Glass treasures – the May COM reveal

Once again – a month comes to a close. I may not have blogged much – but I do have treasures to show you! Its time for the Art Jewelry Elements COM reveal!

I am spoiled. Sue gave me a selection of these new wee gorgeous cabochons when we briefly met up at Bead Fest April in Philly. I was greedy and asked for THREE (!!!) of these stars. I envisioned them as a crown over a celestial goodess face. 

Sue star cabs

But its Spring, and I have had a chance to go to the beach a few times. Walking dogs, with a coffee, early in the morning is my favorite pastime. And beach combing. Very quickly this became a starfish, destined to be nestled in a mermaid’s hair. (Late in the month I realized that #MerMay is a thing on social media. Google it). So when a new batch of stoneware face cabs came out of the high fire gas kiln… this happened: 

May 2016 COM

Shells from Bethany DE, antique coral, abalone from NZ (long story)… Sue’s cab sets the palette, and Caroline’s sea urchin bead completes the piece! Here are some detail shots: 

COM details

I need to stitch on some beaded loops or closed rings. That part always happens last as it seems like a chore to me. 

Umm – so I was at the beach this past Memorial Day weekend – and I always pack beads. The weather was a bit grey… so while tired dogs napped after morning hikes… 

Mermaid tapestry

This is a small tapestry. The enamleled mermaid is from Anne Gardanne. I have been treasuring it… You know I am doing a beaded goddess each month? Well, I have further challenged myself to sculpt all those cabs. So this is a bonus! The May goddess is done; the June piece is laid out. I am not sure where I am going with this – but that purple! It was as if Sue’s cab and Anne’s mermaid were destined! I’d love to hear what you think… 

I was very inspired, and rather prolific; please visit my team mates and our guests to see other creative designs featuring Sue’s wee cabs!  

 Guests
Allison Herrington
Lola Surwillo
 
AJE Team Members
Susan Kennedy – host
Diana Ptaszynski
Kristen Stevens
Jenny Davies-Reazor ( here)
Caroline Dewison
Lindsay Starr
Lesley Watt
Jennifer Cameron
Niky Sayers
 

August holds the key. (AJE reveal)

August CoM

It was a treat to have a deadline right after Beadfest. No, I am serious. It meant I was obligated to be in the studio Friday, not cleaning, or glazing, or running errands. Sure – there was a bit of pressure as I had one day only. But this focal was easy/lovely/inspiring… 

Made by Melissa – they are copper, solder, and charms. I received a key – and knew right away I away going to do a bracelet. 

Inspiration pile

It started here with these amazing lampwork beads from Kaz Balidon of Cheeky Cherub. They are planets to get lost in, deep rich jewel tones with flecks of silver. I wanted to play up the bead palette, and finally use them! Melissa’s focal was SO versatile that I knew I cooudl go in any direction… 

Design collage

I wanted a multi strand bracelet. This fiber was too big; that fiber too small. Colors were off… so seed beads. Looking for a color to enhance and not compete with the lampwork. Here is the result: 

JDR Aug CoM

The seed beads are a bit dark, but I like the volume of the three strands. It is well balanced and doesnt get to floppy when worn: 

While worn

( I was parked in the driveway, people!)

Please stop by the blogs of my AJE colleagues and our guests this month! I look forward to seeing what designs they unlocked with their treasures… I have keys on the brain now and am headed back to the studio to work on a mixed media bracelet. Coffee is perked, I am inspired!

Thanks for stopping by… 

 

 

 

 

 

April Component of the Month! Headpins…

 (If you are looking for the “Inspired by Reading” post and creative reveal – please click here. )

 I love it when a plan comes together. I received these simply gorgeous glass headpins from the hands of Jen Cameron for this month’s Component of the Month at Art Jewelry Elements. But I was out of town. I got home with 36 hours until the reveal… and I was tired and had mounds of laundry to do… When I sat down this afternoon I was thrilled to make it work – and I am pleased with the results. 

