Dia de los Muertos – our Component of the Month reveal

Time flies so fast in the Fall. Shows, nice crisp weather, classes to teach… and Halloween. This month at Art Elements blog (formerly Art Jewelry Elements) We have a super cool lamp work glass skull! These are the creations from Jen Cameron/Glass Addictions. And they are wicked cool.

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Aqua to bring out his eyes…

I knew I wanted a necklace, something colorful and festive. I was actually trying NOT to do too many flowers – like a self imposed regulation to make it harder? Who knows. I have been beading skulls and flowers a lot of late and was trying to do something different.

Creating the wire wrapped bail gave me more color – and a hanging mechanism that created a strong statement to set the skull off.

I used recycled glass/bottle beads, carnelian, Czech glass: anything and everything in my primary color palette. The back section is three strands: cobalt glass, seed beads and braided sari silk handspun yarn! I know – there IS a lot going on, but the colors played well and it created a volume that balanced the focal.

I DO have a second skull, staring up at me from the work table. The primary colors are so out of my usually palette – but I think these links will be in there somehow… The hoplite was a maybe, but the scale was wrong. We shall see!

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On deck. Rainbow eyes!

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My Dia de los Muertos mantle.

I do hope you celebrate the holiday – and the blog hop with us! Have a pumpkin spice something and check out these great designs from the team and out guests. Until next time…

Guest Designers

Staci Louise Smith

Karin Grosset Grange

Solange Collin

Art Elements Team

Caroline Dewison

Susan Kennedy

Laney Mead

Claire Fabian

Diana Ptaszynski

Cathy Spivey Mendola

Lindsay Starr

Niky Sayers

Lesley Watt

Cooky Schock

Jen Cameron

 

Here be headpins ! The AJE Component of the Month reveal.

Welcome to the reveal of the AJE headpin challenge!

This month we decided to highlight these small, delicate and super versatile elements. I have quite a collection from Jen ( Glass Addictions) Sue ( SueBeads) and Marsha (Marsha Neal Studio)

This collection sits just above my bead table...

This collection sits just above my bead table…

I decided to try something I had never heard nor seen done. I wanted to bead embroider the head pins. WITH the wires intact. Could it be done? Hmm. Lets try.

Headpins finally placed.

First shapes looked too much like outline of USA, second version works!

So the short answer? IT WORKS!

The headpins sat rather tall on the Stiff Stuff, so I had free rein to bead with abandon and build up some height. As I wasn’t bezeling them, I wanted tall beads around to integrate them into the overall piece. Here is is before backing:

The abalone shell pulled all the colors together...

The abalone shell pulled all the colors together…

I stitched the wires down to hold them in place and secure them. the back is a mess, but Ill show you anyway… This isnt for the faint of heart. Nearly every third stitch got looped on a wire and snagged. See the far left int he bottom picture? Many stitched snagged. I didnt even know when that happened to pick them out. So I added a bit of glue there. Gee, guess I will have to keep this one since it has issues.

Beading around the wires proved problematic.

Beading around the wires proved problematic.

details of Jennifer's headpins in the piece, and a SueBeads dangle!

details of Jennifer’s headpins in the piece, and a SueBeads dangle!

Pearls! Pinch beads! Fire polish! Abalone! No rules seed beading ! And I had SO MUCH FUN.

Not sure what to do now? Silk? wire wrap gems? What do you think?  Until next time – Ill be off creating with my new headpins  created by Thornburg Studios and Bead Fairy!

New beauties from Thornburg Studios and Bead Fairy

New beauties from Thornburg Studios and Bead Fairy

Please join the AJE team and our guests on this blog hop! I am sure I speak for the whole team that we have so many guests this month. Enjoy!

Jenny wren – the Art Jewelry Elements Component of the month reveal

If you are looking for the Beading back in time hop – click here! 

This month new member Niky Sayers ( of Silver Niknats, now Niky Sayers Artisan Jewelry) sent us pieces made from the old British farthing coin. (A farthing was 1/4 of a penny. There were 240 pence in a LB Sterling. Taken out of circulation in 1960 – that leaves a lot of coins for creative purposes!) Niky sent me a hollow lentil bead made from 2 coins. Its stunning! I am particularly fond of the wren, often called Jenny Wren. Some nursery rhymes have the Queen of Fairy shape shifting into a wren… 

I thought I wanted to do a bangle and have a message/mantra for myself as it is Jenny Wren… Here is the first attempt: stamped and engraved copper to frame the wren bead. I have a great little engraver that makes it so easy to do script… 

COM version 1

I wasn’t happy with that. I had those shapes in mind to transition from the width of the bead down in proportion to the wire wrapped bangle section. They looked like the whites on either side of an eye, and they didn’t sit well on my wrist. And color. I think I want color… 

AJE COM July

There! I am so pleased! Lampwork by Indian Creek art glass with aventurine and turquoise accents. 

bracelet detail

If you are coming to Bead Fest stop by Artisans Alley #461- I’ll be sure to wear this and you can see it in person. Until then – please join my colleagues and out guests on this month’s hop! 

 

 

AJE Component of the Month! May “flowers”

Welcome! Its that time of the month again! I seriously dont know where time has gone… The Art Jewelry Elements Component of the Month is an event I look forward to! … and yet always feel rushed…

Sue Kennedy of SueBeads provided a lovely ruffle edged lamp work bead this month. Seem like I have been thinking this over for ever – and suddenly its time! It has to be finished! 

I was happily out of my comfort zone with the colors. Orange and olive. The shape of the bead was a bit floral to me, and I knew I wanted to place it “flat” so the whole bead would show… Here are my sketches: 

May sketches

I try to use words more and more in my work – this is no exception. I found a quote by Marcel Proust that touched on the friends I have made in AJE and the floral associations I had formed with the bead.

“Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” 


Here is a close up of the bead and the copper washer I have framing it. The spiral wire will be the soft rivet to hold this into the polymer I am planning… 

Sue beads CoM

 The polymer: I wanted to use the orange and green again, and embrace a palette that isnt my usual. The polymer is 2 layers, textured, hand painted. There are copper tube rivets at the top, and two dangles at the bottom. (There was supposed to be one. I drilled off center. Now there are two. )

pendant detail

The necklace echoes the colors – yellow jade, a seed pod, carnelian, and mystery stones – agate? Jasper? (I hate when I dont label it all carefully after the  rush of shopping at a show…Sigh.)

necklace finished

The back of the piece, stamped with the quote. It is upside down when worn – another adjustment I had to make. But if you are showing the piece to someone while wearing it – it is convenient to simple turn it over instead of flipping it up… ( Nice way to justify… )

necklace back

I love using Sue’s beads. Last year we were table neighbors at Beadfest Philadelphia in August. The time is coming soon… hope we are neighbors again! 

Please share your thoughts! I am working from home lately and love to have some Internet time to chat… Stay tuned for next months AJE CoM – organic ceramic earring pairs by yours truly! 

 

 

Beadfest bounty.

I wanted to share with you some of the treasures that I brought home from Beadfest. As I may have mentioned – I am thrilled to be a part of this creative community, and found the environment of Beadfest invigorating. I came home with materials, artist beads, and ideas to last me a good while. I do have a tendency to live with the new materials for a while before incorporating them into new pieces. The artist beads and focals are handcrafted by colleagues, fellow artists; I want to share their information here – we all support each other with marketing, blogging, social media… wherever we can. And although I have unplugged these last two days in an effort to feel restored before I dive back into the studio – I am inspired to create with: 

S+S Shivam

Cabochons – S&S lapidary

Gems – Shivam imports. (Labradorite, citrine, garnet, labradorite, spiniel)

Dakota Stones

Dakota stones  – onyx, ?, dragons blood jasper, moss agate, apatite,?, amazonite.

Carol DeeZigns

Gorgeous enameled components from Carol Myers of Carol DeeZigns. Carol is the FIRST certified “Painting with Fire” instructor!

glass clay booty1

Lampwork Strands ( top to bottom) SueBeads, HMB Studios, Gardanne beads. 

Lampwork “stone” – Kerry Bogert of Kab’s Concepts. 

Polymer Buddha – Barbara Bechtel of Second Surf

Matte finish lampwork beads – JoAnne Zekowski of Z Designs in Glass

Moon/ocean lampwork focal – Jan Onipenco of Molten Mayhem

clay metal booty

Left: Ceramic components by Mary Hubbard of White Clover Kiln

Bottom: Bronze pieces by Staci Smith of Staci Louise Originals

Right: Ceramic and raku pieces by Diana Ptaszynski of Suburban Girl Studio

Green Girl treasures

Green Girl Studios!

Andrew Thornton originals

Andrew Thornton sculptural bronze components and focals. Andrew was one of my Bead Swap partners…

And – one of the highlights of Beadfest is the BEAD SWAP organized by Diana P. of Suburban Girls Studios. My lovely partner this year was Sandy Miller – and she showered me with goodness! Interesting that it was the ceramic artists I knew, and the lampwork artists that I am thrilled to be introduced to… I was tempted to unwrap one wee parcel each hour Saturday afternoon, but I quickly lost that will power and dove in: 

Bead Swap goodies

From top left to bottom right: Studio by the Forest, Nancy Schindler at Round Rabbit, Chinook ceramics, Outwest glass, Lori Lochner, and Lava Lampwork

 

Thank you to all my artist friends for doing what you do, sharing it with the world, and pursuing the (not always easy) path or a self-supporting artist! Until next year…

You can never have too many earrings! Earring Swap reveal!

Earrings and a necklace. Daily wear! Whether I am in the studio, teaching, working from home – I am not dressed without them. So – when Diana of Suburban Girl Studio announced an earring swap – sounds good to me!

My first partner is Linda Younkman. Arent these lovely? The blue beads are very detailed. and I love a spiral motif!

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And then these came from Mary Shannon Hicks! They are a bit heavier, so not every day wear for me, but that owl!  Thank you so much for all the work in that wire wrapping. 

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I know you may hop to other blogs, just wanted to post a picture or 2 of what I sent to my partners…

my swap pairs

I enameled these copper washers, and originally had them paired with enameled discs (seen below). They were so uniform in composition, and lacked movement. So – I had to swap them out for pearl and gem dangles. The vintage bells will add a bit of jingle as they dance around. The extra discs? Sent to my partners -a little bonus for them to make into something…

first version extra bonus

Here is the list of participants. Have fun taking a look. I am sure there will be diverse offerings for every style!

Diana Ptaszynski     http://www.suburbangirlstudio.com
Patti Vanderbloemen        http://myaddictionshandcrafted.blogspot.com/
Lesley Watt        http://www.thegossipinggoddess.blogspot.com
Jenny Davies Reazor      http://www.jdaviesreazor.com/blog
Melinda Orr      http://www.orrtec.blogspot.com
Cilla Watkins      http://www.tellyourgirlfriends.com
Stephanie Haussler       http://www.pixybugdesigns.blogspot.com
Sally Russick     http://www.thestudiosublime.com
Susan Kennedy       http://www.suebeads.blogspot.com
Cheryl Brown    www.dragonflybeads.ca