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: 

April Component of the Month – Rebekah Payne

It’s yet the end of another month, and that means it’s the reveal day for the Art Jewelry Elements Component of the Month. For April, Rebekah Payne of Tree Wings Studio provided us with these cute little polymer hearts! If you love them, she has them available in her shop!

I asked Rebekah to send me a surprise, and I received a copper one!

As usual, I stared at the bead, stumped, for the better part of the month.  Feeling under the gun with many blog and personal and work deadlines, I was finally able to come up with what I wanted to make after looking at another piece I had made quite a long time ago!

These stone beads caught my eye on my dresser, and that was it.  I knew what I was going to make!  They match perfectly with the heart!  I added some pretty copper accent beads, and a copper clasp.

I’m really happy with the way this came out!  I will happily be wearing it!  Thank you so much Rebekah for another month of inspiration!

Check out what everyone else made with their little heart!

Wonky Bead Blog Hop – Kristi Bowman

Today is the reveal for Kristi Bowman’s Wonky Bead Blog Hop.

We purchased sets of polymer clay beads at a discounted price, and were challenged to make something wonderful with them!  They are very cool beads, btw!  Below is the group shot of the color palette I chose – I actually received the set second from the left.

Initially I thought chunky bracelet would be the way to go.  And then I thought that maybe it would be too predictable, so I decided to go with a wire-wrapped looooooong necklace.  I started looking for beads that I had made that would work with the colors.  On hand, the only ones I could come up with are these red transparent ones, and they just really didn’t go.

I went through my stash of gems and found these cappucino jasper beads that I thought might work.  I tried setting them up in an assymetrical pattern with Kristi’s beads, but it just wasn’t happening.

I did find these red vintage lucite beads in my stash and they went perfectly.  So I patinaed my copper wire with liver of sulpher because shiny wasn’t going to work with these beads.  Then I got to wrapping.

I am just totally not feeling this look.  I actually decided to just stop, because I couldn’t see wasting any more wire or time on something that totally wasn’t going to work.  I now have a new idea in my head.

I think I’m going to try stringing multiple strands of seed beads with Kristi’s beads, in matte shades of ivory, brown and turquoise. I’d really like to try and incorporate some of my own beads in the mix, but I’m not sure if they will work.  I’m very much interested in seeing what everyone else did with their beads!  Please visit Kristi’s blog for links to everyone else.  A big sorry to Kristi for my big fail, and thanks as well for offering your beads at a discounted price for this hop.  When I do get the design finished, I will re-post.  Have to go order those beads now!

Earring Swap Blog Hop

Jessica Murray of Whimsical Monkey hosted an Earring Swap and today is the reveal!  My partner was Alenka Obid of Pepita Handmade!  She makes WONDERFUL polymer clay beads and creations!  Here’s a link to her flickr page where you can see more of her work! 

Here’s what she sent me!  These earrings are made with her own polymer clay beads, aren’t they fantastic?


She also sent me this very pretty little treat:

And here’s what I sent her:

And I sent her this little treat:

And unfortunately, what I mailed her did not arrive in Slovenia yet.  Or, it’s being held up in customs.  I have no idea… I feel pretty bad though.  I will be sending her a new set of earrings if they don’t arrive today.  Please take a look at Jessica’s blog to see who else made earrings!

Beads by Zu

Sunflower beads by Zu

Mixed pairs polymer clay beads by Zu

Do you know Zu? She makes great polymer clay beads, and sells them on etsy. I found her when I saw the beautiful sunflower beads she made – I had an idea in my head that they would go with some lampwork beads that I had made. We contacted each other, and did a trade! I purchased the sunflower ones (first photo), and traded her two hilton head beach lentils for another set of her pairs (mostly like the second photo). I love them all. Right now, I haven’t made anything with them. I just hold them and look at them. She puts so much time into her canes, they are just gorgeous!!! You should check out her shop and blog!

Another Book

I bought another book when I was at the bookstore – The Art of Polymer Clay Creative Surface Effects, by Donna Kato. I mostly bought it because there are a lot of pretty pictures in it! But I have to admit that I would really like to learn how to make polymer clay beads. There are so many pretty ones out there that it really intrigues me. In particular, I like the chapters on transferring images onto clay. I love all the asian influences in her work that appears in this book. The book was $19.95 at the bookstore – I’m sure you could get it for less on Amazon. But I needed something creative to look at, so I parted with the money (remember, I’m Scottish!).

Tomorrow we may go to Savannah, or we may stay here and see what time the girls get up – yesterday it was 1pm.