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.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Sunday Funday - Week 11

Week of December 22-28, verge of the New Year...

What a fantastic week - I hope you all had fabulous holidays, and got to spend time with your families (or family of choice).  I am currently back in Knoxville writing this post, where I've spent the second half of this week with our good friends.  I am unashamed to admit I had an ulterior motive for wanting to spend the holiday weekend here...the clothing consignment shops are fantastic here!

My friend also let me "shop" her old work wardrobe.  We are similarly pear shaped people, so all of her too small clothes ended up fitting me perfectly!  Including four pairs of trousers - yay for not having to try pants on in the stores!  Friday evening and all day Saturday we spent shopping for more tops, sweaters, and a fabulous winter wool trench coat that fits like a glove.  Now when I get back to Nashville I can comfortably purge my wardrobe of all things that don't fit and aren't appropriate for work...a good wardrobe purge is always liberating.

I made time this week to photograph a bunch of pieces for Etsy listings.  I hope to be able to write a listing every day after I get home from work.  So I will share a few sneak previews with you this week...it seems like all my posts lately have been about eye candy.  Admittedly, a bit lazy on my part, but I'm still getting used to the new work schedule and I know you don't mind!

I love making brooches, and these three have always been some of my favorites.  A pink and blue bouquet, a paisley with vintage glass focal cab and flower nailheads, and a vibrant hibiscus that makes me want to visit tropical climates.  I will have to make some more soon to wear with all my new jackets and sweaters!

I just love making these encrusted key pendants.  Each one is stitched over an actual old metal skeleton key.  The two on the right are teeny furniture keys - delicate, even covered in 15/0 seed beads.  The one in the middle is one of my first...and still one of my favorites, between it's huge size and heft, the colors, and the teeny peephole of key that you can see just under the ring.  The red and turquoise one was a challenge - the hole ended up being too small and became clogged with beads when I tried to preserve it.  So I solved the issue by creating a beaded loop attached to the top of the key - I love that none of the actual key is covered by the ribbon.

I will be listing these two necklaces and two pendants featuring my encrusted polymer clay cabochons.  The black, purple and blue necklace has always been one of my favorites!  The peach, crimson, and seafoam one is a great statement piece, and the fringe makes a wonderful sound as you wear it.  The purple and black pendant is super small and delicate, with it's ruffle of purple twins.  And the eye pendant with bright blue lashes...I don't know, I may have to keep that one.  I've always love the evil eye symbolism, and this one will go well with my new wardrobe.

Tidepool is one of the biggest bead embroidery pieces I've ever stitched.  I got the Mexican onyx starfish on my birthday trip to the Tennessee Aquarium a few years ago.  If you ever visit Tennessee, you MUST visit the aquarium.  It has one of the most spectacular collections of freshwater critters that you will ever see, and their turtle and tortoise collection is amazingly diverse.  There is an atrium full of butterflies, another with river otters, and a third showcasing the inhabitants of the Louisiana bayous.  I could spend an entire weekend exploring the place and be completely content!  However, this piece was inspired by my love for the Oregon coastline.  When I visit home, a trip to the coast is always in my plans, and if we manage to hit it at lowtide, the tidepools are on the agenda, for sure.  Besides the starfish, this statement necklace features several other denizens of the rocky coast I'm so familiar with.  Snails, with vintage glass shells...a purple sea urchin...mussels, this one features an ancient piece of roman glass...a green sea anemone...a few barnacles...the blue gray stones that are so prevalent...and my favorite part is the strap that features a stitched jellyfish, tangled in kelp, the floats made of hollow Venetian glass beads.

I made this necklace quite a few years ago, but I've always loved it.  In fact, I'm pretty sure it was one of the first peyote bezels I ever did around a cabochon.  Dichroic glass has always been an extreme fascination of mine, and I couldn't resist this very large tricolor piece from store I was working at.  The fringe has red opal vintage glass leaves, such an unusual color!  I think I will have to rework the strap, as it's a bit short for me now, and stitched from a thread that I no longer trust.  But a strung strap out of black seed beads and a few matching accent beads will set the cab off even better I think.  
Keep an eye out in a few days for my Art Jewelry Elements December Component of the Month post.  The reveal posts of my fellow contributors are by far my favorite blog hop around.  My friend Sherri and I will also be announcing a big surprise that you will not want to miss!  Don't forget to keep up with me on Facebook, and also keep an eye out on Etsy for some of these pieces to make an appearance soon.  As always, thanks for looking!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Sunday Funday, Week 9 and 10!

