May Art Elements Blog Hop - Tide Pools

Yet another month over in the blink of an eye!
May's theme was chosen by the wonderful and very talented Lesley Watt and was Tide Pools or Rock Pools as we call them over here.
When I think of rock pools I always think of sea anemones, I have never seen any in the wild, only ever in the sea life centre, but thats where my mind heads straight to.
While searching through my stash (as often I do while looking for inspiration) our wonderful Jen's Lampwork headpins kept screaming out "I look like a sea anemone caught in a water bubble what more do you want?" the original idea was a wide band ring with the head pin at the middle surrounded with silver rocks, but some how I got distracted and the idea transformed into a pendent....
I tend to be easily distracted! The main stone has a hole drilled through the centre and the headpin (which is set in a 9ct gold bezel) and "rocks" (which are all soldered together as one piece) have been set as you would set a stone on stone. The actual stone has then been set in a very thick sterling silver prong setting.
I then had another idea I wanted to make a rock pool, not an actual rock pool but a tiny little metal ring dish inspired by rock pools....

I started off by gathering some of my sea stones, shells and sea glass that had interesting patterns on it and then I added in a few tiny fossils (I'm thinking rock pool in the Jurassic Coast, in Devon a place that is on my bucket list to visit) I then made a fimo texture plate with these pieces and tested it on the fimo before breaking open the metal clay.

Unfortunately I have not gotten around to firing the metal clay pieces yet, but I did experiment more with the fimo pieces (why dose spell check keep correcting fimo to limo? what even is limo?) pieces and I was really pleased with how they came out....

These are the little cabs I had made, these have each had several layers of water colour paint and one of them has even had a layer of resin, which I plan to do to all of them, but I ran out as I used the last of my resin on my little ring dish....

I really love this piece and it turned out much better then I expected, again it is coloured with many layers of water colour paint that pooled into the recesses, a few coats of matt varnish and then a thick coat of resin.

I love how much it looks like ceramic and am planing to make a little metal stand for it, possibly out of a domed coin with three soldered rocks for legs! 
I had so much fun this month, Thank you Leslie for inspiring us! 

I hope you will all join me in hopping around the other blogs....


April Horse Theme Challenge Reveal

As always this month has flown by and yet again it is time for the Art Elements monthly Reveal. Our theme for April was chosen by our amazing Jenny and was horses. 
I must admit when I first found out the theme I thought.... oh this will be easy, I live right by Sandown Race Corse, I see horses all the time, inspiration is bound to strike!
So I went out and photoed everything horse related that I could find, I learnt all about the Shire Horses at Hampton Court.... 

"The Shire is a British breed of draught horse. It is usually blackbay, or grey. It is a tall breed, and Shires have at various times held world records both for the largest horse and for the tallest horse. 
Population numbers are still considered to be at critical levels by both the UK-based Rare Breeds Survival Trust and the US-based American Livestock Breeds Conservancy." Wikipedia

I had a vague idea that I would make a necklace with a shire horse (with it beautiful fluffy feet) standing tall above a nice sized cab set in a gold bezel with a horse shoe or a cart cut out of the backplate behind the stone, but I could not find the right stone in my collection and I really could not draw the horse small enough for a necklace but big enough to get all the detail in so I had to think again!
Ah, I know I thought... I will paint a unicorn, that will be easy and then I will have lots of time to work on some other ideas! WRONG! Oh my gosh, was I wrong....

So I found a site that shows how to draw a unicorn I drew out my outline and added some paint. Now I am not a painter, I very rarely paint and when I do it is just really playing around with colours but all of a sudden I was filled with confidence and just started throwing paint on to the canvas. At this point I decided that I needed some more colour so I just kept adding....

Then this happened! For me colour can make or break everything and I really broke this one, so I did what everyone who had invested HOURS into a painting that they hated would do and had a melt down and gessoed over the whole thing....

Then I made a mental list of all the things I hated and tried not to do them all again! Many, many, many hours later I had glued pieces of book pages/maps on, added lighter colours and less of them and even sanded down the paint in a few areas to add some distressing and texture....

It's no where near finished yet, there are still MANY more hours of painting and lots more layers that need to go into it but I am in a happy place in that I don't currently want to throw it out of the window!

I really like the colours and love the map pieces and the texture on the moon, now I just need to be brave enough to add the shading and decided what is going on with the rest of the piece. Did I mention I don't like painting!!!!

Thank you Jenny for this months challenge, I really stepped out of my comfort zone and I can't wait to see what everyone else has created....

Here is the list of participants:
 AE Team Members:


March Nest Theme Reveal

Today is the day for the March Nest Theme Reveal over at Art Elements Blog! Thank you Cathy for such a wonderful theme, I have throughly enjoyed this one, but as luck would have it I had more ideas then time this month so mine are all works in progresses!

I had so many ideas for this theme that I had to start writing them down and then came the rush to buy supplies and then life got in the way and slowed me down! The original plan was to needle felt some spring scenes onto the polystyrene eggs and crochet a big fibber nest for them to rest in, think beautiful mossy green coloured nest with little pieces of ribbon woven in for a touch of colour, but the moss wool did not arrive in time and the needle felting did not happen! In the first photo there is also the beginnings of a little bird house, I found one on pintrest with a penny tiled roof and thought oh my I need one of those but you can't saw a bird house with a jewellers saw or a massive man saw which were the only saws I had. The mossy star was a christmas decoration I feel in love with and have kept on the wall the plan there is to create a woodland scene but I'm pretty sure this project will take me most of the year.

