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.
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.
A couple of beady friends of mine—Lindsay Starr and Sherri Stokey—recently came up with an idea for a series of blog hops, which they’ve called Beading Back in Time. Each quarter will be devoted to a different time period and the first, of course, is pre-Human.
Conveniently, in my stash I had two beautiful ammonite focals. In case you’re wondering, ammonites were a group of molluscs which populated the ancient oceans for several hundred million years, from the Devonian period until the big extinction event at the end of the Cretaceous period that wiped out some 75% of the life on our planet. Although the fossils look similar to today’s Nautilus species, with their distinctive multi-chambered spiral shells, they were more closely related to octopus, squid and cuttlefish.
The first piece features a ceramic ammonite focal, made by Peruzi, with a lovely verdigris-like appearance. I wanted to evoke the feel of the ocean, so I paired it with some aqua beads in various shapes and sizes, and a silk ribbon that made me think of seagrasses waving gently in the water.
The second focal is a real, fossilized ammonite that a friend gave me in a swap. The front, with its distinctive spiral ranges from a dark olive green to coppery brown, but the back still has glimmering remnants of the shell’s nacreous origins. I found some unusual Czech glass beads with a pitted rock-like appearance and some interesting double coin pearls with a golden shimmer to go with the ammonite fossil. And in case you’re wondering, oysters are a very old variety of mollusk and both pearl and oyster fossils have been found—I looked it up!
Thank you Lindsay and Sherri for the great challenge. Now I need to start thinking about the next time period—early human!
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.
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.
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.
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!
Canadian bead blogger Nan Smith is hosting the My Country blog hop today (which happens to be Canada Day). We’ve been challenged to use our own country as inspiration to make something, not necessarily a piece of jewellery. Australia is my country of birth and of residence, but Australia is a big country, with a lot of potential inspiration, from the beaches to the deserts, cities to bush and more. So I’ve been thinking hard about what I could do for this challenge.
A few weeks ago, we went away for a long weekend, up in Northern Victoria. The drive up, especially once you get off the Hume Highway, is pretty, passing through farming land and wine country. There’s an iconic rural Australian-ness about the scenery, rolling hills, gum (eucalyptus) trees dotted across the landscape, perhaps some sheep or cattle in the dusty green paddocks. The sky is blue, maybe with some high clouds scattered across it. And the landscape is wide open.
Of course I didn’t get any pictures of the trees at the time, but when I started thinking about this blog hop, the images were the ones I kept seeing in my mind’s eye. So I went looking for some pictures online for you. Here’s another good one! As you can see, the shape is really distinctive.
With this in mind, I went looking for tree pendants from my favourite Aussie bead maker Peruzi, and found the perfect one. Only, there were two versions that appealed to me, a daytime pendant with the tree against the blue and white sky, and a sunset pendant with a background of vivid oranges and yellows, and I couldn’t decide which one I liked more. So I ended up with two necklaces, each of mixed Czech beads knotted onto walnut brown waxed linen cord. The bead above each pendant is a natural wooden bead made from an Australian timber, although I can’t tell you which one each is made from.
I’m really rather pleased with these two necklaces!
As I said, this is a blog hop, and there are 25 participants. Please take some time to visit their blogs.
In the last few months, a number of Facebook groups devoted to buying and selling jewellery and supplies have popped up. This week marks the debut of the Aussie Artisan Jewellery Buy and Sell group, which as the name suggests, will provide a marketplace for Australian jewellery designers to showcase their wares.
It’s a straightforward concept with an auction approach to selling. The designer lists each piece with a starting price and a Buy it Now (BIN) price and gives a time and date for the auction to finish. Then potential buyers can bid until the auction ends or the BIN price is reached.
Here are the pieces I’ve listed today. If you click on them, it should open up the appropriate photo in Facebook! They are available until Sunday 15 July at noon Australian Eastern time. And the prices are listed in Australian dollars, but don’t let that stop you from bidding. One other thing—I will always post at the most inexpensive rate available, but due to the fragile nature of the components, I have to package them as securely as I can.
At the last minute I have managed to put something together for the Art Bead Scene April challenge, which features a painting by French Impressionist Edgar Degas as our inspiration. I’ve always loved Degas’ art, and to me this painting captures the dynamic beauty of ballet contrasted with the endless waiting behind the scenes.
I was browsing through one of my favourite ceramic beadmaker’s pages—Peruzi— when I came across a pendant that matched the dancers’ tutus almost perfectly, right down to the flashes of browns and oranges in the blue-green skirts (it’s kind of dark and rainy today, so the photos aren’t the best, sorry!).
To go with the pendant I selected a collection of beads in blues and blue-greens, ambers and peaches, knotted with denim blue and orange waxed linen cord. Some little dangling flowers in translucent blue-green and peach at the junction with the chain remind me of ballet skirts.
I’ll be adding this blog post to tomorrow’s Art Bead Scene monthly challenge post, so pop over then to look at what other people have been inspired to make this month. And make sure you come back on Saturday for my BSBP8 reveal!
It’s just over a week until the BSBP reveal. So excited! Not that I’ve finished my pieces, far from it! But I thought I would show you what I sent my partner Sandra Wollberg. It took a quite a while for my bead soup to reach her, in fact, I was thinking I would have to send another soup! I don’t think she was quite so worried though, turns out some strike activity at German airports may have slowed it down a bit.
I took a while putting together this soup. It had to have some beads Sandra might not have been so familiar with, and it definitely had to include at least one Aussie artist. And Sandra and I have overlapping tastes (especially when it comes to Czech glass), so I had to try to challenge her at least a little! In the end this is what I went with.
As you can see, there are multiple possibilities in this soup, with both a cool and a warm colour scheme. First of all, the focals. The big blue/gold pendant on the right hand side is from Peruzi, my favourite Aussie bead artisan. I love this pendant, but I have never been able to come up with a design for it other than knotting it onto a large piece of ribbon or cord, so I am intrigued to see what Sandra can do with it (and I was very amused to see that another bead soup this year also uses this focal). Immediately to the left of this focal is a second ceramic pendant by Michelle McCarthy of Firefly Design Studio. It’s a lovely cheerful yellow tree of life. And just for fun I threw in a third focal, a faux sea glass seashell in a deep red.
I included two clasps in my soup—a gorgeous handmade copper Deco rose button-style clasp by Rebecca Anderson, and a silver-tone leaf-shaped clasp. I popped in a couple of other silver-toned beads and a braided ring, and some copper headpins, and double-ball-ended headpins made by Tanglebeads.
As for the rest of the beads, there are a variety of Czech beads in different shapes and colours, including some intriguing twisted lozenge-shaped beads in a deep red, some faux sea glass in orange, frosted and opaque white, and two big amazonite nuggets. The big swirly orange bead is from Puddle Glass Art, a local lampworker.
Of course, there is ribbon, a lovely sari silk ribbon from Ribbons and Silk on Etsy (also based here in Australia), which I used to tie up the box.
The reveal will be next Saturday, 3 May. At this point I anticipate that my post will go live mid-afternoon on Saturday (when it is midnight on the East Coast of the USA), at the official start time for the hop. Come back then to see what Sandra and I—and 500 or so other jewellery designers—have made.