Thursday, 20 October 2016

Weather - We’re All Ears September Challenge

For the EarringsEveryday October edition of the monthly We’re All Ears challenge, Erin Prais-Hintz selected weather ... wind patterns, cloud formations, precipitation... whatever we would like to represent!

I remember studying all about weather when I was a child and being fascinated by clouds. I used to know all the different types, what causes them, what conditions were needed to sustain them, how gentle or fierce they could be. Memories came flooding back when I was reading the challenge blog so of course I chose to focus on clouds

This painting by American landscape painter Albert Bierstadt shows a fierce rainstorm about to start and was the kickoff to my design. I did find it a little too dark and chose to work with the lighter elements of the clouds


Storm in the Rocky Mountains by Albert Bierstadt

I couldn’t quite find the right beads, shapes or colours, to make my vision come to life and decided it was time to take out the polymer clay again and play. I made a free form mixture of a light blue, deep navy and pale creamy pearl colour and made these sets


The Storm Above Earrings


The studs at the top are silver plated and the drops up front are gunmetal. It took a bit of work to get a decent rounded shape and remove fingerprints and clay from the sides and backs but it’s all practice right?

The Storm Above Earrings

I tried to get the look of sky in flux, with churning clouds and bits of blue sky peaking through. Some much needed touch ups to remove divots will happen this weekend.

The Storm Above Earrings

Although I tried to keep a close eye, there were hot spots in my toaster oven and I didn’t take the tray out quickly enough. I wasn’t quite expecting the temperature to be so uneven. Some of the darkened beads were at the back on one side and some near the middle of the oven. I may leave the colours as is but haven't decided yet. They do bring out the stormy look more.

I had enough clay left to make 2 pendants too. Here’s one final photo, a group shot



Please visit the blog reveal to see what everyone else made

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day

Friday, 30 September 2016

Art Bead Scene September Challenge

The Art Bead Scene team challenge is usually one of my favourite challenges. This year they have been really stretching the inspiration boundaries, with many avant garde inspiration pieces. They did it again for September, with this 1907 oil painting by Paula Modersohn-Becker titled Old Woman from the Poorhouse in the Garden with Glass Ball and Poppies. Sadly she passed away the same year



"Old Woman from the Poorhouse in the Garden with Glass Ball and Poppies" By Paula Modersohn-Becker, 1907
Though there are many colours in the artwork I was attracted to the red, the cheerful pop of the poppies and the muted red of the jacket and flower on her hat

These earrings have the happy colour of the poppies along with the muted background and skin tones of the painting. The textured arrowheads, with a lovely aged colour are copper clay, made by Kristi Bowman. The red glass beads in the centre are Lampwork headpins from Samantha Capeling of  VenusGlass Art. I used the copper wire of the headpin to attach it to the copper arrowhead and make the loop for the copper leverback ear wire


Red Sonja Earrings


Then I went deep into the back recesses of my Lampwork glass stash and dug out this set of Lampwork beads. These are some of the first art beads I ever bought. Unfortunately I never knew the artist who created these. At that time, the shop I purchased them at only used initials on their consignment inventory. Since then they are happy to more actively promote the artists they support 

The beads have the more muted red found in the painting, along with deep black, thicker stringer lines, squiggles and dots that somehow made me think of the flowers in the artwork. I wire wrapped the small matching beads to the sterling silver chain of the necklace and made my own bail, with the help of bead caps, all in sterling silver. The focal bead is double sided which I especially love


Dark Queen Pendant

Here’s the reverse of the pendant focal

Reverse Side, Dark Queen Pendant

Please visit the blog reveal to see what everyone else made

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Trees! Art Jewelry Elements Autumn Challenge

The Art Jewelry Elements team has issued a new challenge for September, around the beautiful trees of the planet. They invited everyone to participate again this month, and also had a giveaway for 2 participants to use art beads designed just for the challenge. I did not win but that's fine because I have lots of pretty art beads that channel the theme

This image of a cottonwood tree full of fall colours fit both my love of the season and the pieces I made


Cottonwood Tree in Autumn

Digging through my lovely stash of art beads I found myself drawn to pieces that reminded me of the fall season we are living in here. I found several beads that fit and in the end limited myself to 3 designs

First up is this sweet pair of earrings, with ceramic charms by Nancy Adams of Round Rabbit, glass rounds and gold plated wires. The bright orange maple leaves are my favourite fall leaves. The colours of the beads and charms were lined up to give an ombre look, a fading to fall effect. Nancy decided to focus her creative energies in a new direction and is not making art beads anymore. I have a few more of her creations squirreled away for now

Fallin’ Earrings

The next item I made is this pendant with a charm and bead by Heather Powers of HumbleBeads. Heather creates beautiful beads, charms and pendants in polymer clay like the lovely pieces here. I used gold plated wire to link the charm and bead, and attached a gold plated jump ring for the bail. The cord is made up of 3 different colours of waxed linen, picked to match the beads, and closes with a gold plated lobster clasp and ring

Golden Time Pendant

The last piece I made is this sweet pendant with art beads from Lesley Watt of Thea Elements and a large leaf frond from Round Rabbit. The round green apple coloured bead and tiny leaf are ceramic, and both come from Lesley’s talented hands. I thought they paired so well with the large ceramic leaf frond from Round Rabbit. The background of the large leaf matches the colouring of the tiny leaf almost exactly. The round bead has pale shading that coordinates with the lighter foreground colour of Nancy’s leaf. I maintained the earthy aspect of the pendant with twisted vintage bronze wire then couldn’t decide what to string it on. For now it’s hanging from a simple waxed cotton cord.

M’Cintosh Pendant

Please visit all the participants listed below to see what everyone else made

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day.

AJE Team

Guest Participants
Mona Arnott            (you are here)


Friday, 16 September 2016

We’re All Ears Challenge - September

For the Earrings Everyday September edition of the monthly We’re All Ears challenge, Erin Prais-Hintz selected cities and city skyscrapers as the inspiration.



Photocredit: Brandon Moore, Chicago, Unsplash


I was inspired most by this photo with its city nights, city lights vibe and happened to have the perfect copper rectangle bars with rhinestone cabs in gold and copper




Two of these bars, one upside down to the other, were used to achieve the symmetry I was craving.


City Nights City Lights Earrings


Copper wire holds the rectangles to the ear wires and make up the bail for the Swarovski Crystal hearts. The hearts are a complementary Golden Shadow colour. On both top and bottom wires some clear glass beads help make the golden colour stand out even more. Using the copper wire I could not get the hearts attached to the rectangles and keep a balanced look and ended up using small chains made from jump rings instead.


City Nights City Lights Earrings


I’m working on a matching necklace, and possibly a bracelet but they are not nearly ready yet. I’ll write about them when done. I’m bringing everything to a show this weekend and will post them in Etsy if they don’t sell first.

Please go to the Earrings Everyday blog reveal to see what everyone else made

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day.

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Colour Palette Challenge - Caribbean!

The team at Love My Art Jewelry doesn’t usually issue challenges to artists and artisans but Sherri Stokey has issued a few lately. The latest challenge is inspired by the colours of the Caribbean waters.


 What is extra special about this challenge is that it’s not limited to jewellery. As Sherri states, the rules are simple: “Make something inspired by the photo (below).  It can be anything - a painting, jewelry (of course), a scarf, a hand painted pair of shoes (wouldn't that be cool!?) - as long as it's made by you.”



I chose to stick with jewellery and made this bracelet with the challenge colours, blues (cyan, aqua, Caribbean blue, teal), lime green (chartreuse) and a dash of white.

 
Caribbean Bracelet
The 3 dot sliders were the starting point. The deep Caribbean blue colour of the glass kicked everything off. I added pretty blue/green tri beads, aqua colour seed beads that are lined with lime green and some tiny white seed beads (that are really hard to see in this first photo. Sticking to the silver in the sliders I added silver plated clasp and findings but used an on colour green beading wire instead of the usual silver wire.

Caribbean Bracelet

You can see those tiny white seed beads better in this second photo. I’m working on matching earrings but, keeping it real here, they are not nearly ready yet. I’ll write about them when done. I’m bringing the bracelet and earrings (hopefully) to a show this weekend and will post them in Etsy if they don’t go.

To see what everyone else made go to the Love My Art Jewelry reveal blog.


Thanks for stopping by and have a great day.

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

More Inspiration from Campfires

When I was getting ready for the Earrings Everyday Challenge I was working on two pairs of earrings. The first pair are the ones I blogged about during the reveal. The second pair were not working the way I wanted so they didn’t get included in the challenge update.


Photo Credit Luke Porter, Unsplash

I finally figured out why I wasn’t satisfied with them: I kept trying to add too much. Not only were they too heavy but because the beads I used were all handmade they weren’t perfectly balanced and the earrings were lopsided. Art bead fans know they are often created with that distinctive not quite perfectly uniform shape that only handmade beads can pull off successfully and sometimes it just doesn’t quite work with the intended design

Hive and Honey Earrings
The pretty red beehive shaped lampwork beads were made by Davinia Designs. I won them in a bead destash auction by Linda Landig. The crusty gold rustic lampwork discs are from SueBeads, one of my favourite lampwork bead makers. I added some seed beads in matching colours, copper spacers, gunmetal wire and ear wires.

These earrings take their colours from the flames of a roaring fire, the stage in the campfire where the red flame intermingles with orange and yellow small flames, just kissing the burning wood. I should point out that the colour of the glass beads is much deeper and richer in real life. I will conquer those photo issues one day (soon I hope)


Thanks for stopping by and have a great day.

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Art Bead Scene August Challenge

The Art Bead Scene team issues a monthly challenge to use an art bead, described by the group as a bead, charm, button or finding made by an independent artist. Art beads are the vision and handiwork of an individual artist. The monthly challenge is based on an inspirational theme and this month the theme is built around this scene created in 1938 by Paul Klee.



Oil and coloured paste on paper on jute; original frame strips 100 x 70 cm

It has been described as having “a contrast between the hard black bar strokes that represent the branches and the bright colour tonality of the spaces between them. The work therefore includes spring and winter, death and blossoming in equal measure.”

I took my inspiration from the colours of summer fading into fall. The necklace I created features a marvelous polymer clay feather, hand carved and painted by Staci Louise Smith. This large 83 x 33 x 6 mm bead is double sided making it versatile. It can be worn with the simpler feather side out, like this

 
Feathered Waves

Or with the more elaborate scene of waves and stars on the reverse. The bead looks like it was made in the sgraffito method, characterized as a form of decoration made by scratching through a surface to reveal a lower layer of a contrasting color, typically done in plaster or stucco on walls, or in slip on ceramics before firing. (Thank you Google for the description)

Feathered Waves

As you can tell the hole in the bead is lower down the sides than would normally be expected. It gives the bead a fun pendulum effect. I used drop seed beads in a lovely blue iris colour to frame the bead. The neck cord is made up of 3 different colours of seed beads that complement the art bead and setting, and bring in more colours from the artwork.


The seed beads, strung on beading wire, are different sizes bringing a textural feel to the cord. I finished off the necklace with silver plated bail, toggle clasp and findings.

Same as my last 2 posts, as soon as I have some good photos I will post the necklace in my shop. (At least this time I’m starting with better photos)

Please check out the Art Bead Scene links here to visit all the other participants.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day.