Peacock flower bracelet

Yesterday was the final day for submitting pictures to the Beading Forum Designer Quest #24. The Designer Quest, which is run a couple of times a year by the Australia-based Beading Forum and local magazine Australian Beading, is a competition for beaders to make a piece of jewellery or wearable art using a kit provided by a sponsor, in this case Cranberry Berry-licious Beads. Participants have around eight weeks to design and make their piece and a couple of extra weeks for photographing and uploading the pics.

And today, finally, we get to see what everyone else has made. The winner will receive $80 shopping voucher from Cranberry as well as a 12 month subscription to Australian Beading. And there is another $20 voucher from Cranberry for the pieces that gets the popular vote.

Anyway, this is the first time I have entered the Designer Quest, and it was quite a challenge for me as I don’t really have much experience with seed beads—and this kit was full of them! This is the kit I received …

See all those seedies? They range from 8/0 to 15/0! And there are triangles! Eek! And yes, that’s a vintage crystal rivoli-style stone there—that means NO HOLE! EEK! There are small smooth and faceted rounds and some tiny drops as well as some bigger pillow beads and some peacock daggers. All Czech glass.

Well, after mulling it over for a while and looking through my beading books and magazines for ideas, I came up with a workable idea. I have a fantastic book by Heather Powers, the bead maker and jewellery designer behind Humblebeads, called Jewelry Designs from Nature. It’s a beatiful book, full of stunning designs featuring a huge array of beautiful handcrafted artbeads. I love to browse through it! One of her designs, the Birch Forest Bracelet, is a variation of what Heather calls a Sundry bracelet, which features a fringe of seed beads combined with other small beads or charms, between larger beads. And I thought the technique could form the basis of my design.

But then I had to decide what to do with that crystal. I dug around in my stash and pulled out a Vintaj filigree bead cap which fit nicely around the crystal. I fashioned a flower out of the daggers and a few of the drops and attached it to a Vintaj daisy connector and then popped the crystal on top. Here’s a close-up of it. I think it turned out pretty well!

Then using Heather’s sundry fringe technique, I made two side pieces with gold and purple fringing in between the big beads. I joined it all together with brass jumprings and a brass clasp and voila!

I am so pleased with this design! I used some of nearly everything except the triangle beads. I just could not figure out a way to incorporate them. And I have plans to make a pair of earrings with the two large beads I have left, perhaps with a bit of fringing hanging from the bottom. But unfortunately, I have had a revolting month (don’t ask!), so it hasn’t happened yet. And maybe I’ll work out something to do with the triangle beads—suggestions most welcome!

As for the other designs, well, I’ll be going to have a look at them tomorrow. Unfortunately, the Beading Forum is membership based, with limited access to the forums for non-members, and this is one of the members-only things.

But I’ve got another challenge and blog hop coming up in a couple of weeks, so come back on the 31st May to see what I come up with for Erin Prais-Hintz’s Challenge of Literature.

Challenge of Literature 2012

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