Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Inspiration for the August 2022 Honey Do List

2022 marks the seventh 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... The Honey Do List!  (Y'all, time really does fly!!)  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:   


Within the dwarfing enormity of the redwood forest, one can find the tiniest of life.  I discovered this little mushroom nestled in the moss below these ancient giants and felt it deserved some screen time.  Good luck with the inspiration this month!

The reveal date will be Monday,  August 29th.  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 or links as they are ready.  Just stop by my blog starting on August 29th 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 5, 2022

Humblebeads July 2022 Color Challenge



Oops!  Due to some travel, I didn't get around to posting this before the end of July.  Better late than never!  

Each month, Heather Powers of Humblebeads hosts a color challenge.  She provides a color palette and to inspire our creations... the one rule is that you have to use beads she made or something from her shop.  (She has tons of lovely Czech glass and cool metal findings.)

Lucky for me, I had two Humblebeads focals in my stash that felt like a fit for this challenge.  I've been hoarding them so long that Heather said she'd forgotten about this shape, LOL!  (I'm pretty sure I got them from the 2015 Bead Cruise.)  My first design used the unique "guitar pick" shaped polymer clay piece as a necklace pendant.  I had to gently enlarge the top hole of the pendant to accommodate a jump ring.  Czech glass bead links make up the yoke of the necklace and the dangle from the pendant.  I added a little brass flying bird charm off the back of the chain.



I've been trying to make more bracelets in advance of back to back early fall shows so I figured I'd try one with this unique focal.  I had a tough time deciding between a more symmetrical design and what I ultimately ended up with.  The colors of the purple Czech glass beads was super hard to capture for some reason, but it's truly lovely in person!


 Thanks for stopping by to see what I was inspired to make last month.  Now I'd better buckle down and start on the August challenge!


Monday, July 25, 2022

July 2022 Honey Do List

2022 marks the seventh 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... The Honey Do List!  (Y'all, time really does fly!!)  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 wanted to go back to Washington state.  On our trip, we hijacked two of our friends in Kent and made them take us to Tacoma for a day on the town.  We visited the Chihuly Bridge as part of our day and this is just one of many cool installations on said bridge.  I bet you can all find some inspiration in this chaos of color and shape!

I feel like this photo captures one of the two looks that I think of as quintessential Chihuly.  I'm loving the riot of color in this cool ceiling installation... and yet, as you'll soon see, I tended mostly towards the reds and oranges again.  What is wrong with me?

Anyway, this month was pretty much all about the earrings for me.  You're shocked, right?  In honor and celebration of Chihuly's glass work it's also mostly about glass beads and components too.  It just seemed a fitting material for the inspiration.

First up, I made long, swingy pair of earrings with Firelily lampwork glass and beaded cocoons from the newest Saga Hus Creativity Pack.  A pretty simple design with some blackened findings.

Next up I did manage to mix in something other than red when I found some fun lampwork beads from Jeff Barber with a navy base with cream and red dots.  Not a huge departure color wise, but I was trying!  I feel like the texture of the melon drops is reminiscent of the stripe in some of the Chihuly glass.


Next up I went super wild with some enamels focused on shades of orange, lol.  I felt like the murrini on the charms by Blue Hare Art Wear were a good match for Eric's photo. I didn't want to go too over the top so just added some little brass drops from the bottom of each charm and kept it simple above with some Czech glass and plated hematite.


Oh look... I found some blue beads too!  This last pair of earrings feature another pair of charms from my recent Saga Hus Creativity Pack with some lovely, glowing lucite.  I used melon drops here to reflect the stripes again.


Believe it or not, I did manage to eke out a necklace before I ran out of time!  I love the riot of color in this lovely ceramic focal from Golem Design Studio and felt like it was perfect for the inspiration.  I made a chain tassel with coordinating little glass dangles at the ends and make links along the lower portion of the long chain with Czech glass and moon glow lucite.  I think this is a perfect fun necklace for summer!



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 at the beginning of August to see what Eric has in store for us next month

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Friday, July 1, 2022

Inspiration for the July 2022 Honey Do List

2022 marks the seventh 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... The Honey Do List!  (Y'all, time really does fly!!)  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 wanted to go back to Washington state.  On our trip, we hijacked two of our friends in Kent and made them take us to Tacoma for a day on the town.  We visited the Chihuly Bridge as part of our day and this is just one of many cool installations on said bridge.  I bet you can all find some inspiration in this chaos of color and shape!

