Sunday, August 21, 2011

Project Catalysts

First, to all my beady friends who left such lovely posts -- thank you! The Andrew Thornton challenge drove more traffic to my blog than any post since I started it and I was pretty accustomed to being a lone voice in the wilderness! So I got in the habit of not checking my comments. Thanks so much for your comments and apologies for taking so long to publish!

Seems every time I try a new project, I find myself obsessing with variations, inspiring bead purchases to try my new idea. Good for project back-log, bad for the budget. The Sassy Sunflower bracelet is my all-time favorite project this year.
 
 
I had clipped this pattern from the BeadAndButton Magazine (April 2010), a design by Merle Berelowitz. I ordered the supplies long ago and finally got around to completing it last month. The bracelet base is a 2 inch metal blank lined with ultrasuede, with a herringbone cover, a sleek understated foundation for the sparkling sunflower component. So what were the variations this design inspired?

I really like the herringbone base. It worked up pretty quickly in size 10/0 delicas and think its simplicity is a great background for other components -- say a dichroic glass cabochon or any other really gorgeous cab (and I have many of those!). The sunflower component would make a terrific brooche and an eye-catching accessory for a black cocktail dress, so I ordered supplies in black and silver and gold (yikes!). Since I don't own a black cocktail dress, I will need to make it as a gift for one of my sophisticated friends!

Beyond Beadery is my supply source and offers one-stop shopping for the beads, bracelet blanks and even ultrasuede.
 
And, now a new blog section: one that counts the project-in-process but not finished in my exploding bead room!

Project Count for the Week: 6
 
  1. Poinsettia pin for Christmas
  2. Beaded flower hair barettes for my nieces
  3. Two bead embroidery bracelets
  4. See #3
  5. Spiral herringbone necklace with great cab
  6. Crazy cab ladeez pin

Monday, August 1, 2011

Andrew Thornton's July Reader's Challenge

I've never participated in a bead soup challenge and thought, why not? I happened upon Andrew Thornton's blog shortly after he announced his July Reader's Challenge. Here is the enticing assortment of beads provided in his first-ever challenge:

Ingredients for a Fun Challenge, Courtesy Andrew Thornton

Not shown is the beautiful mystery component, a hand-crafted copper coin pendant featuring a leaf. At first I thought I would turn the component into a cabochon and make that the centerpiece of my design. But after spending a week-end on that approach, I decided against it. See the very last photo for my cabochon.

Finally, this past week-end, I decided to use some memory wire and turn some of the delightful beads into dangling charms with the beautiful leaf from Earthenwood Studio as the focal point. I'm still not sure how I feel about the end product but here it is!



And here is the necklace with the cabochon as well as earrings I made earlier this month. I thought they made for a nice set.



 
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