Monday, March 4, 2019

Art Bead Scene Art Journey 2 - Fairytales, Knotted Crystals and Art Solder

We've been working on some new jewelry designs and components for our upcoming shows and we found some fabulous inspiration by the creators at Art Bead Scene.  We joined their Art Journey 2 challenge this month, and we're excited to show you some of the designs that we were inspired to create!  For the Art Journey, creators are inspired by 3 Art Nouveau illustrations made in the early 1900s.  These beautiful works of art were created by Virginia Frances Sterrett and feature lovely colors, textures and elements reminiscent of fairy tales.

Our first design features gorgeous opalescent crystals and Czech glass cathedrals in colors found in the "Blondine and the Tortoise" - Gianna loves to match colors and we think she did a beautiful job pairing up the pretty blues and pale peaches.  The necklace was hand knotted by Deborah on nylon for a soft, supple look.  We also created lampwork headpins that we can't wait to design with - these pins are our new Unicorn Horn shape made by Catherine and they feature gorgeous mottled blues and greens similar to the Tortoise shell featured in the illustration. 

Our second design was inspired by "Proserpina and the Sea Nymphs", this pretty illustration features ocean and mermaid themes.  For our design, we again created a hand knotted necklace that features delicious ocean colors of crystal glass beads and cathedral cut Czech glass.  This necklace was designed by Gianna, and knotted by Deborah on a coral colored nylon cord. Our focal echos the coral in the illustration, it is a vintage piece of bright orange branch coral that Catherine topped with an art solder cap.  We used rubber stamps during the molten solder process and we love the barnacle-like texture that came about!


Our final design was inspired by the 3rd Art Journey illustration "Blondine Threw Her Arms Around Him" which features Art Deco elements and a lovely white deer.  This bold, geometric illustration prompted Gianna to put together many different kinds of crystal glass beads and Czech cathedrals that Deborah then hand knotted into a long, sparkly necklace.  The focal for this design features several handmade elements like a vintage chandelier teardrop and druzy quartz nugget that Catherine accented with art solder bezels and caps, and a lampwork glass leaf charm from Jennifer.  We have loved adding art solder elements to our designs, the textures are so much fun!


We have thoroughly enjoyed creating for the Art Journey.  Be sure to check out our entries at the Art Bead Scene gallery, and come see these jewelry designs and many more at our shows this spring in Kansas City, Joplin, Tulsa and Branson.  Don't forget, it all starts with one little bead!

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Bead Peeps Swap N Hop 2019 Swap Showcase

We have once again joined the Bead Peeps Swap N Hop event from Linda Anderson - this year being the 5th year running!  For this event, creators are partnered up to swap beads with each other, then they post their creations on the reveal date and hop to each one and see what everyone has created.

Our partner this year is Sarah Auerbach from New York.  She sells beads in a FaceBook group under the name Larynx Jewels, and also has a jewelry subscription service on her website under the same name.  She started making jewelry to help causes she cared about, and her favorite styles to create include simple, striking and vintage accented with assorted handmade components.  Armed with this info, we sent Sarah a selection of crystals, stones and vintage rice beads in earthy greens, blues and bronzes.  Our artisan components included a lampwork focal, one of our Molten Solder teardrops and Molten Solder links.  We also sent a tasty artisan chocolate bar!

We also received our partner's Bead Swap, and it's chock full of fun items!  Sarah sent beads and components that she catered to each of our styles, including seed bead triangles, vintage glass and findings, and some fun comic book beads that she made herself!  She also sent a yummy chocolate coffee bean bar (which we all love!) and a recipe for lavender lemonade (using lavender that she has home-grown) which we can't wait to try.

We already have some fun ideas for all these beads, and can't wait to get started creating.  Be sure to come back and see us on April 7th to see the Big Reveal!

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Art Elements February Challenge Reveal - Artisan Jewelry Inspired by the American Kestrel

Welcome to the Art Elements February 2019 Themed Challenge Reveal!  The theme of this month's Challenge was Birds of Prey or Raptors.  Makers were encouraged to submit any kind of artistic endeavor representing these magnificent flying creatures. We created handmade jewelry for this challenge as we have been prepping for our spring shows.  We are headed to Kansas City next week for the 58th Annual Gem, Mineral, Jewelry and Bead Show and we have been working hard to bring our customers lots of new jewelry designs and handmade components.

