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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…
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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…

Theme of the Month-Insects

Over at Art Elements Diana chose Insects for the June theme challenge. I was excited about this because I have a small collection of butterfly wings that I was determined to use for some jewelry components. And I also found the most beautiful INTACT Eastern Black Swallowtail that I wanted to display or use in a work of art.

Well, this is as far as I got making a pendant with one of the butterfly wings....So stay tuned for some resin/butterfly pendants sometime in the future.
BECAUSE once I started sketching (luna moth, dragonfly and butterfly) all kinds of projects started popping up in my head. I decided to take an alternate route away from jewelry for this project.
This beautiful piece of green fabric was in my stash and was begging to be used for a dragonfly. So for the first 'insect' piece I beaded a multi-hued green dragonfly.
I fused the fabric to a piece of stiff interfacing and drew my dragonfly directly onto the fabric. Originally, I attempted to use tracing paper an…

May's Component of the Month

Over at Art Elements it was Lesley's turn to host the Component of the Month. She made these gorgeous ceramic cabochons and pendants with the impression of a cross section of a shell. Just love the earthy look and shells are one of my favorite things!
I failed to take a photo of the one I received but as you can see from the photo below it was one of the cabochons with the darker glaze with the touches of green pooling in areas--yummy!
I knew I wanted to pair it with either more shells, or rocks that would keep it beachy yet earthy.
Out of the millions of sea shells I have I could not find ONE that looked good with these darker shades in the glaze. I also wanted to enhance the circular shapes by using round shells. I tried several different colors of snail shells-nope didn't look right. Tried some pebbles but they were too black and too blah. So I found this fossilized coral cabochon in my stash and decided to use it.
It wasn't circular but the starburst effects in the c…

Art Elements Component of the Month for April

Over at Art Elements Jen hosted the Component of the Month for April. She is a glass artist and made some amazing lampwork glass beads with texture. I just love the colors especially when the light hits it. She said she had the 'northern lights in mind' when she created these beauties.
She planted the 'northern lights' in my mind as well. Immediately I thought about freeform peyote and creating some sort of movement of light and color streaking through the sky. I have to confess I do a LOT of bead embroidery and some peyote bezeling BUT I don't do a lot of bead weaving. But I thought this was my chance to do some practicing!
I attempted to created lots of movement/texture with the beading. I left some open spaces and also created lots of waving/rippling with changing up the bead size periodically. AND I had no idea what I was doing. Just picking up beads and trying them out. I think it worked okay.
Once I got the slightly irregular piece beaded, I needed to figure …

March Theme Challenge Reveal-Amulet Bags

I had the pleasure of being the Art Elements member to choose March's theme challenge. I have been wanting to make some amulet bags/spirit bags/medicine bags for quite some time, so naturally I ran with the idea for this month's theme. I actually started making my first amulet bag while I was doing the research for the blog post announcement of the theme. Below is the first one I made.  Black deerskin stitched with black waxed linen. The flap is embellished with a slice of a real bone (marrow removed & dried) it has brown deerskin lace looped through the bone and a wooden scarab bead and carved bone hand along with feathers to finish it off. It's the perfect size for holding my glasses but for now it just has a piece of papyrus tucked in-you can see it peeking out in the photo below right.
Next on my list of amulet bags was a small velvet pouch. I had the perfect cabochon-the hand holding a purple moon by Jenny Davies-Reazor. I beaded around the cabochon on stiff stuf…

Art Elements' Component of the Month for February

Jenny hosted this month's Component of the Month over at Art Elements. She created lovely polymer clay hearts that she sculpted with cracks/breaks and then used wire to 'suture' the broken heart back together. I fell in love with them as soon as I saw them.  The green one really spoke to me so I requested a green heart cabochon (below).

 I decided to pair the beautiful green heart with one of Jenny's dryad pendants (below). They are created with ceramic clay and then she adds leaves/berries with polymer clay. I took the liberty of clipping off the wire for hanging (sorry Jenny) so I could use it as a cabochon.
 I already knew that I would create some sort of mixed media background to attach them to once I beaded around them. And of course I fortgot to photograph the cabochons by themselves once they were beaded.
So here they are fully beaded and already attached to my background.
I just love the heart on the tree...Reminiscent of hearts carved into tree trunks with lov…