Friday, January 18, 2019

We're All Ears: January 2019: Color of the Year

The January prompt for the We're All Ears Challenge over on the Earrings Everyday blog is always a celebration of Pantone's Color of the Year.  For 2019, that means Living Coral!!

Here's what the fine folks at Pantone have to say about their choice:

Vibrant, yet mellow PANTONE 16-1546 Living Coral embraces us with warmth and nourishment to provide comfort and buoyancy in our continually shifting environment.
In reaction to the onslaught of digital technology and social media increasingly embedding into daily life, we are seeking authentic and immersive experiences that enable connection and intimacy. Sociable and spirited, the engaging nature of PANTONE 16-1546 Living Coral welcomes and encourages lighthearted activity. Symbolizing our innate need for optimism and joyful pursuits, PANTONE 16-1546 Living Coral embodies our desire for playful expression.
Representing the fusion of modern life, PANTONE Living Coral is a nurturing color that appears in our natural surroundings and at the same time, displays a lively presence within social media.

As has been the case for most of the years since I've started paying attention to such things, Pantone's choice for Color of the Year has not exactly knocked my socks off!  The peachy-pink of Living Coral is not a color that I'm likely to gravitate too, especially as a main color.  I like it far better as a small accent with other colors, especially blues.  That leads me to the added irony that the color palettes that I ended up using were the ones without blues and greens!  

I'm not 100% sure which of the above palettes fit my designs best, Shimmering Sunset or Sympatico.  Maybe the truth is that they are a bit of a mix of the two.  But anyways... onto the earrings!!  

First up, a jazzy pair with tons of movement!  I wanted to break out of my normal design rut when it comes to earring charms... instead of just doing a stack of beads wire-wrapped above the charm, I wanted something a bit more interesting and out of my comfort zone.  The charms are by Heather Powers of Humblebeads and have some of the more orange tones in addition to the coral.  I used some fun flame colored copper rings and attached seed bead decorated jump rings, groups of coral colored Swarovski pearls, and of course the charms!  These are definitely statement earrings!!

My second pair of earrings is more of my normal style.  I had the perfect little cocoon beads from my friend Anna Pierson of Saga Hus in pale yellow with touches of a coral pattern.  They are on copper wire, so that was fortunate too.  I made some dainty dangles in peachy crystal and more of those coral Swarovski pearls on copper headpins.

This may be the extent of my embrace of the 2019 Color of the Year, lol.  I'm excited to hop on over to the Earrings Everyday blog HERE to see what everyone else was inspired to create!

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Bead in the New Year: Part 2

My friends Andrew and William of Allegory Gallery in Ligonier, Pennsylvania have designed a fun creative challenge to kick off the new year.  They're calling it Bead in the New Year and it's been a wonderful way to get my creative juices flowing after a bit of a holiday break.  January is often a time of year that I find myself in a slump and this has been a fun way to get me out of that funk and making something everyday.   This is my second installment chronicling what I've made for the challenge.  You can see Part 1 HERE.  Here's the calendar that they've come up with for us:
Here's what I've make for the challenge over the last week and change...

Day 8: Use a stringing material that you don't usually use.

I rarely use memory wire, but I whipped up this little bracelet using mostly leftovers from an Allegory Gallery design challenge kit.  I think I'm feeling ready for some warmer weather!

Day 9: Produce a piece using gemstone chips.

Prehnite and Labradorite chips (both from Allegory Gallery), pendant by Artisticaos.

Day 10: Challenge yourself by using sari silk ribbon.

The kernel of this idea started Day 9 but by adding the sari silk at the back worked for this next prompt.  The organic ceramic pendant is by Mary Harding and the strung portion of the necklace is made up of many gemstones including Burma Jade, Fancy Jasper, Chalcopyrite, and Petrified Green Opal.

Feeling a bit lazy, I really wanted to cheat on the sari silk challenge and stop with these little earrings featuring sari silk cocoons by Saga Hus and lampwork and Czech glass.  I'm glad that I pushed through! 

Day 12: Make a project from a craft book.

Ok, this was more of a booklet than a book, but hey, creative license!  The top left image is Heather Powers' original project from the 2015 Bead Cruise booklet and the other two are my takes on the design.  The polymer clay charm in the pink bracelet is from Erin Prais-Hintz of Tesori Trovati.

Day 13: Get inspired by music!  Make a piece based off a song.

This may have been the toughest prompt for me so far... mostly because I find it hard to translate from the auditory to the visual.  Luckily, seeing this "Dream" bead from Jangles sparked an idea.  This necklace is inspired by the song Dream a Little Dream of Me.  It was fun to break out the metal stamps and use the little star stamp for the first time!

Day 16: Ask a friend for a creative challenge.  

For this one you're just going to have to wait for the reveal of the January Honey Do List on January 21st!  But here's the inspiration for this month... see the full post HERE, there's still time to play along if you're inspired!!

