Friday, September 30, 2016

Wonder and Whimsy Monthly Challenge - September Reveal

It's the last Friday of September, and you know what that means! That's right--it's time for the reveal of September's Wonder and Whimsy Monthly Challenge!


As a refresher, this month's challenge is all about paper pulp beads. As I described in a previous post, I took some leftover packing paper and turned it into hand-shaped beads:

...And so this challenge was all about making jewelry with those beads!

First things first, though: in order to make jewelry out of those beads, I needed to paint them. 

And paint them, I did!

Ah, yes, painting beads in the basement.
Not the best lighting, but a wonderful amount of space to spread out!

I had a lot of fun deciding what colors (and color combinations!) to use. I mostly used craft paint, but I also mixed in some nail polish for fun.

Once the beads were colored to my liking, I then added 3-4 coats of exterior/interior gloss varnish. The hope was to make them water resistant, smooth to wear, and less likely to rub off--and the varnish seems to have done the trick!

So, those are the beads! Now, to show off what I made with them!

There are six sets to show off overall. I tried to vary up the styles, just to get an idea of how versatile these beads are. I admit to being a little stumped at first--I really am used to using smaller beads, and these beads are quite chunky. In the end, though, I started to warm up to their girth. I'll let you decide how well I did in using them! :)

Necklace Set #1

This is the first set that I made, hand knotted on waxed linen. The chunky copper/bronze paper beads are interspersed with some glass, crystal, and dragon vein agate.

I am very fond of this color combination, as well as the mix of textures. 

I'm also particularly fond of the earrings that I made to match. They are light weight and eye-catching, and capture the textures of the necklace very well. And what can I say--I'm definitely a sucker for matching sets! (I know that this is a huge surprise, ha!)

Necklace #2

This second set was made by mixing things up a bit. 

Instead of sticking with one color theme, I chose a few different colored beads and put them together in a random pattern. I then strung them together using simple wire links, and finished the design off with two different colors of chain (gunmetal and silvertone).

The fun part of this necklace, for me, is how it combines the beads painted with craft paint (silver, lavender, and plum) as well as the ones painted with nailpolish (dark blue and iridescent green/purple/peacock). The different finishes give even more depth to an already texture-filled necklace design.

Necklace Set #3

This set is made all with the same color paper beads--two shades of lavender and purple, finished with a metallic silver sheen. The beads are strung on beading wire, and are graduated from small to large (with the largest beads at the center).

A simple construction, perhaps, but one designed to showcase the beads themselves.

Necklace Set #4

As you can tell, this set is very similar to the previous one--just a different color scheme. Instead of lavender and silver, this set is plum and copper (with a fancy toggle clasp to match). 

It, too, has graduated beads, and it, too, is strung on beading wire. Simplicity at its finest. And what can I say? I really love this shade of purple! 

Fun sidenote: If you look closely, you can see that the plum beads actually have a copper shine to them! Just an extra layer of depth I added while painting them. *grin*

Necklace Set #5

It's no surprise that I really like tassels. In fact, when I started this challenge, I knew that I wanted to make at least one tassel design.

The result is this set--which boasts not one, but three tassels. That's right... the earrings were an added bonus! 

There is nothing shy or apologetic about this set... and I love it. The earrings and necklace both are delightfully lightweight and have a fantastic amount of movement. I've always been a fan of silver and black together, and I think this set combines those elements well. 

...A good set for those days when you just need a tassel. (Am I the only one that has those types of days? Heh.)

Necklace Set #6

While the other designs were mostly planned (I didn't know the specifics, but had a general idea of what I wanted), this last set just sort of happened. I painted the bluish beads and the reddish beads expecting them to end up in separate necklaces... but then one thing led to another, and this necklace came into being.

...Well then.

The pendant is actually one that I had picked out for my Maya challenge, but seemed perfectly suited for this set. The whole thing is strung on beading wire, and matched with silvertone findings and green Czech glass rounds.

I am actually very happy with how it came together... Although I admit that I might remake it with brass or copper findings instead of silver. We'll see--the jury is still out on that one.

Oh! And the beads? 

They glow in the dark:

A horrible picture, but they really do glow!
(I was up in the middle of the night trying to capture this phenomenon,
much to my husband's amusement.)

To make them glow, I used a coat of glow-in-the-dark nail polish I picked up while visiting my parents. It muted the overall color of the beads, but I still like the finished look. It does make them rather hard to photograph, though!

So, there you go!

That's what I made for my September Monthly Challenge--from start to finish! I think I finally hit my stride by the fifth or sixth set... And you, know, it's rather silly. When I finally started thinking of them as artisan beads--not just as a silly experiment--did the design ideas start pouring in. I guess it really is all a matter of perspective!

Thank you so, so much for stopping by today to see what I made... Stop by in a few days to see what I end up doing for October's challenge!

Have a wonderful Friday, everyone!

1 comment:

  1. Awesome! I really like the lavender set and the plum set and the silver designs.


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