Thursday, July 2, 2020

Inspiration for the July 2020 Honey Do List

2020 marks the fifth 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 2020!  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:




Since I've been going more monochrome recently, I decided to pop some flowers and color into the mix this month. This is a flower I took a shot of along Hadrian's Wall in England last summer.  Back when we could go out and travel.  I figure folks can find inspiration in flowers, lichen, colors, etc this month!
The reveal date will be Monday, July 27th.  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 July 27th 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!

Have a happy and safe Fourth of July my friends!!

Friday, June 26, 2020

Art Elements Theme of the Month June 2020 :: Summer Solstice


The Art Elements Theme of the Month is appropriately the Summer Solstice.  I do so love the long days of summer... although since the Solstice has come and gone I know that they will be getting shorter from here.  Sigh.  Anyway, I focused on the sun for my two designs this month.  Looking on the bright side of life and all that!

For my first design I revisited the idea of doing a bead embroidered bezel around a bottle cap.  Bell's Oberon is a summer seasonal...  a great patio beer that I've been known to enjoy in the warmer months.  


I had one another sunny, summery pendant in my stash so it was time for some stringing!  I paired a lovely hand painted wooden pendant by Ashley Bonney of Summer Wind Art with a fun mix of beads.  It's hard to tell in my photos, but the sun itself is a lovely gold paint... thus my decision to use raw brass chain and findings.  I started pulling beads with the blue tones... I used a mix of Czech glass, faceted Angelite, and Aquamarine.  I pulled in a tiny bit of green with a trio of green lampwork glass beads (artists unknown) and wood tones with some coconut discs.



Here's hoping that the humidity here breaks and I get some patio time this weekend... in the shade of the umbrella.  This summer is going to be a little different than past years but I'm going to embrace it all for what it is.  Who knows, maybe it's time to pick up a new six pack of Oberon!

Monday, June 22, 2020

Honey Do List June 2020

Good Monday morning to all my beady friends!  I hope that you all had a lovely weekend... we sure did.  Lots of cooking, creativity, board games, and just relaxing.  For once I didn't leave my Honey Do List projects to the very last second, so that helped!!

2020 marks the fifth 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 2020!  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:



I struggled a little picking a photo for this month, but ended up deciding on this one.  While not incredibly colorful, I like all the icons and symbols present on this amazing bronze door in Prague.  Good luck on this one!  I promise some color next month!

Even though there isn't really color to speak of in Eric's inspiration photo, there were a lot of thematic possibilities.  The first thing that jumped out at me were the Comedy and Tragedy masks at the top of the doors.  I immediately thought of some vintage brass stampings that I picked up at last fall's Inspired by Nature Retreat when we did a giveaway table.  For some reason I have a ton of the comedy ones, but only one tragedy... so I'm not sure what I'll do with the others.  At least I had a set perfect for earrings!  I didn't buy them for these earrings, but I just happened to pick up these really cool West German resin beads at the perfect time.  I added gold plated spacer beads and raw brass ear wires to complete this look perfect for any thespian!  



A lot of my time went into this next piece.  My sweet friend Alexa had gifted me an amazing polymer clay cabochon by Sherri Kellberg of Beadazzle Me last July in hopes of getting me excited about doing more bead embroidery.  It took me a little bit, but after the Bead Cruise this year I was finally hooked!  With the kitty sitting in the left bottom corner of the doors and the metallic patinated look of the cat face, I felt like this was a good time to tackle this fun piece!  I decided to try something new with this one due to it's size... I learned how to add a pin back underneath the Ultra Suede backing.  


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 July 1st to see what Eric has in store for us next month! 
You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter


Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Inspiration for the June 2020 Honey Do List

2020 marks the fifth 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 2020!  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:



I struggled a little picking a photo for this month, but ended up deciding on this one.  While not incredibly colorful, I like all the icons and symbols present on this amazing bronze door in Prague.  Good luck on this one!  I promise some color next month!

The reveal date will be Monday, June 22nd.  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 June 22nd 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!

Monday, June 1, 2020

Art Elements Theme of the Month May 2020 :: Butterflies

I love me some butterflies and moths so I was a happy girl when I saw the Art Elements Theme of the Month challenge was all about butterflies!  I may have an embarrassing amount of butterfly art beads... so the biggest problem for this challenge was deciding what to use.

I had to start with some beautiful faux tin butterfly charms from Humblebeads that came with cute decorative copper charms attached.  The just seemed perfect for Springtime!  Of course I had to dig around for the perfect Humblebeads discs to coordinate with the charms.  Instead of going with a super matchy bead on the top, I picked a Czech glass flower in a bolder coral color to make it pop.


I had also just snagged a few pairs of enameled butterfly and moth charms from Blue Hare Art Wear in a recent show so of course I had to whip up a sweet little pair of earrings with some of those!


Next up, I made a long necklace with a gorgeous butterfly wing pendant by Erin Prais-Hintz of Tesori Trovati.  This was a special edition piece that she made only for her Simple Truths Sampler Club.  Pictures really don't do this little treasure justice (especially mine since lighting was iffy when I took them.)  There is a lovely iridescence to it that I wish you could see.  I strung the pendant with tons of yummy Czech glass and Swarovski Pearls with gold plated chain at the back.




Even though I had tons of other butterfly charms and pendants, I turned my focus toward my newest obsession, bead embroidery!!  Even though I took some classes on the Bead Cruise a few years ago, for some reason this year really got me excited about doing more with it.  (I'm hoping to share a little post soon sharing a bit of my bead embroidery journey.)  Anyway, the rest of my designs took a little more time as I learn and play with this new medium.

