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!


  1. Your rendition using the Desert Sands collection is just fabulous. My heart is filled with joy when I am looking at bead embroidery or working on a piece myself as that is one of my favorite beading techniques.

  2. Gorgeous! you are doing a fantastic job considering you call yourself a dabbler. Really beautiful...can't wait to see the finished piece...maybe in the catch up hop :)

  3. Oh wow. Dabble away! I do not have the patience for that at all. So lovely.

  4. This is wonderful. The swirly way you've used the seed beads really looks like blowing sands in the desert. I love it!

  5. This is just beautiful! Please be sure to share it with us when you are done.

  6. What an interesting concept! I love the idea of looking down at the desert in an aerial fly over! I think you've captured this image most excellently! And I applaud your bead embroidery skills! I haven't yet ventured down that path and am blown away by what people produce using this technique! Thanks so much for participating and great job, as always!

  7. Stunning!
    I can't wait to see the finished piece!


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