Posts Tagged ‘vasdea’

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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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.



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