Jen's headpins

The headpins made me think of water. Not only the color, but the spiral and the tiny bubbles… I have been working on and off lately on a series of Goddess necklaces. This color and the element of water made me think of Yemanja. She is the Yoruba orisha, or diety of water, childbirth, the essence of the ocean. She was and is revered in many Afro-American regions, from Brazil to the Caribbean. (My Yemanja figure, shown on my “water” shelf with Sulis from Bath, is from New Orleans. ) Over time, Yemanja was seen to share many characteristics with the Virgin Mary: protectress of women and children, robed in blue, Mother of all… Mary is also known as Stella Maris/Star of the Sea thus linking her with the ocean as well. 

Water elementals

So I started browsing the stash… and started with a piece of sea glass. Here is a little “photo essay” of the selection process: 

planning pix

After that – the Parawire and the seashell were kept in the mix, along with copper links. I found the color blue more vibrant than the gems in my stash, and turned to Czech glass and crystal to satisfy my palette. The copper links are stamped “etoile” and “de la mer” to reference Yemanja/Stella Maris/Mary. 

the necklace

Coiled wire bail, dangle headpin, stamped copper links, wire wrapped crystals and glass beads, sari silk, seashell, hand made wire clasp. 

Not bad for a day’s work! What do you think?

Please stop by these blogs – my team mates and the guest designers participating this month: 

Guest Designers:

Erin Prais-Hintz

Kathy Lindemer

Alice Peterson

 

AJE Team:

Susan Kennedy

Lesley Watt

Melissa Meman

Linda Landig

Jen Cameron

BeadFest – these are the people in my neighborhood

My first Beadfest as an exhibitor has come and gone. It was most definitely worth the days spend firing and glazing in a frenzy! I had a wonderful time – seeing my pieces well received, meeting new friends, catching up with old friends. And I managed to fit in a little shopping and a bit of barter (tomorrow’s post). For now – a recap of the booth, and a few of my neighbors. I regret not taking more people pictures…I seem to have focused on the beads. 

My booth

high fire and words

"Mythic Nature" series

Lunar Hare

Lampwork lovelies from my neighbor Sue Kennedy of Sue Beads

 Sue Beads

What patience! Hundreds of raku beads from Amy at Xaz Bead Company

Xaz Bead Co.

One of a kind ceramic focals and buttons from Mary Hubbard at White Clover Kiln.

White Clover Kiln

Green Girl Studios – pewter charms, buttons, pendants…

Green Girl Studios

Lampwork from Heather of HBM Studios. 

HMB Studios

Lampwork focals from Anne of Gardanne Beads. 

Gardanne beads

The show was great, although long hours on one’s feet. The atmosphere was very invigorating, and creative. I am thrilled to be part of this community; I am very glad I took the leap and applied. Although it seems very quiet here at home, alone – I am full of ideas and energy – so thank you friends!

 

 

 

And now without further ado… Bead Soup!

Reveal 1 Banner BSBP

Hello and Welcome to the first Bead Soup Blog Party reveal! If you are here, you are most likely familiar with Lori Anderson’s Bead Soup Blog Party ( or BSBP…) but if you just arrived from the far flung reaches of the Universe then here is a synopsis: 2 people, personally paired by Lori, exchange packages, beads aplenty. Head to the studio and make magic, whether it be ornate, simple, a new style, a challenge… Share your creations here. (For all the details, including the future Hop dates – Bead Soup Blog Party. )

My partner – what a nice way to ‘meet’ new people! – is Cassie Donlen. Cassie is a lampwork beadmaker, jewelry designer, and artist extraordinaire. Her work was new to me… was I out in the far flung reaches of the Universe? I love every thing she sent me, and she was so generous! Here is my loot: 

BS6 from Cassie Donlen

( For what I sent Cassie – she has great pix on her blog. )

Donlen lampwork

The first thing that popped into my head was “Exotic blossom”. 

