Category Archives: Beading
Art Bead Scene offers a painting each month as a prompt to create beads and jewelry.
The painting this month is Self Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird, painted by Frida Kahlo in 1940.
So many of Kahlo’s paintings focus on her physical suffering as a result of terrible injuries in a bus accident.
Instead of the suffering I chose to focus on Frida as an Artistic Goddess and created beads and then earrings derived from the Jaguar in the painting. I call the beads Eye of the Jaguar Goddess Beads.
I used my emerald Opal polymer clay and layered it with black and translucent black polymer to create the Eye of the Jaguar Goddesses. They shimmer and reflect light like mineral opals. I topped them with a pair of emerald shaped vintage beads collected in Santa Fe, NM. The pale emerald beads sing with the opal clay.
Here are the earrings:
I am so grateful to Art Bead Scene ( http://www.artbeadscene.blogspot.com ) for these monthly challenges. I grow so much as an artist as I respond to the challenges.
My mother, Ethel Delaney, worked at NASA Goddard, just outside of DC.
After Apollo 11, which put men on the moon, Spock and Kirk came to NASA Goddard to thank the employees for their help with the mission.
Spock put a gold-plated charm of the lunar lander into Mother’s hand. She was thrilled to the point of speechlessness (not a usual condition for her!) She gave the charm to me and I cherished it. I planned to give it to my own future child.
It was not to be. I lost my little lunar lander charm in a house fire shortly before I became pregnant with my daughter.
Years later, I was able to obtain a modern version of the LEM from the Space Store and give it to her.
On the day that Spock died, February 27, 2015, I went online to find a photo of the charm to post on Facebook with the story of Mom and Spock. To my delight, one of the original charms was available from an Etsy shop!! I ordered it.
The charm has been very well loved. It looks like it was worn every single day.
I made this pair of earrings using it. The left earring has four little chains, echoing the feet of the LEM.
I wear the earrings with this necklace and bracelet, which have the same color of Swarovski crystals in them, along with dozens of other beads including two sizes of citrine; three types of vintage beads that I collected in Santa Fe; Swarovski pearls in two shades of gold; Swarovski rondelles in three shades of gold; a beaded bead from Barcelona; a few deep beige cats eye beads and some two-toned, sun face beads.
I cannot tell you how wonderful it is to have my “Spock charm” back!
Every month, Erin Praise-Hintz of Earrings Everyday issues the challenge to make a pair of earrings based on a prompt.
This month’s prompt was a photo of dew covered damselflies:
The prompt led me to create the earrings above. And helped me solve TWO design challenges that had bedeviled me.
I had two “failed” necklaces on my workbench. Both of them had laid there for a LONG time.
One was made with the large frosty/icy aqua lampwork beads you see in the photo above. They had posed a huge design conundrum because they TURN LAVENDER in natural light (I photographed them in florescent light, above.) I had made and remade necklaces with them, but none was “right”.
I also had some Aqua Aura beads on my bench that had been incorporated into several failed necklaces. Aqua Aura is clear crystal quartz that has been heat treated with 24K gold vapor. The treatment causes it to turn aqua and to acquire an iridescent lavender/golden finish. You can see a small bead of Aqua Aura in each of the earrings above.
Erin’s challenge got me to looking at both sets of beads. Finally the thunderclap came: incorporate them into the same jewelry set, incorporating the lavender/aqua lampwork beads; the Aqua Aura (I had one big bead of it and many tiny round ones; light Azore AB Swarovski crystals; lots of tiny Aquamarine beads (rounds and cubes); a few shades of amethyst Swarovski crystals, and two sizes of Amethyst rounds.
Here is the complete set in florescent light, which is the lighting at my office:
It looks AMAZING at the office!
And here it is if I step outside:
OK, but not spectacular.
So, thanks to Erin’s challenge, I have a wonderful statement necklace, matching earrings and a bracelet for each arm.
