I found this pendant at a secondhand store, and at first, thought it was pretty ugly. But since it was so *interesting*, I bought it anyway and kept it in my Box of Bead Stuff for Later Inspiration.
I didn't have something specific that I wanted to work on this weekend, so I started thinking about what beads I had to give me a starting point, and this immediately came to mind. Since the center stone is a deep shiny gray, it would have been too easy to do some black and clear beads with it.
I thought some more, and decided what it really needed was some lovely sparkly green. I ruminated on this design Friday night and most of Saturday, and sure enough, the bits and pieces came together in my head, so that by the time I was actually ready to sit down and make it, I already knew what I wanted to do.
Because the feel of the necklace is a little dark and gothic, I thought it was time to finally crack open that bottle of liver of sulfur, to artifically antique the sterling silver chain. Liver of sulfur contains potassium sulfide and some other nasty sulfate compounds, which when dissolved in water, quickly oxidize (ie tarnish) silver or copper.
So I had fun with my stinky little chemistry experiment, though next time, I might set it up outside instead of in the kitchen.
Today, I built another lightbox to use for my jewelry and magnet photographs. My current cardboard-and-tissue-paper one is too small, falling apart, and not really giving me the desired results, though it did improve my photos a bit.
I used the instructions on this site to build my lightbox out of 5 pieces of white foamcore board and some white duct tape. (I couldn't find the white masking tape he talks about in the article.) I struggled with my spatial relationship visualization issues while putting the box together, but finally got a nice even (but huge) box.
It actually works surprisingly well, since now it's big enough for me to get in there with the camera, and also not cast my own shadows all over everything. I still need more light, though (which has been the problem all along).
Using the new box, I retook some of the photos for older items in my Etsy shop. Here are a couple of the "new and improved" versions:
The cool background is just scrapbook paper I found at Joann Fabric & Crafts today. I got a little pad of paper called "The Rockstar Stack", filled with all these adorable rock and punk-themed patterns, with the most gorgeous colors. Most of them are too busy to use as photo backgrounds, but the paper was too pretty (and shiny!) to pass up. But I've made good use of a few pages already with the shop photos I re-took.
Thoughts on the new pics?