Wednesday, 30 April 2014

AJE Component of the Month reveal - April

This month we were treated to one of Lesley Watt of TheaElements beautiful button clasps. They're really cute and dinky and the perfect finish to any number of designs. I decided this time to keep my ideas simple, and I've had this half brewing in my head for a while, so when the clasp arrived I knew this was the time to create it.

This was the clasp I received... a cute little ammonite!

I like beads, well... that's a bit of an understatement... I love them! I've tried making them from virtually every material you can think of, and have loved them since my Grandma introduced me to her button tin one Summer holiday. I would lay them out in order of favourites, and have hours of fun. Creating this bracelet gave me that same feeling of being a child again, and choosing things just because I like them.

This bracelet contains some of my favourite treasures and is finished off wonderfully with the addition of Lesley's clasp.

There are sterling wire wrapped beads, ceramic, glass and a fine silver urchin set with 30 cubic zirconia all made by me, Czech beads, Spotty bead & blue pear from Gaea, and a sea foam textured round by TheaElements, Glass nugget by Beads for Breakfast, fluorite and a blue stone I can't remember the name of, all finished off with a Bali silver ammonite bead and of course Lesley's button clasp. My favourite thing about the clasp is that it blends in so well to become part of the design, and it was the deciding factor on my colour scheme. I had great fun picking out the colours in it and echoing them with my found treasure.

And this month, I've also made an effort with my photography! Inspired by Keirsten's post about interesting backgrounds, I've acquired an old pallet which I think looks great! I've reimagined it as a boardwalk by the sea for my ocean inspired design!

Hope you enjoyed reading, and a big thank you to Lesley for her beautiful component! If you'd like to see what the other AJE members and guests have made... follow the links :)


Friday, 18 April 2014

Spring Fever Design Challenge - The Designs

Well it's a glorious day here today. I think our Spring Fever design challenge did it!

We've been overwhelmed by the wonderful designs created with our beads and would like to say a great big Thank You to everyone who joined it, it's been wonderful looking through all the creations and different ideas that have come from the kits!

If you'd like to have a browse at everything in one place. We've created a Pinterest board with everything you made. I'm sure you'll agree, it looks amazing!

Click through to see close ups in the full version!

Follow Caroline's board BlueberriBeads & Thea Elements Spring Fever on Pinterest.

A Brand new Blog!

You may have noticed that my blog's looking a little different today. That's because I've moved!

After battling with Wordpress, I've thrown in the towel on trying to get my posts to appear as I'd like them and not how wordpress thinks they should look. So now I'm a Blogger blogger! :)

I hope you like the new site! I will be back here soon with more posts, but for now, I've added in everything from 2014 and all of my tutorials so you have something to browse while I sort myself out :)

 Thanks for joining me! I hope you'll stick around!

 Caroline x

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Spring Fever Design Challenge – The Reveal!

Good morning all. The day is finally here… the big reveal.

I’m so excited to visit all the blogs and see what everyone has made, but first a quick recap…
Lesley WattClaire Braunbarth and myself each supplied some of our goodies to put together challenge packs with a Spring Theme.

Sets were sent out to 23 participants all over the world with the challenge of creating Spring themed designs.

 I was thrilled with the set I received back after they’d all been put together, it was done blind so that none of us knew what we would be getting. As usual, I forgot to take a picture of what I got before I used it, (you think I’d have got the hang of it by now!)
There was a beautiful green ceramic focal and bead set from Lesley, as well as some small cream and rust coloured beads which you’ll see later on!

Some orange/red silk from Claire

and a bird set  by me. There was a smaller white bird and a leaf in the set, but I didn’t get round to using those!

The first piece I chose to work with was Lesley’s focal pendant. I love the green on this one. It’s not a colour I would have picked up myself to work with, but once I got going, I loved the rustic design that came through from it. The necklace is strung with leather and I created a knotted bail with the same leather and one of my lamp work urchins which matched the colours nicely. I began with a few of my ceramic beads, but seemed to have got a bit carried away as I ended up with a great big chunky statement necklace. I’m not overly sure about the sliding clasp on this one. I might change that!

Next, I chose the small ceramic beads from Lesley, and silk from Claire. I must have had a rustic mood on, as I grabbed more leather. This time it was 5mm thick. The silk was wrapped around the leather and secured with copper wire. I started out with it wound around the whole thing, but I liked the natural colour of the leather poking through.

I love the multi strand designs that are popular at the moment, so I chose some coordinating beads and attached the strands together with 5mm end caps. After trying it on, I wanted the strands to sit in a certain way, so I made a couple of large copper jump rings to hold them together and added some dangles. I am constantly fighting the urge to add everything I have to my designs, I just love beads so much! But I think the 3 added here set it off just right.

And for my final piece, I was left with my bird set. I bought some stunning flower beads from Laney (Izzybeads) at the Flame off with the intention of using them for the challenge. I played around with all sorts of designs and added bits in and ended up with most of my stash out on the worktop. This design sort of fell together out of the chaos, and is my favourite of the three.
I created a lariat with silk ribbon in three colours and 2mm leather! It was undone half a dozen times while I decided on the best placement, but I kept it simple so that the flowers were the main focus. I’m pleased with how the ribbons drape and look like tendrils sprouting from the flowers. It’s lovely and light to wear, and I think the most Spring like of the designs.
Sorry about the poor photo on this one, I went out to retake this and one of my lovely children stood on a flower and broke it :( This was the best of what I had!

I hope you’ve enjoyed looking through my designs and taking part in the challenge!

And now for my favourite part… the hop! 

Thank you to everyone who’s joined us in the challenge, we were overwhelmed by the fantastic response we got and I’m bursting to see what you’ve made!
Here are the links…