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.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Art Jewelry Elements Component of the Month February

Where on earth has February gone?!?  It seems like yesterday that I was posting about the Beading Back in Time blog hop...and now it's the end of the month, without a post in between!  I'm still building stamina after going back to work full-time - the ideas are still in my brain, but at the end of the day all I want to do is crash.  Hopefully as the days lengthen, that will change - spring is usually my creative time of year...

Anyway, on to this month's Component of the Month reveal!  We have several great metal clay component makers over on the Art Jewelry Elements blog, and I got really excited when I realized I would get to play with some of Melissa Meman's beautiful pieces this month.  Metal is something I don't combine with my beadwork very often, and I'm not really sure why.  I love the heft and feel of finished metal clay pieces, so this was the perfect opportunity to experiment!

I chose a pair of the rectangle components, originally thinking I would do earrings, and embellish the little holes with seed beads in various colors...  And then this happened!

For some reason, these components just needed to be a necklace.  I wanted something fun and funky, but a bit lighter weight than my normal creations.  Funnily, this simple design has a huge laundry list of ingredients!  Besides Melissa's white copper components, I used:

  • chain - sterling rolo, gunmetal plated cable, and super fine antique brass cable with beads
  • waxed linen
  • sari silk
  • powder glass from Ghana
  • 5/0 Picasso Czech charlottes
  • hand carved vintage tagua nut button
  • artisan enameled copper head pins
  • sterling ball head pins
  • teeny gold plated jump rings

Mixed metal ... mixed fiber ...  multi-colored ... multi-strand ...  Isn't it happy?  Well, it makes me happy!

I started with the components - making 90 degree bends right next to the head of my enameled copper and sterling headpins so the wires would dangle down below.  I placed one of the 5/0 charlottes on the end of each wire and made a wrapped loop to hang the necklace strands from.

The strands of chain alternate color, but when I got done attaching all of them it looked empty.  Something was needed to bring the color of the seed beads and enamel down into the strands.  While rooting through my stash for possibilities, the box of African and trade beads fell over and spilled...  Happy accident, the bright colors of powder glass from Ghana were just the ticket!

I had planned to use sari silk for the strap all along...but when I was looking for the perfect strand, I found that most of it looked out of proportion with the rest of the piece.  A bit too wide, a bit too fuzzy, or maybe a bit too bright...  Well, I finally found the right piece, and braided it with waxed linen and a few more bright charlottes.  

For a closure, I chose this little carved tagua nut button.  I love how the floral motif mirrors the design on Melissa's components.  A simple loop goes over the button, and I left the tails long for a little bit of "party in the back".  Ha!  My necklace has a mullet!

AND (you knew it was coming) here's the beauty shot!  Don't forget to check out everyone else's work!  The Component of the Month reveal is something I look forward to every month...I just love seeing how so many different artists interpret similar components.

AJE team: 

Lindsay Starr (you are here!)

Guest Participants:

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Beading Back in Time Blog Hop Challenge Reveal

Here I am, a little late to my own blog hop.  Lovely life got in the way yesterday, but everything is straightening out now.

I've shown some progress pics in my last few posts, but I thought that with my reveal, I would talk you through my process a bit more.  Here is my starting point:
This cheap plastic hadrosaurus just makes me smile.  I love the unusual color combination and patterning on her, so I decided to run with it.  After all, we have no idea what color dinosaurs were!  And today's reptiles come in all colors of the rainbow, right?  So why can't hadrosaurs have been cream, gray, and orange?  
 When starting an encrusting freeform like this (freeform stitching over an armature form), I usually find it easiest to create a harness out of beads first.  This divides the armature into manageable sections of beadwork.  In this case, I also added some Czech pressed glass trilobite beads, partially to continue the spots on the hadrosaur patterning, and partially because I just love the detail in that mold.  And it continues the theme nicely, don't you think?
The first two sections I filled in were the main belly sections.  They were both relatively large sections, and I also knew it would be more difficult to bead in between the legs after they were covered with beads.  Beads just love to catch loops of thread, and as I'm using beige thread on a largely light colored project, it's easy to miss when that happens.  Next I filled in over one shoulder, around the neck, and up one forearm, including the grey mitten coloration on the "hand".
Next I stitched up and around the head.  I knew I wanted to maintain both the original pattern and smile of the plastic dino, and add some texture with some Czech pressed glass spikes.  When I got to the eye areas, I had a bit of a dilemma.  For me, seed beaded eyes never look quite right, so I stitched in a couple of vintage German glass drops, and a bit of surface embellishment to make eyelids.  A bit bulgy looking, but fun, I think.  Then I started working down the left side, continuing to follow the painted pattern on the armature.  At this point I also decided that there was an awful lot of cream, so I added a bit of grey freckling to break up the color a bit.
You can see the freckling a bit better in these pictures of my progress on the left and right sides.
And here is my progress up to now!  I *might* have bitten off more than I could chew this month.  All of my stitching has had to occur in my lunch breaks at work, on Wednesdays before my yoga class, or on the weekends.  I always forget how long a project like this really takes, when you don't have the time to sit and bead for long periods of time.  I still have to finish both hind legs, the tail, and the last bit of belly between the legs and tail.  But that just means I have to make another post, right?  After all, I know you need a beauty shot!  And for some reason I don't feel right taking one of an unfinished project...

Please check out what all of my beady friends have done with this challenge!  I know a few people are running behind like myself, so if you don't see their post now, do check back later!