For some reason, perhaps my friend Carrie's influence, I just couldn't resist snatching up a Mermaid Lagoon mystery challenge kit from Allegory Gallery when they announced it! I'm often leery of surprises or "mysteries" because I want to know exactly what I'm getting, but I have a high level of trust when it comes to Andrew and William at Allegory... and, you know, mermaids! As always, the kit included a lovely and fun mix of materials for participants to play with. Also, we got not one but TWO pretty focals made by Andrew... I was certainly not disappointed with my "mystery" purchase!
The first thing I made was a fun multi-strand bracelet using a design by Lorelei Eurto. I picked a large lucite (?) bead to anchor the design and added some other beads from the kit and my own stash to complete the design on teal waxed Irish linen and brass. I had some tiny Czech glass fish shaped beads that were the perfect thing for one strand!
Next up, I pulled together the Swarovski pearls and large lucite beads from the kit and strung them simply with copper saucer beads in between. I finished the back with some fun new chain that I just picked up from the G&LW show that was just in the Twin Cities this week.
I'm notoriously bad about buying the kits for the Allegory Gallery design challenges and then not making anything with the mystery components. I blame my hoarding tendencies for this! This time I was super determined to get something done with at least one of Andrew's pretty pendants!
I grabbed the mermaid pendant and was thinking of doing a multi-strand necklace with a variety of seed bead strands. As I started working on my first strand, which alternates plated hematite corner-less cubes with the pearly seed beads from the kit, I decided that simple might be better this time!
This may be a sign of the coming apocalypse, but I actually made a necklace with the second pendant that Andrew sent along too! I wrapped a brass filigree piece around the starfish pendant and made links from a variety of glass, gemstone, Swarovski pearl, and crystal beads both from the kit and my own stash and finished the back of the necklace with brass chain.
My brain hadn't totally let go of the multi-strand idea even though I didn't use it for the mermaid necklace. Last Friday during a jewelry making playdate with my friend Marcia I painted a Vintaj Arte Metal pendant with an ocean wave design unintentionally (unconsciously?) in colors to match the seed bead mix from the kit. I used the mix for one strand and seed beads from my stash (which is stupid large for someone who doesn't do bead weaving or embroidery) for the other two. Full disclosure... I haven't finished the back of the necklace just yet, but you more than get the idea of where I'm going with the design. I'm planning on finishing the back with some silver plated hammered cones.
Even after making all these designs I still have tons of fun goodies to play with! I had set out some items for earrings, or at the least the start of some earring ideas, but haven't completed any of those yet. I'll try to get a couple of those done before I move onto other projects and deadlines since they are still on my bead board.
Thanks for stopping by to see what I've been busy making. Check out the Allegory Gallery Design Challenge Facebook group HERE to see what other participants dreamed up!