BeadFest part 3 — the art bead shopping

Of course I didn’t forget the art beads at BeadFest. Some of my favourite beadmakers were there, as well as some I have eyed from afar but never seen in person.

A group of beadmakers had a progressive make’n’take going on, so of course I had to play along. The ceramic house is by Diane Hawkey, the copper house frame was made by me on Brenda Schweder’s Now that’s a Jig wire wrapping jig, the dangles are by Nikki Thornburg (who also showed me a cool way to wire-wrap long stems) and the tiny enameled tubes were from C-Koop Beads (who also provided the leather). I’ve worn this a lot as I’ve travelled around the US, it’s nice and light for summer and the colours work beautifully with a lot of my clothing.

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I bought a few more beads from Diane Hawkey. The glass beads in the picture were from Beach House Glass Beads.IMG_0860

I also bought some more beads from Nikki Thornburg—some of her headpins. I’m sure I can find some uses for them somewhere!

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Between Diane Hawkey and Nikki Thornburg was Marsha Neal Studio. Marsha was absolutely lovely and we chatted for ages (more than once!). I bought a few bead pairs from her, one of her organic pod/vessels (and one for my mum, not pictured) and one of her great wrap bracelet kits. Which I had every intention of making as I travelled but, well, you know …

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And I had to buy a few somethings from C-Koop Beads too.

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I had lunch with one of my very favourite bead makers, Heather Powers, on Saturday and then had a little splurge at her booth. Such beautiful beads, I could have bought one of everything. We also did a little swap – more on that in the next blog post.

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Staci Smith’s stand was full of fabulous treasures. I picked out some fun bits and pieces there, and a gorgeous necklace for my sister in law’s 40th birthday (yes I know I could have just bought some of the components and made something myself, but the necklace just seemed right for her, apologies as I don’t have a picture of it).

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Michelle McCarthy, a swap buddy of mine from the old Bead Swap USA group (now disbanded) had a booth of her ceramics (Firefly Design Studio) and I selected some great summery beads and pendants there.

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Right next door was Anne Gardanne‘s stall and I picked up some more enameled components there.

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I splurged on a few exquisitely made beads from Joan Miller Porcelain. I wanted to buy a lot more.

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Green Girls Studios was good for a few more beads too.

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At Jenny Davies-Reazor ‘s booth, I picked up one of her mixed media word pendants — this one just called to me and I suspect I’ll be keeping it. And then I did some swapping with the Art Jewelry Elements girls, again more on that tomorrow.

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I have to say, it’s fantastic to actually be able to see the beads in person, pick them up and fondle them. Although it makes choosing them even harder.

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Daenerys’ dragons: Game of Thrones Jewellery Challenge

A couple of weeks ago, Heather Powers suggested that we do a challenge based on the fantastic world of Game of Thrones, the book series by George R. R. Martin and the TV series from HBO. And as a long time reader of the books and fan of the TV series too, I just had to join in.

I had a couple of ideas, but so far I have only managed to put one of them together, thanks to a busy schedule and school holidays. I plan to use the other two for an upcoming blog hop (stay tuned for an announcement of that hop in the next week or two).

For today’s piece I was inspired by Daenerys of House Targaryen and her dragons. Although the dragons were thought to have died out long before the last Targaryen king ruled in Westeros, his exiled daughter Daenerys was given three fossilized dragon eggs on her marriage to Khal Drogo. When her husband died, she placed the eggs on his funeral pyre, and then walked into the flames to claim the newly hatched dragons.

(Image from fanpop.com)

(Image from fanpop.com)

Daenerys wears shades of icy blue and silvery grey and, at least in the early seasons, not a lot of jewellery, other than some wonderful armbands. I am looking forward to seeing what her style becomes as she moves to reclaim her birthright. In the meantime, this bracelet features a Green Girl Studios dragon egg, as well as two beaded beads in shades of aqua and silver made by Rebecca Anderson of The Curious Bead Shop, which remind me of the dragon eggs. The icy blue and silver Czech glass peanut beads also come from The Curious Bead Shop. I love the matted, almost pitted texture of them, almost like stone.

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To see what other participants in this jewellery challenge have made, visit Heather Powers’ blog for the links.

Mermaid bubbles: Art Bead Scene July Challenge

This month’s art inspiration from Art Bead Scene is a gorgeous illustration by Edmund Dulac, from a series for a book of Hans Christian Anderson fairytales published in 1911. This particular one is from “The Little Mermaid”. Don’t you love the muted watery palette?

