Beads, Blog Hops and Challenges

Choosy Chicks Choose Chicklets Challenge

If you have come to my blog for the Haberdashery Blog Hop click here.

If you have come to my blog for the Summer Carnival Blog Hop click here.

cccc design challenge button orange frame

It’s been a weekend of blog hops and challenges, and lots of beads. For my third blog hop of the weekend (which I am posting a day late, sorry!), I present to you the Choosy Chicks Choose Chicklets Challenge … C5 for short! For this challenge, Rita, aka Toltec Jewels, generously sent out dozens of chicklet-shaped, flower-stamped, lampwork beads made by the talented Sue Kennedy of Suebeads.

Now I tossed around several ideas for my bead, which is a lovely deep orangey-red colour. A bracelet seemed obvious, I could do the art bead and seed bead on waxed linen combo that is so popular right now, thanks to a tutorial by Lorelei Eurto in BeadStyle magazine a few months ago. But I don’t always want to follow the obvious path.

So I did what I always do in these situations and had a good rummage through my stash. Some Czech flowers in coordinating colours. A couple of spacer beads from Suebeads in turquoise and orange. And a ladybird charm from Jennifer Heynen. I wired them up to form a long dangle, wire-wrapped a handful of orange and yellow translucent Czech rounds and made a long necklace with antiqued copper chain.

Ladybird flowers collage

Well, that concludes my weekend of blog hops and challenges! I’m exhausted, how about you? And I’ve got lots of hopping ahead of me, I hope you’ll hop along too!

C5 ARTISTS:
 
Guest of Honor & Featured Artist:  Susan Kennedy
Sue Kennedy’s blogs:                               SueBeads…A Beady Girl’s blog
                                                                 Art Jewelry Elements
Sue Kennedy’s website                            SueBeads
SueBeads Art Beads                                SueBeads
Hostess:
Toltec Jewels                                           http://www.JewelSchoolFriends.com
Artists:

Linda Anderson                                       http://fromthebeadboard.blogspot.com/
Jennifer Reno                                           http://jenrenjewelry.blogspot.com/
Shirley Moore                                          http://beadsandbread.blogspot.com/
Kristen Stevens                                        http://kristen-beadjourney.blogspot.com
 
Marybeth Rich                                         http://forestofjewels.blogspot.com
Jael Thorp                                                http://jaelsjewels.blogspot.com/
Melissa Trudinger                                    http://Beadrecipes.wordpress.com
Andrea Glick                                            http://zenithjade.blogspot.com/
Nan Smith                                                http://wirednan.blogspot.com
Blanca Medina                                         www.peru-medesigns.com
Shai Williams                                           http://shaihasramblings.blogspot.com
Carolyn Lawson                                       http://Carolynscreationswa.blogspot.com
Rana Wilson                                             http://Ranaleadesigns.blogspot.com
Robin Reed                                              http://willowdragon.blogspot.com
Robin Showstack                                     http://heartsdesiresjewelryforyou.blogspot.com/
Sheila Prosterman                                     http://catswithbeads.blogspot.com
Karla Morgan                                          http://Texaspepperjams.blogspot.com
Kari Asbury                                             http://hippiechickdesign.blogspot.com
Kelly Rodgers                                          http://www.facebook.com/BeadinBlackBlue
Jayne Capps                                             http://mamasgottodoodle.blogspot.com/
Mischelle Andrade Fanucchi                   http://micheladasmusings.blogspot.com/
Heather Richter                                       http://desertjewelrydesigns.blogspot.com
Chris Eisenberg                                       www.wanderware.blogspot.com
Kathleen Breeding                                   http://www.zibbet.com/99BottlesofBeadsontheWall
Linda Landig                                           http://lindalandig.wordpress.com
Crystal Thain                                           http://beaddragons.blogspot.com/
Cheri Reed                                              http://creativedesignsbycheri.blogspot.com
Heather d-Entremont                               http://frugalmacdougall.wordpress.com/
Dini Bruinsma                                          http://angazabychanges.blogspot.com/
Lori Schneider                                         http://www.beadaddicted.blogspot.com/

