Monday, September 23, 2019

Honey Do List September 2019

This is 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:

This month I went with a little less color and a little more pattern and texture.  Both of these shots were from the Holy Island of Lindisfarne in England.  These are ornate Celtic crosses that I just love for the beautiful Celtic patterns.  The first shot includes the ruins of the old Monastery, and the second has the more modern church as a background. Try to come up with something Celtic, crosses, or ever patterns from the church windows or brickwork.  Go crazy!

When approaching a new challenge, I often will opt to start with a fairly quick and easy project first.  That way, if life gets too crazy, I still have something completed come reveal day!  My first project falls into that category for sure.  I remembered that Eric had given me a couple of buttons with a Celtic knot work design a while back... the hardest part was finding them in my messy studio!  I made a quick little bracelet with one of the buttons, grey speckled seed beads, and black leather.  Cute and quick!

When Eric gave me this month's challenge, the first thing that came to mind was to use some stamps I borrowed from a friend to make some etched copper pieces.  I dug out the Celtic set that was in the giant bin of stamps my friend loaned me (I should probably to check to see if she wants them back yet!) and got to work.  

I etched several pieces of copper filled with a variety of designs that I thought would work for earrings, necklaces, and even Christmas ornaments!  After etching and antiquing those sheets, I got out my sheers and started cutting out some designs.  I ended up with three finished necklaces and one bracelet.  I also have the two ornaments cut out and filed, but haven't finished those up yet.  

I kept all the pieces super simple to let the etched focals shine.  The center necklace features a Celtic hound design.  I wanted to add a little visual oomph to the pendant so I ended up shaping it into a nice curve.  The other two necklaces are variations on a theme.  They use the same base etched design but cut out differently.  I started with the one on the left where I tried to cut along the scallops of the design.  For the one on the right, I kept the lines smooth for easier cutting and filing.  (Can I tell you how much I hate filing??)  Both versions have Swarovski crystal dangles.

I'm really digging the bracelet I made.  Again, the work was all in the bracelet component so I wanted that to be the focus of the design.  I just added a nice copper plated chain and lobster claw clasp after I curved the oval piece.  Voila!

All of my pieces from this challenge will be on sale at the Art Wander this weekend.  My house is Studio K if you're in the area and want to visit!

I had hoped to make some earrings, maybe even try my hand at soldiering some posts, but I didn't quite get that far.  Fingers crossed that some of those get done before the Art Wander starts on Friday!  (That's probably what I'll work on today.)

But wait, there's more!  My friend Roberta Szymanowski made a couple of pieces that she asked me to share here.  Here's what she made and what she had to say about each of them!

This is a prototype bracelet using Fimo's very new leather effect clay in gray. I patinated it with Vintaj Nouveau Silver and added emerald accents with FolkArt Color Shift in Emerald. Sealed with Vintaj glaze patina. 1.5mm dark grey metallic leather sliding adjustable closure with natural copper beads. Inside of bracelet is lined with genuine leather.
I'm confident of the durability of the clay since artisans area making handbags from it, but I'm not yet confident of the durability of the finish on it. Hence, prototype.

Since the inspiration has considerably more weathered detail and texture than color, I attempted to replicate the ancient feel in my clay cross. Additional texture is provided by the recycled sari silk but contrasted by the beauty of the Conamarra marble (Ireland's national treasure!) and the Vesuvanite beads. All other elements are sterling. A simple knot ties at the back.
Story behind this piece: I imagine the cross being an ancient family heirloom over time converted perhaps into a rosary. Only a small segment remains, the rest lost to time and memory. It's now held together by a precious piece of silk.

Gorgeous pieces, Roberta!  I'm so glad you played along with us this time!  

Now it's your turn!  Please add links to/photos of your own creations below.  I love seeing what everyone else is making too!  Check back on October 1st to see what Eric has in store for us next month!
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  1. Awesome work SJ!

    And Roberta, those are perfect for the challenge! I love the Celtic cross necklace especially.

  2. LOVE all your pieces, Sarajo! The bracelet was a great way to use a button (fab idea! I do love buttons.) But, it's that etch copper that really stands out to me. I'm partial to the two half-circle necklaces, but can't seem to decide which I prefer.

    Roberta, You did an amazing job. I've been wondering about that new leather clay. I'm not so great with clay, so I haven't invested in it yet, but am so glad to see you testing its limits. I'm going to have to look up the handbags you mentioned, that's the first I've heard of those (WOW!) Anyway... you created some beauties!