David Bowie Blog Hop Reveal

“I’m Pierrot. I’m Everyman. What I’m doing is theatre … the white face, the baggy pants – they’re Pierrot, the eternal clown putting over the great sadness …”

http://www.bowiegoldenyears.com/articles/760505-dailyexpress.html

Thank you to the Love My Art Jewelry group for hosting this blog hop honoring David Bowie and how he has inspired so many people in the world.

Every Bowie fan has their own personal favorite song, album, movie, painting, lyric, persona–it can be a great debate for any dinner party. My favorite album is Scary Monsters. I remember the first time I really heard it, not just the hits or singles, but the whole thing. Sandwiched between the Berlin trilogy and Let’s Dance!, Scary Monsters is that transition from the 70’s to the 80’s that I only really started listening to in the 90’s. The album is sprinkled with lyrics about madness, vanity, politics, drug use, his divorce and custody case, the media, maturity, and power dynamics. I’ll just let him tell you himself as he breaks down each song in this two part collated interview:

 

RCA released Scary Monsters in September 1980 with the promo line “Often Copied, Never Equalled.” Whoever wrote that was a genius.

 

 

A few years ago, Harry Wood of Oscarcrow made these awesome Raku cabochons of faces with dunce caps and I asked him to please recreate his design in blue for me because the costume from Ashes to Ashes is so iconic. I actually bought three because they are so darn cute and each one is different. There are a few in his etsy shop if you would like one.

 

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At this point, Blackstar was going into rotation for me. One of my favorite blogs, Rune Soup, had given an interesting review of the album when it came out. I found this great photograph and realized Bowie understood the power of what he had created. (Of course, he did.)

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I figured out what to do with my cabochon as I listened to Blackstar.

 

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I asked Michelle McCarthy of Firefly Design Studio to make me a star shaped focal to match her beads that I already had. It is actually fabulous, but it was too small (entirely my fault) for the design I had in mind, so it went into the collection of her work that I am hoarding. That left me making a giant polymer clay star.

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I also ordered some discs from Nikki Thornburg of Thornburg Bead Studio so I could make a clasp and some earrings. I started to pull together the colors and beads I wanted to use. Since space and stars were a reoccurring Bowie theme, I went for an Aurora Borealis color scheme.

 

This is definitely an arty, statement piece with him “strung out in Heaven’s high.” You may hate it or love it, but it is mine.

 

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Thank you so much for taking the time to look at what I made. Please visit the other participants of this blog hop to see how David Bowie influenced them.

http://lovemyartjewelry.blogspot.com

Special thanks to Staci Louise Smith of Staci Louise Originals for the inspiration.

Of course, you should watch the stellar Ashes to Ashes video. It’s actually difficult to find a clip of David Bowie singing anything live from Scary Monsters that is not 10-20 years after the fact. This Tonight Show clip is the only one I could find, right before the album dropped. Sound and video quality are not great, but it is a part of history:

 

If you missed Amanda Palmer’s tribute, you can find it here:

http://amandapalmer.bandcamp.com/album/strung-out-in-heaven-a-bowie-string-quartet-tribute

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Paisley Jewelry Design Challenge Reveal

Michelle McCarthy of Firefly Design Studio has created a Facebook group for jewelry designers to use her ceramic components in design challenges. This month is the first challenge and the theme is paisley. There are two color variations of the same kit, which include: a matching pendant and bracelet bar, coordinating beads, and headpins. Here are Michelle’s pictures of the neutral paisley set and our secret component–a lampwork bead by Shannon Vickers (BlueBlazes Lampwork on Etsy). To see the Bright kit, you can follow my link today to see all the finished designs.

At first, I had a difficult time choosing between the Bright and Neutral Paisley kits. I knew I wanted to add orange to the brown, turquoise, and cream color palette. I guess that is why I didn’t choose the Bright paisley set–I wasn’t sure what my contribution would be. When I discussed this color choice with some friends they got the look–you know the one–like they drank sour lemonade. I had a few doubts, but I had a vision and I really didn’t want to let people talk me out of it. The necklace originally had two strands; I really thought it was too much, so I had a little redesign.

To highlight Michelle’s ceramic components, I picked: lampwork by Kristin Louthan (Prairie Girl Glass on Etsy), Laurie Wright (www.designerbeads.com), and Valerie O’Neal; modern and vintage Czech glass; modern and vintage brass; copper wire; vintage seed beads; Thunderpolish crystal; vintage wood beads; and vintage lucite.

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You can see all the jewelry designs with both kits in the Facebook group: Firefly Design Studio Designer Challenge Group. Please visit to see all the hard work these artists put into using Michelle’s components. Each artist has four pictures uploaded: one picture of the entire set we were required to make (necklace, bracelet, and earrings), and one individual picture of each piece of jewelry so you can see the details better. You can vote for your favorite by “liking” or commenting on the pictures with an artist’s entire set of three pieces. You can vote for as many as you like.

