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, October 30, 2016

Art Elements - Component of the Month October 2016

Has someone put the year on fast forward? Seriously,where has 2016 gone, and why are the holidays right around the corner?  I am convinced that there is a time warp enacted, someone must have pushed the button back in March...

I think we were all excited about Jen's sugar skulls this month at the Art Elements blog!  Mine arrived a few days before I left on my first vacation in three and a half years - also my first trip home in the same amount of time.  I tucked it into my little box of beads and projects, along with some pre-stitched pieces and coordinating beads.  I knew I would be busy with daytrips, family and travel...but sometimes it's really beneficial to have a family of hermits that go to bed early.  My brother and I spent a couple of evenings watching moves while I beaded.  Now, looking at my creation while separated from my home by 3,000 miles, I can see the influences of the Pacific Northwest.
 So much green! I knew that I wanted to place the skull on a foundation of one color, so that it stood out as much as possible, allowing me to add accent beads to tie the skull into the piece as a whole.
One of the prestitched pieces I drug on my tip was a green tubular herringbone rope piece.  I decided to use it as one side of the strap, and worked a foundation of freeform netting and peyote off of one end for the skull to land on.  The other side of the strap consists of three strands of beads strung on beading cable - seed beads, Czech pressed glass, and lampwork by SueBeads.  I had originally intended to leave the strands separate, but after I got them all attached to the clasp, I didn't like the results.  Not wanting to restring anything, I tried a simple braid and the undulation of the lampwork strand now seems to fit into the rest of the piece better. As you can see, I added some embellishment to the herringbone side as well - to add some visual weight as a counterbalance, and to tie it into the organic party in the middle...  The clasp is a simple s-hook, and I attached one of Sue's little flower dangles for a bit more whimsy.
I left most of the right side of the foundation bare, but needed to add both physical and visual weight to the left side to balance out the heavier strap.  I used lampwork by Sue and several other artists, Czech glass, and beadwork flowers in the fringe to bring color, movement and texture into the fringe.  I had originally intended the beadwork flowers to embellishment a ceramic skull cab, but with the bright accents and eyes on this skull...he just needed these flowers!
Unintentionally, this piece has become a tribute to my home.  Evergreen, apple green, spring green, and emerald - reminds me of the forests and fields.  From daffodils, tulips, and rhododendrons to the red, orange, and yellow fall foliage - all of these colors can be seen on a bed of rich green.  And so I give you my Homesick Boneflower necklace.  I will wear this piece year round, any time I am missing the PNW!

I hope you will hop along and check out what everyone else made with Jen's lovely skulls!  I'm off to do just that!

Guest Designers
Staci Louise Smith
Karin Grosset Grange
Solange Collin
Art Elements Team
Caroline Dewison
Susan Kennedy
Laney Mead
Claire Fabian
Diana Ptaszynski
Jenny Davies-Reazor
Cathy Spivey Mendola
Lindsay Starr
Niky Sayers
Lesley Watt
Cooky Schock
Jen Cameron

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Art Jewelry Elements Headpin Challenge August 2016

This month's challenge over at the Art Jewelry Elements blog, was to use artisan headpins in a piece.  I was at a loss for ideas until the very end - and somehow ended up having a complete blast cramming as many small artisan components into this piece as I could.  I call it Whalepin:
I started out with an enameled copper whale component by Knoxville, TN, artist Susan Bernard.  I thought it went well with the bubble-like lampwork headpins from Jen Cameron, and decided to use mostly copper wire and chain to assemble the rest of the necklace.
Here you can see Jen's headpins closer - along with some additional dangles made from itty bitty vintage glass headpins in raspberry pink.  The links are mad from the headpin wire, and linked together with copper jump rings.
For the dangles around the whale, and the opposite side of the necklace strap, I used more lampwork headpins and beads from Sue Kennedy, enamel components by Anne Gardanne, local and unknown artist lampwork beads and a flower headpin, plus lots of fun vintage Japanese glass beads. 

I'll try to get some better pictures of this piece this weekend!  I ran out of daylight and had a hard time getting anything usable today, so I'll try to update both here and on Facebook as soon as I have something better. 

I hope you'll hop along and check out all of our participants this month!  Have fun!

AJE Team Members:

Lindsay Starr  You are here!

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!

