that has the leftover pearls and crystals from my sister's wedding jewelry in it. Her wedding jewelry set was made with 24k gold, bicone swarovski crystals, freshwater pearls, sterling silver and both clear and pink cubic zirconia. (Between the cost of the materials plus time/labor, her necklace/bracelet/earring set would have retailed for between $400 and $450 -- plus about another $150 to $200 for the sets I made for the bridesmaids and the flower girl.)

When I finished the wedding jewelry, though, I had a handful of the bicone swarovski crystals and about a strand worth of the freshwater pearls left. Of course, I wasn't going to use them on just any project, especially the pearls, so they kind of got pushed to the side and mostly forgotten about. >>;

But when I found them whilst choosing beads for Leah's necklace, the idea of making her birthday necklace out of the same pearls and crystals as her mom's wedding jewelry was too much for me to pass up, and I knew it would mean so much to my sister when she saw it (and hopefully to Leah, too, when she's old enough.)

Of course, I used various other glass beads in Leah's necklace as well, so it's unique from my sister's, too. Leah's is also done in silver tone, not 24k gold. Then I added the dual pendants; the butterfly for hope and beauty, and the cross for faith and love, which, again, I thought my sister would appreciate. ♥

October 11th, 2011

Jewelry: Like The Night Sky

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To The Stars
The second of the memory wire necklaces I've been making as of late. This one is much heavier set than the previous blue one, with larger beads; I made it less delicate than the other because the pendant is bigger, and when I tried using smaller beads it came out looking sort of off-balance. *shrug*





This is the second of the geode pendants that I picked up in the USA. While the blue one is my favourite, this purple is just as great in it's own right. It's a lot more subdued and darker in colour, a very pretty shade of violet. I used purple glass beads and dark blue to accent them and match with the wire, and decided to use square glass spacers to add to the overall chunky effect of the piece.

I think it turned out nicely. ♥

Jewelry: The Earth In Teal

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The Moon And The Water
I've gotten into doing colored memory wire-ish necklaces lately.

Memory wire is "steel-spring wire. It retains it's shape, is very hard and difficult to bend, and not so easy to cut. And pretty darn hard to break." Basically, it stays in a round shape, and when used in beading, doesn't flatten out, even with the weight of the other components added to it.

Normally I don't use memory wire much, just for the simple fact that it's pricier than regular beading wire and I just can't really afford it. However, lately I've been able to find some for cheap. The wire is even wrapped in color coating, which adds a nice touch to the finished pieces. Of course, it being cheap means that my choice of colors is limited; light and dark blue, red, purple and green. Still, that's a pretty good selection, all things considered.

This is the first of the memory wire necklaces that I've made so far. ♥





This one isn't up for sale; I like it so much that I'm keeping it. Usually if I like a piece as much as I do this one I just make a duplicate for myself, but in this case I can't. The pendant is a slice of geode and therefore OOAK. On top of that, I purchased the pendant over a year ago (at Crafts 2000 when I was down in the US for Otakon/Matsuricon) and even then they only had two of the geode pendants.

I've since kept my eye out for more, but apparently this one and the one other I have are the only two in existence on the freaking planet, as I've never caught so much as a glimpse of any others. :P

Anyway, I used the light blue memory wire for this one, as it matched the pendant. Then there are glass seed beads, two different kinds of glass rounds, bicone white cats' eye beads, and a silver colored connector. The rest of the components are base metal.

All the beads and etc. came from various locations. The only two that I can remember specifically are the pendant, which came from Crafts 2000, as I previously mentioned, and the cats' eye, which was a gift from my friend Maddie, who is an extremely talented jewelry maker herself, and owns/operates Eclipsical Jewelry (eclipsical). :)

EDIT: Just did a bit of a search on ebay and you can get geode pendants there that are relatively similar to the ones I got in the US. They all seem to be in settings, though, which I don't think I like as much. Ah well. I'll keep looking!

Jewelry: Fruit Cocktail

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Fruit Medley
I finally got around to putting this bracelet together about a week back, but I've had the components for it for over a year now. ^^; I'm not really sure why I procrastinated over it so long, either, since it was really fast and easy to do. Maybe that's exactly the reason? I guess I figured I could throw it together any time and the lack of pressure shoved the project to the back of my mind. Ah well.









The Fruit Cocktail bracelet is a simple chain charm bracelet, featuring various fruit charms (left to right; pineapple, pear, grapes, strawberry, orange) and a few 4mm swarovski crystals as accents. The charms came from Artbeads.com, while I purchased the crystals from ebay. (It's cheaper to buy them in bulk on ebay when you go through a lot of them like I do. ♥) Then the base components came from various sources.

