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Friday, November 30, 2012

Colour My World... Part 1: Algerian Abstract

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*(For some music of the ancient land of Algeria to help set the mood, please scroll down.)* 

Welcome to my first post in Erin's and Brandi's Challenge of Color Blog Hop reveal. The participants will be showing their creations inspired by some wonderfully unique palettes: colour-enhanced satellite photos of our planet's geological wonders. We were each offered two choices, and today I'm sharing some thoughts on my first palette of colours:





"What look like pale yellow paint streaks slashing through a mosaic of mottled colors are ridges of wind-blown sand that make up Erg Iguidi, an area of ever-shifting sand dunes extending from Algeria into Mauritania in northwestern Africa. Erg Iguidi is one of several Saharan ergs, or sand seas, where individual dunes often surpass 500 meters-nearly a third of a mile-in both width and height." US Geological Survey. These huge phenomena develop only under particularities of climate and over a million years (the blink of an eye in geological terms!)




Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get inspired purely by the sand dunes of Algeria, so I did a little design research to uncover some more about this unique North African nation!



Algeria is a country rich with history, culture and art, known for its pottery and intricately woven carpets.  The Algerian government has gone to great lengths to pour money into the handicrafts industry. The art of making and decorating with rugs and carpets in North Africa dates back to the Stone Age and began with the Berber people.  The Algerian rug is made to be the focal point of the room’s interior decorating.  You get the carpet first, and then match everything else to it.  These carpets are usually made of goat hair or wool and are generally woven or knotted.



Typical  Geometric Rug Motif


An Algerian home is not complete without pottery. The pottery is in different colors and usually has adornments to make it attractive. It is usually a family trade and the knowledge of how to make the pots is passed on from mother to daughter.   



Traditional Design


I created a little ornament from (what else?) polymer clay, that pays tribute to the shapes and motifs in the Algerian vessel above and in the common architecture of city buildings shown in the video below (click and enjoy some traditional music, too!)



Algerian Abstract Ornament
November 2012
   


 


*(I hope to present my second colour inspiration this weekend, from a satellite photo of Bolivia's Amazon forest.)


Now check out these other designers:

Erin Prais-Hintz  http://treasures-found.blogspot.ca/2012/11/color-full-world-welcome-to-3rd-annual.html
Rebecca Anderson    http://songbeads.blogspot.com
Chrizette Bayman    http://beadsoupmix.blogspot.com
Lori Bowring Michaud    http://artfullyornamental.blogspot.com
Stephanie Buss    http://maxandlucie.blogspot.com
Cece Cormier    http://thebeadingyogini.com
Janice Everett    http://JLynnJewels.blogspot.com
Cherrie Fick    http://designsinthelight.co
Denielle Hagerman    http://somebeadsandotherthings.com/
Brandi Hussey    http://brandigirlblog.com
Kirsi Luostarinen    http://kirsiluokorut.blogspot.com
Melissa Trudinger    http://beadrecipes.wordpress.com
Rachel Van-Walsk    http://balancedcrafts.com/blog
Joan Williams    http://www.lilrubyjewelry.com

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Jewellery for your Inner Geek!

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Anyone else out there who grew up reading Popular Mechanics and the Edmund Scientific catalogue? You know, for fun? I was a child of the 60's, well before (widespread) computers in homes and the undreamt-of joys of Internet surfing. You geeks know who you are... I want to share a very cool site called Instructables, which is the ultimate DIY and hack place for us armchair geeks. Their easy to use and PDF-printable step-by-steps run the gamut: Bikes, Boats, Camping, Cars, CNC, Decorating, Electronics, Furniture, Gardening, Green, Home Renovation, Kids, Lamps, Recipes, Science, Solar, Tools, Travel, Wii, and Woodworking.

And yes, they do jewellery. It's under "decorating"... as in decorating ourselves, right? Here are two recent projects in time for Holiday gift-making:


How to Make LED Circuit Board Earrings


Vectorizing Drawings for Laser Engraving and Cutting Jewelry



Click here to go to the Instructables jewelry main page. There are lots of less techie jewellery projects, too.

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Beauty of the Earth...

