December Theme Challenge Reveal – Dragons

Today is the day for the Art Elements Dragon reveal! I have throughly loved this challenge and had so very many ideas but as is always the way there is more inspiration then time and I only managed to create one of my designs, so I think this may well be a theme throughout the year!

For christmas I was very lucky to receive the most amazing hand crafted book (from an incredible Secret Santa) that has reignited my love of book binding!
So after quiet a few hours here is what I came up with....

Made with a butter soft leather this book is designed to keep all the funny things and cute photos of my little dragon (born 2012 Chinese year of the dragon). 

Hopefully the Chinese symbol for Dragon!

The pages have all been stained with coffee, brown paint, splattered with gold ink and the edges have all been burnt and it smells amazing, mmmm coffee! 

It has a mixture of different types of papers all hand stitched together....

Including this cool map wrapping paper that I just love!

The designs on the front and back covers have been burnt on with a pyrography set I was given for christmas.

The shield behind the dragon is stamped with this quote 
"I desired dragons with a profound desire, of course, I in my timid body did not wish to have them in the neighbourhood, but the world that contained even the imagination of Fafnir was richer and more beautiful, at whatever the cost of peril."
J. R. R. Tolkien

and it has an egg shaped turquoise set on the front.
Now all I have to do is fill it and create a little box for it!

I hope you have enjoyed this challenge as much as I have and I really can't wait to see what everyone else has created....


AJE Team


AE Component of the Month – October

Welcome to AE October's COM reveal! Our component this month was made by our amazing leader Jen Cameron and looked like this....

Arn't they wonderful! I choose the 3rd skull on the top row and almost (as always) forgot to photo it before crating. 

 I love the colours on this skull and knew straight away what I wanted to do with it, which is unusual!
So out came all of the wire and the pliers and after a few days of frustration here is what I created....

I could not help thinking that it was such a wonderful bright skull so I made it into a day of the dead inspired hair pin.

With a crown of beautiful garnets, and here is what it looks like in....

Thank you Jen for the wonderful lampwork, and I am throughly looking forward to seeing what everyone else has created.

Guest Designers
Art Elements Team


September Theme Challenge Reveal - Trees

Septembers AJE theme picked by the wonderfully talented Caroline was trees and what a wonderful theme! 
Heart Shaped Tree in London

I found Caroline's post very inspiring and had so many idea's but as always time runs away and I only managed to create a few of the things I wanted to....

Tree of Life Pendant

I'm still trying to master basic skills on wire wrapping and so I headed straight to YouTube to find a suitable tree of life tutorial and I found this one by the Amazing Oxana Crafts (she also has several other tree of life tutorials including a ring and a bangle and many others that I would love the time to create)!
After making this one I was feeling a little braver and so I started looking around for something a little more complicated and I came upon a tutorial on Etsy for a framed tree of life pendent by Julie Hulick of Copar Aingeal (click link to see the tutorial) I loved the frame and the swirls that finish it off, but unfortunately this is still a work in progress....

The Beautiful Stone was a Gift From Diana

I did however also have time to finish off a beautiful paper cut design by the brilliant Paper Panda that I totally LOVE and was fortunate enough to find the perfect frame (in a charity shop of all places)....

Design by Paper Panda

This one I shrunk down to just 3 inches and so it looks super cute! I still have lots of idea's and a few more in progress pieces for this theme and I have throughly enjoyed this month so a massive thank you to Caroline for the inspiration! 

I do hope you will join me and see what everyone else has created....

AJE Team



AJE Headpin Challenge Reveal

Welcome to the Art Jewellery Elements Headpin Challenge Reveal!
It should come as no surprise that I love headpins, as I use a LOT of them in my designs (the rings are made with Jen's wonderful lampwork headpins set in silver)....

And it is fair to say I have quiet a large stash of beautiful lampwork headpins in my hoard....

In fact the only thing I was missing for this challenge was extra time, so mine is a work in progress!

My original idea was a set of earrings made with lampwork pins with some beautiful wire wrapping detail, so off I set in search of wire wrapping tutorials (as I am still very much learning wire wrapping) and then I came across this beautiful tutorial by Iza Malczyk and then I got to making and as all the best laid plans do, my design changed! I found the wire wrapping seemed to bulk up the headpin quiet a lot and it suddenly seemed to big for earrings.....

So I got brave, raided my hoard and decided that it would go wonderfully with one of my never ever used before Anne Choi beads (I have been too scared to use them) and it will be finished off with this amazing London Blue Topaz (which will be elaborately wire wrapped also).

So my love affaire with headpins continues! I do hope you will join me in hopping over to all the other blogs to see what every body else has created.


AJE Team Members:


AJE Fossilised Pebbles - July Component of the Month Reveal

July's AJE component of the month was supplied by our super talented Lesley Watt of  THEA Elements, and here is her beautiful group shot of what she was sending out....

I received the beautiful blue one on the second row and as soon as it arrived in the post I just fell in love!

When I first saw the photo of these pieces I was thinking Oh, I know what I want to do with this piece, I want to cut off the loops, prong set it on a sheet of copper with another ammonite cut out of the back and a couple of tube set CZ on the bottom left, but then.... I put it in my hand, and it is just so tactile! So much so that I could not bring myself to cover the back so instead I did this.....

I added a chunky sterling chain, a prong set coin and a beautiful lampwork head pin by the Bead Fairy with a thick rustic silver bead cap....

I hope you will join me on the blog hop to see what everyone else has made



AJE Summertime Challenge

Welcome to my AJE Summertime Challenge post!
Every summer for the last five years my family and I travel down to Cornwall to spend a week or two with my partners dad. We visit all our favourite places and always find new ones! We enjoy fish and chips by the sea, go hunting for sea shells and sea glass and spend lots of time walking around the local artists galleries (I'm not a great fan of laying on a beach doing nothing, due to my bright white complexsion and a three year old that only stops running to sleep and fears NOTHING.... well apart from a haircut)!
So summertime for me is summed up by these few photos....

St Ives 

Rock piles and stony beaches

and of course I have a pile of treasures/memories from all these trips to the beach stashed in my draw....

So I used up some of my hoard in these pieces! Now these are still only works in progress but you get the general idea behind them!

This first piece is a bit of slate from the beach that will be riveted to the silver backing piece via the green set gem. The green in the stone reminded me of the lovely seal photo above so it will be finished off with a little hand sawn seal soldered on to the back or possibly on the side of the necklace?

and the other piece is a little collection of my beach treasures....

There is a mix of Sea glass and beautiful little pebbles all (will be) prong set in silver and finished off with a lovely little handmade chain.

The prongs are all open backed with the centre piece having a little heart soldered into it (I want to experiment with this idea more with more complex shapes inside the backs of the settings). There is still a lot of cleaning up and polishing to go in to this piece but I rather like where it is going!

I hope you will join me in checking out what every one else has created (and keep an eye out for my finished pieces)....

Caroline Denison
Susan Kennedy
Lesley Watt


May Component of the Month

May's super cute COM by our wonderfully talented Sue of SueBeads appeals to me on so many levels firstly, well.... glass!!! Second, they are cabs (I love cabs possibly more then I love beads) and third, I LOVE the size, they are just 10-12mm.

Photo by Sue
Of course I was too excited to get a photo of the ones I received before I started work on them, so had to steal Sue's photo from the blog!
My first piece was not what I had intended to make at all, as I opened the packet I received from Sue the tiny cabs spilled onto the table and from the corner of my eye I noticed that the colour of the light blue cab went beautifully with a broken necklace that had been sitting on my desk for a while!
The necklace was one I made a couple of years back for the Bead Soup Blog hop that was given to my youngest daughter but some how she managed to snap the metal focal on it and it had been sitting on my desk waiting for inspiration to strike!

Little Star Necklace
I tried a few other things first but just could not get the idea out of my head, so I gave into inspiration and tried to figure out how I could make it into the focal.

I ended up making quiet a simple silver prong setting and was rather surprised at how easy it worked (normally my ideas take a few attempts to figure out, the joy's of being self taught and not quiet knowing what I'm doing).

Close up of prongs
I still need to file and polish up the back of the piece but I really love this one.

View of the Back 
Next up I had the idea of setting one of the cabs in silver and riveting it to a stone we found on a beach on our holidays in Cornwall last year (I have a whole box of stones from beaches). And then this just kind of happened....

Heart Cab Set in Silver
I actually got out my diamond coated drill bits out for this stone and set my drill to high speed, scary stuff! I am now completely at home with fire but the drill still scares the life out of me!

Whole necklace
Of course I had to throw in a coin (prong set) and a lamp work headpin (this lovely crusty one is by Bead Fairy on Etsy and really looks like it glows in the day light).

Side View
It's quiet a thick piece but I rather like that! This time I kept the back very simple, a tiny heart cut out and a key stamp....

Back Side
I do have one of these left, a dark blue star but that one is still just an idea and you will have to wait to see what it turns into!

Close ups
I would like to thank Sue for the wonderful cabs I throughly enjoyed working with them and am looking forward to seeing what all the others have created....


April Component Of The Month

Today is the day for the AJE Component Of The Month reveal! I can't tell you how much I adore these stunning pieces by our multitalented Jenny Davies-Reazor (pic stolen from AJE blog)....

Jenny's Stunning Amulets 

Now I am normally one for leaving things to the last minute but I literally JUST finished playing with this piece this morning, yep a few moments ago and I am still not quiet done with it!
This is the amazing amulet that Jenny sent to me....

Swirls and Script I'm in Heaven

This is where my problem began you see this amulet is everything I look for in art jewellery elements, all in one piece, it's my favourite colour, it's covered in scrip writing (which I LOVE), it has a beautiful textured a wonderful ancient feel to it. So it goes with pretty much all of the beads in my stash so no real jumping off point, see what I mean....

So Many to Choose From

So first off I started making piles, and then adding and adding to it. I was thinking maybe a necklace full of art bead treasures but there was just too much and it did not show the amulet off enough, so I moved on to another idea, start with the lid!

Lampwork and Coin Lid

So of course I started with a coin then took the longest time ever to decide on what bead to fix to the top of it! This beautiful bead is by the amazing Laura Sparling and has been riveted in place. The lid then fits snugly into the top of the amulet....

Almost done

Once the top was made I used balled headpins to make the loops through the amulet and decided I had to use the wonderful oak leaf clasp by Joanne Tinley (because there is an oak leaf on the bottom of the amulet). 

My Precious!

So that takes me to this point, I have added a pre-made sterling chain, which I am not happy with so that will be changed out for a mixed copper and silver hammered chain the same size as the loops and I'm thinking it needs SOMETHING on the left to balance it, I'm just not sure what! Maybe a gem or something!?

Thank you Jenny for such a wonderful challenge!!

Please join me on the blog hop....

Marsha of Marsha Neal Studio
Alison of Alison Adorns
Jess of The Copper Cat

AJE Team: 

 Have a wonderful day x

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