Week of December 8-21, mid-month blues.

Hello, I'm back again!  The last few weeks have been unexpectedly stressful and eventful, and completely way-laid my Christmas present making.  Everyone on my list will be getting New Year's presents and ornaments instead!  It's just another day, after all :)

I also miraculously found a job.  Right now I am pretty worn out - my stamina is low after not working for the last 6 months, and not having worked full-time for the last 3 years.  But it's getting better, and the job doesn't sap my creativity at all, so I expect to be back to beading soon.  

Today's post will be a bit of eye candy for you, mostly to help me get inspired to work on some projects soon :)

A package arrived this week from my friend Sherri, of My Micromacrame.  Just look what was inside!
Do you remember this post, where Sherri and I swapped pieces of beadwork and macrame for the other person to work with?  Well, this is what Sherri did with my little cream flower, sea green leaf, and long ruffle.  I just love how she combined coral oranges and reds, plus more of our favorite greens and teals to make this sweet sugar skull necklace!  

Look at all the different textures of macrame in there!  Sherri really out did herself this time!

These are the two sides of the strap - one side has a spiral, supporting my beaded ruffle.  The other is a series of leaves, knotted out of 3 different colors of cord.

You knew I couldn't leave you without the beauty shot, right?  I just love the pattern of knotting in the skull!

Of course, neither Sherri or I can send a package to the other person without adding a bunch of goodies.
I've got a new stash of antler points and components, plus antler and wood toggle sets - all made by Sherri's dad.  The sweet man made the toggles specifically for me!
Handmade cards, made by our mutual friend, Shelley Graham Turner of Tori Sophia.  I just love them!

She also included a necklace for Keven.  This is one of Sherri's first attempts at making jewelry for a man. 
It must have been successful, because he put it right on, even though we weren't leaving the house any more that day!  Way to go Sherri!  This might be a whole new market for you!

If you need more eye candy, check out my post today over at the Art Jewelry Elements blog!

I will attempt to keep up with my regular blogging, even with the new job!  Please forgive me if I miss a weekend here and there - you all know how life can get in the way!  Keep an eye out on my Facebook page and Etsy shop - I foresee updates in the near future!  As always, thanks for looking!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Recent Goodies!

My poor blog has been neglected of late, so I thought I would tease you today with some of the goodies that have arrived in my mailbox lately.

This lovely array of colors is a selection of silicone beads I got from this lovely Etsy seller.  I still need to make the intended project with them, so I will do nothing more than show you their lovely velvety brightness!

A surprise package arrived in the mail from my buddy Lennis, of Windbent.  We share many similar tastes in beads - you can tell, right?  Just look at all those goodies!  A lovely collection of Venetian millefiore beads, a sugar skull pendant by Andrew Thornton, a raku skull cabochon by Harry of OscarCrow, a collection of lampwork and porcelain spacers, and a bright tomato red sun and moon cab by Firefly Design Studio.  I love it all!

Lennis is a great mixed media jewelry artist, that likes to repurpose vintage jewelry and found objects.  She made this great brooch for me!  Not only will it work perfectly with my Time Sharer steampunk costume...but I can also wear it on some of my new work jackets and sweaters.  I love wearing a brooch as a cardigan closure - it adds shape and interest to an otherwise boxy and plain garment.

Do you remember back in October when I one the Art Bead Scene blog challenge?  (Check this post if you don't)  Well, I was finally able to choose my prize from FanceeThat on Etsy.  Lisa was kind enough to throw in a few extras.  I have a plan for a couple of these things...I definitely know what I'm going to do with the desert colored disks in the upper left corner.

Tomorrow morning I have my Sunday Funday post going up, and my post over at the Art Jewelry Elements blog.  Be sure to check them both out!  And don't forget my Facebook page and Etsy shop - I hope to be updating both in the near future.  As always, thanks for looking!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Sunday Funday - Week 8

Week of December 1-7, Early December

Hello again!  I am still deep in the process of Christmas gift making.  I can't wait until I can get back to beading for myself and my friends!  I have so many projects in the works right now, but gifts must come first so they can be mailed hither and yon.

