Friday, May 29, 2015

AJE COM Theme: Fireflies

The 2nd AJE Theme Challenge 

firefly lightning bug on leaf
Firefly/Lightning Bug image found here:
You, our loyal readers, know us. You know that we are constantly evolving, creating, discussing and challenging ourselves. This year the team decided to initiate four themed challenges, loosely aligned with the seasons. We wanted to offer a creative challenge that was broader in scope, drawing in bead makers, component makers, as well as designers/jewelry makers.

The Theme for Summer 2015 is Fireflies/Lightning Bugs

While many people in the United States believe the unofficial start to summer is Memorial Day weekend, I personally know it's summer when I look out my window at dusk and see the first fireflies flashing their lights in my back yard. There's something so magical about the points of light pulsating in the twilight that draws me outside, even with the risk of being eaten alive by the non-magical mosquitos.

Fireflies, which we mostly refer to as lightning bugs here in Indiana, are actually a type of beetle and not really all that interesting in daylight. I certainly wouldn't have selected it as a theme challenge based on their daytime appearance:

firefly lightning bug on leaf during the day
Image found on Backyards for Nature
However, at night....

fireflies lightning bugs at night
From Digital Photo Blog, a photograph of fireflies using a long exposure
When I informed the team that I had selected fireflies as the theme for June, I was stunned to learn several had never seen a firefly before! I had no idea they were that regional. I just assumed wherever bugs can live, fireflies are there. Nope. The UK contingent of the team informed me they had never seen them. And the U.S. west coast apparently doesn't get them either.

Later in the month, I will share some mythology and science involved with the lightning bugs to help keep you motivated to create components and/or art jewelry based on the theme. 

Here's what the AJE team has been up to:

Caroline Dewison fireflies in the forest
Caroline Dewison these porcelain pendants of fireflies in the forest. She says they're an idea in progress, but they look pretty amazing already. 

Jenny Davies-Reazor fireflies lightning bugs idea in progress
Jenny Davies-Reazor's works in progress. They will be "all about the color...luminous blue sky at dusk and silhouette foliage."

Niky Sayers firefly lightning bug in progress copper
Niky Sayer's firefly idea in progress. 

Linda Landig firefly sketch
Linda Landig made a quick sketch of what she plans to create with this month's firefly theme. 

Jen Cameron firefly lightning bug lampwork bead
Jen Cameron's (me!) first prototyes of fireflies in lampwork beads

How to Participate in This Month's Theme Challenge

1. Giveaway - This theme challenge DOES include a giveaway! ( This will vary each time.) 
I will be giving away two of the above pictured lampwork focals - winners selected randomly from comments on this post. 
  • Winners selected Monday June 1.
  • You must have an active blog. 
  • Email and blog address must be included in comments

2. Goal - Have fun! Try something different! Be inspired by the magic of fireflies! Make something that fits within this theme. This can be an artist bead, a component, or a finished piece of jewelry.    

       *You are free to use any artist bead/component in your design -
  • from an AJE team member 
  • of your own creation
  • from another artisan bead maker... 

3. Share/Reveal - Reveal date June 30th
If you would like to be included in the blog reveal at month's end, please email Jen at jennifer.glassaddictions (at) Since this is open to all, this is the most efficient way to be included. Emails need to be received by June 27th  to be included. 

Jen Cameron bio


  1. There are already si beautiful ideas and beads to be seen! I am curious about the end results. It is really a beautiful idea :)

  2. Oh wow. What a lovely theme you've chosen. I love your lampwork beads (they also look like "Starry Night"!" Thanks for the chance to win them!
    I also love Caroline's experiments - the blue one looks my backyard in July at dusk! We get quite a nice light show here (in Pennsylvania). I can't imagine growing up without lightning bugs.
    I will look through my bead stash to see if I've got an art bead that fits the theme! Or maybe I can make one....

    cynthiariggs58 at

  3. I would love to participate. I live in FL and we do have fireflies. I remember when we would visit my grandparents in KY, all of us cousins would go out and catch them and keep them in jars overnight for night lights. My blog is , my email is maloneve at I love what the artist have been up to and I love the theme.

  4. That's a cool theme!! Nope we don't have them on the west coast but I lived in Philly for a couple of years and I remember them vividly, had lots of fun with them!

  5. This is too cool. Insects are not always my favorite but I do love this theme. I'll keep my eyes peeled for the reveal!

  6. YAY how FUN! I'm in! online at

  7. I would love to join in this one! Fireflies have a very special meaning for me. (

  8. I think fireflies are spreading. A local girlfriend posted about seeing some in her yard the other night and I live in the Northwest. I would be honored to work with some of your gorgeous glass.

  9. I love to watch fireflies on summer evenings while out on mu deck. I have passed this joy to my kids. I love the theme and would love a chance to win. I have an active blog at My email address is Thanks for the opportunity!

  10. I had never seen fireflies till I moved out to the country 10 years ago . I love to watch the flickering light-show they make. I would love to win one of your lovely beads to play along with this challenge

  11. What a fun theme! I love seeing what the AJE team members have been playing with in all the various stages of completion... good stuff! I would love to play along with one of your gorgeous beads: sjdesignsjewelry[at]gmail[dot]com Thanks for the chance!

  12. What a wonderful theme! I lived in Nevada for years and had forgotten all about lightning bugs (and mosquitoes). Imagine my delight the first summer I was back in Michigan and the twilight lit up! It's my favorite part of summer.
    BrisingBeads Designs

  13. This is a great summer theme. I remember watching lightnin' bugs flashing all over in the summer night sky when I was a child. I think it's hot and humid enough for them where I live now, but it's too urban. All of the components, including those in progress, look amazing. Your lampwork beads are gorgeous. I would love to design with them.
    Email is PaisleyLizardDesigns @ and blog address is

  14. Jen your beads are beautiful! My husband and I wonder where the fireflies went! I grew up in CT and they were around every summer, he had them in Louisiana too but we don't see them in FL. Hopefully I'll have time to join in this month!

  15. I've only seen fireflies once or twice when I lived in the US (I lived on the west coast) -- very cool! We have something similar here in Australia -- glowworms. I'd love a chance to participate in the challenge melissa_trudinger at yahoo dot com and

  16. We don't have these bugs here in the UK. But I did live in Chicago IL, for about five years and my children found these insects an absolute delight, they would run around with a net and a jam jar and try to catch them, so much fun. Thanks for bringing back that memory for me, such a delight. Please count me in for the challenge.

  17. I love that theme and your beads wonderful, I'd love to play along


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