Another Milestone and a Giveaway…

2013 has been a pretty good year for me so far and I’m delighted to be able to celebrate the fact that THEA Elements has now passed the 2000 sales mark in just a little over 18 months. I’m gobsmacked by this and I’ve said it before and will continue to say I am immensely grateful to everyone who has supported and encouraged me throughout this period. So in the time honoured tradition I’m having a giveaway to say thank you. Since I’m celebrating 2 thousand sales there 2 prizes up for grabs…

First up  is a little collection of my bronze components with a bit of an autumnal feel. There is a  lovely sea urchin pendant that’s been enameled with glass frit, a leaf skeleton clasp, a pair of maple leaf headpins and a pair of bronze scroll ear wires by made by the lovely Lisa Quinn…Think you could do something with these…?

The second prize is a pair of my wire macrame earrings featuring lovely etched lampwork beads by Sue Priest, accented with Czech glass and oxidised copper wire and hung from hypo-allergenic Niobium ear wire. I love the soft muted colours of and have called them ‘After the Rain’.

So,
two lucky people will walk away with one of these prizes each and it
could be you because all you have to do to enter is leave a comment on
this post. But there are are lots of ways you can increase your chances
of winning too… Do any of the following and leave an additional comment each time and you will get an extra entry for each one:
  • Share this giveaway on your own blog.
  • Share this giveaway on your Facebook pages, Google+, Twitter etc.
  • Become a new follower of ‘The Gossiping Goddess’ – see sidebar.
  • Become a follower of my Facebook page.
  • Follow me on Pinterest
  • Like my Etsy shops THEA jewellery and THEA Elements.
  • Anything else of you can think of to spread the word.
Don’t forget to leave a separate comment for each method to maximise your chances though!

The giveaway will close at 8am BST (UK time) on Wednesday 25th September 2013 and I will randomly select and announce the winners later in the day.
So
all that remains is for me to once again say a huge thank you to
everyone who has made 2013 such a great year so far and long may it continue…oh – and good luck with the giveaway!
Lesley




Come Up and See My Etchings….


I’ve been a poor blogger of late… the summer seems to be flying by at a rate of knots and at times I’ve felt like I haven’t really achieved much since the studio conversion was finished. This last week though, that seems to have changed as the last of my ‘stuff’ has finally found its way into the new studio which is now looking far more like a workspace – yes, it’s a mess!
You may remember that last October I went on an etching course and I’ve been itching to give it another try ever since. Well this week I finally managed to get all my kit together and set too…

I’ve been working with copper sheet and using ‘Edinburgh Etch’ which is a mix of Ferric Chloride and Citric Acid. As it’s been a while since I did this I decided to just repeat some of the things I’d done on the course to refresh myself on the process, before trying anything new…as always I have a myriad of ideas in my head!  
The first technique I used was PNP (press and peal) paper which you laser print your images onto and then use an iron to heat transfer them to the metal. As you can see here the printed element adheres to the metal and creates a resist.

Even the left over paper is pretty and I can’t help thinking there must be way to use that rather than just consigning it to the rubbish bin…any ideas?

The second method I used was a simple craft sticker which the etchant can’t penetrate…

I covered the backs of the pieces with tape to stop them being etched and then suspended them face down in the bath of etchant. There are number of ways of doing this but the way I use is to stick a piece of packing foam to the back with double sided tape which then makes the metal float on the surface of the etchant and also doubles up as a handle to easily lift the items from the bath to check progress or remove.

As I had a bit of a production line going I wrote the times on the foam so I could keep track of each piece. When they came out of the etchant I dropped them into a solution of Bicarbonate of Soda to neutralise the etchant and then removed the resist – the PNP comes off with Acetone and the stickers simply peel off. And after a good clean up this is what they look like…

These images are from french Art Deco book plates and becasue they are old they have a certain amount of staining around them which creates and interesting border and texture to the background which I really like. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with these pieces yet but here I’ve given them a wash of alcohol ink so you can see the designs more clearly…


And this is the finished butterfly cuff made with the craft sticker which has been oxidised and polished… works really well  doesn’t it?

This is another Deco design which I’ve made into a pendant with an integral bezel…

 And some more cuffs…

I had great fun doing this and it’s always energising to do something different and get some variety into your routine. I have lots more images I want to work with and will be listing etched pieces in my shop very soon so I hope you like them as much as I do.
In the meantime it’s Friday so I hope everyone has a great weekend and I’ll keep you posted on the new work.

