"The Cream Puff"

"The Cream Puff"
"The Cream Puff" was shown by request @ Liberty Art Gallery, Long Beach Ca. April '12

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Swap & Hop, Til You Drop!

    I love a good challenge! And swap and hops are the best! They serve you up something unexpected, take you outside your comfort zone, and make you think outside the box.

    One of the most famous is the Bead Soup Blog Party. Created by Lori McDaniel Anderson, of Pretty Things, and the Bead Soup Cafe. (She's back! Yay!) Now in its 9th run! Anybody who is anybody has played at one point or another! She's even had a book published about it!
    This year's swap has a little bit of a twist on it...... a hoarders version. I'm to send my partner something special that I've been keeping for a long time. Something too precious to use. And I had to give it away! Eek!

    The second hop was sort of a spin off of the first, designed to fill the needs of the artists, during a time when Lori was under the weather and unable to continue hosting. With crowds of over 500 people participating in her hops, you can't even begin to imagine how much work is involved in coordinating one of these events! 
    So Linda Anderson, of Cherry On Top Designs, graciously gave all of us beady people a safe haven in our time of need, when she founded the Bead Peeps group during Lori's hiatus, and the Bead Peeps Swap & Hop sprung from there. (Those were some big shoes to fill! Thank you Linda) 

    The requirements for this hop, I send a focal, clasp, and/or coordinating beads to my partner. My choice of 2 of those 3, with one of the items being artisan made. 

    For the first time, these two hops are running side by side, with reveal dates being just a few weeks apart! So I thought it would be really fun to mix them up a bit! 

    Here's the kit that I sent to my Bead Soup swap partner, Heather Canepa.

    And here's the kit I sent to my Bead Peeps swap partner, Inge Von Roos

    But wait! There's more! I also have a third kit to play with myself! (sorry, can't show you, work already in progress)

        OOh! Now it's getting juicy! 

    The focal is a Raku cabochon by Wondrous Strange called "Pacific Seas Raku Barnacles". I bought several of them years ago, because I thought they were so cool! But I still haven't figured out how to set a cabochon. LOL! Both of my partners do wire work and bead weaving. So they should have no problem figuring out what to do with it. I however have a challenge ahead of me! 
    One of my signature hammered copper keys (Keys to the Kingdom), some "old ballet slipper" sari silk to bring out the pinks, and iridescent grey pearls accompany. 

   Since the reveal dates are a few weeks apart........ and I also have beads from my partners to design with.... I will have a third, and final reveal, for my coordinating piece, and a comparison of the 3 different design concepts, by 3 different artists, done with the same design kit!  

    First up, this Saturday, March 28th, is the Bead Soup Blog Party. I will be revealing what I made with this kit, that my partner Heather Canepa sent to me for the Hoarders' Edition. 

    Then 2 weeks later, on Saturday, April 8, I will be revealing what I made with these beads, sent to me by my partner, Inge Von Roos, for the Bead Peeps Swap & Hop.

    Then the following Saturday, April 15, I will do that special reveal to show the comparison of what three different Artist did with the same design kit! Ooooh! Awwww! 

           This is gonna be fun! 

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Exotic Bead Swap - Meet my Peep!

Welcome to the 2nd annual Bead Peeps Swap & Hop!

   My partner is Divya Narasimhan of Jewels of Sayuri.
    She lives a very colorful and culturally rich life in Chennai, India, where she teaches design at the University.

    Her work has the appeal of classical tradition with a bit of a contemporary twist.
    She's influenced by her own culture, as well as others around the world.
(a kindred roving spirit!)

    She's quite the multi faceted talent, making everything from hand molded leather flowers and soap sculptures, to drawing, as well as designing jewelry and fashion.

Sayuri is a OWB (One woman brand) that believes in creating contemporary and fashionable pieces by incorporating recycling and reusing.                The tagline says it all - "Designed to please your soul".

    So here's the kit I sent Divya to work with.

