AJE Component of the month – August

This month’s Component of the Month was supplied by the wonderful Diana Ptaszynski of Suburban Girl Studio LLC She makes the most amazing ceramic beads and components and we were each treated to one of these gorgeous rustic stoneware coin pendants. I love the colour and texture!

Of course I forgot my photo, but I received one in yellow. I decided to use it as part of a necklace design with the coin as a central component to join some of my hoarded wide leather, headpins, and pendant.

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The bronze shell pendant is by TheaElements, and is teamed up with a Czech glass bead and a lamp work lentil by MadCatGlass.

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I made a bail for the pendant using one of Glass Addictions lamp work head pins and attached the dangle to the bottom of the disc.

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I used a couple more head pins to attach the leather. I just love the colours in these!

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At the top, I joined a double length of chain and the clasp to make it nice and long! And here is the complete design.

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I’m really pleased with how it turned out. I don’t often work with neutral colours, but I love how Diana’s coin takes centre stage in the design.

Big thanks to Diana for a wonderfully inspiring component! I’ve had great fun with it 🙂

 

To see what everyone else made with their coins… follow the links!

Guests
AJE Team
Caroline Dewison << You are here!
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AJE Component of the month – July

It’s that time again, the AJE Component of the Month reveal day, and for July we were treated to a gorgeous coin clasp or bead by Niky Sayers

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I love everything Niky makes, but her coin designs are my favourite. I was thrilled to receive this clasp to join in the challenge…

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It arrived in this cute little tin (sorry for it being covered in clay I was excited to open it!!!) And for once I remembered to take a photo before I started! This one is from 1937, exactly 40 years before I was born, it’s fascinating to think of all the places it could have been up until now.

I decided from the beginning it was going to be something for myself, and I wanted to make it really special. I chose some of my most hoarded beads, two stunning Basha beads, some vintage and aged picasso seed beads, peanuts, crystal chunks and points, a greek urchin, and a couple more artisan components.

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The loop for the clasp was made from one of Jen Cameron’s gorgeous headpins, wrapped in a double loop, and a copper charm from Kristi Bowman was added with a chunk of rock crystal for some dangliness.

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I added a bronze point and a chunk of amethyst to the strands and fastened everything with stranded wire and crimps.

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I’m really pleased with how it turned out and I can see me wearing it often!

Thank you to Niky for such a gorgeous component to design with, I’ve had loads of fun creating and the coin finishes off my hoarded treasure design perfectly!

To see what Niky and the rest of the team plus special guests have made, follow the links…

 

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AJE June Theme Challenge – Fireflies

This month we’re taking a break again from our regular Component of the month reveals and running another theme challenge.

It’s our blog team leader, the lovely Jen Cameron’s turn to set the theme, and for June she chose fireflies.

I have to admit, I struggled at first to come up with an idea as they’re not something I’ve seen up in the North of England, I was lucky enough to see them once, at the Glastonbury festival, and they were magical. So not having much to go on, I turned to Pinterest for inspiration.

During the day, they’re not the most inspiring subject.

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Daytime Firefly

 

But once the light dims, they put on an amazing show.

Each time I searched the same picture kept popping up. I’ve been exploring ideas with trees in porcelain, so this was perfect for my inspiration.

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Fireflies by Yume Cyan

 

The photograph was taken by Yume Cyan in a forested area near Nagoya City, Japan. You can see more of these amazing long exposure shots here.

And here is my interpretation, hand carved in porcelain and fired multiple times with china paints, powders, and lustres.

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Blueberribeads Fireflies

 

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Blueberribeads Fireflies

 

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Blueberribeads Fireflies

 

A few days after making these, I was playing on my lampwork torch and by accident, a second idea emerged…

They are a total pain to photograph, it’s difficult to catch the depth and reflections in the same picture, but hopefully you can see the threads of silver glass and fine silver wire running through them.

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Blueberribeads Fireflies

 

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Blueberribeads Fireflies

 

The little dots of silver wire glow behind the trees (not that you can tell from my photographs!)

 

I’d like to say a big thank you to Jen, I’ve really enjoyed rising to the firefly challenge and it’s been great fun exploring a subject that I didn’t have any immediate inspiration for.

