Tuesday, January 31, 2017

January's Component of the Month-Leather Cabochons

Lindsay over at Art Elements, chose to create leather cabochons for the January component of the month.  That's right, I said LEATHER cabochons! I knew that leather is moldable and malleable, but never considered creating a cabochon out it. Brilliant Lindsay & thank you.
As soon as Lindsay posted photos of these beauties they reminded me of aboriginal art. Probably because of the dots she painted on them but the colors and the fact that they were leather just made me think of aboriginal/tribal jewelry. As soon as my cabochon arrived I knew exactly what I would make-a talisman type necklace with a tribal/aboriginal feel to it.
I was so excited to get started that I completely forgot to photograph it BEFORE I beaded around it. So here it is after beading and before completing the necklace.

I pulled out various components and found objects that I could use as talismans to hang from the necklace. I chose a carved Camel bone pendant that I have had for years. It has dots carved into it and seemed to go right along with the leather cabochon. I added a piece of coral, a piece of beach glass, a bronze goddess pendant by Lesley Watt, a ceramic acorn by Caroline Dewison, a small ceramic heart by Scorched Earth on etsy, a piece of etched brass by me and some feathers and beads.
When I beaded around the cabochon I chose some small wooden beads to use around the outer edge that have the look of bone which ties everything in nicely since I decided to hang everything from a deer antler.
I knew I wanted to dangle the talismans from the cabochon but didn't want to do a traditional fringe hanging off the beaded cabochon. I wanted something more rustic and tribal. So I went with the hammered copper and wired the cabochon to the copper.
I love how everything just seems to 'belong' on this piece. The etched brass is from my favorite stamp- 'Be still woman and know who your are'. Quite appropriate for my talisman necklace. And I love that the piece of coral looks like a bone of some sort.
 This is quite a heavy necklace but not too heavy to wear occasionally. It is certainly a 'statement' necklace! I may end up just hanging it in my studio to ward off evil spirits & keep the negative energy at bay. Or it may end up in a special case or frame to show it off.

I can't wait to see what all the participants have created with their leather cabochons.
Here's the list of everyone who is playing along this month:

Guests:
Ann
Renetha
Patty
Sherri
Kelly
Linda

AE Writers:
Lesley
Laney
Lindsay
Caroline
Cathy
Cooky
Claire
Diana
Jenny
Susan
Niky

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Art Elements December Dragon Challenge

Fellow Art Elements' team member Niky Sayers, hosted December's theme of the month. She chose 'dragons'. Immediately I was hooked and ready to start working on dragon themed pieces.
I sorted through supplies I already had to see if there might be anything to use. The only thing I had were glass eyes.
I remembered seeing someone who had beaded a Dragon's eye brooch and posted to Facebook so I just had to try and create my own brooch. I am beyond thrilled at how it turned out. Especially since I beaded and ripped beads out, then beaded and ripped beads out numerous times. I got the beading around the glass eye done quickly-just some super duo beads at the sides then used some 11˚ beads to peyote stitch some eyelids. Once I got that far I just couldn't get the  combo of beads or the color and size I liked until my 3rd or 4th try. I am finally pleased with the combo of matte & shiny- round , dagger, rizzo and magatama beads. It has a pin back which I forgot to photograph for you.

I think I will be making more of these little brooches. As long as it doesn't take 4 tries to get them right it should be fun!

Once I realized I didn't have anything that I could use for the theme other than the glass eyes I perused etsy. Below is one of the cabochons I found. It is jasper that has been carved into a fabulous dragon.
It had a hole at the top to create a pendant so I stuck a bead in the hole then beaded all around the cabochon. This piece could have made a lovely LARGE necklace or I a beautiful bracelet but I wanted to do something a little different so I used this beaded piece to top a little wooden box which I painted/inked and glued some decorative paper inside.
So now I have a lovely little dragon box to store my dragon brooch in~

While sifting through etsy for dragon related items, I also found this cute little connector (below) from Green Girl Studios. I wanted to make the dragon 'pop' so I tried colored pencils first which worked pretty good. Then I used water soluble oil pastels that look awesome but of course rubs off very easily. So I tried rubbing some Dorland's Wax Medium on top of the pastels (which rubbed off most of the pastel & pencil color) so I added more color on top of the wax medium. Once the wax medium dries/sets it is a pretty good sealer/protectant- will just have to wait & see how it holds up.
I paired the connector with Czech glass saturn shaped beads and a pre-made chain of sterling silver with 3mm faceted labradorite beads.
This is a reversible necklace in my opinion because I absolutely love the back of the component with the Roald Dahl quote.
 This was such a fun theme for me. I had such grandiose plans at the start but the holidays always have a way of throwing me off track with creative projects. I think I will continue this dragon theme since I had such a long list of things I wanted to make and didn't have time.
One item that was on my list to make: something that everyone needs--a magic wand. I had planned to make one with a dragon's claw at one end, holding a sphere. Then there are the dragon cabochons that fellow member Jenny Davies-Reazor makes-I NEED to have some of those to bead around! And fellow member Laney Mead creates lampwork dragon beads which I think I NEED also!  I believe there will be  several pieces of jewelry in the future with a 'Game of Thrones' feel to them. So many ideas....
With the new year and new plans for creative pursuits I am just hoping my hands can keep up with all the inspiration swirling in my head!

I can't wait to see what the other team members and our guests have created with this dragon theme.
Let's go blog hopping and find out.
Here are the participants:
Guests
Shai Williams
Kathy Lindemer
Anita Rao
Kelly Rodgers
Tammy Adams

AJE Team
Susan
Jenny
Cathy
Jen
Niky
Diana
Laney
Caroline
Claire