Use Your AJE Stash Design Challenge Reveal

January is traditionally a month for purging and organizing. The Art Jewelry Elements team decided what better time to host a "use your stash" challenge. We all participate in various levels of stash enhancement. Some of us more than others (I've probably reached hoarder status in the art bead category...) so a use your stash challenge is a great opportunity to use some of those amazing beads that are sitting unused and forgotten.  

When I was considering which art bead I wanted to use for the Use Your Stash, this STUNNING raku cabochon by Marianne Kasparian begged me to use it first. 


This piece is for me because I love this cab WAY too much to ever sell it or give it away and selected colors specifically for my tastes. All I need to do is add a bail and some black leather cord in a choker length. I really had so much fun selecting beads to coordinate with the gorgeous colors from the raku firing. 

Next up is a dragonfly cabochon made by Jenny Davies-Reazor. I started this as a gift for my mom because she loves all things dragonfly and this cab is so her. I wanted to add some czech glass flowers around it, but the colors I currently own are not good at all for this color palette. Oh well. I guess I have to go bead shopping. Bummer. 

Lastly, I started to bead around this ammonite cabochon by Lesley Watt. I orginally started with matte metallic copper 11's then some type of green 15's. I hated it. 

After asking my teammates why they thought I hated it, (because I didn't know), they suggested I stick to a similar color as the cabochon for the 15's. So I happened to have some matte metallic copper in 15's. It looks MUCH better! (sorry for the poor photo quality. It was like midnight when I took this pic.)

I'm just getting back from Hawaii today and this was as far as I got before we left for Hawaii. I hope to finish it soon and that I manage to do Lesley's cab justice. 

Because the list for the other participants wasn't final before I left for vacation, visit the Art Jewelry Elements website for the list of other participants. 



Your raku piece is a real stunner, I love your colour choices, it really shows off the beautiful glow of the cab. Loving two WIP's as well, it's amazing how different the ammonite looks with the 2nd colour of beads.

Kathy Lindemer

I like that you showed Lesley's cab in both green and brown. I liked it in green but loved it in brown. I was stunned at the difference between the two colors. Your other pieces are beautiful.


Your bead choices work beautifully with each cab, but most especially that first one ... it's like your beads were fired along with Marianne's piece! Lovely!


That raku bead is gorgeously organic and rustic. Your choice of beads for the setting is perfect. The little dragonfly is off to a good start. I had a similar problem with finishing one of my pieces (which I didn't photograph for this challenge) - I don't have quite the right color of Czech glass flowers for what I wanted. Guess I'll go bead shopping too. The ammonite piece is looking great. I love the copper beads for the frame.


Your raku cabochon is amazing as is your beadwork, I love how your choices of colors seem so natural to the cabochon. They are all wonderful pieces.


Ha ha, I don´t remember if I have sent my comment or not, but here it is:
Wow! The first piece is my favourite, too. I think the brown colour is better for Lesley´s stunning cab. The dragonfly cab is also adorable.


Stash enhancement! LOL. We need to trademark that.

Ooh you have been a dutiful leader and bead shopper since Labor Day when the seed bead doors opened in your creative mind! Love your choices in color and design for the Maku cab. Wow. Since we aren't all in AZ shopping we can fondle out stash, right?

I look forward to seeing the evolution of the ammonite and the dragonfly! Looking great so far!


Jen what a stunning Raku piece, It absolutely sings against the colours you have used and I can see why you are going to keep it! The other two are just as lovely and I cant wait to see them finished, loving watching your journey into seedbeads!

Mona Arnott

I'm floored by how you brought out the qualities and beauty of each cabochon with your seed bead selections. I can see why you weren't happy with the original colour selections for Lesley's cabochon. The browns work so much better and bring out the earthy feel of the piece. The greens and copper just felt like they were fighting with its true nature.


Wow! I am not a seedbeader so I really enjoyed seeing just how much the choice of colors can change the whole feel of the focal. Good thing those beads are so tiny because I can see how you would need a wide variety.

And that first one is incredible! I don't think that I would be able to give it up either.


Gorgeous! Such fabulous your talent as a seed beader!


What great work. I love the seed beading you did. You really brought out the best in both cabochons! Great work! I don't think I could give up the first one is a keeper!

Melissa Trudinger

You certainly did that fabulous cabochon justice in the first piece, looking forward to seeing what else you do with the other two!


Love the raku pieces and the other two are shaping up nicely.


Thanks for sharing your pieces in progress. That raku cab is stunning... I can see why you have to keep it!

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