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, March 31, 2018

Nest - Art Elements Challenge March 2018

Ugh, y'all, where the heck has March gone!?!?  I hope you can overlook the lack of text in this post, as I very much procrastinated my writing, and don't have a finished piece for the first time in a long time.  I've been slacking a bit with my creative renaissance, but some of it is that other things have been going like day job overtime that uses up extra energy.

This month has been the launch of a new era over at the Art Elements blog.  We are now starting to do theme challenges every month.  I am SUPER excited about this because now I can participate in our challenge with any of my myriad of hobbies.  Perhaps one challenge will inspire me to make a doll wardrobe.  Perhaps one will get me out of the box on my bug collecting.  Mixed media?  SURE!  Photography?  Why not!

2014 at the Knoxville Zoo with my friend's daughter.  This kid-sized nest is in the parakeet aviary!
I have always been a nest builder - I much preferred as a kid to build a nest out of pillows, cushions and comforters rather than a fort.  I love to be surrounded and supported on all sides by warm soft comfort, like a baby bird.  Add to that, my love for birds, especially baby birds.  Precocial or altricial, it doesn't matter.  We have had parakeets, chickens, quail, and for several years I was an active volunteer at a wildlife rehabilitation center and raised orphan songbirds every spring while in community college.

Several years ago I had a "great" idea for a necklace.  I asked Sue to make me some of her gorgeous robin egg beads, beaded them a nest, and had the whole thing connected to some leather straps, intending to twine branches, leaves and flowers up the straps...but it was just ...ugly.  Too much brown on brown on brown, with three little eggs floating in the middle.  So I cut it apart and started pulling new things to go with it. 
Here is the original nest with the little eggs.  I had some feathers already stitched that matched the color scheme, and pulled out this little sparrow netsuke as well.
Sparrow looks cute on the nest, but not quite what I had in mind.
In digging through my stash, I started to go another direction, but the original nest just wasn't doing it for me.
I cut the eggs out so I could use them in a new attempt...and then the little sparrow moved in.  I will probably just keep the nest and sparrow like this now, he seems so at home!
I captured the apple green face in blue, and then started building a tree in square stitch. 
After the tree was built up, I tucked a nest foundation behind the edge of the trunk and added the eggs.
I built it up with some strange hybrid of peyote and netting, then added intertwined strands and short fringes.  I will probably work back through this with some fine yarn or other fiber for some more authentic texture.
The back of the face is fully captured in more green and capri blue. 
I'm on the fence now.  Trying to decide if this buttefly wing is the way to go, or if I would rather head down the leaves or flowers road...
Additionally, I have been seriously considering sewing myself an adult human sized nest!  Surely I can just scale up this tutorial, right?

 I hope you had fun looking at the metamorphosis of this project!  I hope to keep going forward and finish this piece for wearing soon.  I just hate leaving something unfinished...and these little eggs deserve to not be crammed in a box anymore!  Please hop along and check out how everyone else has been inspired by nests this month.  The very best thing about our new challenges is that ANY of you can participate along with us!  Even if you don't have a blog but would like to play along, all you need to do is message me or any of the rest of the Art Elements crew!  We would be happy to include your pictures in a post!

Guest Participants-

 AE team members-


  1. I love how your brain works...and flits from design to texture and back again.. I would love a day in your studio! That grown up nest is awesome I want one for the garden!

  2. I enjoyed seeing your work (or re-work) in progress. I admire anyone who can create dimensional art with itty bitty seed beads.

  3. WOW!! You alwasy blow me away with your bead weaving. This time is no exception. I do like the new nest on the face cabochon and the back is too pretty to be hidden away! I think the butterfly wing will really add a special touch to the necklace because it reallly pulls the color out of the face and eggs! Can't wait to see it finished. Thanks for playing along this month.

  4. I love the little sparrow, cant wait to see what you make with him

  5. The sparrow does seem cozy and at home. :) And I love what you've done with the face/tree!

  6. Love your Beading Technique. My fave is the face bead.

  7. I find it so difficult to redo pieces if I don't like them or the simply don't work after all the effort that went into them. Most of the time they land somewhere on the "later" area. ;)

    You're right, the bird seems to belong to the nest and I love to see how your idea with the face is progressing. I like the way over the top with the butterfly wing and the way you added the beads on top of the head! Really, really curious how this will turn out in the end! :)

  8. That's a gorgeous collection of beads and components. I loved reading about your process. And I say go for it on the nest!!!

  9. She is Mother Nature! Nest in her hair. Or a female Radagast the wizard.... I’m very excited by this and hope you do keep going! And you could totally make yourself bolster pillows that would form a nest!

  10. The beading project looks so intriguing! A forest fairy? I'd love to see it finished. And photography was added as yet one more medium to all the interpretations of the theme - I love that first picture :)

  11. Love that nest of hair! Great work as always!

  12. What a lovely piece Lindsay and the back is just as beautiful as the front, such wonderful colours! I love the idea of a adult sized nest too!

  13. I do think the back is as wonderful as the front and holy wow you never cease to amaze! Love how you used the egg beads!

  14. I always enjoy getting a peek into people's process behind their creations. It's reassuring to me that other folks make things and then pull them apart if they aren't quite working! ;) I think you're on a really interesting path with that green face... I kind of like the idea of pulling in the butterfly wing. Interested to see what you end up doing.