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Coming up this Friday, November 30: the reveal for the Challenge of Color, hosted by Erin of Treasures Found, in collaboration with Brandi of Brandi Girl Blog. Eighty participants will be showing their creations inspired by some wonderfully unique palettes: colour-enhanced satellite photos of our planet's geological wonders. We were each offered two choices, and I'm still deciding whether to do one or both!







I can't wait to see what everyone else has prepared... hope you'll be able to join us as well!

Here's a bonus video... I love this simple and beautiful hymn, which has remained popular since it was written almost 150 years ago:


For the beauty of the earth
For the glory of the skies,
For the love which from our birth
Over and around us lies. 

Lord of all, to Thee we raise,
This our hymn of grateful praise.

For the beauty of each hour,
Of the day and of the night,
Hill and vale, and tree and flower,
Sun and moon, and stars of light. 

For the joy of ear and eye,
For the heart and mind’s delight,
For the mystic harmony
Linking sense to sound and sight. 

For the joy of human love,
Brother, sister, parent, child,
Friends on earth and friends above,
For all gentle thoughts and mild. 

For each perfect gift of Thine,
To our race so freely given,
Graces human and divine,
Flowers of earth and buds of Heaven.


Sunday, November 25, 2012

7000 Bracelets for Hope Blog Hop

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Like many of you, I am always on the lookout for charities that accept gifts of jewellery, so I was pleased when Sue Kennedy of Sue Beads announced a blog hop for the 7000 Bracelets for Hope campaign. This is a promotion by the Global Genes Project, which is one of the leading rare and genetic disease patient advocacy organizations in the world. This non-profit organization accepts bracelet donations to help promote awareness of the unique needs of patients and their families: "Each individual blue bracelet design we receive represents the uniqueness of one of the 7,000 rare diseases."

I've been collecting blue beads for a while so I was grateful for a little motivation to start creating!



All four feature polymer clay focals and glass beads. The cute rainbow heart in number 3 is by Rebekah of Tree Wing Studio, and those are wing dings in number 4 from Genea Beads




Those flowery focals in number 2 are inspired by Joan Tayler's blog post on making two-sided tiles or wafer beads without fingerprints. And number 1 features a simple fish shape sliced into four pieces. I've still got a ton of blue goodies so I'll try to put together a few more bracelets before mailing them off to the 7000 Bracelets for Hope!

Please visit these other participants, and remember: anyone can donate a bracelet to this worthy cause. You don't have to be a jewellery seller, just have a pair of willing hands and a giving heart!






























Sunday, November 18, 2012

LAST CHANCE FOR SOME CHARMERS!

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THERE ARE NOW ONLY 24 HOURS LEFT!
Many of the auctions on these beautiful handmade charms will be expiring in one day or less! (Scroll to the bottom for a direct link to Jennifer's eBay listings.) This is your last chance to bid on these great one-of-a-kind creations... and so much variety of style and material:

Ceramic and Polymer Clay


Metal and Wire Work


Mixed Media


Lampwork and Glass


Click here to bid on your favourites!
♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥
All proceeds to the Beads of Courage program for seriously ill children.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

You can call me PollyAnna...

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This is the image I saw on the Megan's Beaded Designs FB page today. I once referred to myself as an optimistic pessimist during an online conversation. I love these little sketches that make me lean a little further to the "O" side. Thanks for sharing, Megan!

I also dig how she so serendipitously sums up what many of us are suspecting: her latest blog post, How You Should Regard Your Competition, made me purr like a kitten. Check it out!

And keep the kindness movin' along, will ya? xoxo

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

My Charms Have Arrived!

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Just a reminder: the following charms and many more can be purchased at Jennifer's eBay auction which is live right now. But hurry... some are already sold! ALL PROCEEDS WILL BE DONATED TO THE "BEADS OF COURAGE" CHARITY FOR SERIOUSLY ILL CHILDREN.

