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 22, 2016

Art Jewelry Elements July 2016 Component of the Month

Oh my, what a couple of months it's been.  I skipped the group challenge last month because life was just too full.  Starting about 8 weeks ago, here are the highlights of my life in the recent past:
  • TN state insurance licensing exams scheduled to prep for position change at work
  • surgery scheduled all of a sudden
  • licensing exams rescheduled since they were the day of my surgery
  • had surgery (outpatient)
  • holiday
  • bought a gift for myself to hold as ransom so I would study for the exams
  • study
  • first round of allergy consultation and testing
  • study
  • more study
  • binge studying
  • passed my exams!
  • opened my present
  • fingerprints for state licensing
  • 2nd round of allergy testing next week (all the itchy things were scheduled for after my exams)
Yeah, so...I've been a bit overwhelmed lately.  I'm so glad to feel like I have my free-time back!  It means I got to play along in the AJE component of the month challenge this time, with Lesley's fun fossil pebbles.
 I asked Lesley to choose me a surprise!  I like embracing the challenge of an unknown color palette, shape and form!  She sent me the moss and tan colored one in the middle of the bottom row...And this is what happened.
Ostrich illustration by Dave Eggers
I was really working at the last second on this, even to come up with an idea.  I only passed my exams on Wednesday this week...all of the creative process happened Thursday and Friday, including idea generation.  However, the basic construction of this pendant is an idea that has long been popular in the leatherworking world and something I've been thinking about incorporating into seed beading for quite some time.
This technique essentially uses leather to bezel a cabochon, marble, stone or other holeless object - in this case Lesley's fossil pebble pendant.  I treated the pendant just like a cabochon as the first step - glued to my base piece of leather.  Then made holes at 1/8" intervals around the pebble, and let the glue set for a bit while I trimmed the leather and decided which other to use.  After I had the accent and bezel leathers chosen, the next step was to stitch all three layers together, tightly stretching the top layer across the pebble.
 Here you can see the layers of leather a bit clearer - the base layer is a greenish tan cowhide, then a layer of warm tan fish leather, and a stretchy, supple chocolate brown leather.  After everything was stitched together, I took a razor blade and sliced the top off of the chocolate layer of leather - this caused the fossils to be revealed, but I also left enough behind to act as a tight bezel to protect the edges of the pebble.
After I finished my stitching, the piece just needed a teeny bit of color and texture added.  You know how I am about color!  These lovely picasso green turquoise seed bead drops picked up all the varieties of brown and tan in the leather and pebble...but still add just enough color to appease my sensabilities.
I will also admit to not being satisfied with my stitching through the leather - the drops are hiding areas of stitching that would otherwise be unsatisfactory to my eyes. You know how it is...the vast majority of people would never notice the things about my own work that I do, but that doesn't make it any less apparent to me!

I've just slipped the pendant onto a piece of ultrasuede lace for easy, over-the-head wear.  I'm not sure if down the road it will stay on the lace or a different piece of cording, or perhaps end up with a beaded necklace?  For now though, I think I'm just going to wear it as is!  So light I can't even feel it!

I hope you will hop along and see what everyone else has created with Lesley's lovely fossil pebbles!  Grab your morning coffee and peruse the creativity with me!


  1. This looks great Lindsay - love the layering and the organic nature that gives a really ancient feel to it. Thanks for taking part in the challenge.

  2. That's really clever and the result is fantastic! I love the pop of colour from the drops, the whole design is gorgeous.

  3. Ohhh I really love your piece! Even looks good on the ostrich. The seed beads are just the right color! They really do enhance the piece!

  4. Oh yes, this is really awesome! Love your use of the leather layers and the seeds add a perfect touch!

  5. Lindsay, just wow! I am totally in awe! I love how you have set the cab using the leather, I love the organic feel of the piece and the added seed beads are just the perfect finishing touch and such an amazing colour! You are amazing!

  6. I absolutely love the rustic feel of your design and the material choices. Fabulous!

  7. I am always amazed by your beautiful beading!

  8. Very neat technique! Thanks for the lesson, it came out beautifully and those seeds are the perfect complement.

  9. Oh its gorgeous! That fish leather is so cool. I think we will need more leather, and maybe some tutorials in the future!