Thursday, November 27, 2014

Art Bead Scene Challenge November 2014

This month's inspiration artwork for the Art Bead Scene challenge is "Cattelya Orchid and Three Hummingbirds" by Martin Johnson Heade.  To find out more about the painting and the artist, click HERE.

"Cattelya Orchid and Three Hummingbirds" 1871 by Martin Johnson Heade

I was immediately enchanted by the lush tropical flora and fauna in this painting.  While not what I would have predicted for a November challenge, I was pleasantly surprised and excited to see all these gorgeous colors!

Per my usual process, I went digging through all my art beads looking for the perfect fit.  What I found was a lovely polymer clay pendant from  Humblebeads in mulberry. (Thanks for inspiring me Heather Powers!)  I wanted to give the pendant a little more weight so I wire wrapped a couple of lampwork spacers from Beadygirl Beads along with a wavy copper plated disc above it.

Overall, this is a pretty dark and moody piece so I added in some dyed green agates in two colors, dark pink agates, along with one of Heather's disc beads from her Midnight Garden set.  Wanting an asymmetrical look, I also wire-wrapped a hoop out of coppery peanut beads and used that to balance out the disc bead on the opposite side.  The beaded hoop also reminds me of the little hummingbird nest in the painting!

Since November has been a busy month that included a week-long trip to Alabama to see family, I'm barely getting this one in under the wire since today was the last day to add to the group Pinterest Board.   Better late than never though!  Due to the time crunch, I had to take pictures with less than ideal lighting conditions... the beads aren't really quite as bright as they appear here.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Friday, November 21, 2014

We're All Ears: November 2014

For this month's inspiration for the We're All Ears challenge on the Earrings Everyday blog, Erin Prais-Hintz went in a different, out of the box direction.  This month she chose a magical animated short.  She pulled together a collage of stills from the short but you can see the whole thing HERE.

It took me a little while to come up with the kernel of an idea for this challenge.  Sometimes things just pop right into my brain, and other times I have to sit on it for a bit before I can get started.  One of the most effective ways I have found to get the creative juices flowing is to open my cabinet of art bead goodness and see if something jumps out at me.  It worked for me this time for sure!

I immediately focused in on a set of HumbleBeads disc beads that I bought from Heather Powers in a recent de-stash sale.  There was a lot of streaky white mixed in with muted colors in this set and they reminded me of the dreamy mist and the cloud like creature.

I decided to go with the greenish pair because of the foliage you see in the clip (it's not prominent in Erin's collage) but I think any of them could have worked.  I took some little Vintaj altered blank rectangular tags and hammered them to give a rustic texture to mimic the rocks as well as the colors in the girl's outfit.

Please head on over to the Earrings Everyday blog to see what everyone else made this month!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

30 Words: Disco Ball?

Hanging in a darkened room, 
ornate patterns punched in tin 
spray the wooden ceiling and walls 
with swirls and whirls of light.  
Could it be a 
Colonial era disco ball?

The premise of 30 Word Thursday is simple... take a photo, write 30 words (no more, no less) and post it each Thursday.  This is a blog hop hosted by Erin Prais-Hintz over on her blog Treasures Found, pop on over there to see her post for this week as well as links to the 30 Words from everyone else.

Monday, November 17, 2014

New Earring Monday: Weeks 45 & 46

I'm often guilty of getting pieces of projects going and even knowing exactly what I want to do to complete them and then not getting them done.  I'm sure I'm not the only one who falls into this trap.  It's usually a case of running out of time before a big event and then just not getting back around to those partially thought out projects afterwards because something new (shiny!) caught my imagination.

Well, the theme for this week's installment of New Earring Monday is catching up on languishing projects!  So now at least two projects from the item of misfit projects have been completed for your earring viewing pleasure.  

I made the little resin drops when I was prepping for the Art Wander back in September. I even picked out the Czech glass beads to go with each set, but actually digging out the sterling silver wire seemed to be the rate limiting step and they just didn't get finished in time.  Next, I thought I'd revisit them before the opening reception for my show at Unearthed Arts... but a need for more necklaces trumped earring making.

Well, finally, these little lovelies are finished and seeing the light of day!  It's not that they were that complicated... I just had to get around to them.  I just took these over to Unearthed Arts and added them to my show.

Do you have projects that have gotten shunted off to the side?  I'd love to hear what they are and how you get inspired to return to them!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

30 Words: The Book!

If you've been following my blog this year, you've seen the occasional post from me for 30 Word Thursday.  The premise of 30 Word Thursday is simple and anyone can play along... just take a photo, write 30 words (no more, no less) and post it each Thursday.  This blogging project is the brain child of my friend Erin Prais-Hintz and has been a fun way to share some photos and really condense my thoughts down to their barest essence.  

To celebrate and document the year we have shared in 30 Words, Erin has decided to publish a print on demand book featuring a selection of 30 Words entries from the year.  I'm proud to say that Erin has chosen a few of my 30 Words for inclusion and Eric has some in there too!

Erin's goal is to raise $1000-$2000 through the sale of this book.  She will donate 40% of the purchase price to the Alzheimer's Association in honor of her mother who suffers from this horrible disease.

I think that this little book would make a great gift.  If you are interested in finding out more check out Erin's blog post HERE or to go straight to where you can purchase a copy (or copies!) please click HERE.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

30 Words: Happy Birthday to My Love

Wishing the happiest of birthdays 
to my sweet husband Eric today...  
My best friend, my confidante, my partner in crime.
I’m so very lucky to have you in my life!

The premise of 30 Word Thursday is simple... take a photo, write 30 words (no more, no less) and post it each Thursday.  This is a blog hop hosted by Erin Prais-Hintz over on her blog Treasures Found, pop on over there to see her post for this week as well as links to the 30 Words from everyone else.

This picture is from our recent trip to Disneyland over in Cars Land in Disney California Adventure.  After such a great trip there we have the Disney bug again and are plotting a return to Disney World to celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary in 2016.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Sj Designs Jewelry Exhibition at Unearthed Arts

I am so excited and proud to announce that Unearthed Arts will be hosting an exhibition of my jewelry starting November 7th.  The opening reception will be this Friday, November 7th from 5:00 to 8:00 pm at the gallery.

The talented Kris James will be making a variety of delicious nibbles that focus on three of my favorite things: bacon, cheese, and chocolate!  Wine and some mulled cider will also be served.  (Memo to self... don't write about food when you are hungry!)

Here are the full details:

Opening Reception:  Friday, November 7th from 5:00 to 8:00 pm.

The exhibition will run until December 5 during normal gallery hours Monday - Friday 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.

44 West Main Street
Waconia, MN 55387

I hope that many of you will be able to join me for this exciting celebration.  I'm looking forward to seeing friends old and new and showing off the jewelry designs I've been working on since the Art Wander.  

If you can't make it that night, you should swing by on Saturday for D.E.A.R. Hunting and take advantage of all the great deals and fun activities around town.  

To further entice you to stop by, here are a few new designs that will be arriving in the gallery this week.

Monday, November 3, 2014

New Earring Monday: Weeks 43 & 44

I'm busy getting ready for the opening reception for my show at Unearthed Arts this Friday night, and finishing up some new earrings is a big part of that process.

A while back I made a slightly mis-matched pair of earrings with some great scrapbook paper and UV resin.  They seemed to resonate with a lot of folks, so I decided to make some variations on that theme in both copper and silver.  Apologies for the photo quality, I've been gone more than I've been home and of course the day I need to take pics to get my post up on time it ends of being gloomy!