Even with this being such a simple piece, I still love how it turned out. I just wish the camera hadn't faded the crystal colors out so much when I was taking the photos. They're actually much darker and vibrant than they look in these pics. =/

October 1st, 2011

Welp! Here we have an actual entry, finally! Haha!

This is the first (and main) part of a new bracelet series that is based off of the new My Little Pony series (called Friendship Is Magic, for those of you who've been living under a rock on Mars for the last year or so.) The pics I'm posting right now are of the bracelets 95% finished (I just need to add the Cutie Marks to tie up the loose ends.)

This first batch includes the six main MLP: FIM characters; Twilight Sparkle, Pinkie Pie, Rarity, Applejack, Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash.

I also plan to do some others; Princess Celestia, Princess Luna, Derpy Hooves and possibly Spike. There are others I'm thinking about as well, such as Trixie, Cherilee and the Cutie Mark Crusaders, but I haven't decided if I want to do them or not. Though of course, if someone was to commission a specific character I'd be more than happy to do so. ♥

Anyway! Photos!

**********

Twilight Sparkle:

In shades of purple, dark blue and pink. Twilight's bracelet is done in gold rather than silver like most of the others. I wanted the Twilight bracelet to be a little classier than some of the others... maybe more "mature" would be a better description? But I also wanted it to be cute and feminine, to match Twilight's personality.

Components: Faux glass pearls (purple, dark blue & pink), purple-dyed agate rounds, clear silver seed beads, 18k gold end pieces, gold coloured wire, gold coloured clasp, gold coloured chain, gold coloured headpins, 4mm purple swarovski crystals, gold coloured jump rings. (Note: Only the 3-strand end pieces are real gold. All the rest is gold-coloured base metal.)

Pending Components: 3 "sparkle" Cutie Mark charms.





**********


Pinkie Pie:


Pink, of course, and lots of it! Pinkie's bracelet was relatively easy to do, with less mixed-media than some of the others, but more mixed-shapes. I wanted this one to be simple but fun, and I wanted to colours to really pop when you looked at it. Perky, pink and flamboyant, just like Pinkie Pie's character.

Components: Faux glass pearls (light pink, dark pink, light blue), square glass beads, silver coloured wire, silver coloured end pieces, silver coloured clasp, silver coloured chain, silver coloured headpins, silver coloured jump rings and 4mm light pink swarovski crystals (they look mostly white in the photos, but they really are pink. ♥)

Pending Components: 3 balloon Cutie Mark charms.





**********

Rarity:

Simple but elegant; that's how I think of Rarity, and what I decided to aim for with her bracelet. Rarity's was the first bracelet in this set that I started, and will be the first one finished. Along with the colours, I used classic silver coloured dividers with clear gemstones for an extra extravagant touch. This bracelet is supposed to be something eye-catching but classically lovely.

Components: Faux glass pearls (white, dark purple), silver coloured wire, silver coloured spacers with white crystals, silver coloured end pieces, silver coloured clast, silver coloured chain, silver coloured jump rings, silver coloured headpins and 4mm clear swarovski crystals.

Pending Components: 3 diamond Cutie Mark charms.





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Applejack:

Applejack's bracelet is really radically different from the others. As per her character, I used very base colours and a basic design that turned out rather tomboyish in the end. Personally, I think this fits Applejack well, so I'm happy with it. I suppose I could have used red for the spacer beads, but I ended up going for the mottled brown because it makes me think of falling leaves, and for some reason I associate Applejack with autumn.

Components: Faux glass pearls (orange, yellow), 4mm jasper rounds, silver coloured wire, silver coloured end pieces, silver coloured clasp, silver coloured chain, silver coloured jump rings, silver coloured headpins and 4mm orange swarovski crystals.

Pending Components: 3 apple Cutie Mark charms.





**********

Fluttershy:

Of these first six bracelets, I think this one is my favourite. It's very different from the jewelry I usually tend to make, especially the pale, pastel colours. For Fluttershy, I had to go with pastels, and used the clear glass rounds and silver gem spacers as accent pieces. Like Fluttershy, this bracelet makes me think of quiet, peaceful grace, like a ballet dancer. The colours themselves make me think of spring, or Easter.

Components: Faux glass pearls (light pink, light and medium yellow, light blue), silver coloured wire, 8mm pink glass rounds, silver coloured spacers with clear gems, silver coloured end pieces, silver coloured clasp, silver coloured chain, silver coloured jump rings, silver coloured headpins and 4mm light yellow swarovski crystals.

Pending Components: 3 butterfly Cutie Mark charms.





