Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Design Challenge No. 4 Reveal

 To recap, here is the inspiration photo behind Challenge No. 4…


This Challenge was a fun one, since it has a lot of colors that really appeal to me, as well as a Beachy theme (always near and dear to my heart!). A lot of people seemed to like it too, judging from the great comments on my Facebook page, but sadly, they weren't able to participate after all. I totally understand since this is Summer when all the kids are out of school and vacation season is in full swing. 

But designer Dini Bruinsma came through with a stunning necklace design within hours of my posting the Challenge—a world record response! LOL It turns out she had just completed it the day before, but we must have been on the same wavelength, because it goes perfectly with the Challenge colors and natural vibe.


I love how she was able to mix up so many different elements, but the soft colors are what keeps everything in harmony. I would wear this in a heartbeat!

I was inspired to work on some more of my Sea Urchin beads, but tried something new by adding powdered enamels to give the illusion of the subtle shading and texture shown in the photo. Some were more successful than others, but then that's the fun of playing, right? Will definitely be doing some further exploration with enamels from now!


I also created a "statement" necklace using similar shades of the purple and olive green in the photo. All the beads are hollow, so even though they have a bold presence, they are very lightweight (think hollow Urchin shells). The center focal was also inspired by the Urchins, but I went for a more abstract design with the dimensional bumps. I really love how it turned out and will probably keep it for myself!

"Verona" Necklace - featuring my glass hollow beads and sterling silver accents

I hope you enjoy these projects too and if you make something later on because of the Challenge photo, you're more than welcome to share it here in the comments and I will still help share it on my Pinterest for you.

Also, I think I'll take a break for the month of August since I have kiddos to get ready for college (two at the same time—oy!), so the next Challenge will begin again on September 1st. Stay tuned for some more good stuff! *Ü*


Friday, July 19, 2013

Bead Hoarders Blog Hop


Well, as my luck would have it, my summer cold turned into a HUGE migraine and nausea that kept me in bed with sunglasses and lasted through the weekend, so I wasn't able to participate in the blog hop as planned after all. (waaaaah!!)

But I hope you will still take some time to visit Lori Anderson's blog and the rest of the Bead Hoarders Blog Hop list HERE to see all the wonderful things my fellow Bead Hoarders have created! I'm going to start hopping as soon as I'm feeling a little better and can't wait to see all the fantastic designs I know will be there! *Ü*

Monday, July 15, 2013

Inspired Design Challenge No. 4

For the rest of this month, I thought I'd go with a Beach theme for our inspiration!



I know many of you have already been on or are planning a fun summer vacation—and most will probably be somewhere near a beach, right? Our family is still trying to decide what we would like to do before our girls head back to college, but I'm hoping it will be an ocean-front adventure too! 

Urchins and Starfish are some of my favorite sea creatures with a lot of interesting angles, textures and shapes. And the soft color palette has a lot of other great possibilities, if you would prefer to try something without a beach theme? 

Guidelines to Play:
  • Your creative inspiration can come from the colors, textures, subject matter, or even the feeling or memory that you received when you first saw the Challenge photo.
  • Anything goes as far as materials used—it doesn't matter if you like to work in glass like me, or prefer a different medium like clay or paint. I would love to see a variety of items, whether it be a bead, knitted scarf, jewelry, painted canvas, pen doodle—whatever your Muse is itching to make!
  • If you have a set of coordinating projects like a necklace and earrings, please submit a group photo of them with just one link to share.
  • Please keep your designs to a decent subject matter (i.e. no provocative artwork) and nothing politically motivated.
Submission Deadline:
  • Post a comment with a link to your finished project as soon as you can between now and Wednesday, July 31th.

Throughout the next two weeks I will share my on-going projects, as well as yours, on my Facebook page HERE, my Pinterest board HERE, or on the next Challenge blog post. So if you can add your finished project as soon as you can, that way I hope to be able to spread out my posts over the duration of the Challenge instead of one giant update. And please don't forget to give details on what you used to make it and how the photo inspired you. *Ü*


Sunday, July 14, 2013

Design Challenge No. 3 Reveal

I was pretty excited about this Challenge, since the bubbles in the water instantly inspired me to try out a neat technique I've been wanting to work on. But I ended up dealing with several migraines throughout this past week, so I wasn't able to play as much as I wanted to. Katie and I also had a little Mom+Daughter getaway planned for this past weekend that I was really looking forward to.

To recap, here is the Inspiration photo for Challenge No. 3:


And here are the beads I managed to make before we left (and we had a wonderful time, so more about our trip in another post!)


Aren't they fun? I used several transparent colors from the photo palette and the little bubbles were created by adding baking soda as the bead was formed on the mandrel, then trapping them with another layer of glass. I need a little more practice to get the bubbles bigger (like the yellow bead second from the left), but not bad for one of my first tries, eh? The aqua ones look much nicer in person than I was able to capture on camera too.

I was going to make a few more matched pair beads that I could turn into earrings, but I ran out of time before we left for our trip. But I'm still planning on making more of these, since we have a few more months left of summer and I think they would make some great jewelry designs!

Even if you weren't able to participate in this Challenge, you are still more than welcome to post a link in the comments section to any project you make that was inspired by this photo. It's never too late to share things to inspire each other and spark some creativity! *Ü*


Friday, July 5, 2013

Hearts of Stone?

Our July 4th holiday was a pretty laid back one, starting out with a pleasant day trip up to Alki Beach in the Seattle area and ending with the annual fireworks show(s) over our neighborhood lake.

The beach was one we had never visited before and I have to admit, I was a little disappointed when we first got there and I saw that it was one of those typical Washington beaches that was more rock than sand, with almost no shells or beach glass to hunt for like I normally do. But I decided to turn it into a fun search for pretty rocks and was so excited when we found these 3 heart shaped ones during the course of our "treasure hunt."



The one in the middle is my favorite and looks more heart-like in the hand than I could capture with this camera angle—makes a great paperweight too! And now I think I have a new collection I'll be adding to whenever I visit other beaches!

Don't you just love it when a potential big disappointment can be turned into an unexpected joy? You just need to keep an open heart (no pun intended) and be ready to try a few spontaneous U-turns! *Ü*


Monday, July 1, 2013

Inspired Design Challenge No. 3

Whew! Seems like the entire country is having a huge heat wave this week?! Summer is definitely making its official debut with a bang, so I thought it would be appropriate to use this photo from Design Seeds as our inspiration for the next Inspired Design Challenge:


Don't the cool colors and the idea of fresh squeezed lemons and sparkling water just make you go "aaaaaaaaaah!" inside?! It perfectly embodies the "refreshing" feeling I've been longing for as the hot sun has baked all around me and turned my normally cool garage studio into a sauna!

Guidelines to Play:
  • Your creative inspiration can come from the colors, textures, subject matter, or even the feeling or memory that you received when you first saw the Challenge photo.
  • Anything goes as far as materials used—it doesn't matter if you like to work in glass like me, or prefer a different medium like clay or paint. I would love to see a variety of items, whether it be a bead, knitted scarf, jewelry, painted canvas, pen doodle—whatever your Muse is itching to make!
  • If you have a set of coordinating projects like a necklace and earrings, please submit a group photo of them with just one link to share.
  • Please keep your designs to a decent subject matter (i.e. no provocative artwork) and nothing politically motivated.
Submission Deadline:
  • Post a comment with a link to your finished project as soon as you can between now and Sunday, July 14th.

Throughout the next two weeks I will share my on-going projects, as well as yours, on my Facebook page HERE, my Pinterest board HERE, or on the next Challenge blog post. So if you can add your finished project as soon as you can, that way I hope to be able to spread out my posts over the duration of the Challenge instead of one giant update. And don't forget to give details on what you used to make it and how the photo inspired you.

I have some fun new ideas I can't wait to try and I would love to have you join me! Wishing you all a wonderful July 4th holiday here in the states and cool breezes blowing your way soon too! *Ü*

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