Sunday, September 29, 2019

Art Elements Theme of the Month: Foliage

For the September Theme of the Month over on the Art Elements blog, Caroline Dewison has challenged us to create art based on foliage.  I'm loving this idea as I have a TON of leafy beads in my stash... art beads, Czech glass, and metal... bright summer colors and muted fall tones are all well represented in my bead collection.  I spent a chunk of time over Labor Day weekend collecting some of my favorite art beads leaves as a starting point for this creative challenge and got to work making some new jewelry!

I got a jump start on creating for this challenge right away... I figure that was a smart idea since I was needing to prep for a big 3 day art show, the Art Wander, the last weekend of the month.  These were all perfect for that!

Thinking more along the fall foliage lines, the first thing that made it to my bead board was a beautiful ceramic leaf pendant by Tracee Dock of The Classic Bead.  I strung this one with a collection of gemstones and Czech glass in an autumnal palette.  The rich colors and patterns of Ocean Jasper and Red Creek Jasper were natural choices for this design.  I added in some Czech glass, mostly in metallics, to round out the necklace and finished it off with a fun brass leaf clasp.

Next up, another fall beauty featuring a polymer clay pendant by my friend Erin Prais-Hintz of Tesori Trovati.  This little cutie was from her Simple Truths Sampler Club from last summer.  When I opened my box of brighter green beads, the first thing that jumped out at me were some matte banded agate rounds.  They had a nice mix of the colors from the pendant and I built things out from there.  I chose a few different Czech glass beads along with matte jade, green apple jade rondelles, and a copper plated leaf clasp.

As I was in major show prep mode this month, I decided it was a good time to whip up a mini collection of leafy earrings production line style.  I grabbed a bunch of different colors of Czech glass maple leaf beads and revisited a design from last fall.  I love the look of the leaves dangling inside the brass filigree hoops!  Believe it or not, this isn't all the colors of this leaf bead in my stash.  I stopped myself here instead of continuing down this particular rabbit hole!

Next I grabbed a fun box shaped bead by Green Girl Studios that I love but have been at a loss as to how to best use.  I decided that my best bet was to use it on the side of a necklace balanced by some cool carved stone leaves.  To round out the rest of the necklace, I chose some moss agate rounds that I've had since my early days of beading, copper nugget beads, and some tiny Czech glass rounds in a Picasso finish.

You can see the two sides of the box bead on either side of the complete necklace.

Since I only had a small handful of the moss agate beads left and they were still out on my bead mat, I whipped up a little pair of earrings with some of those and some copper colored metal leaf charms.  Easy peasy!

Not done with all the leafy goodness in my stash, I moved on to a gorgeous two holed pendant with a celadon glaze by Michelle McCarthy of Firefly Design Studio.  I fell in love with this design when she first introduced it.  There's something delicate feeling about the pendant with it's sprig of leaves across it.  I didn't like the idea of attaching metal jump rings so I decided to try using loops of tiny seed beads on my stringing material.  I strung a variety of gemstones (including prehnite, faceted aventurine, Burma jade) and some Czech glass.  I had some new leaf beads that were the perfect colors to go with the pendant... those went on one side with some chrysoprase nuggets on the other to balance things out.  Once again I used my favorite leaf clasp at the back.

Switching to a cooler color palette, I made a necklace with one of the pendants I made this summer in Erin Prais-Hintz's Petri Dish class.  The pendant has shades of blue with some tiny touches of silver.  I picked out a few different Czech glass beads in shades of blue as well as some smaller silver colored ones to use as spacers.  I grabbed a few denim lapis rounds and faceted angelite beads and a branch toggle to round out the design.

Next up I switched to a couple of necklaces in summery brights... I guess I'm just not totally ready to move onto Fall!  I bought these cute leaf and ladybug pendants from Michelle McCarthy of Firefly Design Studio at Bead & Button this year.  I knew that I had some little Czech glass lady bugs in my stash that would be fun to pair with these.  These two ended up being variations on a theme with similar but different beads in each.  (Don't let the photos fool you, the pendants are the same size, but my pictures wouldn't play nice when I went to make the collage!)