Lesley

Bead Shop Liverpool – New blog and Jewellery Challenge…

My friend’s over at ‘The Bead Shop Liverpool’ have just started a new blog and they’re  kicking things off with a Jewellery challenge. So if you fancy creating something inspired by this beautiful fairy tale illustration by Janie Grohman why not pop over to the BSL blog and take a look… You’re welcome to interpret the Fairy Tale Theme in any way that you like so you can let your imagination run wild!
At the end of the month all the entries will be shared on the blog and one winner will be chosen at random to receive a £15 voucher code
for The Bead Shop Liverpool’s new website. There will be a new challenge every month so it’s well worth signing up to the Bead Shop Liverpool blog to make sure you don’t miss out – you can find out all the details here.
I’m looking forward to seeing how everyone interprets this lovely illustration later in the month!
Good Luck!
Lesley
 

Brit Pack Beaders – Challenge 3 Reveal

Oil on canvas, dated 1870, 109.2 x 90.5cm, Aberdeen Art Gallery & Museums Collections

Welcome to another Brit Pack Beader’s design challenge reveal which, as you may recall required us to create jewellery inspired by this painting chosen by Bo Hulley. The painting depicts Jane Morris, the wife of William Morris posed as
Mariana from Shakespeare’s ‘Measure For Measure’ a women deserted by her
betrothed (click link on picture for more information).

And this is what we had to work with in addition to items from our own bead stashes…

The thing that struck me about this painting is how dominant the  rich and
sumptuous textiles are in the composition and I wanted to try an evoke something of this in my design. I decided on a necklace using the focal bead and started with one of Diane Turton’s ‘Raggy Ribbons’ which matched perfectly with the deep brick reds. The ribbon is quite wide and when threaded through a heavy Vintaj chain it gave a lovely shaggy effect.

 I wired the focal and then created a chain with the bronze rings I contributed to the challenge (plus some extras since I was fortunate enough to have some!) and more of the Vintaj chain. I added a length of finer chain to the focal and hung the bronze charm from this. At this point it became a question of how much more I embellished the necklace. I wanted to keep the symmetry so I couldn’t work the clasp in other than at the back which seemed a waste so I used a simple hook with another of the bronze rings. I did play around with more dangles to the front but I’m a ‘less is more’ kind of person so in the end I settled for just two blue drops to highlight the focal. It does have something of a chain of office about it but I think I like it none-the-less…see what you think.

So then – how to use the clasp…? I decided this would work well in a bracelet with some of my favourite rustic pearls which bring to mind the lovely soft skin tones of the painting. I used Rebecca’s blue waxed linen to string the pearls and interspersed them with tiny faceted red beads and the lovely gold lampwork beads Jo included with her accent beads. To counterbalance the clasp I also added a gorgeous lampwork bead by Helen Chalmers in the same blue with dots of cream and brick red. I finished the piece with two little red glass beads and one of my blue bronze hearts – she has just been jilted after all. I do really like this – I don’t think I would normally have thought to put these colours together and simple as it is I think it works well.

So now you’ve seen how ‘Mariana’ inspired me I hope you’ll pop over to the other blogs and see what the rest of the team created…

See you for the next challenge at the end of the year.

Lesley


Studo Conversion Day 1 – We’re Off…!!!

 Yes – the time has finally arrived and work started on Studio THEA today which is great as I was beginning to think I was dreaming it all! Nothing very interesting to show at this point though. This is how things looked when I woke up at the crack of dawn – Christmas has nothing on this you know…

 And this is how it looks at the end of the day…

Much the same but with some tools I hear you say. Well, yes but there has definitely been some activity – I know because my ears are still ringing from the pneumatic drilling that made the entire house shake. The cat has taken refuge in a padded cell in the wardrobe and I might just join her if there’s any more of it to come! As a result of all that drilling we now have the footing for the new wall…

And a big bag of waste – not the last I’m sure.

I was quite surprised when the electrician turned up but is seems he has a busy week so we had to grab him while we could even if it was day one – no argument from me as there’s nothing worse than coming to a halt because you’re waiting on a specialist. Consequently there are also now lots of holes in the ceiling (more drilling!) and lots of cables waiting to be run behind plaster board and under floors.

So as you can see we are well and truly underway – the bricks are coming tomorrow and the window arrives on Thursday and then it will begin to look like something is happening. It won’t start to look like a studio until well into next week but I will post regularly to show you what’s going on. I’ll also set up a dedicated blog page so that all the posts can be read together.

OK – I’m off to remove a film of dust from the kitchen so I can prepare an edible dinner!

Back soon.


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 



Ready for Action…

Operation studio is almost underway and the finalised start date is 30th May…next Thursday…less than 6 days away!!! Can you tell I’m excited….

The garage was cleared today and and all that’s left is my firing kit and a few odds and ends that I need to find temporary homes for.

This works out quite well as I still have a few things to fire for a consignment which I can do over the next few days but then I will be packing the kiln away for a well deserved rest. While the builders are in I’ll be catching up with some jewellery making and hopefully dreaming up some new ideas to get to work on once I’m settled in my new home.

And of course I’ll be blogging regularly on the evolution of Studio THEA so you’ll be able to see how this unprepossessing space develops and how over excited I get!

It’s the spring bank holiday weekend in the UK and I believe it’s Memorial weekend in the US so I hope you all have something lovely planned and have a really great time.


Lesley

This Weeks News…

Finally! The news I’ve been waiting for…planning permission for my garage conversion was granted on Wednesday and I now have a start date of May 27th, just ten days away – yippee! Which means of course that I will be spending part of the weekend sorting out this mess although, having had a false start it’s not as bad as it was.

I’m quite conscious that under those empty boxes are a lot more full of perfectly usable household items and clothing which have ‘somehow’ accumulated but which I just don’t need. I don’t have the time or resource to deal with this myself at the moment but hate the thought of it going to waste so I’m using an local ‘Eco Clearance’ company who aim to recycle and redistribute as much as they can to the most appropriate area which will leave me with a clear conscience at the same time. Then we get get down to the business of turning it into something a bit more like this…

I’ve still got lots of decisions to make about things like flooring, wall tiles and paint but I think I need to get a feel for the space before I can do that properly. Needless to say excitement is mounting.

I’ve been building  a log list of things to I need for the new work space when it’s finished but I haven’t been able to resist buying a couple of new toys already, the first being this Silhouette Cameo Die Cutter. It’s widely used for sign making and paper crafts but thanks to some very inspirational people in the field I’ve discovered it can also be used to create beautiful jewellery.

Caroline Dewison of Blueberri Beads has designed some beautiful etched pieces using vinyl cut on the Cameo  which achieves a much crisper edge than many other methods.

And Wanaree Tanner, doyenne of the metal clay world has developed a process for using it with sheets of dry metal clay to produce gorgeous cut out work. Check out their work and you’ll see why I just had to have one of these.

Photo by Wanaree Tanner

I’ve also treated myself to this little bench polisher. I’ve always done a lot of my finishing by hand but when I was preparing for the Big Bead show I started getting pains in my hands from the sheer volume of repetitive work and I’ve noticed that I can’t do as much now without my hands beginning to twinge. Obviously it would be a disaster if I couldn’t work because of this so it seemed that this would be a sensible investment.

I haven’t tried either of these gadgets out yet but the Cameo will be trialed on some display cards I need to make for a consignment of components I’ll be sending off to a Bricks and Mortar bead shop in the next few weeks (more of that in a future post) – cheaper to practice on card than clay methinks!. As for the polisher, I’m sure it won’t be too long before that gets a spin…I just need to find it a temporary home.

Something else I’ve been doing this week is making a bit more jewellery and I’m really enjoying it since I’ve been so consumed with the component side of things it’s great to have a bit of a change. My jewellery shop has also been a little neglected of late so I’ve been trying to make some new stock and use my own components more…not always easy when you have a huge stash of other peoples gorgeous goodies.

I will also be concentrating on jewellery whilst the building work is being done as it’s going to be difficult to do much component making. This means there will be no major THEA too updates until after the studio is complete but the shop is well stocked so there is still plenty to choose from. Likewise I won’t be able to make custom orders but am happy to take them for completion in the latter half of June.

Another little bit of excitement for me will be the publication of my first project piece in the June edition of ‘Making Jewellery’ which hits the shops on May 30th. I can’t show you what it is yet but of course I’ll post some pictures when it’s published…It’s a bumper issue with 100 project so worth a look.

