Monday, April 25, 2016

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

The SJ Designs Jewelry Honey Do List is going strong... And it's time for the April reveal! Woo-hoo!

This month's challenge was all about beer--beer bottle labels, specifically. After all, so many craft beer labels are quite artistic, and the idea was to use a bottle label as inspiration for a jewelry design.

Not my picture!
A sample of different beer bottle labels and matching beads, courtesy of SJ Designs Jewelry

...And, well, it definitely was a challenge!

You see, there are times that I do creative exercises like these, and everything just falls into place. Everything goes exactly as I want it to, and the end result is spot on. Other times, everything is a struggle, and at some point I end up throwing my creations across the room. 

...Yeah, this was definitely one of those latter times! 

In fact, my first challenge had nothing to do with jewelry at all... My first obstacle was finding a beer to use! 

It should be noted that I am no beer connoisseur, and I admit to not being a huge hops fan. (I suppose it's an acquired taste that, well, I haven't acquired.) My husband and I don't often drink beer, or any alcohol really--not because we're opposed to it, it just doesn't occur to us.

So, yes--my first task was simply to find a beer to use as inspiration. 

Thankfully, I went to a un-housewarming party of some good friends of mine (they're moving soon, and wanted to celebrate)... And they had beer! Hurray! To their amusement, I took pictures of many beer labels... And eventually, I decided on two of them to use for this challenge. 

Here is the first one:

You can also see a jewelry project to the left, and more beer and crayons in the back.
It was my kind of party.

So! Using that bottle as inspiration, here is what I made:

The large focal bead is actually a paper bead--not made by me, but by PaperBeadGirl. (The same goes for the other four paper beads in the chain.) My mum gave those beads to me as a present, and I picked them for this project because the striations made me think of both the label's turntable and its background blocks of color. 

Also used in the design: dyed cheesewood, vintage German acrylic, carnelian, tiger-eye, and gold-tone metal. 

As a quick side-note, I should mention that my original plan for this necklace involved a large tigereye donut instead of the paper bead focal. Unfortunately, the color balance was all wrong, and the gold center I wanted to give it ended up breaking, and all in all it definitely didn't turn out the way I wanted!

One of the other problems I had with this necklace was that I wasn't sure how long to make it. Eventually I solved this by adding waxed cotton cord to both ends--dark brown, reminiscent of the brown of the bottle. They can be tied in the back, which means the necklace can be as long or as short as the wearer wants it to be.

Something that went well, though: the earrings. The matching earrings are also made with paper beads from PaperBeadGirl--again, due to their color and their turntable-esque appeal. They are paired with carnelian and more dyed cheesewood... And they turned out exactly as I wanted them!

Overall, I like this set... It's not quite the design I had in mind when I started, and it doesn't quite match the bottle, but it is still very pretty and definitely pushed my jewelry-making boundaries.

And now for the second set.

The second bottle that I picked was a bit brighter, and more summery (and I didn't actually drink it, so don't ask me about the flavor):

...And, from that inspiration, this is the citrusy set that I made:

Unlike the previous set, this set actually fell nicely into place. While the colors don't exactly match (the bottle was more orange, and the necklace is more pink), the coin beads make me think of lemons and other things citrus-y. Paired with both gold and copper, I think I captured the feeling of the bottle!

So, there you go! Those are the two sets that I made for this month's beer-inspired challenge. Halfway through the month, I honestly thought I wasn't going to have anything to show for my efforts... I'm so glad that I stuck with it! 

As always, thanks to SJ Designs Jewelry and her husband Eric for putting this challenge together! 

And thank you for reading this blog post! I truly appreciate you stopping by, and I hope that everyone has a wonderful day!


  1. A) I'm glad you stuck with it too!
    B) I want to go to a party like that!
    C) AWESOME finished products!
    I think the paper beads are perfect to represent the record on the player and the books on the bookshelf.
    I love the citrusy feel to the grapefruit necklace! Pink is spot on, the inside of a grapefruit is in fact pink, right? I don't eat them, but I've seen plenty!

  2. I'm actually rather enamoured with the first set. Glad you stuck with it!

  3. Great job on both sets! You may have been frustrated with your first set, but that paper bead was the perfect focal...things sometimes have a way of working out better than we had imagined. The paper focal really reminds me of the grooves in a record and the colors in the other beads are perfect for the colorful background. And I totally agree with Alison's comments about the citrusy totally works! Thanks for sticking with it and playing along! Check back on May 1st to see what Eric has in store for us next.

  4. Difficulty finding beer???!!! Never at my place! I really like the Turntable piece and it really evokes the label to me. I think the grapefruit/citrus set is clearly just in time for spring and summer. Thanks for playing along!

  5. Fabulous! Luv all the whimsical every day pieces. Circles just say fun, isn't that one of the essence of Beer, Lol.


Thank you so much for taking the time to comment! :)