Paisley Brights: the Firefly Design Studio Designer Challenge

Recently ceramic bead artist Michelle McCarthy established a Designer Challenge series on Facebook, taking over from Moriah Betterley, who is no longer making beads on a regular basis. Her first design challenge is now underway, and I thought I’d like to show you what I made with the challenge kit!

Michelle made two variations of the same kit, which included a pendant, a bracelet bar and plenty of coordinating beads. I chose — surprise surprise — the bright combination, rather than the neutral combination (which was also quite lovely, but not as me!). Here is Michelle’s picture of the kit, as I forgot to take one.

Paisley brights kit

The kit also included a mystery component by lampworker Shannon Vickers. Again I forgot to take a photo of it.

Anyway. Two things struck me when I received the kit. The first was that I already had a strand of round multicoloured beads like the pair at the bottom of the picture that I could add into my design as needed. I think I bought them last year sometime. The second was that the design and glaze reminded me of some pretty Liberty fabric cord that I also had in my stash. So I added that to the design pile along with a selection of Czech and other glass beads.

I started with the bracelet. I had an idea in mind for a multistrand bracelet featuring some of the Liberty cord along with some of Michelle’s beads and the bracelet bar. I also added in the mystery lampwork bead — a lovely orange bead with green dots. I was thrilled when the design in my head worked in real life!

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The necklace then took its cue from the bracelet, with a similar combination of elements, likewise knotted on waxed linen cord, and a cute blue tassel dangling from the pendant.

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I even managed to add some of the Liberty cord to the earrings, tied in a bow between the beads.

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And here is the full set!

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This is a challenge and there are prizes for the most popular designs. You can go and look at all of the designs from all of the designers here (I think the page is public until the beginning of March) and if you feel like voting for mine clicking here will take you straight to it — just like and if you want, leave a comment. No pressure though!

 

Buried treasure — AJE January Challenge

I have a lot of buried treasure, aka my bead stash. Thankfully, Art Jewelry Elements is encouraging me to delve deep and dig out some of those little treasures for their first blog hop of the year, whimsically called the Buried Treasure challenge.

Like most beaders, I have a pretty good stash. Like most beaders, I’m not always good at using the beautiful beads in my stash. So challenges like this are great for making me dig for inspiration.

Anyway, I thought I would make some earrings. First off the ranks uses some of my very carefully hoarded Elaine Ray ceramic beads. Elaine no longer makes beads, so these are seriously precious. Most of them I got via a friend in the US who went to one of her trunk shows for me (thank you Diana K).

I paired these lovely little charms, which are dark blue which turns lighter blue as the glaze breaks over the stamped flower, with dark blue Czech beads, knotted together with chocolate brown waxed linen.

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The second treasure I pulled from my stash was a pair of copper charms from Kristi Bowman Design with a hole through the middle of the bead. These took a bit of thought about how to attach them to earwires as the distance from the hole in the centre to the edge was too far for a jump ring. In the end I used waxed linen again to wrap a jump ring to the top of the charm. I also created a tassel of sorts with some pretty aqua silk ribbon I got at a local bead show last year.

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Thanks AJE for the push I needed to go look through my buried treasure! This is a blog hop … go visit the other beady blogs that are participating to see what they pulled from their stash!

AJE team:

Guests:
Melissa – Bead Recipes <– YOU ARE HERE
Sarajo – SJ Designs
Samantha – Wescott Jewelry
Mona – Bijoux Gem