Beads, Blog Hops and Challenges

Forest Flowers: Art Journey 6

Art Bead Scene’s current Art Journey (number six!) features designs by the great British artist and craftsman William Morris, whose designs form one of the pillars of the Arts and Crafts movement in Britain. Featuring nature at its most abundant, his company Morris & Co, produced intricate designs perfect for textiles, ceramics, wallpaper and more, that are still hugely popular today.

While the Art Bead Scene crew has chosen a couple of Morris patterns as inspiration, I chose to use some faux tin pieces from Heather Powers featuring a Morris image — a trapezoid-shaped pendant and a pair of earring charms in a lovely forest-y pattern of leaves and flowers.

The pendant came with holes in all four corners, giving me a little design challenge. I used a small loop of wire with seed beads and Czech glass leaves, and dangled an antique copper bird from it (part of Vintaj‘s new Artisan Market collection, which includes a number of charms and pendants based on designs by Heather and rendered in metal rather than her usual polymer clay — I was lucky enough to get my hands on this one thanks to the lovely Erin Prais-Hintz!). I added the pendant to some copper chain, but I think I might end up inserting a few wire-wrapped beads into the chain as I feel like it might need something more. The earrings are simple, with just a small flower bud dangling from the faux tin charms.

Thanks for the fantastic inspiration Art Bead Scene!

Blog Hops and Challenges

Petals

It’s reveal day for this month’s Art Elements Challenge and the theme for July is flowers. I have plenty of floral beads in my stash, but with not much time to make, I thought I would use a couple of pairs of ceramic charms from Natalie Fletcher-Jones. She has been making some fun new styles featuring petals, which she sells through Facebook at a few different groups.

For each pair, I have kept things simple, letting the charms be the hero of the design. The first pair drove me crazy trying to wrap the little teardrop beads, until I realised I had some fine jumprings that I could thread through the holes. Phew!

And for the second pair, I went even more minimalist, just dangling the charms from a coordinating bead. Easy-peasy but quite sweet.

Please forgive the somewhat dark photos, there wasn’t much light left by the time I took these pictures!

This challenge is a blog hop with plenty of other designers joining in. Please visit them if you can!

Here is a list of the Visiting Artists:
Alysen
Cat
Divya
Evie and Beth
Jill
Hope
Kathy
Linda
Louise
Martha
Melissa
Michelle
Rozantia
Sarah
Sarajo
Tammy

And the Art Elements Blog Contributors:
Caroline
Cathy
Claire
Jenny
Laney
Lesley
Marsha
Susan

Beads, Blog Hops and Challenges

Hoot Hoot

It’s reveal day for the Art Elements February challenge and this month’s theme, chosen by Cathy Spivey Mendola, is Birds of Prey. My bird of prey of choice is the owl, although my owl is definitely on the cute side rather than the formidable side!

I picked out a small owl pendant by Erin Prais-Hintz from my stash, and knotted it up with a selection of Czech glass beads on orange waxed linen, finishing it off with a little brass chain around the back of the neck. It’s a simple piece, but with the blue and orange colour scheme quite striking. The back of the owl is stamped “hoot hoot”, hence the name of the piece.

And at the very last minute while I was putting things away, I found a pair of earring charms from Humblebeads in her faux tin style, with owls (I had been looking for them but they were in a place I didn’t expect to find them!). I love making earrings, they come together so quickly.

Thanks for the theme Cathy, owls are a favourite around here, and even the cute ones are predators. This is a blog hop, so please have a look to see what others have been inspired by the theme to make:

Guests:

Tammy

Beth

Cat

Anita

Kathy

Alysen

Linda

Rozantia

Jennifer

Hope

Sarajo

Melissa  <– YOU ARE HERE

Sarah

Team Members: 

Caroline 

Cathy

Claire

Jen

Jenny

Karen 

Laney

Lesley

Lindsay

Marsha

Niky

Sue

Beads, Blog Hops and Challenges, Books

Diana’s moon earrings

It is such a long time since I last blogged, I think I posted just once last year. I’m hoping to get more into it this year, but we’ll see if that happens. There are a number of regular challenges I hope to take part in.

