Tuesday 30 August 2016

Art Jewelry Elements Blog Hop Head Pin Challenge.

*blows dust off blog.....*

I have recently joined Art Jewellery Elements via Facebook having long admired and read their posts via their blog and am a very proud member of the 'staff', yes I am one who will write stuff, interesting, intellectually entertaining stuff every month...how do I get myself into these things.....  so I thought that why not jump feet first into a challenge which had less than 24 hours left for the sign ups and about 4 days to create a 'something' that was brilliant!

So sign up I did.  Then instantly worry and debate my sanity.

The challenge is head pins and I 'luckily' had some in my bead box that I made last year.  I don't make head pins as a rule so this really was a lucky find.  These head pins are lampworked glass berries, holly and mistletoe on copper wire.  I had (!) 7 - read on why I had! and a lone holly leaf glass bead.   After a long walk down at the river with the dogs musing on what on earth I was going to create, I had a brilliant  *light bulb moment*....

I would create a sculpture of wire and beads and it would be fabulous.

I obviously forgot the last time I used wire was circa 2000 - head pins not included in this realization.  I just don't make jewellery.

So I gathered my supplies, a vague idea of a sculpture in my head, grabbed a piece of paper and dashed off a doodle of a wreath/garland being held by a fabulously crafted wire robin - the latter will get completed but I ran out of time.. 

The supplies I collected together was some seed beads in greens and silver and gold, some copper wire in various gauges, I found in my stash a rather cute silver tone charm of a Christmas stocking, some silver balls, the head pins and the glass bead.

Next came the quick doodle of the design. I am rarely this organized but with the lack of time I figured it was a good idea.  I thought the scale was about right in the doodle for the garland, in hindsight when I get round to making the bird (should I get round to making the bird) the bird is going to have to be HUGE for the design to work. 

First up bending the thicker copper wire into a round-ish shape.  Not that easy when you are round-ish challenged.. thank goodness for salt pots, I wrapped the wire around the salt pot and it was the perfect size. 

And this is why there 'was' 7 head pins.  As I have already stated, I don't make jewellery and during my wire wrapping of the first head pin I was a little bit over zealous with the wrap and the glass berry bead came away from the wire, I could have glued the wire back in but if anyone has seen me with glue they will know that wouldn't have ended well so I just had to use 6 and be a bit more careful.

Three on and three to go.  I was just seeing how the design would work out with the 6 pins.  After the breaking disaster I did decide to use some seed beads on the wire to separate the glass berry and the wrap and make me less heavy handed in the wrapping.  

We are all wired on including the glass holly bead.. Now to make it look pretty.

I decided to go with the gold seed beads and the green ones, they are different sizes which helped with the over all effect.  

I was quite pleased with how it was going but it really did lack a 'something'.

So I dived back into my cupboard of beads and found some little green drops I liked and promptly spilt beads all over the dog, carpet, table.....  I really should have got out my bead board....

I wired the drop beads in groups of three and the balanced look I wanted started to come through and look right, despite me breaking the 7th head pin.  I added the cute silver stocking charm and declared my head pin challenge a success.

I am still wondering about making it into the sculptural piece with the wire bird - that has yet to be born - so will have to carry on with the wire and my doodle.....

To see more of those that joined in the challenge here are the links ..


AJE Team Members:


  1. oh my gosh you had me in tears (of laughter) with your story . nothing like being a "last minute louis" to get your creative brain in gear. And when you spilled the beads I was right there with you. How many times have I done that , without the dog and cat of course. alls well that ends well , I think you can give the birdy a miss, your wreath sculpture is lovely all by itself. By the way, your work table is way too tidy. and you're very brave to show it to us. I never post photos of my work space. I usually cant even find it.

  2. Well look at you with wire and stuff. Well done damn good attempt xx

  3. Well look at you with wire and stuff. Well done damn good attempt xx

  4. I really enjoyed reading about your process, and I love the result of your attempts, I hope we can see the sculptural piece with the bird.

  5. Yeah, I know all about the spilled little tiny bits, though in my case they are kissed goodbye since our cat thinks I put them out just for her. :-)
    Considering all your challenges your little wreath came out nicely

  6. It looks lovely... but... but... it sooo much reminds me of winter time and I don't want summer to end!

    I hate this moments when you realize... the beads are going to fall down, all of them... and it will take so long to find them all... or at least most... a lot... of them!

  7. Oh Laney! This is wonderful. I love this little wreath you made. Very clever. I know the following of last minute. Very lucky for you that you already had some headpins. Can't wait to see what's in store for us with the AJE group :-)

  8. You post made me laugh out loud. I love your are association thought process/writing. And I think we are kindred spirits! Glad you joined us and jumped right in - I think the blog has challenged me in very good ways over the years. Time to experiment and have fun - which it seems you did!
    Love the wreath. Adorable.

  9. Brilliant post and a wonderful result! Love your wreath, you did an amazing job... I will look forward to seeing your gigantic bird! x

  10. What a beautiful and creative effort. Love love love it!

  11. Creative and funny too! I think I'm going to like reading your posts on the AJE blog!!

  12. Your wreath is so wonderful. I enjoyed reading about your process. And when I got to part about why there wasn't a 7th headpin, I thought "that's probably what would happen to me too, which is why I don't tend to use headpins."

  13. Laney, you are not alone! I broke one of my little vintage headpins doing the same thing. However you choose to display your little wreath, I hope when you look at it you have happy memories of your first AJE challenge!

  14. I'm so glad you decided to take the plunge and participate in the challenge. You definitely went in a very creative direction...I never would have thought "wreath" in August...lol! I love it! Very clever!

  15. What a lovely piece and I really enjoyed reading your post!

  16. I really enjoyed seeing your process and the wreath is just gorgeous. Well done!

  17. Thank you for showing your process! This was such a cool, unique way to use the headpins!

  18. Beautiful! Love how you showed us your process. Great job!

  19. Very original Laney and a fun post...glad I'm not the only one who leaves beads scattered in the wake of thei designs. G lad you had fun with your first com and look forward to seeing more!

  20. Laney, it's awesome for not thinking you had enough time! I love it!

  21. I enjoyed your creative process and your design is perfect for the holiday.


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