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…
Yes, it’s true…after announcing twelve months ago that I was planning to rebrand my business and launch a new shop I’ve finally got my act together and done it!
Six years ago I gave up my day job and launched my jewellery business.
Naming the business was no easy thing but while I was searching for inspiration online I came across this description of the Greek goddess THEA:
“THEA was the Greek goddess of sight and the lights of the sky as personified by her children Helios, Selene and Eos – goddesses of the sun, moon and dawn. She also had dominion over gems and precious metals and their inherent light.”
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.
Welcome to the 2016 Art Charm Exchange and Auction organised by the talented and indefatigable Jennifer Cameron in support of ‘Beads of Courage’ a charity providing innovative, arts-in-medicine supportive care programs for children coping with serious illness, their families and the health care providers who care for them.
‘The Program is a resilience-based intervention designed to support and strengthen children and families coping with serious illness. Through the program children tell their story using colorful beads as meaningful symbols of courage that commemorate milestones they have achieved along their unique treatment path’.
This month’s AJE monthly design challenge is hosted by Caroline Dewison and is all about trees. The image above is of a historic avenue of beech trees at Kingston Lacy in Dorset and is one of my favourite places. Originally 365 trees were planted (one for each day of the year) and they cover a two mile stretch of road which is pure joy to drive at any time of year. Some of the old trees are now beginning to show signs of distress so the National Trust are planting new trees to the side of these beauties so that they failing trees can eventually be replaced.
So today is the reveal day for the latest AJE design challenge and this month it’s all about headpins. I have a good collection of these little pretties and it seems I’m not the only one who is enamoured – just take a look at the participants list below…
Today I am very pleased to be hosting the AJE Component of the Month reveal which features my fossilised pebble pendants.
Needless to say I did my usual trick of forgetting to take a photo of my own pieces so I’ve had to crop them out of the bigger image. Since I had a couple of spares I decided to have a go at two designs and fortunately the two were sat next to each other.
I decided to go with a beading project this month and since I was short on time I just went with the flow and let the beads take me where they would. I started with one of my own cabochons with a floral motif and created a bead bezel in matching colours. From there I added Czech glass flower and leaf beads and I was thinking at this point it might turn into a brooch. But as the shape developed I started to think more in terms of a pendant so I added some loops to the edging.
This was all feeling a bit heavy and solid so i added some fringing along the bottom edge to give some sense of movement and airiness…much better I think.
As the bead work is so detailed I’ve kept the necklace part very simple with watercolour chiffon silk ribbon and the final result is this necklace which I’ve called “Garden Party”. Quite a different style for me but I’m pretty happy with how it turned out.
Please use the links below to see how our summer themed challenge inspired the other participants.
These are the selection Sue sent me – aren’t they cute…?
I was also keen to add some sort of accent to the bottom of the amulet so I drilled an extra hole in the bottom and set about wiring it up along with the bead which I attached with a length of brass chain…so far so good.
For me amulets tend to call for long necklaces and I decided to go with bronze chain but to give it some more depth and interest and to support the theme, I went for one of my favourite techniques and wove waxed linen threaded with tiny pearls through the chain.
At this point I felt I needed to add some embellishment for a bit more impact. I was thinking of this necklace as something a mermaid would wear to keep her treasures close so I added a cluster of dangles made up from bronze charms, pearls, Citrine, Ocean Jasper and Czech glass, all of which pick up the subtle tones of the amulet. I’m still thinking about what to put inside the amulet…
And that was it – job done and ‘Mermaid’s Treasure’ was complete! It’s not the easiest piece to photograph well and personally I think it looks much prettier in real life.
The past month has run away with me somewhat so I didn’t manage to get around to making components for this challenge. Instead I picked out this lovely Milagro pendant of Jenny’s and decided to work with that.
Milagro is the Spanish word for miracle and ‘Eyes’ are a popular subject for these folk charms symbolising the concept of watching. They are often attached to an image of a deceased person as a representation of the spirit of that person is watching over and defending others from spirits from the land of the dead, or pleading their case before the saints and the angels.
In my stash I also had one of these prettty angel charms by Green Girl Studios and I thought that combined with Jenny’s pendant this would depict the ‘watching’ concept well. Both pieces carry legends and the words ‘strength’ and ‘safe’ seem very appropriate.
|Green girl Studios|
I bought the striped ethnic beads from Bead Fest last year and liked the way they picked up the colours from the Milagro and the patina of the charm when strung simply with tiny seed beads.
The necklace is finished with a simple hook clasp and an single accent bead above the charm.
Now I have to say these were quite a challenge for me since bling is not really my thing. I tend much more to the earthy and subdued and my inclination for anything sparkly is to treat it very simply and just hang it from a chain where it speaks for itself…but that didn’t fell quite right for a challenge.
So I was trying to thing of something that would better fit my aesthetic and still showcase Diana’s component and decided to try something with leather. I remembered a tutorial I had saved that involved loosely weaving leather cord into a necklace and decided to have a go at that. As the weave is quite loose I wasn’t sure if it would work but being made from aluminium jump rings the Phaedra is very light and it did work a treat. So in the end I did simply hang it from a necklace but I think it has a bit more impact than a chain!
I was fortunate to have a number of Phaedra’s in different colours and I chose to go with red because it worked best with the very dark blue of the leather. The combination wasn’t the easiest to photograph to get both elements captured accurately either so my apologies for the less than brilliant photographs.
I’m really keen to see what the other participants have made this month so I hope you’ll join me on our little blog hop via the links below:
It suddenly occurred to me that if I turned some of these into a bracelet then they would be there to see and touch whenever I was wearing it…almost like worry beads I guess. I pulled out half a dozen of the blue cream beads because they pair well with my daily uniform of jeans and would therefore get lots of wear. It’s a fairly simple design with the beads wire wrapped and linked to each other and I’ve interspersed them with labradorite dangles to give some fluidity and movement to the piece.
I’m pretty happy with it and am keen now to do something with the rest of Tracie’s beads.
I wash also hoping to have a third piece finished for this challenge but life intervened so this beaded piece with a wonderful focal by Birgitta Legonkou is a work in progress. The theme for this is serenity and I’ll come back and share it when I do get finished.