Beads, Blog Hops and Challenges, Giveaways and contests

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! 
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Beads, Blog Hops and Challenges

Waterhole Dreaming necklace: AJE Component of the Month

Art Jewelry Elements is one of my favourite beady blogs, with a focus on beautiful handmade beads, pendants and other components. Last month, I was fortunate enough to be picked to receive one of Rebekah Payne‘s speckle beads for the AJE December Component of the Month giveaway. The beads immediately reminded me of the dot paintings created by the Aboriginal people of central Australia. Inspired by these paintings, I requested one of the beads in the brown/white/reddish-orange colourway, as these are the colours typically used. I forgot to take a photo of the bead prior to using it, but here is a (slightly blurry) closeup.
IMG_6902

Dot paintings, like other Aboriginal art forms, generally tell a story about events in the Dreamtime—the mythical time of the ancestors and the events that shaped the landscape. The dots form symbols representing places or events, which together tell a story about a journey or an important event. I looked for some dot paintings that I could use in this blog post, but try as I might, I couldn’t find any suitable examples in the public domain. This site and this site both have some good examples of Aboriginal art as well as explanations of the iconography if you’d like to see some good examples and read more about it.

Anyway, a pattern of dots in concentric circles typically represents a meeting place, a campfire or a waterhole, which inspired the name of the necklace I designed using Rebekah’s speckle bead. After much contemplation of my bead stash, I dug into my small collection of Krobo beads from Ghana, which had both the colours and the patterns to complement the focal bead. I also found some small Indonesian recycled glass beads in reddish-orange and white, which my parents brought me back from a trip to Bali a couple of years ago. In keeping with the organic feel of the beads I knotted them on chocolate brown waxed linen, and finished with a small plain brass toggle clasp.

Waterhole necklace Collage

Thank you Rebekah for the opportunity to work with one of these lovely beads, it’s been a fun challenge! I’m looking forward to seeing what the other participants come up with. Take some time to visit the other blogs to see what they have made:

Guest Designers:
Ann – Bead Love
Melissa – Bead Recipes <– you are here
AJE Team:
Kristen – My Bead Journey
Beads, Blog Hops and Challenges

Blue orchid necklace — Art Jewelry Elements July challenge

I was lucky enough to be picked as a guest designer for Art Jewelry Elements‘ Component of the Month challenge. July’s component, a lovely porcelain orchid pendant, came from Diana Ptaszynski of Suburban Girl Studio. It arrived in the mail late last week—just in the nick of time! I received one of the blue pendants—mine was the one on the lower right of this picture.

porcelain orchid pendants
Picture by Diana Ptaszynski, borrowed from artjewelryelements.blogspot.com

I picked through my stash, and found a couple of things to go with the pendant including some lovely Czech crystal rondelles with that same deep blue plus a coppery red highlight and some dyed blue fire agate. Some copper beads, connectors and chain, which complement the blue so nicely. And I went to a big craft show on the weekend and might have bought a strand of blue Czech beads there too. I wanted to make a two-strand necklace, for a change, and I was inspired by a design I saw in a bead company’s email I got during the week.

AJE blue orchid necklace Collage

I love how well the beads complement the lighter and darker blues in the pendant, like they were made to go together. And the copper seems to make the blue more intense.

Thanks again to Diana and the Art Jewelry Elements team for such a fun challenge. Check out the AJE blog for the other participants!

Beads, Blog Hops and Challenges, Giveaways and contests

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.