Thursday, January 31, 2019

Bead in the New Year: Part 3

 My friends Andrew and William of Allegory Gallery in Ligonier, Pennsylvania have designed a fun creative challenge to kick off the new year.  They're calling it Bead in the New Year and it's been a wonderful way to get my creative juices flowing after a bit of a holiday break.  January is often a time of year that I find myself in a slump and this has been a fun way to get me out of that funk and making something everyday.   This is my second installment chronicling what I've made for the challenge.  You can see Part 1 HERE and Part 2 HERE.  This is the calendar that they've come up with for us:

Here's what I've made since the last installment:

Day 18: Focus on metal as the main element in a new piece.

This is actually another piece inspired by a project in a past Bead Cruise booklet!  Finally used that leather clasp from Bandana Girl!

Day 19: Be inspired by a piece of art to create a new design.

Ok, slight cheat here... I did actually make a new piece inspired by Heather Powers' artwork on this day, below, but I figured I'd share the first two things that I made for it too since I'm so smitten.
This piece features a faux tin pendant by Heather Powers of Humblebeads along with some copper that I textured and Czech glass beads.  You can see the other necklace I made from this inspiration over on the ABS blog HERE.
Day 20: Utilize natural materials to create a new piece.

Wood, waxed Irish linen, brass, and polymer clay by Humblebeads.  Not all made of natural materials, but a healthy dose!

Day 24: Create a piece using vintage materials.

Not sure about the gold and teal beads, but the brass leaves are vintage.  I'm not usually much for gold, but love how these turned out!

Day 25: Put together a piece using seed beads.

It's not all seed beads, but I did use seven different types of seed beads in this long necklace featuring a lampwork glass pendant by Wendy Mosman.

Day 26: Use a color you don't normally use.

Mustard yellow isn't my normal jam, but I love this chunky hollow bead by Mary Ila Duntemann!  This one also fits the category for Day 31... big and bold! 

Day 27: Make a piece inspired by a book you've read.

Here's the pendant I made in response to A Discovery of Witches.  To see the whole finished design, pop over to my post about the January Inspired by Reading Book Club HERE!

Day 29: Use an Allegory Gallery wood pendant.

I had fun painting this wooden pendant with a lovely goldfish design by Andrew Thornton.  I kept the stringing simple and chose glass and coral beads on the smaller side.

Day 30: Create a piece inspired by nature.

I've been in a moth mood this month!  Pendant and larger ceramic beads by Gaea with a mix of other gemstone and ceramic beads on leather and brass.

Day 31: Make a piece that's big, bold, and over the top.

This Golem Design Studio pendant is bigger than my norm, but I fell in love with the rich, bright colors and had to have it!  Lots of Czech glass flowers and leaves help complete this statement necklace design.

A HUGE thank you to Andrew and William at Allegory Gallery for inspiring me to have the most productive January ever as far as jewelry making goes.  Not only have I made a ton of new designs that I love, I was excited to get to my bead table.  What a gift, my friends!

I suppose after neglecting many household chores and my taxes for far too long, that I should attend to some of that now.  But never fear, I've got another date with my bead table soon to keep working on the ideas that cropped up while I was working on the Bead in the New Year prompts!

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Art Elements Theme of the Month: Moon

Moon photo by my talented husband, Eric Wentling.

This month, Lindsay Starr chose Moon for the Art Elements Theme of the Month.  I was initially worried that I wouldn't have anything suitable since I used a bunch of moon themed things over the last couple of years.  I shouldn't have worried... I did have a few appropriate things squirreled away!  The problem ending up being finding the time to make things.  January got busier than I had been planning for!

My moon-themed art beads... fine pewter by Green Girl, mixed media resin pendant and ceramics by Gaea, and lampwork by unknown artist.
I had honestly forgotten that the  pendant by Green Girl Studios I had set aside with some coordinating beads had a moon in the design...  I think that I had originally pulled it for the crow.  I figured that this was a good time to revisit the partially thought out design since it fit with the theme and helped me resolve one more UFO from my oh-so-messy workspace.  Win-win!!

Some of the beads that I ended up using were in my original collection of beads for this pendant, some were plucked from an Allegory Gallery bead blend, and some from a gift of Swarovski lovelies from Brenda Schweder from the Adornments Retreat.  I decided to go with an asymmetrical design strung on one side, links and chain on the other.  I kept it all to a palette of black, greys, silvers, and a tiny bit of white... colors of the moon and moonlight as well as the night sky in which it hangs.

