Saturday, August 31, 2013

Whimsical: AJE Earring Challenge 33/34

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Week 33 was posted here: Summer Color Surprise Bonus Earrings.

Week 34:

These sweet focals look like carved or perhaps burn-decorated wood. They are actually faux-wood polymer clay bracelet components, with the design stamped and antiqued, by Rebekah Payne of Tree Wings Studio (yes, "home of the oh-so-cute Sleepy Critter beads"). I have simply strung tiny glass beads on beading wire and hung my design on handmade "Dressed-Up Earwires" by Shelley Graham Turner of Tori Sophia (shop on vacation right now but check back later!) 

Visit the AJE Pinterest board often for new designs!

AJE August 2013 COM Reveal

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Last month I took a chance and threw my name in for a Component of the Month on the Art Jewelry Elements blog. Each month one of the contributors has a turn distributing a set of their own handmade components, and August was Melissa Meman's turn to offer her "Molten Morsels". You can read about her creative process on this post. I was beyond thrilled when Melissa let me know my name had been drawn at random!  

Before I received my Morsel, I thought about using some Vintaj patinas to add a little colour. When I saw how pretty and elegant my butterfly looked in its delicate antiquing, I decided to use it as is. It is such a great size and classic look, this is one of those times I had many more design ideas and had to pick JUST ONE!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty."

Maya Angelou

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"Butterfly Armour"

I wire-wrapped some earthy lamp-work beads by Julianna Cannon in 20g brass wire, then strung them on 8mm double curb chain in gunmetal. I was looking for a touch of drama while playing on the contrast in Melissa's component. For neck comfort and a little extra length, I made a short fabric-covered cord in coordinating colours. (I guess even in an über-metal design I can't resist a little fiber LOL.) My necklace is about 27" so I can slip it on easily.

Melissa, thanks for including me in this month's blog hop... I had a great time! *UPDATE: Since you asked, Melissa, this is the back of the pendant with the embedded rings!*

You can also read Melissa Meman's blog Art. Life. Love., and check out her Etsy shop, Melismatic Art Jewelry, where she sells enameled components and rosaries, in addition to her own line of jewelry.

Check out the rest of the participants for the AJE Component of the Month blog hop for August 2013:

AJE Contributors
Melissa Meman   Art. Life. Love.
Jennifer Cameron   Glass Addictions
Jenny Davies-Reazor   Jenny Davies-Reazor 
Francesca Watson   Francesca Watson Designs 
Kristen Stevens   My Bead Journey 
Lesley Watt   The Gossiping Goddess
(apparently Lesley's morsel is AWOL in the mail)
Sue Kennedy   Sue Beads

Perri Jackson   Shaktipaj Designs
Hope Smitherman   Crafty Hope
Monique Urquhart   A Half-Baked Notion

Friday, August 30, 2013

Deborah Read Giveaway

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Seriously, I wasn't PLANNING on posting today, after two posts yesterday and blog hops coming up both Saturday AND Sunday coming up... but I just HAD to share Deborah Read's giveaway. Check out this beauty:

Go to this post to comment and win; the draw will be October 1st, 2013. Crafted from 18g copper, almost 2" in diameter, and etched with Deb's own zentangle pattern, it also features one of her engraved dichroic glass pieces.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Summer Color Surprise Bonus Earrings

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Just a quickie update on my Summer Color Surprise blog post. I had set aside a couple of the Joan Miller Porcelain rings sent by Lisa Lodge, together with my chunky Ghana recycled glass by Soul of Somanya. (I am getting braver pairing beads that are not completely matchy-matchy in size). Strung on 1.5 mm purple leather, earwires made by moi from anodized niobium in dark purple. Have I mentioned lately how fond I am growing of purple LOL.

Week 33

Visit the AJE Pinterest board often for new designs!

