This month’s Component Of The Month was made by Art Jewelry Elements (AJE) team member Niky Sayers. Niky, who is from London, England, used 2 old farthing coins to make a very cool bead. I didn’t know how much a farthing was worth or when it had been in use, so I looked it up. A farthing was worth a quarter of an old penny and there were also half farthings and 3 quarter farthings. They were taken out of circulation in 1961.
I knew that I wanted to make a multi-strand bracelet with my farthing bead. I thought this raku bead, from Odd Designs, would add some color while also tying in with the coppery color of the coin. At that point I decided to go for blue and coppery brown in the whole bracelet, along with some smaller spots accent colors.
The blue lampwork glass bead (above, right) by Jen Cameron of Glass Addictions was perfect for my third focal bead.
Each of the three strands of smaller beads has a mix of blue and brown glass beads, with some accent colors and some small copper heshe.. Although each strand is different, they all have some blue glass seed beads with a copper sheen and some of the copper heshe. These common components help to tie the overall design together. I finished the bracelet with a handmade ceramic button by Karen Totten of Starry Road Studio.
Thank you Niky for sharing your awesome metalsmithing skills with us in the form of this uber-cool bead! In addition to the AJE team members, 3 lucky guest artists also received farthing beads. My Farthing Bracelet is available in the bracelet section of my shop.
Check out the blogs listed below to see what everyone else made with their farthings.
Growing up near the Pacific coast, my fascination with tide pools dates back to childhood vacations on the ocean. There is an entire ecosystem in each little puddle and pool.
Sea stars (aka starfish) usually have 5 arms, but sometimes we’d find sea stars with a many more arms than that.
The many colored sea anemones look like strange plants, but are actually animals that attach themselves to rocks and shells. They wave their tentacles when the tide is in and close up when the tide is out. If you accidentally step on one, it will squirt water!
Tide pools are also home to shellfish, such as mussels, limpets and barnacles. Any kid who has ever clambered around on rocky tide pools in flip flops can tell you how viciously a barnacle can cut your foot, if you slip on some slick seaweed!
I can not imagine living far from the sea. It’s where I go when I need council, comfort or serenity.
Which it to say that I love this month’s Earrings Everyday Tide Pools theme. The earrings I made would be great to wear at the beach. But I know that I’d wear them lots of other times, just to bring a bit of the beach into my everyday life.
The beautiful blue lampwork beads are handmade by Sue Kennedy of Sue Beads. There is a lovely trailing of fine silver around these beads, which accents the sterling silver starfish that I dangled below them.
Life has been pretty hectic since we returned from Oaxaca and I haven’t had much time to keep current on this blog. Only a few days after our return, my father was hospitalized and then needed some convalescence time. Fortunately he is fine now and celebrated his 88th birthday this week. I got bronchitis and needed a week or so to recover. And then my brother and sister-in-law came to visit us for 10 days.
My sister-in-law is very artistic and we had fun playing with clay during her visit. I blogged about her creations here and here. If you are curious about the process involved in the creation of ceramic pendants, then you’ll find these 2 posts especially interesting. Here’s a picture of my sister-in-law forming some of her pendants.
I also took her to Shipwreck Beads, which claims to have the world’s largest selection of beads. It only about a 15 minute drive from my house!
Here’s what she came home with.
And of course, not wanting to be left out ;) I came home with a few goodies too!
The rondells are Cherry Creek jasper and the other 2 stands are very cool glass beads that nest together and create a great texture.
We spent some time in Seattle and I went crazy photographing the gorgeous flowers in Pike Place Market, but I’ll save that for another post.
We’re back to our normal routines now and I’ve had time to resume working with clay. I’ll have some results soon, which I will share with you here.
So that’s what’s happening with me. Hope all is well in your world too.
This month’s components are beautiful beaded beads by Sue Kennedy ofSue Beads. I love her beaded beads and her color choices!
