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, January 31, 2015

Art Jewelry Elements January "Use your Stash" Challenge!

...or what happens when a good idea doesn't work out...
It's time for the January Art Jewelry Elements component challenge!  This month we decided (since many of us had new years resolutions to make things we've been putting off for ages) that we would focus on using the stash of art beads we've all accumulated.  Deciding what I wanted to work on this month was easy!  Months ago I asked my friend Sue of SueBeads to hook me up with a few of her little robin's egg beads.  I had this awesome idea to make a beaded nest, nestled in a beaded tree as a necklace.  

Just look at these little gorgeous eggs!  I was so excited when they arrived (in a package full of other goodies...thanks again Sue!).  I have been thinking since then exactly how to make the nest...but the rest of the necklace eluded me.  I thought that maybe inspiration would hit while I was working...
As you can see, the piece is not finished.  I was really happy with the nest...before I started any of the other beadwork.  
Part of my problem is that there's not enough contrast in all the browns...you can't see the nest as a separate element from the rest of the "tree".  I had been struggling with stitching the tree out of seed beads when I decided wood beads might give me a change in texture.  Well, they did that...but it's still a big lump of brown...
I'm so disappointed!  Partially because I don't have a completed piece to show you, but also because I'm just not happy with the direction that it's taking.  So what do I do when this happens?  In this case...I think I'm going to strip off all the beadwork so that I have just the nest and eggs left. Then ... think some more.  Perhaps a leather tree?  Perhaps no tree at all, but rather leaves and flowers?  Perhaps the nest should not be in the middle...but more on one side?  I don't know yet, but it's definitely something I'm thinking about.  
I know I'm not the only one with design struggles like this.  Sometimes the original idea just doesn't come together like it is in your head.  Sometimes you can't figure out how to execute what's in your head.  Sometimes what's in your head just doesn't look good in real life.  On this necklace I think it's a bit of a combination of all three problems.  What do you do when you hit stumbling blocks like this?

Don't forget to check out the rest of the blog hop!  Everyone has really been pushing themselves to try new things and use their favorite components out of their stash this month.  You can follow the links below, or hop on over to the Art Jewelry Elements blog and follow from there.  I might not be the only latecomer, so don't forget to check back!  

PS, don't miss my post tomorrow over on the AJE blog, and we are also posting the reveal for the Beading Back in Time blog hop challenge tomorrow.  Lots going on!  Hope to see you then!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Beads in the Mail!!!

The best days are when I come home from a long day of work...and traffic...to a mailbox crammed full of little beady packages.  That was this week for me, as last week I made several orders with my Christmas funds.  Today I'll be showing you a bit of eye candy...because I know you don't mind!

First off, I needed to use up a gift card from Keven's parents...at Shipwreck beads!  If any of you ever get to Washington state, make sure to mark off a day to spend at Shipwreck.  Seriously.  Anyway, they had a seed bead sale going on after Christmas, so I stocked up!  To the tune of 6 hanks each of black and matte black 11/0's.  I've also been obsessed with striped seed beads lately.  In fact, I got four variations of crystal striped with black, and some awesome black and white striped brown with an AB finish.  I already have some of those beads, but I've used so many of them I figured it was a good idea to get more.  I got a couple of random things too...my favorite bright mix of XL peanuts, mix of interesting tube shaped and XL striped beads, 11/0 crystal silver lined charlottes, and white pearl 8/0 drops.  And I stocked up on 5 different mixes of twins!  Those should be fun to play with!

But seed beads are not all I got!  Shipwreck also has a fantastic selection of standard and unusual Czech glass beads.  I can't wait to dive into all these, especially the flat topped XL 2-hole beads.  I've already been wearing the square drops on my hoops too!  Gotta love a bead you can just throw on a simple wire hoop!

I also had an Etsy gift card from my best PIB, Kelly.  I waffled around for weeks on what to buy with it.  When people give you money to spend on yourself, I think it's important to buy things that you wouldn't normally buy...those things that you've ogled for ages, but always tell yourself "maybe next time".  So I bought art beads (I had some extra $ in my PayPal account too).  
Top row:  Bronze clay sperm whale by InLoveWithSaturday, porcelain fish by SlinginMud, and a lampwork cab by InLoveWithSaturday (an extra goodie!).  Bottom row:  Seaweed component by SlinginMud, "steampunk" lady face pendant by SlinginMud, big eyed lampwork fish Warren by AardvarkArtGlass, and a "steampunk" bird pendant by SlinginMud.  OMG, I love that whale!  Apparently I've started collecting whale components for some reason.  Also, Sheri Mallery's porcelain components (SlinginMud) are just fabulous!  And man, I've wanted a fish from Aardvark for a LONG time.  Finally the $ and stars aligned, and Warren came to me!