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Re-Birth of the Sun AJE Winter Challenge Reveal

When the Winter Solstice arrives, we welcome the longer days to come and feel a sense of hope. Spring is around the corner. We made it through the cold, dark days of winter and will soon be able to grow crops, animals will give birth to their young, and the Earth will be green and vibrant again. I began thinking about the symbolism and archetypes involved in this cycle. Classic symbolism can be found in Tarot cards, which have been around since the Middle Ages, so I started thinking about the Sun and Moon in this pendant by Lesley Watt (http://thegossipinggoddess.blogspot.com) and how people interpret them.

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Of course, if you think of those celestial bodies, you also think of Stars. Here are some thoughts I had about the traditional interpretations of what these symbols mean and the journey from the seventeenth card, to the eighteenth card, to the nineteenth card.

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You can ruminate on that for a bit, or just say, “Girl, why so serious?! It’s a necklace.”

Obviously, when you’re designing jewelry, you are going to be thinking about color, so I started to grab a few things:

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This is when I noticed that the beads that matched the closest in person (believe it or not, the Alexandrite crackled and faceted beads on the bottom right) where NOT the beads that matched in the photograph. I had a little panic.

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Sometimes, things said in sarcasm or jest…are a brilliant idea!!!!

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The clasp is by Lorelei Eurto (http://loreleieurtojewelry.indiemade.com); not only did the color work well, but I love bugs! The beetle is a great addition with its meanings of wisdom, protection, persistence, and adaption for survival. The beetle has a long association with the Sun.

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Journeys are usually circular, so on the way back around from the Sun to the Star on my necklace, I added a ladybug that sits on the back of my neck. In the Middle Ages, the ladybug was known as the Beetle of Our Lady. Ladybugs, or ladybirds if you prefer, are supposed to be lucky: they symbolize: abudance; happiness; wish-fulfillment; and death/rebirth. Their life cycle is only four weeks, so they are supposed to teach us to be fearless, living life to its fullest, and that everything has its time under the Sun. The lampwork in the necklace is by Lea Avroch (https://www.facebook.com/LeaAvrochArtGlass/), the lampwork in the earrings was made by Mallory Hoffman (https://www.etsy.com/shop/rosebud101).

I also had a just in case piece, mail being what it is. This lampwork cabochon is by Sue Kennedy (http://www.suebeads.blogspot.com). I am learning to work in metal…so this is still a work in process. I melted the bezel, then broke a prong, and tube riveted it a little tight, so I don’t have the movement I want. I will welcome the Sun and work harder this year on my journey to learn metalsmith techniques. New Beginnings!

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Thank you so much for looking. I hope you visit all the other artists on their journeys with the Sun:

Guest Designers:
Melissa Trudinger
Lennis Carrier — You Are Here
Linds Newnham
Tammy Adams
Sherri Hartman-Stokey

Kathy Lindemer

AJE Team:
Lindsay Starr
Jennifer Cameron
Sue Kennedy
Niky Sayers
Jenny Davies-Reazor
Lesley Watt
Caroline Dewison

Lesley Our Hostess:

Lesley Watt – THEA jewellery
http://www.THEAjewellery.etsy.com
http://www.thegossipinggoddess.blogspot.com
https://www.facebook.com/theajewellery

Art Jewelry Elements Blog

 

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Finally, the Sun 

What am I doing with this pendant by Lesley Watt (http://thegossipinggoddess.blogspot.com)? Find out January 10, 2016 during the Winter blog hop at Art Jewelry Elements. Details here

  

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Dragon Inro, a tale

The challenge for this month from the Lisa Pavelka and Katie Oskins group is an Inro. This is a group I joined to help me get motivated to learn new skills this year. It’s free and it’s never too late if you want to participate. This project involved a very small amount of cane, which sent me into a panic. I have managed to avoid canework in the past quite successfully, and I was probably going to go along and tell myself, quite happily, that it was okay because “that’s not my thing.” Except, then I saw this tutorial by Mihaela Georgescu and I had to call myself a liar. The beauty in this tutorial is it doesn’t have to be perfect–it’s quite matter of fact about squishing clay together with no panic about the end product. It looks how it looks and that’s beautiful. So, that was my impetus.

I had been thinking about colors all month. I did a little poll on my Windbent page to help me with color choices and my tribe picked this color palette.

 
Then, I made my first cane.

  

At this point, I had decided that I had made a wing like cane and started thinking about creatures with wings…

  

Just that fast, a dragon was born. I didn’t let a little thing like never having made an Inro or dragon phase me; I had made cane after all, so I was obviously awesome…although, I really wish I had this Christi Friesen book. Sadly, it’s out of print and unaffordable. What I should have remembered was Katie Oskins makes fabulous dragons, but I didn’t so I had to muddle through on my own. Face palm. One day I will learn not to make my life harder than it has to be.

The Lisa Pavelka tutorial is what I used for the construction of the Inro. It calls for you to use a small metal bottle to bake the first piece on and I didn’t have one so I used a brass bracelet blank from B’Sue Boutiques that I bent to be as small as possible. 