The Little Mermaid, 1911 by Edmund Dulac  Pencil, pen, black ink and watercolour with scratching out on paper 12¼ x 9 7/8 in. (30.8 x 25.2 cm.) Colour palette by Brandi Hussey

The Little Mermaid, 1911 by Edmund Dulac
Pencil, pen, black ink and watercolour with scratching out on paper
12¼ x 9 7/8 in. (30.8 x 25.2 cm.)
Colour palette by Brandi Hussey

At first I thought I would make a pendant featuring the illustration itself, set under resin, after finding it in a digital collection of Dulac illustrations sized for domino pendants on Etsy. I still might do that one of these days, but when I printed out the image the colours were on the dark side, perhaps because it was so reduced in size.

So instead I went with plan B, combining a Green Girl Studios mermaid button with some lovely lampwork beads from Australian lampworker Darcy York, who sells her beads as Silver Gypsy on Etsy. The beads have have a pinky-purply core under clear glass, and blue spots on them that remind me of bubbles. The colours pick out the muted pink and purple hues in the picture. I strung them in a bracelet with a mixture of seed beads reflecting the colours in the illustration, using waxed linen in magenta and plum.

Mermaid bubbles bracelet

I’ll be linking this blog post to Art Bead Scene ‘s recap post at the end of the week.

 

Pool Party Summer—the 4th Annual Challenge of Colour

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Erin Prais-Hintz always runs the coolest challenges, guaranteed to stretch us all as jewellery designers. And this year’s Challenge of Color, the fourth she has held, is no exception. Last year, Erin and her colour guru friend Brandi Hussey provided participants with colour palettes drawn from satellite images of Earth, but this year, we were sent to the fabulous website COLOURlovers to find, or create, our own.

COLOURlovers is a website that lets you create and name colours, palettes and even patterns made using the cool colour palettes you create. With thousands of users, inspiration is a click away.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a Challenge without a challenge, right? Erin’s extra twist involved using the names of the colours to create a poem of sorts, using the names of each colour in a game called wordlinks.

From the wordlink instructions…

“with wordlink palettes you start with a two-word (or more) colour name. the next colour name has to start with the last word of the colour before it. each colour continues this way to the end. try to make the last word of the last colour the first word of the first colour. this is really hard, though.”

Sounds like fun, but it’s harder than you’d think! I created two palettes using the Wordlinks game. My first one is called Shimmer Song:

COLOURlovers.com-Shimmer_Song

As the sky shimmers
Shimmer of magic
Magic of starlight
Starlight song
Song of the sky

As this was a muted colour palette, I thought I would make another in brighter colours. This one is called Pool Party Summer:

COLOURlovers.com-Pool_Party_Summer (2)

Summer at the pool
Pool party
Party people
People laughing
Summer of laughs.

I even used the second palette to make a pattern, Summer in the Pool, in keeping with its theme:

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Pool Party Summer was the palette I eventually went with, using some wonderfully aquatic lampwork beads made by Vivian Houser at Dragyn’s Fyre Designs (these were some of the first artisan-made lampwork beads I ever bought), knotted onto deep plum waxed linen, along with a large amazonite nugget, dyed fire agate and Czech glass, a pewter mermaid connector from Green Girl Studios and antiqued silver-plated chain and clasp, to make a necklace. It’s a rare foray for me into an asymmetrical design. The matching earrings feature the lampwork beads and a few seed beads knotted onto lavender waxed linen.

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Thanks again for another stimulating challenge Miss Erin, it’s always fun! And make sure you visit the other participants in the blog hop (as InLinkz doesn’t work very well on WordPress-hosted websites, you’ll need to visit Erin’s blog to see the full list of participants).

Mr Frog jumped out of his pond one day

Mr Frog jumped out of his pond one day
And found himself in the rain
Said he, “I’ll get wet and I might catch a cold”
So he jumped in his pond again.

This nursery rhyme inspired a necklace recently. Actually, this rather fabulous bead inspired the necklace.

GGS Frog bead

It’s a pewter bead by Green Girl Studios, which has a frog on each of the four faces, alternating up and down. It was sent to me as part of a Bead Swap-USA exchange by Diana Keever, along with a bead soup containing all sorts of goodies to match, including a green raku ceramic donut by Olivia Dowdy Brown. As I played with the beads, the green donut, which has a lovely swirly texture, became a pond, and the frog bead jumped out of it. Some clear and white crystal beads dangling from the frog became raindrops. And I knotted a selection of the lovely soup beads—jade, dyed agate, carnelian, malachite, jasper, Czech glass—above the donut. The clasp is a dragonfly, because dragonflies and ponds and frogs all hang out together, right?

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Did I tell you I love frogs?