..lucky me! I was chosen as one of the contributors for Sue Kennedy’s component of the month as part of the Art Elements blog.
You can see from my previous post how inspired I am by Sue’s scarab beads. Well, imagine how happy I was to be chosen to work with them again!
My design process looks like a jumble, but it eventually gets me where I am going. I rarely sketch these one of a kind necklaces. I just wait to see where the beads (hers, mine, and others) will lead me.
Here is the finished piece for the Component of the Month challenge:
Love those scarabs, Sue. If you would like to see what Susan and others did with her scarabs, please click on the links below. Thanks for visiting my blog!
Check out Sue Kennedy’s work with her own scarab first!
Art Elements Team
The beads I received from Hanna Rossner.
I knew right away I would be making two necklaces with these beautiful flame worked glass bead focals that Hanna made herself. The blue flower bead reminded me of a bell so I decided to use it as one of the dangles from a lariat necklace. The freshwater pearls she sent were really fun and I will work them into something at a later date. I made sure to use pearls in my necklaces as a nod to the ones Hannah sent.
What I love about a lariat is that it can be worn so many different ways. There is no clasp. It’s like wearing a long scarf made with beads. The necklace is 52″ long so there is a lot of potential for variety. But the length made it a challenge to photograph in different styles of wear.
While I did not use some of the smaller handmade glass beads that Hanna sent, I made sure to add in several other lamp worked beads that I had been hoarding. The little carrot-like beads at the end of another dangle are from an experiment of mine with translucent polymer clay. (I wasn’t trying to make carrots!) The faceted yellow bi-cone beads that Hannah sent were what inspired me to work with the blue/yellow color scheme. The larger yellow bead at the end of the 4th dangle is a ceramic bead from Greece that I’ve had lying around for at least 20 years. I had so much fun embracing Lori Anderson’s hoarding theme when using the beads I had on hand.
(That is not dandruff on the mannequin’s black shirt. She has no head or hair! I ran outside to get these last minute photos and it was snowing. March in Maine, oh well.)
The next necklace is actually the first one I made the day after Hannah’s beads arrived. The beautiful glass heart was such a necessary reminder that spring was going to get here eventually. I knew right away I wanted to use some silk ribbon I’ve had for several years. The clasp is a slider bead I designed from silver metal clay to use with these cords, so it too had been sitting around waiting to be considered again. (Hoarding theme!) The slider bead allows the necklace to be worn at several different lengths. I knew that pearls would really make the flower on the heart stand out so I used some large hole pearls I bought last year. The dark and light pink beads are resin, there are green flame worked beads (in this case not Hanna’s, but only because the holes in these were big enough to accommodate the silk ribbon), the pink and green saucer beads are unakite, and all of the silver beads are ones I made from precious metal clay.
Last of all the little brass dangles. Who doesn’t love a dangle?! I would hoard them too. They said “earrings” to me. I used two more of my translucent polymer experiment beads along with some pearls, glass and some of my handmade silver discs.
What a fun challenge this was. It did exactly what I think the Bead Soup party is intended to do. It got me back to blogging, stirred up some creative juices, and introduced me to new friends who love to design and make jewelry. Below is a list with links to the other participants of the BSBP. I’ll be spending the weekend browsing through everyone’s work. Starting with my partner, Hanna Rossner, of course! (You can click on her name first too!)
Many many thanks to our wonderful hostess Lori Anderson. She is an inspiration in countless ways, not the least of which is her ability to stay upbeat and connected while fighting a ferocious battle with Lyme disease. Hooray for her energy to revive the Bead Soup Blog Party!
All the rest of the lovely participants:
Ann Marie Hodrick
Hajer Waheed Khalil
Kathleen A Breeding
Michelle Escano Caballero
Robin Lynne Showstack
Maria Rosa Sharrow
Inge von Roos
Lori Bowring Michaud
Kelly Hosford Patterson
Marianna DeLuca Wehner
Donna Marie Hanna
Terry Jeanette Carter
Tomorrow (Saturday, 3-25-17) is the big reveal day for the Bead Soup Blog Party. This means I’m racing around at the last minute to take photographs of what I made from the beads Hannah sent to me over a month ago. I was inspired right away and I actually have the pieces all done, but taking photos of jewelry is something I put off doing over and over. It’s one of the reasons I don’t keep up with my Etsy site very well.
