AJE Component of the month – November Reveal

The components we got to work with for this months challenge were a pair of the beautiful beaded beads made by the AJE ‘Queen of Seeds’ Kristen Stevens…

I chose a pair of lovely cinnamon coloured beads but I was also fortunate enough to do a little bead swap with Kristen so I actually received a whole selection of beads in beautifully coordinating tones and, because they went so beautifully with one of my patinated bronze leaf connectors I decided to use some of these too.

The beads reminded e of hedgerow fruits in various stages of ripeness and I wanted to try and portray that sense of abundance your get when everything is coming to fruition. I decided on a double strand necklace and combined Kristen’s beads with a selection of matching Czech glass, including some gorgeous vintage bronze faceted glass barrels.

The back of the necklace is made up of 2 strands of farfalle beads in a dark aubergine and olive green and a handmade bronze wire clasp. the final touch is a tiny flower bead hung from the bottom of the leaf connector.

I apologise for the photos not being the best in the world…for some reason I had great difficulty getting ‘unfuzzy’ photos and I can only put it down to my broken ankle…that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.

I hope you’ll join us in our little blog hop to see what the rest of the team and our guest artist did with Kristen’s wonderful beads.

Special Guest
Alice Alice Dreaming
AJE Team
Lesley 


AJE October Component of the Month Reveal

The components for our regular monthly challenge at AJE (Art Jewelry Elelments) this month were these lovely copper clay Ammonite cuffs by
Kristi Bowman – Gruel…
 
This is the piece I got to work with – so beautifully detailed…

Because the cuffs are quite large and fairly weighty I felt the bracelet element needed some heft to it for balance so lampwork beads seemd the way to go. While rummaging for the right beads I came across some chunky sections of chain mail which I’d taken off another piece with a patina that was a perfect match for the focal.

 I wanted to use earthy tones to complement the ancient theme of the ammonites so picked out some gorgeous disc beads by Kaz Baildon with a stone coloured base with flashes of purples, teals and blues.


The structure of the bracelet is fairly simple with the beads wire wrapped to attach them to the chain and focal. To finish of I added one of my own bronze ammonites and some pretty Czech glass charms which pick out the colours in the lampwork beads perfectly.
And here you have the finished piece – quite subtle with Kristi’s lovely focal as the very striking centrepiece.
 

To see what the rest of the team and out guest designers did with their components just click on the links below….

Guests

AJE Team Members

 

Lesley

AJE Component of the Month Reveal – September

Time for another little tour around the blogs of the AJE team members and guests to see what they’ve done with this months component – my own bursting seed pods…
Well the first thing you’ll notice is that the component I’ve used isn’t one of the colourful ones pictured here. When I made these I had an idea in my head for using two caps to create some sort of collar necklace but, by the time I got around to making it much later things had changed. I’d been busy making new autumn stock for the shop and fallen in love with a chunky pine cone pendant which was demanding to be used.
 Part of the attraction of this piece was the natural kiln produced patina and I decided the pod needed to match and so my design was driven towards a very earthy and muted (even for me) palette. I used the pod to cap a ceramic bead from AJE team mate Diana and attached this to the pine cone to create a focal pendant.

I mixed some more of Diana’s beads with some carved ebony beads that I have a passion for and accented them with tiny brass spacers that echo the texture of the pine cone. On one side I added one of my bronze acorn caps and on the other one of LeAnn Weih‘s gorgeous ceramic birds. The beads are strung on waxed linen attached to a couple of textured bronze ring connectors. and finished with a hand forged bronze wire clasp.

I was thinking of using some sari silk at the back but whilst I was rummaging I came across this lovely printed cotton ribbon from Smitten Beads and it was such a perfect match I decided to go with that instead – I really like the folksy feel it gives. I used a double thickness and a simple capped rivet to join the ends on the underside at the back.

And this is the finished design…

Since the Beatles song ‘Norwegian Wood’ just happened to come on the radio as I was finishing the piece I took it as a sign and decided to make that the name.

I hope you like my design – looking back on the past few COM’s I have noticed a certain similarity in my designs so I’ll have to try and shake it up a bit next time…but I’m happy with this one.

To see what everyone else has done with their components just use the links below to visit their blogs:

Guest designers:

Erin Prais-Hintz – Tesori Trovati
Cate – Fulgorine
Claire Lockwood – Something To Do With Your Hands

AJE team

Jennifer Cameron

Jenny Davies-Reazor
Francesca Watson
Melissa Meman
Linda Landig
Susan Kennedy
Rebekah Payne
Caroline Dewison
Lesley Watt                 You are here!

Have fun!

Lesley

AJE Earring Challenge – Reveal 17, Weeks 35 & 36

Shockingly it’s September 15th, this is my first post of the month and I don’t know which is worse – the fact that I’ve not posted anything or the fact that two weeks seem to have slipped without me noticing…time must have sped up surely?

Blogging is not the only thing I’ve be remiss with and I’m way behind on the AJE Earring Challenge which has it’s latest reveal today. I have however managed to make three new pairs to at least plug the gap a little…

I’ve been feeling the urge to play with sheet metal of late and this autumnal pair feature leaves from my first attempt at fold forming – heat and hammer is a very satisfying combination I must say. The lampwork beads are by Caroline Rhodes.

I love red and black together as the contrast is always very striking so for this pair I teamed the lovely ceramic flowers from Karen Totten with ‘Fallen Angel’ black brass and some tiny Czech glass beads. The name was inspired by the lyrics of the song ‘Red and Black‘ from Les Miserables.

This final pair are just full of fun with the lovely polka dot etched lampwork beads by Kaz Baildon dressed up with some handmade twisted bronze  rings and bead caps by Lisa Quinn and my own bronze ear wires.

All earrings will be listed in my Etsy shop shortly but feel free to contact me if interested.

You can check out what the other challenge participants have been making by visiting the AJE Earring Challenge Pinterest page and you can also see who is blogging about there designs on today’s AJE Blog post.


Lesley

AJE Component of the Month September…

I’m hosting the monthly component challenge over at AJE in September and I’ll be giving away one of my bronze bursting seed pods in lovely rich autumnal shades to 3 lucky readers…

So, If you fancy throwing you hat in the ring just pop over to the AJE blog and leave a comment on today’s post – winners will be chosen at random on Sunday night.

Have a great weekend all.

Lesley

AJE Component of the month – May reveal

Well here we are on the cusp of a new month and it’s time to see what the AJE team and its guest designers have done with this month’s component – these gorgeous ruffle beads courtesy of Sue Kennedy of Sue Beads…aren’t they pretty.

The bead I received was the egg yolk yellow and turquoise one at the bottom right of the picture. I don’t work with yellow very much but the turquoise is such a lovely foil for it and this bead has such a sunny disposition I couldn’t help but smile. This was obviously going to be a summer piece and after playing around with a few ideas I decided on a necklace – a very simple design because I think it lets the colours and the shapes sing.

I managed to find some lampwork pumpkin beads that were a perfect match and wired the beads together with bronze wire to create a yoke. I used some pretty little Magnesite rice beads strung on waxed linen to hang the yoke from and completed the necklace with a handmade bronze hook clasp

And that’s it – nothing fussy or flashy but very eye catching I think…

While I was working on this the John Denver song ‘Sunshine on my shoulders’ kept running through my head so I took this as a sign and named the necklace after it.

Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy
Sunshine in my eyes can make me cry
Sunshine on the water looks so lovely
Sunshine almost always makes me high

Turquoise pumpkin beads by Tillerman Beads, yellow and orange pumpkin beads by Pebble Dreams.

We haven’t seen much sun here in the UK yet but appropriately we do have blue sky and sunshine this morning so maybe my necklace could be the harbinger of summer – you never know…

Many thanksto Sue for the beads and you can see what the other participants have done with their beads by clicking on the inks below and I hope you all have a happy and sunny weekend.
 

