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 Component of the month comes to you courtesy of Jennifer Stout-Cameron who provided the Art Elements team and our guests with these super funky sugar skull beads. I love these beads and wanted to do something fun in keeping with their quirkiness but, the bright colours are not usually something I would work with so it took some thinking. Much of said thinking revolved around flowers and dangles but I didn’t have quite the right colours and then an idea struck me while rummaging around in my jewellery box.
Well this year there will be no envy and no living vicariously through other people’s photos because, thanks to some of my wonderful friends and AJE team mates I will be heading out to the USA on 18th August for a two week trip which will include BEADFEST. I am actually going to be there in person and I cannot begin to tell you how excited this makes me!!!
I can’t thank these guys enough for their generosity in hosting me and helping me organise this trip…
AJE Beadfesters Susan Kennedy, Linda Landig, (Genea Crivello-Knable
photo-bombing), Karen Totten, Jennifer Stout-Cameron, Jenny
Davies-Reazor and Diana Ptaszynski
Here’s a sneak peek at just a few of the things I have to look forward to including my hosts doing what they do best…
Diana’s Suburban Girl booth from Beadfest 2013
And some of her lovely beads…
Jenny and her booth…
And her fabulous Goddess pendants…I wonder if she has one that gossips…?
And her amazing “Nightmare Insomnia’ beads…
And here’s a selection of gorgeous goodies from some more artisan bead makers…clockwise from the left Joan Miller Porcelain, Staci-Louise Smith – SL Artisan Accents, Genea Crivello-Kable – Genea Beads and Karen Totten – Starry Road Studio.
Green Girl Studios are most definitely on my shopping list…but then who isn’t!
I think there may also be one or two more of my beady friends and customers around that I might just be able to catch up with in person – how fantastic is that…?! And of course, I will be taking a ‘few’ of my own beads with me too – you can’t go visiting friends and not take gifts can you!
I’m sure you’ll hear more from me about this is the coming weeks as I try not to bore everyone to death in my excitement. Now I need to go and pin a calendar on the wall and start crossing the days off…If you’re going to BEADFEST I look forward to seeing you there!
So here we are then, today is the first reveal of three in Lori Anderson’s Bead Soup Blog Party 6 and of the pieces I’ve created with the soup sent to me by my lovely partner Jenny Cameron. When I first opened my parcel from Jenny I found so much and such variety that I had all sorts of ideas racing around in my head for all the things I wanted to do. Inevitably though, life and lack of time intervened and when I look at this picture now I realise I’ve barely scratched the surface. No matter though, the unused soup will stay on my work table and when I have a little free time (something I’ve promised to give myself in August) I will while it away some happy hours creating more and I’ll post it here at a future date.
Now let’s get back to what I did do. Although there were several pieces I would class as a focal I knew straight away that it would be the big red lampwork bead I’d choose – so tactile that I kept picking it up and rolling it in my hands. I love the organic nature of this bead and the way it looks like hot lava is slowly enveloping it. I felt it had a slightly futuristic, urban feel to it and I decided pretty quickly I wanted to use metal with it in some way eventually settling on sterling silver wire and, as far as planning goes that was it. I just sat down, cut three pieces of wire, threaded them through the bead and started bending and twisting. I’ve tried this before and more often that not I’ve ended up with a complete mess but happily, this time the muse was with me and I liked the results. So time for a picture I think – I’ve called this piece ‘Red Nebula’…
I’ve used the first of those three wires to create a yoke to support the bead and the second has been wrapped loosely around the yoke. I had it in my mind to create tendrils with the third wire but it had other ideas and became a kind of frame for the bead. Jenny also sent me some glorious red silk which I’ve wire wrapped and suspended the yoke from using hand forged hook clasps. I felt it needed a little something extra at this point to add a final flourish and I picked some lovely dark pearls from my soup mix threaded onto silver pins – I think that little bit of asymmetry sets it off quite nicely, what do you think?
I don’t find silk easy to work with and I’m fully aware that it’s not very ‘bohemian’ of me to have ironed it, but I like it and although I wasn’t sure at first, this piece has grown on me over the last few days.
So that was the focal sorted – now I had to come up with a design for my clasp, a vintage rhinestone piece that was really going to challenge me. I’ve never, ever created a piece of jewellery that could in anyway be said to have a vintage influence. Not that I have anything against the style, I just tend to see it as pretty and sparkly whereas I’m more rustic and earthy and consequently, I had very little in my bead stash that was an obvious choice to complement the clasp. I did think about going contemporary with the steampunk pieces Jenny sent but these are so new to me me I realised I would need a lot of time to work something through and time was running out. Then I thought maybe rhinestone and black leather (who knows why) but I really wanted to have a go at doing something that at least nodded towards vintage and, after rummaging around in my own jewellery box I found an old pewter brooch that I hadn’t worn for about 20 years and an idea began to form.
Because pewter is soft I was able to cut the pin off the brooch and drill through the mounting blocks so I could attach some jump rings without having to drill into the brooch itself. I was making this piece very late in the day which turned out to be quite fortuitous as a parcel of gorgeous rustic pearls arrived the previous day and they definitely had a look of bygone days about them. I was planning for this to be a bracelet when I started but the balance didn’t feel right so this is what I turned it in to…
In addition to the pearls I’ve used lovely champagne Czech glass
Rivoli beads and sections of antique style chain. I really like the mix
of the brass and silver coloured metals here and I think it adds to the
aged feel. The clasp is too pretty to be hidden away so I’ve offset it
to one side…
I fiddled around with this quite a bit adding dangles and
embellishments but in the end decided less is more – it may not be true
vintage style but it’s my style and even though I think it’s pretty I’d
wear it myself for an occasion!
To me this is the type of necklace that benefits from matching earrings so I made a pair. Jenny’s soup included some lovely little brass beads and some creamy potato pearls which matched perfectly with the Rivoli beads and the chain links to make a very elegant set.
I did also manage to make two extra bracelets in a design that my regular blog readers will have seen a lot of lately (checkout the tutorial page for details); one using another of Jenny’s own lampwork beads and one using the cute little bus token she sent, instead of a button. These will be going to the ‘Global Genes Project, 7000 Bracelets Appeal‘ along with some other bracelets I’ve made recently.
So I hope you like what I’ve done with my bead soup even though there is so much I didn’t use. Just keep your eyes peeled for future posts because there will be with second helpings of bead soup. In the meantime I’d like to thank Jenny for her warmth and generosity as my partner and Lori for another amazing feat of organisation. please hop over and visit Jenny to see what she’s done with the soup I sent her and enjoy the rest of the party visiting the blogs in the list below.
Paige Maxim, Paige Maxim Designs
Pamela Gangler, She Always Loved Pink
And now we come to the unknown element, the materials I’ve never worked with and design styles I have never attempted – Steam Punk, found objects and vintage…where these are concerned I know nothing but I’m so looking forward to changing that.
So here we have my lovely vintage crystal clasp, some big wooden buttons, a glass vial, Steam Punk gears in wood and metal, vintage Swarovski flowers, Mica sheets and washer beads, some cute little brass star beads, a Washington DC bus token and a vintage fabric measuring tape. I am a little nervous when I look at these…the only thing I’ve ever done with a Mica sheet is slump glass on it but as I said, there is a certain frisson of excitement at the thought of working with materials I have no preconceptions of and the freedom that entails.
So there you have my bead soup with all it’s depth of flavour. This will be sitting on my worktable for the rest of the week and hopefully sparking my imagination until next week when the fun will begin.
This parcel got to me in the UK from Indiana in just 4 days and hopefully Jen’s soup will arrive with her soon too. If she likes it half as much as I do this – I’ll be very happy.