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Art Bead Scene September 2013 Challenge

This months work of art is Autumn from the Seasons series by Alphonse Mucha.  His work was identified by nymph like women set against seasonal views of the countryside.  Mucha used lithography as the printing technique.  More information can be found on the artbead scene blog about this work and the artist.  http://artbeadscene.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/september-monthly-challenge_3.html

I loved the flow of this artwork as well as the vibrancy of colour.   I was attracted to the silver colour hair decoration and tried to represent this in the focal piece of the necklace I made by creating wirework spikes.  These were positioned between two beautiful lampwork beads made by Lori Greenberg.


The foliage was portrayed by some acrylic charms that I took from a broken bracelet bought many years ago from the Victoria and Albert museum in London.  Metal bead caps and coloured crystals were used to show the varying flowing colours of the leaves and flowers with clear crystals being used to bring the sheer element of the dress into the necklace.  The necklace looked a little flat at this point so I tied some coloured beading thread between the beads which was twirled like curling ribbon.  This was the colour of the woman’s hair and added some detail to make the necklace a little different.  I used rose gold and antique bronze chain to complete.

I hope you like my autumnal interpretation

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June ABS – Rolling hills

June ABS

This watery scene is a watercolour called Jackknife Village by Franklin Carmichael painted in 1926.   The colours of the landscape, particularly the mountains, reminded me of a set of lampwork beads I have had for sometime, created by Moogin Beads.  The soft water colours seemed to evoke the same dreamy impression as the picture for me.  I originally planned to make a clay house as part of my entry but then started experimenting with some bugle beads which gave me the angles of the roofs and therefore I used this method to join the large lampwork beads together.  A much simpler design than planned but I think more effective.

The bugle beads stand proud of the wrist and  create a shadow,  adding some interest when wearing.  It also made good use of some large beads that I had been struggling to find a design for.   I used a silver house shaped clasp by Daisychain Designs which seemed to complete the bracelet perfectly whilst remaining within the theme of the picture.  A last minute design that I’m very pleased with.

June ABS





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May – Art Bead Scene

This month’s Art Bead Scene challenge was to create jewellery inspired by

Vase with Flowers in a Window, 1620 by

Ambrosius Bosschaert the Elder Oil on Copper,

The colours reminded me of some beautiful glass beads by Lori Greenberg, part of a prize I won in a previous Art Bead Scene challenge and I’m really pleased that they go so well in the necklace I made.    It’s a very simple design echoing the colours and simplicity of the picture.  Peach moonstone, rose gold metal flowers are also included.  The leaf clasp is by Daisychain Designs

March Art Bead Challenge – Deer in Forest, Marc Franz


This is the picture for the inspiration for the March challenge,  as there were so many colours and it seemed disjointed to me my first reaction was to think ‘I’m not entering this month’.  However I browsed through the other entries a few days ago and inspiration came along with an urge to do this challenge.

I looked through the lampwork beads I had and found some honey coloured heart shaped beads that reminded me of the deers and in the same box was the flowery lentil bead which had some of colours of the landscape in the picture, all made by Judith Johnston.  I then played with several materials and beads and finally came up with some beaded strands to represent the lines in the picture.  Finally I added a clasp by Joanne Tinley at Daisychain Designs.

I’ve had the lampwork beads in my stash for some time and have used them separately in other projects but would neve have thought to put them together if it was not for this challenge.  So thank you Art Bead Scene for stretching my imagination and making me look more deeply at something which didn’t attract me initially to see many  unique possibilities.  There seems to be so many layers to this picture that you see something different everytime you look.  Below is my creationImage

What will next month bring?

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Art Bead Scene – February Challenge


This month’s challenge was based on a wood block print ‘Heijinja’ by Toshi Yoshida from Japan.  The picture has a very Japanese feel with feeding birds, people socialising, some beautiful pink blossom trees and an impressive building in terracotta and black.  My entry tries to echo all elements

The terracotta beads are hand rolled paper made by Justine Earlham (http://juzuggy.blogspot.co.uk/).  These were lovely to use and appeared surprisingly strong.  The lampwork beads are by Sarah Downton and mirror the flowers in the picture.  The onyx, brass birdies and rose quartz were part of my stash.

I wanted to bring in a Japanese flavour and therefore made the bow to represent the Obi’s worn to tie kimonos and the small lampwork beads represent the people in the picture.  Finally I added the metal Japanese symbols which I found by chance when looking for something else so they had to be included.

The clasp was by Jo Tindle of Daisychain Designs .

As it’s Valentine’s Day I laid out the necklace in a heart shape – Happy Valentines Day!

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December Art Bead Scene Challenge – Just In Time

Hi, it’s been a few weeks since I visited this page, Christmas seems to have taken over, but it was lovely and worth it.  I hadn’t planned to enter the Art Bead Scene challenge for December but a free weekend and an urge to get back to my beads and pliers changed the plan and I’m very pleased with my last minute entry.  This month’s artwork was Sleeping Beauty by Erte and is relatively modern having been completed in 1983 (well that’s modern to me!) , 

Sleeping Beauty by Erté, 1983
Erté’s characteristic style found a new and enthusiastic market in the 1960s, and the artist responded to renewed demand by creating a series of colorful lithographic prints and sculpture.  He was famous for his elegant fashion and movie designs.
My design endeavours to capture the colours and the simplicty of the picture, not forgetting that the beauty is awaiting for her prince to come.
The heart shaped lampwork bead made by Judith Johnston represents the sleeping beauty and the other beads depict the various colours in the picture and are a mixture of lampwork, black agate tubes, crystal quartz and glass beads with a few sequins thrown in.    The bracelet is strung on waxed linen, this is the first time I’ve used this thread and I have to say it was lovely to work with.  I’ve tried to portray the simplicity of the picture, the anticipation as well as the vibrant bursts of colour.  I’ll be looking out for my Prince when I wear it!
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Art Bead Scene Challenge November – Three Worlds

 This month’s artwork for the jewellery challenge was Three Worlds which is a lithograph by M C Escher.  I visited Moogin Beads for the first time (www.moogin.com) and found this gorgeous lampwork pendant which replicated the trees above the water in this picture.  I then found some silver leaves in my stash for the leaves on the water and experimented in making some simple wire fish shapes to represent what is under the water.
I put these together quite simply and then threaded some white beads and grey jump rings on silk strings to combine the worlds together including the use of a pendant as a clasp which fastens with another handmade wire fish.  I hope you like this month’s offering
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Artisan Whimsy UK Challenge – Island Memories

Artisan Whimsy is a new website for anyone involved in beads, beading and jewellery making and its components to share ideas, knowledge and chat.  The main UK contributors have set a challenge for all members of this site to design a piece of jewellery based on one of their home towns/counties – Southampton, Bath, Bristol, Liverpool,  Dorset and the Isle of Wight.

I’ve chosen the Isle of Wight as I have many happy holiday memories from there.  I first visited in 1953 (I must be very old!) and have returned many times with various family members including this year with my grandson.  My finished necklace is below


 Obviously being an Island there were lots of nautical themes I could have focused on and as a holiday destination there are plenty of interesting places to visit from Osborne House, a home of Queen Victoria to dinosaur island or butterfly world.  In the end I decided to focus on some of my best memories.  A major gateway to the Island is Ryde Pier, a very long pier which takes you to Ryde Esplanade by foot, car or train.  The long bead in my necklace(sarahdownton.etsy.com) reminded me of the pier structure with the criss cross gold pattern and the colours echoed the changing colour of the sea and the sand that can be seen from the pier, it’s length made it an ideal candidate to represent the pier.  This brought back many memories of the anticipation of arriving for a holiday or just a pleasant day out

Here are two photos, one showing the pier today and the other is me as a child, a very long time ago (!), with the pier in the background from a different angle. 



    The other beads represent the green landscape, the hills, abundant flowers, the fossils which I constantly looked for as a child and the sea.  The beautiful lampwork beads are made by Sarah Downton, link above.  The ribbon has similar colours to the sandy cliff at Alum Bay where you can fill various shaped bottles as souvenirs of your trip.  And the tied on ribbon reminds me of the streamers we waved at the many summer carnivals, these are still held today.  The Ryde carnival is the oldest in the UK and started in 1887.  Whilst the Island has changed over the years many things remain the same and the pace of change seems much slower, I’m sure this encourages familiarity with the surroundings and adds to the  enjoyment
Lastly the clasp and aqua melon bead were made on the Isle of Wight by Bo Hulley, one of our hosts (www.etsy.com/shop/Bohulleybeads.  The Island is roughly a diamond shape so the clasp seemed fitting to finish this piece.   Here is a sketch showing the features of my necklace laid out in the shape of the IOW and what they represent to me..

