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 

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