My Dear Lion - Artisan mixed media necklace

The inspiration for March ABS at the Art Bead scene blog is that of Totems. Owning to the color palette, the inspiration, somehow gave me a Fairie vibe than that of totems, but I had made an art component recently with a lion, in similar yet saturated hues, which I really loved and thought might work well for this challenge.

About my art components:
I had made three - 2 were experimental resin pieces where I tried including patina inks and mica inclusions withing resin creating a sort of amber/ twinkling stars look. They were made by the same marbling technique used in my Earrings challenge, but these came out very differently. These two are my support components. 
Main component - Lion pendant - It is a handcut copper pendant on which I drizzled silver solder to create the lion and the stars. Later I dabbed patina inks on top to bring out the details. I have used both  the blues and the ochre from the given color palette

Inspiration for my components:
I dont believe in Totems as such but I love lions and would probably pick a lion for my totem if I had too! Lord Narasimha (half man- half lion) is my favourite God, and I adore Aslan from Narnia. I think that he is the most prettiest thing on earth. I know, odd choice of words right? but hey I am crazy about him. In my component I have tried to portray the scene where Aslan climbs on top of the rocks, (stonetable??) and roars but I changed it a bit by bringing in stars and the night sky for a starry night sort of mood. Starry night by Van Gogh is one of my favourite works of art and if you look closely it conveys a meaning similar to that of the scene in the movie - There is a beacon of hope even during the darkest of nights; Even the worst of storms will pass.

  Lion as my Totem:
As a totem, a lion symbolises independence and confidence which is balanced by a quiet demeanor. It also stands ability to bring about changes through creative thinking. A lion is also a symbol of leadership, home, inner strength and serenity. I hope that by creating a lion totem I am able to channel some of that peace and serenity in my life.

Inspiration for March ABS
   Haida Totems by Emily Carr

So what do you think of it? Do you believe in Totems?

I hope you found it interesting
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Translucent Bling earrings

Another month has gone by and once again here comes the We're all Ears challenge by Earrings Everyday This time around our inspiration is a macro photograph of a dragonfly covered in dew drops  by Martin Amm. When I first looked at the picture I found it to be very scary. But then I like dew drops and I like dragonflies so I thought both combined cant be too scary.
The obvious choice for this challenge would have been to use horned beads or beds with little drops on them. But since I find my local clientele not appreciative of such beads I dont really stock them, so I had to hunt through my supplies to find suitable beads. I had bought these large crystal rhinestone beads during my visit to Bangalore in January and combined them with a Handmade Resin focal I had recently made to create this stunning pair.

We're All Ears :: March Reveal

Translucent Bling resin earrings 
Translucent Bling earrings

resin rhinestone earrings 

 The resin focal was another experiment where I tried Marbling. It was very interesting to try that I used up all bezels I had in the process :D. The components are translucent. When I first made them I thought that they looked like a fruit punch splash but When you shine a light on them, it shows up the ribbed lines through the splatter pattern which looks kind of like the diaphanous wings of a dragonfly. So I have named them as Translucent Bling earrings.

Our Inspiration

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Deepak - Raga of Summer

When my American friends were hoping for Spring to come a couple of weeks back, I was praying that it stays for some more time. Spring here in Chennai is completely over and Summer will reign for the next 7 months. Yup in Chennai - we have only three seasons - hot, hotter and hottest!! :D The weather might be searing hot but we chennaities always put our best foot forward at occasions and gatherings showing off our choicest silks and exquisite jewelry. So I bring you the last line of the Ragamala collection that is inspired by 'Deepak Raga' the hindustani raga for Summer to give yo ua taste of Indian Summer dressing. Ragamala for one last time, Ladies!!

