This month’s Art elements theme challenge was chosen by Claire and in choosing white she gave us a very seasonal challenge and great scope to work with which at this time of year is no bad thing. Since December is such a busy month I decided to kill two birds with one stone and use the theme in some of my gift making. My efforts are mostly off-whites and creams since I think bright whites are quite hard to work with and wear.
First up was an Arctic hare ornament I made as a gift for a friend… made from felt and embroidered with a folk art design. Simple but effective and I think he was appreciated.
I was very much taken with the bead woven earring tutorial Marsha posted just before Christmas and made several pairs as gifts including this lovely winter white and bronze combination.
Having got a couple of quick makes under my belt I did go back to an idea that’s been percolating in my mind for quite a while now. This is my mothers wedding veil which is getting on for 70 years old and made of a very fine silk tulle with embroidered floral motifs. The tulle is full of holes and disintegrating rapidly but the flowers are still in good condition so I’ve been wanting to do something to preserve what I can.
I’ve been thinking of creating a piece of visual art by combining the floral motifs with other textiles and embellishing it with some of my own embroidery to pull together the generations but I’ve not yet been able to make up my mind exactly what I want to do. Under the circumstances I decided trying to rush something through for this challenge in such a manic month would not be a great idea so I’m leaving it until I have more time.
I did however think it would be an opportunity to play around a bit and just see how I could work with it in a simpler form which might in turn help when I come to a more complex piece. The veil is pretty fragile so I cut around one of the flower sections leaving some of the silk tulle intact and pinned it gently to a piece of linen. I then found I was able to hand stitch the embroidered sections to the linen and then snip and pull the tulle away quite easily.
I did this with a couple of sections of embroidery and them embellished them with some tiny seed beads to add some extra texture.
I then made these up into lined draw string pouches and used them as gift bags for my sister-in-law’s Christmas gifts. We’ve been friends since the age of 11 and she knew my mum for many years so it was nice to be able to give them to someone for whom they would have some meaning. She loved them and is using them to store jewellery.
Hopefully in the new year I can find some time to sit down and plan a project to incorporate and preserve more of the veil.
Many thanks to Claire for inspiring us with this theme. If you’s like to see what the other participants created please join us on out blog hop using the links below.
So this month the Art Elements challenge theme was picked by Laney and she plumped for Stars – very fortuitous for me. Around this time of year I usually make some bead embroidered Christmas ornaments for friends and family and since stars are a traditional festive icon I decided to kill two birds with one stone.
The ornaments are all designed around my own ceramic cabochons with bead palettes picked to match. So my post is very short on words this month but hopefully the pretty pictures make up for that…please enjoy!
Many thanks to Laney for picking a theme that kick-started me into starting my festive projects. To see what the rest of the participants have created for the theme please join our blog hop using the link below.
Art Elements Team
This months design challenge From Art Elements is hosted by Karen Totten and she chose to go with Petroglyphs as her theme. petroglyphs are images carves or engraved in rocks – usually thought of as, but not necessarily old or prehistoric.
After some consideration I decided to use embroidery as my medium for this challenge. I did some eco rust dying on my art retreat in the US in the summer and I though this pieces was evocative of sandstone rocks and would therefore make a good backdrop. Continue reading “Art Elements October Theme Challenge – Petroglyphs”
This months Art Elements design challenge is hosted by the lovely Jennifer Cameron and for her theme she chose seed pods. I’ve used these as inspiration for my work a number of times in the past and I started off with an array of ideas for projects in various mediums. However, for one reason or another I’ve been in a particularly uncreative frame of mind this month. Heatwaves are not helpful as the hotter it gets the slower I go eventually grinding to a halt altogether. Anyway, to cut a long story short I got to this past weekend with nothing sorted so I had to curb my ambitions and cut my cloth accordingly…or rather my polymer clay as that’s what I decided to go with. Continue reading “Art Elements July Theme Challenge Reveal – Seed Pods”
So another month quietly and swiftly slips by and once more it’s time for a reveal for the latest Art Elements theme challenge hosted this month by Sue Kennedy. Sue chose sunflowers as her theme and these bright and bold beauties turned out to be the perfect pick for the heatwave we’re currently experiencing in the UK…no room for delicate blooms here right now! Continue reading “Art Elements June theme Challenge Reveal – Sunflowers”
Well 2018 is certainly racing away with itself and here we are at the end of May already and that means it’s time for another Art Elements theme challenge.
I have the privilege of hosting this month’s challenge and when I decided on Tide Pools as the theme I had an image in my head of a big textile piece full of colour and texture and covered in lots of beach finds. Then I blinked and found myself left with only two days before the reveal and nothing started yet…why does life do that so often? It can’t be anything to do with my (lack of) organisation can it. Anyway, I had to downscale my plans and started by pulling out art beads and looking for anything suitable for the subject. I could have spent half a day on this but since after just five minutes I had a tray full I decided it was probably best to stop there. Continue reading “Art Elements May Theme Challenge Reveal – Tide Pools”
It’s Challenge time again over at Art Elements and this month Jenny hosted the challenge and picked Horses as here theme. As soon as this theme came up I knew exactly what my them was going to be – The White Horse of Uffington. Continue reading “Art Elements Theme Challenge – Horses.”
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.
Continue reading “Art Elements Component of the Month Reveal – It’s all in the Runes.”
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.
This was a fun project to work on so many thanks to Laney for the opportunity and I hope you’ll join in with our blog hop to see what everyone else has made using the links below.
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.
Continue reading “Art Elements Design Challenge June Reveal – Insects”
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”