Maria Grimes' Designers' Challenge has ended, so I can now disclose that I made this necklace from the packet of beads she gave me, plus a few that I added from my own stash. Alas, I did not win the challenge - to see the lovely bracelet that did win, please go here - but I was very excited to have the opportunity to participate. I hardly ever win random drawings, and I believe there were over a hundred people who asked to participate in this twelve person challenge.
Anyway, the great challenge packet that Maria put together gave me the inspiration to come up with a new, original design that I otherwise would never have made, which I feel really quite happy about. The design came about from five bugle beads that Maria included in her packet. I rarely use bugle beads myself, and I was sitting around wondering what to do with them (I didn't want to just stick them in a tassle, which was the initial easy option I considered). I decided that they looked like flower stems and, when I strung them on a headpin with the ceramic flowers that Maria made and small pressed glass flower beads that she included in the packet, I liked the way they looked. I had to figure out how to display them and decided that a nice PMC vase would do the trick. Well, originally, I wanted to make a vase, but as you can see, I ended up with more of a flower pot. The night I was working on the piece, the Short One had trouble sleeping, and I ended up having to go with something a little simpler than an ornate vase. However, flower pots are nice, too, right?
I had five bugle beads but only four ceramic flowers, so I made a fifth flower from PMC, as well. (It is tucked into the back of the focal, so you may not see it very well from the photo, but it is there). In order to prevent the piece from flipping over, I decided to weight the vase with a heavy beaded tassel (so, in the end, I still did make a tassel, but it was more for functional reasons than anything else). I have to say, it works quite well, and the focal sits very nicely when worn. (Of course, I can't wear it at all, personally, because the SO is too, too interested in the piece, but I have snuck it on after he's in bed a couple times, and it really does hang well.) Maria included rose quartz chips (which as you can guess, I loved, given how much I use rose quartz these days) and small dark seed beads, that I used to round out the rest of the necklace (I added more rose quartz from my stash and some violet seed beads to lighten up the ones that Maria provided.) Finally, I placed a smaller tassel at the back of the necklace to act as a counterweight to the heavy focal and front tassel.
I had a great deal of fun making this piece, and I really want to say thank you so much to Maria for holding this challenge!!
I am an intellectual property lawyer by training and have a background in English Renaissance literature. I love science fiction. I primarily watch Sesame Street these days and find myself humming "Pop Goes the Weasel" at odd moments (guess why). I can happily eat ice cream in the middle of winter when the wind chill is 20 below 0. I have been making beads and designing jewelry since 2007.
2010 - Winner, First Place, British Bead Awards, Other Finished Bead Jewellery 2010 - Winner, Second Place, British Bead Awards, Metal Clay Jewellery 2010 - Winner, Second Place, Bead Dreams, Metal Clay
2010 - Grand Prize, Gold Medal Winner, Fire Mountain Gems and Beads, Metal Clay, Metal Beads, Wirework and Chain Jewelry-Making Contest
2010 - Finalist, Bead Star, Stones, Plastics and Designs with Heart Categories
2009 - Winner, First Place, British Bead Awards, Metal Clay
2009 - Winner, Second Place, British Bead Awards, Beyond Glass, Handmade Beads and Components
2009 - Winner, Second Place, Bead Arts Awards, Necklace
2009 - Finalist, Bead Dreams, Metal Clay
2008 - Finalist Fire Mountain Gems and Beads Beading Contest, Metal Clay
2008 - Finalist, Bead Star, Pearls
A word about copyright
As indicated in the copyright notice, the contents of this blog are copyright by me. To the extent that instructions to make jewelry, beads, knit items or other instructions are included in this blog, they are free for you to use to make the projects for personal use. They should not be used for commercial purposes, ie, to make items for resale.