Beads, Blog Hops and Challenges

Inspired by Reading Book Club: A Wrinkle in Time

I’ve joined the Inspired by Reading Book Club, a crafty group of jewellery designers and more. The group was started by Andrew Thornton, and I’ve been sitting on the fence for sometime, wanting to join. I finally took the plunge this month, and I hope I can keep up with a design a month! The reading itself shouldn’t be a problem!

Anyway the idea is to read the book and then create a piece (or more) inspired by the book. This month’s book is A Wrinkle in Time, a classic children’s book by Madeline L’Engle, published in 1963. I first read this book when I was a child, and I was thrilled to find it just as readable as an adult, although somewhat dated. As the title might imply, it is a science fiction novel,  with travel through space and time through the tesseract, a form of travel akin to traveling through a wormhole. Meg Murray, a “difficult” and “different” child and her equally different little brother Charles, as well as school friend Calvin, have to rescue Meg’s father, a physicist who has been missing for a couple of years, and is stuck on a far away planet in a far away galaxy. At the heart of the book is the classic struggle between good and evil, with love conquering all in the end.

I did think about creating some pieces with the space theme. In fact, I have made various resin pendants, cufflinks and earrings fairly recently featuring images of space including nebulae and more.

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However the passage in the book that inspired me was a simple description of one of the book’s characters, Mrs Whatsit. Appearing early in the book as an old lady with the appearance of a tramp, she plays an important role as one of the guides through time and space. But her description is what hooked me. She is described as being completely bundled up in clothes, with several scarves of assorted colours tied about the head:

Mrs Whatsit untied a blue and green Paisley scarf, a red and yellow flowered print, a gold Liberty print, a red and black bandanna.

I initially thought I would create a necklace combining these colour schemes, but I ended up creating 4 necklaces, one for each scarf (and hence I’m late posting this blog update!).

The paisley scarf became a necklace featuring a paisley pendant from Humblebeads, knotted on waxed linen with a collection of flowers and leaves in similar shades of green, blue and purple.

Paisley scarf necklace

The red and yellow flowered print scarf uses a pendant I made myself using a scrap of Liberty of London print floral fabric and a clever miniature embroidery hoop from Melbourne-based Etsy seller Dandelyne (these come in a variety of shapes and sizes—this particular one is 4cm in diameter). I attached it to a long copper chain embellished with dainty Czech glass flowers.

red-yellow floral scarf necklace

The gold Liberty print uses another embroidery hoop pendant featuring a scrap of Liberty fabric with gold and purple flowers and leaves. This time I have paired it with a trio of seed bead strands in shades of purple, gold and bronze and finished it with brass chain.

gold liberty scarf necklace

Finally the red and black bandanna is represented by a red pendant by Peruzi and a selection of black and red beads. Although the pendant is very Art Deco in style, I think the geometric nature of it reminds me of bandanna prints.

red-black bandanna necklace

And here they are all together!

Mrs Whatsits scarves

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Beads, Blog Hops and Challenges

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!

 

Beads, Blog Hops and Challenges

Ribbons and buttons: The Haberdashery Blog Hop

If you’re looking for the Summer Carnival Blog Hop it is here!

Haby hop button

Welcome to the Haberdashery Blog Hop (my first, how exciting!!!). A bit over a month ago, I challenged my friends in the beading community to incorporate things found in the haberdashery department—buttons, ribbons, bias tape, sequins, lace, zippers and all sorts of other sewing bits and pieces—into their jewellery designs.

And here we are for the big reveal. Did you have fun finding interesting ways to use non-traditional components? I certainly had fun playing, although some things have yet to see the light of day! And I definitely had fun collecting all of these bits and pieces.

My first piece features that gorgeous, and rather large, button you can see in the picture at the top of this post. I bought this button on Etsy a few years ago (from Orit Dotan, a button shop with a great range of new and vintage buttons) because it was just. so. fabulous! I thought about using it as a necklace focal, but ultimately decided to use it in a bracelet so I could see it. But the question was, how would I incorporate it? After lots of browsing Pinterest and the fortuitous discarding of a pair of jeans by my husband I decided to make a denim cuff bracelet to showcase it.

Basically, the cuff is constructed from a piece of the waistband from the upcycled jeans. I added a bit of lace around the edge, and sewed the button onto it. Sadly, I have not yet worked out how to set the press-stud snap thingies in place (I’ve tried but something is not working, so I need to hunt down someone who knows what they are doing!), so it’s a bit of a Work in Progress. I’m also torn as to whether or not to add a bit more bling. Or just leave the button’s fabulosity to speak for itself!

