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July Component of the Month for the Art Elements challenge – Scarab by Susan Kennedy

Susan, from the Art Elements team chose Scarabs as her choice of COM for July’s challenge – original blog post is here – I opted to have a random choice of colour sent to me and recieved an etched coral/orange one – not got a photo sorry I am so rubbish at that bit!

Being etched my bead was matt to touch and to see but the colour did give me pause to think.

My first idea was to add greens and blues to the soft peachy coral and create a piece of jewellery but my muse is really not jewellery creations, all bar hanging a bead on a chain, but I do have a love of history.. and cats.


I love to watch the Discovery channel on Sky tv, one of the few things I do watch.  Ancient Egypt is one of the civilisations that totally fascinate me, women of power, Gods that represent truth, power, harmony…  and law to name just a few.  The people of Ancient Egypt were a  polytheistic nation where traditions and religion touched every aspect of their lifes.  They had many import symbols including the scarab which represented Ra the Sun God one of the most important Gods of the time.  Ra was often depicted as a scarab he renewed the sun each day and rolled it across the heavens, like a dung beetle moving.. well dung…

I wanted to take the peachy look off of my bead so I added Inktense pencils in blue and green aquamarine, once dried the ‘ink’ is permanent and will not wash off, it was a bit of an experiment to see if the glass would take this colouring and it did, the camera has darkened the bead a bit too much as the peachy coral colour is still prominent but the indents in the glass now have more definition.  I like it.

Bastet,  the daughter of the Sun God Ra was the Egyptian Goddess of home, fertility, keeping all disease away from woman and children.  She is also known to have walked beside the dead as a guide.  Two more things that fascinate me, life after death and cats!  Bastet is also the Goddess of Cats.


The Ancient Greeks changed Bastet to a Goddess of the Moon when she was changed from the form of a lion to that of a more recognized domestic cat, but for me Bastet is still related to Ra and the sun.

Not being jewellery inspired I ‘stuck’ my bead into my art journal, I had every intention of getting out some gold thread and designing a jewellery piece on the page – another great idea that will one day be created – but the image of a cat appeared instead.  As my art leans more towards the whimsy side of life I decided to ‘run with it’ and see what happened.  Bastet was coloured with the deep blues and purples of the night, a slight nod toward the Ancient Greeks and the Goddess of the Moon.  The piece above my Bastet is ceramic and from one of the lovely ladies of the Art Elements team (but again being rubbish I forget who.. sorry) I just liked it and it ‘sort’ of reminded me of the sun in a very stylized way, the scrolls are quite Celtic, to me, and scrolls represent no beginning and no end, being eternal.

Opposite the ‘bead’ page I drew very stylized images of a scarab and pyramids beneath the Sun God Ra.  This ‘art journal’ is handmade paper, made from elephant dung and brought from the Eden Project in Cornwall a few years ago and is really difficult to do anything on, the paper disintegrates quickly and easily and colour ‘sinks’ into it, so I gesso the pages to stop them being absorbent and give them a bit of a tooth on which the pencil will catch.  Several layers of Inktense pencils blended with water and over laid with layers of pencil (Caran d’Ache Prismalo used dry) blended into each other using application and layers.

Final thoughts on this bead was how much it made me think about art, culture, design, mythology and so much more.  Who knew that beads had that power… the Ancient Egyptians probably!

You can find more of Sue’s beads in her Etsy shop 

Links to the others that took part in this challenge are below.


Deb Fortin

Lennis Carrier

Barb Fernald

AE Team











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8th Bead Soup Blog reveal

Late as usual!  I was out all day yesterday and my blog post just wasn’t ready for release so I have had to sort it all out this morning, good job I took the photos the other day..see I was trying!
Its the 8th Bead Soup Blog Part reveal, hosted by Lori Anderson of Pretty Things 

Its my second time taking part and this year I got a bead soup buddy from across the pond, that great big pond, my bead soup buddy is Janet from Anvil Artifacts and if you get a chance to check out her blog and her Etsy shop please do as her work is truly stunning; which didn’t help when she sent me the most amazing and ENORMOUS bead soup, the pressure was most definitely on!!

A fantastic collection of Jasper stone beads, fossil beads, agates, moakite, aquamarine…so much!!

Not to mention some beautiful coral and a simply gorgeous mother of pearl clasp with some of Janet’s beautiful wire work as part of the toggle.
This was actually the last piece I have managed to complete…I have plenty more beads to be making sooo much more!
Using copper wire and some lovely green beads from my ‘stash’ I made my first ever tree of life pendant using the last of the lovely citrine beads.

Next up, I just loved the fossil beads, and these beautiful round ones are called Mammoth bone beads and my over active imagination immediately thought of big woolly Mammoths roaming the lands of long ago, so I teamed them up with some of my glass bones, some of those beautiful agates, some silver plated wire – hand made links and clasps by me! – and a cute glass toadstool for a splash of colour.

This is my focal piece.  When the bead soup came I was heavily experimenting with bead embroidery.  My focal piece from Janet was this amazing huge Ammonite which she had attached to a silver clasp for hanging, I did remove the clasp as I really wanted to use this piece in a bead embroidered way, with some of those gorgeous moakite beads – the dangly ones – some more agate beads, a few glass beads on the silken rattail and a hand forged copper clasp by me.  I loved doing this piece, the soft and subtle colours that is Janet’s colour palette really challenged me to find the colour within, working with a more reserved palette was a very interesting experiment.

Still bead embroidery and having a bit of fun with the mother of pearl buttons and a piece of the beautiful rich red coral.  I have plans for this to go into a picture frame, it brought me huge joy to sit and do this piece I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Some Jasper stones and more agates, this time with a bit of colour, soft and subtle colour but colour none the less.  I called this bracelet A dog called Jasper, so I wouldn’t forget the name of the stones!!

