Seashell in the surf necklace: The Sea Shell Design Challenge

My friend Rita, aka Toltec Jewels, has been on a roll with challenges featuring her favourite artist beads recently. The Sea Shell Design Challenge showcases a pretty ceramic scallop shell pendant made by Michelle McCarthy of Firefly Design Studio. Rita sent out a dozen or so shells to a group of us and challenged us to make something!

challenge photo

The shells came in a variety of hues—I believe mine is the one at the top right. In person it’s a lovely weathered bluey-green colour. Digging through my stash I found a variety of pretty Czech beads in a spectrum of blues and greens that reminded me of the ocean, from the waves breaking on the sandy beach, to the deep water. And I also found the perfect clasp, a copper starfish!

Seashell necklace collage

The reveal within our Facebook group was yesterday, but I thought I would share what I made with all of you too. Thank you again Rita, for a delightful challenge, and your continued generosity to your fellow beaders!

And now for something completely different: Book Spine Poetry Blog Hop

I was reading Michelle Mach’s blog Beads and Books a couple of weeks ago, and she had posted an intriguing idea for a blog hop: Book Spine Poetry.

Book Spine Poetry was pioneered by American conceptual artist Nina Katchadourian in the early 1990s. The basic principle is to create a cluster of books, whose titles make a poem when read in sequence:

The Sorted Books project began in 1993 years ago and is ongoing. The project has taken place in many different places over the years, ranging form private homes to specialized public book collections. The process is the same in every case: culling through a collection of books, pulling particular titles, and eventually grouping the books into clusters so that the titles can be read in sequence, from top to bottom. The final results are shown either as photographs of the book clusters or as the actual stacks themselves, shown on the shelves of the library they were drawn from. Taken as a whole, the clusters from each sorting aim to examine that particular library’s focus, idiosyncrasies, and inconsistencies — a cross-section of that library’s holdings. At present, the Sorted Books project comprises more than 130 book clusters.

from Nina Katchadourian.com

Anyway, the idea quite took my fancy as I have a lot of books. So I spent a bit of time browsing through my library and came up with a couple of sequences that I rather liked.

IMG_8168

When true night falls
The King of Sleep
Memory and Dream
Requiem for the Sun
 
 
IMG_8171The hunger games
Written on the body
Eat me
An echo in the bone

 

Finally, I couldn’t resist using some of my favourite jewellery books to create a book spine poem. What do you think?

IMG_8172

Rustic wrappings
The missing link
Enchanted adornments
Bohemian-inspired jewelry

 

Thanks for a fun intro to Book Spine Poetry, Michelle! There are a couple of others playing along, including my sister Heidi, who knew Nina Katchadourian in the early 1990s. Why don’t you pop over and see what they came up with??

Michelle Mach           http://www.michellemach.com/blog/
Mary McGraw           http://mkaymac.blogspot.com/
Melissa Trudinger    http://beadrecipes.wordpress.com/ <– You Are Here
Heidi Trudinger        http://yogaguerilla.wordpress.com/

Anchors Aweigh!! Design Challenge and Blog Hop

Rita, aka Toltec Jewels, from the blog Jewel School Friends has set up another design challenge, this time using sweet little pairs of charms from Diana Ptaszynski’s Suburban Girl Studio, featuring anchors in a soft shade of blue. And with typical generosity, she gifted all of us doing the challenge with the charms, many thanks Rita!

anchors

Now aren’t these sweet? Diana makes lovely ceramic beads and pendants, some in earthenware and others, like these, in porcelain. I’ve a few pieces from her in my stash.

I really tried to come up with a design incorporating the anchor charms that wasn’t earrings, but it seems that these charms were really determined to dangle from ears. And I tried a few other earring designs before deciding that simple was best. I paired the charms with blue lampwork beads from Lisa Anderson and hung them from silver-plated lever back earwires.

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There are 25 artists taking part in this challenge, please take the time to visit a few other blogs if you can! And thank you again Rita, for a fun challenge! I’m looking forward to the next one in a few weeks.

