Friday, April 17, 2015

Art Bead Scene April Challenge Frida

Every month Art Bead Scene posts a painting as inspiration and asks readers to join in, and use at least ONE art bead and create a piece inspired by the art.

I used to enter this all the time, but as the years go by, and my business is more business....I have less time for play.  However, when I saw this painting, I knew I had to play along.

I just watched the movie Frida the other week, and I was amazed at what a strong and creative woman she was.  I love the rich symbolism she put into her pieces, and she painted her life, and her emotions in such a beautiful, yet real and raw way.  She much adversity in her life, and all of it comes through in her work.

Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird, 1940

You can read about Aprils challenge here

I really wanted to capture the nature of this painting.  Her white dress, the thorn necklace, the brilliant leaves of life, behind her.  So I started sketching, and then got out the polymer clay.

This is the piece I made.

I chose to do the thorns in white, to represent her white dress.  I wasn't going to carve them, but I felt that since it is MY representation, that it needed to have my signature on it, so carved them I did!  I also hung a polymer hummingbird skull from the thorns.

I used some balled up wire beads and annealed steel wire work to further give the feel of tangled thorn branches and add contrast to the white.

I felt that this painting, really shows the washed out (white) hurting (thorns) present, with the life filled leaves and color behind her, in the past.  So I definitely wanted to use color for the back.  What better way to do that then to use Sari silk and batik fabric.  I added some more embellishments to make it truly my own style as well.  I am over the moon happy with how it turned out. 

Here they are side by side.

Here it is on me

I think doing challenges like this are plain old good for the soul.  I like to push my limits and think outside the box to keep things fresh. If you haven't participated in one, do it.  It is so fun and you won't regret it.  There are no "winners" or "losers" (there are prizes but they are picked at random) is simply a place to show off your design.  There is no wrong or right!

Thanks for checking it out!

If you are interested, I recently did a tutorial over at Love my Art Jewelry, on how I do my fabric in necklaces.  You can read that here if you want to try it out too.

batik fabric sold by Starry Road Studio

Bead Dreams 2015 Polymer Finalist

Well, it is that time of year again.  I once again entered the Bead Dreams competition, and international contest that takes place at the Bead and Button show.

You can read a bit more about it here.  There are many categories that you can enter- seed beads, metal clay, ceramic beads, polymer clay, just to name a few.......... and this year I entered once again in the Polymer Clay Category. Well both of my pieces got chosen as finalists!  Such an honor to be chosen to send my work to be judged and displayed at the Bead and Button Show.

Now- this is a go big or go home sort of competition.  The pieces that get entered are enormous! So of course, I love that challenge, since I tend to work big anyhow.

These were my entries this year

Earning my Stripes consists of hand formed, sanded and painted polymer clay beads.  Don't let the picture fool you, this piece is HUGE!
 Here is a picture of it on me.  I am tall, and not a little girl, so you can see how huge this piece is!

I really wanted to enter something with my new carved beads too, so, after a lot of sketching I came up with this piece.  The patterns look so aboriginal, I ended up naming it

Ta Moko

Which is the Maori word for tattoo.  The cool thing is, that they actually carved their tattoo's into the skin, so it was perfect in so many ways!

Here is a picture of them on the displays.  These are 18" high and 10.5" wide.  So you can get an idea of the size better then the other photo's.

They are getting shipped off later today, and then judged in person to see if they place.  I was SUPER surprised last year (my first year entering) when my pieces took first and second place.  That is hard to top, and I am sure there is lots of new art entering, so we will see!  Here is to hoping!

:::wish me luck::::

Monday, April 13, 2015

Bead Fest Spring: Shopping Class and more.....

My mom and Julia accompanied me this weekend to Bead Fest.  We headed out Friday night and stayed at the Marriot Courtyard.   We had dinner, went swimming and enjoyed some girl time together.  

Saturday we ate breakfast and prepared to BEAD SHOP!  The show opened at 10 and I was due to demo at Parawire at 11.  So I made a quick stop at Holy and Pure a nice batch of beads there.  Then we went and said Hi to our vending friends.  

