Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Art Jewelry Elements: The Magic of Fireflies: the June Theme Challenge

When I saw this challenge I knew I wanted to participate. I remember as a young child (and teenager..) going to my grandparents house in Kentucky. They lived in the country on the top of a hill. Some of my favorite memories are of my cousins and I running around the yard collecting "lightening bugs" and putting them in a jar to use as a nightlight when we went to bed. If you can catch enough, you can get quite a bright light! When we got up in the morning, we would let them out.

I can remember the laughter and squeals as we caught the lightening bugs and they would get loose from our hands and crawl up our arms. And running in the garden and getting our feet muddy and having to wash off at the back porch spigot before going inside.

I am so glad Jen at Art Jewelry Elements  shared this challenge. I don't work with glass or clay but I wanted to create something that was whimsical that would remind me of those fun times at my grandparents home. So I created a lightening bug from glass and wooden beads and it's wings from decorative vinyl that I have for other projects.Since lightening bugs have beige stripes on it's wing's I beaded on glass beads around the edge.  The wings are on a jump ring and when I move, they move also. It's "light" is a wire cage with yellow beads strung on it. I strung my lightening bug on braided fabric tubes that are dark blue with silver sparkles on it. This reminded me of the lightening bugs as they flew in the night sky. The clasp on the back is a simple lobster claw.

Thanks for looking and going down memory lane with me. For more great lightening bugs or fire flies head over to Art jewelry Elements for the list of wonderful designers who participated.

And...oh yeah...wonder what happens when a lightening bug's light goes out.......


Til next time
Keep on Beading!


Friday, June 19, 2015

We're All Ears - June 2015


Hashime Murayama was a Japanese illustrator, born in 1879. He used to work for National Geographic until 1941.

Well Erin again has given us stunning pictures to use to create our earrings. I loved all three, but kept coming back to the first one. I just love the waving of the seaweed and the coral and shells.  I have a stash of shells that my daughter has collected over the years, so she said I could use them. The purple shells, the opaque, and the brown spiral shells I used and drilled the holes for them myself. The others I had from jewelry strands I already had. 

This is my daughter, Sydny, helping me by

modeling the earrings.  We went to beach by our 

house to take the pictures. Man was it hot! But 

she did good!

Here are two close ups of both earrings. I had a blast creating these. The idea came almost immediately upon seeing the picture. I created them that day. The goldy looking chain is to represent the swaying seaweed.  

Thanks for looking. And tune back in later this month and in July for more challenges I am in. And on July 17th for the next We're All Ears for July!

For more great eye candy check out Erin's blog at Earrings Everyday

Keep Beading

Friday, June 5, 2015

Epic Inspirations Blog Hop and Challenge

Melissa Trudinger of Beadreceipes threw out a challenge a few months ago. It is called Epic Inspirations. We were to make a jewelry piece inspired by one of our favorite TV shows.Well I love watching NCIS, CSI - all of them and my favorite people are Abby and Penelope. They both like to wear funky jewelry and Abby likes the black look. So I wanted to try and combine them into something EPIC.....

I had these disks with the holes in them and decided to sew "fringe" in each one. I decided on black and silver because Abby likes black and Penelope likes dangley pendants. Each fringe is 15 silver beads with a black at the beginning and end. I used black wildfire line to sew with. I was afraid I wouldn't finish as I ran out of silver beads but was able to get to JoAnns and get some more. I don't know how many are in each bag but it says 3.5 oz and I used a bag and a half.

 After putting it on the silver chain with the black chain woven through it, it just looked to forlorn. So I added the black and silver beads for now. But I think I am going to get some bigger chunky chain and finish it off. I have a toggle clasp in the back.

Each segment is hand sewn and as you will see in the next picture, it was time consuming! The earrings are made the same way. ALL hand sewn! I thought it would be heavy, but it isn't.

Here you can see the stitches in the back of the disks. I had planned on putting little felt backs on each one but ran out of time. There are 7 large disks and 5 small disks. I also used two disks to create the earrings.

Here is a close up of the chain and beads I used. Like I said, I think I will look for some larger chunky chain to attach the pendant to.  I have one in mind if I can find it in silver.