    A little bit of everything really.
    When we had initially talked, I had the idea to send each other regional items, that the other might not have easy access to.
    I suggested sending her things like sea glass and seashells, because I live near a beach. and that she might send me things like sari silks and the kind of beads and findings she could get locally.
    Divya pointed out that most of those items are export from the country and not easily accessible to her. She also said she couldn't get ceramic and stoneware components.
    I never got a chance to go scour the beach for sea glass, but did stick with my original beach theme.
    She did request some of my "metal bits", so I made her a sea urchin. Hand formed from copper sheet using repousse technique. I gave it a lovely verdigris patina to blend with the color palette, and then buffed with steel wool to highlight the copper.
    I also forged her a copper hook clasp using a vintage brass button. The original inlay was missing from the button, so I set the crown of a sea urchin into the bezel, and sealed it in lacquer.
    I included several focals, besides the sea urchin.
    A siren face ceramic art bead pendant by Michelle Ann McCarthy of Firefly Design Studio.
    An Italian silver glass lampwork seahorse pendant (artist unknown).
    Also an artisan ceramic bracelet bar embossed with a beautiful lace pattern. Originally bisque, I did the patina work with Verdigris Rub-n-Buff and African Bronze Gilder's paste, leaving them with a soft Mediterranean sun kissed sheen. 
    I never got a chance to collect sea glass from the beach, so I included a selection of cultured sea glass from ZnetShows collection, in a sea of marine jewel tones.

Also included:
-a selection of Turquoise, Howlite, and Magnesite coins
-Prehnite Nuggets
-Lampwork glass lentils
-a pair of large Italian siver glass lentils
-a pair of rare Green Coral wheels
-Venetian blown glass baubles
-Sponge Coral, hand dyed Navy blue
-a pair of long faceted teal blue variegated Chalcedony drops
-deep teal blue ceramic art beads by Natalie Pappas of NKP Designs
-bright lime green flower shaped fresh water pearls
-a sea urchin spine
-a few glittery seashell buttons
-a pair of sea urchins
-a mini faux enamel seahorse
-sea shells
-fisherman's netting
-hand painted silk
-sari silk
-hand spun seaweed art yarn
-a pair of Chysocolla gemstone rounds

    I wrapped it up real pretty, sticking with the beach theme. Using shimmery water blue paper, and some of the fibers as the wrap itself.
    I also included some extras for fun!
    A lavender mint creme filled dark chocolate bar. I picked this one not just because I thought the lavender was interesting, but because this series of chocolate bars support endangered species. This one happens to support conservation of the sea otter.
    A package of my favorite Auroshika brand, orange blossom scent incense. One of my favorite Indian exports. Thought it would be fun to send some of those hard to come by exports back to her. ;)
    Last, but certainly not least, I included a soundtrack! 3 compilation CD's, each fitting a different mood, designed to inspire her creativity.

    Divya sent me 2 kits to work with. She presented me with a color challenge. To use a combination she couldn't find on my page, blue and silver.
    I actually had an entire blue an silver jewelry collection called "Blue Jean Blues", but most of it sold fairly quickly.

    The second challenge was to use green. Yet another color void in my collection, as I routinely sell out. ;)

    She also included some sari pieces.

    So the colors weren't really a challenge for me, but some of the components were.

    I started with the blue and silver kit, using her region of the world for inspiration.

    I have a vintage hand carved wooden stamp from India with a Paisley motif. Originally used for indigo block dying textiles, but I've been wanting to translate it into a jewelry design.
    I chose to make a molten solder stamping to create a medallion for part of my focal. The solder color matches quite well with the large lacey bead cap earring finding Divya sent me to work with.
    I actually did the solder stamping as a Tutorial Tuesdays feature in the Lampwork Bead Addicts Talk-Learn-Share group. If you've missed those, they're always accessible in the photo album for future reference.
    I drilled lots of holes and wire wrapped my solder stamping, embellishing it with lustrous blue crystals to frame the paisley medallion.

    I bought a batch of gypsy bells.
    The bells came a very bright shiny silver and didn't really match the paisley medallion and the bead cap. I dipped them all into a black patina to antique them. Then brushed with steel wool to highlight, giving them the perfect "aged" look.
    I also bought some Irish waxed linen in a deep slate blue.
    I went with a 2 ply so it was fine enough to string crystals and pearls. I did have to bore out the holes a bit more on the pearls with a reamer, but I made it work.
    I pulled all I could find in this color palette from my own stash and got to work.

    Going with a knotted cord beaded rosary style chain, I started from the medallion, working my way up.
    I tried to use the beads Divya sent, front and center.
    Using the trapezoid shaped crystals close together right in the front, turned on their sides, they form almost a winged breastplate.
    Spaced with the large mercury glass finish beads, and framed with the frosted gray glass rounds.
    I continued working my way up, randomly placing beads as they felt right, but matching the two sides symmetrically.
    I ended up using a mix of small smokey blue crystals, vintage Chinese silk knot buttons, Hand dyed navy blue sponge coral, iridescent gray fresh water pearls, Titanium coated Quarts crystal nuggets, and pewter flower medallions.

    Next I embellished the bead cap, adding lots of individual lustrous smokey blue crystal dangles.

    Gathering all the ribbons, yarns, sari silks, and fibers I could find in this color palette, I made a fabulously textural tassel.
    Originally I had intended to stick the tassel right into the bead cap, but when I did, it stunt the movement of all the crystal dangles. All that shimmer and dazzle I made the effort to create, was completely lost.
    Plan B! I needed to figure out how to elevate that bead cap above the tassel.

    I made 2 felted wool pom poms, in consecutive sizes, and dyed them deep blue. One fit perfectly inside the bead cap, giving all those dangles room to dance. The larger one fitting just below, I embellished it with pewter flower and crystal medallions to blend with the overall look. Then attached the tassel to the bottom.

    Finishing it off by attaching all those jingly gypsy bells to the tassel threads.

    "Namaste" was the only piece I managed to finish in time for the reveal, but I have big plans for those greens too.
    I was really stumped by that black and green polymer clay focal. I tend to do a lot of layering, but it was too large to add much more to it. Yet it didn't have a whole lot of interest to stand on it's own in one of my designs.
    I really had to think outside the box for this one!
    It reminded me a bit of a pod. So I made it one!

    Just a little sneak peak of where this project is headed. You'll have to check back for the results in my next post though. If this one gets any longer I'll have to publish this novel! ;)

    Thank you all for coming and visiting. Please make sure your next stop is my partner's blog, Jewels of Sayuri, to see what Divya did with her stash. Then you'll find the links to all the other participants below.

   A huge thank you to our very gracious hostess, Linda Anderson of Cherry on Top Designs, who organized and coordinated all the participants from around the world. Please give her a huge round of applause! and a little love for her blog wouldn't hurt either.

Linda Anderson
Natalie Davidson

Marcy Lamberson
Kathy Lindemer

Dita Basu
Andrea Glick

Kristina Peck
Shaiha Williams

Catherina LaVite
Christina Hickman

Gloria Allen
Teresa Schurter

Maria Rosa Sharrow
Susan Kelly

Jenny Kyrlach
Michelle McCarthy

Terry Jeanet Carter
Lee Koopman

Laurie Vyselaar
Marianne Baxter

Divya Narasimhan
Kelly Hosford Patterson           <--- you are here

Johana Nunez
Kari Asbury

Robin Kae Reed
Kristina Hahn Eleniak

Robin Showstack
Rosantia Petkova

Claire Fabian
Inge von Roos

Rachel Mallis
Sam Waghorn

Lori Schneider
Fay Wolfenden

Seed Beaders

Suse Stelljes
Ginger Bishop

Nelly May
Rebecca White

Sheila Prosterman
Marianne Baxter

Pallavi Asher
Krafty Max

Renetha Sanziano
Becky Pancake

Katy Heider
Deborah Apodaca

Heather Richter
Tami Norris

Brandy Scozzari
Catherine King

Kathleen Breeding
Veralynne Malone

Bobbie Rafferty
Lori Blanchard

Monday, September 14, 2015

Painted Pachyderms - Elephants on Parade

    I have been a lover of elephants ever since I was a little girl.
    I'm not even sure where or how it started.
    I have a collection of elephant trinkets that's been amassing since before I can even remember.
    When I was a little, my aunt and uncle would travel the world and bring me back elephants from many of their exotic vacations.
    I have an elephant formed out of a starfish with seashell ears from Hawaii. Beaded and mirrored elephant Christmas ornaments from India. Hand carved Mahogany wood elephants from Africa. A milk glass elephant perfume bottle. A giant paper mache circus elephant. More stuffed elephants than I can count. And the list goes on and on and on.

