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

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.