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

AJE Component of the Month May 2016

This month over at the Art Jewelry Elements blog, we had the chance to play with some of Sue's SueBeads tiny heart and star cabochons...Just look at them!  They remind me of candy and I just want to gobble them up!
I asked Sue to send me some stars, but asked to be surprised with the color choice - a color challenge is always my favorite type!  When my package arrived, I found that Sue had chosen 3 stars for me in varying shades of turquoise...one of my favorite colors!  But then the challenge turned into, what do you do with such teensy cabs...
Well, a few days later a package of goodies from Joan Miller arrived, and I just knew what to do!  Presenting StarryEyed - a brooch -
This periwinkle eye cab by Joan Miller worked perfectly with the 3 little stars.  I wanted to make sure that each element stood out, so I did the bezels around the stars and much of the background beading with chalky, light grey seed beads.
I added some white drops at the valley of each star arm for texture.
I knew I wanted eyelashes after I finished the bezel around the eye, so I went with a golden orange bead, and tipped each short fringe with a mauve bead to pick up the lavender in the iris.
To add a little movement, I used some of Sue's fantastic headpins.  I added a few more lampwork beads (by Sue and other artists), plus a few purple Czech glass beads, and roughly coiled the rest of the wire around the uppermost beads to make these dangles.  On my last row of the edging, I worked them into small loops, so they dangle directly from the edge of the brooch.
Normally on my bead embroidery, I do a simple picot edge.  This time I decided I wanted the edge to be more of a frame, so I used 6/0 and 8/0 seed beads to build a few rows of brick stitch before doing my picot row.  Part of the reason I did this was because my scrap of ultrasuede for the foundation and backing was small...this way I was able to build out the brooch to a more substantial size that I had originally envisioned.  It also allowed for a gentle ruffle to occur, and provided a connection point for the lampwork dangles.
I had so much fun pulling all of these elements together, and the finished product just makes me happy!  This color palette is a bit of a departure for me - usually I lean towards black or gray as a neutral, but in this case white and light gray were the way to go!  This brooch is going to decorate my new Baggallini purse - it's bright turquoise, like the star on the right.  I can't wait to tote this new piece around!
Please hop along and see what everyone else created with Sue's tasty lil cabs this month!  I'm off to do that now...I can't wait to see the other colors!


AJE Team Members
Lindsay Starr You are here!

Saturday, April 30, 2016

AJE April Challenge - Amulet Component!

This month over at the Art Jewelry Elements blog we got to play with one of Jenny's delightful amulet vessel beads!  How cool are these?!?
I asked Jenny to surprise me...and ended up with the one in the middle with the green and burgundy.  When I finally got around to thinking about design ideas, I decided to run with the "amulet" theme - an amulet is an item thought to give protection against evil or bad luck.  But when I started scrounging for beads, I ended up with a selection of small art beads from many friends and the piece took on a more "totemic" feel - a totem is an item embued with magical powers.  I think of this necklace as the Diviner - a totem to wear when I need support from all of my creative friends, something to assist with creative block or motivation.
 My favorite thick leather lace runs along each side in a continuous strap - easy to throw over your head when you need it.  Above Jenny's amulet is a forked cedar bead that I made a few years ago with my friend Steve, and between the forks is an iridescent horn bead.  I made a cork stopper for the amulet, decorated with a carnelian frog my mom gave me over 20 years ago.  To hold the frog on the cork, I drilled a hole through the center and threaded some wire through it.  There is a small loop on the bottom as a stop, then the cork, then the frog with a small stack of seed beads on his back - a nod to Native American animal fetishes.  Animals are often depicted with a stack of stones tied to their back - offerings to the animal spirit.
The fringe contains a fun selection of coordinating beads - seed beads, Chinese porcelain, a piece of abalone, a lampwork flower headpin (cannot recall the artist) and small art beads from Caroline Dewison (acorn), Dana Swisher (skull), Susan Kennedy (small purple and swirly lampwork beads), Jenny (swirly ceramic charms).
I'm wearing this necklace today to keep me moving - it's so easy to get distracted on the weekends and not take care of my creative needs.  Having this constant reminder of how creative my friends are and how they inspire me will surely be helpful.

I hope you will hop along and see what everyone else did with Jenny's gorgeous amulets!  I'm headed that way now!

Marsha of Marsha Neal Studio
Alison of Alison Adorns
Jess of The Copper Cat

AJE Team: 
Lindsay  You are here!

Thursday, March 31, 2016

AJE Eye Love Beads Challenge Reveal

I'm not quite sure how it got here so fast, but it's time for another Art Jewelry Elements Challenge Reveal!  This month we were all inspired to create with an Eye theme for the challenge!  I had so much inspEYEration...but not so much free time.  Man, life is good right now...but finding time for beading is not happening much.  I did sit down a few days ago to rummage through my stash of eyes (if you didn't see earlier in the month, I shared over here) and whipped up a little beauty:
 I love these little Czech glass eyes so much, and had been wanting to make a small pendant with one for awhile.  
The cab is fully captured using delicas and 15/0 to 18/0 seed beads, then embellished with a row of drops and a row of little triangle shaped O beads.  So much bling!
I wanted to make the pendant a bit more substantial because the eye cab was so thin on the edges - it's hard to stitch a good capture when the edge of your cab is thin.  So I glued 2 cabs together!  The eye was a match in size (18mm) for some vintage glass coin cabochons I had.  This pairing also reminded me of the ancient Greek tradition of placing coins on the eyes of the deceased, intended to pay Charon, the boatman of the river Styx.  This extra thickness allowed me to stitch a nice solid capture, and makes the back of the pendant just as interesting as the front!  Sometimes on a small pendant like this, I don't like adding a beaded bail - they feel a little chunky somehow, and interrupt the continuous flow of the embellishment.  I stitched on a little soldered "8" ring instead - the smaller loop is stitched to the pendant, the larger is free to hang on a chain.  
Next on my plate will be this fantastic cab from Kristie Roeder of Artisan Clay.  I wound up with not enough time to tackle an embroidery project this time...but soon!  The days are getting longer!

