Art Elements Component of the Month – August Reveal

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┬áso 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”

Re-birth of the Sun – design Challenge Reveal

It seems like an awfully long time since I launched this winter AJE design challenge and I have to say I would like nothing more than to see some sustained sun right now…  so far winter in the UK has be unrelentingly grey and wet! But never mind – a blog hop of designs with a sun theme is a pretty good substitute and if you missed the original post you can find it here.

I have to admit that although this theme was my choice it did give me something of a challenge in that I struggle to work with yellows…a bit of a hinderance when it come to the sun. The first thing I did was make some ceramic pendants to put in my shop and made myself break out some yellows and golds for the glazes. Although though I didn’t use any of these in my own design there may be one or too appearing in the blog hop.

For my next design I turned to bead embroidery – my favourite past-time of the moment  to create this brooch. I used one of my own cabochons featuring the spiral symbol often associated with the sun, accented with beads in shades of gold and bronze and with a picot edging to give the effect of sun rays.
Next up is a pair of earrings featuring a tribal sun design which I’ve etched into hand cut and domed copper discs. The beaded drops feature faceted Citrine and Labradorite beads – simple but pretty.

For my final piece I wanted something a bit more substantial so I decided to make a necklace using a technique I learnt from Jenny Davies-Reazor which combines a cold set bezel and polymer clay. The focal of this piece features one of my own porcelain face charms set in a bezel formed from two Vintaj flower blanks. The bezel is attached to a textured polymer clay pendant which has been painted with acrylic and sanded back to create the effect of sky, clouds and the sun’s aura.

Because the focal is quite detailed I wanted to stay fairly simple with the necklace so I chose to go with inky blue/purple pearls interspersed with gold seed beads to pick up the hues in the pendant. Little brass sun discs add accents at each end of the necklace.

A crescent moon cut from sheet bronze and a Hematite star charm hanging beneath the sun signify it returning to the dominant position and another star charm hanging from the end of an extension chain completes the piece. It took me a while to get this one the way I wanted it but I’m really pleased with how it turned out in the end.

Please excuse the less than brilliant photo’s – I like to take them in natural light and it’s been in very short supply of late! I’d just like to thank everyone who has taken part in this challenge and I hope you now join me in visiting the rest of the participants to see what they’ve created – just click on the links below.
Guest Designers

AJE Team
Lindsay Starr

Lesley

Clearing the Decks for a Creative New Year…

2015 has been a pretty good year for me…

The first half of the year saw me really finding my voice with my ceramic bead designs and having jewellery designs published in the wonderful Belle Armoire magazine. Then after a fabulous and creative summer break with good friends in the USA I’ve been trying my hand at some new things and have found several new passions – not least bead embroidery, felting and mixed media decorative art.

So what’s in store for the coming year…? Well hopefully much more of the same. I really want to immerse myself in these new activities  and see what comes of it but that doesn’t mean I’ll be giving up on bead or jewellery making. In  fact I’m hoping for some cross-pollination that will allow me to come up with some original ideas for my own jewellery and bead designs.

For practicalities sake though this is going to involve some reorganisation and re-branding to make everything a bit more cohesive. To this end I am planning to spend the next few weeks creating a new standalone shop as a single outlet for my beads, jewellery and decorative art. It’s early days yet but I’m very excited to get started on this new venture.

In the interim both my Etsy Shops (see links at the top of the blog) will remain open but there will be minimal listing of new pieces. Since I don’t want to be transferring stock from one shop to another I’ve decided to end 2015 and start 2016 with a clearance sale in my bead shop and everything is now available with a whopping 40% discount – just used coupon code CLEAR40 and the discount will be applied at check out.

I’m also planning to have some jewellery destash events in January so keep an eye out here and on my Facebook page (or sign up for my newsletter using the link at the right of this page) for news of that…and there may be some beady goody bags up for grabs at some point – who knows.

So those are my plans for the early part of 2016…what about you – what exciting things do you have planned? Whatever they may be, big or small I hope your New Year celebrations are full of joy and that the coming year finds you healthy, happy and wise – and creative too of course!

Happy New Year my friends

Lesley

Creative Rejuvenation…

Yes – don’t faint…I’m actually writing a blog post for the first time in over 2 months! Considering my aim to post more this year I’m heading for a pretty epic fail by year end. It’s always difficult over the summer months with preparation for and enjoyment of holidays which occupied me for most of August and early September. Then the minute I got back from a fantastic trip to the USA I went down with a particularly nasty virus that laid me low for two weeks and I’m really only just back to fighting fit.

I’ve also been doing some thinking about where I’m going with my work over this period as I’ve reached a bit of a hiatus and have had the feeling for some time that I need to pep things up a little… I still love making beads and jewellery but I do feel a little stale.

My summer vacation was spent with creative friends and we spent a lot of time playing with new techniques and trying activities I’ve done little or none of before.

My good friend Jenny Davies-Reazor taught me how to bead embroider cabochons and I’ve taken to this like a duck to water. These are the pieces I did while I was away…

Cabochon by Lisa Peters-Russ

And these are pieces I’ve done since I got home, this being the one thing I was able to do while I was feeling poorly and something which I find extremely relaxing – not to mention addictive.

Cabochon by Joan Miller Porcelain

Cabochons by Diana Ptazsynski, Sue kennedy and Caroline Dewison
Wooden tile by Marie-Noel Voyer

Wooden tile by Marie-Noel Voyer

I was also lucky enough to have a needle-felting play date with the lovely Marsha Neal where she taught us to make these suer cute pumpkins.

Marsha also works at Serafina Fiber Art and needless to say I came home with a big stash of beautiful wools to play with at home.

The best thing about learning these two techniques is that I’ve been inspired to combine them to create some mixed media pieces which I’m really excited about. I used to do some traditional embroidery in a past life and like these idea of adding this into the mix too…

Embroidered cushion circa 1990

These pieces are mostly non-jewellery and I’m not sure where I’m going with them but I’m having fun exploring the possibilities…

Beaded and felted brooch made with a pendant by Tree Wings Studio

Ceramic cabochon by Jenny-Davies-Reazor

This is a work -in- progress depicting my interpretation of an autumn goddess and will be one of a series of seasonal goddesses…

Ceramic cabochon by Jenny Davies-Reazor

Another work-in-progress test piece waiting to be embellished with beads…

Polymer clay pendant by Roberta Warshaw

For the time being I’m happy playing around with these ideas to see where they take me but then of course I need to think about what I’m going to do with the. Both my Etsy shops need overhauling and probably moving to another platform altogether so there is a lot to do in the coming months. I’ll still be working on beads and jewellery too but you might be seeing a lot more experimental work form me. I will also make a concerned effort to blog more frequently and keep you posted on developments.

Until then – enjoy the rest of your weekend and enjoy the glories of this beautiful autumn season.

Lesley

Preview – 13th July shop Update…

Well it’s taken a little while but I’ve finally got the first batch of goodies from my shiny new and very large kiln finished and listed in my Etsy shop. It’s been quite an adjustment from the little kiln I’m used to but everything seems to be coming out as I’d hoped and I’m very happy with the kiln. Here’s a little preview of what’s to come in tonight’s (Monday 13th July 7pm BST) shop update…maybe something will tempt you…
Organic focal sets
Floral focal sets
Lunar hares…
Bead Sets
Charms and connectors
I’m off to The USA for a holiday next month so this will be the last big update I do until after that so the next one will probably be late September. I will also be closing my order book to commissions shortly so don’t miss out if you see something you fancy.

Hope to see you later.

Lesley