Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Inspiration for the October 2019 Honey Do List

This is the fourth year that my husband Eric has been giving me a design challenge each month to get me out of my comfort zone and to help clear out my bead stash... it's the Honey Do List 2019!  I know that I'm not the only one who loves a good design challenge, so I'm hoping folks will continue to play along with us!

Here's this month's inspiration and what Eric had to say about it:




Well, it is that time of the year again...the time for the creepy pagan goodness that is Halloween!  This is a tricked out raven from the Tower of London (which has its own creepy past) which we visited this summer.  If you don't have anything Corvidae to include in your post, I'd be equally happy with something suitably wicked and dark!

The reveal date will be Monday, October 21st.  To make it super easy for you to participate and share your creations, I'll set up an Inlinkz link up so folks can add their blogs as they are ready.  Just stop by my blog starting on October 21st and join the fun!  I'll leave the link up open for a while... so you have plenty of time to add your links.  (Last month's is still open... check it our HERE.) No blog?  No worries!  Feel free to send me a picture of your creation and some brief comments and I'll happily share in my blog post.  You can reach me at sjdesignsjewelry@gmail.com  The more the merrier, so I hope you'll play along with me this month!

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Art Elements Theme of the Month: Foliage


For the September Theme of the Month over on the Art Elements blog, Caroline Dewison has challenged us to create art based on foliage.  I'm loving this idea as I have a TON of leafy beads in my stash... art beads, Czech glass, and metal... bright summer colors and muted fall tones are all well represented in my bead collection.  I spent a chunk of time over Labor Day weekend collecting some of my favorite art beads leaves as a starting point for this creative challenge and got to work making some new jewelry!

I got a jump start on creating for this challenge right away... I figure that was a smart idea since I was needing to prep for a big 3 day art show, the Art Wander, the last weekend of the month.  These were all perfect for that!

Thinking more along the fall foliage lines, the first thing that made it to my bead board was a beautiful ceramic leaf pendant by Tracee Dock of The Classic Bead.  I strung this one with a collection of gemstones and Czech glass in an autumnal palette.  The rich colors and patterns of Ocean Jasper and Red Creek Jasper were natural choices for this design.  I added in some Czech glass, mostly in metallics, to round out the necklace and finished it off with a fun brass leaf clasp.


Next up, another fall beauty featuring a polymer clay pendant by my friend Erin Prais-Hintz of Tesori Trovati.  This little cutie was from her Simple Truths Sampler Club from last summer.  When I opened my box of brighter green beads, the first thing that jumped out at me were some matte banded agate rounds.  They had a nice mix of the colors from the pendant and I built things out from there.  I chose a few different Czech glass beads along with matte jade, green apple jade rondelles, and a copper plated leaf clasp.


As I was in major show prep mode this month, I decided it was a good time to whip up a mini collection of leafy earrings production line style.  I grabbed a bunch of different colors of Czech glass maple leaf beads and revisited a design from last fall.  I love the look of the leaves dangling inside the brass filigree hoops!  Believe it or not, this isn't all the colors of this leaf bead in my stash.  I stopped myself here instead of continuing down this particular rabbit hole!


Next I grabbed a fun box shaped bead by Green Girl Studios that I love but have been at a loss as to how to best use.  I decided that my best bet was to use it on the side of a necklace balanced by some cool carved stone leaves.  To round out the rest of the necklace, I chose some moss agate rounds that I've had since my early days of beading, copper nugget beads, and some tiny Czech glass rounds in a Picasso finish.

You can see the two sides of the box bead on either side of the complete necklace.

Since I only had a small handful of the moss agate beads left and they were still out on my bead mat, I whipped up a little pair of earrings with some of those and some copper colored metal leaf charms.  Easy peasy!


Not done with all the leafy goodness in my stash, I moved on to a gorgeous two holed pendant with a celadon glaze by Michelle McCarthy of Firefly Design Studio.  I fell in love with this design when she first introduced it.  There's something delicate feeling about the pendant with it's sprig of leaves across it.  I didn't like the idea of attaching metal jump rings so I decided to try using loops of tiny seed beads on my stringing material.  I strung a variety of gemstones (including prehnite, faceted aventurine, Burma jade) and some Czech glass.  I had some new leaf beads that were the perfect colors to go with the pendant... those went on one side with some chrysoprase nuggets on the other to balance things out.  Once again I used my favorite leaf clasp at the back.


Switching to a cooler color palette, I made a necklace with one of the pendants I made this summer in Erin Prais-Hintz's Petri Dish class.  The pendant has shades of blue with some tiny touches of silver.  I picked out a few different Czech glass beads in shades of blue as well as some smaller silver colored ones to use as spacers.  I grabbed a few denim lapis rounds and faceted angelite beads and a branch toggle to round out the design.


Next up I switched to a couple of necklaces in summery brights... I guess I'm just not totally ready to move onto Fall!  I bought these cute leaf and ladybug pendants from Michelle McCarthy of Firefly Design Studio at Bead & Button this year.  I knew that I had some little Czech glass lady bugs in my stash that would be fun to pair with these.  These two ended up being variations on a theme with similar but different beads in each.  (Don't let the photos fool you, the pendants are the same size, but my pictures wouldn't play nice when I went to make the collage!)


I also bought a handful of leaves and branches from Michelle McCarthy with the intention of pairing at least some of them with Heather Powers' big and beautiful polymer clay birds.  A few of those Humblebeads are getting to spread their little wings and fly in a trio of new necklaces.  All three feature branches by Michelle and the two ceramic leaves are hers as well.  The polymer clay maple leaf is by Erin Prais-Hintz... the colors were just too perfect with the rose gold bird!  These may be more focused on the fowl than the foliage, but I'm sharing them anyway because I just love them!



This is a blog hop!  I hope you'll check out what everyone else made too!!


AE Team
Lesley  
Susan  
Marsha  
Claire  
Jenny  
Niky  

Guests
Dawn  
Hope  
Alison  
Laurie  
Kathy  
Sarajo  - You are Here!
Tammy  
Divya  
Karen  
Alysen  
Mary  
Cat  

Monday, September 23, 2019

Honey Do List September 2019

This is the fourth year that my husband Eric has been giving me a design challenge each month to get me out of my comfort zone and to help clear out my bead stash... it's the Honey Do List 2019!  I know that I'm not the only one who loves a good design challenge, so I'm hoping folks will continue to play along with us!

Here's this month's inspiration and what Eric had to say about it:






This month I went with a little less color and a little more pattern and texture.  Both of these shots were from the Holy Island of Lindisfarne in England.  These are ornate Celtic crosses that I just love for the beautiful Celtic patterns.  The first shot includes the ruins of the old Monastery, and the second has the more modern church as a background. Try to come up with something Celtic, crosses, or ever patterns from the church windows or brickwork.  Go crazy!


When approaching a new challenge, I often will opt to start with a fairly quick and easy project first.  That way, if life gets too crazy, I still have something completed come reveal day!  My first project falls into that category for sure.  I remembered that Eric had given me a couple of buttons with a Celtic knot work design a while back... the hardest part was finding them in my messy studio!  I made a quick little bracelet with one of the buttons, grey speckled seed beads, and black leather.  Cute and quick!



When Eric gave me this month's challenge, the first thing that came to mind was to use some stamps I borrowed from a friend to make some etched copper pieces.  I dug out the Celtic set that was in the giant bin of stamps my friend loaned me (I should probably to check to see if she wants them back yet!) and got to work.  

I etched several pieces of copper filled with a variety of designs that I thought would work for earrings, necklaces, and even Christmas ornaments!  After etching and antiquing those sheets, I got out my sheers and started cutting out some designs.  I ended up with three finished necklaces and one bracelet.  I also have the two ornaments cut out and filed, but haven't finished those up yet.  

I kept all the pieces super simple to let the etched focals shine.  The center necklace features a Celtic hound design.  I wanted to add a little visual oomph to the pendant so I ended up shaping it into a nice curve.  The other two necklaces are variations on a theme.  They use the same base etched design but cut out differently.  I started with the one on the left where I tried to cut along the scallops of the design.  For the one on the right, I kept the lines smooth for easier cutting and filing.  (Can I tell you how much I hate filing??)  Both versions have Swarovski crystal dangles.



I'm really digging the bracelet I made.  Again, the work was all in the bracelet component so I wanted that to be the focus of the design.  I just added a nice copper plated chain and lobster claw clasp after I curved the oval piece.  Voila!



All of my pieces from this challenge will be on sale at the Art Wander this weekend.  My house is Studio K if you're in the area and want to visit!

I had hoped to make some earrings, maybe even try my hand at soldiering some posts, but I didn't quite get that far.  Fingers crossed that some of those get done before the Art Wander starts on Friday!  (That's probably what I'll work on today.)

