Art Elements Theme Challenge October – Eye

Aaaaand another month has rolled around! Laney chose Eye as the theme for October’s challenge! I was on it  – the first thing I thought of was the evil eye (or nazar)! The nazar reflects a malevolent gaze back at the person who gave the evil glare. These are widely seen in many countries, you may have seen them in Turkish or Greek restaurants. They are very prevalent and available for purchase in Greece (in my experience!).

Lindsay requested evil eye cabochons, which was a lot of fun – I made small, medium and large round and oval ones as well.

Then I decided I should make evil eye headpins! These were fun to make too!

I wanted to make an ornament like I had seen in a Turkish restaurant, using bead weaving and one of the cabs. They seem to be highly ornamental, so I did it up! I even ordered the little evil eye charms from a shop on Etsy from Greece! I do wish I make the hanger strap a little bit longer, though. There are a few other things I wish I would have done differently, like using blue or smoke thread instead of white.

I had a couple ideas in my head for my new little micro-mosaic passion, and of course had to order a few supplies. The bezels come from a shop on Etsy from Turkey – how appropos! I also came upon these vintage glass eye beads and had to have them. My original idea didn’t work but I do like how they look as a simple design in the square bezel.

That’s it for my eye designs! I hope you enjoyed them! Since this is a blog hop, please check out what everyone else made – I know I’m excited to see!

AE Team

Susan

Marsha

Claire

Cathy

Jenny

Niky

Jennifer

Laney

Guests

Dawn

Hope

Beth & Evie

Kathy

Michelle

Tammy

Cat

Elaine

 

 

Art Elements September Theme Challenge – Foliage

I’ve missed a couple of challenges this year, I’ve been busy working my other job and trying to fit in all those other things you have to do in life, not doing a great job of trying to do everything. But I did manage to get one thing done for the challenge, and start on another! Of course, it helps that we’re going into fall and this theme aligns with some business related things I do!

Caroline chose Foliage for this month, and one of the things I make is enameled leaves.  I used the torch fired method I learned from Barbara Lewis years ago. Here are some collages of leaves I have had available in the last month, and some that may show up in my next FaceBook show. They are all one of a kind.

These are made with brass leaf charms, and depending on the colors, 3-4 layers of enamel. Sometimes the enamel colors react with each other to create cool effects, like the spotty ones. I also stole a pair of leaves just for me, and made these earrings!

I really  really like them! I used some ethiopian brass beads, czech glass beads and small copper and gold rounds. Copper ear wires, which I have to switch out because I am allergic to them! 14k Gold plated for me!

I also started on this cute embroidery project I purchased months (maybe 6 months) ago at a cute store in Morningside called Firecracker Fabrics. They offer sewing classes, fabric, threads, buttons, etc. and also had these embroidery projects and many more. I just bought one to start, and you can see why – just can’t get around to having any alone time to do something like this.

Here it is in the hoop – I didn’t get  a photo of the whole package before I started working on it – it comes with everything you need except scissors. The floss, hoop, etc.

And as of this post, here’s how far I got with it. I had hoped to get the leaves accomplished for the theme (foliage!) but wasn’t able to get it done. I’ll keep plugging away!

I hope you visit everyone else’s blog and see what amazing things these talented people come up with for the theme – I know it’s going to be amazing!

AE Team

Lesley

Susan

Marsha

Claire

Cathy

Jenny

Niky

Caroline

Guests

Dawn

Hope

Alison

Beth & Evie

Laurie

Kathy

Sarajo

Michelle

Tammy

Divya

Karen

Alysen

Mary

Cat

Jill

Sarah

Anita

Art Elements July Theme Challenge – Flowers

Marsha chose this month’s theme, Flowers. You may have seen my “flower wall” photos before – I make these flowers using a method called frit casting, and have posted about it over on the AE blog previously. Here are some photos in case you haven’t seen them.

These past two months have been so hot here, and I am finding myself less and less tolerant of heat the older I get, so it was a perfect time to use my kiln for frit casting. I don’t have to sit in front of a hot torch or kiln, all my work for frit casting is on the front end! I got busy making more flowers. I plan on selling them at a market close to my house, if I ever get finished with the prep work. Here are some photos of my recent makes.

I also had an idea to make a wall decoration using some “pride flowers” I made. The idea is to get some reclaimed wood, attach the flower and attach a hanging chain. That part didn’t get finished before the deadline, but I’ll post photos when I get it done.

Here are more pride flowers. I was thinking they would make a good wall hanging as well, but I’m also just considering listing them for sale or taking them to the market this way and offering them individually. We’ll see…. If anyone is interested, the flowers are $40 each and would be shipped priority due to their fragile nature.

I also have some more random experimental flowers I made. It’s hard to make “experimental” things because these flowers use SO MUCH FRIT! It feels like a waste if it comes out of the kiln and I don’t like it. I have to remember that just because I don’t like it, doesn’t mean someone else won’t. So here are the remaining flowers.

I hope you enjoyed my flowers. I had really hoped to get the major project done, but just couldn’t get to it in time. Hopefully soon and them I’ll post it. Thanks Marsha for a great theme! Thanks for stopping by! As this is a blog hop, you can see what everyone else made by following their links below!

Guests

Alysen
Cat
Divya
Evie and Beth
Jill
Hope
Kathy
Linda
Louise
Martha
Melissa
Michelle
Rozantia
Sarah
Sarajo
Tammy

Team Members

Caroline
Cathy
Claire
Jenny
Laney
Lesley
Marsha
Susan

Art Elements May Theme Challenge – Forest

Hi! First off, welcome to my new blog! I switched over from Blogger to WordPress because quite honesty Blogger doesn’t support itself anymore, and I can add a storefront to this web site! My store should be up soon and I hope you’ll come back and visit.

This month it was my turn to chose the theme for the monthly challenge, and I chose forest. I made quite a few things this month, and I’m excited to show you!

The first thing I made was this large lentil bead, from a green man bead press by a Welsh glass artist.  Green Man is found in many cultures, and typically symbolizes rebirth and the cycle of growth each spring. I made it using a color called Umber, and I love the different colors you get when  you continually heat and press it.

Green Made Large lentil bead

After I made this bead, I used the press with some polymer clay to make these cabochons. Of course I had to add a tiny bit of pearly paint – I felt the alcohol inks needed a little bit of oomph.

Green Man polymer clay cabochons

Then I just made some more, eventually I’ll paint them and all will be listed in my new shop!

I also did some beading for this challenge. The first thing I made was this Game of Thrones inspired piece. I used the green man press to make a cabochon that is gray in color, similar to the weirwood trees. I used red czech leaf beads for the red leaves of the tree. The gemduos represent the dragon scales, and the silver beads represent valerian steel! I was really into it! I added some white and black crows, and this is where I stopped for now. I got some tila beads to use as the ice wall, but haven’t worked out exactly how I want to add them, so this is a WIP.

Beaded piece Game of Thrones inspired

The next beaded piece I did is a Forest Fairy. I was inspired by the many photos in my Pinterest board, Forest. I used a raku face cabochon by Sarajane Helm – it’s gorgeous! I had a lot of fun making this piece, and haven’t quite decided if she will be a long necklace, or something else.

Forest Fairy beaded piece

As we were getting the yard all ready for summer, my dad had some ferns to donate to the cause, and when a frond broke off of one of them, I used it on a piece of polymer clay to make a fern cabochon. Turned out ok – the clay burned in the toaster oven because I didn’t tent it, so I used various different inks to color it, and I like it ok, but I will explore this idea further through the summer!

Fern frond polymer cabochon

And now we come to what I think is my favorite project for the Forest theme – mushrooms. First, I made two mushroom beads with some discontinued glass I have, and I really liked them!

Two Glass Mushroom Beads

But I thought, really, who wants mushroom beads? I mean, maybe someone does, but they are too heavy for earrings. Maybe for a necklace if you’re a fantasy mushroom lover! So, I made a PILE of mushrooms on the ends of mandrels, to became plant pokes or terrarium decorations. I loved making them! I made lots! Here’s a few group shots!

Mushroom terrarium decorations

And here’s what I did with one; I glued it with gorilla glue onto a stainless steel mandrel. This is good for a plant poke. I will cut some smaller pieces of mandrel to make them into terrarium decorations, and they should be available in my shop too, when it opens!