Demo'ing was a lot of fun.  I got to meet some people who follow online.  Its always nice to be able to meet people in person! 

I used parawire to make some of my donut pendants while sitting there- a fun in and out sort of weave that can be used lots of ways- and I made some clasps with it as well.  I found that the Vintage Bronze is my most favorite color.  Sort of like an old antique brass- so rich.  

Then I had an hour to shop before returning to ParaWire. I made sure to go and see my art bead friends again, and we traded for some goodies.  Heather of HMB and Michelle of Firefly Design Studio traded with me for some art beads.  I ended up chatting with them for my break and then back to Para Wire.  

My mom and Julia went to see a movie and then checked out an antique store nearby until I was done the demo's.  Then we shopped.  We made our way around the whole show.  

I got to see CB & Co and C-koop's booth.  Looked really nice, and I just love Kristi's jewelry.  It was even better in person.  I knew my mom would like it too, and she ended up buying a pair of earrings from her.  
CB& Co Booth

I made sure to hit Hands of the Hills for my unique goodies and beads- and I picked up an antique brass belt.  Its soooo amazing.  I also got some brass do-dads for the boys, and some other bone antiquities.  

Then, I just peeked in Intrinsic's booth, and ended up with a heavy bag of gemstones.  They also had nice $2 bags of metal beads and Aiden's big request from me was to get him some metal beads.  Julia hit their $1 section.  I told her she could get 3 and when I checked out there were 11 in my basket.  That's my little bead addict!  How could I say no?  

I came home with some REALLY good loot and can't wait to create now.

 left to right:  ammonite faceted beads, matte kyanite top drilled, faceted pyrite, LARGE labradorite beads, two strands of lovely turquoise, antique brass belt, goldish druzy beads and center drilled rutilated quartz
top to bottom- art beads from Firefly Studio, HMB Beads, bone beads, rough kyanite coins, charms from HOH, ammonite donut pairs, grey ammonite pendants, and DRUZIES

 Left to right- recycled glass beads, mamoth bone beads, fossil clam shells, kyanite rectangles, small drilled ammonite beads (for earrings), fossil coral slabs, excellent fire agate faceted nuggets

ceramic bee, headpins and fish by Firefly Designs

HMB Glass disc beads

After a long day of bead shopping I was looking forward to a relaxing girls night and early bedtime since I was due to teach Sunday morning.  But Julia got a stomach bug, and we spent our WHOLE night up in the bathroom.  POOR GIRL.  she felt so terrible.  Thankfully she is such a big girl that she let me sleep a couple was a REALLY tough night.

In the morning she was still not feeling well, so we checked out of the hotel very very mom dropped me off at Beadfest to teach and ran Julia back home.  Then she turned around and came back to help me with class.  (isn't she great?  I would be lost without her)

Not only did she do that all for Julia and me, when she came back she went into the show and picked me up some of the druzy shell cabs that I was drooling over. 

 She really knows how to cheer me up.  

Despite no sleep, my class went well.  It was a small one, but I think we had fun.....lots of gabbing and creating.  Its a packed class, and in 4 hours we go from a pack of white polymer, wire and beads to a finished necklace.  The ladies were wonderful, and they all made amazing pieces of jewelry!

(really bad lighting in the classroom)

I love when the students put their own spin on the pieces!  Alison Lee made a whole new shape for her focal.  That is the magic of polymer clay, you can make it into whatever YOU want.  Make it just your style.

Though it was an exhausting weekend, I had a blast.  I really LOVE teaching.  I enjoy nothing more then watching those light bulbs go off when people learn something new, and then do it.  They all left with pieces to be proud of and techniques they can use a million different ways.  It is so rewarding!

Now to unpack and get back into the swing of things.  Julia is home today to recover, since she is JUST finally eating this morning.

(just a little mess to put away)

Thank you to all who stopped by and said hello or took my class.
Enjoy your week!