I also bought a handful of leaves and branches from Michelle McCarthy with the intention of pairing at least some of them with Heather Powers' big and beautiful polymer clay birds.  A few of those Humblebeads are getting to spread their little wings and fly in a trio of new necklaces.  All three feature branches by Michelle and the two ceramic leaves are hers as well.  The polymer clay maple leaf is by Erin Prais-Hintz... the colors were just too perfect with the rose gold bird!  These may be more focused on the fowl than the foliage, but I'm sharing them anyway because I just love them!

This is a blog hop!  I hope you'll check out what everyone else made too!!

AE Team

Sarajo  - You are Here!


  1. So much awesome! Reading through this, and absorbing each of your descriptions, I knew I would have a hard time picking a favorite. But, as soon as I saw the trio of necklaces at the end, I knew those were them. I adore the way you combined several artists' work to make these. They're sublime!

  2. So many wonderful designs, you really rose to the challenge, they're all gorgeous. Thanks so much for taking part!

  3. Holy cow - that is a lot of amazing jewelry there! I love that collection of earrings you created!
    So many cool designs - I especially love the collaboration of pieces from Heather Powers and Erin Prais-Hintz pieces.
    Truly gorgeous pieces!

  4. Beautiful jewellery, i love the aqua one best, it's gorgeous

  5. Whoa, so many leaves and all of them are so beautiful! It's almost hard to absorb all of the beauty looking through just once. Great job!

  6. Do you have an email address? There’s a problem with a pair of earrings i bought

  7. They are all wonderful. My favorite is the necklaces featuring a polymer clay pendant by Erin Prais-Hintz of Tesori Trovati. I love all of the colors in that necklace. Beautiful!

  8. Wow, what a collection! Thought all are fab, my two faves are the circles with dangle leaves because I love that effect when there's a danglie in empty space! And the very last birds and leaves pendant.

  9. As I was scrolling through your blog post, the first necklace was my favorite until I saw the second which became my favorite until I saw the third one and so on...until I came to the birds and I just melted at how sweet they are. Love them!

    After I got done drooling, I went back and looked at the rest of the jewelry again. It's an awesome collection. I especially like the clay leaf pendant in the second necklace and I really like that you chose to mix up the beads or put them off center in some of the pieces.

    Great job!

  10. A lot of leafy goodness! What beautiful designs, love the colors and combos! I have a favorite - second from the top with Erin's focal :)

  11. Such wonderful jewelry Sarajo!! I especially like the necklace with the sprig of leaves. I was so intrigued by the way you strung the beautiful pendant by Michelle McCarthy using seed bead loops instead of jump rings. Seems like something I will be trying soon.

  12. I love seeing so many beautiful finished pieces Sarajo! You've got such a great sense of design and I am always delighted to see how you use so many artists beads and unique beads in your work! :)

  13. WOW! Where to start?... You really ran with this theme! I love ALL the necklaces & earrings. Those little Czech maple leaf earrings are so simple but perfect! I may have to make a few for myself-great idea. The necklace made with the Green Girl box bead is/was my favorite until I saw the necklace made with the celadon glaze by Firefly Design Studio. Such a yummy color!!

  14. By the time you see this comment I think your show will have occurred. I hope you sold all of these lovely creations. I love your color sense. And I have mad envy of your leaf bead stash!

  15. Wow! You weren't kidding around. Such a great bunch of pieces! I hope you had a wonderful show. I especially like the necklace with the leafy sprig by Michelle McCarthy and your petri dish pendants!

  16. These pieces are all gorgeous! I really like the ones with the birds.

  17. Wow - you're really rocking it this month...what a great selection of jewellery...can't pick a favourite.

  18. You've made an entire forest wort of lovely foliage themed jewelry. Great use of the artisan focals.

  19. Wow! These leafy creations are fabulous! Beautiful.

  20. Delectable jewelry, Sarajo! The hoop earrings with little leaf charms stole my heart, as did the trio of bird / branch / leaf necklaces. Hope the art show went well.

  21. This is such a lovely collection of pieces you have here. They are all so cohesive and work well together (sorry sometimes my marketer brain takes over my designer brain..LOL) If I have to pick a facourite, I would pick the one with the 2 hole pendant of a leafy stem.