If you’d like to see what the rest of the AJE team, plus special guests have made, follow the links below…

 

Guest Designers:

 

AJE Team:

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AJE Component of the Month – May

This month’s challenge components were provided by the multi talented Sue Kennedy of SueBeads. As well as making gorgeous enamelled pieces and lamp work beads, she creates these cute little beaded beads.

I am full of admiration for anyone who can create anything with these fiddly little things, especially when they are as lovely as these colourful little gems!

I’ve been a bit short on time this week as I’ve been preparing for the Stourbridge Bead Fair, in fact I’m there as you’re reading this. But I did manage to squeeze in a bit of time to join in the challenge.

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I decided to keep it simple and make some earrings. Orange isn’t a colour I usually work with, but I love the earthy tones of this pair. Two little cut Czech glass beads echo the orange, and matt hematite spacers provide a neutral colour for the dangles. I also managed to use the cute little charms I received from Melissa (Melismatic) for the COM a couple of months ago. Unfortunately they were delivered the day after it was all over and I didn’t get chance to join in.

And having a second pair of beads in my stash, I thought I’d make another pair.

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These are made with glass headpins, (also made by Sue) my own lamp work spacers, and a couple of large seed beads.

You might have spotted that there are no ear wires on either pair. I just didn’t have time to make any, that’s a job for next week, and they just didn’t look right on the cheap ready made ones I had in my bead  box, they deserve something much fancier!

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A big thank you to Sue for her wonderful components, (and Melissa for hers!) the final designs with them are quite simple, but they really pushed me to try out some different colours and I had a nice break from show prep!

If you’d like to join in the hop and see what the rest of the team and guests have made, follow the links 🙂

 

Guests
AJE Team
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AJE Component of the Month – Tree Wings Studio

I’m back on track this month with my blog as it’s component of the month reveal day. This month we were treated to beautiful polymer clay hearts by Rebekah of Tree Wings Studio.

I asked for a surprise for mine and received this beautiful grey heart.

 

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I had hoped before I received it that it would match with one of my new favourite glazes as I had an idea for what to do with it almost immediately!

And it did!

 

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I made up some tiny puffy hearts in earthenware clay and glazed them all in the rusty glaze.

 

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They were knotted on some thick silk cord I dyed in teal blue with fuchsia Miyuki seed beads and the gorgeous little heart as the focal.

 

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And you can see from this angle there is a secret message on the side!

 

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The necklace was finished off with a grey ceramic button and a simple loop to close it.

Big thanks to Rebekah for her wonderfully inspiring component, I had great fun creating something around it! And if you’d like to see what the rest of the team and guests made with theirs, follow the links…

 

Guests

 

AJE Team

 

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March Theme Challenge – Hares

It’s been quiet on here for a while, I missed my usual monthly COM blog post using Melissa’s gorgeous metal clay components thanks to our rubbish postal service. But they did turn up eventually, so keep an eye out for a future post using those!

This month, we decided to change it up a bit and rather than sending each member a component to work with, we all created our own designs with a theme – Hares! You might have noticed that I’m a little bit obsessed with these wonderful creatures, so making something with this topic wasn’t ever going to be a problem!

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And the great thing about this challenge is that everyone can join in using their own medium. There were no set rules to what you could do… just create hares!

I got a little bit carried away with raku firing and experimenting with masking glazes – here are some of my favourites…

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This one is bare raku clay with the design masked and glazed in a rusty colour. I love the halo effect this glaze creates and the specks of grog in the clay could be stars!

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Another using the same technique on a pendant.

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This one was fired with the hare masked and then later decorated with copper lustre. The hare wasn’t dark enough for my liking, so it was coloured with Indian ink for a better contrast.

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Another using the same technique, but with church like trees stretching through the design.

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And these are a work in progress. testing screen printing with my own drawings.

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And for the reveal today, I decided to do something completely different….

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I’ve wanted a hare ring for a long time, but never found exactly what I was looking for that wasn’t an absolute fortune. So having a perfect excuse to make one, I ordered some silver. The band is made from 2mm sheet, etched with a tree design, and the running hare is cut from 0.5mm sheet and sweat soldered on to the band.

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Originally, it was going to include a 3mm moonstone cabochon, but after trying the stone in place, it looked a bit too much. I think it’s perfect just as it is and haven’t taken it off since I finished it!