I've been sewing a lot lately, and not just the fish ornaments you've already seen.  This year, all of the kids in my life are getting handmade Christmas stockings.  Keven helped me serge and hem a thousand miles of fabric for dress up squares too (really glad to have help with all of that).  I'm also working on some small leather projects, and have a second batch of fish to dye soon!  Oh, and I made my first leather vest!  I really hope it's not too big for my friend's daughter...or that by the time she grows into it she's still into Sheriff Callie...

I spent quite awhile at the zoo yesterday with a friend.  It was really nice to go with someone who hasn't been in a long time - I got to play tour guide!  More of the animals were out than we expected, what with the colder weather, and we rode the carousel, like two little kids!  Then, on the spur of the moment, we decided to go to a bead show.  The little American Bead and Gem shows come through Nashville and Knoxville a couple of times a year, so I'm familiar with several of the vendors.  I tried really hard not to buy anything!  But as you can see above...that really didn't go so well.  I bought some pearls, all at really low show prices, and a fantastic strand of rough labradorite.  I love the look of rough gemstones, but sometimes they don't feel nice...these however, have just enough polish to feel soft and show off the excellent color flashes in the stones.  I finally bought a length of enameled evil eye chain, and the copper chain was the perfect finishing touch for...

Jenny's cat necklace! You might remember this necklace from one of my recent posts.  I'm so excited to finally have figured out a solution for this lovely piece...it's been bothering me for weeks!  I used some of the silver foil Czech lampwork beads that my friend in Oregon just sent me as links to attach the pendant to the chain.  I love how they mirror the silver lined XL seed beads in the fringe!  And the textured chain I bought yesterday is dainty, yet the right scale to fit with this simple necklace.  I really hope Jenny likes it!

I also finished up Jenny's mermaid necklace!  I've been trying to get all of her pieces finished up so I can send everything to her in one package, and have finally managed it.  I am going to be a little sad to see this piece go!  It is really a pleasure to wear, with its long swaying fringe.  But I guess that just means I need to make some more fringe-y pieces, right?

My latest post is up over at the Art Jewelry Elements blog this morning too.  
It's all about now my mom and I do our holiday "gift" exchanges.  You should check it out!  (But MOM!!!  Don't read it unless you want a sneak preview of what you're getting this year!)

I really do hope to add some Etsy listings and do another post this week...we shall see if that actually happens!  It all depends on how finishing up the gift-splosion goes!  Until then, you can always keep up with me on Facebook, or check out my Etsy shop!  Thanks for looking!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Sunday Funday: Week 7 - Art Jewelry Elements Component of the Month November

Week of November 24-30, End of November

Where has the week gone?!?  Oh, that's right, my last post was late...  

It's that time again everyone!  Reveal time for the Art Jewelry Elements blog Component of the Month!  This month we were all provided with gorgeous stitched twin ring components by the lovely Kristen Stevens.  Kristen is the other seed beader in the group, and we have really bonded in our shared techniques, love of art beads, and the complete difference in how we approach creating with those tiny glass beads.  You should check out more of her work here!  These are the little rings that we had to choose from, three of the gorgeous dark terra pearl colors.  
Kristen asked each of us what color we would like...well, of course I couldn't choose.  I love all of them!  So I asked her to just surprise me...and this is what I found when my package arrived in the mail!
Silly Kristen couldn't decide either and sent me a pair of each color!  Now my dilemma started.  How do you incorporate a seed beaded component into a seed beaded design and have the component remain the star?  What colors do you choose to really enhance the lovely subtle differences in the dark terra pearls?  What type of jewelry do you make to really showcase the components?  