I need to pause here, to build anticipation for the reveal and also to give you a bit of back story/inspiration. My Bead soup from Cassie got lost. There were a few tense days – and the Postal Service is NOT to blame. I sent her my address typed incorrectly. (The whole story is posted here in my first BSBP blog. ) Clearly I did retrieve my package. While some people would attribute this to luck, or coincidence – I think there is a message here. The Universe was shouting at me. The message you ask? Well its all tied in to the ‘exotic blossom’ …

And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.
Anais Nin

Exotic blossom

I kept the 2 main flower focals together, and added dangles.  The stamped copper reads “Risk” and “Blossom” to remind me to move forward and push the boundaries. I hung the blossom on a link of chain, showcasing another of Cassie’s lovely beads. The green and blue together, contrasted with the red…and the nature of the focal were all so visually appealing that I found myself designing a simple piece to accentuate the focal. I had planned to use the fab copper chain Cassie sent for this pendant, but I needed more red for balance. (Silk from Marsha Neal Studio). This is an amulet to me, and while I may add more charms – for right now it is complete. 

The pendant wasn’t the only creation… The first thing I did was this…

BSBP6 bracelet

…using Cassie’s clasp and focal bead. I admit – it was my favorite bead so it got singled out for deluxe treatment. Strung with copper and glass from the Soup, and paired with copper chain, and hand spun sari fiber. (You read that right. Its not ribbon. It was hand spun from recycled saris. YetiandYarndrygoods on Etsy) I am thrilled with this one, and plan to wear it often – whenever I am not in the Ceramics studio, that is…

On a final note – thanks to Lori and to Cassie for yet another fantastic BSBP experience! I appreciate all the time and effort went into organizing, and the creation of these beautiful beads. Each year I participate I am excited to have a chance to PLAY, to do something new and unusual, to be inspired, abe to experiment a bit. But enough of ME – you, my dear blog reader, have other treasure to view, creations to see!

Here is the link to the complete list of participants in today’s reveal: Bead Soup Blog Party July Reveal. Have fun! And thanks for stopping by…

Treasures by post! Its Bead Soup time…

I was so horrified! To realize that because of clumbsy typing on my iPad I had sent my Bead Soup partner the wrong mailing address! After work I knocked on the door of #10. ( I live at #109…) The resident’s Mom was dog sitting. And yes – there actualy was a package! ( My heart is racing! I could have hugged her!) So here to my relief – is my bag-o-treasure from the lovely and talented Cassie Donlen!

BSBP arrives!

So much loot! The big reveal

( If you are lost: here’s the condensed version. Sign up, get a partner. Send them beady treasures, they reciprocate. Make something fab, test your comfort zone, play and experiement. Blog it, hop around, share the love. Its the Bead Soup Blog Party)

So many packages spilling out, bountious goodness on my kitchen counter! “Be a Bad Girl” I love it… 

First there are the colorful beads of the soup itself…

The color palette!

Delicious copper chain! Spiral beads! And to think she has NOT met me – so perfect!

Copper!

The lampwork – Cassie’s own. What a magical mysterious flower, an exotic bloom…And a sweet clasp. 

The big reveal!

The lampwork glass beads in detail. I love the enamleed copper with the green polka dot drop/head pin…. They are going to have to remain together. I have a tendency to design pieces where “Less is more” and the details of the artists bead can really stand out. That means I have multiple  pieces starting to take shape in my mind’s eye. 

Lampwork details.

I am so thrilled with what Cassie sent, and thank her for her calm patience while I tracked down my loot! She was sooo generous to me!

Her shop, you ask? Why yes – its here. 

What did I send her? Her pix are better than mine. 

We are part of Reveal #1 on July 28th. So stay tuned, its just over 2 weeks away!

You can find all the details and list of participants at Lori’s site… our insanely organized hostess. Can you believe she matches us all with our partners individually?! And there are 399 participants over three reveals?! 

 

Denizen of the Deep – Suburban Girl Design Team “Summer” reveal!

Summer! It is here – no questioning that! Temperatures in the 90’s here in Delaware have me dreaming of the ocean. Luckily all of DE is relatively close to the beach (as opposed to the shore in NJ) and headed there for a respite soon. The summer charms from Diana arrived ages ago – and a lovely lampwork from Jan as well! I confess, I finished this yesterday. I have been up to my elbows in clay, teaching sculpture and wheel throwing at Clay Camp – and found it hard to switch gears. But with such lovely ingredients in my mind’s eye – I think I was designing this piece weeks ago in my head!

