Thursday, April 21, 2016

Art Bead Scene (ABS) - April submission

This month's challenge includes a wonderful color palette which is perfect for spring!  The beautiful painting by Helen Frankenthaler entitled Jacob's Ladder is our focal inspiration.  Frankenthaler who was a an amazing artist called one of the foremost colorists of our time.  As a tribute to Helen I set out to create and abstract piece of jewelry. Something that might have won a knod of approval or a wink from this renowned artist.  

I started my design by making several links using 18 gauge Parawire in antique copper.  The idea came from one of my favorite books; The Missing Link by Cindy Wimmer.  After running them through the tumbler for about an hour the links were perfected and shaped into a nice chain. 


Then I gathered some recently purchased round ceramic beads by Gaea and I decided to wrap a few of them in a different color and gauge of wire.  A little twist to add a variety to the design.  

The focal beads include a beautiful green polymer clay bead by HumbleBeads, a bright yellow lampwork bead by Beads by Laura.  I included a brown enameled bead that I made a few weeks ago.  I was able to find four ceramic beads that I've had in my stash for longer than I can remember.

The design is an eclectic gypsy-style handmade necklace that includes a mix of ceramic, glass, polymer clay & metal to create a long chain.  This piece can be worn alone or combined with other jewelry pieces to create a modern look.  

Visit the Art Bead Scene blog to see the submissions for this month's challenge.  You can also visit the Pinterest board.  Maybe you'll be inspired to create and share a piece of your own!!!

Keep Creating,

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Art Bead Scene Monthly Challenge

Art Bead Scene's monthly challenge showcases the artwork of Taisia Afonina's Still Life With Pussy Willows~1964.  Afonina was a well known Russian artist specializing in oil painting and watercolors and was famous for her still-life paintings.

This month's challenge features a great example of Afonina's still-life paintings and her masterful ability to play with color and light.  See how the subtle changes in the light within the painting also changes the colors in the painting.  You can almost feel the air in the room.  This play on color and lighting allows the viewer to form a relationship with the portrait.  For example you might see a breezy afternoon tea or an early spring morning perhaps the pussy willows in the foreground and the white curtains in the background give the appearance of spring coming after winter.  It triggers something different for everyone.  This is creativity at it's best.

By Taisia Afonina 
While sifting through the beads in my stash I had a bit of a challenge pulling colors that fit perfectly with this play on color.  Before I knew it I had greys, whites or should it be more white and less grey?  There are varying shades of grey or is it a subtle hint of green, blue green or blue grey?  Once I embraced the idea I was able to find a combination of beads that I feel represent the painting nicely.

My ART beads are created by Amy Nealy of Xaz Beads.  Three medium nuggets in the new GALACTIC color measure about 16-18mm.  Those lovely beads are surrounded by Swarovski's new Scarabaeus green pearls (6/8mm).  I recently wrote a post about Swarovski's new designs here.  Swarovski crystals in light chrome (4mm) and capri blue (6mm), small hematite discs and white cat eye beads (4mm) along with seed beads in gray mist make up the band of the bracelet.  I tried my hand at creating a clasp using artistic wire in teal.  

This is my submission for this month's challenge.  Please visit the Art Bead Scene pinterest board and the ABS blog to see jewelry submissions and art beads for the March challenge.

Keep Creating, 


Saturday, March 19, 2016

We're All Ears - March Reveal

Earrings Everyday hosts a monthly jewelry makers challenge. This month's inspirational theme is historical Islamic architecture which includes majestic mosaics found in some of the world's oldest monuments.

The original inspiration comes from architect Mehrdad Rasoulifard's visual diary on Instagram.  His photo diary shares captivating designs of historical architectural masterpieces which are creatively inspiring; lending a variety of colors, patterns, beauty & stories.  

