29.6.17

June COM

I'm not sure how, but it is time again for our monthly Art Elements Insect COM Reveal! This months challenge was hosted by the very talented Diana Ptaszynski and oh I had so many ideas! First off I was going to needle felt this little ancient fairy/moth guy....


But it turns out this was a lot header then I thought it would be! But no problem, instead I would go on a bug hunt for some inspiration and I managed to find and photo these little beauties.


Really cute little jewel coloured beetle that lucky for me landed on my daughters beautiful golden hair.


And I got really lucky and stumbled upon this amazing stag beetle. I only ever see one, maybe two of these a year at most but this one had amazing timing! 
Finding and photographing insects is surprisingly difficult, on the beautiful sunny days there were so many stunning dragonflies, busy bee's and fluttering butterflies around the local ponds but oh my they were uncooperative and hard to photo (much respect to all those wonderful nature photographers out there) but this little guy, well he was an utter star! the dark parts of his wings were a shimmery gold and the white had a stunning mother of pearl sheen plus he stayed still long enough for a rather artsy shot! 


My next idea was to paint a very abstract butterfly a lot like my mixed media mandalas but with a butterfly focal, but try as I might I could just not get the colours right (so instead I sulked). Oh and then there were all those beautiful lampwork insect beads that I intended to wire wrap, yeah that did not happen either! So with time running out I got out my trusty cabs and started playing! 
Something that not many people know about me is that I am scared stiff of butterflies! Yes they are beautiful stunning creatures but they really have it in for me and they just dive bomb me! So this one time when I was accidentally purposely lead into the butterfly tent at London Zoo (by my mean other half who likes to push me out of my comfort zone for his own entertainment) I got chatting to the insect keeper on the way out that had noticed my discomfort and explained that the butterflies were probably attracted to the salt in my sweat so it's a no win situation, I see one, it makes me sweat and then they try to lick me!
Still with butterflies in mind I looked through my cab stash and came across a stunning ammolite cab that my wonderful and kind friend Kathryn had sent me and it was just perfect! The colours reminded me of the blue morpho butterfly as it has the same kind of sheen, and here is what I made....


I kept the design very simple, it has a hidden tube bail on the back and the stone (and ball) is set in 18ct gold for a little contrast....


It is not quiet finished as I plan to hang it on a 2mm sterling chocker with a few tiny butterflies fluttering up the side and maybe a little more gold?


I love the colours in this stone. Blue, green and purple are my favourite colour combo.


Please do join me hoping around to see what everyone else created!

30.5.17

MAY AE COM


May's Art Elements component of the month was created by the ultra talented Lesley of Lesley Watt Artisan Elements and of course I forgot to photograph it pre-setting (hence I stole Lesley's photo)! 
As soon as I saw my beautiful cab (the little pools of colours are just so amazing) I thought "Oh, what a beautiful brooch this would make" and I set to planing it out.... Thick copper bezel stamped with 'quietly walking along the shore' with a back plate saying 'looking for sea treasures and nothing more' and a really cool swirly pin and a tiny piece of sea glass set on the back as a treasure just for the wearer.

Then of course things started to go wrong!!!
I did not have the right style of wire for the bezel, but thats ok because I'm a problem solving kind of girl so I found some thick copper tubing and rolled it through the pasta machine, perfect! Then I got to stamping it....


So far, so good, I then bent this into a setting, soldered it, cut and stamped the back plate and tried to solder it all in to place.... FAIL, FAIL and FAIL again! It seems that the soldering gods were not with me and possibly my piece was just too big for my tiny torch to heat up and get the solder flowing. 
So on to plan two....
If a back plate would not work how about a slightly smaller wire ring around the back of the bezel to hold the cab, it would not need as much heat to make the solder flow and maybe I could change my design into a hair pin?


Well, the wire idea worked but the hair pin idea did not look right at all and it morphed into a necklace!?!


