June 30, 2015

AJE Firefly Challenge

Earlier this month the Art Jewelry Elements posted a challenge for summer inspired by Fireflies. I had to jump on it. I love these night time dancers that entertain us during hot and humid summer nights. The fields around my house light up with their display and I have fond memories of chasing fireflies as a kid growing up in the country. 

My first pendant is a simple design with one of my firefly charms, Czech glass, a feathery Humblebead disk and a brass colored dyed hematite. I worked the chain up with a series of large jump rings juxtaposed by a copper flower clasp.

My next piece is a bracelet that uses similar beads to match my pendant.

My final pendant I pulled out a bead I had been hording for years, years I tell you! Isn't that funny how you can fall in love with a bead but you have to wait until it really speaks to you before you take it out of the bead box. 

This pewter pendant is Mamacita Beadworks. I stacked a series of art beads on top of the pendant to suggest a summer night - a golden disk bead with tree branches wrapped around it. A lampwork bead from Sea of Glass that looks like a starry night. A ceramic bead from Earthenwood Studio that reminds of wood and the forests, along with a little wooden bead. And finally a tiny disk bead with wings wrapped around it. 

The best part of the firefly pendant - those squirmy little legs underneath! It reminds me of a character straight out of Tim Burton's James and Giant Peach.

Visit the other participants and see their firefly inspirations!

Guest Designers:
Melissa Trudinger - https://beadrecipes.wordpress.com/2015/06/30/aje-firefly-challenge-reveal/
Mary Detray - http://www.brassrabbitstudio.com/blog
Keren Panthaki - https://vasdea.wordpress.com
Tammy Adams - http://www.paisleylizard.com/
Veralynne Malone - www.veradesigns.blogspot.com
Terri Del Signore - http://artisticaos.blogspot.com/
Heather Powers - http://www.humblebeads.blogspot.com (you're here!)
Susan Delphine Delaney - https://susandolphindelaney.wordpress.com

June 27, 2015

Bead Soup Mix Challenge Gallery

A sea inspired bead soup bracelet by Despina featuring a Humblebeads urchin and starfish charm. Despina's dreamy mix of beads look fit for a mermaid!
Michelle was also inspired by a beachy bead soup mix with a Humblebeds bracelet connector as the focal. The copper really makes the teal green colors pop in this design.
Melanie picked a few teal shades of bead soup to create a bird and nest necklace. She mixed in some texture with knotted beads on cord to balance out the large oval chain. The focal bead features a Humblebeads nest and a ceramic bird by Kylie Parry. 
Julie gathered a fun and eclectic mix of bead soup, she used larger focal beads unifying the design with elongated beads. She used a Humblebeads long bead (that is almost vintage! I remember making it when I lived in Texas!) and transformed it into an awesome dragonfly with just a bit of wire - seriously clever! 
Debra gathered up a playful bead soup to accent a trio of Humblebeads nesting dolls. She used sari ribbon to complete the design.
Kathy not only created a bead soup, she did a little double duty by recycling pieces from an older necklace that she wasn't crazy about. She used a Humblebeads peacock disk beads with a lotus focal from Jenny Davies-Reazor.
Alice created two pieces for the challenge! Her first piece with a turtle focal used a mix of Humblebeads disk beads to accent her pendant.
Her second pendant paired up a mix of Humblebeads from a Totem set with a word bead from Swoondimples. 

Anna Chase rounded up a bead soup of glass, ceramic and Humblebeads disk beads. I love the beaded part of the bracelet and the earthy colors are so compelling. 

Cory mixed two Humblebeads feathers with a few her polymer clay beads, Czech glass with accents of teal cord to tie it all together. Get it, tied together. Sorry. I like the addition of the beads on the cord to add in movement, texture and color to a design. 

Thank to everyone who played along with me this week! It was so much fun to see what you whipped up with your soup. We are some mighty fine bead soup cooks. Now, it's time for the winner - everyone's name went into the hat and I drew: 
That's Debra Beach! Congrats Debra - have fun shopping with your $50 gift certificate!
(Where did the extra entries come from? I have my blog published at humblebeads.com too and those comments and the ones here both qualified.)

June 26, 2015

Bohemian Bead Soup

Earlier this week I put out a challenge to create a bead soup mix piece of jewelry. How is it going? Almost done? You need to share your link with me by today to enter to win the $50 gift certificate. You can find the details here.

So this is the piece of jewelry I had in mind all weekend and couldn't wait to make! I wanted something that was bohemian inspired that featured my new Monarch beads.

The beaded portion of the necklace - my soup - combines Czech glass, crystal, a few stones and copper beads knotted on green waxed linen. I wanted the necklace to feel like a butterfly garden, speckled with blooms and wings. The clasp is a pewter button from Green Girl Studios.

The pendant features a ceramic bead from White Clover Kiln, a lampwork beads from More Skye Jewels. At the bottom of the pendant the leaf headpin is from Nikki Thornburg and the drop is Genea Beads.

 Love making these Chrysalis beads! 

I could so see this necklace being worn by artist Vanessa Bell, she owned the famous Charleston home. A hot gathering place for artists, writers and other bohemian types known as the Bloomsbury Group. Vanessa Bell was a painter herself and created the most amazing home with fellow artist Duncan Grant. She is also the sister of Virginia Wolf. 

She'd wear the necklace with something like this: 
Photo credit: Tom Allen via We Are So Droee

While she painted this:
 Painting by Vanessa Bell

Hanging out in gorgeous rooms, lounging around with her artist friends in rooms like this - heated and intellectual conversations were a must, of course. 
Photo from the Charleston website

And while she read and illustrated books by her sister like this:
Photo via Little Augury

Yep, that's where I see this necklace! 

Don't forget to click on this link - right here - to share your bead soup creations. 

June 22, 2015

Bead Soup Mix Challenge

I don't know why, maybe I'm feeling whimsical or maybe it's because my bead stash is currently in a crazy jumble but I have had bead soup on the brain all weekend. I have a design floating around in my head but time is short this week. (How does that happen on Monday!)

So let's play together. Create a bead soup piece of jewelry with at least one Humblebead in the mix.

  • Post a comment below with a link to your creation by Friday. 
  • On Saturday I will draw a winner for a $50 gift certificate from Humblebeads. 
  • Link can be from your shop, blog, Facebook page, Instragram, Pinterest but it has to be a new creation and it has to your link. 
  • Make sure you leave an email if it's not in your profile. 

Grab those beads and let's create!!!

Here is a great blog post I wrote last year for my Mojo Challenge will all sorts of tips for creating a bead soup piece of jewelry.

And if you have a copy on your shelf pull out the Bead Soup book by my friend Lori Anderson. It's awesome and deserves a re-read. In fact I'm going to pull out my copy to read over again this week.  (That's an Amazon affiliate link above.)

June 20, 2015

June Art Bead Scene Challenge

Feuilles by Seraphine Louis, 1928

This is the inspiration painting for this month's Art Bead Scene challenge. When I was looking for art for this year's challenge, I was wondering looking for women artist's to feature - we need all the credit we can get, right? I had seen Seraphine's work before but this piece just stopped me in my tracks. The colors are so vibrant and alive. I could make beads and jewelry for a month inspired by this painting and never run out of ideas. I love the abundance and overzealous feeling of the work, who isn't a little overtaken by the beauty of nature! 

Let's see what I came up with this month.

First up, I broke into my Bead & Button stash and pulled out some Diane Hawkey beads. Why don't I ever buy enough of her pieces, I always use them up to quick. I'm particularly in love with her branches, should have grabbed all her had. I paired them up with my leaves and birds. A little Czech glass and copper branches finish the design.

The same design with a slight twist, mixing in a few different pendants - the ceramic leaf from Lisa Peters, lampwork from Sea of Glass and enamel leaf from Gardanne Beads. I kept these simple with a bronze colored leather.

I made this piece for myself. That amazing electroplated leaf is something I picked up from an artist at a local show last summer. I can't find her card - why, Heather, why! I hope she returns this year. If I could take a class or teach myself a new skill it would be how to electroplate things from nature. Yummy!!!!

I also used the inspiration painting to put together a few kits that I'm offering in my Etsy shop.

So that's my ABS challenge pieces, are you working on one or have you finished a design? There is still plenty of time to enter. Stop by the Art Bead Scene to see what Mary Harding created for this month's challenge too.

June 6, 2015

Fox in the Forest Bracelet

I whipped up this fun bracelet pairing together a fox button from Green Girl Studios with some of my new woven disk beads. Czech glass leaves, wooden beads and copper colored dyed hematite finish the design knotted on Irish waxed linen for an earthy bracelet that you can whip in in under 30 minutes!

pewter fox button 
5 polymer clay disk beads
5 Czech maple leaves
7 wood triangle beads
18 4mm dyed hematite 
36" Irish waxed linen

1. String the waxed linen twice through the loop on the button and center the button on the linen. 

2. Tie an overhand knot with both strands of the linen. String a hematite bead on both strands, tie an overhand knot and repeat. 

3. On one strand of linen string on the lead bead, tie an overhand knot with both stands. Repeat four times. 

4. String both strands of linen through a wood bead, tie an overhand knot. Repeat six more times. 

5. Repeat step 4 with the five disk beads.

6. On both strands of linen string on 13 hematite beads. Form a loop with the beads, leaving a small space under the beads and tie both strands around the linen under the hematite beads to secure your loop. Wrap the linen around the base of the loop again and tie another knot.

7. Add 1 hematite bead to one stand of linen, tie an overhand knot. Repeat on the other strand of linen with 2 hematite beads. Trim the end of the linen leaving a 1/4 tail, fray the linen ends slightly. 

Fox button: Green Girl Studios. Disk beads: Humblebeads. Wood and hematite beads: J & M Imports. Czech glass leaves: Nirvana Beads

Kits are available at booth 1208 at the Bead & Button show. I will list any extras when I return home. 

June 5, 2015

Bead & Button Peek

A quick peek at booth 1208. Stop by to say hello!