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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…
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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…

January's Component of the Month-Leather Cabochons

Lindsay over at Art Elements, chose to create leather cabochons for the January component of the month.  That's right, I said LEATHER cabochons! I knew that leather is moldable and malleable, but never considered creating a cabochon out it. Brilliant Lindsay & thank you.
As soon as Lindsay posted photos of these beauties they reminded me of aboriginal art. Probably because of the dots she painted on them but the colors and the fact that they were leather just made me think of aboriginal/tribal jewelry. As soon as my cabochon arrived I knew exactly what I would make-a talisman type necklace with a tribal/aboriginal feel to it.
I was so excited to get started that I completely forgot to photograph it BEFORE I beaded around it. So here it is after beading and before completing the necklace.

I pulled out various components and found objects that I could use as talismans to hang from the necklace. I chose a carved Camel bone pendant that I have had for years. It has dots carved in…

Art Elements December Dragon Challenge

Fellow Art Elements' team member Niky Sayers, hosted December's theme of the month. She chose 'dragons'. Immediately I was hooked and ready to start working on dragon themed pieces. I sorted through supplies I already had to see if there might be anything to use. The only thing I had were glass eyes.
I remembered seeing someone who had beaded a Dragon's eye brooch and posted to Facebook so I just had to try and create my own brooch. I am beyond thrilled at how it turned out. Especially since I beaded and ripped beads out, then beaded and ripped beads out numerous times. I got the beading around the glass eye done quickly-just some super duo beads at the sides then used some 11˚ beads to peyote stitch some eyelids. Once I got that far I just couldn't get the  combo of beads or the color and size I liked until my 3rd or 4th try. I am finally pleased with the combo of matte & shiny- round , dagger, rizzo and magatama beads. It has a pin back which I forgot to…

Art Elements Component of the Month

I just love the team over at Art Elements!! Since joining I have been inspired to produce WAY more work than I would ever have created 'alone'. It really does take a village for me to get creative and work in my studio!
Every month there is a theme or a component of the month challenge at Art Elements.
Sugar skulls were the component of the month for October and was hosted by Jennifer Cameron. Jen creates beautiful lampwork glass beads and headpins. Fittingly, for October she created glass sugar skulls and distributed them amongst the group.  I also received the wonderful antique key with the glass bead on the end:-)
As soon as my sugar skull arrived I knew exactly what I wanted to create. (haha)
I happened to be working on the caged trinkets tutorial for the AE blog when the skull came so I had wire weaving on my mind. I cut some pieces of wire, flattened the ends into paddle shapes and twined thinner wire around the padddles. I ended up with a flat woven piece that fanned ou…