Wednesday 31 August 2016

Art Bead Scene August Challenge

The Art Bead Scene team issues a monthly challenge to use an art bead, described by the group as a bead, charm, button or finding made by an independent artist. Art beads are the vision and handiwork of an individual artist. The monthly challenge is based on an inspirational theme and this month the theme is built around this scene created in 1938 by Paul Klee.

Oil and coloured paste on paper on jute; original frame strips 100 x 70 cm

It has been described as having “a contrast between the hard black bar strokes that represent the branches and the bright colour tonality of the spaces between them. The work therefore includes spring and winter, death and blossoming in equal measure.”

I took my inspiration from the colours of summer fading into fall. The necklace I created features a marvelous polymer clay feather, hand carved and painted by Staci Louise Smith. This large 83 x 33 x 6 mm bead is double sided making it versatile. It can be worn with the simpler feather side out, like this

Feathered Waves

Or with the more elaborate scene of waves and stars on the reverse. The bead looks like it was made in the sgraffito method, characterized as a form of decoration made by scratching through a surface to reveal a lower layer of a contrasting color, typically done in plaster or stucco on walls, or in slip on ceramics before firing. (Thank you Google for the description)

Feathered Waves

As you can tell the hole in the bead is lower down the sides than would normally be expected. It gives the bead a fun pendulum effect. I used drop seed beads in a lovely blue iris colour to frame the bead. The neck cord is made up of 3 different colours of seed beads that complement the art bead and setting, and bring in more colours from the artwork.

The seed beads, strung on beading wire, are different sizes bringing a textural feel to the cord. I finished off the necklace with silver plated bail, toggle clasp and findings.

Same as my last 2 posts, as soon as I have some good photos I will post the necklace in my shop. (At least this time I’m starting with better photos)

Please check out the Art Bead Scene links here to visit all the other participants.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day.

Tuesday 30 August 2016

Art Jewelry Elements, Art Headpins Challenge

At the end of July the AJE team issued an open challenge to create with art headpins. If you are familiar with the Art Jewelry Elements blog you know their challenges are usually built around a component of the month.

For this month an open challenge was issued to create your own art headpin or use them in any creation. Jewelry is not required.

I chose to use Lampwork glass headpins created by Samantha Capeling of Venus Art Glass, located in the UK. I forgot to take a photo of the exact headpins that I used but they were from this batch.

Lampwork Glass Headpins by Samantha Capeling

I stuck with earrings for my creations. The first pair used pale teal coloured headpins. I chose to match them to some lovely Peacock coloured pearls with big holes and took advantage of those large holes to feed the rustic copper wire back through and wrap around just below the pearls, a lot harder than I expected. I also had a hard time photographing these earrings because of the shine coming from the headpins and pearls. Sterling silver ear wires darkened with liver of sulphur finish off the earrings.

Pearled Drops

For the next pair I used some lavender headpins and paired them with darker purple rondelles with silver dots, also created by Samantha. I learned my lesson from the first pair and chose to wrap the extra wire around the rondelles and just below them. Some silver spacers were used to continue the silver tone and I used some more sterling silver ear wires with patina. These earrings have a mixed metal vibe going for them and were a little easier to photograph.


Though they look like they are different lengths in the above photo, this second pair are the same length. I just need to straighten one out a bit. Once I get that taken care of and get better photos again (it’s been a struggle lately) these will go into my shop.

Come see what everyone else has made by clicking the links below.


Mona Arnott (You are here)

AJE Team Members:

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day.

Friday 19 August 2016

We’re All Ears August Challenge

August, the month for vacations, for outdoors, for away time, for camping and for campfires. The inspiration for this month’s Earrings Everyday Challenge is campfires, all types in all their glory. One of the inspiration photos:

Photo Credit Luke Porter, Unsplash

The idea of interpreting a campfire in earrings intrigued me. I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to do it but decided to try and participate this month. I used the colours of the flames as a starting point for this pair:


Digging through my art beads I found the porcelain flowers in antiqued colours, created by Cheryl Irwin. They reminded me of the colour of embers as they begin to fade out, which triggered the idea to bring in the charcoal remnants of a campfire into the design. I used black wood beads separated by antiqued brass spacers to do so. These beads are not perfectly square, instead being irregular in shape just like charcoal. Gunmetal was used for the leverbacks and wires. The finishing touch are the seed beads in shades of ash, burnt wood and sparks that are wound above the wood squares.

Sparkzzz Earrings

I noticed a tiny wire that needs tucking in. Once I get that taken care of and get better photos these will go into my shop.

Please click here to see what everyone else has made too.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day.