Saturday, 31 January 2015

AJE Component of the Month stash challenge

Last month, Art Jewelry Elements challenged their readers to rummage through their stashes and create new jewelry with handmade beads from the AJE team. Since most of the team is across the pond, I don't often get a chance to purchase their wonderful beads. I do, however, have a little stash amongst my art beads.

I was inspired to use some beads by BlueberriBeads and Jenny Davies-Reazor. Since it was a challenge, I decided to try something a bit different. I've been wanting to make some copper bangles and this was the perfect opportunity to give it a try.

First up is a bangle I made from heavy gauge copper wire. I fused the ends with my blow torch and hammered it into a droplet of copper. The AJE team bead I used was the rustic little urchin by BlueberriBeads. I mixed it up with a number of charms with aquamarine, turquoise, pyrite, and a black ceramic charm by Scorched Earth.

Carrying on with the bangle theme, I made another bangle with a slight chevron shape. This has a vibrant red, poppy seed stamped ceramic charm by Jenny Davies-Reazor. I adore her charms! I wire wrapped turquoise, snowflake obsidian, tiny garnets and coconut beads into charms. There's also a little lampwork ring above the turquoise by a UK bead maker.

And here they are together! Textured, patinated and polished to make that copper glow.

Next up are a couple of earrings. This first pair has a peachy-pink pair of matte birdies by BlueberriBeads, Czech glass flowers, and Vintaj findings.

This final pair is actually the first piece I made for this challenge. I used some more of Jenny's gorgeous, glazed ceramic charms with amazonite gems and simple copper findings.


I hope you've enjoyed what I made! I'm glad to say everything I used came from my stash. There's nothing like a stash-busting challenge to get your creativity going.

Here is the list of the participants - the team, winners and special guests! Kristen Stephens Susan Kennedy Jenny Davies-Reazor Lesley Watt Melissa Meman Lindsay Starr Jennifer Cameron Caroline Dewison Linda Landig Guest Participants ( aka winners) Lee - Strega Jewellry Shai - Shai’s Ramblings Samantha- Wescott Jewelry Kathy - Bay Moon Designs Nikki - Silver Nik nats Melissa Trudinger Becky Pancake Yvette - Blue Kiln Beads Karin - Ginko et Coquelicot Bonus participants! Sarajo Wentling Leah Curtis Susan Delaney

Friday, 30 January 2015

Earring Challenge by Malin de Koning

It's about time I revive my blog! And what better way to do it than with a challenge? The lovely Malin de Koning invited me along with Claire Lockwood, Rebecca Anderson, and Heidi Post to join in an earring challenge with her.

Malin put together an inspiring pack of mixed beads for us to use: wooden beads, glass, tiny trade beads, gems, and was quite a selection! Malin is the master of earrings in my book and has a wonderful eye for detail. I can really see 'her' in these beads.

The challenge was to create at least one pair of earrings, ideally, with at least 3 of the beads from the pack. There was such a great selection of beads, the real challenge was deciding on how to use them.

As soon as I received the beads from Malin, I got started on a few pairs of earrings. I actually made the final pair last night. There are 6 in total.

Here's the first pair...I used the tiny, green howlite washers along with the green discs and stone-like cogs (one of my favourite beads in the mix). I paired them with my own enamelled leaves and copper earwires.

Next up is a pair of seaside inspired earrings. I loved the golden wooden nuggets Malin chose for us and immediately thought of something light, and beachy. I mixed up some of the wooden beads with a pair of mismatched starfish art beads by Majoyoal. Finished with bronze findings I made.

Now on to something a bit different...You can see one of my favourite beads (they're all lovely!) from the pack was the green howlite barrels. These are slightly mismatched with the faceted glass beads, howlite, tiny metal beads, and glass pearls. I wire wrapped some of the beads onto a tassel of recycled leather with lampwork art beads by Earthshine Beads.

Continuing on the tassel theme is a fresh, Springy pair of earrings using the plastic flowers (love these!), juicy striped seed beads, more of the lovely howlite along with recycled leather and green garnet from my stash.

What I loved about this challenge was that, although I loved the beads Malin sent, there were some that I might have overlooked myself. The silver coloured beads were one of those. They are lovely on their own, but I don't normally use silver. However, they fit nicely with the mismatched flower caps and striped seed beads for a bohemian pair of earrings. The lampwork discs are by Earthshine Beads.

And because I just adore those little flower caps, here's a better photo!


Last but not least is the pair I made last night. They're a bit funkier than the others, but I like something about the flow. I used the lampwork discs Malin sent, some of the coral, striped seed beads, and some glass beads and petal bead caps from my stash.

A huge thank you to Malin for this wonderful challenge! Check out what everyone else made for the challenge on their blogs. I can't wait to see!