Sunday, 30 November 2014

AJE Component of the Month - November Reveal

The components for this months challenge come in the form of these lovely beaded hoops from the seriously talented seed beader Kristen Stevens. Once again I forgot to photograph my own beads but they were the same as the purple pair in the centre of this picture.

Since they came in a pair I decided pretty quickly to make earrings but I wanted to try and do something a bit different. They're very light and quite flexible so I began by looking for something that might give them a little more rigidity and structure. Whilst rummaging I came across my pot of copper washers and found some that the hoops sat quite nicely inside and I started to think about ways to attached the two elements - a little wire wrapping seemed in order.

I decided I wanted integral ear wires so I began by soldering some copper wire to the washers. I then had a bit of a 'what if' moment and used some solder paste to give the washers a more grungy, industrial look by dotting it around, melting it and then hammering it for a more battered look... I like this look a lot and I wish I'd thought to take process pictures but I always forget when I'm experimenting. I also punched a hole in the washers opposite the ear wire.

Next I had to attach Kristen's hoop and this proved a little tricky. Because they didn't fit snugly to the washer so it was difficult to keep them aligned - I kept wrapping too tightly and pulling the hoops to one side. Eventually I managed to get a more even and relaxed tension which held the hoops centred where I wanted them. Some 'messy' wrapping took care of the excess wire and created a contrasting accent.

For a little flourish I found some crystals that matched the colour of the hoops and added them to the bottom of the washers as dangles. Finally I formed the integral ear wires and here we have the finished product...

Because it took me a few attempts to get the wrapping right I did take a bit of the surface colour of the hoops but in actual fact I really like the effect and I think it works well with the grungy theme.

Many thanks to Kristen for providing up with such great beads to play with. Please use the links below to see what the rest of the team and out guests made for this challenge.


Cindy Martin Shaw
Shai Williams
Karen Martinez

Linda Landig
Caroline Dewison
Francesca Watson
Jenny Davies-Reazor
Lindsay Starr
Jennifer Cameron

Friday, 28 November 2014

Pre - Christmas Sale - 25% Off....

If you're looking for some bargains while you're Christmas shopping I'm running pre-holiday sales in both my shops from 8am GMT Friday 28th November until 12 Midnight 1st December. Use coupon code SANTA25 when you check out and 25% (excluding shipping) will be deducted from your order automatically.

THEA elements
THEA jewellery

Happy shopping!



Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Beads Of Courage Art Charm Exchange and Charity Auction...


Welcome - this is my second year of taking part in this Art Charm Exchange and Auction organised by the talented and indefatigable Jennifer Cameron in support of 'Beads of Courage' a charity providing innovative, arts-in-medicine supportive care programs for children coping with serious illness, their families and the health care providers who care for them.

The Program is a resilience-based intervention designed to support and strengthen children and families coping with serious illness. Through the program children tell their story using colorful beads as meaningful symbols of courage that commemorate milestones they have achieved along their unique treatment path. 

The premise of the exchange is that each participant makes 11 charms based on a given theme and sends them to Jen, who then sends each of us a collection of 10 charms including one of our own. The 11th charm goes up for auction for BOC and you can find details of the auction later in this post.

The theme for this year was 'Soar' and my immediate thoughts went to the song from the Children's classic film Mary Poppins since he seems to draw a parallel with these kids daily striving to rise above adversity...

Let's go fly  kite, up to the highest height,
Let's go fly a kite and send it soaring...
Up to the atmosphere, up where the air is clear
Oh let's go fly  kite....

I made from charms from bronze clay and engraved a heart on one side to represent courage, then painted them in the bright fun colours from the BOC logo and added a little brass dangle for the tail.

So those are my charms but what about the ones I was sent...? Well what a fabulous selection in all sorts of media and here they are...

You can find out more about the inspiration behind these charms and the others in the auction by visiting the makers blogs below. All participants will have a charm up for auction so If you'd like the opportunity to get your hands on one... including my design, while donating to a fantastic cause, you can take part in the auction here. You can buy each of the charms individually and the listings will be staggered so keep checking back for new ones!

Last year we raised just over $1500 dollars for the Beads of Courage project, so dig deep and let's see if we can't do better this year.!

Thank you


Jennifer Cameron:
Alenka Obid:
Alicia Marinache:
Andrea Glick:
Caroline Dewison:
Cassi Paslick:
Cate van Alphen:
Cheri Reed:
Chris Eisenberg:
Cory Tompkins:
Elisabeth Auld:
Genevieve Gabbert:
Jami Shipp:
Jenny Davies-Reazor:
Jill Bradley:
Kim Dworak:
Lee Koopman:
Lennis Carrier:
Lesley Watt:
Mallory Hoffman:
Melissa Trudinger:
Michelle McCarthy:
Monique Urquhart:
Moriah Betterly:
Nancy Dale:
Nancy Smith:
Niky Sayers:
Perri Jackson:
Renetha Stanziano:
Shai Williams:
Sheila Prosterman:
Susan Delaney:
Susan Kennedy:
Terri DelSignore:
Toltec Jewels:
Vanessa Gilkes:

Saturday, 1 November 2014

AJE Compononent of the Month - October Reveal

Yes, it's that time of month again and for this months AJE COM challenge the components we got to work with were these gorgeous earthy fossil discs from Karen Totten of Starry Road Studio. These are right up my street and I chose a lovely chocolate/tan one in the middle of this image.

I wanted to give my design an old or tribal feel and knew I wanted to use leather. I had in mind to use a wire cocoon bead I made years ago and recently reclaimed from an old necklace but in the event it wasn't substantial enough to balance Karen's focal. So I started from scratch and made a new one in bronze wire and incorporated a wire bail to attach it.

I wanted to get a layered talisman effect so I added one of my bronze clam shell shards with some tiny seed bead dangles at the bottom.

I was originally going to keep it very simple and use a very thick piece of leather to suspend the focal from but I couldn't make up my mind on colour so I started playing around with mixing thinner pieces. I used some chunky rustic Czech glass beads to create this woven pattern and made wire wrapped cord ends and a clasp to finish it off.

And this is my finished piece - quite a design departure for me as I don't usually make short necklaces but it was necessary for this bold focal and I quite like the effect so I think there may be more to come...

Thank you for visiting today and I hope you'll join me and visit our guest bloggers and the restof the AJE team to see what they have designed with Karen's beads.

Guest Designers

AJE Blog Team