BeadFest part 4 — the people and the swaps

One last BeadFest post and then I’m done, promise! This time I want to mention a few of the people I met at BeadFest and afterwards. I’ve been involved in the beading/jewellery design online community for a few years now, blogging, taking part in challenges, swapping beads and chatting on Facebook. So it was fabulous to meet some of the people I have talked to over the last few years.

I took with me a little stash of art beads from some of my favourite Aussie beadmakers—Natalie Fletcher-Jones, Melissa Gabelle (a new discovery), Pauline Delaney, and more to swap with friends I met on my travels (by the way, these three beadmakers are very active on FB bead groups including Australian Art Beads which is a great page for buying beads). I should have taken a picture of it all before I left, but alas, I didn’t.

One of the people I was really hoping to meet was Lori Anderson. As luck would have it, we walked into each other right outside the expo hall, as she was arriving with her son Zach and I was leaving. Of course I knew her immediately from her pink hair! We chatted happily for 10-15 minutes, and had hoped to catch up later that day or the next day, but unfortunately she was unwell and had to leave before we managed to meet up again. Lori gifted me a lovely bag stuffed full of beads and toggles (and I later sent her a bag of beads too, as I didn’t happen to have them on me that day). Sadly, I didn’t think to take a photo of Lori at the time, but here’s a picture of the gift!

Loris gift

I had lunch another day with Heather Powers, who is the creative soul behind Humblebeads. We had such a good chat! Some of the beads I showed in my last post came from a swap I did with Heather.

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At Jenny Davies-Reazor‘s booth, I met not just Jenny but several of the other Art Jewelry Elements bloggers too—Lesley Watt (who came over from the UK to attend the show), Diana Ptaszynski and Linda Landig (who took photos but managed to stay out of one herself!). There were definitely swapsies involved with Jenny, Lesley and Diana, and they kindly allowed me to rest my poor tired feet behind their stand.

AJE swaps

Michelle McCarthy and I had already arranged to do a swap through a swap group we belong to, and decided to do it in person at the show.

Michelle swaps

And here’s a picture of me and Marsha Neal, just because!

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After BeadFest there were a few more chances to meet people and to swap beads via the mail with friends I didn’t get a chance to meet in person.

Lennis Carrier sent me a fabulous selection of art beads, almost all of them with a few coordinating Czech beads as well. We had hoped to catch up in person, but she ended up helping out a friend on the other side of the country instead of coming to BeadFest.

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Cory Tompkins sent me a lovely selection of her polymer clay creations, and a stash of other bits and bobs as well. Aren’t those polymer sugar skulls awesome?!

Corys gift

A few weeks after BeadFest I went roadtripping through the southwest with my family and we had dinner with Gina Hockett, another friend from my bead swap group. She gifted me some lovely turquoise cabs (from Judy McCourt), some lampwork beads, and a bracelet and earrings too, as well as some petrified wood pieces for my kids (collected from outside the national park of course!).

Gina swap

It was wonderful to meet online friends in real life, even if it was only for a short time—I will be back! And of course, I would love to see some of my beady friends in Australia one day…

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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

Lots of knots: Waxed Linen Blog Hop

If you are looking for my BSBP8 post, it’s HERE!

About a month ago, Diana Ptaszynski had the brilliant idea to host a blog hop using waxed linen. Quick as a flash I signed up, as I really really like using waxed linen cord in my jewellery designs. I first came across it in Lorelei Eurto and Erin Siegel ‘s book Bohemian-Inspired Jewelry, which is a fantastic book, and one of my go-to books for inspiration. I love how both of these designers incorporate waxed linen into their designs, they are both a source of great inspiration to me!

