Saturday, 28 February 2015

AJE Component of the Month - February Reveal

It's the end of another month (already?) and that means it's time for another AJE Component of the Month (COM) reveal. This months components were these beautiful copper clay pieces byMelissa Meman featuring one of her own  textural designs and the I got  the rectangular pair to play with.

 
My original intention was to split the pair and  make to separate items but time and energy have been against me this month so in the end I opted to stick with earrings. I always love the combination of turquoise and copper so I used a pair of lampwork headpins from Maryse Fritzsch Thillens to create some drops for the bottom of the earrings.


 I then added some tiny turquoise beads to some ear wires for a little extra lift and that's it - job done. Very simple but I think the embellishments set of Melissa's charms, which are and should be the star of the show very well. Apologies for the colour on this picture which seems to fade during the uploading process no matter what I do.


Many thanks to Melissa for providing these lovely pieces to work with. To see what the rest of the AJE team and our guest designers have made just use the links below:

AJE Team

Guest Participants:

Saturday, 31 January 2015

AJE 'Use Your Stash' Challenge Reveal.


Instead of our usual AJE component of the month we decided to change thing up this month and challenge ourselves to break into our art bead stashes and design something around a piece (or two, or three...) by one of our team mates. We also gave away some pieces for guest designers and we are joined by some of our readers who have also raided their collections for AJE beads.

My original plan was to make something for every member of the team but what with the madness that January has been that turned out to be wishful thinking but, I did manage to make five pieces. I'm going through a bit of a 'less is more' phase at the moment and I've kept all my design fairly simple to let the focal pieces shine.

First up is a necklace using a mixed media focal I got from Melissa Meman in a swap at Bead Fest last year. This handmade copper bezel is set with a vintage butterfly illustration set in resin with silver loops and I think it's utterly charming.



A good rummage turned up some lampwork and Czech glass beads the matched perfectly some metal dipped Greek ceramic beads to continue the mixed metal theme. These were all put together with my favourite double link chain from The artisan Bead Company, some silver jumps and a little silver clasp I made. A Thai silver flower charm and some Czech leaves suspended from the bottom of the focal add a final flourish. I'm really happy with this as it's just the sort of thing I would wear.
 

My second design is a pair of earrings using beads made by Jen Cameron, very simply wire wrapped in sterling silver with chain fringing and hand made ear wires. I patinated these with LOS (liver of sulphur) and left them quite dark to give a cool, steely and elegant appearance but they're a bit of a pain to photograph.


Next up I chose a ceramic feather focal set by Karen Totten. I love Karen's beads and usually all I want to do with them is hang them on a simple leather cord or chain because they convey so much on their own. In this case I wire wrapped the set in copper and suspended it from a necklace strung with toning seed beads interspersed with textured copper beads and finished with a hand forged clasp.


There is an added bonus with this piece as it can be worn standard length with a double strand or long with a single strand and the round bead has a different pattern on each side - four for the price of one!


This next pair of earrings came about from a fortuitous meeting of beads while I was pulling things out to decide what to make. Kristen Steven's beaded beads landed next to Sue Kennedy's lampwork headpins and perfectly accented the reactive glass striations. A bit of wire wrapping and some hand made ear wires and job done.


Last but not least is a longer length necklace using a ceramic vessel bead by Caroline Dewison. I've started designing with this a couple of times but never got it to work properly. I think my current mood for keeping things simple and streamlined helped with this one as this focal really does speak for itself. I wrapped copper wire around the neck of the vessel to create a bail, wrapped a couple of toning lampwork beads and attached these to some ball chain.


Just to add a bit of textural variation I added what I thought were solid copper crimp covers at points along the chain but after tumbling I discovered these were fact copper plated brass. Hey ho - these things happen.


So there you go - I got six of my team mates in and I'm aiming to pay tribute the rest of them in the near future - thanks to each and every one of you for your awesome talent. I hope you'll now join me on our little blog hop to see what everyone else has made using the links below.

Lesley

AJE team: 

Guests winners
Samantha- Wescott Jewelry
Nikki - Silver Nik nats
Yvette - Blue Kiln Beads

Extra guests













Monday, 26 January 2015

GIVEAWAY WINNER....


 
Thanks to everyone for yet another wonderful response to my giveaway and to everyone who signed up, followed and left such kind comments.

I'm delighted to announce that the winner of the component set is....

Kathleen Lange Klik

Congratulations Kathleen - I'll be in touch shortly and look forward to seeing what you create with your prize.

And thanks once again to everyone else.

Lesley

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Late But Great...Giveaway

Phew! it's been a manic start to 2015. I had all sorts of new ideas in my head I wanted to start on early in the new year but a last minute  request before Christmas and a looming deadline saw me head down for a couple of weeks concentrating on a possible project for later in the year. That done, I had to tackle the annual tax return - a job I hate and never get properly organised for. But now that's done and dusted and I can concentrate on getting the new year and my creative ideas of the ground properly.

There is however one other thing I need to do first and that's to say a big thank you to everyone who helped my Facebook page fly past the 2000 followers mark by the end of 2014 - being visible on Facebook is getting harder and harder so I'm very grateful for this. Just before Christmas I said I would have a giveaway if I could achieve this milestone and I'm always true to my word so here it it is...a great little collection of ceramic and bronze components that are just perfect for spring designs.



For a chance to win this collection all you need to do is leave a comment below and if you would like to share this post on your own social media you can leave another comment telling me what you've done for another entry. You can also get an extra entry by signing up for my newsletter (see sidebar of this blog) which will make sure you get an early heads up on shop updates, events, and special promotions just for newsletter subscribers.


The giveaway will close at 8pm GMT (UK time) on Sunday 25th January 2015 and I will announce the winner shorty afterwards.


Thanks again and good luck...

Lesley



Saturday, 3 January 2015

AJE Component of the Month - December Reveal

Happy New Year! I hope 2015 has started well for you. I did my celebrating in Edinburgh this year and got home just last night so I'm feeling a little groggy this morning having slept in rather late to catch up on missed sleep. I finally had to drag myself out of bed to put together this post for the reveal for the last of the 2014 AJE COM challenges...these lovely snow flake pendants from Diana Ptsazynski of Suburban Girl Studio.


I chose a white matt glazed pendant and found my main challenge was deciding where to go with colours. I didn't want to use anything that would make it specifically Christmas themed and I don't actually have many white beads. Those that I do have were a very bright white which made the pendant look very grey and do even less for my skin tone! In the end I decided to stay very neutral but went for an off white which seemed to blend the colours of the glaze and the clay - maybe not everyone's cup of tea but I liked it.

I started with some open linked antiqued bronze chain which I jazzed up by adding some pearlised seed beads to alternate links.


Now I quite like the pendant simply strung from this and that's how it sat for a while but then, I did begin to think it was a bit simple for a challenge so I added a couple of frosted Rivoli beads for a little added interest. I still felt a little unfinished so I cut some shorter pieces of chain and made some wire wrapped seed bead dangles to create a tail beneath the focal like falling snow or even a falling star.


I used single links from the chain to keep it in place and sitting flat at the back...


Here's how it looks altogether, rather understated but that tends to be the type of jewellery I wear so I'm happy with it.





Many thanks to Diana for supplying such lovely pieces to work with - you can see what the rest of the team and our guest's made using the links below and we look forward to bringing you more challenges throughout 2015.

Lesley


Guests

AJE Team

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Happy Holidays and a Little Gift for the New Year...

Well Christmas is almost upon us now and I just wanted to take this opportunity to wish you all the very best for the holiday season.


2014 has been a pretty good year for me and I hope 2015 will continue in the same vein. I have lots of ideas brewing in my head including the continued development of my component offering and a complete overhaul of my jewellery range. I am also hankering to have a go at some new creative projects like larger, ornamental and functional clay pieces and hand made books.

The only reason I will be able to put these plans into action is because of the support of you, my friends and customers and as a little thank you I will be offering a 10% discount in both my Etsy shops throughout January. Just use coupon code HNY10 when you check out and your discount will automatically applied.

THEA elements
THEA jewellery

I will also be offering a number of special discounts to my Newsletter subscribers in 2015 so if you'd like to take advantage of these don't forget to sign up using the link in the sidebar of this blog or via my Facebook page.

In the meantime enjoy your festivities, recharge those creative batteries and I will see you next year.

Warmest wishes,

Lesley

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Christmas Ornament Swap 2014

I am very happy to be taking part in this annual event organised by Sally Russick again as I missed it last year having fallen and broken my ankle and not got myself together enough to participate. This year however I'm fighting fit and delighted to have the lovely and talented Erin Prais-Hintz as my swap partner. You know you're in for a treat when you're gift arrives packaged like this...pretty enough to grace any tree itself!


And what was inside certainly didn't disappoint...Erin sent me this adorable botanical bird with a juniper berry pattern in the polymer clay and resting on a beautifully beaded branch of berries - I love it!


She couldn't have picked a better subject for me since both my Christmas tree and my soft furnishings share a similar feathered theme...


And here's the ornament nestled happily near the top of the the tree...


Erin also sent me this beautiful 'Call me Rosebud' pendant which I'll be turning into a piece of jewellery for myself as soon as I get a chance...


Erin thank you so much for your beautiful gifts and your generosity - both very much appreciated.

So what did I send Erin in return...? Well after much debate I decided I wanted to make something in ceramic that was jolly and fun. The result was this happy little snowman with his own decorations and a little birdie friend to keep him company.


The holly decoration was applied with china paint after the glaze firing for an added flourish. To where he is now and Erin's beautiful Christmas themes pop over to her blog at the link below


If Erin likes her snowman half as much as I love my bird I will be more than happy!

Many thanks To sally for organising this lovely event again...it's been great fun to participate and now I hope you'll join me in a little festive blog hop to see what everyone else has made.