Sue’s beaded beads are an obvious choice for earrings, but this time I decided to switch it up a bit and make a bracelet.
I paired Sue’s bead with a lampwork bead by my friends at Beads and Botanicals. and a pretty matte bead with light blue stripes.
I enjoy making bracelets that go from one strand to multi-strands and that was my approach here. When I started my Facebook Destash Group several weeks ago, I realized that I’d been neglecting my gemstone collection, so I chose some amethysts and pearls for the for the first two strands.
Although I rarely use Swarovski crystals any more, they were exactly what this bracelet called for in the third strand.
While I like each strand to be different, I try to tie them all together with some repeating components, in this case, I have light purple seed beads and small, blue cubes in every strand.
At this point, I knew that my usual brass or copper clasps were not going to work at all for this bracelet. Instead I selected a beautiful, hammer textured sterling silver toggle clasp. Ooo, so lovely!
When I was a kid, I had a little garden plot where I grew purple irises. They made me happy and so does this “Iris Bracelet“.
Check out my new life-sized wrist model! This is her début! Does she help you picture how the bracelet would look on you? I hope so.
There’s a peacock that lives a short distance from us. Sometimes I see him at the side of the road, showing off his splendid tail feathers. I suspect that he is an escapee from someone’s yard. He probably lives in the woods on either side of the road. These earrings are inspired by his beauty.
The beautiful copper peacock feathers were made by my good friend, Kristi Bowman. I topped the feathers with gorgeous lampwork glass beads and little ceramic cubes. The finishing touch is a bit of teal silk, knotted between the lampwork and the peacock feathers.
I chose the stunning colors of peacock feathers, blue, green and teal, to accent the copper feathers. I especially like how these earrings incorporate so many different materials: copper, lampwork glass, ceramic and fabric.
I’ve been moving some of my jewelry away from Etsy and onto my new website. Here are some of the new additions. Think Mother’s Day (hint, hint).
This peachy little bird has a cozy nest to sit in. This necklace is a like the ceramic version of what I see going on in our yard. We live in the woods, so there are tons of birds here. If you wake up early in the morning, their songs fill the air. I love that!
When I was in my 20’s my husband and I spent 3 weeks riding the rails around Europe. That was BB (Before Beads). We went to Venice and never even looked at any beads or sought out any glass makers. This just makes me cringe whenever I think about it now. Venice is a centuries old glass making center and Venetian glass beads are world renown. So I remedied my previous oversight, by buying some beautiful handmade glass beads from an artist who has a studio in the historic center of the city of Venice. Here are 2 pairs of earrings I made with her beads. Which do you like best?
Its taken me awhile to transition back to my normal routine here in the states (I just returned from 3 months in Oaxaca, Mexico). I’ve picked up the old routines again, gradually. I’m now back to doing my adult literacy tutoring on Tuesdays and Thursday afternoons. Hubs and I have date night on Fridays. We’ve got books checked out from the library etc. When we returned home, we found that our water heater was leaking, so we’ve gotten that fixed. We’ve caught up on laundry and I spent some time cleaning up my studio.
The clean studio inspired me to create. When it is a mess, I feel .paralyzed. Mind you, the whole room isn’t clean yet, but there is space at my work table to create and so I did.
I’ve joined a group that is participating in a webinar series called “set yo space“. It will focus on how to create an inviting studio space that inspires us to create, rather than having a space that paralyzes our muse. I’ll write more about that, once we get going next week.
It’s a beautiful day in the Pacific Northwest. Flowers are blooming, the sun is shining and I feel happy. So I decided that a good name for the new earrings would be “Springtime Celebration”. Its how I feel.
The shield-shaped copper pieces were created by my good friend Kristi Bowman. She colored them in the most amazing jewel-tones. Love! I topped them with some silver lined, turquoise glass beads and wove some hand-dyed ribbon above them.
Kristi shared some her customer’s recent work on her blog today, including these earrings. You should check her blog post out. All the jewelry is just yummy!