About Me

Lindsay M Starr is a beadwork and mixed media artist currently based in Nashville, TN. She spent her early childhood in Alaska, and her school age and college years in Oregon. Lindsay has a great appreciation for history, science, and nature and is consistently inspired by insects, sea life, color, and the significance of beads and beadwork throughout human history. She spends her days beading, walking at the zoo, and practicing yoga. Lindsay loves to share her knowledge and passion for beads and beadwork to hobbyists of all skill levels.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Art Bead Scene September 2014 Challenge

Full disclosure, the main reason I started blogging again is because I've always wanted to be able to participate in all of the blog hops and challenges out there.  I am a weirdo that thrives with an assignment or deadline.  Usually I find that it pushes me to stretch outside my comfort zones, and that's always a good thing!  After all, you never know when someone is going to request a piece that is outside your comfort zone...I think of challenges as practice for that eventuality.

I was super ready for the Art Bead Scene blog monthly challenge...until I saw the art inspiration for this month.
You can read more about this gesso panel and the artist HERE.

Oh, if ever there was a palette that did NOT inspire me, this is it.  Where is all the color and tonal contrast?  I had to really look at this piece of art to find things that got my creative juices flowing - but that's what a challenge is all about.  I love all the different layers of texture and lines.  I love how subtle the faces are, and the small beads of saturated color in the midst of all the blandness.  I started pulling beads and components to work with (the step I always forget to take a picture of).  Shortly after starting this process, I came to the realization that I was going to have to get really creative with my seed bead choices...I simply don't have true matches to all the beigeness in my stash.

Luckily, I found some seed beads I though I could make work, along with one of my polymer clay faces, and lampwork beads by Valerie O'Neal and Sharon Ryman.  I captured the face, attached the lampwork, started adding some swooping lines of beads...and hit the Ugly Duckling Stage:
If you're not an artist or creative person of any type, you might not be familiar with this term.  The Ugly Duckling Stage (or UDS as I'll call it from now on), is a soul-sucking period in the creative process.  You're not sure why the piece isn't doing it for you, you're not sure how to fix it, you just know that it doesn't look good yet.  Often I find that the bigger or more conceptual the piece is, the longer the UDS lasts.  A lot of times people never make it past this stage in the process, resulting in a perpetual WIP (Work In Progress) or straight up UFO (UnFinished Object).  Part of my issue on this piece is that I wasn't looking at the inspiration picture while I was beading (yes, I was too busy watching Hulu to switch tabs)...so the piece took a bit of a departure from the direction I was intending.  So I called in some help from my online bead friends.  I showed several of them the inspiration art, and then the picture above and asked what was missing.  One said it needed more mauvey pink.  Another said it needed to be "pointy".  And after reading all of their comments, I could tell that the wispy texture that had inspired me in the first place was missing as well.  So I went back to work.
Definitely past the UDS now!  I addressed all of the issues brought up by my friends, and it's ready to have a necklace strap attached.  

Here are some pictures of the finished necklace, with a little bit more explanation:
I decided to go for a two strand neck strap, and each half of each strand is different.  The shorter inner strand is blue and silver-beige on the attached side, and spaced out mauvey pink on the clasped side.  The longer outer strand is garnet luster and silver beige on one side, and denser mauvey pink on the clasped side.  

Here is the centerpiece close up so you can see the artist beads.  I didn't even notice that this face had a beauty mark until I was photographing this necklace.  Valerie's large oval lampwork bead was such a great jumping off point for this necklace, and I love how Sharon's little bumpy bead plays on the texture in the inspiration art.

Here you can see the clasp situation a little clearer.  I used a metal cloak or jacket frog for the clasp.  I found the scroll work in the design appealing - it reminds me of the ornate designs of the early 20th century (the inspiration art was created in 1902).  I really wanted to incorporate the perfect mauvey pink vintage glass ring, and struggled a bit on just how to do that.  I finally decided to make a wire wrapped link to attach the ring, the two halves of the clasp, and a blue foiled Czech lampwork bead.  The clasp is actually used backwards from what it would be in a garment.  The wire links are strung through connects the normal stitching holes.  The hook side of the clasp grabs directly onto the mauve section of beadwork by the face!  The loop side of the clasp is what I crimped the two necklace strands to.  I do love a front closure!  And I feel like this solution breaks up a part of the necklace that could have gone overwhelmingly pink...   

Ah, the beauty shot!

Thank you all for looking once again!  Please make sure you visit the Art Bead Scene blog (I will edit this link then) on October 1st or 2nd to see all of the other awesome works inspired by this piece of art!  As always, you can keep up with me daily on Facebook, or check out my shop on Etsy.  

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Trip to Iowa 2014, the Goodies!

One of the things I love to do when visiting a new place is to go junking.  This consists of visiting every single thrift, charity, and antique store I can find, along with spur of the moment flea marketing and town festivals.  This can be especially fruitful in small towns, where dealers are less likely to realize what they have, and can't command big city prices anyway.  So here are my goodies from small town Iowa!

I've been looking for a Ganesh for awhile now - not your normal small altar statue, but something unique.  Who knew he would be hanging on the wall in a small oddity and antique store in Iowa?  And yes, he is a planter too...

