Monday, January 30, 2017

Reveal - SJ Designs Jewelry Honey Do List January Design Challenge!

Every month, Sarajo Wentling over at SJ Designs Jewelry hosts the Honey Do List challenge--where her husband, Eric, issues her a beading challenge to help her get out of her comfort zone, as well as use up some of her bead stash. Luckily for me, she lets others play along, too! 

This month's inspiration picture is a beautifully altered photo of a blue jay:

This is what Eric said about the picture:

This was one of the first visitors to our newly placed bird feeder this fall, so I ran for my camera and got a few shots while I could.  While I liked the picture, I felt it could use an oil paint look so spent some time tweaking this in Photoshop until it looked how I wanted it.  I like the textures and the bold blue and white color palate (and green if you want to include the background)!  

...I couldn't agree more! I, too, like the bold blue and white color palette--and blue jays in general. (Even if they can be quite mouthy! When I lived in an apartment, our balcony was the prime territory of a blue jay, and he guarded it quite jealously--and loudly!) 

So! Inspired by that picture, I made three necklaces. Here is the first one:

...And here is the second one, which looks incredibly similar to the first:

That's right! 

They are both pretty much the same necklace--with the same beads and the same layout. They are just made with different color metals. You see, I had the cute little birdie pendants in both silver-tone and brass, and I couldn't decide which I liked better. So, I made them both!

The birds are paired with metal and glass (Czech and otherwise). They both are 18 inches long, and are fastened by standard lobster clasps.

So, those are the first two necklaces. The third necklace that I made was a bit of a surprise... I had only planned to make the first two. 

However, while I was looking through my stash, I found a beautiful glass bead that had blue and white swirls in it... swirls that reminded me of the texture of the blue jay's feathers.

As you can guess, one thing led to another, and this necklace came together:

Ha! Yes, it's a tassel necklace. I'm sure you're incredibly surprised. ;)

The materials are identical to the earlier necklace, with the only additions being the blue teardrops and the cobalt blue glass. I also added a little leaf charm, which reminded me of a feather.

Another shot of the lovely swirly bead.

I made this necklace quite a bit longer than the other two--and as such, it actually layers quite nicely with the matching bird-pendant-necklace. 

In fact, since I have more of the beads, I'm even considering making another one in brass!

...And there you have it! Those are the necklaces that I made for this month's Honey Do List challenge. Thank you, as always, to Sarajo and Eric for letting me play along... I greatly enjoy these challenges!

Thank you, too, for stopping by my blog today to see what I made... Have a lovely day, everyone!

(Me, I'm going to take my next dose of antibiotics so that I can hopefully clear out this sinus infection and start getting my energy back. Ha! This month has been a doozy.)

Friday, January 27, 2017

Wonder and Whimsy Monthly Challenge - January Reveal

Is it already the end of the month? Well then. I suppose that can only mean one thing: it's time for the reveal of this month's Wonder and Whimsy Monthly Challenge!


As a refresher, this month's challenge was to make something using some of the beautiful beads I received for Christmas:

Beads from one side of the family.

Beads from the other side of the family.

For this challenge, I made two sets... and, without any further ado, here they are!

Set #1

The first set is made with both beads from both collections--beads that go really well together, despite having been bought by completely different people with no knowledge of what the other bought. I mean, honestly! Look at how well those silver crosses fit inside the turquoise blue beads!

In fact, the final design was made to highlight how well those components go together... and the only part of this design that was not part of the gift-beads is the gorgeous magnesite teardrop. It was just so close in color to the cage beads, that I had to include it.

The result?

A lovely turquoise-and-silver necklace that sits right on the collar bone, with beautiful earrings to match.

Set #2

And here is the second set! As you can tell, it's a tassel necklace.

...Because I have long since given up trying to fight my tassel-making ways. At this point, I figure it's kind of my thing, so I might as well own it. :)

The focal bead (ceramic), the dark green beads (glass), and the white 6mm beads (Czech glass) were all presents--all from the same person, too. I wonder if this is what she had in mind when she bought them for me. ;)

To complete the look, I also added white crystal bicones, magenta pearls, pink-purple Czech glass, and faceted light green glass--and wire-wrapped them all together with silvertone wire. I also added leaf charms and a leaf toggle to go with the flower theme.

I love the fresh feel of this set. Honestly, these are colors that I probably would not have put together, had it not been for the flower focal... But I am so glad I did! The dark green and the rich magenta are lightened by the bright white, and reminds me of the first Spring crocuses peeking through snow.

And so, there you go! The two necklace sets that I made for this challenge.

And, to be honest, I have hardly touched the gift-beads. I have so many pretties left to play with! I'm sure that they will be included in many designs yet to come... and, if I think of it, I will post them here. What fun!

Thank you so, so much for stopping by today... I always appreciate having someone to share my creations with. Oh, and I'm already planning my challenge for next month... be sure to come back soon to see what I come up with!

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

January's Pretty Palettes - Reveal!

Well, it's that time again... Time for the monthly reveal for Halcraft's Pretty Palettes! Hurray! :)

The January challenge was centered around the Pantone top-ten list of colors of the year, which features "Greenery" as the star. These colors are described as "a mixture of vitality, relaxation, and the great outdoors."

In case you're interested, here's another look at that collection of colors (this time without the beads):

So! The idea was to use those colors as a springboard for jewelry designs. The beads shown in the picture were the selections made by Molly Schaller to go along with the colors. However, when I visited my local Michaels, many of those official selections were out of stock. 

I was not deterred, however! After all, I had Christmas gift cards to use. So, from that palette, here are the beads that I picked out:

After quite a bit of debate, I decided to split those beads up into three distinct sub-palettes--two of which have the signature "Greenery" shade. (What was the third palette? Well, you just have to keep reading to find out!) 

(And now it's time for a quick side note: of course, re-reading the official guidelines for this challenge, I see now that we were supposed to use a subset of 4 or 6 colors. Oops! Ah well, at least one of my sub-palettes fits that category... That's what I get for not double-checking the introduction post before I started creating!)

So! Now that I'm sure you're thoroughly curious, here are the three color collections I came up with--and what I made to match them!

Palette #1

I love these two shades of green together... they remind me of the many hues of trees, whether they're in shadow (kale) or in sunlight (greenery). 

I also thought that the rectangle spear-beads that I purchased did a good job capturing both of those colors... So, those are what I used to make this first set:

I paired them with silver-tone metal and hand-cut peridot saucers. The necklace is actually fairly long... I'm debating making a shorter, matching one to be used for layering with it.

That's not all I made for this sub-palette. I had more of the rectangles left, so I made another pair of earrings:

These use the faceted light green glass beads instead of the peridot, resulting in a bit of a brighter look. I even tried my hand at some messy wire-wrapping (which is surprisingly difficult for me to do, just because I like making things tidy!).

Palette #2

For this second palette, I decided to mix some of the more summery shades with the deep richness of the lapis blue. The resulting set is quite lovely:

Confession time: this was actually a last minute edition... I made this set this morning! I found the lapis blue beads while sorting through a mix I also picked up from Michaels (essentially a dark blue version of this one), and it inspired me to put this together.

This set is made with varying shades of copper and gold, and makes me think of flowers on a beach, next to sparkling blue waters.

Palette #3

This last palette is actually the one that really stood out to me while I was shopping for beads--and the one that I couldn't wait to start creating. Granted, there is no Greenery in sight... but I think the necklace set I made is still gorgeous:


It's a tassel necklace! 

...This time, featuring a pendant and tassel by Sedona. The Czech beads--both the blue and the dark gold--matched it so perfectly that I just had to put them together. And I love the result so much, I'm going to inundate you with many pictures! :)

So, there you go! That's what I made for this month's Pretty Palettes challenge!

Thanks to Molly Schaller and Halcraft for putting together such a fun challenge! And thank you so much for stopping by to see what I made! Of course, feel free to check out the official Halcraft blog to see what everyone else ended up creating. 

Have a wonderful Wednesday, everyone!