Thursday, July 27, 2017

The Honey Do List: July 2017

I'm so sorry that I'm a few of days late with this month's Honey Do List reveal.  I was gone last weekend for the fabulous Adornments Retreat (more on that soon, stay tuned to my blog if you're interested in hearing more about that) and then life threw me a couple of curve balls this week.  Better late than never though, right?  Right??  Anyway please forgive my tardiness!

Last year, my husband Eric has decided to issue me a design challenge each month to get me out of my comfort zone and to help clear out my bead stash... and we're continuing the Honey Do List for 2017!  I know that I'm not the only one who loves a good design challenge, so I'm hoping folks will continue to play along!  

Here's this month's inspiration and what Eric had to say about it:

We spent a wonderful day with our friends Vicky and Ken in New Ulm last month.  As part of that day trip we visited the grounds of the historic August Schell Brewery (the second oldest family owned brewery in America) and found this beautiful peacock out courting.  I took about a hundred pictures and this side view though his feathers was my favorite.  Now is the time to break out those colorful blues and greens and show us YOUR stuff!

I love that Eric chose this proud peacock as our inspiration this month!  What he didn't tell you about the photo is that while this male was literally shaking his tail feathers to impress the pea hens, the ladies pretty much completely ignored his show boating!  It was pretty hilarious.  Anyway, that's not why I'm glad he picked this one... it's because I've got some lovely peacock beads in my stash that I've been itching to use!

My friend Michelle McCarthy of Firefly Design Studio has recently started making some fabulous peacock feather components... and I just had to use some of them here!  I picked up the pendant at Bead & Button but then was tempted by her earring charms at a Facebook trunk show she did after I got home.  Since I was still waiting for the earring charms to arrive, I started with a necklace.    

The darker glaze of the feather called out for brass... also I knew I had a toggle clasp with feathery details in brass.  I picked a selection of green and blue Czech glass to complement the glaze colors in the pendant and made beaded links.  To mix things up and add a little more brass to the design, I also used a few filigree beads in the design.

Below are the earrings I made... combining Michelle's lovely components and peacock worthy discs from Heather Powers of Humblebeads.  I added some Swarovski pearls and plated hematite along with brass accents for these.  I wire wrapped the loops on the charms with wire to hide them... I like the look of that versus the raw metal.

Actually the last thing I managed to finish (mostly because I needed to patina some copper wire before I could make my wire-wrapped links) may be the one I'm most proud of for this month.  I bought the amazing polymer clay peacock feather pendant from Staci Louise Smith at Bead Fest Philadelphia when I went (check out her stuff at Staci Louise Originals HERE).   This pendant is CHUNKY and has a great metallic iridescence that my photo just doesn't capture.  This time I used mostly gemstones including carnelian and plated druzy.  There's also some Swarovski pearls and Czech glass thrown in the mix.  I think the right person is going to go nuts for this one.

Another little gem that I found while looking for other peacock inspired beads was a large Vintaj Natural Brass blank that I had etched with their "Bird of Paradise" DecoEtch die and then added patina paint to a while back.  (When I play with the paints I tend to do way more than I plan to immediately design with and then save them for later.)  I had also picked up some peacock patterned shell beads ages ago and used one as part of the pendant.  With the large size of the pendant I wanted a longer necklace.  I had fun picking a wide variety of Czech glass beads to coordinate with the pendant blank and bead.

Not art beads, but I found a bag of items that needed to be put away that happened to include a cool patina green feather pendant and some faceted blue green quartz coins... it was a perfect combination!  I just added some small bronze seed beads in between the coins for a simply strung necklace.  I didn't have quite enough coins to make the necklace as long as I wanted (also, the holes were a little small to double the stringing wire back through them) so I finished it up with a few bloodstone rounded puff coins.  To pull it all together I added some Vintaj patina paints to the clasp to make it match the pendant.    

As an added bonus, I whipped up a little pair of earrings with some fun luster finish Czech glass teardrops and peacock spotted coins.  I don't know why I haven't used more of my teardrop beads... they really are great for earrings!

I'm proud as a peacock about all my new designs!  I can't believe after all this creativity that there are STILL more things that I didn't get to sitting on my bead board.

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  1. This was a fun color palette for you! I love the variety of looks that you created.

  2. I love these, especially the piece made with the Staci Louise Smith feather pendant-- I love the stones you chose, and the way you put them together!

  3. I am smitten - all pieces are so gorgeous, especially the statement necklace with the large art focal! You did a terrific job with this challenge!

  4. What a wonderful collection of pretty things! I'm honestly not sure which one I like the most... they're all so unique. Thank you so much for letting me play along thing month--I always love these challenges! :)

  5. I learn so much from this challenge and especially the reveals!

  6. I love all your designs. The Staci Louise pendant one is extra special. The whole post is like peacock-a-palooza!

  7. Overachiever this month! Love how the chunky one turned out!