Snow and sparkle: The Art Elements Ornament challenge

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Happy Solstice! Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays! Welcome to the reveal of the Art Elements Ornaments challenge!

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Tray of cookies? Tray of terra cotta!

I have an ornament making tradition of my own. Every year I make one “batch” of ornaments in terra cotta. I have my Grandmother’s vintage metal cookie cutters – now used for clay. I like the sense of tradition and connection to her, as I dont really bake cookies often, and the vintage shapes never go out of style!

These terra cotta ornaments are once fired, and use my “faux majolica” technique. They are first glazed with an opaque white glaze, on top only, like icing. They the colors are layered over. They fuse together in the  firing. this color over white method is similar to traditional majolica.

This year I had another idea I wanted to try:

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These beaded beauties ( if I do say so myself) were inspired by The Palette and the Page gallery in Elkton Md. Lynn, one of the artist/owners does the most inspired window displays. This year she called for snowflakes of any size or medium, but limited to white, silver, cream, gold. So I HAD to bead. The snowflakes are beaded onto 4″ circles of stiff felt. I lightly marked off 6 segments to start, and built the designs out from the center.  It was almost meditative, like drawing mandalas!

Im sorry I didn’t get a picture of the windows at night. It was magical!

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Detailed view of my beaded snowflakes.

So pour yourself a cuppa – tea? coffee? cocoa? and sit by your tree… and journey through the ornament challenge! Have a bright New Year, see you all in 2018!

Guest Designers
Art Elements Team

Back in time: my Celtic inspiration

 One last timehop, one last stop on the Beading Back in Time travel schedule. This final installment encourages artist to select their favorite time period. Mine will inevitably be Celtic, time and time again. For fresh inspiration, I grabbed a few books and a cup of coffee… started sketching. No pre-conceived idea, just browsing at first. 

celtic sketches

The crescent “lunula” shape has been on my mind for a while. Its a recurring motif in Celtic, Slavic, Russion cultures. As a lunar symbol it is associated with women. The moon rules ocean tides, and a woman’s tides. The moon, seen as female, embodies the stages of one’s life in the lunar stages – from Maiden to Mother, to wise Crone.

lunula references

Diagram of lunula pendants - I'm trying to translate the text from Russion, with Google's asistance... 

Blessington Lunula  Crafty Celts lunula

1. Gold lunula from Blessington, Ireland, Late Neolithic/Early Bronze Age, c. 2400BC – 2000BC, Classical group ( from Wiki)
2. Lunula pendant in bronze from the Crafty Celts. "Lunula amulets date back to the end of the Bronze Age, and continued to be worn into modern times. They were common in Egypt as well as among many farming peoples of Europe and Asia and reflected the worship of the moon, which was associated with fertility. Earrings, pendants, metal details of headdresses, and other 
ornaments had the form of lunulae. Lunulae were especially widespread in Rus. in the tenth to 12th centuries."

I was contemplating doing a lunula pendant for myself in sterling, but time was not cooperating. The polymer was out… I was creating ornaments for my local gallery. These pieces – 2 styles – are polymer crescents with a hammered metal frame. The frame curls around, allowing a space to attach chain. I have stitched the small gems on with 26 gauge wire. I love using the tiny gems here – holes so small its hard to string them otherwise, but perfect in this application. 

my lunula pendants

The top pendant in cream and brown features the word “self” in the Celtic Ogham alphabet. This linear font was used for carving, and had many layers of meaning, among them trees and months of the year. I wanted an amulet – trust yourself. Take care of yourself. Center yourself. Have faith in yourself… it all comes back to “self”. The gems are green garnet. The blue lunula below incorporated sterling and aquamarine. This is more lunar to me, evocative of the Moon goddess – the three stars for her three aspects. 

I plan something simple to finish these, maybe just chain, or one wrapped gem each. I may make more, but these each feel personal to me, and I plan to keep them and wear them. 

Thanks for stopping by. I have thoroughly enjoyed the creative challenges of these historical “Back in time” hops. Thanks to Sheri and Lindsay for organizing! Please stop by the other blogs! A full list can be found at: Phantasm Creations

Until next time… 

 

 

 

Seeing red… the AJE Component of the Month

    Looking for the “inspired by Reading” hop? 

 

 Welcome to the April CoM reveal from us at the Art Jewelry Elements blog team! 

This month’s offering is presented by the fabulous Lesley Watt of Thea Too. Lesley has recently expanded her clay repertoire from metal clays to include earthen ceramic clay as well – and made this batch of stellar clasps. I was tempted to say “Surprise me!” as so many are really my style, but I LOVE  a  dark stoneware… 

Lesleys CoM clasps

When my clasp arrived – in lightening speed from the UK, I must add – I was simply seeing red. Not in anger, but in inspiration. THe dark stoneware was accented in the spiral design with just a hint of red glaze. I was htinking a bracelet bar in black and red, with some corresponding swirl/spiral design. 

CoM option 1

I textured and cured the black polymer bracelet bars, curing them on a can to maintain their shape. I wanted to experiment with polymer in this style of component, and test its strenght… It was going to have a copper stamped bar riveted on as well – adding structure and support. And on the third and final tube rivet… I broke the corner of the polymer. The saying “Know Thyself” is attributed to the Delphic Oracle, and a favorite of mine. 

My original plan was to make a triple wrap bracelet, starting with the bracelet bar and incorporating leather. So I went ahead with that plan and created a pair of charms – polymer in copper bezels. These two echo the color and pattern in Lesley’s piece.  I ended up with a double wrap bracelet.  

Seeing red CoM images

Yes, that is a fluted gunmetal ceramic bead from Caroline/Blueberri Beads in there. Ingredients also include: vintage resin, lava beads, and wire wrapped links. 

CoM WIP

I am very happy with the ingredients. I like the colors, the patterns and the textures as they are. I am not as happy with the overall composition or the fit. And I need to rewrap those wire wraps on the leather, they bug me. So I am dubbing this a WIP. I hope to revisit the bracelet bar idea in the near future, and use these ingredients again. 

Please! Help me out. Thoughts? Advice? 

Then you can check out my teamates and our guests this month. But first I would love to hear your thoughts… 

And thanks for stopping by! 

 

 

 

 

Day of the Dead & Halloween Blog hop reveal!

Instead of door to door, today you travel blog to blog. I am sure there will be many treats in store… 

Thanks to Diana P. of Suburban Girl Studio for hosting!

Halloween porch

Every season I make polymer sugar skulls for the Dia de los Muertos. This year I was happy to take a batch to ArtBLISS for sale – and I even posted a tutorial on my methods over at the Art Jewelry Elements blog. So it was a natural that I would work with one of my sugar skulls for this hop! The “trick” however? I am using a cabochon and doing bead embroidery… 

Calavera pendant

This is actually one of last year’s earthenware skulls. I felt bad for him – left over and unwanted. There were three holes in the forehead that I filled with pressed glass flower beads on head pins. Since he wasnt decorated with flowers… it was my chance. 

top view

Lots of flowers… 

Back detail

As I am new to bead embroidery – I wanted to learn the right way to finish things. And I have to give a shout out to Sally Russick at The Studio Sublime;  her seed bead blog hop/challenge started me on this path! And she has great tutorials for this finishing/beaded/edging stitch. I decided to insert the pin back to double as the bail – I am definitely going to wear this at the upcoming FaerieCon weekend!!! (but I wanted options. )

On deck

I have two other sugar skull cabs on deck – waiting beads and embellishments. Seen here with a few other pieces destined to debut at FaerieCon.. 

Sorry to be so brief – a lot on the plate today! I would love to hear what you think, especially since this is a new meduim for me!

Please check out the other blogs! I know you wont be sorry!

