Saturday, January 11, 2014

Art Bead Scene Inspires me Again!

Those of you who have been with me for a while, know that for a long while I regularly entered the monthly challenges from Art Bead Scene.   I found such inspiration in the selected art pieces, and the challenges pushed me to do my best jewelry designing using artisan-made beads. 

July 2013 entry

A few months ago, I put myself on a "challenge break."  Too many things happening at once as holidays approached, and I felt like I was not being as creative at it anymore.   In the last year, I've also turned my attention more and more to making metal components, and in the last few months have gotten busy with polymer clay.   

Beads alone cannot be entered into Art Bead Scene challenges, only jewelry made with art beads.   But last month I found myself working and working on a pendant for this piece of art: 

Winter Landscape by Wassily Kandinsky, 1909 

Trivia:   I made the windows using a tiny metal stamp that says "HOPE."

The pendant turned out to be more of an education than a work of art, so I didn't turn it into a necklace.  I'm still really glad I did it.

When I looked at the artwork for the January 2014 ABS Challenge...

Textile Design for Cretonne, 1928? by Lois Mailou Jones

I was inspired all over again!   But not to do jewelry design. Suddenly it gave me all kinds of ideas for beads and components, and I decided to try out more techniques with polymer clay...and make a few altered metal pieces which I have been neglecting.   

I've had great fun and finally finished and listed them in my Sharyl's Jewelry Artfire studio.   I wanted to share a few of them with you!

Some of the polymer pieces were made using molds, a first for me.  Leaves are the main theme, but you'll find a few flowers too!     Others are free-form beads with colors or shapes that seemed to fit the art this month.    I used a lot of metallic acrylic paint on these, and added mica powders to some for a raku look.   

There are also what I'm calling "donut" beads in coordinating colors for many of these.  

And I was in such a mood to make leaves, I made some altered brass components in several sizes and styles.

You'll find these and more in my store.   I hope you will go take a browse and see what's new since you last looked!   Window-shopping is perfectly acceptable!   

If anyone does make a piece using my beads, please let me know!   I would love to feature your work here on my blog and also on my Pinterest page! 

Hope some of you will join the ABS challenges.  My thanks to all the people who make that web site possible!   I find it challenging whether I'm designing jewelry or not!    


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Happy Birthday to Mom...

Hoping that the New Year is treating you well! I'm hoping to get back to regular blogging soon.  I miss it, and I miss all of you.   

Today would have been my mother's birthday, and so I have her very much on my mind.   I was trying to think of something I could share with you, and thought of this.

When my mother moved to a nursing care facility, my sister acquired our parents' former home, the house they built themselves, that we grew up in.   She recently sold the house and gave me some special remembrances I was allowed to choose.  

This was top on my wish list.   

It's what I remember my mother using as a sewing box when I was very young.

My mother was a wonderful seamstress.  She made our clothes when we were young, made us suits when we went to work, maternity clothes and baby things as we started our families.   She made a wedding dress for our cousin and madrigal costumes for many students in our home town.   I have curtains in my house I'm using still that she made when we moved to this house over 20 years ago.   

When I look at fabrics, I think of her.  As I collect beads, she loved her fabrics.  I still love looking at the patterns and feeling the textures, and often buy pieces even though I don't sew!  

She outgrew this little sewing box and gathered others to keep all her threads and tools and sewing supplies in.   

I'm not sure where she got this.  I turned to the bottom to see if it might have been  candy tin at one time.   Expecting to find it had been "Made in China" as most things are today, I found this stamp instead.

Her family was from Germany, so still no clues to me how she obtained it.   I never really thought about that before today.  I just know it's a treasure to me.   

I wonder what "treasures" people will make of the things that surround me some day?   

Happy Birthday to Mom.   Happy New Year's to the rest of you!