Tuesday 31 January 2017

Pretty Palettes: January 2017 Challenge

The Halcraft Creative Team hosts a blog built around the jewellery supplies available at many craft stores. The intent of the blog is to provide creative ways to use the Halcraft Bead Gallery products. Once a month they host a challenge to inspire readers to create something and show it off.

For January 2017 the theme was built around the Pantone top 10 colours of the year. Everyone was encouraged to select 4 to 6 colours and create away. I decided at the last minute to give it a try. My colour selections:

  • Pale Dogwood
  • Hazelnut
  • Flame
  • Lapis Blue

I decided to go with a more modern multi strand necklace style. Originally there were to be 4 bead strands but when 1 strand was not being cooperative I switched directions, went with 3 strands and added the flower to pull everything together. Because I was such a late started I went with what I had in stock instead of going shopping

My colour choices:
  • ·         Flame in a pale variation and Hazelnut (Flower)
  • ·         Pale Dogwood (Smallest bead row)
  • ·         A tone of Hazelnut (Middle bead row)
  • ·         Lapis Blue (Longest bead row)

Fashion Report

The necklace is available in my online store here. There’s also a direct link on the photo.

Please visit the blog reveal to see what everyone else made

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day

Sunday 29 January 2017

Art Bead Scene Challenge, January 2017

Every month the ABS team issue an inspiration photo for their monthly challenge for participants to  create and share a design inspired by the chosen piece. For this month it was this artwork by Egon Schiele.

Field of Flowers, Egon Schiele, 1910, Chalk on Paper

Looking at all the postings on Pinterest it’s clear that a good number of participants were inspired by the shades of red throughout the painting. For me, and a large number of other participants, it was the oranges and the yellows.

Sitting on my bench were a number of lampwork beads created by Sue Kennedy of SueBeads, of which 2 sets were in the perfect colours, a creamy yellow tone and a soft orange. I went digging in my stash and found complementary bright orange ones. Note that I’m keeping it real here giving up on calling it “inventory”, at least for now

Field Colours

Remembering that I had just recently bought some colourful buttons in a destash by Lesley Watt I brought out a couple of styles to try. The large and lovely leaf button by Marla James fit the theme perfectly. Larger seed beads in a lovely matte finish, along with some glossy white ones for balance, were used to fill in the spaces, all strung on waxed linen in a complementary colour. I felt the bracelet needed more, so I used freshwater pearls dyed an orangeish colour called Maize, along with small seed beads that matched the larger ones, to add a second strand to the bracelet. I chose to run the beading thread through a couple of the lampwork beads. The 2nd strand will lay beside the 1st when worn.

While searching for the buttons I found a couple more bead sets that fit the theme, and my orange focus, perfectly.

Earth Totem

The stack of earthenware and ceramic beads in this pendant came from Linda Landig. I added a couple of faceted glass beads to the stack to give it a totem feel. The beads are all strung on waxed linen tied to a large copper ring that I made, and chose to use a copper chain to hang it from.

I love that the back of the disc was also finished. Here’s the reverse

Reverse Side, Earth Totem

This little fox with his forest leaf has been hanging out in my stash for quite some time and this challenge felt like the perfect opportunity to bring him out to play.


The fox and his little dangle were created by Lesley Watt and are glazed front and back. The colour is very true to the little foxes often spotted in the nature conservation areas immediately around here.

To the fox I added a brass spacer and a ceramic bead created by Linda Landig, both to help bring his natural forest habitat into the theme. Waxed linen in complementary colours was finished with a bronze toggle clasp

Continuing the fun I put together some Valentine earrings with lampwork hearts I had just received from Sue Kennedy this week. I used 14 Kt Gold Filled wires for all 3 pairs. The 2 orange pairs have Swarovski Crystals added to the top (the clear ones on the far right pair don’t show up well in this photo) and the red pair are finished with 14 Kt Gold Filled beads at both top and bottom

My Heart

All of these pieces are available in my online store here. There’s also a direct link on each photo.

On January 31st please visit the blog reveal to see what everyone else made

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day

Friday 20 January 2017

We’re All Ears Challenge, January 2017

The last time I participated in the We’re All Ears Challenge, sponsored by the Earrings Everyday team, was last October. Although I wanted to join the November and December challenges it just did not work out.

The inspiration for this month follows their annual Colour of the Year. This time it’s the Pantone colour Greenery.

I love the colour green, especially a spring fresh shade like this one and had 2 designs planned out. I was able to complete 1.  The Muffin Tin Challenge showed me that I work better with an end date so I’ve given myself a deadline of 1 week to finish it.

Here’s the one I did complete. I like to name my designs, and of course there’s only one name that fits, Greenery.


The wonderful ceramic discs, glazed front and back, are from Linda Landig and just came in a couple of days ago. I teamed them with copper, waxed linen and some perfectly imperfect seed beads. The colour match of the discs to the seed beads is spot on. The dangles also have some copper beads added to help bring the whole design together.

I’m very happy with how these earrings came together. They are available in my shop here.

Please visit the blog reveal to see what everyone else made

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day

Sunday 15 January 2017

Muffin Tin Challenge

When Heather Powers of Humblebeads fame decided to host her Muffin Tin Challenge again I thought it was a great way to kick start inspiration for 2017. The muffin tin concept is to take a muffin tin and fill as many cups as you want with everything needed for one project. Have a deadline and complete as many projects as you are able to by that date.

This seemed like an especially inspired way for me to get started. What with a heavy load at my bill paying job, Christmas season at home, preparing and bringing all the goodies for Christmas at my parents and spending several days up there with them taking care of things they needed, I was spent. After we got both kids back to their own places on the 29th, I did nothing but veg.

I have a muffin tin sitting on my bench from last year, when I tried to use the concept as a kick start for 2016. Well that didn’t go so well. Don’t get me wrong. I did get some projects done but also kept adding more and more unfinished projects to the cups.

Time to start over. I took a mini muffin tin bought last year (and used for my Christmas baking) and filled it with the focal elements for 12 or more projects.

The Starting Point

As is my bad habit, I forgot to take most of the items out of their storage bags. Most cups have the one item or pair that are generally visible. The two hardest to see, middle left and second from left, contain vintaj brass stampings (left cup) and lovely Lampwork beads in multiple colours (2nd from left). I did not add the remainder of the required items, wire, other beads, cord or chain, ear wires, and so on. I have been known to change my mind and this way I was not as “tied down”. My one goal was to produce 12 finished projects that I was happy with.

Finished Products
I met my goal this afternoon, and actually completed 2 pieces from those 2 middle tins. For whatever reason I placed each completed item on the tile from bottom right to top left. Don’t ask me why because I can’t explain. I just do it on a regular basis. Here’s each item, with the photo taken right after finishing it. (Because this is a long post I am only giving details of the elements used in each piece)

 Picasso Jasper & White Jade Intarsia from a destash by Lori McDaniel Anderson, Pink/Brown Moonstone, Sterling Silver

Dogwood Blooms

Mookite Jasper also from a destash by Lori McDaniel Anderson, Pink Opals, 14Kt Gold Filled ear wires and wrapping wires

Shining Through

Glass beads from a destash by Linda Landing, Gunmetal teardrops and filigree leaves upcycled from a damaged piece, Gunmetal ear wires and wrapping


Glass Rectangles also from a destash by Linda Landig, glass fire polished beads, brass and rhinestone spacers, goldtone ear wires and wrapping wires

Desert Bloom

Textured Copper with patina from Melinda Orr, Lampwork Glass with silver dots from Sue Kennedy, Glass and Copper. The patina on the right earring is better than the photo implies

These 2 Things….

Ceramic discs with individual design by Linda Landig, Ceramic rounds by Gaea Cannaday, Glass seed beads, Copper ear wires and wrapping wires

Singing the Blues

Ceramic discs by Linda Landig, Glass rounds, Sterling Silver

Perfectly Imperfect

Ceramic rectangles from Linda Landig, Ceramic rounds from Cindy Pack, Copper, Waxed Linen

Roll Along

Lampwork glass with silver dots by Susan Kennedy, 14Kt Gold Filled Ear Wires and Wrapping Wires

Jumping Hoops (Sold)

Lampwork glass with silver dots by Susan Kennedy, Glass beads, Sterling Silver beads and hoops

In Bloom

Porcelain flower by Lisa Peters, Swarovski Crystal, Sterling Silver

On Wings

Vintaj Brass with Gilders Paste patina, Bronzite, Antiqued Bronze, Waxed Linen

Earth Song

Lampwork glass with Fine Silver in the colours stoneground, caramel and silver ivory by Robyn Kirkmand, Glass flowers, waxed linen, copper, antiqued bronze

All these designs have been added to my Etsy store, except for the large ceramic flower necklace. See what's happening with it in this post.

I’ve already come up with several new designs while working on this challenge and am stoked to continue my year.

Please visit the blog reveal to see what everyone else made

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day