Tammy Adams                                        http://www.paisleylizard.com/blog.html
Melinda Orr                                            http://bandanagirl.indiemade.com/blog
Lennis Carrier                                         http://windbent.wordpress.com/
Cynthia Machata                                     http://antiquitytravelers.blogspot.com
Elizabeth Hodges                                    http://thewhisperingseas.blogspot.com
Debbie Rasmussen                                  http://kepirasmussen.blogspot.com/
Tanya McGuire                                       http://tanyamcguire.blogspot.com/
Charlie Jacka                                          http://clay-space.com/blog/
Ev Shelby                                               http://raindropcreationsbyevelyn.blogspot.com/
Sharyl McMillian-Nelson                        http://sharylsjewelry.blogspot.com/
Jasvanti Patel                                        http://jewelrybyjasvanti.blogspot.com
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Beads

Joining the Curiosity Club

Late last year I bought myself a Christmas present—six months membership in Rebecca Anderson’s Curiosity Club. Rebecca, one of my favourite and inspirational jewellery artists, has a little bead supply shop on Etsy, selling Czech beads, waxed linen cord, her own range of handmade findings and most recently a nice little selection of Vintaj components and leather cord. Last year she set up the Curiosity Club, a monthly shipment of beads and components personally selected by her. Along with the shipment, there is a Facebook page for members to share their designs, and each month Rebecca does a little tour on her shop’s Facebook page to show off what we all make from the kits.

So far I have received two kits, and the third should arrive any day now. Silly me, I haven’t taken a picture of each kit before diving in, but they’ve been lovely, with some waxed linen, a selection of beads sweetly threaded with a little brass or silver key and a special component or two! Anyway, I thought I would show you some of the things I’ve made so far using the beads and findings I’ve received.

The first kit, sent in December was called Winter’s Tale (Rebecca is from the UK, currently living in Belfast, Ireland), The special item in this kit was a pair of snowflake charms from Bohulley Beads, which I used in a pair of earrings along with the charcoal grey waxed linen and some of the clear and smoky rondelles, Rather than just stringing the beads on the linen, I did a little macramé between each bead.

snowflake earrings

Sadly, the school holidays prevented me from making more from this kit, although I am still mulling over the remaining beads, which include a variety of minty green and olive beads. Before I knew it, it was time for the January kit to arrive. Aptly named Paintbox, this kit contained a bright and happy selection of beads in aqua blue, lavender, and bright fuschia pink, some pale green leaves, a red heart, Picasso-finished flowers, waxed linen in lavender and denim blue, and some of Rebecca’s own components—a spiral clasp and a pair of heart headpins.

The first beads I turned to were the aqua blue piggies—little curved beads with two holes. I wove the lavender waxed linen in and out of the beads and dangled them from the fuschia flowers.

Paintbox earrings Collage

The lavender and aqua combination looked great so I dug out some fantastic aqua blue lampwork beads from Brisbane-based lampworker Liz de Luca to make some more earrings, this time with the lavender rondelles and some tiny Hill Tribe silver bead caps and spacers.

aqua gumballs Collage

So far, obviously, it’s all been about the earrings. I’m working on a challenge at the moment—the 3rd Annual Challenge of Music—which may well find itself using a few more of the beads from the kits in a bigger piece. The reveal date is this Saturday so come visit me then to see what I have come up with.

Beads, Blog Hops and Challenges

Green dragonfly earrings: We’re All Ears February challenge

Earring-focused blog Earrings Everyday has added a monthly design challenge for its readers—the We’re All Ears challenge—which of course means making earrings.

This month’s inspiration is a gorgeously vibrant photograph starring a pair of loving damselflies on an intensely green background:

02_2014_damselflies-heart-shape
Damselflies in Love
Photo credit: National Geographic, Yeo Weng Sang

As luck would have it, around the time this picture appeared in my feed, I received some gloriously green lampwork beads from Beads and Botanicals that immediately announced their intention to take part in this challenge. To keep it simple and let the beads talk, I paired them with tiny Vintaj brass dragonflies (the closest I could get to damselflies) and an orange Swarovski crystal.

green earrings

I’m very tempted to keep this pair! And I’m looking forward to seeing next month’s inspiration!

If you’re interested in seeing the other designers taking part in the earring challenge, go to today’s post on Earrings Everyday for the link-list (sadly it doesn’t work properly on WordPress.com blogs, so I can’t add it here).

Beads, Blog Hops and Challenges

Pool Party Summer—the 4th Annual Challenge of Colour

ChallengeofColor_badge

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:

COLOURlovers.com-Summer_in_the_pool

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.

IMG_6654

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).