What do I like so much about waxed linen? It comes in a whole range of colours, like teal or lavender, denim blue or rusty red, chocolate brown, black or naturally off-white.  It comes in several sizes, or plies (which refers to the number of strands incorporating the cord, usually 4 or 7, but as few as 2 and as many as 12!), so you can find one to fit most beads, except perhaps those tiny-holed pearls and small seed beads. And the waxing makes it kind of sticky, so knots really stay where they are supposed to stay. It’s lightweight and drapes nicely in a necklace, and is strong enough for bracelets too. And it adds a textural element to all jewellery designs that wire just doesn’t have.

For this blog hop I did a couple of pieces. The first is a necklace that is similar in design to the owl necklace I did a few weeks ago for BSBP8. As I have mentioned before, I am a member of Rebecca Anderson‘s Curiosity Club, and the April kit, entitled “Delft”, contained a combination of blue, aqua, white and translucent beads as well as two disk-shaped lampwork beads made by Helen Chalmers. And, like all of Rebecca’s kits, there were 2 skeins of waxed linen, in orange and denim blue.

In my stash, I had a polymer clay pendant in copper and blue-green from Erin Prais-Hintz, with a bird on one side and the phrase “Mother knows best” on the other: perfect as I planned to give this necklace to my Mum as a belated Mother’s day and birthday gift. I combed through my stash for some more beads in similar shades of blue, adding the white and blue floral ceramic beads and some blue seed beads to the mix. A copper chain at the ends of the beaded section allows the length of the necklace to be adjusted.

Mother knows best necklace Collage

My next design also used beads from one of Rebecca’s kits, this one the March kit, called “After the Rain”. Rebecca included a piece of Liberty print bias binding, and I was racking my brains to come up with an interesting use for it. Inspired by one of the other designers, I decided to wrap it around a Vintaj creative hoop to make a bangle. Instead of the more common wire wrapped around the fabric to help secure it, I wrapped some yellow and orange linen around instead, with a few tiny translucent pink Czech beads (both the linen and the rounds also came from the kit). I found an interesting lobster clasp in my stash and used it to close the bangle.

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I also made a pair of earrings from the same kit, using orange waxed linen to dangle yellow and orange flower beads and “mushrooms”—piggies on top of a round bead—from a brass ring.

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Finally, I thought I would show you some other earring designs using waxed linen (these were made a few months ago, not with this blog hop in mind). The first pair uses a pair of ceramic rounds from Jennifer Heynen, with seed beads knotted on waxed linen dangling below. The second pair uses some porcelain charms made by my Mum, with a sweet little floral decal adorning them. A small Czech coin with an embossed bird is knotted over the charm.

Waxed linen earrings Collage

Mum and I have also collaborated to make sweet bird ornaments: a porcelain bird with waxed linen “legs” knotted onto an antiqued brass or silver branch.

Birds of a feather Collage

It seems like there are a lot of other fans of waxed linen out there with Diana and I, as 44 people are taking part in this blog hop. If you have time to visit some of their blogs, the links are below.

Halloween/Day of the Dead Jewellery Blog Hop

I like Halloween. It’s only just becoming a popular holiday in Australia, largely driven by the big retailers, but my kids have a lot of fun planning their costumes and going out trick-or-treating. And I have fond memories of living in the San Francisco Bay Area, where the local drag queens celebrated for at least a week, and the Halloween parade in the Castro was legendary for its excesses.

Today’s blog hop—the Day of the Dead and Halloween Jewellery blog hop—is brought to you by Diana Ptaszynski of Suburban Girl Studio. The challenge—to make jewellery with a Halloween/Day of the Dead theme using at least one art bead in each piece made.

For all my intentions, I only had time to make one piece. I used one of Natalie Fletcher‘s ceramic sugar skull pendants to make a necklace—it is similar to the one I used last year for my Mexican-themed Challenge of Travel piece. If you want to know more about Mexico’s Dia de los Muertos/Day of the Dead celebrations, I wrote a bit about it in that post.