I also got this little raku bell at the same shop.  It doesn't sound very nice, but it's so pretty!

Guinea fowl statue anyone?

I found this awesome tumbled slab of tiger iron that will make a great necklace for my boyfriend.

"Greek" brass masks...I'm determined that these are not too big for focals...

Carved serpentine fish focal.

Baggie of large rough cut seed beads...who could pass this up for 99 cents?

This is actually a bolo tie slide...I would love to meet the man that bought this!  I think it'll make a great necklace focal.

All of this was in a baggie for $2...what?  Yes.

Vintage glass necklaces from a variety of shops.

More organic necklaces - 4 strands of bone, cedar ghost berries, cultured pearls, and a necklace of mother of pearl rounds and really nice turquoise.  

Why did I buy this horrible thing?  Well, it was $1, the pendant is weird and interesting (capiz shell, peacock feather and resin), the wood donuts are useful, and the fur inlaid links were just too weird to pass up.

Bits and pieces of broken vintage beadwork.  I love finding stuff like this so I can retrace the threadpath and recreate it in new beads.

All of these crystals and chain (sterling chain I might add) came off of a broken necklace from the Goodwill...for $1...

Vintage glass buttons...I just can't say no.

Look at the texture on these!

When you're out and about, keep your eyes peeled for anything useful!  The trick is to start seeing old, broken, or costume jewelry as more than just it's current state.  It really is situation where the parts might be worth more to you than the whole piece.  Seriously, I buy garments at the thrift store on a regular basis, just because of the buttons.  You never know what you'll find if you keep your eyes peeled!  As always, you can keep track of my daily beadventures on my Facebook page, and in my Etsy shop.  

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Trip to Iowa 2014, Part 2

Well, ok, this is a week late.  Funny, it always seems to take at least that long to recover from vacation, doesn't it?

Our trip to Iowa culminated in an even that called A Day Out with Thomas, with all the kids.  Probably due to the fact that I have a much younger brother, I watched children's programming much longer than a lot of kids my age, and I've always had a soft spot for Thomas the Tank Engine and all his friends.  It was really fun to not only see the little Thomas engine, but also take a short ride in a train pulled by him!  The kids all loved it too, of course.
 He even talks and looks around!

The very next day we were headed back to Tennessee.  I am so thankful that we realized the kiddo was just about to the point of being too big for her car seat - we bought a new one while in Iowa, and it shortened the drive back to TN by several hours.  Having a more comfortable kiddo was a huge relief for all of us!  

One of the things that I always keep an eye open for on long car rides, is trucks hauling weird loads.  What do I mean by that?  Well, this truck for one:

Yes, that is a truck load of turkeys...
Or how about this load - ok, I know it's not a semi, but still:

Yes, that is a cannon!  We were in Kentucky by then, so I can definitely say "Only in the South!"

We made it back to Nashville, and my friend plus kiddo to Knoxville, safe and sound.  Tomorrow's blog post will cover all of the awesome finds I brought home.  As always, you can keep up with me on my Facebook page, or shop on Etsy anytime.  See you tomorrow!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Trip to Iowa 2014, Part 1

Hello all, from the Heart (so I'm told) of the Mid-West.  I am in the middle of a 10 day long trip to a little town in Iowa - invited by a friend to accompany her and her 2 1/2 year old daughter on a road trip to visit family.  I'm not occupied employment right now, so how could I pass up the opportunity to spend some time in a part of the country that I've not even driven through before?  Visiting new places, near or far or virtually, is always inspiring to me, so I said yes and the adventure began!

All packed up and ready to go.  Neither of us were sure we could fit all of our own gear, plus the stuff for the kiddo and food in the car, but somehow we managed.  Left Nashville around 8:30 or 9pm, and didn't reach our hotel in Paducah KY until nearly midnight.  The next day we drove from 8am to 8:30pm, stopping nearly every hour for potty breaks...none of us could get in sync with the others!  Here are a few pictures from the drive:
A storm started coming in when we were just South of the IA state line in MO.  Look at those cool washboard clouds!

Here's another view of the storm, just a few more miles down the road.

Just before sunset in IA.  I just love how silvery the clouds get at this time of day.

When the sun finally set, we had this amazing color show.  Ok, I know the picture is incredibly blurry, but just look at the colors.  I want to make this necklace!

Well, we finally, arrived and after a weekend of visiting family members (all with multiple kids), we've spent the last two days lounging and recuperating.  I did get out into the yard and take a few pictures of my friend's mom's garden plants:

This awesome morning glory has blossoms in variegated blue and white with a teeny bit of blue...on the same plant.

Don't ask me what this plant is...it's just soft, silvery and pretty!

Dinner plate sized Hibiscus in a color I haven't seen before.

We also went to Ledges State Park - you can read more about this local attraction here!  It was so nice to get out with the kids, wade in the water, and see how the water has carved the stone over the eons.  I think we're going back next weekend so I'll make an effort to get some more interesting pics than these:

I hope you're looking forward to parts 2 (the rest of the trip) and 3 (all the beady goodness I've scored) sometime next week after I get back to TN.  Thanks for looking!