Saturday, March 31, 2012

Honey Bijou Hive- March

The Honey Bijou Hive is a  monthly (month-end) feature here on this blog where I choose 5 polymer clay and/or jewelry artists ("The Hive Five") who’ve inspired me and share what I love about their work.

For more details about the Hive, see my first post.

March 2012’S HIVE FIVE ARE (In no particular order)…
Note: This month I tried compiling photos on my phone, and some things got messed up (poorly cropped, pixelated, etc.) I apologize to the artists whose work isn't being represented in the best way possible and I urge readers to follow links to see better images of these works.

1. Hope Smitherman/ Crafty Hope

Hope is a Mixed Media jewelry artist and dabbles in all sorts of techniques for creating her own components. She then further mixes it up by using her components in combination with beads made by other artisans. I love checking out her blog because every day she’s playing with different materials than the day before, constantly keeping things fresh and experimental.

More CraftyHope at: Etsy, Flickr, and her blog.

2. Marina Rios/ Fanciful Devices


With this artist I’m teetering the line between inspired and obsessed. Upon finding her work I suddenly wanted to change my entire style and the materials I work with. Marina makes amazing found object/altered art/assemblage type jewelry. I can’t even identify some of the items in her work, which I think proves her talent at pulling objects out of context and redefining them as jewelry components.

More Fanciful Devices at: Etsy and her blog.

3. Elsa Mora/ Elsita


 Elsa’s jewelry is just a fraction of her incredibly detailed body of work. Whether it be polymer, embroidery, paper cutting or paint, all her pieces are stylish, evocative and unique. Her painted polymer pendants are little pieces of precious folksy art on chains.

More Elsa at: Etsy, Flickr, her blog and....kinda everywhere.

4. Camille Young

Generally I don't pay much attention to the more cartoonish things people do with polymer clay because that’s a whole other genre in itself, but Camille dances right across the line between genres quite gracefully. She clearly has a strong background in  illustration that shows in all she does, and she translates that art form into really fun jewelry.

More Camille at: Her website, store and Flickr.

5. Rocky Antonio/ RockyBeads


I found Rocky through a Polymer Clay Daily post about her Matryoshka Doll lockets, which are just about the cutest things ever. It seems lockets are her thing, since her shop is full of them as well as lots of beautiful sculptural jewelry work and a healthy dose of whimsy.

More Rocky at Etsy, Flickr, and her blog.

As a little gift to our new Hive initiates, we have a badge which you may post on your blogs/websites/wherever if you like. Just copy the code and paste it where you want it.

Honey Bijou‘s Blog

Jenna of Honey Bijou

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Bead Table Wednesday and TV nostalgia

It probably wont be Wednesday any more by the time I get this posted, but I'm sharing my Bead Table Wednesday photo anyway.

Bead Table Wednesday: bouquet beads and salt-textured beads

In the forefront are some big beads in some Easter-y colors that I made with absolutely no ideas in mind for what to do with them. I just had this notion that I wanted to make beads with bouquets on them that were in translucent pots that you could see the stems through. So...I did. The others were originally going to be little cratered moons, and I spent about an hour creating little perfect craters on one side of each bead and then I realized that in order to do the other half I'd be squishing the first half with my fingers. So, I decided instead to just make some salt textured beads, hoping the effect would be similar. Not so much...but, I do like my idea to stain the white antiquing with yellow, orange and red alcohol inks.

My bead table today is actually my desk. I'm working on projects here and watching classic Beverly Hills 90210. I've been re-living the 90's through old TV shows while I work a lot lately. I think it's kind of showing in some of my jewelry, too, like these earrings inspired by the opening sequence of Saved By The Bell.

12/52 earrings

"When I wake up in the morning and uh something-something-something and I think I'll never make it on time. Something about books, and I give myself a look, I'm at the corner just in time to see the bus fly by..."

