Friday, March 25, 2016

Art Bead Scene: March 2016

I think I may have uttered an audible gasp when I saw this month's inspiration artwork Still Life with Pussy Willows by Taisia K. Afonina over on the Art Bead Scene blog.  This painting just feels like a perfect spring morning to me... I think it's something about how she captured the light.  Usually I respond to color more than anything, so I'm a little surprised that I like this piece so much with it's muted tones.  Maybe I'm just feeling nostalgic about the ending of Downton Abbey and the oh so civilized act of having tea.  :)  You can read more about the artwork and the artist HERE.    

"Still Life with Pussy Willows"
By Taisia K. Afonina
1964, Oil on canvas
Despite my favorable reaction to the painting, I just couldn't figure out what I wanted to make... or even what art beads I might want to use.  Finally, having cleared some other projects off my work table, I was able to get down to business.  It turns out I actually had quite a few art beads that would be appropriate... here's a peek:

Art bead overload!!

 Eventually I narrowed it down and got to work on three different projects... a necklace, a bracelet, and earrings.  I wanted to keep going, but then I never would have gotten a blog post written!  I may find time to go back and play some more with the goodies I had pulled out.  For now, here are my finished jewelry designs!

The first thing I finished was the simplest... the earrings.  Not shocking that I whipped those up before completing anything else.  Truth be told, I started with the bracelet but then started second guessing one of the elements.  But I digress!  My starting place was a pair of polymer clay beads by Heather Powers of Humblebeads.  I love working with polymer clay beads for earrings because they are so light weight.  That allowed me to pair them with some heavier teapot shaped charms without making things too heavy.  To pull out the lighter tones from the painting, I topped things off with some small aquamarine rounds. 

Tea Time earrings!

 Next up was the bracelet.   Since I made a different version of a bracelet that Lorelei Eurto shared in Bead Style magazine for the February ABS challenge (you can see that one HERE if you missed it), I knew that this couldn't be the only thing I made.  That just felt a little like cheating.  The highlight of this design is a lovely lampwork lentil by Sheila Davis of Stone Designs that Eric gave to me for Christmas.  I also used an etched lampwork bead by Tanya McGuire, a large hole gemstone, Czech glass and some various seed and peanut beads.

My final design is probably my favorite... a necklace featuring a gorgeous ceramic maple seed wing pendant from Mary Harding.  I started with some kyanite coins and blue aventurine rounds then added in some coordinating Czech glass.  I was lucky enough to have a tube of seed beads that thought were gold when I bought them but (surprise!) ended up being Montana blue with gold luster finish.  (Perhaps I should be more careful when shopping, but it all worked out in the end!)  I finished the back with a length of pale blue silk ribbon... just the perfect way to add a touch of softness to my design.

Mary's pendant deserves a close up!
Thanks for stopping by and seeing what I've been up to!  You can see what others were inspired to make over on the Art Bead Scene challenge Pinterest board HERE.


  1. Oh yes!! That is my favorite too!! I don't remember making that pendant look quite so good. I think it is how you strung it with all your lovely small beads. Brought out all those hidden colors that don't always show up when the skies are gray!! Love the necklace. Thanks so much for giving my pendant so much beady love!!

  2. Beautiful designs! You captured the feel of the painting perfectly!

  3. Wow what beautiful jewelry you made.the beads and silk are do fitting for this challenge.
    nice job.

  4. I love all of these. The lovely lampwork glass bead in the bracelet is my favourite.

  5. Every piece is just beautiful, and perfect for the challenge!

  6. I felt the same way when I first saw that painting. I love your art bead gathering - those are always fun to look at. Your tea party earrings are darling. But my heart stops at that Mary Harding pendant, your necklace is amazing!