Here is a picture of me showing how the "fringe" looks. I was trying to lift up some of it so you could see the individual pieces. 

Thanks for taking a look and below is the list for more EPIC goodies!

Melissa Trudinger             http://beadrecipes.wordpress.com (Hostess)
Karen Mitchell                   http://www.overthemoon-design.com
Andrea Glick                      http://zenithjade.blogspot.com/
Karen Martinez                 http://fairiesmarket.blogspot.com/
Lennis Carrier                    http://windbent.wordpress.com
Lindsay Starr                      http://phantasmcreation.blogspot.com/
Mona Arnott                      http://bijouxgemsjoy.blogspot.com
Lee Koopman                    http://stregajewellry.wordpress.com
Shaiha Williams                 http://ShaihasRamblings.com
Veralynne Malone            http://veradesigns.blogspot.com
Elisabeth Auld                    http://www.beadsforbusygals.com
Kelly Schermerhorn          http://meanderingwithkelly.blogspot.com
Dini Bruinsma                    http://www.angazabychanges.blogspot.nl
Jami Shipp                          http://www.celebratinglifewithdamamashipp.blogspot.com.au/

Keep on Beading!


Saturday, May 30, 2015

Creating with Cabochons Challenge May 2015

See you on May 30th!

A few weeks ago Sally Russick put out the challenge to create with cabochons. Since she was my inspiration to use cabochons to begin with, of course I had to join. I was just finishing up one piece for a challenge that I have already posted to, here is what I made for that one. I was trying to add jump rings on the side. I think I still need practice on it. But I like the way it turned out. I think I will keep this one for me.

Then my granddaughter needed a quick necklace for her prom since it took so long to decide upon her dress. So I went simple. I had already made earrings for her using chain and crystals. 

SO....after all that I asked my daughter what she would like, and she chose a black cinnabar bead and wanted black and red beads around it. I found the red cinnabar beads in my stash also.I tied it all together using black chain and black glass pearls. The earrings are one glass pearl earring on a stud pierced earring. Below are the pictures of what I created. The last one with her wearing it, we didn't realize the cabochon was upside down, but I wanted people to see how it looked on her and not on the mannequin.

The Back of the cabochon. She didn't want the beads around the edge of the back so I just whipped stitched the back to cabochon backing.

I used just a simple lobster claw for the fastener.

And my daughter, Sydny, with it on.  She likes the way it hangs. Said it reminders her of a collar.

Thanks for looking. And for more beautiful creations hop over Sally's page to see what she created and the list of the other participants.

Til next time.

Keep on beading!


Saturday, May 16, 2015

Art of Awareness Hop

Lori Anderson of Pretty Things Blog issued a challenge to us about making people AWARE of how many different health issues people have to deal with on a daily basis. I was totally blown away by how many different ribbons and colors and health issues there are. To check out the list you can follow this link

My favorite color is purple so I was surprise to see what purple awareness encompassed. Cancer - I had family members that had cancer, ADD - two of my children suffered from this in their youth, Crohn's Disease and Colitis. I had colitis and had surgery for it in 1980 and again in 2010.It is something that doesn't go away.

In addition I have worked with special needs children at church from total dependency on me to me just making sure they sit still during Sunday School. I also have a cousin that has Down's but she is the love of everyone she touches. Her internal light is always glowing. I think being around these special people has made me more understanding and patient with people around me. The kid who won't be quiet in the grocery line, or the seemingly adult person who is acting like a 6 year old. I try not to judge as I don't know them or their circumstances. I just know that most of think we are "normal" and frown at them or their parents, but do we really know what normal is? Everyone has issues whether you can see them or not.

When Lori put out the challenge I knew I had to join. I am a firm believer in God and have seen his hand at work not only in my life but in others. I wanted to be able to wear this message proudly so when I contacted Heather at Swoondimples I wasn't really picking a color for a specific reason even though as you can see, purple was really for me. I have always love purple so I chose that color and had my message, Believe in God, stamped on my pieces. On the back is a picture of a ribbon and heart. 

