Saturday 30 January 2016

Art Bead Scene January Inspiration Challenge

And the sky burst with glory – that’s what this inspiration photo for the Art Bead Scene challenge this month made me think of.

Landscape with Stars by Henri-Edmond Cross
Watercolor over graphite on paper, ca. 1905–1908
Image Credit:

The Art Bead Scene hosts an inspiration challenge every month. Participants must use an art bead in their design. The idea is to take something from the inspiration, a theme, colour or colours, shape, whatever strikes you as a starting point, and make an original piece based on it.

This month both the art and the colours were my inspiration. The blue and yellow combination, topped off with the dark background, is a palette I’ve always loved. The sky is also a favourite, appearing in pins scattered through my Pinterest boards.

My inspiration started with this stoneware heart from Leslie Watt of Thea Elements. The colours and pattern remind me of a star bursting to life, bathing the lands near it in light.


To bring out its beauty I topped it with an antiqued bronze link that I wrapped with 2 moonstone rounds and some crystals from my Swarovski soup. The pendant is strung from a necklace of citrine chips, sponge coral dyed blue and larger Swarovski crystals. The necklace closes with a wavy antiqued bronze plated toggle clasp with a pretty texture.

Please visit the Art Bead Scene reveal to see what everyone else has made too.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day.

Monday 25 January 2016

Buried Treasures Challenge

The challenge was issued: “We all have one. Call it a treasure, or a bead stash. Call it loot or inventory.” It’s the Art Jewelry Elements Use your Stash challenge.

This is the second year the group has issued the challenge but my first time participating. When I signed up it was with the idea this was a great challenge to kick start my muse for 2016. The challenge certainly worked in that way. I’ve had ideas popping in out of my mind all month. Maybe there were too many because I had difficulty picking something achievable in the bits of time I had available.

I finally picked a few art beads and began putting together combinations. The lovely and earthy looking oval earthenware bar by Jennie Davis-Reazor wasn’t even in my plans. It was sitting in the same storage bag as a different one I planned to use, and I kept picking colour combinations that worked with it.

I finally decided to go with the flow and made this necklace with glass spikes and tri-beads, flat round discs with 3 angles cut in, tied together with waxed linen. I decided to go longer than my usual necklaces, adding a length of antiqued brass chain for around the neck. The necklace could be slipped over the head but I also added a lobster claw clasp for comfort (and the fact I’ve never been fond of putting a necklace on over my head)

Step into Light Necklace

To see what the AJE team and other guest participants made click on the links below:

AJE team:

Melissa - Bead Recipes
Sarajo - SJDesigns
Kathy - Bay MoonDesigns
Lola - Bead LolaBead
Samantha - Wescott Jewelry
Mona - Bijoux Gem Joy  (You are here)
Suntsa - Suntsan

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day.

Friday 15 January 2016

We’re All Ears January Challenge

I didn’t participate in the We’re All Ears monthly challenge for the last couple of months. It’s sponsored by the hosts of the Earrings Everyday blog and the inspiration this month is the Pantone colours of the year.

Continuing my efforts to get back on track I was determined to join in.

I knew what I would use for my earrings as soon as I saw the inspiration. Even then I still agreed with Erin in that this is not a combination I would normally use. I’ve had these glass rounds in my inventory for over 4 years because, though I thought they were charming, I couldn’t work them into a design.

Pretty good match aren’t they? To be honest, the blue is deeper than the Serenity blue chosen by Pantone. To counter that I selected beads with more pink and not as much blue. Then the challenge was finding the right design. The beads were a bit too large to go with my first idea of a waterfall effect. I rejected several other layouts before finally settling on this one.

I had looped them through a smaller jump ring at the top but felt something was missing. I was going to wrap a fine wire around the beads. That is I was until I pulled out these larger 9 mm jump rings. They seemed to add a nice round touch to contrast the horseshoe shape of the beads.

Please clickhere to see what everyone else has made too.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day.

Tuesday 12 January 2016

Getting Back Into the Swing of Things

This blog post is not intended to be a review of 2015. In my next to last post, back in October, I made a comment about probably stretching myself too thin and my muse going MIA. Well, that’s exactly what happened. Not only did I lose my creative spark, my whole body felt like it just went “Hmphhh” and deflated. I did 2 shows in November and December and, other than my regular display during the Christmas potluck lunch at my bill paying job, took the remainder of the year off, concentrating on family and holidays instead.

Came the start of 2016 and I’m working on getting back into the game. I decided to take a break from some of my social media interactions (Facebook rabbit hole) and concentrate on getting my studio and shop cleaned up.

This is how the studio looked before:

Stuff piled on top of stuff, projects on top of projects, tools lost in the clutter.

The mess had even spread to a footstool I hijacked “temporarily” from the family room, and to my old bead storage cabinet (emptied out when I bought this one).

There were other surfaces that were covered too but I had cleaned those up before Christmas. Yeah!

After putting away everything that wasn’t sparking ideas and cleaning up tools, I put Heather Powers muffin tin solution to work. Everything that I wanted to do something with went into the muffin tin, including repair work and things needing redesign.

This is what my bench looks like now, with only 2 projects in progress.

And here’s my muffin tin.

Needless to say, there are layers in each pocket and on top of the muffin tin. That’s okay though because it is organized by type of project and work needed.  I’ve already made a dent in the contents and am feeling more hopeful than before the holidays. Now I need to start work on my online store.

As for that footstool? It’s back where it belongs.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day.