Kathleen Breeding  http://99bobotw.blogspot.com

Sue Kennedy  http://www.suebeads.blogspot.com

Dianne Miller  http://www.artbydianne.blogspot.com 

Lisa Liddy  http://www.lisaliddy.wordpress.com 

Toltec Jewels  http://www.JewelSchoolFriends.co

Linda Landig  http://www.LindasBeadBlog.com

Laura Medeiros  http://Www.zoeowyn.blogspot.com

Veralynne Malone  http://www.veradesigns.blogspot.com

Lynn Jobber  http://thecreativeklutz.blogspot.co.uk

Michelle McCarthy  http://www.fireflydesignstudio.blogspot.com

Karen Totten  http://www.starryroadstudio.blogspot.com

Jayne Capps  https://mamasgottodoodle.blogspot.com

Jenny Davies-Reazor  https://jdaviesreazor.com/blog

Joan Miller  http://metalmudandsand.blogspot.com/

Melissa Meman  http://melissameman.blogspot.com

Melissa Trudinger  http://www.beadrecipes.wordpress.com

Kari Asbury  http://hippiechickdesign.blogspot.com

Inge von Roos  http://www.ingetraud.wordpress.com

Andrea Glick  http://zenithjade.blogspot.com 

Stephanie LaRosa  http://Www.stringaholic.blogspot.com

Lola Surwillo  http://www.beadlolabead.com

Jennifer Cameron  http://glassaddictions.com/blog

Diane Hawkey  http://dianehawkey.blogspot.com

Kristi Harrison  http://kristibasket-itsanewday.blogspot.com

Nicole Valentine Rimmer  http://www.nvalentine.blogspot.com

Tanya Goodwin  http://www.Pixiloo.blogspot.com

Shai Williams  http://shaihasramblings.blogspot.com 

Sandra McGriff  http://skyescreativechaos.blogspot.com

Sarajo Wentling  http://www.sjdesignsjewelry.blogspot.com

Marie Covert  http://thistledown-and-swaddlings.blogspot.com

Lisa Stukel  http://www.carefreejewelrybylisa.blogspot.co

Laurie Vyselaar  http://www.Lefthandjewelry.wordpress.com

Sherri Stokey  http://www.knotjustmacrame.com

Pam Traub  http://www.klassyjoolz.blogspot.com

Lori Dorrington  http://lorisglassworks.blogspot.com

Kristen Stevens  http://kristen-beadjourney.blogspot.com

Eleanor Burian-Mohr  http://cornerstoregoddessjewelry.blogspot.com

Sally Russick  http://thestudiosublime.com

Dawn M. Gallop  http://www.flipflopsandpoptarts.com

Christine Damm   http://storiestheytell.blogspot.com

Challenge of Music – The Gypsy Nomads

 Challenge of Music

Welcome to the 2nd Challenge of Music hosted by the creative goddess Erin Prais-Hintz of Tesori Trovati. This year – the challenge: instrumental music.  In my opinion, this is much harder, trying to embody a piece of music in a piece of jewelry without the usual cues and visual symbolism we read via the lyrics. But it was also easy, as my favorite instrumental music is composed and performed by Frenchy and the Punk – formerly The Gypsy Nomads.

Their music has been described as “An energetic hybrid of European Folk roots, Punk attitude, World Beat eclecticism and traveling player theatricality.”Phil Brucato  They are guitar and percussion – hearing them you will find it hard to believe there are only 2 of them. Their energy is infectious. Their music is magical, and addictive, and captivating. The first CD I purchased from them – I honestly described the song as ” the one that goes  _______” since it was on a loop in my head!  They release their own CDs and tour the country from coast to coast  probably 11 months of the year, a grueling pace. If you EVER get a chance…. run, dont walk. 

Gypsy Nomads Thread & Stone

The song I selected is Track 1 on this CD “Travelin’ band of Gypsy Nomads” and you can hear a clip here.   (I am happy to know Scott and Samantha personally. I asked Sam about this song. It may have been the birth of the Gypsy Nomads – Scott, who wrote the instrumental, was performing and Sam decided to jump up on stage, adding dance and  percussion.With this collaboration, a new concept, and a duo was formed! ) I know I am influenced by the song title – but also by their lifestyle. Traveling the county and to Europe, instruments in hand, exploring and being inspired… The song conjures up a campfire, flames leaping, as a fiddle is tuned, a guitar strummed. Music freely played, dancers skirts twitching, tamborines jingling… and I see vardos aka Gypsy wagons. 

