AJE May Component of the Month Reveal ~ Springtime Breezes

Every month at the Art Jewelry Elements blog one of our members hosts an art jewelry component giveaway to challenge the members and a few lucky guests. This month was Sue Kennedy's turn and she created some super fun lampwork ruffle discs. This is my first time playing along in the challenge… I can't let you guys have all the fun without me!!

Here's the bead Sue sent me…
Gorgeous isn't it? Juicy orange with soft blue-green. My favorite color… with my not so favorite color… I love a challenge in bead form!

And here's what I made…
A bracelet, of course! I call it Springtime Breezes. The orange makes me think of the sunlight getting stronger and warmer in the spring, and also of all the springtime blooms, and the soft blue reminds me of the clear air and blue skies.

I started off by forming the ruffle disc "flower" and then I threaded it onto a base wire with four matching Czech crystals. Then I used 22 gauge wire for the free-form wrapping, working from both ends simultaneously to keep the beads evenly spaced.

Next I made the back, using micro fiber suede and seed beads. I folded the strands over the loop on the focal and wire-wrapped the ends to secure them.

Then I threaded the clasp onto two strands of the micro fiber suede and wire-wrapped them together again, leaving a short tassel. I added the wire wrapping to the ends to give them a little more weight so they'd hang nicely.

And there you have it! I hope you enjoyed following along in my creative process.

Be sure to check out what everyone else created!

More beads from the new colors

I'm still playing with the new colors… and here's what I've finished recently.

I had actually started some new canes, but my clay had other ideas—it was way too soft and didn't cooperate at all. So I chopped up my mushy cane and turned it into some new etched rounds and a few faceted beads—first these with my new taupe…

And then these in orange…

And then with the leftovers I made this…
I experimented with the scraps from color blending for this pendant—it's so exciting to see what can come of the leftovers! In my studio nothing ever goes to waste!

Here's a cane that did work! Okay, I'll admit it… I actually made this one a few years ago… I only had a little piece left and I had been saving it for something special. I sliced it up really thin and tried out a few different ideas before my sister Bethanne suggested this one. She really has an eye for bead designs sometimes!

More faceting, with a couple round beads to match.

And of course a few new sunburst horse beads!

All are in my shop now.

A little bead just for me!

I have some extreme cuteness to share with you today! It's not very often that I buy beads for myself… but I was looking for a little doggy bead to remind me of my Pepper girl and so when Lauren of Maybeads on Etsy offered to make her for me, I was beyond thrilled. For a girl who loves beads and her dog (and misses her dearly), what could be better than that??

Here she is…
Lauren did such a wonderful job. I knew I would love the doggy she made for me, but when she showed me my finished Pepper bead, I gasped with delight! She couldn't have made her any more perfect—she capture all the details—the spots of pepper on her ears (the only place that her many spots where actually visible), her stumpy tail, and her sweet eyes.

I asked Lauren to make her in a standing pose. I love her poised stumpy little tail… reminds me of how Pepper envisioned herself to be a fierce protector. She always tried to be fearless and her bark was so much larger than she was, but in reality she was so sweet and gentle, and actually rather shy.

I know by now you're probably amazed by the sheer cuteness that Lauren captured in a little glass bead, but when you see just how small my Pepper bead is, you'll be even more amazed—I know I am! Take a look…
 Yes, I'm so happy with her! Eventually, once I come up with the right design, I plan to make a necklace with her, but for now she's in my studio by my computer brightening each day with her cuteness—one more way to be reminded that my Pepper girl will always be with me in my heart no matter how much time separates us.

Thank you again Lauren! I've never had a more special bead!

Old colors, new colors… new beads!

I've taken a little break from critter sculpting and have been working with colored polymer instead. I have tons of baggies filled with bits and pieces from past projects, many are from back when I was making decor—too pretty to just turn into bead cores or to make molds out of—and so I turned them into new beads.

Faceting is one of my new favorite beads styles. It works so well with cane pieces and the added bonus is I don't have to sand, and if you know me, that is an enormous bonus… just the thought of sanding will keep me out of the studio some days!

I also experimented with texture. These did require sanding and polishing, but I'm really happy with the way they turned out, so it's fairly easy to forget how bored I was while sanding them!

More texture, but no sanding. These are for a new jewelry project I'm working on. Yes, it's my first jewelry project of the year. It's time I get back to jewelry making again.

Some fun little charms. Have you remembered orange is my favorite color yet?

These are probably my most favorite of all my recent beads. I love the soft colors. I was tempted to keep them for myself!

Those above were all made with old colors… now for the new! I've been doing a lot of color mixing lately and working on new color palettes. Here's what's just starting to come of that…

These chunky beads bring to mind scarabs… for me anyway. I'm going to be doing more colors in the same shape.

And these I really like! But they're not quite finished… sadly they need sanding and polishing still, but I wanted to go ahead and show them to you.

I made some faceted rounds in the same colors. No sanding required! As soon as I make some more of these they'll be in the shop too.

I also made a carved bead set. This one was the result of more texture experimenting.

And finally a couple dragons that made it into my shop recently. I had actually made these over a year ago—they just needed a splash of paint to make them happier. I do love painting!
* sold *

 * sold *

And I think that's it. Most everything here is listed in my shop now. I hope you enjoyed my latest bead journey. If all the new ideas floating around in my little beady brain right now turn out like I imagine, I'll have more to show next week!

Have a lovely weekend!