I wanted my pieces to be simple so that I could wear them with just about anything. So I made some earrings and a memory wire bracelet. I used light purple glass pearls and acrylic crystal beads. The beads under the stamped beads on the earrings are purple butterflies. I tend to be hard on my jewelry so I didn't want anything that might break. I love this set and wear it quite often. The pictures don't due the color's true justice, the dark purple is a deep purple. 

For more stories and inspiration check out Lori's blog for a list of the other participants.

And remember, just because you can't see a health issue, be AWARE that it might be there and show compassion to everyone. What goes around comes around and one day you may need to be shown some compassion!

Til next time
Keep on Beading

Friday, May 15, 2015

We're All Ears - May 2015

This month we were challenged with colorful dancers.  Below is the information from Erin about the dancers.

One of the perks of having daughter in a dance school is the chance to witness to some amazing performances. Last weekend was our own dance recital/spotlight showcase (which is truly the best amateur dance performance in Central Wisconsin), but on Tuesday evening about 25 of us traveled about an hour away to the Appleton Performing Arts Center to view an evening of dance from world renowned troupe Pilobolus.

It was thrilling to watch this troupe of about 8 dancers transform on stage. They did a total of five different dances that ranged from raw and gritty to a celebration of the beauty and power of the human form. There was heaven and hell represented along with a great dose of humor in an illusion of escapes through a collaboration with magicians Penn & Teller.
The most traditional piece that we saw was a tango with six of the dancers set against a backdrop of shifting video of colorful buildings in Los Angeles. The dancers were on stage for a total of about 8 counts and cycled on and off at quite amazing regularity, each time wearing something completely different. And I mean, completely different, right down to the shirts, pants, dresses, and jackets that would match the rainbow colors on the screen. 

I had so many ideas, but I created them in my head, but just couldn't get them to fruition. Below is one that I did try..

But it didn't flow like I wanted. I wanted something that would swing when you moved to kind of represent the dancers moving and turning.

After much looking through my stash and thinking I found this chain fringe that I had purchased on a whim from a bead store. I figured they, swung when you walked to I attached the different color crystals to the bottom and ear wires at the top and this is what I came up with.

I put then on and they do swing around and "lock legs" when I move.

For more beautiful earrings check out Erin's site at Earrings Everyday.

Til next month...

Keep on Beading

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Pine Ridge Flora Challenge May 2, 2015

Hello all, welcome back! Last time I told you I would be participating in another of Lisa Lodges challenges and that I would be posting it on May 2. So here it is. Above is a picture of the colors she chose for this Flora challenge. They are very deep rich colors!

For my submission I sat and looked at those beads forever...well, maybe for a week since I had to get hopping. But I really wasn't inspired....


Though I was drawn to the sparkly crystals at the top..I just couldn't get the beads to talk.  So I decided to look around at the other beads I had laying around for inspiration. I had some destash beads and such from Lisa sitting with my beads and low and behold....inspiration!!!!

The colors in the crystals and pearls went perfectly with this...so I whipped out my seed beads and stitched around this beauty. I wanted to try something a little different that I had seen Cindi Lavin of Beading Arts do and that was to add jump rings on the side of the cabochon when she stitched it.  It isn't perfect but you get the idea. The beads in the center are size 15 and are the same color as the larger beads around the outside. The pink wire I used at the top wasn't exactly what I had in mind, but I made it work! There were also a set of leaves that matched the color scheme of the cabochon.

So with this beaded I got to work on my design and below is what I came up with! I did add in green glass crystal beads to pick up the greenish color in the cabochon and the crystals.

The leaves I hung on black chain to pick up the black in the cabochon. While it is hard to see in the picture, the beads and the crystals all accent each other and the colors are picked up in the cabochon.
 Here are some more shots of the necklace..


Here is the toggle clasp that was provided.  

I also made some earring mimicking the patterns in the strands on the necklace. 

I really love how this set turned out and I think I may just keep it.  

I have another challenge coming up on May 16 hosted by Lori Anderson...it is called the Awareness Challenge...so don't forget to check back then and see what I created.

Thanks for stopping by and til next time..

Happy Beading!

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