 Vardos

( I know this is a Romanticized version, even a stereotype of Gypsy life. I mean no disrespect to Romani culture. I have started doing research – if you are interested in the Romani people, the British Romanichals or the Irish Travelers there are many articles on the Web. )

The vardo shape was what I kept seeing, and the door. So I set off to make a hinged door pendant. Yes, you read that correctly. The good news: I have 2 that work. The bad news: After making 4 pendants I have no finished necklace for the hop… So here’s what took all of my time… Vardo pendant

The copper door, Door #1. A friend gave me scraps of 1/4 plexi and I wanted to use that inside to cover the image and add depth. You can see the diagrams I drew, planning hinges. The hinges are parts of the sheet rolled with pliers. The hinge is small tubing with a balled wire inside. The piece is joined with microbolts at the bottom and a tube rivet at top – that will be the bail. Three holes are located below for dangles. The image is an antique postcard, and the door has a curtain of sorts – resined paper circa 1880’s. I am currently working on  a silver chain and copper pin that will latch the door closed. 

 I am happy with the piece, a protoype of sorts – and see that hinges will be easier in the future now that I purchased bail making pliers! Its app. 1.75″ tall so its not too massive to wear. I am imagining a triple strand – 1 of sari ribbon, 2 of beads ( one seed bead strand, one gems). 

While all that was happening so was this: 

Keyhole vardo pendants

Teal keyhole shrine – Polymer pieces, built in bail, hand painted. Image under mica. The image is “The Fool” from an Italian Tarot deck of the 1800’s. The Fool card means free of burdens, worries; living in the now, setting off to journey, spontaneity… among other things. It seemed to capture some elements of the Gypsy symbolism I was working with …

Red keyhole shrine: Constructed as the blue shrine, the image will have resin or glaze over. I am thrilled with these results even though there were hours of fiddling to shape and then after curing, carve the door and hinge. I think the shape is also the most clearly derived from the vardos’ original inspirarion. The image (seen below) is Mucha’s Moon/cresent goddess. 

round pendant window

Round porthole window: Thinking on the painted pattern and designs on a Gypsy caravan… you see here (from L to R) the front window shutter, the center image and the back. The cover will have a tube rivet, and the piece will be simply hung on a large jump ring. The image is a Gypsy woman, also from Alfonse Mucha. These are the images I was considering: 

Image references - gypsy

(All images by Alfonse Mucha except the Tarot card images. )

 

So you can see I was inspired! But I still have quite a bit of work to do! I would love to hear your thoughts and preferences from the four… I will do a follow up post when they are completed. I look forward to traveling the blogs to see what my colleagues have created; the list is shown below.Thanks for stopping by! 

The Challenge of Music participants
 

 

Destination – Stade, Germany! Challenge of Travel reveal

Challenge of Travel

Once again Erin Prais-Hintz of Tesori Trovati has created a cohesive yet diverse and individual challenge. The brief: Select a region, then a country. Create an accessory or your choice that evokes that nation. Sounds simple. Yet the possibilities are endless. 

 

I chose Europe: Germany. Seems like the least exotic choice when the world is laid at your feet, or at least your Interweb accessing fingertips. My heritage is Celtic. All Celtic. I am approximately 1/4 Irish, 1/8 Welsh, 1/8 Scottish, and you guessed it – 1/2 German. The German part of my heritage hasnt spoken as loudly as the island Celtic bits… I have lived in London and felt at home there. I have visited Edinburgh, Scotland and the bagpipes stir my blood. I have trekked Wales from waterfalls to Medieval castles. And I have seen treasures in the Rebublic of Ireland, from the Book of Kells to romantic crumbling ruins. I have never been to Germany. Ever. It seemed fair to give the other part a fair investigation. 

I wanted to stay away from the cultural icons of Oktoberfest, beer steins, the Black Forest, the fairy tale turrets of Nueschwanstein. I read lists of famous Germans, articles on Anglo Saxons, and have an enticing list of folk tales to pursue in the future. I wrote a pair of teaser posts on German notable persons and German artists. But it was still all too much…

Oktoberfest  steinBlack Forest folk costume Nueschwanstein

So I turned to the research done by a distant cousin on my mother’s side; the history of the Boesch family – my maternal grandfather’s heritage. The branch of the Boesch family can be traced back to Stade in the mid 1600’s. 

Boesch chronicles

Unified Germany is so large, with so many distinct regions – I found it much easier after I decided to focus on the city of Stade. 

Travel challenge sketchbook

Stade coat of arms griffin

I was inspired by the griffins on the city’s coat of arms, and there was also a key. I like that symbolism, unlocking a bit of my ancestry.  I have wanted to do a copper pipe shrine for a while, and this was the time to experiment… Shield shapes to reference the coat of arms…

in progress

Words stamped in German: “history & my country”. A map showing Stade from my mother’s girlhood Encyclopedia Brittanica atlas. (Yes – the days of door to door encyclopedia salesmen. My Grandpa invested in a set – and I still have them…) Slivers of mica. 

Components ready

Stade is located in northern Germany just outside Hamburg on the river Elbe. 

map north Germany

So with all this going on in my head – this is what I created: 

The top copper piece has an overlay of antique paper covered in resin. It is in German, from a book of unknown origins. Lovely Gothic font, and at least 200 years old. The griffin image is framed at the center, and key dangle. I had used a tube rivet to hang the dangle, but it was awkward going through the rivet. Turned – much better. To complete the piece – chunky stones (calcedony) and copper chain, 18-20″ long. I wanted the griffin image to be seen clearly so it is not recessed into the depth of the center chamber. 

front

The back allows you to see into the center chamber with the vintage map and a few glass beads for movement. The top two corners are joined with micro bolts that I sawed off and riveted to secure the piece. 

back view

It will be fun to wear – in the fall. I have to admit – the large area of the copper does stick to one’s skin in the humid late summer. I often use words, an dcreate pieces with a meaning. I also enjoy creating a piece with a secret. The wearer knows of the secreet and chooses to reveal and share or to concel and remain quiet. It creates an interaction and a dynamic between the wearer and the viewer. This piece certainly fulfills that, and I had a fantastic time reading and researching and creating. 

Please take time to tour the world – in under 80 days! My fellow travelers are listed at Erin’s Treasures found blog or the following map. Have fun!

 

