Here's this month's inspiration and what Eric had to say about it:
This month I've chosen a wall from Nunney Castle in England as your muse. I love the patterns, shapes, and colors of the lichen, with a little pop of green from the fern. Hopefully this will point you in an interesting direction for inspiration!
When Eric gave me this month's photo, I knew that I had to use at least one of the pendants that I made at the Adornments Retreat in Erin Prais-Hintz's Petri Dish class. I had one where the colors and blotchy patterns were just perfect for lichen. Hooray!! I paired this pendant (one of my favorites from that class) with lots of yummy Czech glass beads. Picasso finish beads with their mottled colors felt like a perfect pairing! I added a few Amazonite rounds to pick up the blue in the pendant.
Next up, a lichen inspired pair of earrings! There's something about the organic look of these awesome chandelier connectors by Happy Fish Things that made me think of lichen. The yellow and brown colors work nicely with Eric's photo (the backs are a lovely rich brown too) and they also have great texture. I added dangles made up of crystal and pearl as a nice counterpoint to the rustic nature of the ceramics. I think these will be really fun to wear!
I had already made a couple of fun bracelets based on a tutorial from Heather Powers, but as I was finally taking photos of them I realized that some of them worked for the Honey Do List. Voila! The flower shaped ceramic button is from Lisa Peters Russ and the others are from Marsha Neal. I snagged all of them at Bead & Button. The glazes on the ceramics and the Picasso finish on the seed beads both echo the lichen even if the colors aren't 100% perfect in some of them. I've just added a couple of these bracelets to the Arts Consortium of Carver County gallery in Victoria, MN and Unearthed Arts in Waconia, MN.
Happy to have some solid lichen representation, I moved on to focus a little bit on that intrepid fern growing from the rock. It's so amazing how life always finds a way! I've had a little bag filled with components to make a pair of earrings set aside. I have no idea why I never got around to actually making them other than that they are for me! Anyway, I had some silver leafy components from Candice Wakumoto and fun little lampwork beads by Jennifer Ionta.
Next up, another foray into my pile of abandoned projects! When I was looking for something else in an art bead drawer, I rediscovered a fern patterned and filigree wrapped pendant that I made ages ago in 2012 when I attended a Vintaj Two Day Workshop in Galena, Illinois. (Seriously, I can't believe it was that long ago!) Again, not exactly sure why this one was still waiting to become a piece of jewelry, but I'm glad it was. I had gotten out a bunch of beads that I was considering, but then a light bulb went on in my brain. What if I made a piece on my Now That's a Jig! to connect the pendant and chain? I tried a couple of different versions before I decided for sure. Once I had a shape that I liked, I hammered it for strength and texture and then wire wrapped coils around the component on each side. To let the pendant shine, I just used unadorned Vintaj brass chain... completely ignoring all of those bead that I'd pulled!
Ok, this last necklace features a polymer clay focal that I made at Heather Powers' Inspired by Nature Retreat in 2016. (Seriously, what's up with me, ferns, and unfinished projects?!?) To create this piece we made a custom mix of polymer clay colors that we rolled out into a sheet and pressed actual fern fronds into. After baking we used acrylic paint to bring out the fern patterns. It was a super fun class! Anyway, after lingering for almost 4 years, I used Heather's "Metal Sketches" technique to decorate the back side of the copper piece I cut to go behind the polymer clay house shape. (And I totally forgot to get a picture of the back side when I had light! Doh! Thus the background that doesn't match the others.) I riveted the polymer clay to the finished back and then wrapped a little brass fern piece around the top. Since the fern piece was brass, I decided to do a mix of brass and copper plated findings in the yoke of the necklace.