Art Charm Exchange: the charms I received!

Last week I showed you the charms I contributed to the Beads of Courage Art Charm Exchange. So I thought it was only fair I should show you the beautiful charms I received too. There were ten in total, as one of the artists made 2 charms, (plus I received one of my own back, so 11 altogether). And I have to say, they are all really, really beautiful!

Art charms collage 1

The first three here are from Andrea Glick (Zenith Jade Creations), Toltec Jewels (who sent two charms!) and Lennis Carrier (Windbent).

Art charms collage 2

These three charms from left to right are from Lesley Watt (THEA Elements), Kristi Bowman (Kristi Bowman Design) and Jenny Davies-Reazor.

Art charms collage 3

And finally these three charms are from Terri Delsignore (Artisticaos), Cate van Alphen (Fulgorine) and Vanessa Gilkes (Culturezine).

All of these charms and more are available in the auction, which is happening right now on eBay! There are still a few bargains available, and bidding ends on Monday night East Coast US time. What are you waiting for??

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The Beads of Courage Art Charms auction is live!

I recently told you about the Art Charm Exchange and Charity Auction to raise money for Beads of Courage. Well, today is the day the auction goes live and also the day of the blog hop, where I get to tell you about the charms I made for the exchange.

This year’s theme was SOAR. To me, the word evokes a bird high up in the sky, wings outstretched, soaring through the sky, or hovering. I decided that this was an image I wanted to incorporate into my charms. I had some small Vintaj bezel charms that I could use, but the back of them was not flat and finished-looking. And also, I really wanted to include the word soar into my design. So I decided to go for a mixed media design.

On the back side of the charm, I pressed a small lump of turquoise-coloured polymer clay to cover the grooves. I gave it some texture, used some rubber stamps to press the word soar into it and baked it. I used acrylic paint (in a burnt umber colour) to highlight the texture and words without covering up the lovely colour, and sealed with Renaissance wax.

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Then I pasted and sealed the images into the bezel side of the charm and finished it off with resin. The images, which I got from Piddix on Etsy, are quite fun, they show the silhouette of a soaring bird over a background of rusty, patinaed metal.

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I picked out the 11 best to send to Jennifer Cameron. She then sent 10 of them out to participants (including me, as we each got one of our own back), and kept the last one for the auction. And here is a nice close up picture of my charm that is being auctioned right here right now!

Soar auction collage

At the time of writing this blog post it has a starting price of USD$9.99. If you like it, please bid on it and help raise some funds for Beads of Courage. 100% of the sale price goes to Beads of Courage—I would love to see it sell for a good price! The auction goes for seven days, and this one will be ending next Monday night December 1st, at 10:17pm EST or Tuesday afternoon AEST if you happen to live in Australia like me (note: you should check the auction end-time in your own time zone).

A few more things. I will post the charms I received in a few days (maybe this weekend). And also, this post is part of the Art Charm Exchange blog hop. Here is a list of the rest of the participants. Please take some time to visit their blogs and the other auctions and see what they were inspired to make!

2014 Art Charm Exchange Participants

Jennifer Cameron: http://www.glassaddictions.com/blog

Alenka Obid: http://pepita-handmade.blogspot.com

Alicia Marinache: http://www.allprettythings.ca

Andrea Glick: http://zenithjade.blogspot.com

Caroline Dewison: http://blueberribeads.blogspot.co.uk

Cassi Paslick: http://badatbeingmom.blogspot.com/

Cate van Alphen: http://fulgorine.wordpress.com

Cheri Reed: http://creativedesignsbycheri.blogspot.com

Chris Eisenberg: http://www.wanderware.blogspot.com

Cory Tompkins: http://www.tealwaterdesigns.blogspot.com

Elizabeth Auld: http://www.beadsforbusygals.com

Genevieve Gabbert: http://www.glassaddictions.com/blog

Jami Shipp: http://celebratinglifewithdamamashipp.blogspot.com

Jenny Davies-Reazor: http://www.jdaviesreazor.com/blog

Jill Bradley: http://www.jillybeads.blogspot.com

Kim Dworak: http://www.cianciblue.blogspot.com

Lee Koopman: http://stregajewellry.wordpress.com

Lennis Carrier: http://www.windbent.net

Lesley Watt: http://www.thegossipinggoddess.blogspot.com

Mallory Hoffman: http://rosebud101-fortheloveofbeads.blogspot.com

Melissa Trudinger: https://beadrecipes.wordpress.com <– YOU ARE HERE

Michelle McCarthy: http://www.fireflydesignstudio.blogspot.com

Monique Urquhart: http://ahalfbakednotion.blogspot.com/

Moriah Betterly: http://mlbetterly.blogspot.com

Nancy Dale: http://nedbeads.blogspot.com

Nancy Smith: http://wirednan.blogspot.ca

Niky Sayers: http://silverniknats.blogspot.co.uk

Perri Jackson: http://ShaktipajDesigns.com/blog/

Renetha Stanziano: http://www.lamplightcrafts.blogspot.com

Shai Williams: http://www.shaihasramblings.com/2014/11/art-charm-exchange-auction.html

Sheila Prosterman: http://catswithbeads.blogspot.com

Susan Delaney: http://susandolphindelaney.wordpress.com

Susan Kennedy: http://www.suebeads.blogspot.com

Terri DelSignore: http://artisticaos.blogspot.com

Toltec Jewels: http://www.jewelschoolfriends.com

Vanessa Gilkes: http://culturezine.com/blog/

Clay and Metal Blog Hop

Widgit5 Metal and Clay

It’s reveal day for Lisa Lodge‘s latest blog hop, the Clay and Metal Blog Hop. This time, she’s chosen to send all of the participants something from Sharyl McMillian-Nelson, who works with both polymer clay and metal (hence the name!), with each of us receiving either one or the other, plus some coordinating beads. Sharyl has recently opened a new store online to focus on her polymer clay and metal components, called Metapolies. You can find it in two places, Etsy and Artisan Component Marketplace, a fantastic new online market for beautiful components (stay tuned, as I have plans to write more about this site soon!).

These are the polymer clay charms I received, a pair of long rectangular matchstick-shaped charms that are the colour of nougat, with soft purple stripes across them. I do like the asymmetry of them, enhanced by the purple stripes that continue across both matchsticks. I also received some clear faceted crystal rondelles, but in the end I didn’t use them as to me they didn’t really go well with the organic shades of the matchsticks.

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Because they are made of polymer clay, and therefore so light, I decided to make earrings with the matchsticks. I softened them further using a Czech glass table cut flower, and used waxed linen to tie the two components together and then to the Vintaj brass earwires.

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Thank you Lisa for sending me this challenging pair of charms, and thank you Sharyl too! And as this is a blog hop, here is the list of participants. Please pop over and have a look at their blog posts!

Your hostess: Lisa Lodge, A Grateful Artist

Melissa Trudinger, Bead Recipes <– YOU ARE HERE!

Jo-Ann Woolverton, It’s a Beadiful Creation

Carolyn Lawson, Carolyn’s Creations

Shaiha Williams,   Shaiha’s Ramblings

Toltec Jewels, Jewel School Friends

Heather Richter, Desert Jewelry Designs

Marybeth Rich, A Few Words from within the Pines

Kim Dworak, Cianci Blue

Karen Grosset Grange, Ginkgo et Coquelicot

Ann Schroeder, Bead Love

Lisa Prewitt Knappenberger, LiRaysa Designs

Carol Briody, A Beads Life

Miranda Ackerley, MirandAck

Kari Asbury, Hippie Chick Design

Susan Anderson, La Main Tresor

LeAnne Loftus, First Impression Design

Leithleach Seodra, Alainn Jewelry

Three upcoming markets and an auction date postponed

It’s a busy time of the year here, the school year is drawing to a close and summer holidays are just around the corner. And with the holiday season just about upon us, it’s also market season for me. I’ve got three coming up in the next couple of weeks, two of them this coming weekend and all local to me!

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This Saturday is The Handmade Show, my regular monthly market. It’s literally just around the corner from home—I can walk there! It’s on from 10:30am-3:30pm if you happen to be in the area. Oh, and my Mum, who is a talented potter, will also be there with me!

