Sunday, 21 December 2014

Polymer clay challenge!

Okay, I've decided to commit and make a polymer clay project every week for the next year. I've been playing with clay for several months and having a great time. I'm hoping that this challenge will help give me more focus and help me decide if this is what I most want to concentrate on. Katie Acres has created this challenge and I've been hesitating but have finally decided to give it a try. This will be an opportunity to try new techniques and tools. See you on the other side!
( of the new year, that is!)

Friday, 5 December 2014

I almost forgot The Bead Hoarders Blog Hop!!

Thank you  Lori Anderson, for sending that reminder on Facebook about the hop. I had planned earlier in the week what I was going to do but then the week got away from me and here it is Friday night and I'm just getting to it now. I had great intentions of making a new piece but had to use past creations instead.
About the hoarding thing........we all do it. There are sooo many beautiful beads and components that it is next to impossible to resist buying at least one of everything we love! However even if I worked 12 hours a day for 6 days a week I would have a hard time using up all my supplies in a year! And then I discovered art beads and just have to support my fellow artists in the jewelry world! Those incredible lamp work , ceramic, polymer clay and metal works of art are utterly irresistible! Since I've been making jewelry for 3 years or so you can probably imagine how much I have hoarded. and now it's really getting out of hand because I've started to make my own beads and components recently out of polymer clay!

I've decided to feature jewelry that I made this past summer when I was in my purple phase and experimenting with Irish waxed linen thread (something else to hoard..... so many gorgeous colours). Of course since this jewelry includes some of my favorite beads I have to keep it for myself rather than sell them. More hoarding!!!

I love the Unicorne lamp work beads from Stinky Dog Beads and had been saving these fab purple teardrop ones for just the right project. I added some purply-pink cracked agate beads, a chunky purple resin bead, some Czech pony beads and a beautiful frosted floral lamp work bead from Glitteringprize Glass.
I finished it off with a silver plated spiral embossed bead, chain and lobster claw. I'm not thrilled with the proportions since I think the large bead is too big so this may change before I'm fully satisfied with it.

I'm much happier with the second bracelet and have worn it many times. The knotted linen makes  bracelets so comfortable and easy to wear. The focal is one of Heather's of Humblebeads fame. Her art appears so simple but is far from that and her use of colour and texture is phenomenal! I had no inkling of her talent until I started working with polymer clay!

I pulled the colours from her bird house and added several of my bead hoard to make this bracelet. There's a little bit of everything here. Starting from the bottom of the house I used amethyst coloured plastic beads, creamy white howlite bead, matte finish dyed  green jade bead, plum Czech glass flower bead,  green painted wood beads for the loop and a painted bone button for closure. From the top of the focal is a green Czech disc bead left over from my Bead Soup Mix that  my partner Michi sent me, two of my precious Judith Billig lamp work matte finish beads and a purple dyed lava bead that's been in my bead collection for many years.

Last but not least are these pretty purple earrings made using lampwork beads from Pinocean. I had heard that her beads are hard to come by so as soon as I saw some on Etsy I ordered them. I can see why her work is in such demand. The artistry, details and colours are perfection . See if you agree.

These sterling earrings feature the flame work of Mika of Pinocean and Val Lewis on Facebook. The multicoloured ones are Pinocean's while the beautiful pink/purple boro glass is from Val. They are both very talented artists and I can't help myself from supporting them!!!! The bows are pieces of sari silk ribbon and are the perfect finishing touch, I think.

That's all I'm willing to confess to at the moment. If you want to see the secret hoards of over 100 other jewelry artists check out all the blogs listed below. Thank you Lori for hosting this hop. It's been a lot of fun and has inspired me to start using more of my precious beads!

Lori  (Hostess)

Audrey Belanger
Jenny Kyrlach
Kathy Lindemer
Lori Schneider
Dee Elgie
Dolores Raml
Rebecca EdnieHttp://
Lili Krist
Marybeth Rich
Hannah Rosner
Nicole Prince
Deana Hager
Jackie Ryan
Elsie Deliz-Fonseca
Mowse Doyle
Evelyn Shelby
Lisa Johnson
Terri Gauthier
Patti Pruhs
Shai Williams
Andrea Glick
K Hutchinson
Marci Brooks
Maria Rosa
Inge von
Ghislaine Kruse-van
Mary K
Kelly Hosford
Robin Kae Reed                             
Melissa Trudinger                         

Monday, 24 November 2014

Welcome to the 2014 Art Charm Exchange Blog Hop!

Today is the official reveal of the Beads of Courage Art Charm Exchange and the beginning of the charity auction on eBay with all proceeds going to Beads of Courage. This post will chronicle the creation of my charms and show you all the beautiful works of art I have received in this exchange. However the main purpose is to increase awareness of this wonderful charity and encourage you to participate in the auction.

I signed up for this challenge and proceeded to puzzle over what to create.I'm amazed at all the different interpretations of my fellow artists.

The theme is "soar" which made me think of birds.
Future birds in the nests,

Feathers to help them soar!
Mama birds and their babies ready to "soar"off to Jennifer and the other artists!
I took poetic license with the "Soar" theme and decided to "soar" into the unknown by revealing my polymer clay creations to the world for the first time since I've been spending so much time with it these days and I love these little birdies!

Just a few of the
thoughts that went through my head while waiting!

Worry, worry, worry!
Are my charms good enough?
This is my first time revealing my polymer clay skills to the jewelry world.
Will they survive being mailed all over the place or crumble into a million pieces?
There are some amazing jewelry and component artists participating in this challenge.
Why did I ever think I could compare?
Will I be embarrassed forever and afraid to show my face on my blog?
Will anybody bid on my charm in the auction?

2-3 weeks passed and the wait was over and I received the most amazing collection of charms I could have imagined.
I initially took individual pictures of each charm and cards of each artist but this blog post would go on much too long so I took some group shots to show you who sent me such fabulous charms.

I was quite humbled by the quality and artistry in the charms. I have been admiring the work of most of these artists online for a couple of years and am thrilled to finally own some of their work.I received a nice mix of charms from the USA and other international locations. There is a enameled copper kite from Leslie of Thea Elements in the UK, a polymer clay leaf from Alenka of Pepita of Slovenia , a beautifully hand painted pink glass bead from Caroline of blueberribeads in the UK., a ceramic feather charm from Terri of artisticaos, a fellow Canadian from Saskatchewan and my own polymer clay bird on a nest from Ontario

And from South of the border in the great USA.....
.Perri Jackson of Shaktipaj Designs made a wire wrapped glass hot air balloon which was a great interpretation of our "soar" theme, Jenny Davies-Reazor also came up with an original idea with her ceramic butterfly charm, and Kristi Bowman pulled her inspiration from the clouds soaring above and made a copper clay cloud charm imprinted with the letters soar. Birds were the most common element in my charms this year with two more besides the one I made. Michelle of Firefly Design Studio made a fabulous ceramic bluebird with a blue crystal and cloud dangle and Sue of SueBeads made the great handmade red glass bird cute! (the pictures don't do it justice)
The Beads of Courage art charm auction is running now!You can easily own one or more of these fabulous charms too! Head over to the Art Charms for Beads of Courage eBay site and put in a bid on whichever charm strikes your fancy. You can own an artisan made charm and donate to a wonderful charity at the same time.

2014 Art Charm Exchange Participants

Jenny Davies-Reazor:
Lennis Carrier:

Friday, 21 November 2014

Beads of Courage

"Beads of Courage" is a charitable organization that provides support to children with serious illnesses. They provide beads to the children to mark accomplishments and milestones on the treatment journey they are on. It is a non-profit organization that is currently supporting over 30,000 children around the world in USA, Canada, New Zealand, Japan and United Kingdom. The beads are "earned" by the children as they make their way through their treatment plans. The beads give the children a tool to help them understand and tell the story of their illness. You can read more about it here.

Jennifer Cameron of Glass Addictions has organized a Blog Hop, Charm Swap and Charity Auction to provide awareness and donations to this great charity. It is taking place this weekend with over 60 jewelry artists participating. Jen co-ordinated the charms made by everyone and sent a package of 10 charms off to each of us after receiving 11 charms from each of us. Quite a mammoth undertaking on her part. We each received 10 different charms and will be showing them on our blogs Tuesday November 25th .
November 25th is the date of the eBay auction which features one of each of these charms. You can easily own one or more of these fabulous charms too! Head over to The Beads of Courage eBay site and put in a bid on whichever charm strikes your fancy. You can own an artisan made charm and donate to a wonderful charity at the same time. The auction will be here

As a teaser here's a picture of my charms ready to send off.

Please check back here on Tuesday to see the real charms and check out the auction.