Thursday, June 30, 2011

June Monthly Challenge Blog Tour

This month we visited the oft-illlustrated tragic character of Ophelia from Shakespeare's play Hamlet. 

{Ophelia, by Odilon Redon}

Recently a BBC news story of June 7, 2011 reported that there is evidence of a real-life tragedy that mirrored that of young Ophelia's drowning that could have been the inspiration for Shakespeare's virginal character. Jane Shaxspeare, age 2 1/2, drowned from falling in a millpond while picking a flower called 'yellow boddles' that grew along the banks. This spelling of her last name, and the proximity to where William grew up, indicates to the researchers that young Jane may have been a cousin, and as he penned the demise of Ophelia this may have been an image plucked straight out of his youth.

Interesting how artists are inspired by their experiences, yes?

It's a long one so get comfortable! On with the tour!



Welcome to the Art Bead Scene to Treasure Island Crafts (above)! Just look at the lovely polymer clay treasures she makes. I am so glad she decided that the time was right to share her creation with all of us. The pendant is so beautifully made and references the tragedy of Ophelia perfectly. Just look at the detail in this piece!

Staci creates a very touching tribut to the lovesick Ophelia. The blue butterfly with the moon is a beautiful pendant. I can feel as if I am tiptoeing on the edge of this pool as the water ripples around me. Lovely!

What to do when you can't find the perfect art bead in your stash? Go shopping on Etsy! Lesley, The Gossiping Goddess, found a serene face pendant in ceramic to coordinate with the earthy palette she used. Such a lovely design!


Miss Malin in Sweden made a truly modern and ultimately wearable piece with a fun design. And I don't care what she says... she is a beautiful model! ;-)

Jeannie of Jewelry by Jeannie focused on the bright summery colors and made a fun and funky polymer clay bangle set and matching earrings. Jeannie is a talented bead artist and even made a pendant that is inspired by this painting. The pendant will be sent free to whomever buys the rest of the set. Such a sweet deal!

The yellow of those flowers in the painting enticed Erin Siegel to make the perfect accessory for summer. This is one happy bracelet!



If you can't find the perfect art bead for your submission, make one! That is exactly what Kate of Tropical Blonde did (above). And she is selling these extra beauties in her Etsy shop. Yea!

For those with more eclectic tastes, check out Elly of EBSnareJewellery. All of these rings are joined in such marvelous ways and each piece is so varied. But the palette joins them all together for a great design that keeps my eye hungry for more!

The intricacies with which Kelly of Mackin-Art creates is truly astounding to me. In my world, seed beads are little nuisances that serve to separate larger beads. In her world, they are precious bits that when combined make magic. Go check out her lovely 'Teal Drift' bracelet and prepare to be amazed.

The colors in the beads that Linda Landig chose are so happy! These glass posies make it impossible to be sad with this bracelet on your wrist!

Not only is Sandy of EssentiaDesigns a talented jewelry designer (above), and gifted photographer (great use of props!), but she makes her own beads! That is the equivalent of one who can sing AND play an instrument (in this case, the instrument is lampwork glass rods and Thompson's enamel. And lots of flame, I am sure!)

Patti of My Life Under the Bus is one busy mom this summer, but in between fun in the sun with her kids, she found the time to do the Muffin Tin Challenge and knock off this lovely necklace for the June Monthly challenge as well. Booyah! That is what I call a 'multi-tasking momma', my friends!

Klassy Jools found the perfect brass stamping that evokes the sweet Ophelia. Adding some special glass beads and just a hint of the yellow completes this lovely necklace.

Using the color palette in the painting as a jumping off point, Lorelei pulled together an eclectic mix of art beads to match the feel of the painting. She tells us that the challenge was not so much the colors as in the construction.


Natalie of Grubbi knows that "the plays the thing" and found a touching and poetic quote from the Bard to incorporate into her long and lovely necklace. So glad that you challenged yourself further, Natalie, and did a necklace instead of your normal bracelet. This challenge brings out the best in all of us!

Blending two different artists into one piece is what Jill of Palumbo Jewelry did with her lovely cane face bead inspired by Frida Kahlo worked into the color palette of Redon's Ophelia. What a way to be doubly insired!

Deb of Greenshoot in the UK knows that Gaea's goddess face pendants are the perfect interpretation of this painting. She included all the soft soothing colors of the water as a backdrop to the vibrant floral tones. Well done!

Getting back into the swing of things, Creatively Kym created a mixed media necklace for the challenge. She did a little stamping, added fiber and found some great art beads for the palette. And she also notes that when the new challenge is released she makes that picture her computer background to inspire her all month. Clever idea, Kym!


For a completely outside the box thinking, Crafty Hope (above) played with the idea of the reflecting pool and found a clever way to use a tiny mirror in her own polymer clay pendant to evoke the body of water. Great use of materials!

Pairing a vintage calla lily brooch and a beautiful blue lampwork glass bead, Honey from the Bee created this modern reversible necklace. I love jewelry that can be worn more than one way! And there is such meaning in the lily for the story of Ophelia. Go on over and read all about it.

Kristi of Dreamsome Designs tells us that she was 'completely taken with color' from this painting inspiration. Kristi's creation is a playful mix of pinks, yellows and turquoise with all different art beads represented.


Anna of The Laughing Raven (above) is working her way through her bead stash and unearthing treasures she has long ago forgotten, like this stunning focal from Summers Studio. Luckily, these things work perfectly for this month's challenge. And Anna is the most gifted macro photographer. You must go and check her out!

