Thursday, January 29, 2015

Desert Sands Blog Hop Challenge

Today is the reveal for the "Desert Sands" Blog Hop Challenge hosted by Andrew Thornton. Andrew provides the bead soup and components for the Blog Hop and the participants unleash their creative energies in their designs using the kit contents in whatever way inspires them. This month the kits contained a rich, warm palette of topaz, copper, gold and pearly whites. The kit always contains a "mystery component" designed by Andrew himself. If you have never participated in a Blog Hop, they are a great way to network, be inspired, stretch your creative legs and burst out of that comfort zone we sometimes find ourselves in. So without further ado, here is my contribution for this month's Challenge!

I only managed to accomplish a fraction of what I had hoped. However, I did manage to get out of my own comfort zone with this project. I don't have tons of experience with bead embroidery. I think of myself as a 'dabbler' at this point. When I saw the kit contents, I decided almost immediately that I was going to use the bead soup and focal beads in a bead embroidery project to make a cuff bracelet. I envisioned a National Geographic spread with aerial photos of a desert. Landforms breaking up swirling sand deposits. The mystery component is the polymer clay focal at center stage. It reminded me of a compass (a useful thing if you are traveling harsh terrain). I bezeled around the focal and added pearls, stones, shells and glass beads to accent the landscape. It is in the Work In Progress (WIP) stage, but I have really enjoyed the process. I have to finish the bottom left embroidery, fill in gaps with smaller, coordinating beads, apply the Ultrasuede backing, add edging and attach a clasp. I thought I was closer to finishing until I just typed all that out! I call this design "Tiny Oasis" because the shell bead to the right of the central focal has the slightest bit of iridescent color to it, a splash of green and a watering hole for life in an otherwise barren landscape. Here is a close up of that part of the cuff:
At the end of February there will likely be a catch-up blog hop for all the participants who have WIPs to complete. I am looking forward to it! Please be sure to use the links below to hop to my fellow participants' blogs and enjoy their contributions.
 Also on Andrew's blog:
Thanks for taking the time to view and leave comments on my contribution!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Star Frost Blog Hop Challenge

Welcome to the Star Frost Challenge Blog Hop! I hope everyone enjoyed the Holidays and New Year Celebrations. To kick off the New Year, Andrew Thornton of Allegory Gallery has provided another great opportunity to stretch our minds and create new jewelry and accessories from a mixture of beads and findings. The palette for this challenge is a predominantly monochromatic mix of white, crystal, icy blues and silver.

I have to admit, the holidays were the usual crush of shopping, cooking, wrapping and celebrating, so my offerings for this challenge are rather anemic. I had hoped to get more finished, but not to fear! Andrew is planning a catch-up blog hop for those of us who fell behind on some of the monthly challenges, so I will hopefully have more to show at a later date.

Here are my contributions:

The first design is a necklace using the Mystery Component for a pendant. Andrew makes the Mystery Component himself and they are stamped, polymer clay pendants that embody the spirit of the challenge. The pendant for this challenge was stamped with snowflakes and embellished with silver mica powder and blue glitter.

 I suspended the poly clay pendant from the Irish waxed linen and strung crystals in shades of blue.

My vision for the next design was to capture the essence of a snow angel using Peyote bead weaving. I just kind of 'winged it' with respect to the pattern inlay. The background is crystal seed beads and the inlay is white opaque AB cylinder beads. I used a sequin and small round disc for the angel head. The bracelet strap is a mixture of beads in six strands. You can probably tell that this bracelet is still in the finishing stages as threads are hanging out and not all the strands are connected. Needless to say, it needs a clasp.

You will find more designs and inspiration by visiting these fellow participant's blogs
or on Andrew Thornton's blog: