Monday, May 22, 2017

Artisans Create Together Inspiration Challenge: May 2017

This month, the Facebook group Artisans Create Together has pulled together two gorgeous inspiration color challenges.  I couldn't pass up the opportunity to play along with both of them!  As luck would have it, I had some lovely earring components for each color palette.


First up, this amazing and vibrant color collage featuring bright blues, yellows, and greens!  I recently placed my first order with the talented Jana Bliznakova of Happy Fish Things and she sent some cute earring charms as a thank you gift that were just perfect for this challenge.  They are predominately turquoise and bright yellow, but the mixing of those two glazes gave some tiny bits of green along the leafy pattern in the charms.  I had two orphan glass beads that were a craft store purchases a million years ago that paired nicely and I added some yellow Czech glass beads and brass findings to complete the look.  




This second color palette was the one that initially drew my eye.  I love the mix of copper and turquoise... yummy!!  This time I went for a new pair of enameled charms by Gardanne as my starting point.  I did some fancy (for me at least!) wire wrapping with copper wire that I had patinated with liver of sulphur and coordinating Czech glass and added some orangey seed beads to jump rings for a fun touch.  I couldn't be happier with how these turned out!  


I didn't make this second pair specifically for this challenge (they were actually published in Stringing Magazine's Earring Gallery... created to go with a Southwest theme) but I thought that they were worth sharing since I never put them up on my blog.  These bold earrings feature lampwork glass by Firelily Glass and brass feathers that I painted with Vintaj paint patinas.  These still haven't found the right person go home with!


Thanks for checking out my latest earring creations!  I'm heading back to the bead board to see what else I can dream up!

Honey Do List: May 2017

Last year, my husband Eric has decided to issue me a design challenge each month to get me out of my comfort zone and to help clear out my bead stash... and we're continuing the Honey Do List for 2017!  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!  

Here's this month's inspiration and what Eric had to say about it:


For this month's piece I wanted to use a shot from our recent trip to Virginia and D.C.  With the recent big storm, most of the cherry blossoms were long gone, but we found this single tree with some pink flowers!  I liked the movement of the dried grasses, the metal scrollwork of the sculpture, and the pop of color from the flowers.  

The first thing I made focused on the lovely purple flowering tree.  I had some wonderful charms from Humblebeads that were just perfect.  The color worked really nicely for the flowers and I love the grass-like patterns on the charms.  I paired the charms with some purple Czech glass.




Next up, another pair of earrings called out to be made.  This time I played with the yellows and greens... especially the colors in the sculpture.  These may be a bit more of a stretch, but I ran with it anyway!  I used some small lentil beads from Golem Design Studio with dyed yellow agate and Czech glass dangles on brass.


And finally, I broke my recent earring making streak to design a necklace.  I have been hoarding a three holed pendant from Jenny Davies-Reazor for several years.  It was in my goody bag on one of the first two Bead Cruises I attended.  I chose a variety of beads in shades of green and yellow as well as copper accents.  I had a button clasp with a similar Celtic design to the pendant that seemed a natural fit.  To that end, I decided to string one side of the necklace and make wire wrapped links on the other.  The nuggets on the right side are yellow quartz and the bigger stones on the left are yellow opal.    








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Thursday, May 18, 2017

We're All Ears: May 2017

For this month's We're All Ears challenge over on the Earrings Everyday blog, Erin has challenged us to turn trash into treasure!  Basically take something we would normally toss out and turn it into fabulous earrings!

I immediately knew that I wanted to finally get back to playing with some aluminum beer and pop cans that I've been saving.  I even bought some new punches (really meant for paper) to use for the project and Eric and I have been buying some beers exclusively for the cans they are packaged in.  (So much for not judging a book, or a beer, by it's cover!!)

I specifically wanted to try out the two flower shaped punches that I picked up... hoping that they would work together size wise for earrings... spoiler alert... they did!  I wanted a good pop of color for the center flower so I chose a super funky can from Stillwater Artisanal.  I didn't have another colorful can that coordinated with the pink, purple, and yellow so I went for a neutral and used the grey color from one of our local breweries, Insight Brewing.  Here's a before picture!


Aluminum cans are much thinner than you'd expect... that meant that for jewelry use I wanted to have some sort of more substantial backing for them.  Luckily, my flower shapes were the perfect size to fit on top of a circle blank from Vintaj.  I used an embossing folder with my Big Kick on an Arte Metal blank and then sanded the front side to bring out some of the silver color on what was going to be my base layer.  The upside of the ultra thin aluminum is that I was able to stack my components and punch a hole in the center of all three at one time!  I then riveted the pieces together and used my dapping block to dome the whole thing.  Lastly, I wanted the earrings to have a little more dimension, so I gently curved up the petals of both aluminum flowers.  To finish off my design I used some coordinating Czech glass rondelles.



I hope to play more with this idea soon, but life has been crazy busy with not nearly enough time at my bead table.  I feel lucky that I finished one pair of earrings!  As a bonus, I'll also share a pair of earrings that Eric made using circles cut from an Indeed Brewing can.  (They have some super fun designs!)



Thanks for stopping by to see my newest earrings!  Pop over to the Earrings Everyday blog to see what trash transformations other folks came up with!


Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Inspiration in Everyday: May 2017: Apple Blossoms

This month I'm playing along again with a design challenge from a new group on Facebook called Inspiration in Everyday.  The group has been created as a means to share the everyday things we take inspiration from to use in jewelry.  The idea is pretty simple... find something that inspires you to create beads, components, or jewelry, take a photo of it, create something based on that inspiration, and share in the group!  There is an art bead focus to the group and each creation shared should include at least one handmade art bead or component.

This past weekend, Eric and I went on some afternoon wanderings to try out a new local cider maker's tap room as well his new camera.  After a lovely and relaxing sojourn on the deck outside of Number 12 Ciderhouse in Buffalo, Minnesota, we took some time to explore the lovely grounds.  (Their taproom is located at the back of the building at Deer Lake Orchard... and if you like cider you should seriously check it out!)  While Eric was busy putting his brand spanking new camera through it's paces, I snapped a few pictures with my trusty iPhone.

Zestar Apple Blossoms at Deer Lake Orchard, Buffalo, MN

Not quite true to all the colors in my photo, I couldn't resist making something with these sweet copper flower charms by Patricia Healey.  I have to give Eric credit for picking out the Czech glass rondelles for the design.  They are in a color that Lima Beads appropriately called Pumpkin Sky, but I don't think they carry them any more.  I added in some little blue agate rounds nestled into copper plated bead caps to complete this design.


I have an idea for a necklace inspired by this photo too, but it has a vintage pendant that may not be considered an art bead.  I've got a few other things lined up that have more pressing deadlines, but I'll make sure to share if I circle back to the necklace idea!

Art Bead Scene: May 2017

This month's Art Bead Scene inspiration is Bowl of Fruit, Violin and Bottle by Pablo Picasso.  You can read more about the artwork and the artist over on the ABS blog HERE.  Truth be told, I'm not a huge fan of this particular artwork or, really, anything in the Cubist style.  Moreover, I really don't get it...  I see the violin and (I think) the bottle but the bowl of fruit escapes me.  I'm guessing that it's the blob at the top of the artwork, but who knows!?!

Bowl of Fruit, Violin and Bottle
Pablo Picasso
1914
Oil On Canvas
Since the artwork doesn't really speak to me, I decided that focusing on the colors was the way to go this time.  I chose to work more with the pinks, tans, and creams in the painting, but as you'll see below, I did add some speckled blue ceramic beads into both designs to try and pull it all together... and to echo the speckled and textured parts of the artwork.  But I'm getting ahead of myself!

Even before I had made anything for last month's ABS challenge, I had picked out the main components for this first design.  (Have I mentioned how much I adore having the booklet with the whole year's artwork to peruse??)  I was digging through my beads looking for options for April and a set of silk wrapped cocoons from SagaHus Components caught my eye.  I fell in love with the rich mix of peachy-pink and cream when Anna Pierson listed them in her Facebook group and had to have them.  Sitting just one compartment over in my art bead drawer were some fun ceramic flowers that I picked up from my friend Tracee Dock of The Classic Bead a while back.  It was serendipity!  The only other thing I added to those original components were the speckled blue beads.  These are pretty big earrings (bigger than I would probably wear myself) but I know they'll find the right person!


I thought that this would be it for me, but then another light bulb went off and I grabbed another pair of components from SagaHus... this time a pair of Czech glass teardrops embellished with scarlet silk and seed beads.  Once again, I added in some blue speckled ceramic beads (in a slightly larger size than those in my first pair.)


Thanks for stopping by to see what I've been up to lately.  If you want to see what other folks have been inspired to make in response to this Picasso, check out the Art Bead Scene's Pinterest board HERE.  

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

May 2017 Inspiration for the Honey Do List

Sorry that I'm getting May's inspiration posted a day late!  We've been on the road and Eric didn't get around to making his selection before we left.  Better late than never!

Last year, my husband Eric has decided to issue me a design challenge each month to get me out of my comfort zone and to help clear out my bead stash... and we're continuing the Honey Do List for 2017!  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!  

Here's this month's inspiration and what Eric had to say about it:


For this month's piece I wanted to use a shot from our recent trip to Virginia and D.C.  With the recent big storm, most of the cherry blossoms were long gone, but we found this single tree with some pink flowers!  I liked the movement of the dried grasses, the metal scrollwork of the sculpture, and the pop of color from the flowers.  

We've got a little more color to play with this month as spring oh so slowly has started to have sprung!  Eric didn't mention it, but this photo was taken at the Meadowlark Botanical Gardens.

The reveal date will be Monday, May 22nd.  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 May 22nd 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 out 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 sjdesignsjewelry@gmail.com  The more the merrier, so I hope you'll play along with me this month!

Monday, May 1, 2017

Art Elements April 2017 Component of the Month

Each month over on the Art Elements blog they host a Component of the Month giveaway and challenge.  I was lucky enough to be selected as one of the guest participants to receive one of Jennifer Cameron's lovely lampwork glass beads!  It always feels like Christmas when new beads come in the mail and I was thrilled to find the bead on the bottom right in my little package from Jen.  (At least I think that one is mine... if not they are super similar color wise!)  There is so much rich color inside of swirls of clear glass!


There are some bronze-y and sand colors in my bead along side the various blues and the tiniest bit of teal.  I wanted to do something with all of that color action!  I was originally thinking that I would string the front part of the necklace, but nothing I did looked quite right to me.  I changed tactics and wire wrapped links using faceted bronzite rondelles, smooth blue aventurine rounds, and some English cut Czech glass beads in an amazing mix of colors that Lima Beads calls "Earth."

I wanted the back of the necklace to be soft... and to bring in more color.  Plus it's been a while since I used any ribbon in one of my designs and I like to mix things up.  I thought that I had some finished ribbon in the right blues but I only found sari silk and that just wasn't hitting the right chord for me.  Instead I opted for some hand dyed silk ribbon in a sea green color.  It's not what I originally had in mind but I do think it pulls out the teal in the focal bead and plays off some of the color in the Czech glass.  The focal bead makes me think "ocean" with it's colors and swirls, so the ribbon color just plays into completing the sea inspired color palette.



Stop by the other participants' blogs to see what everyone else created!

Guest Designers:
Sarajo Wentling - You Are Here!
Art Elements Team: