Sunday, June 6, 2021

Wonder and Whimsy Monthly Challenge - June 2021 Edition

Happy June, everyone!

For this month's Wonder and Whimsy challenge, I'm doing something a little different.

...And it's a secret.

You see, I've been working on a secret project for awhile now, and my plan for this month is to keep working on it. Then, I'll have the grand reveal for it at the end of the month to show you what I've been up to.

 The reveal date is Friday, June 25th... so, come back then to see what I've been working on behind the scenes! And be sure to check out my Instagram, too... I'm planning on posting teasers for it throughout the month, if all things go according to plan. 

Thanks for stopping by today... I truly appreciate all of your support. Have a wonderful day, everyone!

Friday, May 28, 2021

Wonder and Whimsy Monthly Challenge - May Reveal

How is it the end of May already? This month has truly flown by!

Since it's the last Friday of the month, it's now time for the reveal for this month's Wonder and Whimsy challenge! As a reminder, this month my challenge was to make jewelry with 10 beads or less. 

...10 beads. This was quite the challenge, for someone who likes making tassels as much as I do!

Still, I made two pieces to show off. I had planned a third, but time go away from me. As I said--this month has flown by!

This first necklace was made using 8 beads... 8 6mm mermaid glass beads, to be precise. I paired them with silvertone chain. I originally made it with 10 beads, but it was a bit too long for liking. So I removed 2 beads, and this is the dainty result!

Even though my bead number was limited, I still wanted to make something with a dangle, so that is what I did for my second necklace. 

I've actually been putting together some bead kits (more on that at a later time!), and while I was doing so, I was inspired to make this with one of them:

Count them--there are 10 beads! They are all glass, paired with copper for contrast. (I usually pair silver with blue, but couldn't pass by the copper this time.)

So, there you go! Those are the two necklaces I made for this month's challenge.

I know that this is a simpler reveal than most--but it was also a challenge that highlighted simplicity. It's nice to know that, while I usually make elaborate complicated designs, I haven't lost the ability to pare things down. Sometimes less really is more.

Thanks so much for stopping by today, everyone! I hope you all have wonderful days!

Sunday, May 2, 2021

Wonder and Whimsy Monthly Challenge - May Edition

So... it's no surprise that I like to make large necklaces. I can't help it--I like tassels!

But, as I was thinking about what to do for this month's challenge, I decided to revisit a challenge I did back in June 2016, when my husband challenged me to make necklaces with 15 beads or less.

Except this time, I'm going to make it harder. This time, I'm going to make jewelry (specifically necklaces) with 10 beads or less. 

...10 beads.

Or less.

Woo-hoo! Time to bring on the minimalism!

My favorite piece I made in that June 2016 challenge... 
the necklace is made with exactly 15 beads, including the triangle piece.

Oh, and some fine print... I can use as many findings as needed--chain, wire, beadcaps, maybe one or two tiny little seed beads to make sure that beads don't slide off headpins... You get the idea. If I use a pendant, it will count as at least one bead--possibly more, if there is more than one element to it. And, last but not least, I'm going to aim to not make anything that is just a bead on a chain--although, depending on how much my muse cooperates, it might come to that! ;)

So, come back on Friday, May 28th to see what I create for this challenge! This should be fun.

Thanks for stopping by today... Have a great day everyone! And Happy May!

Friday, April 30, 2021

Wonder and Whimsy Monthly Challenge - April 2021 Reveal

It's the last day of April! Imagine that.

As promised, today is the reveal for this month's Wonder and Whimsy Challenge. This month, I had a lot of fun playing around with pastels and lighter hues that I don't normally use.

Not my photo!
Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash.

Overall, I made 5 necklaces. I had more planned, but that was all I had time for. Still, though, that's not too shabby!

Also, quick word of announcement--commentary is going to be a little light this entry, because I'm still recovering from my second Pfizer shot. (Before you get super worried, it's not too bad... I'm just super tired.) Hopefully, though the necklaces will be able to speak for themselves! *grin*

Necklace #1

This particular necklace is made with Czech glass, mother of pearl rounds, and a pendant I made with a shell I found in Rehoboth two years ago.

Necklace #2

If you look closely, you'll notice that this necklace is made with the same Czech glass as the previous necklace... only this time paired with white glass rounds, and vintage focal beads.

Necklace #3

For this one, I tried to challenge myself with stringing a necklace instead of using wire-wrapping. Materials include glass (Czech and otherwise), dyed quartz, and a printed wood pendant.

Necklace #4

It's tassel time! This one is made of glass and a vintage lucite focal bead.

I also plan on making this design using gold metal as well... I was hoping to get them both done this month, but time got away from me. 

Necklace #5

I included this one last because this is actually my favorite. In addition to being lovely, it has a bit of a story behind it.

The necklace's focal briolette is one of the beads that I bought it at the fateful bead expo where a lamp fell on my head and I got a concussion. It feels good to be able to turn a rather painful experience (literally) into something quite lovely. 

Similarly, the briolettes that I use for the earrings are from one of my favorite bead stores that is no longer in business. While sad that it's no longer around, I'm grateful for those beads--and just how well they match the necklace, although they were purchased more than a year apart!

