Hello there it’s been a while and I hope everyone is keeping well during these strange times we’re living through.
I’ve been having a good sort out of my studio whilst I’ve been locked down and as a result have just listed a lot of Art Beads for Destash in my shop…lots of ceramic and lampwork beads at great prices. Since our wonderful medical staff and carers are doing so much for us at the moment I’ll be donating all the proceeds from these bead sales (excl. shipping) to NHS Charities Together so I hope you’ll take a look. you can get straight to the Destash here.
So another month is over as 2020 slip by at a pace and that means it’s time for another theme challenge reveal. This month our host it Jennifer Cameron and her chosen theme is letters – very interesting because it has multiple interpretations.
I wasn’t sure where to go with this one at first but I was about to start reading this book at the time so I decided to see if there was anything about it that sparked an idea. The book is a collection of letters from celebrities and members of the public to the world, addressing the climate crisis we find ourselves in.
As it happens I didn’t have to read very far as it was the very first letter from 11 year old Emily Trenouth-Wood that caught my eye. I loved the way she used the letters of the word earth to pick out adjectives to describe it. It got me to thinking about the words I would pick and like Emily I came up with some wonderfully positive affirmations of this great planet of ours but, being just a ‘little’ older and a lot more cynical than she, some very negative descriptions also came to mind.
I decided to borrow Emily’s idea for my first stitched piece to pose a choice to the inhabitants of earth. I printed a monotone image of the world onto some cotton and stitched my word choices on to it in very simplistic style and finished of with a stark ‘you decide’. Maybe not the ‘prettiest’ of artworks but I hope it gets the message across. Many thanks to Emily for the inspiration.
For my second piece I decided to just have some fun. I started to think of letters as simple marks just like those we make when we create art. That’s all they are when all said and done even if some clever soul thousands of years ago organised them in to a method of written and verbal communication. I dug out a cheap letter set that was lurking at the back of a cupboard and had a play around to see what I could do with them.
In the end I went for one of my ‘drippy flower’ paintings and used some of the stamps to embellish them instead of the pens I would normally use. Hardly high art but a frivolous and fun way to interpret Jen’s theme!
Many thanks to Jen for giving us this challenge, please join our blog hop using the links below to see how the other participants interpreted the theme.
If you’re a regular follower of mine you’ll have noticed that it’s been quite a while since I made any new jewellery or components. For many creative people there comes a time when you become a little jaded with the things you’ve been devoting yourself too and you have to either take a break or try out alternative options. This is exactly what happened to me so I diverted my attention to textile art and painting to try and rejuvenate my artistic passions… so far it’s working and I’m having a great time making new creative discoveries.
Whilst I would never say never, I don’t plan to resume making components or jewellery in the near future, at least not in bulk so this seems like a good opportunity to have a spring clean in my shop before I think about listing some of my new work. So for this holiday weekend only all orders for jewellery and/or components for £20 and over will qualify for a huge 50% discount – just use coupon code SPRINGCLEAN50 at checkout and the discount will be applied automatically. Please note: the discount does not apply to greetings cards. The sale will end at midnight (GMT) on Monday 6th May so don’t miss out.
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.
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.
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”→
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.
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.
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”→