Name Blog Region Chosen Inspiration Nation
Monique Urquhart http://ahalfbakednotion.blogspot.ca/ Africa Burkina Faso
Niky Sayers http://silverniknats.blogspot.co.uk/ Africa Egypt
Therese Frank http://www.theresestreasures59.blogspot.com Africa Kenya
Raychelle Heath http://abeadloveaffair.blogspot.com/ Africa Lesotho
Joan Williams www.lilrubyjewelry.wordpress.com Africa Mauritania
Sherri Stokey http://www.KnotJustMacrame.com Africa Senegal
Regina Santerre http://reginaswritings.blogspot.com Africa Seychelles
Raida Disbrow http://havanabeads.blogspot.com Africa Tanzania
Kristi Wodek http://livedinlife.blogspot.com Africa Zimbabwe
Sally Russick http://www.thestudiosublime.com Americas Brazil
Melissa Trudinger http://beadrecipes.wordpress.com Americas Mexico
Tracy Stillman http://www.tracystillmandesigns.com Americas USA
Sandra Wolberg http://city-of-brass-stories.blogspot.de Asia India
Tanya Goodwin http://pixiloo.blogspot.com Asia Japan
Susan Kennedy http://suebeads.blogspot.com Asia Japan
Beth Emery http://storiesbyindigoheart.blogspot.com Asia Japan
Lisa Cone http://inspiredadornments.blogspot.com/ Asia Japan
Tanya Boden http://fusionmusebangkok.blogspot.com/ Asia Japan
Inge von Roos http://ingetraud.wordpress.com Asia Laos
Erin Prais-Hintz http://treasures-found.blogspot.com Asia Nepal
Dee Elgie http://cherryobsidia.blogspot.com Asia Phillipines
Carolyn Lawson http://carolynscreationswa.blogspot.com Asia South Korea
Lisa Stukel http://carefreejewelrybylisa.blogspot.com Asia Sri Lanka
Elly Snare http://themagicsquarefoundation.wordpress.com Asia Thailand
Shelley Graham Turner http://www.shelleygrahamturner.blogspot.com Europe Austria
Mallory Hoffman http://rosebud101-fortheloveofbeads.blogspot.com/ Europe Bosnia Herzegovina
Paige Maxim http://www.pmaximdesigns.blogspot.com Europe France
Jenny Davies-Reazor http://www.jdaviesreazor.com/blog Europe Germany
Sharyl McMillian-Nelson http://sharylsjewelry.blogspot.com Europe Greece
Evelyn Shelby http://raindropcreationsbyevelyn.blogspot.com/ Europe Iceland
Holly Westfall http://silverrosedesigns.blogspot.com/ Europe Ireland
Rebecca Siervaag http://www.godsartistinresidence.blogspot.com Europe Ireland
Toltec Jewels http://toltecjewels.blogspot.com Europe Ireland
Lee Koopman http://StregaJewellry.wordpress.com Europe Ireland
Laren Dee Barton http://larendeedesigns.blogspot.com Europe Italy
Cindy Wilson http://www.mommysdreamcreations.blogspot.com Europe Norway
Kathleen Lange Klik http://ModernNatureStudio.blogspot.com Europe Poland
Shaiha Williams http://shaihasramblings.blogspot.com/ Europe Portugal
Jennifer Justman http://soulsfiredesigns.blogspot.com/ Europe Romania
Elsie Deliz-Fonseca http://ladelizchica.blogspot.com Europe Spain
Lola Surwillo http://www.beadlolabead.blogspot.com Europe Sweden
Kim Hora http://www.kimmykats.com Europe Switzerland
Leanne Loftus http://firstimpressiondesign.blogspot.com Europe The Netherlands
Patti Vanderbloemen http://myaddictionshandcrafted.blogspot.com Europe The Netherlands
Marcie Carroll http://labellajoya.blogspot.com Europe Turkey
Marlene Cupo http://amazingdesigns-marlene.blogspot.com Oceania Federated States of Micronesia
Ine Vande Cappelle http://jewelsbyine.blogspot.com Oceania Fiji
Tammie Everly http://ttedesigns.blogspot.com/ Oceania Guam
Alice Peterson http://www.alice-dreaming.blogspot.com Oceania Kiribati
Elisabeth Auld http://www.beadsforbusygals.com Oceania Nauru
Susan McClelland http://mistheword12.wordpress.com/ Oceania New Zealand
D Lynne Bowland http://islandgirlsinsights.blogspot.com Oceania New Zealand
Denielle Hagerman http://somebeadsandotherthings.com Oceania New Zeland
Rebecca Anderson http://songbeads.blogspot.com Oceania Papua New Guinea
Mischelle Fanucchi http://micheladasmusings.blogspot.com/ Oceania Samoa
Kari Asbury http://hippiechickdesign.blogspot.com Oceania Solomon Islands
Cece Cormier http://www.thebeadingyogini.com/ Oceania Tonga
Emma Todd http://www.apolymerpenchant.com Oceania Tuvalu
Debbie Price http://greenshoot.blogspot.com Oceania Vanuatu
 

 

 

 

 

Curiouser and Curiouser…Inspired by Alice blog hop

It started with a rabbit. And a pocketwatch. There are so many iconic images from Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass, but to me it all starts with the rabbit. Yes, I think caterpillars, vials of potions, cards, roses, tea parties and top hats, even flamingos and croquet. But I have a thing for rabbits…

(In case you just fell down the rabbit hole – you are currently on a Blog Hop. There was a challenge presented by Staci and Genea to create a piece inspired by Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. Twas brillig – the idea, that is!)

Alice sketches

This is the rabbit I pictured in my piece – a Japanese carved ivory netsuke ( as noted below) Its a full moon hare – myths of the moon hare abound in cultures across the world, between cultures and over time. But thats another story for another day. This story is a white rabbit… The round shape had me thinking of the gears IN a pocketwatch, and the face of a pocketwatch. Suddenly it was not a rabbit WITH a watch, but a rabbit IN a watch. 