Thank you so much for looking!  I hope you will hope along and check out how everyone else was inspEYEred by the challenge this month!  Please click the links below to redirect to their blogs!

Guests - 

AJE Members - 

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Art Jewelry Elements January: Use your stash challenge!

One of my favorite things about ringing in a new year is our Art Jewelry Elements challenge.  It's become tradition for January to be a "use your stash" challenge.  Over the years I've managed to hoard a great treasure trove of art beads and components from all over the world.  I'm really excited to show you what I've come up with this month.  Forgive me for being a bit short on words today, hopefully the pictures will make up for it.  Sleep deprivation is getting the better of me right now.
My first piece is inspired by the "Pines of Rome" whale sequence in Fantasia 2000...For some reason this sequence has always stuck with me.

I wanted the look of my carved bone whale to be something like it was transitioning from sea to sky.  Sue's lampwork cab made the perfect moon, and allowed me to bring some purple-y tones into the rest of the piece.  The vintage rivoli represents a distant galaxy, and the streaks of blue/green/purple/pink in the sky the dancing Aurora Borealis.
 Because I suspended the embroidered section from beading cable to string the sides of the necklace on, I was also able to leave a strand of drop beads below, almost like a stationary fringe.
My wire ended up being a little bit too short to match my preferred wearing length, so I connected some sterling rolo chain to extend the length and used a large sterling S-hook clasp.

While I was snowed in last weekend I also had time to make a necklace for my other half using a large raku bead from Caroline.

He had chosen this bead quite awhile ago, and I had already planned out the design I wanted to make with it...this necklace does not look like those sketches at all.  While I was stitching, this piece took on a mind of its own.  I had originally intended for a more pagoda-like top, but when i started connecting all of the pieces together I felt like the top needed to be circular, mirroring the designs on the bead.
Once I had the bead suspended, I had to go back in and place a strand of stitching across the back of the bead to keep it from rotating front to back.  I like that the smoke gray of the clay is still mostly visible.
Thank you for checking out my creations today!  I hope you will hop along and see what everyone else has dug out of their stash this month - I'm off to do that right now!

AJE team:


Sunday, January 10, 2016

Art Jewelry Elements Winter Sun Challenge

I'm not quite sure how another month has flown by, another year, but it is time again for another Art Jewelry Elements component challenge.  In December we decided to do another theme challenge:  Sun.  It might seem strange to do a sun themed challenge in the middle of winter, but it also makes a certain kind of sense.  Winter is the time of year we most crave sunlight, crave the warm, sun-driven weather of the spring and summer, crave longer days and shorter nights.  During December we experience the shortest day of the year, winter solstice, when the sun is in the sky for the least amount of time during the entire year.  So, it does make sense to be inspired by the sun at this time of year, right?
My problem is that I could not find inspiration for a typically "sun" themed piece.  Perhaps it's that I really love winter?  I grew up in Alaska, and the winter was definitely my favorite season at an early age.  I have fantastic memories of bundling up to go outside and play in our twilight days, flopping on my back in the snow and gazing at all of the celestial bodies in the sky in the middle of the day, the constant presence of the moon and stars in the sky, no matter the time of day.  I guess because of this when I think of a "winter sun" I don't envision our bright, yellow, celestial source of life.  I think of stars...and because each star in our night sky (or winter day sky), is a faraway sun for another world, I ran with this inspiration for the challenge.
Luckily, Jenny had recently sent me this polymer clay star focal.  It seemed to capture the feeling I was going for:  the twinkling, shimmering, subtlety of starlight on snow.

So this happened:
I started with the sling that holds the star in place in front and back.
As soon as the star was captured in beads, I was able to work off of it with some loops and 2-hole stubby spike beads in this lovely purple halo color.  The frame is worked off of the very end of these loops, to suspend the star in the center of the frame.
I used the rest of the stubby spike beads in a double strand neck strap...it was quite the challenge to convince my beading wire to fit all around the outside of the frame, but somehow it got through all the holes.
A simple copper slide clasp finished off the neckstrap, and an extra large Czech glass drop adds some needed weight to the bottom of the focal - just to keep it balanced while wearing.

I hope you all enjoy my winter "Sun" challenge results!  Please hop along and check out how everyone else was inspired!  I'm off to do that now!

Guest Designers

AJE Team
Lindsay Starr (you are HERE!)