November Component of the month – I’m “lichen”it!

November! As I write this I have second Thanksgiving in the oven – the goal being turkey leftovers… and the first of my Holiday shows happening tomorrow! Its here! The holidaze is upon us… But as November draws to a close, let me share with you the phenomenal ceramic focals that Caroline Dewison of Blueberri Beads has created for the COM this month: 

Carolines lichen pendants

Crusty amd organic! Saturated color! Matte and glossy! And the texture… She calls them Lichen pendants and I totally see that. I confess – I have taken to calling mine barnacles. When you see the stunning colors I have you will understand – pewter, deep teal, smoky plum… The barnacles spoke to me of the sea, of sirens, and treasure and depth and age. So the barnacles were the inspiration – to create a nest of similar shapes… 

additional barnacles

I created a few small polymer barnacle shapes to embellish around my cab. ( Caroline made pendants and cabs… ) And I created 2 clusters/connectors – to transition from multi-strands in the front to silk in the back. They are painted and stained in smoky plum and dark grey/blue. I have added Diamond glaze on the inside only to echo the glazed areas on Caroline’s cab. Here they are together; I am content with the colors. 

plan comes together

The small polymer barnacles are in place, and the peyoyte bezel portion is complete: 

Beads begin...

The beading was so much fun! I had set up a balanced/asymetrical composition with the additional polymer pieces and tried to keep going with that… I particulalry like the lentils standing up on the top right of the piece. 

Beads are done

The plan is to do short strands of seed beads, three on each side – you can see the Beadalon in lace below. Sadly I had the larger size, and needed smaller in order to string 15’s! So the piece is on hold for now… The triple strands will be app 2.5″ long, loop into the barnacle connectors, and the piece will have silk from the connectors all the way around the back. 

COM waiting

Sorry I can’t show you the finished piece I am in love with this cab and this palette. Thanks to Caroline for such an inspiration! 

Please check out the diverse offerings from the team and our guests this month!

Guests

Tangled webs: the waxed linen blog hop reveal

Waxed linen. 

When I think of it I imagine the colorful options, know it is versatile, and then draw a blank. Its not in my wheel house. Friends like Linda Landig and Erin Seigel, to name a few, use it with great results. But for me… its a challenge. So thats exactly why I decided to join when Diana of Suburban Girl Studio announced this blog hop. 

I sat down with my journal – and a coffee – to try to sketch… I like to think visually on paper in doodles. The characteristics of waxed linen that I was drawn to: multi strands, an assortment of treasures, versatility for beads of varying size holes, and I wrote down one word more, that really started the ball rolling. WOVEN. 

Athena and Arachne. 

In Greek myth, Athena ( Goddess of wisdom, war, and patroness of the arts) enters a contest with Arachne. Arachne, a human girl of consumate skill at the loom, commits a fatal mistake by bragging of her talent and offending the Goddess. They weave tapestries in competition, and although Athena wins, Arachne’s skill is great. Arachne hangs herself in the tatters of her weaving. Athena, in a moment of mercy, transforms the girl into a spider so she is allowed to/cursed to spin all her days.

Polymer hollow focal

I created a hollow polymer focal with aluminum tubing inside to act as a channel for multiple threads. The owl, representing Athena, is cast from a reproduction drachma. The web for Arachne is a linoleum stamp that I carved to use in clay. I toyed with various spider options, but they ended up distracting from the focal… 

thread and beads choices!

I have an amazing assortment of waxed linen from Mary at White Clover kiln. I also delved into my Czech glass treasure, from back in the days at the Shepherdess in San Diego. Just making the color decisions was the hard part! 

knotting the strands

My original plan involved all three of these strands. Two are double strands, knotted at intervals with beads spaced an inch or so apart . The third was denser, knots, 8’s and drop beads, continuously knotted. I liked the contrast of the more open strand with the denser strand. But all three – was too busy. Here is what I decided on in the end: 

 Tangled web - Athena and Arachne

The front: greys, blues and golds. A linen tassle dangling from the embedded loop. ( Note the top. The channel inset in the pendant was too narrow. Wrapped loops solved that problem!)

Tangled web - Athena and Arachne (back)

The back: Arachne’s web

So I was left with a knotted strand – just waiting for a pendant. Here is the bonus necklace I created with one of my ceramic fairy pendants. ( Fired to ^10 reduction for you clay people out there)

Bonus piece

 So – if I can muse philosophical for a sec, I am glad I did this. I don’t see waxed linen being my go-to material. I respect it, and designers/artists who work with it. I can see using it as an accent in mixed media pieces. I am happy with my pieces, and would love to hear your thoughts!

 

Thanks to Diana for organizing the challenge. Please visit her page for the links to all of us participating! There are sure to be diverse offerings, and many beautiful things! 

Thanks to Mary Hubbard for the sample bag of the waxed linen from her shop! I purchased it from her at Beadfest a year or two ago, and the plethora of pretty colors really inspired me to try my hand at linen and knotting! 

To my fellow participants – I am currently photographing flowering cacti in Austin, TX – and visiting family. I apologize for the delay, but I look forward to “hopping” as soon as I can! 

BSBP 2013: beads, challenges, friends!

Welcome! This is my third year doing the Bead soup Blog Party – and the first thing I have to say is “Thank you!” to Lori our hostess and fearless leader. We wouldn’t be here without you… seriously. 

I think my title sums it up: send and receive beads; be challenged/escape your comfort zone; make new friends! And honestly – if you are here reading this – you know what I mean. So let me introduce you to my newest friend and partner this year – Jennifer Cabic. 

Jennifer is an Ohio based artist working in metals and metal clay. Her pieces are created with layers of meaning; she creates amazing intense personal talismans, memorial pieces, that will be heirlooms in the future. I was struck especially this year at how well we were paired. Our work is very different; but we are drawn to metals, incorporating words at times, drawing from our own personal language of symbols, and creating pieces with intent, amulets and personal talismans. I am very drawn to her work, and was thrilled to receive one of her bronze clay clasps in my soup…. (Here’s a reminder of what arrived for me…)

Soup rec'd

I loved the earthiness of the corals and jasper nuggets – and was challenged by the pink tones. 

I loved the warm brass and circular motif of the focal – and was challenged by its tribal style and size. 

I adore the clasp. Using it was not a challenge but a joy!. 

Please know – my soup is fabulous. But I am not a pink person – hence the challenge. Overall I am thrilled with my pieces, both how easily they came together and their final appearrance. (And thanks to Staci Smith for inspiration!!!) I knew I wanted the focal to have a dangle. The tribal/boho/earthy feel sent me to sea urchin spikes and shell daggers. There’s a river stone, howlite nuggets and seed pods in there too: 

Necklace with focal

The rustic bronze sun/floral piece ( at top center in this pix) and the concentric circles I used in the clasp are by Staci of Artisan Accents. They were the perfect elements to unify the focal and the chunky gems and nuggets. I liked the scale of the circular piece and used it for visual balance and to create a clasp with my forged spiral hook. One side of the necklace is strung; seed beads in burgundy accent the darker tones in the coral. The other side is wire wrapped, and the back is finished in recycled sari silk. 

Focal detail

Dangle of chain, bells, sea urchin spines, shell daggers. Bead caps on coral beads are made of copper gears, dapped to fit. 

earrings to match clasp and gear/caps

Left: matching earrings.          Right: detail. Howlite, jasper, lava stone, seed pods, river stone, coral, bronze spiral.  

At this point there was a good deal left over… the green lampwork beads were sparking ideas for a different palette. I knew I wanted the clasp to be a focal in its own right… so chunky stones to give it “presence” and here she is… 

bracelet with clasp

Gems and lampwork – a medley of greens… 

What a pleasure to meet Jennifer and work with the generous assortment that she sent me! Please tune in to the other posts – its a long list – today and over the next few days! I know I look forward to seeing as many as I can… Thanks for taking the time to join me here!

The full list of links can be found here. 

 

 

 

 

 

March Madness! The Component of the Month reveal!

 I love Art Jewelry Elements Component of the Month. What could be better? Every week, no – every day – I am reminded how happy I am to be on this team of talented, smart, funny, creative women. And then every month one of them sends me a treasure? Its like your birthday – every month. Its a pleasure getting to know them each a little better by working with their work. And its a pleasure meeting new people out there on the Interwebs; people who win a piece and create along with the team. 

( I know there is a practical marketing side. That we are showing off our creations and networking, and spreading the word about handmade artisan beads/components. But I cant deny the social side!)

OK. Enough gushing, enough sentiment. Let’s get down to the loot. This month’s element comes from Joanne Tinley of Daisy Chain Jewelry. You can find her finished jewelry and her components on Etsy! She made stamped copper hollow disc beads. The amount of labor that went into these! – you can read that best in her own words. 

Daisy Chain hollow beads

I like them all, but I did request a dotty/divoted one. It reminded me of the craters on the Moon’s surface. I have a tendency to try to highlight the CoM piece, and really make it the focal of my design/creation. I imagined these would be larger because of the labor involved – they arrived and are so delicate! My original plan is sketched below (on left): 

CoM sketches

 (I had been planning to sculpt a polymer goddess, faux ivory-ish, and have the moon bead in her arms.) When I received my bead, I decided the dark rich patina wouldnt “read” as moonto most people. That – along with my crazy schedule, a few postal issues… all contributed to a change in plans from the sketched design. So I sat amidst my gems, and started making piles. The first – a lampwork disc by Joanne Z. Second and third – ceramic pendants by yours truly. The color palette was a natural choice as I love aqua and teal with copper. 

moon goddess necklace

I hammered and oxidized long oval copper links to serve as a counterpoint to the “moon” bead as I still think of it. Gemstones are wire wrapped; chain completes the last few inches. (Gems: kyanite, smoky quartz, amazonite, apatite) Its simple, but very much my style. I hope the gentle asymetry balances the composition yet sets off Jo’s bead. And there is a pair of matching earrings –  I am always late to the Earring Hop at AJE but I DO make earrings… 

CoM necklace

(PS: those are SueBeads enameled headpins peeking out of those earrings!)

So – thoughts? I love Jo’s components and truly appreciate the time and energy involved.  As always – a pleasure to work with my friends and their work. Please tune in to the AJE blog to see what every one else – and a few lucky blog readers – created with their treasures!

 

February Finale – the Art jewelry Elements Component of the Month reveal

 February – how I missed you. You were gone in a flurry, frenetic, so fast. One thing that was successful, accomplished on time, and simply a positive during February was the Component of the Month over at Art Jewelry Elements! Here is what Francesca sent us: 

F. Watson CoM

Aren’t they gorgeous? Depth of color. Variations in color. The fine silver accents. The pieces are very subtle, and have detail when seen up close. I didn’t want the enamel to get over shadowed by one of my more elaborate mixed media assemblages. (You know how I am…) So I went back to simple, gorgeous gems, to accent this piece and set it off…

F. Watson enamel

Strung with moonstones, pearls, aquamarine, apatite, and silver spacers…

I adore moonstones. I have a lovely strand of tiny faceted rondelles that are drilled too small for any wire but 26 gauge – and I decided this was their chance! It was the silver embedded embelishment that inspired this palette. I wanted accents of color to link to the overall blue/aqua tones, as well as silver. 

CoM necklace

These elaborate silver beads visually cap off the gem strand as it transitions to chain; the chain is just the last few inches on the back of one’s neck. 

I love the piece – simple, clean, with a bit of subtlety. I can’t wait to see what my fellow AJE team members did – and dont forget the lucky guests who WON a pendant each! You can see it all at the Art Jewelry Elements blog. Thats where I am headed…. But before you go – I would love to hear what yo think…. 

Goddess of Winter, Goddess of Spring…

 It may have been a year ago that I started this necklace. And as another turn of the wheel goes by, I am finally finished this necklace. I want to thank my friend, and our hostess – Sally Russick, for the incentive and inspiration to finish this!

I have been working loosely in a series lately – necklaces inspired by goddesses. Trying to embody the concepts of the feminine divinity and also incorporate the attributes of that goddess, in that certain culture, in that mythos. My heritage is Celtic and I am most often drawn to the Goddesses of that culture.  This necklace was started with a focal of vintage lace in resin – symbolizing the ice/snow/frost of winter. 

Winter focal

The Cailleach

“Cailleach” derives from the old Irish caillech, or “the veiled one.” The modern word cailleach means “old woman” or “hag” in Gaelic. The Cailleach is a widespread form of Celtic hag Goddess tied to the land and the weather Who has many variants in the British Isles.

The Caillagh ny Groamagh (“Gloomy Old Woman”, also called the Caillagh ny Gueshag, “Old Woman of the Spells”) of the Isle of Man is a winter and storm spirit whose actions on the 1st of February are said to foretell the year’s weather–if it is a nice day, She will come out into the sun, which brings bad luck for the year. The Cailleach Uragaig, of the Isle of Colonsay in Scotland, is also a winter spirit who holds a young woman captive, away from her lover. (Thanks to Thalia Took of “A-musing Grace” )

In Scotland, where she is also known as Beira, Queen of Winter, she is credited with making numerous mountains and large hills, which are said to have been formed when she was striding across the land and accidentally dropped rocks from her apron. In other cases she is said to have built the mountains intentionally, to serve as her stepping stones. She carries a hammer for shaping the hills and valleys, and is said to be the mother of all the goddesses and gods.

The Cailleach displays several traits befitting the personification of Winter: she herds deer, she fights Spring, and her staff freezes the ground. (Wiki)

The snow, the rocks, the ice… the frost patterns on a cottage window; here is my “inspired by winter” necklace – 

Cailleach necklace

Spiral charm – K. Totten/Starry Road Studio

Lamwork – Anne Gardanne

materials: moonstone, blue ribbon jasper, chandelier crystal, smoky quartz, mother-of-pearl, river rocks, chain and seed beads. 

Cailleach necklace

 

Thanks to Anne Gardanne for her gorgeous lampwork – they inspired the palette of this piece!

The Cailleach is related to another Celtic Goddess – Bride (or Brigid). Her “day” is February 1, known as Imbolc on the ancient Celtic calendar. I have included a bit of her story, as it is her time of year, and the two goddesses are often seen as associated…

Thalia Took's Cailleach  Thalia Took's Bride

“Bride (or Brigid) is a beloved goddess of the Celts known by many names, Bride being the Scots Gaelic variant. Her names mean “the Exalted One.” She tends the triple fires of smithcraft (physical fire), healing (the fire of life within), and poetry (the fire of the spirit). In balance to this She also presides over many healing springs. Cattle are sacred to Her, green is Her color, and, perhaps one of the reasons She is so beloved is that She is said to have invented beer! Her feast day of February 1st is called Imbolc (the Christian Candlemas), when the predictions for the coming spring’s weather were made, a remnant of which is seen in the modern Groundhog Day. She is daughter to the Dagda, and invented the first keening when her son Rúadán was killed.

The Cailleach, crone Goddess of winter, is said to imprison Bride in a mountain each winter; She is released on the 1st of February, traditionally the first day of Spring in parts of the British Isles.

Bride the Goddess proved so popular that when Christianity came by, they converted Her to a saint. Called “Mary of the Gaels” by the Irish, St. Brigid is believed to be the midwife to Mary at the birth of Jesus, and so was thought the patroness of childbirth. Her importance is such that She is one of the three patron saints of Ireland, with St. Patrick and St. Columcille. Her nineteen nuns (a solar number) kept an eternal flame burning at Her monastery at St. Kildare.” (from Thalia Took at A-musing Grace)

Now – a necklace for Bride? Fire, a woven wire Bride’s cross, green gems… that may be next… Thanks for stopping by. Please visit my friends and colleagues also participating on this hop:

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
 

 

 

 

 

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/

 

Bloom and Grow – Suburban Girl Design Team Spring Challenge

Good Morning! I am pleased to welcome you to the Spring edition of Suburban Girl Studio’s Design Team Hop and Reveal. I was thrilled when Diana asked me to be on her design team. She and I totally hit it off, and have so much in common – including the fact that we make ceramic pendants, charms… So why be on her team? Her work is lovely, and totally different from my own. What a creative  ‘shot in the arm” to be sent lovelies in the mail and get to make jewelry with them! And to be in a sisterhood – the Design Team…I know – all you bead/jewelry colleagues out there know of what I speak. Had to put it in context for the Muggles. So this is what I unwrapped from the postman…

It arrives...

Uh – pink? orange? Not Jenny colors. Excellent. Like I said – not like my work… And look at the gorgeous lampwork bead! A challenge bonus from Jan – from Molten Mayhem and fellow design team member…Going to think on this a bit…

The plan

OK – thought it over, sketched it out as I always do. My personal challenge was to use metal. Metal smithing was one of my two areas of concentaration in art school. (With painting the other) But teaching art full time, living in rental apartments right after college – not a torch friendly lifestyle. I am thrilled with the new equipment available in the metals world and glad to have a chance to dive back in…Sorry, I digress. I decided to tab set the flower in copper and use the words “Bloom and grow” on the border. ( I use text frequently in my work) And dont miss those glass headpins from Sue at Sue Beads. They were very inspirational in the design plan…

raw materials

The cast of characters; Jan’s bead, Czech glass leaves and flowers, assorted silks and suedes…

Fit and finish

Ready, set, go! To me the antiqued copper gives an earthiness and grounds the vibrancy of the glaze color. 

clasps?

There it is! Set ceramic flower with a frenzy of floral inspired goodness hanging below. The flower centers are the SueBeads glass head pins – just the right color pop and size. It is long, and there is a lot going on visually so I decided to keep the rest simple. Those clasps? No, thank you. I made them to correspond with the piece – but wont need them now. Worth a try…

first option second try

chain?   winner!

Top row: I tried wide silk, and thin suede. Nope. 

Bottom: Chain – yuck. Need a green element. The winner – fairy silk from Marsha Neal Studios!

put it on.

(Sorry for the wet hair/just out of the shower shot. Had to take the picture minus dog hair…)

I would wear this short, with a v-neck. Thats my style. But with the silk you could wear it long as well. What do you think? I would love to hear from you before you click away to visit my bead sisters on the design team… Thanks for stopping by!

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/


Script for a Jester’s tear (Challenge of Music blog hop)

When I signed up at the begining of February to participate in the Challenge of Music Blog hop that Erin of Tesori Trovati is hosting – I knew the devil in me was going to spur me on. To be daring, to be different, to select a song that not only would be an inspiration to me in making a piece of jewelry; but that would represent me in myriad ways to people visiting my blog. Music that was an integral part of who I am, not simply a song I quite like. Go obscure or go home? 

I flashed back to sophomore year in college; drawing 202 – spring semester. Janet Sorensen. I seem to remember that her assignment  was to do a series of drawings, inspired by a work of music? poetry? I decided to select the same song; as it was evocative to me then, and would prove to be in very different ways now. And the contrast of a series of drawings so early in my career to a mixed media necklace now? Interesting to say the least. 

The song was “Script for a Jester’s Tear” by the British band Marillion. A prog-rock band of the 80’s – they were rather obscure then, and even more so now. And yes, I still listen to them regularly. (They are still around, but changed drastically with the departure of singer/lyricist Fish in 1989) The song is also the title of the album; which tells a story of sorts, songs flowing into the next, poetic, dramatic – hard to describe…

Script cover

The jester character is woven throughout Marillion’s 4 albums with Fish. A storyteller, an alter ego… The song “Script for a Jester’s tear” is about loss, leaving, love lost. It is about nostalgia, longing, and regrets. It also evokes growth and maturity, leaving behind of youth’s folly. (Full lyrics here.) 

