Beads, Blog Hops and Challenges

Here Comes the Sun: Art Jewelry Elements Rebirth of the Sun Challenge

The Art Jewelry Elements challenge this month is celebrating the rebirth of the sun during the winter solstice. Well, here in Australia, we are at the other end of the sun’s cycle and have just passed midsummer. That’s just fine with me as I love summer, well, up until it gets really stinking hot, so I’m happy to just celebrate the sun!

This time around I didn’t win one of the challenge giveaways so instead I bought one of Lesley Watt‘s sun pendants, rather a lovely one I think! I had chosen a bunch of Czech beads and laid them out in a reasonably complex order. And then I looked at the pendant again and decided simple was best. So I linked a small selection of beads together and added them to the pendant, popped some rather nice brass chain on as well, and created a little dangle for the bottom of the pendant.

Rebirth of the Sun necklace

I realised after I made it that the little pops of orangey-pink remind me of the colours in the sky at dawn, when the sun is reborn each day.

There are others joining in this AJE challenge, so if you can, go and see what they made too! Thank you Lesley and the AJE team for the challenge theme!

Guest Designers
Melissa Trudinger <– YOU ARE HERE!

AJE Team
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Beads, Blog Hops and Challenges, Giveaways and contests

AJE Elements Use Your Stash blog hop

Way back in the middle of December, Art Jewelry Elements announced that in January it would amp up the Component of the Month challenge, with every member of the team designing something using a component from their stash made by one of the other team members. Readers were encouraged to do the same, and to add a little extra, nine lucky jewellery designers would receive an art bead.

I was lucky enough to have my name drawn to receive this fabulous ceramic pendant from Lesley Watt.

Daisy pendant

It’s summer here in Australia, and our lawn is sprouting daisies and dandelions. I combined the pendant with a literal bunch of flowers, all knotted together on sunny yellow waxed linen cord.

Summer Daisy necklace

Thank you Lesley for sending me such a sweet little pendant to play with—I hope this necklace brings a ray of sunshine to brighten up your English winter today!

Here are the links to the AJE team blogs as well as the other winners and some jewellery designers who raided their stash to play along.

AJE team: 
Guest Participants ( aka winners)
Samantha- Wescott Jewelry
Kathy – Bay Moon Designs
Nikki – Silver Nik nats
Yvette – Blue Kiln Beads
Bonus participants! 
Beads, Blog Hops and Challenges

Autumn Design Challenge

I recently got the chance to participate in the Autumn Design Challenge using beads and components by Caroline Dewison (Blueberribeads) and Lesley Watt (Thea Elements). Caroline and Lesley, who are both based in the UK, combined their talents to put together little packages of goodies each containing a strand of ceramic beads from Caroline and a pair of bronze components from Lesley, and sent them off at a minimal cost to 20 participants randomly chosen from blog comments.

Although I wasn’t initially selected, I was fortunate enough to get chosen when one of the chosen participants pulled out. A couple of weeks later I received these lovely beads in the mail.

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I decided to make three pieces using these beads. The first, using the pretty enameled flower from Lesley, is a simple but super-long necklace. I matched the colours in the pendant with a little bag of vintage Czech beads I received from Lennis Carrier (Windbent) in a swap we did earlier this year. According to Lennis, these beads, in luscious pinks, reds and purples, are from the 1920s and 1930s! The flower is wired to the pink melon-shaped ceramic bead as well as a couple of the Czech glass beads to make a substantial pendant.

Vintage flower necklace collage

The second piece is another necklace, this time using the chocolate brown ceramic heart bead made by Caroline, as well as the two larger dark brown ceramic beads. I added Czech melon beads in shades of pink, burgundy and dark bronze. I think I’ll call this one “Dark Heart”.

Dark Heart Necklace collage

Unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to finish the final piece, a bracelet using the pretty bronze patinaed connector. I’ve picked out some beads to use, but that’s as far as I have gone with it.

I’d like to thank Lesley and Caroline for putting together such a fantastic little package of beads to play with, I’ll definitely be back for more! If you’d like to see what other participants have made, here are their blog links:

Lesley Watt – http://thegossipinggoddess.blogspot.co.uk/

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

Gay Messander – http://gaysiemay.blogspot.co.uk/

Made By Jules – http://madebyjulesblog.blogspot.co.uk/

Heidi Post – http://expostfactojewelry.blogspot.co.uk/

Janet Bocciardi – http://www.honeyfromthebee.com/

Alice – http://alice-dreaming.blogspot.com

Dolores Raml – http://craftydscreations.wordpress.com

Lucy Haslam – http://faerystone.blogspot.co.uk/

Pine Ridge treasures – http://pineridgetreasures.blogspot.com

Shirley Moore – http://beadsandbread.blogspot.com

Tracy Collins – http://travelsintimedesigns.blogspot.co.uk

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

Mags – http://magsinhelmet.blogspot.com

Pepita – http://pepita-handmade.blogspot.co.uk/

Jo-Ann – http://itsabeadifulcreation.blogspot.com

Toltec Jewels – http://www.jewelschoolfriends.com

Judith Johnston – http://www.judith-johnston.com/blog

Janine Lucas – http://www.esfera.me/travel/blog/travel-stories

Madeline Bunyan – http://madelinebunyan.com/mlj/

Chic and frog – http://www.chicandfrog.wordpress.com

Beads, Blog Hops and Challenges

Up and coming

I’m taking part in a few artisan-bead blog hops in the near future, one in about a week using Kristi Bowman‘s Wonky Beads, and another in early October with a collections of beads from UK artists Lesley Watts (THEA Elements) and Caroline Dewison (BlueberriBeads). The idea is to feature their beads in some creations to be revealed during the blog hops.

Here are the wonky beads from Kristi — I selected the colourway and she chose a set for me. They are the most delicious colours and because they’re polymer clay, they are very light despite being quite large.

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And here are the beads and components I got from Lesley and Caroline’s bag of goodies. Lesley provided a bracelet focal and a pendant , both made from bronze clay. The bracelet focal has been coloured with a deep magenta-pink patina, while the flower has a purple enamel centre. Caroline has provided a selection of ceramic beads, topped off with a heart in a dark chocolate brown.

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The ideas are swirling around in my head! Come back next weekend to see what I make with Kristi’s beads in the Wonky Bead Blog Hop, and on October 2nd for the Autumn Design Challenge.