Use Your Stash Challenge Reveal!

It is no secret that I have a huge hoard of treasures and this months Art Elements 'Use Your Stash' blog hop hosted by the talented Lindsay Starr is one that I will be continuing through out the year in the hope of making a large dent in mine!
I was hoping to have more pieces finished then I achieved but they are many works in progress!
My first and only completed piece is this wall hanging....

This piece started off as an idea for a necklace but then it morphed into this wall hanging! The beautiful star is by our wonderful Jenny Davies-Reazor and the lampwork headpin is by Kimberly Rogers it also consists of a wonderful 16th century Spanish coin!

I thoroughly enjoyed making this and think I will try making some similar pieces but first I must finish off these....

After our trip to the British Library I needed to make some more books, so I spent hours hand tearing hundreds of pages (I have enough for about 7-8 different sized books) and sewing leather covers and now for the fun part the embellishing with more of my stash!!!

I hope you will join me checking out what everyone else has created....


Art Elements:


Christmas Ornament Design Challenge

Today is the day of the Art Elements Ornament design challenge reveal!
I love making decorations and this first one was made by my 9 year old Lana every year at their christmas school fair one of the class rooms is turned into a ceramic studio and the kids get to paint their own decorations....

I love the winking eye! This year I had a go with one of the ceramic balls but our time was cut short by a rather impatient other half, I could easily have spent a few hours scratching out swirling designs!

This next one was made by my 5 year old, he loves to collect pine cones and leaves for me so I asked him to paint it for me and he found this cute little star in his toy box to stick on the top!

These next two are designs by Gingermelon on ETSY (I love her cute designs and attention to detail) I started making these at work with some of my residents (scaled up so they would be able to sew them easier) but only managed to get two completed in time....

There are several more of her designs that I have brought but as usual time always seems to slip away too fast!

I am looking forward to seeing what everyone else has created, and I wish you all a very merry christmas xxx
Guest Designers
Art Elements Team


October Art Elements COM

October was my turn to host the Art Elements component of the month and due to my first idea not quite panning out I decided to send out hare coin clasps.

The clasps are made by doming old Irish 3d coins and soldering a hook clasp on the back, I have always been fascinated with old, unusual or just beautifully designed coins and love that they are so easy to use in jewellery, and here is what I created with mine....

A simple bracelet made with thick sterling silver chain, a couple of lampwork beads (with a dicro core so they sparkle beautifully), a couple of lampwork headpins by Earthshine beads and a beautiful moon and star by our very wonderful Lesley Watt.

This was a complete pain in the backside to photo due to every thing being shiny and reflective (the moon and star are a silvery glaze on one side and a beautiful deep blue on the other adding just a touch of colour), but I really love it, my very own moon gazing hare!

Thank you to everyone that joined in and I can't wait to see what everyone else has created and I hope you will join me

Guest Designers

Art Element Team


September AJ COM

Septembers component of the month was provided by the wonderful Laney Mead and were these adorable Zom-bees (photo of course stolen off the AE Blog, as I always forget to photo first). 
Now for some time I was quiet flummoxed as to what to do with mine, see the hole goes through his mouth and if I was to string him you would get a side view but he has the most adorable little face so I wanted him facing forward!
Then there was the lightbulb moment, I would make a little halloween scene for him....

I wanted to find a small rustic wooden type of box for my scene but I could not find one so I had to improvise and use what I had!

A few coats of acrylic paint later and it was looking much better and it was time to bring out the fimo....

The first and only thought I had was a zombie crawling out of a grave, I had no real idea of what I was doing as I don't use fimo often but figured I would have a play and see what happens.

lots of coats of paint later and I rather like it, plus look at how cute his little face is.....

Thank you Laney for such a wonderful challenge! 
I hope everyone will join me to see what all the others have created....

http://www.beadsforbusygals.com/  – Elisabeth Auld
http://www.lesleywatt.com/ – Lesley  Watt
http://www.glassaddictions.com/blog  –  Jennifer Cameron
https://jdaviesreazor.com/blog/  – Jenny Davis-Reazor
http://blueberribeads.co.uk/ – Caroline Dewison
 http://cmendola.blogspot.co.uk/– Cathy Spiey Mendola
 http://saraccino.blogspot.co.uk/ – Claire Fabian
http://laneymead.co.uk/ – Laney Mead


August AE COM

The Art Element component of the month for August has been provided by the amazingly talented Caroline of BlueBerri Beads, and this time I remembered to photo them before I started.... 

Arn't they stunning!

As soon as I saw these beads I started singing "fly me to the moon and let me play among the stars...."  and I just could not get the song out of my head and then I started playing with my stash and out came this beautiful Raven cab by our very lovely Jenny Davies-Reazor and then this....

I made a part bezel part prong setting for the lovely Raven and then hung the beautiful star bead on some really thick silver wire with a couple of melted silver bead caps.

I intend to hang this off a really thick silver snake chain, there is even a little surprise on the back....

A cute little hare gazing longingly up at the stars!

Thank you so much Caroline I have throughly enjoyed emerging myself in making this little treasure! I hope everyone will join me hopping around the rest of the participants 

Art Elements Team


Component of the Month Reveal – July

It's time for the Art Elements July COM reveal and this months amazing design was created by the fab Susan Kennedy of Sue Beads and were these beyond beautiful scarab beads....

