So, I'm a day late. If you knew the weekend I'd just have, I am sure you'd forgive me, but I will spare you the details for now - and rather, continue with the jewellery. That's what you're here for - not tales of almost-dying pets, smashed in faces and possibly stolen cars.....right?
When I saw that Lorelei and Heather Humblebeads were organising a blog challenge, I knew I wanted to join in if I could. They had selected some beads from Michaels, which is a craft chain based in North America. I.E., none in the UK and Europe! Thankfully, I have some rather super friends in America, and when I asked my particularly super friend Erin if she would be able to pick up the beads for me when she was getting some for herself, she very, very kindly obliged.
|The challenge beads|
I am so behind with everything because of the weekend (see above...), but I felt that having asked Erin to go to the trouble of buying these for me, I really had to give myself the extra push to take part. So last night, I sat down at 9pm and began.
I originally started on a chunky multi-strand bracelet.....but that didn't quite work. I have plans to rework it because I like the idea of it (it was the particular large toggle clasp I'd selected that threw the spanner in the works), but I decided to go for something a little simpler for now.
I threw in a Bo Hulley leaf clasp - usually I make my own hook clasps to go with these, but I didn't have any to hand and so simply combined it with a Vintaj hook.
Somehow I felt that this palette needed some orange in it for my designs, as you can see continued on in this second bracelet...
I love how the ceramic rounds (Erin picked me out a blue shade rather than the green ones in the picture above, and I think they are my favourite beads from the selection!) look with the pressed glass orange flower caps.
This bracelet then needed some earrings to match:
On second thoughts, I think the flower tiles actually tie for favourite with the ceramic rounds. I LOVE these beads, although I found them quite tricky to think of ways to use them. I am always challenged by rectangles and squares...
Along with my Michaels beads, the lovely Erin (did I mention what a fantastic lady she is?) sent me one of her own handmade 'Simple Truths' pendants; a colourful flag pendant in the perfect palette. On the reverse it says:
'not all who wander are lost'.
I'm not sure if Erin chose these words especially for me, but they are particularly apt right now, as a week today (can it really be only a WEEK away?) we move over to Edinburgh, our second big move in 12 months.
My first thought for this was that I wanted to create some kind of colourful bunting necklace with it, but alas, I had no other triangle beads in my stash. Impossible though that seems, given the size of it...!
I had, however, picked up some cool wooden frames in Dublin this past weekend (did I mention how disastrous it was..?) Well, one of the less disastrous points was stumbling across a bead shop on the Liffey. It looked like your every day bead shop at first (I've been in a few...) but they had some really interesting bits and bobs that I haven't seen before on closer inspection. Including some cool wooden frame sets, as I said. I thought perhaps they could hang down like triangles, but of course they didn't want to play ball.....but I am pretty pleased how they wanted to hang instead!
I didn't want Erin's Simple Truth to look too wee compared with the frames, so I decided that a piece of decorative chain hanging beneath would do the trick - somehow, the leaves tied in with my original bunting idea.
I realised that this design, although in my mind linked to the challenge palette, didn't contain any of the Michaels beads! So I added a couple on. Did you spot them?!
Last, and quite possibly least(!), I realised I had used some of all the beads apart from the blue/gold glass window beads. Another sweet and simple pair of earrings with my favourite flower tiles.
So what do you think? Did I pull it out the bag? I have a list of 'to-dos' as long as my arms and my legs put together for today, but I wanted to share these with you so that I wasn't TOO late for the blog hop. Hoping to get these pieces into my etsy shop today, but do comment is you see any that float your boat.
If you want to see what other folk created with the same beads, hop over to Heather's blog to see the list. Thanks to Heather, Lorelei and especially Erin for organising and enabling me to take part!