Friday, August 30, 2019

Art Elements Theme of the Month: Octopus

Gotta love this fun garage door in Portland!  I could't resist sharing a little bit of street art in my post.

As intriguing as the octopus is as a sea creature, I feel lucky to have had as many bead options in my stash as I did.  Not everyone is going to be all about the tentacles!

From top left clockwise, Components by: Anna Choi, Tracey Seder Donoughe, Andrew Thornton, Andrew Thornton, Gardanne Beads

I also have this little cheapie necklace that I bought a while ago thinking I would update the pendant and change some things around for a steam punk outfit.  I still may eventually get there, but Gardanne's piece is far more attractive to me right now.

Eric has been patiently waiting for me to get around to designing something with the amazing (I mean jaw-droppingly gorgeous!) Anne Choi bead we bought for him at Bead & Button 2017.  The big problem is pinning him down to discuss what he wants.  It's a sizeable piece, so I lean toward simplicity, but I'm not sure he will agree.  Must. Schedule. Time.

I'm in the ever-ongoing process of trying to get my beads and supplies organized and put away, and as a result had a bag of beads that I bought last month at Rustic River Finds in Galena, IL during the Adornments Retreat.  As I was starting to put some of the yummy Czech glass away, I realized that there were a couple of things in there that looked really nice with the pale green porcelain octopus pendant by Andrew Thornton of Allegory Gallery... especially some fun crusty feeling rounds. Score!  The pendant has a matte finish and a subtle range of green colors so I looked for things to play into that.  In addition to the Czech glass, I picked some Aventurine, Burma Jade, and some gorgeous faceted green opal rondelles (also from Allegory Gallery) that I've been hoarding.

I always feel a little bit guilty when I sit down to make something for myself.  Perhaps that's what took me so long to get to that sweet enameled octopus from Gardanne Beads.  I piled up a bunch of gemstones, pearls, and Czech glass bead options and just left them sitting on my bead mat until the very end of the month.  I'm such a procrastinator!  At the very last minute (i.e. August 30th) I pulled together one last necklace for the challenge.

I really wanted to use some gorgeous teal faceted pearls in the design but, for whatever reason, I didn't want to string both sides of the design.  For the rest of the strung side, I used some AB finish Peruvian opal and Czech glass.  On the other side I made wire wrapped bead links on sterling silver wire that I antiqued with liver of sulphur first.  It's a combination of pyrite, matte cuprite, and some of the same English cut Czech glass that I used on the strung side.  I was originally thinking that I'd do some sort of dangles off the bottom tentacles, but I think there might be enough going on.  Thoughts?

I actually made the earrings below a while back as a project for the Inspired by Reading Book Club, but I thought that they were too fun not to share!  The ceramic charms are by Michelle McCarthy of Firefly Design Studio and I paired them with labradorite coins that I wire wrapped.  I added some messy wire with tiny seed beads to the charms to hide the metal loops.  I need to remember to try this again sometime!

Thanks for stopping by to see what I've been up to.  This is a blog hop, I hope you'll take the time to see what everyone else was inspired to make this month.

Guest artists:
Sarajo - You Are Here

Art Elements Team:


  1. 1. That garage door is WAY cool. If I had a garage ... but I don't even have a car ;-)
    2. The bead combinations you chose for your necklace go wonderfully with the pendants, but I have to admit I'm really in love with those earrings!

  2. such gorgeous pieces! I love that enameled one ... just stunning! and those earrings are so sweet!

  3. Um, you totally have some amazing options from which to work! And yeah, that Gardanne one would have been pulling at me too. Your resulting necklace with it is just yummy. I like the asymmetrical chain for it too. It worked perfectly. All your design are wonderful, but that one really speaks to me!

  4. That garage door is super cool! Thanks for sharing. I am so jealous of the Anne Choi bead-gasp! The beads you chose for Andrew's pendant are just perfect and then the necklace with Anne Gardanne's pendant-so lovely. I know you'll enjoy wearing it and I personally don't think it needs anything else. Love it just the way it is! Those earrings are also fun and the color is perfect to wear with anything.

  5. Both of your octopus necklaces are lovely! I really like the asymmetry of the second necklace. As a person who is usually all about the symmetry, this surprised me. Wonderful!

  6. Both necklaces are very cute! My favorite is the first. I love the beads and colors that you selected. The earrings are darling. Well done!

  7. What a great little collection! I seriously love the necklace featuring Anne Gardanne's enamelled octopus, the colours are beautiful. You'll enjoy wearing it I think -- will probably get a lot of comments!

  8. All of your octopus jewelry designs are awesome. I was shocked to learn some people won't wear octopus jewelry because they think octopus are creepy. I don't get that at all and I would totally wear any of your pieces. Great color choices and designs.

  9. I love your collection of octopus beads and all the pieces you made are so beautiful! I'm looking forward to more octopus pieces from you!