AJE August 2014 CoM Challenge Reveal ~ Crimson Raven

Another month has flown by… and it's time for another Component of the Month Reveal! These monthly challenges really are one of my most favorite things about being a member of the awesome AJE team. This month is extra special since it was my turn to host… and I'm just bursting with excitement at finally getting to see the brand new creations everyone has dreamed up with my hand painted leather feathers!

For myself I chose one of the long focal feathers in black, grey, crimson, and copper… and here's what I've made…

I love long necklaces!

And I love these colors! There's something so incredibly beautiful and special about seeing the flocks of birds flying in the richly colored sun-setting skies of autumn—when you can only see their silhouettes mingled with black tree branches against the smoky grey and crimson red—that's what these colors remind me of, and so I've titled my new necklace "Crimson Raven".

For the focal I used a large Russian lace agate donut and a smaller donut in carnelian and wrapped them together with hemp. And then with a little more hemp and a dot of glue, I tied the feather in place. Two gemstone rounds—like the setting sun and rising moon—yes, that seems fitting for an autumn themed necklace, I think…

On either side of the feather I strung czech glass ovals with spotted brass spacers and iris grey seed beads.

And next I made a grouping of art beads, mixing up the arrangement just a bit on either side to keep things interesting. I used three of my own hand-painted speckle beads, a few of my tribal birds from my latest bead batch (the white gulls are in my shop already and weather permitting I'll have the ravens listed on Monday. :-). I added in a couple red creek jasper rounds, some hematite faceted beads, and a pair of lovely rustic black ceramic rounds from Lesley Watt.

For some reason finishing the backs of necklaces often takes me longer than any other part and after first contemplating several more complicated options, I decided to keep it simple—I ended my beaded front section with seed bead loops and used micro suede lace tied with hemp to finish it off.

One last bit of hemp cord to tie it all together and there you have it!

Time to hop! Follow the links below to see what everyone else dreamed up with the leather feathers they chose. Thank you all so much for joining me in this challenge!

Guest Artists

The AJE Team
Rebekah Payne <— You are here!

New in the Shop ~ hand-drawn art focals… handcrafted by my sister!

Finally! Finally!

We've been anxiously preparing for this day… so many details and processes to finalize first… but at last you can now find my sister Bethanne's gorgeous art focals in my etsy shop!

For practically forever Bethanne and I have been "partners in creativity"—we aren't always working on the same project together, but we constantly bounce ideas off one another and find great support in each other. For so long we have both dreamed of spending our days making various pretties to share with you… several years ago that dream came true for me… and now I'm so thrilled that Bethanne is just embarking on that same dream of her own!

And I'm equally excited to see what you all dream up with her brand new hand-drawn focals!

Come take a peek at the first ones, now live in my shop

Each focal is a miniature work of art—carefully and individually hand drawn in color pencils (no transfers!) on shrink plastic by my sister, Bethanne. All of her designs are her own original work, and as you've probably already guessed, her favorite motif has always been roses, but you'll also see a sprinkling of boho style wildflowers in monocromatic shades and whimsical garden posies—each one is a perfect way to add a unique touch of floral beauty to your next jewelry design!

This one all started as a birthday gift for meI absolutely love the soft woodsy colors and free-form shape.

Add a row or two of pretty art beads in black and white… or a silk ribbon for a gorgeous bracelet!

Perfect for earrings or connectors on a long necklace.

I used this same pendant in my AJE CoM necklace for April.

"Rosalie" in snow white, ebony, and crimson red…

… and also in goldenrod, autumn orange, and chestnut brown

See them all in my shop here!

A few more new things…

Oh dear! My poor blog is getting a little forgotten in the flurry of bead making—so sorry about that! I've mostly cleared off my tables from record keeping and I'm steadily working away at that ever-growing mound of unpainted beads. Here's a little peek for you of what I've finished recently…

First up, I'm making dragon shields again! This lonely stamp had probably been sitting unused for nearly two years. Dragon shields are a little tricky to make and take quite a while, but I've always loved the end result and it's good to be back at it again. I'll be trying some new colors shortly…

I've also been doing some more work with my new rustic copper brown color…

These new ferns will be perfect for autumn designs! If I can squeeze in enough time, I have a necklace design in mind with one of these ferns and a sleepy chipmunk… and possibly a few other new beads… maybe I'll even write a tutorial. :-)

Of course, I had to make a few of my rectangle Queen Anne's Lace pendants in copper brown too!

And some inside-outside beads.

I painted a few extras in dusty denim blue.

And… I almost forgot! Have I told you all that I'm making grey foxes now?
Yes, I really am!

They've been on my to-do list for practically forever and I finally decided it was time. Besides, red can get just a little tiny bit boring after a while… but don't worry, red foxes aren't going anywhere.

I really should make an arctic fox next, don't you think? Winter isn't all that far away!

And in other sleepy critter news, I'm now making fawns with a vertical hole to give you a few more design options.

So, what else is new? Let's see… all my speckle beads are back in stock…and turquoise ponies are finally back too!

See everything new (and old) in my shop here.

Back to bead making I go… Have a lovely day!

On AJE Blog ~ Record Keeping

Hello again! Today you'll find me buried beneath a mound of papers… I'm in the process of putting together paint color and technique records for each of the different beads I make! It's a long and somewhat dull task, but I'm happy that I'm finally getting down to doing it. Keeping those favorite beads in stock is going to be so much easier now!

Join me on AJE blog and tell me your thoughts on record keeping—do you love it or hate it? Do you need it or are you able to work without it?

Share your thoughts here.

Happy Saturday!