Hare netsuke 

Ivory Manju Netsuke – Rabbit in full moon shape 
Kyoto School, Circa 18th Century

The pocketwatch casing I decided to use – I have a few – was open on both sides. I wanted to be able to fill the space and keep the weight of the piece down. But I had to create a back that would be completely sealed as I planned to pour resin at the end stage. What you see here is a antique glass lens holding enameled gears & vintage gears embedded in resin and layered with paper. The sticker on the lens is original – I left it as it reminded me of the Mad Hatter’s hat size stuck in the brim of his hat. I have fabricated copper wire into a prong setting – as the lens is too small to fit completely. 

Alice back stage 1

The polymer hares after baking, awaiting an acrylic stain to add the patina of time. ( The owls are for a mixed media piece inspired by the Greek Goddess Athena…)

polymer ready to stain

The lens in place – epoxy putty as the bezel. It was a sticky mess, like sculpting with molasses. Once cured it had to be sanded and painted. You can see on the right the prongs supporting the piece from the inside. The paper created a visual barrier seperating the front items and the back items.  

Alice back stage 2 Alice inside stage 2

The rest came together quickly. The hare, gear and watch parts, and an antique enameled watch face from my favorite antique store in Austin TX. ( I live in DE. Long distance!)

Alice front w/o resin

Alice back complete

The entire piece is currently filled with resin. Lets see how it cures over night, and hopefully I can add an update in the morning! I haven’t addressed how to wear this piece yet. That would depend quite a bit on the wearer, I think. Velvet ribbon; choker length? Chunky chain, worn long over the chest? What do you think ? 

Saturday morning: resin for the win!

resin final stage

Thanks to Staci and Genea for hosting the Hop! I had a great time with this piece; I had a chance to play, to think outside the box, to experiement. Please take some time and see what my fellow participants have creatied! Curiouser and Curiouser!

Ginger Bishop
www.lilmummylikes.blogspot.com
 
Staci Louise Originals (hostess!)
www.stacilouise.blogspot.com
 
Genea Beads (hostess!)
www.geneabeads.blogspot.com
 
Jenny Davies-Reazor (Thanks for stopping by!)
www.jdaviesreazor.com/blog
 
Heidi Post
www.expostfactojewelry.blogspot.com
 
Donna Bradley
www.strandedbeads.blogspot.com
 
Linda Hanes
www.craftygallindadesigns.blogspot.com
 
Birgitta Lejonklou
www.lejonklou.blogspot.com
 
Libellua Jewelry
www.libellulajewelry.com
 
Lori Anderson
www.prettythings.blogspot.com
 
Linda Florian
www.lilysofthevalleyjewelry.blogspot.com
 
Dyanne Cantrell
www.deelitefuljewelrycreations.blogspot.com
 
Nicole Valentine Rimmel
www.nvalentine.blogspot.com
 
Jo in Wonderland
www.joyblonde.blogspot.it
 
 

Ornament Swap! Make new friends and keep the old…

OK – Good morning! Sorry I wasnt “here” sooner. This is the first Saturday in over 2 months that I haven’t rushed off early to teach Ceramics classes at the studio. But I can’t think of a better morning than coffee and a blog hop/swap!

 I met Sally Russick at ArtBliss in DC. Can I just pause here to rave about that retreat! Close to home! Fantastic national teachers? Great hospitality! Fantastic hosts – Cindy Wimmer and Jeannette Blix! Ok – back to the blog post… Sally posted about an ornament swap – a million years ago – it seems. Of course I was interested! Make a pretty and recieve a pretty? Yes! Meet new friends? Yes! Keep in touch with old freinds? Yes!

When it came time to make, and mail said ornament, I realized time had crept up on me. What was a generous time frame, well – I procrastinated a bit. I usually work in clay. Earthenware and stoneware. Now with drying time, firing time. glazing… it wasnt going to work. So, I turned to polymer. I like it. I want to experiment with it more. I respect it after taking a class with Christi Friesen. The most frustrating thing is weeding out the old and crumbly in my stash that frustrates me every time I try to work. Fresh polymer is quite nice!

