Dienstag, 30. Mai 2017

"Treasures" - Art Elements component of the month (COM)

Time seem to fly, way to fast to be honest... Strangely enough the COMs over at Art Elements (AE) are a stark reminder that again a month has gone by. It is finally warm again, even hot, around here and the days are long and sunny. It feels good and I needed this. Still, I am not back into full mood.

This is probably why this time I was not challenging myself but rather stayed in my comfort zone. After all it is called comfort zone for a reason, nai? This month Lesley Watt send us beautiful ceramic pendants or cabs (if you want some too, there are some left in her shop). I you follow my blog for some time, you know how perfect they were for me looking like treasures found in the sea and also she chose the perfect colour combination for me. Although all variations of her pendants are nice, turquoise gets me, always!

I made a knotted necklace with grey waxed linen that is long enough that one don't need a clasp but can simply pull it over the head. I chose these matte and silver lined glass beads to go with it. I bought a lot of them several years ago but I never found the exact shade again. I love how they shimmer against the grey. 

I added some accents with some other beads closely but asymmetrical arranged around the pendant. There are some african recyled glass beads, some from thailand and several of my own ceramic clay beads. I think I used up all of my small and tiny beads I made. Mostly I tend to work lager but seeing how well the smaller ones fit here... uh... I need to make more!

 Here you can see the knots a little bit better. On the left side I had to make one a little bigger since the hole was also quite big even with a little bead as "stopper" added.

They way how the end of the waxed linen hung after I finished the necklace was something that I liked somehow. I entangled the single strands and cut them a little bit.

 Although I have to admit I am still not sure whether I should keep it like this or rather cut them completely...

So here you go, all my favorite colours, my favorite theme and one of my favorite techniques... all in my comfort zone... and sometimes this is exactly what I need :)

Thank you Lesley for this beautiful pendant!

Please have a look what all the others created with this months COM! :)

Art Elements team
Laney Mead
Claire Fabian (you are here)

Dienstag, 2. Mai 2017

Take a deep breath...


There are still a lot of things on my to-do list that I just didn't manage to do in the last weeks/months. I am sorry but I am not ready to write about this here, at least not now. It will take a little bit more time to be processed by myself.

But the sun is finally out again, the temperatures are getting mild and all the plants around us are in full growth mode. It makes me feel lighter and like I am finally breathing free again.

This month's component of the month (COM) at Art Elements (AE) is a gorgeous bead made by Jennifer Cameron. She had the Northern Lights in mind while creating these beads but actually felt they rather have an ocean feeling to them. I agree and for me this is perfect.

The bead I got has a deep and clear blue that remindes me of the surreal wonderful colours of the Mediterranean sea in the summer time. The blue you can only see when the sun is on its peak of power and the skies are cerulean blue.

And it makes me smile. It brings me to the moments on Formentera in spain in the summer time when everything is just as it should be. The air is filled with the fragrance of pines, rosmarine and thyme, the light so stark at the white sand and red rocks, you can taste the salt on your lips and the ocean so powerful vibrant and clear showing all shades of blue to turquoise.

I believe we are all lost from time to time. Struggle with the world around us and even more with ourselves. Formentera always brought me back to myself. Let me take a deep breath...

So for me this bead was a wonderful inspiration and reminder. Thank you very much Jennifer!

PS: Just for the record: I used actually some wool from my stash and some cotton thread. Both were fiddled through the bead, knotted and then I wrapped the wool around the cotton thread. At the end I also added some turquoise waxed linen to add some highlights. The ceramic bead is from Grubbi ceramics by Natalie McKenna and the small ones are african glass beads.

PPS: By the way, the necklace looks great when worn with a very tribal but elegant look. They weight of the bead is perfect for this, not too much, not too light weight :)

PPPS:Please have a look at what everyone else made this month!

Guest Designers:
Sarajo Wentling
Deb Stewart

Art Elements Team:
Sue Kennedy
Laney Mead
Lesley Watt
Claire Fabian
Karen Totten
Cooky Schock
Jenny Davies-Reazor
Caroline Dewison
Cathy Spivey Mendola
Niky Sayers
Lindsay Starr
Jen Cameron

Samstag, 4. März 2017

Have a Heart – February Component of the Month Reveal at Art Elements

This time I really have to say sorry. To Jenny as well as the rest of you who came here from Art Elements (where the component of the month is hosted) to my blog in the hope to see what gorgeous heart I got and what I created with it. I managed the creation part, but let alone have some time during the daylight hours to take pictures... didn't happen. The last weeks were quite full with work, more work, illness, did I mention work?, some family related things...

Somehow the part to take the pictures, edit and upload them seems to take way longer than anything else. Not that this is true. It is rather that I still need to buy a new cable for my digital camera (or rather finally buy a new one! If you follow my blog you know that I plan this for years now...). Until that I have to use my phone. It is not that I don't like the camera at my phone. I have a Huawei and the camera actually is quite good. But it makes too good pictures in the sense that it already changes the image. I hate that. I want to do my picture editing myself and don't want to first readjust my image before I change it again... arghs! I have to admit I just used the preinstalled app, maybe with a different camera app it wouldn't happen. 

Jenny asked us whether we had any preferences (colour, pendant or cabochon, ...). I just said that I would love to be surprised. So she send me this blue heart with the golden crackle. Now we come to my other dilemma (my blog post sounds rather grumbling, no? ;)). I like the heart and the crackle and the wire stitches to hold and mend the broken heart. I just don't do hearts. I can't explain it. Of course I knew this from the beginning and I chose to go along since I love challenges and I know that the only way to overcome this kind of hesitation with materials, shapes or colours is through using them.

Not that that it worked with yellow so far...

...but with pink!

I was tempted to incorporate the heart to a mixed media piece, I even had several perfect fitting backgrounds. But it felt wrong, it felt like the easy way and not a challenge so I used it as for was it was: A pendant.

I shredded an old chiffon neckerchief. On one side of the necklace I braided the fabric while on the other side I let three strands lose. Maybe I will braid them too in the future, not so sure about the rawness...but I like the look. 

I connected the fabric and the heart to a bronze chain. Bright gold was too golden for me (and I don't have real gold here just brass). To repeat the blue and to bring it all together, I added blueish beads to the bronze chain.

I am quite pleased with the organic look of the combination of fabric and how from the blue heart the blue beads seem to grow up. 

Only not so sure about the side with the open chiffon stripes...

So, thank you again Jenny for this heart. I got more comfortable to work with it while I tried different things and the next heart will hopefull be a little easier for me to work with (and as I said, I am not sure why hearts are so difficult for me even when I like them!).

If you are curious how the other hearts looked like and even more what the other contributors and guest at Art Elements created with theirs, please have a look at their blogs!


Art Elements team: 
Claire Fabian (you are here)

Dienstag, 31. Januar 2017

Inside her head... there was a whole universe (January AE COM)

Usually I love showing you some pictures of the different creation steps of the "stuff" I create. In between being still ill myself, my husband still recovering from his operation, work, work and more work and my general winter induced low energy levels.... I simply forgot to take pictures.

This time we got a leather cabochon from Lindsay Star for our component of the month (COM) challenge over at Art Elements. If you are curious how she made them, have a look here (I also had to "steal" one of her pictures since I also forgot to take a good picture of the leather cab before I used it).

Don't you think that the all look like little galaxies? The idea of a nightsky was never leaving my mind when I pondered what I should do. Lindsay also send a lot of other little surprised along with the leather cabochon; beads, leather, fabric.... and a little wooden queen (nope, no princess, she has a scepter and the real crown on her head). Although she also reminds me of Alice somehow... maybe the style?

Seeing both together I knew I also wanted to use them together.

My table is always full of other materials and ongoing projects (nobody should visit me without a warning in advance ;)). There was the lid of one of those cheap and ugly little treasure boxes people buy as gift wrappings (to put a gift coupon or something inside). I couldn't get myself to throw them away (had two), instead I opted to take them apart... and let the parts lay around.

But the little queen and the leather cab universe were a perfect fit for the box lid. I added pages from an old book, painted all over the lid, drilled holes in the leather cab (that was scary!), added some glass drops (these were also send by Lindsay, aren't they lovely?), painted over the queen (I wanted to add my own touch and enhance the colours), added a layer of resin on her, cut the the labels from card board.... and finally wrapped and glued all together!

"Inside her head... there was a whole universe"

Please have a look what all the other participants made with the leather cab!

And thank you again Lindsay, I hope you like what I made with your treasures :)

PS: I am sorry that I am late with my blog post... I had troubles with my camera (still have).


Samstag, 7. Januar 2017

A little sparkle in winter... (Dragon AE challenge)

The theme challenge for Art Elements this month was as easy as it was difficult for me: Dragons. Those who know me since childhood know of my love for fantasy, for fantastic creature in general and dragons especially. Over the years I created a lot of dragons. Strangely enough they were somehow missing the last few years... uhm... it could nearly be ten years? How did this happen? 

So, thank you Niky (who hosts and chose the theme challenge) for giving me my dragons back :)

And speaking of the years gone: I wish you all a happy new year! :)

To be honest, even while I am sculpting from time to time, I was a little bit out of training to create a dragon. Also (now a little bit rambling) my favorite polymer clay brand is not available anymore. Staedtler says it just rebranded Fimo classic to Fimo professional. Let me tell you, I compared them one to one (some of my last ones from the fimo classic with the new ones), and it is not true. Not at all! Fimo professional is softer after conditioning and I hate that.

My absolute favorit polymer clay for creating small details is sculpey super firm. The only drawback is that it comes only in grey. But even though I work a lot with paints and other material to change the surface, I always consider the bacground colour and play with it. I don't like it when my polymer clay is completely painted. 