I felt like earrings or a bracelet were the easy answers...but they wouldn't really leave me any room to do much more than attach the rings together.  So I decided to make a necklace.  Then I had to really think about color.  I needed a neutral or pseudo-neutral that wouldn't clash or compete with the components.  Here's what I ended up with as a palette.
   Transparent super light amethyst (looks much more pink/purple in the tube), was a nice mate to the plum terra pearl components, and nicely contrasted the denim and teal.  I knew that I wanted this color to be the main part of the palette, and decided on transparent and luster grays and silvers as the accent.  Do you see the little tiny 15's in the components?  They're transparent gray, the same color as the bag of seed beads on the far left.  At this point I also decided what type of necklace that I wanted to make - a netting amulet bag, incorporating the components into the fringe and the closure, with a simple strung strap.  Here's the start:
Ok, bad picture...I took this at night as a teaser for Kristen.  But I really love where the piece is going and how the components are incorporated.  So I reached the point where I needed to add the strap...and discovered that I only had one crimp left!  Doh!  I quickly ordered some more and worked on a few other projects in the interim.
Finished at last!  I really think that this design sets off the components well.  The texture of the netting doesn't detract, and the color of the beads lets the components stand out.  Lets look at all of the elements closer up.
The closure is a band of netting coming down from the back side of the bag, ending in one of the twin rings.  Then I stitched a tiny enameled butterfly button on to hold the band closed.  It fits through the hole in the center of the ring perfectly, but enough shows around the edges that you can still see that nice teal terra pearl.  I love how it looks like the butterfly has just alighted on a flower.  
The rest of the twin rings are in the fringe, dancing around like daisies in a field.  Each fringe that doesn't have a ring on it ends with 6/0 beads - clear with black stripes, matte with a rainbow finish.  I love the texture and bit of pearly color that they bring.
I thought you might like to see the back - you can really see the pattern in the stitching and the colors here.  I used a crystal sparkle silver lined seed bead for a teeny bit of twinkle in with the transparent light amethyst, and the transparent gray in the fringe and at the top of the bag as an accent.
When I strung the strap, I knew that I needed to add a bit of dark color, just so that the components looked fully incorporated.  So after a rummage through my seed bead and vintage glass boxes, I found a couple of vintage glass twisted pearl beads in a gorgeous teal, plus 6/0 seed beads in dark terra plum - an exact match to the plum twin rings!  I spaced them out with the light amethyst and sparkle silver lined 11's, plus the striped 6's from the fringe, and finished off with one of my favorite teeny sterling clasps.
I love this beauty shot!  You can really see the different colors (these dark pearls are so hard to photograph!)!  Each of them reminds me of a little daisy, just waiting for its own butterfly.  

Don't forget to check out what all the other participants made too!  The links are all listed below.  I'm going to go do that now - I just love seeing how everyone works so differently with the same components.  I will be back early this coming week with another post or two, and some sneak peaks of the holiday gifts I'm working on.  Until then, you can always keep up with me on Facebook, or check out my Etsy shop!  Thanks for looking!

Lindsay Starr (you are here!)

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Belated Sunday Funday, Week 6

Week of November 17-23, Mid-November

It sure was nice to get back to Knoxville for a week!  I had a great time visiting friends, taking it easy, helping with birthday parties, and sneaking in some beading when I could.  I didn't get much done beyond my progress post last week and I don't want to show you the same stuff again...so today you get an eye candy post...starting off with some eye balls...
My old coworkers at the bead shop in Knoxville slipped these awesome beads into my purse when I wasn't looking.  They're by lampwork artist, Jo Marie, who is a member of the awesome Smoky Mountain Firecrackers, the Knoxville lampwork guild.  I can't wait to have the right project to work them into...so creepy cool!  

While I was at the shop, I also picked up these bright, yellow-orange, fluorescent gumdrop beads.  I don't know why I'm so entranced with this color...normally I avoid the coated fluorescent beads like the plague!  I also grabbed the dark green turquoise tiles, and was gifted the Czech pressed elephant beads.  I just love discovering a shape I haven't seen before, and it's even better when you're handed them by a friend!

These lovelies came from my friend Kelly of Beadin' Black&Blue.  We send each other beady care packages occasionally, and since we were meeting up in Knoxville she brought me a small goody bag.  The lampwork fish is from a bead shop in California where Kelly went on a recent work trip, and the yellow flowers are from yet another member of the Smoky Mountain Firecrackers.  The artist of the black/blue/purple beads is unknown to us...but apparently these beads were so weird they just screamed out my name!

