Beads, Swaps and exchanges

This is Halloween

Or rather, that was Halloween! Blink and you miss things these days! Well, in our case, a horde of children descended on our house to go trick or treating in our neighbourhood (how nice that it was a Saturday night!), that’s my excuse anyway.

But I thought I would show you a few scary bits and pieces that I celebrated the season with! I took part in a Halloween jewellery swap. My partner and I had to make each other some Halloween jewellery. I had actually ordered a rather snazzy lampwork sugar skull focal just before I went away on my big adventure, but sadly it didn’t survive the trip in the post (which was literally just across town), so the artist, Pauline Delaney, kindly offered to make me a new one. Complicating it all was the fact that the first skull was sent in good time for me to receive it before I left on holiday but then took more than a week to travel across town (happily Pauline is local). So I didn’t find out until I got back from my trip, and then it took a little while for Pauline to make and send the replacement.

Anyway. It all got sorted nicely and my skull arrived in the mail. The next challenge was to work out what to do with it. I have to admit to having a bit of designers’ block on what to do. I pulled out lots of beads but couldn’t come up with something I liked. So I turned to Pinterest and went looking for inspiration. And what do you know! I found it! After seeing some skull beads (mostly in earrings I admit) with tasselled skirts, I played around and came up with a sari silk tassel to match the flowers on the back of the skull, flowing from a Fallen Angel Brass black tulip bead cap. The accompanying beads went into a wire wrapped necklace along with a few Czech glass flowers, and Vintaj Arte Metal chain.

Sugar skull collage

While I was in the mood for skulls, I also put together a few pairs of cute earrings, featuring some tiny dyed howlite skulls with floral skirts. A pair of these plus the necklace went off in the mail to my swap partner Janeen, who lives in California.

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And on Monday, Dia de los Muertos, aka Day of the Dead (the Mexican holiday which celebrates and honours the dead), I received a marvellous necklace and earrings from Janeen (she received her package that day too!). The necklace she sent me features polymer clay skulls by Staci Louise Smith, and I love it! Thanks again Janeen!

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Beads, Blog Hops and Challenges

Danse Macabre Blog Hop

A couple of days ago was the reveal date for Lee Koopman’s Danse Macabre Blog Hop. Sadly I’m late for it, but better late than never I guess. My sincere apologies to Lee!

Anyway. We were asked to choose a macabre character, either a generic character or a fictional (TV, books etc) character and create something, not necessarily jewellery, for them.

Well, the character I chose is not really macabre, perhaps more humorous! It all comes back to our recent trip to the US. As part of the trip we went to Universal Studios in Florida, where the big drawcard for our family was the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Just outside the entrance to Diagon Alley was the Knight Bus, the triple-decker bus which transports magical folk around London. Conductor Stan Shunpike along with a shrunken head sporting dreadlocks and telling jokes in a rasta accent (as seen in the movie Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban), greet visitors to WWHP, make jokes and pose for photos.

Here are my three little wizards posing with Stan and the head.

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I picked up some of Joan Miller‘s beads at BeadFest including a couple of her tiny shrunken head charms. Now these ones don’t have dreadlocks like the shrunken head on the Knight Bus, but they are a fetching shade of purple (just like the bus). With the addition of some waxed linen “dreads” in a dark plum colour, I think these earrings would make a great little souvenir for a witch visiting London for the first time! What do you think?

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Thank you Lee for a fun little blog hop! I’m already looking forward to next year’s event!

In the meantime, here are the other participants in the Danse Macabre, please head over and have a look at their creations.

Lee Koopman                           Strega Jewellry

Sam Waghorn                           Pale Moon Creations

Dini Bruinsma                            Angaza by Changes

Mowse Doyle                              Mouse Made This

Robin Showstack                        The Crazy Bead Hoarder

Amy Jorgensen                           Hoarders Corner

Nan Smith                                    Wired Nan

Tammy Adams                             Paisley Lizard

Catherine King                              Catherine’s Musings

Michelle McCarthy                         Firefly Designs Studio

Betony Maiden                             Beadwenches Blog

Becca White                                  Morgana Fey Creations

Kim Dworak                                   Cianci Blue

Tami Norris                                   Tamis Creative Spot

Inge Von Roos                               Inge’s Blog

Terry Jeanette Carter                    Tapping Flamingo

Deb Fortin                                       Mhoti Studio

Melissa Trudinger                           Bead Recipes

Beads, Blog Hops and Challenges, Swaps and exchanges

Octoberfest: Better late than never!

Well, here I am, arriving a week late at Rita’s 3rd Annual Octoberfest party! I am so sorry, I have just been a bit swamped with life recently.

Anyway. I thought I would pay homage to Autumn, even though we are in the midst of Spring here in Australia. Our trees are that wonderful intense green of new foliage and the weather is veering wildly from yesterday’s heat to today’s rain and wind.

I have to say I find Autumn bittersweet, as I am a summer girl at heart. Here in Melbourne, at least, we have enough European trees to get the changing colours of the leaves, which I love (the piles of leaves on the lawn and the verges, not so much). So I thought I would use an Autumn leaf as an inspiration for this hop.

Recently I received a pile of metal goodies from Cheryl Foiles, through a fun game of giving presents and stealing presents and then stealing some more, that I played with a group of bead-loving friends. Amongst all of the fun stamped and enameled components was a beautifully patinaed fold-formed copper leaf. I combined it with some large dyed agate beads and some Czech glass in shades of red, orange and yellow, green, and even a deep purple to make an autumnal necklace.

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Here’s a close up of the focal. It’s pretty special isn’t it!

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But wait, I haven’t finished yet. Last night was Halloween here and I wore a pair of earrings sent to me by Michelle McCarthy of Firefly Design Studio in a Halloween-themed earring swap a couple of weeks ago. The cute ceramic pumpkin charms were made by Michelle. She also sent me a second pair that are very pretty indeed. Thank you Michelle, I’ll be wearing both pairs a lot!

Halloween swap Michelle

In return I sent her this little pair of earrings, featuring pumpkin-coloured glass beads and gunmetal sugar skull charms. The second pair of earrings are just a cute little flower and leaf design.

Halloween swap Melissa

I’ll be back in a few days with a few more updates, and teases for some upcoming blog hops!

 

 

 

Beads, Blog Hops and Challenges

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