Friday, April 29, 2011

April Monthly Challenge Blog Tour

Welcome to the Art Bead Scene April Challenge Blog Tour!
Our challenge painting inspired so many wonderful responses! From the birds to leaves to anything oriental, this was a great way to incorporate a huge variety of art beads. Birds and nests and trees are such popular motifs it was not hard to find something that fit.

Since I am a knowledge junkie (research is fun! I should have been a librarian ;-), I thought I would share with you a five fun facts I learned about finches (courtesy of Birdhouses 101):

1.The finch lifespan ranges from four to seven years. It's maximum life expectancy is 20 years, but that is rarely reached.

2.It is one of the smallest birds on Earth and belongs to the largest bird family known as the passerine, commonly referred to as perching birds or songbirds.

3.Finches are small and quiet birds that do not need human interaction. They don’t mind having humans around when searching for food on the ground or bird feeders.

4.The house finch was only a western bird before 1940. Then they were illegally shipped to New York City for trade as caged birds. Some pet dealers, however, later released their birds which eventually thrived in Long Island. Since that time, the house finches spread to the eastern and Midwestern part of the U.S. Today, they are one of the most common garden birds.

5. House finches are non-migratory to partial migratory birds. They usually stay in or close to their breeding areas over winter. They may only wander off to other areas in search for their food.

Okay! Enough of my geekery...on with the Hop!

{Kristi Bowman makes some awesome bronzclay charms... just look at the detail on those leaves!}
Starting us off this month is a beautiful piece from Kristi Bowman of Dreamsome Designs. Her new line of metal clay pendants and charms are beautiful in their detail and patina. Here she made the bamboo leaves that complement the earthy tones of the Havana Beads glass leaf headpins. Read all about it here.

Cindy Dolezal used some beautiful fibers to mimic the leaves of the tree in the perfect shade of green. They complement the beautiful wood beads and the bamboo ceramic square pendant made by Cindy herself.

I really enjoyed reading the process behind the design from Bee Tree by m.e. Some designs just beg to be touched and worn, and m.e. did just that... she wear tested this beauty just to make sure. Check out her blog to read more.

Mallory Hoffman, For the Love of Beads, chose to pull out the red in the Chinese letters of the painting using glass flowers that she created. The glass flowers are so lush and I imagine would make a delicate sound when worn! 

{Makin Art never ceases to amaze me. These are fabric leaves with real driftwood.}

Delving into the world of mixed media, and straying from her preferred seed beads, Mackin Art designed this awesome piece that really looks as if the branch was plucked right from that tree. Those leaves are just begging to be touched!
Welcome to the Blog Tour, Eleanor! This is a first entry for Eleanor, and I think that she outdid herself. When I first saw this I thought that it was grasses woven together. But it is silk! Read about her process here
Etching metal is such a great project to do and she drew her own bird image. This stunning cuff by StaciLouise blends so many textures together... metal, silk, leather. I bet this dresses up your jeans nice!

Lynne of Island Girl made everything in her necklace (except for one little bead). That dichroic focal bead is truly a work of art in itself!

{Miss Heather, the Peacock Fairy, was doubly inspired this month. This sweet little chicadee is from Sharon Palac of Bijou Jardin}
The lovely Miss Heather, a.k.a. the Peacock Fairy, is likely doing a little nesting of her own (her first child is due to make an appearance soon!), but in the midst of all that nesting, she found time to make not one, but two lovely little baubles, each one different totally different. I love this sweet little chickadee and the Chinese writing beads paired together. (And I am totally digging the photo styling on this one!)

Christine Damm, of Stories They Tell, never ceases to amaze me at the depth and nuances of her hand made polymer clay pendants. This month Christine pulled out all the stops for a multi-layered effect that is truly spectacular, and inspired by a movie called "The Curse of the Golden Flower" (that I am totally going to look for!).

Inspired by Chinese calligraphy and the royal dynasty, there is a lot going on in this design by Creaciones Inaru. I especially love the sketches that show the thought that went into this piece.

{Sally B Anderson created this earthy necklace with a pendant from Jeannie Dukic. Jeannie made this pendant as a giveaway inspired by this month's challenge painting. I don't think that Sally has a blog...yet!}

Grubbi from the UK made every single component in her bracelet. Check it out. And she just opened an Etsy shop to sell her components, resulting in her first sale this week! Congrats!

Beth and Evie are the talented duo behind EB Bead and Metalworks. I just love the way they work together as if they are finishing each other's creative thoughts. Their enameled metal pendant just about knocked me off my chair this week. Originally all I saw were the beautiful bamboo leaves in it... and then I noticed the camouflaged birds on the top. Brilliant!
Using an etched metal pendant with the perfect pair of birds, Miss Pamela of Klassy Jools designed a necklace with rustic elegance. You can't go wrong with pearls!

{I love that sweet little bird and those beautifully crafted leaves!}
Jackie Mello of Dose of Inspiration created these layered leaves from leaf shapes using mica powder for that extra flash. I love the sweet bird on the branch. Check out her process at her blog.
Pushing through her doubts, Miss Kate of Tropical Blonde created a great polymer clay focal using a mokame gane technique, but the best part is the hint of green wire peeking through! So glad you joined in! Read all about it here.
And finally, if you would care to see my challenge piece, I share a bit of my process in taking apart a treasure that didn't sell from my gallery exhibit last summer and using the perfect parts to enhance this new design, as well as a little tip I use on mixing metals. Hop on over to the Treasures Found blog to have a look.

Thanks for all the wonderful entries this month! Stay tuned for the May challenge painting to rev up your inspiration!

(If you find any links not working, please contact me I tested them all late last night but somehow the gremlins in my computer were messing with me. My apologies!)
Erin Prais-Hintz writes about all things that inspire her at Treasures Found::Inspiration Is Everywhere. Her jewelry designs are one-of-a-kind made one-at-a-time. She collects quotes and dust and invites you to send her your favorite (quote - not dust!) to


peacockfairy said...

Such gorgeous entries this month! I think designing around nature, birds especially, really draws people in!

JeannieK said...

I think what strikes me about the challenge's is the complete uniqueness of each design. I always wonder what goes through each designers mind and their process. These are all designs that make me ponder this.

I'd like to thank ABS for inspiring me each day and giving designers and bead makers a venue to show off their talent, share information, and support each other.

I'd like to thank all the contributing editors for all their hard work and time they put into each and every post.

I never feel like I'm walking in everyone's shawdow here, only their light.


Unknown said...

I am floored by the amount of talent this blog hop contains! With each new reveal, I leaned in closer to soak in every detail.
Thank you so much to everyone who took the time to create AND share, it is no small task but it is very inspiring!

Brenda Salzano said...

Oh what awesome talent!! Love the little bird necklace where the pic is on someones neck. Awesome, very artisan! I dream of someday having a little kiln so I can do bronze clay items,, ahh dreams ;-) Looking forward to the may challenge. Hoping I have time to participate!

KristiBowmanDesign said...

What a fantastic month, this challenge more than many others really pulled out some fantastically creative pieces. I'm thrilled to have taken part. Thank you!

My Life Under the Bus said...

Gorgeous !!! Loving Kristi Bowmans piece!!! Lovely inspiration throughout!

Norma's Bag Boutique said...

All the pieces are wonderful! Thanks for sharing.

cindydolezaldesigns said...

What a great blog hop. I love these challenges, especially this months. Can't wait for May's inspiration.

Anna Lear said...

What beautiful pieces -- all unique yet totally congruent with the theme. I was late in meeting the challenge (just finished the piece today) but really enjoyed this theme and color palette, and all the wonderful interpretations shown here!

Lisa Peters Russ said...

My goodness..the pieces show so much originality and creativity.. I am totally blown away by the materials used to make these beautiful pieces in ABS today!.. amazing!

Kate said...

This was so much fun! Thank you to all the contributing editors of ABS for doing such a great job every month. This first experience has definitely left me wanting to participate again! So much talent and creativity is positively inspiring.

Miriam said...

It's my first challenge and i very happy with the process i very exciting and inspired for create other piece. Thanks!

Alice said...

Erin, thanks for a most delightful blog tour! I have seen so much wonderful inspiration.