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.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

March 2017 Art Elements Challenge Reveal - Amulet bags!

When Cathy announced that this month's theme challenge would be amulet bags, I may have been more than a little bit excited.  After all, this is where it all started for me!

I started over 20 years ago with instructions from Threads magazine.  I have made flocks of these postage stamp sized brick stitched necklaces since then.

After learning Peyote stitch a few years later, I tried several different varieties of amulet bag with it and was not really pleased with the results until I learned how to work with "bead soup" and made this bag.

Lately, I have been loving how quickly 3-bead netting works into a bag, and it's so much fun to embellish! 

I had intended to make several this month for the challenge, but like it does so often, time got away from me.  This bag was for one of my coworker's bridal shower a few days ago.  Even if her wedding colors weren't jade and navy, I would have chosen some combination of green and blue for her!
Only the bag and embellishment is seed beadwork.  I connected the strap to two large picasso seed beads along the top edge of the bag opening, and strung it on flexible beading wire.
The strap is quite long - no clasp needed.  The front sections have some coin shaped jade beads that I have hoarded for years.  The rest of the strap is more of the large picasso seed beads - super comfortable on the neck.
The embellishment is all made of vintage pressed glass beads - two styles of button flowers and a large leaf, all in navy blue.  The looped fringe has even more of the large picasso seed beads floating over the strand of 11/0 seed beads - something to fiddle with while she's on the phone.
The back is left unembellished, for ease of wear primarily, but this also means you get a good idea of what is under the embellishment on the front.  I used a bead soup made of 4 different colors of 11/0 seed beads.
My other half pointed out when I was done that the bride would only need to tuck something borrowed inside of the bag to fulfill the Old English rhyme:  Something old (vintage glass beads), something new (the piece itself), something borrowed, and something blue (also the vintage beads)!  While this was totally unintentional, I love how this worked out!

I hope you will hop along and check out how the rest of our crew and guests were inspired by the theme this month!  I'm off to do just that.

Samatha Wescott- http://wescottjewelry.com/2017/03/30/art-elements-challenge-amulet-bag-of-shame/
Oksana Bevz- http://oksanalikesit.blogspot.com/2017/03/march-theme-challenge-amulet-bags.html
Genevieve Camp- http://www.genevievecamp.com/201/03/30/art-elements-amulet-bag-theme-challenge/

AE Members-

Cathy- http://cmendola.blogspot.com/
Cooky- http://www.cookyschock.com/
Jenny- https://jdaviesreazor.com/blog/

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

February 2017 Art Elements Component of the Month Reveal

I will fully admit to struggling with my beadwork for the last 6 months or more.  It's a combination of being overworked, overwhelmed, and just plain ready for a change of season!  That being said, I'm incredibly thankful for our team over at the Art Elements blog for keeping me going every month, with at least one creative commitment.  I try my hardest to participate every month, especially when my team mates are so kind to send me lovely components to work with.

 Jenny's crusty battered polymer clay hearts are no exception!  I think many of us creatives share a similar, hmmm, dare I say, revulsion? for the typical seasonal holiday themes.  For sure, I find most of the seasonal store displays in February uninspired and trite.  Hearts are not something I usually incorporate into my work without a specific request.  I don't buy them, use them, or enjoy looking at them...but when I saw Jenny's take on a wounded and repaired heart, I couldn't say no!  I mean, look at them!

I requested one of the dark burgandy ones, and when I started looking through my stash, I knew I wanted to incorporate some more brass to bring out the gold leaf and brass wires, along with doing some geometric beading to contrast with the organic nature of the hearts.  I found these strange brass Greek theatrical wall mask miniatures while on a trip with a friend in rural Iowa...and everything just fell into place.
I wish I could tell you I had some kind of grand concept or plan.  I can't though, it would be a lie.  I just picked things that I felt worked together, and I'm really pleased with the results!  I have a collection of masks and art "taxidermy" on my living room walls, and this piece will fit right in.
As the hanger is at the top of this mask, I had to use the mouth to suspend the beadwork and heart from.  Using some 20g antique brass colored copper craft wire, I coiled the wire around the mouth and chin (messily!).  I worked with short sections to avoid kinks, so when I was almost satisfied with the look, I cut a longer piece and folded it in half. To suspend the beadwork, I threaded the wire directly through one of the beads, allowing it to settle in the middle of the "U".  Then I wrapped the 2 tails around and wove them into the back side of all the other wires for stability.
When it came to choosing beads, I dug around for something to combine the burgundy, brass, black and green of the patina on the mask, and combined textures so both the shine from the mask and satiny finish of the heart would be represented as well.  I added six small Czech spikes to the outside for that sharper, geometric look.  I also like that the slight metallic haze on the clear glass draws a little more focus to an element that might otherwise disappear into the background...
Since I had asked Jenny for a pendant, the wire on the heart was already included.  I was able to rotate the loop so it faced sideways, and attached it to the beadwork in the section opposite the mask.
All things considered, I am quite pleased with the results!  I hope you will hop along and check out what everyone else has made this month with Jenny's lovely crusty hearts.  I'm off to do just that!

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Art Elements January 2017 Component of the Month Reveal - Leather Cabochon!

This month, the Art Elements component of the month was a bit different than usual for me...I was the maker of the component!  Since I am typically not a component maker, I normally let everyone else sign up for the monthly slots, but for some reason several months ago, I signed up for a challenge.  After much fretting about what to make, I had an idea...that actually worked out...and I ran with it.  Introducing - leather cabochons!
I cut out and wet molded belt weight vegetan leather, then dyed and painted them when dry.  I was vaguely inspired by Australian Aboriginal dot art, and also had fun applying paint with the old tried and true toothbrush technique.
I kept these two for myself ,intending to use the long oval as a jellyfish bell, and making a huge statement jellyfish necklace...but as so often is the case, that's not what happened!
I ended up using the splattered dark teal/purple cabochon.  I was inspired by how much it looked like photos of deep space and ran with a circular/orbital look on everything.
It was more than a little difficult choosing cabs to pair with the leather cabochon.  I felt like most of my stash was too shiny, and took focus away from the leather cab, simply because it is so dark.  I ended up with a vintage acrylic cab (Etsy) in purple, black and gold, and a lampwork cab that I've had stashed away for several years (artist unknown).  Between the darkness and subtlety of each of these cabs, I felt like they both belonged in the same realm as the leather cab, even though the 3 materials couldn't be more different.
I bezeled each cab, and embroidered around each for just a few rows until they were all connected.  Glued on the ultrasuede backing, and edged the piece in some clear and black striped 8/0 beads, with a transparent grey rainbow bead on the picot's - I like that the edge appears to fade away.  To connect a necklace strap, I stitched a few twin beads between the picot's on the upper edges, and used the second hole of each to run my beading wire through.  To continue the circular/orbital theme, I strung a selection of large Czech glass disk shaped beads first - this also adds some overall weight close to the focal.  More weight was desperately needed, since the none of these cabs is very heavy.  I like weight in the front of a necklace, so that when you're wearing it you don't have to constantly adjust the orientation on your neck.  The strap continues up the neck with some black 6/0 beads, blue metallic 11/0's and I interspersed the segments with 3mm white opal druks, simply to carry some flecks of white further into the necklace.
I am more pleased with the results than I was expecting!  I think of it as my System necklace - interconnecting, orbiting circles that create an entire network of shapes, everything interrelated.

Making components has been an adventure for sure!  If you are interested, I do have a few more cabs for sale over at the Art Elements Extras Facebook group.  I'm not sure if I will ever make any more!

I do hope you will hop along and see what everyone else has cooked up with their leather cabs!  We have several guests this time, and I am super excited to see what everyone has made.