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:
This month I wanted to use something fresh and summery, but haven't been out to take pictures much. I ended up at the Arboretum and discovered this beautiful dahlia being destroyed by these equally beautiful beetles. We'll just call this one "flawed beauty". And shortly after taking this shot, we were all ushered indoors to avoid the axe-wielding loony who was running around the grounds. I bet you artists will come up with something cool for this one!
August is traditionally a crazy busy month for me and this year is no exception. Between attending shows at the Minneapolis Fringe Festival, gearing up for my big show the Art Wander in September, and life in general I often haven't known which end was up!
For my first design I decided that I would go for some low hanging fruit... earrings! I had picked up several darling flower charms from Golem Design Studio at Bead & Button and one pair was just the perfect color for this flower. I poured out my collection of Humblebeads discs and found a coordinating pair to go with the charms. I added in some copper plated bead caps and pink and peachy Czech glass to round out the design. (While I had all my disc beads covering my bead mat, I found some to match the other three pairs of Golem charms for later.)
In digging through my stash, I found a scarab beetle from Vintaj that I've had from my early days of beading. This little guy may have been one of my first Vintaj purchases from my local bead store (which is sadly no more.) So, he's not the right kind of beetle, but I figured some fun with the Vintaj patina paints, and he would look a lot like his cousins from Eric's photo and would be perfect for a necklace design that's pretty literal. Despite some serious custom color mixing and multiple coats of paint, I couldn't quite get the look I'd hoped for but I came close. A wash of black paint in the crevices with a mix of copper, green, and clear glaze over the top helped I think. Here's a look at the before and after extra painting!
|Top: Ready to paint! Bottom Left: First try. Bottom Right: Final version.|
Once I finally had my pendant finished, it was time to start figuring out the rest of the necklace. I wanted to use my favorite iridescent green Swarovski pearls to play off the beetles' coloring and added pulled in a mix of Czech glass and some faceted prehnite. This one called out to be asymmetrical (maybe because I've been doing a lot of symmetrical designs lately!)
|I wanted to show the whole necklace but also give you a peek at the entire painted flower that's hiding under the beetle!|
Since I still had extra beads on my bead mat, I went ahead and whipped up a matching pair of earrings to make it a set.
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