Tuesday, April 16, 2013

April Art Bead Scene Challenge

I didn't think that I would have the energy or time to make something for this month's Art Bead Scene challenge, but when I saw the inspiration artwork, I just couldn't resist!  Maybe it's because this Minnesotan winter doesn't seem to want to end, but the beautiful spring meadow in full bloom had me itching to create!  If you want to read more about the painting you can check out the post over on the ABS blog HERE.

Walk in the Meadows at Argenteuil, 1873
Claude Monet
Color Palette by Brandi Hussey
Often the rate limiting step in choosing to do one of these challenges is what sort of art beads I have in my stash that might work.  Luckily, I had just purchased a pendant mix from Tracee Dock of The Classic Bead on Etsy and one of the flower pieces was just the thing.  Around the same time I also brought home a new seed bead mix from Glass Garden Beads out of Northfield, Minnesota that had the same colors as the pendant plus a little grey and black.  I knew immediately that I wanted to do a multi-strand necklace using the seed beads and some chain for two of the strands.  You can see the things I started with in the photo below.

I really haven't made too many multi-strand necklaces in my jewelry making career.  (We'll add this to the list of things I'd like to learn to do better.)  I tend to stress out about getting everything to be the correct length and lay right... especially when I'm stringing beads or working with closed link chain which aren't too forgiving if you are off on your measurements.  Anyway, my vision was for multi-strand so it was make it work time!   

I knew that I needed to add in some of the other colors from the painting in my third strand.  I decided to focus mostly on the shades of green while also adding some small pops of orange.  I added a few larger yellow seed beads to tie the strands together a little more.  Once I had my three strands completed I was ready (at least I thought I was!) to add the cones at either end of the strand to pull things together and give it a more polished look.  At that point I took a look to make sure I was happy before finishing the wrapped loops on each end of the cones.  I decided that things looked a little disjointed color-wise and thought that maybe another strand of the turquoise and yellow seed bead mix was what it needed.  I did a little more stringing and was finally ready to finish off the ends!  Here are a couple of pictures showing you the strands before and after getting them all finished and the wire wraps completed... see what a mess I'm hiding under there?

I ended up using a longer cone than the one I was originally thinking.  The shorter one just didn't hide the crimp tubes on the beaded strands well enough.  Even though the pattern on the pewter cones is supposed to be Celtic knot work, I think it has a woven basket feel that fits nicely with the pastoral scene in the painting.  The aqua colored crystals help tie everything together and give it a little extra pizazz.  I left a little extra chain to give some flexibility as far as how long to wear the necklace. 

Here's the finished product... now I just have to decide if I want to sell this one or keep it for myself!


  1. Very nice and SO cheerful! The colorful seed beads are great with the pendant. Thanks for letting me know you used it.... I really appreciate the heads up!

  2. Oh how pretty your necklace turn out! Perfect with Tracee's Pendant. You captured the feel and colors in the painting too! Congratulations! Marlynne

  3. Thanks ladies! I'm really happy with how it pulled together.