Saturday, 29 June 2013

Art Jewelry Elements Component of the Month Reveal!

Today is the reveal of AJE's Component of the Month challenge. I was lucky enough to be chosen to use some of Jenny Davies-Reazor's organic ceramic components. Jenny sent me not just a pair, but 3 of her beautiful beads!

I was immediately drawn to the deep, red one. The color is perfect and very pretty with a floral motif. I decided on a simple rustic design. I chose a large, rough carnelian chunk, agate, and bronzite stones to compliment Jenny's component. I used waxed linen in a natural tone with a copper clasp I made.

The other two components Jenny sent me were these peppermint green ones with star shapes. The color threw me at first! I love bright colors, but am naturally drawn to using earthier, dark and moody colors. I knew I'd have to pair it with something creamy, white, or clear. Finally, I chose some vintage glass beads, from Old Bicycle Shop, modern Czech glass, goldstone, and a pair of vintage cufflinks I found earlier this year. I made a brass clasp, and it was finished! I only used one of the peppermint ones, so I have another one to play with still!

Thanks again to Jenny and AJE for hosting this fun challenge! Don't forget to check out the AJE blog to see what the other participants made.

Monday, 24 June 2013

June ABS Challenge

This month, the Art Bead Scene has chosen a painting called Jackknife Village by Franklin Carmichael as their theme. It's hard not to find that painting inspiring! Jackknife Village is a watercolor with subtle yellow, shades of blue, and purple with dark shadowing. It depicts a beautiful seaside scene with dramatic rockscape and lightly tinted clouds in the background.

In my piece, I picked up on the shades of blue, yellow, and purple from the painting. I had the perfect African trade beads, sent to me by Solange of Ahowin, and found some gemstones to match. The trade beads were just right for the graduated blues, and the smaller ones are a soft yellow with dots of greens, blues, and even a little red to mirror the houses.

To continue the beach feel, I used waxed linen and knotted the beads along the cord. It's almost as if the materials could be found along a beach somewhere.

The houses in the painting stood out to me. And, at first, I wanted to make a clasp depicting a house. I decided to keep it simple and, instead, make a long macrame necklace that could be slipped over the wearer's head. I made a little polymer clay house and painted it with similar colors - a distressed ocher to brown wash with red and orange highlights. I placed the house just by the blue African beads, like the houses on the seaside.

To reflect the jagged rocks and hills in the painting, I used natural gemstones. I chose three large fluorite chunks (I've wanted to try this cut for so long!) alongside three, smooth citrine chunks.

I love the soft colors of the gems, and they add a little extra light to the piece. I've really enjoyed making my piece this month and already had lots of compliments on it. Hope you've enjoyed it, too!

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Giveaway at Love My Art Jewelry!

Do you love Love My Art Jewelry? Well, I do, and they're having a wonderful giveaway of handmade ceramic and enameled beads! You can find out how to put your name in the hat here.

Also, there's a great post from earlier on in June with some gorgeous handmade headpins. Some of my designs have been featured alongside some amazing artists. Check it out! Huge thanks to Kimberly Rogers for featuring my designs!

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Southend-on-Sea and beads

No, I didn't go shopping for beads in Southend, but that is an idea for next time. My hubby and I went to Southend-on-Sea for the day, and despite being typically gloomy weather, it was nice to be at the sea. We saw some adorable, colourful little beach huts, pretty shells, and I even snatched a few pieces of sea glass. Since it wasn't perfect summer weather, we had the beach to ourselves.


I thought I'd show you some gorgeous beads I got recently. My friend, Solange, in France sells these wonderful African glass and trade beads. Some are more modern and others are antique, but they're all beautiful. I picked out a few from her shop, Ahowin, but Solange sent me lots of extras. They even came in a wonderful little bag made from African fabric.
I love, love all these little beads. There are some recycled glass beads with a wonderful rustic, gemstone feel, vintage Czech glass and trade beads, and brightly colored ones. I have so many ideas for them - I can't wait to get back to my supplies to make something special.
Here's a closer look at some of what Solange sent me.
And a better photo of my absolute favourite beads. These remind me of sea glass. If I'm not mistaken, they're made from recycled glass and have a beautiful mix of cobalt, green, and seafoam blue colors.
Aren't they gorgeous? That's all I have to show you now, but I do have some new lampwork beads from Tan Grey and Tempting Little Charms to share with you in a day or two. Can't wait!

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Quick update

I'm away from home, but never away from beads. I thought I would share a few things with you. First is this fantastic giveaway by Outwest. If you love lampwork, you don't want to miss it! Find out more here.

The other little update is my first e-magazine! It was published on June 1st and will be a monthly installment. The Beading Glass focuses on art beads and one of a kind jewelry. It's free to read and features some great designers. Hope you enjoy!