It's been months and months since I've had both the need and the urge to pack another Bead Box. Really, that's because I haven't been far from home in months and my inspiration has been dipping lately too. But, packing for my long-postponed (pre-pandemic) trip to visit my cousin in Ohio seemed to remedy both causes. Let me explain that my Bead Box is a simply 17-compartment plastic organizer that I pack with the components for 17 designs to be made when I travel or my inspiration wanes. As I was preparing for my trip, I realized that it was the perfect opportunity to stock my box. This is the FIFTEENTH iteration of this box.
As a Jesse James Beads Design Ambassador, I received one of the Secret Stash Boxes this month. And, it was PACKED with beautiful beads, pendants, and findings. One of the pieces in there was a large crystal that I thought might be too heavy for a pendant. It got my wheels turning as to what else that beauty could become. It didn't take long for me to settle on using it to create a suncatcher for a window in my sunroom.
Anyway, back to the suncatcher. Once I decided on the beads, I used fishing line, crimp beads, and a fishing swivel to complete it. You can watch my whole process in my Easy Handmade Beaded Suncatcher video.
I do mention in the video that you can create the suncatcher without the swivel, but I like to include it because it allows it to spin in the light more easily.
I've been participating in the Pirate Pretties Jewelry Challenge from Angela of Pirate Pretties Jewelry for the last several months. This is a birthstone challenge in which we are given the birthstone(s) colors, a choice of metal types, a project type, and an optional fun element to include in one or more pieces. Here are May's.
Metal: Gunmetal or Bronze
Fun Elements: Celtic or Crystals
I made two pairs of earrings using these prompts.
And, I recorded my process for the Pirate Pretties Jewelry Challenge.
I begin the video with the easiest-to-make pair. They are simply made by stringing beads onto a headpin and forming a wrapped loop. I intentionally made them look like "May Flowers," using the emerald beads as the stems. I think they're pretty darling.
Once again, I'm tickled to have had this challenge before me. I probably would not have brought these pieces together without the prompts from Angela. If you're interested in seeing what others made for this month's birthstone challenge, I encourage you to click the hashtag in the video title (on YouTube) or join Angela's Pirate Pretties Jewelry group on Facebook. She will have a picture of what she made in the group and everyone else is welcome to add their contributions in the comments of that photo.
Here's my monthly roundup of the art journal videos that were shared on YouTube, but you have missed.
|Art Journal Spread - All My Love|
|Junk Journal Spread - She was Frightened|
|Art Journal Spread - #MMMApril22 - There is Nothing Simpler|
|Junk Journal Page - Be Brave and Do It|
Finding a good challenge always keeps me inspired and moving forward to try new things. And, I like to see how these challenges inspire others too, so I make sure to share them in one place in case anyone else wants to play along. Below are the challenges and inspirations I've found for this month. Which of them inspires you to make something new?
I'm starting with the ones that have their reveals the soonest. Some of these are in the next several days - so I encourage you to find out what the themes are for next month if this is too short of notice for you.
- The Be Creative Challenge from Terry of Tapping Flamingo on YouTube is set for its reveal on the 13th (of each month). For May, the theme is Flowers. You are welcome to interpret this inspiration in any medium you wish. This is a video reveal with the hashtag #BeCreativeFlowers so that those participating can find one another.
- On the 15th of each month, there's the Pirate Pretties Jewelry Challenge reveal from Angela. This is a birthstone-inspired challenge in which for this month, we were challenged to use the color emerald, gunmetal or bronze metal, make earrings, and (optionally) use the fun elements of Celtic and/or crystals. If the 15th is cutting it close, you can start on June's challenge of using the colors Pearl or Alexandrite, silver or gold metal, make a necklace, and (optionally) included a bold pendant. Your reveal can be on YouTube and/or in the Pirate Pretties Facebook group.
- Another strictly-jewelry challenge is the Honey Do List from Sarajo and Eric of SJ Designs Jewelry. Each month, Eric provides a picture as inspiration for the month. The reveal is set for June 3rd when Sarajo will have a linky tool up for you to share your post. In fact, you can probably still find last month's linky tool open if you find some inspiration in April's photo from Eric.
- If you'd rather just have a palette to work from rather than a whole photo, Halcraft Collection has their Pretty Palette Inspiration that they share each month. I believe this challenge is open for the whole month, but you can find all the information on their site.
- If you're more interested in art journaling, check out Mixed Media Menagerie. It's a challenge on YouTube and Instagram that gives you three prompts to work into a mixed media piece. This is hosted by Nicole Watson Art, Erin DeCoste, and Laura Mixed Media. For May, the prompts are soft pastels, watercolors, and florals. You can participate in the tag-a-long by using the tag #MMMMay22 on either (or both) YouTube or Instagram. You have all month to play along.
- Lastly is the #4Core challenge from Ina Solsbery on YouTube. Toward the beginning of each month, Ina reveals what she made for the previous month and shares what the "Four Core" ingredients are for the current month. This is a 3D or 2D mixed media challenge. (Ina is an amazing assemblage artist and has kept me inspired through my 100 Day Project.) The four parts for this month are 1-theme: related to light, 2-vintage or rustic style, 3-add a black and white pattern on one element in the piece, and 4-include something traditionally found in the kitchen. Ina does a fantastic job of explaining and giving examples of these at the end of her April reveal video. If you're interested, I encourage you to watch and play along.
We're on vacation this week. It's really a staycation because we have loads to do around here and enjoy our area. So, we're not going too far from home. As such, I'll likely still be creating almost daily and trying to share on social media too (hence this post). As of late, I've been on a real kick of combining tin shapes with thick-gauge wire and other little tidbits. And, this is totally the fault of the Honey Do List Challenge from Sarajo and Eric of SJ Designs Jewelry.
The inspiration photo (above) from Eric this month really struck a chord with me in terms of how pretty it is. But, I struggled to come up with jewelry inspired by it. Finally, I made myself look hard at it and decide what it was that appealed to me. I realized that I was drawn to the patina and age of the sun as well as the golden yellow hue running from it. All of a sudden, I had an idea, or at least something new to try.
And, they got me wondering about other takes on this idea. So, I cut more tin, shaped more blackened steel wire, and wrapped beads along the wire.
Needing to make more, I turned to my copper wire for a different look. And, I decided to try dangling beads from the tin.
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