Lampwork glass dog head bead, a beautiful Great Dane head, some copper wire and my other muse of wire work.  I have come through the bead embroidery phase for the moment…

But before I did finish my bead embroidery phase this piece happened.  Fossil bead centre, aquarmarine drops and discs, citrine clusters and hours of relaxing stitching.

How I used my clasp.  This piece still needs tweaking as it doesn’t lie with the clasp directly opposite the focal glass flower bead and that annoys me!  I love the clasp its so tactile.  Using some more of the agate beads and these fantastic wood agate beads, lovely chunky beads and a touch of the moakite and the agate stones with a bit of orangey colour and one of my sculptural flower beads, I really like this piece.  I added a few glass spacer beads which are etched for a matt finish, but they are in soft brown…see Janet I do do reserved colour!!  🙂

I still have so much to play with and have a piece using the big chunky Flourite nuggets and beautiful pearls on my bead mat in a half constructed state.  I really enjoyed the collection of beads that Janet sent me and I highly recommend a trip to her Etsy shop Anvil Artifacts her work is truly stunning and its been a pleasure to have her as my bead soup partner, we have been chatting across the miles and I truly hope it continues as she is a lovely lady with a massive collection of beads!!
Here is the list for the other bloggers taking part in the Bead Soup Party. 


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Colour Palette Design Challenge

Just look at those colours, don’t they make you want to burst into song?  Just me then! 

Bonnie, from Jasper Gems created a design challenge.  Choosing between three colour palettes, you could use one or more, to create a piece of jewellery.  I am actually late to the party, the reveal was 31st March and I was away, so I am posting mine now, but it did give me a chance to look at the other entries and quite a few of us chose this palette, not surprised its so full of colour and zing.  Here is a list of the other entries to look at, then I will show you mine….

Alicia Marinache
Leah Curtis
Cheryl Dunham
Andrea Trank
Shai Williams
So now to mine…

 I just loved these colours.  Bright yellow fish with black line detail, a cute blue dolphin…..

glass red faux pearls with black lava beads that are so tactile and have been languishing in my stash for ages, it was about time I did more than stroke them!

  1. and to accent the piece I added a few glass spacer beads in red and white – I saw the lighter colour as more of a white than a dusty grey.
I just want to thank Bonnie for creating this challenge I really enjoyed the colours and even though I was late I was determined to show mine.
Hope you like it.  Laney x
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Liebster Award

I have been awared a blogger award from Sooz from Sooz in the Shed

I am not very sure on these awards, but Sooz says ‘It seems to be a way of promoting fellow bloggers, and we could all do with a bit of that, so here goes…’  and why not?

So here goes, these are the rules….

The rules of the award are as follows..
– List 11 random facts about yourself
– Answer the 11 questions which are given to you by your nominator
– Ask 11 questions for all the bloggers that you nominate to win the award
– Nominate 9 bloggers with less than 200 followers to win the award
– Go to each of the nominees’ pages to inform them about their nomination
– Thank the blogger who nominated you by mentioning them and linking their blog in your post
11 Things about me
1.  I am married to Jim, we have been married for 18 yrs this May.
2.  We have two children, Ben (19) and Charley-Jennifer (17).
3.  We have two bouncy golden retrievers, Izabel (6) and Defi (3).
4.  We have Claude, our very old geriatric mog (cat) who is now 21.
5.  We all live in the beautiful county of Herefordshire in England and my bedroom window view is of the Black Mountains which are in Powys and Monmouthshire in South East Wales.
6.  I love to make lampwork glass beads, especially those with faces and bums!
7.  I drink Assam tea, black, and lots of it!
8.  I love to listen to the radio whilst torching and sing along to all the old songs from the 60’s and 70’s, even though I wasn’t born in the 60’s!
9.  My favourite time of the day is walking my dogs down by the River Wye.
10. I love to read, fantasy books being the current favourite.
11. I love brussel sprouts.
11 Questions from Sooz

1.  If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Brussel Sprouts.
2.  Do you have a secret talent, if so what is it?
I can still get my knees over my head at the grand age of 40 something!
3.  Have you met any celebrities?
Yes, but was a long time agon.
4.  Do you have a pet name?
I use my pet name of Laney in everyday life, its my original name I rarely use.
5.  Do you have any pets?
Yes, my two goldens, and Claude our mog, sadly our chooks were killed this week by the fox.
6.  If you had to make someone a special meal, what would it be?
Ha!  it would have to be a take out as my cooking skills are awful, thankfully hubby is a great cook!
7.  What is your favourite holiday destination?
I love the idea of holidays, of sunshine and have visited many beautiful countries, but, my favourite place is home.
8.  What style of music do you like and who is your favourite music artist?
Country music and Dolly Parton is my hero.
9.  What would be your ideal day?
I am lucky to have my ideal days most days, just a little bit more sunshine and everyday would be perfect.
10.  Have you done anything you really regret?
Yes.  I didn’t have a normal family life growing up, I regret dwelling on what I didn’t have for so long.
11.  Do you believe in Karma?
My 11 questions for my chosen bloggers…
1.  Are you tidy or untidy when you are working on your craft?
2.  What is your favourite colour?
3.  What is it that inspires the craft that you do?
4.  Are you a night owl or a morning lark?
5.  Who do you admire and why?
6.  What is your favourite meal?
7.  Where would you like to live, anywhere in the world and if money was no object.
8.  If you could be an animal for the day, which one and why?
9.  If you could choose any time in history to live, which era and why?
10.  How do you start your craft/piece of art, with sketches or just get on with it?
11.  Do you have a favourite artist and why?
And my nominees for the blog award are…

Phew!!  that was a list! and thank you to Sooz for nominating me.
Laney x