About Deepak Raga

Parent Raga: Deepak raga  
Wives: Kachheli, Patmanjari, Todi, Kamodi, Gujri.  
Sons: Kaalanka, Kuntal, Rama, Kamal, Kusum, Champak, Gaura, Kanra

Deepak means lamp and its a raga that is usually sung in the evening at lamp lighting time. Its a quaint old raga but considered very powerful - so powerful that it can light a fire. There is a story surrounding Akbar (the Mughal emperor) and Tansen (legendary royal Musician) where courtiers in Akbar's palace claimed that Tansen could light lamps in a courtyard by singing Deepak raga and that he would give such a performance. Tansen was perplexed as his reputation was at stake. He could sing it but the raga would burn the singer in the process which could only be reversed by singing the "Megh Malhar" the raga of monsoon by someone equal to him. In one version of the story, Tansen's performance raises the temperature and lights up the lamps in the courtyard, leaving him with burns in the process. His daughter then sings Megh raga, causing a downpour to cool Tansen and saves his life.Here is a necklace with a painting depicting the above story

Deepak Raga necklace
Jewelry inspired by #Hindustani music

  Beaded necklace in blue and pyrite with Deepak Raga focal - where Akbar is seen listening to Tansen's music decoupaged on a 32g brass handcut sheet with kemp stone pendant Length excl pendant -22" , pendant drop - 3.5".

 Patmanjari Necklace
resin jewelry India
Patmanjari ragini is the wife of Deepak Raga. Here the Ragini is seen enjoying the company of her friends in evening under a canopy. The natural contrast of red and green brings out the rich artistry of the Canopy

Todi Ragini Necklace

Jewelry inspired by Indian music 
 Glass bead necklace with a 32g brass handcut pendant with chain border. The image is of a lady holding a 'rudra vina', surrounded by deer depicting Todi Ragini the wife of deepak raga. Carnatic equivalent - Subha Pantuvarali. Length excl pendant -21" adjustable with rope cord , pendant drop - 2.5"

Todi Bottle Necklace 

upcycled Indian bottle necklace

Story In a bottle design with the variation of the same image as above. The bottle is completely glazed & has been embellished with hemp cord and rhinetones. The necklace contains glass beads, metal rings along with maroon suede cord. Length excl pendant -30" , pendant drop - 3

 Kamal necklace 

Jewelry inspired by #Hindustani music

Kamal is the putra (son) raga of Dipak; The only offspring raga that I have used in my entire collection. I tried using this image in many ways but none of them worked, par this one.  This Asymetrical necklace comprises of  5 types of beads  - glass, acrylic, metal, wire and fabric. Also I have prong set a rectangular stone with just three prongs, which is very unorthodox and new as atleast 6 is used for stability on such large pieces. The setting is similar to that of the Megh necklace here
All necklaces shown above are sold; But I am making a few more bottle necklaces again and you can find them on my facebook page

This is the end of the Ragamala series, Find previous posts on the other Raga Families here:
What is Ragamala?
Bhairav Raga - Raga of Autumn
Megh Raga -Raga of monsoon season
Malkaus Raga - Raga of Winter
Hindol Raga - Raga of Spring

I hope you found it interesting

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BNB 17 Winner - Harmonic Convergence

The BNB Challenge 17 with Kolam as the given inspiration is now officially over and am ready to announce the results. Overall we received 12 entries and a total of 227 votes (Whoop!!) and the voting page has grown by 107.7% with 43 new likes.
Now for the winner - Drumroll please!!  With 49 votes, The winner most deservedly is Kelly Hosford Patterson for Harmonic Convergence!!
Congratulations Kelly!! Lets learn a little more about her inspiration and how she created this fabulous piece


"Harmonic Convergence is the name that was given to the worlds very first global synchronized meditation, a world peace event. Inspired by the hath phool, a traditional bridal adornment in India, Kelly has created a statement cuff following the white and red ochre color palette of the inspiration. she has used copper wire, Carnelian, and fresh water pearls to create the piece. The convergence represents both the joining in marriage, and the harmonious co-existence that the Kolam is designed to invite." Read more about her process here on her blog

About the artist:
Kelly Hosford Patterson is a mixed media textural artist specializing in eco-couture and artisan jewelry. She creates one-of-a-kind pieces, collage style, out of whatever supplies she can get her hands on. She is a fashion designer and the brain behind PyxeeStyx ~ Traveling Side Show which is a Dazzling Bazaar of Textile Art Creations. Her one of kind designs can be viewed and bought at her etsy store.