First up is my very first totally original design... this is the piece I'm most proud of this month.  The idea started with a butterfly shaped porcelain button from Round Rabbit that I've had lingering for years.  When I started plotting it out I thought I could keep it to a nice rounded square shape.  As I worked on it though it continued to grow and morph into a more organic shape.  Here's a little peak at the progression this pendant took in its shape and orientation. 


And drumroll please.... here's the finished pendant!  I'm so happy with the texture and movement I managed to get in the background.  I think it feels really rich.  I'm currently wearing this one on some simple brass chain.  The pendant makes enough of a statement all on its own!


I wanted to let you see the back of this one too.  I used some cork for the backing instead of the more traditional ultra suede. 


My last completed piece is a pendant with a gorgeous ceramic cab by Lisa Peters Russ that I got in another recent Facebook sale.  I'm still pretty new to doing peyote bezels, so every time I successfully bezel something I'm over the moon!  I had fun picking out different bead colors and textures for this one trying to echo the colors in the cab.  I used a navy blue ultra suede for the back of this pendant and plan to just hang it from chain.  I can assure you it was unintentional, but I like the way the top loop echoes the shape of the flower detail at the bottom.  Happy accident!


I didn't quite get my last piece done, but it's ready to trim and get it's backing now.  This is another fabulous cab by Lisa Peters Russ.  This one has a nice matte finish.  Wanting to add a pop of the red and corals from the cab's flower, I gave this one a little crown of flowers to match.  I feel like being a seed bead hoarder is finally paying off since I have tons to choose from for bead embroidery projects!  I need to decide if I'll do a simple brick stitch edge or go for a pretty picot.  If you have opinions on that, I'd love to hear them!


Thanks so much for stopping by to see my little collection of butterfly designs!

Monday, May 18, 2020

Honey Do List May 2020

2020 marks the fifth 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 2020!  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 one is from our trip to the Czech Republic two years ago, a little tableau I spotted when wandering the narrow streets of Loket.  This type of thing is exactly what I look for when walking around with my camera!  I like the colors and patterns here, so you folks should have lots of options for inspiration.

There's a lot to love in the quaint charm of the photo that Eric chose for our inspiration this month.  So many colors and patterns to play with from the mugs, the shapes of the window, the warmth of the wood...  I honestly can't wait to see what y'all create this month!

I have to admit that as soon as I saw the photo this month I knew that I had to use some new faux tin pieces from Heather Powers of Humblebeads.  I had snagged one of her super adorable tea cup pendants and coordinating earring charms.  

For the earrings I gathered a little bouquet of small Czech glass flowers to dangle from the bottom of the charms.  I picked beads in some of the colors from the trio of stacked cups on the charms.  Unfortunately, I realized too late that I I'm out of my favorite copper and niobium ear wires.  I popped some different ear wires on for the moment but will likely switch them out.  



I went less literal for my second pair of earrings.  For these I focused on the polka dotted mugs... Who doesn't love a good dot, right?  Some rustic dotted ceramic charms from Slate Studios were just the thing.  The charms are small and lightweight... perfect for earrings.  I paired them with black and red Czech glass beads and blackened findings.



I feel a little bad that I didn't manage to create more, but (full disclosure) I've been more than a bit preoccupied with bead embroidery.  (You'll see more of that soon.)  I've got some beads laid out for the pendant and hope to get that done yet this week.  Here's what I'm playing with for it.




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 June 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, May 15, 2020

We're All Ears May 2020 :: May Flowers

For this month's We're All Ears challenge, Erin chose the theme of May Day for us.  I'd never heard of the idea of flowers in cones or baskets for May Day... May Poles... yes, cones... no.  Either way, I can totally get on board with the idea of flowery earrings.  For someone who doesn't consider herself super flowery or girly, I do love flower beads!


I started with a fun pair of pressed pansy flower charms in resin from Twinkiedinky that I've had for a while.  The purple and yellow combination is not always an easy one for me, but how can I argue with Mother Nature?  I added some purple Czech glass flowers and little yellow rondelles for some fun and lightweight earrings.


Next up, I finally made something with some pretty yellow rose charms made by our hostess Erin Prais-Hintz of Tesori Trovati.  These have been languishing in my stash since 2016 (hangs head in shame) but they are finally getting their day in the sun!  I used some faceted citrines and little turquoise Czech glass beads to bring an extra pop of color into the design.


I also couldn't resist playing with some cool components from Artisticaos.  The colors were just so yummy, and the shape with it's wire "handle" does remind me a bit of a flower basket.  Once again I picked some coordinating Czech glass flowers as well as some little dyed agate rondelles.


After playing with a bunch of of my flowery art beads I decide to try my hand with a more May Day specific idea that came to me in the shower of all places, lol.  I thought it would be fun to have some little Czech glass flowers coming out of a cone shaped bead cap.  I had to play around with the lengths of the headpins until I was happy with how they behaved, but I think the end result is pretty cute!


Before I was done creating for this challenge, I managed to get in some play time with some new patterned cork that Heather Powers of Humblebeads turned me onto.  Here are a few variations on an earring idea using a thicker version of a floral cork sheet.  All are paired with brass charms from Vintaj, Czech glass flowers, and plated hematite beads.


This is a blog hop.  You can check out what other folks were inspired to make over on the Earrings Everyday blog HERE.