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've continued the Honey Do List all the way through 2017! I've loved having folks play along with me the past two years and hope to keep it rolling through 2018.
Here's this month's inspiration and what Eric had to say about it:
This month's challenge is kind of a strange one! Tiring of flowers and such, I figured I'd get a little funky. I took this picture in Virginia at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens. It was cold, windy and sparse. These tall skeletal trees were rattling and groaning in the wind, conjuring up moody images in my mind. I superimposed a photo of clouds on this to give an even moodier mist effect on this to fit the mood I had when taking the shot. This one should push you to try something unusual!
I find this photo quite magical and ethereal with the clouds stretching across the bare trees. The colors aren't quite my thing with the pink and pale blue together, but those two colors together make purple! So that's the direction I went in for most of my designs this month. Artistic license?
First up, two pairs of earrings made with some gold dipped amethyst slices that I got from Lima Beads on a whim a while back. The irony is that Eric really didn't like these too much when I got them, but I think (hope!) that he likes what I came up with using them! I wire wrapped beads above both set of charms... both with Czech glass and one with Swarovski pearls added to the mix. The darker ones on the left are probably more appropriate for the color palette, but I'm sharing both anyways!
Next up, I pulled a few gorgeous enameled oak leaves from Gardanne and made a set that I'm a little bit in love with! I love the mottled colors along the leaves' edges and chose some copper colored Swarovski pearls to pull them out a bit. For the earrings, I used some tiny Czech glass flowers and plated hematite with a mix of brass bead caps.
For the necklace, I chose a cool porcelain textured bead made by Andrew Thornton of Allegory Gallery to add to the pendant focal leaf. In addition to the Swarovski pearls I used in the earrings, I made links with a several different purple Czech glass beads and used brass rollo chain at the back of this long design.
I had forgotten about a lovely jasper pendant that I bought at Bead and Button last year but it totally evokes a similar feeling to Eric's photo for me. The hole in the pendant wasn't the right size for any jump rings in my stash so I decided to use waxed Irish linen for the center part of the design. I used two different colors and sizes of plated druzy rounds, banded amethyst, and some brass beads along two colors of purple waxed linen. For the transition to the back portion of the necklace I made use of some larger sari silk cocoons from Anna Pierson of Saga Hus in a nice cream color.
Finally, I did make one pair of earrings that went more to the blueish tones and the dark of the trees. I used a pair of ceramic earring components that I bought from my friend Marsha Neal at the Bead and Button show this year. This two holed half moon shape fascinated me although I was a bit nervous about being able to do them justice in my jewelry creations. I felt like the swirls in the dark glaze would belong in the misty winter forest. I made links of faceted Amazonite and bronze metallic Czech glass spacer beads. Perhaps I should have gone for more dainty beads, but I quite like the end effect.
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