Anyway, I digress. This pair of earrings is doing double duty, as a piece for Art Elements’ monthly challenge, which for January is Moon, and also for Allegory Gallery’s Inspired by Reading Book Club, for which the book of the month is Deborah Harkness‘s book A Discovery of Witches, one of my favourite reads of the last few years.

A Discovery of Witches is the first book in the All Soul Trilogy, a series about a witch and a vampire, two of  three “creature” races that live amongst us. Diana, a historian and reluctant witch who refuses to knowingly use her magical powers, inadvertently calls up a long-lost alchemical manuscript from the depths of Oxford’s Bodleian Library, which promises answers to the origins of the supernatural races, witches, vampires and daemons. Scared by it, she sends it back and it disappears again, but not before it has been noticed. Pursued by other creatures who want the book, she runs straight into the arms of Matthew, a 1500 year old vampire and the two fall in love, which is, of course, forbidden between the races. The series is about their hunt for the manuscript, and for its meaning for creatures. It has also recently been made into a TV series.

So how does this relate to the moon? At one point in the book, Diana calls on her namesake, the goddess Diana, who makes an appearance in later volumes as well. Diana is the Roman Goddess of the Hunt and is also strongly associated with the moon.

The moon gave me a way to do both challenges at once. These earrings have a beautiful pair of enamelled charms from Anne Gardanne, featuring a silvery crescent moon on a deep blue background. I’ve paired them with a couple of silver owl beads, that just seemed to want to go with the moons. I’m quite pleased with them, they are simple but rather pretty (and I’ve just realised that one of the owls is upside down — oopsy! Good thing these are for me!).

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I made another moon necklace last year that I was rather pleased with, that I don’t think I have posted on this blog, It features a Gaea Cannaday resin and copper pendant showcasing one of her gorgeous moon paintings. And even though it wasn’t made specifically for this challenge, I think it’s quite fitting that I show it off here.

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If you’d like to see what other people made for the Inspired by Reading challenge, check out the Facebook group. And to see the other Art Elements Moon creations, please check out the blogs of the other participants below:

Jenny

Melissa

Kathy

Sarajo

Hope

Sarah

Rebecca

Divya

Anita

RosantiaR

Cat

Evia

Alysen

Beth

Tammy

Art Elements Crew:

Claire

Laney

Caroline

Cathy

Sue 

Niky

Jenny

Jen

Lindsay

 

Beads, Blog Hops and Challenges

Tide pool earrings

Gosh it’s so long since I last posted, I can’t even remember! Work, kids, not enough time to create, let alone come up with a blog post. Anyway. Here I am, and maybe I’ll manage to post a bit more often over the next few months.

Today’s post was inspired by a blog challenge set up by the lovely folks at Art Elements, who have decided to hold a monthly themed creative challenge. This month’s theme: tide pools.

As I was thinking about tide pools, I thought about some that I am very familiar with, at Wye River on the coast of Victoria. Wye River is a small village, hamlet even, at the point where the Wye River (which is really a stream) hits the Southern Ocean. It’s a lovely spot, and my parents had a little holiday house there until about two years ago when it was destroyed in a rather nasty bushfire on Christmas Day. Thankfully no one was hurt, but subsequent delays in rebuilding mean that I haven’t been down there since not long after the fire went through.

One of the things I most liked to do when staying in Wye River was going for a long wander along the beach. At the far end, the sand gives way to a rocky tide pool-y stretch of coastline, and I took great pleasure in meandering along, peering into each pool, pointing out the anemones and tiny crabs to the kids.

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The surf can be pretty strong along that part of the coast and the tide pools are rugged, with anemones and limpets attached firmly to the rocks, so the rushing waters don’t sweep them away, and hardy seaweeds in the deeper pools. There are tiny pools found in the fissures of the rocks, too, usually harbouring a few anemones.