I also have a bunch of Pee Wee's Playhouse inspired pieces in progress, but that was an 80's show, wasn't it? Kim was teasing me the other day because I have been talking about making Pee Wee inspired jewelry since before Honey Bijou existed. Why, you ask? Because not only was that show a staple of my youth, it was also a living, breathing piece of artwork through and through. I will stop myself there because I could really make a whole blog post on this topic alone- and I will, when I debut the jewelry. In the meantime I'll just share some snapshots of the one Pee-Wee piece I happen to have here on my desk. I will probably never put this one up for sale for fear that it will end up on Regretsy, but perhaps some of you-if you grew up with Pee Wee as I did-will understand the personal appeal of a neon-colored plastic tribute to him.

Do you love it? Then why don't you marry it?!

The front panel is polymer clay stamped with a handmade texture plate and topped with a transfer image of Pee Wee that I altered with colored pencils and paint and distressed with sandpaper.

Ok now, time to coax you all into commenting by asking questions in hot pink text...

Do TV shows ever play a role in sparking your creativity?

What are you watching lately?

Fan-art type jewelry: Nerdy, awesome or both?

Friday, March 23, 2012

Creative De-stashing

Yesterday I got fed up with sifting through bags of beads that I know I'll never use. Aside from all the stuff I acquire from grab bags and such, I have some things in my stash that have been around since I was....maybe 8 or so. I don't know why I've been hanging on to zillions of plastic pony beads and jingle bells I wore on my shoelaces around the holidays in grade school. It was really time to destash.

I could have just taken a huge bag down to Goodwill or something, but I already had plans with a friend to walk our dogs, so I had this genius idea to grab some baggies and a staple gun.

I put our email address on the note. Let's all cross our fingers that we'll get to see what becomes of at least some of these beads.

My little miss Amelia says, "This is a good idea, mama!"

Lastly....random heart on the road!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Bead Table Wednesday: Treasures and Atrocities

Thrift and second hand stores sometimes package up all their broken/unsellable jewelry and sell it in a bunch for super cheap. These deals are usually snatched up pretty quick, so when I get my hands on one, I feel like it's my lucky day. Sometimes the unusable stuff far outweighs the usable, but it still works out to be worth it, and going through the package is always exciting.

Monday was my lucky day, complete with treasures, and a not treasures.

I apologize for the incorrect orientation of photos.
My iphone and my computer are in a fight right now and I just don't feel like getting in the middle of it.

These wooden bead necklaces were in great condition. It seems to me they could be sold as-is for plenty more than the 25 cents I paid for the whole bunch. But, I think someone working at my local thrift store has something against wooden beads and deems them worthless, which would explain why I have salvaged so damn many of them. I like these, though. The small ones will make great little spacers and I'm sure the long ones will find a home in some rustic or tribal jewelry. I had to toss out a few of them, though, because they were burnt to a crisp. How did that happen? My theory is that it was a birthday candle mishap. You can imagine it, right? You're leaning over, taking a deep breath while everyone is singing "....tooooo yoooooouuu" and poof- your wooden necklace is on fire and a story has been born that will be told for many birthdays to come. It could happen.

These 2 pieces were taken off a filthy hemp rope necklace. I didn't want to touch it, so I used pliers and tweezers and went at it like I was doing an autopsy. The lampwork piece is really cool, but totally not the Honey Bijou style. I'll keep it around, though. It could definitely be a treasure to someone else. I'm more excited about the Kroner. That's equivalent to 75 cents. I just got paid back 3-fold!

These are neat. They're definitely hand-painted if not entirely handmade. Together they're too much, but in separate things they could be great. The eagle needs a little distressing or something.

There were some plastic and glass beads, enameled charms and single earrings in the bunch, too, but nothing too exciting.

This, however, I have to show.