Well that ‘s my news for the week..things are about to get a little hectic as you can see but while the building work is going on I will be writing regular posts to show you how it’s progressing so watch this space.

Have a fantastic weekend.

Lesley

7th Bead Soup Blog Party – 3rd Reveal…

Welcome to the third and final reveal of the 2013 Bead Soup Blog party. Here’s a reminder of the fabulous soup mix I received from my partner Silke Grober from Germany who, as you can see makes gorgeous lampwork beads. Silke was incredibly generous sending me not one, but three of her own focals as a matching set and some spacers along with some lovely brass and Rudraksha beads – thank you so much Silke for sending me ingredients that were such a pleasure to work with. I certainly had plenty to play with so I’ll get on with it and show you what I made.
I love the earthiness of Silke’s beads and they remind me a little of aerial landscapes, autumn seasons and for some reason vineyards. The first piece I made is this necklace using the ‘elongated bicone’ focal (not sure what the proper name for this shape is) set on a hand made bronze pin and bail.

I particularly like the dark plummy accents on the focal and wanted to try and pick this up in some way so I dug out some lovely matte peanut and seed beads from Smitten Beads and strung them with some of the accent beads from the soup. The Rudraksha beads and the gorgeous brass filigrees add a lovely warmth and although It’s a fairly traditional design I think it’s very pleasing to the eye.

Next I wanted to do something which incorporated the copper clasp Silke had made which I felt was crying out for a bracelet. I decided to go asymmetrical and fairly casual and went for Waxed linen for the stringing material, randomly adding beads from the soup mix along with a few of my own bronze discs.

I finished the cord tails off with some more of the peanuts beads and that was it – simple but effective.

For my next piece I chose the round focal bead which is probably my favourite but it is rather large so it took some thinking about. In the end I decided on a very long necklace with simple accents to show of the full beauty of the focal. The chunky Vintaj chain is interspersed with lovely sea green crystals (again from Smitten Beads) and both these elements are repeated as dangles below the focal.

I also added one of my bronze flying birds as a dangle and a few matte and shiny peanut beads to the bail to highlight the colour on the focal. This piece did prove somewhat difficult to photograph clearly but I hope you can get an idea.

Last but not least, I used a couple of the smaller lampwork beads to make some earrings which will go with any of the other pieces. The beads are wrapped in bronze wire with a length of chain suspended from the bottom. I added some more peanut beads ( can you tell I rather like these peanuts…) to small jump rings and attached these to the entire length of the chain and finished off with the sea green crystals. These have a lovely sense of movement and texture and I liked them so much I’ve made some similar styles since.

 All pieces now in my ETSY Shop.

I still have 1 focal, the silk and a few beads left so there will be more to come but for now that is my serving of bead soup – I’m so excited to see what Silke has done with the beads in the picture below which I sent her and I hope you will pop over to her blog too and take a look.

I’d also like to offer  a huge vote of thanks to Lori Anderson and her helpers for organising yet another epic event and being a huge inspiration to us all.

To see the designs made by all the other participants just use the links below and start hopping.
Have fun!