Wye River Rocks

I’d love to have had the time to make a little tide pool of my own, using resin and shells collected from the beaches down there, but I need to learn the best way of doing that first I think! So instead I dug through my beads to find something that inspired me: a pair of enamelled charms from Anne Gardanne. A couple of tossed and tumbled Czech glass rondelles and voila! Tide pool earrings!

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I’ve got some enamelled shells from Anne as well, so they may become necklaces in the near future.

This is a blog hop, so visit some of the other blogs to see what they were inspired to create!

AE Team Members:

Jenny

Caroline

Cathy

Claire

Jen 

Laney 

Lesley

Marsha 

Niky

Sue

Lindsay

Guests

Raven

Kelly

Cat

Kathy 

Tammy 

Alyson

Elaine 

Mischelle 

Deborah  

Anita 

Jill

Shirlee

Sarajo 

Beads, Blog Hops and Challenges

Shiny Baubles: the Tacky Holiday Earrings Blog Hop

I was Christmas shopping a couple of weeks ago, when I came across a box of miniature baubles for $5 at a favourite shop of mine (and my girls), Typo. My first thought was to use them as decorations for my daughter when she did her hair as a Christmas tree for Crazy Hair Day at school this week: 

But then a Facebook friend of mine, Diana Ptaszynski, announced the first Tacky Holiday Earrings blog hop, to let us all showcase our shiny, glittery, tacky creations. And with teacher presents looming (it’s the last week of school for the year here in Australia), it was the perfect opportunity to make some glittery statement earrings.

Two of the teachers on our present list have a penchant for big, shiny, earrings — perfect! So I put together a couple of pairs of earrings featuring three baubles dangling from a chain of jump rings. Being plastic, they are so light to wear, the size doesn’t matter! I hope they love them!

I also created a bunch of single bauble earrings, for those who might want to be a little less flamboyant.

Sorry Diana, no ugly Christmas sweater here, it’s too hot in Australia right now for sweaters! But maybe some of the other participants in the hop have indulged you!

Melissa Trudinger <– YOU ARE HERE

 

Beads, Blog Hops and Challenges

Deeper Water: Music to my eyes blog hop

The Music to my Eyes blog hop (organised by Kelly Rodgers, a member of the Bead Snobs group that I belong to on Facebook) asked us to make something inspired by a favourite song or piece of music. Now, I don’t know about you, but I don’t have just one favourite song, but quite a few! But I kept circling back to this song, which is definitely up there in my top list of songs!

Deeper Water is a song by Australia’s iconic musician Paul Kelly. As much a poet as a songwriter, his lyrics are evocative and quintessentially Australian. I’ve seen him live a dozen or so times, every time a treat. And this is just one of the songs he’s written that sings to me. When I got married, almost 17 years ago now, our ceremony was on the beach. As I walked down through the reception marquee on my way to join the groom and the wedding guests, the DJ started playing this song and I completely lost it, to the consternation of my bridesmaids. It’s one of those songs that always sends a frisson of emotion across my skin, if you know what I mean.

Anyway, I went looking at YouTube for a good version of the song, and found this live recording from about five years ago:

See what I mean?

So, how to translate this song, this poem, into a piece of jewellery? I had various ideas, and as usual no time to really explore and play with creating. Maybe another day there’ll be another piece inspired by this song. But I remembered I had these enamelled charms by Anne Gardanne and they remind me of the beach, where the water meets the sand. And that in turn makes me think of the beginning of this song, “on a crowded beach …”

I’m a little obsessed with these kind of crusty Czech glass rondelles at the moment, they look like something that has been tumbling in the waves for a while. These particular colours just go so well with the charms. And I’ve been using the bright Vintaj Vogue brass a lot recently too, they seem to work well with the beads. What do you think?

As I mentioned, I made these for a blog hop and there are a few other blogs to visit if you feel so inclined! Thank you Kelly for hosting a fun hop, just wish I had found more time to play! Here are the other participants:

Kelly Rodgers

Verily Vexed

Lennis Carrier

Melissa Trudinger

Sherri Hartman Stokey

Vicky Sophon

Kayla Freeman