I am all for using unusual materials in jewelry, but let this necklace be a lesson that it is possible to get overly crafty in your jewelry designs. This necklace has an ocean's worth of seashells, wood beads, paper beads, cheapy metal beads, varnished peach pits, and some other material that looks somewhat like cheese. Let's get a closer look at those, shall we?

What. The. Frack. Is. That? I was afraid to touch them, but eventually got up the courage and discovered they are hard. OK, not cheese. My best guess is that it's that stuff made in elementary school out of wonder bread and glue, painted with a semi-transparent cheese-like color. I feel kind of bad making fun of someone's hard work, but hey, I've done similar things. I get caught up in the fun of making something and don't realize until after I've proudly admired it for a while that it's actually unattractive and has no practical use.

But yeah, the cheese beads went immediately into the trash. I wanted them out of my house before they hatched open and baby aliens came out.

Be sure to check out the Bead Table Wednesday Flickr group to see what's going on on other bead tables today.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

It's Spring!

Happy first day of spring everyone! Flowers and butterflies and seasonal allergies! Whee!

And, of course, new beads in lovely pastels...

As promised, I finished listing the entire collection of Spring Picnic beads in the shop. There are 10 new bead designs- 3 focals and 7 round designs meant to be "supporting characters". The focals are available singularly and the rounds are in sets of 6, and then we have mixed "Sampler Sets" in 3 styles, each featuring one of the focals and 4 complimentary beads. The samplers are discounted 15% from what they'd be if each of the beads were sold separately. I'm really excited about this, as it's my first cohesive collection. I can't wait till people snatch them up and make beautiful things out of them.

Here are the sampler sets:

(Click on the photos to go to the Etsy listings)

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Late to the St. Patty's Day Party

Hi folks. Happy St. Patty's to those of you that celebrate. It's 10PM here and I just realized it was St. Patty's 5 minutes ago, so I guess you could put me in the "doesn't celebrate" category. However, I will share this etsy treasury of green things from my favorite shops. That's festive, right?

In other news, the guilt trips worked (just kidding) and Kim has been busy making jewelry lately. I've only seen a couple of pairs of earring so far, but I'm excited to see more from her soon!

Speaking of Kim, I had her over the other day and asked her to help me detangle the contents of my, "I'm gonna list these things some day" box, and she gave me hell for all the jewelry I have made, but not yet listed. I really have a whole 'nother shop's worth of stuff ready, but....listing is hard. I much prefer making stuff. Kim is right, though. Must list things. People will not come to my door and ask to buy things out of tupperware boxes. So, tomorrow I will get the rest of my Spring bead designs listed, and then I'll make a deal with myself to get at least two things a day put up in the shop until everything's out there for the world to see. So, check the shop often in the near future. Treasures will be popping up daily.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

March's ABS challenge

I was so excited to see that this month’s challenge centered around this Van Gogh painting. I am not necessarily crazy about most of history’s renowned artists, but I make a very pointed exception for Van Gogh. It is apparent from his work and his life story that he did art because of a true and humble love of the process, and I have a huge respect for that.

For more info on this piece, check out the Art Bead Scene entry for this challenge.

Painting/Drawing/Traditional 2-D art is my first love and the basis for all my creative endeavors. Because of this, I looked at this painting and the actual subject matter completely escaped my attention. I focused entirely on colors and shapes and paint strokes.

I made the pendant by taking several transfers of parts of the painting, cutting them up and piecing them back together, then drawing on top to bring out the colors. Then I strung it with some pale blue glass beads to represent the color of the vast area of sky in the painting, red wooden discs to mimic the wheels on the carts in the painting, and plenty of silk in that Prussian blue that Van Gogh used so much.

My little Van Gogh finger puppet hung out with me while I worked. I call him Vinnie. He's got some smoof on his forehead because sometimes my dog thinks he's her "baby".

Lastly, I feel I have to include this clip of the Doctor Who episode where the doctor and Amy bring Van Gogh to current day to visit an exhibit of his work. It makes me cry every time.