We are usually inspired by song birds like cardinals, bluebirds and robins, so working with a birds of prey theme with this Challenge was a little out-of-the-box for us.  We have a new song bird pendant focal that we are introducing in our Spring 2019 painted pendant collection, so we incorporated the feather coloring of a bird of prey for one of pendants, an American Kestrel!  We were struck by the lovely colors of the Kestrel, this little falcon features a coat of slate blue, rust, cream and a striking speckled pattern throughout the feathers.  Catherine hand painted all of these elements into our songbird pendant, and then we paired our new focal with a hand knotted crystal bead necklace from Deborah.  Our little Kestrel dangles freely from a hand stamped O-Ring that says "Fearlessly Authentic" - a fitting and inspirational quote!

We also created this boho pair of earrings in the same American Kestrel theme to match with our necklace.  These feathers, inspired by the American Kestrel, have been hand painted in our studio by Catherine and then accented with lots of bling by Gianna.  They're super sparkly and lightweight!

While looking up feather inspiration for our hand painted components, we discovered some interesting tidbits about the American Kestrel.  Read below to learn more about these adorable little falcons!

• The American Kestrel is the smallest and most common falcon in the US.

• Kestrels can be tamed easily and trained quickly - because of this (and their small size), they are popular falconry birds for working in the city.

These American Kestrel jewelry designs and lots more of our new handmade jewelry will be available at our shows in Kansas City, Joplin and Tulsa this spring.  Visit our website for more info on our Dry Gulch shows.

This month's Art Element challenge was hosted by Cathy Spivey Mendola - thank you for an inspiring theme.  Be sure to read through and visit all of the Challenge makers links below for more Birds of Prey inspiration - we'll see you in a few weeks for our next Challenge reveal!

Catherine You Are Here!

Art Elements Team Members: 

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Art Elements July Theme Reveal - Funky Seed Pod Jewelry

Welcome to the Art Elements Theme July Challenge Reveal from Dry Gulch.  We missed the June challenge last time, but we made sure to join the July monthly challenge!  We have enjoyed working on our project for the reveal the past few weeks in between getting ready for our summer shows this August.  We would like to send a thank you to hostess Jennifer for putting this challenge together. Don’t forget to visit all of the participating reveals, listed in the links at the end of this blog.

A selection of our late summer garden seed pods & dried berries.  We often use them as photography props.

This month, the Art Element's Theme Challenge was Seed Pods, one of our favorite things!  We tend to a flower and vegetable garden every year, and we always love seeing the different seeds our plants provide.  From the sweet little seeds we plant in the spring, to the dried husks of seed pods throughout the hot summer and cool fall, we enjoy finding inspiration in their rustic and organic shapes.  We have 2 shows that we're preparing for in August, a bead show and vintage show, so we focused on creating a pair of earrings that we could bring along.


This pair of earrings showcases our lampwork headpins.  We lampwork in our studio once a week and love to create funky shapes that can be used as charms or in earrings.  We named this shape Dew Pod because they look like little seed pods that have been studded with dewdrops.  In this pair, Catherine melted glass in beautiful caramel raku colors and then added soft metallic gold dewdrops.  Once the headpins were ready, Deborah then paired them with our Ancient Alchemy bead cone caps, filigree brass caps and sparkly Swarovski crystals.  We really like the juxtaposition of the shiny pod lampwork paired with the rough caps!

This pair of earrings and lots more handmade jewelry will be available at our shows in Tulsa, OK and Joplin, MO. Visit our website for more info on our Dry Gulch shows.

We would like to send another big thank you to Art Elements and Jennifer for hosting this fun challenge.  Be sure to hop around all the links below to see all of the participant challenge creations in this month’s reveal!

Guest Artists:

Art Elements Team: 

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Art Elements April Theme Reveal - Cowgirls & Horses

Welcome to the Art Elements Theme Challenge Reveal from Dry Gulch! We joined the April monthly challenge and have enjoyed working on our projects for the reveal the past few weeks. We would like to send a thank you to hostesses Jenny and Cathy for putting this challenge together. Don’t forget to visit all of the participating reveals, listed in the links at the end of this blog.

The Dry Gulch Horses - Shorty, Rusty & Lucky

This month’s theme was all about the beauty of horses. We are inspired every day by the nature around us and our own animals, horses included, so we knew we wanted to create a project featuring cowgirls and their horses. As we have a vintage show that we are preparing for in May, we aimed at making several necklaces that we could bring to the show.

We love to create unique components and then assemble them together into new collage pendants. These necklaces feature patinaed filigrees, hand stamped charms and a hand painted bay horse charm. The pendant focals feature vintage cowgirl bezels that have been poured with resin, then bordered with handmade “barbwire” lariats. We finished off these rustic necklaces with our beaded stone and crystal chains, making them perfect for wearing out.

These vintage cowgirl necklaces will be available at our vintage show in May 2018 at Branson Market Days in Missouri. Visit our website for more info on this and more Dry Gulch shows.

Be sure to visit the links below to see all of the participants in this month’s reveal!











Art Element Team Member Participants: