Art Elements Design Challenge and Blog Hop - Sunflowers

I admit it. When I saw Susan's post for the June Design Challenge on Art Elements with the theme "Sunflowers", I thought I got this, but alas, I have been living together with myself for 53 years now and still know so little *sigh* Yes, of course there were some things that got in the way, life tends to be like that, but I really should have known that I would harbor ideas, tucked away neatly in my brain until shortly before the reveal - but I made it.

A few weeks ago I mentioned the sunflowers here that I used to have as a teenager. Since we didn't have a real garden, I only had a little spot. As I am also blessed with what I like to call ten black thumbs, all of them left with me being right-handed, plants don't really stand a chance around me. These few sunflowers, however, did their very best in a probably not so perfect spot. The highest one was around 30 inch, I'd guess, but the others were much smaller. The end of it was a last tiny flower, more like 5 inch. When a friend of my little brother's pulled it out, I became, well, let's say, a little harsh (just words, no violence). He was a natural at crying, though (that's putting it nicely), not so small anymore, and I had warned him before. When I met him decades later, he didn't seem to be too traumatized to talk with me at all, so I would say we both got over it ;-)

So that was one inspiration, the other one was obviously the first picture in the challenge post, Van Gogh's sunflower painting or should I say one of them?
"“The public is hardly aware that Van Gogh created a series of paintings of sunflowers,” says Leo Jansen, a curator at the Van Gogh Museum and editor of the artist’s letters. “For nine out of 10 people I tell, it’s news.”" This is from a BBC article about the "unknown history" behind the sunflower paintings. Yup, another thing to admit, I would have been one of those nine people. In fact I never really thought about it because - and please remember now that the perception of art is different for each person - I'm not that much of a fan. I have seen one of Van Gogh's sunflower paintings at the National Gallery in London and it didn't become a favorite of mine.
How did it become an inspiration for my piece anyway then?

What I knew first was that I wanted to bead the flowers. I had made a beaded sunflower for another challenge once using a mahogany obsidian cab in the center, but hadn't been completely happy with the petals, so I finally ripped it up again. I had also crocheted a large sunflower from wire and beads before.
This time I wanted something different, more delicate which was a good decision considering I started so late. I looked around for chessboard crystals as centers, but didn't find any brown ones, so went for rivolis instead. I beaded two blossoms and two leaves - not as easy for me as it sounds because I hardly ever bead off loom - but now what?
Put them on a bracelet? Or make them into a pair of earrings which I had actually been one of my very first plans? At least add another leaf because I blatantly ignored the rule of the uneven number (just like Van Gogh did in some of his paintings, by the way!) and turn it into a pin?
None of those because I suddenly had a different idea which was probably really triggered by me looking at the Van Gogh paintings, even if I hadn't been aware of it. A vase. A beaded vase, though? No, I didn't have an idea how to do that best, and time was running out for experimenting.
Wire. Of course. Woven wire. With some texture to it. A tad of three-dimensional feeling.
Here you go. I did it. One day before the reveal. And I like it. Something to keep in mind for future playing. Different flowers? Bigger? Oxidized copper or a different wire? Time will tell!

Hopefully Art Elements is going to let me participate again next time, and this time I'll start earli.... forget it, I know I won't. Maybe I need that pressure, who knows? ;-) I can dream, though, right?

Now to all the other participants of this challenge. I'm already looking forward to going through their posts with oohs and aahs, why don't you, too? :-D


Alysen - Anita - Cat (c'est moi) - Divya - Jill - Kathy - Linda - Linda - Mischelle - Norma - Raven - Sarajo - Tammy

AE Team Members

Caroline - Cathy - Claire - Jenny - Laney - Lesley - Sue


Oldies but Goodies - Frogs

Not far from here there's a small lake in the woods. I used to go there rather often, first as a child with my family, later also with friends. It was quiet and very nice in the summer. You could watch the fish, see dragonflies, there was a little playground with a wooden train etc. and we also walked around the lake.
From the small parking lot you walked a path downhill to get to the lake.
One time the upper part of that path was full of tiny frogs. Honestly, I have never before and never again seen so many frogs in one place. We had to walk very carefully, so we wouldn't step on one. Actually I wasn't interested in the lake that much anymore. I would have just wanted to stay there and look at the frogs making their way from one side of the path to the other. I have no idea where exactly they wanted to go because they were not headed for the lake, but I hoped it wouldn't be the road that went through the forest to the next village.
It must have been 40 years ago or even longer because I was a child, but to this day I'm hoping as many as possible made it to their destination to live happily ever after or possibly get kissed by a princess ;-)

Frogs were the topic for our new Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge, but only two of our members stepped up and had something to share this time. I love each single piece just as much as I love little froggies!

1 2 Fab Fristers
2/3/4 Jewelry Art by Dawn


Oldies but Goodies - Monochromatic

This week's topic for the Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge is monochromatic.
Let me head over to Wikipedia very quickly, just a moment .... here we go.
Monochrome describes paintings, drawings, design, or photographs in one color or values of one color. A monochromatic object or image reflects colors in shades of limited colors or hues. Images using only shades of grey (with or without black or white) are called grayscale or black-and-white.

The entries tried to come as close as possible, but you obviously have to allow for findings, bezels etc.
It would be fun to design a completely monochromatic beaded piece for example, though ....

1/5/9 Cat's Wire
2 and 4 MC Stoneworks
3 and 7 Jewelry Art by Dawn
6 and 8 RioRita


Oldies but Goodies - Tiger's eye

Sorry, I'm a bit preoccupied at the moment, totally non jewelry-related, so I'm going to keep today's post for the Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge of this week short.
Our topic was tiger's eye (and no, not all of these pieces do have tiger's eye, but you know that we are generous with the rules ... can you find out which are different stones?).
Hope you'll like the collage!

1/5/8 MC Stoneworks
2/3/7 Cat's Wire
4/6 Jewelry Art by Dawn