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, July 31, 2015

Art Jewelry Elements Component of the Month - July 2015

Yet again, where did the month go?!?  This year is just flying by.  Somehow I made a little time for beading this month and got to play along with the Art Jewelry Elements Component of the Month.  I would have been really sad to miss out, as we were all playing with either an English Farthing coin bead or clasp by our newest member, Niky Sayers.
Aren't they cute?  Wren is one of my totem animals, so I was already familiar with this coin, and have a few in my collection.  Originally I had thought to make something incorporating other coins...and then (as it usually does) something happened.  This happened!
I was having some issues originally, conceptualizing a way to not overwhelm Niky's awesome bead.  After pulling out some interesting metal pieces to play with, I ended up with this layout. 

I used purple craft wire to suspend the coin bead in the center of a textured copper hoop, and then brick stitched along the lower half of the hoop to keep the wire from sliding around on the hoop. 
Look, matching purple thread!  I love the haze it creates on the copper.  I created a bail out of a structured warped square, and attached it to the top of the copper hoop - allowing for free movement as it's being worn.  
From the lowest part of the beadwork, I suspended this awesome old key.  Maybe it's a clock key?  I don't know...and I don't know why it needed to go with this coin bead...but it did!
  I usually try to put a couple accent or contrast beads in the front of a necklace.  This time I chose some amethyst and silver foil Czech lampwork beads, and vintage glass insulators.  The exposed foil on the lampwork beads has tarnished black, but I like how it looks anyway.  These little insulators were a lucky find at one of my local bead shops.  I'm not sure what type of electrical device they would have been for originally, but I needed something to bring the steely color of the key into the upper part of the necklace.  And they're still kind of performing their original function, right?  Insulating the lampwork from the surrounding beads.
The rest of the strap alternates between some dark plummy pearls and hazy silver peanuts in 3 bead sections.  I love the texture that peanuts make when they're strung together. 
I finished it off with one of my favorite copper s-hook clasps.  I love the ease of an s-hook, but it's really important to remember to use them on heavier necklaces...this way you'll notice if they become unhooked.  I lost several lighter weight necklaces before I figured this out!

And here he is!  Little 1946 wren.  While my friend Kelly was here this weekend we had a realization that neither of us had a finished piece of beadwork from the other person...so this piece went home with her!  Though, I have to admit, I totally wore it to work all last week...I find it necessary to test drive just about everything I make.  Please tell me I'm not the only person that does?

Well, that's it folks!  Please hop around and check out what all of the other participants created with Niky's lovely beads and clasps!  I'm off to do just that!

Guest bloggers


  1. Awesome piece, Lindsay! You did a great job of showcasing Niky's bead. All of your bead work is gorgeous and just seems to frame the little wren piece perfectly without overwhelming it. One of my favorites.

  2. I love this!! The combination of purple and copper is excellent and your beadwork blows me away! The design is so intriguing and I really enjoyed your description of your creative process. Funny how we often don't know the why of something just the rightness of it.Thank you for including me in this challenge.

  3. Yep I LOVE it!!!! Everything about it! What a beautifully creative way to use the bead, and what an amazing statement piece you created! The colours all work so well together, the pearls are perfect, the clock key just works so well and I love how you tied it into the necklace with the use of the little insulators, simply a beautifully glamorous piece! Thank you so much for joining in!

  4. Beautiful piece Lindsay - sumptuous colours and I love the key... mind boggling in it's complexity as always!

  5. WOW...you really did this "wren" up right. I am sure he is just proud as punch to be sitting in your design! I am a purple person, so this piece is at the top of my list! Excellent work!

  6. Really beautiful and unusual, I love the colours you've chosen, the pearls in the necklace are stunning!

  7. The key is genius. I love is rich diverse purple palette, all analagous like I like! I think I need to learn more about brick stitch. Ingenious way to showcase the bead, makes it prominent, front and center!

  8. Beautiful work - love the integration of the beads, farthing and key. And the lovely palette of course. :)

  9. I test drive everything I make too. I call it my "Quality Control Program". ;)
    Your necklace is spectacular. I was so impressed I even showed it to my hubs, who was also impressed. The colors are elegant and the key at the bottom creates such a graceful line. Stunning work!