Day 17: Use the Pantone Color of the Year: Living Coral

This feels like cheating since the reveal for the We're All Ears challenge on the Earrings Everyday blog is Friday, but this pair featuring sweet charms from Heather Powers of Humblebeads will just get extra exposure!  You'll have to check back for my January 18th post to see the other pair I made!

As it is January 16th as I write this, I'm caught up for the moment!  I'm actually a day ahead since I wanted to space out my blog posts.  I'll share more of what I accomplish for the various prompts as the month goes on... at least that's the plan!  Thanks for stopping by for a visit today!

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Art Bead Scene Challenge: January 2019

After a few months hiatus, the Art Bead Scene Studio blog and monthly challenge is back in action!  I was so excited to see the announcement from my friend, and queen of the ABS, Heather Powers and then totally over the moon when I realized that she's chosen to use on of her gorgeous pieces of artwork to start off the year.  (If you love this piece as much as I do, you're in luck!  Heather sells prints of her original art over on her Humblebeads website HERE.)

I actually have a gorgeous faux tin piece from Heather that I'd planned to use for this challenge (and still may go back to for a round two) but I couldn't find one of the supplies that I wanted for it easily and got frustrated.  (If you saw my mess of a workspace you'd totally understand!)  Anyways... I had the bits and bobs handy for a couple of earring ideas, so I started there instead.

First up I grabbed some fun purple and white ceramic tube beads from Golem Design Studio that fit nicely with the colors in Heather's artwork.  I added a couple of different Czech glass flower shades in various shades of purple to match that lovely moth on the right side.  I thought the cute Arte Metal butterfly charms from Vintaj could also work as moths!

Clearly in an earring making mood... I whipped up another pair with some super fun Ghost Moth wing pieces from Twinkiedinky!  These are pretty long, but oh so lightweight!  I paired them with some Mercury finish Czech glass and plated hematite.

Hopefully I'll find my missing supplies as I continue to try to get my studio somewhat under control.  If I'm really lucky it will be before the end of the month and I can make my necklace design with one of Heather's lovely faux tin pieces.  Fingers crossed!  Until then, I'm going to flutter off and try to make a dent in my to-do list.

Monday, January 7, 2019

Bead in the New Year: Part 1

My friends Andrew and William of Allegory Gallery in Ligonier, Pennsylvania have designed a fun creative challenge to kick off the new year.  They're calling it Bead in the New Year and it's been a wonderful way to get my creative juices flowing after a bit of a holiday break.  January is often a time of year that I find myself in a slump and this has been a fun way to get me out of that funk and making something everyday.   Here's the calendar that they've come up with for us:
Now I have no illusions that I'll manage to complete every prompt or get things finished on the "correct" day, but that's totally ok!!  I'm going to do my best and thought I'd share my progress with my readers along the way.  If you're looking to get inspired, I encourage you to play along too!  There's a Facebook group for Allegory Gallery's design challenges where you can share your progress... check it out HERE.  If you do decide to take part and are looking for something for Day 16 "Ask a friend for a creative challenge," consider our Honey Do List challenge for that one.  Check out Eric's January design inspiration HERE.

Alright, now to share with you all what I've made so far...  There's a lot of jewelry to share this time so I'll keep my comments on the short side.

Day 1: Make a pair of earrings.

Both of these designs include some leftover beads from past Allegory Gallery design challenge kits!

Day 2: Create a new bracelet.

All the blue beads were also from a past design challenge!  This is a variation on a design I've been making lately.

Day 3: Put together a necklace.

Rose quartz, an art bead by Tesori Trovati, my first time making a sliding knot on leather!

Day 4: Make a matching jewelry set.

Bracelet and earring set featuring gorgeous ceramic beads from Golem Design Studio!

Day 5: Use an art bead.

A sweet pair of earrings featuring fun, pastel charms from Humblebeads.  True confession, I made these on Day 6 to go with my next design but had originally grabbed both for the Day 4 prompt.

Day 6: Fashion a design using Czech glass.

Pendant by Humblebeads strung with tons of soft colored Czech glass!

Day 7: Utilize your favorite gemstone in a new piece!

And my favorite is Labradorite!!  The shine in the charm pair and the larger rondelles is so hard to capture.

As it is January 7th as I write this, I'm caught up for the moment!  I'll share more of what I accomplish for the various prompts as the month goes on.  Thanks for stopping by for a visit today!

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Inspiration for the Honey Do List January 2019

Sorry for the delayed start this month... we've been a bit busy with some other things like planning a big trip to the UK for this summer.  Better late than never!!

Can you believe that we're starting 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:

On our trip to Prague I took a lot of architectural pictures!  Most of these look great but just didn't grab me for being a good subject for jewelry work.  Then I came a across this interior shot of an Art Nouveau building and had my inspiration!  The color palette is limited but bright, and the shapes and designs should give some good options.  Enjoy!