The fool escaped from paradise will look over his shoulder and cry 
Sit and chew on daffodils and struggle to answer why? 
As you grow up and leave the playground 
Where you kissed your prince and found your frog 
Remember the jester that showed you tears, the script for tears”

Music sketches

Jester WIP

Brass and nickel silver pieces cut and drilled. What to go inside? So much of the album is angst driven introspection, told in the first person. It feels confessional at times –  looking inward, seeing clearly…I have an idea!  And as I listen to the album again and again while I work – I am hearing ( from the song “The Web”)

 

“I realise I hold the key to freedom 
I cannot let my life be ruled by threads 
The time has come to make decisions 
The changes have to be made

Now I leave you, the past does have it’s say 
You’re all but forgotten a mote in my heart 
Decisions have been made, decisions have been made 
I’ve conquered my fears…”

 

Jester keys

But I needed color. I wanted to reference the fool’s motley, jewel tones, diamond patterned… I thought enamel but decided to truly challenge myself with a new technique. Colored pencil on metal… I googled, and talked to my go-to-gal Cooky… After cleaning the metal and de-greasing it from oils, I painted it with gesso. (Patina can work but gesso is bright white as a primer as opposed to green patina…) Then I colored it. Berol Prismacolors are recommended as they are waxier than other brands. You can blend with turps, sand and do multiple layers… I just did one. It was so stark and intensely colored. I admit I was (unpleasantly) surprised. But after a bit of sanding – I was more satisfied… (resources here and here…)

Jester with color

I plan to experiment more with this technique and have ordered black gesso to try as well. Just now seeing the irony as I write the post. My original “Script for a Jester’s Tear” drawings in college, in the 80’s – they were in Berol Prismacolor as well. And I didnt realize that consciously until this second… My road has come full circle…

Jester finished

The pendant: brass and nickel silver shrine/frame. Engraving from late 1800’s art text. Antique key. Sterling, moonstones, smokey quartz, pearls. Assembled with micro bolts. 

Jester full view

The necklace: Sterling cones. SP chain. Irridescent seed beads to echo the colors of the pendant. Simple clasp. ( I routinely use simple closures to keep the necklace comfortable while worn.) approximately 24″. 

This whole challenge was very invigorating. I am intrigued by a new technique and plan to try it agin. I enjoyed the nostalgia and memories that I stirred up, reflecting back to my years in art school, my own feelings of leaving youth, loss and growth. I am proud of the road – with its obstacles and triumphs – that I have travelled as an artist since those formative experiences as an art student.

In fact – I did a second piece inspired by the same album… but that will have to wait until tomorrow! You have other blogs to visit! Thanks for staying with me – I know this post was epic. I would love to hear your thoughts on the necklace, and if there are any other Marillion fans out there…

Here are my fellow bloggers participating in the “Challenge of Music”: 

 

Erin Prais-Hintz

Marcie Abney

Christine Altmiller

Elisabeth Auld

LJ B

Lori Bowring Michaud

Shannon Chomanczuk

Cece Cormier

Jenny Davies-Reazor

Malin de Koning

Beth Emery

Michelle Escano-Caballero

Erin Fickert-Rowland

Therese Frank

Amy Freeland

Tanya Goodwin

Stephani Gorman

Amy Grass

Beth Hemmila

Kristina Johansson

Jennifer Justman

Tari Kahrs

Susan Kennedy

Ema Kilroy

Kathleen Lange Klik

Kirsi Luostarinen

Paige Maxim

Beth McCord

Natalie McKenna

Alice Peterson

Cat Pruitt

Bobbie Rafferty

Johanna Rhodes

Cynthia Riggs

Sally Russick

Sarah Sequins

Amy Severino

Staci Smith

Kristen Stevens

Lola Surwillo

Stefanie Teufel

Sandi Volpe

Holly Westfall

Shaiha Williams