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Deck the Halls! 2014 Ornament Swap is here!

ornament 2014 badge

This is a favorite swap hop of mine! 

Sally makes it festive, and keeps it small, personal. I was thrilled to get Patti's name as my partner; we are ARTBliss friends! I sent her a silly survey, to keep our emaill conversation going, and to harvest a few ideas... 

And a silly Survey: 
1. Fav beverage. 
2. Fav color
3. If you won a million dollars you would_____
4. fav Xmas tradition/decoration. 
5. Last good book you read
 
I took some of her answers ( blue & green, coffee) and made this:  

felt for Patti

Inspired by winter window landscapes, when you sit inside, snug, with a furry kid at your feet, and coffee in your hands, watching the snow sparkle. The trees dusted with glitter, a cardinal bright in the evergreen... I was on a felt jag this year, after finishing a crazy complicated felt/sequined/beaded stocking for my 9 mo. old nephew. His first Christmas - so exciting! Well, there was more felt, and embroidery floss... So there you have it. 

Art beads: 
Porcelain Celtic knot by Caroline of BlueBerri Beads.
Lampwork red bird by Lori Lochner

 

And what did I receive, you ask? Gorgeousness!

ornament from Patti

It's too cool for the tree. It needs its own place, and is right now hanging in the dining room window. Heavy, luxurious wire wrapped nest/wreath! Adorable house charm from Marla/Marlas Mud! Lampwork bluebird from Donna Millard. And an embellished hanger/hook... I tell you Patti has outdone herself - this may stay up all year! 

I'm sorry to be so brief today - I have presents to wrap... WAIT! I still have presents to finish making! And there are blogs to hop... please join us! The links of the partner/pairs are listed below. Happy Holidays everyone! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seeing stars... and the November Component of the Month reveal!

Hello blog. I have been neglecting you. When I last was here it was for the October COM reveal for Art Jewelry Elements

Since then I ran away with the faeries: 

Witches and faeries

and retreated to the (frigid) beach to immerse myself in seed beads: 

bead retreat

I promise more on that later! 

Today - I'm actually off at a show as you read this. The holiday show season is in full swing! And the gift making! Oh my. Sprinkle a few custom orders on the top of that - and I hope you understand why I have been neglecting you. Let me show you the eye candy that is the COM. Will that do? 

Kristen selected these versatile beaded circles as her component of the month offering! I have worked with these before and love them. They can go in so many direction, so many applications... 

beaded circles WIP

My pair was in matte black and silver. They asked to be simple, and a bit celestial. Here is the result: 

Nov CoM

Dangles include a sterling spiral, a quartz crystal point and a hematite star on gunmetal chain. They are super light weight - and I think I get to keep them...

Present for me? Hmm. I hope your present making and shopping is going smoothly so far this season! 

Please hop over to the blog at Art Jewelry Elements to see the other COM offerings this month!

Until next time... 

 

 

 

 

Beads of Courage - Charm swap and charity auction

 BOC button

AUCTION! ART CHARMS! BEADS! A WORTHY CAUSE! 

I want to introduce you to a new-to-me charity event called Beads of Courage. This year I was able to participate in this fundraiser; raising money for arts-in-medicine programs for children. As an art educator and advocate, I have seen the power that an arts experience can have on a child. At any age, at any time. 

The charm swap and auction is a prodigious task, undertaken by Jennifer Cameron of Glass Addictions. (And my team mate at Art Jewelry Elements.) Participants made a dozen charms (or in my case 2 dozen!) and received an assortment back. Charms by each participant are being auctioned off, NOW! ( Click here.) 

Beads of Courage 2014 theme: Soar!

 Winged things, flitting, floating. Fairies? or their more earthy cousins - dragonflies and butterflies? Yes! These charms are hand carved, an entirely original offering. These original designs wer sculpted and carved in earthenware clay. A plaster mold preserved the image and multiple new charms can be pressed from soft clay. Each one is hand painted, and customized with "Soar" and date on the back.

Butterflies are symbolic of the soul in many cultures of the world. They are the agents of transformation, and ethereally beautiful. Their delicate wings allow them to flit, fly... and soar. Dragonflies are similar in many ways... and even represented the warrior spirit in Aztec Mexico!