Thanks for reading, and to see what the rest of the team and our lovely guests have created… follow the links for the Hop!

 

AJE Team
Caroline << You are here 🙂
Guests
Heather – Hidden Ridge Studio
Karin Grosset Grange – Ginko et Coquelicot
Michelle McEnroe ( 4 pieces pinned on  the AJE Pinterest page)

 

 

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AJE Component of the month – January

Use your stash!

 

That was the rule for this months AJE component of the month challenge.  Rather than one of us supply the same component to every one, we each supplied a blog reader with one of our components, and team members used what we had hidden away.

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I dive in to my special stash quite often, but I never use any of it, so the challenge for me was to take my treasures and turn them in to something rather than just fondle them and put them away again.

The first piece I chose was by Diana Ptaszinski (Suburban Girl Studio)

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I have a few pieces of Diana’s, but this is my favourite, a gorgeous large ceramic donut. If you’re going to do it, you may as well go for it! I teamed it up with enamelled bead caps by Anne Gardanne, copper wire and teal seed beads.

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I added some Czech glass up near the clasp to echo the green of the enamel.

Next, I chose an owl focal by Jenny Davies-Reazor.

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I cheated a little bit and used more than one AJE member component, a seed beaded bead by Kristen Stevens. The tiny facetted beads are pyrite and the holes are so small, they wouldn’t take a needle, so they were strung with steel wire. To finish off, I used pewter seed beads for the chain.

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The leaf dangle is by Kristi Bowman-Gruel and the ceramic bead and oak leaf dangle are made by me.

Next up I chose a bead that I have hoarded for a long time to use more of Kristi’s copper. The focal is made by Pixie Willow Designs and is one of my favourites.

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I wanted to keep it simple, so I chose 2 glass spacers to compliment the focal and a different design of leaf by Kristi.

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I strung Amethyst and copper chain to make a long dangly necklace and added a couple of Czech beads for a little sparkle on one side.

And finally, I chose components from Jennifer Stout Cameron.

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I wrapped one of her headpins with a Marsha Neal ceramic flower to create a clasp.

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The bracelet was made with aqua blue crystal rondelles, Czech glass, and more of Jen’s lamp work, and the whole thing was finished off with one of Kristi’s charms.

I’ve really enjoyed using up my stash, they’re all quite simple designs and all started off being more complicated, but after playing around, I felt that too much going on around the components put them in to the background. Now I think they really stand out and are definitely the stars of the show! And now I have big gaps in my box, so I better go and do some more shopping! 😉

As well as AJE Team members, and winners, we’ve invited anyone else who wants to join in to take part in the hop. To see what we’ve all made, follow the links!

 

AJE team: 

Kristen Stephens

Susan Kennedy

Jenny Davies-Reazor

Lesley Watt  

Melissa  Meman

 Lindsay Starr

Jennifer Cameron

Caroline Dewison

Linda Landig

Guest Participants ( aka winners)

Lee – Strega Jewellry

Shai – Shai’s Ramblings

Samantha- Wescott Jewelry

Kathy – Bay Moon Designs

Nikki – Silver Nik nats

Melissa Trudinger

Becky Pancake

Yvette – Blue Kiln Beads

Karin – Ginko et Coquelicot

Bonus participants! 

Sarajo Wentling

Leah Curtis

Susan Delaney 

Karen Z

Christine walker

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AJE – December Component of the month

Happy New Year! I hope this post finds you well and that you’ve had a wonderful Christmas and New Year! I’m really exited to see what 2015 brings, I have lots of plans and resolutions that I’m looking forward to putting in to action!

This year, one of my resolutions is to try and keep up with blogging a little better (I wonder how many people have said that!) We’ll see 😉

My first post of 2015 is the Art Jewelry Elements Component of the month reveal for December.

We were each given a gorgeous clay snowflake handmade by Diana Ptaszynski of Suburban Girl Studio LLC.

Originally, I wanted to make an ornament for my tree, but after a few failed attempts, I gave up. It looked lovely in my head, wrapped copper and red with the snowflake as the focal, but I just couldn’t get it out as I’d imagined.

So I switched ideas and decided to make a brooch. I’ve had these kilt pins for ages and never known what to do with them, so I imagined a snowfall pin.

