Beads, Blog Hops and Challenges

AJE Firefly Challenge reveal

Last month I won one of Jen Cameron ‘s Firefly beads as part of the Art Jewelry Elements quarterly theme challenge. Today is the day to reveal my design, and in typical fashion, I have waited until the very last minute to make something (in my defence, it’s been a busy month, and my weekend was filled with dance and gymnastics competitions—not me, my daughters!—and now it’s school holidays).

Anyway, Jen’s beads look like this (I borrowed Jen’s photo, thank you!).

Jen Firefly beads

Fireflies, are found in parts of the USA, as well as other places around the world, and tend to appear on warm summer nights. I once saw fireflies in Nebraska when I was visiting a friend and her family (we drove her car back to California where we were both at grad school). Alas, here in this part of Australia we don’t have fireflies, although we do have glowworms, which I have seen in the Victorian bush. One of my daughters said the bead looked like the Van Gogh painting Starry Starry Night, which it definitely does.

It’s a big bead too, a couple of inches long, and quite fat, so it was destined to go into a necklace. I knew it would need to be balanced by the rest of the design, so I thought I would do a multi-strand necklace and braid the strands together to give each side some visual weight. I chose a combination of some deep blue seed beads surrounding a variety of golden yellow Czech glass flowers, pale translucent yellow beads interspersed with blue rondelles, and after some thought, a strand of mixed seed beads in greens, blues and purples with some pops of yellow.

Last but not least, I added a tassel underneath the bead. I wanted a yellow tassel but could only get blue and green, so I went with green. I tried to age the shiny golden cap but alas it is plastic, so I need to think of the best way to do that—clearly gilder’s paste is unlikely to work. Although, now that the necklace is assembled, it doesn’t look too out of place with the golden yellow beads.

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(Apologies for the picture—which is not the best as it was taken at night under lights. I may replace it tomorrow if I can get a better one.)

Anyway, thank you Jen for the fabulous bead, and thank you AJE for the challenge! I’ve listed the other participants below, make sure you go and check out their creations.

Guest Designers:

Melissa Trudinger – https://beadrecipes.wordpress.com <– YOU ARE HERE!!

Mary Detray – http://www.brassrabbitstudio.com/blog

Keren Panthaki – https://vasdea.wordpress.com

Tammy Adams – http://www.paisleylizard.com/blog/

Veralynne Malone – www.veradesigns.blogspot.com

Terri Del Signore – http://artisticaos.blogspot.com

Heather Powers – http://www.humblebeads.blogspot.com

Susan Delphine Delaney – https://susandolphindelaney.wordpress.com

 

AJE Team:

Jenny Davies-Reazor – http://www.jdaviesreazor.com/blog

Lesley Watt – http://www.thegossipinggoddess.blogspot.com

Niky Sayers – http://silverniknats.blogspot.co.uk

Caroline Dewison – http://blueberribeads.co.uk

Jen Cameron – http://www.glassaddictions.com/blog

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Beads

Butterfly Wings

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you probably know I love the ceramic beads and pendants made by Natalie Fletcher-Jones at Peruzi. Recently she came up with a new style—porcelain butterfly wing earring pairs delicately painted in her “watercolour” style.

Needless to say I immediately had to have some, and chose a couple of pairs, one featuring an overlaid decal and one without. But then the beads sat there for a month or so while I mused on what best to put them with. And then last week I was sorting through some beads and the perfect match popped out at me. Another recent purchase, this time from New Zealand lampworker Lesley McIver aka Glitz Art Glass, included some small lampwork rondelles in exactly the right hues to go with the wings. I love it when serendipity hands me the solution!

I used waxed linen to join the two components and tied them on to dark sterling silver earwires from The Curious Bead Shop. The ends of the linen have been adorned with seed beads as little antennae.

Butterfly wings

I’m keeping the decal pair for myself, but the other pair will be available for sale at my next market, or eventually in my (currently rather empty) Etsy shop.

Beads, Blog Hops and Challenges, Swaps and exchanges

Bead Peeps Swap’n’Hop: You’ve got mail!

A lovely package showed up in my mailbox yesterday, all the way from England. A bundle of awesome goodies from Niky Sayers, my partner in the Bead Peeps Swap’n’Hop. And she has totally spoiled me with goodies!

Here’s what I saw when I opened the package …

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Then after the letter was removed:

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And here is what was in those intriguing packages!

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So, the big heart in the middle is a Gaea ceramic heart in a lovely soft aqua on chocolate brown clay. To the right of the heart is an awesome enamel scrip bead from Blue Antiquities, a pair of ceramic beads by Karen Totten and a fly connector by Bo Hulley. Below the heart is a trio of tiny lampwork drops by Laura Sparling — they are like little double droplets. Over on the far right are 4 faceted fossilized coral coin beads plus 2 fossilized wood  beads. A strand of Serpentine rondelles, again in shades of aqua and copper.

And then there are the gorgeous components made by Niky herself! A pair of copper mushroom headpins, a copper roll bead and a copper safety pin (I have plans for you, little pin!). And finally some coin-creations: a sixpence bead, a farthing clasp (I love the little wren adorning the coin!) and a farthing connector featuring a headpin by Jen Cameron! Oh I love Niky’s coin components!

The colours Niky has picked are absolutely me, and I can’t wait to get started with these beauties! I’ve already got some ideas rattling around my head.

Reveal day is 2 May. It’s sooner than you (and I) think!

 

Beads

January thoughts

I’ve been neglecting my blog the last few months, only posting when I need to, for a blog hop or challenge and happily ignoring it at other times. No really good reason for it other than, as usual, things get in the way. Like kids, a good book or three, too much time fooling around on Facebook, my real job, that sort of thing.

While I try not to make resolutions these days—they’re too easy to break—January is a really good time to stop and take stock of what has gone before and what is coming toward me, often at breakneck speed!

So, there were a few things I didn’t blog about in 2014, which I really should have done. For example, this necklace which I made for the Bead Society of Victoria’s annual Bead Challenge, which was displayed with all of the other entries at the BSV’s annual Bead Expo in mid-November. This challenge requires the purchase of a kit, and ALL of the beads in the kit must be incorporated into a single piece (yes they count them!).

Here’s the kit …

bead challenge 2014 pack

And here’s my necklace.

Spring flowers necklace

I was very pleased with it, even though I knew it wouldn’t be in the running at all—have a look here to see all the entries and here to see the winners. Part of me wishes that they would run the competition in different categories as those of us who don’t work with seed beads really don’t have a chance against those beautiful creations. But still, I was pleased with what I created and that’s the thing that matters. In case you’re wondering, the beautiful lampwork bead is made by Denise Smith of DKS Lampwork. Here’s a closeup.

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Marketwise, I had my ups and downs. I never seem to sell very well in the middle of the year, when the weather is cold and dreary. However, I had some wonderful markets in November and December. My biggest seller at the markets doesn’t tend to be my one of a kind creations, but I have a line of simple resin jewellery including pendants, earrings, cufflinks and most recently rings, featuring sweet pictures and patterns which sell quite well. This year I’ll keep doing my local market, The Handmade Show, which kicks off for the year in April (I’m now on the committee which is fun and a bit different) and a couple of others here and there as the opportunity comes up.

In the meantime, a lovely little shop in Alexandra, a small town north east of Melbourne, has a selection of my jewellery for sale. If you happen to be out that way, pop in and say hi to Cindy at Rustic Simplicity.

I’m also planning to revamp my Etsy shop, Boho Bird Jewellery, and I’m going to kickstart my efforts with this course. It starts in a couple of weeks, and you may well see some posts about it here as I work through it.

I’ve already got three or four blog hops and challenges lined up for the next couple of weeks, as well as a few overdue Christmas pressies, so I really need to spend some time making jewellery! Yay! And it’s plum jam making time! If you’re lucky I’ll post a recipe for plum icecream in the next few days. Yummy!

 

 

Beads, Blog Hops and Challenges

The 2nd Annual Bead Hoarder’s Blog Hop

Bead_Hoarders_Blog_Hop2

Yes, I’ll admit it. I’m a bead hoarder. Like most of us, I find it hard to part with special beads. And I’ve got a nice little stash of art beads by a few of my favourite makers.

So when Lori Anderson announced her plans for the 2nd Annual Bead Hoarders Blog Hop, I signed up straight away.

Now, I had grand plans for this blog hop, but let’s face it, it’s a tricky time of year, with the holidays staring down at me, and well, I ran out of time! So I thought I would show you a couple of pieces I made earlier this year using some of my favourite hoarded beads.

First up is a bracelet, using a gorgeous focal from Peruzi. I’ve got a lovely stash of Peruzi pendants and beads, and Natalie keeps coming up with new covetable designs too. This is a bracelet focal from her watercolour series that I’ve paired with some Czech beads and Irish waxed linen.

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Next up is a necklace I made for my Mum for Mother’s Day this year, featuring a pendant from Erin Prais-Hintz‘s Simple Truths series. Many of the beads in the necklace, including the spotted lampwork beads by Helen Chalmers, come from a Curiousity Club kit I received early in the year. I featured this necklace in the Waxed Linen blog hop earlier this year, but I thought it was a fitting addition here too.

Mother knows best necklace Collage

Lastly, I’ve recently made a pair of earrings for myself using some cute copper charms from Kristi Bowman Design, and some earwires by Cheryl Foiles Designs. Although I didn’t hoard these charms for quite as long as the other two above, I’m keeping them for myself, which is also a way to hoard lovely beads and components.

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Well, that’s it from me, it’s time to pop along to see the other blogs in this hop. Thank you Lori, for this fun trawl through everyone’s bead hoard, I’m sure I’ll discover a few new favourite artists!

Lori Anderson PrettyThings  (Hostess)
Audrey Belanger Toki No Hourosha
Jenny Kyrlach Wonder and Whimsy
Kathy Lindemer Bay Moon Design
Lori Schneider Bead Addict
Dee Elgie Cherry Obsidia
Dolores Raml CraftyD’s Creations
Rebecca Ednie Eclectic Endeavors
Lili Krist http://emjestudio.blogspot.com/
Marybeth Rich http://forestofjewels.blogspot.com/
Hannah Rosner Good River Valley
Nicole Prince http://healingbeading.blogspot.com/
Deana Hager http://justdeesarts.blogspot.com/
Jackie Ryan http://kydojewellery.blogspot.co.uk/
Elsie Deliz-Fonseca http://ladelizchica.blogspot.com/
Mowse Doyle http://mowsemadethis.blogspot.com/
Evelyn Shelby http://raindropcreationsbyevelyn.blogspot.com
Lisa Johnson http://spudandmrsbutters.blogspot.com/
Terri Gauthier http://terrisbloomingideas.blogspot.com/
Patti Pruhs http://threebeadsandastring.blogspot.com
Shai Williams http://www.shaihasramblings.com/
Andrea Glick Zenith Jade
K Hutchinson https://jumbledhutch.wordpress.com
Marci Brooks That Nothing Be Wasted
Jo-Ann Woolverton It’s a Beadiful Creation
Jasvanti Patel Jewelrybyjasvanti.blogspot.com
Laurie Vyselaar Lefthandjewelry.wordpress.com
Lisa Knappenberger LIRaysaDesigns.blogspot.com
Mary Lindell marylindell.com
Niky Sayers silverniknats.blogspot.co.uk
Sandra McGriff skyescreativechaos.blogspot.com
Patricia Handschuh thecolorofdreams.blogspot.com
Erin Prais-Hintz treasures-found.blogspot.com
Maria Rosa Sharrow willowstreetshops.blogspot.com
Kathleen Breeding www.99bobotw.blogspot.com
Monique Urquhart www.ahalfbakednotion.blogspot.com
Jackie Locantore www.artfire.com/ext/shop/blog/MorningStar
Sheryl Stephens The Babbling Beader
Becky Pancake www.beckypancakebeaddesigns.blogspot.com
Mona Arnott www.bijouxgemsjoy.blogspot.ca
Michelle Escano www.cabbycraft.com
Denise McCabe www.cabewoman.blogspot.com
Carolyn Lawson www.carolynscreationswa.blogspot.com
Sheila Prose www.catswithbeads.blogspot.com
Kim Dworak www.cianciblue.blogspot.com
Iveth Caruso www.CreativeAtelier.net/blog
Deborah Apodaca www.deborahapodacadesigns.blogspot.com/
Elizabeth Bunn www.elizabethbeads.blogspot.com
Janine Lucas www.esfera.me/travel/blog/travel-stories
Kari Asbury Hippie Chick Design
Inge von Roos Inge’s Blog
Divya N www.jewelsofsayuri.com
Debbie Rasmussen www.kepirasmussen.blogspot.com
KJ www.kjsbeadaciousbeads.blogspot.com/
Klaudete Koon www.klaudetekoon.blogspot.com
Ghislaine Kruse-van Erp www.kruseartllc.com
Ginger Bishop www.lilmummylikes.blogspot.com
Kelly Schermerhorn www.meanderingwithkelly.blogspot.com
Mischelle Andrade www.micheladasmusings.blogspot.com 
Sue Kelly Mid-Life Greater Expectations
Rachel Mallis www.mintmonarch.com/#!Blog/c1jlz
Susan McClelland www.mistheword12.com
Mary K McGraw MK’s Creative Musings
Tania Spivey Moobie Grace Designs
Stephanie Perry Mustard Seed by Stephanie Perry
Mitzie Crider www.NeedfulLuxuries.Blogspot.com
Nicole Rennell Www.nicolerennell.com/blog
Nicole Valentine www.nvalentine.blogspot.com
Karen Mitchell www.overthemoon-design.com
Tammy Adams www.paisleylizard.com/blog/
Patty Miller www.pattymillerbeads.blogspot.com
Blanca Medina www.peru-medesigns.com
Stephanie Haussler www.pixybugdesigns.blogspot.com
Roxanne Mendoza www.roxidesigns.blogspot.com
Claire Fabian www.saraccino.blogspot.com
Bridget Torres www.shears58.net
Donetta Farrington www.simplygorgeous-donetta.blogspot.com
Lee Koopman www.stregajewellry.wordpress.com
Deb Fortin www.studiok24.blogspot.ca
Susan Walls Www.susansartcircus.com/blog
Cece Cormier The Beading Yogini
Heather Otto www.thecrafthopper.com
Lizzie Clarke www.theneedtobead.blogspot.co.uk
Elizabeth Hodges www.thewhisperingseas.blogspot.com
Fay Wolfenden www.torchfairy.blogspot.com
Kelly Hosford Patterson www.TravelingSideShow.blogspot.com
Nan Smith Nanmade Jewelry
Jayne Capps www.mamasgototdoodle.blogspot.com
Robin Kae Reed www.willowdragon.blogspot.com
Melissa Trudinger beadrecipes.wordpress.com
Regina Wood Gina’s Designs
Beads, Blog Hops and Challenges