Soar charms

But I was still inspired and signed up to do another batch! These are my newest love: the fusion of polymer and copper! 

These unique mixed media charms combine polymer clay and copper. The copper shapes were cut, stamped, polished and tumbled to create the dark glowing patina. The polymer goes through the copper, holding itself in place with rounded top and bottom shapes - like a rivet! Textured impressed in the clay are accented with oils and acrylics.

courage charms

Now - I have to tease you with images of SOME of the charms up for auction! These could be yours... Remember, I got a double batch! 

Art charm booty

1&2 Toltec Jewels 3. Rosebird's lamp work  4. Windbent  5. Blu Mudd  6. Lamplight Crafts  7. Pepita  8. Dream Some Design
9. Shaktipaj Designs  10. Firefly Design Studio  11. Culturezine  12. NEDbeads  13. Artisticaos  14. Wanderware  15. Zenith Jade  16. SueBeads

BOC charm loot

1 & 2-Fulgorine  3 & 4-A Half Baked Notion 5 &6- Silver NikNats

 

Thanks for stopping by - I'm off to look at the auction offerings! 

Please feel free to visit the blogs of my fellow participants, check out their designs, and hear their stories! 

 

2014 Art Charm Exchange Participants
Jennifer Cameron: http://www.glassaddictions.com/blog
Alenka Obid: http://pepita-handmade.blogspot.com
Alicia Marinache: http://www.allprettythings.ca
Andrea Glick: http://zenithjade.blogspot.com
Caroline Dewison: http://blueberribeads.blogspot.co.uk
Cassi Paslick: http://badatbeingmom.blogspot.com/
Cate van Alphen: http://fulgorine.wordpress.com
Cheri Reed: http://creativedesignsbycheri.blogspot.com
Chris Eisenberg: http://www.wanderware.blogspot.com
Cory Tompkins: http://www.tealwaterdesigns.blogspot.com
Elizabeth Auld: http://www.beadsforbusygals.com
Genevieve Gabbert: http://www.glassaddictions.com/blog
Jami Shipp: http://celebratinglifewithdamamashipp.blogspot.com
Jill Bradley: http://www.jillybeads.blogspot.com
Kim Dworak: http://www.cianciblue.blogspot.com
Lee Koopman: http://stregajewellry.wordpress.com
Lennis Carrier: http://www.windbent.net
Lesley Watt: http://www.thegossipinggoddess.blogspot.com
Mallory Hoffman: http://rosebud101-fortheloveofbeads.blogspot.com
Melissa Trudinger: http://beadrecipes.wordpress.com
Michelle McCarthy: http://www.fireflydesignstudio.blogspot.com
Monique Urquhart: http://ahalfbakednotion.blogspot.com/
Moriah Betterly: http://mlbetterly.blogspot.com
Nancy Dale: http://nedbeads.blogspot.com
Nancy Smith: http://wirednan.blogspot.ca
Niky Sayers: http://silverniknats.blogspot.co.uk
Perri Jackson: http://ShaktipajDesigns.com/blog/
Renetha Stanziano: http://www.lamplightcrafts.blogspot.com
Shai Williams: http://shaihasramblings.blogspot.com
Sheila Prosterman: http://catswithbeads.blogspot.com
Susan Delaney: http://susandolphindelaney.wordpress.com
Susan Kennedy: http://www.suebeads.blogspot.com
Terri DelSignore: http://artisticaos.blogspot.com
Toltec Jewels: http://www.jewelschoolfriends.com
Vanessa Gilkes: http://culturezine.com/blog/

 

 

Dryad dreaming - The October Component of the Month reveal.

FaerieCon is less than a week away. All my thoughts, energy, work this week and next are of the Fae variety. So when I sat down a week or so ago to work with this lovely focal from Karen of Starry Road Studio... 

Dryad Dreaming

My first idea was all crazy complicated and it involved antique images and resin and mixing the media all up! The piece asked for simple. I wanted to make the most of the center opening. All I could hear in my head was a little voice asking: "What would a dryad wear?"

The focal to me conjures up the patterns of concentric tree rings, but it has a spiral as well. The warm brown/iron oxide color was perfect. The hole in the tree---- who lives there---- friend and companion to the dryad-----owl!

dreaming details

 

 

I love the result, I like the color palette of woodsy browns and greens. I would wear it long, and fiddle with the dangles all day. 

PLease dont miss the fantastic creations from the AJE team and out guests this month: 

Monthly Winners
 
AJE Blog Team

Runic Goddess - the September Component of the Month reveal

 September. I miss you. <sigh> 

September Component of the Month is brought to you by Kristi Bowman of Dream Some Design. The colors in this amulet are WOW! It is white copper, I believe, and the style says primitive talisman to me... I wanted to bring out the subtle tones of peach/honey and aqua. Not my usual palette so I am happy for the challenge! 

Runic Goddess

The linear and dot motifs helped guide me. I wanted to play up the linear quality, and decided to incorporate the wrapped chain links. They are copper and nickel parawire tumbled to a shiny finish. ( Thanks to Lesley for inspiration on these links.) The gems - jaspers and agates - repeat the dot/round motif nicely. 

Runic Goddess Sept CoM

I wanted to give the piece another layer of meaning and keep in the primitive style. ( I mean that in the best way, naturally). I decided to stamp runes into copper discs and intersperse them with the gems. (The runes are linear in nature as they were originally carved in stone. This makes them easy enough to stamp with letter stamps... no curves needed. )

rune detail

rune chart

"Jera" - Harvest: beneficial outcomes to your commited endeavor. Reap what you have sown. 
"Dagaz" - Breakthrough: Self transformation, change. 
"Sowelu" - Wholeness: the path you must follow; the core of your individuality. 

 

 I liked the meanings here. I thought that made for a powerful sentiment, a personal talisman. I would love to hear your thoughts as well... 

And dont miss the other pieces designed by my fellow Art Jewelry Elements team mates and this month's guests! 

 

 

Fall festivals and festivities

 

"...season of mists and mellow fruitfulness... 

Keats said it well in his "To Autumn". Those words embody September in my mind, and in my artistic life. 

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, 
  Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless 
  With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees, 
  And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core; 
    To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells 
  With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees, 
Until they think warm days will never cease,
    For summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.

Summer - what a whirlwind! I adore September, its my favorite time of year. Windows open, fresh crisp air, a cup of coffee, and time in the studio. September for me is a respite from teaching, and a round of arts festivals: travel, scenic drives, friends, and great customers. 

BF 2014 detail

The picture above was from my exhibitor's table at Beadfest Philadelphia this past August. My third year vending and my first teaching: a smashing success. One of the highlights as always was the camaraderie of my fellow artists and designers, especially my team mates at the Art Jewelry Elements blog! (If you are interested in pictures of my student work and my Beadfest loot, they can be found here. )

Art journal WIP  AJ2 Wip

In some ways September feels like a new start, a clean slate. Is it the residual timing of the back to school schedule from my years teaching? Whatever the reason - I am starting anew at an art journal. Nothing formal, it will be just for me to doodle, sketch, paint, collage. I have a sketchbook filled with notes and planning sketches, of course. This is more for play, for journaling thoughts visually... I am trying to leave one table set up as a place to work. It helps to keep things out, to have water ready for waterolors. To steal a moment here and there. I am trying to do a two page spread each week. 

BoC 2014 swap

The Beads of Courage charm swap and auction is the undertaking of Jennifer Cameron of Glass Addictions. Participants create and swap art beads/charms. Surplus charms are auctioned off to raise funds for  Beads of Courage. This organization provides "innovative, arts-in-medicine supportive care programs for children coping with serious illness, their families and the health care providers who care for them." I have signed up to contribute 2 charms to the swap. This year's theme is "Soar" and I have plans to donate an additional piece to the auction on November 14th. 

 

That's all for now! 

Off to pack and prepare and fire the kiln one last time.

Upcoming shows: 

Artsfest at Annmarie Garden - September 20-21st. Dowell MD 10-5pm daily. 

Art on the Avenue - October 6th. Alexandria VA. 10-6pm

 

 

Whirlwind of beads. AKA Beadfest 2014

 Bead Fest was two weeks ago?! Where has the time gone? Don't answer that - I know: packing, unpacking, sorting. Sleeping, fondling beads, visiting with friends, art camp, field trips... More on the latter soon.  

So here are the hightlights, and the loot. 

 

1. Bead Fest is social!  Hanging out with Staci and Linda on Wednesday, the annual AJE dinner! So much fun! 

BF14 social!

2. Bead Fest is colorful and diverse. My display is for sure! I always bring a few tiles as they run parallel to my Mythic Nature pendants. Sold a few too!

BF my display

3. Bead Fest is preparation - for me! So much to pack and remember for display, class, swaps...  This was my class room still life from set up. Even though it was early Sunday morning - it went so well! And everyone had a great time, it seems. 

BF class prep

4. Bead Fest is learning. Teaching. Creativity. Exploration.  I was thrilled to teach at my first Bead Fest. I taught a mixed media class that incorporated quite a few techniques - that I am confident the students will apply in their work moving forwards. Here you see student work-in-progress, my concentration face, and class samples below. 

BF class WIP

 

Beadfest is shopping. Art beads. Glass, clay, metal, polymer, gems...

BF loot1

(Diana/Suburban Girl, Anne Gardanne, SueBeads, Jen/Glass Addiction, Humblebeads, HMB Studios)

BF loot2

(Sue beads, Caroline/Blueberri beads, Karen/Starry Road, Kristen Stevens, Melissa Meman, Diane Hawkey, Staci Smith, Lesley/THEA designs)

BF loot3

(Caroline/BlueBerri Beads, Mary/White Clover Kiln, Basha Beads, Kristi Bowman, Staci Smith, Green Girl Studios)

Hope you enjoyed that whirlwind recap! Now off to the studio to make more stuff! Fall shows are around the corner... 

August Component of the Month reveal - and a guest blogger!

 Oh heavens August has been a whirlwind! Prep for Beadfest. The fantastic time that was had AT beadfest - hanging out with AJE team mates, shopping, selling... And now its the reveal date for the Component of the Month at Art Jewelry Elements blog. This month's component is a hand painted leather feather from Rebekah Payne of Tree Wings Studio. Simply gorgeous! 

But best of all: Lesley Watt of The Gossiping Goddess is here in the US! We spend the last two days in the studio working on our pieces, hanging out, drinking tea/coffee and generally having a fantastic time at "art camp". So with out further ado - the reveal: 

CoM faux bone

I wanted to back the feather in Faux bone to create a studier piece as a cuff bracelet. The Faux bone can be shaped when heated. I stamped, distressed, tinted with alcohol inks and sanded it until I had the level of color/rustic/patina that I wanted. 

CoM WIP

In homage to Emily Dickinson I had to engrave the word "Hope" on the underside. (" Hope is a thing with feathers that perches in the soul...")  The feather is stitched onto the faux bone with waxed linen. I wanted to use these rustic beads from Diana/Suburban Girl, but the wire wrap links werent flexible enough in the small span of bracelet... 

JDR CoM bracelet.

Here is my finished piece - I  selected the colors to play off the feather itself. The triple strand included lapis, blue tiger eye, seed pods... I plan to wear it today!

Now over to Lesley: 

Thanks Jenny...

So for this reveal I have none of my usual kit around me to work with so Jenny has very kindly put her awesome studio and bead stash at my disposal and the contents of that together with my Bead Fest haul have been the inspiration for my design with Rebekah's beautiful leather feather. I new before I left the UK that I wanted to incorporate the piece with metal and probably make a bracelet and that went perfectly since jenny was able to give me an impromptue tube riveting lesson  to produce this textured cuff element...

LW CoM 1

Then it was down to picking some beads to accent the cuff and I eventually decided on a beautiful Basha bead that I bought at Bead Fest which perfectly mirrored the blue of the leather. I also went for a linen strung multi-strand section combinng some brass and copper beads and a brass cone from Hands of the Hills and some lovely blue seeds I raided from Jenny...

LW CoM 2

Put all these together and this is the result which I have to say I'm really pleased with...it has something of a Native-American vibe to it and it wears really well.

LW CoM 3

It was great fun working on this project with Jenny, bouncing ideas around and seeing how our pieces started with similarities but ended up quite different...thanks Jenny.

You can check out what the other participants made using the links below: 

Guest Artists
 
The AJE Team
Jenny Davies-Reazor - http://www.jdaviesreazor.com/blog
Francesca Watson - http://francescawatson.com/
 

Mixed Media Amulets - my Beadfest class draws near...

 Or - how an idea evolves and grows!

In just over two weeks I will be setting up to exhibit at my third Beadfest Philadelphia. But this year will be my first year teaching, and I couldn't be happier! (Details are here!) The idea for my mixed media amulet class started with a ceramic cab I made - and a piece I designed for Art Jewelry Elements Component of the Month... The theme was a labyrinth - and I dove onto the meanings of the symbol. To me it represents journeys - both inner and outer. My journey to teach at Beadfest has been both. 

BF class samples

From top left: class sample with porcelain cab, necklace with polymer cab, the original CoM piece with labyrinth. 

I have been making, and making and preparing inventory for Beadfest, or course. But I have paid extra attention to the cabochons my students will receive in their "kit". I have made many designs, in different clay bodies. I look forward to making a few more sample pieces - all in the nature of preparing to teach... 

^10 kiln loading

There were app. 300+ cabs in this firing of the gas kiln at the "work" studio. We fired to ^10 reduction - app 2400 degreed F.  

class cabs 2

Knotwork, triskeles, labyrinths... and a few pairs for the seed bead people!

 class cabs1

Athena's owl, cobalt on porcelain, butterflies... 

face cabs BF

Faces - porcelain, stoneware, and glazed... 

I am grateful for the support of my teamates at the Art Jewelry Elements blog! I even have three of them enrolled in class! There are spots available - although some sawing experience is needed. Perhaps I will see you there? My class is Sunday morning - on August 24th. Here's the link: mixed media amulet class. 

Oh - and an admission coupon for those of you planning to come and shop! Enjoy! 

BF coupon #461

July Component of the Month reveal.

We break into the Beadfest creating frenzy with this special Art Jewelry Elements news bulletin: 

Its the reveal date. For the Component of the Month. Over at Art Jewelry Elements blog. 

Francesca sent us stunning bits of bling. I wasn't aware that glass was in her repertoire, I think of her as a metals maven. She has quite a few tricks up her sleeves. 

She offered to drill the dichroic glass cabs if we so desired. Nope! Cabs for me!

Francesca's glass

I debated whether or not I should dust off the old torch, solder, pickle routine. But I decided that I was still too in love with tab settings. Yup. I adore tab settings. There is a design challenge every time: to have the tabs be visually interesting, yet functional. To create unity in the piece and security... 

So here is what I did this month: 

Tab set bling

The piece was so dazzling - I wanted to keep the overall necklace simple. And it was larger than I expected - so I wanted to adjust the proportions so bling was the star, naturally. I pulled inspiration from the linear elements in the glass for the necklace itself. 

Whats missing here?

What's missing? Yes, the jump rings are en route to my work table. (I just didnt have it in me to make my own this month. Sorry.)

I am thinking either sari silk for a cohesive pop of color OR simple chain to finish it off. What do you think? I want it to be app. 22-24" to sit on the sternum. 

Here's one more - and you can see the small piece of chocolate brown leather that the cab is sitting on. It serves as a visual frame of sorts, and a cushion so the cab won't have issues on the copper. It also sits very securely in the setting as well. 

 Leather cushion

the flip side

I loved the challenge this month! The bling-y qualities of the cab made me leave my earthy palette/muted tones/comfort zone. I was pleased with integrating leather as a cusion and design element - in fact I made a second piece: 

copper and leather

I would love to hear your thoughts! 
And don't miss out on the other creations - links to all the participating members and our guest designers can be found HERE!
Have a good one! 

 

 

 

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