But wait, there's more!  My friend Roberta Szymanowski made a couple of pieces that she asked me to share here.  Here's what she made and what she had to say about each of them!


This is a prototype bracelet using Fimo's very new leather effect clay in gray. I patinated it with Vintaj Nouveau Silver and added emerald accents with FolkArt Color Shift in Emerald. Sealed with Vintaj glaze patina. 1.5mm dark grey metallic leather sliding adjustable closure with natural copper beads. Inside of bracelet is lined with genuine leather.
I'm confident of the durability of the clay since artisans area making handbags from it, but I'm not yet confident of the durability of the finish on it. Hence, prototype.



Since the inspiration has considerably more weathered detail and texture than color, I attempted to replicate the ancient feel in my clay cross. Additional texture is provided by the recycled sari silk but contrasted by the beauty of the Conamarra marble (Ireland's national treasure!) and the Vesuvanite beads. All other elements are sterling. A simple knot ties at the back.
Story behind this piece: I imagine the cross being an ancient family heirloom over time converted perhaps into a rosary. Only a small segment remains, the rest lost to time and memory. It's now held together by a precious piece of silk.


Gorgeous pieces, Roberta!  I'm so glad you played along with us this time!  

Now it's your turn!  Please add links to/photos of your own creations below.  I love seeing what everyone else is making too!  Check back on October 1st to see what Eric has in store for us next month!
You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter

Friday, September 20, 2019

We're All Ears September 2019: Dotty


Dots, Dots, Dots!  This month's We're All Ears challenge is all about the mighty polka dot!  I didn't have a ton of extra time to play, but I did manage to whip up three pairs of earrings this month.  I grabbed a few pairs of spotted art beads and sat down to play last Saturday.  These will be for sale at the Art Wander Studio Tour at the end of the month.

First up, I finally played with some lampwork beads by local artist Jeff Barber that I've had for a while.  I loved the bright turquoise dots against the frosted clear/grey glass.  There's also a couple of black dots amidst the stringer work at the bottom of the beads.


I have a tendency to buy pretty much every earring sized bead that Golem Design Studio makes, so of course I had a couple with polka dots to play with!  These two are variations on a theme that I've done before with other beads from Golem.  I really like to let the ceramic pretties shine!  I just added a metal bead at the top and bottom then topped it off with a wrapped loop.  I then used size 11 seed beads and 26 gauge wire to embellish the arched ear wires.  Easy peasy!



This is a blog hop.  I hope you'll check out what everyone else was inspired to make over on the Earrings Everyday Blog HERE.  Have a fabulous weekend!  I'll be busy with a final push of shop prep for Art Wander!


Monday, September 2, 2019

Artisans Create Together August 2019


With how busy this summer has been I haven't been as consistent with some of the monthly challenges that I normally enjoy.  Or if I have made something, it hasn't always translated into a blog post.  I just couldn't pass up the August color palette over on the Artisans Create Together Facebook Group!  So much yummy bright color to play with!  While I didn't sneak this blog post in before the end of August, I did share my creations over in the Facebook group.

As much as I love brights, I felt like I didn't have tons in the super bright tones of the inspiration palette.  I did the best I could with what I currently had on had art-bead wise.

I decided it was finally time to play with some super bright enameled charms by Marie Demicco of Spurwink River Arts that I've been hoarding for awhile.  I ended up making dangles for the charms with some green Czech glass flowers with pink centers and some fuchsia Swarovski crystals.  These are definitely the brightest design I came up with!


Next up, a multi-strand bracelet with a ceramic lentil bead from Golem Design Studio that focuses mostly on the turquoise end of the color palette with some touches of green and yellow.


Lastly, I got my lucet out to brush up on my leather braiding skills.  The tension is a bit tighter than I really wanted, but after many tries it seemed that this particular leather just wanted to be that way.  I'm really happy with the finished design that was based on one of Heather Powers Bead Table Wednesday videos over on her Humblebeads Facebook page.  The faux tin bracelet bar and polymer clay bead are both from Humblebeads.  All the colors from the palette are here just in slightly more subdued tones.


Thanks for stopping by to see what I've been up to.  I'm so not ready to let go of summer color, flowers, etc. for thoughts of fall.  I suppose I'll have to be switching gears shortly, but today isn't that day!  I hope you've all had a wonderful Labor Day Weekend!

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Inspiration for the September 2019 Honey Do List

First off, let me just give a very special Happy Anniversary shout out to my Honey, Eric!  Today we celebrate 18 years of marriage... and we've been together for 22 years.  Time sure does fly!

