30 Day Colour Challenge!

I love doing 30-day things. 30 days of doing something gives me the impression of actually persisting at it for a while, and at the same time, 30 days isn’t that long a period of time, so I’m not going “Oh my god, how many more days left?!”

I’ve sort of gone off making jewellery for the past couple of months. It’s not that I’ve lost interest in it, I think it’s just that I’ve become lazy. So, what better way to get back in the groove than to take on a 30-day colour challenge?


Starting tomorrow, I’m going to pick a palette a day from our favourite website – design-seeds.com – and make a piece of jewellery a day. I’m really quite excited about it!

Come back and see what I have in store for you. Every. Day. It’ll be fun. Really 🙂

~ Kirtana

Update: Here are links to all the completed challenges! 🙂

Halloween Design Contest Pieces

Halloween pieces

A little while ago, when I was talking about my goals for fall, I mentioned working on a contest piece with a Halloween theme. Well, both K and I made pieces that we’re very proud of, and it’s our pleasure to share them with you.


Meet Arachne, K’s piece. Personally, I’m in love with the piece, in spite of (or maybe because of) those hand-made spiders giving me the heebie-jeebies! And straight from the horse’s mouth, here’s what K has to say about her piece:

“These earrings were inspired by the Black Widow spider, and by the story of Arachne (Greco-Roman mythology). While the idea started out as just a pair of spooky spider earrings, it evolved into something that represents the creative, talented, and bold women that we all are, in a fun Halloween way!”

I love the story of Arachne, and have always felt a sneaking sympathy for her confidence-bordering-on-arrogance in her weaving skills. When you’re just that good, you ought to own it. Regardless of bruised egos the Gods might have. After all, They wouldn’t have given us gifts if They didn’t intend for us to use them, would they? And continuing with K’s theme, I’d like to see more women owning their talents and gifts, rather than feeling slightly apologetic about their greatness.

End of mini-rant.

Bound-by-the-night_Amrita Madhusudan

My piece is called Bound by the Night. I went back to the roots of Halloween, to Samhain – the one night of the year when the veil between worlds is thinnest. I wanted to create a piece that embodied the eeriness of that night, and the inexplicable. I chose to use the owl as the focus for the ring, because the owl as a spirit guide represents wisdom and hidden knowledge. The bangle is the night sky with different guiding stars. I used chain extensively to indicate the chains that ghosts are typically said to rattle, but also the ones we bear, knowingly or unknowingly.

Honestly, I’m a little in love with my piece, too, even if it’s not exactly what I had in mind. But I love how much time and effort we both put in, and I’m thrilled to share with you that we were both finalists in the contest, and with a lot of love and support from our friends on Facebook, my piece won the domestic (U.S.A) section of the contest, and K’s was beaten by a narrow margin to a detailed soutache-pendant in the International section. Nevertheless, we have a $100 gift voucher to share, and such a great experience.  We’re looking forward to trying new things like this more often.

Happy Halloween, all!


Blue Buddha Boutique – a Chain-Mailler’s Delight

Here's a screen shot I took of their website

Here’s a screen shot I took of their website: http://www.bluebuddhaboutique.com

Recently, I bought a book devoted to making chain-maille jewellery. I’ve dabbled before, and yearned to try some fancy patterns, but that book pushed me over the edge to actually exploring the technique. I’ll tell you all about it later, but there’s one problem with being a newbie to chain-maille. You don’t have the thousands of jump rings any of the projects need, nor are the ones you have of the right size or gauge! Luckily, the author of the book, Rebeca Mojica, realised this general problem and went and founded a store that catered to chain-maillers – the Blue Buddha Boutique. From what I understand, they started online, and then moved to a store in 2007 – in Chicago.

B3, as they call themselves, is an amazing store. They have detailed descriptions, recommendations for beginners, and all sorts of tips and tricks, and tutorials.  They also have a very fun and interactive blog that I’ve recently started following. Every thing you read on their website and their blog just makes you feel at ease and comfortable.

The best part of the store, for me, is how patiently they explain the ins and outs of chain-maille to you. Whether you’re an expert or a novice, you’re sure to find something useful. The only complication with the jump rings is figuring out their codes. Each gauge and size and material has a different code, but they do have guidelines that explain it. It’s just time consuming – like the actual process of creating chain-maille!

They ship very quickly, and include a little personal note and a tiny bonus in your order. This definitely makes for a very, very satisfied customer, who is definitely going to order more jump rings soon!

Not that I feel I’m going to develop any sort of great proficiency at chain-maille, but just so you see what can be done, I’ll leave you with this piece that left me breathless. It’s called Poseidon’s Embrace, and Rebeca Mojica made it out of 14,500 very tiny jump rings, and it won third place in the Finished Jewelry category of the International Bead Dreams 2009 competition, apparently the very first time a chain-maille piece made it into the finals!

Rebeca Mojica Poseidon's Embrace

Tell me you don’t think that looks like fabric! I am in absolute awe.

Look at how perfectly stunning chain-maille can be, and go order some jump rings today!


 [All opinions expressed are the author’s own. Poseidon’s Embrace image courtesy rebecamojica.com.]