And just a teaser of the progress I've made this week for our upcoming Beading Back in Time blog hop challenge.  This is the last progress post I'll be making, so make sure you tune in at the end of the month for the big reveal!  I can't wait to see how everyone else was inspired!

Please keep watching my Facebook page for inspiration and updates.  Don't forget to check out my Etsy shop too!  And, as always, thanks for looking!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Sunday Funday - Week 12 & 13

First two weeks of January 2015!

Some of you might have noticed that I didn't write my regular Sunday Funday post last week.  Ever since I re-started blogging in the fall my goal was simply to blog once a week, and if I had more to say than that then bonus posts, yay!  Well, with the advent of working full time again, I'm finding it a bit of a struggle to sit and really focus on blog posts on the weekend.  As (I hope) you know, I also write a post for the Art Jewelry Elements blog every other Sunday, and last week I just got overwhelmed by needing to post twice in one day.  So for now, I'm going to post here on Saturday and on the AJE blog the next day (like last week), and on Sunday the next week.  SO, back to your regularly scheduled programming ... for...now.   Ha!

All that being said, please do check out my post on the AJE blog that I posted last week.  I've been thinking a lot about all the great beads that I've stashed over the years, and in my post I talk about why it can be so difficult to use those beads.  It was a fun topic for me to investigate, and it seems like many of my beady friends have similar issues too!  I hope you check it out!  

I HAVE finally made some time for beading!  This week I've been taking my Beading Back in Time blog hop challenge project to work, and beading during the second half of my lunches.  I don't want to talk too much about the project until the end of the month, but here's a fun collage of my progress, and you should check out Sherri's intro post too!

I also FINALLY finished a necklace for my fellow AJE writer and friend, Lesley Watt of THEA Elements.  

Awhile ago, Lesley sent me a great selection of her work, with the understanding that I would make her something out of the bronze clay ammonite cabs.  

I've been working on this piece on and off for months, and am just so relieved that I finally had an epiphany about how to make the strap.  It has actually been sitting, with all the embroidery done, backed, and edged, just waiting for me to figure out the strap situation since before Thanksgiving.  I really dislike when I take on projects for other people and then can't get them done in (what I feel is) a timely manner.  

So for the last couple of weeks I've had the embroidery out where I could see it.  I figured that would push it to the forefront of my mind and get me thinking about what I didn't like about my original ideas and help to come up with something new and different.  Lo and behold!  Yesterday I actually figured out something, and I'm really excited with how it turned out.  I love it so much that I'm excited to try this technique again with other pieces!  I felt like the leather would add a rustic and casual element, that kind of mirrored the feeling of the bronze, which is in turn elevated by the delicate beadwork.  

And here's your beauty shot, of course!  I love working with fossils and fossil inspired components.  My favorite thing about working with such primordial themes is creating a new environment for these creatures - bringing them back to life.  

 Please keep watching my blog and Facebook page for inspiration and updates.  Don't forget to check out my Etsy shop too...lots of fun fossil jewelry over there!  And, as always, thanks for looking!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Art Jewelry Elements Component of the Month December

I just want to say again, I hope you all have a happy new year, and that 2015 is even bigger, better, and brighter than your wildest dreams.  For myself, I hope to carve out some creative time, with my new working schedule.  I have tons of plans for my blog, my Etsy shop, my Facebook page, and my creative endeavors...definitely enough to keep me busy for a whole year!

And now it's that time again - time for the Art Jewelry Elements Component of the Month Reveal!  Each month I just love seeing what so many different artists choose to make with similar pieces - the creativity of my fellow bloggers never ceases to amaze me.  In late November, Diana asked us to choose if we wanted a white or aqua speckled stoneware snowflake pendant.  I went with aqua...much more in my wheelhouse than white.  

This choice turned out to be a happy accident...it coordinates perfectly with my new work wardrobe!  I had a bit of an idea of what I wanted to do with this pendant, but I also knew that I would be short on time...between a new job, staying with a friend for several days over Christmas, and lots of clothes shopping.  When I was packing for my short trip, I pulled together a small baggie of beads and pre-beaded components to go with the snowflake, and brainstormed designs while I drove to Knoxville after work on Christmas Eve.  The day after Christmas Day, I holed up in the spare bedroom, watched a season of House on Netflix, and made this necklace:

I love how it turned out - rustic and woodsy, yet the snowflake is still central to the design.

I wanted the fringe to act like a bed of leaves, or barren forest floor - something that the snowflake would land softly upon, shifting with every slight movement.  The fringes terminate in large rustic striped seed beads, or loops of picasso 8/0 and O beads.