This is the beautiful bead I received and I could not wait to get started. 

I had just purchased a new wire tutorial from Lisa Barth for a celtic knot bail and I thought that the lines of the wire would complement the lines in the bead so I made up this piece (please excuse the ribbon I was thinking a beautiful hand dyed ribbon with turquoise and light brown with lots of loose edges would look beautiful but I just did not have any)....

But it just did not work for me (I think I need to practice making the knot a few more times so it is neater or try making it with three wires or thicker wires or something) the feather is a beautiful creation of Laura Mears, but I decided to rip it apart and try again....

This time I used two Egyptian Digg beads and lots of chain mail 

But still it dose not feel finished, I'm thinking it needs a little something else. Maybe a rustic chunky spacer in-between the scarab and the Egyptian beads? and I don't like the way the bead moves despite me trying to tighten it as much as possible so I will work on trying to stop that too!

So mine is very much a work in progress but I can't wait to see what everyone else has created.
Thank you so much Sue for the amazing bead!


June COM

I'm not sure how, but it is time again for our monthly Art Elements Insect COM Reveal! This months challenge was hosted by the very talented Diana Ptaszynski and oh I had so many ideas! First off I was going to needle felt this little ancient fairy/moth guy....

But it turns out this was a lot header then I thought it would be! But no problem, instead I would go on a bug hunt for some inspiration and I managed to find and photo these little beauties.

Really cute little jewel coloured beetle that lucky for me landed on my daughters beautiful golden hair.

And I got really lucky and stumbled upon this amazing stag beetle. I only ever see one, maybe two of these a year at most but this one had amazing timing! 
Finding and photographing insects is surprisingly difficult, on the beautiful sunny days there were so many stunning dragonflies, busy bee's and fluttering butterflies around the local ponds but oh my they were uncooperative and hard to photo (much respect to all those wonderful nature photographers out there) but this little guy, well he was an utter star! the dark parts of his wings were a shimmery gold and the white had a stunning mother of pearl sheen plus he stayed still long enough for a rather artsy shot! 

My next idea was to paint a very abstract butterfly a lot like my mixed media mandalas but with a butterfly focal, but try as I might I could just not get the colours right (so instead I sulked). Oh and then there were all those beautiful lampwork insect beads that I intended to wire wrap, yeah that did not happen either! So with time running out I got out my trusty cabs and started playing! 
Something that not many people know about me is that I am scared stiff of butterflies! Yes they are beautiful stunning creatures but they really have it in for me and they just dive bomb me! So this one time when I was accidentally purposely lead into the butterfly tent at London Zoo (by my mean other half who likes to push me out of my comfort zone for his own entertainment) I got chatting to the insect keeper on the way out that had noticed my discomfort and explained that the butterflies were probably attracted to the salt in my sweat so it's a no win situation, I see one, it makes me sweat and then they try to lick me!
Still with butterflies in mind I looked through my cab stash and came across a stunning ammolite cab that my wonderful and kind friend Kathryn had sent me and it was just perfect! The colours reminded me of the blue morpho butterfly as it has the same kind of sheen, and here is what I made....

I kept the design very simple, it has a hidden tube bail on the back and the stone (and ball) is set in 18ct gold for a little contrast....

It is not quiet finished as I plan to hang it on a 2mm sterling chocker with a few tiny butterflies fluttering up the side and maybe a little more gold?

I love the colours in this stone. Blue, green and purple are my favourite colour combo.

Please do join me hoping around to see what everyone else created!



May's Art Elements component of the month was created by the ultra talented Lesley of Lesley Watt Artisan Elements and of course I forgot to photograph it pre-setting (hence I stole Lesley's photo)! 
As soon as I saw my beautiful cab (the little pools of colours are just so amazing) I thought "Oh, what a beautiful brooch this would make" and I set to planing it out.... Thick copper bezel stamped with 'quietly walking along the shore' with a back plate saying 'looking for sea treasures and nothing more' and a really cool swirly pin and a tiny piece of sea glass set on the back as a treasure just for the wearer.

Then of course things started to go wrong!!!
I did not have the right style of wire for the bezel, but thats ok because I'm a problem solving kind of girl so I found some thick copper tubing and rolled it through the pasta machine, perfect! Then I got to stamping it....

So far, so good, I then bent this into a setting, soldered it, cut and stamped the back plate and tried to solder it all in to place.... FAIL, FAIL and FAIL again! It seems that the soldering gods were not with me and possibly my piece was just too big for my tiny torch to heat up and get the solder flowing. 
So on to plan two....
If a back plate would not work how about a slightly smaller wire ring around the back of the bezel to hold the cab, it would not need as much heat to make the solder flow and maybe I could change my design into a hair pin?

Well, the wire idea worked but the hair pin idea did not look right at all and it morphed into a necklace!?!

I don't usually work with thick chunky metals, being of the petite size range every thing I normally make is small and delicate but  I really love the thick bezel on this piece it gives it a nice solid feel. 

The lovely little spacers are by Paradise Beads and go with the cab perfectly, and just look at those lovely little pools of colour!

Thank you Lesley so much for such a lovely component and I hope you will all join me in seeing what everyone else has created....

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