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, June 29, 2017

Art Elements Challenge June 2016: INSECTS

I was pretty excited when Diana announced her inspiration for this month's theme challenge.  It's no secret that I love bugs.  I always have.  I can't even tell you how many peanut butter jars I requested holes to be made in to house caterpillars and sow bugs as a kid.  Growing up in Alaska meant that I didn't have a huge variety or quantity of bugs (other than the skeeters) to hunt and capture, but that didn't stop me from trying!  This fascination increased when we first visited relatives in South Carolina and Florida - the animals are smaller in the South, but the bugs are SPECTACULAR.

Now I find myself living in the South, and you can see my recent escapades with bugs here.  Besides continuing to hunt and collect and create with real bugs, I was excited for this challenge to get back to beading and make something with some of the fun components I've collected.

Top row, L-R:  Base metal charms and components, sterling and Thai silver, Peruvian ceramic.  Middle row, L-R:  vintage glass cabochons, vintage Chinese porcelain, Czech glass. Bottom row L-R:  Czech glass, carved plaster, carved stone.

Left column, top down:  pewter by GreenGirl, bronze by Cynthia Thornton and PMC by me, polymer clay (artist unknown), Joan Miller porcelain.  Middle column, top down:  laser cut wood by PorkChopShow and an unknown artist, stag beetle cab by Anthropologie (drawer pull with hardware cut off!).  Right column, top down:  Czech lampwork, zomBEES by our Laney, fairies by Dana Swisher, our Jenny Davies-Reazor
 As you can see I had quite a few things to choose from.  I ended up in that strange situation where I had everything pulled out and way more ideas than time to actually create.  But I ended up with something that I am pretty pleased with.
I used one of my large pairs of butterfly wings from PorkChopShow (seriously I have an addiction).  Originally I intended for this to be a necklace, but I didn't want to add that much - once the beadwork was done the piece just didn't want anything else!  So I made a wall hanging instead - I mean, it's certainly large enough...
The wire I used for the hanger is fairly lightweight because I didn't want to risk snagging the thread of the edge beads when I inserted it.  One of the best things about working with laser cut wood is that even when the pieces are large, they weigh next to nothing!  So I think the light weight wire is not only sturdy enough to keep its shape, but I also like the ethereal look - it almost disappears into the background and the butterfly looks like it is flying rather than suspended.
I did three rows of embroidery with no bezel - I didn't want to cover any of the wing, so it's glued really well.  The wings are so bright that I stuck with neutral browns and bronzy colors for the seed beads.
I did want to pull a bit more blue back into the piece, so I suspended two faceted glass drops from the edge beads at the bottom of each wing.  This placement also reminds me of swallow-tail butterflies, and I love the movement that they add too.
The body and antennae are my favorite things!  For the body I used giant striped seed beads to give a typical segmented look, and then enhanced further with loops of seed beads crossing over the gap between each body bead.  The antennae are made from brown craft wire, twisted with teeny bronze seed beads so they don't disappear against the brown background.
This is a gift for a friend and I really hope she loves it.  I need to carve out some more beading time asap too!  I have two more sets of wings and can't wait to turn them into something for my own wall soon!

I hope you enjoyed my butterfly's metamorphosis this month! Please buzz along to see what everyone else has been inspired to create this month!  I am off to do just that.


Art Elements Team


  1. What a fabulous collection of insect beads, cabs and baubles!1 I'm so jealous... But that laser cut wood looks like a real butterfly. The details and color are beautiful. I will have to check your source. I love how you created the wall hanging. Bead choices really enhance the color of the blue and the beads you used for the body ARE perfect!!

  2. Another stunner, Lindsay! It's a fabulous wall hanging!

  3. Beautiful as always, Lindsay, I love that it's a wall hanging! And love your bug collection too!

  4. The striped beads as the body is also one of my favorite parts (the other being also the antennae!), the use of the striped beads is genius! It looks stunning! :)

  5. I would love to see your bead stash, you have so many beautiful pieces! The wall hanging is stunning, I love all the little details in it.

  6. What a lovely gift you've made for your friend. I hope she likes it too

  7. Love it! gorgeous wings and gorgeous beads! I like the color repeat in the drops!

  8. You have a super exotic collections of beads. I am drooling over the wall hanging that you made. It is going to be a real statement piece that you get your friends loads of compliments from everyone who visits her

  9. I think this is simply stunning Lindsay, the colours are beautiful and I really love how you have done the body, so inventive!

  10. Wow - what a great stash and you're butterfly is simply stunning.

  11. Fun stash of buggy beads! Your butterfly wall hanging is stunning!