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On Sunday I’m participating in a brand new market at The Breslin Gallery, a café and gallery down the street from me in the other direction! It’s a funky little gallery in a converted church and I’m looking forward to it. Just gotta hope the weather holds out, as the forecast is looking damp! It’s going to run from 9am-1pm.

Breslin gallery promo

Then on Saturday 29th September our local primary school is holding its annual Craft Market, from 9am-2pm. It’s strategically timed to coincide with the school hall’s use as a polling place in our state elections, so I’m hoping that means plenty of people will come by.

CPS craft market

If you live in Melbourne, and want to get a head start on your Christmas shopping, I’d love to see you at one or another of these upcoming markets! Tell me you saw this blog post and I’ll give you a coupon to use on your purchase.

Art Charm Exchange new date

Finally, the Art Charm Auction for Beads of Courage has been postponed for a couple of weeks. Instead of kicking off this weekend, it will now be starting on Monday 24th November, in the evening, and the blog hop will follow on Tuesday 25th November.

Beads of Courage charm swap preview

BoC Art charm swap 2014I’m waiting on tenterhooks for my charms to arrive from the 2014 Beads of Courage Art Charm Swap and Benefit Auction. It’s my first time taking part in this fundraising swap, auction and blog hop, which is organized every year by Jennifer Cameron, a lampwork glass artist based in Indiana.

Beads of Courage is a program based in the US, which enables seriously ill children to collect beads representing milestones and procedures. The organization behind it runs a number of different programs, including commissioning special beads to be made by artists each year.

Jen’s Beads of Courage Art Charm Swap is a benefit for Beads of Courage, involving a big group of jewellery designers and bead makers from the US and around the world. Each participant provides 11 art charms made with handmade components such as lampwork beads or ceramic, polymer or metal clay, or mixed media. One charm is kept aside to auction off on eBay, and the remaining 10 are distributed to nine of the participants plus the original maker.

Each year Jen chooses a theme word—this year it is SOAR—to provide an inspirational starting point for making the charms. I thought about the word for a while, and its clearest meaning for me was to do with birds soaring through the sky. I decided to go with a mixed media approach, and my charms involve polymer clay as well as images under resin. Are you intrigued yet?

Now I can’t reveal my charms until November 14th, even if they arrive tomorrow, but on that day I will show you what I have made, and also what I received, as well as provide information about the auction.

Octoberfest: Better late than never!

Well, here I am, arriving a week late at Rita’s 3rd Annual Octoberfest party! I am so sorry, I have just been a bit swamped with life recently.

Anyway. I thought I would pay homage to Autumn, even though we are in the midst of Spring here in Australia. Our trees are that wonderful intense green of new foliage and the weather is veering wildly from yesterday’s heat to today’s rain and wind.

I have to say I find Autumn bittersweet, as I am a summer girl at heart. Here in Melbourne, at least, we have enough European trees to get the changing colours of the leaves, which I love (the piles of leaves on the lawn and the verges, not so much). So I thought I would use an Autumn leaf as an inspiration for this hop.

Recently I received a pile of metal goodies from Cheryl Foiles, through a fun game of giving presents and stealing presents and then stealing some more, that I played with a group of bead-loving friends. Amongst all of the fun stamped and enameled components was a beautifully patinaed fold-formed copper leaf. I combined it with some large dyed agate beads and some Czech glass in shades of red, orange and yellow, green, and even a deep purple to make an autumnal necklace.

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Here’s a close up of the focal. It’s pretty special isn’t it!

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But wait, I haven’t finished yet. Last night was Halloween here and I wore a pair of earrings sent to me by Michelle McCarthy of Firefly Design Studio in a Halloween-themed earring swap a couple of weeks ago. The cute ceramic pumpkin charms were made by Michelle. She also sent me a second pair that are very pretty indeed. Thank you Michelle, I’ll be wearing both pairs a lot!

Halloween swap Michelle

In return I sent her this little pair of earrings, featuring pumpkin-coloured glass beads and gunmetal sugar skull charms. The second pair of earrings are just a cute little flower and leaf design.

Halloween swap Melissa

I’ll be back in a few days with a few more updates, and teases for some upcoming blog hops!