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?

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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    https://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!