Two sets of beads that had driven me crazy trying to find a way to use them have come together in a lovely, useful jewelry set. Thanks, Erin!
If you liked my design, head over to my Etsy shop, to the second page, where you will find several items that COULD have been inspired by Erin’s post.
* Newborn Unicorn Twins – a pair of earring disks made with my Mystic Roman Glass Opals
* Northern Lights; Lighting Up the Tundra and Aurora Australis, three pairs of earring disks inspired by the Northern and Southern Lights.
* Underwater at Puerta Vallarta, gorgeous watery translucent and opal clay goddess earrings with matching gemstone adventurine rondelles.
Here is the url of the challenge where you can see what the other participants made:
The March challenge for Art Bead Scene reminded me of paintings I’d seen of birches at twilight.
I am crazy about birches and have 531 pins of birch trees on my “Birches” board on Pinerest.
Here is the challenge painting:
Edith Carr painted this in 1912 after a six week adventure into rural British Columbia. She called it “Haida Totems”. Birches grow in British Columbia and as far north as Alaska.
My twilight birch beads are inspired by Heather Power’s birch beads, although mine are much, much bigger than hers. I strung them with denim colored button pearls and amethysts.
I also entered the Bead Challenge this month, based on the same photo. Here are Indigo Goddesses.
You can see this month’s challenge at http://www.artbeadscene.blogspot.com/2015/03/march-monthly-challenge.html
A few days ago a woman found my Aurora Australis earring disks on Etsy and wrote to me.
She is a spinner of wool and wanted me to make her a diz* that looked like my earring disks. Many emails ensued and today I made her the diz at the top of this post.
I textured the top of the diz with a mold I’d made from a Malaysian palm and after curing, painted it with iridescent paints and cured it again.
*A diz is a curved disk with small holes in it. It is used to select the longest fibers from a mass of wool fibers, so that they the long fibers can be spun into a strong yarn.
Here is the back of her diz:
The diz is 2 1/2″ across and 1/4″ thick. I left the back very plain so that no paint would rub off on the wool.
I look forward to hearing from her about how it works for her.
Dry Gulch Beads and Jewelry issued a challenge to make something in this palette:
If you’ve been reading this blog long, you know I love a challenge.
I mixed up a translucent silver and three shades of translucent pink from the palette and made the lush, mature, gorgeous female figures for the earrings. I added silver-plated beads, wires and lever backs.
I HAD to photograph the earrings in my ice cream scoop!
Aren’t they beautiful!
They are available in my Etsy shop:
A bead artist in one of my Facebook groups was bemoaning her cracked fingertips. I will share what I wrote to her, in case you are suffering as well.
I am a doctor/artist and I wrote a comprehensive health care guide for women who do crafts. It won a Gold Medal for Health Communication and was a Main Selection of the Doubleday Cooking and Crafts club.
One whole chapter of my book is on the fingers.
Here is what I am doing this winter for my cracked fingertips. Every night I put a teaspoon of sugar in my palm and pour in about a teaspoon of olive oil. I scrub down my hands, the backs, palms and fingertips. I rub my fingertips in my palms in the sugar scrub to burnish off dead skin and to stimulate the blood vessels.
Then I wash off the sugar with water under the tap, then most of the oil with hand soap.
I keep my fingernails very short so that the skin on the tips is uniformly tough, so that it resists cracking.
At bedtime I put 1/2 teaspoon of sweet almond oil in my palm and I massage it into my hands, especially my nail beds and fingertips. The massage not only delivers the oil to my skin but opens up the capillary beds so that maximum sturdiness of the skin develops.
If you want my book, many Amazon Booksellers have it for 1 cent plus $3.99 shipping (this keeps me humble; if you buy from Amazon Booksellers I won’t make even that one cent, which is fine).
If you need it today you can get it from C&T Publishing as an e-book. There’s a hot link to the C&T listing on my author website http://www.susandelaneyauthor.com.
BTW, C&T was the best publisher a gal could dream of!