This is the fourth year that my husband Eric has been giving me a design challenge each month to get me out of my comfort zone and to help clear out my bead stash... it's the Honey Do List 2019!  I know that I'm not the only one who loves a good design challenge, so I'm hoping folks will continue to play along with us!

Here's this month's inspiration and what Eric had to say about it:




This month I went with a little less color and a little more pattern and texture.  Both of these shots were from the Holy Island of Lindisfarne in England.  These are ornate Celtic crosses that I just love for the beautiful Celtic patterns.  The first shot includes the ruins of the old Monastery, and the second has the more modern church as a background. Try to come up with something Celtic, crosses, or ever patterns from the church windows or brickwork.  Go crazy!

The reveal date will be Monday, September 23rd.  To make it super easy for you to participate and share your creations, I'll set up an Inlinkz link up so folks can add their blogs as they are ready.  Just stop by my blog starting on August 23rd and join the fun!  I'll leave the link up open for a while... so you have plenty of time to add your links.  (Last month's is still open... check it our HERE.) No blog?  No worries!  Feel free to send me a picture of your creation and some brief comments and I'll happily share in my blog post.  You can reach me at sjdesignsjewelry@gmail.com  The more the merrier, so I hope you'll play along with me this month!

Friday, August 30, 2019

Art Elements Theme of the Month: Octopus

Gotta love this fun garage door in Portland!  I could't resist sharing a little bit of street art in my post.

As intriguing as the octopus is as a sea creature, I feel lucky to have had as many bead options in my stash as I did.  Not everyone is going to be all about the tentacles!

From top left clockwise, Components by: Anna Choi, Tracey Seder Donoughe, Andrew Thornton, Andrew Thornton, Gardanne Beads

I also have this little cheapie necklace that I bought a while ago thinking I would update the pendant and change some things around for a steam punk outfit.  I still may eventually get there, but Gardanne's piece is far more attractive to me right now.

Eric has been patiently waiting for me to get around to designing something with the amazing (I mean jaw-droppingly gorgeous!) Anne Choi bead we bought for him at Bead & Button 2017.  The big problem is pinning him down to discuss what he wants.  It's a sizeable piece, so I lean toward simplicity, but I'm not sure he will agree.  Must. Schedule. Time.

I'm in the ever-ongoing process of trying to get my beads and supplies organized and put away, and as a result had a bag of beads that I bought last month at Rustic River Finds in Galena, IL during the Adornments Retreat.  As I was starting to put some of the yummy Czech glass away, I realized that there were a couple of things in there that looked really nice with the pale green porcelain octopus pendant by Andrew Thornton of Allegory Gallery... especially some fun crusty feeling rounds. Score!  The pendant has a matte finish and a subtle range of green colors so I looked for things to play into that.  In addition to the Czech glass, I picked some Aventurine, Burma Jade, and some gorgeous faceted green opal rondelles (also from Allegory Gallery) that I've been hoarding.


I always feel a little bit guilty when I sit down to make something for myself.  Perhaps that's what took me so long to get to that sweet enameled octopus from Gardanne Beads.  I piled up a bunch of gemstones, pearls, and Czech glass bead options and just left them sitting on my bead mat until the very end of the month.  I'm such a procrastinator!  At the very last minute (i.e. August 30th) I pulled together one last necklace for the challenge.


I really wanted to use some gorgeous teal faceted pearls in the design but, for whatever reason, I didn't want to string both sides of the design.  For the rest of the strung side, I used some AB finish Peruvian opal and Czech glass.  On the other side I made wire wrapped bead links on sterling silver wire that I antiqued with liver of sulphur first.  It's a combination of pyrite, matte cuprite, and some of the same English cut Czech glass that I used on the strung side.  I was originally thinking that I'd do some sort of dangles off the bottom tentacles, but I think there might be enough going on.  Thoughts?


I actually made the earrings below a while back as a project for the Inspired by Reading Book Club, but I thought that they were too fun not to share!  The ceramic charms are by Michelle McCarthy of Firefly Design Studio and I paired them with labradorite coins that I wire wrapped.  I added some messy wire with tiny seed beads to the charms to hide the metal loops.  I need to remember to try this again sometime!


Thanks for stopping by to see what I've been up to.  This is a blog hop, I hope you'll take the time to see what everyone else was inspired to make this month.

Guest artists:
Karen
Kathy
Melissa
Michelle
Rozantia
Sarajo - You Are Here
Tammy

Art Elements Team: