29 June 2010

What Can You Do with a Humble-bead?

"Because our gifts carry us out into the world and make us participants in life, the uncovering of them is one of the most important tasks confronting any one of us." ~Elizabeth O'Connor

Oh, how I love a challenge!

And when the challenge includes some beads from one of my very favorite designers in this whole wide world, how can you go wrong?
And I think that by accepting challenges we find our talents are uncovered particularly when we are forced outside of our comfort zones.

Heather Powers of Humblebeads asked me to participate in a new Design Team Challenge on the popular Art Bead Scene blog. She sent some of her brand-spankin' new hand painted Autumn Wildflowers Pendants {have seen these labor-intensive babies in person and they are GOR-geous!} as well as some of her disk beads in coordinating colors. These are not really outside of my comfort zone, but this challenge helped me to explore new things nonetheless.

From that little goodie package I managed to come up with four designs.

By the Wayside

I was inspired by this focal that reminded me of some of the grasses blowing in the breeze in the ditches and culverts along the back country roads in Wisconsin. The colors are soft, and the flowers are so dainty. I paired that with some chain, recycled sari silk ribbon in a sage-y green color, a vintage scroll bead from Yone Beads in San Francisco and some pressed glass leaves that I picked up last summer on my jaunt to Galena, IL to visit the Vintaj girls.

Out on a Limb

...that is where the fruit is!
These branch beads in tones of gray and copper are so beautiful that they deserve to be center stage. I picked up a package of those new Industrial Chic connectors from Susan Lenart Kazmer's line exclusive to Michaels and thought they looked like a modified branch. {If you haven't seen these components you must be living under a rock, or else you don't have a Michaels nearby. So sad! See if you can find them! They are great!} So I wire-wrapped a little copper leaf connector and added some bead caps and Swarovski crystals.
The first is Out On A Limb - Rust {which is currently highlighted in the Reader Challenge on the Objects and Elements blog - go see all the great entries!} and the other is

Out On A Limb - Frost
{I actually painted some silver on the leaf to make it blend more with the frosty tones}

Frost on the Blooms

And finally, there was a lovely pair of blue branch beads that were just begging to be earrings. These branches against a bright blue sky reminded me of the limbs of the trees by the Wisconsin River in the winter, starkly outlined against the sky. And "Frost on the Blooms" was born.

But the real magic is in seeing what all the talent produced with the same components. Go to the Art Bead Scene website to read about all of these amazing artists and their creations.

Enjoy the day!


Brandi Hussey said...

Those are gorgeous! I'm always surprised by how lovely every Humblebead is - Heather is such a fabulous artist! And the way you've designed everything is perfect.

Cindy said...

Erin, your designs for the challenge are all so stunning...I especially love the movement and detail in the first necklace! It has your classic stamp on it!

Judy said...

Oh my...how proud you must have made Heather! I love all the pieces...especially the earrings, the colors are wonderful!

Silver Parrot said...

I love those delicate little blue earrings. Okay, I love everything else, too, but I can absolutely picture myself wearing the earrings :-)

one-eared pig said...

Love your necklace, and love the Out on a Limb!

Vintajia Adornments said...

Love Out on a Limb - Rust and would love to get my hands on some of those great Industrial Chic connectors. My nearest Michaels is probably about 30 hours away - by air! lol

Jeannie said...

What a pair, Heather and you! Erin, these are so full of your spirit and talent. They're beautifully done.

sasha + max studio said...

Beautiful pieces, Erin. I have a little HB stash and you have given me some great ideas - I have trouble using them - only as they are so sweet that I hate to see them go.! Vicki

Michelle said...

Love the Frost Pendant--just so simple to wear everyday...but funky enough to stand out. Can't wait to play with my goodies from Heather that I purchased at the show!
Bead Happy!

Anonymous said...

Erin, I love the piece you created with Heather's beads! You have such a lovely design style!

Jannie Funster said...

You are a true artiste, Erin. Frost on the Blooms are nothing short of mini- Van Goghs, and your photos are artistry too!!

Always a feast for the eyes to come here.

I hope you will let me know the next contest you are in so I can vote!


Erin Siegel said...

Lovely pieces, Erin! Everyone on the Design Team is extremely talented!

steufel said...

Love your pieces, Erin!

Esther said...

lovely Erin!!

Heather Powers said...

Thank you Erin for sharing the behind the scene stories and for creating such lovely pieces with my beads!

Pretty Things said...

I quite like what you did!

Shai Williams said...

I am definitely going to have to check out Michaels. I really love your 'Out On the Limb' designs


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