Glass Mushroom plant poke

And here’s a gratuitous little cactus because why not! This is my next series of plant poke/terrarium decorations!

glass cactus

I hope you enjoyed seeing all the things I made for the theme, Forest. This is a blog hop so I hope you’ll check out what everyone else made this month! Thanks for stopping by!

Guests

Alysen

Divya

Evie & Beth

Hope

Louise

Michelle

Sarah

Tammy

AE Team

Caroline

Cathy

Claire

Laney

Lesley

Niky

Sue

Art Elements April Theme Challenge – Repurpose

The AE Theme Challenge this month is Repurpose chosen by Lesley. Great subject, and I wish I had more time to work on it. The day job kind of takes away my creative energy at times, and this month is no exception! However I did manage to do a few things!

The first thing I thought of for the theme was something I had been thinking about for a long time. I remembered I had this magazine that repurposed those desiccant containers you get in pill bottles into beaded beads. I set out to find that magazine in my stash.

I’m glad I found it, because it was actually driving me nuts as to where it was. Here are some photos of me in the process of making some of these beads.

So the first one I made, I liked ok. But noticed on the end that you could see the white container through the ends. So I got a sharpie out for the next one, and colored the ends so they didn’t look so white.

Then I made a few more of these beads, and quite honestly, I was done with it. If I get back to them, I’ll try some different shapes and sizes of beads. Here are the ones I made.

The next subject was wire. I get all kinds of wire scraps from my boyfriend when we work on electrical projects. I can’t throw it out so I keep it. I have given some away, and finally got to work annealing the wire that I already had stripped.

I learned how to anneal it in the kiln from Maria Richmond, and it’s a quick and easy way to anneal your thick copper wire. I decided to make some charm holders, but you could also use them as bead frames. Here’s the first one. The steps included shaping the wire, antiquing in liver of sulpher, buffing, and finally tumbling for strength. Which is ironic because I ran it in the kiln to make it softer and now I need it to be strong again!

I made two, and then I was pretty much done with that as well. I need way more practice on adding thinner wire to a frame.

Finally, I did what I enjoy doing with old glass bottles – making beads from them.

They go from whole bottles to shards to beads! I have so many bottles saved, waiting to be beads, I could never really get to the them all. But I hate tossing them, especially the gorgeous green and blue bottles. The Reyka bottle is a slight gray color, so I’m looking forward to doing that and seeing if the beads will stay gray or not. I also want to make a little glass bowl with the bottom of that bottle, but have to perfect my cutting skills!

My next post on Art Elements will be a little demo on how I go about making them. I know you can find tutorials out there and people do them differently, I’m just going to show you how I do it! I also make spoon rests with the bottles – beer bottles are great for that because they are a perfect size for standard serving spoons. Wine bottles make great cheese trays! I have tons if anyone is interested in purchasing any.

This is a blog hop so I hope you hop around to see what everyone else made! Thanks Lesley for the great inspriational subject.

Art Elements February Theme Challenge – Birds of Prey

Cathy Mendola chose Birds of Prey for the theme this month, and it’s a pretty awesome theme. You are going to see some amazing work by my team members and the guests who have participated this month! I had plans of doing more than I did, as indicated by the purchases I made for the projects I had in my head. However, I have been doing some work in my house, so whenever time permitted, meaning after work and weekend hours, we were pretty much doing the room renovations. One of them is going to be my study/studio, and I seem to be foiled at every move by trying to get some work tables. So I have only one small project to show you this month.  But first, the purchases!

This first Bali carved owl totem I got from fifirosedesigns on etsy – I wanted to make a mold and make my own cabochon to use in a necklace. However, I really did get around to doing that. So, I purchased the owl heads below.

These owl head cabochons are from ArtisticVariations84 on etsy – they are just fantastic, but arrived too late to make anything in time for the challenge. So they will wait until I have time to do something fabulous with them! Finally, I purchased some owl resin cabochons in the picture below.

These resin cabochons are from NixCreations on etsy – I couldn’t decide on which one I wanted so I ordered 5! It’s hard to see them in the photo, because we actually have a sunny day today. So, to make a short story long, here is what I made!

I chose the one I felt to be the most colorful, because I am really suffering from this winter this year. I used cup chain, which is probably my new favorite thing to do, to add color and texture. And then I just went with colors that spoke to me as sunny and fun! I hope you enjoy my post today, and hope you’ll check out what everyone else made – I guarantee there are many awesome things to be seen!

