Pretty Palettes Reveal!

I was beyond overjoyed and so very honored when Erin asked me to join her for July's Pretty Palettes challenge on Halcraft USA blog. I had no idea what her chosen palette would be or which beads I would be using, but really—who can turn down an opportunity for more beads? Yes, I've walked through the bead gallery aisles of Michael's far too many times wishing that all the beads were mine… I know I'm not the only one! So, there was no other answer but "yes!".

When my packet brimming with beads arrived a few days later, I knew for sure that I had made the right choice—Erin has a way with colors that always makes me smile and I loved the bead mix she put together right away.

Come see what I made…

I immediately saw Erin's bead mix divided into two themes—one mainly golden and another in the grey-green and blue. For this necklace I went with golden beads, only accenting it with the other colors. I've titled it "Gilded Daydreams".

One of the first focals that came to my mind as I started to plan my designs, was this earthy golden face by one of my favorite ceramic bead artists, Birgitta Lejonklou. For so long I've wanted to use this focal, but each time I pulled it out, the design didn't work out quite right and I put it back—I'm so happy it has finally found the perfect home!

I wanted to keep with the earthy feel of Birgitta's focal and also add some richness to it—the gold fluted rondels were perfect for that. Between each one, I used a tiny grey iris seed bead to keep with the grey from the palette and for movment—each seed bead works like an itty bitty ball-joint.

To echo the rustic nature of Birgitta's focal, I chose this waterworn creek pebble from my little collection. It's been sitting on my shelf waiting for me to take the time to drill a hole in it ever since I first used a pebble in a necklace earlier this month. It's rather soft (as far as rocks and pebbles go) so drilling was fairly easy, but as this was my first time drilling a pebble, I was nervous the whole time that I would ruin it! Very happily, I did not! So many happy memories are connected to my ever-growing pebble collection and so adding this one into my necklace really is an extra special touch for me!

Next I borrowed stole these two fabric covered bead cords by my mom from her cord stash for another rustic element. I'm loving the contrasts of this necklace! Soft fiber with hard crystal and stone… coarse texture with smooth… bright and shiny with dark pearlescent hues.

I went with a random look for the entire necklace—I used all the gold rondels, a handful of the citrine chunks, a few scattered peacock pearls and green glass faceted beads, and then I sprinkled in three glass art beads by MonasLampwork for a little extra surprise and sparkle.

This necklace was still in progress when I came up with another design in a totally new direction…

This time, a bracelet—my inspiration was the soft lavender-grey pearls from Erin—they look so very much like rose petals! And so I went a little more feminine and vintage-style with this design. I used the lavender pearls and three of the citrine chunks… and everything else came from my own stash. I'm calling this bracelet "Sweet Flower Petals".

I used one of my sleepy flower garden bunnies dressed up with a vintage floral cotton print. I strayed just a little bit from Erin's palette and I used a short piece of rosy pink gauze ribbon for an extra pop of color and to hide my crimps…

And also in pink—tiny aurora borealis faceted czech glass between each pearl. Pink is never my first choice, but I thought it added a nice touch to the design and it was fun to see it take on a more romantic and feminine look.

I picked one of my own polymer roses to add a tiny bit of rustic-ness—I can never leave rustic behind for too long!

For the clasp, I used a vintage mother-of-pearl button from my Grandmother and made a loop from seed beads and czech glass flower beads.

I was down to the wire for time (read the day before this reveal!), but I had one last idea and happily it flew together faster than the first two designs!

This time, I went for the more grey-green and blue theme—I used the remaining peacock pearls and citrine chunks, a few faceted green glass beads, and four of the rhinestone rondels… and some more things from my own stash. I've titled this one "Wildflower Morning". My very favorite mornings have always been the misty-grey ones and I love watching the mist rise as the sky brightens, the lengthening sunbeams catching on the dew drops and gossamer—it's a magical few moments!

For my focal, I chose one of my own pressed flower polymer Queen Anne's Lace pendants and paired it up with one last bead from MonasLampwork and a single green glass faceted bead. Tied together with hemp, I made an elongated focal—I do like long necklaces and long focals!

At the back of the necklace I used tiny rainbow colored seed beads between each citrine chunk.

And for my closure, I made another vintage button and loop clasp.

And there you have it—three new creations, each with a slightly different feel, and what fun they were to make!

