Beads of Courage Art Charm Swap & Auction


For those of you who were here last year, it’s time for the Beads of Courage Art Charm Exchange and Auction again!

For those of you who weren’t here’s what it’s all about…

The exchange is run by Jennifer Cameron (Glass Addictions) and each year a new theme is set. Each participant makes 11 charms and sends them to Jennifer who then sends us 9 different ones back, plus one of our own. The 11th charm is put in to auction to raise money for the Beads of Courage program.

Beads of Courage is a fantastic charity providing support for children and their families dealing with serious illness.

The Program is a resilience-based intervention designed to support and strengthen children and families coping with serious illness. Through the program children tell their story using colorful beads as meaningful symbols of courage that commemorate milestones they have achieved along their unique treatment path.


Each year a theme is chosen to work to, and Jen decided that for 2016 it was Fairytales. I love fairytales and had loads of ideas for what I wanted to make, but I finally decided on Little Red Riding Hood.

My charm was carved in dark clay and glazed in white to pick out the details. It turned out just as I’d hoped with a subtle raised design.


On one side is Little Red Riding Hood with her basket in the forest.

And on the other, is the wolf racing to Granny’s house.


In return for my offerings, I received back some wonderful charms.
















I’m thrilled with everything I received and want to say a big thank you to everyone, they’re all stunning. And an extra big thank you to Jennifer for all her hard work and organising!
You can get your hands on one of mine and everyone else’s charm soon. They will be up for grabs in a charity auction. I’ll share details as soon as I have them 🙂
For now, I hope you’ll join us in the blog hop and see what everyone else has made….

Alenka Obid
Andrea Glick
Angelique Gentry
Brooke Bock
Caroline Dewison
Cassi Paslick
Catherine van Alphen
Charlene Jacka
Helena Hatten
Jen Cameron
Jenny Davies-Reazor
Kathy Lindemer
Leona Smith
Lesley Watt
Lori Anderson
Marianne Baxter
Melissa Trudinger
Michelle McCarthy
Patty Miller
Shai Williams
Sheila Prosterman
Susan Kennedy
Terri Del Signore
Vanessa Gilkes

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AJE Theme Challenge – Trees


It doesn’t seem like 5 minutes ago that I was announcing this months AJE Challenge with the theme of trees. It’s been another quick month, but looking back at everything, I managed to create quite a few designs. I suppose it’s easy when it’s your favourite subject!

I’m always inspired by trees, their branches, bark, roots, leaves… walking through a forest would have to be one of my top things to do. It never gets boring, no matter what the season, or the weather, it’s a magical place to be.

As part of the challenge, I gave away a couple of my own beads to two participants to join us. They were a popular design so I created a few in other colours.


If you remember, last month was the headpin challenge, and I had trees on the brain already while I created these gingko and twig headpins.



And for my final bead design, I made these landscape tree beads using multiple glazes and finished with china painted tree designs.



My main make though was inspired by a wonderful video posted by fellow AJE member Laney Mead.


In the video were Dragon’s Blood trees. I’ve seen these before, but never knew what they were, so I hunted out the name and they are just as amazing as they sound!


When cut, they produce a red sap that looks as though they’re bleeding.


The dense interwoven branches of the tree inspired the design in a hand built ceramic bowl. I’ve spent the last few months exploring working larger. Beads are great fun to make, but I wanted a bigger canvas to design on. I’ve been experimenting with in glaze lustre, and it turned out better than I could have ever hoped!


I have to admit, I did a little dance when I opened up the kiln to this!




The colours shift and change depending on the light and the angle.


It’s definitely a keeper 🙂

Thanks for reading and I hope you’ll join us in the blog hop… follow the links below to see what everyone else has created!


AJE Team

Jennifer Stout Cameron

Lesley Watt

Jenny Davies-Reazor

Laney Mead

Niky Sayers

Cooky Schock

Cathy Spivey Mendola

Caroline Dewison << You are here!



Brooke Bock

Karin Grosset Grange

Merja Sundström

Cindy Martin Shaw

Allison L Norfleet Bruenger

Melissa Trudinger

Kathy Lindemer

Gloria Allen

Shai Williams

Tammy Adams

Mona Arnott

Terri Del Signore

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AJE Theme Challenge – Headpins


For this month’s challenge we’re trying something a little different than our usual component of the month. Our blog leader Jen set us a headpin challenge. We could make some in our chosen medium, create something with headpins from another Artisan maker, or both…. pretty much anything goes as long as the design has, as Jen put it, some ‘fancy schmancy’ pins in it!



A beautiful collection of head pins & design from Lesley’s AJE Blog post. Jewellery by TheaJewellery. Click here for details. 

I have only made ceramic headpins once before. They’re difficult in clay if you want them on anything other than high temperature wire. I don’t think it’s as pretty as copper or other wires which will melt while firing, so you need to fire them on something that won’t collapse in the kiln at stoneware temperatures. I rigged up a little firing tray from soft kiln brick with wire wedged in it to hold them and crossed my fingers I wouldn’t open the kiln to a welded lump!

Luckily everything came out well and after fixing with bronze wire the pins were finished.


I’ve been playing around with lots of tree ideas so the first pair were based on buds on a branch.

I like how the buds looked so I tried out a multi bud design. It’s hard to keep everything so small!



Next I tried out some leaves… these are my favourites!


I decided they needed something to finish them off so I added some tiny copper flower spacers.


I had intended to use some of each to create some jewellery, but it’s been a busy month, so I only managed a quick pair of earrings. I love these… they remind me of magic wands!


I’ve really enjoyed working on something smaller and I’ll definitely be trying out some new ideas in the future!

To see what the rest of the AJE Team and special guests have created, join us in the blog hop by following the links below.



Alison Herrington

Renetha Stanziano

Karin Grosset Grange

Gloria Allen

Deb Fortin

Cate van Alphen

Mona Arnott

Shai Williams

Sarajo Wentling

Kathy Lindemer

Solange Collin

Brooke Bock

Melissa Meman

Patricia Handschuh

Tammy Adams

Melissa Trudinger

AJE Team Members:

Caroline Dewison << You are here

Lesley Watt

Cathy Mendola

Jenny Davies-Reazor

Susan Kennedy

Laney Mead

Diana Ptaszynski

Lindsay Starr

Niky Sayers

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AJE Component of the Month – July


Another month has flown by and it’s time for the big reveal of our Component of the month challenge.

This month we were all treated to a gorgeous fossilised pebble pendant from Lesley Watt of TheaElements.

Aren’t they gorgeous? I love Lesley’s stoneware designs, they’re always wonderfully tactile, beautifully finished, and she has all the best glazes!

This is the one I received to work with…


I raided my stash and found a couple of bronze ammonite components (also made by Lesley) that I’d been hiding, which made my decision for how I wanted the design to look. I think these were earring charms, and having large holes for stringing, I decided to join them with leather thong and wrap them with bronze wire. I’m a little bit obsessed with bronze at the minute, it has such a lovely warm colour and looks great with everything!


I chose some matching beads in Czech glass, Amazonite, and some of my own lamp work, and made long connectors for the lower part of the chain.


And finished the top section with Aged seed beads and a Vintaj clasp.


It ended up as quite a simple design, but I think it leaves the focus nicely on the pendant! I’d like to say a big thank you to Lesley for such a gorgeous component to play with 🙂

To join us in the blog hop and see what the rest of the AJE Team plus special guests have made, follow the links below…

Caroline Dewison << You are here.
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