From top: Shelley Graham Turner of Fabric of my Life; Robin Koza
of Robin Koza Glass and Art Jewelry; Shai Williams of
Shaiha's Ramblings; Rita of Jewel School Friends 

Clockwise from upper right: Babette Cox of Digit Designs by Babette; Carolyn
Chenault of Sea Glass Inspired Beads & Jewelry; Deb Kauzlarich of
Flame. Color. Metal. Glass.; Perri Jackson of Shaktipaj Designs
Ah, yes, they are late to the party, but all is forgiven! My long-awaited Charm Swap guests were waiting for me in my mailbox this evening. Sorry the photos aren't better, ladies, but I seldom find photos can do justice anyway... especially when I'm taking them LOL.

This is another opportunity to firstly thank Jennifer of Glass Addictions for graciously organizing, coordinating and generally keeping somewhat sane while keeping over 500 little charms under control. You rock, Jen! By the way, over the next few days while the 50 or so donated charms are being auctioned on eBay, Jen is having a charm fashion show over on her blog. Click on the link above to go there.

I am always amazed at the talent and creativity of my fellow artisans. To you wonderful ladies in my group, I want to thank you for these precious little works of art. I love them all. I had some kind of fantasy that I would be using them in jewellery and sending them out into the world. That may or may not happen! I need some time to enjoy them for myself. MY PRECIOUS... So to Babette, Carolyn, Deb, Perri, Rita, Robin, Shaiha and Shelley, my hat is off to you! You are my idols and I am indeed proud to own the original creations you have so kindly bestowed on me. 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Charmed, I'm Sure!

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Welcome to my staging area for the 2012 Art Charm Swap. What is an art charm, you ask? A charm that has been either created or altered by the designer; by their nature most are one-of-a-kind, miniature works of art. 


I have made my charms with my favourite creative medium: polymer clay. 






On the left is a multicolour cane of swirled Kato (I used the standard colours, something I seldom do, but I wanted the impact of the intense primaries in this case). At right are the baked slices. Each is unique!

On the back of each baked disc I then added a cute pink heart with some text:





Each charm was baked, sanded and buffed at every stage. Next came the fronts, in two further steps, the base (arms) of the sun was formed and added to the disc, and detailed. Lastly the face was carefully made using only basic etching and pearling tools. Custom-tinted glaze was applied as a final finish. I think I'll call him "Sunny".



Each of these cousins is a unique item. The jump-rings are niobium in a rainbow of colours!




I hope my loving, laughing suns will bring some cheer wherever they have travelled! Now please do check these other artists and find some unique charmers that speak to you. Then, starting at 3:00 pm EST, click here for Jennifer's charm auction for "Beads of Courage", a fantastic program helping seriously ill children to bravely face difficult challenges!