This shot was from the Koruna Palace passageway... you'd never guess from looking at the buildings from the street that all this is inside there.  I wish that we had of had more time to explore the passageways and arcades of Prague.  Next time!!  

The reveal date will be Monday, January 21st.  To make it super easy for you to participate and share your creations, I'll set up an Inlinkz link up so folks can add their blogs as they are ready.  Just stop by my blog starting on January 21st and join the fun!  I'll leave the link up open for a while... so you have plenty of time to add your links.  (Last month's is still open... check it our HERE.)  No blog?  No worries!  Feel free to send me a picture of your creation and some brief comments and I'll happily share in my blog post.  You can reach me at  The more the merrier, so I hope you'll play along with me this month!  

Monday, December 31, 2018

Honey Do List December 2018

This marks the end of the third 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 2018!  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:

For this month's challenge I wanted to make folks work with bright colors and designs.  While visiting Sarajo's mom in her hometown of Huntsville, Alabama we happened across this cute decorated alley.  This is why I like just walking around areas with my camera--you never know what you might discover!  

I have to say that it was kind of fun walking around downtown Huntsville with Eric... it's changed a lot since I was a kid and even since he was last there!  There's something to walking around a place with a camera (or with someone with a camera!) and trying to see the world through that lens.  We discovered a lot of cool nooks and crannies, little bursts of art hiding in a town that I've known my entire life.  

I took inspiration this month both from the bright colors of this alley's murals in general and the "Alley Cats" painting in the foreground in particular.  My first design is ALL about bright color!  I've been hanging onto this adorable heart shaped resin pendant with a sweet black kitty from Gaea for awhile.  It was the first thing that I thought of when Eric gave us this challenge.  With all the vibrant colors in the pendant, I decided that the smart thing to do was to start by going through the collection of bead mixes that I've got left over from a bunch of different Allegory Gallery design challenge kits and little gift mixes as well.  I plucked most of the beads that I used in this necklace from those mixes and then added in a few more things to round out my options.  

It's a bit hard to see in my picture (and apologies for the bad lighting... yay Minnesota winter) but the back of the pendant says "wander."  I used some fun new copper plated chain at the back and left it long with no clasp.

With the craziness of the holidays, I really wasn't sure I'd manage to make more than one design this month.  Luckily, I was able to carve out a little last minute making time and whipped up a second necklace!  I've had a sweet floral cat pendant from Golem Design Studio for a couple of years and am happy to have finally made something with it.  I kept this one fairly simple and just made links with Czech glass beads in the colors from the kitty's flowers and added brass chain at the back.  I just had to use a toggle clasp that had a flower similar to the ones on the pendant to complete the necklace!

While I was waiting (in vain) for the light to improve for picture taking, I managed to whip up a little pair of kitty cat earrings too!  I paired some adorable bow-tie wearing cat charms by Anna Bronze with some tiny lampwork beads and little Czech glass flowers.  The ear wires are bronze colored niobium.

get the InLinkz code

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Art Elements Theme of the Month: White

For the December Theme of the Month over on the Art Elements blog Claire Fabian chose "White" to inspire us.  She shared some truly lovely inspiration photos over on the blog HERE that I encourage you to check out.  I honestly have less white beads in my stash than probably any other color making me initially thing that this might be a BIG challenge for me.  (And, yes, rules lawyers, I know that white is technically not a color, but explaining that makes my head pound.) 

Not surprisingly, since I live in MinneSnowta, I chose to focus my creative energies on the idea of snow flakes this month.  It also doesn't hurt that tis the season for selling snowy creations!  :)  I happened to already have a pair of copper clay charms by Kristi Bowman sitting on the corner of my bead mat waiting for attention when this month's theme was announced... serendipity!!  I made little links with copper wire that I had antiqued and lovely matte star cut crystal quartz and some plated hematite for a little flash.  I love how this pair turned out and it's going to be difficult to part with them!

As I mentioned in my recent post for We're All Ears, I've been doing tons of saltwater Christmas ornaments and playing with the leftovers.  Some of them had snowflakes on them... perfect for the white/snow theme I was already working on.  The snowflake is the star of this tiered necklace which mixes the etched copper circles, brass chain and findings, and a small Swarovski crystal bicone.

I made a few different pairs of etched copper earrings featuring snowflakes as well.  I kind of felt like I just couldn't stop myself! 

Not a new creation, but on the same day that I saw the theme announcement, I was also reminded by Facebook of a post from back in 2014 when Erin Prias-Hintz was doing her 30 Word Thurdsays.  The picture I took of snowy drifts totally fit the theme so I thought I'd go ahead and share it with you all!

Snow blown into drifts.  
In the light of setting sun, 
I squint my eyes and can almost believe that 
I’m standing amidst dunes of sand.  
Dreaming of warmer days ahead.

Guest Artists
Sarajo  -  You Are Here
Art Elements Team