Sunday, 30 November 2014

AJE Component of the Month - November Reveal





The components for this months challenge come in the form of these lovely beaded hoops from the seriously talented seed beader Kristen Stevens. Once again I forgot to photograph my own beads but they were the same as the purple pair in the centre of this picture.

Since they came in a pair I decided pretty quickly to make earrings but I wanted to try and do something a bit different. They're very light and quite flexible so I began by looking for something that might give them a little more rigidity and structure. Whilst rummaging I came across my pot of copper washers and found some that the hoops sat quite nicely inside and I started to think about ways to attached the two elements - a little wire wrapping seemed in order.

I decided I wanted integral ear wires so I began by soldering some copper wire to the washers. I then had a bit of a 'what if' moment and used some solder paste to give the washers a more grungy, industrial look by dotting it around, melting it and then hammering it for a more battered look... I like this look a lot and I wish I'd thought to take process pictures but I always forget when I'm experimenting. I also punched a hole in the washers opposite the ear wire.

Next I had to attach Kristen's hoop and this proved a little tricky. Because they didn't fit snugly to the washer so it was difficult to keep them aligned - I kept wrapping too tightly and pulling the hoops to one side. Eventually I managed to get a more even and relaxed tension which held the hoops centred where I wanted them. Some 'messy' wrapping took care of the excess wire and created a contrasting accent.

For a little flourish I found some crystals that matched the colour of the hoops and added them to the bottom of the washers as dangles. Finally I formed the integral ear wires and here we have the finished product...



Because it took me a few attempts to get the wrapping right I did take a bit of the surface colour of the hoops but in actual fact I really like the effect and I think it works well with the grungy theme.



Many thanks to Kristen for providing up with such great beads to play with. Please use the links below to see what the rest of the team and out guests made for this challenge.

Lesley 

Cindy Martin Shaw
Shai Williams
Karen Martinez


Linda Landig
Caroline Dewison
Francesca Watson
Jenny Davies-Reazor
Lindsay Starr
Jennifer Cameron





Friday, 28 November 2014

Pre - Christmas Sale - 25% Off....

If you're looking for some bargains while you're Christmas shopping I'm running pre-holiday sales in both my shops from 8am GMT Friday 28th November until 12 Midnight 1st December. Use coupon code SANTA25 when you check out and 25% (excluding shipping) will be deducted from your order automatically.

THEA elements
THEA jewellery

Happy shopping!


 

Lesley

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Beads Of Courage Art Charm Exchange and Charity Auction...

 

Welcome - this is my second year of taking part in this Art Charm Exchange and Auction organised by the talented and indefatigable Jennifer Cameron in support of 'Beads of Courage' a charity providing innovative, arts-in-medicine supportive care programs for children coping with serious illness, their families and the health care providers who care for them.

The Program is a resilience-based intervention designed to support and strengthen children and families coping with serious illness. Through the program children tell their story using colorful beads as meaningful symbols of courage that commemorate milestones they have achieved along their unique treatment path. 


The premise of the exchange is that each participant makes 11 charms based on a given theme and sends them to Jen, who then sends each of us a collection of 10 charms including one of our own. The 11th charm goes up for auction for BOC and you can find details of the auction later in this post.

The theme for this year was 'Soar' and my immediate thoughts went to the song from the Children's classic film Mary Poppins since he seems to draw a parallel with these kids daily striving to rise above adversity...

Let's go fly  kite, up to the highest height,
Let's go fly a kite and send it soaring...
Up to the atmosphere, up where the air is clear
Oh let's go fly  kite....

I made from charms from bronze clay and engraved a heart on one side to represent courage, then painted them in the bright fun colours from the BOC logo and added a little brass dangle for the tail.

So those are my charms but what about the ones I was sent...? Well what a fabulous selection in all sorts of media and here they are...



You can find out more about the inspiration behind these charms and the others in the auction by visiting the makers blogs below. All participants will have a charm up for auction so If you'd like the opportunity to get your hands on one... including my design, while donating to a fantastic cause, you can take part in the auction here. You can buy each of the charms individually and the listings will be staggered so keep checking back for new ones!

Last year we raised just over $1500 dollars for the Beads of Courage project, so dig deep and let's see if we can't do better this year.!

Thank you

Lesley

Jennifer Cameron: http://www.glassaddictions.com/blog
Alenka Obid: http://pepita-handmade.blogspot.com
Alicia Marinache: http://www.allprettythings.ca
Andrea Glick: http://zenithjade.blogspot.com
Caroline Dewison: http://blueberribeads.blogspot.co.uk
Cassi Paslick: http://badatbeingmom.blogspot.com/
Cate van Alphen: http://fulgorine.wordpress.com
Cheri Reed: http://creativedesignsbycheri.blogspot.com
Chris Eisenberg: http://www.wanderware.blogspot.com
Cory Tompkins: http://www.tealwaterdesigns.blogspot.com
Elisabeth Auld: http://www.beadsforbusygals.com
Genevieve Gabbert: http://www.glassaddictions.com/blog
Jami Shipp: http://celebratinglifewithdamamashipp.blogspot.com
Jenny Davies-Reazor: http://www.jdaviesreazor.com/blog
Jill Bradley: http://www.jillybeads.blogspot.com
Kim Dworak: http://www.cianciblue.blogspot.com
Lee Koopman: http://stregajewellry.wordpress.com
Lennis Carrier: http://www.windbent.net
Lesley Watt: http://www.thegossipinggoddess.blogspot.com
Mallory Hoffman: http://rosebud101-fortheloveofbeads.blogspot.com
Melissa Trudinger: http://beadrecipes.wordpress.com
Michelle McCarthy: http://www.fireflydesignstudio.blogspot.com
Monique Urquhart: http://ahalfbakednotion.blogspot.com/
Moriah Betterly: http://mlbetterly.blogspot.com
Nancy Dale: http://nedbeads.blogspot.com
Nancy Smith: http://wirednan.blogspot.ca
Niky Sayers: http://silverniknats.blogspot.co.uk
Perri Jackson: http://ShaktipajDesigns.com/blog/
Renetha Stanziano: http://www.lamplightcrafts.blogspot.com
Shai Williams: http://shaihasramblings.blogspot.com
Sheila Prosterman: http://catswithbeads.blogspot.com
Susan Delaney: http://susandolphindelaney.wordpress.com
Susan Kennedy: http://www.suebeads.blogspot.com
Terri DelSignore: http://artisticaos.blogspot.com
Toltec Jewels: http://www.jewelschoolfriends.com
Vanessa Gilkes: http://culturezine.com/blog/



Saturday, 1 November 2014

AJE Compononent of the Month - October Reveal

Yes, it's that time of month again and for this months AJE COM challenge the components we got to work with were these gorgeous earthy fossil discs from Karen Totten of Starry Road Studio. These are right up my street and I chose a lovely chocolate/tan one in the middle of this image.


I wanted to give my design an old or tribal feel and knew I wanted to use leather. I had in mind to use a wire cocoon bead I made years ago and recently reclaimed from an old necklace but in the event it wasn't substantial enough to balance Karen's focal. So I started from scratch and made a new one in bronze wire and incorporated a wire bail to attach it.


I wanted to get a layered talisman effect so I added one of my bronze clam shell shards with some tiny seed bead dangles at the bottom.


I was originally going to keep it very simple and use a very thick piece of leather to suspend the focal from but I couldn't make up my mind on colour so I started playing around with mixing thinner pieces. I used some chunky rustic Czech glass beads to create this woven pattern and made wire wrapped cord ends and a clasp to finish it off.


And this is my finished piece - quite a design departure for me as I don't usually make short necklaces but it was necessary for this bold focal and I quite like the effect so I think there may be more to come...



Thank you for visiting today and I hope you'll join me and visit our guest bloggers and the restof the AJE team to see what they have designed with Karen's beads.

Lesley
Guest Designers


AJE Blog Team

Monday, 13 October 2014

And The Giveaway Winners Are...




Many thanks to everyone who has taken part in this giveaway and for everyone who has like and followed and shared the word...you are all awesome. I'm not going to keep you in suspense any longer and I'm delighted to announce that the winners are:


Main prize - Emily Smith

Anchors Away Inspiration packs - Sara Jo Wentling and Carol Briody


Congratulations ladies - I'll be in touch with you shortly to sort out the details.

Lesley

Friday, 10 October 2014

A Very Late Bead Fest Giveaway....

GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED

OK I know Bead Fest was weeks ago now but I did promised that when I got back I would give away some goodies. Well September kind of got away from me and snook out the back door and now here we are running headlong into October. Better late than never though especially when it comes to a giveaway and here's what's up for grabs...


 This little bundle of loveliness will be won by one lucky person and consists of:

Stoneware Queen Anne's Lace Pendant from me THEA elements
Stoneware leaf connector from me Thea elements
Pewter bird pendant from Green Girl Studios
Lampork headpins from Glass Addictions by Jen Cameron
Enamelled charm pair from Gardanne Beads.


The Green Girl pendant is double sided and has an Emily Dickinson quote on the back - how lovely is that...


I will also be giving away two "Anchors Away' inspiration packs kindly donated by Diana Ptasztnski of Suburban Girl Studios. The pack were designed by Erin Siegal for a bead cruise and feature one of Diana's ceramic anchor beads along with an anchor charm, seed beads and waxed linen.


To be in the running to win one of these prizes all you have to do is leave a comment on this post. But there are are lots of ways you can increase your chances of winning too... Do any of the following and leave an additional comment for each thing you do and you will get an extra entry for each one:
  • Sign up for my newsletter using the link in the sidebar of this blog.
  • Share this giveaway on your own blog.
  • Share this giveaway on your Facebook pages, Google+, Twitter etc.
  • Become a new follower of 'The Gossiping Goddess' - see sidebar.
  • Become a follower of my Facebook page.
  • Follow me on Pinterest
  • Like my Etsy shops THEA jewellery and THEA Elements.
  • Anything else of you can think of to spread the word.
Don't forget to leave a separate comment for each method to maximise your chances though!

The giveaway will close at 8pm BST (UK time) on Sunday 12th October 2014 and I will randomly select and announce the winners later in the day.


So good luck and I'll see you back here on Sunday.

Lesley

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

AJE Component of the Month - September Reveal....

Almost October already - how can that be? It seems like only yesterday I was planning my summer holidays and here we are charging headlong into autumn. So it is that I welcome you to another reveal for the AJE Component of the month challenge ( full details here) this month featuring these lovely copper pieces from Kristi Bowman which she calls goddess vessels.


The component I chose to work with was the white copper piece in the centre of the top row and I have to admit it did give cause me some headaches trying to come up with a design. For some reason I struggled for a while to find beads in a shape or colour that I felt worked well and then when I did find something I liked for a bracelet I didn't have enough beads to do what I wanted to - argh! At one point I got quite quite stroppy, shut the door on the studio and went off to sulk.

But then 10 minutes later an idea popped into my brain to make some chain links that mirrored the shape of the focal and after playing around for a bit I hit on something I liked using steel wire. So all I had to do was find some beads to go with them and there they were sitting on my bead table - a new delivery of Czech glass flowers from Buttoned Up Beads Extra. The lovely blue of the beads went really well with the colour of the metal  and the result of the combination is this necklace called 'Blue Steel"


It has quite a minimalist urban feel which I love... the strong  contrast of the two colours and the way the flowers, despite being very cool in colour add a certain softness appeals to me.


I played around with the positioning of the beads for a while, in the end opting for an asymmetrical format. The piece is finished with black brass chain and the focal is embellished with a little crystal and silver charm to balance the asymmetry.


I'm pretty happy with how this turned out in the end and it just goes to show that it pays to take a break when your muse isn't playing ball.

 

Thanks to Kristi for providing this months challenge and to you for visiting this post today - please now join me in seeing what the rest of the AJE team and our guest have made with their components using the links below.

Lesley

Guests


AJE Team Members

Jenny Davies-Reazor
Sue Kennedy