Summer sampler Summer loot

Here is the first pile of potential pairings. I knew I wanted to use my own ceramic mermaid pendant, how could I not? The colors in Jan’s bead were so inviting! And the gorgeous paairing of sandy brown and celadon in Diana’s – so my style! Here is: shell slice, mother of pearl, stick pearl, sea glass, river stone. 

Idea pile 1

I wanted to bring more of the earthy sand color in – so Marsha Neal Studios silks to the rescue. I have a huge stash I sell with my pendants – so I am spoiled and have a color for every need!

Add some silk...

Hmm. The pile of potential has changed. Abalone, amazonite, recycled bottle glass beads, copper green pearls, jasper… What jasper is that? THe dark teal-y one with drown matrix? You know the one I mean…

Getting closer...

And here she is: “Denizen of the Deep”. I ended up with pearl and kyanite as the dangle, abalone, amazonite, MOP, pearl, and that jasper as the gems strand. 

Denizen of the Deep

I wanted the larger components on the right to be balanced visually, so the left side is a double strand of gems and matte olive seed beads. Here’s a detail of the pendant and the SGD Team featured components: 

details...

The starfish, you say? Where is the starfish? I had to go rogue and do a companion piece. I wanted the starfish to get equal attention, so it is the focal on the matching bracelet ( silk, seed beads, and gems – as inteh necklace)

partner piece

The completed pair

Hope this finds you cool and content – enjoying the best of summer and avoiding the worst. Have a cold beverage, some sushi, and channel your inner mermaid!

Please stop by my partners pages as well!

Diana Ptaszynski http://www.suburbangirlstudio.com/
Jenny Davies-Reazor http://www.jdaviesreazor.com/blog
Kristen Stevens http://kristen-beadjourney.blogspot.com/
Jan Onipenco http://moltenmayhem.typepad.com/
Marla James http://marlasmudmoments.blogspot.com/
Sandra Basara Miller http://www.sandra5461.blogspot.com/
Michelle Buettner http://misheldesigns.blogspot.com/

 

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


 

Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.

Standing over a cauldron, tossing in snippets of this, portions of that – brewing up a potion, a recipe in a cauldron. You imagine them, sisters three, over a large smoky steaming cauldron, aged, gnarled and bent – Shakespeare’s Three Witches. Or perhaps you imagine a younger more contemporary potion maker – young Hermione sitting, small cauldron inher lap, brewing Polyjuice Potion in Moaning Myrtle’s bathroom. (I DID just get back from vacation to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando…)

Cauldron are symbols of creativity, inspiration, transformation in Celtic myth (see the myth of Cerridwen I blogged recently.) So I find it apropos that I am participating in a creativity challenge/bed swap dubbed “Bead Soup Blog Party”. I have been sent the beady ingredients and I will start brewing up a creation of my own – little of this, pinch of that…and what comes out will transform the disparate parts into a wearable piece, or two, or three…

Jelveh's box

This lovely arrived inthe mail from my talented partner Jelveh of Jelveh’s designs. Eager with anticipation…

BS box 3

So full, so many treasures… 

BS box4

…irridescent beauties….

BS box5

…a riot of color…

BS box6

…metallic medley…

coral and clasp

Sterling and coral…

lampwork and focals

…and the focals! WooHoo. Oceanic landscape and a goddess? Sweet! The detail on the Oceanic treasures necklace is stunning. I want to do that bead justice, and really show it to its full glory. And of course I love the goddess bead for me; and she has a little flower on her bottom… Not to mention the gorgeous colors in the lampwork beads. They range from pinks, mauves, lavenders, blues -and are so harmonious together, just my style. 

Many thanks go out to my Bead Soup Blog Party partner, Jelveh, for this fantastic generous package! And to Lori at Pretty Things for masterminding this whole event! I have to say – I started working with my soup last weekend. I have the focal planned, and have already created a few other pieces since my soup was so bountiful! Stay tuned for the big reveal on September 17th! (There are 362 participants around the world!)