Monday, November 27, 2017

Honey Do List: November 2017

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:

I haven't really taken many pictures in the past month, so I took this chance to delve deep into older photos for something lost in the archives.  This is a really cool old stained glass window in the Schlitz Brewery building in Milwaukee, Wisconsin that really struck my fancy.  The colors and shapes should be a fun change from my usual naturalistic photos. 

Even though these colors aren't necessarily in my normal wheelhouse, I got pretty excited about this month's challenge.  It probably doesn't hurt that I love stained glass!  Anyway, I pretty much immediately started pulling together some possible beads to play with.  Here's a sample of what I gathered up:

The first art beads that jumped out at me were a set of lampwork beads that I bought last month at the Twin Cities Bead Bazaar from Donna Millard.  (If I'm honest, I probably would have skipped the show this time but I wanted to see Donna's work in person.)  Anyway, I immediately pictured a set in my mind's eye using the really cool, almost tribal beads in black and cream... so that's what I did... sort of.

I love all the circles in Eric's inspiration photo and I wanted to keep playing with that shape beyond the lampwork focal bead.  Luckily, I had a nice selection of coin beads to choose from in yellows and grey.  (I ended up choosing some vintage glass, Labradorite, and faceted Yellow Jade.)  To continue with the circle theme, I also picked a cone with some swirly circles to round out the pendant focal I built up.  I mixed up Vintaj Arte Metal and silver plated findings and chain to complete the design.

A closer (and better!) look at the focal and tassel.

Next, I intended to make a bracelet... this is where my plan went a little off the rails.  I wire wrapped one of Donna's lampwork beads with some Czech glass and little "pringle" spacers.  (Ok, I don't know what they're actually called, but that's my name for them!)  Unfortunately, the resulting bead unit was a little too long for my bracelet focal but I'd already gone through the work of cleaning, hammering, and sealing the steel wire for the link so I didn't want to tear it apart.  Never fear, the set had three beads so this one quickly became a second necklace!  I dangled some little beads and a small black key charm from the bottom and put it on a long length of chain.  Voila!

Back at the drawing board for my bracelet design, I tried again for a steel wire wrapped focal bead unit.  This time I kept it really simple with just Donna's bead and the little pringle spacers.  Much better!  I then made a chain of wire wrapped beads including faceted pyrite, Czech glass, and the black lampwork beads that came with the set.  This bracelet is a little on the petite side size wise, but I could always add more links if a customer needed more length.  

Last, but not least, I also whipped up a little pair of coordinating earrings to complete my new Honey Do List set.  I picked out a little pair of grey cocoon beads from my friend Anna Pierson of Saga Hus.  I had the same pearlescent yellowy-ivory Czech glass rondelles in a slightly larger size than what I used in the necklaces that made great dangles for these little ear bobs.

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  1. I really love all of these pieces, especially the first necklace! The Donna Millard beads are fabulous.

    1. Thanks, Ann! I'm proud of myself for actually using some new things right away instead of hoarding forever first. :)

  2. I think these have to be my favorite pieces of yours ever.....wonderful! Those colors are to die for!

  3. Wonderful!! The colors are perfect - I especially love that glass bead in the earrings.

  4. These pieces are lovely! I've drooled over Donna Millard's beads from afar, and wow you certainly did them justice! Beautiful! (Apparently I like them so much, I had to use lots of exclamation marks. Hee.) :)

  5. All the pieces look lovely and rhythmic

  6. Great bead choices and fantastic designs!