Thank you so much Erin for such a wonderful time and an artfully selected bead mix that was the fuel for these new creations! And thank you to the rest of the Halcraft team for sponsoring such great creativity!

Be sure to stop by Halcraft blog to see what Erin made with this very same bead mix…

Pretty Palettes with Erin Prais-Hintz and Halcraft USA

I'm joining the uber-talented Erin Prais-Hintz of Treasure's Found this month for her fun and inspiring challenge on Halcraft USA blog—Pretty Palettes! Inspired by her niece's upcoming wedding, Erin chose a gorgeous palette of soft grey-green blues and yellows and she mixed up this luscious assortment of beads to match…

What a lovely mix, isn't it?

Here's a sneak peek at what I've created…

Come back tomorrow for the reveal!

On AJE Blog ~ August 2014 CoM Giveaway!

Yes, that's right! I'm hosting the Component of the Month Challenge and Giveaway for August on Art Jewelry Elements blog!

And this time it's my leather feathers that are up for grabs!

Hand painted mirrored earring pairs…

Or single feather focals…

Three of these color patterns are brand new… look for them in my shop later on today. :-)

I have so many ideas of what to make with them and I'm so excited to see what everyone else will create!

Here's  a little peek back at what I've made with leather feathers so far…

"Fly with Painted Wings"

Wire Wrapped Feather Bracelet… and the tutorial here.

Beaded Fringe Feather Focal… with another tutorial for you here.

Beaded Drop Feather Earrings… one last tutorial here.

So, would you like to join me for the August CoM? Go here to enter!

* Comments posted here will not count… they must be entered in on AJE blog. *

A few more new beads in the shop…

It's been a busy week of painting here in my studio. And what fun I've been having! Here's what's new so far…

Fern pressed leaf focals in two new colors…

"Woodland Sunset" Sunset has always been my most favorite time of day and it's an extra special time for me when I get to experience it out in the woods, watching the tree-shadows grow as the sky glows brightly between the branches… then there's the glorious show of vibrant color just as the sunset dies—yes! it's my favorite time indeed!

"Golden Morning Mist" I can like mornings too, can't I? These days I do see less and less of them with my night-owl habits, but I do love the misty mornings. It's a whole new world out there in the sunlit mist.

And I also painted some new wild rose charms…

"Rustic Copper Brown" This color was a happy accident. I love the way it turned out though and already have plans to use it again for other beads. It reminds me of old antique leather bound books.

And finally, some wild rose charms in my Stormy Blue color.

See them all in my shop here.

Happy friday to all my beady friends!

Shop update is now live!

Are you as excited as I am?! It's been far too long since I've had new critters! But they really are finally here—go to my shop here—and snatch up your favorites!

Sweet little stripey chipmunks…

…there's something about about those itty bitty stripes that makes me smile every time I see them. :-)

Little brown bears.

And little black bears.

I saw a little black bear cub while walking in the woods a few years back and we both just stared at each other—I'm really not sure who was more surprised—me or him!

And little black masked badgers… or brocks… personally, I do love the name brock.

One more peek at the new flower garden bunnies too.

And, there are brand new fabric covered bead cords from my mom to match the grey bunnies…

"Sidewalk Posies" She said for her, the fabric brings to mind the little flowers that sometimes grow-up in the cracks of a sidewalk. What a sweet name, don't you think? We really do need flowers everywhere!

We've had this fabric for practically ages—I remember when I was really little, I had dreams of my mom making me a dress with it… but I think we can all now be glad that she didn't. ;-)

We have both the long cord and the short cord, but only 2 of each— more are on their way!

See everything in my shop here.

Happy shopping!

Shop Update Preview

 They're coming… this Thursday! Finally! I know, it feels like the wait has been forever—I'm so thrilled to be adding to the sleepy critter family again!

Come welcome the new sleepies…

There are sweet stripy chipmunks… badgers… black bears… and brown bears. Being my first batch of these brand new critters, I decided to only do eight of each (4 of each of the bear colors), so I could get them all out in my shop at the same time and then I'll add them to my regular critter making routine.

Of course it can take me a couple weeks for each batch and right now I'm not doing any pre-orders… so grab these first ones up while you can!

Do you have a favorite yet? 

I think my favorite might be the chipmunk… at least for this moment… it's oh-so hard to choose!

And then there are new flower garden bunnies (aka flower pant bunnies) in the update too!

See them in my shop on Thursday!