Anchors Aweigh!! Design Challenge and Blog Hop

Rita, aka Toltec Jewels, from the blog Jewel School Friends has set up another design challenge, this time using sweet little pairs of charms from Diana Ptaszynski’s Suburban Girl Studio, featuring anchors in a soft shade of blue. And with typical generosity, she gifted all of us doing the challenge with the charms, many thanks Rita!

anchors

Now aren’t these sweet? Diana makes lovely ceramic beads and pendants, some in earthenware and others, like these, in porcelain. I’ve a few pieces from her in my stash.

I really tried to come up with a design incorporating the anchor charms that wasn’t earrings, but it seems that these charms were really determined to dangle from ears. And I tried a few other earring designs before deciding that simple was best. I paired the charms with blue lampwork beads from Lisa Anderson and hung them from silver-plated lever back earwires.

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There are 25 artists taking part in this challenge, please take the time to visit a few other blogs if you can! And thank you again Rita, for a fun challenge! I’m looking forward to the next one in a few weeks.

Participating Artists
Featured & Honored Artist:        Diana Ptaszynski
Diana’s Shop:                           Suburban Girl Beads
Diana’s Blogs:                          Suburban Girl Studio
                                                 Art Jewelry Elements
Hostess: Toltec Jewels              Jewel School Friends
Bobbie Rafferty                         Beadsong Jewelry
Chris Eisenberg                         Wanderware
Heather Richter                          Desert Jewelry Designs
Michelle McCarthy                    Firefly Design Studio
Kathy Lindemer                         Bay Moon Design
Dini Bruinsma                            Angaza by Changes
Cynthia Machata                        Antiquity Travelers
Kathleen Breeding                     99 Bottles of Beads on the Wall
Linda Younkman                       Lindy’s Designs
Robin Reed                                Artistry HCBD
Marla Gibson                              Spice Box Designs
Gina Hockett                               Freestyle Elements
Renetha Stanziano                       Lamplight Crafts
Marianne Baxter                          Simply Seablime Jewelry
Christina Miles                            Wings N Scales
Marybeth Rich                            A Few Words from Within the Pines
Shai Williams                             Shaiha’s Ramblings
Cheri Reed                                  Creative Designs by Cheri
Monique Urquhart                      A Half-Baked Notion
Jennifer Reno                             Musings of a Crafty Jenny
Shirley Moore                             Beads and Bread
Tammy Adams                           Paisley Lizard
Melissa Trudinger                       Bead Recipes
Jill Bradley                                  JillyBeads
Beads, Blog Hops and Challenges

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.