Autumn Design Challenge Reveal

Welcome to the Autumn Design Challenge and Blog Hop hosted by myself and Caroline Dewison of Blueberri Beads. Today’s participants will be showcasing designs made with a selection of THEA Elements and Blueberri Beads, beads and components that Caroline and I liberated from our own beads boxes and of course, we are playing along too.

So then, this is the set of Caroline’s beads I kept for myself – a lovely chocolate brown puffy heart and co-ordinating beads in shades of pecan and pistachio…


I wanted to pull the heart pendant out of the group and find a bronze component to complement it and since the aim of the challenge was to use our older components I had to have a good rummage in my rather large collection that is a mish-mash of things that may be a bit flawed, a little bit fugly, experiments that didn’t quite work first time around and quite frankly – some things that I have no idea as to why they are there!

I had a vague notion about doing something layered and in a single colour and eventually dug out a couple of text connectors I made way back last year and rejected because once oxidised, the text wasn’t really clear enough against the textured background. It occurred to me that if I clean them up and just left the patina
around the wording they might be OK… why I didn’t think this at the
time I don’t know…maybe I did and just got distracted.

The text comes from one of my favourite poems “He wishes for the cloths of heaven” by W. B Yeats…

Had I the heaven’s embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim
and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,

I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

This seemed an appropriate sentiment to combine with a heart so I cleaned one up and it did indeed come up sparkling so I attached it with linen cord so that it would act as a kind of bail. I made a beaded bronze chain with some gorgeous Czech glass beads that have a gorgeous matte bronze sheen (hard to see here but they look like rough Pyrite nougats) and finished it off with a bronze wire clasp and this is how it finished up…

I like the fact that it seems to feel quite delicate but at the same time has a sense of solidity…

So that left me with the set of beads…I was thinking that a bracelet was the way to go but I couldn’t find any of my own pieces that seemed to work well for that. What I did find was a couple of last seasons leaf clasps that I thought I could maybe put to a new use. As one was green and the other orange I patinated them both in an antique bronze and strung them on waxed linen with the beads along with one of Caroline’s birds and a matching bead I just happened to have in my art bead stash.

I had a hank of tiny aged seed beads that were a perfect colour match so I threaded strands of these through the clasps and plaited them together to create a loose rope. I finished off with brass bead caps and another bronze wire clasp.

The result is a lovely soft autumn hued necklace and I think the leaves look pretty good as connectors…

I had just two ceramic beads left which obviously meant the making of a pair of earrings…I found a couple of flat flower discs and dapped then into bead caps then and added a pair of dagger charms to hang from the bottom. Pretty simple but effective none the less…

So that’s my offering and I hope you like the designs and will join me in visiting all the other participants using the links below… I can’t wait to see what everyone’s done. Many thanks to everyone who has taken part in this challenge and of course to Caroline for hosting with me and providing such lovely beads to work with.


Janet Bocciardi –

Pine Ridge
treasures –

Melissa Trudinger –


25 thoughts on “Autumn Design Challenge Reveal

  1. What beautiful fall designs! I really, really love how you used those leaf clasps, and those 'tossed together' earrings are awesome! Thanks so very much for this cool challenge!

  2. Gorgeous designs, I particularly like the Tread Softly though as it is oen of my favourite poems also! I think the text connector is fab and you should maybe revisit them – I would definitely purchase a Tread Softly one!! 🙂

  3. I love the Tread Softly necklace – funnily enough, as I was reading about it a song by David Sylvian was on, and he sang the words "I promise to tread more lightly." Funny timing. The second necklace is also very beautiful – but the first one really speaks to me. — My degree is in English Lit 😉 This has been a really fun challenge. It's been awhile since I've done one. I'm so glad I got to participate.

  4. Beautiful pieces!!! It's hard to chose only one favorite, but maybe I'd pick the second one – I like very much how you used the leaves clasps as connectors and I love that little bird!
    Thank you very much for this fun challenge!!

  5. Lesley, your designs are gorgeous, as always. I like the way you used the text connector. After the clean up it is just perfect. The czech glass also match wonderful. Love it. The second necklace is the perfect match. The clasps make perfect connectors. And I could wear those earrings every day. Lovely!!

    And thank you so much for hosting this blog, together with Caroline.

  6. I must begin saying that I understand why you kept that set for yourself, it is really gorgeous. That brown tones are super!
    I cannot say what I like the most… I just noticed the twist you made with your seed beads and now there is one thing more that I like.

    Thank you again for hosting this. It was really fun!


  7. All wonderful creations. The first necklace is beautiful and I love that it tells a story. And Saffron and Sage necklace is just gorgeous!!! Thank you both for hosting this blog hop and sharing your wonderful beads so we could play.

  8. Hi Lesley,
    All are beautiful. I like the contrast between the dark heart,Czech crystals, and the bronze components very nice. The Saffron and Sage necklace is my favorite I like the style and the color. Using the leaf clasps for connectors was a great idea, that really goes well with your design. The earrings are very pretty would look nice dressed up or down,

  9. Lesley – Thanks so much to you and Caroline for for hosting this event! It was a lot of fun. Your designs are so beautiful! I especially love the Saffron and Sage necklace. The colors blend so beautifully.

  10. Beautiful art, as always, Lesley! I had to giggle a little out loud reading "a little bit fugly" in your post. You've so successfully transformed special art beads into even more rare treasures. "Tread Softly" is a powerful piece, loving and open and strong indeed. Your lovely spirit comes through in the uplifting, connecting piece. "Saffron and Sage" is a delight for the senses, harmonious yet richly textured, flowing and full of beauty like a gentle and generous Autumn day. And your earrings are simply cool: an abstract leaf motif in the daggers is so smart, and the use of daggers symbolic of Fall's ending & also such popular shapes in chic Mexican & Latina jewelry design right now. What exquisite jewellery you've shared, and what bountiful harvest has manifested from you and Caroline's fantastic collaboration! Gracias & Bravo!


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