Monday, May 30, 2016

Art Jewelry Elements: May Component of the Month Reveal

Hello all! I am so excited to share with you my trials and tribulations for this month's AJE CoM.

I was picked as a special guest this month and I received in the mail the most adorable hand blown miniature glass cabochons. They were made by Sue Kennedy of SueBeads. My 3 pieces are: 2 hearts and one star.

I was sooo excited to get started! I Googled and Pinned some ideas and narrowed down the medium I would use to polymer clay. I have worked with polymer half a dozen times... Luckily for me, once was with Heather Powers of Humblebeads and another time was with Andrew Thornton. So, I had a basic idea what I was doing. In my mind I wanted to combine these elements ...

So I headed to Allegory Gallery and had a Clay Date with Laurel. I made a Skinner Blend with one part transparent clay (I did not think this through). Transparent clay is not the same consistency as other polymer clay colors. So this did not work out as well as planned, but I kept going, made a cane, sliced away and covered a heart shape.

I did a little tweaking and fixing then I baked it. And baked it, and baked it, and baked it. It never seemed to get hard and the transparency never seemed to be transparent!!! Well, I got frustrated, and forgot about it, and it overcooked.

Here's my sad example of overcooked polymer clay with transparent in the mix which turns to blaa.

Well, I couldn't very well turn this in as a project! My two teachers for this medium would be appalled, I would be ousted from the blogosphere, and never asked to play again at AJE! So I popped the hearts off and threw the clay away.

Time For A Do Over!

The 'Polymer Clay Incident' all took place two days after getting the cabs, so I knew I had enough time to rethink my project. That's when I started carrying the cutie cabs around with me, I would put them in my pockets for inspiration... until I almost fed them to my dogs! (They got mixed up with treats in my pocket!)

Then I put them in a safe place, out of harms way, and promptly forgot where I put them. Fast forward to two days till due date...

I have now decided I would try Soutache! I have never tried this medium before. I don't seed bead let alone bead embroidery, I'm afraid of it. But this didn't look too hard! (Hahaha!) I picked an inspiration photo and set to work...

How fun does that look! Awesome right? I could do this! Off to Joann Fabrics! Thank goodness the clerk knew what I was looking for, because the soutache was in the last row in the bottom shelf in a random stuff box! And all they had was yellow and silver. Oh well, I could work with that, I grabbed some cuplink chain and was outta there!

Everything started out fine, although I got too impatient and didn't let the glue dry long enough and had to re-glue cabs twice.
Then I showed Andrew Thornton my project and he laughed and laughed (because he knows me and my 'craftitude' so well)! ;-) He said I was nuts because "soutache takes so long to finish" (and I am not known for my patience)! He said why would I use invisible thread, I would "surely get it stuck in a loop/knot and never realize until the end"!! And his famous last words to me "be careful". I said, "Hush, silly Andrew! I Googled this, and I am perfectly capable of using a needle and thread!" I did not tell him I already was too impatient to wait for glue to dry. ;-)

And In case you can't tell from the above picture, there are glue strings mixed with invisible thread all over the front of my pendant. Because, yes, I did get the thread stuck in a loop and I'm afraid to cut any strings for fear the whole thing falls apart. Also, there may be blood drops from me stabbing myself in the finger 17 thousand times. Damn, Andrew is always right!

But it worked out in the end! I had fun! I learned a new skill!



I hope you enjoyed my adventures! Stay tuned for more, or look back to previous blog posts!

Please visit everyone from Art Jewelry Elements and comment on their blogs! We all love to hear from people!


Allison Herrington

Lola Surwillo

AJE Team Members:

Susan Kennedy - host

Diana Ptaszynski

Kristen Stevens

Jenny Davies-Reazor

Caroline Dewison

Lindsay Starr

Lesley Watt

Jennifer Cameron

Niky Sayers


Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Inspired by Reading: The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake - Aimee Bender

Well, as you can imagine anything with "cake" in the title will be a fun meet up! Here's Laurel with the cake she brought...

We also had Lemon Cake with Chocolate icing!!! It was homemade by our very own Andrew Thornton, who assured us he was thinking about cute cats and kittens when he was baking it!

While I DID finish this book, it wasn't one of my favorites. Too many things left undone at the end and way too much symbolism that I didn't get. I felt the author was trying too hard at times, and I just couldn't get what she was trying to say. BUT, I did like the banter back and forth style that the main character had with the rest of the characters. She felt like a real kid and teenager by her language.

Any way, on to my project. At one point in the book, the mother calls the son a geode*, her husband a grey boulder*, and her daughter sea glass*.

*see above re: too much symbolism

Well, I wanted a piece of jewelry I would wear. Often, for bookclub projects, I too, try too hard** and I end up with a WAY over the top necklace with tons of imagery and symbols BUT I never wear it.

**see above re: author trying too hard

Recipe: Crazy Lemon Cake Necklace


  • Sea glass - faux sea glass substitute is okay
  • Geode slice - glass imitation substitute is okay
  • Boulder - tumbled gem in same color substitute is okay
  • Something to represent Mom - yellow = lemon cake
  • Something to represent Grandma - pearls of course!
  1. Attach all items together as a family
  2. Use asymmetric style to convey crazy family dynamic
  3. Use round toggle at the end to show the emptiness I felt at the end
  4. Use purple to symbolize the magical feel of the book

Check out the Facebook page to see what everyone made!

Inspired By Reading


Monday, May 23, 2016

Halcraft Pretty Palettes May Reveal

Yay! Another Pretty Palettes reveal! Here is the link to the original post from Erin Prais-Hintz and Halcraft. This month was right up my alley...
Here are the beads Erin chose from Bead Gallery beads from Michaels, AKA The Big Wall-O-Beads...

