Sunday, 30 November 2014

AJE Component of the month - November

Good morning :) It’s component of the month reveal time again, and this month we got another gorgeous handmade component to design with. 

This time, it’s Kristen Stevens turn, and she gave us all a pair of cute little beaded rings. She makes the most amazing designs with the smallest beads, you can check out her shop here.

Yes, I forgot the photo, but I had 2 pairs! Hahaaaa!! So here’s what they look like, but for my design I used another colour…

Aren't they lovely? Originally, I was going to make a pair of earrings, after playing around with them, I thought they looked great as the centrepiece of some antique bronze rings I picked up from The Bead Shop Liverpool.

I tried to suspend them in the centre with copper wire… I knew exactly what I wanted them to look like, and it would have looked lovely, but it just wouldn’t work… after 4 attempts I gave up. Then it struck me, when I started out I used to make dreamcatchers. I grabbed some thin leather and wrapped the design in the centre and tied it off when there was a hole large enough to hold the beaded ring. I stitched the ring on to the leather. I added silver feathers with green seeds and brass cubes. The design isn’t particularly heavy, but I thought they would be too big for earrings, so I strung it as a pendant with flat leather. I’m not sure if this is still a work in progress, it looks to me as though it could do with a little more, maybe some leather tassels or something, I will keep thinking!

Thank you to Kristen for her brilliant component, it’s been great fun to revisit some old ideas!

To see what Kristen and the rest of the AJE Team have made, follow the links…

Cindy Martin Shaw
Shai Williams
Karen Martinez

Linda Landig
Caroline Dewison << You are here.
Francesca Watson
Jenny Davies-Reazor
Lindsay Starr
Jennifer Cameron

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Beads Of Courage Charm Swap

For those of you who were here last year, it's time for the Beads of Courage Art Charm Exchange and Auction again! Yay!

For those of you who weren't here's what it's all about...

The exchange is run by Jennifer Cameron (Glass Addictions) and each year a new theme is set. Each participant makes 11 charms and sends them to Jennifer who then sends us 9 different ones back, plus one of our own. The 11th charm is put in to auction to raise money for the Beads of Courage program.

Beads of Courage is a fantastic charity providing support for children and their families dealing with serious illness.

The Program is a resilience-based intervention designed to support and strengthen children and families coping with serious illness. Through the program children tell their story using colorful beads as meaningful symbols of courage that commemorate milestones they have achieved along their unique treatment path. 

Last year we raised just over $1500 from the sale of the extra charms, and I've got everything crossed that we can match if not beat that fantastic amount!

So, back to the charm swap... this year, the theme chosen was 'Soar'. I thought long and hard about what I'd create for my charm. Try as I might to come up with something different, the idea I kept coming back to was a bird on the wing, soaring high in the clouds. 

Here is my charm...

It's made from one of my lamp work beads and finished with silver plated wire, heart charm and jump ring.

There should have been a picture of more of them, but being so excited that I'd finished in time, I packed them up and sent them off before I remembered! You'll just have to join in the blog hop to see all of the different colours ;)

In return, I received beautiful charms from 9 other artists taking part.

In no particular order...

An amazingly detailed ceramic feather charm from Terri Del Signore...

A beautiful sparkly embroidered dragonfly charm with a heart from Chris Eisenberg...

Cute polymer angel wings from Cory Tompkins...

A gorgeous blue ceramic bird soaring over a little cloud from Michelle McCarthy...

A wonderful ceramic Dragonfly charm from Jenny Davies-Reazor...

A really sweet birdy and nest in polymer clay from Nan Smith...

I was lucky enough to receive 2 charms from Toltec Jewels, one with a lampwork disc and copper dangles, and one in tiny chainmaille with flying birds, both gorgeous! ...

A cute sparkly polymer flying heart charm from Andrea Glick...

And finally, an amazingly detailed polymer clay bead from Monique Urquhart.

I'm thrilled with everything I received and want to say a big thank you to everyone, they're all beautiful :) And an extra big thank you to Jennifer for all her hard work and organising! 

If you'd like to join in with the fun and get your hands on mine, or any one else's charm, Jennifer is running a charity auction for the extras we made. I hope you will come over and bid high... it's for a fantastic cause!

Link to the auctions...

And to see what everyone else made and received, join us in the blog hop! Just follow the links...

2014 Art Charm Exchange Participants

Jennifer Cameron:
Alenka Obid:
Alicia Marinache:
Andrea Glick:
Caroline Dewison: << You are Here :)
Cassi Paslick:
Cate van Alphen:
Cheri Reed:
Chris Eisenberg:
Cory Tompkins:
Elisabeth Auld:
Genevieve Gabbert:
Jami Shipp:
Jenny Davies-Reazor:
Jill Bradley:
Kim Dworak:
Lee Koopman:
Lennis Carrier:
Lesley Watt:
Mallory Hoffman:
Melissa Trudinger:
Michelle McCarthy:
Monique Urquhart:
Moriah Betterly:
Nancy Dale:
Nancy Smith:
Niky Sayers: 
Perri Jackson:
Renetha Stanziano:
Shai Williams:
Sheila Prosterman:
Susan Delaney:
Susan Kennedy:
Terri DelSignore:
Toltec Jewels:
Vanessa Gilkes:

Saturday, 1 November 2014

AJE Component of the month - October

Good morning and thanks for stopping by! I've been even more quiet than usual recently as I've been getting the power plugged in to my studio. I'm pleased to say it's all done now and I can see what I'm doing... hooray!  Normal bad blog posting will resume shortly!

This months Component of the month was supplied by Karen Totten of Starry Road Studios. A wonderful spiral fossil disc. I was thrilled to receive the blue/green disc just left of centre.

It sat on my desk for quite a while, I couldn't decide what to make with it. My first thought was to create a bracelet with other large disc components, but there was nothing quite right in my stash. Then out of the blue, some Canadian friends were in the UK and came for a visit. They brought me a gift of some jade beads which were perfect!

I know Karen loves tribal designs, so I wanted to try my hand at something along those lines. I took some copper, bashed and patinated it, then went crazy with my new vintaj hole making tool (it's amazing, everyone should have one... much easier than messing about drilling!)

I originally wanted to connect the component to the back piece with copper wire, but failed miserably, it just wouldn't bend properly... so the disc was lashed on with thin leather.

I quite like how it turned out!

Below the component I added some czech tile beads and bronze coated crystal points wrapped with copper wire.

And added the graduated Jade stones for the necklace.

I didn't manage to patinate the copper below, and I think I might darken the leather a little too, but it's very nearly what I was hoping to achieve.

Thanks to Karen for her wonderful component, I've had great fun designing around it!

And to see what the rest of the team and guests did with theirs... follow the links...

Monthly Winners

AJE Blog Team