Monday, May 21, 2018

Honey Do List May 2018

This marks the third 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 2018!  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:


Sj and I took a whistle-stop tour of the Denver/Boulder area this spring and visited the Garden Of The Gods while there. I loved the textures and variance of the types of stone in the area and thought it would be fun to use one of these shots for this month's challenge.  And go!

I have to admit that I wasn't immediately inspired in the jewelry department by this photo.  (Sorry, Sweetie!!)  But after mulling it over for a while, I thought that it made sense to make the rock the star this month.  I went to my stash of gemstone pairs to see if any of them might work... and, voila, I found just what I needed to get my design process rolling!

Two pairs of Owyhee Jasper teardrops that Eric picked out for me at Bead & Button two years ago made their way onto my bead board.  I ended up doing pretty much the same messy wire wrapping with both pairs but just using different seed bead mixes as embellishments.  I'm pretty happy with the result and I'm wishing we had of grabbed more of this shape.  Next time!






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Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Inspiration for the Honey Do List May 2018

This marks the third 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 2018!  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:


Sj and I took a whistle-stop tour of the Denver/Boulder area this spring and visited the Garden Of The Gods while there. I loved the textures and variance of the types of stone in the area and thought it would be fun to use one of these shots for this month's challenge.  And go!

The reveal date will be Monday, May 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 May 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 out 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, April 30, 2018

Artisans Create Together April 2018 Inspiration Challenge ~ Showers & Flowers

I know that the saying is "April showers bring May flowers," but so far in Minnesota we've only had snow showers.  Actually, more than just showers... we got a good 6-8 inches at my house April 2nd and 3rd followed by super cold temps.  Brrrrr!  Things are looking much better this week but it's still going to be a while before things are in full bloom.  For now, I'll have to content myself with some blooming jewelry designs for this month's Artisans Create Together inspiration challenge.


First up, a pair that features some raindrop blue flowers!  I paired some adorable blue and white floral rounds from Golem Design Studio with coordinating Czech glass flowers.  I'm really digging these glass flowers that are a bit bigger than the "normal" size you tend to see... that or the super tiny ones that I used in the next pair.     


Next up, I played with some adorable leaf and flower charms from my friends at Green Girl Studios.  I had a hard time deciding between some bolder red and black Czech glass flowers and the pale blue and bronzed wisteria beads that ended up winning.  These are pretty long, but fairly lightweight. 


This next pair features a pair of earring charms that I started last October at Heather Powers' Inspired by Nature Fall Retreat and finally put the finishing touches on last month.  Once again, I chose some coordinating Czech glass beads to go with the little charms.


And last, but not least, I managed to pull together one last pair!  Finally a little bright color for you, right??  I snatched these fun flower charms up from Heather Powers of Humblebeads on the Bead Cruise a couple of weeks ago (along with a lot of other fun things!). 


I hope you're seeing more flowers than showers where ever you are!!


Sunday, April 29, 2018

Art Elements Theme of the Month April 2018: Horses



For this month's Theme of the Month challenge on the Art Elements blog Jenny Davies-Reazor chose horses.  At first blush I was totally stumped.  My only real artistic outlet is jewelry making and I was fresh out of horse beads!  (I used to have two sets of horse charms from Round Rabbit but used them for a different challenge a few years ago.)  I have frogs, monkeys, fish, kitties, and birds galore but absolutely no horses.

Luckily, Jenny opened up her definition of what counts as equine to include some of the horses mythical cousins... unicorns and pegasus!  Whew!  While I still didn't have anything right on hand, I reached out to Andrew Thornton and William Jones of Allegory Gallery and they had just what I needed!  I ended up with two Pegasus pendants made by Andrew (one polymer clay and one wooden) to play with for this month.  Hooray!

Ancient Greek Pegasus figure, bronze; reproduction Ancient Greek coin; “Fame escorting Pegasus” marble, 1875 by Lequesne

First up, I grabbed the polymer clay piece that reminds me very much of the above reproduction of an ancient Greek coin.  The pendant is predominantly bronze in color, but has some hints of copper as well.  I decided on a simple stringing pattern for this one using some Picasso finish Czech glass melons and some bronze-y druzy beads.


I think that Andrew may have made the wooden Pegasus pendant just because I was asking after any equine creations... so I had to make something with it too!  This time I went for wire-wrapped links instead of stringing.  I used some really fun and unusual Czech glass coins that I picked up this spring at a local bead show and some matte Red Creek Jasper.



This is a blog hop!  Check out what everyone else was inspired to make this month.

Guests:

Alysen
Anita
Beth
Catherine
Jill
Sarajo - you are here

AE Team Members: 

Sue

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Art Bead Scene: April 2018

This month's inspiration for the Art Bead Scene challenge is the oil painting Discs of Newton (Study for "Fugue in Two Colors") by Frantisek Kupka.  I have to admit that this artwork is a little more abstract than what I normally respond to, but the rings of color are intriguing.  You can read more about the artist and this painting over on the ABS blog HERE

Title: Disks of Newton (Study for “Fugue in Two Colors”)
By: FrantiĊĦek Kupka
Date: 1912
The first thing that came to my mind was an adorable little apple charm that I got from an Earthenwood Studio destash bundle a few months ago.  I thought it would be fun to make a little charm bundle with it, but before I started piecing that together I looked through my little collection of charms from Heather Powers' Inspired by Nature Fall Retreat to see if there was a charm set that the apple would work with.  I found just the thing made by Beth Steffl!  To give the necklace more physical and visual weight, I wire wrapped a lentil bead from Golem Design Studio with a fun pattern of concentric circles reminiscent of the inspiration artwork.  I made links with glass rounds in shades of red, orange, and yellow.


I'm rarely happy to just make one thing for these design challenges, and this is no exception!  I had snagged a cool enameled pendant from Gardanne that called out to me in response to the inspiration artwork.  While the turquoise isn't in the inspiration artwork, there are other shades of blue and green so I'm taking some artistic license!  I thought the way the red is dashed along the pendant in rows speaks to the segments of colors in concentric circles in the painting.  Since the pendant is mostly red, I chose to have more of the turquoise in the necklace with pops of red an silver to balance things out.


Thanks for stopping by to see my latest designs! 

Monday, April 23, 2018

Honey Do List: April 2018

This marks the third 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 2018!  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:


Spring?  Not so much.  We have more crappy snow coming down as I write this post.  So, how about a picture evoking brighter days to come?  I took this last spring at a local orchard in Buffalo, MN and loved the bright yellow bike.  Let us see some bright and vibrant work this month!  

As much as I enjoyed last month's inspiration, I'm super happy for a fun photo with lots of vibrant color.  Until the last few days Minnesota has been in the middle of 5th Winter, so this bright scene is very welcome in my world.  With that said, my first creation is more about the bike than the colors!  I've been sitting on a pair of adorable bicycle charms by White Clover Kiln that I bought at Bead Fest Philadelphia a few years ago.  In fact, I've had several of her charms sitting in the drawer with a set of Humblebeads discs for almost all that time.  One pair is finally seeing the light of day!  I added some brass, Czech glass and plated hematite to pull this little pair together pretty quick.


My next design has a much stronger punch of color but the bicycle part is a little more abstract.  This design is my take on one of the first jewelry projects that I ever clipped from a beading magazine when I first started beading.  I was fascinated by the wire wrapped "wheel" bead and bought a strand from Michael's that has sat in my beading stuff ever since.  They always looked like a spoked bike wheel to me, so this was the perfect time to dig them out!  I went back through my clipped article file looking for the project that had originally inspired me and low and behold, it was one of my friend Heather Powers' projects from an old issue of the now defunct Bead Style!  Anyways, back to the necklace at hand!

Like Heather's original design, I used one of her Humblebeads lentil beads (a happy Van Gogh Sunflowers one to go with the colors of Eric's photo) along with the bike spoke bead.  To give the pendant structure a little more heft, I used a fun charm from Nunn Design at the bottom of things.  I also like the mixed metal action that it led me to use.  I had some fancy embellished chain that was just screaming to be used that I combined with some Vintaj Natural Brass rollo chain to make up one strand of the necklace.  The second strand is a fun copper plated chain that reminds me of bicycle chain!  While the colors in this necklace aren't quite as vibrant as the photo's, I'm happy that I somewhat captured all the major colors from the inspiration and included several bike inspired components.


I've got one more necklace for you this month... another one that embraces color without getting too crazy.  I picked up this fun bicycle pendant from Earthenwood Studio in a destash bundle a few months ago and I've been itching to use it.  I didn't want my design to be too monochromatic, so I added in some pale yellow rounds as well as some darker teal/green Czech glass coins that remind me of bicycle tires/spokes.  In other news, the bike on the pendant reminds me of my first hand me down bike as a little girl with the banana seat and streamers on the handlebars!









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Friday, April 20, 2018

We're All Ears: April 2018: Paradise Calling

For this month's We're All Ears challenge over on the Earrings Everyday blog, Erin got inspired by the Bead Cruise!  (You can read about my adventures on this year's cruise HERE if you want to learn more.) 



Having just returned from tropical climes to about 16 inches of new snow in Minnesota, I was perfectly content to go back to my happy place (if only in my mind) this week to design some beach/Caribbean inspired earrings.  I even used some of the beads and charms that I made in Heather Powers polymer clay class!

I'll start off a little simple with two pairs of earrings featuring patinated brass charms that I picked up a while back from Lima Beads.  Each of them also features Czech glass, plated hematite, and Vintaj Natural brass.



Next up, a little trio of earrings using different versions of Heather Power's starfish charms.  I have another pair similar to these that I made for myself a few year's ago with the whitewashed version of these charms... I get tons of compliments on them so it made sense to just whip up variations on a theme.  Plus, I needed to make room for all the new pretties I bought from Heather on the Bead Cruise's Bead Bazaar night!  Each pair features lampwork glass and either Czech or cultured sea glass.  The lampwork glass in the right hand pair is by Mermaid Glass... sadly, I'm unsure of the artist for the other two but they were a gift from my sweet husband.



When I was fishing all those little starfish out of my Humblebeads drawer, another set of charms also caught my eye.  I snagged these little pineapples ages ago and decided it was high time (or maybe high tide??) to use them!  I used some orange and green Czech glass to pull out the colors of the pineapples.  These are super fun and make me think of fun fruity cocktails!



Last, but not least, I made two pairs of earrings with some of the fruits of my polymer clay class with Heather on the Bead Cruise.  I wasn't going to let those babies gather dust with this challenge on the horizon!  The first pair uses my attempt at disc beads with leaf canes and the second pair features two of the leaf charms that I made from the cane ends where it became a little more distorted.



Thanks for stopping by to see my tropical paradise inspired earrings!  Pop on over to the Earrings Everyday blog HERE to see what everyone else was inspired to make this month!