I also received a package of my beadwork that had been on display at Kaleidoscope Studios, and the owner (who I've been friends with for years) tucked a bunch of beady goodness inside.  This is just a small selection...I don't want y'all to get too jealous!
Beautiful gemstone cabs!  Silver sheen obsidian, labradorite, chalcedony, and agate, in nice shapes and sizes.
Small felt ball beads (will be perfect with the sculpture I'm working on), and tiny natural pinecone beads.  I need to figure out what plant these are from...they remind me of teeny pangolins!  Apparently they originate from Africa, so hopefully that will narrow down the search.  *Edit*  After an internet search, I've discovered that these pinecones are actually the dried fruits of a type of raffia palm, grown in Camaroon!  Fascinating!
Vintage and modern Czech pressed glass beads.  That blue one is the same button I used on my Tropical Catrina necklace...it'll be good to have a few more, as I just love that bright saturated color.  And how about those peacock printed buttons?  Those will be super fun to play with!
This is just a tiny fraction of the gorgeous Czech lampwork beads that were included in the package.  I've been using quite a lot of my stash of these lately, especially in necklace straps, so I'm very pleased to have more.
If you love ethnic and trade beads, Kaleidoscope should be a mandatory stop for you if you're in Oregon.  The owner and I share a passion for old, trade, and ethnic beads, and she sent me a spectacular selection of powder glass beads, made in Ghana.  Just look at that first picture...those beads are covered in melted seed beads!  They embody what I love about powder glass - recycling garbage materials to make beads!  And the polychrome beads in the middle picture have become a recent obsession of mine.  But my favorites in the collection?  The black and white imitation stone beads in the third picture.  I don't know why!
But the best thing in the package?  More pendants to add to my Dana Swisher collection!  Do you remember her skulls that I used in this necklace?  I just love her work and always stock up when I have the opportunity.  

I hope to be adding most of the jewelry that was returned to me to the Etsy shop in the next few weeks.  Don't forget to follow along with my beady exploits on my Facebook page - watch for these beads to make a reappearance!  Sadly, now I have to clean up the bead table again for a bit to go into Christmas gift overdrive...Much sewing needs to happen!  Thanks for looking this week!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Check it out!

I have a new post up over on the Art Jewelry Elements blog this morning.  It's about a subject near and dear to my beady heart - designing jewelry for men!  If you've ever had a man ask you to make a piece for him, or just want to branch out your offerings, you should read this post.

Don't forget to follow my daily progress on my Facebook page, and do check out my Etsy shop!  As always, thanks for looking!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

November Works in Progress

I thought since I have been a bit lax in posting lately, posting a few WIP pictures might be nice. Even though I've been kidnapped by friends and whisked away to Knoxville this week, I've been beading a bit each day.  Well, except Monday...Monday I slept...a lot.

Here is the mermaid cabochon by Jenny Davies-Reazor.  I've bezeled it, embroidered a bit, then added some netting, fringe and surface embellishment.  Going to do a very simple single strung strand for the strap.
Here's a close up of the cab and surrounding beadwork.  When I showed these pictures to Jenny she said that the mermaid looks as if she's swimming through a kelp forest...which is exactly I was going for.

I've made a bit of headway on the owl piece, with this dimensional arch.  I see a little beaded triangle within the arch that the owl is suspended from, then swags of beads swooping down around the owl from the outer edges.  Still can't envision the rest of the necklace, though I am hoping to incorporate the beaded rope.

Here is what the bronze clay ammonites by Lesley Watt are shaping up into.  I've actually got more done on this since I took the picture this morning.  The little ammonite is bezeled, and edged, and I'm about halfway through the edging on the larger part.
I am going to be doing a bit of surface embellishment on this one, in copper and a muted magenta.  Hoping that it will turn out a bit like seaweed.

Remember this pendant (also by Jenny)?  I wanted to combine it with some copper chain and links...but now I'm not happy with it.
Separately the elements are fine...I love the pendant, and I love the chain and links.  But they're fighting with each other!  I need to rethink this one when I get back to Nashville later next week.

Don't forget!  You can always keep up with my daily beading exploits on my Facebook page, and shop on Etsy!  If I miss my Sunday post this week I will update on Tuesday when we get back to Nashville and our regularly scheduled life.  As always, thanks for looking!