I swear someone is stealing days from the months…I can’t believe it’s time for another Component of the Month design challenge reveal already! But it is and the pretties we were give to play with this month come in the form of these gorgeous lampwork focals by Jen Cameron. True to form I forgot to photograph my particular bead but it looks similar to the one back left in this image. Continue reading “Turning Tides – Art Elements Design Challenge”
This months Component of the month comes to you courtesy of Jennifer Stout-Cameron who provided the Art Elements team and our guests with these super funky sugar skull beads. I love these beads and wanted to do something fun in keeping with their quirkiness but, the bright colours are not usually something I would work with so it took some thinking. Much of said thinking revolved around flowers and dangles but I didn’t have quite the right colours and then an idea struck me while rummaging around in my jewellery box.
So here we are then, today is the first reveal of three in Lori Anderson’s Bead Soup Blog Party 6 and of the pieces I’ve created with the soup sent to me by my lovely partner Jenny Cameron. When I first opened my parcel from Jenny I found so much and such variety that I had all sorts of ideas racing around in my head for all the things I wanted to do. Inevitably though, life and lack of time intervened and when I look at this picture now I realise I’ve barely scratched the surface. No matter though, the unused soup will stay on my work table and when I have a little free time (something I’ve promised to give myself in August) I will while it away some happy hours creating more and I’ll post it here at a future date.
Now let’s get back to what I did do. Although there were several pieces I would class as a focal I knew straight away that it would be the big red lampwork bead I’d choose – so tactile that I kept picking it up and rolling it in my hands. I love the organic nature of this bead and the way it looks like hot lava is slowly enveloping it. I felt it had a slightly futuristic, urban feel to it and I decided pretty quickly I wanted to use metal with it in some way eventually settling on sterling silver wire and, as far as planning goes that was it. I just sat down, cut three pieces of wire, threaded them through the bead and started bending and twisting. I’ve tried this before and more often that not I’ve ended up with a complete mess but happily, this time the muse was with me and I liked the results. So time for a picture I think – I’ve called this piece ‘Red Nebula’…
I’ve used the first of those three wires to create a yoke to support the bead and the second has been wrapped loosely around the yoke. I had it in my mind to create tendrils with the third wire but it had other ideas and became a kind of frame for the bead. Jenny also sent me some glorious red silk which I’ve wire wrapped and suspended the yoke from using hand forged hook clasps. I felt it needed a little something extra at this point to add a final flourish and I picked some lovely dark pearls from my soup mix threaded onto silver pins – I think that little bit of asymmetry sets it off quite nicely, what do you think?
I don’t find silk easy to work with and I’m fully aware that it’s not very ‘bohemian’ of me to have ironed it, but I like it and although I wasn’t sure at first, this piece has grown on me over the last few days.
So that was the focal sorted – now I had to come up with a design for my clasp, a vintage rhinestone piece that was really going to challenge me. I’ve never, ever created a piece of jewellery that could in anyway be said to have a vintage influence. Not that I have anything against the style, I just tend to see it as pretty and sparkly whereas I’m more rustic and earthy and consequently, I had very little in my bead stash that was an obvious choice to complement the clasp. I did think about going contemporary with the steampunk pieces Jenny sent but these are so new to me me I realised I would need a lot of time to work something through and time was running out. Then I thought maybe rhinestone and black leather (who knows why) but I really wanted to have a go at doing something that at least nodded towards vintage and, after rummaging around in my own jewellery box I found an old pewter brooch that I hadn’t worn for about 20 years and an idea began to form.
Because pewter is soft I was able to cut the pin off the brooch and drill through the mounting blocks so I could attach some jump rings without having to drill into the brooch itself. I was making this piece very late in the day which turned out to be quite fortuitous as a parcel of gorgeous rustic pearls arrived the previous day and they definitely had a look of bygone days about them. I was planning for this to be a bracelet when I started but the balance didn’t feel right so this is what I turned it in to…
In addition to the pearls I’ve used lovely champagne Czech glass
Rivoli beads and sections of antique style chain. I really like the mix
of the brass and silver coloured metals here and I think it adds to the
aged feel. The clasp is too pretty to be hidden away so I’ve offset it
to one side…
I fiddled around with this quite a bit adding dangles and
embellishments but in the end decided less is more – it may not be true
vintage style but it’s my style and even though I think it’s pretty I’d
wear it myself for an occasion!
To me this is the type of necklace that benefits from matching earrings so I made a pair. Jenny’s soup included some lovely little brass beads and some creamy potato pearls which matched perfectly with the Rivoli beads and the chain links to make a very elegant set.
I did also manage to make two extra bracelets in a design that my regular blog readers will have seen a lot of lately (checkout the tutorial page for details); one using another of Jenny’s own lampwork beads and one using the cute little bus token she sent, instead of a button. These will be going to the ‘Global Genes Project, 7000 Bracelets Appeal‘ along with some other bracelets I’ve made recently.
So I hope you like what I’ve done with my bead soup even though there is so much I didn’t use. Just keep your eyes peeled for future posts because there will be with second helpings of bead soup. In the meantime I’d like to thank Jenny for her warmth and generosity as my partner and Lori for another amazing feat of organisation. please hop over and visit Jenny to see what she’s done with the soup I sent her and enjoy the rest of the party visiting the blogs in the list below.
Paige Maxim, Paige Maxim Designs
Pamela Gangler, She Always Loved Pink
All I can do now is sit and wait and chew my nails until they arrive safely and hope that Jenny likes them – this is the worst time for me as doubts creep in and I worry that I’ve got my selection totally wrong. But there’s nothing I can do about it now so I’ll just have to keep everything crossed for a week or so.
So do you want to see what I’ve sent Jenny…yes?…of course you do but you know the rules – no pictures until partners have their parcels. Oh alright then, maybe just one very heavily disguised little pic and it is heavily disguised – even I don’t recognise what I’ve sent!
Now you’ll just have to wait until Jenny gets her soup mix to find out what this really is. Oh and Jenny if you’re looking at this, that bit on the left really isn’t the “baby poop green/brown” it looks!
Have a great weekend all!