I really wanted to use navy blue seed beads to represent the sky with the sparkly snowflakes in Czech crystal and moonstones. I had every colour of seed bead other than navy, so I went with crystal AB finishing off the ends with Czech drops and silver stars.

I’m a sucker for dangles and I love how this has turned out (although I think the navy would have been a better contrast!). I think I might order some blue beads and make another.

Thank you to Diana for a great focal, and if you’d like to see what the rest of the team has done, follow the links…

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AJE Component of the month – November

Good morning 🙂 It’s component of the month reveal time again, and this month we got another gorgeous handmade component to design with. 

 

This time, it’s Kristen Stevens turn, and she gave us all a pair of cute little beaded rings. She makes the most amazing designs with the smallest beads, you can check out her shop here.

 

Yes, I forgot the photo, but I had 2 pairs! Hahaaaa!! So here’s what they look like, but for my design I used another colour…

 

Aren’t they lovely? Originally, I was going to make a pair of earrings, after playing around with them, I thought they looked great as the centrepiece of some antique bronze rings I picked up from The Bead Shop Liverpool.

 
 

I tried to suspend them in the centre with copper wire… I knew exactly what I wanted them to look like, and it would have looked lovely, but it just wouldn’t work… after 4 attempts I gave up. Then it struck me, when I started out I used to make dreamcatchers. I grabbed some thin leather and wrapped the design in the centre and tied it off when there was a hole large enough to hold the beaded ring. I stitched the ring on to the leather. I added silver feathers with green seeds and brass cubes. The design isn’t particularly heavy, but I thought they would be too big for earrings, so I strung it as a pendant with flat leather. I’m not sure if this is still a work in progress, it looks to me as though it could do with a little more, maybe some leather tassels or something, I will keep thinking!

 

Thank you to Kristen for her brilliant component, it’s been great fun to revisit some old ideas!

 

To see what Kristen and the rest of the AJE Team have made, follow the links…

Cindy Martin Shaw
Shai Williams
Karen Martinez

Linda Landig

Caroline Dewison << You are here.
Francesca Watson
Jenny Davies-Reazor
Lindsay Starr
Jennifer Cameron

 
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AJE Component of the month – October

Good morning and thanks for stopping by! I’ve been even more quiet than usual recently as I’ve been getting the power plugged in to my studio. I’m pleased to say it’s all done now and I can see what I’m doing… hooray!  Normal bad blog posting will resume shortly!

This months Component of the month was supplied by Karen Totten of Starry Road Studios. A wonderful spiral fossil disc. I was thrilled to receive the blue/green disc just left of centre.

It sat on my desk for quite a while, I couldn’t decide what to make with it. My first thought was to create a bracelet with other large disc components, but there was nothing quite right in my stash. Then out of the blue, some Canadian friends were in the UK and came for a visit. They brought me a gift of some jade beads which were perfect!

I know Karen loves tribal designs, so I wanted to try my hand at something along those lines. I took some copper, bashed and patinated it, then went crazy with my new vintaj hole making tool (it’s amazing, everyone should have one… much easier than messing about drilling!)

I originally wanted to connect the component to the back piece with copper wire, but failed miserably, it just wouldn’t bend properly… so the disc was lashed on with thin leather.

I quite like how it turned out!

Below the component I added some czech tile beads and bronze coated crystal points wrapped with copper wire.

And added the graduated Jade stones for the necklace.

I didn’t manage to patinate the copper below, and I think I might darken the leather a little too, but it’s very nearly what I was hoping to achieve.

Thanks to Karen for her wonderful component, I’ve had great fun designing around it!

And to see what the rest of the team and guests did with theirs… follow the links…

 
Monthly Winners

 

 

AJE Blog Team

 

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AJE Component of the month – September

Here I am again a month later, having not blogged even once since the last COM. The days are flying by and all of a sudden it’s Autumn.

This month, we got beautiful components from Kristi Bowman-Gruel.

They are all copper metal clay, the top row using the new white copper clay. My component was a surprise and I was thrilled to receive one of the new white pieces.

