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.

IMG_8157

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
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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

Beads, Blog Hops and Challenges

Blue orchid necklace — Art Jewelry Elements July challenge

I was lucky enough to be picked as a guest designer for Art Jewelry Elements‘ Component of the Month challenge. July’s component, a lovely porcelain orchid pendant, came from Diana Ptaszynski of Suburban Girl Studio. It arrived in the mail late last week—just in the nick of time! I received one of the blue pendants—mine was the one on the lower right of this picture.

porcelain orchid pendants
Picture by Diana Ptaszynski, borrowed from artjewelryelements.blogspot.com

I picked through my stash, and found a couple of things to go with the pendant including some lovely Czech crystal rondelles with that same deep blue plus a coppery red highlight and some dyed blue fire agate. Some copper beads, connectors and chain, which complement the blue so nicely. And I went to a big craft show on the weekend and might have bought a strand of blue Czech beads there too. I wanted to make a two-strand necklace, for a change, and I was inspired by a design I saw in a bead company’s email I got during the week.

AJE blue orchid necklace Collage

I love how well the beads complement the lighter and darker blues in the pendant, like they were made to go together. And the copper seems to make the blue more intense.

Thanks again to Diana and the Art Jewelry Elements team for such a fun challenge. Check out the AJE blog for the other participants!