So, ta-da! Those are the necklaces that I made for this challenge. As I said, I have more in the works--one that is all pink, and a few that are more cream than white. I'll try to post them when I finish them.

Thank you so much for stopping by today... I hope you all have a wonderful, wonderful day!

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Bead Soup Swap and Create - Reveal!

I am so incredibly excited... it is officially time for the Bead Soup Reveal! Yay!

As a refresher, my partner was the lovely and generous Veralynne Malone... and she sent me so many things. So many, in fact, it was impossible to get it all in one picture. Here was my one attempt to do just that--and even it doesn't show everything:

If you want to see close-ups of the entire soup, I recommend going here. This is going to be a picture-heavy post as it is, so I thought it might be wise to try to cut down on the overall photo count. I did try to take pictures of the different elements as I was using them--but for some of them, I was so excited I forgot. So! Yes. If you want to see the whole soup, follow that link or scroll down to my earlier entries. *grin*

Why is this going to be a picture-heavy post, you ask? Because I made nine necklaces. Nine! Woohoo!

So, without further ado, here you go!

Group 1: The Ceramics

Necklace #1

For this necklace, I used almost entirely elements from my bead soup. In fact, I only added the chain and a few findings. The ceramic focals, the clasp, the faceted glass--even the beadcaps--were all from the soup. 

So, with this very first necklace, I filled all the requirements of the challenge... which means that the next eight were just me creating for the joy of creating. 

Oh, and as an amusing sidenote, I do monthly challenges here on this blog--just where I push myself to do things a bit out of my comfort zone. This necklace actually encapsulates my last three challenges: it uses a heart (February's challenge), it's asymmetrical (March's challenge), and it's pastel (this month's challenge). And, all in all, I really like how it turned out! 

Necklace #2

After making the first necklace, I had four large round ceramic beads left from my soup. I decided that I wanted to pair them with a viking knit chain... So, I got to work with some 26 gauge gold wire, and after several nights of work, this is the final result:

I had originally planned to use one of the clasps that Veralynne sent me for this necklace as well, but I found that it was just a bit too large--it threw off the balance. So I used one from my stash that balanced better, and I get to keep hers for another time. I call that a win-win!

Necklace #3

After those two necklaces, I wasn't quite done playing around with the ceramic components that Veralynne sent me. I saw this sweet little bee connector, and decided to pair it with the faceted glass from the soup, along with brass and African turquoise from my stash. I once again played around with asymmetry, and am thrilled with how it turned out.

Group 2: Bright and Beautiful and... Striped

And now for something completely different! 

In addition to the pastel ceramics, I was also sent a collection of seed bead jars and three bright striped beads. (They might be resin? Or lucite? Or modern acrylic? Honestly not sure; they are pretty light.) 

So, after playing around with the ceramics, I turned my attention to brighter possibilities. That leads us to the next two necklaces.

Necklace #4

For this necklace, I decided to combine the above elements. In fact, as soon as I saw them, I knew exactly what I wanted to make. I then scoured my stash to get some matching beads, and the ultimate result is this necklace:

I love how cheerful and vibrant this necklace is... as well as how unlikely it is that I would have put those colors together on my own. It's fun and happy, and perfect for summer.

Necklace #5

...and I couldn't help myself. I also used one of the striped beads to make one of my signature beaded tassels. For those who have been following my blog for any amount of time, I'm sure you're not surprised!

The only element from my soup to show up in this necklace is the focal bead--but I think that's enough for this necklace to be counted! After all, it was the inspiration for the entire design. Additional materials include glass, agate, and wood.

I love it. It make me think of the planet Jupiter.

Group 3: The Challenge Bag... Buttons!

And now for one more change of pace!

Along with my soup, Veralynne sent me a bag labeled "challenge mix," which included buttons. 

...What can I say? I had a lot of fun with these buttons. Here are the last pieces that I made--all with buttons as their focals.

Necklace #6

To make this necklace, I wire-wrapped the button to make a pendant, and then paired it with Swarovski crystals and chain from my stash.  

Necklace #7 and #8

Again, to make these two necklaces, I wire-wrapped the buttons and paired them with elements from my stash. Oh, except for that tassel--that tassel was also from my soup. 

I included these two necklaces together because they are both in the same color scheme--and can actually be worn as a set. I suppose the only other thing I should add is the long necklace is made with 1960s acrylic rounds, while the shorter one is made with glass (and some stringing!).

Necklace #9... with bonus!

And now, for the final necklace--and the matching earrings that I made to go with it!

I have always wanted to play around with finding settings for buttons, and was happy when I found these filigree with holes big enough to fit the button shanks. Once the buttons were glued in place, I paired them with more 1960s acrylic rounds and some Czech glass teardrops. 

I am simply thrilled with how this set came together!

Phew! There you go! Those are all the pieces that I made for this year's Bead Soup Swap and Create!

The full list of participants can be found here... please go visit it, and see what all my fellow designers created for this blog hop. :)

Thank you so much to Lori Anderson for organizing and hosting this swap, thank you so much to Veralynne for being so generous, and thank you all for stopping by today to see what I made! 

Have a lovely day, everyone! Happy hopping!