So today sees the first of the new monthly theme challenges we are running over at Art Elements and this month Cathy chose nests as our inspiration theme. Back when she announced this I had a million and one things in my head that I wanted to do but for some reason none of those came to fruition…funny how creativity works. Continue reading “Art Elements March theme Challenge – Nests”
This months Component comes in the form of these lovely copper Runes made by the very talented Niky Sayers. Sadly, the first thing I have to do this month is apologise for only having a work in progress to share with you as time just ran away with me this month and I didn’t get the chance to start on my piece until yesterday. I hope however you can get some sense of what I’m trying to do.
Well here we are in that lull between Christmas and the New Year and I hope you all had a great time and are are not suffering too much from over-indulgence…I can probably do without seeing another chocolate for a while! Continue reading “Thoughts on a New Year…”
So here we are at the last Art Elements challenge of 2017 and of course it’s to make seasonal ornaments using any materials we have to hand (the lead picture for this post shows some handmade ornaments I’ve been gifted over the past by Cathy Mendola, Erin Prais Hintz and Diana Ptaszynski). I actually managed to get ahead on this one and ended up making several different ornaments, mostly utilising my ceramic components. Continue reading “Art Elements Christmas Ornament Challenge Reveal 2017”
I know I say this every month but really? The end of October already…10 months of the year gone…how can that be. Oh well – not a lot to be done about it but at least we had great components to work with this month thanks to our lovely host Niky Sayers who provided us with these lovely old silver hare threepenny Irish coin clasps. Just one slight problem here though…I have so many trays of beads and jewellery and boxes of components spread around the house at the moment that I’ve actually managed to mislay my clasp. It’s not lost… It’s here somewhere but that somewhere isn’t where it should be and if I stop to turn out every box to find it we’ll likely be at the end of November! Continue reading “Art Elements October Component of the Month Reveal – Coin Clasps”
It’s the end of September already – how on earth did that happen…wasn’t it just Christmas a few weeks ago? Anyway, on the positive side this month we got to play with o e of these cute little lampwork Zombees by Laney Mead…like normal bees but a it green around the gills as you can see.
I’m not usually one for designing for holidays or events but since Laney gave us such a whimsical little fellow and halloween is drawing nearer I thought maybe I should give it a go. I had a rummage around my bead stash to see if I had anything suitable and managed to dig up a few things: black polymer clay roses by Leah Curtis, orange pumpkin beads, some leaves that match the beads and one of my own skull buttons…about as spooky as I could find.
A bracelet seemed like the obvious way to go with this and I’ve kept it fairly simple so as not to overpower my little bee who appears to have been spending time in the pumpkin patch killing off the roses that have rambled their way into it…seems like they could do with a good dose of bone meal!
The bracelet is simply strung on beading wire with brass accent beads and finished with the skull button and a beaded loop.
Mudlarks is the meeting off two minds that are equally obsessed with the infinite possibilities that working with clay (or mud) provides. One of those minds in mine and the other belongs to my good friend Caroline Dewison of Blueberribeads.
Caroline and I recently attended a bead show together and during the run up to this we got to talking about bead shows in general and how difficult and expensive it can be to find good ones. We don’t really have the equivalent of Bead Fest in the UK but we do have a big one day event called ‘The Big Bead Show‘. This show is very much geared to commercial bead sellers and is not cheap to attend so very few artisans exhibit there. Somehow though, in the course of one conversation we managed to find out the cost of the show and convince ourselves that if we pooled our resources and exhibited together we could hopefully do well enough to make it cost effective. Continue reading “Meet the Mudlarks”
Well that’s it then…summer (such as it was) is all but gone and Autumn is ready to take the over the reins. August has been a manic month devoted almost totally to shows and unfortunately left me very short of time to do anything else including create something epic with these wonderful lustre glazed star beads that Caroline so kindly created for us. So my post this month is a very flimsy work in progress. I hope to work on my piece in the next month although that to is dedicated to shows… no peace for the wicked! Continue reading “Art Elements Component of the Month – August Reveal”
For this months Art Elements design challenge we were fortunate enough to get to work with these wonderful glass Scarab beads made by Sue Kennedy and I chose one of the turquoise ones with an etched finish.
Scarabs always bring to mind Egypt for me and when I did a bit of research I found a lot of rings like this one and did thing about going that route but the bead was too wide to make it work in the same way. However, I was also very taken by the the use of brick red stones like Carnelian and felt the colour would work really well with my turquoise scarab – Egypt meets South-Western!
In the end I decided to go with a with a wire cored bracelet that mimicked the shape of the rings. I used 1.6mm copper wire for the core with Sue’s bead at the centre and flanked by greek coppered ceramic and lovely red lampwork beads by Outwest. I also found some etched turquoise beads from Outwest that were a pretty perfect match for the focal so I added these and some copper beads from Hands of the hills. I struggle to get bangles over my knuckles so I left the core open and added a hook clasp. A bath in Liver of Sulphur and a tumble and job done.
It’s a fairly simple design but hopefully makes the most of Sue’s lovely focal.
Many thanks to Susan for hosting this months challenge – if you would like to see what the rest of the team and our guests created simply follow the links to out blog hop below.
This months Art elements themed design challenge is hosted by Diana Ptaszynski and the theme she chose is insects. It’s been a rather hectic month here and I didn’t think I was going to be able to take part but having spent best part of an hour trying to usher a huge Dragonfly out of the house and the clutches of the cat on Tuesday, I decided this was a sign and I should try and find time to do something.
So this month it’s my turn to host the Art Elements component of the month challenge and I provided all the participants with pendants or cabochons made using cross sections of shells. I can’t wait to see what everyone has come up with. Continue reading “Art Elements – Component of the Month May Reveal.”
I swear someone is stealing days from the months…I can’t believe it’s time for another Component of the Month design challenge reveal already! But it is and the pretties we were give to play with this month come in the form of these gorgeous lampwork focals by Jen Cameron. True to form I forgot to photograph my particular bead but it looks similar to the one back left in this image. Continue reading “Turning Tides – Art Elements Design Challenge”
This months design challenge was set for us by Cathy Spivey-Mendola and featured Amulet bags – you can read Cathy’s original post here if you missed it. I got rather carried away with my makes this month because I love the theme and also because I’ve been unwell for a good part of the month and these were something I could make from my nest on the sofa. I had loads of ideas for making amulets from all sorts of things but in the end I was a bit limited by being incapacitated so I concentrated on two main materials. As there are rather a lot of pieces here I’ll try and keep my words to minimum and let the amulets speak for themselves… Continue reading “Art Elements March Challenge – Amulet Bags”
The Art Elements Component of the Month challenge for February comes courtesy of Jenny Davies-Reazor in the form of these lovely stapled hearts. Not being much of a romantic I’m not a big fan of overtly cute or ‘mushy’ heart art but I do very much like the darker side of these wounded pieces and chose to work with one of the lovely blood-red ones which for once, I remembered to photograph before I started.
I took my inspiration for this challenge from the writing of Alexander Pope: Continue reading “Art Elements Component of the Month Reveal – Hope Springs Eternal”
Well January is over already (it seems 2017 is going to fly by) and it’s time for the first Art Elements design challenge of the year. Hosting this month is Lindsay Starr who provided the AE team and its guests with these wonderful and unique formed leather cabochons.
My first instinct was to do something with an underwater feel as the cabochon I received reminded me of wet rock in pools and I had a star fish cabochon that I thought it would combine well with. However, when I came to start the proportions were all wrong and I couldn’t make them work together. Continue reading “Art Elements Component of the Month – January Reveal.”
So that’s another Christmas over and here we are on the verge of the new year – I hope you’ve all had a wonderful festive season and are full of excitement about what 2017 will bring…
Although 2016 has not done anything particularly horrible to me personally (other than the fact that I will be seeing the new year in from the sofa and toasting it with cold remedies!) I do feel like many of us are carrying the weight of the seismic changes we’ve seen in many areas and sometimes find it hard to stay positive. I have no answer to that other than to say I retain my own sanity through my creative work and interaction with associated communities that are so important to me.
This months Art Elements component challenge was a little different as out components were contributed by a guest designer Kristie Roeder, who provided this gorgeous selection of ceramic and glass pendants. I managed to snag the lovely aqua green one top left.
I really wanted to bead embroider this but it’s a rather large piece and I knew I would get carried away and end up with it being unwearable. So I either had to treat it as decorative art or pare it down somewhat – I chose the latter.
The pendant itself is so stunning it really doesn’t need very much to make it shine so I’ve kept it really simple. The pendant has a loop attached but I decided I wanted to create a beaded bail so I started off by flipping it and adding a lampwork headpin by Jen Cameron to the loop. I then threaded some very fine wire with seed beads and wrapped it around the loop.
The bail was created by threading seed beads onto Fireline and wrapping it around the pendant three times. Add some toning 3mm leather cord, choker length and there you have it…a simple but striking statement piece.
Huge thanks to Kristie for sponsoring this challenge and for the opportunity to design with her work. I hope you will use the links below to check out the designs made by the other participants.
Art Elements Team
Whenever you make things for a living or even as a hobby, it’s inevitable that eventually you’ll end up with an over-abundance of ‘stuff’ that takes over any available space in your home. Unsold stock, test pieces, supplies you couldn’t do without but have never used. This has long been a topic of conversation amongst the team over at Art Elements, so much so in fact that we’ve recently launched a Facebook Destash group called Art Elements Extras.
Many thanks to everyone who took part in the giveaway and for all your lovely comments which I very much appreciate. I’m now delighted to announce that the lucky winners are..
Cathy Mendola and Sally Thake
Congratulations ladies and I will be in touch shortly!
So now that I have this lovely new website I thought I’d better set to and start filling the shop up a bit. This past week has been a marathon of glazing, firing, photographing and listing and I’m completely pooped! It’s been a very busy couple of weeks getting this project up and running but it leaves me with a nice sense of achievement and feeling pretty happy. Now I’d like to share some of that ‘happy’ with you so I’m having a little giveaway…