Sep 30, 2016

Art Charm Swap Blog Hop

I really think that one of my favorite things to do as a designer is to be able to contribute to charities.  I enjoy making up a design and donating it to a cause for a silent auction.  I enjoy making earrings and sending them off to be given to women undergoing chemo.  But I do have to say that I love participating in the Art Charm Swap and have been doing so for a few years.

Now just how does this work you ask?  Well a group of designers get together headed by our fearless leader, Jen Cameron, who breaks us up into groups of ten.  We then make up eleven charms to swap with each other. 

Now I am sure that you are wondering just what an art charm is.  Well it is a mini piece of art that has either been made or altered by hand.  And no purchasing a pre-made charm and just adding a ring to it.  Art charms are wonderful for making necklaces, earrings and that always popular charm bracelet. 

And if you were wondering why we made eleven and just where the charity part comes in.  Well we make that one extra which will be auctioned off and the proceeds are then donated to Beads of Courage.  If you haven't heard about this wonderful organization it's worth clicking on the link to see all the wonderful things that they do but in a nutshell, they give away beads to children with life threatening illnesses to celebrate milestones.  Great idea isn't it?  And you can bid on any of the ones that I fall in love with and feel good about helping out the kids.  I will be sure to post when the auction is starting.

Now we always have a theme and this time around it was fairy tales.  And you should see all the wonderful charms that I received.  Well actually you can.  Those above are some of the charms that I received.  Everything from a witch's hat to the white rabbit.  Now for a closer look at the charms and to learn the stories behind them, be sure to check out all the participant's blogs.  And those aren't all of them.

Now a bit about the charms that I made to donate.  It all begins with an apple, or at least several fairy tales have apples in them from the poisoned apple in Snow White to Avalon which was the Isle of Apples to a Turkish fairy tales called The Laughing Apple and the Weeping Apple, and many more.  I wanted to create a charm that would span several tales hence the apple.  I used handmade lampwork beads, sterling filled wire, vintage Swarovski crystals and lead free pewter apples.

I want to thank Jen also for sending me these pics.  I forgot to take a picture of the charm before I sent it out.

Now here is that list I promised so you can check out the other charms so you can decide just which ones you are going to claim for your own.  And remember, all of the proceeds from the auction goes to Beads of Courage

Sep 29, 2016

Art Jewelry Elements Tree Theme Challenge

When I first saw Art Jewelry Elements' theme for the month of September, I just knew that I had to join in.  I couldn't really call myself a treehugger otherwise and even though I am very much an urban pagan, I still love nature and trees.  Besides we have such gorgeous trees here in the Pacific Northwest.  I had actually planned on heading out to the park (yes we have a park has a lot of old growth forest in it) and getting some good pics but time slipped away from me.

So I just have a couple that I took before though one is from last weekend so not so long ago.

I didn't however let time slip away enough that I didn't get a couple necklaces done for this challenge.  This first one really fits with the theme of the challenge.  The lovely focal was made by Mary Harding.  She makes the best nature themed ceramic focals, beads and clasps.  And I was just lucky enough to have one of her focals in my stash.  I knotted it up with some adventurine, agate and some brass beads.  I finished it off with a brass leaf toggle clasp.

This next necklace doesn't have any 'art' elements in it but it fit with the theme so I decided to toss it in also.  I am a member of the Bargain Bead Box which is a monthly subscription plan where I get beads set in a theme.  This month their theme was all about fall and the woods.  So I made up a necklace some of what they sent me and it has woodland creatures you would find in the trees, acorns and an oak leaf toggle clasp.

Several of us were inspired by this theme so be sure to check out what all these wonderful designers have come up with.  I know that I am going to be checking them out between calls.

AJE Team