Guest designers

                                       Jo Tinley http://daisychaindesignsjewellery.blogspot.com/

Lesley 



AJE Component of the Month Reveal – March

The components we had to work with this month were these lovely little hollow copper lentil beads made by Joanne Tinley of Daisy Chain Extra fame.
The fates seemed to be conspiring against me for this months challenge though…I always knew I was going going to struggle for time with all the things going on but this was exacerbated by the fact that the first bead Jo sent me never arrived and the second only made it here late last week…all a little frustrating when you think that Jo only lives about 25 miles from me!
The upshot of this was that when I finally set to work yesterday I had no option but to keep things simple to make sure I got the piece completed but, in the end that turned out to be no bad thing. Jo’s bead is fairly small and as I wanted it to have some ‘presence’ I felt the piece need to be quite delicate. 
Since I’ve been working with bronze clay I’ve not used copper very much but after rummaging in the depths of my bead stash I found this pretty patinated copper pendant from Leann Weih of Summers Studio that I’ve had for years. It’s quite light so I thought it would sit well with Jo’s bead without overpowering it.
Jo also sent us some tiny charms with our beads and I combined these with the bead and the pendant to form a long focal element which I hung from a simple fine copper trace chain. I actually liked this just as it was but while I have no qualms about keeping things simple, I felt I hadn’t really done much for a challenge piece. So after staring at it for a couple of hours I decided to add some light embellishment to the chain in the form of tiny turquoise rice beads and this was the final result.

I think there is a nice balance to the focal section which gives each piece equal prominence and I love the continuation of the chain with the heart dangles..

The necklace is actually quite long but I’ve pulled it back in this last picture to get a better perspective.

All in all I’m pretty pleased with it – it doesn’t break any new ground but it’s light, comfortable and eminently wearable and most of all, it think it does show of the beauty of Jo’s bead. I hope you like it too.

You can see what the other participants made using the links below.

Carolyn (Carolyn’s Creations)
Jess Green
Niky Sayers
Jo Tinley

Jennifer Cameron
 Jenny Davies-Reazor
Susan Kennedy
Linda Landig
Melissa Meman
Kristen Stevens
Francesca Watson
Lesley Watt



Lesley

AJE Earring Challenge Weeks 5 & 6/52

I’m hosting the AJE Earring challenge reveal today and had a great time looking through the designs on out Pinterest board to choose just a few favourites. There is such a variety of designs and it seems like everyone is having fun with this – I certainly hope so! I was really pleased with my own earrings for weeks 5 & 6 – sometimes I’m a bit unsure but happily there were no doubts this time round.

For this first pair I used some 22 gauge oxidised bronze wire to create macrame pina and suspended some beautiful Borosilicate lampwork beads from Brendan Blake from then. A couple of little Czech glass teardrops add a final flourish and voila…

I just haven’t found the time to list these yet and I’m not sure I’m going to either…

My second pair on the other hand have already been snapped up and will winging there way to the USA tomorrow morning. I’ve just bought a whole load of new  texture mats and wanted to try them out and these beautiful patinated seahorse charms were the result. They’re quite big and very striking so all I’ve added are some tiny etched handmade beads by Radiant Mind ans some hand forged wires to complete the look…

Pop on over to the AJE blog to see the the other participants entries and don’t forget to join us for reveal 4 on Sunday 3rd March. happy designing folks!



Lesley

AJE Component of the Month – January Reveal

This month’s components were dished up by Karen Totten in the form of these delicious Pithivier style beads. Gorgeously crimped and puffed, it was very hard to pick just one but in the end I chose the lovely verdigris one top centre.

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As soon as I got my hands on it I new I wanted to team it up with a bronze piece I’d been working on and create a double focal pendant for a necklace. My piece has a very organic feel to it and not only does it pick up the brown tones of the bead, there is also an echo of the leaf motif in the structure of the bronze element too.

I had some heavily veined turquoise nuggets that I thought might be a good match and indeed they were. I love the contrast of these two colours and decided to stick to this limited palette.  I’m having a bit of an affair with wooden beads at the moment and picked out some of my favourite tiger ebony twisted facet and rounds to add some contrast.

My initial thoughts had been for a long necklace with chain but I ended up stringing the beads on linen cord with some tiny bronze cube spacers. The design is fairly simple as I didn’t want to detract from the focal and asymmetrical patterns seemed to do just that. A simple hand forged bronze hook clasp completes the piece.

I played around with the length for a while and eventually settled on quite a
short piece by my standards with the pendant sitting just below
the collar bone where it has maximum impact. I really like this necklace – it’s so wearable and I love the colours and yes… I’m keeping it for myself! Thank you Karen!

To see what the rest of the AJE team and our guest designers have created just use the links  below.
Happy hopping.

Lesley