Alenka Obid http://pepita-handmade.blogspot.com/2012/11/art-charm-exchage-reveal.html
Alicia Marinache http://www.allprettythings.ca/2012/11/charm-swap-reveal-blog-hop-and-auction.html 
Babette Cox http://babettecox.com/blog.htm
Carol Watson http://www.carolwatsonartglass.blogspot.com
Carolyn Chenault http://carolynchenault.wordpress.com/2012/11/12/beads-of-courage-auction-2/
Cassi Paslick http://cassisbeads.blogspot.com/2012/11/beads-of-courage-charm-swap-reveal.html
Charlene Jacka http://clay-space.com/2012/11/early-christmas/
Cheri Reed http://creativedesignsbycheri.blogspot.com/2012/11/to-participate-in-charm-swap-you-must.html
Cheryl McCloud http://cherylmccloud.blogspot.com/2012/11/charm-swap-reveal-blog-hop-and-beads-of.html
Deb Kauzlarich http://debkauzlarich.blogspot.com
Denielle Hagerman http://somebeadsandotherthings.com
Emma Todd http://apolymerpenchant.blogspot.com/2012/11/art-charm-swap-in-aid-of-boc.html
Erin Prais-Hintz http://treasures-found.blogspot.com/2012/11/art-charm-swap-laugh.html
Ginger Bishop http://lilmummylikes.blogspot.com/2012/11/art-charm-exchange-2012.html
Inge vonRoos http://ingetraud.wordpress.com
Jean Peter http://jeanpdesigns.blogspot.com/ http://jeanpdesigns.blogspot.com/2012/11/2012-charm-swap.html
Jeannie K Dukic http://site.jkdjewelry.com/blog/2012/11/12/beads-of-courage/
Jennifer Cameron http://wp.me/p1xIa0-wn
Kia Dallons http://kiadallonsstudio.blogspot.jp/2012/11/laughter-is-best-medicine.html
Kimberly Roberts http://bahamadawn.blogspot.com/2012/11/art-charm-swap.html
Kristy Bowman http://dreamsomedesigns.blogspot.com/2012/11/charm-swap-reveal-hop.html
Lea Avroch http://lajewelrydesign.blogspot.com/2012/11/2012-beads-of-courage-art-charm-swap.html
Leslie Schenkel http://twistedchicken.wordpress.com/?p=171
Linda Florian http://www.lilysofthevalleyjewelry.blogspot.com/
Lori Greenberg http://lorigreenberg.com/blog/?p=3068
Lynnea Bennett http://designsbylynnea.blogspot.com
Mallory Hoffman http://rosebud101-fortheloveofbeads.blogspot.com/2012/11/the-time-has-come-art-charm-blog-reveal.html
Marcy Lamberson http://studiomarcy.blogspot.com/2012/11/charmed-by-minions-im-sure.html
Marsha Neal Studio http://marshanealstudio.blogspot.com/2012/11/charm-exchange-and-beads-of-courage.html
Maureen Connolly http://mrsbeadsley.blogspot.com/2012/11/charm-reveal.html
Melissa Meman http://melissameman.blogspot.com/2012/11/art-charm-swap-blog-hop.html
*YOU ARE HERE* http://ahalfbakednotion.blogspot.com/2012/11/charmed-im-sure.html
Natalie McKenna http://www.grubbi.co.uk/
Perri Jackson http://shaktipajdesigns.com/11/blog/reveal-the-laughter-art-charms/
Renetha Stanziano http://lamplightcrafts.blogspot.com/2012/11/art-charm-exchange-auction-and-reveal.html
Robin Koza http://www.robinkoza.com
Shaiha Williams http://shaihasramblings.blogspot.com/2012/11/art-charm-hop.html
Shannon Hicks http://uptwnsh-fallingintothesky.blogspot.com/
Shelby Foxwell http://sundownbeaddesigns.blogspot.com/2012/11/charm-swap-reveal.html
Shelley Graham Turner http://shelleygrahamturner.blogspot.com/2012/11/reveal-2012-charm-swap.html
Shirley Moore http://beadsandbread.blogspot.com/2012/11/beads-of-courage-art-charm-reveal.html
Stephanie Haussler http://pixybugdesigns.blogspot.com/2012/11/laughter-art-bead-charm-swap-auction.html
Susan Kennedy http://suebeads.blogspot.com/2012/11/beads-of-courage-charm-swap-reveal-and.html
Toltec Jewels http://www.jewelschoolfriends.com/2012/11/BOCArtCharmRevealBlogHop.html
Vanessa Gilkes http://culturezine.com/blog/?p=550

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Frivolous and Fabulous

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Buddy the Elf Cat Hat
Go ahead and laugh... I DARE YOU!



My Etsy Finds newsletter just featured Sara, who calls herself "the cat hat lady", and her adorable creations over at scooterKnits. Of course, they showed another  hat, but I am in love with this one. I am probably Will Farrell's biggest non-fan, but I accidentally saw him in "ELF". I fell in love with his hilarious and innocent Buddy the Elf character. Farrell IS Buddy in my mind. Well worth watching if you are a sucker for Christmas movies (I still cry every time I watch "It's a Wonderful Life").

Now if I can just talk my kitties into wearing hats...





Friday, November 09, 2012

Stay tuned for some charming characters!

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On Monday, November 12, please join us for a "charming" event. A large group of artisans, working in a variety of materials and styles, have created and swapped charms around a special theme. We will be revealing our designs, and possibly some ideas for future projects; in addition you will be directed to an online auction to raise funds for a wonderful cause: the Beads of Courage, a program which helps seriously ill children in participating hospitals throughout many countries. 

This auction will be administered by the charming Jennifer Stout Cameron who will offer for sale charms donated by all the artisans! The money raised will be donated to Beads of Courage. What a great way to pick up some special one-of-a-kind creations AND help bring smiles to sick children! Drop in here on Monday and link to all the blogs for some early Holiday Cheer!

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