I don't know about you, but I'm excited to be revisiting Chihuly again this month!  Loving the color and pattern here.  I hope you feel inspired too!

The reveal date will be Monday, July 25.  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 or links as they are ready.  Just stop by my blog starting on July 25 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 27, 2022

June 2022 Honey Do List

2022 marks the seventh 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... The Honey Do List!  (Y'all, time really does fly!!)  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:  


While recently in Seattle, we visited the Chihuly Garden and Glass.  Sarajo is a serious glass-o-phile and has wanted to go see this place for ages.  Much of the glass in indoors in somewhat dark rooms so I had a hard time taking good photos.  However, this area, and the gardens outside were much better for my type of photography.  So this month's challenge is glass! 

I've wanted to visit Chihuly Garden and Glass for quite some time... I was foiled by a stomach bug the last time I was in Seattle back in January 2019.  This was my one big request for the agenda for this trip and it did not disappoint!  I need to got through my cell phone pictures and share more from our trip... I'm kind of terrible about that.  I'm fairly confident that we'll see more Honey Do List inspiration from Chihuly in the future.   

Anyway, onto what I made this month.  Look, look... for once I actually started with a bracelet instead of earrings!  LOL.  I've had this hand painted wooden flower bead from Summer Wind Art in my stash for ages.  This seemed like a good time to finally use it!  While the yellow and orange are more dominant in the inspiration photo, red definitely takes center stage in the bracelet.  Creative license?  I'm pretty happy with the Czech glass flowers I pulled out my collection for this design.  Bracelets still aren't my comfort zone, but I keep trying.


Next up, surprise... Earrings!!  I paired some fun red and yellow/orange Golem Design Studio ceramic rounds with orange Czech glass flowers and tangerine rondelles.  I think these turned out super fun.  I need to play with more of my Golem beads in this shape!


I still had a number of things on my bead table to play with but, distracted by other projects, this bracelet was the only other thing I managed to complete for this challenge.  Sometimes that's just the way it goes!  Anyhoo... I whipped up this little multi-strand bracelet at the last minute with a Golem Design Studio ceramic lentil, matte acrylic, and lots of Czech glass.  


So that's my round up for this round of the Honey Do List challenge!  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 tomorrow to see what Eric has in store for us this month

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Humblebeads June 2022 Color Challege


I've really been enjoying the color challenges that Heather Powers has been hosting in her Humblebeads VIP group on Facebook.  The added element for her challenge is that you must use beads (art or otherwise) that you've gotten from her.  That certainly narrows the focus when I'm pulling beads to play with each month and helps me really hone in on things quickly.

The peachy pinks of the inspiration photo aren't really in my wheelhouse design wise so I didn't have a ton of Humblebeads purchases to choose from this month.  What I did have was a bon-bon bead from forever ago (I don't even know if Heather still makes these) and some larger disc beads from a set.  

I started with a bracelet... I had the bon-bon bead out on my mat when I saw Heather's photos for her June Create a Long.  While this bracelet isn't a copy of that project by any means, they share a little DNA.  Here that is if you missed it.  She may still have kits available.  

Heather's June Create a Long project

I loved her use of the copper Woodland Leaf from Vintaj and worked that into my bracelet design.  I added a hole in its tip and used bracelet bending pliers to give it a curve to sit nicely on the wrist.  From there I made some coordinating Czech glass links and added some tiny flower dangles to a medium sized jump ring for added interest and movement.  I'm pretty happy with the end result here!


Next I decided to make a couple of pairs of earrings with some of the beads from an oversized disc bead set in my stash.  This was a harder size/shape to work with than Heather's normal discs, but I was determined to pull something together and get them out of bead purgatory!  The colors are varied, but the design idea was similar... I paired the discs up with some Czech glass beads and copper plated beads and bead caps. I added some niobium ear wires and called it good.



Before wrapping up my efforts for this month, I wanted to try to make one more piece with the remaining oversized discs.  Really, I just didn't want to have to put them away, lol.  If I use something up then that's one problem solved!  Since I was still surrounded with beads in this color palette and the things I used for the other three designs, I just kept playing around.  I ended up choosing some warm wood beads and some coordinating square pillow Czech glass beads to round out the design.  