**********

Rainbow Dash:

Last, but certainly not least! Rainbow Dash's bracelet was pretty easy to decide on a pattern for; the hard part was coming up with the beads in the exact colours I needed. In any case, this bracelet is bright, bold and in-your-face fetching. The components are simple, but the effect is a strong one. Considering how brash and confident Rainbow Dash is, I thought that suited her bracelet perfectly. This is another of my favourites. (And it doubles as a Gay Pride bracelet, if you want it to!)

Components: Faux glass pearls (purple, red, orange, yellow, green, light blue), 18k gold end pieces, gold coloured wire, gold coloured spacer beads, gold coloured clasp, gold coloured chain, gold coloured jump rings, gold coloured headpins and 4mm light blue swarovski crystals. (Note: Only the 3-strand end pieces are real gold. All the rest is gold-coloured base metal.)

Pending Components: 3 lightning bolt Cutie Mark charms.




**********


Aaaand that's it for now~!

THESE BRACELETS ARE FOR SALE. They are not 100% finished yet (they need the Cutie Mark charms, which I still have to make), but will be done by October 8th/9th at the latest and could be mailed out on the following Monday, October 10th. If you want to purchase one, please Private Message me. If anyone is interested in commissioning something, you could PM me about that as well and we can work something out. :)

Twilight Sparkle [$35 US]: [AVAILABLE]

Pinkie Pie [$30 US]: [AVAILABLE]

Rarity [$30 US]: [AVAILABLE]

Applejack [$30 US]: [AVAILABLE]

Fluttershy [$30 US]: [AVAILABLE]

Rainbow Dash [$35]: [AVAILABLE]

Price Note: Prices are based on the cost of the components and how much time it took for me to make each particular piece. In this case, Twilight Sparkle and Rainbow Dash are an extra $5 because they both contain components that are 18k gold, while the rest are all base metal.

Shipping: Shipping varies by destination, but is a flat rate $5 to anywhere in Canada or the USA. If you are from another country you can contact me for a quote. Your item will be shipped in a gift bag and inside a padded envelope for safety.

Repairs: Should anything happen to your item during transit or afterwards and you require repairs, I will do them for free. It is up to you, however, to pay to have it shipped to me for said repairs and back again. :)

August 18th, 2011

News: Matsuri Prep 2011

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Picture Jasper
I haven't updated in forever. Again. ~_~;; But whatever.

Matsuricon is in a couple of days. This will be my second time selling there at Artist Alley (last year was my first year) and me, Chloe and Maddie have been powering our way through things to sell for the past week or so. I've made almost 50 Keyblade and Final Fantasy weapon necklaces and I'm working on a handful of original designs as well; but the KH/FF ones were the important part, so the rest is just gravy.

Last year the Keyblades and FF weapons were much more expensive for me to buy than they are this year, so that plus the other components and my time made the final product quite pricy. The base stuff this year has gone down almost 50%, so my prices have gone down accordingly. I'm hoping they'll sell better now that they don't cost as much.

Anyway, I have to take pics of them all tomorrow (I forgot last year and I've been kicking myself for it ever since) and then when I get home after Matsuri I'll post them for everyone to see. I'll also put up the sales post for anything I don't manage to offload at the con. ♥

April 26th, 2011

News: Beautiful Silence

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Raiden: Constellation
Not that I've posted more than one entry about it here, but ES was originally going to be my writing blog as well as my craft/jewelry/photography/etc. blog, but I've decided that trying to organize my writing thoughts and all the tags here would become too hard to keep track of. =/

So. vanimadin. Elvish words; "vanima" meaning "beautiful" and "din" meaning "silence". My NaNoWriMo journal and my RP Musebox are both in Elvish as well. "Vanimalor" is my NaNo LJ; "vanima" meaning "beautiful" again and "lor" meaning "dream", and "Vilyaore" for my RP Musebox; "vilya" meaning "sky" and "ore" meaning "heart". Both of those are still under construction.

Even though it's not necessarily a part of ES, Beautiful Silence has a layout centered around Raiden. Raiden is the ES mascot, btw, a large black stallion (usually pictured as a Pegasus) with forest green eyes. He is, of course, not to be confused with my Muses. ♥

So from now on, the most I'll say about my writing here will possibly be offhand mentions or links to entries at BC.

Now, Beautiful Silence is friends only for the same reason that parts of ES are. Any entries on fanfiction/fan-projects are publicly viewable, but anything where I talk about original writing/characters/projects will be under friends lock. Drop a comment on the Friends Lock Post if you want to be added and follow the locked posts, though of course everything is (c) Sena/Tiffany Wynne/me. :)

April 11th, 2011

Okay, well, forget what I said in the last post. Let's just say I fail massively and leave it at that.

Actually, I've been toiling away the last while making jewelry for my sister's wedding, which is this coming Friday. I did the bridal jewelry, the jewelry for both bridesmaids, and the jewelry for the flower girl! I offered to do this because... I'm broke. I couldn't afford an actual wedding present. ^^;

What I didn't tell her is that with all the components (I did have to buy a handful of things that I didn't happen to have readily on hand) and all the time and work that went into it, all that jewelry put together would have a retail price of at least $500, probably closer to $600.

Anyway, I finally managed to finish it all and get it to her last night, and I am very proud of how it all came out, especially the bridal set. I took photos before I packed it all up, so I'll be posting those here, probably after the wedding when I can include some photos of them actually wearing it as well.

But, since I finally got that massive project off my hands, last night I finally started working on ES again. I spent a good five hours last night working on the information section here (in the LJ profile), and while looking at it now it doesn't seem like much, with my html skills, trust me, it's a miracle I even got that far.

So I'm going to keep working on the info section for the next few days, and then there will be an actual update after the wedding this Friday.

And once that's over with, I'll have the time to work on other projects again, so hopefully there'll be at least semi-regular updates in the future.

February 23rd, 2011

It's been over a year since the ES blog updated, hasn't it?

There are many reasons for this, but sufficed to say that life chewed me up, spit me out, and then chewed me up some more (just for good measure) over the last year-and-a-bit. Most of it was health related (either myself or immediate family) and unfortunately, some things had to be deemed less important than others and go by the wayside. ES was one of them.

In any case, things are finally starting to settle down for me again, so I'm going to try to get back to updating and posting here (as well as fulfilling my bead blogging obligations that I've fallen behind on) again. I'll also be renewing the ES paid account.

So keep an eye out for some updates in the next couple of days. :)

January 15th, 2010

Jewelry: All About Cats

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Jaguar Of Light
A few days ago I received my first sample pack of beads from Artbeads.com, containing the glass beads that I picked out last month. Click on the images to go to that product at the artbeads.com website. :)


14mm swarovski fish-shaped beads in jet.


12mm cats eye lentils in olivine.


10x12mm lampwork glass cat head beads.


When choosing these particular beads I had in mind a bracelet with them, and actually made it the same day that I received the samples, as I was excited to work with them (the cat heads in particular, aren't they just too cute?) Since then I've swapped out the original clasp I had put on it for a different one that I think looks better, but the bracelet itself has remained the same.



An overall picture, so you get the general idea. It's my first charm-ish bracelet, and I really like how it came out! Each of the beads is hand-linked into the chan with gold coloured eyepins, and the clasp is now a much simpler one than the one it originally had.



The cat head beads came in several colours, but I only used the black for his particular bracelet. I didn't realize when I was choosing them that the eyes on the cats are all blue, or I might have re-thought the green cats eye lentils. They look fine, but a light blue might have worked even better. Ah well!

As for the cats, the quality is really top-notch. The only minor detail that people should be aware of is that the tips of the little pointy ears can break off if you're not careful with your tools when you're working with them. This isn't a fault in the beads, it's just that cats' ears are pointed like that, and that's where the glass is thinnest. ♥

The cats-eye lentils are really the first cats-eye that I've worked with. I have a very few tiny white cats-eye rounds around here, but I haven't used them yet. I'm really pleased with them. The shine and reflection is lovely. The glass is also very sturdy, which isn't always the case with glass beads, so that was a good point.

The swarovski fish; what can I say, really? I'm a sucker for swarovski, and the quality of these beads is just what you would expect from the brand. They're faceted and gorgeous and I love them. (I originally got three, but when I was working the design changed a tad and I ended up only using two, now I need to think of something to do with the one spare one.)

For anyone who has never worked with swarovski before though and is wanting to try it, it's important to know that as pretty and great as they are, they can definitely be delicate. You have to be careful when you're working with them, or they will chip and crack. That aside, if you're looking for a beautiful, sophisticated look, you can't beat swarovski.

Then as well as the sample beads, I also used some 4mm swarovski crystals in clear and jet to fill out the baracelet and accent the other beads.



The best pic I could get of it actually on someone, given that I had to take it with myself modeling. Haha.

Legal: I was given these sample products from Artbeads.com as part of their blogging program. I am not being payed for this in any way, I'm simply being asked to provide my honest opinion on said samples. Some photos (those linked directly to artbeads.com products) are (c) artbeads.com. The rest are (c) Esprit Studios and Sena/Tiffany. Other components in the images come from various sources.
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