Anyway, instead of using silver components like last time, I decided to go a bit darker, with dark metal chain and findings. I had some lovely big orange lampwork beads from Puddle Glass Art that said Halloween pumpkin to me, and some dyed fire agate rondelles in vibrant pinks, blues, purples and oranges. The chain came from the Vintaj Arte Metal range and the twisted link was from Fallen Angel Brass.

Dia de las Muertos necklace

There are more than 40 participants in this blog hop, so please go and visit a few of them!

Diana Ptaszynski  http://www.suburbangirlstudio.com <–HOSTESS!!

Staci Smith  http://www.stacilouiseoriginals.com/

Kathleen Breeding  http://99bobotw.blogspot.com

Sue Kennedy  ww.suebeads.blogspot.com

Dianne Miller  http://www.artbydianne.blogspot.com

Lisa Liddy  http://www.lisaliddy.wordpress.com

Toltec Jewels  http://www.JewelSchoolFriends.com

Linda Landig  http://www.LindasBeadBlog.com

Laura Medeiros  http://www.zoeowyn.blogspot.com

Veralynne Malone  http://www.veradesigns.blogspot.com

Lynn Jobber  http://thecreativeklutz.blogspot.co.uk

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

Karen Totten  http://www.starryroadstudio.blogspot.com

Jayne Capps  https://mamasgottodoodle.blogspot.com

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

Joan Miller  http://metalmudandsand.blogspot.com/

Melissa Meman  http://melissameman.blogspot.com

Melissa Trudinger  http://www.beadrecipes.wordpress.com <– YOU ARE HERE!!!

Kari Asbury  http://hippiechickdesign.blogspot.com

Inge von Roos  http://www.ingetraud.wordpress.com

Andrea Glick  http://zenithjade.blogspot.com

Stephanie LaRosa  http://Www.stringaholic.blogspot.com

Lola Surwillo  http://www.beadlolabead.com

Jennifer Cameron  http://glassaddictions.com/blog

Diane Hawkey  http://dianehawkey.blogspot.com

Kristi Harrison  http://kristibasket-itsanewday.blogspot.com

Nicole Valentine Rimmer  http://www.nvalentine.blogspot.com

Tanya Goodwin  http://www.Pixiloo.blogspot.com

Shai Williams  http://shaihasramblings.blogspot.com/

Sandra McGriff  http://skyescreativechaos.blogspot.com

Sarajo Wentling  http://www.sjdesignsjewelry.blogspot.com

Marie Covert  http://thistledown-and-swaddlings.blogspot.com

Lisa Stukel  http://www.carefreejewelrybylisa.blogspot.com

Laurie Vyselaar  http://www.Lefthandjewelry.wordpress.com

Sherri Stokey  http://www.knotjustmacrame.com

Pam Traub  http://www.klassyjoolz.blogspot.com

Lori Dorrington  http://lorisglassworks.blogspot.com

Kristen Stevens  http://kristen-beadjourney.blogspot.com

Eleanor Burian-Mohr  http://cornerstoregoddessjewelry.blogspot.com

Sally Russick  http://thestudiosublime.com

Dawn M. Gallop  http://www.flipflopsandpoptarts.com

Christine Damm   http://storiestheytell.blogspot.com

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!

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.

Double earring swap

Another swap I have done recently through BeadSwap-USA is an earring swap of two pairs of earrings. The first pair uses embossed copper rectangles from Melinda Orr, paired with a pretty Czech flower bead in yellowy-orange.

With a couple more pairs of these copper rectangles to use up, I have some fun organically-shaped freshwater pearls that might go well. What do you think?

For the second pair I used a pair of round red beads I got from a sampler pack from Dreamgirlbeads, one of my favourite Etsy shops. I think it’s coral, and it’s such a rich red colour. I paired it with some tiny sterling silver spacer beads and a dark dark blue, almost black Czech glass round.

If you come back on 16 October, I am taking part in Diana Ptaszynski’s Mismatched Art Bead Earring Swap. My partner is another Aussie, Karen Mitchell, from Over the Moon Design.