Doesnt her intro sound a lot like my own? Curious coincidence! 
When I was totalling the votes, I called my Mom to show her the entries. She was so enthralled and pointing to Kelly's work, said "Pick this one". She wasnt very happy when I told her that the design with the highest vote wins so then I told her that convergence was indeed the design with the highest no. of votes. Visibly calmed, she looked at me pointedly and said, "Ofcourse! its beautiful, duh"

Here is what I am sending her. Sorry about the bad pic, was in a lot of pain when I took it and it kinda reflects that :(  

I had originally planned a bead pack as a prize but when I saw that it was Kelly who won and that she works a lot with textiles, I wanted to send different fabric ribbons - brocade, printed linen, tissue and dhoti border, silk cord, gemstone beads and lampwork beads, polymer clay beads (not in pic) and some mixed media handmade components like leather leaves, paper butterfly and a resin and glass peacock pendant. Did you guys notice that its in the same color palette as the challenge - White, black and ochre and multi color!! I hope you like them Kelly.

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Best online Jewelry making resources to invest in

Today for a change, I thought of posting a reader's query here. It is by far one of the most asked questions by both design students as well as jewelry enthusiasts - "Which Jewelry making resources should I invest in?" Here is the Reader's question and my answer to it

"Dear Divya,
I am one of the admirers of your jewelry collection and have been doing some beading work as a hobby. Now I have free time for around a year or at least few months at my hometown, and I would like to invest it into jewelry making lessons and practicing. It would be really great if you can guide me with some good online classes available or any other references from your side. Though I have been making some designs for myself watching online tutorials, I would totally love to go in-depth and learn more things. Kindly direct me with this. Thanks in advance for your support."

Reply : Though there is nothing like learning from artists first hand, I understand it might not be possible to find such instructors always. Here are some of my suggestions for online resources, classes and guides. Due to the nature of this post, I'll divide it into 2 parts - Online resources (websites, newsletters video classes) and books/magazine (hard copy or ebooks)

Best online Jewelry making resources to invest in

 I recommend subscribing to Jewelry making daily or beading daily newsletters.They are by far the most detailed newsletters that I have come across, they provide inputs from master craftsmen around the world and best part is, they are free. They also provide information on latest tools, books, shows etc.

Craftsy Logo
- Free Classes
- best in class HD videos; New PDF classes too!
- classes in sewing,cooking, photography, paper, yarn, quilting apart from jewelry
- Once bought classes can be accessed anytime
- lots of offers, discounts available  
Read previous reviews of full classes and the site here

Creative Video Workshops on

- classes in sewing, paper, yarn, quilting apart from jewelry
- you can try for free for 2 weeks before paying
- you can gift classes
- You can access classes even after you are no longer an active subscriber


Beading, Crochet, Jewelry, Knitting, Quilting, Sewing and Craft

- both video and PDF ebooks available 
- Classes by Master craftsmen 
- classes in sewing, mixed media, knitting, weaving, spinning apart from jewelry
 - lots of offers, discounts and bundles available along with kits to practise

 craft daily (Full review coming soon!)

-over 500 workshops on a wide range of subjects; new videos added on a weekly basis
- Subscriptions by Craft - If you're only interested in jewelry making, for example, then you don't need to subscribe to the whole site.
- videos available on DVD and to Download from the Interweave Store

- focused on Jewelry
-sell tools and supplies shown in the video
- Skillwise videos; with cross referencing amongst them for better understanding
- Free video/ Text tutorials also available

 There are many more excellent sites and guides but these are my top picks. Please add details of your favourite resources in the comments. Will write a post of must have books and magazine subscriptions soon