AJE August COM Reveal on Saturday

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I was thrilled to find out that my name was drawn for this month's Component of the Month from the Art Jewelry Elements blog. I am usually hesitant to jump into anything that involves waiting on the mail... delivery to my part of Canada can be slow, and the reveal was only a month away. But when I saw Melissa Meman's "Melismatic Molten Morsels", I couldn't resist. I was one of the three lucky AJE fans, and before I knew it, Melissa's amazing butterfly morsel was in my mailbox!

Can you tell I'm excited? It is SOOO much prettier than any photo can show. Click on this link for a preview of ALL the components Melissa created. Make sure to come back here this Saturday morning, August 31, 2013, to see the wonderful designs the AJE team members and three guest designers will reveal. See you then!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

2013 Summer Color Surprise

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Welcome to my reveal for the 2013 Summer Color Surprise, hosted by Lisa Lodge of A Grateful Artist - Pine Ridge Treasures. Waaaaay back in March, Lisa offered to send us some "surprise beads". No one knew what to expect! I requested some artisan beads and was pleased to receive a selection of porcelain by Joan Miller in a lovely green shade and mostly organic shapes.

I knew right away I wanted to pair my beads with a colour which is one of my current favorites. One of the rules of this challenge is to attempt to use only beads in our stash and not buy anything especially for the event (well, as much as possible LOL). And I have a LOT of purple! So here is the bracelet I created:

**Update: strung on 1.5 mm leather cording**

*Update: August 29: I posted earrings to match this bracelet: surprise bonus earrings.*

Now check out what these designers have come up with:  

Audrey Belanger   Dreams of an Absolution
Mary Govaars   MLH Jewelry Designs
Melissa Trudinger   Bead Recipes
      Monique Urquhart    A Half-Baked Notion
 Beti Horvath   Stringing Fool
 Charlene Bausinger Jacka   Clay Space
    Tara Plote   The Newbie Beader's Blog
Renetha Williams Stanziano   Lamplight Crafts
Leah Mifflin Tees   My Beady Little Eyes
Kathy Zeigler Lindemer   Bay Moon Design 
Molly Alexander   Beautifully Broken Me
Alicia Marinache   All the Pretty Things
Laurie Vyselaar   Lefthand Jewelry
Eleanor Burian-Mohr   The Charmed Life
Julie Lockhart   Copar Aingeal
Dolores Rami   CraftyD's Creations
Elizabeth Bunn   Elizabeth Beads
Mowse Doyle   Mowse Made This
Veralynne Malone   Designed by Vera
Candida Elkins Castleberry   Spun Sugar Beadworks
Shaiha Williams   Shaiha's Ramblings
Christie Searle Murrow   Charis Designs Jewelry
Andrea Glick-Zenith   ZenithJade Creations
Chris Eisenberg   Wander Ware 

*Plus go to our Lisa's post to check out what she made* 

Monday, August 19, 2013

Summer Color Surprise Coming Up!

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Don't forget to tune in this Saturday, August 24th, for this year's Summer Color Surprise, hosted by Lisa Lodge at her blog, A Grateful Artist/Pine Ridge Treasures.  For a peek at the list of the 24 artists taking part, check here for the list.

Here are the lovely Joan Miller porcelain beads I received from Lisa: 

I loved the organic shapes and right away I picked the accent colour I would use in my design... but that's a secret! I'll let you find out on Saturday!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

A Little Fun: AJE Weekly Earring Challenge 31/32

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Welcome to this week's blog hop for the Art Jewelry Elements earring challenge. I've already written about my first entry (Week 31), "Wilma Goes Dancing", on a previous post.  

Here is my design for Week 32:

I received these wonderful handmade copper ammonite charms from Kristi Bowman. Don't they look playful paired with these swimming turtles in imitation turquoise? This simple style is held together by antiqued copper decorative headpins handmade in Ghana, sold through Soul of Somanya. I never tire of discovering new ways to use these headpins for a lot of flexibility in design!

