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!
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!
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!
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.
When true night falls
The King of Sleep
Memory and Dream
Requiem for the Sun
The hunger games
Written on the body
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?
The missing link
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??
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!
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.
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.
Featured & Honored Artist: Diana Ptaszynski
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).
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.
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!
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?
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!
Finally, I made a couple of pairs using scrapbook paper with a musical theme.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
Guest of Honor & Featured Artist: Susan Kennedy