October Art Elements Theme Challenge – Petroglyphs

I’m afraid I just didn’t have the time to participate in last months theme, which was faerie. This month the theme is petroglyphs hosted by Karen Totten. Since I’m spending 10 days in Iceland this month, I really didn’t get to spend any extended amount of time on the theme, but I did find these AWESOME petroglyph earring charms by Jill of Foxpaws on etsy! I highly recommend checking out her shop – every package you get is a gift in itself – TRUST ME!

SO here are the earrings I made!

I hope you also visit all the other participants! I’m sure there will be some awesome creations!

Art Elements Team:
Lesley Watt: http://www.lesleywatt.com

Jenny Davies-Reazor: https://jdaviesreazor.com
Cathy Spivey Mendola: http://cmendola.blogspot.com
Sue Kennedy: http://www.suebeads.blogspot.com
Caroline Dewison: http://www.blueberribeads.co.uk
Laney Mead: https://laney-mead.blogspot.com/
Marsha Neal Minutella: http://blog.marshanealstudio.com
Claire Fabian: https://saraccino.blogspot.com

Art Elements Theme Challenge – August – Swirls

This month Marsha Neal chose swirls as the theme of the month! I’m enjoying the challenges as themes. I’ve been giving my wrist a break because of perceived carpal tunnel, so I’ve been doing a lot in polymer, and by a lot, I mean when I have a few half hours of time!

Here are the swirl themed polymer items I made for this month!

This first one reminds me of a fiddlehead fern, all closed up. I painted it with alcohol inks.

This next one is the before of the ammonite hearts I did. Two of my favorite things, ammonites and hearts! Colored with alcohol inks.

 I made two, the colors turned out very different!

More spirals in the form of polymer clay ammonite cabochons. I really love mixing the paints to color these! Plus you get a gratuitous flower shot!

 More ammonites colored with ranger patina inks and alcohol inks in that order.

 My fave, I think – I love the colors! Alcohol inks.

This next one was made with acrylic paint and I tried crackle on it, didn’t work out too well but gave it a texture, then sealed with liquitex.

And finally, a sort of work in progress. The idea is to looks a little like Van Gogh art, the swirls and the sunflowers. Not quite what I had in mind, but I just added it to a very short lampwork session so I’ll probably explore this more – I don’t have much of the sunflower cane so I have to be careful what I do!

Many of the polymer clay swirls are available in my SueBeads etsy store. I hope you visit the other blogs to see what everyone else made, and thank you Marsha for an inspiring theme!

Guest Artists:
Cat 
Art Elements Team: 

 

Art Elements Theme of the Month – Seed Pods

The theme for July was seed pods, chosen by Jen. I made a Pinterest board for seed pods – I seem to be using Pinterest a little bit more lately, although it’s such a time suck! Not sure how to get the image to appear, though, so you’ll have to follow the link I guess!

https://www.pinterest.com/suebeads/seed-pods/

I have made many headpins that look like seed pods, and wanted to make more, but just didn’t have time to do it in glass.  Here are some photos of ones I have made in the past.

I really really wanted to get some done, but I didn’t get to. What I did get to do was experiment a bit in polymer clay.  These beads were made using the “salt method”. You roll the polymer in salt (not the super fine salt but a little bit bigger grain) and then bake it. When they are done baking, you rinse them off and the salt melts, and you get this impression in the clay that makes them look like seed pods! The top bead is just a pretty orange/ochre color that I highlighted with bronze gilders paste. The bottom ones are made with a mica-y looking clay, and highlighted as well.

 I made a pile of “pod” shaped beads, impressed them with a plastic knife, and baked them. Then I used Burnt Umber Genesis accent medium, and quickly baked them again!

I sanded the extra umber color off, then started experimenting with all my different coloring mediums.  I used chalks, wax crayons, alcohol inks, acrylic paint, gilder’s paste and a Martha Stewart Glaze I picked up a long time ago at Home Depot.

Here are some of the results!

 In terms of the pods, this one above is my favorite! It reminds me of some sort of sea pod.

Then I made this pendant-style pod, literally using every single one of the above listed coloring elements!

As you can see, I favored a certain color scheme. My next polymer clay adventure will be to try different colors – I really enjoy mixing colors for a certain effect, so I think I’ll continue to explore that!

One last “fantasy” pod that I tried to experiment with – I was going for a sort of magnolia type pod look, not sure that I nailed it, but I’ll keep trying!

I hope you enjoyed our theme this month, and please check out what everyone else made. Thanks Jen for a great theme to work with this month!

Guest Artists:
Art Elements Team: 

Art Elements Theme of the Month – Sunflowers

It was my turn to choose the Theme of the Month for the Art Elements monthly challenge, and I chose Sunflowers! Why not? They’re nice and sunny and fun and lighthearted and happy and bring up everything summer!

I also know I wasn’t going to get much done because my boyfriend had his second hip replacement June 4 and he’s staying with me to recover. So I just concentrated on two things.

First, I made a sunflower cab. I didn’t have enough time to explore this the way I wanted to, but I made a prototype anyways. There are so many great lampwork artists out there who make wonderful sunflowers that I’m not sure I will bother anyways! But here you go!

I knew I wanted to make something beaded, a la Jenny Davies-Reazor and Lesley Watt, and other beady people, so I concentrated my free time on this.  It’s a beaded faux mosaic sunflower. I plan on framing it but haven’t gotten that far yet!

My intent was for it to look somewhat mosaic in nature – if you wanted all the beads to line up straight, you would draw lines on your beading medium (I used stiff stuff that was hand dyed by Meg Mullen) making sure they were straight and then you could follow those lines.

I made my piece on the diagonal. When I was done stitching the design on the stiff stuff, I backed it with some thin cardboard because it was too whippy. It will hold up better to framing now.

This is the back – pretty darn proud of this! I used ultrasuede to finish it off. I glued the design to the cardboard and then to the ultrasuede using E-6000.

And finally, the beauty shot. You can see there’s a little dimension to the piece – I used size 8 and 15 beads in the middle, and used large square beads for the edges for the mosaic look.

I hope you had fun with this challenge! There are so many amazing people who participated this month, I hope you give their blogs a look! Thank you all who participated – I can’t wait to see what you all made!

Guests
AE Team

Art Elements Theme of the Month – Tidepools

It’s time for another challenge, and this month Lesley picked tidepools as the theme for May!  I was all over it! I’ve been spending time at the ocean practically my whole life! My grandparents moved to Florida when I was about 6 and purchased a motel in Clearwater! My brother and I spent our Augusts there for years. My parents had condos in Hilton Head until recently – my daughter’s first visit to Hilton Head was when she was 6 weeks old!

The first thing I made for the challenge was this cute little shimmery fish (personally, I think his shape might be better as a narwahl, so I think I’ll try that soon!). When my son was 3 years old, we were playing on the beach when he came over with a shimmery little fish he caught from a tidepool.  My daughter and I asked him, HOW DID YOU DO THAT??? because they are very hard to catch. He put it back in the tidepool and caught it again and said, Like this! with a big smile on his face! Priceless!

I made some initial cabochons in a swirly tidepool type design, with short pieces of pretty multicolor glass I had left from glass that is now discontinued. Then I tried one with a little murrini in the center.

 I also made some shimmery textured disc beads with the tidepool theme in mind – these are so pretty in person, the shimmery glass is a little hard to see in photos.

Then I made these ammonite chicklet beads and had so much fun with them, I kind of got obsessed. These are great because of their orientation – you can use them for earrings better because of the hole orientation, and they work well in bracelets and necklaces as well! Here’s a little collage of some of them – I even made some using recycled bottle glass!

Then I got to thinking more and more about tidepool cabochons and came up with these ones. These have been very popular! I kept one for myself, but haven’t had the time to do anything with it yet.

I also made this large focal bead, keeping for myself, to see how it would look in the same style. It worked, but I have no idea what I’ll ever make with it!

Finally, remember this project from a prior AE challenge? It was made with a cabochon by Lesley.

I decided to do something similar with a starfish cabochon by Diana Ptaszynski and finished it just in time!

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you visit everyone else to see what they made with this great theme – thanks Lesley for a lot of inspiration!

Guests
Deborah  
AE Team Members:

Art Elements April Theme – Horses

Sorry it’s been so long, I can’t believe it’s been 2 months since I posted! This month, the AE Theme Challenge is Horses, and I’m glad I had a little time to participate. I didn’t get to make anything last month because my boyfriend had a total hip replacement – he’s on the mend and doing great.

First, I made a pair of earrings for a friend’s birthday. If she reads this, she will know it’s her! I made them with gorgeous charms from Foxpaws Beads – I follow Jill on Instagram and went rooting around her store one day and found these delicious clay charms. She really does amazing work and getting her package is like opening a present!

Next, I made a beaded necklace using a great polymer clay cabochon by JoAnn St. James of Studio St. James. She makes awesome polymer beads and cabochons. I was attracted to this cabochon because it depicted a prehistoric drawing in the Caves of Lascaux in France. I actually went there when I was 20 – I spent a summer studying in Toulouse and this was one of our side trips.  Being a complete moron who never had a camera before this trip, I ruined my first roll of film and the photos of the drawings were on that roll.  You can no longer take photos in the caves so I’m extra sad.

 As you can see, the necklace is not finished. I ran out of the size 8 seed beads I am using for the spiral rope, so I have to wait until they arrive.

 I am using jump rings to attach the rope to the pendant, in case I ever change my mind and want to change the strap.