Lesley

Adlinah
Kamsir
www.dreamstruckdesigns.blogspot.com
Agi Kiss http://moonsafaribeads.blogspot.com
Alenka Obid www.pepita-handmade.blogspot.com
Alison Sachs www.beadsbyearthtones.blogspot.com
Amanda Tibbetts http://www.amandamade.com/blog
Amy Sims www.amysimsdesigns.com
Ana Cravidao http://acbeads.blogspot.com
Andra Marasteanu http://bijouxdemonange.blogspot.com
Andria Poole www.Jewelleryartiste.blogspot.com
Angela Perkins http://jeweledinspirations.blogspot.com
Anja Schultz http://anjas-perlenwelt.blogspot.de/
Ann Sherwood http://ann-sherwood.blogspot.com/
Anna Nordeman http://annas-adornments.blogspot.com
Annita Wilson http://awjewelryandbeadwork.blogspot.com/
Arlene Dean http://aglassbash.blogspot.com/
Astrid Boyce http://astridboyce.blogspot.com/
Barb Fernald http://barbarasfernald.com/
Betty James Hoppensteadt www.tybetastidbits.blogspot.com
Birgit Klughardt www.gitesbeads-gite.blogspot.com
Bonnie Coursolle http://jaspersgems.blogspot.ca/
Brandy Thomason McNair www.bellavitajewelry.blogspot.com
Brenda Sigafoos http://brenda-sigafoos.blogspot.com
Carmen Lau http://littlemake.blogspot.com/
Carol Wilson http://jetadorn.blogspot.com/
Caroline Dewison http://www.blueberribeads.co.uk
Cassie Donlen www.cassiedonlen.blogspot.com
Catharine Temaluru http://ienmaginationsjewelry.wordpress.com
Catherine Turrell http://fairysketches.blogspot.co.uk
Cheri Reed www.creativedesignsbycheri.blogspot.com
Cherrie Warzocha http://colorsofshae.blogspot.com/
Christa Murphy http://adventuresofwonebeadywoman.blogspot.com/
Christina Hickman http://vintagetreasuresjewelry.blogspot.com/
Christina Stofmeel www.fengbeads.com
Christine Hansen http://intuitivesparks.blogspot.com
Christine Stonefield www.sweetgirldesign.blogspot.com
Cilla Watkins www.tellyourgirlfriends.com
Cindy Cima Edwards www.cindycima.com
Claire Lockwood www.somethingtodowithyourhands.com
Colleen Vinthagen http://www.thewireworkshop.com/blog/
Dagmar Liebisch http://kokopellidesign.blogspot.de/
Dana Fowler www.blogjunepur.blogspot.com
Danielle Kelley http://imbuethemuse.blogspot.com/
Deb Fortin www.studiok24.blogspot.ca
Dee Elgie http://cherryobsidia.blogspot.co.uk
Denise Milward http://milwardstorysofar.wordpress.com/
Diah Anggreni http://pernik-manik.blogspot.com/
Diana Gonzalez www.arteypoemas.com
Diane Valasek http://dragonflyclose.blogspot.com/
Dita Basu http://www.alankarshilpa.blogspot.com
Donetta Farrington http://simplygorgeous-donetta.blogspot.com/
Doris Stumpf http://glaszwerg.blogspot.de/
Elizabeth Bunn http://elizabethbeads.blogspot.com
Elizabeth Drake http://mutteringsofacrone.wordpress.com/
Elizabeth Jones http://www.eyekandyjewellery.com
Elizabeth Stolarczyk http://elizabethsart.blogspot.co.uk/
Ema Kilroy http://www.emakdesigns.com/blog
Erin Kenny http://beadifultherapy.blogspot.ca/
Evelyn Duberry Www.ShebaMakeda.com
Fay Wolfenden www.torchfairy.blogspot.com
Francesca Watson http://francescawatson.com/
Gen Smith http://gennysworld.blogspot.com/
Ginger Davis Allman www.thebluebottletree.com
Giorgia Rossini www.joyblonde.blogspot.com
Hannah Annear www.quirkyhannah.wordpress.com
Heather Otto http://www.thecrafthopper.com
Heidi Kingman www.Heidikingman.blogspot.com
Ildiko Jarai www.sviroalkotasai.blogspot.hu
Iveth Caruso www.CreativeAtelier.net
Jackie Locantore http://www.artfire.com/ext/shop/blog/MorningStarSanctuaryStudio