I ordered some new brands and will see how they will work out. I already tested a lot and after all, there are only a limited number of brands with high quality polymer clay. 

Back to the topic. I had some of these open bezel pendants left. Normally the silver colour (not real silver) is too bright for my taste but for this project it was okay. I filled it with white polymer clay and stamped it with archival ink (stampin' up) and some letter background. Nope, not a lot of it to be seen anymore but trust me, it would be visible if it was missing. The small details are always creating the whole impression. 

There was also another problem as you may see: Winter time! My favorite photo background was covered with snow! In case you wonder, it is the table on our balcony with beautiful weathered wood. On one part stood a plant pot and saved a spot! I would like to claim this was planned... but it was rather a forgotten pot. 

 But it was cold! We have right now -9°C (about 15,8 Fahrenheit). I miss summer...

There were a lot of tiny pattern on the skin to create the impression of scales. You don't see it anymore since I used some embossing powder for the surface effects.

The structures were antiqued using acrylic paint and acrylic ink (one of the materials I just discovered last year, there was this stuff all my life?) and golden highlights set afterwards again with acrylic paint.

 And believe me, the little dragon glows in the sun!

The plan was to create a pendant but he is rather big and bulky for a necklace or what do you think?

So, and I hope you are now curious to see what the other have created. Just have a look!


AJE Team
Claire (you are here right now)

Dienstag, 27. Dezember 2016

My wedding jewelery... (over at AE)

I promised to show you the jewelery I made for myself. I used mostly art beads and a red colour palette with some added colour to create more interest (believe me, it looks more true to one colour if you break it up with another one). You can see more of it over at Art Elements (just have a look here).  

PS: Yes, Rumpel (aka Hans) is 29 cm taller than me! A full head.... ;)

Dienstag, 29. November 2016

"Ancient dreams" - Component of the month at Art Elements

The start with a new piece is often the most challenging as well as the most enoyable part. My main problem actually is always "the middle". When you found your inspiration, chose and gathered all materials, have made the work halfway through, see already the end with only some minor last steps open to decide... and then I stop. Honestly, I don't now why. There are soooo many UFOs in my stash, pieces that I know I'll love as soon as they are finished.


But that is maybe just how my brain operates. At some time-point most projects come to an end (either way).

This is why I love and enjoy challenges. They push me and give me a tight schedule to fit in. Even more with a component you get from a fellow bead artist.... huh... the social pressure added works even better! (Not a joke, this works really for me and I like to trick myself with this behaviour ;) )

The component of the month (COM) of Art Elements (AE) came not from a member of the AE team but were gifted to AE team members as well as to AE readers by Kristi Ann from Artisan Clay. You can find more of her work here.

Back to how my brain is working... I got the gorgeous pendant from Kristi (thank you again!). As gorgeous as it is, it was way out of my comfort zone. I love circle shapes and crackled glass / glaze surfaces (you would never have guessed, mh?). But this was too big and a little bit too heavy for me (remember, not being objective here, just relative to what I normally work with).

Puh... and then I started with a necklace design where I liked all the pieces but there was not this perfect start with all elements fitting perfectly together. Time was closing and I finished it and just had to wait until I would be able to catch some rare daylight to take pictures. You need daylight to give such a stunning pendant with crackle glass credit, trust me in this.

So sitting late at the evening at the living room which is a absolute state of chaos with my "stuff" my eyes fell on one of my wrapped bracelets. I wanted to label it for our Pop-Up store in Leipzig (Malwatanderes) but it was sitting close to the necklace. Mh... the colours went nice together so I tested how the would look combined. Loved it. So I took the necklace apart, decided to make a kind of decorative art element (or ornament? tribal totem?). It was the right way. The right way since I started to love this pieces, consisting just of two "circles" at this moment, already.

The rest was easy, also close by was one of my ceramic bird skulls I made. I am in the process to test the effect of different glazes and no, originally I thought this light blue/yellow glaze is not my favorite. How wrong I was. Without the light blue accents it would not have fit to the pendant. Now it was the perfect addition. Yes, perfect! For me at least... especially with the piece of bone (that was also part of my table chaos, don't ask).

You can also find some more of my ceramic clay beads, a single czech glass bead and a lampwork bead from Kimberly Rogers (above the bird skull, such a perfect accent colour to bringt the bone, pendant and skull together).

Here you go... just loving it now! Last minute, but hey, perfect timing, no?!

So, please have a look at the other participants!

PS: Seeing the pictures now, it could be also a piece inspired by / for Prince, or not? *sighs* 2016...

PPS: I had to take the pictures at work, since it is dark when I leave home... and already dark when I come back home. So they are not my usual quality (and not my preferred background style). It was long enough winter time, I am ready for summer again! ;)

Guest Designers:
Sarajo Wentling
Lola Surwillo
Beti Horvath
Kate Kemp

Art Elements Team
Susan Kennedy
Lesley Watt
Claire Fabian (you are here right now :) )
Jenny Davies-Reazor
Jen Cameron


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