I’m glad I was able to complete something for the challenge this time! I hope you visit with everyone else and see what they made!

 Guests:
AE Team Members:
Lesley 

Facet Jewelry Box!

So remember when I posted about the Facet Jewelry Box – a subscription where you can get a monthly project in the mail? Well, they’re out! I received mine! They come in a very pretty teal box that you can not mistake! However, I can’t show you a photo of my box because it has ended up in recycle. Oh well!  But here are some photos of the projects in my box!

You get two beginner projects and an instruction booklet.

In my box, I received an earring project, wrapped briolettes, and a necklace project, Pearl Cascade.  Your instruction booklet lists materials, tools, and clear instructions with photos!

The project baggies come with all materials needed to make the projects – you just need to supply your tools. They show you how to make everything.

Here are some up close photos of the projects from my box.

The back of your instruction book also provides you with a way to share your creations, and a coupon code to get 10% off a purchase at their web site!

Unfortunately, I haven’t make the projects yet. I just haven’t had the time between work and a few other life events that can’t be helped. I’ll let you know when I do.

All in all, I think these are great beginner projects that are easily made in a small amount of time (based on my first box). I don’t know if they will have intermediate or advanced project lines, but I think it would be a great idea. If you like getting a surprise in the mail each month, this is a great thing to do! I know I love getting my beady mail!

Art Elements Component of the Month – Runes – Niky Sayers!

Wow, time flies! And this is the last “Component” of the Month Challenge – if you didn’t see it, we’re switching over to themes for the rest of the year, to allow for a wider variety of interpretations and mediums. Niky made these awesome copper clay Runes for us for February.

A rune, in case you’re not familiar, is a symbol used in ancient Germanic languages before the adoption of the Latin alphabet. The runes Niky chose are “Elder Futhark” which is the oldest of the runic alphabets. As usual, I didn’t take a photo of my rune until after I was done making something with it, but the one I received is the bottom left in the photo above.

My rune is Uruz. The meaning is Auroch, or wild ox. The “esoteric” meaning of this rune is physical strength, speed, a time of great energy, action, courage, tenacity, wisdom.

I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my rune, but I used it as a cabochon. I didn’t want to put any holes in it – I didn’t want to permanently change it in case I changed my mind! So I bezeled it using some cute czech faceted beads and demi size 11s.

I didn’t get a change to finish it, but I will be making a nice beaded strap for it. Originally I thought I would make it into a necklace with labradorite, but decided against it.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this last Component of the Month, and will visit everyone else’s blog! Next month the theme is Nests!

Guests:
Art Element
Members:

Art Elements Theme of the Month – January – Use Your Stash

Usually I’m so much better about the January Use Your Stash Challenge (hosted by Lindsay Starr this time), but this year, time is just not my friend. Between the holidays, going away on vacation, and getting back to work and trying to make new beads, there’s just not a lot left in me at the end of the day.  But I did manage to get this pair of earrings made using Inviciti heart charms, some new metal spacer beads I just got, and some titanium hematite beads picked up at a Bead Fest here and there!

I really like them, mostly because they are simple and hearts are my thing!  Check out what everyone else made! Thanks for stopping by!

Guests:
Art Elements:

Art Elements Theme of the Month – Ornaments!

Another month has passed us by, and another challenge will be in the books.  Appropriately, the theme for the Art Elements challenge this month is Ornaments. I had a lot of fun with this one – I had more than a few days I wasn’t working this month so making ornaments filled some of my time.

The first ones I want to show you are stitched by me – they were made with some little heart ceramic tiles my daughter found on a job site.  I love finding little treasures on job sites, so I decided these needed to be bezeled and hung on the tree!

I also had these snowflake forms hanging around for years, so I decided to make some with these blown hollow glass beads and czech fire polished beads, along with some seed beads.  They turned out pretty good – I may have gotten a little carried away.  I still have a little pile of hollow beads to make more ornaments with!

I had made some ornaments a few years ago with vintage chandelier parts – they never sold, so I took them apart and made new ones! I really like them, even if no one else does! They can also be used as suncatchers.

And finally, since I’ve been doing more fusing in my kiln lately than making beads, I made some fused cast glass ornaments that I really love. The first ones are from a tree casting mold.

This one above was made with little tiny bits of stringers, and some dichroic glass thrown in for good measure.

This one was made from a frit mix called Winterberry.  Very festive!

AND, my absolute favorite ornaments this year, were made with a star casting mold.

These are made from solid black glass and dichroic bits, and from clear glass and dichroic bits.  They are very sparkly and fun!

I hope you enjoyed seeing what I made for the Ornament Theme Challenge, and I hope you’ll visit everyone else to see what they made!  Very Happy Holidays to you all!

Guest Designers
Art Elements Team