You wait 2 weeks for a blog post, and then 2 (in 1!) come along at once! I signed up to two fab blog challenges, both with the same reveal date, so this post will tell you all about both. And for that reason, there will be a lot of photos and not so many words. Perhaps....I always say that and then I always end up writing way too much....
First up is Jo Tinley's Oak Leaf Challenge. I was so lucky to get into this challenge! Jo made 5 beautiful oak leaf clasps, each one hand crafted by her in rich, oxidised copper. I was the 5th and last person to sign up as Jo only accepted 5 people for this! I have bought quite a few clasps from Jo before and I adore them. Her work really is of the highest quality - do go and check out her website and her etsy shop. We've got quite a few things in common - we are both regular contributors to Beads and Beyond, we both have a love of lampwork beads (especially Moogin) and last but not least, we share the same birthday! How cool is that?
So, a little about the design process. As soon as I received the oak leaf clasp, I knew it would go just perfectly with a cute little hedgehog bead from TreeWingsStudio I had hoarded away. And he just has to go with wooden beads. But I was keen to not simply repeat my recent Art Bead Scene Challenge entry (although the two bracelets definitely have some elements in common) so I introduced a very non-woodland, but very complimentary, colour - cobalt blue. Copper and blue are such a satisfying combination! They really make each other 'ping'.
Oak Leaf Clasp and oxidised copper wire - Jo Tinley
Hammered copper link - MissFickleMedia
What I really love about Jo's clasps is how seamless they look - you can't tell this leaf is a clasp unless you know.
Thanks so much Jo, for organising this fab challenge! I loved it. Here's the list of other people taking part:
Jo Tinley Daisychain Designs
Melissa Meman Art, Life, Love
Niky Sayers SilverNikNats
Amber Boorman Larksong Studio
Kimberley Roberts Bahama Dawn
Rebecca Anderson Songbeads
The next challenge was a very different one - another jewellery hop, but this time from the other side of the pond - Erin of Tesori Trovati's 2nd 'Challange of Color' Hop. I participated in her last one and really found it very inspiring - I love getting a 'brief', whether that be a colour palette, a theme, or a custom made clasp to work with :-)
Last year, I selected teal as my colour family to work with. As anyone who has ever visited my shop or my blog will testify, I can't get enough of the colour. I love every shade between blue and green and work with it on a weekly, if not daily basis. Half my wardrobe is turquoise.
So, this year I decided to break out of my colour safety zone and try a colour which I like but don't use particularly often - pink. I almost picked yellow as my colour family, but couldn't quite do that to myself - one step too far (I rarely use yellow beads or ribbon, unless they are delicate citrine).
Here is the wonderful palette that Erin selected to inspire me, from Jessica Colaluca's Design Seeds Blog.
Design Seeds really is an amazing blog and resource; I had a great time checking out other folks' palettes for some extra inspiration. Maybe one day when I have some extra time....
And here's what I made:
It's a medley of colour, and although I had beads in all the colours of the palette, I would never have thought to put them together. I'm glad I did :-)The beautiful polymer pendant is by Heather Powers of HumbleBeads.
Alongside this necklace, I made some simple but pretty (I think) earring, with which I am very pleased :-) I noticed how these gorgeous jade rounds slotted just perfectly into some of Jo Tinley's sterling teardrops, and thought with a little wire wrapping, they would work well. I have oxidised them but need to get hold of some wire wool to take the edge off them - oxidising is effective, but not when the silver is simply black!
Looking forward to seeing what everyone else has created. Here's Erin's list: