AJE May 2014 CoM Challenge Reveal ~ Sweet Flower Dreams

To me, it feels like May just began yesterday—but obviously not—since here we are at the end of it today! It's a happy day though, as it's been a wonderful month for me in many ways… and of course, one of those highlights is getting to see some new jewelry today created for the AJE CoM reveal!

Our hostess this month is Sue Kennedy of Sue Beads and she provided us with a choice of beautiful glass cabochons or sweet sets of chicklet beads (pictured above). I went for the beads and believe it or not, I chose the pink and red set! Shocking, I know. Having learned a lot about myself and pink in the Bead Soup Party, I felt ready for another pink challenge!

And so, here's what I made…

I knew immediately when I saw Sue's little chicklets that I wanted to make a bracelet and use them with one of my new sleepy bunnies (another excellent reason to go pink!).

The pink chicklet bead was the starting point for me—it's such a nice soft dusty pink and really set the mood for the whole bracelet. I wanted to keep with the feel and theme of softness, going a little shabby chic with a bit of vintage, and so I chose to go without any wire. You know how much I love to work with wire so that was a challenge in and of itself to find other ways to connect the bracelet together, but in the end I managed and I have to say I love the way it turned out! I've titled my new bracelet "Sweet Flower Dreams".

I used soft pink seed beads on hemp to make a button and loop clasp. From there I added two czech glass beads, knotting between each one.

The chicklets have a nice large hole and worked perfectly with some vintage lace, which I also knotted.

As you might already know, my mom has been making these lovely fabric covered bead cords (now available in my shop—I'm so very excited about that! :-) and so I snatched up another one for myself and tied it into my bracelet.

One of my biggest challenges of making this bracelet, was actually the red chicklet bead! I wanted so much to use all three beads in one design, but the brightness of the red nearly had me designing a second jewelry piece. Finally, with a little rearranging I decided to separate the chicklets, putting this one at the clasp—that kept the design softer around the bunny and then the pop of bright red seemed just right at the end of the fabric covered bead cord—or at lease it makes sense in my mind! I love a little element of surprise in my designs—the ones that (hopefully) make people wonder at why I did it that way—because, believe me, I scrutinize every single element of every design!

This is my third time working with Sue's beads (see what I made before here and here) and just as before, I'm so very happy with what they bring to my jewelry—if you've never had the joy of creating with Sue's beads you must go grab up a few for yourself in her shop here! Thank you all for stopping by to see my latest creation! And a big thank you to Sue for another fabulous challenge!

And of course, don't miss out on all the lovely new creations made with Sue's glass lovelies! Check them out here…

Guest Artists:

The AJE Team:
Rebekah Payne <—You are here!

New in the Shop ~ fabric covered bead cords… hand crafted by my mom!

You've seen a little of these fun cords popping up in some my latest designs… here and here. And also in Shirley Moore's bead soup here. Check out this fabulous bracelet she made with her cord here.

And now, I'm so excited to finally offer these soft and rustically elegant cords in my shop! These lovelies are not my own work—each one has been meticulously crafted by my mom, Gail. She works with fabrics old and new—vintage calicos, fabric shop remnants, and salvaged thrift shop finds. The fabrics are cut, gently frayed and tattered, and then each bead is hand stitched in place… all to bring an extra special touch of fiber and texture to your new creations!

I can't even begin to tell you how much fun these are to work with! The softness of texture and gorgeous color palettes are such a stunning complement to my work. I have a spare table spread out with a bunch of various art beads and glass goodies waiting to become new jewelry showcasing these cords.

Here's a peek at the first cords she's offering for sale…

"Cottage Garden"

"Misty Mauve"

She makes them in two different lengths… some with 6 inches of beads, plus 2 inches in the fabric tabs at either end…

… and then also with 2 inch beaded sections. These shorter ones are perfect for bracelets!

"Mossy Bank"


She has a few other cords in progress—we'll be adding them to the shop in the next few weeks. And, there's still lots more fabric to choose from (some are very limited vintage prints) and other new designs that she's just starting to work with now. Yes, we're pretty sure my mom's cords are going to be a new staple in the Tree Wings Studio shop!

We both can't wait to see what new creations you design with them!
See these first cords in my shop here.

On AJE Blog ~ Beaded Drop Feather Earrings Tutorial

I'm making these new earrings with my leather feathers on Art Jewelry Elements blog today! 
Join me here to make your own!

8th Bead Soup Blog Party Reveal!

Here we go—it's bead soup time! This is my second time joining in on the fun of this fabulous party. First I have to give an enormous thank you to our hostess, Lori Anderson for bringing us all together to share, learn, and to simply be amazed by the new jewelry creations that have been inspired by this special event.

I was lucky enough to be paired up with the talented seed beader, Shirley Moore of Beads and Bread and wow! did she make this a happy and surprising party for me! Shirley sent me one amazing soup!

You may or may not know that fine details are a favorite of mine and so, of course I adore seed beads… but I've always only used them as spacers and to accent my creations—I've never done any real seed beading and so I was totally caught off my guard when Shirley's bright, sparkly, pink, seed-beaded soup arrived! Yes, the detail is just stunning! I love the free-form and curving shape of the focal, but… my! oh my! what to make with it all! Had I been a seed beader, I expect I would have gotten busy creating some elaborately embellished beaded design… no time to learn! And certainly not enough seed beads lying around in my studio. And then there was the fact that it was all so very pink—I've always considered earth tones to be my safe zone favorite. So, I spent the next several weeks thinking about it and thinking about it some more… I tried some things that altogether flopped. And then it was my sister Bethanne who sparked the final design when she said that it should be very elegant and have multiple twisted beaded strands and should be sea inspired. And, yes, I did go with more seed beads and yes, much more pink…

Here's what I made…

I've titled it "Seamaid Dreams". I agree, Shirley's pendant softly whispers of nautical themes in its curving shape and white stripes—like some unknown starfish—not in a blue-sailor-stripe way, but more like a deep sea beauty, such that only mermaids would know of—a treasure sparkling bright, and of course, in pink!

Silver is not a staple in my studio and I only bring it out for special occasions (gifts mainly—my sisters are all silver-lovers!). I found this floral connector in that stash and with a little wire working added it as a crown to Shirley's pendant.

Pink is usually a bit rare in my studio also—I found bright pink seed beads in the same shade as the ones in the pendant and some in rainbow-y pink, aurora borealis faceted czech glass, and soft pink agate chips. To those I added the white faceted beads from Shirley (and a few smaller matching ones from my own stash), her cute beaded beads in white and silver, some silver spacers, tiny vintage seed beads in white, and 8 frosted czech seashell beads.

I did a little more wire-working on the back to hold all the beaded strands and then strung each strand and twisted them together.

I thought for quite a while that I would use Shirley's clasp for a second design, but no other clasp seemed the right closure for this necklace—her clasp and pendant are just meant to be together! The two inner-most strands of the necklace I kept separate from the rest, simply wiring the ends together—they're long enough to slip easily over the head and I wanted them to just drape beside the twisted strands.

Very glamorous and very pink—but I'm just so thrilled with the way it turned out! I really wasn't sure I could do Shirley's work justice, but I can happily say I love the way this design turned out. What a happy learning experience it was!

One necklace down—the star of it all—and still more soup to go!

Next up, I turned to the white flower beads—all along I had been thinking of going green and brown with these flowers to add a nice bright white pop.

I had originally planned to make a bracelet… and then I pulled out this sweet little brass bird… a soft green oval stone… a large round silver toggle ring… and a frayed bit of my favorite vintage fabric. And all together it became a brand new pendant—the bracelet idea flew out the window! I've titled it "A Beautiful Day"—for me the colors, theme, and style bring to mind a breezy summer day walking far out into the gorgeous Virginia outdoors, breathing in the fresh scent of the growing and blooming woods and listening to birds singing in the treetops—a beautiful day indeed!

From the pendant, I strung some rust-brown pennant shaped czech beads, alternating with more tiny vintage white seed beads and the glass flowers.

Next, I added some art bead goodness—on the left a juicy green faceted ceramic bead from Gaea, and on the right a lovely spotted forest green bead from MonasLampwork. And then I put in two of my own polymer rounds and a yellow-orange striped triangular bead, and for a little extra surprise—a colorful flower millefiori cube.

Too cute! The beads tied off to the side are vintage carved jade (or glass… I'm not sure exactly) from a broken necklace that had belonged to my great grandmother.

And lastly, I tied it all together with a wider torn piece of the vintage fabric to match the pendant—also from my great grandmother. I know some might consider these colors "old" but I just love them!

Okay, I have just one more design… wait! actually two—to show you and then you can continue your hopping…

I woke up early on Friday (the day before the party!) ready to make more, so here you go…

From my soup, I used the ceramic ring, the pink rounds, and the pink sparkly czech cubes. I call it "A Smile in Pink" because this bead soup really has been a journey about the color pink and the happiness that it creates. And also because whenever there's a half circle in beads (or whatever) I can't help but see the "smile" in it. :-)

This necklace also sings with art bead loveliness—a ceramic ring in pretty pink from MarlasMud, bright orange jade, pink rounds, czech glass, then another of my polymer rounds, a gorgeous spotted bead from MonasLampwork, a tiny floral cloisonné round, a magenta wood round, a cute bumpy bead from Mona…

(continuing right to left) a bright raspberry beaded bead from Kristen Stevens, a second polymer round by me—this time in sunny yellow-orange and red, a donut from Mona, a few more glass beads, and one last spotted bead from Mona.

The little czech cubes from Shirley are all dressed up and fancy in another of my mom's fabric beaded cords—I simply handed over the beads and picked a fabric and a while later my mom returned with this fun new creation!

And lastly, it's all finished off with a loop of pearl seed beads and one of my sunny orange polymer butterflies.

This pair of earrings is actually the first bead soup creation I finished—I used the rectangles made by Sharyl's Jewelry, two more cloisonné rounds, clear vintage rounds, and teeny tiny faceted czech turquoise beads to top them off—a perfect matching set together with my new necklace!

I still have a few more sparkly beads left, but those I'll save for future projects or for whenever the pink muse strikes… probably a bit more often than in the past!

Thank you all so much for stopping by my little corner of blogland and taking a peek at my bead soup creations! Again, a huge thank you to Shirley—I never thought pink and stepping so far out of my comfort zone would have had this amazingly happy ending! And thank you again Lori—I look forward to your future parties, big or small. :-)

If you haven't already, you really must go see what Shirley has created with the soup I sent her—go here. That's where I'm going next…

Join in on all the fun and visit the rest of the party here:

Even Smaller!

You know already that I always enjoy the challenge of making my bead designs as small as possible, so when a lovely customer asked if I could make my speckle beads any smaller, it was an instant yes!

These new speckles were so much fun to make! Perfect for earrings or for wherever a smallish bead is needed—they're each about 16-18mm across down from the 22-25mm of my larger speckle beads.

But… silly me—if you look closely you'll see that the cloudy mauve beads have reversed colors in the speckles—normally I go dark blue with the light blue on top. Actually though, I think it's a neat complement to the larger size having the colors a bit different.

What do you think? Do you like the smaller size? Should I make more?

Find them in my shop here. :-)

Glassy Goodness!

I'm the proud and very happy new owner of some spectacular lampwork beads!

This lovely earthy mix (plus a few fun ceramic spacers) is from MonasLampworkI won them in the January ABS challenge—surprises in bead form are some of the best, don't you think? Mona has so many lovely beads, it was a hard choice to pick a very favorite (I took a couple months to decide!), but these colors really are so me and I couldn't be more happy with them.

And these absolutely adorable chicklet beads are from SueBeads and are the AJE Component of the Month for May. Yes, you're seeing pink again (a mauve-y pink, bright red, and a deep purple-red)—already I know what I'm going to make with them!

Lampwork beads always amaze me—the colors, the depth, the sparkle—beautiful! I know so much talent is involved in the making of these tiny works of art.

Have a fabulous Monday!