I wanted to do a winter theme. My preference in decorations are seasonal, and having email-chatted with my partner  Christine Altimiller and perusing her blog – I thought this would be a good fit. ( Enough chatter – pictures please!) 

my ornament

I went with the shrine shape as that is a style I work with often. A reporoduction of an antique postcard shows a winter angel decorating a tree. She is framed in polymer and stamped copper. 

ornament detail

For the dangles I knew I had to include river rock,  a fav of Christine’s and an artist’s bead – one of my stamped ceramic eucalyptus charms. The pod print recalled snowflake shapes in my mind. 

The ornament I recieved, you ask? It was as if Christine had been in my house! So perfect! She must have super mind reading powers…

Christine's ornament

Driftwood, ethereal beautiful seed beaded snowflakes in icy blues and lavendars! Delicate and gorgeous!

details

details 2

I was completely stunned. I am so appreciative of the delicate seed bead work done here! The time and patience it takes! Mad skills! Thank you to my ever talented and creative partner for sharing this sliver of winter magic with me!

So – refill your coffee and please head over to Christine’s blog – One Kiss Creations! And definitely check out the other ornaments. I am feeling festive already! 

 

Thank you for stopping by! I would love to hear from you… 
Happy Holidays!

 

The Soup is ON! Bead Soup Blog Party…

Arrival

It came nestled in purple, a color often associated with royalty. And I surely felt like a queen when I opened up one precious pouch after the other! SO many! Such treasure… Jelveh outdid herself.  Now I had seen her blog and her Etsy site – and I can honestly tell you, I was eager to take a peak at the lampwork. For she is a lampwork goddess, and I assumed I would get a lampwork focal. This is a busy part of the year for me and I was most often in the basement studio glazing ceramic tiles and pendants. So one Saturday, I cleared my schedule, brewed fresh coffee (the brew of inspiration) and sat down at my table…

work table

(This is a clean view of my table. Believe me – once the magic starts there is not so much empty space visible…)

BSBP sketchbook

And I sketched, and planned. I wanted to be able to share the process with you, and also have a record for myself, for the future. The ideas for the main pieces were pretty immediate. 

first BSBP

The first piece. Made entirely of BSBP beads and clasp; nothing at all from my stash. I had challenged myself to do that, and being my first BSBP had no idea if I would succeed. My generous partner made it easy! This piece was designed for my mother, as it is not my color palette. The lampwork focal is such rich gorgeous deep colors. You need a better view: 

first BSBP view

And then for my sister (who now will know what one of her birthday presents will be…) as she is a Scorpio. Classic, versatile black and silver – she is a lawyer and often likes to dress up the professional uniform with a little non traditional bling. (Again – all BSBP stash)

scorpio earrings

These green beads shouted spring, vegetation, plants… so I paired them with glass floral beads and copper. I wanted the warm copper tones to mellow the sharp fresh green hue. 

spring earrings

Now – for the biggee. Drumroll please…

BSBP the biggee

When I saw this lampwork focal I immediately knew I wanted it to stand strong with accents to support it yet not compete. It is large and exquisitely detailed, with a diverse color palette. The blue stones from the soup worked well in scale and color; so I added silks, double strands to bring out some of the other pastel tones in the focal. The only items from my stash: the silks and the clasp. How serendipitous to have cones in my soup? 

BSBP focal

And them there is still soup to savor on another day! As with homemade soup – it is often better the next day after the flavors meld. I look forward to returning to a second helping with this: 

doggie bag

And the most delectible morsels…

favorites BSBP

The lampwork goddess bead I simply adore. That one is mine! She is a dark plum/brown which makes me think of Earth, fertility, vegetation.  I am thinking of breaking out the seedbeads. I know – shocking! But beading a fringe bouquet with gladd flowers and leaves – are those even the right terms? I see it in my mind’s eye, and know those relatively simple beadweaving techniques. 

Oh! Don’t go yet. I have to give you the list. But thank for stopping in – I would love to hear your thoughts on my creations, and I hope to see you around in the future…

Here is the full list of participants! Bead soup Blog Party 2011