AJE Elements Use Your Stash blog hop

Way back in the middle of December, Art Jewelry Elements announced that in January it would amp up the Component of the Month challenge, with every member of the team designing something using a component from their stash made by one of the other team members. Readers were encouraged to do the same, and to add a little extra, nine lucky jewellery designers would receive an art bead.

I was lucky enough to have my name drawn to receive this fabulous ceramic pendant from Lesley Watt.

Daisy pendant

It’s summer here in Australia, and our lawn is sprouting daisies and dandelions. I combined the pendant with a literal bunch of flowers, all knotted together on sunny yellow waxed linen cord.

Summer Daisy necklace

Thank you Lesley for sending me such a sweet little pendant to play with—I hope this necklace brings a ray of sunshine to brighten up your English winter today!

Here are the links to the AJE team blogs as well as the other winners and some jewellery designers who raided their stash to play along.

AJE team: 
Guest Participants ( aka winners)
Samantha- Wescott Jewelry
Kathy – Bay Moon Designs
Nikki – Silver Nik nats
Yvette – Blue Kiln Beads
Bonus participants! 

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!

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!

One hundred posts, a design update and a giveaway!

I recently reached a couple of blogging milestones—I’ve now got around 110 followers of my blog according to WordPress (this number includes those of you who receive an email from me every time I post a new update and those of you who follow through the WordPress Reader), and this is my 100th post!

So to celebrate, I’ve updated my blog theme (actually, if you’re a regular visitor, you’ll know I updated it a few weeks ago now) and added some new elements to it, to make it easier to navigate.

You’ll now be able to find links to all of my recipes on the Recipes page, which can also be accessed via the tab at the top. And I’m in the process of putting a link to all of the blog hops and challenges I’ve done on another page, which I hope to have up and running soon. This should make it a bit easier to find posts.

Now for the giveaway! Here’s a necklace featuring a gorgeous bead by Aussie ceramic bead-maker Natalie Fletcher of Peruzi, which I’ve used as a focal for a long necklace. The bead is glazed in olive green with subtle hints of blue and a bronze-y brown, and has a lovely embossed bird of paradise pattern. I’ve paired it with Czech glass beads and antique brass. It’s quite a long necklace, but could easily be shortened.

giveaway necklace collage

To win it, follow my blog—you can follow by email, through WordPress’s own reader if you are a WordPress user, or via an aggregator (there’s a button for Bloglovin’ in the side bar to the right)—and leave me a comment telling me how you follow my blog. I’ll randomly pick a winner from the comments I get!

Make sure you leave me a way to get hold of you. International entries are most welcome! I’ll close entries on Monday evening at 11pm Australian Eastern Time, which I believe is early Monday morning in the USA and Monday afternoon in Europe! (Can you believe I forgot to add a closing date and had to come back to edit this post? Doh!)

And come back this weekend for the reveal of the Summer Color Surprise Blog Hop, hosted by Lisa Lodge.

Published!

Yesterday I was looking through the online magazine Bead Chat, put out by Artisan Whimsy (an online forum and community started by Melinda Orr to support jewellery designers and bead-makers), when my Seahorse necklace popped out at me! It’s the first time I’ve been published in any kind of beading magazine, so I’m quite chuffed to say the least!

If you’d like to browse through this lovely magazine, you can find it here. I’m on page 3:

It really has capped off a lovely week for me. First I found out that I was chosen as a guest designer for the Art Jewelry Elements Component of the Month series. Later this month I’ll get a pendant from Diana Ptaszynski, and I’ll reveal my design on 31 July.

And the necklace I entered in the JLynn Jewels Summertime Color Challenge was chosen as best theme interpretation for the Wise Ones Category.

Thank you Melinda Orr and the Bead Chat editorial team, thank you Diana and the Art Jewelry Elements team and thank you Janice Everett from JLynn Jewels and your panel of judges.

Come back on the weekend to the Seasons Blog Hop reveal, which is this Saturday.