  
I then covered it with my cane and baked it. Because I did not use Lisa’s design, the baking instructions were a little hard to figure out. I don’t think I baked it long enough, so I had some breakage that I had to repair on the next baking.

  
Next, came the lid, which was the most difficult for me. Because I had left scale fringe on the bottom of my box, I couldn’t stand it up to work on to get the top to line up properly. I also had forgotten to poke holes in the bottom before baking, so I made sure to put holes in the top and then line them up with the bottom as best I could when it came out of the oven and marked the bottom for drilling. These are for the cord.

  
My scales also made the top uneven. I do wish I had leveled it before baking, but I didn’t, so I had to make the top fit the bottom no matter what. This is where I made my other tactical error. Having never made a dragon head before, I started to play. Only then, I liked it. The problem was then squishing it onto the top so I could mark the holes again and bake it. I smooshed a fair amount of my dragon details in the process and had to redo a lot. I would recommend only doing the shape of whatever you want first and adding the details later. Yes, sigh, this should have been obvious.

 
At this point, I started thinking about wings. B’Sue Boutiques also has some really cool wings in every size and shape. I used these as molds.  

   

I also started work on my clasp. I baked a cord end and a clasp into the clay. Then, I decided to make some earrings, so I baked some of my cane and used the cut offs from scales to make the posts. I then made a little piece that goes on the cord. 

  

My final tactical error was that in baking on the wings, and since I couldn’t stand it up with the design I used, the back got a little flat and the weight smooshed in the box a little, making the lid harder to fit on. So, this is my very first: cane, Inro, and dragon. I made some mistakes, but overall it is something that won’t (hopefully) intimidate me again. 

   

  

  

  

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Epic Inspiration Jewellery Blog Hop

Yes, I did spell jewelry that way because our host is Australian. This blog was inspired by the idea of epic television shows. The host is Melissa Trudinger of Boho Bird Jewellery. When I was thinking about what to do, Melissa said something along the lines of “you like Dr Who.” I was also in the middle of (still in the middle of) making a bracelet for a friend that I wanted to have a wolf on…thus began my idea about Bad Wolf. If you do not watch Dr Who, let me say this: 

  
Google it and you will see:

 
I don’t think this is actually encouraged by the BBC. 

  

The Bad Wolf story arc really caught people’s imaginations. People still debate about how effective it was considering they didn’t really know where it was going when they inserted into the story line…repeatedly…and then had to explain it. Here are some cliff notes for you:

 http://tardis.wikia.com/wiki/Bad_Wolf_(entity)

http://tardis.wikia.com/wiki/Bad_Wolf_meme

Here are some ideas I sketched out.

 
I was going to stamp metal originally, but my friend said she would etch me some things. Unfortunately, my package got lost in the mail. Then, I ran out of time and went out of town. (Note to self: do not sign up for Blog Hops when you will be out of town.) It did force me to rethink some things. I think my design would have been too pretty. I really wanted an industrial, graffiti look combined with the idea of (Rose) the beauty of Billie Piper. I made several roses and didn’t like them. I didn’t like the wolf head. I was going to try polymer clay…and I didn’t like that either. I then looked at images and other Dr Who jewelry…and was not too happy. There is some out there and the rose idea and bad wolf idea has been done. At this point, the phrase came to mind from the Rifleman’s Creed, “there are many like it, but this one is mine.” Ooh Rah. I was committed to the course and already late to the party. I then: stamped it; waxed it; melted it; painted it; scratched it with a wire brush, a diamond file and steel wool; drilled it; heated it…no really…it was epic. I do like that the little connectors I made chain with look like something from space. 

 
So there you have it. For good or ill. If you haven’t already, please take a look at the other blog participants. Each person choose a different TV show to design for. Thank you for looking.

 

Melissa Trudinger http://beadrecipes.wordpress.com (Hostess)

Karen Mitchell http://www.overthemoon-design.com

Andrea Glick http://zenithjade.blogspot.com/

Karen Martinez http://fairiesmarket.blogspot.com/

Lennis Carrier https://windbent.wordpress.com

Lindsay Starr http://phantasmcreation.blogspot.com/

Mona Arnott http://bijouxgemsjoy.blogspot.com

Lee Koopman https://stregajewellry.wordpress.com

Shaiha Williams http://ShaihasRamblings.com

Veralynne Malone http://veradesigns.blogspot.com

Elisabeth Auld http://www.beadsforbusygals.com

Kelly Schermerhorn http://meanderingwithkelly.blogspot.com

Dini Bruinsma http://www.angazabychanges.blogspot.nl

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Epic Inspiration Failure

Melissa Trudinger of Boho Bird Jewellery hosted a fabulous blog hop this weekend. I knew that I would be at The Bead & Button Show in Milwaulkee, but I hoped to be done with my piece before I left. The pieces I had made to use didn’t arrive before I left. I hate to be unreliable, so I hope she’ll forgive me. I would like to complete my piece still; I choose Dr. Who! In the meantime, please visit her hop.   https://beadrecipes.wordpress.com/2015/06/06/outlandish-creations-epic-inspiration-reveal-and-blog-hop/

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