Monday, February 24, 2020

Honey Do List February 2020

2020 marks the fifth 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 2020!  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 had a hard time coming up with a good challenge. I have plenty of bird and flower pictures but still within the icy grips of Minnesota winter these just didn't seem right for February.  I ended up going monochrome with this cool railing and shadow from atop Herman the German in New Ulm. Hopefully the design will supply some inspiration!

Even though every fiber of my soul is crying out for some color right now, I do love this black and white photo with all the fabulous scrollwork and shadows.  I still had a bunch of black and white beads out from Art Journey #1 for the Art Bead Scene Blog (you can see what I made for that amazing black and white inspiration HERE) so I was able to easily pluck some things from that pile to get started on this month's Honey Do List!

I chose to make a coordinating set using some of my stash of beads from Golem Design Studio that have a gorgeous white glaze over chocolate clay.  I thought the loopy, leafy design represented the railing's scrollwork nicely.  For the bracelet I whipped up a multi strand design with lots of Czech glass and seed beads as well as some cute pewter pieces.  The focal bead on the end is lucite and the clasp and chain are silver plated.

For the necklace I went with a strung design with tons of Czech glass in black with a Picasso finish plus star cut matte quartz crystal and pewter.  I was so happy that I still had some of these great leaf toggle clasps in silver plate to finish off the necklace.  I think it pulls things together nicely!

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 March 1st to see what Eric has in store for us next month!  
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Friday, February 21, 2020

We're All Ears February 2020 :: Sculpt the World

I was sailing around the Caribbean when Erin announced this month's We'er All Ears challenge... since so many of these amazing designs seem to be "built" in the sand, that seemed kind of perfect!  I am just smitten with these designs created by Jon Foreman out of natural materials including rocks, shells, sticks, etc.  The spiral designs are particularly appealing to me.

I couldn't help but be reminded of an amazing geological map we saw on our trip to Great Britain in June...  There was a super cool piece in the middle of a park in York where the Yorkshire part of William Smith's 1815 geological map was all laid out using a variety of natural stones by artist Janette Ireland.  You can read more about the project HERE.  (I really meant to do a real write up with highlights of that fabulous trip, but I still haven't gotten around to it!)  I'm glad I could find my pictures of this art installation to share today.  I could have stared at this thing for hours!

There are fossil patterns in each of the four corners – fossil ferns, ammonites (seen here), crinoids and sea urchins.

Kind of cool that York is represented by an icon made from stone discarded in the renovation of York Minster.

Ok, sorry for that little diversion... onto the main event, the earrings!!  I had grand plans of making a new pair of spiral wire earrings like I made in Tracy Stanley's class on the very first Bead Cruise I ever went on in 2014.  Let's just say that I'm rusty and that it didn't go so well.  I'm going to keep working on it to see if I can finally make another pair in copper.  My sterling ones are my go-to earrings for everyday.  (I'm actually wearing them as I type this!!)

When I got frustrated with my first idea, I moved on to some long dangly earrings that were far less cantankerous!  I saw that I had some little teardrops from Unicorn Beads in colors that reminded me of polished stones.  I slipped a few on large brass jump rings and then decided they needed a little something else to complete the look.  I grabbed some metallic English cut Czech glass, a brass spacer, and then a smaller Czech glass rondelle to connect the jump rings to the ear wires.  I like the look even if they are a little subdued for my normal taste.

Inspired by the red spiral piece in the bottom left of the collage at the top of this post, I managed to whip up a second pair of earrings just before the deadline.  I had some fun red glazed spiral lentils from Golem Design Studio that felt just right.  (I actually bought this design in a variety of colors because I was smitten with the style.)  I added some Czech glass and blackened components for a fun pair of dangly earrings!

This is a blog hop!  Pop on over to the Earrings Everyday blog HERE to see what everyone else was inspired to make!