Placing the snowflake against a bed of brown, really lets the bright aqua glaze shine through.  I love how the pattern just floats across the brown fringe beads.

Half of the strap is herringbone with bugles, and the other half is simply strung...well, not simply.  I chose a pattern of smaller seed beads interspersed with some of the larger striped beads from the fringe.  As I went back and forth, I passed back through each series of large beads, while picking up new smaller beads to fill in the gap.  The result is this textural chain, that ties the bottom of the fringe into the rest of the necklace.

I have ended up wearing this necklace so much lately!  It just goes with everything, and since there is no clasp, I can just throw it on as I dash out the door!  Don't forget to check out the list below to see what my fellow bloggers have been up to with their snowflakes!  I'm off to do that now!  Don't forget to follow my Facebook page for creative updates, and my Etsy shop for new items...coming soon, I promise!  And, as always, thanks for looking!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Beading Back in Time - a blog hop challenge!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!  I hope you all have had a holiday full of friends and family, food and beads, and are ready for the spectacular new year that 2015 will bring!
My friend Sherri of Knot Just Macrame and I have teamed up to bring you an exciting quarterly blog hop this year.  The Beading Back in Time blog hop challenge starts here and now!  What exactly does this hop entail?  Well, let me tell you!

Each quarter (January, April, July, October), we will hold a month long challenge focusing on a theme from the past, and culminating in a top notch blog hop with some of our awesome beady friends!  And just what is the theme for January, you might be asking?


We have decided (as if the header for this post wasn't enough of a hint...) to start off with Earthly life, before the dawn of humanity.  I have always had a healthy obsession with dinosaurs, and that has evolved over the years into a love of working with fossils and other ancient materials...as both my Facebook page and Etsy shop will show.  Here are just a few pieces that I have in my personal collection:
I bought this huge ammonite slice with one of my first paychecks, from the first bead shop I worked at.  I worked in fits and starts on this piece, over the course of 6-7 years, and it is one of my go to necklaces when I want to make a statement.  Plesio doesn't want to encounter an ammonite this large in his watery world...

This is my favorite necklace that I've made with a giant Carcharocles auriculatus, fossil shark tooth.  These teeth were fossilized, then tumbled in a river for eons.  Their surface is smooth, and edges soft - a tactile delight.  Mr T likes the blue to match his eyes...

And this one is my boyfriend's favorite fossil shark tooth necklace.  Pachy seems to agree...

I also captured this piece of petrified palm wood as a pendant for my boyfriend.  Steggy wonders where the leaves have gone...

There are tons of fossil beads and specimens out there, just waiting to be incorporated into your art!  Here is some eye candy for you - just a few things from my personal collection:

Of course, you are not limited to using actual fossils!  There are tons of awesome artists making beads and components based on fossils and other prehistoric life, and even some commercially available items...

Steggy is showing off some of my favorite artist beads - lampwork ammonites by Jennifer Cameron of Glass Addictions, a bronze clay ammonite charm by Lesley Watt of THEA Elements, a ceramic large trilobite and small stoneware ammonite by Diana Ptaszynski of Suburban Girl Studio LLC, and a resin trilobite treasure tile by Jan Onipenco of Molten Mayhem.  Pictured with mama and baby Strachysaurus, are Czech pressed glass trilobites and ammonites, along with a resin triceratops cabochon.  And Anky is propping up some of my own iridescent polymer clay cabochons.  Oh, the possibilities!

The gang with their favorite necklaces!

Again, don't think only of dinosaurs and fossils!  Consider the plant-life, the environment, the colors, the textures, the weather.  Go back even further, to the creation of the planet, and the beginning of life itself.  Think of the first footprints in the mud, from the first critter crawling up out of the ooze to breathe air.  Insects grew larger then, because of the higher oxygen content in the atmosphere - what kind of giant insect would you like to encounter?  Can you imagine the color and texture of dinosaur skin?  If you had one as a pet, which species would it be?  I've always been partial to Protoceratops...

We challenge you to challenge yourselves!  How can you push yourself outside of your design comfort zone, and stay within the theme of the challenge?  I love an open challenge like this - where each participant is free to work and push themselves, whatever level they're at, and whatever medium they work in.  For me, this will mean a couple of smaller pieces, and a larger sculptural piece...I think.  That may change completely, and that's ok!  After all, I am still trying to figure out when I actually get creative time, now that I've joined the world of the working again.

For now, all slots for this blog hop are full.  If you have an active blog, are a bead maker or beadworker, and would like a chance to participate in the next quarterly hop (starting April 1), please message Sherri or I via our Facebook pages.  Please keep watching my blog and Facebook page for inspiration and updates.  Don't forget to check out my Etsy shop too...lots of fun fossil jewelry over there!  And, as always, thanks for looking!