I spent a good while looking at it and had multiple ideas of what to do with it. My first thought was that it looked like it belonged on the end of a piece of leather, but after holding it on my wrist, the curve looked great going over my hand. I played around for a while with chain to try and work out how to hold it in the position I wanted, then decided it needed some colour.
It looked stunning with the deep garnet red beads I pulled out of my stash, but unfortunately, they have tiny holes and wouldn’t fit the wire, so I chose some deep red and gold Czech glass and made connectors. I made large copper jump rings to hold the chain and used the connectors at each join. 
After quite a lot of alterations to get everything to hang on the right place, here is my final design…
It was really hard to try and take a photo of me wearing it (you will have to imagine it being worn by a beautiful model rather than someone with man hands!) 
It’s really light and comfortable to wear, and I love the look of it draped across your hand, it makes me think of medieval knights and ladies… I think reading Game of Thrones is rubbing off on me!
Thank you to Kristi for a great component, it’s really unusual and has been great fun to use!
If you’d like to visit Kristi and see more of her work, you can find her shop here http://KristiBowmanDesign.Etsy.com
And to see what the rest of the team has done, follow the links!
Thanks for reading 🙂

Guests
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AJE Component of the month – August

This month it’s team member Rebekah’s turn to provide us all with a component for designing. And what a beautiful one she sent! Rebekah makes amazing polymer beads… her sleepy critters are world famous, but that’s not all she makes. This month we were treated to either a large single, or smaller pair of hand painted leather feather charms.

I chose a pair of purple feathers that were labelled as earring charms, but as soon as I saw them I knew they would be perfect alongside one of my porcelain dreamcatcher beads.

The feathers were wrapped with copper wire and some antique Czech beads and used as dangles below my dreamcatcher charm. I also added a small bronze heart from TheaElements.

For the necklace part of the design, I chose some ceramic beads I made ages ago, but never used as I really liked them so they went in my stash. The colours gave it just the feel I wanted for the design. In between those were more Czech seeds, a chunk of amethyst and a chunk of citrine. The ceramic bead on the right is part of a Lotus set by Gaea.

To attach the leather, I chose a ceramic oak leaf from TheaElements with a glass donut on the opposite side for the closure. I was going to attach some sort of clasp, but I really like the look of the leather just tied to the glass!

Thank you to Rebekah for a beautiful component, and if you’d like to see more of her work, you can visit her shop here… Tree Wings Studio

If you’d like to see what everyone else chose and made… follow the links 🙂

Guest Artists
Karin Grosset Grange – http://ginkgoetcoquelicot.blogspot.com/

The AJE Team
Diana Ptaszynski – http://www.suburbangirlstudio.com
Jenny Davies-Reazor – http://www.jdaviesreazor.com/blog
Francesca Watson – http://francescawatson.com/
Caroline Dewison – http://blueberribeads.co.uk/ 

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AJE Component of the Month – July

Another month has flown by and it’s COM reveal day!

Things are getting slightly more organised in the new studio and I’m enjoying getting back to making.

This month, we were treated to a beautiful dichroic glass cabochon from Francesca Watson.

Just look at all of those beauties! There’s something about dichroic glass that really gets me so I jumped at the chance to play.

Francesca works in a range of mediums and her work is stunning… check it out here http://francescawatson.com

This is the cab I chose… I remembered to take a picture!!!!

So I got to work on sketching out some ideas. The cab is larger than anything I have worked with before, and everything I came up with as a pendant design seemed too big. So I decided to make a brooch. I cut some porcelain flowers and fired them unglazed, made some silver headpins and dug out my box of seed beads.

I glued the cab on to some stiff stuff and bezelled around it with size 11 & 15 seeds in green.

Once the beadwork was finished, I put the flowers on the headpins, folded the tops so that they were secure and formed a loop on the opposite end for securing them to the brooch. They were sewn in and a brooch fitting glued on. The back was finished with some ultra suede.

I’ve had great fun working with my cab and would like to say a big thank you to Francesca for her beautiful component!

If you’d like to see what the rest of the team and guests have made… follow the links 🙂

Guest Designers
Toltec Jewels – www.JewelSchoolFriends.com
Carol Briody – cbriody.blogspot.com
The AJE Team
Caroline Dewison – blueberribeads.blogspot.co.uk
Susan Kennedy – www.suebeads.blogspot.com
Melissa Meman – melissameman.blogspot.com
Jenny Davies-Reazor – www.jdaviesreazor.com/blog

Francesca Watson – www.francescawatson.com

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AJE Component of the Month – June

Here we are again, another month has flown by. I’ve not had much time for making recently as we’re doing a lot of work around the house and garden, which means most of my supplies have been put in to storage.