    As an artist, I am all about color and texture. Bright bold beautiful colors is my standard palette. I make my own handmade textiles. And I almost always weave some form of textile into my jewelry. Whether it be recycled sari silk ribbon, felted beads, or hand spun art yarn.
    I've been known to refer to my creations as "Rainbow Colored Sugar", much like the candy straws from which PyxeeStyx derives it's namesake.
   You've heard the term minimalist? I often refer to myself as a maximalist. More is almost always better in my book. I love to layer elements to create interest.
    So the first time I ever saw an elephant painted and decorated and bejeweled, I fell head over heels in love. What could be better than several of my favorite things all rolled into one.
    I have always found elephants to be such beautiful and majestic creatures. To see them adorned in all their glorious splendor of paint, textiles and jewels feels like they are elevated to the status of royalty and respect that they so very much deserve.

    The reason I chose this as the theme for the 18th round of the Blogger/ Non-Blogger challenge, was to inspire me to complete a project I've had brewing on the back burner for a while. I just hadn't found the time to do it.
    I collect East Indian hand carved wooden textile blocks. Most of my textile blocks are very large scale motifs, but I have 2 smaller ones I've been wanting to use for etching. An elephant and a paisley.
    I was hoping to stamp directly on my copper sheet to etch, but discovered that the block was so worn that it wouldn't imprint clearly. I was however able to get a decent print on paper. I cut that out to use as a template for the shape and then had to draw the details in by hand.
    I etched with Ferric chloride, for a very long time to get a deep etch. About 4 hours. This is risky because it's possible to etch all the way through and leave holes, so it's pertinent to check on it often.
   You also risk getting flaws like the crawling effect left on his legs and trunk. It did however work out well for my piece because it just looks like the texture of elephant skin.
    I then patinaed and buffed with steel wool to create the highlights and shadows. I drilled holes to add jewels.
    Originally I had flame painted him, and he had beautiful hot pink, orange, and purple iridescence, to go with my beaded palette. But of course the age old question of how to seal that color in still stands. I tried sealing it with Renaissance wax, but the colors just buffed out.
    So I flame painted again, and left it unsealed. Unfortunately my fingers managed to buff out all the color while wiring on all his jewels. :(
    I considered trying again, but didn't dare for risk of destroying the glass beads and gemstones.
    Fortunately he still looks pretty spectacular with out the extra color.
   Embellished with brilliant orange faceted Padparadscha Sapphire briolette tassels that swing freely, glass seed beads in hot pink and lilac, and a beaded and fiber tassel tail.
    Strung on a mix of beaded and wire wrapped paisleys, Glass pearls (the large knobby orange ones are vintage), vintage hollow brass beads with a distressed silver coating and seed bead embellishments, and an array of brilliantly colored sari silk ribbons. It closes with a hammered copper hook with a swirling cut glass cane bead, and a sari silk wrapped and beaded loop.
    Of course being the hostess, my entry was not eligible for voting, so this was purely to motivate me to complete this project.
    If anyone is interested, this sweet little baby will be going up for auction this week on the Jewelry Designers Open Market. My show runs from Monday night, until Wednesday night. Come check it out.

    Now, onto the beautiful entries.....

    I'm really quite impressed with the array of different styles that were entered. I love to see everyone's unique spin and how they interpret the images.
    Thank you to everyone who participated. You all did an amazing job!
    Here they are in the order they were received.