Jacqueline Keller www.creartelier.blogspot.com
Jane Pranata Lim http://cherryeve.blogspot.com
Jennifer Davis http://jennifersjewelsandjunk.blogspot.com/
Jennifer Tough http://jenniferbeads.blogspot.ca
Jenny Vidberg http://shymessmycken.blogspot.se/
Jessica Klaaren Http://cellardoorjewelry.blogspot.com
Joanna Matuszczyk http://filcowe.blogspot.com
Joyce Becker www.joycesjoyfulgems.blogspot.com
Judith Johnston http://www.lampworkbeadlounge.com/
Judy Riley www.threeredbeads.blogspot.com
JuLee Wolfe www.thepolymerpenguin.blogspot.com
June Butt http://www.onewhiteswan.blogspot.co.nz/
Karen Mitchell http://www.overthemoon-design.com
Kari Asbury http://hippiechickdesign.blogspot.com/
Karin King www.maverickbeads.blogspot.ca
Karin von Hoeren www.creativeideen.de
Karla Morgan http://texaspepperjams.blogspot.com/
Kathrin Lembke http://allesperle.blogspot.de/
Kathy Stemke
http://vintagememoriesjewelry.blogspot.com
Katja Benevol Gabrijelcic http://slovoni.blogspot.com
Katy Heider http://onthepondcreations.blogspot.com/
Kay Thomerson http://KayzKreationz.blogspot.com
Kelley Fogle www.mylifeonebeadatatime.blogspot.com
Keren Panthaki https://vasdea.wordpress.com
Kimberly Idalski http://www.Kimisjewelryandgifts.blogspot.com
Kirsi Loponen http://peikkonen.blogspot.com
Klaudia Tóth http://www.klaudiabizsu.hu/
Krista Quantrill www.cornucopiaofcrafts.blogspot.ca
Kristina Hahn Eleniak www.peacockandlime.wordpress.com
Kristina Johansson www.wildrosesandblackberries.blogspot.com
Laney Mead http://laney-izzybeads.blogspot.co.uk/
Lara Lutrick http://www.lutrick.blogspot.com/
Laura Guenther www.blueantiquities.blogspot.com
Lauren Potts www.lpsjewelry.blogspot.com
Laurie Vyselaar www.Lefthandjewelry.wordpress.com
Leah Tees www.mybeadylittleeyes.blogspot.ca
Lena Adams http://mommaslilbirdiesblog.blogspot.com
Lesley Watt www.thegossipinggoddess.blogspot.com
Leslie Wayment www.aabeadsonline.com/blog/
LiliKrist http://pcbylik.blogspot.com/
Linda Kropp http://lindasartbarn.blogspot.com/
Linda Newnham http://www.earth-shine.co.uk/
Linda Younkman www.lindysdesigns.blogspot.com
Lisa Boucher http://lisasclayhappenings.blogspot.com/
Lizzie Clarke www.theneedtobead.blogspot.com
Lora Bright http://fandangling.wordpress.com/
Lorelle McIntyre http://beadyart.blogspot.com.au
Lori Anderson www.PrettyThingsBlog.com
Lori Finney http://lori-finney.blogspot.ca/
Lucie Bouvier http://www.carlosbeadstore.com/blog/
Malin de Koning http://beadingbymalindekoning.blogspot.se
Marina Dobrynina http://savonfeutre.blogspot.fr/
Marina Kosovic http://machoopko-design.blogspot.com/
Marion Simmons http://www.shadetreejewelry.com/blog.html
Marita Suominen http://momentofjewelry.blogspot.fi/
Marjolein Trewavas http://roomforchangemeuk.blogspot.co.uk/
Marsela Schroth www.marselita.de
Martha Aleo www.ornamento.wordpress.com
Mary Govaars www.mlhjewelrydesigns.com
Mary K McGraw http://mkaymac.blogspot.com/
Maybeline Tay http://thejewelrylarder.blogspot.sg/
Mea-B. Uebler www.glasorakel.blogspot.com
Melissa Trudinger www.beadrecipes.wordpress.com
Menka Gupta http://menkag.blogspot.com
Merja Sundström http://suntsan.blogspot.fi/
Merja Syrjämäki http://helmiriippuvuus.blogspot.fi/
Michelle Buettner http://www.MiShelDesigns.blogspot.com
Michelle Escano www.cabbycraft.blogspot.com
Michelle Wigginton http://adornedonadelaide.blogspot.ca/
Milla Hope www.Lbcreativeart.com
Miranda Ackerely