Remember to check regularly on the AJE Pinterest board for exciting new creations to inspire you!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Alenka's Blogoversary Celebration Blog Hop

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Hello visitors and fellow creators! Welcome to my reveal for Alenka Obid's Blogoversary Blog Hop. Alenka decided to celebrate the one year anniversary of her blog, Pepita-handmade, by giving some of US the gifts. Here are the beauties I received:

Alenka recalled that her swap partner Amy Severino named these "Yabba, dabba DOOO" beads, on her BSBP post one year ago today, because of their "prehistoric... archaeological" feel. Yes, I can totally see Wilma Flintstone rockin' these, Amy! 

I naturally gravitated toward organic materials to display these stunning beads: I have a growing collection of exotic wood beads and looked there first:

Bayong, nangka, robles, sibuaco, tiger ebony, etc. I was 
SURE those orange sibuaco rectangles bottom center 
would be part of my design!

Then I looked through some stones, ceramic, even sister PC beads... it was only when I got these pretty/wonky Indonesian lampies I had ordered (for another project, naturally) that I found my perfect marriage.

So finally here is my earring design featuring Alenka's marvelous crackled-surface beads. They insisted on getting blinged up for this event, Alenka... and they are ready to go dancing!

With a nod to Amy Severino, I am naming these
"Wilma Goes Dancing"

Thanks so much for allowing me to help celebrate your blogoversary, Alenka... many happy returns!

Here are the rest of our international design crew:

Ginger Bishop   lilmummy likes 
Susan Kennedy   Suebeads 
Becky Pancake   Becky Pancake Bead Designs 
Debbie (Kepi) Rasmussen   A little of this, a little of that 
Evelyn Shelby   Raindrop Creations by Evelyn 
Dini Bruinsma   Angaza by Changes 
Monique Urquhart   A Half-Baked Notion 
Jo-Ann Woolverton   It's a Beadiful Creation 
Penny May   Smelly Nelly  
Carolyn Lawson   Carolyn's Creations 
Ana Cravidao   ACBeads 
Dolores Raml   CraftyD's Creations 
Cynthia Machata   Antiquity Travelers 

Friday, August 09, 2013

Blogoversary Blog Hop on Sunday

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Just a reminder... I hope you will all stop by this Sunday, August 11th, to check out what we have created to celebrate with Alenka Obid of Pepita handmade. It was Alenka's one year "blogoversary" in June and she came up with a fun and unusual way to mark the occasion. She selected as gifts some beautiful components from her handmade polymer clay collection and invited her readers to join in the fun. I was lucky enough to be among the guests!

From Slovenia with love...

Above are the gorgeous components we received... please drop in on Sunday for a chance to view the designs we have created. This is truly an international affair, with bloggers from Portugal, the Netherlands, Japan, Australia, Canada and the United States joining the party. I can't wait!

Win a Sleepy Critter!

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Drop by Rebekah Payne's blog Tree Wings Studio for a chance to win a cute sleepy critter bead! The draw is August 16th and open to everyone: *international bead lovers are welcome* Thanks Rebekah!

Saturday, August 03, 2013

Simplicity: AJE Weekly Earring Challenge 29/30

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In keeping with my theme, simplicity, I will try to use fewer words in this post. 

Week 29: A pair featuring the organic stoneware beads of Ingrid Mueller of potterygirl matched to caramel picasso Czech beads on gold earwires.

Week 30: On purple "Dressed-Up Earwires" by Shelley Graham Turner of Tori Sophia, I have hung faux peacock feathers I crafted of polymer clay cane slices, a cane designed by Cindy Lietz of Polymer Clay Tutor

Hope everyone is having a wonderful summer! Please check often at the Art Jewelry Elements Pinterest board for new earring designs.

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Meditative Mandalas Created by You!

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Here is my new favorite toy, folks! Create beautiful digital mandalas with easy to use controls: 

Click here: my digital mandala to be taken to the website, where the creation of my first design will be shown automatically. Better yet, click on the "new" tab and generate your own amazing mandalas.


Don't anyone say I didn't warn you!

UPDATE: I love it so much I added a gadget. I'm gonna change the image and link regularly.

*sigh* I really DO need *help*

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