Guests:
Team Members: 
Cathy You’re here!

January Art Elements Theme Challenge – Moon

Lindsay Starr chose moon as the theme for the AE Design Challenge this month! Great choice, Lindsay! I knew I had a pendant from Vincent and Nooma from Inviciti that I wanted to use, and I have some moon face polymer clay cabochons I had made a while ago, so I was all set!

First, I used the pendant to create a simple necklace. I haven’t strung beads in a very long time, and being that I enjoy simple designs for myself, I set out to find the perfect red beads. I chose faceted red jade from Golden Age Beads.  I also spied some other beads I really want, but am basically on a buying freeze so….maybe another time! I separated the red jade beads with some cute titanium spacers I had picked up at a bead show a long time ago, and I highlighted the pendant with some gold alcohol ink to make the moon show up better!

The second piece I made was influenced by Game of Thrones. Late to the party as ever, I just started watching it. I’m on Season 3 Finale – I use it as a carrot to make myself walk on my treadmill for an hour. I am really taken by the wedding ceremony words George R.R. Martin wrote for Daenerys and Khal Drogo.

“As you are the Moon of his life, he shall be your Sun and Stars. Your
love shall be as ever present as those two celestial bodies…even
though they are sometimes hidden from one another’s sight. Your love
will be the guiding force that charts the course of your tomorrows,
holds your world together in difficult times, and will make life itself
shine bolder and brighter than we human beings have a right to dream
of.”

I was going to add some dangling stars to it, but since I’m not necessarily a dangly type person, I left it the way it is. They can always be added, anyways. Not sure what I’ll do with it, I just enjoyed making it!

I’m also posting for Kathryn Smith, as she does not have a blog. I found her on Instagram and when I saw her post this piece, I told her it was perfect for our theme challenge. She used a connector from Inviciti for her bracelet! You can see her other creations by clicking on her name, it will take you to her Instagram!

As this is a blog hop, I hope you visit and see what everyone else has made for the moon theme! Thanks Lindsay for a great theme choice this month!

Guests:
Art Elements Crew:

December Art Elements Theme Challenge – White

This month, the theme for the Art Elements Challenge was chosen by Claire and she chose “white”. Perfect for winter and the holiday season! I had all these ideas (I wanted to at least get to a white glass cabochon) but I did get one of the ideas done.

For a long time I have been pondering making a garland for my tree or mantle with my lampwork sugar beads – you may know what these are, but if not, photo is below. Pretty much every lampworker makes them, and at one point I had a pile of them. However, lucky for me I was able to sell them so no more inventory! I still think some type of garland with sugar beads would be a lot of fun, and maybe I’ll do that someday.

I remembered a free tutorial for superduo stars by Deb Roberti of Around the Beading Table. She has many free tutorials, and she also has some awesome tutorials for purchase! She’s actually having a sale right now, too! I hope you visit her link, she’s so generous for providing so many free tutorials!

Anyways, I made a pile of stars using three different combinations of white beads. This was fun, although I had to wait for some to arrive in the mail! I also got to use up some of the beads that I bought multiples of and wondered, why did I do that???? Do you do this too?

I made four of each color combination type, and then strung them up with size 8 beads in between! This was the fun part, seeing it come together!

I’m going to make this a year-long project, and see how far I can get with it. Right now, it’s slightly shorter than 5 feet in length. Below is a photo I took to see what it would look like on my tree.

So, that’s my project for December. Thanks Claire for the idea, it was a good one!

This is a blog hop, as usual, so I hope you visit and see what everyone else made! I also hope you had a wonderful holiday and have a Happy Healthy New Year!

Guest Artists
Art Elements Team

 

November Art Elements Theme Challenge – Stars

This month was Laney Mead’s turn to choose the theme of the challenge, and she chose stars. I had all these ideas of making polymer star ornaments with my little texture stamps, but did not get to it. Partly because I was spending some time coming up with more star glass ornaments.  Last year I made these clear and dichroic ones, and the black and dichroic ones.

This year I added three more colors, and have been making them non-stop!

I think I’m really partial to the red ones! Which do you like best? These can be found in my etsy shop if you’re interested! Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you enjoy everyone else’s star creations this month!

Guest Artists
Cat 
Art Elements Team
Jen 
Jenny  
Niky