"Lita" necklace by Divya Narasimhan
    "Inspired by the splendor of embellished forehead ornaments worn by elephants during temple processions, Lita is an exotic combination of metal components, braided yarn, crystals, and is edged with painted embellishments. The black portions showcase the hairy head of  elephants that is visiblebelow the cutwork and the painted druzy is reminiscent of the velvet fabric that is often used as the base of the ornament."
"Analetta" earrings by Divya Narasimhan
"Patterned glass cabochon set on a hand cut painted brass tab with hand formed ear hooks. Long long ago, there was a gypsy Ana, who had traveled as a singer in a music troupe. There she met a royal parade elephant mahout and his gorgeous elephant Latha and fell in love with both of them. The mahout and the gypsy fell in love and lived happily ever after, painting the elephant in myraid colors for special processions."

Divya Naraimhan and her Jewels of Sayuri can be found on facebook and on her blog Jewels of Sayuri.

"Hano" by Betony Lee Maiden
   "Inspired by the actual events of Hano the elephant (circa 1514). This challenge was extremely inspirational for me. The amazing array of colors, fabrics, and paint, the elephants themselves are incredibly beautiful animals. I wanted to actually challenge myself as an artist and incorporate items that I have never worked with. And thus I was on a mission. Hano is a gorgeously made polymer clay pendant, made by the talented Staci Louise of Staci Louise Originals. This is the first time I have ever worked with polymer clay in my designs. I fell in love with Hano at Bead Fest, he called to me, and so Hano was born. I didn't want to do my normal style of wire work, so I thought long and hard of materials that were new to me. Then I met Marsha Neal of Marsh Neal Studios, also at Bead Fest. What caught my eye right away were the silk ribbons, and I knew I wanted a bright color. The gorgeous orange popped right out at me and Hano agreed. He said it wouldn't make his but look big. With the orange silk I also chose a smaller cadet blue silk to add an extra pop and pull in the gentle blue tones in Hano. Added to that was one of Marsha Neal's Ceramic discs, another element I've never worked with, and attempted to wire wrap several times. Hano also has a patina brass elephant stamping for company, and ceramic beads by Gaea Canody. I did manage to incorporate my copper wire work throughout the design, finishing off with a hook and eye clasp that each hold a brightly yellow bead by Kim Quigley Nunn. Hano also carries some glorious trinkets, such as an orangeish lampwork bead and copper component (artist unknown), and a vintage painted heart tag.
    It has been an absolute pleasure to meet Hano. He has been a huge inspiration and has taught me some things I never knew, and has inspired me as an artist to try new things. (Artists also become addicted to new things.) Hano measures a very light and comfortable 18" long."

Betony Lee Maiden and her Fair Maiden Jewelry can be found on facebook and on her blog The Beadwenches Blog.    

by Robin Kae Reed
   "Luscious colors of sari silk and round glass beads combine with a bronzy bangle as a foundation for keys and saying tag and silver toned drops. I was going for the colors but more for the opulence and vivid brightness."

Robin Kae Reed can be found on her website Artistry: Handcrafted Bead Designs.

by Rachel Mallis
    "Here is my piece! I chose the one that was a straight on shot of the elephants face. I knew I wanted to use my Lucite flowers from the moment I set eyes on it. I knew that that is kind of going for the obvious, but I knew I could put a new spin on it. I hammered out each copper bar out of wire, and then I wrapped each one with wire and white seed beads. To connect them, I used copper jump rings. How to finish it on the bottom was a huge challenge for me. but I finally decided to use a gorgeous chunk of Kyanite. It reminds me of the rustic elephant juxtaposed next to the colorful, man painted flowers. To finish off the necklace, it is meant to be worn with a white suede cord. This necklace was cheerful and fun to create! Thank you so much for providing a great inspiration."

Rachel Mallis can be found on facebook and on her blog Mint.

    And the winner is.................

with a grand total of 43 Likes, 
              Betony Lee Maiden with Hano!

    Clearly her challenging herself and working outside her comfort zone has been a very good thing.
           Congratulations Betony! 

   Can't wait to see what you'll come up with to challenge us for the 19th round of the Blogger/NonBlogger challenge.

    Thank you all for stopping by. I hope you have enjoyed this little adventure. Leave us a comment and tell us what you think.
    Have a brilliant day!
        Until next time, Peace, Love, & PyxeeDust!