Mowse Doyle

www.mirandack.com

http://mowsemadethis.blogspot.com/
Mrs M Makes www.mrsmmakes.wordpress.com
Nan Smith www.wirednan.blogspot.com
Natalie Davidson http://northshoredays.blogspot.co.nz/
Natalie Moten http://runningoutofthread.blogspot.com/
Natascha Marty www.sommerlicht.ch
Nikki Banham-Hall http://jewellerymakingblog.blogspot.co.uk/
Noemi Baena http://blog.noemibaena.com/
Norma Turvey http://moonlitfantaseas.blogspot.com
Pam DeBoer http://pamelas-studio.blogspot.com/
Pam Hurst www.pamhurst.blogspot.com
Patti Pruhs http://threebeadsandastring.blogspot.com/
Penny Houghton http://www.smellynelly.blogspot.com.au/
Penny Mills www.cobblestone-lane.blogspot.com
Rachel Van-Walsh www.balancedcrafts.com/blog
Rebecca Sirevaag www.godsartistinresidence.blogspot.com
Regina Santerre http://reginaswritings.blogspot.com/
Regina Wood
http://www.gina-design.blogspot.com
Roberta Fauntroy www.thevirtualbeadsociety.wordpress.com
Rosanagh Watson

Rose Johnson

http://ring-a-ring-a-rosie.blogspot.co.uk

http://swtrosethorn.blogspot.com
Rosemary Cheslock www.glasseyebutterfly.tumblr.com
Rossana De Gaspari http://rdegas.blogspot.com
Sabine Dittrich www.perlendschungel.blogspot.com
Sam Waghorn http://palemooncreations.tumblr.com/
Sandi James http://www.dobedobeaddo.blogspot.com/
Sandra McGriff http://skyescreativechaos.blogspot.ca
Sandra Wollberg http://city-of-brass-stories.blogspot.com/
Sandra Young http://gypsyroadbeads.blogspot.ca/
Shai Williams http://shaihasramblings.blogspot.com/
Sharon Palac www.sharonsjewelrygarden.blogspot.com
Sierra Barrett http://giraffecanhas.wordpress.com/
Silke Gröber http://just-beads.blogspot.com
Siobhán Keogh http://vovsjewellery.blogspot.ie/
Stefanie Teufel http://stefaniessammelsurium.blogspot.com
Stephanie Stamper www.Skwds.blogspot.com
Sue Hamel http://cardandjewelrycorner.blogspot.com/
Sue Rennie http://moonandsevenstars.blogspot.co.uk/
Susan Kennedy www.suebeads.blogspot.com
Susan McClelland http://mistheword12.wordpress.com
Susanna Lehto http://othellehto.blogspot.fi/
Suse Stelljes www.pearlify.blogspot.de
Susie Hibdon http://vintagesusieandwings.blogspot.com
Suzann Sladcik Wilson www.BeadphoriaBlog.com
Tara Plote http://newbiebeader.blogspot.com/
Terri G. http://terrisbloomingideas.blogspot.com/
Terry Carter http://tappingflamingo.blogspot.com/
Terry Matuszyk http://pinkchapeau.wordpress.com/
Theresa Frank http://www.theresestreasures59.blogspot.com/
Tina Bosh http://bookbug-somanybookssolittletime.blogspot.com/
Tina Noonan www.wingedimp.blogspot.com
Toltec Jewels www.JewelSchoolFriends.com

Facebook
Participants
Audrey Allen https://www.facebook.com/adallen07
Cindy Wimmer Muse https://www.facebook.com/mritech813
Cynthia O’Toole https://www.facebook.com/cynthia.otoole
Deb Floros https://www.facebook.com/deb.floros
Debbie Jensen https://www.facebook.com/debbie.jensen.984
Erin Honeycutt https://www.facebook.com/erin.honeycutt1
Kaushambi Shah https://www.facebook.com/kaushambi.shah
Lisa Lloyd Harrison https://www.facebook.com/lisa.lloydharrison
Mary Jane Tanner https://www.facebook.com/mary.j.tanner
Valerie Tilghman https://www.facebook.com/valerie.tilghman

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

Focus on Life Week 5/52 – Capture a Heart

This year I am taking part in a photo journal challenge set up by the lovely Sally Russick of Studio Sublime
who, in addition to creating beautiful jewellery is a talented
photographer. Each week Sally sends participants a word prompt and the
following Saturday we all post our photo interpretations on our blogs,
Flickr or Instagram
.

This week our task was to capture an image of one of the many heart motifs that pervade our daily lives but perhaps go unnoticed much of the time. I was hoping to get out and about for this one and find some natural formation to fit the bill but it has been cold, wet and windy here all week, the most miserable of conditions for walking and taking photos. However, while pondering what to do I was looking out at my garden (as I often do when in thoughtful mode) and spotted a solution right under my nose. Not only does this plant provide mounds of pretty blue flowers all summer long, it also manages to survive the most inclement weather and always has an abundance of fresh green leaves in the shape of a sweet little frilled heart. I definitely love my Campanula Carpatica…

And in case you’re wondering, this is what it looks like in bloom…

So having braved the weather briefly to get my photo I sat down on the sofa to edit it and Cleo, my feline design assistant decided to come and join me. She got bored very quickly though, curled up for a nap and promptly gave me an unexpected bonus shot…

How cool is that…?!

If you’d like to see where everyone else found their hearts pop over to Sally’s blog now.

Have a great weekend everyone.


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