Barbara’s Blog – BBD Art Jewelry

Channeling Matisse…

In the 1940’s during the later years of his life, Henri Matisse began to create with paper cutouts almost exclusively. He described these works as “drawing with scissors”. Using large sheets of painted papers, he created exciting and modern brightly colored abstract works. My latest pieces are inspired by these cutouts, but my medium of choice for these art jewelry creations is polymer clay. Playful components of cutout flowers, leaves and butterflies are now dangling from loops and long sterling silver earwires that make a bold fashion statement! The earring shown in the above photo measures 3″ in length. Wearing a long earring of such vibrant color is totally new to me and I’m loving it! I think of it as a mini-sculpture! Presently I’m in the midst of creating a collection of cutout-themed earrings in all manner of shapes, sizes, and colors…I haven’t had this much fun since kindergarten!

The Tutorial and Beading Kits are Ready!

I’ve just finished the tutorial for my “Fleurs et Papillons” Cuff!  While proofreading the tutorial it occurred to me that there are so many possibilities for making the cuff! Although I used Metallic Iris Brown seed beads, it could be embellished with all manner of novelty beads and crystals!  And for those who don’t work in Polymer clay, fabric could easily be used for the flowers and butterflies! I can envision this cuff made with etherial layers of moire, organza and tulle stitched to the beading foundation with sparkling flat-backed Lochrose crystals! And instead of using a brass cuff blank as the armature, the cuff ends could be joined by ties of flowing satin ribbon…a Faerie Queene-worthy creation!  Does that whet your artistic appetite?  You’ll find the tutorial in my Etsy shop along with the beading kit!  Enjoy!

More Flowers and Butterflies!

I’m having a spring fling! I’ve just finished my “Fleurs et Papillons” mixed-media cuff incorporating polymer clay and bead embroidery! Was this fun to make? Delightful! And it worked up rapidly once I’d made all the polymer clay components. I’m in the midst of proofreading the step-by-step tutorial for this cuff, which will contain templates for cuff, flowers and butterflies, as well as a template and bonus instructions for making the collar rendition shown in my April 1 blog post! And it’s loaded with color process photos! The tutorial and a few limited edition kits are available in my Etsy shop!

In a Blue Mood…

Presently I am loving the color blue…everything from Twilight to Powder. Perhaps the profusion of beautiful bluebells sprouting along our woodland path contributes to my wanting to work with all shades of blue. My husband thinks it’s because his eyes are Azure blue! I love that blue goes so well with Chartreuse, another favorite color of mine! It’s only natural that my present polymer work is an amalgam of blues. What am I going to create with these flowers and butterflies? Stay tuned…you’ll see in my next post!


Remember all those polymer clay flowers I made last week? Were you wondering what I would make with them? I had several ideas in mind, but bead embroidery was the technique I chose. Until now, I’ve employed the usual components…seed beads, of course, plus cabochons, pearls, and crystals, but I’d never before thought of incorporating polymer clay into a piece! It’s as if a new world of bead embroidery has opened up…I’m so excited by the possibilities! My “Fleurs et Papillons” bead-embroidered collar is composed entirely of Bronze and Metallic Brown Iris seed beads with several polymer clay butterflies nestled in amidst layer upon layer of colorful polymer clay flowers! I’m going to have such fun wearing this collar! If this piece could sing, its song would evoke all the loveliness of springtime!

Form and Function…

Flowers in your hair, flowers everywhere…for all you flower children, here’s a sneak peek of a new project I’ve just begun!

I’ve just made dozens of polymer clay cut-outs.  In the above photo they remind me of flower motif wall paper that was very popular back in the 1960’s! How different they look after being heated and shaped into cupped forms as shown in the photo below! The added dimension makes such a difference! I’ll be working on this new project over the coming week…you’ll have to wait to see the final product! Let the fun begin!

Fashionista Eye Candy…

I’ll admit that I love fashion. Although my wardrobe is composed primarily of black and neutrals, I enjoy perusing the wildly avant-garde pieces in fashion magazines. I live in the country where blue jeans are “de rigueur” attire for most, but not for me…unless I’m gardening or doing very messy artwork! Although I love to declare the occasional PJ day, I enjoy carefully choosing my attire for the day and doing my makeup. It’s my adult version of being in Mommy’s closest and playing dress up! To this end, art jewelry and other accessories are important features. Enter the handbag…I couldn’t resist this book, The Art of the Handbag by Claire Anthony. The cover features a Kathleen Dustin one-of-a-kind amazing polymer clay handbag…a sculptural, yet functional work of art! Looking at this piece, I am once again inspired to get out my polymer clay and get to work!

The Tutorial and Beading Kit is Ready!

Snow may be on the way, but I’m ringing in Spring! After spending the past few months making several pairs of geometric earrings, I really wanted to get back to doing bead embroidery!  I missed the free-form techniques and how quickly pieces work up. I wanted to play with pearls and crystals and just needed some “bling and razzle-dazzle” to counter the winter blues! Designing my “Six Petal Bloom” Bead-Embroidered Brooch was such fun and wearing it certainly brightens up my winter wardrobe! Brooches are versatile adornments that can transform any wearable…shawl, lapel, hat or sweater from ordinary to haute fashion! I’ve just finished the step-by-step tutorial and listed it and the beading kit in my Etsy shop. The kit contains a one-of-a-kind multi-color handmade faux Fire Opal resin cabochon, pearls, Swarovski flat-backed crystals, Delica, seed, and vintage Czech Charlotte beads, E6000 adhesive, pinback, and beading foundation and leather backing cut into a flower shape. Everything is tucked into a handy travel tin with a see-through top!  Add your favorite beading needles and thread and you’re ready to go!

Everything’s Coming Up Roses!

My “Six Petal Bloom” Bead-Embroidered Brooch is finished and I love it! Measuring 3″ in diameter, it is quite the statement piece!  The focal cabochon used in this pearl and Swarovski crystal embellished brooch is one of my colorful handmade resin Faux Fire Opals.  At the moment I’m editing all the process photos I took while creating this piece and soon I’ll be starting work on the tutorial. I’ll let you know as soon as the tutorial and beading kits for this project are listed in my Etsy shop. Stay tuned…it won’t be long!


This is a sneak peek at several resin Faux Fire Opals that I made last week and the colors are mesmerizing…they are absolute “eye candy”! Each measures 25mm in diameter and one will be used as the focal accent cabochon in my new design, the “Six Petal Bloom” Bead-Embroidered Brooch that I’m currently working on. Placed on a black beading foundation, the dazzling colors really pop! I hope to have the new brooch tutorial and beading kit ready in a week or two. Each kit will contain a Faux Fire Opal cabochon, precut six-petal flower-shaped beading foundation and leather backing, pinback, Delicas, seed beads, and precious vintage Charlotte beads, pearls, and sparkling Swarovski flat-backed crystals! I’ll let you as soon as they are listed in my Etsy shop!

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