November Component of the Month Reveal

  Kristen Stevens, the talented seed bead weaver, hosted the Art Jewelry Elements component of the month design challenge for November.

She was inspired by this palette


to create these beaded beads

2013 Art Charm Swap Reveal and Benefit Auction for Beads of Courage

The day is finally HERE!!! After months of planning, creating, swapping, shipping, photographing (and editing those photos...UGH!), and listing on eBay, we can show the world what we have done!!!!

Well THAT was a big job and that was only Part I

Remember way back on September 6th when I announced the art charm swap and Beads of Courage benefit auction? Yeah, it's a struggle for me too...seems like forever ago. Anyway, over the last few weeks, packages have poured in from all over the United States, plus Canada, England, France and Slovenia.

October Component of the Month Reveal

As you probably know by now, Art Jewelry Elements has a design challenge every month where one of my team members provide components for others to design with. Then we all reveal at the end of the month. This month Kristi Bowman was the hostess. Kristi was inspired by this photo:

Day of the Dead Blog Hop

UPDATE! I (finally!) finished. Aren't you glad you came back to see?

Sugar Skull Day of the Dead Earrings. #glassaddictions

I used  Anne Choi sugar skull charms (you have to scroll down the page to see them).

anne choi sugar skull beads And lots of Swarovski crystals in fuchsia, copper (looks almost orange), and lilac. I decided on that color scheme after doing a little research on traditional DoTD colors. I'm keeping these earrings for myself because I LOVE them. Sparkly, colorful, and sugar skulls. What's not to love? You can find the list of fellow participants on hostess Diana P's blog. Make sure to visit and say hello. There's some pretty amazing and creative designs.

The Most Meaningful piece of Jewelry I've ever made

My friend Joyce lost her boyfriend a year ago October 4th. In the months leading up to the 1 year anniversary, I planned to make her a piece of jewelry in memory of the man she loved and lost way too early. Generally when I design jewelry, I rarely have the exact finished piece in my head. But I obsessed over this design for at least 6 months before actually tackling it. I never sketched it. I pictured it. Every step. Every single bit of symbolism I could put into it. As the date approached, I was afraid and emotional about it. I literally could not make myself start it. What if she hated it? What if she was offended by it? What if what if what if. However, deep down, I knew she would love it and I tried to let go of the fear. Over the last year, I have watched Joyce struggle with her grief. I've tried to be there for her. He was more than a "boyfriend," but it's the only label I have at my disposal right now. She loved him. And I cannot even imagine going on without the love of my life. I would fall to pieces. I am so impressed she has managed to put one foot in front of the other. And slowly pick up the pieces of her broken heart. The design needed to feature a broken heart healing....but never totally healed....with holes that will never fully close. I annealed a piece of brass, folded it in half and hammered the fold. Opened it up and proceeded to texture the edges with a different hammer, then cut bits out of the center of the heart. I folded some of the bits back. I then added holes and patina and did a quick flash in the torch to add more color.  

Custom heart necklace glass addictions jennifer cameron

  I used this heart as a template to make a 2nd heart out of copper to mount this one to. I did a hammered texture on the front side along the edges and the center where it would show through the broken heart seam.

Front side bottom layer of heart necklace glass addictions

  Then I stamped Tom's name, his birth and death dates, and a heart with wings onto the back side...where it will be against Joyce's skin.

Custom heart necklace backside of bottom layer glass addictions jen cameron

  I did a liver of sulphur patina then a quick flash through the flame for a bit more color. Both hearts were sealed with Renaissance Wax. I then added a silver wire "suture" for the broken heart, eyelets for the chain, and then riveted both hearts together taking care not to go through any of the stamping I did on the back.

custom Heart assembled glass addictions jen cameron


Back side custom heart necklace assembled glass addictions jen cameron

  I made lampwork beads in a color close to the color of Tom's brand new motorcycle that he loved, and died riding. Which, when I told the people that live with me (aka-my family), they thought it was a bad idea. However, I know Joyce. I was pretty sure that was the correct direction to take.

 Necklace custom made for a friend in memory of her boyfriend glass addictions jen cameron

  I made it adjustable so she could wear it every day with lots of different necklines. I had intended to mail it to her as a surprise. I realized it was more about me being a chicken than it being a surprise. So I asked if she wanted to go to lunch this past Saturday and to bring other friends too (she has cool!) I had packaged it up and gave it to her, but warned that it might be emotional and gave her the option of opening it later, which she decided to do. And we had a FUN lunch...laughing, chatting, and eating really good Greek food where they yell "Opa!" a lot. Later that day she messaged me and told me how much she loves it and that she was going to wear it to a fundraiser she was attending that night. I knew she loved it when not long after she posted photos of the necklace. Then later that night she posted photos of herself wearing it. That smile makes me so happy. And relieved. It was worth every bit of stress and second guessing myself to make her happy and to have something Joyce can wear that symbolizes Tom. Joyce wearing custom necklace. Glass Addictions   Update: Since I wrote this post, Joyce blogged about receiving this necklace and what it meant to her.

The Black Hole

It's Monday! And we had a fantastic weekend. We drove to Cleveland Friday evening to spend the weekend with our 15 year old son (who chose to, and got outside financial backing to attend a boarding school). I haven't seen him since I dropped him off in August and I missed him so much. We had so much fun...the four of us reconnecting, him remembering what it's like to be part of the family (I taught them the term butt cleavage at dinner), and just being together. While the weekend was jam packed with a trip to Columbus to watch the Crew MLS soccer team, hubs running the Rock n Roll half marathon, shopping, eating, etc. I took exactly ONE photo. Of my drink Friday night: [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="500"]Chocolate covered pretzel martini @the chocolate bar jen cameron glass addictions Chocolate covered pretzel martini at The Chocolate Bar Cleveland[/caption]   Fail. What does all this have to do with a black hole? Nothing. But after we got home last night, ate dinner, unpacked, did laundry, got ready for bed, etc, I made the  mistake of walking in the vicinity of my studio door....and was promptly sucked in. Which resulted in an experiment. At midnight. In my pj's. And my darling sending out a search and rescue team to find out what happened to me.

 It may be nearly midnight, but sometimes the studio seems to contain a black hole that sucks me in if I get too close. #thisartistslife #glassaddictions

  I'm using a component Lesley Watt sent me a couple weeks ago. It involves resin, a lampwork bead, a sterling silver bead, and a UV light. I haven't decided if it's finished yet. When it is, I'll show you what it looks like in daylight rather than UV light.

September Component of the Month Reveal

Lesley Watt created these gorgeous bronze components for the Art Jewelry Elements September design challenge. I'm not sure what you would call them exactly. Bead cap doesn't really seem to be completely accurate. I just took a look and Lesley is referring to them as "bursting seed pods." So we'll go with that. They are pretty large. Focal sized really.   Lesley sent the entire lot to me from England, then I shipped them out to everyone in the US. It saves money doing it that way. So I got to choose which color to keep (turquoise). In fact, I got to keep two of them (both turquoise). I thought I would use both in one piece, but as I said, these things are BIG. So I decided against that. The shape is so organic, I wanted to create something to reflect that organic nature feel. So I got a stick from our kindling pile and covered it in resin so that it wouldn't deteriorate on the wearer's clothing. Staying with bronze, I balled up both ends of a long piece of wire and wrapped it around the stick, leaving a loop for hanging the pod and for hanging from a choker length cord.

Component of the month September #aje #artjewelryelements #glassaddictions

Again I took some bronze, balled up one end, did a messy loop wrap, put the pod on there, and made a loop inside the pod. I wanted some lampwork to be "bursting" from the pod. So I repeated the bronze messy wrap thing. Here's where I got stuck. Because the pod is so large, it sits wonky. You can see inside it from underneath. I wasn't really a fan of that look. So I added a little knot of sari silk. I am not sure I like this solution.

Component of the month September #aje #artjewelryelements #glassaddictions

Also, I'm not really sure I like the entire thing. So rather than continuing, I set it aside to think about it.

Component of the Month September #aje #artjewelryelements #glassaddictions

I took the second one and selected one of my lampwork beads that would sort of fit that diameter. I folded the petals down a bit so it would be a little more snug. I decided I wanted this to be a drooping flower and a bit more modern in appearance than the other piece. Trying to get it to balance properly was the biggest challenge. Until I tried holding it up to my chest and discovered that because the pod and the bead are so large, the spiral at the bottom of my flower stem was sticking out in a manner that I did not find pleasing.

Component of the month September #aje #artjewelryelements #glassaddictions

To remedy this, I formed the wire so that the flower portion sticks out and the back side of the pod sits flush with the "stem" of the dropping flower.

Component of the Month September #aje #artjewelryelements #glassaddictions

Originally I tried weaving some Wirelace into some gunmetal chain, but I ended up hating how it looked. By then, I was too tired to figure out how to finish it. More than likely I will do a combination of leather and faceted ball chain or something similar.

Component of the month September #aje #artjewelryelements #glassaddictions

  Thanks for stopping by. Please take a look at the other participants in the design challenge: Guest designers: Erin Prais-Hintz - Tesori Trovati Cate - Fulgorine Claire Lockwood - Something To Do With Your Hands AJE team Jennifer Cameron Kristen Stevens Jenny Davies-Reazor Francesca Watson Melissa Meman Linda Landig Susan Kennedy Rebekah Payne Caroline Dewison Lesley Watt

Customer Earrings Using Glass Addictions Beads

Kristi Bowman, who is a super talented copper clay and polymer clay artist, made some gorgeous earrings using my lampwork beads with some of her polymer clay urchins. If you want more information about them, she posted them at Earrings Everyday today. And you can buy them in her Etsy shop. Although, I'm seriously considering buying them for myself. It's just I rarely wear earrings and they would probably be happier with someone who will wear them all the time.   I don't currently have any of these beads made, but I will take orders for those who are interested in similar beads. Allow 2 weeks before they ship. Each bead is $8. Select the number of beads you want. 

2013 Art Charm Swap Sign-Ups

It's that time of year again! Time for the annual art charm exchange. If you are curious about last year's charm swap, clicking this link will take you to my reveal post with links to everyone's charm swap reveal blog posts. It's very inspiring! I've also sprinkled this post with photos of some of last year's charms.

2012 Art Charm Swap

-To participate in the charm swap, you must be willing to make 10 charms +1 (total of 11 charms). You will receive one of your charms back, plus 9 (depending on the number of participants we get).   -The extra charm (the +1) will be auctioned to benefit Beads of Courage.  The last swap we donated $600(!) for BOC through our auction.   beads of courage   -the theme for this charm swap is “love”. How you make your charm fit into the theme is up to you. It doesn't have to say the word love. Or have a heart. Just represent something that means love to you.   Please read these other important guidelines BEFORE signing up:
-only submit ART CHARMS. What does this mean? Well, it means you have in some way created the charm through some type of manipulation. It does NOT mean you add a jump ring to a purchased charm and call it done, or simply wire wrap a loop onto a craft store bead and call it done.


-only submit your best work, something you would be proud to show the world and your fellow artists.
-make sure charms are non-toxic, safe to wear, able to get wet occasionally (for those who use them as bracelets), durable, do not smell bad (smoke, fumes, rotting…).


-no sharp wire ends or other things which can poke and hurt people
-no organic bits like bone, feathers, etc unless they have been sealed well or burned off (like kiln or torch fired or whatever).


-please make sure you can meet deadlines before signing up so others are not disappointed.
-all art charms need to be in my hands by October 25th. No exceptions.
-Charm reveal blog hop and start of charm auction is November 15th. 


-Auctions for the charms will begin the same day as the blog hop. -you need to have a blog (if you don’t have one, go sign up for one!)


Important!!! How to Sign-up:
-read the above guidelines first. Make sure you understand them before you read any further.
-Sign-ups close on September 13th.
-New this year:  Paying for the return shipment of your charms in advance secures your place in the swap. The limit is 60 slots. If you want to swap more than 10, you will need to sign up twice. If you do sign up for 2 slots, I will refund the 2nd shipping charge once I have all 22 charms in my possession.
-Below is a "Buy Now" Button to pay with a credit card through Paypal. You do NOT need a Paypal account to check out. From the drop down menu immediately above the Buy Now button, select either United States ($8) or International ($12) based on your location.
-In the "notes to seller" space, please include the email where you want all correspondence about the swap to go to. If the Paypal account is under a name that is not your own given name, include that in the notes as well.


-Once I receive payment, I will email you to confirm all info and send you a link to the private Facebook group for the swap. If you do not hear from me within 48 hours of signing up, email me at jennifer. glassaddictions @ (remove spaces) so I can make sure I got it.
*Please note...I will look at your blogs and probably your social media links when you sign up. If I see evidence of racism, bigotry, or other forms of hate, I will refund your money and open your spot to someone else. You are free to believe and say whatever you want. However, I will not help anyone promote those ideas. In addition, if I see lack of evidence that you actually make any type of jewelry or beads, I reserve the right to refund your money and open the spot to someone else.*
-This swap IS open to those outside the United States…just be prepared to send your charms EARLY.
Select United States or International United States $8.00 USDInternational $12.00 USD   This post will be edited (several times) to add the 2013 participants to the bottom of the post.  


    If you don't want to participate in the charm exchange, but would love to help Beads of Courage, visit their website to make a donation or find other ways you can help. Or if you would like to be a direct part of the money the charm exchange raises for Beads of Courage, click the donate button below and it will be added to our final total donated to BoC.   2013 Charm Swap Participants:
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