Artisan Whimsy

 UK Inspiration Challenge

Below are the blogs of those taking part in the UK Inspiration Challenge as at 11th November –

Please have a look at what everyone has made or go to the Artisan Whimsy UK challenge site http://artisanwhimsy.ning.com/page/uk-inspiration-challenge!
The Hosts
Lesley Watt Gossiping Goddess

Rebecca Anderson Songbeads

Pippa Chandler Pip’s Jewellery

Teresa Hulley Bo Hulley Beads

Natalie McKenna Grubbi

Jo Tinley Daisychain Designs


Gale White Bantering Bird on Flickr

Ginger Bishop Lilmummylikes

Cece Cormier The Beading Yogini

Therese Frank Therese’s Treasures

Cilla Watkins Tell Your Girlfriends

Sherry Baun

Kay Toodles and Binks


Therese Frank Therese’s Treasures

Kashmira Patel Sadafulee

Caroline Dewison Blueberribeads

Pam Sears Crazy Creative Corner

Sherry Baun

Leigh Thow Jewellrleigh

Lucy Haslam


Cynthia Machata  http://antiquitytravelers.blogspot.com

Pam Sears Crazy Creative Corner

Sherry Baun

Isle of Wight

Duane Clark Bizzy Bead

Sharyl McMillian-Nelson Sharyl’s Jewelry

Leigh Thow Jewellrleigh

Jean Wright Just Beadey

D Lynne Bowland Islandgirl’s Insights

Lisa Lodge Pine Ridge Treasures

Sherry Baun


Jean A. Wells  http://www.jeanawells.blogspot.com

Shalini Austin   Jewellery by Shalini

Doris Stumpf Glaszwerg

Sherry Baun

Lennis C Windbent


Sherri Stokey Knot Just Macramé

Sherry Baun

Leigh Thow Jewellrleigh

Kathy Lindemer Bay Moon Design

Can you create a piece of jewellery or a jewellery component inspired by where the UK Blog team live?


Artisan Whimsy UK Challenge


I can’t resist entering this challenge, it’s to make a piece of jewellery inspired by a town in England from a choice of five places.   One of the places is the Isle of Wight, a favourite holiday destination.  I holidayed there as a child, took our children there and in the past two years have re-visited with one of my grandsons.  The piece is nearly complete and I will post over the weekend.

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Art Bead Scene – October Challenge

At last I’m writing about something that’s up-to-date and not just filling in the background to what I’ve been up to.  I’ve just completed my entries for the October Art Bead Scene challenge and will be posting them soon.

The artwork for this month was something different and really appealed to me.


Revolving by Kirt Schwitters 1919
Assemblage-Wood, metal, cord, cardboard, wool, wire, leather, and oil on canvas  –  Museum of Modern Art, New York

In Revolving, the cord, hoops, wire mesh, and small objects tacked to the painterly canvas replace depicted lines and forms. Schwitters’s use of fragments reflects a society shattered by World War I. “Out of parsimony I took whatever I found . . . because we were now an impoverished country,” he wrote in 1919. “New things had to be made out of the fragments.”
Whilst not impoverished the idea of using what I had in my bead stash and a mix of beads appealed to me and I used some metal items that have been lurking for a year or two in the bracelet I made.  These were mixed with  toho beads and  pearls as well as some fairly new ceramic beads.

The ceramic beads were from Bo Hulley (www.etsy.com/shop/Bohulleybeads) in a range of colours to reflect the picture. Various metal beads and rings have been used as Schwitter used scrap metal pieces in his painting. The rings move as the bracelet is being worn creating gentle movement and fall into different positions constantly. I thought the picture had a sort of ‘pearlised’ finish so pearls were used to complete the bracelet.

This picture shows the bracelet being worn with the rings positioning themselves amongst the ceramic beads


This picture was a good choice for jewellery makers as we work with shapes and colour rather than drawn lines to create our art;  as Schwitter did.


Necklace – Fragments make a whole. This reflects Karl Schwitter’s approach to his painting ‘Revolving’

It features some lovely ceramic beads again from Bo HulleyBeads  (www.etsy.com/shop/Bohulleybeads) in shades of the artwork and these are separated by copper wavy discs  ( www.etsy.com/shop/daisychainextra) to represent the round metal shapes (wheels) in the painting. Silver connectors and beads with a central lampwork bead complete the ‘fragmented approach’ as without the picture I would not have thought of combining these elements. The ceramic clasp with metal toggle also come from Bo Hulley Beads and the necklace is strung on waxed cotton.

An enjoyable challenge

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