Post contains Affiliate links. But I have been recommending Craftsy and interweave long long before I became their affiliate

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BNB17 Kolam - entries

There is an Indian saying on generosity which when translated means "Give to others what you want for yourself - Only the Best" so when the time came for me to host a jewelry challenge, I wanted to give Kolam as the topic as I have been meaning to do a collection on it for a long time now.
when I wrote the first post on kolam, there were many queries regarding color, patterns, motifs that I wrote a second post giving examples. Even then I didnt imagine that I will get a super fabulous response such as this one. Each entry is spectacular in its own right and together they represent a really great perspective on this traditional art form. I am thankful that I am not judging this contest (it is done through votes - so please vote for them) but I do have my favourites (Secret!). But First let me share all the entries here - Click on the title to read more about each piece

BNB 17 Entries 

pulli kolam beadwoven bracelet


wire and bead kolam necklace 

copper wire bracelet

mseal kolam necklace 

Dont they all look fabulous??Red ochre and white isnt an easy palette to work with, but these folks have done a brilliant job, not to forget the ones who created multicolored wonders. so please visit the BNB challenge facebook album to read about all these entries and to vote for them by 7th march .
Stay tuned to find out who won the challenge and what they won.
  I hope you found it interesting Cheers
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Vote for the best blogger craft

As some of you might know the CHA - Favecrafts sponsored Best blogger craft contest for a $1000 prize is here. I am entering with my handmade textured copper earrings embellished with swarovski flatbacks and gorgeous lampwork beads by Debbie sanders that I won from Gloria Allen for winning the BNB 16 challenge.To look at my project and vote for me as the best blogger craft please visit this link and vote!

copper and swarovski earrings 

Its a space themed design, inspired by shiny stars and swirling planets. The textured and patina indicate the rough surface of the planets while the shiny swirls on Debbie's beads are reminiscent of the vapours surrounding the stars. I named then "Starry Night" after Van Gogh's painting of the same name as I love the 'hope of light after a dark storm' message of that painting.

There is nobody better than Simone Collins to write project/ product descriptions and I love the little blurb she has written for my submission - Starry Night Earrings
"Day or night, you can shine bright with DIY jewelry ideas like this one. These Starry Night Homemade Earrings are pretty, practical and surprisingly easy to make. Use glass and metal beads to complete this project. The contrast between the two types of beads make this project a real standout. Homemade earrings make great gifts on a birthday or during the holiday season. Don't be afraid to add your own fun embellishments, too. The copper sheet metal used for this project gives a cool and unexpected look to the finished project. Wear your earrings with any outfit - they'll always look good."

copper handmade earrings

Materials List (used for my project)
  • Copper sheet metal 30g
  • 6 Swarovski Flatback Stars from Prima Beads
  • 2 Lampworked disc beads
  • Metal shears
  • Chasing hammer & needle File
  • Aleenes Liquid fusion glue
  • Silver tone artistic wire 20g
  • LOS - Liver of Sulfur, baking soda and water
  • Metal sealant
  • Chain nose pliers
  • Bail forming pliers

 Check out the Favecrafts Site for the full tutorial

I Need your Vote!

- Voting will end March 10th at midnight CST
- People can only vote once (for one person only)
- The entries are shown randomly, so if you are unable to see my entry look for this earring design or hit Ctrl+F on your keyboard and type my name "Divya" to search for my project
- The blogger with the top three highest votes will receive $1,000, $500, and $250 respectively and named as the winners in the eBook - so help me peach :D

Here are the other projects that I liked

- Marisa Pawelko -Tie Dye Design Dress
 - Cheryl Boglioli - Fancy Flask Pouch DIY
- Ann Koeman -Chicken Wire Mannequin DIY
I also liked Betsy Burnett's red cupboard but the others fared better as they were quick - easy to do projects and dont require any prior skills. All three have a romantic feel to them - God what is happening to me!! :P

So please Vote for me - fingers crossed!! My heartfelt thanks to everyone who has already voted for me

I hope you found it interesting
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