Why, you ask? Because, this month, I was asked by the talented Erin Prais-Hintz to be her partner! That's right--the official partner on the official Pretty Palettes reveal on the official Halcraft Blog. And, trust me, I was beyond flattered... What an honor!
The theme for this month's Pretty Palettes challenge was the ocean--quite fitting, considering it is the beginning of summer. As such, these are the beautiful sea-ish beads that Erin picked out:
Aren't they lovely? I think that they quite nicely capture the shades of the ocean... and there are even fun seahorse charms! :)
Now, I was super excited when I was asked to be the official Pretty Palettes partner this month, and then I was doubly excited by this mix. You see, this is quite the nostalgic mix for me. I grew up in Baltimore, Maryland, where I spent quite a bit of time at the Inner Harbor--whether it was to go to the National Aquarium, to my first job (ah, the joys of retail), or to visit the beautiful tall ships that came to port. Then, for college and several years afterward, I lived on the Eastern Shore--sandwiched between the Atlantic Ocean and the Chesapeake Bay. Water water everywhere!
Now I'm landlocked in the Midwest, but oh! I miss the ocean.
...And, perhaps because I was so inspired by these beads and my nostalgia, I made many many things for this challenge. Overall, I made three necklaces and six pairs of earrings. Because when I get inspired, I make all the things, apparently.
So, sit back and relax... and let me show you lots of pictures! Yay! :)
Necklace Set #1
This first set was made using all of the beads picked out by Erin--and only the beads picked out by Erin.
|Well, okay... Those two Czech bead rounds in the starfish earrings were from|
another Halcraft mix. But all of the others are from the Official Bead Selection!
As suggested by its title, this necklace made me think of something that a mermaid would gather, like little tokens of affection or remembering: shells and treasures from under the sea, collected and strung together. The big blue rounds, while made from lava, really make me think of coral... and those lovely howlite drops make me think of solidified waterdrops.
To be honest, this necklace was also one of my first real successful attempts at making a multi-stranded piece... And I am very happy to say that it turned out exactly like I had in my head. Isn't it wonderful when things just come together?
As for the earrings, I decided to make two pairs--one silver tone, and one that was more gold and brass. After all, both technically match the multi-metaled necklace... It will just depend on the mood of the wearer.
I really couldn't be happier with this set. As I said, it turned out exactly as I had envisioned, and it uses everything that had been picked out for this month's challenge. I definitely call that a win! :)
Necklace Set #2
Charm of the Urchin
But wait, there's more!
This next set was knotted on waxed linen cord, and used a combination of the Official Bead Selections and items from my stash.
...Items including (but not limited to) vintage sea urchin spines, wave-swirled ceramic rounds, and a handful of little shells.
The result is very bohemian and free-flowing--and it makes an absolutely wonderful jingly noise! (I totally want a windchime made with sea urchin spines... I just love the sound they make!)
For the earrings, I again made two matching pairs... The first is a long asymmetrical pair, made that way because: a.) I had two unmatched sea urchin spines to work with, and b.) it seemed to fit the necklace's aesthetic.
The second is a simpler pair made with the main colors of the necklace, for the days when shoulder-dangling earrings are a bit much.
I am extremely fond of this set, and have already planned an entire outfit around it.
Oh, and in case you're wondering... it's that rather eclectic fantasy-story-beachside-gypsy-vendor feel, coupled with the fact that I literally made a charm necklace using sea urchin spines, that led to the name of this set. :)
Necklace Set #3
And now for the Grand Finale!
This last set is very special--and actually uses only a few of the Official Bead Selections. (In supporting roles rather than being the main event--see if you can spot them!)
Instead, it mainly focuses on this particular Halcraft mix... which, when I saw it, immediately inspired me to make this:
Yes, that is another multi-stranded necklace--and my second real successful attempt to make one. (You've already seen the first one at the beginning of this post.) I was emboldened by my earlier success, and just decided to go for it.
...And, like the first necklace, this one came together exactly as I had envisioned it.
A little about the construction... It was made using the aforementioned Halcraft mix, as well as two different strands of shells, dyed magnesite, and Chinese crystal (seen in the shell strands).
The shell in the pendant is very special, too--and is what led to the title of this set. The shell, you see, is from my mother... She found it when she was beach-combing on Sanibel Island, in Florida. (She and my dad were there on vacation.) I wire-wrapped it, added the howlite teardrop tassel, and attached it to the bail so that it could be worn with the necklace.
Oh, and also?
That pendant comes off.
That means that the pendant can be worn on a scarf (I have a beautiful blue one that matches it perfectly, but I didn't think to photograph), and the necklace can be worn as a multi-stranded ocean beauty all on its own.
The earrings were made to match the colors of the necklace, regardless of whether the pendant was on or not. Oh, and it was also an excuse to use more of the seahorse charms. Can you blame me? ;)
I am over the moon with how well this set turned out. It is truly wonderful when the vision in my head can be translated into reality. It's a moment that would make any artist proud, and I am no exception!
So, ta-da! That is what I made for this month's Pretty Palettes challenge. I challenged myself to make things I don't usually make, and I am ecstatic at how they turned out. Imagine, I didn't even make anything with wire-wrapped links! (Granted, I had a plan to make one like that--I just didn't get a chance to. Heh.)
Thank you so much, Erin, for asking me to be your partner! I had a wonderful time, and I'm honored that I got to participate.
And thank you, readers, for stopping by! Please be sure to stop by the Halcraft Blog for the main reveal... I know that there will be lots of beautiful ocean-inspired jewelry to see! I, for one, am excited to see what everyone made!
Have a wonderful day, everyone... I know I certainly plan to!