Considering how little I had to play with this month, I'm pretty happy with this little mini-collection.  Thanks, Heather for continuing to inspire us and challenge us to create with our Humblebeads stash!


Saturday, June 11, 2022

Saga Hus Creativity Pack Review

Have you heard about the new Saga Hus Creativity Pack subscriptions yet?  No?  Let me share my experience with the very first installment!  (Full disclosure, I'm a long-time customer and friend of Anna Pierson of Saga Hus.  I love her components and have often used them in my jewelry designs.  I wasn't asked to write this post or given any compensation... I signed up for her Creativity Pack subscription and simply wanted to share with everyone what I got and what I made!)


Here's how the Creativity Pack works:  The subscription pack contains between 60 and 75 dollars worth of components. Each pack will be different. Many of the components are limited or things she is testing. Every three months, for 45.00 including shipping, you will receive a package. You may cancel at any time up to the billing date.

Now onto what I found in my package!  Anna sent us a nice variety of cocoons, a pair of fun Japanese glass components, and a lovely matched pair of faux tin charms in a William Morris print...  Part of the appeal of the Creativity Packs for me is the variety.  When left to my own devices, I tend to buy the same colors over and over.  I just naturally gravitate toward certain colors and shapes... but it's nice, and even necessary, to have other choices available outside of my color comfort zone.  This first shipment did NOT disappoint in this respect.  Lots of color variety to play with! So for less than $45 (because shipping is included in the price) I got $70 worth of fun components.  I'd say that's a pretty good deal!

The contents of the first Saga Hus Creativity Pack

Now, if I'm honest, normally I'd just ogle these lovelies then pop them into my stash for later use.  Normally my process is to start with charms or a focal and then look for things to pair with them.  This time was different!  I had just gotten back from a two week vacation and absence from the bead table when my package arrived.  Perfect timing because I was in need of a creative kick start to get me going again!  As soon as I'd unwrapped everything, I started pulling beads and charms and got to work making.  Here's my initial round of picks: 


The awesome thing is that these all came together super quickly!  Just a short time at the bead table and I had six pairs of earrings ready to go!  Here are the finished earrings I whipped up:

L) Cotton cocoons with C-Koop Bead caps and silver plate, R) sari silk cocoons with Inviciti pewter charms

L) sari silk cocoons with Slate Studio ceramic charms, R) Boucle yarn cocoons with Soul Relica colored pewter charms

L) Japanese glass connectors with Inviciti colored pewter, R) Cotton cocoons with ceramics by unknown maker

Y'all all know that earrings are 100% my favorite thing to make and to wear... so it's no surprise that I made a bunch of earrings.  And matched pairs do tend to cry out to be made into ear bobs, lol.  But I did want to branch out a bit and make a necklace too.  Anna's larger sized cocoons make a wonderful and interesting addition to necklaces, so that's where I went next.  I had an enameled pendant by Blue Hare Art Wear in my stash that worked well with my remaining pair of cocoons... I played around and found some Czech glass beads that coordinated well and made beaded links.  Voila!  I think the black wire in the cocoons as well as the black eye pins bring out the black in the pendant and keep this from getting too sweet for my aesthetic. 


I still had the faux tin that I hadn't used in a design.  For some reason, as much as I love the pattern and colors of them, these gave me a bit of a fit deciding what I wanted to pair with them and if I wanted to add beads above or below the charms.  After much deliberation, I decided on some matte carnelian rounds with crystal rondelles and tiny Czech glass flowers dangling below the charms.  I got out my hole punch and pulled this last design together.  


And just like that, I had seven pairs of earrings and one necklace all finished and ready to find new homes!  I really needed the kick in my butt that this Creativity Pack gave me!  It was fun to turn things on their head and design from a different direction than normal too.  Bonus, now I don't have to put any of these new goodies away, which is a huge bonus as my bead table is big ol' disaster zone.  

I hope you enjoyed this little exploration of the new Saga Hus Creativity Pack subscription and my take on it.  I think if you like having a bit of a surprise, this is a great value and super fun to boot.  If you're interesting in more information or want to sign up, check it out HERE.  You can also find Anna's awesome components for sale individually during her sales on her SagHus Components Facebook group HERE.