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Art Elements Nest Theme Challenge

If you follow our AE blog regularly you know that we have switched out the Component of the Month design challenge for a theme based challenge every month. I just happened to be on the schedule for this month's host and I chose a Nest theme. Perfect for springtime!
Before I even posted the original AE post announcing the theme I had a bazillion ideas for projects this month. I really wanted to try and complete as many as possible. Well, I managed three.

Here is my first piece-an assemblage loosely based on work by artist Joseph Cornell. I love creating assemblages but it has been a while since I played with this art form.

It can be a struggle trying to gather components together without looking like you just glued a bunch of stuff in a box.
 I used a cigar box which I painted with matte black chalk paint, then rubbed the edges with Gilder's Paste. Then I painted a wash of payne's gray to create the moon on the back of the box. I sketched a great horned owl on watercolor …
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February's Component of the Month-Runes

Over at Art Elements, the February Component of the Month's host was Niky. She made lovely runes in copper metal clay that you can see in the photo below. 

As soon as I saw these beauties I knew I wanted to participate in the challenge. My first idea was a talisman type necklace. Then when I received mine in the mail and saw which one I got I knew for sure that I was going to create a necklace for myself that resembled a collection of talismans or good luck charms. Per usual I failed to photograph mine until the beading was underway (below).
Runes were the first system of writing developed and used by the Germanic people prior to the Latin alphabet.  They functioned as letters but have much more meaning. The word rune means both letter & secret or mystery. You can check this site out if you'd like to learn more about Norse mythology and runes.

I searched the Elder Futhark runic alphabet for the description of mine. The 'M' rune is Ehwaz, pronounced as 'E'.…

December's Christmas Ornament Design Challenge

Over at the Art Elements site we are having a Christmas Ornament blog hop this month.
When Lesley first posted about the idea for December's design challenge I had a million ideas...
Well, as usual, life gets in the way of doing artsy things sometimes.
Since I am primarily a jewelry artist and secondarily a fiber artist I was going to do wire and bead ornaments. Didn't happen...
These happened instead-

This has been the year of my 1 Year of Stitches journey so I stayed with my stitching for most of my ornaments.  I got tons of ideas for felt ornaments on Pinterest and just ran with it. These felt ornaments are quick little stitchery pieces that can be completed in an hour or less. I just cut some templates from paper, then cut out the felt using the templates and started stitching. They are lightly stuffed with polyfil and then blanket stitched around the edge and tack on a ribbon for hanging. I have only made one snowman so far and I really need to make more. I think he's…

October Component of the Month

This month over at Art Elements it was Niky's turn to host the design challenge. She created these
lovely coin clasps with a hare on them. Fortunately, I remembered to photograph it first but these little beauties are difficult to capture. My lighting was off in every photo and then this photo which I decided was the best is a bit out of focus. Ugh....
So here is Niky's photo of the clasps. Much better than the one above.
I knew when I received mine that I wanted to make it the centerpiece of the jewelry design rather than relegated to the back of your neck or the underside of your wrist. I am a beader but my experience lies mainly in bead embroidery and NOT bead weaving. I figured it was time to try and create a beadwoven necklace with this clasp at the front center. I mean how much harder can it be to do tubular peyote rather than a peyote bezel....haha
Well, I found out it is a tad more challenging. And of course you should never do something for the first time when you ac…

September's Component of the Month

It was Laney's turn at hosting the Component of the Month design challenge over at Art Elements.
Laney makes the cutest whimsical lampwork beads you have ever seen. For this month's challenge she decided to make Zom-Bees!
I wanted to play along with this challenge but once I got the bead I had ZERO ideas about what to create. I decided a freeform peyote bracelet with the zom-bee as the focal would be perfect. Hmmmm. Didn't quite come together.

I make a commitment to myself at the beginning of the year that I would do some daily stitching with the groups 'A Year in Stitches' and '1 Year of Stitches' so I thought maybe I should create something using this cute little zom-bee as a centerpiece.

As soon as I decided to do some embroidery it all came together. This little bee needed a garden.
Sooooo, 'A Zom-Bee's Garden was born.

I thought black fabric as a background would make the bee stand out as well as the zombie flowers in the garden. 
Above you ca…

Component of the Month Design Challenge

Over at Art Elements Caroline created the most beautiful starry bead sets for August's Component of the Month Design Challenge.
Below is the bed set that I received. The photo doesn't do them justice. The lustrous finish is just gorgeous and those stars on the central bead are brilliant.

I received these beads while I was working on a tuturial for etching brass bullet casings (you can see the dirty fingers in the above photo). As soon as my bullets were etched I knew the brass would look really good with these beads!
So I created a tassel of brass chains and seed beads to dangle from the bullet shell then added the starry bead at the top.
Once I create a pendant whether it's bead embroidered or a tassel type pendant, I am always torn about how to finish the necklace portion off... Of course I knew I would use the other 2 beads but I didn't know whether to use chain or more beads or leather etc etc etc.... Too many choices.
I ended up creating just a short beaded porti…

Component of the Month-Scarabs

This month over at Art Elements Sue chose to make her lovely scarab beads for the design challenge. She makes her lampwork scarab beads in such lovely colors I was torn about which one I wanted so I asked her to just surprise me. When I received the bead I realized it was exactly the one I would have chosen if I had been forced to-hehe. Thanks Sue!!

This is the one Sue sent me...
Sorry for the slightly blurred photo. It has such a gorgeous metallic sheen to it that I was having a hard time with the lighting.  The color reminds me of a raku finish-just divine!

I knew I wanted to do something with an Egyptian theme to it and even though it is a bead with a hole through it, I wanted to use it like a cab & do some bead embroidery. Initially, I thought about doing a necklace but when I sketched out the design it was WAY too large, although I bet Cleopatra would've worn it!

I created a polymer clay face with black clay and then used paint and ink to try and blend with the color of t…