Tuesday, May 30, 2017

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 coral kind of continue the theme. I played around with several different colorways of beads before I settled on a a gray/green & brown color scheme. Of course I couldn't find any 15° brown beads so I settled for some bronze to create the bezel around the coral and then added a few in the last row of the bezel around Lesley's cabochon.  I also had some larger round beads to create an arch across the top of the ceramic cabochon.
I added a bail at the top with some rows of peyote and wrapped it around a deer antler. I drilled holes in the antler to add wire, beads and brass rings to loop the deerskin leather lacing through.  I tried photographing this in all sorts of lighting. The beautiful glaze on the ceramic piece just wanted to shine, shine, shine no matter what light I used.

I had fun with this one and want to get more of these cabochons and pendants from Lesley.
I am determined to pair one with actual shells!

I can't wait to see what our guests and the rest of the team have created with these piece.

Here's the list, go check them out for yourself.

Jess Green
Linda Newnham

Art Elements team
Laney Mead

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

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.
(Old wrinkled hard working hand of mine-holding the gorgeous focal bead)
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!
(Freeform peyote beading around the focal bead)
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 out how I was going to make it into a necklace. I didn't want to continue the peyote up into a rope-like necklace so I ended it and auditioned several ideas.
(First idea for necklace)
First idea was to loop some seed beads around the metal rings and then add faceted crystal beads to finish.  Also, I wanted to add a little drop bead to the bottom to anchor it.But once I had one metal loop firmly attached via several strands of seed beads I hated it. I did leave the drop bead-I do like that!

What to do next?.......

I put it aside, left it all day, and at the last minute decided it had enough beads and need something softer.
(Silk sari ribbon added to freeform peyote piece)
I used jump rings and attached one single faceted crystal bead with wire and threaded silk sari ribbon through at the other end of the wire. I wrapped the raw ends of the ribbon with wire, threaded on a bead cap and added a clasp. The sari ribbon is a burgundy red with a purplish blue along the edges which looks really nice with the beads.
(You can see the ripples & waves in the peyote beading surrounding the focal bead)
In the photo above you can get a better idea of the rippling in the beading. So a funky freeform worked much better than flat peyote. Flat wouldn't have held up so well, the focal would set up above and not fit in.
Thanks for hosting and making these beautiful beads Jen!
I am excited to see what everyone else has created. Please check out everyone's creations with Jen's lovely focal bead.

Guest Designers:
Sarajo Wentling
Deb Stewart

Art Elements Team:
Sue Kennedy
Laney Mead
Lesley Watt
Claire Fabian
Karen Totten
Cooky Schock
Jenny Davies-Reazor
Caroline Dewison
Cathy Spivey Mendola
Niky Sayers
Lindsay Starr
Jen Cameron

August Swirl Theme Reveal

Our AE team member Marsha chose swirls for this month's theme challenge. What a fantastic theme as it opens it up to so many ideas. Only...