Maybe it’s because I have my photography set-up in our basement which is cold at this time of year, not to mention it’s usually a big mess. It’s the place where everything goes to “get out of the way.” My husband and I both contribute to the pile up but he is usually the one who does something about cleaning it up. Bruce is a lobster fisherman, who hauls his boat and traps out of the water for the winter months while he repairs and builds new lobster traps. He also repaints his 800 buoys, repaints the bottom of his skiff, paints his oars and measures out new rope for some of his traps. Eventually he runs out of things to do before his boat is back in the water. So he takes on “clean up chores” around the house.
As he was getting ready to leave for the U.S./Canadian Lobstermen’s Town Meeting yesterday, he asked what I would do with all my time to myself for the next two days. “Well, I need to finally take some jewelry photographs,” my reply.
“Oh. Well….when I cleaned up the basement I sort of piled things up on your photography table… Just throw out what you don’t want and make a pile of the things you want to keep.” (Argh!)
Fishermen’s survival suits airing out on the pool table in the clean basement.
The thought of having to work my way through piles to get to my little photography corner made me procrastinate even longer. But, as I entered the basement with a load of silver beads to fire in my kiln, I turned on the heat in the “clean” area of the basement and thought, “let’s see how bad this is. If I clean up the area now, I’ll be able to take the photos tomorrow with a fresh start. It might not be so bad.”
And, you know what? It wasn’t so bad. It took me less than an hour to get my area ready to go. That is where I am headed now.
Some photo props, now all in the same area.
The photo cube awaits…
After a week away from home, visiting friends in New York and family in Baltimore, I returned to the island to find my beads from Hannah Rossner had arrived! Woo hoo!
I love getting packages in the mail, don’t you?
I think Hannah and I were on the same wavelength when we sent each other some lamp worked beads. Check out Hannah’s blog Good River Beads and Jewelry to see her work and what she said about my contribution. (Remember, we’re participating in Lori Anderson’s Bead Soup Blog Party. It’s the bead hoarder’s edition. We’re to send beads that we’ve been hanging on to for a long time and explain why we’ve hoarded them. Okay, so neither one of us remembered to add that little note. I’d say we’re a match!)
Be sure to check out Hannah’s Etsy Shop to view her amazing work. Our styles are so different. I don’t know how she does all that intricate bead work. It’s quite detailed and beautiful. And she is a lamp work artist. Which means she makes her own beads, holding rods of glass and a steel mandrel in and out of a gas flame. I took a two day workshop in this once and believe me, I know it takes years to develop that skill.
Click on Hannah’s photo below for a link to her Etsy site. Get a cup of tea, and get ready to take some time for visual stimulation. You won’t be disappointed!
Below is the photo of the beads I sent to Hannah. (It was camouflaged in the last post.)
The lamp work bead was made by Mindy McGregor who sells on Etsy. The teardrop head pins are made by Jennie Yip, and also purchased on Etsy. The fine silver beads are made by me. (My own Etsy shop is for the jewelry I make, but you would never know because my Etsy shop is bare. Every month I think, “okay, time to remedy that.” And every month something else comes up. I even have the inventory on hand, so what is that all about? Oh. I just remembered. It’s the photography. Something that I can put off as well as I put off cleaning the oven. Once I start, I can totally get into it. I just can’t seem to want to get started.)
Hannah and I and the other participants in the BSBP have until March 25 to reveal our designs with another person’s hoarded beads. That is the big reveal day, now less than 3 weeks away. Not a bad way to jump start my creative process and start to make friends with my own writing.
For a year I have paid for a premium subscription to WordPress. I wanted to be able to post videos and remove any ads from my space that I don’t see, but others do. I find after so much time away it is really hard to even remember how to post on my blog and add pictures! If I do this every day for a while maybe it will all come back.
In a week of 4 snowstorms we managed to rack up at least 40 inches of snow on ground that had been bare since last spring. And, I have been recovering for two months from double knee surgery….
Enter my son’s snowshoes, from high school, patiently waiting for me to rediscover them in the attic. I used to be a cracker jack downhill skier, having started the sport at age 4. But in the 40 years I’ve lived on Little Cranberry Island, I’ve managed to go downhill skiing a total of 10 times. It’s just not in the cards. We’re too far from a ski area, we live with a limited ferry schedule in the winter, and my husband has not skied for years either. Cross country skiing is a good option when we get enough snow. But balancing on narrow skis is not a wise move for me just now.
So yesterday I tried snow shoeing for the first time ever. I LOVED it! I met up with two other island women and off we went to admire the magical snowy woods.
Today I went off on my own to one of my favorite parts of the island. The property owned by jeweler Sam Shaw.
Yes, I am so grateful to live in a quiet magical place! And, at the end of the walk through the woods, the path opens to this view.
Yup. It is totally beautiful here. I try not to ever take it for granted. I love being able to share some of the winter scenes that most of our summer visitors never get to see. I hope they are as quiet and soothing for you as they are for me.
I have really fallen out of the habit of posting on my blog. Once a year is not enough, but that seems to be my routine for the last few years. When did it become so hard? FaceBook has taken up my time, sometimes in a good way and sometimes not. I belong to several private and public FB groups where we post and comment back and forth. The time I spend on FB, now, I used to spend browsing other people’s blogs and posting something on my own.
I’m not alone. For whatever reasons, several people whose blogs I used to follow have not posted anything for 2 years or more. I miss them! It makes me appreciate all the more the people who do take the time to let others get a glimpse of their lives and talents through their blogs. I want to be one of them again.
Many thanks to Lori Anderson and her Pretty Things Blog for bringing back the Bead Soup Blog Party. Click the link to learn a little history and more about this year’s special twist. The twist is that we are to send a bead or beads that we have hung on to for a long time, but are willing to gift to someone else. Those special beads that we all have. The ones we just can’t quite decide out how to use, but we’ve kept them for one reason or another.
I think it’s a great idea. Lots of fun and I can’t wait to see what people create when the reveal happens on March 25. My partner for the bead swap is Hannah Rosner. She’s a lot more regular about blogging than I have been. Check out her blog: Good River Beads and Jewelry. Hope she likes what I send, or that it inspires her. Per the rules of the blog party, we are not allowed to show a photo of what we sent until our partner reveals their beads after they receive them. But we can do this:
Inside the box…..
Thanks Lori for helping me get back on that horse!
A lot of my work goes to Maine galleries that have a busy summer season. Here are some of the pieces headed to Chapter Two Gallery in Corea, Maine. If you have never been there I urge you to take a little drive “downeast” to this beautiful part of the coast. Garry and Rosemary Levin have a wonderful gallery representing many craftspeople and artists from this area. I am so fortunate and honored to be included among them.
And, they kick off the summer season with a party!
Without further ado, please take a look at some of my new work getting sent to Chapter Two tomorrow:
Let the summer fun begin!!
…and so is the annual sale at the Center for Maine Craft.
Annual Mother’s Day Sale:
May 1 – 8, 2016
25% OFF ALL Jewelry & Pottery!
The Center for Maine Craft’s annual week-long Mother’s Day Sale is this Sunday May 1st through Mother’s Day Sunday May 8th. All Jewelry and Pottery are 25% Off!
Make your mom, mama, mum or yourself happy with a Maine made handcrafted gift. This sale happens only once a year!
Open 7 days a week 9am – 6pm
Please note, no other discounts may be applied.
This means I’ll be dropping off quite a few pieces of new work when I drive through Gardiner on my way to Greenwich, CT.
Here’s some of the work that will be there by Tuesday noon:
You’ve just got to love the location of the Center for Maine Craft. It’s in a service plaza! Where else could you go to make a pee stop, buy gas, get something to eat, AND see some really great Maine Crafts? I’ll be on my way to Connecticut and New York, but I’ll also be making a stop at the Center for Maine Craft to check out some pottery and other jewelry! 25% off…Woo Hoo!!
This is what one of my work benches looks like when I am in the midst of making necklaces from rocks I have drilled, sea glass, and handmade silver beads. I have had my nose to the grindstone, spending most of the month of April in my studio. This looks like a confusing mess, but the more things I have out, the more I see to be designing the next necklace even as I am still working on the current one.
Why so busy? Most of my work is in galleries that are seasonal. (I wish I’d remembered to take some photos before I dropped off work for the fresh new season at KoT Gallery, in Ellsworth, Maine. The work is already there, waiting for the May 5 opening.) I’m lining everything up for May deliveries.
Another reason for this early push is an upcoming show on May 4th and 5th in Greenwich, CT. The show is a fund raiser for local non-profits. If you live in the area please stop by and check it out. It looks like I will be in some very good company.
(I added a few of my business cards on the back before scanning the list of vendors.)
Nothing like having my name at the top of a list to finally get myself back to posting on my blog. I hope it gets me back in the habit of taking photos of my work. Today is a good start.
Below is the finished necklace that was sitting in the mess in the middle of my bench.
Sea glass found by Jane Milburn in Seaham, England. White stones from Gilley Beach (just down the street) and fine silver bead handmade by me.