I don't usually work with thick chunky metals, being of the petite size range every thing I normally make is small and delicate but  I really love the thick bezel on this piece it gives it a nice solid feel. 


The lovely little spacers are by Paradise Beads and go with the cab perfectly, and just look at those lovely little pools of colour!


Thank you Lesley so much for such a lovely component and I hope you will all join me in seeing what everyone else has created....


2.5.17

April AE COM

Our stunning component for Aprils Art Element component of the month was provided by our wonderful leader Jen Cameron of Glass Addictions and is this STUNNING lampwork bead....


This bead is just....well words don't quiet do it justice, every angle you tilt it you get a different colour and then there are areas where (like a window), you can see into the bead and there is an opal like shimmer inside or a little patch where it is golden! So, yeah I guess I was a little in awe of this bead and if I was not up against a time limit it is properly the kind of bead I would hoard, never quiet having the confidence to use but occasionally taking it out to stroke! 

But the challenge was to use it and so my first idea was to wire wrap it so that it had a beautiful wire bail and lots of lovely swirls but, my wire wrapping is not as good as I would like so that did not work! Next I decided to dig through my other hoarded beads to see what I could pair it with....


I really liked these components together and was going to have a wire wrapped bead cap darkened with liver of shulpher to bring the black down onto the headpin but then when I added bail ideas it was just getting too long, and was not working so I had to try again.....


My next try was going to have a small silver ammonite (made months ago as a practice in delft clay casting) soldered onto a pin to make a headpin and then I was going to go from there but the ammonite was too thick and it would not sit right against the bottom of the bead, so I made it into a small charm and wired a selection of matching beads together, But this image of a pair of dragonfly wings sitting behind the bead making it look like a little dolly/child popped into my head and I could just not figure out how to make it, so try, try again....


This time I decided that the only way I could stop thinking about those wings was to change the direction of the bead and make it into almost a chocker length necklace, now I like the over all necklace but feel very much that I ran out of time and it needs more! I want to add a couple of silver set stones or fossils and I can't get the image of wings out of my head so I may just rip it all to pieces and figure out the wing design!


I do how ever love the colours!


I wish I could show you it being worn but my model is not available and selfies are very much some thing I have not yet mastered!

I do hope you will join me in (glass of wine in hand) in checking out what everyone else has created 

Guest Designers:
Art Elements Team:





30.3.17

March COM

March Theme Challenge Reveal-Amulet Bags

Our theme for the March challenge was chosen by the wonderful Cathy Spivey Mendola and was Amulet bags. Now I have never thought much about amulet bags and have throughly enjoyed finding out about them but, oh my the possibilities and where to start?
First stop Pinterest where I found this amazing tutorial to make a leather bag for a doll....


Now it's very much a work in progress, I'm thinking about mounting a set stone on the front where the tiny safety pin is and a few ceramic feathers in the fringe maybe?


Or possibly just a hoop through the flap so the safety pin can be used as a faster?


My next idea was a small leather pouch but the shape is not quiet right and the draw string holes were punched much too high up for my liking, so I will have to try this idea again!


But I do really like the headpin mounted in the leather. 


This next one is a cute little draw string bag I made from a wonderful tutorial I found on Youtube, which was made to hold my new Runes!


It has a draw string closure (with some lovely sparkly ribbon) and a wonderful silver set square coin attached to the ribbon, to make it a little more me!


This next one is my favourite, made from lots of old 'stuff' I had stuffed in my draws....


Also still a work in progress.... the old piece of metal on the flap needs a couple more rivets, there needs to be some purple silk or some kind of stunning fibbers hanging form the old buckle with the leather and oh the chain I am going to make to hang it off, think amethyst and jasper and lots of metal!!! 
I also have three other bags cut out and waiting to be sewn up, one thing I have found is that hand sewing leather is very hard work and even with the help of a leather punch, pliers are a must!


Thank you so much Cathy for such an inspiring Challenge, now I hope you will join me and see what every one else created....
Guests
AE Members


28.2.17

February COM

February's COM was provided by our uber talented Jenny Davies-Razor and were these beautiful polymer hearts, mine was a wonderful deep burgundy colour....


My first plan was to wire wrap it but I could not come up with the right design plus it's gold and I very rarely work with anything gold! So I put it down on a scrap of leather I was working with to contemplate and suddenly I had an idea!


Another journal! 
Just before christmas one of the local independent stationary shops was closing down and I brought a stunning little gold book when the lovely owner (we shopped there quiet often due to my stationary addiction) gifted me the shop display copy for free as it had a slightly scuffed up front cover!!!! 
I loved the slash in the leather and thought that the gold would look lovely shining through it.


I really had so much fun adding a beaded edge (I am rather scared of seed beads, too many colours/sizes/options so the fact I enjoyed edging this was a surprise to me, I may have to try edging a few more things). 



Unfortunately it is one of those things that look better in real life then it dose in photographs (the colours are all slightly off on the screen) but I did manage to catch the gold flash on camera! 


and then there is those beautiful gold pages.

Thank you so much Jenny for the wonderfully inspiring hearts you may have cured my seed bead phobia!

Please join me to see what everyone else has created....


Guests: 
Art Elements team: 


31.1.17

January AE COM

January's Art Elements COM was sent to us by our wonderfully talented Lindsay Starr and were these amazing painted leather cabs....


I could not stop thinking how mine looked like some sort of mystical egg! My first thought was that I was going to make some sort of wall hanging so I set about making a wire bezel for my egg.


Then I chose a piece of beautiful burr wood that I brought forever ago (I am all about using up my vast supplies at the moment).


This is a small piece of it, I then waxed it to a beautiful shine and started playing, and it seems my muse is stuck on dragons and books at the moment because this is what I came up with....



I throughly loved making this piece as I got to saw, solder, drill, problem solve, rivet and wire wrap all in one piece!


The hand sawn copper dragon has been riveted 4mm proud of the backing wood so it has a slight shadow. It closes with a charming green and gold ribbon that Linsday also sent me....


and of course it has stunning lampwork head pins by the wonderful Jen Cameron (that I may possibly have been hoarding)!


The back has this lovely quote from Iiona Andrews, Fate's Edge.

Thank you so much Lindsay for hosting this wonderful COM! I do hope you will all join me to see what the others have created....


7.1.17

December Theme Challenge Reveal – Dragons

Today is the day for the Art Elements Dragon reveal! I have throughly loved this challenge and had so very many ideas but as is always the way there is more inspiration then time and I only managed to create one of my designs, so I think this may well be a theme throughout the year!

For christmas I was very lucky to receive the most amazing hand crafted book (from an incredible Secret Santa) that has reignited my love of book binding!
So after quiet a few hours here is what I came up with....



Made with a butter soft leather this book is designed to keep all the funny things and cute photos of my little dragon (born 2012 Chinese year of the dragon). 


Hopefully the Chinese symbol for Dragon!


The pages have all been stained with coffee, brown paint, splattered with gold ink and the edges have all been burnt and it smells amazing, mmmm coffee! 


It has a mixture of different types of papers all hand stitched together....


Including this cool map wrapping paper that I just love!


The designs on the front and back covers have been burnt on with a pyrography set I was given for christmas.


The shield behind the dragon is stamped with this quote 
"I desired dragons with a profound desire, of course, I in my timid body did not wish to have them in the neighbourhood, but the world that contained even the imagination of Fafnir was richer and more beautiful, at whatever the cost of peril."
J. R. R. Tolkien


and it has an egg shaped turquoise set on the front.
Now all I have to do is fill it and create a little box for it!

I hope you have enjoyed this challenge as much as I have and I really can't wait to see what everyone else has created....

Guests

AJE Team







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