Beads, Blog Hops and Challenges

Ancient oceans: Beading Back in Time Blog Hop

A couple of beady friends of mine—Lindsay Starr and Sherri Stokey—recently came up with an idea for a series of blog hops, which they’ve called Beading Back in Time. Each quarter will be devoted to a different time period and the first, of course, is pre-Human.

Conveniently, in my stash I had two beautiful ammonite focals. In case you’re wondering, ammonites were a group of molluscs which populated the ancient oceans for several hundred million years, from the Devonian period until the big extinction event at the end of the Cretaceous period that wiped out some 75% of the life on our planet. Although the fossils look similar to today’s Nautilus species, with their distinctive multi-chambered spiral shells, they were more closely related to octopus, squid and cuttlefish.

The first piece features a ceramic ammonite focal, made by Peruzi, with a lovely verdigris-like appearance. I wanted to evoke the feel of the ocean, so I paired it with some aqua beads in various shapes and sizes, and a silk ribbon that made me think of seagrasses waving gently in the water.

Ancient oceans collage

The second focal is a real, fossilized ammonite that a friend gave me in a swap. The front, with its distinctive spiral ranges from a dark olive green to coppery brown, but the back still has glimmering remnants of the shell’s nacreous origins. I found some unusual Czech glass beads with a pitted rock-like appearance and some interesting double coin pearls with a golden shimmer to go with the ammonite fossil. And in case you’re wondering, oysters are a very old variety of mollusk and both pearl and oyster fossils have been found—I looked it up!

ocean fossil collage

Thank you Lindsay and Sherri for the great challenge. Now I need to start thinking about the next time period—early human!

Co-hostess:  Lindsay Starr of Phantasm Creations

Co-hostess:  Sherri Stokey of Knot Just Macrame

Kelly Rodgers of Beadin’ Black & Blue

Michelle McCarthy of Firefly Design Studio

Caroline Dewison of Blueberribeads

Melissa Trudinger of Boho Bird Jewellery <– YOU ARE HERE!

Sue Kennedy of SueBeads

Stephanie and Chris Haussler of Pixibug Designs

Jen Cameron of Glass Addictions

Jean Wells of Jean A. Wells Artisan Jewelry

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Beads, Blog Hops and Challenges

Seashell in the surf necklace: The Sea Shell Design Challenge

My friend Rita, aka Toltec Jewels, has been on a roll with challenges featuring her favourite artist beads recently. The Sea Shell Design Challenge showcases a pretty ceramic scallop shell pendant made by Michelle McCarthy of Firefly Design Studio. Rita sent out a dozen or so shells to a group of us and challenged us to make something!

challenge photo

The shells came in a variety of hues—I believe mine is the one at the top right. In person it’s a lovely weathered bluey-green colour. Digging through my stash I found a variety of pretty Czech beads in a spectrum of blues and greens that reminded me of the ocean, from the waves breaking on the sandy beach, to the deep water. And I also found the perfect clasp, a copper starfish!

Seashell necklace collage

The reveal within our Facebook group was yesterday, but I thought I would share what I made with all of you too. Thank you again Rita, for a delightful challenge, and your continued generosity to your fellow beaders!