Don't you just love a good challenge? Now, I'm not talking about dumping perfectly good ice water over your head, or wasting expensive cinnamon by the tablespoons, or even trying to out plank your fellow barre friend (ok this one is a secret one, but let's be honest, we ALL do it!) No, I'm talking about a great creative challenge, complete with awesome prompts of masterpiece paintings and topped off with a Pinterest board! I'm talking about the monthly art challenge for jewelry designers created by Art Bead Scene!
This is February's prompt: An oil on canvas, titled "The Two Crowns" by Sir Francis Dicksee
I decided that with all that wonderful color, that I would make one of my paper Dragon Beads. They are crafted using well over 100 circles of paper that are then inked around the edges and adhered to a 16 mm wooden core bead. They are finished off with Ice Resin for durability.
Here is the other side of the same bead
What do you think? Do you think this qualifies as an art bead? I can't wait to start on next month's challenge! I'm thinking that one will involve polymer clay...
Henry David Thoreau once said, "Man wanted a home, a place for warmth, or comfort, first of physical warmth, then the warmth of the affections." I'll agree with that, but I want mine to be nestled into the mountainside with great wifi reception, unobstructed views of the stars and a natural gas supply! Seriously though, for as long as I can remember, I've had a love for cabins and barns...log cabins, stone cabins, shacks, horse barns, tobacco barns, barns in various stages of implosion, and more likely than not, kudzu covered... I look at them and wonder about the lives that have subsisted both in and around them. Oh the stories these vessels must hold...joy, sadness, triumph, grief...hopes for the next generation, lives lived with both grace and grit...meals shared, unanswered prayers and unconditional love...
So what does a girl do when her own life-size Walden is currently out of reach? She makes her own- in miniature! I found a really good online tutorial by Isis Mishly and created these little rustic vessels. Did you know that Thoreau spent about $28 total to build his cabin? Well, I spent more than that, but then again, a set of forty-eight soft pastels hardly qualifies for simple creating!
This little cabin reminds me of a house I might find in the hollows of South West Virginia.
My favorite red barn, complete with kudzu crackle vine, and rusting tin roof
This is an old tobacco barn made of weathered Locust wood
Abandoned hunting cabin, I imagine being surrounded by old hardwoods
I thought I'd hit you with a big, 'ole box of happiness right out of the gate! I mean really, once you start a blog post with crayons, how can you NOT keep reading! Am I right? Crayola does have a way with making the world a very happy place, especially when its packaged in 152 wonderful colors along with a sharpener AND a caddy too! And yes, they are great for coloring but I discovered a new way to make some pretty awesome beads with them!
First, I shredded a few crayons using a fine grater. You want the pieces to be very small so that they mix well with your polymer clay. I used Premo clay in both transparent and Opal colors. The crayons will melt and will color the clay to a degree depending on how much crayon and what colors you use.
I simply smushed my conditioned clay onto the pile of crayon shreds and then worked the clay into beads. You should follow your clay manufacture's instructions for baking times.
These are all in the pre-bake, aka gumball or bouncy ball stage. Aren't they fun!? After I bake them, I add a bit of my own mojo to them! They turn out looking like tiny galaxies which thrills me to no end!
What do you think? I love learning a new technique and I can't to see where this will go next!
After all, I still have well over one hundred colors to try!
Until Next Time...channel the Force and get out your crayons!
Happy New Year! The Ringmaster is in, and I am very excited about this upcoming year! I have a HUGE list of goals to accomplish, projects to tackle, places to see and tribes to assemble! It's going to be lots of hard work and loads of fun, and I'm sure there will be some cussing involved too!
Work is my word for the year. Yeah, I know...boring, yet highly effective. Did I mention I have a HUGE list of goals? The word "play" or "believe" wouldn't really match...I could "believe" in my goals, but that list isn't going to just get accomplished on belief alone, now is it??!
I plan to continue the pursuit of knowledge...not only my craft, but life in general. Did you read Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert or You Are A Badass by Jen Sincere or anything by Brene Brown this past year? May I suggest you start there...
I will continue to count my blessings, keep my gratitude journal, and assemble my tribes. I'm sure this year will be full of many things to be thankful for...
I will try new products and techniques and get in the habit shipping my work...and I don't mean dealing with the postal service...I'm referring to tackling my habit of perfectionism...and so far, I'm winning this battle i.e. this blog post ;)
This is going to be a magical year indeed! Grab a ticket and enjoy the Circus! I cannot wait to get started!