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OK, I’ll admit it…. I love the challenges run by the AJE group, they are so much fun to participate in. I really enjoy rising to the challenge of a never-ending supply of ideas and themes, from the talented group of ladies that make up this team.

This months theme is just magical too, and I couldn’t wait to get started and create something that hopefully reflects  just a little of the magic of fireflies.

Though I currently reside in the UK, I have lived in several other countries and love to travel with my family.  Travel allows us to experience the wonder of other cultures, customs and the beauty of nature and animals that exist  in other parts of the world, in person, rather than viewed through a television screen, laptop or cinema.

For me, the memories and experience of travel continue to shape and influence my life and this months theme took me right back to the yard in Naperville IL, where I saw my first firefly with my young children. My neighbour Jul, showed us how to catch them gently with butterfly nets and pop them into jam jars to observe for a while, before setting them free. They are truly amazing little insects and provided a lot of joy and wonderment to my boys in their younger years. Fireflies, cicadas, chipmunks and raccoons are all fond memories of my time in midwest.

Like a packet of childhood sweets, or my mothers Welsh cakes, those little fireflies trigger a whole host of happy family memories of my time in America.

So to celebrate the wonder of these little creatures and the beauty of nature I give to you my firefly muse.

                                                                              

          Firefly sprites 

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Firefly   headpins  

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   Fireflies amongst the rushes

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 Firefly      Goddess of the forest 

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Now to see what others have made for this challenge: –

 

Guest Designers:
Melissa Trudinger – https://beadrecipes.wordpress.com/
Mary Detray – http://www.brassrabbitstudio.com/blog

Keren Panthaki – https://vasdea.wordpress.com
Tammy Adams – http://www.paisleylizard.com/
Veralynne Malone – www.veradesigns.blogspot.com
Terri Del Signore – http://artisticaos.blogspot.com/
Heather Powers – http://www.humblebeads.blogspot.com
Susan Delphine Delaney – https://susandolphindelaney.wordpress.com

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This month I have decided to join in with the AJE theme challenge of March Hares,  and the reveal day is today, yay!

The idea, is primarily to have fun, whilst creating some sort of jewellery element or piece that fits within the Hare theme, chosen by the talented pool of artists within the AJE team. I find that challenges are a great way to nudge your creative muse into shape, taking you out of the comfort zone you are currently residing in. This is one of the reasons I like them so much,  but I also really enjoy the reveal date. Seeing what other artists have created from the same seed of an idea, and how that has been interpreted is always a bit of a treat.

I thought that I would create some Hare beads of my own rather than make a piece of jewellery or use another artists art bead to fulfill the remit of this challenge.

Up until now, I have not made a hare or rabbit bead out of glass. I am not sure why, I do indeed own a rabbit, Jim, our family pet. Jim is also a girl and not a boy ( long story involving two vets to confirm the he/she bit). Jim is our rescue rabbit and not only did they get the girl/ boy thing wrong when we adopted her, but they forgot to tell us that she would indeed one day be rather large.. . She is a cross between a Rex and a Giant rabbit, utterly adorable , daft and quite a character. And although she is not a Hare, she was quite handy to take some sketches from.

As a result of my live inspiration, there is a little piece of Jim in each of the following beads I am about to show you.

Firstly,  I made a few beads with the Hares Moon gazing upwards, as so often depicted in books and other artists impressions of these animals.

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Then I made a few more Hare beads, slightly smaller, crouching down but still gazing up, I played around with a few different shades and colours of glass.

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Next,  I thought it would be a bit of fun to make a Hare sculpted head bead with Jim in mind. She has enormous ears and they can often be seen pointed in opposing directions, usually when we are chasing her around the garden trying to encourage her to go back into her cage so that Foxy Loxy doesn’t make a meal out of her.

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And finally I created few Hare sketched beads, these were definitely the most challenging, but the end result was worth it.

Sketch Hare AJE

It was fun taking part in this challenge, thanks for visiting my blog, I hope you enjoyed my creative Hare journey, now I am off to see what the others have made in the March Hare AJE challenge.

AJE Team
Guests
Heather – Hidden Ridge Studio
Keren Panthaki   YOU ARE HERE
Karin Grosset Grange – Ginko et Coquelicot
Michelle McEnroe ( 4 pieces pinned on  the AJE Pinterest page)

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Wow, March already, where does the time go? I am still in the process of sorting out and tidying up my social media platforms, and things are finally starting to take shape and look semi-organised.   Here are a few of the things that I have created so far this spring.

Tropical Headpins

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Fun beads created for the Beads of Courage programme

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Fish beads created for the Beads of Courage programme

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Vessel style focal bead

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Cosmos bead set

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Happy New Year to you all.

This year I am toasting 15 years of creating with glass.

I am looking forward to spending more time torching, forging, enamelling and jewellery making. I do a lot of this already, but could do better at getting myself  ‘out there’ especially online.