These are the practice crochet nests I made while waiting for the moss coloured wool, this gold mohair wool is just so lovely and the smallest nest is just under an inch wide. The plan is to needle felt a humming bird for the smallest and fix it to a twig mounted on a plinth.

Also you may have noticed if you follow my instagram account I am slightly obsessed with making  wooden books at the moment and there was this beautiful gnarly hole in one of the pieces that I thought would make a wonderful space for a nest, Im thinking of having a metal wildflower set into the corner cover and some how having this quote on the front.

I think next time I shall have to focus one one project at a time rater then all the things!

I do hope you will join me in seeing what everyone else have created....

Guest Participants-

AE team members-


Feb COM Reveal

This month was my turn to host the Art Elements COM and I did so with copper clay Runes moulded from a set of wood and coin Runes I made myself last year.

As always I had so many idea's and even had several pieces to play with but there was just not enough time so mine is a work in progress....

I have so far made a thick silver wire bezel to hold the rune and have hung a Laura Mears feather from it, I just need to add some texture to the wire and come up with a chain! I can't wait to see what everyone else has created....

Kelly Rodgers
Deb Fortin

Art Element Members:
Laney Mead
Lesley Watt
Caroline Dewison
Jenny Davies-Reazor
Susan Kennedy
Cathy Spivey Mendola
Jennifer Stout Cameron
Claire Fabian
Lindsay M Starr

Niky Sayers


Use Your Stash Challenge Reveal!

It is no secret that I have a huge hoard of treasures and this months Art Elements 'Use Your Stash' blog hop hosted by the talented Lindsay Starr is one that I will be continuing through out the year in the hope of making a large dent in mine!
I was hoping to have more pieces finished then I achieved but they are many works in progress!
My first and only completed piece is this wall hanging....

This piece started off as an idea for a necklace but then it morphed into this wall hanging! The beautiful star is by our wonderful Jenny Davies-Reazor and the lampwork headpin is by Kimberly Rogers it also consists of a wonderful 16th century Spanish coin!

I thoroughly enjoyed making this and think I will try making some similar pieces but first I must finish off these....

After our trip to the British Library I needed to make some more books, so I spent hours hand tearing hundreds of pages (I have enough for about 7-8 different sized books) and sewing leather covers and now for the fun part the embellishing with more of my stash!!!

I hope you will join me checking out what everyone else has created....


Art Elements:


Christmas Ornament Design Challenge

Today is the day of the Art Elements Ornament design challenge reveal!
I love making decorations and this first one was made by my 9 year old Lana every year at their christmas school fair one of the class rooms is turned into a ceramic studio and the kids get to paint their own decorations....

I love the winking eye! This year I had a go with one of the ceramic balls but our time was cut short by a rather impatient other half, I could easily have spent a few hours scratching out swirling designs!

This next one was made by my 5 year old, he loves to collect pine cones and leaves for me so I asked him to paint it for me and he found this cute little star in his toy box to stick on the top!

These next two are designs by Gingermelon on ETSY (I love her cute designs and attention to detail) I started making these at work with some of my residents (scaled up so they would be able to sew them easier) but only managed to get two completed in time....

There are several more of her designs that I have brought but as usual time always seems to slip away too fast!

I am looking forward to seeing what everyone else has created, and I wish you all a very merry christmas xxx
Guest Designers
Art Elements Team


October Art Elements COM

October was my turn to host the Art Elements component of the month and due to my first idea not quite panning out I decided to send out hare coin clasps.

The clasps are made by doming old Irish 3d coins and soldering a hook clasp on the back, I have always been fascinated with old, unusual or just beautifully designed coins and love that they are so easy to use in jewellery, and here is what I created with mine....

A simple bracelet made with thick sterling silver chain, a couple of lampwork beads (with a dicro core so they sparkle beautifully), a couple of lampwork headpins by Earthshine beads and a beautiful moon and star by our very wonderful Lesley Watt.

This was a complete pain in the backside to photo due to every thing being shiny and reflective (the moon and star are a silvery glaze on one side and a beautiful deep blue on the other adding just a touch of colour), but I really love it, my very own moon gazing hare!

Thank you to everyone that joined in and I can't wait to see what everyone else has created and I hope you will join me

Guest Designers

Art Element Team


September AJ COM

Septembers component of the month was provided by the wonderful Laney Mead and were these adorable Zom-bees (photo of course stolen off the AE Blog, as I always forget to photo first). 
Now for some time I was quiet flummoxed as to what to do with mine, see the hole goes through his mouth and if I was to string him you would get a side view but he has the most adorable little face so I wanted him facing forward!
Then there was the lightbulb moment, I would make a little halloween scene for him....

I wanted to find a small rustic wooden type of box for my scene but I could not find one so I had to improvise and use what I had!

A few coats of acrylic paint later and it was looking much better and it was time to bring out the fimo....

The first and only thought I had was a zombie crawling out of a grave, I had no real idea of what I was doing as I don't use fimo often but figured I would have a play and see what happens.

lots of coats of paint later and I rather like it, plus look at how cute his little face is.....

Thank you Laney for such a wonderful challenge! 
I hope everyone will join me to see what all the others have created....

http://www.beadsforbusygals.com/  – Elisabeth Auld
http://www.lesleywatt.com/ – Lesley  Watt
http://www.glassaddictions.com/blog  –  Jennifer Cameron
https://jdaviesreazor.com/blog/  – Jenny Davis-Reazor
http://blueberribeads.co.uk/ – Caroline Dewison
 http://cmendola.blogspot.co.uk/– Cathy Spiey Mendola
 http://saraccino.blogspot.co.uk/ – Claire Fabian
http://laneymead.co.uk/ – Laney Mead

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