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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