My Etsy shop is being updated this month and will be filled with a selection of my jewellery. My web site is going to be tackled too.

I have made a promise to myself to just ‘post’, so instead of boring you all to tears with a lot of verbal drivel… here are a couple of items to brighten the New Year.

 

                                             All that Glistens 

 

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I have also been making more of my signature headpins

 

                                       Spring Birds and Buds

 

 

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Keren xx

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Summer is now upon us and the schools are due to break up in the next couple of weeks.

I look forward to this part of the year. I get to spend more time with the boys, enjoy our family summer holiday and can take full advantage of the long days and light evenings.

We have a wish list of family things to do this summer. All beginning with the letter F = fun! Ranging from: sleepovers, classic car shows, go-kart racing and popping into a few exhibitions that are currently running in London and other parts of the UK.

Talking of exhibitions, one that stands out for me this year is being held at the Broadfield House Glass Museum.

A lampwork necklace of mine has been selected and is featured in the exhibition called A String of Beads .

It runs from May 10th – Sept 14th 2014 inclusive.

For those of you that can’t make it, here is my necklace that is currently on display at the museum.

I created the focal and accent beads (lamp work) and then designed the necklace using semi-precious stones and my own Sterling Silver hand-forged clasp and findings.

 

                   Watercolour Tulips  –  Keren Panthaki 

 

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I can’t believe how fast the reveal date has come around, it seems like only yesterday that I signed up to participate in Lori Anderson’s 8th Bead Soup Blog Party.

My partner this year is Susanna Lehto and here is quick reminder of the bead soup that she kindly sent to me.

 

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They have such a lovely earthy rustic feel to them and one of the focal beads was really quite unusual, such pretty artisan beads.

The first thing I did was to create some lampwork beads and findings to complement the whole soup in contrasting tonal colours.

I wasn’t sure at this stage how I was going to use the beads and buttons, and what exactly I was going to create.  I then added some beads from my own collection too, including some silk, leather and my own hand-forged copper accents.

I played around with a few ideas over the next couple of weeks, and finally came up with these designs based around the cool Baltic pine forests of the Northern Hemisphere.

When scrolling down through the images you may click on them to enlarge the detail if you would like to.

 

I have called my little collection     The Baltic bird forest   or   Baltian lintu metsä   (Finnish)

 

 

Bird Forest Necklace

 

 

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I love the focal bead in this necklace it is so unusual, I can see mountain tops carved into the glaze of the bead, with birds, leaves of the forest and copper curls to emulate the many layers of bark peeling off the trees. Can you spot the two birdies?

 

 

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I made my own clasp for this necklace from hand forged  copper wire.

 

 

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 My aim was to create a necklace that was full of intrigue, using different colours, textures and components, including the beads that Susanna had given me to work with.

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Bird Forest Bracelet

 

 

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This is the first time I have used a button as a clasp. I created a silk tassel flower as the centre piece of the bracelet that also doubles up as a clasp.  I used the ceramic disc that Susanna gave me, and placed it between the button and the tassel flower. The ceramic beads had quite large holes, this enabled me to use some pretty silver grey leather cord. I then added some copper bark curls, little birdies and leaves to link it to the collection. Again,  lots of pretty little accents running in the same theme as the necklace.

 

 

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Bird Forest Earrings

 

 

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The earrings are hand forged copper bark curls, with my own lampwork birdies perched upon them. They are nesting on grey silk, the same silk that is in the necklace, all finished off with Sterling silver ear wires.  I am really pleased with how all the pieces came together, especially these little earrings.

 

If you hadn’t gathered by now, I am a total bird freak and love to feature them in my designs. I have really enjoyed participating in this years Bead Soup Blog party – can you tell?  So, for all the wonderful beads that I recieved,  I say kiitos to Susanna Lehto.

 

Now, I am off to see what Susanna has created and the all other participants who have signed up for the party.

 

Thank you so much Lori Anderson for organising this wonderful event  – long may it continue.

 

Love & light to all.

 

Keren

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This year I have signed up to participate in Lori Anderson’s Bead Soup Blog Party. It will be the 8th BSB that Lori has organised, and you can read all about this in detail on her blog.   My assigned partner is Susanna Lehto from Helsinki in Finland 🙂  In her spare time – when she is not riding her horses – Susanna makes ceramic beads and pretty mixed media jewellery.

The soup that I sent out to Susanna has now arrived safely in Finland.  I have hand-made all the beads and components, except for the silk, which is from a family celebration (Navjote) for my children. It is fabric that I used to make tablecloths for the dinner after the ceremony, to co-ordinate with the flowers/ swag that decorated the marquee.  I love the colour of this fabric, with it’s rich blue and purple hues. I hope that Susanna can use this in some way when designing and creating her piece, along with the beads and other elements that I have sent her.

 

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This is the soup that Susanna has kindly sent to me, her hand-made ceramic beads have a really beautiful tribal feel to them, I can’t wait to get started

 

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