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I had enough useable waistband to make another cuff. This time I added a strip of ribbon (part of the Amy Butler collection, isn’t it lovely?) and some blue lace. Again, it’s unfinished as I couldn’t get my sewing machine automatic buttonhole function to work properly.

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Here are the two denim cuffs side by side.

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Still on a bracelet/ribbon kick, I created a couple of simple bracelets from a nifty lace belting I bought from the Japanese $2 shop Daiso. For the first bracelet, I just attached ribbon ends and a clasp to a length of the ribbon, and voila! A simple bracelet. I got tricky with the second version, attaching some chain to make a wrap bracelet. These were really hard to photograph, as the ribbon is very stiff, so apologies for the dodgy photo!

Wrap bracelets

My next makes are a little more “me”, and incorporate some cute narrow “rouleaux” cording made from Liberty fabric into a necklace. The pendant is from Faith Ann Originals, and the beads are Czech glass. I attached the cord to the necklace and chain with a combination of knots and jump rings.

Liberty floral necklace

There’s a matching pair of earrings too, with a piece of cord tied above the Czech flower bead. You could easily do the same with a scrap of lace or ribbon.

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There was so much more I wanted to do. I’m really inspired by Nina Bagley’s wrap bracelet/necklace pieces, which incorporate an eclectic combination of beads and lace and leather and all sorts of bits and pieces, so I’ll keep playing in that direction. I need to spend more time with buttons too.

Anyway, enough of me. It’s time to go and look at everyone else’s stuff! Thanks to everyone who joined in, hope you had as much fun as me!

 

Melissa Trudinger                                           https://beadrecipes.wordpress.com <– HOSTESS, ME!

Ann Schroeder                                                 http://www.beadlove.wordpress.com

Tammy Adams                                                http://www.paisleylizard.com/blog.html

Amanda Wacasey                                           http://mandyinmystic.blogspot.com

Dolores Raml                                                   http://craftydscreations.wordpress.com

Divya N                                                             http://www.jewelsofsayuri.com

Michelle McCarthy                                         http://www.fireflydesignstudio.BlogSpot.com

DiYana Brooks                                                 http://agapecreationsjewelry.blogspot.com/

Robin Kae Reed                                               http://willowdragon.blogspot.com

Andrea Glick                                                    http://zenithjade.blogspot.com/

Karin Grosset Grange                                     http://ginkgoetcoquelicot.blogspot.fr

Mitzie Crider                                                    http://needfulluxuries.blogspot.com

Janine Lucas                                                    http://www.esfera.me/travel/blog/travel-stories (Will be posting on Sunday)

Rosantia Petkova                                           http://bairozan.blogspot.com/

Susan Kennedy                                                http://www.suebeads.blogspot.com

Leithleach Alainn Seodra                http://alainnjewelry.wordpress.com/

Kathleen Breeding                                          http://99bobotw.blogspot.com/

Shiraz Biggie                                                    http://secretsongdesigns.blogspot.com

Chris Eisenberg                                               http://www.wanderware.blogspot.com

Heather Richter                                              http://desertjewelrydesigns.blogspot.com/

Lennis Carrier                                                  http://www.windbent.net/

Rebecca Anderson                                         http://www.songbeads.blogspot.com

Jenny Kyrlach                                                   http://anafiassa.blogspot.com

Rita Toltec Jewels                                          http://www.JewelSchoolFriends.com (Will be posting on Sunday)

Mischelle Fanucci                                           http://www.micheladasmusings.blogspot.com

Karen Mitchell                                                 http://overthemoon-design.com

Carol Briody                                                     http://Cbriody.blogspot.com

Karla Morgan                                                  http://TexasPepperJams.blogspot.com

Carolyn Lawson                                              http://Carolynscreationswa.blogspot.com

Lori Anderson                                                  http://www.prettythingsblog.com/

Jami Shipp                                                        http://www.celebratinglifewithdamamashipp.blogspot.com

Lili Krist                                                             http://pcbylik.blogspot.com/

Evelyn Shelby                                                   http://raindropcreationsbyevelyn.blogspot.com/

Raissa de Guzman                                          http://www.abloro.com

Niky Sayers                                                      http://silverniknats.blogspot.co.uk

Keren Panthaki                                                http://vasdea.wordpress.com