Tuesday, January 31, 2012

January Monthly Blog Tour

"I know a little garden close
Set thick with lily and red rose,
Where I would wander if I might
From dewy dawn to dewy night
And have one with me wandering."
~William Morris

We were treated to a classic this month, the stylistic wallpaper of William Morris. And our ABS community rose to the challenge of bringing this Arts & Crafts image to life.


Jenna of HoneyBijou (above) puzzled through how to create a mold for her handmade clay beads which makes them multi-dimensional. The color on these are a spot on match to the Trellis wallpaper. I am impressed that she also included a trellis bead that she handmade and was able to use recycled materials to make it work. This is a sweet and whimsical and fresh way to start out the hop.

Elisabeth of BeadsForBusyGals make a garden fairy pendant come to life with the mix of olive silk and a carved rose bead from England. She looks like a mischievous garden spirit!

The bracelet that Shaiha of ShaihasRamblings made looks like it would be fun to wear. All the dangles were a lot of work and really play up the twining vines and leaves on the trellis in the inspiration wallpaper.

Welcome the ABS Challenges, Miss Patti! For this, her first challenge (above), she found so many pretty art bead treasures in her hoarded stash (don't worry, we all have them!) that suited the Morris wallpaper. Choosing an egg - which is where the bird comes from, right? - was a smart design choice, especially one so perfectly shaded as this one! We hope to see more of your work this coming year!

Updating a classic and making it new and exciting is hard to do. But that is exactly what Kelly of MackinArt did. She used a right angle weave technique to create a modern interpretation of a trellis complete with one stunning art bead leaf. Infinitely wearable and chic

Cece The Beading Yogini has this wonderful spirit. She has taken this inspiration and crafted something so unique and pretty that it actually made me gasp. The attention to detail in each little stitch on her fabric pendant is gorgeous.She must have incredible patience to do such intricate work.

Constructing a trellis out of enameled links is what Beth & Evie of EBBeadAndMetalWorks did for us this month. The skill that it takes to saw out the flowers and then enamel them in pretty variegated colors is truly awesome. Add in a smattering of Beth's handmade glass beads and you have a masterpiece that would be at home in any garden party!

Taking her cue from Victorian images, Lynda Moseley of SCDiva created a lush and hushed garden nymph focal bead and a necklace that is just dripping with florals.

Cilla of Tell Your Girlfriends (above) found her inspiration in the dragonflies flitting among the trellis. Her bracelet brings in the color palette of greens and orange so expertly and looks like it would be very fun to wear!

Reconstructing a memory is what bee tree by m.e. did with her lovely challenge necklace. She recalled her grandmother's wire fences as "garden jewelry" and created a wearable version of this. What a sweet tribute to a loved one!

Welcome Miss Rebekah of Tree Wings Studio! We are so happy that you decided to start the year out right by jumping in on your first ABS challenge. Your handmade cabbage rose flower beads (above) are the perfect shade of salmon. I love the extra details you added to make the serpentine bead look like the trellis with the wire wrapping and the finishing touch on the ends of the cord. We hope that you will come back and play with us again!

Karen Gille of Squirrel Haven Studio worked in so many details into her piece. I love that she was willing to try something new by creating a pendant in a mosaic fashion with polymer clay. I was really inspired to read about her process. I love the way it all works because of the cohesive color palette despite the variety of elements.

The Claying Mommy came up with a clay design that perfectly mimics the garden that is all a-buzz with life in her beautiful necklace (above). This elegant filigree encrusted pendant has swooping birds and flowers on the vine. I love the way the pendant is like a microcosm of that wallpaper. So intricately detailed!

Sharyl of Sharyl's Jewelry & Reflections gave us a macro tour of her necklace and earrings. Taking macro shots is a great way to show all the wonderful detail that goes into making your design stand out. The focal art bead all wrapped up in wire is a wonderful way to interpret the trellis!

Elaine of TooAquarius really knows her way around polymer clay. She created a focal with the palette and themes of the wallpaper that looks to me like something special my grandmother would have worn. This is a sweet and simple necklace that would be a way to welcome the spring that will surely come.

There are a lot of us hoarders out there, aren't there? We buy pretty beads with no earthly idea of what to do with them. Then inspiration strikes! We are glad that Pam of KlassyJools (above) had these amazing glass flowers just lying around waiting for just the right moment. Her necklace is a showstopper!

Miss Sue of SueBeads created two lovely entries this month. Her necklace was created for a show that didn't happen. Lucky for us, she still had this perfect necklace that really ties into the floral theme. I am sure that this lovely won't last for long!

Art beads by different artists can truly play together nicely. Kym Hunter proves this in her beautiful piece with a soaring bird, lampwork glass and ceramic toggle and leaf. I love the way the colors all work in harmony despite the very different materials and makers.

I love what happens when you go out on a limb. I would like to think that I helped encourage Miss Keirsten of CerebralDilettante (above) to join in the ABS challenges, but I know that Miss Keirsten would only yell at me for being a pied piper and trying to get her to join in the fun! (Did I read that right? You enjoyed it?! So, does that mean you will be back again?;-) Her necklace is truly remarkable in its styling and components, many of which she made herself. In her car. Hammering on her lunch hour. How's that for going out on a limb?
Can you all do me an itsy-bitsy favor? It would help me immensely if you would kindly post the exact blog link in your comment. Please, please, pretty please... please put your exact link to your blog post in either the Flickr description or in the monthly challenge post comments! (Okay, this is me begging now!) I spend hours, days really, reading through each and every one and then writing the summary post. I love to see the inspiration that you share, the process, the materials. Sometimes I have a suspicion that a regular has posted something on her space, but hasn't left the link, and then I go searching for it through pages of blog posts. But the worst is when I click the link and then it is just not there. I don't want to not include you, but it is so hard to search for it sometimes and I don't want to disappoint you if you are not in the hop. So I search and I search until I hopefully find the exact post. I am so inspired by all of YOU and I want to help share your wonderful posts with the world. So help me help you! Thank you!

Looking forward to seeing what you do with the February challenge!


Karen Gille said...

Erin, I was just thinking what an incredible amount of work you must put into this post. You have such lovely comments for each entry. I just wanted you to know how much it is appreciated. Each month I can hardly wait to see what the new challenge will be. The ABS Challenge has really inspired my creativity and growth.
Thank you so much!!

Patti Vanderbloemen said...

I am amazed at the lengths that some of the designers go to create these awesome pieces of art! I am probably one of the bad people who did not post their link correctly...that is because I am technologically challenged...I will try to do better...thank you!

Francesca DeCaire said...

Increasingly inspiring.

Bea said...

some great ideas and really love clay momma's pendant

meena said...

those are beautiful! your jewelry is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay better than mine! by the way, i'm a new follower, and hope someday, you'll be mine too!


Rebekah said...

I'm so excited to see my necklace here alongside so many fabulous designs! What a surprise!! Thank you Erin!!

KeRobinson said...

WOW! These all are so beautiful, I just love the creative way they were put together! :)

Elaine said...

I'm always so impressed with what people think up for the challenges!

And Erin: you did a fabulous job writing such sweet blurbs about everyone's work!

Jo said...

They are all so beautiful, but I am so impressed that Keirsten made hers in her car! That's dedication for you!

Sharyl said...

Thanks to our wonderful tour guide!