Laurelee of Rue's Daftique joined us this month and even wrote a poem that was inspired by the painting and her creation! We hope that you will come back and play with us next month.

Bee Tree by m.e. may have 'rocks in her head' but she sure knows how to make polymer clay do her will! She focused on the thought of the rocks surrounding Ophelia's pond and made that pool come to life.

Have you ever suffered from 'beader's block'? You know, the times when you just can't settle on any one thing? Keenya of The Cranberry Studio tells us that this is exactly what happened to her. But she managed to turn that indecision to her advantage with a necklace that would go with anything in your closet!


And now for something completely different... Heather of Aquariart has so many gifts. One is working with fibers. You simply will not believe the intricacies of the needle felted cuff (above) that she created and beaded for this month's entry. Brilliant!

Evie and Beth of EB Bead and Metalworks have this wonderful relationship. This mother and daughter team work together so seamlessly to create beautiful jewelry. This month, they brought in the colors with some beautiful glass frit beads and even some polymer clay roses from another contributor, Bee Tree by m.e.!

And last, but certainly not least, MiddleEarths always manages to make me say "wow" with the way she uses her materials. Here she has opted for the black with touches of color creating a somber, yet full of life choker necklace.

But wait! There's more!

I goofed up. And I apologize. I missed the lovely Cilla's bracelet. Her piece features some summery shades of turquoise water and golden sunshine, and pink petals through the lampwork glass and patina-ed metals she found in her stash. Cilla was also chosen by one of our editors as the designer of the week. Congratulations!

Squeaking in just under the wire (so sorry I missed this!) is Sandy Volpe and her necklace with beautiful lampwork in a style that would be a staple with my summer wardrobe. Thanks for sharing your talents!

Thank you so much for sharing your gifts with our Art Bead Scene community! Be sure to check back soon for the challenge for July and to find out who the random winner of all those goodies will be!

Might I ask a teensy-eensy favor? I do go and read every single one of your posts. So if you have a blog and you are posting about your challenge piece, please, oh pretty please, put the exact link in either the challenge blog post or with your picture on Flickr. It takes hours to put this together and I just don't have time to cycle through the back posts on your blog in order to get it all done by the deadline. Thanks for understanding!

For my own creation, I focused on the color of the water and the blooms. I made a bracelet and did a little research on Hamlet, the inspiration for Redon's Ophelia painting and found some interesting facts about the language of flowers. Come on over to the Treasures Found blog and have a read!

17 comments:

m.e. said...

I LOVE this monthly feature!!!
It's so much fun and very interesting to get a bit of inspiration insight from all the great entries!
As soon as I get home from work I'm going to fix a big frosty glass of ice tea and start visiting everyone !!! m.e.:)

Kristi Bowman said...

Every month I'm bedazzled by the amazing creations from everybody. Every one of them beautiful!!

My Life Under the Bus said...

An AMAZING amount of inspiration this month!!! What a lovely bunch of entries!

Essentia Designs said...

Erin, thank you so much for the kind words. That means a lot to me as I really love your work. I had a great time with Ophelia and look forward to participating in more challenges in the future. Such a great way to open up our creative hearts and lead us in new directions. Thanks everyone at ABS for creating such a great place to hang out and be inspired.

Amy said...

Thanks for taking the time to put this post together and for adding thoughtful observations too. I appreciate it!

CraftyHope said...

Wow, there were definitely a lot of beautiful pieces in this month's challenge. Thanks so much for the write up and picture of mine in this post. This was my first time joining in and I KNKW I'll be playing along again. It really did help to give my creative muscles a little stretch!
I hope I put the whole link in my post... I'd hate to put you out.
Thanks again!

treasureislandcrafts said...

I'm so thrilled to see my Ophelia necklace here on ABS the first time I've ever had the courage to enter officially! Seeing all the beautiful work you all created for this challenge, I consider it a great honor.
Thank you.

Pretty Things said...

These all blow me away!

Grubbi said...

Woo! Thank you for the lovely words regarding my piece! Amazing pieces of jewellery this month, as always! Looking forward to seeing what you guys have in store for us in July!

Green Shoot Jewellery Designs said...

Thank you Erin for your comments and the time you spent putting this all together. It's an amazing inspiration and I love seeing everyones creations.
Deb x

Aquariart said...

Thanks Erin for all you do to make this happen. I am the guilty one always squeaking in at the last minute and I totally forgot to add my link. I will try to get it right next time. Wonderful entries this month, They are all so different and I never really knew the story about the painting. Thanks so much for adding that to the post!

chicandfrog said...

It could be a little stupid to say, but thank you for all the time spent checking the blogs and showing us the best of the best. So far I have discovered many interesting artists and blogs.

Ambra

Kate said...

I love the variety of these challenges and the great people you find because of them Thanks a lot ABS! And specific thanks to Erin, your posts are so personal, thoughtful and encouraging. Thanks again!

PS I *might* have been a TAD excited to see my photo that I plastered it all over the social media ;)

Mackin-Art said...

Really incredible submissions this month!
Thanks for the kind words regarding my work, sometimes I find seed beads to be quite the little nuisances also, but I do love working with them.

Cillaw said...

Hi Everybody
Don't forget about me!!
Come hop on over

http://www.tellyourgirlfriends.com/?p=68

Thanks!
Cilla

alankarshilpa said...

What a cool site. I am pleasantly surprised to see what all these artists are doing and your hard work putting them together. This is my very first visit to your blog site.

Sandi Volpe said...

Love this challenge and all the great designs, first time and promise not to be under the wire next time:-)