Friday, 19 May 2017

We’re All Ears May Challenge

The challenge this month is all about trash transformed, taking something otherwise neglected, forgotten or discarded and making it into something of beauty, substance and ingenuity. “There is a fine line between trash and treasure” and this challenge is all about walking that line. We were given this lovely collage of transformed treasures for inspiration

I must confess that recycling items into art is something that has intrigued me for a long time. I’ve actually been collecting interesting tin containers, old watch parts and broken down electronic parts to experiment with, but never took that first step until now.

All cut apart, prepped and waiting for a decent disc cutter, there were several tin containers sitting in my stash. I took advantage of a sale earlier this year and bought a Pepe disc cutter package with a 14 hole disc cutter, sized from 1/8” up to 1”, urethane pad, holding base and 8 centre punches for the larger disc holes. So excited! It sure beats the cheap newbie punch I bought several years ago

I put the new disc cutter to good use and made these earrings

All of the red circles came from a Christmas tin. The red colour is not solid, shifting and changing shades throughout the tin

I added clear faceted glass rondelles to these 1” discs and used silver plated wire and leverback ear wires

Triple Decked

For these earrings 3 sizes of tin discs were put together with silver plated ear hoops and oval jump rings. The pretty light mint discs came from a tin covered in cheerful dots which I pulled in along the edges. The earrings hang just over 2 1/2”

Garden Fruit

Some small tea tins are the source of the discs for these earrings. There are many fruit and leaves on the tins. It will be a lot of fun playing with them. For the earrings I added red glass faceted beads and used silver plated wire and leverback ear wires again


The final pair use 4 different sizes of discs from the red tin. I simply reversed the smallest and 2nd largest discs to the silver back so that there would be contrast and more depth. To make these discs I selected the best area on the tin, tightened down the disc puncher, marked the hole location with the centre punches then punched the discs themselves out. Some minor sanding of all edges, completion of the centre holes and doming came next. The bright and cheery yellow bead is a handmade lampwork glass headpin on a copper wire made by Samantha Capeling. The copper wire was used to form the loop and the trailing curl. All I had to do after was add the copper leverback ear wires

I hope you enjoyed seeing the earrings. They are available in my shop now
Do go to the reveal and see what everyone else made. Thanks for stopping by and have a great day

Monday, 1 May 2017

Art Bead Scene April Design Challenge

I’m running a little late with my challenge post. The last week of April ended up being much busier than I expected. The inspiration for this month’s challenge was this artwork by Paul Gauguin. You can read all about it here

Matamoe or Landscape with Peacocks, Paul Gauguin, 1892, Oil On Canvas
The warm, no hot, colours of the tropics grabbed my eye from the first time I looked at the artwork. I have to admit I had a little trouble trying to imagine how to design with them. Then, I took a walk through my art bead collection and these happened

Other Worldly

This amazing art bead from Sue Kennedy, with different shades of opaque orange and a silver trail with dots, was buried away in my stash. I had bought it probably 3 – 4 years ago but could not picture a design that would be suitable. The agate ring surrounding it is one of more than a half dozen I bought about 5 years ago. I had used up the smaller ones and still have 4 left of this size.

The combination fits perfectly with some images of Saturn taken from the Cassini spacecraft except mine imagines a fiery world. The pendant is finished with sterling silver and waxed linen in 2 complementary colours

Found at the same time as the first lampwork bead is the one used in this necklace

Burning Sky

Burning Sky

The lampwork bead in this necklace is from Robyn Kirkman of FireSong Creations in Australia. It was a bit of a wait before it arrived but not as long as I expected and well worth it. Unfortunately it again sat in my stash for a couple of years. The transparent bead is a cheerful vibrant pink with black stringers and dots. I used black and light pink wood beads, almost a whole string of farfalle beads, aka peanut beads, in an amethyst rainbow, black leather and silver plated metals with this one

Both necklaces are available in my shop

Please visit the Art Bead Scene site for the blog reveal to see what everyone else made

Thanks for stopping by. Have a great day

Friday, 28 April 2017

Pretty Palettes April Design Challenge

The challenge this month from the Halmark team Pretty Palettes creator was based on 2 sweet spring illustrations from Heather Powers. You can read more about Heather’s creations here

I chose this one to build my design with

Handpainted design by Heather Powers 

The jumping off point for this necklace was the pretty embossed teardrop in the light mint colour. To showcase it I gathered some mint glass beads and mother of pearl rounds, both I had bought at Michaels quite some time ago. To these I added some peach aventurine rounds that are close to the recommended colours, a multi coloured glass flower and some rectangle shaped chain

Mint Sprigs

I had 2 of the mint coloured glass beads left and decided to make a pair of little stacker earrings using the 3 bead colours. It gives a nice finishing touch. Oh yes, all the metals are silver plated

Mint Sprigs

The set is available in my shop

Mint Sprigs

Please visit the Halcraft site for the blog reveal to see what everyone else made

Thanks for stopping by. Have a great day

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Honey Do List April Design Challenge

For this month the hope was to capture spring in all its early season glory. Being in Minnesota, and with a cool spring so far, there wasn’t much glory yet. Eric Wentling did capture this sweet photo of a chickadee perched on red dogwood twigs

In honour of spring I made this pendant with a totem anchored by a red leaf

Bring the Spring

 I used several ceramic beads by different makers, all strung on a waxed cotton cord, tied to a gunmetal jump ring and suspended from a large antiqued silver plated ring. The makers?

Ceramic leaf – Leslie Watt
Ceramic Melon bead – Gaea Cannaday
Sprocket beads – Joan Miller

The pendant is available in my shop

Please visit SJ Design for the blog reveal to see what everyone else made

Thanks for stopping by. Have a great day

Saturday, 22 April 2017

We’re All Ears April Challenge

The challenge this month was based on eggs in all their forms. Easter eggs, natural egg images, egg colours, egg shapes, whatever struck a creative spark

The inspiration photos of Ukrainian pysanki eggs are amazing and each one is a little treasure. There’s just something about them though that never works for me. Maybe it’s because they just feel too busy, too overwhelming with all their intricate patterns and colours

 For me the natural world, with its many amazing egg colours, shapes and textures, is a better fit. I went looking online and came up with 2 beautiful images. This first one I found online a few weeks ago. Unfortunately I forgot to save the link and have not been able to track it down again

Those purple speckles on the cream background are gorgeous. They inspired this pair of earrings


The ceramic drops, though not quite egg shaped, are an excellent interpretation of the egg. They were created by Natalie McKenna of Grubbi Ceramics. I added glass button drops, also called mushroom beads, in a colourway called summer thunder. I picked out the ones I thought went well with the ceramic drops and used waxed linen in a light purple to tie the stack to antiqued bronze jump rings. The jump rings hang from brass ear wires that I antiqued very lightly.

I also found this image of Lewin bird eggs, this time on Pinterest.

These eggs inspired this pair of earrings


The top egg felt like a close match to the ceramic drops, again from Natalie McKenna. As with the first pair of earrings I used more of the glass button drops from the summer thunder colourway. This time I used a bronze wire for the totem and bright brass ear wires for the final touch.

I hope you enjoyed the earrings. They are available in my shop

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Mother’s Day Sale

The most important women in our lives
We love them
They love us
Let’s celebrate Moms