beads they received as part of our ‘Spring Fever’ design challenge. To
recap, all the participants were sent a surprise package containing one
of my flower focal sets, one of Caroline’s bird focal sets and a length of sari silk courtesy of Claire from Smitten Beads.
These have now been turned into pieces of jewellery and I for one can’t
wait to see what they’ve become. But first I have to share with you my
As always I left this until pretty much the last minute and very stupidly forgot to take pictures of my individual beads…how many times is that now…?
Anyway, for my first piece I decided to work with Caroline’s focal pendant set of a pretty china painted bird and leaf. I started by trying to think of a way to use them independently rather than the set they came as but they really are made for other and look so good together I decided to just go with it. I wired the bird onto a large disc bead to act as a kind of bird table and wired another loop underneath. To this I added the leaf element together with one of my bronze flower charms and some Czech glass flower dangles.
I wanted this to be a long necklace and my natural instinct for this style is to let the focal group do the work and keep the rest very simple but as the host just using a chain for a challenge piece felt like a bit of a cop out so some sort of embellishment was needed. In the end I decided on purple Irish linen woven through the chain and threaded with pearly seed beads.
I love the finished look – subtle and elegant but a bit more eye catching than chain alone would be.
The necklace is completed with hand forged brass ‘S’ clasp and a couple more Czech glass dangles.
|Ceramic bird and lead focal beads by Caroline Dewison, Purple disc bead by www.marlasmud.etsy.com, Brass chain, Irish linen and pearlised seed beads from Smitten Beads|
Another of Caroline’s birds has found it’s way into this necklace along with one of my bronze flower connectors which acts as a focal clasp.
The focal elements are accented with ivory lampwork glass, Czech glass and rustic seed beads. I love the earthiness of this and think it could actually be worn at any time of year.
|Ceramic focal, bronze connector and clasp by me THEA Elements, Ceramic bird bead by Caroline Dewison, ampwork beads by Pebble Dreams, Seed beads from Smitten Beads|
I also ran out of Sari silk but I was determined to use all the elements of the challenge so raided my own silk stash to find something suitable. I couldn’t find any sari silk that fitted anything like a spring palette so I picked some pretty hand dyed silk strings instead and used these to create some simple macrame wrapped bangles…
As you can see, I have quite a stash of Caroline’s bird beads so I sat a couple of these in the centre of hoops of 14gauge bronze wire. Starting from the centre and working outwards I worked a square knot around size 5/6 seed beads.
The wire hoop is connected with simple loops and the silk strings tied of and left as tails to give bangles with a fresh fun look… I think I could get addicted to making these!
|Hand dyed silk strings by Diane Turton, Ceramic birds by Caroline Dewison|
So there you are then…I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing how this challenge inspired me. I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has taken part in this challenge and made it so much fun, and to Caroline and Claire for joining me to make it happen in the first place. I hope now you’ll join me on the blog hop to see the rest of the wonderful designs…just click on the links below to see more.
All these pieces will be available in my Etsy shop shortly but please let me know if you are interested.
Emma Quinn – http://jewellerybyemmaquinn.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/spring-fever-design-challenge.html