Participating Artists
Featured & Honored Artist:        Diana Ptaszynski
Diana’s Shop:                           Suburban Girl Beads
Diana’s Blogs:                          Suburban Girl Studio
                                                 Art Jewelry Elements
Hostess: Toltec Jewels              Jewel School Friends
Bobbie Rafferty                         Beadsong Jewelry
Chris Eisenberg                         Wanderware
Heather Richter                          Desert Jewelry Designs
Michelle McCarthy                    Firefly Design Studio
Kathy Lindemer                         Bay Moon Design
Dini Bruinsma                            Angaza by Changes
Cynthia Machata                        Antiquity Travelers
Kathleen Breeding                     99 Bottles of Beads on the Wall
Linda Younkman                       Lindy’s Designs
Robin Reed                                Artistry HCBD
Marla Gibson                              Spice Box Designs
Gina Hockett                               Freestyle Elements
Renetha Stanziano                       Lamplight Crafts
Marianne Baxter                          Simply Seablime Jewelry
Christina Miles                            Wings N Scales
Marybeth Rich                            A Few Words from Within the Pines
Shai Williams                             Shaiha’s Ramblings
Cheri Reed                                  Creative Designs by Cheri
Monique Urquhart                      A Half-Baked Notion
Jennifer Reno                             Musings of a Crafty Jenny
Shirley Moore                             Beads and Bread
Tammy Adams                           Paisley Lizard
Melissa Trudinger                       Bead Recipes
Jill Bradley                                  JillyBeads

Autumn leaves: BluMudd challenge

I had so much fun with the last BluMudd Design Team challenge that I signed up straight away for the next challenge, Leaves and Acorns. This time around Moriah Betterley put together a set of beads with a definite autumnal feel to them. Yes, it can be strange designing for autumn when it is winter-turning-to-spring here in Australia, but the beads were so lovely, it really wasn’t a chore!

Anyhow, this is the kit I received. A leaf-shaped cuff bracelet focal, an acorn connector bead and a trio of leaf-textured tube beads, in lovely shades of amber and burgundy (this is Moriah’s picture, not mine).

Amber-burgundy set

According to the rules, I needed to use the beautiful leaf-shaped cuff in my design, but in the end I used the acorn as well, and two of the three beads. I went with the shape of the cuff to make a bracelet, using four strands of burgundy waxed linen to string a variety of seed beads and small Czech glass beads, plus two of the tube beads. The acorn finished off the bracelet length, along with a copper clasp.

BluMudd challenge 5 collage

Now, this challenge is also a contest, and you can see all of the other designs here. If you like my bracelet, please vote for it by liking it!

Cufflinks for Dad

Here in Australia it’s Father’s Day on Sunday 7th September, and if you’re looking for a handmade gift for Dad, I’ve got new cufflinks to show you.

It’s always fun to find different papers and images that work well under resin to make interesting cufflinks. And this year I came across a great set of images from Etsy seller Valentine Grimm featuring iconic images and signage from the 50s and 60s such as the Route 66 sign, Vegas signs and more. I picked out a few that I thought might work, what do you think?

Roadside collage

From the same Etsy seller, I also picked up some pretty Art Nouveau tile designs and floral designs, as well as some medieval illumination-style images. I selected ones that I thought were not too feminine, although I realize that can be very subjective. My husband said he’d wear them, so that works for me!

art nouveau collage

Finally, I made a couple of pairs using scrapbook paper with a musical theme.

musical collage

If you’re interested in buying a pair of these cufflinks, I will have them at The Handmade Show this Saturday, and on my Facebook page on Sunday or Monday. And if Father’s Day isn’t coming up for you, don’t forget there are only 19 weeks until Christmas!

ACM contest

One of the Facebook groups I follow—Artisan Component Marketplace—recently held a contest for jewellery designers. The brief? To design a piece of jewellery using a component from one of the many artisans who are members of the group.

I happened to have a pair of polymer clay “sinkers” made by Kristi Bowman languishing in my stash, and this challenge was the perfect opportunity to use them. I chose a couple of Czech glass table cut flowers and wired them together, and wrapped the join between them with sari silk, inspired by the creative ways Kristi Bowman uses sari silk in her own designs. The dangles are hung from a pair of Rebecca Anderson‘s Deco Rose earwires in antiqued sterling silver to make a sweet pair of earrings.

IMG_7917

Much to my surprise, I won second place in the contest! Thank you to Artisan Component Marketplace, the judging panel and to Kristi Bowman for the delightful sinkers, and the inspiration! And I’m looking forward to receiving some new components from Kristi, courtesy of the $25 gift voucher I won!

Choosy Chicks Choose Chicklets Challenge

If you have come to my blog for the Haberdashery Blog Hop click here.

If you have come to my blog for the Summer Carnival Blog Hop click here.

cccc design challenge button orange frame

It’s been a weekend of blog hops and challenges, and lots of beads. For my third blog hop of the weekend (which I am posting a day late, sorry!), I present to you the Choosy Chicks Choose Chicklets Challenge … C5 for short! For this challenge, Rita, aka Toltec Jewels, generously sent out dozens of chicklet-shaped, flower-stamped, lampwork beads made by the talented Sue Kennedy of Suebeads.