I thought I'd share this one too.  It wasn't made for this challenge specifically, but for yesterday's Inspired by Reading Book Club.  I had some fun with riveting.  I made the moon shape with some textured copper scrap left over from the Christmas ornaments I made last year and used some little spacers underneath to give it some dimensionality.  If you're curious about my full book club post, you can read it HERE.

As you can see, I didn't get around to some of the more colorful moon options that I had pulled out.  Tomorrow's another day!

This is a blog hop... please check out what the other participants have been inspired to make this month!


Sarajo (you are here!)

Art Elements Crew:

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Inspired by Reading: A Discovery of Witches

I actually read the November selection for the Inspired by Reading Book Club but never got around to making anything, so I'm happy to be back in the swing of things this month!  This month's book was A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness.  I remember ages ago picking this up as an ARC at an American Library Association conference and happily handing it over to one of the adult services librarians.  I remember this book having a pretty big buzz when it came out so I was mildly interested in seeing what all the fuss was about.

Overall, I didn't love this novel, but I did stick it out to the bitter end, which clocks in at 579 pages if you're curious.  I thought that the premise was intriguing, but it devolved into way too much romance for my taste.  I also thought that Diana as a main character needed way too much saving by a man... or a male vampire, whatever.  Anyway, I did preserver and finish the book, but I'm not going to run out to grab the sequels. (Although if someone wants to tell me what happens, that's cool.)

I decided to to try and make a pendant based on the de Clermont seal featuring a crescent moon and star.  I used a scrap of copper left over from my Christmas ornament making frenzy.  I had used a couple of different Fretz texturing hammers on the scrap before I used my disc cutter to cut the moon shape out.  I used some spacers under the moon to give it a 3D effect when I riveted it to an Arte Metal circle blank that I went around the edges with my ball peen hammer.  I then riveted a brass star beside the moon and wrapped a brass filigree around the pendant.  I have to say that it was fun to do some riveting.  I want to do more metal work!

I could have left it here and just put on a jump ring and plain chain, but I wanted to do a little more than that.  I made some Czech glass links in metallics and black and finished the design with Vintaj natural brass chain.

When I was putting some unused beads back in their proper place, I discovered a few brass beads with star and moon designs.  I just had to make something with them!  I paired them with some fun purple druzy barrels that I've been holding onto for a bit.

I'd better go pick up the February book from the library and get started soon... or maybe I'll wait until we're back in the positive numbers for temperatures!  If you're interested in joining the book club fun, check out our Facebook group HERE.

Monday, January 28, 2019

Honey Do List January 2019

Can you believe that we're starting the fourth 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 2019!  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:

On our trip to Prague I took a lot of architectural pictures!  Most of these look great but just didn't grab me for being a good subject for jewelry work.  Then I came a across this interior shot of an Art Nouveau building and had my inspiration!  The color palette is limited but bright, and the shapes and designs should give some good options. 

I loved this particular gallery it's glorious glass skylight was breathtaking!  That being said, Eric had given me a bit of a challenge and I was a little slow to wrap my head around a design direction.  Yellow isn't necessarily a color I create with often... and my design tendencies run more toward the organic than the geometric.

Lucky for me, I did have a pair of black and white geometric patterned lentil beads from Golem Design Studio in my stash.  While they are a more random pattern than the glass of the gallery, I think they still work here.  Plus their round shape echoes the round center of the skylight.  I paired them with some AB finished yellow glass beads and blackened findings.

Another fortuitous beady event was that I got a package from my friends at Allegory Gallery that included some lovely faceted vintage plastic beads in a nice light yellow color.  I added some brass bead caps and small Czech glass beads in a matching color and dangled them on long Vintaj brass ear wires.

Apparently once I started playing with yellow earring ideas, I had a hard time stopping!  I made one last pair of earrings, this time using some faux tin charms that I made at the Inspired by Nature Retreat two years ago when Heather Powers first taught her faux tin process.  I won a sheet of Klimt images, and here's the only part of that set that has seen the light of day so far!  I made little dangles with the same yellow teardrop beads from my first pair of earrings and some tiny Czech glass flower beads.  

get the InLinkz code

Art Bead Scene Challenge: Journey One

You may have heard, since I've been practically shouting it from the mountaintops, that I'm a new contributor over at the Art Bead Scene Studio blog (ABS)!  Today I'm posting over on the ABS talking about everything that I created for Art Journey One.

You can see all my creations and some additional art bead inspiration over on the ABS blog HERE!

Friday, January 18, 2019

We're All Ears: January 2019: Color of the Year

The January prompt for the We're All Ears Challenge over on the Earrings Everyday blog is always a celebration of Pantone's Color of the Year.  For 2019, that means Living Coral!!

Here's what the fine folks at Pantone have to say about their choice:

Vibrant, yet mellow PANTONE 16-1546 Living Coral embraces us with warmth and nourishment to provide comfort and buoyancy in our continually shifting environment.
In reaction to the onslaught of digital technology and social media increasingly embedding into daily life, we are seeking authentic and immersive experiences that enable connection and intimacy. Sociable and spirited, the engaging nature of PANTONE 16-1546 Living Coral welcomes and encourages lighthearted activity. Symbolizing our innate need for optimism and joyful pursuits, PANTONE 16-1546 Living Coral embodies our desire for playful expression.
Representing the fusion of modern life, PANTONE Living Coral is a nurturing color that appears in our natural surroundings and at the same time, displays a lively presence within social media.

As has been the case for most of the years since I've started paying attention to such things, Pantone's choice for Color of the Year has not exactly knocked my socks off!  The peachy-pink of Living Coral is not a color that I'm likely to gravitate too, especially as a main color.  I like it far better as a small accent with other colors, especially blues.  That leads me to the added irony that the color palettes that I ended up using were the ones without blues and greens!  

I'm not 100% sure which of the above palettes fit my designs best, Shimmering Sunset or Sympatico.  Maybe the truth is that they are a bit of a mix of the two.  But anyways... onto the earrings!!  

First up, a jazzy pair with tons of movement!  I wanted to break out of my normal design rut when it comes to earring charms... instead of just doing a stack of beads wire-wrapped above the charm, I wanted something a bit more interesting and out of my comfort zone.  The charms are by Heather Powers of Humblebeads and have some of the more orange tones in addition to the coral.  I used some fun flame colored copper rings and attached seed bead decorated jump rings, groups of coral colored Swarovski pearls, and of course the charms!  These are definitely statement earrings!!

My second pair of earrings is more of my normal style.  I had the perfect little cocoon beads from my friend Anna Pierson of Saga Hus in pale yellow with touches of a coral pattern.  They are on copper wire, so that was fortunate too.  I made some dainty dangles in peachy crystal and more of those coral Swarovski pearls on copper headpins.

This may be the extent of my embrace of the 2019 Color of the Year, lol.  I'm excited to hop on over to the Earrings Everyday blog HERE to see what everyone else was inspired to create!

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Bead in the New Year: Part 2

My friends Andrew and William of Allegory Gallery in Ligonier, Pennsylvania have designed a fun creative challenge to kick off the new year.  They're calling it Bead in the New Year and it's been a wonderful way to get my creative juices flowing after a bit of a holiday break.  January is often a time of year that I find myself in a slump and this has been a fun way to get me out of that funk and making something everyday.   This is my second installment chronicling what I've made for the challenge.  You can see Part 1 HERE.  Here's the calendar that they've come up with for us:
Here's what I've make for the challenge over the last week and change...

Day 8: Use a stringing material that you don't usually use.

I rarely use memory wire, but I whipped up this little bracelet using mostly leftovers from an Allegory Gallery design challenge kit.  I think I'm feeling ready for some warmer weather!

Day 9: Produce a piece using gemstone chips.

Prehnite and Labradorite chips (both from Allegory Gallery), pendant by Artisticaos.

Day 10: Challenge yourself by using sari silk ribbon.

The kernel of this idea started Day 9 but by adding the sari silk at the back worked for this next prompt.  The organic ceramic pendant is by Mary Harding and the strung portion of the necklace is made up of many gemstones including Burma Jade, Fancy Jasper, Chalcopyrite, and Petrified Green Opal.

Feeling a bit lazy, I really wanted to cheat on the sari silk challenge and stop with these little earrings featuring sari silk cocoons by Saga Hus and lampwork and Czech glass.  I'm glad that I pushed through! 

Day 12: Make a project from a craft book.

Ok, this was more of a booklet than a book, but hey, creative license!  The top left image is Heather Powers' original project from the 2015 Bead Cruise booklet and the other two are my takes on the design.  The polymer clay charm in the pink bracelet is from Erin Prais-Hintz of Tesori Trovati.

Day 13: Get inspired by music!  Make a piece based off a song.

This may have been the toughest prompt for me so far... mostly because I find it hard to translate from the auditory to the visual.  Luckily, seeing this "Dream" bead from Jangles sparked an idea.  This necklace is inspired by the song Dream a Little Dream of Me.  It was fun to break out the metal stamps and use the little star stamp for the first time!

Day 16: Ask a friend for a creative challenge.  

For this one you're just going to have to wait for the reveal of the January Honey Do List on January 21st!  But here's the inspiration for this month... see the full post HERE, there's still time to play along if you're inspired!!

Day 17: Use the Pantone Color of the Year: Living Coral

This feels like cheating since the reveal for the We're All Ears challenge on the Earrings Everyday blog is Friday, but this pair featuring sweet charms from Heather Powers of Humblebeads will just get extra exposure!  You'll have to check back for my January 18th post to see the other pair I made!

As it is January 16th as I write this, I'm caught up for the moment!  I'm actually a day ahead since I wanted to space out my blog posts.  I'll share more of what I accomplish for the various prompts as the month goes on... at least that's the plan!  Thanks for stopping by for a visit today!

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Art Bead Scene Challenge: January 2019

After a few months hiatus, the Art Bead Scene Studio blog and monthly challenge is back in action!  I was so excited to see the announcement from my friend, and queen of the ABS, Heather Powers and then totally over the moon when I realized that she's chosen to use on of her gorgeous pieces of artwork to start off the year.  (If you love this piece as much as I do, you're in luck!  Heather sells prints of her original art over on her Humblebeads website HERE.)

I actually have a gorgeous faux tin piece from Heather that I'd planned to use for this challenge (and still may go back to for a round two) but I couldn't find one of the supplies that I wanted for it easily and got frustrated.  (If you saw my mess of a workspace you'd totally understand!)  Anyways... I had the bits and bobs handy for a couple of earring ideas, so I started there instead.

First up I grabbed some fun purple and white ceramic tube beads from Golem Design Studio that fit nicely with the colors in Heather's artwork.  I added a couple of different Czech glass flower shades in various shades of purple to match that lovely moth on the right side.  I thought the cute Arte Metal butterfly charms from Vintaj could also work as moths!

Clearly in an earring making mood... I whipped up another pair with some super fun Ghost Moth wing pieces from Twinkiedinky!  These are pretty long, but oh so lightweight!  I paired them with some Mercury finish Czech glass and plated hematite.

Hopefully I'll find my missing supplies as I continue to try to get my studio somewhat under control.  If I'm really lucky it will be before the end of the month and I can make my necklace design with one of Heather's lovely faux tin pieces.  Fingers crossed!  Until then, I'm going to flutter off and try to make a dent in my to-do list.

Monday, January 7, 2019

Bead in the New Year: Part 1

My friends Andrew and William of Allegory Gallery in Ligonier, Pennsylvania have designed a fun creative challenge to kick off the new year.  They're calling it Bead in the New Year and it's been a wonderful way to get my creative juices flowing after a bit of a holiday break.  January is often a time of year that I find myself in a slump and this has been a fun way to get me out of that funk and making something everyday.   Here's the calendar that they've come up with for us:
Now I have no illusions that I'll manage to complete every prompt or get things finished on the "correct" day, but that's totally ok!!  I'm going to do my best and thought I'd share my progress with my readers along the way.  If you're looking to get inspired, I encourage you to play along too!  There's a Facebook group for Allegory Gallery's design challenges where you can share your progress... check it out HERE.  If you do decide to take part and are looking for something for Day 16 "Ask a friend for a creative challenge," consider our Honey Do List challenge for that one.  Check out Eric's January design inspiration HERE.

Alright, now to share with you all what I've made so far...  There's a lot of jewelry to share this time so I'll keep my comments on the short side.

Day 1: Make a pair of earrings.

Both of these designs include some leftover beads from past Allegory Gallery design challenge kits!

Day 2: Create a new bracelet.

All the blue beads were also from a past design challenge!  This is a variation on a design I've been making lately.

Day 3: Put together a necklace.

Rose quartz, an art bead by Tesori Trovati, my first time making a sliding knot on leather!

Day 4: Make a matching jewelry set.

Bracelet and earring set featuring gorgeous ceramic beads from Golem Design Studio!

Day 5: Use an art bead.

A sweet pair of earrings featuring fun, pastel charms from Humblebeads.  True confession, I made these on Day 6 to go with my next design but had originally grabbed both for the Day 4 prompt.

Day 6: Fashion a design using Czech glass.

Pendant by Humblebeads strung with tons of soft colored Czech glass!

Day 7: Utilize your favorite gemstone in a new piece!

And my favorite is Labradorite!!  The shine in the charm pair and the larger rondelles is so hard to capture.

As it is January 7th as I write this, I'm caught up for the moment!  I'll share more of what I accomplish for the various prompts as the month goes on.  Thanks for stopping by for a visit today!