This month, I managed to retrieve a few bits and bobs to create something with my beautiful Art Jewelry Elements COM from Linda Landig.

Linda has recently jumped in to the addictive world of ceramics and produced her first clay components. As well as her ceramics, Linda also creates beautiful jewellery and you can find her work here – LindaLandigJewelry

Here are some of the components we chose from…

I picked this beautiful rose pink and blue floral pendant to design with. (I’m not explaining myself for forgetting to photograph them before I start any more… you’re probably used to it by now!)

I was limited to what I could get to to create my design, but I found seed beads, Czech glass and crimp wire and put them together to create a simple but pretty necklace.

The leaves and flowers fell together on my mat and I loved how they looked, so started with that as the base for the design.

The beaded berries are made from magatama drops and seed beads.

I would have preferred an antique bronze clasp on the necklace, and bronze wire for the pendant (which I will swap over when I get my supplies back) But for now it has a brushed steel toggle and silver wire.

I’d like to say a great big thank you to Linda for her beautiful component, I’ve had great fun designing with it, and I’ve also found that limiting yourself can be a good exercise!

If you’d like to see what the rest of the team received and what they created, click on the links…

 

AJE Members
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AJE Component of the month reveal – May

Another month and another COM reveal is ready.. it’s going to be Christmas at this rate!

This month we were treated to a choice of beautiful components from Sue Kennedy of SueBeads

We could pick a glass cabochon…

Or a pretty set of glass chicklet beads…

I went for a cabochon in a stunning brown caramel glass with a tint of purple. Of course I forgot to take a photograph as I do every month!

When I picked it, I imagined it set in copper with etching, something in purple to bring out the hints of colour in the glass and a rolled bail.

I tried a different technique for resist on this piece. I use stop out fluid quite often for painting designs on to copper, but with this piece I tried stamping the design on. It’s not quite as sharp as using vinyl resist, but I like the grainy effect it’s given this pattern.

I took some sheet copper and etched it on both sides. That way, when the bail at the top was rolled around, the etching would show.
And the reverse would be patterned as well
The cabochon was set along with an amethyst, and it was strung on to leather with copper beads.
I used the clasp I had left over from Lesley’s COM last month to finish it. 
I had loads of fun designing this, and it was great to get back to some metal working. Thanks to Susan for the wonderfully inspiring component!
If you’d like to see what the rest of the AJE team and some special guests created with their components… follow the links!

Guests



AJE Members


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AJE Component of the Month reveal – April

This month we were treated to one of Lesley Watt of TheaElements beautiful button clasps. They’re really cute and dinky and the perfect finish to any number of designs. I decided this time to keep my ideas simple, and I’ve had this half brewing in my head for a while, so when the clasp arrived I knew this was the time to create it.

This was the clasp I received… a cute little ammonite!

I like beads, well… that’s a bit of an understatement… I love them! I’ve tried making them from virtually every material you can think of, and have loved them since my Grandma introduced me to her button tin one Summer holiday. I would lay them out in order of favourites, and have hours of fun. Creating this bracelet gave me that same feeling of being a child again, and choosing things just because I like them.

This bracelet contains some of my favourite treasures and is finished off wonderfully with the addition of Lesley’s clasp.

There are sterling wire wrapped beads, ceramic, glass and a fine silver urchin set with 30 cubic zirconia all made by me, Czech beads, Spotty bead & blue pear from Gaea, and a sea foam textured round by TheaElements, Glass nugget by Beads for Breakfast, fluorite and a blue stone I can’t remember the name of, all finished off with a Bali silver ammonite bead and of course Lesley’s button clasp. My favourite thing about the clasp is that it blends in so well to become part of the design, and it was the deciding factor on my colour scheme. I had great fun picking out the colours in it and echoing them with my found treasure.

And this month, I’ve also made an effort with my photography! Inspired by Keirsten’s post about interesting backgrounds, I’ve acquired an old pallet which I think looks great! I’ve reimagined it as a boardwalk by the sea for my ocean inspired design!
Hope you enjoyed reading, and a big thank you to Lesley for her beautiful component! If you’d like to see what the other AJE members and guests have made… follow the links 🙂
Guests

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