Now I tossed around several ideas for my bead, which is a lovely deep orangey-red colour. A bracelet seemed obvious, I could do the art bead and seed bead on waxed linen combo that is so popular right now, thanks to a tutorial by Lorelei Eurto in BeadStyle magazine a few months ago. But I don’t always want to follow the obvious path.

So I did what I always do in these situations and had a good rummage through my stash. Some Czech flowers in coordinating colours. A couple of spacer beads from Suebeads in turquoise and orange. And a ladybird charm from Jennifer Heynen. I wired them up to form a long dangle, wire-wrapped a handful of orange and yellow translucent Czech rounds and made a long necklace with antiqued copper chain.

Ladybird flowers collage

Well, that concludes my weekend of blog hops and challenges! I’m exhausted, how about you? And I’ve got lots of hopping ahead of me, I hope you’ll hop along too!

C5 ARTISTS:
 
Guest of Honor & Featured Artist:  Susan Kennedy
Sue Kennedy’s blogs:                               SueBeads…A Beady Girl’s blog
                                                                 Art Jewelry Elements
Sue Kennedy’s website                            SueBeads
SueBeads Art Beads                                SueBeads
Hostess:
Toltec Jewels                                           http://www.JewelSchoolFriends.com
Artists:

Linda Anderson                                       http://fromthebeadboard.blogspot.com/
Jennifer Reno                                           http://jenrenjewelry.blogspot.com/
Shirley Moore                                          http://beadsandbread.blogspot.com/
Kristen Stevens                                        http://kristen-beadjourney.blogspot.com
 
Marybeth Rich                                         http://forestofjewels.blogspot.com
Jael Thorp                                                http://jaelsjewels.blogspot.com/
Melissa Trudinger                                    http://Beadrecipes.wordpress.com
Andrea Glick                                            http://zenithjade.blogspot.com/
Nan Smith                                                http://wirednan.blogspot.com
Blanca Medina                                         www.peru-medesigns.com
Shai Williams                                           http://shaihasramblings.blogspot.com
Carolyn Lawson                                       http://Carolynscreationswa.blogspot.com
Rana Wilson                                             http://Ranaleadesigns.blogspot.com
Robin Reed                                              http://willowdragon.blogspot.com
Robin Showstack                                     http://heartsdesiresjewelryforyou.blogspot.com/
Sheila Prosterman                                     http://catswithbeads.blogspot.com
Karla Morgan                                          http://Texaspepperjams.blogspot.com
Kari Asbury                                             http://hippiechickdesign.blogspot.com
Kelly Rodgers                                          http://www.facebook.com/BeadinBlackBlue
Jayne Capps                                             http://mamasgottodoodle.blogspot.com/
Mischelle Andrade Fanucchi                   http://micheladasmusings.blogspot.com/
Heather Richter                                       http://desertjewelrydesigns.blogspot.com
Chris Eisenberg                                       www.wanderware.blogspot.com
Kathleen Breeding                                   http://www.zibbet.com/99BottlesofBeadsontheWall
Linda Landig                                           http://lindalandig.wordpress.com
Crystal Thain                                           http://beaddragons.blogspot.com/
Cheri Reed                                              http://creativedesignsbycheri.blogspot.com
Heather d-Entremont                               http://frugalmacdougall.wordpress.com/
Dini Bruinsma                                          http://angazabychanges.blogspot.com/
Lori Schneider                                         http://www.beadaddicted.blogspot.com/

Tammy Adams                                        http://www.paisleylizard.com/blog.html
Melinda Orr                                            http://bandanagirl.indiemade.com/blog
Lennis Carrier                                         http://windbent.wordpress.com/
Cynthia Machata                                     http://antiquitytravelers.blogspot.com
Elizabeth Hodges                                    http://thewhisperingseas.blogspot.com
Debbie Rasmussen                                  http://kepirasmussen.blogspot.com/
Tanya McGuire                                       http://tanyamcguire.blogspot.com/
Charlie Jacka                                          http://clay-space.com/blog/
Ev Shelby                                               http://raindropcreationsbyevelyn.blogspot.com/
Sharyl McMillian-Nelson                        http://sharylsjewelry.blogspot.com/
Jasvanti Patel                                        http://jewelrybyjasvanti.blogspot.com