I was overwhelmed at the amount of boho-esque things I could make with ALL those beads! So I chose one strand and added one strand. I shared with Laurel, and then I got busy creating!

I knew I wanted to 1) add leather and 2) do some sort of tassel and 3) incorporate waxed linen, even before I stared. SO, when I found some art beads in my stash from 'robintheraven' the whole project just came together like a dream! ;-)

What fun these Challenges always are! Thanks so much Erin P-H for hosting these!

Stop back later to see the link for the blog hop! Or head to Halcraft's blog on their website and search for May Pretty Pallete Reveal.


Sarajo's Honey Do Challenge

Sarajo's hubby is so sweet! His honey do lists are comprised of beading challenges! And Sarajo invites anyone to play along! Check out her post here on her blog for what Eric challenged us with this month.

There are no hard and fast rules to this challenge, just be inspired by what he posts. Although... I think the original intent may have been to use what was in our stash... Who can keep to that rule?!?! A girl needs to buy beads if she is so inspired, right?!?!

Here is the amazing photo her hubby Eric took and challenged us with.

Well, it did just so happen that I had the perfect beads for this one, MY hubby will be proud that I did not have to buy more beads!

Oh, wait, I may have HAD to buy the Czech glass leaves from Allegory Gallery because, well, they were perfect! The wooden beads are from my stash and the green Jade is from a destash. The perfect Crabapple-Flower-Color beads are vintage plastic! Fun, right?!?!

The pendant is made in bronze by Andrew Thornton. The wooden saucer bead directly above the pendant (that reminded me of the owl's tufts on his head), that is also from Allegory Gallery. The glass bead, with the perfect spots of yellow like the owl's eyes, is from a destash and I think the artist is Isis Ray.

Thanks again Eric and Sarajo for inviting others to join! This is always a fun challenge!

Sarajo's Original Honey Do Challenge

The current Honey Do Reveal


Monday, May 16, 2016

May Art Bead Scene Challenge

Art Bead Scene May Challenge
"On A Shaker Theme" by Charles Sheeler

From Wikipedia: "The United Society of Believers in Christ's Second Appearing is a religious sect, also known as the Shakers, founded in the 18th century in England, having branched off from a Quaker community. They were known as "Shaking Quakers" because of their ecstatic behavior during worship services. Shakers settled in colonial America, with initial settlements in New Lebanon, New York, today they are mostly known for their celibate and communal lifestyle, pacifism, and their model of equality of the sexes, which they institutionalized in their society in the 1780s. They are also known for their simple living, architecture, and furniture."

"This painting, of a laundry and machine shop, is a three and one half story building constructed in 1790. The structure served as a washhouse, machine house, herb and seed room, and woodshed and thus it exemplified the Shaker principle of maximum utility."
In “On a Shaker Theme,” Sheeler overlaid two images, one slightly smaller and in reverse, of the portion of the laundry and machine shop. He also radically simplified the details of the building so that windows and doors are reduced to rectangles. Sheeler’s method of overlapping images resulted in a complicated scaffolding of diagonals and verticals. “On a Shaker Theme” celebrates the refined geometric forms that underlie Shaker design, although its compositional intricacy eschews the Shaker virtues of purity and simplicity.
I took from the painting and the Quaker lifestyle simplicity and straight lines, so I used cubes and rectangular beads from my stash as the main necklace. The white are marble beads and the red and beige are wooden beads. The three blue ceramic beads, which represent the blue sky in the painting, are Kazuri beads.
The art beads I used are lampwork glass beads from two artists and the cross pendant. The cross is from Inviciti. The red glass is from Julie Miller Glass. The two beige beads are from Pumpkin Hill Beads.
Take a look at the Pinterest board for more people's pieces inspired by the painting.


Wednesday, May 4, 2016

May To Do List

Allegory Gallery Design Challege: TWO due this month!

Grasslands Challenge "When we thought about this color, we visualized a landscape carpeted in a sea of golden grasses, stretching out to the horizon endlessly. Imagine the sun warm on your face and the strong, sweet smell of hay and earth filling your nose. If you're still, you can see a menagerie of beasts living out the majestic pageantry of the cycle of life." REVEAL IS THURSDAY MAY 12th

Mystery Challenge this one was a hidden challenge, but the colors are AMAZING! Stay tuned until the REAVEAL ON THURSDAY MAY 19th

Sarajo's Honey Do Challenge: this month Eric took a beautiful picture of an owl in a flowering crabapple tree! Inspiration abounds! REVEAL IS MONDAY MAY 23rd

Art Jewelry Elements Component of the Month (AJE COM): I was selected to receive a free COM for May! It is glass baby cabochons! Soooo many ideas, sooo little time! REVEAL IS TUESDAY MAY 31st

Art Bead Scene May Challenge: Shaker simplicity and utilitarian design with the goal of efficiency of use. The title of the art this month is "On a Shaker Theme" REVEAL IS TUESDAY MAY 31st

Halcraft Beads Pretty Palette Challenge: this one is right up my alley... Bohemian Flair! REVEAL IS WEDNESDAY MAY 25th.

Inspired by Reading Bookclub: this month we are reading "The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake" by Aimee Bender. Sound like a tearjerker! REVEAL IS THURSDAY MAY 26th

And a new one which I am still trying to get in gear to do... Dry Gulch Color Challenge. This month is vintage poppies! REVEAL IS TUEDAY MAY 31st