Historically Iran is known for it's tile work which include mosaic tiles design and calligraphic inscriptions.  The stories behind these structures is just as captivating as the buildings themselves.  Many of the mosques were built for the royal family, some specifically so the women of the harem would be shielded as much as possible from anyone entering the building and others for political reasons.  Many of the buildings were closed to the public for centuries and the main entrance would often have standing guards. 

Many of these buildings are now open to the public so if you are interested in art & travel put these man-made treasures on your list.  

For the challenge I immediately thought polymer clay would lend itself nicely to creating a mosaic-like bead.  Iranian tile work often includes yellow, brown and green.  Glazes were often turquoise and light green.  I took variations of these basic colors and created several beads.  I'm still refining the size and shape of my pieces so I chose two discs that fit together nicely.  

Then I enameled a couple of copper discs using Thompson Enamel in opaque 1319 bitter green.  I am always dumbfounded by the appearance of an enameled piece.  I'm new to enameling so I'm discovering that the name and the color do not always match up like I think they should.  (Let's just say I got lucky on this one.)

After making my ear wires, using 20 gauge silver wire, I included a lamp work bead  from Grace Beads.

Thank you to the Earrings Everyday team for providing this monthly challenge!! Stop by their blog where you'll find the link to add your earrings to the monthly challenge.  Their blog is a great place to find interesting ideas, funny stories and creative collaboration.  

Have a great weekend!!

Keep Creating,


Thursday, February 25, 2016

Swarovski Cyrstals & Pearls

The perfection of Swarovski crystals speaks for itself.  I enjoy incorporating Swarovski elements into the jewelry pieces I design.  The efforts of Swarovski to remain on the cutting edge of design, robotics, technology, art and science is unsurpassed.  The range of creative goods that they offer is marvelous.  Swarovski produces binoculars, tools, jewelry, accessories, figurines, lighting, gemstones & crystals all of which offer the cutting edge in quality and design in the world marketplace.  Can you believe that they’ve been in business for 120 years?  When you familiarize yourself with all that is Swarovski it will amaze you.  They're expertise crosses over many industries. 

One thing that I really like about Swarovski is that they embrace creative collaboration.  I think most bloggers can relate to that.  They invite designers, scientists, creative thinkers and superstars to join their creative team to expand their vision and continue making amazing products for all to enjoy.  Swarovski is in every corner of the world including London, Vienna, Mexico, Brazil, Paris, New Zealand, Russia and the US. 

CHANEL Swarovski crystal brooch
They have produced costumes for not only Marilyn Monroe and Madonna but now J Lo is now strutting her stuff in Las Vegas wearing costumes embellished with Swarovski crystals.  Designers such as Christian Dior, Alexander McQueen and Coco Chanel, and many others, have embraced the use of Swarovski products to adorn their creations. 


So what’s my point?  Well the new scarabaeus crystals and pearls were on my list of “things to find” in Tucson, which I did!  I also picked up some of the crystal light chrome’s in shimmering silver which are AMAZING!  Swarovski prides itself on encouraging individuality and creative originality so even though I’m a novice jewelry maker I insist on including quality materials in my simple designs.  Thus my relationship with Swarovski was born a few years ago. 

You’re going to LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the dazzling colors of the scarabaeus crystals and pearls.  The creator of this radiant color combination is the infamous Jean Paul Gaultier. The color was inspired by the verdigris roof of the Paris Opera House and the metallic green-blue-purple sheen of the scarab beetle seen in Ancient Egyptian artifacts.  The creation is a brilliant burst of color combinations. 

Okay so I’ve already said that the new colors are absolutely mind blowing.  Well guess what?  Jean Paul Gaultier took his idea a step further by taking the perfect crystal and make it ‘perfectly imperfect’ or ‘broken’ thus creating the Kaputt crystal by Swarovski.  Bravo!!  There's a lot more debuting this Fall/Winter 2016/2017.  so stop by the Swarovski website to get your eye full.  You'll be glad you did!! 

Share your creative designs using crystals in a reply post.  I’d love to see what you’re creating.